Invisible fences for pets have been on the market for quite some time, but their popularity has suddenly grown over the past decade.
Is it safe? Is it efficient? Is it cruel? So many questions in the mind of the worried pet owners and no simple answer to give.
Let’s take a different path, and look at this topic from a more systematic point of view, break down the crucial points of this system, and explain how it actually works.
In that way, you can be the judge and jury because you will understand it completely.
In addition, you can take a look at the 10 best invisible electric dog fences with some wireless models included and decide on your own.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Electric Dog Fence Choices on the Market
- #1. PetSafe Basic In-Ground Pet Fence – Basic In-Ground System
- #2. SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence – Great Wired System With Rechargeable Battery
- #3. eXtreme Dog Fence System – Higher-End Wired System
- #4. PetSafe Stay & Play – Great Wireless System with Safe-Return Feature
- #5. SportDOG Brand Contain + Train System – Wired System With a Remote Controller
- #6. INVIROX Dog Training Collar – High-Grade Training Collar With Remote
- #7. Pet Control HQ Wireless Pet Containment System – Reliable Wireless System
- #8. Dogtra E-Fence System – Super-advanced System
- #9. JUSTPET Wireless Dog Fence – Cost-Efficient Wireless System
- #10. Blingbling Petsfun Electric Wireless Dog Fence – Affordable Wireless System
- What is an electric dog fence?
- How do electric dog fences work?
- Why do people buy electric fences?
- Types of electric dog fences
- Wireless electric dog fence system: Training your dog
Top 10 Electric Dog Fence Choices on the Market
Affordable basic in-ground fence system. It has four levels of stimulation and an audio-only training mode.
You can train more than one dog with additional collars and contain around one-third of an acre area.
But the system can sometimes fail to transfer the signal.
Improved In-ground system with waterproof rechargeable collar.
It has seven levels of stimuli and a buzz-vibration warning, plus it includes one thousand feet of wire and a hundred flags.
Still, the battery needs replacement every two months.
$$$ – eXtreme Dog Fence System
Second generation invisible electric fence with upgraded 16 gauge wire and two collars.
It includes long-life batteries that last up to six months and an extended warranty after registration.
Replacement batteries are no good, though.
$$ – PetSafe Stay & Play
A great portable wireless dog fence system with five correction levels and 3/4 acre coverage.
It has a safe return system that doesn’t activate the collar when your dog gets back into the area.
But, it’s not entirely reliable.
Excellent two-in-one invisible fence system with train and contain modes.
You can control the stimulation with the remote or let the signal be triggered when your pet crosses the wire limit.
The wire could be thicker, though.
Professionally designed waterproof training collar with 123 training modes and excellent coverage.
It’s a remote-controlled device that can be used for barking control too.
However, it’s not very durable.
A solid train and contain system with in-ground wire and remote control.
You can create an invisible fence with the wire but also induce the shock with the remote controller, so the system is multi-functional.
However, dogs can run through the limited area without being shocked.
An advanced in-ground dog fence system with a special filtering feature that prevents random electric signals from activating the collar.
The system alerts you if the wire breaks or disconnects, and it lasts long.
Replacement kits are not equally good, though.
Another super-efficient, affordable offer. It includes two collar receivers and two transmitters so that even blind spots are covered.
It has ten levels of static correction, but it’s not 100% reliable.
An honestly affordable wireless dog fence with sixteen different stimulation levels and an adjustable collar belt that fits most dogs.
The fence works even during the power outage due to a backup battery in the transmitter.
But the battery doesn’t last long.
#1. PetSafe Basic In-Ground Pet Fence – Basic In-Ground System
- Brand: PetSafe
- Price: $
- Length: 500 feet
- Type: In-ground System
What we have here is one basic in-ground fence system manufactured by the global leader in the pet products industry – PetSafe.
What made this manufacturer so popular is a fair combination of solid quality and reasonable prices.
This invisible wire fence is their basic model. It consists of a wire, transmitter, dog collar, and training flags.
