Want to keep your dog safe?
Investing in the best invisible dog fence is one of the wisest ideas as a pet owner.
A long time ago, the only way to keep dogs – or any animal for that matter- in a rightful area is to build physical gates and barriers. Today, you can now keep them within your territory with the aid of invisible fences.
This modern dog fence system is your opportunity to give your canine companions a wide-open space to play and interact with one another with the peace of mind of never losing them.
With that in mind, this review will help you make an educated decision over what invisible dog fence suits you best.
What is an invisible dog fence?
This clever idea was first invented and patented in 1973 by Richard Peck. Also known simply as a pet fence, an invisible dog fence is an electronic system designed to keep a domestic animal – mostly dogs and conventional pets – within a predefined boundary without utilizing a physical barrier. You can also use the terms “fenceless boundary” while other people also call it a “wireless fence” – more on that below.
The trick on keeping your dog within your perimeter lies on the collar that comes with the system. An electronic technology is embedded in the collar that is paired with the invisible dog fence. The collar will give off a warning – either in tone or vibration – as your dog approaches the boundary. When your dog exceeds the prescribed boundary, the collar will emit mild electronic shocks, just enough to notify your dog that the area is off limits. There are different settings available and each brand strives to create the best invisible dog fence technology.
How an invisible dog fence works
In general, the collar will give your dog a mild electronic shock called “corrections” after a series of warnings. Depending on the user and the settings available, these corrections gain strength and intensity the longer your dog ignores the warning.
Due to the sound or vibration warning along with the mild electronic shock as your dog approaches closer to the boundary and beyond it, the dog will soon learn to avoid that particular spots, effectively making it a virtual barrier.
To make it easier for your dog to recognize the barrier, the system comes with flags which you can plant in the boundary. This serves as visual indicators which your dog will soon learn to realize.
Each model comes with their own instructions on how to install and how to use the fence. Since there are different models, they also vary – but not too much – on how to properly utilize a particular system.
Why buy an invisible dog fence?
1. Significantly cheaper
Apart from being highly effective in being a containment system for animals, purchasing the best invisible dog fence means a significantly cheaper investment than actually building physical fences made of wood, steel, etc.
A complete fencing system can be as affordable as just over a hundred bucks. There are also more expensive dog fence systems ranging from 300 dollars and more, but hey, it’s still significantly cheaper than any physical fence you can build.
2. Easier to install
With an invisible dog fence, you typically just have to bury some wire in your defined perimeter, plant the flags for visual purposes, then plug & turn on some devices, put the collar on your dog, and you’re good to go. Simple as that.
On the other hand, building a physical fence will require you to buy lots of wood, steel, cement, or any material you’d like to utilize in your fence. After which, you still have to plan as to how you will build the said fence. In most cases, you even have to hire carpenters and other people to do the job for you. Ultimately, it will take time and will cost you a lot.
You have to agree, an invisible dog fence is more aesthetically pleasing than a physical fence. The reason is simple – they are invisible. This means you won’t be destroying your current landscape.
An invisible dog fence is ideal to use for people living in a village where houses have no gates in the first place. It’s also ideal if your place is just too large to keep track of your dog. By investing in the best invisible dog fence, you are creating a virtual fence that won’t require you to modify the current look of your house or deviate from its design.
4. Great alternative
You can always build a physical fence but if its purpose is keeping your dog inside, it means you will need a large above-ground fence. You can opt for that option but ask yourself if you’re prepared enough to block your view or spoil the look of your house.
Chain fences are also not that reliable because most dogs can easily find a way through it. This leaves you with no other viable option but to invest in the best invisible dog fence.
