Updated November 2018

Best Electric Dog Fences

WHY BELIEVE HOUSE METHOD?

We analyze consumer reviews to find the best products on the web. We buy products with our own money and test them in our lab. We also interview experts and conduct independent research to pick the winners. We have affiliate partnerships so we may get a share of revenue from purchases. It’s how we fund our Research Lab and bring you better reviews and comparisons. Read more.

Best Electric Dog Fences Updated November 2018

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

SportDOG

100-Acre, In-Ground Dog Fence
Check Price at: 1 store
100-acre coverage makes this the best electric dog fence for letting your pet roam without worrying about its safety.
Easy to install with a flexible range for all property types.
The large battery on this collar may be uncomfortable for dogs less than 10 pounds.

PetSafe

Wireless Pet Containment System
Check Price at: 1 store
This is probably the easiest fence on our list to install, making it great for pet owners who are looking for a quick fix.
Simple installation plus 5 different levels of correction.
Wireless dog fence results in some inconsistency in the boundary lines.

Perimeter Technologies

Ultimate Electric Fence
Check Price at: 1 store
Installation may be more difficult, but this is a good choice for those with multiple pets.
Expandable for up to 5 dogs and a variety of property sizes.
Time-consuming setup with several wires. Heavy collar may be uncomfortable for large dogs.

Friendly Pet Products

Wireless, 100% Safe & Reliable
Check Price at: 1 store
Battery life is questionable, but unlimited range keeps this fence in our top 5.
Wireless for simple installation and an unlimited range.
Some users reported low battery performance.

High Tech Pet

Humane Contain
Check Price at: 1 store
It’s the most affordable option on our list, but less reliable.
Stimulus adjusted based on how far your dog is from the fence.
Some reviewers noted inconsistent functionality.

Our process

3,578
Customer Reviews
8
Products
36
Hours

We turned to trusted online reviewers, consumer comments and national associations to help you find smart, safe dog fence options. Amazon’s Choice in the “invisible fence for dogs” space has a whopping 551 customer reviews and 616 answered questions. That’s a lot of in-use testing and advice to sort through, so we did it for you in this comprehensive look at the online invisible dog fence market.

Invisible fence reviews guide

Electric dog fences are a humane way to let your pet roam freely while still keeping them contained safely in your yard. Purchasing a pet fence is a more affordable, timely solution than building a physical barrier around your property.

Choosing an invisible dog fence can be difficult. Like any other purchase, you want to find a high-quality product within your budget, but now you must also consider the safety and wellbeing of your pet. You don’t want to skimp and risk an unreliable or unsafe product that could hurt your animal. Refer to our product comparison chart above and resource guide below to inform your decision on which type of electric dog fence is right for your yard and pet. We’ll address five factors to consider before you buy as well as common questions we encountered in testing.

Types of electric dog fences

There are two types of invisible dog fences sold today – wired and wireless dog fences. Each type covers a different space and is installed differently, but both usually come with expandable options. Some products include extra wire for homeowners with a lot of land. The option to add multiple collars to a system is also available for those blessed with not only one, but two (or more) pets. Bottom line is – it’s important to buy the fence that will work best with your yard and your animal.

Wired electric fences

Installing a wired electric fence may require some digging in order to bury the line around your property. This takes some work but it allows more flexibility in the shape the area you want to cover, which is especially helpful for curved or sloped lots. Wired pet fences also help you cover a lot of ground, as you’re not beholden to the range of a transmitter. Wired fencing may also be more reliable because it’s connected to a constant power source rather than a battery.

You should check the line occasionally to ensure it hasn’t been broken or worn down by the elements. You will also need to find a dry place to store the system’s base.

Wireless electric fences

Wireless dog fences create an invisible line around your property using a few remote transmitters. These components “talk” to one another to create a boundary. This wireless connectivity does limit your ability to shape the outline of your boundary, as components need to maintain a good line of sight to one another. On the plus side, though, they are flexible, mobile, and easy to set up.

As with anything that is wireless or electronic and exposed to the elements, a wireless pet fence system may be more susceptible to inconsistencies than a wired system. Check batteries and test the product regularly to make sure your system isn’t temporarily down when you think your dog is properly contained.

