Nobody would want their dog to wander into a neighbor’s yard, or even worse, walk into the street into oncoming traffic. Some dog owners do not like to put up fences or keep their dogs tied up while they are gone. An invisible dog fence is the solution that these people can use. After much searching, our pick for the best invisible dog fence is PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System, PIF-300.
With the PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System, you can create a secure zone for your dog of up to 90 feet. The wireless fence is suitable for pets whose weights are more than 8 pounds. The system comes with a video on how to train your dog on using the system. If the PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System is not available, do not lose hope as there are other comparable invisible dog fences available in the market. Professional Dog Fence | Extreme Dog Fence’ System is an excellent choice if you are willing to spend some more money. The receiver collar that will be worn by your dog is lightweight and waterproof. The dog wire fence provided is waterproof and long enough to cover 1/3 of an acre.
If you do not want to spend so much money but still want a good invisible dog fencing system, then the Innotek Rechargeable In-Ground Pet Fencing System would be a great choice. This fencing system has a 24/7 built-in battery backup and is rechargeable. It has a 500 feet wire and a range of 25 acres.
Types of invisible dog fence
There are two types of invisible fences: the in-ground system in which a wire is buried underground to mark the perimeter of the area that would be designated as the area that would be accessible to the dog, and the wireless system where there are no buried wires but the designated area is marked with the help of a radio transmitter.
How does this system watch over your dog
The basic premise of this protection scheme is that a transmitter keeps track of the position of the dog via a collar that is fixed around the neck of the dog. When the dog starts to go close to the border of the designated area, the collar starts to emit beeping noise. If the dog tries to cross the border, then the collar provides a small but harmless electrical discharge to the dog. For the in-ground system, the wire buried around the perimeter of the area acts as the transmitting antenna, and for the wireless system, there is a radio transmitter that sends a signal around a small and adjustable area.
There is a small difference in the way the collar operates with the in-ground system compared to the wireless system. The in-ground system will activate the dog collar once the dog tries to go over it, but with the wireless system, the dog collar will activate a small distance from the transmitter that can be determined while setting up the system.
How to correctly setup the system
The effectiveness of an invisible dog fence system depends on the correct setup of the protection system. You need to ask yourself a few questions before you go out and buy an invisible dog fence.
1. What kind of dog do you need a fence for: a small one or a big one?
2. What kind of property do you have?
3. How frequently do you take your pet outdoors?
4. What kind of training would you like to provide your pet with?
Before you begin the installation process, you have to know that the electronic fence system is not meant for guard dogs, vicious dogs, or dogs which have health problems. It does not necessarily mean that this protection scheme would work with all other dogs, as the dog just might not respond to electrical stimulation.
Before you purchase a protection system, you should have an idea about the size of the area that you would want to protect. Most of the basic systems available in the market today will cover an area of about 25 acres, and high-powered transmitters will cover more area. For an in-ground system, the length of wire provided with the installation kit, about 500 feet, would be enough to enclose an area of roughly 1/3 of an acre. It is advisable that you grab a graph paper, plot out your yard and draw a picture of the area that you would want to be covered. The transmitter has to be placed indoors in a dry and protected area, and make sure that the transmitter is properly grounded in a way that has been recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure that you do not place the transmitter near a breaker box and don’t run the wire along with television cables, satellite dishes, telephone or electrical cables, and avoid crossing power lines.
Once you have determined the placement of the transmitter and the wire, the next step would be to follow the map of your yard and dig a trench 1 to 3 inches deep around your yard, and lay down the wire. Put the dog collar around your dog and test it to see if it is emitting an audible alert signal as your dog approaches the boundary. It is recommended that you put some form of grounding for your system, otherwise the system could be severely damaged due to a lightning strike or a power surge.
The proper training of your dog is also important. Before you start the training, put the white flags that would be included in most systems around the boundary to serve as a visual aid for you and your dog. Once the dog is properly trained, the flags can be removed. Make sure you set aside at least 48 hours to train your dog with as little interruptions as possible. Take your dog near the boundary, and when the dog wanders sufficiently close to the boundary for the collar to start beeping, pull sharply on the leash to bring the dog back into the safe zone. Once it is inside, command the dog to sit down and give it a good praise and a treat. Repeat this process hourly and in different areas of the designated boundary. During the training process, make sure that when the dog is not actively training, it is securely confined either inside the house or with a leash not long enough to let it go near the boundary. If this happens, you would have to restart the training process. After the training is over, check your dog to see if it will turn around by itself once it reaches the boundary. If it does, you know that your dog has started to learn the routine. If it doesn’t, do not despair and start the training regimen all over again. The dog must be pulled at least 50 times for the training to be absorbed by the dog. As a general rule of thumb, change the dog collar battery every three to six months to make sure it is in optimum working order.