Basically, you lay out the wire around the area you want to contain, set up the transmitter, and connect the wire to it.
When pets cross the limits, a subtle electric shock will be sent through the collar.
You can choose to bury the wire, but you don’t necessarily have to. The reason why it is recommended to bury the wire is to protect it from the weather and your dog.
Now, this system has four levels of stimulation. And it has a beep-only training mode.
So, in the beginning, you can lay out the flags around the area, and when your dog crosses the limits, an audio signal will be created.
Later on, you can choose the signal level, so when your dog runs through the fenced area, a subtle electric shock will be transferred through the collar.
What makes this fence system great is that it includes 500 feet of wire, so it’s enough for a third of an acre.
It’s suitable for dogs eight pounds heavy and up, and the collar can be adjusted between six and twenty-six diameters.
Also, with additional collars, you can train an unlimited number of pets.
The thing dog owners don’t like about it is that it is not 100% reliable and often fails to transfer a signal, which is a considerable problem in my mind.
But that’s where the price plays a huge role.
#2. SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence – Great Wired System With Rechargeable Battery
- Brand: SportDog
- Price: $$
- Length: 1000 feet
- Type: In-ground System
This is another In-ground system, very similar to the model from Pet Safe but slightly upgraded.
SportDog is one of the leading manufacturers in the hunting dog industry, so they take a lot of pride in their products, testing them in the field and guaranteeing durability, but their prices are slightly higher.
This fence system is the second generation of their invisible containment system. It comes with numerous improvements, such as a sleeker rechargeable collar.
In addition, this collar includes a lithium-ion battery with an extended battery life of thirty to sixty days and a quick two-hour charging time.
Also, the collar is waterproof and can be submerged without damage. What also makes it unique is a buzz-vibration system that proceeds the electrical signal.
So, when your dog gets near the fence, first, the collar starts buzzing and vibrating before it actually creates an electric stimulation.
There are seven levels of stimulation, and you can train countless dogs with additional collars.
This kit includes 1000 feet of wire and one hundred flags, which is double what you get in the Pet Safe Basic kit. Yet, the price is double too.
Pet owners are predominantly satisfied with the quality of their system, but the battery replacement every two months is a bit of a drag, and some reported the system randomly not working.
#3. eXtreme Dog Fence System – Higher-End Wired System
- Brand: eXtreme
- Price: $$$
- Length: 1000 feet
- Type: In-ground System
This in-ground dog fence system from eXtreme can be listed under a slightly higher-end offer.
It’s their second generation of electric fence systems, upgraded with more durable and resistant equipment.
To cut to the chase, what makes this kit a “premium” offer, as eXtreme puts it, is the hard-wearing wire.
Unlike other systems that include thin 20 gauge wire, this pet containment system includes twisted 16 gauge wire that is thicker and more durable.
It practically means that you don’t have to bury it because it is more resistant.
The kit also includes two completely waterproof collars with batteries and one hundred flags.
The collars have seven stimulation levels, and you get five hundred feet of wire for the price, but you can buy more to enclose up to fifteen acres.
Another advantage that the model offers is the prolonged warranty.
When you first buy it, you get a 1-year warranty, but if you register your fence, it extends up to ten years, which is pretty impressive if you compare it with competitors.
Although the original battery that comes in the kit lasts for six months, which is way better than what the competition offers, customers are complaining about the replacement batteries that are not reliable.
Aside from that, no significant issues were reported regarding this system, so it seems like it genuinely lives up to the price.
And since you get two collars in the kit, I think the price is more than fair.
#4. PetSafe Stay & Play – Great Wireless System with Safe-Return Feature
- Brand: PetSafe
- Price: $$
- Length: Up to 3/4 of an acre
- Type: Wireless fence
This model is a great alternative for pet owners who want to install an electric dog fence system but don’t want underground dog fences.
It’s a wireless invisible dog fence that’s much simpler to install and doesn’t require any digging.
Pet Safe, again, manufactures one of the most popular models of these fences.
