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Many dog owners with a backyard worry that their dogs may end up jumping their physical boundaries and getting out, causing a whole load of problems, but luckily, invisible fences exist to serve as an added or standalone measure.
But, what are the best invisible dog fences?
The best invisible dog fence systems are ones that properly signal your dog when he’s getting close to the designated fence boundary and that will end up keeping him within the perimeter.
Most of them deliver mild electric shocks to the dog as a way of punishment for not obeying. While I personally find that a bit mean to the dog in question, that is ultimately the purpose of the fence and the most efficient form of correction.
The differences between them are minor, mostly relating to battery life, the different modes of correction and the effective range of the fence that you can set.
The devices are often costly too so only people who have the requisite disposable income are even suggested to get it.
Though, it’s usually well worth the investment to keep your canine companion safe from overindulging and escaping.
The problem, however, comes from the many options that exist on Amazon and Chewy alike, each unique in their own little ways but only a few are ever worth it.
That’s why I’ve gone through the trouble of doing a writeup of the best ones that you can find by going through a great number of the best rated ones to find the true cream of the crop.
Hopefully they end up being exactly what you were looking for.
To find out more about what these products are and what they do as well as any of the more common questions related to them and how they may affect your darling pooch, read on.
The 9 Best Invisible Dog Fences
1. PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Pet Fence
This little doodad allows you to customize your very own invisible fence in a range of about a third of an acre with the provided 500 feet of wire.
If you need more however, you can always purchase additional wire to further expand the perimeter.
It can go all the way up to an impressive 25 acre coverage if you feel the need to expand and give your doggo a bit more space or you live near a large, open field or on a farm.
It’s pretty easy to install as the instructions were fitted for DIY use rather than the need to call on professional help.
Forms Of Correction
The receiver collar has several different tones of alerting your dog that he’s nearing the edge, be it through vibration, a tonal beep or any of the 4 levels of static correction deemed to be safe by the brand owners.
The receiver collar itself is pretty sturdy too as it’s fully waterproof and is intended for dogs of at least 8 pounds of weight. Any lighter pets could be prone to injury from the static shocks.
The same should be noted for age as well as dogs that aren’t 6 months of age aren’t meant to wear the PetSafe collar.
Supports Unlimited Extra Collars
The in-ground fence system will function for an unlimited number of collars so you can safely purchase an extra pair for every doggo in your household.
If you’re having any difficulty in setting the petsafe wireless fence up though, you can always call their customer support. They’re always ready to give you some assistance regardless of issue, especially if it’s your first time dealing with a product like this.
The price is about what you’d expect from something as advanced as this, pretty steep in a vacuum, but it’s on the more reasonable side for the product category.
The downside to it, however, is that the nylon on the collar is prone to fraying, so when you cut it to adjust to your dog’s size, make sure to keep it concealed or protected so the collar doesn’t end up ruined by an accidental snag on a branch or by another dog.
Plus, if your dogs are used to electric shocks, the collar may end up not deterring them in the slightest.
2. SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence Systems
- Can cover up to 100 acres of land
- Features a collar with a rechargeable battery that tops up in up to 2 hours on quick-charge
- 3 different forms of warning your dog between beeps, vibrations and static shocks which come in 7 different levels of intensity.
The gear that you purchase is extremely easy to install, with a starting range of about 1 1/3 of an acre of land.
However, much like with the previous one, you can extend it further by getting additional flags and wire all the way up to an absolutely massive 100 acre coverage.
Supports Unlimited Extra Collars
With this area expansion, you can also add additional collars to be supported by the system, an unlimited amount in fact.
Speaking of which, these are fully rechargeable collars too with a battery life of up to 2 months depending on battery wear.
They’re standard lithium-ion batteries that feature a 2 hour quick charge.
The collars themselves are waterproof up to a depth of 25 feet which shouldn’t be a problem in most cases.
Forms Of Correction
They use either a vibration or a beeping tone as a form of warning when the dog is nearing the fence, but will activate the shock collar if the dog doesn’t heed the boundary line, hitting him with any of the seven possible levels of static correction.
Just make sure you don’t set it too high for your own dog’s sake. Do also keep in mind that the collar is intended for dogs that weigh at least 10 pounds or higher and that any lower could potentially be damaging to your canine companion.
For those of you who may struggle the first time around, the set comes with detailed instructions that’ll help teach you how to set it up so you can fully customize the desired perimeter.
You can even make extra spaces within the initial perimeter loop where your doggos wouldn’t be allowed in.
The cost this time around is a lot more than the average, with additional collars costing a third of the price of the actual setup meaning you’re going to shell out a pretty penny if you have multiple canines around the house.
Also, the collar design itself is needlessly complicated without the use of the manual and not at all intuitive.
Not only does the collar need to get taken off every 12 hours, but adjusting shock strength or changing any other setting on it requires a series of button presses equivalent to a code to get to.
It’s a lot of work and a lot of money for an above average collar, but it does pay off.
