4 Wireless Dog Fence Reviews: Which One Is The Best?

Could the best wireless dog fence for you be found in a budget system?

Finding the best invisible dog fence for your particular property or needs is not as simple as it might sound. There are a number of criteria to take into consideration. In this article, we detail those criteria and give you a choice of four products we’ve reviewed.

To not waste your time, straight away we’ll say who these products are suitable or not suitable for.

In a hurry?

==>  See today’s price on the best Wireless Dog Fences at Amazon

 

Please Continue To Look And Learn If Your Property

  • Is set on reasonably flat ground.
  • You do not have any large metalwork areas around, like sidings or garage doors.
  • You want coverage over an area that is ¾ acre or less.*
  • There are no property rental restrictions on using wireless fences.
  • You want an easy to install dog containment system.

*It is possible to combine more than one system for larger areas.

You Might Want To Leave Now If Your Property

  • Is on hilly ground.
  • You have metalwork that would seriously interfere with a radio signal.
  • You need coverage for an area much larger than ¾ acre.
  • Property rental restrictions exist regarding such equipment.
  • You never go camping where you would need a wireless fence.

The Info You Need To Know

Before you dive off to the products sections lower down the page, knowing how to correctly interpret some of the comments and questions making up the customer reviews will be of great use to you I’m sure.

While doing our research we discovered that combined, there are well over 4000 comments and questions on Amazon alone for the four wireless electric dog fence products reviewed. We read most of them! Due to such a large response, we were able to see patterns forming. The most obvious one being that most negative reviews were more than a year old.

This means two things have happened:

1. As time goes on the manufacturer has improved the product based on the feedback.

2. Dog owners are finally reading the requirements and restrictions of each product and purchasing more sensibly.

We know manufacturers have made changes because some people leaving comments had older versions and complemented the changes in the updated models.

As for owners choosing better, that is probably down to the customer reviews as I don’t think the dog fence systems themselves have descriptions that clearly state the limitations. They only say what each system consists of and all the good features. Here we are going to give you a bit more for you to enable you to make your choice.

Wildlife Not Included

As I’m sure most readers will know, a wireless dog fence containment system consists of a radio transmitter as a base unit with receivers on dog collars which activate an alarm the dogs can hear or feel. Without the collars on it doesn’t work.

This means that while your pooch is unlikely to stray outside of the controlled safe area, it doesn’t prevent any wildlife coming into it. Any incoming animals which might be a distraction to your pet, or a danger to you or your dog, will not get the message to stay clear. Be warned.

Biggest Factor For Getting It Wrong

Many early comments criticized the product but often it was the understanding of the buyer that was at fault.

Not being properly aware of how a wireless dog fence copes with the size and layout of the area to be used for dogs free running was the problem. I hope my explanation here helps.

The way wireless dog fences work is to emit a signal in a circular area around the base transmitter. In these fences there is an adjustable dial on the front of the transmitter to vary the range of the signal but you should always imagine it to be like a dome, always circular in shape, with the transmitter sitting at the center top of the dome.

 

#1. PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Dog Fence (best overall)

 

wireless dog fence reviews

If you like this system set up at home and your pooch becomes used to the alarm tone the collar makes, it will know what that sound means wherever you take the system.

Therefore, if you set it up on a camping vacation site, the set up and training time will be minimal. Should take you less than 15 minutes to set up the transmitter and establish where you want the North, South, East and West boundary points to be.

The Good

  • Suitable for pets of 5 pounds or more in weight.
  • Gives a ¾ acre coverage.
  • Adjustable range from 22 ft to 105 feet in any direction.
  • Easy to set up and to relocate for taking on vacation, especially camping.
  • Rechargeable collar battery.
  • One hour battery charge.

The Not So Good

  • Not everyone likes rechargeable batteries, but you can swap them out if you want.

Go here for today’s price on PetSafes Stay & Play at Amazon

No Go Areas

I said earlier that hilly ground is not usually suitable for wireless fencing systems. The reason is that if your desired containment area goes uphill, it will only work while the hill is lower than the top of the transmitter. On a rising slope this can shorten the range of the area considerably.

However, if you put the transmitter higher to get more range, it will give a weaker signal on the downhill side. Not a problem if your house is in the center of the area and your pooch can’t get from higher back to the lower front anyway but that’s not usually the case. Houses on hills are usually higher at the back but it could be the other way around of course.