I have to say that this one is slightly more expensive than the In-ground basic system, but it has its advantages.
For example, the setup could not be easier.
You get a transmitter with a cable that you need to plug into an outlet, and at the back of the transmitter, you can adjust the area you want to cover.
This model can cover up to three-quarters of an acre, and it’s good for dogs five pounds heavy and up.
The other part of the system is a battery-powered collar that goes around your dog’s neck. It has five correction levels and an audio signal for training.
Each time your dog steps out of the correction zone, it will experience a mild electric shock.
One big advantage of this system is the safe return it offers.
Namely, the collar activates only when your dog steps out of the limits but not when it returns, which is a great starting point for training.
Most pet owners choose this fence system because it is easy to install and portable, but I’ve seen many comments about the product’s unreliability and inconsistency, giving random shocks, or failing to activate when the dog is out of limits.
#5. SportDOG Brand Contain + Train System – Wired System With a Remote Controller
- Brand: Sport Dog
- Price: $$
- Length: Up to 3/4 of an acre
- Type: Contain+ Train System
Although this invisible fencing for dogs doesn’t differ much from the Sport Dog variant we reviewed, it includes an extra feature worth mentioning.
Namely, this system works in two different ways: as a wired fence and also as a remote-controlled system.
Basically, the kit includes a standard transmitter, a remote transmitter, wire, and a collar.
You bury the wire underground and connect it to the transmitter in a standard way. But, the system itself has three mods: contain mode, train mode, and contain + train mode.
When the training mode is one, you can use the remote to activate momentary or continuous static stimulation manually.
On the other hand, when the containing mode is one, the collar will be activated when your dog crosses the limits set by the wire. In the combined mode, both modes work.
Just like the other Sport Dog fence system, this one has seven stimulation levels and supports multiple dog collars.
The collar fits dogs from 10 pounds up, and there’s enough wire to limit a third of an acre.
I like that this system has rechargeable batteries, and the battery life is pretty good, lasting for about six months in the containment mode.
What is more, it includes an anti-linger feature that prevents dogs from sitting in the warning zone and draining the battery.
As for the less exciting comments, I noticed that people are generally unsatisfied with the quality of the collar and the wire.
Apparently, the wire is very thin, and copper is even exposed in certain spots.
#6. INVIROX Dog Training Collar – High-Grade Training Collar With Remote
- Brand: Invirox
- Price: $
- Length: 1110 yards
- Type: Remote-controlled invisible dog fence
This offer is probably the biggest surprise on the market I found.
It’s a remote-controlled invisible fence that costs less than one hundred dollars yet supposedly has a professional design and offers 1100 yards of coverage.
The first thing that shocked me (no pun intended) when it comes to this super-affordable training system is the number of stimulation levels it has.
There are one hundred and twenty-three training levels, which to me is fantastic.
However, not all levels produce a static correction. There are eight noise levels, sixteen vibration levels, and ninety-nine shock levels.
In contrast to the previous products we reviewed, this invisible fence is remote-controlled only, so there is no transmitter in the kit.
It works in a way that you need to induce the shock or vibration through the remote, which is portable and can be carried anyway.
The receiver collar is very lightweight and waterproof, so you can do the training on the beach, in your yard, wherever.
Invirox is a small company owned by two military veterans who participated in countless missions and used their field experience to produce high-grade dog gear.
They have built this tool after a long examination in the field and lab, so it is completely safe.
Another advantage is that you can use this same system for bark control. You just need to learn more about the different forms of training you can do with it.
#7. Pet Control HQ Wireless Pet Containment System – Reliable Wireless System
- Brand: Pet Control
- Price: $$
- Length: 492 feet of wire
- Type: Train and contain system
Although this product is listed on Amazon as a wireless electric dog fence, it is, in fact, a train-and-contain system.
What that means is that it includes the wire, a collar receiver, and a remote controller.
Now, let’s repeat again how the train-and-contain system works.