Best invisible dog fence reviews 2020
1. SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System
- Ideal for dogs over 10 pounds
- 1000ft 20-gauge wire; 100 flags
- More flags than other brands
- Multiple levels of static stimulation
- Uses standard batteries; a big plus
- Popular selling product
- Waterproof collar receiver
- Expect stable signal
- Low battery indicator
- Feature-packed product
- The collar can withstand any weather
- UNLIMITED number of pets can use
- Reliable and durable fence transmitter
- Minor reports on cracking plastic
- Minor reports on inconsistencies
This fence system can contain virtually unlimited number of dogs with a 1000-feet boundary wire (20 gauge) and 100 flags that can enclose up to 1 1/3 acres of land. You can purchase additional wire and flag kits to expand the bounded area up to 100 acres. Further, you can add more dog by purchasing more collars.
The SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System is ideal for dogs more than 10 pounds and is proven effective, safe, and comfortable. You’ll easily like how easy the installation is. You basically just have to bury the wire around your yard and form the perimeter you intend to contain your dog. An alternative to burying is attaching the wire to a fixed object.
Next thing to do is to plug in the transmitter. Finally, you can define the boundary area by setting the boundary flags – which can also serve as a visual aid to train your dog.
This powerful containment system includes a waterproof collar receiver that produces a vibration and tone as your dog approaches the boundary. You’re responsible for training your dog to roam freely within the boundary.
When your dog reaches the warning zone, the collar receiver will also emit a warning beep. Once your dog continues beyond the containment zone, a safe stimulation is produced through contact points to alert your dog, making him understand he should return to the boundary. Otherwise, the device will keep stimulating him.
2. PetSafe Stubborn Dog Fence
- Multiple correction levels
- Designed for stubborn dogs
- Special features for strong-willed dogs
- Ideal for hearing impaired pets
- Ideal for 8lbs up
- Long and short contact points
- Waterproof collar
- Uses standard batteries: big plus
- You can use multiple collars/pets
- Not ideal for small dogs
- Wires not included
This containment system is both for underground and in-ground installation. The set comes with a waterproof collar capable of producing four (4) levels of stimulation plus a vibration feature. While this one looks like a basic dog fence system, it’s actually pretty effective in doing its job.
The PetSafe Stubborn Dog Fence is an affordable approach in supervising your strong-willed dog and is a good way of training him to familiarize an area where he can roam freely. Indeed, this system is so much better than actually locking your dog in a cage. Having this PetSafe fence system gives your dog the freedom he deserves while having the peace of mind that you’ll never lose him even without having a leash.
One distinct attribute of this model is it’s designed for hard-to-train dogs. This one’s ideal for pets over 8 pounds and not suitable for dogs that are too small. It’s equipped with progressive run-through prevention and anti-linger prevention features.
This system can function for multiple pets and can cover up to 10 acres (depending on the purchased wire). Package includes 50 training flags, test light tool, 9-volt batteries, and other essentials. It even comes with pet-pager vibration dedicated to impaired pets.
The only downside is you’ll be separately purchasing a wire because it doesn’t come with it. On the bright side, this dog fence package comes at a lesser price, making this a perfect system for yards with wires already installed.
3. PetSafe PIF00-12917 Stay & Play Wireless Fence
- Multiple correction levels
- Designed for a strong-willed dog
- Comes with multiple packages
- Special systems for stubborn dogs
- Good for small pets; 5lbs up
- ZERO wires to bury; very convenient
- Completely portable
- Lightweight; comfortable for pets
- Quick to charge; just 2-3 hours
- Metallic roofs might interfere
- Other metallic materials can interfere
We have another PetSafe on the list and it shares the same purpose of training your pets to stay within your desired boundary, but with multiple options. The system can effectively cover a 0.75-acre perimeter and comes with an edge against other competitors (more on that just below).
You can choose between different packages depending on how many dogs you have and what you need. For training a single dog, you can try the standard system complete with adjustable collar, transmitter (with power adapter), 50 training flags, receiver charger, contact points, contact point wrench, and test light tool.
This model comes with other offers if you have three (3) to five (5) dogs. It even comes with a system for the most stubborn pets.
The beauty of this PetSafe PIF00 is there are NO wires to bury. That means the system is completely portable and you can modify the containment zone pretty easily at your own convenience. This is what makes the model distinct against other fencing systems in the market. You can set up in just a couple of hours and modify it when needed just as easily.