All metalwork on the property will have some effect on the signal and it’s the larger items that can deflect or stop the radio signals. House, trailer or barn sidings made from metal, sheds, garage doors and even parked vehicles will all stop the radio signal getting through and the areas behind them are no longer protected as safe areas for your dogs to roam.

Install two units to give a wider coverage and the shape can become like an oval, with a lot of overlap, or a big figure of eight. A wireless signal does not reach to the corners of a square shaped plot, without going beyond the plot boundaries elsewhere. If you really want to cover into each corner and keep within your own boundaries, these wireless systems are not for you.

Special Shapes

If you think a circular area of containment would not work for you, then there are hybrid wireless fences around which work in conjunction with an underground wired system. These are much more costly and are also labor intensive at the installation stage.

You might want to keep your furry friend out of certain areas within the overall wireless fence coverage. Or it might be your property is a unique shape and not well suited to the circular coverage of wireless containment as we’ve described it.

Should either of these be the case, then I’m afraid you will probably have to go with a buried wire system or some other form of pet containment system. If possible, see how your dog reacts to this kind of fence before you go to such an expense. It might make it frightened to go out or, worse, scare him or her into running off into the road you were trying to keep them from. It has been known.

The Transmitter Unit

The siting of the transmitter seems to be something of a problem for many buyers.

The transmitter unit needs a power supply and, to be most effective, should be sited as near as possible to the center of the area you wish to cover. It just plugs into a standard wall socket. It is not waterproof, so needs to be sited under cover and at least 10ft from any big metal objects.

It is supposed to be mounted around 4ft to 5ft above ground in the center of the zone to be protected. These units can get hot, so for safety they need to be in a well ventilated place too. A garage or barn would be ideal provided it does not have a metal door or sidings.

One person said they had put their transmitter in their loft area and it worked fine.

Others have made specially built wooden housings in their yards enabling a larger range and coverage of the signal away from any serious metalwork indoors.

If you are not sure of exactly where it would work best for you, try placing it temporarily where you think it could go and then test the boundary coverage (explained later) to see if you got it right. If you did, make it a permanent fixing. Otherwise, keep trying different places until you find a suitable spot before making it a permanent fixing.

Finding The Signal Boundary

  1. Set up the transmitter as directed in the above paragraph.
  2. Set the range to its highest setting.
  3. Take one of the collars that come with the kit and set it to make a noise.
  4. Walk towards the far edge of the area to cover and find the point it beeps.
  5. Walk in a circle around the property with the collar beeping to show the boundary.
  6. If the boundary signal is outside of where you want it to be, set the range lower on the transmitter and try again.
  7. When you are happy with the coverage, make the transmitter position permanent.
  8. Test the area again and this time, if possible, use the flags supplied to mark the boundary.

The flags are there to help both you and your dog during training and can be removed once you are both aware of roughly where the boundary is. It can change a bit in certain weather conditions but the beep from the collar will alert the dog if it’s about to go outside of the boundary.

Using The Collars

The collars are both the receivers and the alarm unit for the systems. They are not meant to be worn permanently, only when your pooch is running free in the controlled containment area.

The reason for this is that the alarm prongs on the collar can wear into the fur and the neck of the dog if worn all the time. Also, when worn in the house, it is possible that some of the metalwork in the house, oven or refrigerator doors for instance, might also bounce a signal when it’s not needed. Thereby giving your dog either an alarm beep or even a shock, when it is well inside the safe perimeter.

That doesn’t happen often. But often enough to get mentioned a few times.

On some systems, the collars have a replaceable battery arrangement, which usually recharges in about an hour, and others have rechargeable batteries. There is for and against for both and it’s down to personal choice really. I’ve always found the two types to be interchangeable.

There are also comments that say the replaceable batteries last anything from 2 weeks to 6 weeks. I’m sure the biggest difference is down to how many hours the dogs collars are switched on each day. The age and make of the batteries also has some bearing on it too, although not so many stores have old stock these days.

Warnings and Consequences

The collars are the action end of wireless containment systems. Designed to issue an audible tone warning if the dog is getting close to a boundary he/she should not cross and issue a small reminder to go back if they continue and ignore the audible signal.

The small reminder come in the form of a static electric shock from the two little contact prongs set into the collar. There is also the option of using slightly longer prongs if the dog is particularly furry. The strength of these shocks is adjustable as not all dogs need the same strength of reminders. The dial for adjustment is on the collars.