You bury the wire around the area you want to enclose, put a collar receiver on your dog, and plug in the transmitter.
When your dog crosses the limits, a slight shock will be transmitted through the collar.
On the other hand, you can use the remote controller to manually induce a shock in order to train your dog to stay off the certain limits or for some other type of training.
This invisible fence system includes 492 feet of 20 gauge insulated wire, which is about enough for a third of an acre.
It also includes an adjustable collar receiver, suitable for dogs between eleven and one hundred and fifty pounds.
The collar has ten levels of vibration and electric stimulation, and the rechargeable battery lasts for up to seven days before it needs a quick recharge.
As for the remote controller, it also has ten levels of stimulation and can be used for three dogs at the same time because of the dog selection buttons.
It means that when you shock one dog, the other won’t feel a thing.
This is definitely a good offer, but it has one fault that I’ve seen mentioned many times.
Namely, the wire cannot pick up the signal if your dog runs through the limit. It works only when it slowly crosses the wire.
#8. Dogtra E-Fence System – Super-advanced System
- Brand: Dogtra
- Price: $$
- Length: 500 feet of wire
- Type: In-ground dog fence
Among the best invisible dog fences is this Dogtra E-fence system with an advanced filtering design and forty acres of coverage potential.
It is a mid-range product price-wise, but it’s incredibly well built and has an excellent quality-per-price ratio.
So, what makes this fence system unique is a special filtering design.
This advanced filtering system prevents all-electric signals except for the ones created by the transmitter from activating the collar.
This is a huge step forward in this industry because countless dog owners have been complaining about the random shocks and inconsistency of these systems.
The kit comes with 500 feet of 20 gauge wire, but you can buy extra for more coverage.
Another innovative feature Dogtra developed is a pager alert. If the wire breaks or disconnects, the warning sound will activate and alarm you of the issue.
There are two modes in which this system operates: pager and correction mode.
When the system is in pager mode, your dog will only feel the vibration when it crosses the limits set by the wire.
In correction mode, there are eight levels of static correction your dog may experience.
At last, Dogtra has been on the market for more than thirty years, consulting dog trainers and professionals to create advanced high-grade GPS tracking, training, and containing devices.
I’ve seen pet owners commenting about using this system for more than seven years, so I think it is worthy of your attention.
#9. JUSTPET Wireless Dog Fence – Cost-Efficient Wireless System
- Brand: Justpet
- Price: $
- Length: Up to 990 feet
- Type: Wireless fence
This is another low-key manufacturer that’s yet to become popular, but of 150 people who rated this product, around 90% gave it a five-star rating.
It’s another affordable wireless dog fence system that has a coverage of 990 feet.
Now, the system relies on a 433MHz channel frequency and has two antennas. This made the signal significantly more stable with improved transmission efficiency.
Additionally, you get another transmitter which should be placed in a blind area so that your invisible dog fence has full coverage.
In fact, there is no limit to the number of transmitters you can buy and install to provide additional coverage.
As for the collar receiver, it’s a waterproof unit with a rechargeable battery and adjustable collar belt.
You get two receivers for the price, and they are suitable for dogs between ten and one hundred and ten pounds.
When using the system with two or more dogs, the collar is activated only for the dog that crosses the limits.
When your dog steps out of the marked area, the collar will first vibrate for about five seconds, and then a mild electric shock will be activated for three to five seconds.
And there are ten different stimulation levels.
I think the system is great for the price. It’s good for larger and smaller dogs and comes with two collars and two transmitters.
I haven’t seen many invisible dog fence systems that include an additional transmitter for blind areas, so that’s a huge plus.
#10. Blingbling Petsfun Electric Wireless Dog Fence – Affordable Wireless System
- Brand: BlingBling PetsFun
- Price: $
- Length: Up to 984 feet
- Type: Wireless fence
This fence is a genuine budget saver.
It’s made by Blingbling Petsfun, and although not so many people know about this brand, most pet owners who bought this system are fairly satisfied with the quality per price ratio.
