The best electric dog fence is a system that will offer multiple levels of correction that can be used to teach your dog to remain within the boundaries of your yard. When most people think of an electric fence system, they automatically assume that the amount of static stimulation used is severe, but in reality, it’s very mild. Instead, it simply serves as a way to alert your dog that they’re in an area they shouldn’t be in. Even when placed in the highest setting, the amount of static simulation emitted is gentle.
These systems are used as a more affordable alternative to expensive traditional fences, but they can also be an incredible solution for dog owners who have dogs that are prone to jumping the fence or digging under it.
Breeds such as huskies are known to find weaknesses in traditional fences and constantly escape, which can be both stressful for the dog and pet owner. These electric fences can be the solution you need to keep your pet safe and finally have a little peace of mind knowing that your dog is where they should be.
The Right Invisible Fence for Your Dog
But not all electric dog fence systems are created equal. Some will have faulty systems that can go down, allowing your dog to escape.
Because of this, we spent hours researching the best electric dog fences on the market in order to narrow down our choices for the top five models. We’ve included both in-ground and wireless systems. We have also found systems that are approved for small breed and large breed use.
We’re confident that you’ll find the perfect setup that can work with for your dog and the size and shape of your yard.
All of the models in our top five list also come with free training flags, which are designed to help gradually and gently teach your pet that they cannot cross the boundaries of your yard.
Many of these systems are also priced affordably and are available for a fraction of the price you would pay for a traditional fence.
Your One-Stop Dog Resource
Not only do we have the best buyer’s guide you’ll find online, and in-depth reviews of the leading electric dog fences, we’ve also got information on how to stop dog nail bleeding when you’re giving him a trim. You’ll find helpful tips on how to care for your furry friend the next time you accidentally cut his nails too short.
Have you been considering making your best canine friend an ESA? We’ve also got a great article on how to register your dog as an emotional support animal.
As dog people, we know how important it is to make sure your pet is well taken care of, which is why we have made it our mission to provide you with all the resources you need to keep your pet healthy, safe, and happy.
The Safest and Most Reliable Fences on the Market
Now, let’s begin exploring the leading models of fences on the market beginning with our top-rated product, the SportDog electric fence. This is a very versatile system that’s easy to setup and use and it comes with all the gear and supplies you need for installation and training.
Best Electric Dog Fence-SportDog Electric Pet Fence System
This top-rated electric dog fence offers an impressive range of five thousand feet and has a reputation for reliability and adjustability. The heavy-duty collars are waterproof and a perfect choice for large breeds. The collars feature a total of four correction levels to choose from and independent correction, so you can use the appropriate level based on each individual dog’s response to a specific correction level. While installing the wire can be very time-consuming, setting up the transmitter and collars is very fast and simple, which makes this fence system a great choice for beginners.
Best Wireless Invisible Pet Fence-Wireless Pet Containment System by PetSafe
This model by PetSafe has been rated as the leading wireless system on the market. While it doesn’t offer as much coverage as a traditional in-ground system, it’s perfect for smaller yards, and for the dog owner in search of a system that’s portable and easy to set up and use. It’s a great buy for breeds of all sizes and comes equipped with highly adjustable, lightweight collars. The collar offers five levels of static correction and a beep mode that you can use for training purposes.
Most Durable System-Extreme Dog Fence In-Ground Electric Dog Fence
This model by Extreme Dog Fence includes twenty-gauge wire that’s made out of high tensile steel and coated in a protective jacket for improved durability. The included waterproof collars will allow your dog to wear the collar even during a swim. The durability of the collars makes this set a great choice for large breeds and young dogs who are prone to chewing. Additionally, this system also has a reputation for user-friendliness. It comes with everything you need to get started training your dog ASAP, including a beep mode on the collar and training flags.
Best Choice for Small Breeds-PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-ground Electric Pet Fence
This is a great buy for the dog owner on a budget. The Yardmax comes with lightweight collars that allow you to independently set the correction level for your dog. Additionally, the lightweight design also makes these collars suitable for small breeds and large breeds alike. The system comes with training flags and a collar training mode that allows you to gradually teach your furry friend where they can and can’t go.
