Certainly, there are few things more devastating than to find out that your dog is missing. Fortunately, it’s not a common occurrence with only 15 percent of pet owners reporting a lost pet. Better yet, 93 percent of dogs make it back home. How can you prevent it at all?
That’s where our picks for the best invisible dog fence will come in handy. This guide will run through our favorites and give you some practical advice about choosing a product for you and your situation. Let’s begin with our recommendations to you started.
Best Invisible Dog Fence Under $300
Best Invisible Dog Fence Under $200
The main differences you’ll see at this price point involve the range and the number of components that are included in the kit. That’s why you need to have a good idea of what area you have to cover as one of your criteria. Here are picks for the best dog fence options.
The outstanding feature of the eXtreme Dog Fence is its range. Out of the box, it covers up to 25 acres. It comes with everything you need to set it up as a DIY project. That’s an excellent option for saving some money on your purchase.
You have plenty of choices to customize the kit to your needs including the length of wire and type. It includes both boundary and twisted wire. You can use the latter to designate safe areas such as the entrance to the house. The setup and the collar are both completely waterproof.
You can submerge the receiver up to 100 feet underwater, but we’re not sure why that’s a major selling point. It includes 50 flags which seems a bit light if you’re going to cover its full range. The system runs on 7K or 10K frequency
The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty on the electronics and two years for the wire. However, the seller bumps it up to 10 years on the former and lifetime for the latter. That scores big points in our book.
The positive wireless dog fence reviews cite its durability, heavy-duty wire and well-made design. Setup is relatively easy, especially if you rent the right equipment for the job. We liked that the manufacturer’s support staff is available 24/7. They can help with special setups too.
The kit includes extra contacts if you have a dog with a thicker coat. The collar is adjustable to accommodate just about any size pet. It uses digital frequency encoding to prevent interference from other electric dog fence systems. The correction has four settings and one progressive.
The business end of the kit, i.e., the receiver, uses a disposable proprietary battery, unfortunately. It has a longer lifespan, but we’d prefer a generic on that we can swap easier. On the plus side, its battery check feature is excellent and optimizing charging.
The SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System takes a different riff on the usual kit. It comes with 1,000 feet of 20-gauge wire which is enough to cover 1 ⅓ acres. It includes a generous number of flags at 100. It features some of the bells and whistles we’d expect at this price point.
It has a wire break alarm and a built-in lightning surge protector. It uses a 9-volt battery which you can rely on for up to 12 months. We loved the battery optimizing features such as its Anti-Linger option that prevents tapping it out quicker.
It operates like other standard invisible dog fences with the warning beep when your dog gets too close to the boundary. You can set four strength levels of correction plus a training mode that is just the beep. Its Containment Mode has seven levels to match the temperament.
You can train up to three dogs at one time with the system. You can have an unlimited number of pets otherwise. Both the receiver and the transmitter are waterproof and submersible.
Some reviews pointed out that the collar isn’t as durable as they’d like. If you have a strong dog, keep an eye on it. Other mentioned that it’s bulky for smaller dogs. Our recommendation is not to use with small dogs under 10 pounds since other animals can breach the fence.
Bear in mind that you shouldn’t leave the collar on the dog 24/7. Its primary purpose is for use with the invisible fence. That may explain the issues that some users have had with its quality. It’s a big thing because the replacement is over half the cost of the entire kit.
There were many positive reviews related to its use with larger dogs. All indications are that the correction levels are noticeable enough to keep those wanderers in the yard. The customization features definitely made a difference. You can expand its cover to up to 100 acres.
The PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment System takes a different approach to creating the best dog fence with one that requires no wires or fences. It’s an excellent option if there are restrictions preventing you from digging a trench for the wire.
Anyone going the DIY route with even the best in ground dog fence will tell you that it’s hard work. With this model, you will set the wireless transmitter in the center of the boundary area. It will send a signal 90 feet in all directions, covering about a half-acre space.
It works like any other invisible fence. You can set five levels of correction. If your dog gets too close to the boundary, he’ll get a warning then a jolt. It’s like Pavlovian conditioning only in reverse. Your pet learns to associate the reaction with his behavior.
You can add an unlimited number of pets to the system, bearing in mind the restriction of the size. The setup works well in an unobstructed, level space. However, the topography and other structures may interfere with the signal and reduce its effectiveness and range.
