As a dog owner, you realize how difficult it can be to contain your dog within the perimeter of your yard or home which is where the best invisible dog fence comes in handy. I have successfully built three different invisible dog fences in the apartments I stayed in Upstate New York and I am excited to share insightful DIY ideas you can use to even build an invisible dog fence. Most dog breeds are smart, outgoing, and nosey which is why cases of breaking out and running off are common.
To curb these behaviors, which can sometimes lead to disparities where boundaries are strictly marked, you need the help of an invisible dog fence. They are humane and effective gadgets that offer good and practical solutions for dogs that are pros with escape plans by limiting their space. Invisible dog fences come in two common types, including wireless and in-ground fences.
Today, we have prepared all the info you need to know about invisible dog fences, including in-depth reviews of our four best, buyers’ guide, cost, installation, and more. But before that…
What is an invisible dog fence?
An invisible dog fence refers to a hidden dog containment system that contains your canine pal within the set yard perimeter. Unlike the physical fence around your home or house, this unseen dog fence, as the name spells, is invisible to your pooch but will prevent him from leaving the compound.
In-ground and wireless invisible dog fences are the most common among many dog parents and the system operates via digital radio frequencies. The best thing with these types of dog containment systems is that they are less expensive as compared to constructing a physical wall.
How do Invisible Dog Fences work?
Invisible dog fences work by using embedded wireless connection. Invisible dog fences consist of a special collar that communicates with the installed in-ground or wireless unseen dog fence around your property.
The collar, on the dog’s neck, receives a signal once your furry friend starts to move towards the set containment boundary line which first comes as a forewarning sound. When your pooch ignores this sound, the invisible dog fence will produce a static shock correction that will stop him immediately.
Types of Invisible Dog Fences
There are three types of invisible dog fences including the wired, wireless, and in-ground fences. In our article today, we shall narrow our focus on the last two – in-ground and wireless – which are the most preferred types of invisible dog fences among many dog parents everywhere.
What is the difference or comparison between the two?
Wireless vs. In-ground Invisible Dog Fences
While the wireless invisible dog fence communicates through radio signals or GPS, in-ground dog fences use underground buried wires that send a signal to the collar on your dog’s neck. So, one thing that is common in both types of invisible dog fences is that dogs have to wear a collar.
On the one hand, installing an in-ground invisible dog fence will involve digging around the predetermined perimeter of your compound in order to install and bury the wires underground. Wireless invisible dog fences, on the other hand, use a transmitter to send radio signals at a specific radius within the set perimeter and installation requires no digging.
Unlike the in-ground dog fences which are permanently installed around the containment in your compound, wireless invisible dog fences are not permanent, are portable, easy to use, and cost-friendly. In-ground dog fences are expensive and while they can be customized depending on your yard’s space, they involve complex installation procedures.
Although installing the in-ground dog fence is a daunting task that takes time, you can be assured that the boundaries will never fluctuate as with wireless invisible dog fences. Yet, if the wiring breaks, repairing it can be somewhat challenging. Some wireless dog fence units, though, can be affected by radio reception or signals.
How to Install an Invisible Dog Fence
The process of installing an invisible dog fence depends on the type of containment system you choose between an in-ground and a wireless dog fence. We shall look at each of the systems separately.
How to Install an In-ground Invisible Dog Fence
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install an in-ground dog fence:
- Plan the predetermined dog containment perimeter and plant marker flags to show the path.
- Measure the area’s length and width prior to purchase of the wire to ensure that you get the precise size.
- Purchase the shock collar, wire, and transmitter from a hardware store or a reputable pet store.
- Look for the perfect place inside to keep the transmitter. If you choose grounding it, which we recommend, be sure to follow the transmitter’s user manual. Doing this prevents the system from electrical interruption and major damage.
- Place the wire along the dug line until you are back to the starting point and avoid sharp angles or twisting as they can affect transmission. Do not dig deep.
- Test the collar and system by connecting the wire to the transmitter to ensure it functions properly.