Best Choice for Small Yards- PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Electric Dog Fence
The PetSafe Stubborn Dog electric dog fence is budget and user-friendly, and it comes equipped with some great features that will work well for smaller yards. Able to cover up to 1/3 of an acre, this fence kit is a great buy for breeds of all sizes. It also features two waterproof dog collars that are both lightweight and durable. Dog owners will appreciate just how adjustable the collars are in regard to both size and correction level.
Electric Dog Fence Buyer’s Guide
The best electric dog fence will keep your pet safe and secure. These systems are designed to keep one or several dogs safely inside the perimeter of their yard. These sets usually consist of a collar/receiver that the dog wears and a transmitter. There is also a boundary line which can be wireless or wired.
An in-ground system is a system that contains a boundary wire fence. These systems are also referred to as invisible fences because the wire that goes around the duration of the property is buried underground, so it’s completely out of sight. With this type of electric dog fence, you’ll have to hire a ground maintenance professional to dig and fill the trenches or you’ll have to do it yourself. You should also keep in mind that you don’t have to bury the wires at all. Some dog owners choose to run the wire along their property, but the wire should be fixed to some type of existing structure or fence.
How These Invisible Fence Systems Work
While every system varies, basically each set will come with a transmitter that’s plugged into a nearby outlet. Initially, the system is laid out above ground to ensure that everything is working properly before the wire is buried.
The dog wears the collar that has contact points that touch the neck. Once the dog is trained, he or she can roam freely within the boundary area.
The transmitter emits a radio signal through the boundary wire. During training, you can define the boundary of your yard using flags. This is a great visual training aid for your pet. Once the dog gets close to the warning zone the collar will emit a warning beep. If the dog continues walking, a safe stimulation is delivered through the contact points in order to get the dog’s attention, until they return to the proper area within the boundary.
Wireless versus In-Ground
With a wireless system, there is a circular boundary setup used.
Wireless systems aren’t as consistent as an in-ground invisible fence and many pet owners claim that they’re not as effective because the wireless system has to rely on a signal. The signal can be interrupted with solid objects and metal objects, and reliability can often depend on the connection and strength of the signal.
What is Static Stimulation?
There are several ways electric fences are classified. These fences are often classified by the type of correction or cue they deliver.
This system emits a shock and vibration, and a beeping or tone as a training option. Some fences will come with all of these training options while others will only come with one or two.
Most pet owners are hesitant to use this type of system simply because they’re concerned that the shock that is emitted is painful and dangerous for their pet. But many manufacturers claim that the collars emit only a very low level of electricity. If you’re interested in using this type of system and want to know more in regard to how a pet reacts and whether or not these collars are painful we recommend reading electric dog fence reviews to get a realistic look at how each system works and what you can expect in regard to reliability, pain, effectiveness, and training options.
An In-Depth Look at In-Ground Electric Dog Fences
An in-ground fence is the most popular option. They’re the perfect option for irregularly shaped yards or larger yards and tend to be more reliable than wireless systems.
Of course, they’re also more expensive.
Before you choose an in-ground system you should consider the following:
The amount of wire that comes with the system is what will determine how long you’ll be able to run the fence. One thousand feet is equivalent to one acre, so keep this in mind when you’re shopping around. If you have several acres, then you’ll need to ensure the transmitter is able to handle that size area.
If you have more than one dog, you’ll want to know exactly how many collars you can use per transmitter. In most cases, a transmitter can handle as many collars as you buy, but it’s always a good idea to double check before you buy.
A wire with a smaller gauge number equals a thicker wire. Thicker wire often costs more. On the other hand, thicker wires will be less prone to breaking. But in the event that something happens to the wire, the thinner wire is cheaper to replace.
With in-ground fences, you’ll also have to consider whether or not the system will allow you to run the wire pretty much however you want. Some systems will require you to use certain angles to keep the fence operating correctly.
Just like a wireless system, you want the ability to control the correction functions. After training has been completed the collars should be turned down as low as possible, based on your dog’s response.
What to Look for in a Wireless Dog Fence System
With a wireless system, the most important thing to consider is the size of the area that the transmitter can cover. You’ll need to determine if the area mentioned on the spec sheet can cater to your dog’s needs.
The transmitters in some systems are only able to cover half an acre, while other, higher priced systems can cover up to twenty-five acres. Pay attention to the area in which the transmitter functions the best, the shape of the area, and whether the transmitter’s signal can easily pass through obstructions such as sheds, trees, and brush.
