Our pet dogs aren’t going to stay in the yard without a little encouragement and training. There is too much out in that big wide world to tempt them away. The neighbors probably have dogs of their own that are fun to play with. Perhaps there are neighborhood cats or squirrels to chase around. Sometimes that smell down the street is just too enticing.
When dogs are determined enough to leave the yard, and aren’t trained not to, they can run off and get into all sorts of trouble. This is why pet owners need to find the best wireless dog fence.
5 Best Wireless Dog Fences: Comparison
|1. PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence||Key features:|
|2. Petsafe Wireless Pet Containment System||Key features:|
|3. PetControlHQ Wireless Combo Dog Fence||Key features:|
|4. Extreme Electric Dog Fence||Key features:|
|5. SpotOn GPS Wireless Dog Fence||Key features:|
First and Foremost: What is the Wireless (or Invisible) Dog Fence?
The idea behind this wireless pet containment system is simple.
You set up a boundary – either with a central transmitter or an in-ground wire – and place a receiver on the collar of the dog. When the dog gets too close to the boundary, they will receive correction in the form of static, vibration, or a sound. As you train your dog, it will learn not to pass beyond the point of the fence boundaries and remain in the safe zone you have created for them.
Why are Wireless Fences so Popular with Pet Owners?
The next question that you might ask here is simple. Why buy one of these wireless dog fences when you can put up a physical boundary instead? There are a couple of issues to consider here.
The first is the fact that it may not be practical to have a traditional ground fence. Homeowner regulations and property plans may mean that you can’t secure the entire perimeter. Also, neighbors may not be too keen on you building massive dog fences adjacent to their own property. Then there is the fact that a physical fence may be no match for your dog. It may be able to dig underneath or jump over it – depending on their physical strength, agility, and determination.
This is why so many dog owners turn to these invisible wireless dog fences. The wireless containment system means that you can create a boundary that makes no difference to the neighbors and should be escape-proof.
Wireless Dog Fence vs. In-ground Fence
There are pros and cons to both the invisible wireless fence and in-ground fence options, depending on your property and situation. Let’s take a closer look at both solutions to see which may suit you better.
Wireless dog fence:
Wireless electric dog fences slightly differ from an in-ground fence. The basic principles are the same, though – the dog still wears the same sort of receiver collars with the same forms of correction. The difference is that the boundary comes from a circular zone with a transmitter in the center.
In-ground dog fence:
In-ground invisible dog fences use a strong wire through the ground. The border marked out via this wire indicates the boundaries of the property. The transmitter sends a signal to the dog collar and corrects the dog as needed via contact points.
10 Best Wireless Dog Fences Reviewed
Below are some in-ground and wireless dog fence reviews of the very best options on the market right now. They come from a range of respected brands and have many important features. They made it to our top 10 based on our hands-on experience and research. We have compiled some of the key features here to help you compare your options.
1. PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence – Best Wireless Fence
As we mentioned above, the PetSafe Stay & Play wireless fence vaulted past all other wireless dog fence systems because of its unparalleled quality.
The first model in our PetSafe wireless dog fence reviews, Stay & Play (spoiler alert: there will be quite a few from this brand), has a smaller circular range of just 0.75 acres. If this is not a deal-breaker for you and you don’t have an enormous yard, this wireless fence system will cater to all that you (and your dog) need.
It comes with 50 training flags and a rechargeable, adjustable receiver collar that extends from 6 to 23 inches. Considering that they are 5 levels of correction, as well as a tone-only training mode, it will be easy for your dog to adapt to this fence.
Additionally, there’s a static-free reentry feature that allows your dog to return to the safe zone without being corrected, which is also useful.
2. PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment Systems – Runner-Up
Moving onto another PetSafe wireless dog fence, we immediately noticed their signature quality.
This model lets users create a circular containment area up to 90 feet. This is smaller than the ones above, but it should be enough for many suburban yards.
Just like its sibling on the list, this fence by PetSafe has 5 levels of correction and a tone-only mode for training. Also, your dog can come back if it has crossed the boundaries without correction due to the static-free reentry.
The promise is that you can train your pet in just two weeks when used correctly. We have to admit – this sounded too pretentious at first, but it actually turned out to be true!
