One of the most common concerns for pet parents is how to prevent their dogs from escaping from the yard.
Perhaps the first thing you should consider is investing in an invisible dog fence, also sometimes called in-ground dog fences.
These comprehensive kits usually come with some training flags bundled, along with some wire that you need to bury beneath the ground, a digital transmitter, a collar receiver, and some probes.
After you have trained your pup for a few weeks, the fence will then work automatically, administering static correction when your furball breaches the boundaries.
Before you whip out your credit card, though, you should focus on the following pointers:
If you keep these pointers in mind, you should have no problem finding the best fence for your dog’s needs from the leading examples we review below.
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The 6 Best In-Ground Dog Fences
1. Our Pick SportDOG Electric Fence System
SportDOG has a deep bench of pet containment systems. This fence comes from the parent company of Invisible Fence but what makes it stand out?
Off the bat, this system is relatively cheap considering the peace of mind and security it brings. This model is good for one dog and has a maximum coverage area of 1/3 acre. Pick yourself up some more collars and you can keep as many dogs as you like safe and sound at home.
If your dog breaches the boundaries, initial warnings come in the form of a tone which is followed by vibration. If this is not sufficient, static correction should dissuade your furball from wandering.
Unlike some invisible dog fences, the SportDOG is a cinch to install. Everything you need is included, along with detailed instructions.
The collar uses lithium batteries with a lifespan of 2 months. These are rechargeable to cut running expenses. You can get a quick burst of charge in just 2 hours. The collar is submersible to a depth of 25 feet.
The only meaningful downside is that working your way through the settings can be challenging. This is a small price to pay for the value you’ll get all-in.
A 2-year limited guarantee along with a customer service team based in the United States means you can buy with complete confidence.
2. Pet Safe In-Ground Fence for Stubborn Dogs
Do you have an especially stubborn dog who won’t comply with training? If so, not all invisible dog fences will be effective. Consider this model from the legendary Pet Safe that’s specifically designed for dogs like yours.
You’ll get a choice of sizes and styles. 500 feet of wire offers maximum coverage of 1/3 acre. Step up to 1000 feet package and you’ll be all set in areas up to 1 acre. Wire comes in 16 or 20-gauge.
So, whether you want to secure your back yard, your front yard or both, you have plenty of flexibility with this fence.
You get equal freedom with the size of dogs it contains. The collar is designed for neck sizes up to 28 inches on dogs weighing up to 8 pounds.
Set-up is seamless and instructions pretty decent.
With the fence installed, take advantage of the included training guide. Within 2 weeks of training, you can remove the training flags and let the fence do its work while you relax inside, and your pooch plays in the garden.
4 levels of static correction are intense enough that they should stop even stubborn dogs from straying. If the fence still doesn’t work with your dog, you might need to call in the professionals.
US-based customer service is a bonus if anything goes amiss. You’ll find agents are typically responsive and helpful if you run into any snags.
3. Extreme Dog Fence (2nd Generation)
Extreme has an impressive collection of underground dog fences. This complete kit comes in modular form and is one of the most flexible options at your disposal. You will be able to contain an unlimited number of dogs using this set-up. What do you get for your money, then?
Choose from the following lengths of wire to suit the layout of your property:
- 500 ft
- 1000 ft
- 1500 ft
- 2000 ft
- 2500 ft
You can also pick from multiple of sizes according to how many dogs you need to keep safe.
The collar receiver is waterproof and fully submersible unlike much of the opposition which tends to be only water resistant.
This kit comes with 500 feet of wire, 50 training flags so you can ease your pooches in gently along with the digital transmitter, the collar receiver, and 2 sets of probes.
Static correction develops gradually in intensity over 7 levels which should keep the majority of dogs contained. (If your pooch is particularly stubborn, we’ve got something for you down below so read on.) For most normal purposes, though, you should keep your pets safely contained.
Coverage extends to a whopping 6 acres. This should be more than enough for even larger gardens.
Invest in this all-American invisible fence while you’re at home right now and make sure your dog doesn’t end up taking a wander. Extreme gives you the complete package.
4. Dogtra E-Fence
Dogtra serves up a cost-effective in-ground dog fence that doesn’t compromise security or build quality. What do you get for your money, then?
The kit comes with 500 feet of wire included. You can buy more of this 20-gauge wire if you need to secure areas up to 40 acres.
Boasting an inbuilt filtering system, you shouldn’t get any interference from outside electricity sources. This prevents the fence from being accidentally activated.
This fence system is equipped with a choice of 2 correction methods:
You can also use both the pager and the vibration in combination if you find that audible alerts don’t keep your inquisitive dog away.
There is also a continuity line baked in. if anything causes the fence to disconnect or break, a warning light will alert you to this.
Overall, this is a no-nonsense kit that will keep your dog from breaching the boundaries of your yard, as long as you’re prepared to put in a bit of work with installation.
5. Extreme Dog Fence (2nd Generation)
Next up is another iteration of Extreme’s uprated in-ground dog fence. How does this configuration shape up, then?
Firstly, you’ll get 1000 feet of standard wire with this model. If this doesn’t make the right fit for your outdoor space, consider one of the other options at your disposal.
The collar receiver is completely waterproof. This can be fully submerged at depths of 10 feet without interfering with functioning.
Bundled with the standard fence kit, you’ll get the following components:
- 20-gauge wire (1000 feet)
- Collar receiver
- Digital transmitter
- Training flags
- Splice kits
This gives you everything you need to get going right out the box. The instructions bundled are also clear, so you should have no issues with installation.
