It doesn't matter much what type of fence you get, as long as it's sturdily built and high enough to keep your Lab from jumping out. A chain link or wire fence will allow your Lab to see what's going on in the world beyond the yard, but some dogs are able to climb these fences relatively easily. A tall fence will often discourage this method of escape, but not always. A fence for a Lab should be at least four and a half to five feet high. If your Lab's a confirmed escape artist, the fence should be even higher. It's better to get a fence that's higher than you think you'll need than to get one that's too low.
How can I keep my Lab from digging under the fence?
Extending the fence about 18 to 24 inches below ground will help discourage him from digging under it. This technique works best with wire fences that won't rot when buried. Sometimes a chain link or chicken wire extension can be added to the bottom of a wooden fence. Some Labs dig not to escape but because they're bored or lonely. If this seems to be the problem, try to arrange for him to spend less time alone, and his digging may stop.
How do invisible fences work?
With an invisible fence, the dog is not restrained by a physical barrier but instead is trained to stay within the boundaries. The system operates on radio waves. A wire that is buried around the perimeter of the yard emits a signal that is picked up by a special collar that the dog wears. When the dog approaches the boundary, the fence emits a high-frequency warning sound that the dog can hear. If the dog stops, nothing happens, but if he continues to approach the boundary, the collar emits a brief mild shock (it's uncomfortable, but it doesn't hurt the dog). The dog soon learns to turn away from the boundary when he hears the warning signal. It's important to understand that an invisible fence is effective only if all of its components are working correctly and the dog is wearing the collar. If your Lab slips out of the collar or it—or any other part of the fence—malfunctions, he'll be free to go wherever he wants.
An invisible fence may keep your Lab from getting out of the yard, but it won't stop other animals from coming in. That means other dogs can wander onto your property and fight with your Lab or otherwise make trouble. Cats and squirrels can run by, and if your Lab chases them he may cross the invisible fence line. Once he's outside the fence line, he's got a very good reason not to come back home—crossing the boundary again will give him a shock.
An invisible fence also does not protect your dog from being stolen or from being teased or tormented by people who come onto your property. If this happens, your dog can't run away and is therefore more likely to either suffer harm or bite to protect himself.
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