I hope if any of you have success stories with in-ground pet fences and your dogs, you will share them. Because we just spent an entire day yesterday in the hot sun digging the trench for DaVinci's new electronic barrier and I'm really hoping it works!
We can't install a physical fence for a number of reasons (blocking the drive, the neighbors still need onto our property to get to their barn, too expensive to attractively fence an entire acre, etc.). So we've been planning on this method for a while now. I bought an great system on Craiglist quite a while ago, but we've been too busy to get it in the ground.
The situation was also complicated by the fact that the people who board their horses behind us pulled up the survey stakes and we can't tell where the property lines are anymore. But with the help of a measuring wheel, Jeff's iPhone compass, and our deed description, we marked the corners and plotted a path. Then Jeff spent about five or six hours with an inadequate gas-powered edger trudging through our hardpacked clay soil, blackberry brambles, poison ivy, and overgrown grass. He had to navigate fences, posts, gates, horses, donkey, chickens, cars, and more to accomplish the task. But he set one foot in front of the other and made it happen (in spite of the fact that the rented edger broke down and we had to take it in for servicing).
The next step is crawling around on hands and knees installing 1000 feet of wire. Then planting flags. Then hooking it all up. Then training the dog. Then hoping he doesn't run away in spite of it all.