The Best Electric Dog Fences (Review) in 2020
If your furry companion is an escape artist who takes any chance they can get to wander through the neighborhood and you need a simple but elegant solution to keep them in the yard, a wireless dog fence is the way to go. An electric fence is affordable, convenient and highly adaptable, so it works on almost all terrains and pretty much all pets. If aesthetics is one of your primary concerns, wireless fences are ideal because they are invisible, guaranteed not to visually interfere with your green space. But finding the right pet fence is no easy task – there are hundreds of options available, making the selection process quite frustrating.
To help you find a wireless pet fence that satisfies all your criteria, we reviewed dozens of different fences, including in-ground and wireless models. The result? Top 10 best electric dog fences currently on the market.
The Best Electric Dog Fences
The PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System is one of the best, if not the best wireless dog fence around: it has an adjustable circular range and covers up to ½ acres from the placement of the transmitter, is completely invisible so there’s no hassle of burying the wires, and most importantly, it uses static-free re-entry, meaning it allows your pup to return home without correcting them. The invisible fence comes with a waterproof and adjustable collar that fits dogs weighing 8 pounds and more (neck sizes 6-28 inches). The battery is quite good as well, lasting up to 2 months before it alerts you to replace it.
With this system, you can teach your pooch to stay in the secured area with a sound-only training mode, but there are also 5 levels of static to keep them within the fence’s boundary lines. If you have multiple pets, you’ll be pleased to know that the PetSafe Wireless fence allows for adding an unlimited number of collars to the system.
½ acre coverage, 90 ft. adjustable radius
Wireless, no need to bury wires underground
5 levels of static, sound-only training mode
Waterproof and adjustable collar, for 6-28” necks
Unlimited number of collars can be added to the system
Affordable, effective and easy to install, the SportDog Brand In-Ground Fence is another excellent electric dog fence. This model covers 1 1/3 acres of land per one dog, but can be expanded to cover over a whopping 100 acres with more wire and flags. It comes with a waterproof collar that fits dogs weighing 10 pounds and up. It’s designed for sporting dogs, so it comes with a tone (beep) plus vibration warning before moving to its static stimulation. Speaking of which, there are four corrections to choose from – from mildest to strongest.
The SportDog is easy to install as all you have to do is bury the in-ground wires in your backyard, and then switch on the transmitter that can be mounted on a wall. There is also an alarm in case there is a break in the integrity of the fence system, as well as a built-in Lightning Protector. As for the battery, it comes takes a standard 9V battery that typically lasts 6 to 12 months before alerting you to replace it.
1.33 acres coverage, expandable up to 100 acres
Tone and vibration warning, plus 4 levels of static
Waterproof, adjustable collar, fits 10 pound dogs and up
Transmitter has a wire break alarm and lightning protector
Unlimited number of collars can be added to the system
Another great electric dog fence by PetSafe, this one slightly upgraded to a greater acre coverage. The Stay & Play model adds extra ¼ of an acre to its coverage, so it covers a total of ¾ acres. Like the previous PetSafe model, this one too is wireless, meaning incredibly easy to install and use as you don’t have to bury any wires in your backyard. The system is also portable, so perfect for camping and vacation homes. To ensure good performance in all weather conditions, the collar is waterproof. It fits dogs weighing 5 pounds or more and can be adjusted to fit neck sizes 6-28 inches.
The Stay & Play wireless electric dog fence comes with 5 static correction levels and a sound only training mode. The re-entry is static-free, so the system won’t correct your dog if he comes back within the boundary. The battery life is the only minus as it lasts up to 3 weeks before alerting you to purchase a new one.
¾ acres coverage, 105 ft. adjustable pet zones
5 levels of static correction, plus sound-only training setting
Completely wireless, no digging necessary
Waterproof, adjustable collar, fits 5-pound dogs and up
Unlimited number of collars can be added to the system
The Extreme Dog Fence combines wire with wireless technology to provide an effective pet fencing system. The model comes with 500’ of 20 gauge boundary wire and covers up to 6 acres. This is an upgraded system that is compatible with new collar options and can be expanded with added fence to cover up to 25 acres. Importantly, it’s also pretty simple to install, as all you need to do is bury the wire in your backyard and install the transmitter to start training and containing your pet. You do this via a wireless and waterproof collar that is incredibly durable – your pup can even swim with it without affecting its functionality. There are a tone warning and 7 static correction levels to choose from.