3. WIEZ GPS Wireless Dog Fence
- Utilizes GPS technology which is better than the standard radio-frequency reliant ones due to 0 interference
- 3281 foot or 776 acre maximum perimeter range
- Customize the warnings between beeps, 3 levels of vibration and 10 shock levels
It’s a bit more modern than standard collars, utilizing GPS technology to better monitor the position of the collar relative to the fence and have the collar react faster to any unwanted changes with no potential interference issues unlike with standard collars.
The coverage is immense too thanks to said tech with a potential radius of nearly 3300 feet, 3281 to be exact, and a sizable 776 acre reach at its peak.
The coverage size is fully adjustable too all the way down to 98 feet if you have a smaller yard.
The collar is designed to work in 30 second cycles with 16 second warning triggers that will only trigger 3 times. You get two in the package with different bands, one for each doggo.
Some may say that it makes the collar inefficient, but it’s designed that way to be more humane and to not keep shocking the dog after in case you’re not around to stop it.
This also helps not cause much trouble for the doggo in case of a potential malfunction.
Forms Of Correction
As for the warning options, you can customize it between a mix of a beep, 3 different vibration levels and 10 different shock levels.
Adjust accordingly based on your dog’s sensitivity and overall endurance so it doesn’t end up causing any permanent harm and you should be good to go.
The settings will stay even if you have to turn the collar off.
The collar itself as well as the transmitter feature rechargeable batteries with the latter charging in about 4 to 5 hours while the former takes only 2-3. Any low battery levels will be shown on the indicator so you can always be prepared.
Aside from that, the collar is both dust and waterproof meaning that it’s extremely durable against the elements and should function well within its intended lifespan.
The fence is pretty easy to set up as it only requires you to set the requested perimeter from the emitter, and, as long as the collar receiver works, it will heed the set boundary for your doggo.
It’s particularly great when you go out as it’s extremely portable and the 12 satellites in orbit will form the perimeter wherever you may be within the operating range.
The price is on the more average end too. While still a costly investment, it will certainly pay off with time as it circumvents that tedious setup that fences with underground wire have, saving you a lot of time and effort in the process.
And, if you’re not satisfied by the product for whatever reason, the people from the WIEZ fence brand offer a full 30-day money back guarantee as well as a 2 year warranty after registration.
That, and their team is always at the ready to assist you with any problem you may have with the product to prove to you that it indeed is the ideal one for you.
Overall it’s a pretty decent product, though some shipments are known to be faulty and the instructions provided aren’t exactly easy to follow, but if you can manage to get over those 2 factors, you have yourself a pretty fantastic dog fence alternative.
4. Pet Control HQ Wireless Pet Containment System
- Keeps your dog from escaping over, under or through the perimeter fence
- 3 different warning options from buzzing vibrations, tonal beeps and 3 different levels of static shock
- Each replacement piece can be purchased individually
The base package includes up to 492 feet of 20 AWG (American Wire Gauge) electric dog fence in, under and above ground wire that’s fully weatherproof and is meant to keep dogs inside the perimeter at all times.
It registers the collar even if the dogs try to dig under it or even leap over the wire itself which should keep your furry friend put.
If you purchase additional wire, you can extend the perimeter all the way up to 10 acres of coverage. Pretty good for decently sized lots and more than an average household would really need.
The collar uses a rechargeable battery that lasts anywhere between 3 to 7 days and recharges in about 2 to 3 hours depending on wear, though longer and extensive use shouldn’t affect the battery life too much.
The charging station comes with the purchase too so you don’t need to add any extra expenses to the already expensive product.
The collar itself is rather durable and waterproof too, making it usable in rain too.
The receiver on the collar is relatively light and shouldn’t hinder your precious pooch in any way.
It comes with a rechargeable and replaceable battery that’ll last you a while before needing to be charged.
The dog’s collar features a fully adjustable strap with a range of 8 to 27 inches depending on your dog’s neck, adequate for small-ish to large dogs alike.
It should be able to fit most dogs except the most extreme cases on both ends, but overall should work for dogs in the 11 to 154-ish pound range.
Forms Of Correction
As far as the warnings on the collar are concerned, it’s equipped with 3 different options, a loud warning tone, a buzzing vibration or a static shock option with 3 different levels of intensity.
Though, the collar won’t emit the warnings for more than 8 seconds to prevent any potential damage to smaller dogs, and for overall ethical reasons.
Supports 3 Collars
The provided dog remote can handle up to 3 different collars at any one time in case you want to buy additional collars for every dog in your household should you have multiples.
Every part can be purchased individually too should one break so you shouldn’t need to worry about the whole system going bust over one small hiccup.
Though, it also comes with 50 boundary flags to act as a pseudo-physical fence so you can train your dog on where the limit lies, allowing him to learn not to approach the area and test the collar warning strength on himself.
Cost wise, the Pet Control HQ is on the cheaper side of things, but is an overall decent product for the price.
