Imagine a scenario where you are in-route to deliver a package. You have been down this street many times and are familiar with the neighborhood which is relatively quiet and well kept. You drive up to the appropriate house and step out of your company vehicle to deliver a package. You have been to this house many times and have a rapport built with the owner of the house, so you immediately head to the front door. Everything seems normal when suddenly a dog appears! Nothing has changed since your last delivery, there is no fence, or beware of dog sign when suddenly the owner appears in the yard giving a command to the dog and you realize two things. First, the owner has gotten a new dog, and second, they now have an electric fence. There were no warning signs at all to let you know you there was a dog present. This is just one of the issues with invisible or electric fences, because while it may be effective in keeping the owner’s dog in the fence, it is doing nothing to keep other animals or unsuspecting employees out of the yard.
Having invisible fences can be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, which is why some homeowners associations do not allow chain link or wooden fences. Unfortunately, for the many employees that work in the field it gives no warning to the employee that a dog may be present. Invisible fences can be especially dangerous if the owners are leaving their dog unattended and are reliant upon the invisible fence to keep the dog in. Employees can easily walk into a yard with an invisible fence and be cornered by a dog without even realizing one was present. It is also very possible for the electric fence to have weak spots or the batteries may need to be charged creating a chance for the dog to escape. For the unsuspecting employee the dog may now have free reign to leave the yard and attack without warning. Employees should be immediately completing an evaluation on the yard to ensure they have an object readily available to place between themselves and the dog. The dog is going to bite the first thing it comes in contact with. Do NOT let it be you; give the dog an alternative like a broom, trash can or even just the trash can lid. Whether the employee sees a dog present or not it is important to know your surroundings. Every employee needs to take responsibility for his or her safety regardless of how a home appears. Even the most posh neighborhood can have a loose or aggressive dog that may bite.
Written by: Ashley Klawitter and Mitzi Robinso