There is some contention about the strength of the shocks issued. Some owners think they are too strong while others don’t rate them as being strong enough. And that’s for exactly the same setting. Our advice is to start with a lower setting at first and work up to the sensitivity level that your dog will take avoiding action for.

 

#2. PetSafe Wireless Dog Containment System (best for customized requirements)

 

petsafe wireless dog fenceThis option is not just one product, so we can’t give the pro’s and con’s as for the other 3 products below. Instead, there is a range of wireless fence systems that vary according to area covered and the number of animal collars that come with each system.

So if you want either a ½ acre or ¾ acre coverage, collars for one, two, three, four or five animals, dogs or cats as a complete package, then this model shows the range of options for the best wireless containment systems available today.

Be A Friend To Your Dog

Once your system is set up, it’s time to train your dog(s) to let him, her or them get accustomed to the new invisible barrier you have just installed.

It is NOT advised to let them discover for themselves the fact that they will get an electric shock just after they hear a beep from their collar if they keep on going in the same direction. Walk to the beep perimeter with them and pull them back a few times when they first hear the noise.

When you decide to let them find out what happens when they go past the sound perimeter, it is advised that they are on a leash. While you might think they would jump back, they might just jump forward too, or take off like the wind in any direction. Best that you are there to help them through the event.

I know that due to different types of ground, it is not always possible to deploy the flags to give a visual aid too, but if you can you might find it helps with getting both you and your pup oriented to the boundary quicker. Obviously, some are fast learners and they are not required, but It helps you and your family to learn better if you can use them.

Click here for today’s price on the PetSafe Wireless Fence at Amazon

 

#3. PetSafe Wireless Dog & Cat Containment System (best established wireless fence system)

 

best invisible dog fence

The star rating system for this product is a little misleading and too low.

The reason for this is that its ratings go back over many years when buyer information was not so available as it is today and negative reviews were left as a result. It has had few negative comments in the last year. However, averaged out, those rating are now a misrepresentation of the value of this product.

What We Liked

  • Well established product that has developed over time.
  • Suitable for pets of 8 pounds or more in weight.
  • Gives a ½ acre coverage.
  • Adjustable range from 5 ft to 90 feet in any direction.
  • Collars use cheap common replacement batteries.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some people find the range is too small for their property.

More Than One Dog?

All the PetSafe wireless fence systems that we review here operate on the same radio frequency. This means that not only can you add more transmitters to the same system, you can also add more collars to the systems too.

As they work on a radio frequency, it is possible to use as many collars as you need all at the same time. The PetSafe Wireless Containment System comes supplied with two collars. Others can be bought individually.

There could be one downside to having more than one dog within the containment area and that is if they get playful and like a rough and tumble. The collars are not made for heavy duty play or even for taking the pooches for walks. They are made purely to hold the receiver in place to do its job. So don’t expect an industrial strength collar to go with these systems.

Away From Home

There were quite a few comments that gave praise to the portability of taking the systems with them when they went camping. The transmitters do need a power source of course, so we take it they did mean on vacations rather than off-road expeditions.

This shows how easy it can be to set up these wireless containment systems. Even though the boundaries will have changed, their dogs will know exactly what the beep sound from their collars mean. I’m sure they appreciate being able to run around rather than having to be pegged down all the time they are away from home.

 

#4. PetSafe Free To Roam Dog Wireless Fence (best for smaller areas)

best wireless dog fenceThe Upside

  • Well established product that has developed over time.
  • Suitable for pets of 8 pounds or more in weight.
  • Gives a ½ acre coverage.
  • Adjustable range from 5 ft to 90 feet in any direction.
  • Collars use cheap common replacement batteries.
  • Comes with a transmitter mounting bracket.

The Down Side

  • If you don’t need a mounting bracket for the home, then you would be buying something you don’t need. Look at option #3 instead.

 

Final Conclusion

The early days of wireless containment systems for dogs were a bit experimental. Over time that has now developed and they are far more reliable, easy to set up and more humane to dogs.

The whole point of these systems is to be able to have something that doesn’t change the appearance of your yard, is easy to set up and operate and doesn’t cost a fortune to buy or maintain.

I you are more interested in 3/4 acre coverage with all the safety features there is nothing better than the PetSafe Stay & Play wireless dog fence. If 1/2 an acre is all you need go with their 2nd best model, the PetSafe Wireless Containment System.

Now you have journeyed down this page of four wireless dog fence reviews, we hope you now realize there are still some restrictions that apply but you are better informed to make a choice from the recommendations we’ve made along the way.

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