The only things that may become an issue are the fact that the collars don’t seem to last longer than a year, and that the radio signal is a bit spotty in extreme weather, but your dog shouldn’t be out during those anyway.
5. PetSafe Stay & Play Compact Wireless Pet Fence for Dogs & Cats
- Features a 3/4 acre circular coverage
- Fully wireless, no need to dig up your yard to set up wires for it to function
- Collar fits any dogs that weight 5 or more pounds with a neck size between 6 to 28 inches
- Easy to install with detailed instructions for setup and maintenance
- The system features a waterproof, rechargeable collar that fits dogs of five pounds and up
- The collar has five levels of static correction
- Easy to set up
This one doesn’t rely on any buried wire, but instead uses a wireless radio frequency signal to operate that can cover a radius of up to 105 feet in distance, perfectly adjustable, of course, depending on your current needs, all the way down to 22 feet.
The transmitter has an easy to read display which clearly shows the chosen distance and serves as the center of the indicated perimeter. It’s advised to keep it out of reach of children so it can stay put and remain on for the duration.
The LCD display will also warn you if there are any issues with the system in general so you can quickly correct it if need be.
The best part about it is that it’s fully portable and allows you to take it with you wherever you go, ensuring a comfortable play area which your doggos will respect, be it a camping trip or a simple picnic.
Another quality of life feature that this Petsafe product has is the static-free re-entry, which makes sure your dogs don’t get punished for returning back to the safe zone, something many of its competitors overlooked in their design.
You’ll also get a set of boundary flags to clearly mark the warning area, especially useful for training your canine companion.
The receiver collar itself is pretty comfy and lightweight with an adjustable strap and a quick release buckle on the side in case of emergencies like a malfunction or similar.
It has a rechargeable battery and is completely waterproof, allowing you to let your dog run around puddles, mud and shallower ponds without much worry.
The collar will fit even smaller dogs, as long as they weigh at least 5 pounds, and it can accommodate neck sizes between 6 to 28 inches.
Forms Of Correction
The warnings on it range from a beep only mode, vibrations or a static shock with 5 levels of adjustment to let you customize it to perfection depending on your doggo’s sensitivity levels.
Supports Unlimited Extra Collars
The wireless invisible dog fence system can support any number of additional collars, though those have to be bought separately, adding more expenses to this purchase.
The overall setup is really simple and comes with a well-detailed instruction manual to make it even easier on first time users to get better acquainted with the product in question.
Should you have any problems with setup or any other part of the product, the customer support at PetSafe is always top notch and will help you with any issues as soon and as best as they can.
Finally, the price itself is costlier than some of the other products on this list, but the lack of needed wire setup makes it somewhat worth it, if you can spare the money.
6. Free Spirit In-Ground Fence
- One of the most affordable options on the market
- Best for smaller households with up to an acre of coverage
- Can accommodate any number of additional collars
It has a relatively short range intended for a standard household, the basic purchase reaching up to a third of an acre with the potential to expand it up to a single acre of land by getting extra wire.
A neat trick that some may not know, but you can twist existing wires when connecting additional wire to the original purchase and the twisted areas will be deemed safe zones for your dog to cross.
Supports Unlimited Extra Collars
The fence works on an unlimited number of dogs as long as each one is equipped with one of the collars.
It will require additional purchases, but shouldn’t amount to much more than it already is.
Forms Of Correction
Speaking of the collar, it features the three standard warning options between beeping tones, buzzing vibrations and static shocks. The shocks have 5 adjustable levels that you can switch between until you hit the ideal one for your furry friend.
It’s a fully waterproof collar too fitted with a long lasting rechargeable battery so the system can function for long hours and on rainy days with no interference.
You’ll find that the collar has an adjustable strap that you can move around to fit any necks from 6 to 26 inches.
The collar is also intended only for dogs that weigh 5 pounds or more as any less is likely to cause harm to them through the use of electric shocks and the collar is more likely to impede the dog’s movement.
It’s still a good option for large and small dogs alike.
Also, do be aware that any electric shock collar should only be worn in 12 hour daily periods max as the prongs could damage the dog’s fur or cause skin irritation.
The price is an absolute steal compared to many of the other products on this list and the marketplace in general. I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for some of the best electric dog fence options and are on a budget.
That said, it doesn’t come with an instruction manual and can be an absolute pain to set up on your own.
Plus, some users have reported that the collar beeps at random which can somewhat interfere with the training to teach your dog to stay away from the edges of the perimeter due to random false flags.
7. My Pet Command Wireless Underground Dog Fence System
- Functions as both remote training collar and underground dog fence system
- Waterproof collar with rechargeable battery and adjustable size
- One of the cheaper, but still quality options on the market
Next up is another relatively affordable product compared to a lot of the others on the market, the My Pet Command wireless dog fence.
The fence is made from high quality 13 AWG copper wire, different, and better, than the usual PVC wire you’ll find in most standard underground fence system installations.
