If you’ve been wondering how to stop your dog from constantly wandering off, one great solution is a wireless fence but what are these exactly and how do they work?
Well, with a wireless system, you won’t need to worry about constructing any kind of physical boundaries and you won’t need to dig to install wires like you would with an underground dog fence.
Instead, you’ll get a base station which acts as the centerpiece of your containment system. This transmitter sends a signal out in every direction up to a range of 100 feet or so. The perimeter wireless fences create is circular.
You should be aware that you will need to get hands-on when it comes to training your dog with a wireless fence. If you’re prepared to get involved and be proactive, you should be able to educate them fairly quickly and easily. Most of the best wireless fences come with detailed training guides that are well worth your time consulting.
You’ll need to set up the transmitter so you can connect it to a standard power outlet that’s not exposed to the weather. This should ideally be on the first floor of your house. The base station can transmit through walls, but you’re well advised to keep it away from large metal objects like fridges or furnaces. This is to reduce the chance of any interference with the signal transmitted.
You should aim to mount the base station two feet above the floor. Once it’s in place, turn the power on and activate the boundary control so the fence is activated.
You set up boundary flags per manufacturer’s instructions and these play a crucial role in training your dog. These demarcate a handy physical guide to help your dog when you’re training him.
At this point, you can attach the collar to your dog’s neck. Make sure the center of the contact points is under the neck and in contact with his skin.
As your dog approaches the boundary, the collar will first emit an audible beep to instruct him he should go no further. If your dog fails to comply, this tone is followed up by a static shock. While this will not be strong enough to hurt your furry friend, it should be strong enough to dissuade him from trying to breach the boundary. You can manipulate correction levels to suit the size and temperament of your dog.
As with any dog training device, it always pays to kick off training at the lowest level of correction then gradually step things up if required.
Note: You should not leave the collar on for periods of more than 12 hours and always discontinue use immediately if you notice the collar in any way irritating your dog’s skin.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a wireless dog fence:
Keep these pointers in mind and you should have no problems navigating our reviews of the best wireless dog fences.
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The 3 Best Wireless Dog Fences
1. Our Pick Wireless Containment System
Our favorite fence overall comes from industry specialist Pet Safe.
You can choose from the following 3 configurations:
- Collar only.
- Wireless fence with additional battery pack.
This is a smart move from the manufacturer since if you run into any problems with the receiver, you won’t need a completely new system.
Unlike in-ground fences, installation couldn’t be quicker or easier. You won’t need to dig up your beloved garden and you won’t need to mess around hiding wires either. You should allow perhaps a couple of hours for set-up. Instructions are clear and detailed. We’d recommend reading these before you get started so you have a solid overview of what you need to do. Then, take your time, enlist a spare pair of hands, and set things up the right way. You’ll only need to do it once and, if you get impatient, think how much quicker this is than constructing a physical boundary.
The coverage area allows you to mark out a boundary across areas up to ½ an acre. As with all wireless fences, the constraints of radio waves mean the boundary will be circular in nature so make sure this fit with the layout of your yard.
You can choose from 5 variable levels of static correction or opt for a sound-only mode so you can gently train your dog starting off at the lowest setting.
Add an unlimited number of collars – another great bonus that they’re sold separately – and you can train multiple dogs within the same boundary.
The collar is fully waterproofed, and you’ll get a generous 2 months of battery life.
This unit is completely portable so makes a neat fit if you often head out in the RV camping and you want to keep your dog safe and sound while you relax with a BBQ.
For a versatile all-rounder at a very reasonable price-point, this containment system deserves a place on any shortlist.
2. Pet Safe Stay & Play Dog and Cat Wireless Fence
If you’re looking for a wireless containment system capable of a slightly larger area, this variant from Pet Safe gives you fully ¾ acre of coverage.
As with the fence above, you’ll be able to pick up collars separately making this a great choice for households with several pets. You’ll be able to keep all your dogs safe from harm using a single containment system. You can also add in extra base units if you feel the need to expand coverage.
The choice is yours when it comes to laying down the boundary. Confine your dog to the back yard only or allow him to roam the entire property.
When he breaches the boundaries, there are 5 levels of static shock correction along with a sound-only option. Whatever the temperament of your canine, you should start out at the lower end and gently ramp things up as necessary.
Battery life on this model extends to 3 weeks which is reasonable. Signal is most effective in flat areas since hills can make it rather unreliable.
As with all Pet Safe wireless fences, you should be up and running out the box in a couple of hours.
If you run into any snags, Pet Safe offers a highly responsive US-based help desk available every day except Sunday.
3. Pet Safe Stay & Play Dog Fence for Stubborn Dogs
This iteration of Pet Safe’s iconic Stay & Play containment system is designed with stubborn dogs in mind.
You can start by using an audible tone alert that may encourage your pooch to stay within the boundaries. If this proves ineffective, though, you can program the wireless fence to deliver graded static shocks to apply more persuasion.
The coverage area for this fence is a sprawling ¾ acre, making it a neat choice for owners of willful or obstinate dogs with larger yards.
The collar is designed to fit a wide variety of dogs with neck sizes from 6 to 28 inches, weighing from 5 pounds upwards.
The portable nature of this system means it would work well on the campsite or when you head out for a picnic and take your dog along for the ride.
Like all wireless fences, you can have this Pet Safe system fully set up and operational within a couple of hours. Contrast this with an underground fence that could take days to install.
As with all wireless fences from this highly reputable brand, you can invest in extra collars to build out the modular system to accommodate more dogs.
As an added kicker, if you don’t feel that this fence makes the right choice for your back yard, you can explore some of the many other options from Pet Safe’s deep bench.
1) Does static correction hurt your dog?
Obviously, some degree of shock is involved, or the system simply wouldn’t be effective. If you imagine the type of static shock you get from touching metal after walking across a carpet, that’s roughly the same level of pain your dog would experience. The shock will be enough to check your dog’s behavior and strong enough to make him think twice about breaching the boundary again, but it won’t cause your pet any undue distress or pain.
2) Can you train more than one pet using the same wireless containment system?
Yes, you can. Fortunately, most manufacturers understand that many pet owners have more than one animal in the house. To this end, collars are usually sold separately allowing you to train multiple digs simultaneously using the same boundary and separate collars.
3) Is a wireless fence better than an underground dog fence?
That depends entirely on what you want from the fence. Both systems come with their own upsides and drawbacks. Perhaps the key selling point of a wireless system is ease of installation without needing to dig up your garden. Configuration is more limited so you should think closely about the layout of your yard and what sort of boundary you’re looking for.
4) Can you train cats to stay within the boundaries of a wireless fence?
Absolutely. You’ll need to make sure the collar fits and you should also accept that cats are far tougher to train than dogs. Nevertheless, you might have some degree of luck keeping your cat from wandering off so it’s worth a try. Wired fences tend to work best if you’re looking to stop cats from heading too far from home.
5) How long do you need to leave the training flags in place for?
General advice is to leave them for anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks depending on how well your dog takes to training.
We very much hope this guide to wireless dog fences has given you plenty of inspiration. As we explain above, this is by no means the only solution for keeping your dog contained and it’s not always the best approach. That said, for pure convenience, cost-effectiveness and overall performance, a wireless fence is hard to beat.
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