Essentially, this is a wireless pet containment system, so it does not require any complicated planning, digging, or installation.
The system includes a transmitter, a collar receiver, a USB cable, a charger, and the training flags.
One big advantage of this fence system is that it comes with an adjustable collar belt that you can cut and customize, so it’s suitable for all dogs.
What is more, there are sixteen different levels of stimulation, which is the highest I’ve seen yet.
Each level combines sound stimulation with vibration and static correction, but there is a built-in system that prevents overstimulation.
The collar is rated IP67, which means it is entirely waterproof and submersible.
It also has rechargeable batteries, but according to users, they don’t last long. This is a recurring problem in wireless fences.
All in all, this wireless pet containment system is not at all bad.
The quality per price ratio is good, and there are certain details that are not to be expected in such an affordable product.
For example, the transmitter also has a battery, so your yard is protected even during a power outage.
Also, the receiver collar is waterproof and adjustable, and it has the highest number of modes on the market.
What is an electric dog fence?
An electric dog fence is an alternative pet containment system that, unlike a traditional fence, represents a psychological limitation more than a physical barrier.
It uses static correction to condition or trains your dog to stay within the contained area.
Electric dog fences rely on the principle of electromagnetic field, which we’ll explain later, and they have been used since the 1970s.
Ever since, these systems have been advanced and changed, so now we can find different types and models of them.
How do electric dog fences work?
There are three main components of every dog’s electric fence system: transmitter, wire, and collar receiver.
As I already mentioned, these systems work on the principle of an electromagnetic field.
Namely, you feed power into a transmitter from a power source like an outlet and connect one end of the wire to one terminal on the transmitter and the other end to the second terminal.
In that way, you will create a closed-loop, i.e., an electric circuit.
The transmitter then broadcasts a radio signal to the wire, and the wire turns these signals into electromagnetic waves.
Inside your dog’s collar is a small radio receiver that picks up a signal from the wire and produces a small electric shock; we call it a static correction.
Why do people buy electric fences?
In all truth, most people started installing electric fences because homeowner associations do not allow fences.
When you can’t have a physical boundary line, it takes incredibly long to train your dog properly to stay within the yard, and even then, you can’t guarantee something won’t entice him enough to run out.
Many people experienced their pets being hit by a car or running away, so invisible dog fences became the best alternative to physical fences.
Another important aspect is the financial aspect.
Wooden fences and chainlink fences, besides being way more complex to install, are more expensive too.
Think about the materials, tools, and men’s effort you need to build a fence around a half-an acre area.
For a hundred and fifty dollars or so, you can install an underground dog fence in a couple of hours.
Also, as a perimeter training tool, these fences can be incredibly useful in dog training in general.
If you buy a train and contain system, you will also receive a remote controller that can serve as a tool for bark training stubborn dogs or simply a tool for behavioral training.
You should never use them as a replacement for foundational obedience training, though; they can never replace it, only add to it.
Types of electric dog fences
Since they first appeared, invisible dog fences have been redesigned and improved, but the core principle remained the same.
Nowadays, we differentiate a few different types of electric dog fences:
- In-ground dog fence
- Wireless dog fence
- Train and contain systems
- Remote-controlled training system
1. In-ground electric dog fence system
This electric dog system is the basic type that first appeared, and it consists of the three main components that we mentioned.
Basically, you need to dig up a channel for your wire 2-3 inches beneath the ground, bury the wire and then turn the entire system on.
However, what most people don’t know, is that the wire doesn’t need to be buried for the system to work; it can stay above the ground.
The reason why we bury it is to protect it from the weather, lawnmower, or any other damages.
Most electric dog fence systems of this kind are affordable, but there are some higher-end offers as well.
Now, the biggest advantage of this system is the reliability of the signal and the range.
Five hundred feet of wire cover about half of an acre, and you can always buy more and contain a bigger area.
- Reliable signal
- Versatile offer on the market
- Multiple dogs can be contained
2. Wireless electric dog fence system
The next level in the electric dog fence industry was wireless dog fences.