The Top Pick: PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System, PIF-300
PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System, PIF-300
You can set up this system in 1-2 hours. It is meant for dogs weighing 8 pounds and up and fits neck sizes of 6-28 inches. You can cover an area of up to ‘ acre (180 feet in diameter) with this pet containment system, but if you want to increase your area of coverage, then it is possible to do so with the help of additional transmitters. To make sure that your dog is comfortable with the amount of electrical discharge that it will receive once it tries to cross the boundary, there are 5 levels of static correction that you can adjust to find the perfect level for your dog. And if you do not like the idea of your pets receiving electrical discharge, you can opt for the tone-only mode for alerting your pet that it is about to cross the set boundary. The collar that you would put on your dog is waterproof so you do not have to worry about the collar malfunctioning if your dog loves to play with water. If you have more than one pets, you can easily protect the pets by using the same system simply by purchasing additional collars. The system is portable as well as all you need to do if you want to take the system with you is take the transmitter with you and plug it into any outlet for the system to work again.
One problem seemed to be with the correct placement of the transmitter. If the transmitter is placed near electronic equipment, it will not function properly. It needs to be placed a considerable distance away as is mentioned in the manual that comes with the system. Also people have complained about dead zones near parked cars and metal sheds.
Best Invisible Fence Runnerup: Extreme Dog Fence System
Extreme Dog Fence System
The Professional Dog Fence | Extreme Dog Fence System utilizes wires buried underground to mark a boundary for your pet, so this will create a more accurate boundary compared to the wireless system. The system is capable of encircling an area of up to 10 acres and making it safe for your dog. The receiver collar is lightweight, having a weight of only 1.1 oz., has a five level static correction and is waterproof. The transmitter included in the system has an easy-to-read digital display, and in the event of a thunderstorm, the included surge protector will protect the transmitter from a power surge that may be caused by a lightning strike. The 500 ft. of wire provided with the system is enough to cover 1/3 of an acre of land, and is coated with polyethylene to make it weatherproof. You can purchase additional wire if you want to increase the area of protection, and also additional collars if you want to provide protection to more than one dog. The underground fencing kit also includes 50 ft. of twisted wire and 2 waterproof splices. The included 50 boundary flags and a training DVD will aid you in training your dog properly so that you can make proper use of the system in protecting your dog. You can be rest assured of the quality of all these products as all of them are made in the USA.
Affordable Best Electric Dog Fence: Innotek Rechargeable In-Ground Pet Fencing System
Innotek Rechargeable In-Ground Pet Fencing System
If you want to get a quality wireless fencing system, then look no further than the Innotek Rechargeable In-Ground Pet Fencing System. The system does not need constant power to function, so in the event of a power outage when a storm hits, your dog will be protected thanks to the 24/7 battery backup and the run-through prevention that is built-in into the system. The system is capable of performing self-checks on the boundaries to see if there are any wire-breaks. If there are, then the system will alert you by providing audible and visual alerts. The transmitter of the fencing system is capable of protecting your pet for up to a range of 25 acres. The system includes 500 feet of wire and comes with a training DVD which you can use to easily train your dog. The dog collar will fit on dogs with neck sizes from 8 to 21 inches.
Wireless Pet Fence for Large Houses: SportDOG 100-Acre In-Ground Pet Fence System, SDF-100A
SportDOG 100-Acre In-Ground Pet Fence System, DSF-100A
The SportDOG In-Ground Pet Fence System comes with 1,000 feet of wire, 100 flags and 1 collar receiver which can encircle an area of up to 1 1/3 acres. The radio signal emitted by the transmitter goes through up to 8,600 feet of boundary wire, and can provide protection for an area of up to 100 acres if you purchase additional wire and flag kits. If you have more than one pet that you would like to protect, then you can use this system without any worries, as you can add an unlimited number of pets under the protection of this fence simply by purchasing additional dog collars. The system is capable of self-diagnosing itself to see if there is any broken wire, if there is the system will alert you to it. The Anti-Linger feature of the system makes sure that the battery of the collar receiver attached to the dog do not run out while the dog is moving in the warning zone, and the transmitter has a built-in protection which would help it avoid getting damaged from a lightning strike. The collar receiver has four levels of static correction, so you can decide which level of static correction is most comfortable for your dog.
Best Underground Dog Fence: PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence, PIG00-10777
PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence, PIG00-10777
If you have a dog that you have a hard time training, or your dog is hearing-impaired, then the PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence is the ideal solution for you. The dog collar receiver has four levels of static correction settings, which administer slightly higher doses of static correction compared to other such collars. In fact the level of static correction is so effective that dogs who have been properly trained with this system will stop right in its tracks when it hears the beeping sound that precedes the initiation of static correction. If your dog still tries to run through the boundary zone marked by the wire, then the system will automatically increase the level of static correction. The collar also has a vibration option for the dogs that are hearing-impaired or simply cannot detect the beeping noise. The system is designed to be used with dogs which weigh more than 8 pounds and has a neck size from 6 inches to 28 inches. The provided boundary wire can encircle an area of up to 1/3 acres and the area of protection can be expanded up to 10 acres by purchasing additional wire. You can add an unlimited number of dogs to the system simply by buying additional number of collar receivers.
