The History Of Underground Dog Fences
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The History Of Underground Dog Fences

The invention of the Underground Dog Fence came about in the early 1970's when a salesman, while traveling town-to-town, was saddened by the number of pets he saw injured or lying along the highway. This started him thinking about ways a pet could be contained without chaining him or erecting a fence. The idea of an underground fence came about as a way of preventing your pet from straying.

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The products we have come to know as underground fencing was invented in subTurban Philadelphia in 1973. A traveling salesman saw an opportunity to help keep dogs out of roads and other trouble. In his travels, he saw many dogs that we injured or unfortunately killed running out into the streets.

As an avid dog lover, the gentleman was also an electronics buff, enjoying the challenges of designing electronic circuits to solve everyday problems.

He was also concerned about any short or long term effects of this type of stimulus to control animals. He partnered with the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine to research the short and long term effects on a dog using this type of fence. The study showed that there were no negative health concerns (both short and long term) for a dog contained by an underground fence.

The late 1970’s brought about a suburban explosion around cities. Many of the new “subdivisions” had deed restrictions or Homeowners Association rules on above-ground fences or dog pens. This created a perfect market for electric dog fences. The electric fence gave the homeowner the opportunity to enjoy owning a dog, give him room to exercise in the yard and follow the community restrictions.

Initially, these dog fences were sold by mail order and catalogs. with no “store front” outlets. Sales were slow in the beginning, even with good coverage in two prominent dog magazines. In the 1980’s the inventor retired and sold his company and patent rights to a group of investors in Philadelphia, and the modern underground fence was born.

Today’s consumers have many choices in electric pet containment. They can choose a from numerous professionally installed underground dog containment. Dog owners can also save a significant sum of money by opting for a do-it-yourself system . All of these choices are the result of a traveling salesman who saw the opportunity to improve the quality of a dog’s life.

The inventor spent many hours working with an electronic engineer experimenting with different components. After many tries, they came up with a winning idea. That idea was the first patented underground dog fence.

The concept consisted of three parts: a base unit or transmitter box mounted indoors, a receiver collar for the dog to wear, and a wire placed around the perimeter of the homeowner’s property. The transmitter box generated a coded signal. That coded signal was transmitted through the wire that was buried in the ground; The receiver collar was worn on the dog’s neck. The collar would deliver an electric stimulus to the dog if he attempted to cross the boundary wire.

The patent expired in the 1990’s, opening the door to a number of different companies to move into the market with new or improved products.


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