Aaron Barnaby

History of the Electric Dog Fence

Invented in suburban Philadelphia in 1973, the Invisible Fence® was invented by a man named Richard Peck. This traveling salesman created a way to help keep dogs off of roads and out of trouble. This dog lover was inspired to create a solution when he saw that many dogs were becoming injured or killed from running into the street.

Mr. Peck spent time working with an electronic engineer, experimenting with different ideas. After trying many times, they came up with a winning plan. This became the first patented Invisible Fence®.

Three parts made up this concept: a transmitter box mounted indoors, a receiver collar for the dog and a wire placed around the homeowner’s property to create a border. A coded signal was generated by the transmitter box. This coded signal was then transmitted through the wire that was buried in the ground. The dog wears the special receiver collar. Should the dog attempt to cross the boundary wire, the collar would then deliver an electric stimulus to the dog.

Mr. Peck became concerned about the welfare of the animals, examining both the short and long-term effects on a dog that uses this type of fence. The studies he conducted showed that there were no negative health concerns when a dog uses an Invisible Fence®.

What is now known as the suburban sprawl of the 1970’s, this was a period of time where planned communities began popping up everywhere. There were often deed restrictions on these communities that stopped people from being able to erect physical fences and dog pens. This was the perfect opportunity for electric dog fences to come into play. These electric dog fences gave homeowners the chance to have a dog, giving him access to the yard and not break the rules of their community.

In the beginning, the first dog fences were marketed by mail order and catalogs. In the beginning, sales were slow. However, Invisible Fence® became featured in two respected magazines, Dogs and Dog Fancy. In the 1980’s, Mr. Peck retired and sold his company. At this time, a group of Philadelphia investors purchased the rights and created the modern-day Invisible Fence® brand.

Consumers of today have several choices to contain their dogs. One option is to choose a professionally-installed system such as Invisible Fence® Brand, Pet Stop® or Dogwatch®. However, this isn’t the only option available. Many dog owners opt for installing their own electric dog fence. Relatively easy to set up, today a DIY electric dog fence is available in wired and wireless versions.

Photo by Aaron Barnaby on Unsplash

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