Best Portable Dog Fence: Stubborn No Wire Dog Electric Fence
Stubborn No Wire Dog Electric Fence
If you want to have all the properties of the in-ground system mentioned above, but do not want to dig grounds and put wires in the ground, then the Stubborn No Wire Dog Electric Fence is the perfect choice for you. Manufactured by the same company, the No Wire Electric Fence shares many of its characteristics with the In-Ground Fence. The collar receiver has four levels of static correction, and for those dogs with less-than-ideal hearing sense, there is a vibration mode, which also helps normal dogs to understand where to stop before it starts to receive static correction. This electric fence system is ideal for dogs that weigh 15 pounds and up. The radio signal emitted by the transmitter can cover an area of up to 10 acres, and can protect an unlimited number of pets by purchasing more collar receivers. The system comes with a training guide which is very handy as this electric fence system is specifically designed for dogs that are hard to train.
For the little dogs: Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence
Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence
The Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence system is designed for dogs with a neck length of 6 to 26 inches and weighing over 5 pounds and the collar has a reflective strip to it for better visibility at night. With the 500 feet of wire included with the system, you can cover an area of up to 1/3 acre, but you can expand the area of coverage to 25 acres if you are willing to purchase additional wire. You can add as many dogs to the system for protection as you want. All you need to do is to buy additional dog collar receivers. This system has the run-through prevention, which will increase the level of static correction if the dog with the collar tries to run through the designated boundary area. When a storm hits the area, you do not have to worry about the transmitter getting destroyed, as there is built-in lightning protection in the system.
Basic protection: Perimeter Technologies Basic Ultra Comfort In-Ground Dog Fence
Perimeter Technologies Basic Ultra Comfort In-Ground Dog Fence
The Perimeter Technologies Basic Ultra Comfort In-Ground Dog Fence provides maximum comfort to the dog by making sure that the point where the dog collar makes contact with the skin is made up of veterinarian-preferred soft material to reduce skin irritations. Interference could be an issue if your neighbor has an electronic dog fence system installed, and it is hard to predict if the radio signal emitted by the two transmitters would be of the same frequency or not. The Basic Ultra System lets you tune the frequency of the radio signal to avoid such interference issues. The dog collar receiver features five levels of static correction, with the level of correction increasing if the dog crosses over the boundary wire. The dog collar has a feature called 12X Battery Check, which checks the level of charge remaining in the collar battery after every two hours. Overall the dog fence system made by Perimeter Technologies is known to be a well-made system and gives little trouble to the user.
Rechargeable Electric Collar: PetSafe Yardmax Rechargeable In-Ground Pet Fencing System
PetSafe Yardmax Rechargeable In-Ground Pet Fencing System
The Yardmax Pet Fencing System, as the name might suggest to you, maximizes the yard space that your dog can use before it gets a static correction. When the Yardmax mode is activated in the system, the warning zone for the dog begins on the other side of the correction zone instead of from within the boundary. The boundary area continues indefinitely past the Warning Zone, which means that your dog cannot run past the Boundary Zone. This increases the yard area where dogs can play by up to 30%. The dog will continue to receive static corrections from the collar until the dog returns to the safe zone, or until the Safety Time-Out is activated after 15 seconds. The ReadyTest and PerfectFit test makes sure that the receiver collar is in a working condition when it reaches you, and can be put on your dog. As the name suggests, the receiver collar attached to the dog has built-in rechargeable battery, so you do not have to worry about buying replacement batteries again.
For indoor use: Innotek Instant Pet Barrier with 1 zone
Innotek Instant Pet Barrier with 1 zone
If you want to keep certain areas of your house off-limits to your dog, then the Innotek Instant Pet Barrier is a good choice for you. You can set up this system anywhere, near the trash can, the kitchen counter, the furniture or the baby’s crib, without the need for any training. You can set the system up in three simple steps. First you have to select the area that you would like to protect, then you have to set the protection coverage area between 2′ and 12′ in diameter, and lastly you have to fit the collar on your dog. You can set up as many zones of protection with the dog collar as you want, zone 1 comes with a small dish and a collar. When the dog comes within the set zone, the collar will start to beep. If the dog continues to come closer to the protected zone, the collar will admit a small static correction. If the dog still continues to come close, the collar will keep on increasing the level of static correction administered to the dog until the dog realizes that it is in an area it is not supposed to be in.
Ultimately it would be your decision as to what type of system, in-ground or wireless, you would choose to protect your dog. We think the PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System, PIF-300 would be the best invisible dog fence for most people. If keeping to a set boundary is important to you, and you have some time to spare to set up the system, then an in-ground system would be ideal for you. If you do not have time to set up the system, and you do not have many metal objects like cars and metal sheds near your property, and you can place the transmitter at a reasonable system from power lines and other electronic appliances, then you can go with the wireless system.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.