It had to be done…

It had to be done…

Akuna

electric fence

Despite our walks around the perimeter of the property…

and our verbal warnings…

Despite welcoming her back warmly when she returned on her own (positive reinforcement)…

and locking her in her kennel when we had to go searching for her (negative consequences)…

Despite her gentle way with our chickens…

and the great strides she has made in learning to be calm around the goats…

We simply had to put up electric fencing around the upper portion of the property in an effort to keep her in.

Why?

Well, first…

When she went into heat, she was a beast to keep contained…

and several of the village dogs learned how to go down neighboring properties to access our property through various holes in the fences leaving our goats and chickens at risk of their attacks.

Not OK.

Second, despite all of our patience and learning and understanding of her breed…

and despite the fact that the vast majority of our neighbors think she’s the sweetest pup on the planet…

we learned a couple of days ago that she has made her way to he farthest property on our side of the village in an effort to chase their poultry around.

Chickens, turkeys, and peacocks all at risk.

Again,  not OK.

So, while she will continue to learn that poultry and livestock belong to us humans, she will not know this fully for at least another year.

And while she is friendly and sweet…

she is also big and bouncy, which can be scary and unpredictable.

It had to be done.

And so, it took a full day of measuring and planning and pricing out materials…

and another two full days to install and set it all up…

but it’s done.

And I am so very tired and sore and bumped up from the process of it all.

Now, does it work?

Yep!

How do I know?

Well, I’ve tested it personally (no, not on purpose).

Mika, Akuna, and Mr. have, of course, tested it, too (again, not on purpose).

And yes, it hurts (enough to curse out loud and really feel it for a several seconds).

No, not an easy thing to see the dogs learning their boundaries in such an intense way, but necessary.

Sometimes this whole homesteading thing is just hard, but I tell you what…

I will definitely sleep better tonight and go to work a bit easier tomorrow knowing that our animals are secure.

xoxo,
M

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Written by Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm

12 Comments

  1. Holly

    I am all for electric fences. What I found with my dogs (Rhodesian Ridgebacks) is that once they learned the boundary of the electric fence, I could actually turn it off and they still respected it for quite a while. When I saw that they were testing it again, back on it went.

    1. Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm

      Ah yes! I’m actually hoping to be able to do the same thing! How fun to train them well enough that it doesn’t even have to be running 🙂

  2. Corey

    I spent weeks trying to find all of the places that my husky mix was escaping our yard after the panic of coming home from work and finding him gone. He always came back, and was always fine. But when I got a call from a nursing home two miles away saying that he (in a very friendly manner!) had knocked down one of their residents, we gave up and installed an invisible electric fence. The learning curve was very hard for him, but it has been so worth it knowing that he is safe during the day, and not breaking anyone’s hip!

    1. Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm

      Oh my goodness! Yes, see, we love our free spirited animals until they start hurting others, right?! Glad he’s safe and sound now!!!

    1. Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm

      Yes, absolutely! I’m not sure I fully grasped how stressed I was about it all until it was completed and I could breathe a bit better!

  3. daizy

    How large was the perimeter that you fenced? I have four acres. My four dogs have two 20x20ft. areas to roam. I would like to let them out more but they would run off. There are at least 2 free-range dogs in the area and I hate it when they come on our property because they make my dogs go ballistic when they approach the yard. I’m thinking of fencing a large area with field fence and cattle panels to both keep the neighbor dogs out and give my dogs more room. Perhaps electric fence would be cheaper. I’ll have to look in to it.

    1. Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm

      We fenced in almost two acres, most of it single strand along the top of some pretty wonky (already established) fencing (she’s a big dog so she’d push/bend it over and then jump over. Then we built a new section of six strand fencing to enclose a small portion of the upper field using two already established fences. We basically created a big rectangle for them to roam in. It is not, however, a closed loop (yet) because the one end of the rectangle has a good solid fence, so it won’t be electrified unless she figures out how to jump it. With that not-yet-electrified portion, they easily have two acres to roam free.

    1. Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm

      Oh man! Totally kicked my ass! But yes, I feel so much better now!

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