In the suburbs of New York City, it is still common to find dog loving families using electricity to keep their dogs in their yards. The reasons for choosing electronic containment systems (often referred to as “invisible” fencing) range from cost to aesthetics to local zoning regulations.
But what about the dogs’ side of the story?
When asked her opinion about electronic containment systems, Victoria Stilwell’s answer was unequivocal. “I don’t like electronic containment systems,” the star of It’s Me or the Dog stated firmly and without hesitation.
Ms. Stilwell then rapidly listed some of the reasons for her opinion. Clearly, she has given this issue much thought during her many years of training dogs. Her points are paraphrased in the following list:
- Using shock to train dogs. “Many dogs are anxious about going out in their yards after receiving the shock and freak out,” not wanting to go out in the yard again.
- The electronic fence is dangerous. “Countless dogs run through the electric fences and they get shocked so badly that they don’t want to come back. . . lots of them are getting lost.”
- “A lot of dogs are getting killed because they go out onto the road” after running through the fence.
- Electronic containment systems do not stop other animals and people coming onto the property.
- “People leave their animals out with a false sense of security.”
Ms. Stilwell went on to describe negative behaviors, including barking, which unsupervised dogs engage in when left outside on their own.
She finished by saying “There are so many reasons why I don’t like the containment fences. But, again, it always amazes me that people are out there using them, thinking they are ok and justifying them and that companies out there are selling them to people saying they’re great and guaranteeing your dog will . . . ” She paused for a moment. “You know what? Put a shock collar around your neck and shock yourself a couple of times and see how you feel? It’s disgusting.”
About Victoria Stilwell
Born and raised in Wimbledon, England, Victoria Stilwell is one of the world’s most recognized and respected dog trainers, reaching audiences in over 50 countries.
She is best known for her role as the star of Animal Planet’s hit TV series It’s Me or the Dog, through which she is able to share her insight and passion for positive reinforcement dog training by taming some of the world’s most unruly pets as she counsels families on their pet problems. She also served as a judge on CBS’s Greatest American Dog.
Many thanks to Victoria Stilwell for speaking out and advocating for New York’s suburban dogs.