The initial purchase will get you up to 492 feet of wire neatly rolled up in a drum to set up around your household, however, additional wire purchases can net you to the maximum operating range of up to 10 acres.
The collars provided are IPX7 waterproof, meaning they can withstand a depth of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes at a time if needed.
But, your dog should usually not be in a situation like that anyway so it shouldn’t be of much concern.
They’re completely wireless and feature a rechargeable battery for longer wear periods and overall use.
They accommodate dogs breeds of any size as long as they weigh anywhere from 11 to 154 pounds or have a neck size between 8 to 26 inches, all adjustable with the numerous notches and the buckle featured on the collar itself.
Works On Up To 3 Collars
The remote that comes along with the setup can register and control up to 3 collars, but the fence itself can support unlimited additional ones.
The reason for the two different options is that the remote helps with manual training where you get to trigger the warning systems yourself while the fence triggers them on proximity to the boundary.
Forms Of Correction
Said warning systems range from a tonal warning, a vibration or an electric shock depending on the proximity to the wire in question.
The closer he gets, the more severe the warning is.
And you don’t have to worry about coat thickness and shock efficiency either.
The purchase will provide both short and long contact point options made from metal or plastic so you can pick and choose the most effective ones.
For those of you struggling to set the fence system up, don’t worry, there’s an installation guide that comes with the purchase that’s extremely easy to follow and will guide you through the setup process.
You’ll even get a set of 50 training flags to better mark the boundary so your dog can learn where the edge of their playing field is.
It also comes with an ultrasonic dog training whistle should you require one, all in a very neat package that is less expensive than some of the other options which offer a lot less for their price tag.
However, it’s not without its faults as some parts seem to stop working with some users after just a few months of use, mostly the transmitter box.
Thankfully, the customer support of the brand is quick to respond and will readily try and assist you with any issue that you may have, providing a replacement part where needed.
8. Extreme Dog Fence – Second Generation
- US made product owned by a small business
- Durable and waterproof collars
- Warning options include a beep only mode and up to 5 different levels of electric shocks
Next we have the Extreme Dog Fence. While the name may be a bit overdone, it certainly holds up to the standard of being one of the best invisible dog fences around.
While there are varying packages on offer giving you different amounts of wire to work with, getting additional wire can have you secure up to 6 acres of land with proper setup.
It uses 20 AWG high tensile boundary wire with protection better than standard PVC making it last longer without any issue.
The collar itself, as with many of the best options out there, is fully waterproof up to 10 feet of depth without fault and is quite durable overall.
It’s easy to spot with its bright red color and it has an adjustable strap to fit the necks of most dogs as well as a quick-release buckle to get the collar off in case of a malfunction or it getting caught on something.
It’s relatively lightweight so it won’t impede your dog’s movement in any way. That said, it can only be worn up to 12 hours per day so the prongs don’t cause skin irritation or loss of fur in the area.
Forms Of Correction
The collar has two forms of correction, the first one being a warning tone when your pooch starts nearing the fence, and a static shock when he crosses that boundary, warning him to return back.
Said static shock has up to 5 levels of strength to choose from so you can adjust it based on your doggo’s size, sensitivity and persistence.
Supports Up To 5 Collars Total
The system can support up to 5 collars at once as well, in case you have more than one doggo running around in your household.
You also get a set of boundary flags with your purchase to better mark the edge of the available area for your doggo, extremely helpful when training him until it becomes instinctual for him to a degree.
The extreme dog fence system comes with a default 1 year warranty option that can be extended up to 5 years when you register the fence with the manufacturer. A pretty generous offer considering how costly these things are.
And, they have an easy installation guide so you can handle all of this yourself without having to hassle yourself with asking for professional help and adding even more to your existing costs.
The product is also fully US made, so if you’re looking for a local product and want to support a relatively small business, then the Extreme Dog Fence may be the way to go.
Do keep in mind that the price is above the average cost though, so make sure to weigh the pros and cons when you look into it.
And one of the cons is relatively major as some units show the shock level to be off (on 0) when, in reality, it’s still set to 5 which can be a nasty surprise for your canine companion so double check it when you start using it.
9. PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Pet Fence and Receiver Collar for Dogs and Cats
- Features a YardMax system that extends the boundary all the way up to the fence location itself
- Can support an unlimited number of additional collars
- Waterproof collars with a rechargeable battery with warning systems featuring a beep or 5 levels of static correction
The YardMax utilizes its namesake mode where the static correction happens directly on the boundary rather than a few feet before it, staying true to the maximum range described on the product.
The initial fence kit purchase can cover up to a third of an acre with the 500 ft of the provided 20 AWG wire, however, as with any other PetSafe product, you can extend it up to 10 acres with additional purchases, plenty for any average household.
Supports Unlimited Extra Collars
You can also get an unlimited number of additional collars and the fence will be able to support all of them with zero issue.
Forms Of Correction
Speaking of correction, the collar offers a harmless beep as the first option that triggers as the dog approaches the edge of its allowed play space with the optional addition of 5 different levels of static shock for a harsher warning option.
