Wolfdog Containment Solutions

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Electric Hotwire
Supplemental Security for Already Secure Containment Enclosures

Hotwire at top and bottom of chainlink fence
Electrified hotwire strands at the top and bottom of this chainlink fence
Hotwire is NOT meant as a substitute for adequate fencing, and should not be used as a sole means of preventing escapes. It should merely be considered an added security measure, supplemental to a proper containment system.

Even with large, 10 ft tall, heavy gauge chainlink enclosures with dig-guards, lean-ins and double-gated entryways, some highly motivated individuals may be at risk of escaping. Where wolfdogs (and even some Northern breed dogs such as Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes) are concerned, there may be no such thing as "escape proof" without additional security measures.

Most animals can be quickly conditioned to not climb fencing or to stay away from the fenceline, through the use of hotwire.

Once the individual learns that the wire "bites", he may choose to not go near it ever again. For some, it may be possible to disconnect the charger after the initial learning phase, leaving the wire in place on the fence as a 'reminder', or for situations when it may be necessary to reconnect the charger for additional security (ie. when unattended for an extended period of time, or during scary events such as New Years or 4th of July).

Some individuals may repeatedly challenge the system by deliberately touching the hotwire to 'test' whether or not it is working. Some have been known to listen to the wire for the sound of the hum or pulse. For these individuals, it may be necessary to keep the hotwire charger active at all times.

One note about motivation: One reason that certain animals may repeatedly test the hotwire is that they may have learned early-on, that escape is possible. Wolfdogs (and many Northern breed dogs as well), tend to be "one incidence learners" and are known to build upon that knowledge quite ingeniously, making them more difficult to contain thereafter. It is wise to never keep a wolfdog within inadequate fencing where it may learn to find ways of escaping, otherwise the discovery of new ways to get out may become habitual (or almost obsessive for those who have no other satisfactory stimulus).

Another note about motivation: Some animals are more easily frightened than others. In addition to a possible lack of appropriate socialization / habituation, other factors for this may include content range, F-gen and dog breed(s) heritage, as well as the individual's own unique temperament. A strong fear or flight response to novel stimulus (scary situations, sights, sounds, etc) is a hardwired characteristic of wolves which is often a considerable concern for wolfdog owners. Providing easily frightened individuals with very large, securely fenced containment areas where the animal can retreat to a comfortable distance without feeling the need to seek means of escape is wise. Yet, in addition to lean-in arms and dig-guards, hotwire may be a necessary means of preventing a well-motivated animal from doing everything in their power to get far away from that which frightens them.

Chainlink wire insulators
Wire insulators for chainlink fencing.
With that all said, now for the nitty-gritty of what materials are needed, installation tips, and some wolfdog-related concerns you should be aware of.

Remember: if you don't know what you're doing, or don't feel comfortable doing it, consult a qualified electrician!

Sorry, we're working on this part right now. More to come very shortly. Please check back frequently for updates!
This section of ~The Wolf Dunn~ is Under Construction, please check back often for updates

Cattle chargers vs. pet chargers
Plug-in chargers vs. Solar-powered chargers
ground rods, placement of charger
placement of wire & one strand or two

Some notes of caution... not every wolfdog is or will be as motivated to escape to warrant the use of hotwire (read about "super mellow" wolfdogs on our fencing materials page). Use your own best judgement based on your particular situation and individual animals. Also, some wolfdogs are so highly sensitive that you must be very careful how they first encounter the hotwire. You don't want that animal to mistake the shock as having come from you, or its companion, rather than correctly associate the shock with his proximity to the wire. Lastly, learn how to properly install the hotwire so as to avoid problems such as the animal getting a leg caught in the wire, or placing the wire in inappropriate locations such as where humans and animals would have to climb over to leave the gate/door, or in a spot that hinders easy access to food/water/shelter, or not securing the ends of the wire to avoid inadvertently shocking animals or humans, etc. Use common sense.

"Wolfdog Containment Solutions" Copyright ©1999-2004 Gudrun F. Dunn. Permission to use these materials (photos/text) for any other purpose than to simply view as part of The Wolf Dunn web site, is not granted without prior permission. Contact (Kwewu7@inetdesign.com) for permission.

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