When you are a homeowner with a generous yard around the house, having a pet seems like a wonderful idea. While it’s true that there are smaller dog breeds that could grow happily in an apartment, giving them the opportunity to grow outdoors is a dozen times better, as even the smallest of dogs like to run around and play.
However, since you likely don’t want your dog to run out into the streets, installing a dog fence is mandatory. But what happens when that fence interferes with your yard from an aesthetic point of view? You opt for an invisible dog fence, of course! To learn more about what an invisible dog fence is and what it can do, keep reading this article.
Top 3 Picks
Best Overall: PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment System
“The peace of mind knowing she is not getting in the road or venturing out of our yard is priceless!!! Recommend a thousand times over!!!” (Customer review)
Best Price: PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence
With the possibility to purchase additional wire and extend the coverage area to a maximum of 10 acres, the YardMax is one of the most reliable invisible dog fences available in a complete kit.
Best Underground: Extreme Dog Fence – Second Generation
“I really like this product. It is very easy to use and set up.” (Customer review)
What to Look For
Choosing an electric dog fence can be a complicated matter because of the implications of using such a product. Not only are you interested in an invisible unit that will maintain the existing outdoor setup as much as possible, but we’re also talking about the safety and well-being of your dog. That being said, here are the things to pay attention to when choosing an invisible dog fence:
There are two types of invisible dog fences, with each of them being suited for specific situations. A wireless dog fence creates a 360-degree barrier using a transmitter and the power of radio frequency. These systems are easy to install because all you have to do is plug them in and adjust the perimeter to fit the entire yard or just part of it. They are often chosen by people with square-shaped yards and are a good choice if you travel a lot like to take your dog with you on your camping trips. Hybrid or underground invisible fences have a wire buried into the ground to establish the perimeter in which your dog is free to run and play. They are the best choices for odd-shaped yards and are available in a wide range of sizes that can fit small and big properties alike.
The area coverage of an invisible dog fence is another important shopping aspect. Different invisible dog fence models are available for different types of yard sizes. For a larger yard, you are going to need a powerful system, and underground/hybrid systems usually work best in these situations.
How Many Dogs?
But what happens when you have multiple dogs? Adding more than one collar to the system is quite easy because they work as receivers that help detect the signal through the wireless system. Make sure that any additional collar that you purchase is compatible with the system in question. Also, take note that a good collar needs to have a swappable contact, using shorter contact for dog breeds with short hair and longer contact usually being more suitable for dog breeds with longer hair.
Dog owners that opt for invisible dog fences do so for two main reasons: either to contain the dog within the perimeter of the yard or to repel them away from a specific area, such as the garden. For the latter situation, you can simply loop the restricted area using the following method: loop the area that you don’t want your dog to access using untwisted wire, and then twist the rest of it so that it doesn’t transmit to the collar and allows your dog to run freely in other areas of the yard.
It’s important to opt for an invisible dog fence that allows you to adjust the electrical correction level that a dog received when crossing the fence line. More dogs are more sensitive to the shock, while larger and more energetic breeds might not respond to subtle shocks. The electrical correction is usually done through a dial that’s located on the collar. This setting is super important, so try to focus your attention on systems that have it.
Some kits are delivered together with a handheld remote that offers more flexibility when it comes to adjusting the settings on the dog collar. It will also help you in your training endeavors, as you can correct unwanted behaviors with ease. Keep in mind that all the corrections you make will have an impact on how fast the battery is drained.
The last thing that you want to take a look at is the battery system. Underground invisible dog fences can be equipped with surge protection or battery backup, which is particularly important if you live in an area where you experience frequent power outages. These systems can give your fences some extra juice for a few more days, making sure that your dogs don’t go outside the perimeter even during a power outage.
How to Install Your Invisible Dog Fence
The installation process of an invisible dog fence depends on the type of system that you choose in the first place:
- Wireless systems are the easiest ones to install because all you need to do is plug in the transmitter into a power outlet and then make the distance settings so you can set up the exact perimeter that your dog is allowed to play in.
- Underground systems are a little more complicated to install because you first have to install the transmitter in the area that your dog is allowed to play in, and then you have to loop the wire in areas of the yard that you don’t want your dog to access. Once you plug in the system and make adjustments to the signal running through the wire, you’re pretty much good to go.
- Keep in mind that regardless of the system chosen, it’s a good idea to somehow mark the area that your dog is not allowed to cross (some people like to use red flags, but others can get even more creative with their signaling system). You will find that kits generally come with flags that you need to install across the edge so your dog can have a visual cue of the lines they’re not allowed to cross.
- Installing the flags is easy, as most of them just require you driving a stake through the ground. You can easily remove them once the dog has been trained to respect the perimeter.