And, as with every PetSafe product, your pets won’t be punished on coming back into the designated safe area if they end up straying too far out thanks to their Static-Free Reentry system.
It’s something that most invisible fence systems out there fail to correct.
The collar has a rechargeable battery that lasts a long time and the collar is waterproof too. It’s fully adjustable thanks to the strap on the side which goes out to a range between 6 to 28 inches in terms of neck size.
It’s best used on dogs that weigh at least 5 pounds so the receiver on the collar doesn’t hinder their movement and so the shocks don’t cause any severe issues.
Aside from the standard collar, wire and transmitter, you’ll also get a set of boundary flags, standard with any underground dog fence system so you can mark the line that your doggo shouldn’t cross.
It’s a great aid during pet behavior training, but it also helps serve as a good point of reference after the fact once your dog learns what the flags stand for.
However, this PetSafe product hinges on the pricier side of things, especially if you opt for the 1000 ft wire package, so you may want to find a few options and then weigh the pros and cons of each before deciding.
Unfortunately though, some of the plastic on the collars and prongs in some of the purchases seem to break easily. Hopefully you don’t end up with these specific issues yourself.
Things To Note Before You Buy
As with any other product, there are always specific points of interest that one needs to be wary of in order to make the most informed decision.
In case none of the products struck a tune with your idea of the best invisible dog fence, then here are some things to keep an eye on when browsing the online stores yourself:
1. How Big Is The Range
A key part of any invisible dog fence is the coverage. Nobody wants the playing field to be too small or too large as the former would feel like a prison while the latter would simply be ineffective.
Though, it’s best to find a fence system with an adjustable range of coverage or a wired one that allows you to better customize it to fit your yard or estate.
2. The Price
An important factor with any product, doubly so with something as inherently expensive as an invisible dog fence.
While there are luxury and budget picks here, it’s usually best to go for a happy medium as the cheapest options tend to lack some key features while the expensive ones often don’t justify said price tag.
That said, there could be some hidden gems out there, so be sure to look thoroughly through your options.
3. The Correction Systems
Call them what you will, but one of the other important factors is the number of different warning systems that the fence systems come with on the collar.
The better options usually offer things like tone-only or vibrations so you don’t have to rely on shocks alone which already make your doggo uncomfortable.
The best ones offer you a way to handle the situation without causing harm to your dear dog as well as multiple levels of shock correction so you can better customize it to a more tolerable level for your dog if you have to resort to it.
4. Type Of Invisible Dog Fence
Another core facet is figuring out if you want a wired, wireless, or GPS based option.
The wired is harder to set up, but offers more customizability in terms of allowed play area for your dog and is less prone to malfunctioning.
The wireless is easier to set up, but outside transmitters can get damaged by weather and other outside elements if not well protected or used from the home itself.
They can also malfunction and zap your dog on accident.
Finally, the GPS option is similar to the wireless, except it’s more responsive and more accurate. Plus, it’s a lot more stable as it doesn’t rely on RF waves and instead uses GPS satellites to keep track of the allowed area.
Plus, they’re usually portable which lets you take them out for road trips, camping and similar.
5. Battery Life
Swapping batteries out can be a real pain, especially when it needs to be done often. The best invisible dog fence systems have batteries that can last you several months on the transmitters while the receivers last a lot less.
However, these same batteries are usually rechargeable too, making them really easy to maintain at little to no extra maintenance cost in that aspect.
6. The Rating
Finally, how well a product is rated is a good sign of its overall quality.
It may tout that it has some of the best and most unique features out there, but if they don’t work most of the time or the material the product is made from is cheap and breaks easily, then the rating will usually show that.
If you’re uncertain, you can always check out the user reviews and see for yourself.
That’s why I suggest sticking to at least 4 stars or higher unless you want to risk it with something lower on the scale.
What Is The Best Invisible Dog Fence Then?
Honestly, this entirely depends on how big your ‘backyard’ is. By backyard I also mean field, if you’re on a farm, or even a forest if you’re somewhere out in the wilderness.
While all of these options here are fantastic, I suggest sticking to one that’s affordable and that can cover the size of your yard at a reasonable price while offering decent alternatives in warning systems.
For the average household, I’d recommend grabbing any of the PetSafe options.
For something larger, I wholeheartedly recommend the SportDog option or the WIEZ if you want to only give access to a portion of the land to your canine companion.
The WIEZ is particularly good since it has a better response time and won’t run into interference since it’s GPS based.
How Do Invisible And Wireless Dog Fences Work?
While the devices may seem complex and appear like they work through some advanced tech, they’re a relatively simple design.
Regardless of which option you choose, they function in a similar manner.
The invisible dog fences use wires to lay out a more customizable boundary while the wireless ones utilize a transmitter centered in a point and covering a radial area.
The collars have a receiver in them that the transmitter monitors and once the receiver begins reaching the designated edges of the perimeter, the receiver gets a signal to trigger the warning systems in place.