The overriding advantage of this system is that it’s portable. You can bring it with you on vacation or while traveling. You’ll have to set up the flags wherever you take it to give your pets the necessary visual clues for training in a new place.
Installation is easy. You can adjust the range to fit the space that you need for containment. The transmitter is waterproof so that you can use it anytime, in any conditions where it doesn’t go below freezing. The kit includes the unit, one collar and training flags.
We’d recommend testing it in each new area where you want to use it. Walk the entire perimeter to make sure there aren’t any dead spots in coverage. Dogs are smart. If it exists, they’ll find it, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the product.
You’ll find most of the basic features for the best invisible dog fence at this price point too. You’ll see differences in the coverage based on the number of accessories you get with the kit such as the amount of wire that it includes. You may notice some downgrades in materials.
All things being equal, you’re paying for what you need at this price. Often, manufacturers offer these products with fewer add-ons to match the varying needs of their customers. After reviewing the lineup, we found a couple of standouts worth a look.
The PetSafe Basic In-Ground Fence kit includes everything you need to create a containment area up to ⅓ of an acre. It has a transmitter unit, receiver collar, 500 feet of 20-gauge wire and training flags. It also features a surge protector as a bonus.
You can purchase additional wire to bump up the range to five acres if you need. Like other units, you can add an unlimited number of pets under the same system. Bear in mind that the collar is the bulk of the cost of the entire kit.
Some reviews pointed out the surge protector needed some work. Others suggested that the collar wasn’t the best. We’ll emphasize the point that pet owners should remove the receiver when the dog comes inside the house. It’s not a replacement for their regular one.
We’ve also read some reports of quality issues in the transmitter. However, the manufacturer has ramped up the quality with these newer models. The battery on the collar is not rechargeable, so you’ll need to keep at least one extra one on hand all the time.
We liked the effort that the manufacturer put into the training guide. An invisible dog fence can only do so much without the pet owner stepping up to make it work for their situation. That said, we’d prefer some more training flags to make our job easier.
The system has four levels of correction which is suitable for most dogs. We loved the Run Through Prevention-Correction that helps keep your dog from breaking through the barrier. The collar uses an RFA-67 battery that is included.
The Sit Boo-Boo Advanced In-Ground Electric Dog Fence System could qualify as an alternative as well based on its technology. This product claims to adjust the correction response with the activity of your pet.
Another feature we liked was the safety shut-off that senses if your pet might be stuck. That makes sense if you don’t have a dog that challenges the system a lot or is easily tempted by the rogue squirrel. It’s a good addition as part of its smart system.
It has a rechargeable battery that is included with the kit. Bear in mind that you’ll need another one on hand between charges. The battery life is 288 hours, depending on its use. The system includes 20-gauge copper wire with an impressive 20-acre range for this price point.
We liked the fact that the system has a one-year satisfaction guarantee that doesn’t quibble between electronics and wiring. Either you love it, or they’ll make it right. The manufacturer takes the extra steps to ensure it wants to be the best underground dog fence.
It has gone the extra mile to for an IPV7 waterproof rating. It has tweaked the reaction responses of the transmitter to accommodate both the owner and pet’s needs. You can also get a remote add-on trainer to use it for other purposes such as managing barking.
That device increases the range to 1,200 feet when working with up to three dogs. That makes the system a smart choice if you want more out of your invisible fence unit. It underscores the value of determining what you need in this type of product.
Buying an electric dog fence isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. The specs for different models vary widely, though the purpose is essentially the same. That’s where you need to consider where you’re placing it and what functions you want it to serve to choose the best one.
The main differences between electric fences include the basics like range and upgrades such as the activation and battery type. The containment area is one of the most important to consider when it comes to your cost.
Kits include everything you’ll need to get up and running—within a certain space. Pay attention not only to what is included with your purchase but any limits to how much you can expand the area for which you need coverage. That can affect your bottom line.
One of the overriding advantages of an invisible dog fence is that it can cover a large area pretty much hassle-free when compared to a traditional one. That makes it a more affordable option. You can also set it up to cordon off particular areas without it being obtrusive.
You can buy the parts separately or in a kit. The latter will have a base range which can extend with additional wire. You’ll see this figure given in acres. Bear in mind that’s for a simple square or rectangle. You’ll need to measure the lay of your land including the off-limits areas.