Best Invisible Dog Fence
If you’re interested in purchasing a wireless invisible dog fence, PetSafe is one of the most reliable brands that you can turn to. This particular system is designed to cover up to ½ acres from the point where the transmitter is being plugged in. It comes with a waterproof collar that’s suitable for dogs of at least 8 pounds. It is adjustable so it can fit neck sizes ranging between six and 28 inches.
The battery life promises to last about two months before it requires replacing (the compatible replacement is a PetSafeRFA-67D-11 battery). You can modify the settings of the collar by choosing the sound-only training mode or one of the five levels of static electricity emitted by the collar. It’s also important to note that you can add an unlimited number of collars to the system and customize them for each dog in particular.
- Works with an unlimited number of collars.
- Easy to train dogs.
- Multiple collar settings.
- Complaints about long term unreliability.
Another reliable invisible dog fence brought to you by PetSafe is the YardMax: a solution suitable for all those looking for an underground fence to keep dogs in a perimeter or outside of one. It can cover an area of up to 500 feet, but there is also a version that covers areas of up to 1,000 feet. The manufacturer states that you can purchase additional wire and create a system that covers even up to 10 acres, which is pretty impressive.
The collars that are compatible with the system are rechargeable, which eliminates any extra costs of having to purchase a new battery once the existing one runs out of juice. The adjustable collar can be modified to fit neck sizes of six to 28 inches, and it’s designed with a waterproof construction.
- Rechargeable battery.
- Five levels of static correction.
- Sound cue integration.
- Complaints about a complicated setup process.
The Extreme Dog Fence that you’re currently looking at is considered to be one of the most reliable underground invisible fence options for those of you looking to restrict the area in which your dog can run around. It is a complete kit that offers all the benefits you’d expect to see in such a product. The kit comes with a 14-gauge heavy-duty wire and 16-gauge twisted wire that can resist underground for prolonged periods of time.
The collars that this kit comes with are completely waterproof, meaning that your dog can even swim with this thing safely. You can choose kits with one or multiple collars included, depending on how many dogs you have. The fence transmitter is a very compact and elegant unit, allowing you to set the signal field and adjust the correction level of the collars.
- Highly waterproof active collar.
- Includes boundary and twisted wire.
- Good for dogs with short and long hair.
- Batteries drain pretty fast.
The last option that we wanted to show you today is a wireless dog containment system that comes with all the components needed to make it work and offering peace of mind knowing that your dog won’t run off into the streets. The receiver is designed to produce a small electric shock and works at a 433MHz channel frequency with improved transmission efficiency.
The system works with a vibration signal to alert your dog that they’re close to the edge of the perimeter, followed by a small electric shock in case the dog doesn’t step back from the edge. The collar is waterproof and it can be adjusted to fit neck sizes from eight to 28 inches. There are two conductive spots sold together with the system, so the collars will work for both dogs with short and long hair.
- 90 levels of perimeter adjustment.
- IPX7 waterproof rated collar.
- Includes two collars.
- Some kits are delivered with missing items.
How much does it cost to install an invisible fence?
There are different variables that will determine how much it costs to install an invisible dog fence, with the most important ones being the size you’re trying to cover and the area where you live. To cover one acre (which is around 850 feet), the average installation costs is around $1,250. For two acres (which is around 1,700 feet), the average cost is $2,600.
Do invisible dog fences work?
Experts believe that invisible dog fences are about 70 percent efficient because they do have some limitations that are worth mentioning. While they do manage to keep the majority of dogs within the pre-established perimeter, some dogs could pass through the fence if they are willing to ignore the electric shock and decide the rewards of running out in the street or inside that vegetable garden is more worth it that the actual shock itself.
Is an invisible dog fence inhumane?
This is a subject that’s still up for debate and you will hear a lot of pro and con opinions on the matter. Instead of saying that dog fences are inhumane or absolutely recommended, let’s take an objective look at what they can do. Some dogs could end up developing aggression and anxiety if they associate those shocks with something else (for instance, if bikes happen to pass by them when they receive the shock, they could associate these two and begin to act aggressive towards people on a bike). To some, the shock could be painful, which is why it’s super important to adjust this jolt depending on your dog’s size, breed, age, and sensitivity levels. If you invest in a high-quality invisible dog fence and you train your dog to respect the boundaries whilst actually being invested in their well-being as they’re getting adjusted to the system, an invisible dog fence doesn’t have to be inhumane.
What is the best invisible fence for dogs?
Some of the most popular invisible dog fence brands on the market include names such as PetSafe, Extreme Dog Fence, and SpotOn.
An invisible dog fence is a reliable compromise that doesn’t make you choose between giving your dog freedom to run around the yard and containing them into a more restricted area that doesn’t allow them to run into the streets. With such a product, you can maintain your gorgeous landscape and eliminate the hassle of having to mend broken wires. If you’re concerned about the potential inhumane implications that such a system can have on the well-being of your dog, look for trusted options, such as the products we’ve talked about earlier in this article.