We have invisible fence so Moe and Tally stay in the yard. I love being able to let them out without too much worry. It's great being able to do yard work with them following me about. Moe and Tally like to chase each other all over the yard on sunny days, too. Occasionally Moe wanders off on a perimeter patrol but he always comes back to nap near wherever I'm working. Tally likes to bark at passers-by from the driveway at the extreme limits of the fence. Being a yappy little dog who is very territorial, I'm glad that the fence keeps her from getting too close to strangers. However, an invisible fence is NOT a reliable containment system for any dog. It is wonderful in conjunction with human supervision. Moe and Tally are never outside when we are not home... I would never trust thier safety to the 'fence' if someone were not home. Even when I let them out alone, I can see them from any window in my house. On occasion our fence has failed. Lightning strikes (three or four times) and careless gardening (MANY times - my fault :blink: ) have disabled the fence (we have an alarm that sounds when the connection is broken). Once even Moe, while digging a hole, broke the wire. Also, the batteries sometimes wear out - last week I looked out the window to see Moe much further into the woods than he normally should be. Only then did I find that his batteries were no good. But, in place of a chain or rope tie-out, it is far superior for supervised activity outside.
If your circumstances are right for an invisible fence, you can buy and install one for less than two hundred dollars. The training takes several months but, once learned, is learned for good. This is providing the fence is in good operating order and breaks are repaired quickly. I know someone whose fence is almost always in need of repair so the dogs frequently test it and escape. Moe also tests his perimeters now and again - it's funny to watch as he follows the fence line, stepping back now and again as he hears the warning beeps).
One more point. I live in a rural area with quiet country roads that have little traffic. Our corner lot is almost two acres, bordered on two sides with dense woods. On one street side the 'fence' is fifteen wooded feet from road pavement, except for the driveway. On the other street side the yard is bordered by 275 feet of stone walls. Even if Moe or Tally were to get through the fence there is not much chance of them being hit by a car (although that chance increases the longer one is loose ). If I lived on a busy road I would NEVER rely on an invisible fence even with supervision. On a busy road there is no second chance - one slip through the fence could be fatal.
Mine will stay. They will wander to the edge until I call them back. If a rabbit ran by, they would not stay. As evidenced by the baby bunny who trotted through our front yard and was terrorized by a mob of excited bassets. If a bike went by they would be very torn. If another dog walked by, they would go and say hello. If a jogger went by that person would be assaulted. If you are out there with them and you are EATING there is a good chance they will stay until the snacks are gone - then you can bring them inside. All four of mine love sitting and watching while rolling on their backs (three dogs and one cat - they cat follows the dogs everywhere) and they are pretty planted when they are up to that. Of course, I would not leave them out alone. But they wouldn't want to stay out alone very long. They do have a fenced backyard with a real fence and it's great not to worry. I would not trust an electric fence with any dog either - deer, rabbits, joggers, children eating sandwiches are all too appealing to resist.
In general though, Bassets are far, far, far better off leash than most people give them credit for. When we go hunting, they are always checking in - we did not have to teach them that - they were like "hey, mom, look at us, we're hunting bunnies!" They have found me on trails I did not walk down with them. My friend Tim's dog cries when he is hunting and Tim is not with him - so point being - if you get a chance to safely let your basset go off leash exploring, you might be surprised by what actually happens - I certainly was.
Even safe places to run off-lead can be unexpectedly... well, unpleasant. Moe and I went with my friend and her three Bassets to a secluded beach at Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, RI. It was very safe, no place to go but on the beach itself. Moe was happily galloping after the other dogs when he suddenly pulled an about-face and ran back up the beach in the opposite direction. I ran after him, very worried (it was our first experience off-lead in public). When I finally caught up to him he was rolling on a dead, putrid, almost liquid, rotting fish. As I was trying to pull Moe away my friend showed up, followed by her three Bassets, They promptly took over wher Moe left off. <_< Before we could stop them all her dogs took a roll on the fish. The trip home was very unpleasant... I have never smelled anything that bad before or since. My friend drove home with her head out the window, and I had my head out the passenger side window. For us it was a long trip (though only fifteen minutes). The dogs seemed unaffected by their own stench and were happy to be with each other. They all had baths upon reaching home. I have no idea how my friend cleaned the smell out of her jeep. Moe hasn't been off-lead in public since the "beach fiasco".
Unfortunately I am not in the country, so the invisible fence is out. I hope to be in the next few years however. LOL at the fish story. Sorry! It's pretty funny.
I hurt my lower Back on Friday picking Buford up to bring him down stairs (he go's up but wont come down) & I am still in pain today. Poor baby does not understand why I can't play like we ussually do.
In a million years, I would not let my three out without a fence of some kind. At our old house, we had to have IF around the back yard. Charlie could go out there because he was trained to it. The girls were not, but the front yard, which was quite large, was fenced for all three. The first thing we did when we moved to our current home was put up fencing front and back. I would have no peace of mind without our fence!
Bassets put their nose to the ground, and that's it. Nothing else matters. In the field, this is just what you want them to do, but not necessarily in your own back yard. Doxies are of a different mind set all together. Breeders I know will not place one of their dogs in a home without a fence......
I have to give Invisible Fencing a little more credit than it's gotten so far. I've had it for almost 8 years, and it works wonderfully for my dogs. Of course you have to be careful that the batteries don't go dead, and if your electricity goes out so does your fence, but I was very comfortable leaving my dogs outside without watching over them. I never had a problem. Some people don't like the fact that dogs and other animals can come into your yard, but for the most part I like that, especially now that Lightning is an only dog. However, he did get sprayed by a skunk last weekend, which probably wouldn't have happened if I'd had a "real" fence. But as long as your dogs are trained to the fence, and the fence is set at levels appropriate for your dogs, it is a great alternative to traditional fencing.