- Put the wire inside or underground, cover it, and retest it.
- Train your pooch appropriately on how the in-ground invisible dog fence works.
How to Install a Wireless Invisible Dog Fence
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install an in-ground dog fence:
- Look for the most ideal position (main unit) for your transmitter – next to an outer wall but away from other electrical appliances, 3 to 5 feet off the ground, and near a power outlet.
- Trigger the signal receiver collar by inserting a working battery and turning it on and move towards the signal transmitter holding the collar in your hand. Make sure you press one or two buttons on the receiver.
- Set your containment area’s predetermined perimeter or radius.
- Set the correction level or mode of correction.
- To install the training flag, hold the receiver collar in your hand and approach the perimeter limit until you hear a beep. That is where you should plant your flag and make sure the flags stand 7 to 10 feet apart.
- Install the transmitter away from other electrical appliances or metal with the transmitter’s ventilation open.
- Train your pooch on how the wireless invisible dog fence works.
That was easy, right? Remember that whether you are using the in-ground or wireless invisible dog fence system, the transmitter should be kept away from any metal or electrical appliances. Training your dog to obey the predetermined perimeter is easy after he or she is used to having a collar on the neck.
How so, you may ask? On day one, approach the set perimeter with your pooch on the leash until a sound beeps. If he does not respond, continue until static shock is administered and hold him still to ensure he remains within his limitation.
On day two, repeat what you did on day one but let your dog wander to the perimeter and see the reaction. If he responds well (stops at the sound or shock), reward him and continue training until it sticks into his head.
Reviews of the 4 Best Invisible Dog Fences in 2021
Here are our four best invisible dog fences in 2021:
Our best invisible dog fence is the Stay & Play fencing system from PetSafe. This second-gen compact wireless radio fence features a rechargeable collar which makes it exceptional from others in the list. The system covers ¾ acre in all directions from the position of the transmitter.
The PetSafe Stay & Play dog wireless fence system comes with one tone mode and 5 levels of static correction to fit gentle to stubborn dogs. Like many PetSafe products, this system features a static-free reentry mode in case the dog passes the boundary. The collar features waterproof and rechargeable receiver and adjusts to fit neck sizes measuring 6 to 28 inches.
It is easy to set-up and portable.
- Serves the purpose
- Worth the cost
- Easy installation
- Ineffective on uneven terrains
- Inconsistent signal causing accidental shock
With coverage of up to ⅓ acres, the collar is both waterproof & submersible and comes with a heavy-duty protective jacket. This underground electric dog fence supports one dog but can be used on an unlimited number of dogs and extend up to 6 acres with the purchase of extra 20 gauge high tensile boundary wire.
$409.95 in stock
We like the system’s flexibility that allows you to program each collar’s levels of correction separately up to 7 intensities based on each pooch’s requirements. The collar’s adjustable strap suits dogs with a neck size of 10 to 30 inches and suits dogs weighing 8+ lbs. It has a digital transmitter radio frequency that can be changed if neighboring fence systems are causing interference.
To ensure customers are satisfied the company offers 24/7 customer support for all questions.
- Ideal for large dogs
- Affordable pricing
- Excellent customer support
Buy on Amazon
PetSafe Wireless System, our third-best invisible dog fence, stands out as the most reliable classic wireless, above ground fence you will find on the market. Like many PetSafe wireless fences, this system lets you create a safe circular boundary on ½ acre distance with easy install.
The wireless system features waterproof collar that is adjustable to fit dogs with a neck size of 6 to 28 inches and a weight of 8+ lbs. The collar’s replaceable battery lasts up to 2 months and the collar can be customized to fit any dog’s training and containment needs. It features 1 beep mode, 5 correctional levels, and the system allows you to add more pets.