While it does depend on how you’ve set them up, the standard setup will start off with the milder warning systems triggering, usually referring to a tonal beep or a buzzing vibration.
However, should the dog breach the boundary of the perimeter, that’s when the electric shocks would trigger as a harsher warning and a signal that they should return back inside.
Which Is Better? An Invisible Dog Fence or A Wireless One?
Once again, each of them have their own ups and downs. The wireless ones require a lot less setup, but usually only cover a set radius that may not work well with most households given the, usually, non-circular shape of it.
This ends up cutting out a lot of the play space for your pooch, or it extends out too far and puts him in danger.
The invisible dog fence on the other end takes a lot more effort to set up as you’d normally have to dig up parts of your lawn to set the wire in (or use the above ground option, but that’s a bit less aesthetically pleasing).
However, this also allows for a greater degree of customizability, especially if you have a body of water nearby or similar or you have a pretty uneven yard, allowing you to customize the play space to your heart’s content.
It’s a bit harder to maintain, but I personally believe that it’s the better option of the two.
The third alternative would be the GPS based wireless one which is a lot more precise, but still only functions in a radius rather than a customizable area, but it’s great for larger plots of land.
Are Wireless Or Wired Invisible Fences Better?
Adding on to the earlier question, my personal belief is that wired fences are overall better for the reasons listed above, but also because wired fences won’t shock your dog when they malfunction.
On the other hand, wireless fences might due to a signal disruption that may read your dog as out of the perimeter area when he’s actually in, leading to a nasty surprise for him.
Are Invisible Dog Fences Effective?
Dogs, much like humans, are creatures of habit and routine. Show them that something is wrong multiple times or have them disciplined in a way and they’ll ingrain it within them that it’s wrong and they’ll want to avoid the irritation that comes along with it.
So the warning systems in place will eventually condition the dog that moving past a certain point is bad, especially if you plot the boundary flags down so they have a point of reference on where this limit is.
Of course, every dog is different and learns at a different pace or not at all. The fences aren’t foolproof. They are a tool which you’ll need to employ alongside certain training regimens to increase their success rate.
It requires effort on your part as much as the dog’s for it to work. But even then, there are some dogs that’ll always try testing the limits and try to find a way around them, and, for them, these fences are a lot less likely to work.
How Long Does The Battery Last In An Invisible Fence?
It varies from system to system, but normally they last anywhere from a month to three on average with some lasting even more depending on battery.
That said, most of these estimates tend to be a little overblown and don’t account for anything less than perfect working conditions, so you’re much more likely to need to replace or recharge them a lot sooner than expected.
How Much Do Invisible Dog Fences Cost?
Getting an invisible fence is a costly endeavor. While a decent alternative to a standard fence for standard households, it will take out quite a bit of your budget.
From the ones listed above, they range anywhere from around $80 all the way to nearly $400. There are very few cheaper ones out there and plenty of other, pricier ones, but the cons start to outweigh the pros after a while.
One can only cut costs in so many places before the product starts losing out on quality and at some point, a marginal improvement isn’t going to be worth the price tag.
Keep in mind that this is only for the initial purchase. Buying any extra collars is going to ring you up a good chunk of extra on top of that.
Why Use An Invisible Dog Fence Over A Standard One?
Dogs are really active creatures who love their freedom. They always seem to have the energy to jump and run around for hours, always looking to play or interact with their owner and enjoy the free space that they have.
If you erect a fence around the area, they’ll feel this place to be smaller, more enclosed. While it won’t impact them too greatly, you may see them less active in some regard.
An invisible dog fence makes it appear like they have a boundless amount of space to work with, when in reality it’s still the same amount of area, with a little bit more adjustment.
While I personally don’t condone the use of electric shocks on dogs, no matter how small the charge, the fact of the matter is that your dog may be more content this way.
Plus, you may just end up training him to react to the tones and the vibrations of the collar and may not even need to use the shock option, but more often than not, the shocks will end up playing a part to some degree.
How To Install An Invisible Dog Fence?
Once again, the process of installing an invisible wired dog fence is the hard part, and while most products will come with written instructions, some don’t or are too convoluted.
The way one works is that you have a functioning transmitter system which will detect receiver proximity near the wires and will trigger the requisite warning system based on distance from said boundary.
A wireless fence tends to skip that process and instead functions by triggering said warning system when the receiver reaches the edge of the transmitter’s operating radius instead.
Each has their own pros and cons, but, for those of you who want to get a wired fence, here’s how you do it.
Quick Rundown Of Both Options
For the wireless fence, you either set up a transmitter in your home, or around your lawn at a place where your dog or any other animal can’t reach them, activate them, set the transmission radius and you’re all set.
They may get knocked out of their spot or more prone to the elements if set outside instead of in and if not in a secure spot, so do keep that in mind.
The wired option takes more effort however, but can be done over the course of a proper weekend and allows you to fully customize the designated boundary area into any shape you wish it to be, even fencing off multiple areas like a barn, shed or similar within the perimeter.