As the name suggests, they don’t include a wire but only a transmitter that emits radio signals within the range you initially set up.
Your dog still wears a collar with the radio receiver, and when it steps out of the radius, a static correction is transmitted through the collar.
Most people choose this type because, unlike the in-ground fence kit, it is incredibly straightforward to install.
However, there are many limitations of this system.
First of all, there will always be blind angles. Anything that represents a physical obstacle can interfere with the signal, and the terrain needs to be flat and clear.
As for the reliability, I’ve seen many people complain about the inconsistency of the static correction, but this is not exclusive to this type of electric dog fence.
- Easy installation
- Good for beginners
- No need to worry about the wire
- Adjustable ranges
- Blind angles
- Physical obstacles
- Limited to flat terrain
3. Train and contain an electric dog fence system
Train and contain systems are basically in-ground electric dog fence systems that additionally include a remote controller.
Now, the system works exactly the same as the basic in-ground system. But, in addition to this, you can induce the shock manually with the controller.
Your dog wears the collar, and your controller can communicate with it to create a warning sound or an electric signal.
If you have numerous dogs in the yard, the remote controller works individually for each of them.
So you won’t shock all dogs at once.
- It can be used for training
- Good for stubborn dogs
- Works for numerous dogs
- Not always reliable
4. Remote-controlled training system
The basic purpose of remote-controlled systems is dog training.
They consist of a receiver collar and a remote controller, so when you want to condition your dog not to do something, you can induce a shock via the remote controller.
However, you can also use this system as an invisible fence.
When your dog gets out of reach, you can trigger the warning sound or the shock with the remote.
However, for the purpose of containment, these systems are not as efficient as invisible fences because you need to follow your dog and make sure to train him right.
And when you’re not there, the dog could be passing the limits.
- Great for training
- Easy to set up
- Works only when you’re there
Wireless electric dog fence system: Training your dog
The first thing important to mention here is that the invisible dog fence should never be the core instrument for obedience training of your dog.
It’s an addition to it, but it can never replace the standard methods your vet recommends.
As you know, the exact time when you should start training your dog depends on the breed, but most vets recommend starting when your dog is six months old.
It is important that you make the entire training session a positive experience and follow your dog’s body language to ensure it is not stressed.
Prior to the training sessions, it is recommendable to let the dog wear the collar receiver for a week in order to get used to the extra weight.
You should attach it over your dog’s collar to prevent any injuries or irritations from the contact points.
Now, when you decide to start the training, the entire system should be already installed.
You want to layout the flags to create a sort of physical fence so that your dog can visually understand where the boundary wire is.
The first week of training should be with the system turned off.
You want to let your pet play within the area marked with flags, enjoy the time, and perceive this area as a safe play zone.
Then, in the next week, you want to start introducing your dog to the warning sound the collar makes.
It’s best to have your dog on a leash so that you can be more in control and help your dog get back into the safe area.
Basically, within the second week, you should get your dog to the boundary, let your dog cross it, and hear the beep; then, you should help your dog get back into the safe area and pet him or give him a treat.
These sessions should not be longer than 15 minutes.
The next step should be a combination of beep and correction.
You again want to have your dog on a leash, let him cross the boundary, hear the beep, and receive a static correction.
Once again, you want to help your dog get back into the safe zone and reward him.
Don’t make these sessions too stressful, but stay consistent with the training. Fifteen minutes per session is enough, but do it every day.
After a while, your dog will learn to stay in the safe zone, and you can let the system work without your constant supervision.
A wireless fence system is pretty straightforward to install.
You follow the simple steps listed in the instructions or on the package box of some of the best wireless dog fences that we listed.
So, I will focus on the installation of the more complex system, i.e., the inground fence system.
As I mentioned multiple times, there are three main components of an inground fence system: the transmitter, the wire, and the receiver collar, but there are some additional things you may need.