You’ll also like how the collar can quickly charge. The system features 5 adjustable correction levels plus a tone-only mode for training. Overall, the NO-wire-needed attribute alone makes this one a winner.
4. Extreme Dog Fence - Second Generation
- Proudly US-made
- Wire coated with a thicker jacket
- Wire jacket thicker than average
- Up to 25 acres of coverage
- Very light and small collar
- Submersible collar; entirely waterproof
- Contact points w/2 available sizes
- System checks wire for problems
- Automatic signal power adjustment
- Accurate battery indicator
- No stray signal interference
- Warranty: 2yr wire; 1yr electronics
- Instructions not detailed enough
- A single report of false correction
If you want a US-made underground fence system you can rely on, the Second Generation of this eXtreme Dog Fence system makes an ideal choice.
This system is loaded with features and comes in different packages you can choose from – depending on how many dogs you have and how big the containment area is.
Talking about the collar first, you’ll surely get impressed by how it is entirely waterproof and even submersible. Other brands are ‘water resistant’ only – there’s a huge difference. Not only is the collar protected against rain, but your dog can also swim while wearing the collar on. This makes this system ideal if you have pools or ponds where your dog can possibly swim without destroying the collar.
You’ll also be in awe knowing how the collar receiver is one of the lightest and smallest available in the market. At a mere 1.1 oz., it is small and light enough for a little 8-pound dog to wear.
This 2018 model is the second generation eXtreme Dog Fence system that comes with updated electronics and components that can cover up to 25 acres of containment. Standard Kit includes a digital transmitter, 20-gauge high tensile boundary wire (with heavy protective jacket), splice kits, and 50 training flags.
Overall, the eXtreme Dog Fence system is the premier static correction pet containment system recommended for pet-parents that need a feature-rich transmitter and standard component to train their dog and keep their furballs safely contained in the desired perimeter.
5. Sit Boo-Boo Flextrainer Hidden Fence System - Advanced Electric Hidden Dog Fence
- Strong enough for active families
- Highest rating waterproof collar
- System withstands any weather
- Reliable signal
- Quiet surge protection
- Wide, 20-acre range
- Above or In-Ground
- 20 Gauge solid copper wire
- Durable copper wire
- Safest Progressive Correction
- 3 Auto-Correction modes
- Auto shut off safety feature
- Supports unlimited collars
- Warranty: 1yr replacement
- Few complaints on indicator lights
- Might be a bit hard to install
- You might need an outdoor outlet
Smarter, safer sensors is what the Sit Boo-Boo Flextrainer Hidden Fence System is boasting – which makes this product quite appealing. The sensors are designed to deal with your escape artist. Moreover, it has an auto shutoff feature that prevents overcorrection.
You’ll also like the auto-train feature that is smart enough to evaluate your dog’s temperament by sensing how close the pet is to the fence and simultaneously adjusts the correction levels just accordingly. This means it’s highly possible to train your dog without even hurting him.
Premium surge protection feature and power stop technology makes the device totally safe by defending it against spikes and surges and works quietly enough.
The collar is waterproof and a single battery charge can last for a staggering 288 hours of use. The solid copper wire alone is pretty impressive. The package includes 500-feet of industrial grade wire and a transmitter that you can use up to 20 acres of land area – built to last and can resist all types of conditions. The company even boasts how this product is made with the same materials in marine and aerospace construction. You can be confident you’re using high-quality fence system you can rely on.
Overall, the Sit Boo-Boo Flextrainer Hidden Fence System is the right investment for people looking for superior construction, intelligent system that can survive the challenges of an outdoor environment and can last longer.
What are the types of invisible dog fences?
There are two types – wired fences and wireless fences. This section will help you learn the differences between the two as well the boons and banes that accompany each type.
1. Wired system
Wired dog fences can be further categorized into two – underground and above-ground – which determines where they are suitable to be installed. However, most models are versatile enough to be used either way.
A wired system is linked to a transmitter inside your home and is tuned with the collar receiver. Together they work in coalesce, communicating to each other, to give real-time responses should the collar comes closer to the boundary or possibly beyond.
