An invisible dog fence is a modern iteration that, as the name implies, requires no physical fence to contain your dog in an area. This eliminates the need to place or install fences that may clash with the overall aesthetics of your home. The invisible dog fence is also quite effective and safe to use with dogs.
You might have heard detractors claiming that products like this are inhumane to use on your pet. The fact of the matter is that wireless invisible dog fences use currents that are on the same level as a static electricity charge that you sometimes experience. It is surprising, for sure, but is something you would consider as a mild annoyance.
In this article, we will be discussing the basics of invisible dog fences as well as a guideline on how to choose the best one in the market. Afterward, to help you further narrow down your choices we will be introducing you to the best and most highly recommended invisible dog fences available in the market today.
Things to Remember Before Installing an Invisible Dog Fence
Most first-time invisible fence owners tend to overlook some of the basics when setting up their invisible dog fence. This results in subpar quality and unreliable results. To avoid this headache, I suggest you first read our general guideline below for invisible dog fence installation.
- Planning Before Installing
This is vital when it comes to proper installation of an invisible dog fence. Know that there are underground power lines located around your home. The worst-case scenario here would be if you accidentally hit one of these crucial lines when setting up your wire around your home. You should also consider concrete and uneven terrain in your plans.
- Do not Skimp on Wire Quality
Using a wire that is too thin runs the risk of it breaking sometime in the near future due to damage from natural elements. Pick a thicker wire to lower the risk of it breaking. When installing, unroll manageable lengths of wire rather than unspooling the entire roll.
- Prepare your Tools
You will be placing this type of fence underground (1 to 5 inches deeps should suffice) so make sure you already have a shovel ready. Wire cutters will also be needed as well as a weeding tool to help flatten the ground once you have installed the wire. We also advise you get a couple of wire splices to help accelerate the installation process.
- Place a Couple of Flags
This is to help your dog properly gauge where the invisible fence is located. Place several small flags a couple of feet apart. Once your dog knows where the boundaries lie, you can remove the flags.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Invisible Dog Fence
Before we move on any further, let us discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks attributed to using an invisible dog fence. This should help you decide whether you want to use this type of dog fence or not. Once we are done enumerating the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ we will then go into the important factors to consider before buying an invisible dog fence.
- Advantage – Affordable Price
In comparison to underground fences and other pet-related expenses, the invisible dog fence is considerably more affordable in the long run. Include the electrical bill in here as well, the invisible dog fence does not require the same amount of juice as a wireless fence.
- Advantage – Flexible
Installing an invisible dog fence offers a level of flexibility not found in other fences. No matter the arrangement of your yard, an invisible dog fence is designed to accommodate every twist and turn.
- Advantage – Non-obtrusive
Invisible dog fence requires no physical barrier. If you prefer your yard to offer a clear view outside, the invisible dog fence is a good way to do that while also making sure your dog stays inside the safety of your property.
- Advantage – Convenience
Compared to a wireless dog fence, installing an invisible dog fence is significantly easier. Instruction manuals are designed so that it can be easily followed by beginners and setting it up requires only simple planning rather than an expert configuration.
- Disadvantage – Training Period
Of course, once you have finished setting up your invisible dog fence the next step will likely be the most time-consuming. Walk your dog around the perimeter and make sure they notice all the flags surrounding the area. Use a leash when training your dog to prevent them from running outside the perimeter once they feel the slight shock on their collars. Bring patience.
- Disadvantage – Useless for Deterring Trespassers
The biggest downside here is that this fence is primarily designed for dog training. Outside intruders like other dogs, cats, and every other animal can easily waltz into your yard.
- Disadvantage – Requires a Power Supply
The biggest disadvantage here is its reliance in a dedicated power supply. This means if your area experiences a power cut, the fence gets de-activated as well.
- Disadvantage – Potential Pain for the Dog
Something that every dog owner will greatly factor into their decision would be the level of pain the dog might experience. While you can compare the pain to that of a static shock, dogs will definitely react to this differently. If your dog fails to learn where the boundaries of the invisible fence begin, it might cause undue stress to them mentally. Take this to heart before deciding on using an invisible fence.
Important Factors to Consider When Buying an Invisible Fence
- Invisible dog fences are not designed for smaller dog breeds (10 lbs. and below). Keep this in mind if you plan on buying an invisible dog fence.
- If you have a huge property it is best to rent a fence trencher to make installation flow more smoothly.
- Some larger dog breeds will barely flinch to the shock delivered by the collar. For these mutts, it would be better to also use a GPS collar along with the invisible fence.
- Determine how much wire you will need to surround your property.
- Some transmitters can only accommodate a limited number of collars. If you have a couple of dogs you want to train, check to see if the transmitter can handle that many collars.
- It is best to choose an invisible dog fence with an adjustable correction level. It is best if you can shift the correction level to the lowest possible amount after a while. This ensures your dog will not experience any sort of trauma from the shock.
The Best Invisible Dog Fence in 2018
Now then, let us narrow down your choices further with this list of the best rated invisible dog fences available in the market today.
