invisible fence for dogs

The Best Invisible Fence for Dogs: 6 Options According to a Veterinarian

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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See our advertising disclosure.

Which Invisible Dog Fence is Best?

PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Invisible Fence
  • FOR PERSISTENT PETS: Great for the most hard-to-train pets a tone-only mode and 5 levels of static correction adjust based on how your dog responds during training
  • PROTECT A 3/4-ACRE YARD: Create a circular boundary that adjusts up to 3/4-acre (22 5 -105 ft in all directions) from where you place the transmitter indoors
  • NO DIGGING OR WIRE TO BURY: Sets up in just a few hours; a wireless boundary allows you to create a secure barrier around your yard to protect your pets without the time or hassle of burying wires

What is an Invisible Fence for Dogs?

An invisible fence for dogs is a pet containment system that uses a receiver collar to transmit signals from buried wire to tell your dog when it is getting close to the edge.

They will often vibrate, emit a warning noise, or use a static correction (a mild electrical pulse that alerts your dog when it has crossed the fence’s boundary) to contain a pet within a set perimeter.

Do Invisible Fences Really Work for Dogs?

Yes, the invisible fence for dogs works. The use of vibration, static, and noise is a safe and effective way of training dogs to remain within the boundary, although they require extensive training.

Is an Invisible Fence Good for Dogs?

Yes, an invisible fence can be good for dogs.

Although the overall opinions are mixed, the hesitation often comes from the amount of training that is required and most dog owners’ inability to train dogs correctly.

Wireless dog fences require more initial dog training than other types of fencing, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. This also means that without the proper training, some dogs simply might not understand the purpose of the fence or what the collar is doing when they cross the barrier.

According to PetMD, this confusion within the dog can cause them to become frightened and, in some cases, respond with aggression or fear that causes them to run off far beyond the boundary of the fence. This defeats the purpose of an invisible fence.

The Best Invisible Dog Fences Reviewed

Finding the right invisible fence for dogs can be tricky. To make the search easier, we reviewed several best-selling products.

PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Invisible Fence

PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Invisible Fence

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Summary: This wireless invisible fence for dogs has a range of up to three-quarters of an acre and is portable, so you can take it with your camping, hiking, or traveling.

It offers a static-free re-entry in case your dog escapes it can re-enter the barrier without a corrective charge. It features a waterproof and rechargeable receiver collar that fits necks from 6-28 inches in girth. The adjustable correction level makes this perfect for dogs of all sizes.

Fence Dimensions: up to 3/4 acre

Features: 5 levels of static correction, 3/4 acre coverage, wireless, portable, static-free re-entry

Pros

  • Adjustable correction level
  • Static free re-entry
  • Wireless commands
  • Easily portable
  • Waterproof receiver collar

Cons

  • The plastic clasp on the dog collar may be too weak for some dogs

Review: Happy customers were satisfied when the collar did its job at keeping their dogs in their yard. One reviewer even said it had saved his dog from a black bear that came through their yard at night. This invisible fence for dogs was the only thing that kept his dog from pursuing an adult bear.

Disappointed customers said the collar doesn’t work. They say the collar did nothing to keep their dogs inside the barrier and that the plastic clasp that closed the leash is easy to undo, and their dogs were quick to escape.

PetSafe Basic In-Ground Pet Fence

PetSafe Basic In-Ground Pet Fence

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Summary: Covering up to 1/3 of an acre, this is an easy-to-install DIY invisible fence for dogs. It features an adjustable correction level to be effective, even on stubborn dogs.

The DIY installation kit allows you to customize the layout of the barrier to keep your dog out of areas within your yard as well as outside of it. The dog collar is waterproof and fits dogs from 8 pounds and up with necks up to 26 inches. It is intended for dogs older than six months.

Fence Dimensions: Up to 1/3 acre

Features: 1/3 acre coverage, DIY installation, compatible with most PetSafe fences, adjustable correction level

Pros

  • Adjustable correction level
  • Easy DIY installation kit
  • Compatible with other PetSafe fences (except YardMax)
  • Low battery indicator
  • Batteries last up to two months on a single charge

Cons

  • Only covers 1/3 of an acre which may be small for some dogs

Review: Satisfied customers were very pleased with this invisible fence for dogs. The top comment said it “should be a 10-star review” on Amazon. They were happy that the installation was very easy, although even 5-star reviews say it took a significant amount of time.

Disappointed customers left some strongly worded reviews. Numerous buyers said they had purchased PetSafe products in the past and had no luck with the quality, and this was the last straw for them.

Extreme Dog Fence Underground Electric Dog Fence

Extreme Dog Fence Underground Electric Dog Fence

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Summary: This multi-dog wired fence system is available with up to 2,500 feet of protection. It features 16 gauge twisted wire for greater durability and longevity.