- Expect a stable signal; even when you are in a hill or a place with a lot of trees that could otherwise disrupt radio waves.
- Boundary is stable; as long as buried or uninterrupted.
- You are free to customize the shape of the boundary through the wires.
- For underground: you still need to dig the ground and bury the wire.
- Hard to modify the shape once installed, especially the underground variant.
2. Wireless system
From the name itself, you can now have an obvious inference about wireless dog fence systems – you don’t need to deal with wires. This means you don’t need to dig your soil and bury something.
A wireless system utilizes a transmitter (inside the house) that sends radio waves to the collar receiver, therefore setting boundaries.
- Since there are no wires, the system is totally portable and easy to transfer from one place to another.
- Perfect for RV travelers who bring their pets along. They can set a virtual fence in any campground and uninstall it just as easily when they move out.
- No more digging up soil and setting wires underground.
- Very easy to install. You simply have to plug it and define your boundary.
- Not suitable for all environment types, especially a place with a lot of bushes, trees, even hills as the system may find it difficult to transmit the radio waves (that travel in straight lines).
- You can’t modify the shape of your boundary. You can only assign a circular area since there are no wires to define it.
The best invisible dog fence buying guide
1. Number of collars
You can start with the number of collars first, which basically depends on how many dogs you have. Most fence systems come standard with one collar, meaning you have to separately buy another collar if you need another. This means additional cost because prices tend to come up when you buy them separately.
There are some fence systems like the eXtreme Dog Fence system that comes in different packages: 1 dog system, 2 dog system, 3 dog system, and so on. This means you can save on cost, time, shipping, and effort on separately buying another collar because you can do it in one order.
Also, you need to make sure that your transmitter can support multiple collars. Don’t buy too many collars as you may end up disappointed by a transmitter that can only support a couple or a little more. If you’ve got multiple dogs in your household, you can opt for the SportDog Brand or the Sit Boo-Boo as they support an unlimited number of collars.
Another important factor to consider is the range of your wireless fence. Are you living in an exclusive community with uniform lot areas, or are you living in the countryside with a vast landscape as your yard?
The range determines how large the area your animal can roam freely without them being corrected by the stimulators. There are two ways to determine the range needed and they depend on what type of invisible dog fence you choose:
- The length in feet of the perimeter for wired systems.
- The area of the yard or land for wireless systems.
A wise step is to get a tape measure and start evaluating how long you need the wire to be. It’s also not that hard to estimate the area of the land you want to cover.
Note: wireless systems work in a circular area so you might want to measure FROM where you intend to place the transmitter.
The type of battery used by your fence system can be both a saving grace and a trap. First, make sure the battery indicator is accurate.
The eXtreme dog fence system, for instance, is designed to check the collar’s battery up to 12 times a day or every two hours to ensure accuracy in the status, consequently eliminating false battery indication. With that, you can save both time and money.
The only downside of proprietary batteries can get evident when they malfunction and already need replacement. You’ll be forced to purchase new batteries ONLY from the manufacturer alone especially if they are non-standard.
So you might also want to opt for a brand that uses batteries that you can buy in common stores. The PetSafe Stubborn Dog Fence system and the SportDog Brand both use a standard 9-volt battery. With that, you won’t have a hard time finding a replacement whenever needed.
4. Adjustable level of corrections
You should look out for this feature because not all dogs are the same. Your beloved pet may not be that sensitive or he could also be super sensitive. This is the main reason why you should opt for a model that allows you to adjust the level of correction.
Being free to adjust the level of correction means you can minimize discomfort and you’ll be able to modify just the right amount of stimulation needed to train your dog.
While taking your dog to the park or walking them around the block ensures they get some fresh air, simply letting them out in your yard is highly more convenient and it would be quicker to fetch them.
Any of the five systems above can compete for the best invisible dog fence title. You simply have to evaluate your needs and finally choose one. The next thing you’ll know is you’re living with a happy, free dog in your yard while you indulge in your peace of mind!