If you own multiple pets, you’ll be happy to hear that you can add multiple collars to this system and have each individually programmed. Another plus is the battery life – this underground dog fence boasts a long-lasting 6V battery that lasts about 4 months on average.
6 acres coverage, 500’ of 20 gauge wire
7 correction levels, plus tone training mode
Waterproof and submersible collar
Can be expanded to cover 25 acres
No limit to the number of added collars
If you’re looking for an affordable, durable and all-weather appropriate underground dog fence, this fence system by PetSafe is a good choice. Covering 1/3 of an acre, but expandable to 5 acres, this dog fence is perfect for safely containing pets no matter the terrain of your property. The system comes with a warning tone which always reacts first, and 4 levels of static corrections if the pet passes the boundary. The collar is waterproof, lightweight and adjustable, designed to fit dogs that are 8 pounds or up, with neck sizes 6-24 inches wide. You can use the fence system to contain your back yard only, both front and back yard, or even on a physical fence – there are easy-to-follow instructions on how to design and install your fence however you want to.
The Basic In-Ground model allows for adding an unlimited number of collars to the system, where each collar can be individually programmed to best fit a dog’s personality. Like all PetSafe’s fences, this system also has a solid (albeit not perfect) battery, which lasts up to two months.
1/3 acre coverage, expandable to 5 acres
500 ft of wire, 50 training flags
4 static corrections, plus a sound only training
Waterproof, adjustable collar, fits 8 pounds pets and up
No limit to the number of added collars
If your pup is an escape artist and you need a firm and efficient in-ground fence to contain them, the Sit Boo-Boo system is for you. This electric dog fence comes with an auto-adjusting system that works individually for each dog, meaning in a way that best fits their temperament. It comes with 500 ft. industrial grade, solid copper core wire that can be either buried or installed above ground. It covers up to 1/3 of an acre, but it can be expanded to cover 20 acres of property, making it perfect for both suburbs and large green estates. This is a triple correction system, with tone, vibration and static: there are 7 correction levels, a warning tone and a vibration, which should stop even the most agile escape artists.
The Sit Boo-Boo’s collar is waterproof and works in freezing and below-freezing temperatures. It’s also submersible so safe even if your pup swims with the collar on. The battery is another huge plus as it’s rechargeable and lasts quite a long time, but it does need to be charged every 7-10 days.
1/3 acres coverage, expandable to 20 acres
Wires can be buried or installed above ground
7 static correction levels, plus tone and vibration corrections
Waterproof, submersible collar, IPV7 rated
Rechargeable lithium battery
Supports an unlimited number of collars
Looking for a durable collar for your in-ground fence system? The PetSafe Stubborn Dog Collar is a great choice. Compatible with all PetSafe dog fences except the two – YardMax Fence PIG00-11115 and UltraSmart In-Ground Fence PIG00-13619 – this durable collar will prevent even the most mischievous pets from escaping. It has 4 levels of static correction, including a very mild one for well-behaved dogs and a more powerful one for the escape artists, as well as a tone with vibration only for training purposes.
The Stubborn Dog Collar comes with short and long probes and a test tool, as well as two batteries. Speaking of which, they both have long lives – around 4 months per battery.
Durable collar for underground PetSafe fences
4 static corrections, plus tone and vibration training setting
NOT compatible with UltraSmart In-Ground Fence PIG00-13619 and YardMax Fence PIG00-11115
Comes with 2 long-lasting batteries
Another excellent invisible fence by Sit Boo-Boo, this system teaches your dog to behave in the best way possible, in the easiest manner possible. It comes with 995 feet of solid copper boundary wire that can cover up to 1.2 acres. The wire can be easily buried in the ground or installed above it– whatever works best for your property. As for the collar, it’s waterproof and rechargeable, so quite durable and convenient. It has 5 correction levels for precise training, so it’s suitable for both small and large, well-behaved and stubborn dogs. The collar typically requires charging once a week and you’ll know when its battery is fully charged thanks a blue LED light indicator.
