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Room & Surface Barrier FAQs

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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What are room and surface barriers?
Room and surface barriers are battery-operated or electronic devices designed to help you teach your pet to stay out of specific areas/rooms and/or off of surfaces such as countertops, windowsills, and furniture. These training aids use alarms and/or mild electric pulses to reinforce your commands to stay out/off. Room and surface barriers also help keep specific rooms and pieces of furniture free from excessive pet hair. And best of all, they keep working when you're not at home.
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How do room and surface barriers work?
Room and surface barriers all respond to some sort of stimulus. Some respond to vibration; some respond to motion or the presence of heat; and some respond to pressure/touch. Regardless of what "trips" them, when your pet approaches them or steps on/touches them, room and surface barriers let off a loud alarm and/or a startling electric pulse. Because these alarms and/or pulses are unpleasant for your dog, he is quickly deterred from going near "off limits" areas or getting on a restricted surface.
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Are the alarms dangerous?
The alarms given off by room and surface barriers are not dangerous. They are, however, loud enough to be startling and unpleasant for your dog. In addition, the alarms are not continuous - they reset themselves after going off for a specified length of time. Many models also include adjustable volumes, so you can set the right alarm level to deter your dog from misbehaving.
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Are the electric pulses dangerous?
The electric pulses given off by room and surface barriers are not dangerous. They are designed to distract/deter - not hurt - your dog. In fact, the pulse your dog receives is very similar to the static shock you might get when touching something after crossing a carpeted room in stocking feet.
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Can room and surface barriers be used outside?
Many of the room and surface barriers offered by Drs. Foster & Smith will work outside, but must stay dry to be safe and effective.
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How long must I use room and surface barriers?
This depends entirely on your dog. Most dogs stop going near the targeted rooms and surfaces within just a few days. However, if your dog just doesn't seem to "get it," and continues to enter restricted rooms/get on restricted surfaces, you may need to continue using the barrier for a few weeks or until he has learned to stay out/off.
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