So I will list all necessary equipment for a successful installation below:
- A power source (an outlet or a battery)
- Receiver collar
- Collar battery
Step 1: Planning
Before the actual installation, it is crucial to plan out the area you want to contain the in-ground electric dog fence.
The right way to do it is to place the stakes and a mason line to mark the area and then measure it with a rotating measuring wheel.
But if you don’t want to be this precise, you can simply set the flags that came in your underground dog fence kit to mark the area and measure it.
It is important to know how big of an area you want to contain in advance so that you can buy enough wire.
Step 2: Install your transmitter
It is essential to install the transmitter in a dry, closed facility where it will be protected from the weather and other possible damages.
You want to mount it to the wall and install it close to the outlet or any other power source you have.
Step 3: Wire installation
Layout the wire around the area you want to contain and bring both ends to the transmitter.
The wire should start from the transmitter, form a loop around the area, and come back to the transmitter.
Step 4: Connect the wire to the transmitter
On your transmitter, notice two different terminals.
Take one end of the wire and connect it to the first terminal, and the other end connects to the second terminal. Plug the transmitter into the outlet.
Step 5: Enable the collar receiver
Take your collar receiver, open it up, and put the battery in.
For most receiver collars, this will be enough, but if the collar has a power button or some specific system to turn it on, follow the steps provided by the manufacturer.
Step 6: Test the collar
Go to the wire, and hold the collar at the height of your dog. Move the collar over the wire, and listen for the beep.
Step 7: Bury the wire
Take the spade and create a slit that should be 2-3 inches deep around the marked area where the wire will go.
Then place the wire in the slit and tamp the earth flat over it.
Step 8: Place the flags
Place the flags ten feet apart around the area where the wire is to create a sort of physical fence for your dog.
And your dog fence system is up and running.
Before you actually go to the store and buy an electric dog fence or order one online, you should get familiar with the product and learn how to differentiate a good one from the bad one.
Most pet parents want only the best for their dog, but electric fences that do miracles for one dog can be completely ineffective for another breed, so I listed a few pieces of advice you can follow in choosing the best invisible fence for your dog.
1. What type of invisible dog fence do you need?
To determine the kind of electric fence you need, you should look at the area you want to contain and the breed of your dog.
If your yard is full of physical obstacles, blind corners, and uneven terrain, wireless dog fences won’t be efficient.
They might work if you buy additional transmitters to install at the blind spots and upgrade the signal, but I would recommend buying an in-ground electric dog fence system.
Stubborn dogs might require a stronger signal than the obedient ones, so check in advance the number of modes the system has and whether it is recommended for a stubborn dog.
For obedient dogs, you want to find a system that has a tone-only mode because often, it is enough for them.
2. How big is the area you want to contain?
Most wired invisible dog fences come with five hundred feet of wire which is enough for a half of an acre or a third of an acre, depending on how you will lay it out.
However, there are models that include one thousand feet of wire or give you the option to buy additional wire if you need it, so you want to straighten that up at the beginning and buy enough wire.
3. Look for high-quality electric dog fence kits
Best invisible dog fences are the ones that actually work and last long.
Numerous levels of static correction, modes, and ranges can sound like that’s a reliable system, but these are the electric fences that mostly don’t work.
The best electric dog fence system is the one with durable wire and a strong transmitter. So focus more on the core parts of the system instead of on the cool functions.
Most fence systems have thin steel 20 gauge wire that’s super-easy to break and degrades in no time.
High-quality systems include a 16/18 gauge insulated twisted wire that is more durable and a better conductor.
Also, you want to have a transmitter that can broadcast enough signals for the length of wire you have.
Always check this beforehand and make sure you have a powerful boundary line that provides a consistent signal.
4. Choose reliable brands
As soon as a certain product becomes popular, there will be countless manufacturers making it. That is the case with invisible dog fences as well.
To find trustworthy ones, you want to focus on the history of the company. Ask yourself:
How long is this manufacturer on the market?
What is their leading product?
What is their field of work generally?