The dog collar is completely waterproof and able to be submerged in water up to 10 feet deep. They offer a guarantee and a 1-year warranty that is extendable to 10 years in case anything goes wrong with the invisible fence for dogs.

Fence Dimensions: 10 acres

Features: Completely waterproof, 16 gauge twisted wire, 1-year warranty, waterproof collar

Pros

  • Available in multi-dog systems
  • Up to 2,500 feet of wire
  • Covers a massive 10 acres
  • 16 gauge wire for durability
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Cons

  • The safety timer that turns off the static correction after a few seconds may allow some dogs to go beyond the barrier after the shock ends

Review: Positive reviews say this unit is great, with multiple people mentioning how well it worked for their large dogs and dogs with thick fur. They were happy with the customer service and the warranty offered with this invisible fence for dogs and said that no other fence has worked as well as this one.

Multiple buyers said that after the first year, things started falling apart. They weren’t happy with the safety timer that ended the corrective shock after a few seconds and said their dog figured out they could deal with it, and the corrective action would end, allowing them to run across the fence without a problem.

SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence Systems

SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence Systems

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Summary: This underground invisible fence for dogs covers up to 1 1/3 of an acre and can be extended up to 100 acres with more wire. The collar gives a warning tone and a warning vibration before a corrective shock.

Each fence can have an unlimited number of receiver collars attached to it. The collar is waterproof and rechargeable with lithium-ion batteries that recharge in just two hours. It can be used on dogs as little as 10 pounds with 7 levels of corrective action available.

Fence Dimensions: 1 1/3 acre

Features: 1 1/3 acre coverage, rechargeable collar, unlimited number of collars can be used on this system, collar gives a warning tone and vibration before a corrective shock

Pros

  • Warning tone & vibration before a static correction
  • Covers up to 1 1/3 of an acre (extended for up to 100 acres)
  • An unlimited number of dogs can be contained with this system
  • Features 7 levels of correction
  • Waterproof collar

Cons

  • Not usable in a setting surrounded by aluminum-sided buildings

Review: Positive reviews were plentiful with this invisible fence for dogs. Many buyers were happy with the purchase saying this fence was the “best thing” they could have done for their dogs. Several reviewers seemed to respond to come critical reviews by warning people they must “learn how to use it” before installing it.

Negative reviews said this fence did not work for them and their dogs were afraid of the fence. They were also disappointed customer service seemed apathetic to their complaints.

My Pet Command Wireless Invisible Underground Dog Fence System

My Pet Command Wireless Invisible Underground Dog Fence System

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Summary: The extra thick polyolefin 13 AWG wiring of this wireless pet containment system comes with a solid copper core that is made for durability and longevity. It can span up to acres and be paired with unlimited collars to keep all of your pets inside the safety zone.

The collars are waterproof, rechargeable, and suitable for dogs up to 160 pounds. The underground wire of the invisible fence for dogs can be configured into any shape you want around your property.

Fence Dimensions: Up to 10 acres

Features: IPX7 waterproof, rechargeable, customizable dimensions, 10 acres of coverage

Pros

  • Covers up to 10 acres
  • Suited for dogs up to 160 pounds
  • Unlimited collars can be paired with the fence
  • Waterproof and rechargeable collar
  • Thick polyolefin 13 AWG wiring for durability

Cons

  • The collar can sometimes delay a corrective action and allow dogs to go beyond the fence

Review: Numerous customers were happy with this invisible fence for dogs and its ability to keep their dogs in their yard. Several mention they bought a second collar a year into using the fence, although they suggest watching the included video about pairing the collar to the fence.

The most common complaint was that the collar would work sometimes and not work other times. They say there is a delay in the corrective static that allows dogs who are fast enough to bolt through the fence without being shocked.

dr.tiger Rainproof and Rechargeable Invisible Dog Fence

dr.tiger Rainproof and Rechargeable Invisible Dog Fence

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Summary: This invisible fence for dogs features two rainproof collars that are rechargeable for easy connectivity. Any number of receiver collars can be paired with this underground wire fence. It has a warning tone to alert the dog when it is near the boundary and a corrective static that goes off when the dog has crossed it. It uses a large warning zone of 13-30 at the highest level, so your dog has plenty of audio warning before they reach the edge of the barrier.

Fence Dimensions: 2/5 of an acre

Features: Unlimited connectivity, rainproof collars, large warning zone

Pros

  • Unlimited collars can be attached to this system
  • Waterproof fence collar
  • Nine levels of corrective static
  • A large warning zone alerts your dog they are near the barrier
  • Suitable for dogs up to 120 pounds

Cons

  • Does not have a vibrate option

Review: There were only two reviews on this invisible fence for dogs. Neither were favorable, and both said the collar would beep constantly and that it scared their dogs.

How do I Choose an Invisible Fence for My Dog?