If you need to expand the coverage of the fence system, you can do so by purchasing more cord – this way, you’ll be able to cover up to 5 acres of land. All in all, a fantastic, yet reasonably priced electric dog fence!
Covers 1.2 acres, expandable to 5 acres
995 ft. of copper wire that can be installed in-ground or above it
5 correction levels, plus a warning tone
Waterproof, rechargeable collar
Supports an unlimited number of collars
With almost 500 feet of 20 gauge boundary wire, waterproof and customizable training collar and long-lasting battery, the Pet Control HQ Wireless Fence is one of the best electric dog fences around. According to the manufacturer, the system can cover up to 10 acres of property with additional wire, however, there is no official statement about the actual coverage with the wire that comes with the system. That being said, many customers use it on 5-acre properties with no issues. The fence system boasts copper-based, heavy-duty wire that can be buried in the ground or installed above it, whatever suits your preferences better.
The package includes two collars, both of which are IPX7 rated, so waterproof and safe for swimming up to 30 minutes. There are three levels of automatic static correction and 10 levels of vibration for training on the remote collar. The batteries are rechargeable and last between 7-10 days before they have to be charged, which is a pretty good life. The only minus is that the system is not particularly suitable for small pets as the collars fit dogs weighing minimum of 11 pounds (neck size min 8”).
492 ft. of copper-based wire, covers up to 10 acres
Wires can be installed in ground or above it
3 static corrections, 10 vibration levels
2 waterproof adjustable collars, fit dogs weighing 11-154 pounds
The Free Spirit In-Ground Wire Fence is a budget-friendly, easy to install pet containment system. It comes with enough wire to cover up to 1/3 of an acre of property and contain one dog, but it can be expanded to contain an unlimited number of dogs in up to 1 acre with additional wire and collars. The one collar that is included in the package is waterproof and rechargeable, taking only about 2-3 hours to fully charge. It lasts quite a long time too, about 2-3 months, while the overall lifespan is about 5-6 years. The system has a tone, vibration and static corrections, where tone and vibration act as warnings before an unpleasant but harmless shock level of your choice takes place.
The collar is highly adjustable as well, as it fits dogs weighing 5 pounds and up, and neck sizes 6-26 inches. This makes it perfect for dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages. Unlike some electric pet fences though, this fence system can only be installed in one way – in the ground.
1/3 of an acre coverage, expandable to 1 acre
5 levels of static corrections, plus tone and vibration warnings
Waterproof and rechargeable collar
Highly adjustable, fits all dogs 5 pounds and up
Supports an unlimited number of collars with additional purchases
Electric Dog Fences Buying Guide & FAQ
If you need a simple but elegant solution to keep your furry companion safely contained within the limits of your property, you’re probably set on purchasing an electric pet fence. Good choice – invisible fences are affordable, efficient, elegant and easy to set up, so they check all the right boxes. But which fence is the best fence?
To help you find the right electric fence for your pet, we’ve reviewed dozens of different products, including both wireless fences and in-ground models. The result is the 10 best electric dog fences currently on the market. Still have trouble picking the one for your pup? Our buying guide should help. Here, we talk about all things electric pet fences, including the features you should be looking for, how to pick between wireless and in-ground models and how to install a fence.
Features to Consider When Buying an Electric Dog Fence
To purchase a good electric dog fence, consider the following features.
How many acres the fence covers is perhaps the most important thing to consider. You want a fence that covers either exactly the area you plan to keep your pup in or more than that. To know if the fence covers as much or more of your property, you’ll first have to measure it – decide where the dog will be, measure that area, and then look for fences that offer either that number of acres or more.
- Correction Levels
Another super important thing to think about is the correction levels that the system offers. Normally, you’ll want a model that provides multiple correction levels, including a warning tone and several static correction levels. It’s also important that the model is customizable so you can set the program that works the best for your pup’s temperament.