Most reliable companies are focused on pet products only, so they know their field and include experts in design, research, and testing.
Family-owned companies that include people who are dog owners themselves are usually very reliable too.
Does an electric fence for dogs work?
Yes, an electric fence system works for most dog breeds.
Of course, it depends on the brand, quality, and type of the system you get. But if we take well-made products into consideration – they work.
It can also depend on the breed of dog you have.
Most people complain about huskies. They are overall very stubborn, and they tend to run through the invisible fence, which is the crucial flaw of these systems.
If you read negative comments under any of these systems, you’ll see that they work only if the dog crosses the line slowly.
When dogs run through the boundary line, the receiver cannot pick up the signal. So, training is crucial for your system to work.
Are electric dog fences cruel?
No. Contrary to what most people believe, electric dog fences are not cruel at all. With proper training, you don’t have to use a high level of static correction at all.
Most systems include a tone-only mode that helps you get your dog used to the boundaries, and later on, you can add static correction.
When you think about the dogs who are injured or die every year because they are hit by a car, you start to realize how important it is to keep your dog in a safe area.
Again, these systems are not cruel if you use them properly and train your dog.
What is the cost of an invisible fence?
It depends entirely on the model of the invisible dog fence.
In-ground invisible dog fence costs somewhere between $150 and $450 on average. Wireless dog fences are between $150 and $300, while remote-controlled training systems are mainly around $50.
Wireless dog fences are more cost-efficient because they don’t include any wire cost, while wired systems vary in cost because of the length and thickness of the wire you are getting, naturally.
Also, electric fences that come with a waterproof collar tend to be more expensive.
Is an electric fence cheaper than a regular fence?
It is. On average, most electric fence systems are cheaper than wooden or chainlink fences.
Besides the cost of materials, electric fences are less demanding for installation and require less effort.
However, they are not as resistant and long-lasting as traditional fences, so you need to buy batteries from time to time, change the wire when the time comes, so there is a lot of maintenance involved, and I wouldn’t say they are a more cost-efficient solution in the long run.
However, since more and more homeowner associations are against traditional fences, this option to some people is the only option.
How old should a dog be before using an invisible fence?
It is recommended that your dog is not younger than six months, but it all depends on the breed.
Somewhere between six months and a year is the right time to start training most dog breeds, so consequently, this is the right time to get them used to an invisible fence system as well.
Still, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian and together come up with the right time to start training your dog.
If it’s a stubborn one, you can start earlier to get them used to the entire system. But if your dog is already apprehensive and scared, don’t push it.
Why is my invisible fence not working?
There could be many reasons why the fence is not working.
If you have a wireless dog fence, physical obstacles are a common reason why the signal is not picked up by the collar.
As for the in-ground systems, you should first check if there are any physical damages to the wire or the transmitter.
If there are not, the battery in the collar might need a replacement.
If that doesn’t work, then you maybe have too much wire for the transmitter, and the signal is not effectively broadcasted.
You also want to check if other electric signals in the environment are interfering with your electromagnetic field.
Which is better: Dogwatch vs. Invisible fence?
Dog Watch System is definitely a more advanced and, to a certain degree, more reliable fence system than the standard Invisible System.
It relies on an FM signal which is less prone to random static corrections than AM signal most invisible fences have. It also has longer battery life.
Dog Watch battery lasts for around two years, while the best invisible pet fence has 6-month battery life.
Their receivers are more adjustable, so you can customize them for your dog. Of course, they are more expensive than invisible fences too.
To sum everything up, the invisible dog fence system is not cruel or harmful to your dog.
It is a simple electromagnetic field that can send radio signals to your dog’s collar and cause static correction or a slight electric shock, if you will.
Over the years, these fences have proven effective and pet-safe.
My recommendation is the eXtreme Dog Fence System.
It is the second generation of this product that has upgraded, thicker wire, more correction levels, and works for multiple dogs.
And if you’re looking for the best wireless dog fence, PetSafe Stay & Play is a perfect choice.