While normally placed underground, you can also place them above ground, but it may mess with the designated boundary range and are more prone to damage and malfunction due to outside forces that way.
The first thing you need to do is to perform measurements and mark them down.
You’ll need to know ahead of time how much wire you need to buy so you don’t end up over or underbuying, which could lead to added expenses with all the extra shipping or excess material.
Grab your measuring tools, get out into your yard and roughly measure the area you want to use.
Planting some markers for a better visual representation is a good idea so you can think about your desired dog space.
Next, you’ll want to get some good quality wire so it lasts longer without malfunctioning. People usually get 20 AWG as a standard, but get down to 16 AWG for rocky terrain.
For those unaware, AWG stands for American Wire Gauge as the standard measurement and the higher the number, the thinner the wire, albeit more malleable.
Whatever the case, always ensure the wire you buy is properly graded and of professional quality.
This is a mark of a good product, and if a fence system doesn’t have these traits, freely skip it as it’ll just siphon your time and money away.
In any case, once you ensure you have the right wire, make sure you get enough of it to cover your designated dog play area.
While I personally just go by the length of the measured edges, some people choose to go by acres and a simple measurement for that is that a third of an acre is covered by about 500 feet of wire on average.
Although, if you choose to not just go with a simple square shape for whatever reason, this math will change, so it’s best to just directly measure your marked edges instead of playing around with Math.
Do account for some twisted wires as well in case you want to cross an area over with the given wire as crossed wires won’t trigger the warning systems on the receiver, making it safe for your dog to cross.
The next step is to ensure your installation from outside elements that may damage it or cause it to malfunction.
You’re already going to bury it to protect it from animal attacks or random hits, but the most important purchase you can get is a surge protector, especially if you live in a stormy area or a place with a bad electrical grid.
A freak thunderstorm causing a power outage can cause serious damage to electronics, especially the fence in question if you don’t have a surge protector to break the circuit and protect it from unwanted power surges frying the entire system.
If you’re feeling like splurging a little extra, getting a UPS would be a decent call too. UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply.
Think of it as a reserve battery or power source for the fence that’ll keep it operational for a bit in case of a power outage.
That way, if your dog is still outside for whatever reason, he won’t suddenly be able to just run out into the street because he got scared by the sound of thunder or saw something of interest and realized there were no beeps.
You’ll have enough time to get him inside if you haven’t already and everything should be fine after the fact.
Now that you have the necessary wire and the safety measures, it’s time to start digging up the marked area and burying the wire.
However, before burying the wire itself, it’s important to test to see if the wire works properly. For this you want to have a testing kit handy, or, if one isn’t available, using the collar itself works just as well.
Simply activate the collar and the transmitter, move the receiver on the collar close to the wire and it should register it with some sort of response, be it the warning system or the collar giving off a more visual indicator.
Depending on where you’re installing it, you also want to be wary of the proper burying procedures as well.
For instance, if you’re dealing with standard dirt, you don’t need to do anything special aside from digging the designated area up and burying it.
However, if you’re dealing with something more solid like concrete, make sure to clean the area around the wire and then further protect it by sealing it up in caulk.
This should properly isolate it from any pressure up above and prevent damage.
If you need to deal with a sturdier driveway, you may need to get out some heavy duty machinery like a saw blade, though, I’d suggest just calling for professional help at that point to not mess something up.
Finally, as mentioned before, you can also install the wire above ground to make it part of an actual fence, but then you’ll need to get lower AWG wire, a thicker, more insulated option that won’t succumb to wear from weather, animals or the like.
In case you’re dealing with a wireless fence, I suggest putting them up on a wall somewhere or let it transmit from inside the house if possible.
Some people suggest planting them on the ground, but then they’re liable to getting damaged by weather, your own dog or other stray animals that may wander in.
Once you’re all done, make sure to mark the boundary area as you’ll likely be teaching your dog to respect the flags and to not go past them.
Plus, it’ll help you remember where you buried the wire when you need to check for malfunctions or damage every now and then.
You can mark the area for a wireless setup too, though that’ll require a bit of walking around with the collar in hand to properly detect, or if your system comes with a remote to track the boundaries properly.
That should just about cover the basics of fence installation for most products. Some may have some extra special additions unique to them, but those usually get covered in the instruction manual of the product itself.
How Do You Train A Dog For An Invisible Fence?
Now that you have the fence set up, you may be wondering “How do I train a dog to adhere to this? Won’t he just power through the pain and run out?”.
In truth, some might, if done incorrectly, but I’m going to give you the rundown on what’s usually done to keep your doggo in check.
The Preparation Stage
The first thing that you want to do is take your dog around the perimeter. Grab a leash and put the collar on before doing so.
Keep the leash tight so he doesn’t end up flying right into the boundary line and shocking himself needlessly.
Guide him around the area, especially near the flags to the point where the beeps or the vibrations start to introduce him to what the collar would be doing.