When choosing an invisible fence for dogs, it is important to consider the following features:

  • Type of Fence. There are two types of invisible fencing: wireless and wired. Wireless fences use a transmitter and require almost no setup beyond charging the collar battery. The wired or physical fence requires digging trenches to fit in the boundary wires.
  • Roaming Needs. Generally speaking, large dogs require more roaming space. On the other hand, smaller dogs can do fine with smaller perimeters. When it comes to roaming needs, you should also consider your dog’s personality.
  • Extra Features. It is always a good idea to consider additional features such as customizable boundaries, long battery life, warranty, waterproof training collar, and backup power sources in cases of power outages.
  • Budget. Knowing exactly how much you can spend on an invisible fence can dictate what type of fence you install and whether you or a professional will be installing it.

Is it Hard to Install an Invisible Fence?

No, installing an invisible fence for dogs is not hard.

However, it can be labor intensive. If you are using a wireless fence, the installation might be as easy as putting the batteries in the collar and setting the perimeter range on the transmitter.

If you are using a wired fence, however, you will need to plan where the underground fence will be buried and then bury it. Depending on the size of the play area you want for your dog, this can be quite a time-consuming endeavor.

How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Learn an Invisible Fence?

It is generally recommended to train your dog for at least 14 days to use an electric fence before allowing it to roam unsupervised.

The first few days, you will want to spend time getting it used to where the barrier is by spending 10-15 minute sessions teaching your dog where the boundary flags are and giving it a warning beep from the receiver collar, which defines his new containment area.

After the first few days, you can introduce the static correction on the collar receiver to teach them the consequences of crossing the flags. Be gentle with this. Using it too much or turning it up too high can easily frighten them, and the training can become counterproductive.

Do this by standing near a flag on the opposite side of the barrier and allowing your dog to try to come to you. Stay there until the dog hesitates to approach you on the other side of the flag.

After you have taught it where the boundaries are and what the static correction is, stand near a flag and try to coax them over to you. If it is hesitant, then it is aware of the consequences of going across the barrier.

To test its ability to stay there, try some light distraction to convince them to cross it. Throw a ball or walk on the other side of the boundary to see if it chases the ball or tries to come to you.

Can a Dog Jump Over an Invisible Fence?

Yes, dogs can jump over and outrun an invisible fence.

If a dog approaches a fence and ignores the warning and the static correction, it can run through the barrier to the other side. When the dog does this, the collar stops correcting them but not until they get through the trigger zone.

This is when having a larger trigger zone is especially useful, although this may prevent the dog from returning, especially if the zone is really wide (10-15 feet). This is because the warning tone and static correction will enable again when the dog approaches the fence from the other side when it is trying to return home.

This may require you to go to your dog, remove the collar, and bring them inside the boundary where a troubleshoot can take place to determine what failed and allowed your dog to escape.

What do I do If My Dog Runs Through an Invisible Fence?

There are several reasons your dog might run through an invisible fence. The first thing you should do is determine the reason why your dog managed to cross the fence, so you can prevent it in the future. Here are some common reasons:

  • Power Outage. This is particularly relevant if you have a wired fence system. These systems are not run on batteries, instead, they are plugged into your home and buried underground. If the power goes out or a surge protector is triggered without you realizing it, the fence will be useless until power is restored. Check the circuit breakers and the cords that power the fence regularly to prevent any unexpected errors.
  • Broken Wire. If there is a broken wire in a wired fence system, the system may malfunction. Although wired fences do not need to form a complete loop to be useful, a broken wire can cause the electricity to leak into the ground, and any length of wire after the break will not have a charge. Only the wire leading to the point of the break will.
  • Correction Level. If the correction level is set too low, your dog might not be intimidated by it enough to adhere to the boundaries you have set. Furthermore, if the dog’s fur is too thick around the collar, it can interfere with the static correction and cause it to become less effective as the dog’s fur grows out. Thinning out the fur and assessing the correction level are important when trying to determine the cause of an escape.
  • Collar Batteries. One of the easiest things to check is the batteries in the collar. Most collars have rechargeable batteries that may lose their ability to hold a charge over time. Replacement batteries are always nice to have on hand in these cases, so you can have one set of batteries charging while the other is in the collar working. Having an extra set of charged batteries on hand at all times can offer peace of mind too, so it is worth it to spend a little extra for some more rechargeable batteries.

Is an Invisible Dog Fence Worth It?

Yes, the invisible fence for dogs is worth it.

However, it depends on the exact situation. In general, there are many benefits when comparing invisible fences to traditional fences. For example, they are cheaper, easier to install, and do not impede the view from your yard, while keeping your dog safe.

The bad news is they do nothing to prevent other animals or people from entering your yard. They are purely a dog containment system, and for people with more aggressive or adventurous dogs, it might not be the best option.