You may find it helpful to draw out where you want the fence to go on graph paper to help you determine the amount of coverage, and, thus, wiring and accessories that you’ll need. Look for a kit that includes twisted wire for safe areas such as egress points.
Also, check the range of the transmitter. That’s especially important if you’re going to be covering a large yard. It’s especially important if you opt for a wireless unit versus an in-ground system.
You’ll find systems that use AM or FM radio wave frequency or others which opt for digital modulation or DM–technology. The kind matters regarding interference from other sources like your neighbor’s invisible fence or false activations. The latter reduces these issues.
Make sure that your pet’s collar fits snugly so that the contacts touch his skin. The type of activation won’t matter if your dog can’t feel the correction. You should be able to slip one finger between them and his neck.
The best wireless invisible dog fence is only as good as the batteries that it uses. Check the product description for lifespan. Bear in mind that your pet’s usage may vary if they trigger the system’s response a lot. That’s why it’s crucial to have a backup.
Your pet is likely to challenge the system more frequently in the beginning. Remember that you’ll be training him to activate it too during that initial period. You can expect a battery to last about four to six months, depending on the type and your pet’s activity.
Many products feature a low-level battery indicator. Don’t hesitate to replace them if you notice it. You’ll find products that have disposable or rechargeable batteries. Even if you have the latter, have a spare on hand. Don’t forget to check the time it takes to recharge it.
The choice boils down to your preference. The rechargeable, of course, is an eco-friendly option as long as you remember to charge it often. The disposable type has convenience in its favor. Our advice is to be realistic about how well you’ll keep up with this maintenance task.
Pay attention to the brand as well. Some units may use proprietary batteries. That could be a major hassle if you can’t find them at your local hardware store. Some manufacturers and online sellers offer subscription plans to keep you stocked that are worth a look.
You might also consider a backup battery for your transmitter if the system includes it. That way, your dog’s invisible fence is still operational even if you’ve lost power. Some products may have a surge protector too to protect the unit during lightning storms.
Take any mention of installation with a grain of salt. You’ll likely see complaints about how hard it was to dig trenches for the wiring. That’s just part of the process of getting an invisible fence. It has little to do with the product itself. You won’t find self-installing systems.
Of course, you have some wiggle room. After all, your dog doesn’t have to roam around your entire yard. If you’re looking to cut the cost, that’s a great place to start. Typically, you’ll find extra wire in 500-foot increments which is about ¼ of an acre.
Other factors may play a role. For example, measure your space before buying a kit. Find out how much wire is included and whether you’ll need an extra roll or two to cover the entire containment area. Don’t forget the twisted wire for safe areas on the property.
Also, check the product description for other accessories that can make the job easier such as staples, hardware and training flags. Our experience is that the latter is sometimes an afterthought. Additional ones from a home improvement store will work fine too.
The receiver collars will have an adjustable range of correction levels. You may see anywhere from four to seven, depending on the model. They will also have a training mode that just includes a warning tone without the shock.
Most include some type of training guide. Follow the recommendations. The process of making the association between the collar’s correction and the response of your pet takes time. Ease them into it to get the most out of your invisible fence.
Many owners will test the units on themselves before putting it on the pet. As long as the contacts touch your skin, you’ll feel it too. Most systems include extensions for the contacts for breeds with thicker coats. Make sure they’re included if you think you need them.
The best invisible dog fence is completely waterproof to ensure no failures to the system. Pay attention to the wording of the product description. Water-resistant is not the same thing. Make sure it applies to the collar too.
We often see descriptions that include a submersible range too. It may run anywhere from a few feet to 100. That may not matter a lot for an invisible fence, but it does let you know that receiving end is truly waterproof.
Getting a product with a warranty is always a smart option especially when the costs of failure are so high. You’ll often see separate ones covering the electronics and the warranty. Do yourself a favor and read the fine print for limitations and conditions before buying.
We’ve seen some models in which the seller will extend the warranty too. With others, the manufacturer portion only applies to authorized dealers.
The best wireless dog fence is the one that can give you the peace of mind you need to ensure that your pet won’t leave your yard. It gives you the flexibility to create boundaries around gardens and other areas where you don’t want him visiting.
The good news is that you can customize many products with accessories to match your situation and the number of pets you want to protect. And you can rest assured that your invisible dog fence is always on the job.