3. PetControlHQ Wireless Combo Invisible – Best Dog Fence for Large Dogs
These powerful, vast systems are appealing to anyone looking for the best invisible wireless fence for large dogs.
The strong collars and range of options mean that there is potential for multiple dogs and all breeds.
This system is 2-in-1. What does it mean? Basically, you can use it as a below-ground wired system combined with the training collar. This model has 492ft of 20 gauge boundary wire, 50 flags for training, and an excellent receiver collar.
The battery lasts for around 4 days, which is OK – we’ve seen better, and we’ve seen worse.
4. Extreme Dog Fence – Custom Shape Wireless Fence
The Extreme dog fence is a new and improved in-ground model that can cover an area of up to 25 acres (the previous version was only 10 acres). With this custom shape wireless dog fence, you get a lot of almost unmatched durability.
The manufacturers have also upped their ante on the features of this electric dog fence system.
It comes with updated electronics on the collars, with 3 antennas, and improved responses. There’s a 20 gauge wire with a protective jacket, digital transmitter, and plenty of boundary flags.
There’s no going around the elephant in the room: this fence is pricey. But if you’re willing to splurge, you’ll get a lot of value.
5. The SpotOn Virtual – Best GPS Wireless Fence
This product will stand out to dog owners immediately because of the promises of a customizable perimeter and the smart GPS connection.
The idea is that you don’t need that awkward signal from the transmitter when you can set up a GPS locator on the collar and a more adaptive boundary. This area can be any shape between 0.5 and 1000 acres. The collar and your mobile device will work together to keep your dog where it should be.
In general, it might be easier to adapt your dog to a GPS system – so if you like the idea behind it, give the SpotOn Virtual fence a try!
You’ll get everything to get you started, including the flags for training, a wall charger, a USB cable, and a quick start guide (that is quite easy-to-follow).
The Sit Boo invisible fence model is appealing to many dog owners because of the idea that it can auto-adjust to multiple dogs’ needs.
This hints at a system that is able to customize itself and make things easier for both the dog and the dog owner. It surpassed the Free to Roam fence for its versatility and expandable containment area.
Namely, the system contains 500ft of industrial-grade copper wire and a transmitter. You can use it to cover up to 20 acres of land.
Its correction levels cannot go unmentioned, either – it has 7 different settings plus built-in surge protection that ensures the maximum level of comfort for your dog.
7. PetSafe Indoor Wireless Electric Fence PET Barrier for Dogs – Top Indoor Fence
This model is an indoor wireless dog fence to stop animals from jumping up onto couches, going near the stairs, or generally being where they shouldn’t.
The range on this model is wide, with a radius between 3.3 feet and 10 feet from the target. This should prove to be more effective as a deterrent. There is a warning tone when dogs approach the transmitter and then increased static if they don’t move away.
Oh, and if you already have an outdoor PetSafe containment system for your dog, the collar will be compatible with this one, too.
This adjustable model has great potential for all kinds of breeds and puppies – as well as some cats. There aren’t too many problems with this option as it seems to be reliable enough for most owners’ needs. Some might argue that there could be more settings for intensity levels on the collar – as there are only three of them.
Another PetSafe model? Yes! They are one of the most reputable wireless fence manufacturers for a good reason.
As the name suggests, this product is best suited to a smaller dog breed. The collar is small-scale, with adjustments between 6 and 26 inches. And while the collar is less adjustable and the demographic more niche, there is still the same full-on kit offered by PetSafe. Users get the transmitter, wire, flags, and even an instructional training DVD. This all means that this should be easy to adapt to your dog, even for those with minimal experience.
There is also the benefit that this system has 4 levels of static correction, including a tone-only mode for training. However, there are some buyers that question the worth of this product for all breeds.
There are many comments about tough, stubborn dogs ignoring the static because it simply wasn’t strong enough to deter them from their quest to break the boundary. There are also some issues with the durability of the prongs.
9. AngelaKerry Wireless Dog Fence System – Budget-Friendly Pick
The main selling point with this model is the fact that it has a GPS system. This means that the device should be able to track the location of a dog within an 800-meter radius.