Once done, you can show him how a shock would function too, should he cross the edge or get near it, but make sure it’s down to its lowest setting, else you may end up scaring the poor pooch.
Doing this introductory course helps your dog understand what he’s going to have to be dealing with and what to expect in the future.
It’s never good to just let them loose and get a nasty surprise all of a sudden as it may have undesirable effects like trauma or even fostering anger or aggression within your dog for being punished for no reason.
This is also going to happen if you don’t start him off on the lowest shock setting, if any as too much power may end up scaring or even hurting him, depending on the fence system in question.
It’s usually best to go with beeps, vibrations or any other non-harmful warning system first and only slowly transition to shocks.
This way you help teach your doggo about how the warning systems scale, and, because dogs are creatures of habit and routine, they’ll figure it out and will hopefully behave the way you want them to.
Some products have training manuals that go into greater detail and I advise sifting through them in order to get a better idea.
Marking The Edges Of The Playing Field
Use points of reference that your dog can associate with the designated boundary of the perimeter created by the invisible dog fence in the first place.
It’ll help them understand the rules a lot easier and adapt to the whole process faster.
Most, if not all of the best wireless dog fence systems as well as wired ones come with a set of boundary flags that you can use for this very purpose.
If they don’t, then buy something that can serve a similar function.
Make sure to place them away from the shock area, on the spot where it would first produce that tonal or vibrational warning instead, usually a few feet apart depending on the fence you bought.
A good way to practice this is to get a long enough leash that’ll reach said flag, and the moment the warning sounds, you call your dog back so he gets an idea of what to do.
With enough training, he’ll figure out the necessary movements even without your calls and what exactly triggers it.
As you progress in his training, you can set an example yourself by performing the correct action when nearing a boundary flag and the signal triggers, then you move away from it back inward.
Running this movement out with every flag will let your dog get the idea and he too will soon start to replicate it.
Upping The Correction Level
Once your dog appears to get the gist of things, it’s time to take him to the next step by activating the static shocks as a warning system.
Here you may still want to use a leash so he doesn’t end up running away or into danger, but you’ll also need to use some sort of bait or distraction to give him a little nudge, a desire to try moving past the boundaries.
A known family member going out of bounds will usually do the trick, or even just one of his favorite balls.
This is where one of two things can happen.
The first case is where your dog runs into the line, gets shocked and returns back inside, meaning that he’s already learned from the experience, though it may need a couple more tries to get right.
Those need to be done in separate intervals, however, to give your dog some time to rest and to not overload his body with stress from said shocks.
The second case is where your dog runs into the line, gets shocked, but doesn’t return and instead tries to continue after the ball again.
This is where you’ll want to up the static correction level up by another notch. Either that, or get back to the start and teach him about boundaries again without the shocks if you feel like that’s the issue.
Naturally, it needs to be repeated until he gets the idea, but sparingly.
Training a dog takes time, so don’t try and rush the process as you may end up ruining all your hard work in an instant just for trying to force the issue.
Do shorter sessions, anywhere around a dozen minutes or so should be more than fine to get the needed training in without straining your furry friend too much.
If you rush it, you may end up placing too much stress on him which will just make him panic or traumatize him to the point where he forgets about everything and getting him out of that state can be even tougher than the training itself.
Don’t Forget The Rewards
While the correction options are a punishment, training a dog must also come with a reward so your doggo can know when he’s doing something right.
If he performs something correctly, provide him with a dog treat of some kind, maybe even some playtime during breaks with his favorite toy or a joint activity with you, anything to show him that he’s making progress.
Knowing When He’s Ready
It may be tough for some pet parents to figure out when the training has fully completed, but you’ll know it when you see that your dog doesn’t fear the boundary flags or the fence area anymore and freely roams the play area, knowing how much of that is his.
As for the flags themselves, I recommend keeping them up to serve as a point of reference in case your dog forgets, but you can remove them if you have full confidence in him to trust his instincts on the matter.
How Long Does Training A Dog For An Invisible Fence Usually Take?
The process is lengthy, taking up anywhere between 2 to 3 weeks, give or take a few days depending on the dog.
It’s the one thing that wireless and wired invisible dog fences have in common that doesn’t change with any model, but going through it is ultimately crucial, but well worth it.
The best invisible dog fences are ones that best suit your needs. There isn’t really a de facto best one as every person’s tastes are different.
But I can narrow it down for you a little. If you want something simple and easy to set up without much worry that your doggo may lose a bit of his play area to the edges, go for a wireless invisible dog fence option.
If you want to upgrade, you can even choose the GPS controlled one too.
However, if you want to fully customize the allowed roaming area for your canine companion, go for the wired, more traditional fence option.
While the wired one is often seen as a chore to set up, I personally believe that it’s worth the trouble for a better long term investment.
That said, I’m not you, and you may like something completely different. As long as you keep your dog’s happiness and comfort in mind, I’m sure you’ll be able to pick out the ideal option for both of you. Until next time.
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