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My wife is about to get her first dog, it will be a puppy. I put up an electric fence around our little garden so she is asking me to put up another one to create an area for the dog to run around in. I already told her 2 times that it would be way too much work for me and that she can do it herself. Today her response was to just make it a little one like in our garden, and that one only has 4 poles so it wouldn't be too much work, but then I picture it in my mind, our garden is only like 4x12 feet and the puppy is for sure going to bump into the fence. The lowest power fence I have is made for 4 acres so it will probably have a lot of power for that small area. I told her that's just a really bad idea and I think then she realized it too. She was upset with me though because apparently I made her feel stupid. I said you're just projecting on me because you're upset with yourself, well she ain't too happy right now. We have other houses on all sides, no fences, and there is a road. She's just going to have to put the dog on a leash to take it outside. She could probably buy a little fence that is made out of plastic like a pen for kids. I keep telling her it's not too late to skip getting the dog but also I feel like she deserves a chance at this and a chance of doing it right. If she doesn't take good care of it I will return it, overall I have a pretty good feeling, she probably didn't think it through with the electric fence because when I put up the electric fence for the garden she was adamant I would have to turn it off anytime she and the dog even step foot outside. Life without any pets has been really great. Who knows with a pet it might still be great or even better. I'm keeping an open mind for now, but don't worry, where she's getting the dog from they say they will take the animal back anytime for any reason so if things don't work out I'll take it back myself if I have to.
 

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An electric fence for a dog is a terrible idea.. and even worse for a puppy. What breed of puppy is this?

A physical fence.. woven or welded wire 4-5 feet tall stretched tight to the ground with fence posts sunk into the ground 12"-18" every 8 feet with braced corners and gates (that are dog proof but wide enough to allow a mower to pass through) is a good dog fence. There also needs to be shade in the fenced area. Even with the fenced area you still need to go out with the puppy when he/she is in there.

What is more concerning is it seems your wife wants a puppy (which is a lot of work; house breaking, training, walking and so forth) and you do not.

A puppy will want to spend time with both of you and if you don't want the dog at all and would "take it back" does not bode well for the puppy (or for the both if you!).
 

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Are we talking an underground electric fence where the dog wears a collar and it gives them a shock when they reach the boundary, or a physical electric wire fence that zaps anything that touches it?

Either is going to be a problem, especially in such a small area. You're much better off with a physical barrier, like a pen, outdoor kennel, or woven wire livestock fencing. Electric wires won't hold a dog in at all - they'll just learn to go under or over. They're sometimes used to discourage a dog from jumping or digging under a physical fence, but on their own I doubt they're going to keep an unsupervised puppy confined for long. Underground fencing systems aren't great either, given that they don't prevent people or animals from coming inside the boundary to harrass or attack your dog. Both would require you to put in some work boundary training, which will take some time as a baby puppy needs time to grow and mature to be reliably trained in anything.

But yes, I think you may need to have an open and honest conversation with your wife about what your feelings and expectations are regarding this puppy - who's responsible for what, what your and her concerns are, and generally whether bringing this pup home is the right thing for your relationship. Puppies are disruptive and a lot of responsibility, even when everyone in the household is on board.
 
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Fwiw I had an electric fence for a horse. The dog we had at the time hit it and got shocked. The dog took off like his tail was on fire. Fortunately went to the house.

Dog would never go down to help with the horses again. I was 14 and this was 50+ years ago.
 

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I grew up with dogs, cats, chickens... the whole enchilada so once I lived on my own I really enjoyed not having any pets, not even an aquarium haha. I've kept my wife from getting a dog for probably 15 years and she always wanted one. Her mom is the one that is buying the dog and it is a border colli dog, technically a female although we're not 100% yet which way the dog will identify (jk on that last part). I'll be nice to the dog and play with it if needed so no worries there. I have a million things to do and to think about so I try to keep my external responsibilities as simple as possible, so I told her she will be responsible and she also has to pay for it. I keep saying, are you sure you want this, she does. Like I said I've kept her from a pet for so long I can't in good conscience keep doing that. It's like someone we think is irresponsible and shouldn't have kids, but then they do, can we really take them away from the start or does the mother deserve a chance to do better and to be a good mother, so that's how I think about it. Bringing the dog back is only as a last resort, I really don't think it will ever come to that. The electric fence thing (which would be above ground btw), I would never let that happen, I'm pretty sure it was a "brain fart" hence she felt bad once she realized what she had said.
I am also concerned with all the work because it will be on her and sometimes her back isn't doing that well so I take over for her, like doing dishes etc. but with the dog I told her I ain't cleaning up any poop or anything like that. If she is volunteering for this kind of work that is all on her. I will help minimally when necessary, like I told her if she has to go to the vet I can lift the dog into the car if needed or watch the dog if she has to go to a doctor appointment. I won't care about making concessions, like a vacation we have planned, if we can't go on it, or we can't go visit certain people, I'm OK with that. 3GSD4IPO that's funny, actually I should do that to my wife, let her try it out, maybe wire it to a door knob lol.
 

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I understand it wasn't your intent, but jokes about gender identity are often used in transphobic rhetoric, so I'm going to ask kindly that you avoid them in the future in accordance to the forum rules!

I've known some couples who have made one person having "their" dog - with the other partner only having limited involvement - work, so it's definitely doable. It does require clear boundaries so that everyone knows what the expectations are, and no one gets resentful that the other partner isn't holding up their end of the "deal", so to speak, but it sounds like you're working on that! I do hope it works out for you.
 

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I know you said the electric fence to the door knob in jest... But Ouch!!

How energetic is your wife? Does she want to train this dog for competition obedience or agility... Nose work??? Something that takes a LOT of interaction and training?

The reason I ask is you are getting a Border Collie. This is one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs going. They need a JOB. The are successful in Competition obedience, Agility, fly ball, Nose Work and herding etc because they are INTENSE. They need to work. They need to be more than a pet. They CAN be a Pet but usually require a very active and engaging environment.

I have working line German Shepherds. Currently only one.. but in another year I am considering a puppy (my dog would be 6 going on 7). I do Schutzhund (now IGP) sport and it is very intense. My dog needs this (or an equivalent) amount of intensity to be happy such as 3-5 mile walks daily AND some training if I was not doing IGP sport! He was bred to work.

Border Collies are even MORE intense and in need of a job. The other thing about Border collies (I have heard from those who work them herding) is they learn everything first time through including wrong things. If you blow their trust they internalize that and hold on to it. A Border Collie is not for the feint of heart!!!


I bring this up only because my wish is that you and your family be successful with your new dog.
 

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I'm placing a bet right now that within two weeks of the dog coming home, it's your new best friend.
 
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