The signal is sent to a strong waterproof collar that is adjustable to fit dogs up to 120 lbs. The idea here is that this system is far more reliable for correction than a typical radio wireless signal. Other benefits here are the range of 7 sensitivity levels in the static collar and the strong build.
However, the biggest concern here is that there are too many unsuitable scenarios for such a “reliable” GPS system. They claim that this is ideal because there isn’t the same metal interference. Yet, there is a warning not to use this near the edge of a tall building, near thick tree cover, or on days with dark clouds.
Like some of the other smarter systems in this guide, this wireless dog fence system allows for lots of different configurations so that users can create the right type of boundary for their animals. This means single and double loops, zones within zones, and other barriers. Ideally, pet owners should be able to customize the set-up to the needs of the dog as well as the configuration of the land.
There is a 200m wire for a smaller yard, a waterproof collar with static correction, and the chance to use multiple collars as needed.
The premise of this system is pretty good. The design of the perimeter and the controls on the receiver should allow for a good experience. The problem is that many users have struggled with inconsistent signals and the build quality of the components.
Important features to consider for the wireless system:
#1 – The Range
The range of the system can vary from product to product. Make sure that the maximum range from the transmitter is enough to cover the property, especially if you have a large yard. You don’t want to confine your dog in too small of a space.
#2 – The Reliability
The reliability of that range must also be considered. Check user reviews on a product to see how reliable the range is. Does the boundary deviate? How susceptible is it to interference from metallic objects? In our guide, we made sure to address these issues for the 10 best products.
#3 -The Ease of Assembly
Most of these products are essentially plug-n-play devices with minimal installation. Still, it helps to check exactly what is required to avoid any mistakes. If we noticed that a fence comes with instructions or a quick guide, we stated it above so that you know what to expect. In general, the whole installation process should not take more than two hours. If it does, that’s a sign that it is unnecessarily complicated.
The transmitter is just one part of the package. Make sure that there is some form of charging device for the batteries. Also, check to see how many training flags are in the box. Some systems also come with extra features, such as a low battery indicator.
#5 – Collar Compatibility
This feature refers to the number of collars that you can connect up to the transmitter. Many packs will only come with one collar. However, some systems are adaptable for use with more than one collar. This is worth considering for properties with more than one dog.
Important features to look out for when focusing on the dog collar:
#1 – The Means of Static Correction
The way that you correct the dog is important. Many of the best collars have a choice of vibrations and tones with a sliding scale on intensity. This means you can fine-tune the product to your needs and track your dog’s behavior to see how they will react to it.
#2 – The Adjustable Nature of the Collar
The collar should also be adjustable to fit the neck of the dog with ease. If it is too tight, then it could be a safety risk. Too loose – and the dog may escape. Check the specifications before purchasing and measure your dog’s neck if needed.
#3 – The Security
Security is important here in terms of both the clips on the collar and its durability. The best collars have a tough, waterproof housing so that dogs can play in the water or be out in the rain. These can also sustain your garden watering systems.
#4 -Battery Life
Finally, read up on the battery life of these collars. Some systems last for weeks before they need to be recharged. Others may only last for a couple of days. Also, check to see how long it takes to recharge the collar.
Frequently asked questions
We wanted to dedicate a portion of our time to address some of the queries our readers may have.
1. Are wireless fences safe to use?
In short: Yes!
We can understand why you may be worried.
This is a big concern because of recent issues with shock collars and bans on some devices. But there are different products with different options. It is possible to get models that are purely for vibration and tone. You can set these collars to a safe level. Remember that you only want to tell the dog they are doing something wrong. You don’t want to punish them for a mistake as they learn.
Ultimately, you are doing it for your four-legged friend’s safety and well-being!
2. Can I use electric dog fences on puppies?
This is a great question. The answer is yes, but we recommend that you be careful and monitor the dogs closely. It always helps to train dogs early, so they don’t learn bad habits. At the same time, you don’t want to put them at risk of distress. As long as the vibrations are minimal, the collar fits, and the training is clear, you can use these on puppies over 6 months old.
3. Can I use a wireless system on any breed?
The answer here may depend on the product that you choose. Most of the wireless dog fences will have adjustable collars. Generally, there’s a model for any size – from small to large dogs – but you do need to measure your dog’s neck to be sure it will fit. As long as the collar fits and they understand the static correction, it should work. Success has much more to do with the quality of the product and the training you provide than the breed of your dog.