The American Kennel Club reported an increase in pet theft in July 2018. Preventing your pet from wandering beyond your property line is important for their safety.”

Many manufacturers will include flags or markers to use when fence training your dog. This visual aid can be very helpful to pets as they’re learning where their boundaries are.

5 Major factors to consider

Property size

The first factor to consider is the size and shape of the area you want to cover. It’s really important that you purchase the correct kit for your yard so you give the dog enough space to explore the property.

Boundary shape

Each fence delivers a warning before the dog approaches the fence, then delivers a shock at the fence. Some fences deliver an increasing level of correction as the dog approaches the fence. You have to pay attention to this. If you draw a boundary that does not account for a variety of corrections, you may box them in or shock them unnecessarily.

Installation process

According to many wireless dog fence reviews, wireless fences are less cumbersome than the installation process for a wired system. However, the wired systems seem to have fewer issues related to power and consistent functionality. You’ll have to decide whether easier installation or stronger reliability is more important to you.

Collar number and size

Most systems include one collar but give pet owners the option to add more to contain additional dogs. Verify that you’re purchasing the correct components when you decide to expand your system.

Price

It’s difficult to find a system that costs less than $50. Reliable electric dog fences can cost upward of $300. Remember, an investment in quality will go a long way in protecting your pet. Cheaper products may shock your dog unnecessarily or they won’t work when they should, allowing your pet to flee when you’re not looking.

“The Humane Society warns pet owners against keeping electric collars on dogs for an extended period of time. It recommends regularly cleaning the contact area between your pet and their collar.”

Frequently asked questions

Will an invisible fence hurt my dog?

This was the question we heard most often in the office. Everything we could find online said that most fences are designed to deliver a correction that will annoy the dog or that the dog will dislike. The fences are designed to be a nuisance, something to avoid, not to be painful. That said, you do want to purchase a product that has a good reputation and a substantial number of customer reviews. A cheaper product might be more likely to cause your animal harm due to poor construction.

How old does a dog have to be to use an invisible fence?

Although many folks consider eight weeks to be an appropriate age to train puppies, SportDOG In-Ground dog fence and PetSafe Wireless Fence recommend waiting to install an electric fence until your pet is four to six months old. Dogs should know basic “sit” and “stay” commands first. Note: Fence training can take two to three weeks before dogs recognize boundaries.

Is an invisible fence right for my dog?

If you do not want to spend the money on a permanent fence or if you like the aesthetics of a big, open space, these pet fences might be right for you. Consult the important factors we listed above and do your research online before you make a purchase. These dog fences take time to install and may be costly, so consider all of your options to find one that is really right for you.

How do electric fences work?

Installation and setup will differ slightly from product to product, but most electric dog fences work the same way. A radio signal is transmitted to create an invisible boundary around your yard. When your pet gets close to the boundary, the collar beeps or makes noise to alert them. If the fence is touched, the electric dog collar delivers a harmless stimulation (like a vibration or a shock) to prevent them from crossing the boundary.

How much correction does the fence deliver?

The amount of correction, or “shock,” for lack of a better term, varies from system to system. We had some people in the office worry about delivering correction through their dog without first feeling the correction themselves.

We do recommend investing in a system that allows adjustments. The PetSafe Wireless Fence and Perimeter Technologies systems we reviewed have five different levels to choose from, while the SportDOG in-ground dog fence has four. Modify the amount of feedback you give your dog to be commensurate with the dog’s size and your own opinion of what is necessary and reasonable.

Do you have to bury the wire for a dog fence?

No, you do not have to bury the wire for an electric dog fence. Mounting a wired fence is easier to install, however, an underground dog fence will result in a truly “invisible” look and the fence will be protected from lawnmowers. Use a garden spade to bury wires one to three inches underground.

How much does an invisible fence cost?

The fences we reviewed range in price from $50 to $300. The variation in price is largely attributed to the size of the coverage area and the number of components that came with the system.

The team that worked on this review

Marc Lewis
Writer
Kelsey Roadruck
Editor
Jessica Allen
Photographer
Kortney Sweeney
Designer
Anna Cantrell
Developer
Harry
Mascot
Kylo
Mascot
Bailey
Mascot
Gus
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Winston Fitzgerald
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