- Ideal for medium-sized dogs
- Perfect for stubborn, energetic pooches
- Serves the purpose
- Works only on circular boundaries
- Inconsistent performance
Our fourth-best invisible dog fence is YardMax Rechargeable Unit from PetSafe and is a superb choice for dog parents with large acreages looking for in-ground solutions for their large yard space. This containment system limits your dog within ⅓ acre coverage and extra wire extends it to approx. 10 acres.
We like the in-ground fence compatibility with most terrains and come with 5 levels of static correction and 1 tone mode. The static-free re entry mode allows your dog to get in after passing the set boundaries. The YardMax Rechargeable Unit collar is waterproof and rechargeable that fits dogs with 6 to 28 inches neck size and a weight of 5+ lbs.
The system comes with a 20 gauge wire kit.
- Great features & tech
- Ideal for stubborn pooches
- Easy installation
- Works only on circular boundaries
- Complaints on substandard prong materials
How to choose the best Invisible Dog Fence
Choosing the best product on the market is not easy and an invisible dog fence is no exemption. Before spending your hard-earned money on such a device, you must make sure that it functions properly and meets you and your pooch’s specific needs.
Here is a buyer’s guide on five things to look for when choosing the best invisible dog fence:
- Size of the containment area – How large you wish the boundary perimeter to be determines the type of invisible dog fence you use. A large area, for instance, would require in-ground dog fencing. A wireless invisible dog fencing system, on the other hand, is best suited for apartments and rentals where the space is limited and rules apply.
- Type of system – As mentioned above, the most commonly used types of invisible dog fence systems include the wireless and in-ground. Each is suitable for different homes with in-ground being the best for large acreages and wireless for confined spaces.
- Battery – Collars come with two types of batteries including the replaceable and rechargeable. Most basic models utilize the replaceable batteries model because your dog will spend more time playing outside which makes charging somewhat inconvenient.
- Cost – Although both types of invisible dog fences are affordable, the wireless system is more cost-friendly than the in-ground system because installation requires flags, collars, and a transmitter. In-ground systems, on the other hand, require that and wires, plus digging.
- Dog breed – From small dog breeds like the Chihuahua to medium-size breeds like the Siberian Husky and large breeds like the German Shepherd, invisible dog fences will vary. This is especially true when it comes to collars and the size of the neck plus intensity levels of the transmitter.
5 Special features you should be looking for
- You have to get the right shock collar to enforce an electric dog fence.
- Choose a system that uses state-of-the-art technology for effectiveness and reliability.
- Select a dog fence system that is set up to endure power surges.
- The collar should be lightweight with several sensory cues.
- Make sure the wireless fencing system has a notification system.
How much are Invisible Dog Fences
With all these features in place as well as the functionalities, you might be asking yourself: how much do invisible dog fences cost? The cost of an invisible dog fence depends on several factors including the range, features, the preferred type of system, size of the dog, and the level of tech.
If you are looking for an invisible dog fence for large acreage from 1 or 2 acres, for instance, SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence is a fantastic option. This system comes with a containment kit that is easy to install covering up to 1 ⅓ acres of land. It features waterproof collars with a 9V battery that gives you 6 to 12 months service.
What we love most about the SD Brand In-Ground Fence is its expandability to cover approx. 100 acres of land with extra flags and wires, as well as unlimited number of dogs with additional collars. The collar has three stimulation modes, including beep, vibration, and static shock so you can choose the best level for your canine buddy.
Suitable for dogs weighing 10 lbs. and above, this invisible dog fence from SportDOG comes with a transmitter that features wire break alarm and in-built lighting protector. It can survive power surges easily.
Buy the SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence on Amazon at $419.95 here.
Do you want a wireless dog fence for a small dog breed? PetSafe Free to Roam Wireless Fence is a terrific wireless dog fence choice for small dogs such as your Chihuahua. This quality product from PetSafe offers up to ¾ acre coverage from the position of the portable indoor transmitter to help contain your Chihuahua within the set perimeter.
An easy to install system, it features a waterproof collar with a neck size of 6 to 28 inches and works well with all PetSafe Wireless Fence transmitters. The collar is customizable with 5 static intensity levels and features a replaceable battery that lasts up to 2 months before blinking the low battery indicator.