A few consumers complain about this fence being less than effective with larger breeds, so think closely before committing to purchase if you have a bigger dog to contain.
As an added bonus, this in-ground fence for dogs comes with a 1-year limited warranty. All you need to do is register the fence and this guarantee will be extended to give you 5 years peace of mind at no extra cost.
6. Extreme Dog Fence Max Grade Electric Dog Fence
Last but not least today comes another offering from the reputable brand Extreme in the form of this Max Grade fence.
If you have 2 dogs at home, you’ll not only have double the joy, but you can also expect double the trouble. With this fence, you can keep both your beloved furballs safe and sound in the garden without breaking the bank.
This kit provides you with 1000 feet of boundary wire, allowing you to secure yards of up to 25 acres in area.
You can bury the boundary wires under the ground like with most traditional in-ground canine fences. Alternatively, you could leave the wires above ground if you don’t fancy excavating the back yard.
This brand has been in business for more than 25 years connecting pet owners like you with the most effective equipment for their furry friends.
The only meaningful drawback with this hard-hitting fence is the fact that setting it up can be tricky if you don’t have basic DIY skills. Overall, you’re getting an affordable and versatile method of ensuring that your dog stays safe.
1) Which electronic dog fence system is best for an irregularly shaped garden?
If your garden has awkward corners and rockeries, they can obstruct the signal from a wireless dog fence. Wireless fences are best for flat gardens that aren’t too irregular. So, you’re probably best going with an underground electric dog fence rather than a wireless dog fence. Your dog can enjoy his maximum ability to roam, as long as it is placed at least 10 feet from the garden boundary.
2) Will an electronic dog fence hurt my dog?
This is a very common concern. The answer is no. The correction shock can’t hurt them. It just startles them to grab their attention. If you’re worried, most receiver collars do have different settings so you can adjust the strength of the correction.
3) Do wireless dog fences work?
Yes, they do work as long as everything is correctly set up. But wireless dog fences should be viewed and treated as a training aid rather than a secure fence. There is always the chance of a gap in the signal caused by obstructions. Check that no large metal objects are interfering with the signal. Beware, your dog could ignore the correction if he is sufficiently tempted to chase after that squirrel. Always keep an eye out on him, or you could find yourself on a hunt for him.
4) What’s the maximum coverage area of an in-ground fence?
Anywhere between 1/2 acre and 3/4-acre radius is an average. With an underground electronic fence system, you can extend things as far as you like. But it’ll cost more in wiring and accessories. You’ll need to factor in a great deal of digging so you can bury the wires. If the thought of this seems like it would beyond your comfort zone, don’t hesitate to call in a professional.
5) Can anything affect the signal of a wireless dog fence?
Yes. Heavy metal objects will compromise the signal of a wireless dog fence. Check that you don’t have an AC unit, oven, fridge, electrical junction box in the way. The wireless transmitter must be located at least 3 feet away from any large metal objects. Be aware that thick walls, cars, and trees can also weaken the signal. Signal interference will reduce the precision of the boundary. The consequence of this is that your dog could receive shocks when it isn’t meant to. This is confusing for him and could make him nervous.
6) Will I need to train my dog to use an electronic fence system?
Yes. You’ll definitely need to train your dog. You want your dog to learn the boundaries of the fence. You should be able to train him within a couple of days. Use the first day to get the dog to know where the fence boundary is with flags by walking him along the line of flags. Remember to keep him on a tight leash. Reward him with treats every time he stays away from the flags. By the next day, you can let him find the boundary himself. Once he has received a couple of shocks he should be pretty clear on where he can or can’t go. If you don’t feel up to training your dog, you can hire a professional to train your dog instead. Many professional electric fence installation companies offer training as part of their service.
7) Can I use an electronic fence with a puppy?
You must not use an electric fence with a puppy. They do not have the maturity to be trained yet. Wait at least 6 months minimum. If he can’t be trained, he could end up ignoring the correction shocks and end up in the road or in a neighbor’s garden.
8) How much do electronic fence systems cost?
With wireless systems, you’re looking at around $100 to $350, and they usually come as a complete kit with remote control, flags and one collar. Additional collars can retail for around $75 to $100. To have an underground electric fence system installed professionally and have your dog trained it could cost around $2000 to $3000. But, if you’re happy going it yourself, you can pay around $300 to $400.
9) Can I use it with multiple dogs?
Yes, you can use both wireless and underground dog fences with multiple dogs. However, the kits only come with one e-collar. Each additional e-collar costs from $50 to $150. It’s advisable to go for one at the higher end of the price scale. The higher quality collars are more accurate, which guarantees more effective behavior management.
10) How do e-collars work?
E-collars are battery operated with two metal prongs which have contact with your pup’s skin. Collars with prongs of varying lengths are available. Dogs like German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers may need a collar with longer prongs. As the dog approaches the electronic fence, it transmits a signal to the e-collar which emits a warning beep. If the dog crosses the fence, the collar sends an electric shock correction to the dog’s skin. Some e-collars come with a remote control so you can change the type and intensity of installation. It doesn’t take long for a dog to learn the boundaries. After a couple of shocks, he’ll know where he can and can’t go. You can then turn the intensity down. If he starts to cross the line, you can turn it up again. It all depends on how your dog responds.
We very much hope that today’s guide has given you plenty of inspiration if you’re looking to prevent your dog from escaping the back yard.
Taking the time to think closely about your dog’s personality and breed can help you to avoid an expensive mistake and the wrong type of dog fence.
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