You should never set up a transmitter in an area where there are metal furnaces or fixtures because this can limit the transmitter’s radius.
If you have a larger yard, look for a transmitter that covers a wider area.
The best part about a wireless fence is the fact that it can be set up within minutes. Unlike with an in-ground fence, with a wireless fence system, you don’t have to dig trenches or deal with a lengthy installation process.
Instead, what you’ll need to focus on is the positioning of the transmitter. Make sure the transmitter doesn’t have any obstructions around it and that there’s a one hundred and twenty-volt outlet that will be safe from the elements.
There are both waterproof and water-resistant collars available. If your dog loves swimming in the family pool during the summer, opt for the waterproof model. These collars can be submerged in water for hours without damage. A water-resistant collar can handle light to moderate rainfall.
Do you have a hyper, active dog? Then you definitely need a durable collar that’s able to withstand heavy use.
Collar Off Switch
Some types of collars will give owners the option of shutting off the collar as the dog trains with the system, otherwise, if you have a young pup they may end up getting too many shocks as they struggle to understand the new system. This will be an important feature to pay attention to. Ultimately, if you allow the system to continue to shock your dog, and they don’t understand the correction, this can lead to severe anxiety or even aggression in your pet.
Does the transmitter run on electricity or is it battery powered? Does it use rechargeable batteries or disposable ones?
How to Train Your Pup
Before you can relax and can really depend on your new electric dog fence, it’s essential that you train your dog. If your dog is not trained they will not understand why they’re receiving correction. This can lead to confusion and anxiety, causing more unwanted behaviors.
Training your dog to use an electric fence is actually very simple, however, we recommend doing so using short sessions. Shoot for just fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. During training, don’t rely on the fence to keep your dog contained until you’re positive that your dog understands what’s going on.
As long as your animal is at least six months old, they should be trainable.
To do, use the following steps:
- When training with the fence system, keep your dog on a leash at all times until training is complete.
- Use the system’s tone-only mode if your fence comes with that particular option. Set up boundary flags every two to three feet as a visual indicator for your dogs. Bring your pet to the edge of the fence, allowing the collar to beep for a few seconds before backing them up into the yard’s safe zone. The goal is to get your pet to understand that the tone means they need to back up. This step should be repeated until your dog goes back inside the boundary on their own.
- The next step is to introduce the static correction feature. Make sure you place it on the lowest setting. If your pet fails to react to this, then you’ll want to ensure that the collar is working properly, then turn the setting up a notch at a time until the power of the static correction feature causes your dog to avoid the boundary.
- Next, you’ll want to try and introduce some distractions. Bring out some of their favorite toys, throw a ball, or have someone walk by the fence. Try to be creative during this time. Use multiple distractions and continue to introduce new ones until you’re certain that your dog will not try to cross the boundary.
- At this point, you can unleash your pet and allow them to roam. Interact with them, run around, and see how they react. Keep this up for a period of two weeks. After this point, if your dog is consistently avoiding the fence boundary, then he or she should be ready to go out in the yard alone.
- Throughout the duration of the training make sure you use positive reinforcement techniques.
Most dogs tend to catch on very quickly, however, some dogs are very stubborn. You should expect training to take at least a month before you can fully depend on your dog to stay inside the boundary of the fence. During the third week, we recommend slowly removing some of the flags once you’re certain that they are comfortable and fully aware of the boundaries.
Invisible Fence Tips
Before you take the plunge and buy an invisible fence, keep the following information in mind:
These systems are not suitable for dogs under ten pounds. In some cases, these fences are not a good choice for obese dogs.
Not every dog will respond to training or even the highest shock setting. If you’re dealing with an especially stubborn dog, then we recommend using a GPS collar as well if you’re concerned your dog may try to run off at some point after training.
An in-ground fence will require a time-consuming installation process since the wire must be placed underground. You’ll need to set aside two to three days for this step and ensure that everything is properly installed by testing it prior to burying it.
You can rent a fence trencher if you have a very large property. This can save you a lot of time and back-breaking work.
Periodically, it’s smart to test your fence for dead spots. These can be caused by cars, or other large pieces of metal, however, there are many interesting items that can cause these weak spots.
Even if you’re one hundred percent sure that your dog has mastered the boundary limits, all it takes is one badly timed run down the road and things can end very badly for your pet.