- Quality of Collar
A good-quality dog fence needs to include a good-quality collar: one that is sturdy yet comfortable, effective and able to withstand any weather situation. To get such a collar, look for a device that is:
Waterproof or water-resistant: if the collar cannot take a little bit of rain, it’s no good. To get a durable collar, look for systems that are either labeled as weatherproof, waterproof or water-resistant. The water-resistant or submersible feature matters even more if your dog likes to swim and has the opportunity to do so.
The right size: to ensure your pup is comfortable while wearing the device, the collar needs to fit their neck like a glove. You’ll want to weigh your dog, measure their neck and then look for a system that includes a collar that fits your dog’s measurements. Bear in mind that you’ll need a collar that is bigger than your dog's neck (especially if your pooch is growing!) and one that is adjustable.
- Options for expansion
If you own multiple dogs or are planning to get more pets in the future, make sure the fence system you’re purchasing is expandable. You want a brand that allows for the purchase of additional collars, receivers, wires and flags without sacrificing the effectiveness of the system.
Wireless or In-Ground
One of the major considerations to make when selecting an electric pet fence system is whether it should be wireless or in-ground. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so when choosing a fence it’s important to look for a system that works best for your specific conditions.
Wireless or invisible pet fences are popular for their ease of use and elegance. They’re incredibly easy to set up (take about a couple of hours) as all you need to do is plug in the radio emitter in your home and set up its range. Because there are no wires, your yard will be unobstructed and good-looking, yet your pet will be safely contained. Wireless systems are also portable and can be paired with physical fences. The disadvantage of wireless fences is their circular boundary – you cannot set its coverage in a square-shaped formation.
In-Ground dog fences are highly popular because they allow you to create a pet containment that matches the exact shape of your property. They’re more difficult to install than wireless systems, but still pretty simple as all you have to do is lay the wire where needed and then bury it. Some systems can also be installed above ground, however, they’re not as elegant as the wireless systems. On the plus side, these systems tend to be stronger or more effective than the wireless ones.
How To Install an Electric Dog Fence
Installing an electric pet fence is super simple and easy, regardless of the type you select.
- For wireless systems: simply plug in the radio emitter in your house, set up the system’s range and voila – the fence is installed.
- For in-ground and above-ground systems: Install the transmitter in your garage or anywhere away from other electronic devices. Create a perimeter in the shape of your property and either bury the wire there or lay it on the ground. Now just connect the terminals of the wire to your transmitter and test the system.
Best Electric Dog Fence FAQ:
Q: What is a wireless dog fence and how does it work?
A: A wireless or invisible dog fence is a pet containment system that works differently than the traditional fences but nevertheless safely contains the pet. There is no physical barrier here -instead, the system uses audio, vibration and electric current to teach your dog where the boundaries are and to correct them when they are preparing to cross them.
Q: Are electric dog fences effective?
A: While electric fences are effective at containing your pet, they’re not enough on their own. Training your dog along with using an electric fence is the best way to keep your pup safe and sound on your property. To do this, you’ll have to teach your dog where the boundaries are and then train them to identify the warning sound before receiving the static correction.
Q: Are electric dog fences safe?
A: If installed and used correctly, electric fences are safe. While uncomfortable, the static correction an electric fence uses is not dangerous – it’s simply unpleasant so your pet can learn where the boundaries are. To make the whole teaching experience more comfortable for your pooch, it’s a good idea to start with the lowest possible correction levels – if your pet is well-behaved and a quick learner, it’s likely you won’t ever have to use the highest correction levels.
Our Top Pick
While all the pet fences on our list are good-quality products, our top pick is the PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System because it comes with the most advantages: it’s wireless, therefore elegant and incredibly easy to install, has a good coverage and is expandable, comes with a durable, waterproof collar, plus a host of useful features. These include a static-free re-entry, 5 levels of static correction, sound only training mode and long battery life. Considering its low price, it’s one of the best electric dog fences, hands down!