1. Best Overall Pick – SportDOG 100-Acre In-Ground Pet Fence System – Prograde Bundle
An alternative to the Extreme Dog Fence kit would be the SportDOG In-Ground Pet Fence System. This invisible pet fence is designed to cover as much ground, up to 100-acres. The collar is waterproof and also comes with a vibration warning to alert your dog if they are getting near the invisible fence.
One of its biggest strong points would be its ability to support any number of dogs. Just buy more collars from SportDOG. Collars also feature a testing tool to check if it is still in good operating condition. SportDOG Pet Fence System comes with 1,000 feet of wiring which you can easily extend by buying more wires.
It uses a 14-gauge professional grade quality wire to ensure longevity and durability. It also comes with the basic 20-gauge wire at a cheaper price but I recommend you work in the extra bucks for the much more reliable 14-gauge wire.
The system also features varying correction levels to ensure your pet won’t experience excessive shocks. Another extremely helpful feature is the wire break alarm which notifies you if a wire is damaged. Great for quickly pinpointing where the damaged wire is located.
However, I would like to point out how the collars are quite large. Of all the collars for invisible fence available, the ones that SportDOG offers is the bulkiest. Don’t even bother using their collar if you have a small dog breed. While it does look bulky, it is not as heavy as you might think. Larger dogs will have no problem wearing this collar.
- Can cover up to 100-acres and more with extended coverage.
- Well-made and waterproof collars.
- Can support an unlimited number of collars.
- Collar vibration alert feature.
- Not design for smaller dog breeds.
- Collar batteries are not rechargeable.
2. Runner-Up Pick – Extreme Dog Fence Second Generation Professional Grade Premium Kit Package
The Extreme Dog Fence is designed to be as flexible as possible and can be installed into virtually any kind of terrain. It can also cover an impressive amount of area (23 to 25 acres) which you can further expand with extension coverage.
This invisible fence has been updated to support newer collars and also comes with a waterproof collar of its own. This is a great addition for dog owners whose pet enjoys a good dip in a pond or lake. The waterproof collar is designed to withstand submersion underwater for up to 100 feet.
The collar also allows you to train your dog using three different methods: static, vibration, and sound. This is great for those who prefer not to use static shocks when training their dog. It also gives a beeping sound as a warning to dogs whenever they are near the boundary.
Extreme Dog Fence Premium Kit also comes with a 14-gauge wire that is significantly thicker than the common 20-gauge wire that comes with most invisible dog fence kits. The 14-gauge wire is professional grade and built to withstand the natural elements. This invisible dog fence kit is a highly customizable option for dog owners who have a large land to contend with.
- Extremely flexible installation.
- Waterproof receiver.
- Can be used to train cats as well.
- High-quality 14-gauge wire.
- No manual. You should check their website for installation details.
3. Budget Pick – PetSafe Basic In-Ground Fence
If you are looking for something a little more affordable then the PetSafe Basic In-Ground Fence is a good option. It is also an ideal choice for an entry-level invisible dog fence due to its user-friendly system and low price.
It would be amiss to simply chalk this up as a cheap alternative though. The PetSafe In-Ground
Fence comes with a slew of features that can easily match up with other high-end invisible pet fence systems. It allows for complete customization and can cover up to 5-acres of land giving your dog ample space to run around freely.
The receiver collar is designed for almost all dog breeds as you can easily adjust it to comfortably fit small to large dog breeds. You can adjust the correction power to 4 levels and also features a ‘Beep’ mode that is helpful during training sessions.
It also comes with another special feature called the ‘anti-linger prevention’ mode. This feature helps the dog learn whether they are near the border of the fence and should make it easier to teach them to stay within the designated safe area.
Now, it does come with some downsides. One of the biggest issues found with the PetSafe Basic pertains to the wire connections. Quality of the wire connection is a little rough. However, you can easily remedy this by using waterproof electric tapes and a couple of wire nuts.
The static shock from the collar is also not the powerful which is good for small to medium dogs but it might not elicit much of a reaction for certain larger dog breeds. Keep that in mind. That being said, as an entry-level invisible dog fence, the PetSafe is one of the best option available that won’t break the bank while offering a slew of interesting and helpful features.
- More affordable compared to other invisible pet fence systems.
- Additional features such as the ‘anti-linger prevention’ helps make training your dog easier.
- Low-battery warning feature.
- Pretty accurate boundary system.
- Collar correctional feature might not be strong enough for larger breeds.
For dog owners who do not have a physical fence, and have no plan on building one, the invisible fence is a good option to help train your dog to stay within your property. While the sound of using static shocks on your dog might give you pause, it is best to consider only using this type of training tool alongside plenty of patience. I highly suggest you be there with your dog every step of the way during training.
You should also check for invisible pet fence system that has an adjustable correctional level or those that use beeping sounds and vibrations to train the dog where their boundaries lie. With proper training, you can quickly lower correctional level to its lowest setting and guarantee your pet will not be experiencing any distress. Likeable Pets is perfect for your pet care in terms of helping your furry friend.