4. Is it true that I can’t park my car near the transmitter?
Unfortunately, this is the case for a lot of these products. These containment systems rely on a strong connection in a clear radius from the transmitter to the boundary. Metallic objects can disrupt that signal, which may potentially break the boundary (or move it slightly). Cars are one such metallic object, so don’t place the transmitter close to the drive. Also, don’t place it near metal roofs or other similar structures.
5. How does my dog understand where the boundaries are?
There is more to this system than putting a collar on a dog, a transmitter in the yard and letting it run free. There are steps you need to take to train your dog on where the boundary is and how to use the wireless containment system. We will talk about this a little more below.
Benefits of having wireless dog fences
Another common question is whether or not it is really worth the time and money to install these systems on your property. Again, we have to remember that there are pros and cons to both in-ground dog fence products and above ground wireless electric dog fences. The main benefits here are as follows:
- Ease of use
- Simple correction systems
- Great results
These wireless dog fence above ground solutions are easy to set up and modify as needed. This means that, where possible, you can extend the range or relocate the transmitter. There is no need for hard landscaping to install wires and create precision layouts. The approach may be more simplistic, but it can offer the same results when used correctly. With the right range and correction signal, your pets can learn their boundaries. With time, they won’t need the collar at all. The added benefit here with the wireless dog fences is that you can always re-use them if you ever get a new puppy.
Don’t Forget About The Importance Of Training!
Your dog may be a smart breed, but they aren’t going to learn all of this by themselves. Successful boundary training in a minimal amount of time requires the right training. They need to understand why their new collar makes those sounds or vibrations when they stray too far. They need to understand where that boundary is. They also need to be introduced to the concepts gradually to avoid stress. The worst thing that you can do here is set up a new fence, turn the collar to a high setting, and let the dog loose. They will be confused by all the changes and scared of the results. Work with them in gradual steps.
Some Tips & Tricks on Training
- Let your dog get used to the collar before you turn on the fence. There are lots of different things for dogs to get used to in this training program. Don’t give them too much to handle at once. Let them wear the collar and get used to it for a few days.
- After a few days with the collar on, you can put them on the leash and walk them around the perimeter of the new boundary. Make sure to set out all the boundary flags and let the dog have a good sniff. Continue this for a few days until the dog begins to learn its limits in the yard.
- Then you can activate the fence and the collar. Walk them around again and let them see what happens when they get close to the boundary zone. Don’t do this for too long. Limit the time they spend wearing the collar to avoid discomfort or distress.
- Show them the safe way out. There is one entrance/exit to the property that acts as an invisible gate. This is where they can leave with you, on the leash, with no correction. Guide them through this area so they know the difference between the safe point and the boundaries.
- Let them off the leash with the collar activated so they can use the yard as normal. They need to be able to act like a normal dog and prove that they understand what they were taught. Even so, you need to make sure that they are monitored at all times, just in case there is a fault with the system or the dog gets upset.
In short, it is possible to help your dog respect their boundaries with the right training and the best invisible dog fence.
The products that we have listed here today showcase some of the best features that are available in top-rated dog containment systems. The in-ground electric fences are a little time consuming, but the best have strong, long wires for vast areas. They also offer great connections to one or multiple collars. The wireless dog fences don’t have the same range or consistency, but they do have a simple installation process and are easy to use. They, too, have some great adjustable, waterproof collars with different correction modes.
The wireless dog fences don’t have to be a cause for concern or stress in your dog. There are some terrible products out there that give the market a bad name, all because of their intense shocks or unreliable boundaries. However, there are also many more that are safe and effective thanks to their connections and options.
If you are prepared to put in the work and train your dogs well, you will find that you can teach them to respect their boundaries in no time. And there’s no better feeling in the world than knowing you’re doing something good for your beloved doggo – not to mention the peace of mind that you get!
Dawn Bradley is a content writer, blogger and animal lover. She is also a pet parent. She has written many reviews and guides aimed at helping our four-legged friends and, in turn, their two legged owners. She also runs a nature blog about her home town of Plymouth, UK.