The best thing with the PetSafe Free to Roam Wireless Fence is that you can add an unlimited number of collars to the system and personalize their collar settings.
Buy the PetSafe Free to Roam Wireless Fence on Amazon at $239.95 here.
Invisible Dog Fence Do It Yourself (DIY)
If you prefer the DIY method rather than employing a professional to do the task for you, here are steps to install an invisible dog fence:
- First, determine the kind of system you want to install between the wireless and in-ground invisible dog fence.
- Measure the predetermined area and after receiving your kit, customize the layout.
- For an in-ground system, dig the perimeter and bury the wire around the yard. Be sure to test the system before burying.
- For the wireless system, position the transmitter and walk holding the collar in your hand and plant flags at the response of static shock.
- Train your dog until he knows the boundary and the repercussions of disobeying.
Easy enough, right?
Where can I buy an Invisible Dog Fence for Large Yards?
For individuals or families that own large yards, you might be asking yourself where you can buy an invisible dog fence that matches your space needs. Well, we thought you would never ask!
You can buy an invisible dog fence for large yards on online platforms Amazon or reliable pet stores or hardware stores. If you do not trust online platforms, you can visit the product’s firm or their trusted agents. Just check our buyer’s guide above before making a purchase.
Invisible Dog Fence with Bark Control
It is one thing to contain your canine friend within your yard’s perimeter and it is another thing to keep him quiet. Although the dog is man’s best friend, at times he or she can bark non stop maybe because it is their innate nature or strangers trying to get in or even cars are passing by.
Luckily, some companies have manufactured an invisible dog fence with bark control that will help you contain your dog and control their barking at the same time. These types of invisible dog fences use high-tech collars that detect the dog’s barking and send a signal to stop it. However, you have to ensure that it has the ability to filter other noises and specifically responds to your dog’s barking to prevent accidental static shock.
Say goodbye to neighbors complaining about your nosey and noisy dog by using invisible dog fences with bark control.
Invisible Dog Fence with 2 Collars
If you have 2 dogs, you might want to consider an invisible dog fence with 2 collars. It is the best and easiest way to contain your canine buddies within their perimeter in unison. This type of invisible dog fence comes with one transmitter and two collars that respond independently.
As such, if any of your two dogs approaches the set boundary, the transmitter will send a signal to its collar and stop it before it reaches the perimeter. Make sure the two collars are tested for functionality before using them on your canine friend.
Do invisible dog fences really work?
Yes, invisible dog fences really work and are suitable for almost any landscape you live in and can cover large perimeters to give your dog ample playground or roaming zones.
Are wireless dog fences safe?
Yes, wireless dog fences are safe as they prevent your pooch from getting out of the set radius within your home or apartment using different modes of warning. Unfortunately, hazards and stray dogs are open to enter into the yard.
Are electric dog fences humane or cruel?
Electric dog fences are humane but can also be cruel, especially if the static shock level is too strong for your dog. The quality of the collar material also matters a lot when it comes to safety, especially the prongs. Check the build material.
What does an invisible dog fence cost?
An invisible dog fence with installation costs somewhere from $900 to $1,500
Does underground dog fence work?
Yes, underground dog fences do work and are best suited for individuals with large acreages of land where you will find large dog breeds. One setback for this kind of system is that if a wire fault occurs; repairing it can be a daunting task.
What kind of wire is used for the invisible dog fence?
The kind of wire used for the invisible dog fence is copper wire due to its conductivity and is insulated with polyethene plastic jacket to make it weather-resistant, prevent wear & tear, and being chewed by animals.
Hi there! My name is Ben Walker and I am the editor here at 10PetFood. I have 7 years of experience as a pet care professional in the New England region having spent time in various roles including a stint at a veterinary hospital in Upstate New York, Syracuse area. I am a certified pet care professional and mostly spend my time researching pet nutrition or walking my dog.