Best Invisible Dog Fence Reviews – Buyer’s Guide
Your dog needs plenty of exercise and space to roam around in the yard.
The problem is, danger is everywhere these days. If you leave your pets to their own devices, there’s every chance they’ll end up slipping out into the street or into the neighboring gardens.
Even within your own outside space, perhaps you have areas where you’d sooner your dog didn’t nosy around. Whether it’s a pond or a swimming pool, a BBQ area or flower beds, there are many reasons for containing your dog.
Today, we’ll explore the best invisible dog fence so you can give your beloved canine the freedom he needs within the limits you choose.
First thing’s first then, what different types of fences can you choose from?
I. Best Invisible Dog Fence Comparison
SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System
PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence for Dogs
PetSafe Little Dog In-Ground Fence
Hidden Dog Fence - Safe & Unseen Pet Containment System
eXtreme Dog Fence - Second Generation In-Ground Electric Dog Fence
II. Types of Dog Fence on the Market Today
You’ve got 5 main options if you want to contain your dog on your property:
- Wood Dog Fence
- Chain Link Dog Fence
- Building a Wall
- Wireless Dog Fence
- Invisible Dog Fence / Underground Dog Fence
1. Wood Dog Fence
A regular wooden fence is a simple but reasonably effective way to keep a well-behaved dog in check.
Wooden fences, often called split rail fences or log fences, are generally made from pine that’s split lengthwise so it forms rails. These work well on pretty much any type of terrain. There’s precious little maintenance involved once your fence is set up.
You will need some wire to keep your day penned in.
Another wooden option at your disposal is a regular picket fence. This type of fencing has limitations so it’s better suited to smaller dogs less prone to attempt a Houdini.
Solid wooden fences with lattice along the top are pretty stable and secure. If your dog likes to terrorize passers-by, this is a pretty smart choice.
2. Chain Link Dog Fence
Chain link dog fences don’t do such a great job of containing anything but the smallest and most docile of canines.
Most dogs can happily jump over these fences or work their way underneath with relative ease.
Sure, a chain link fence might look attractive but it’s really not fit for purpose.
3. Building a Wall
If you really don’t fancy any of the wooden varieties of fence and you’re disinclined to invest in a wired or wireless containment system, a good old-fashioned wall is an alternative solution.
You’ll need to make sure it’s high enough to keep your dog in check. He certainly won’t be tunneling under it in a hurry.
This is one of a cheap options if you want to safeguard your dog without spending a great deal.
4. Wireless Dog Fence
Wireless containment systems, as the name makes abundantly clear, don’t rely on installing physical wiring.
You’ll get a transmitter that pumps out an invisible field. If your dog breaches the boundaries of this field, he’ll get an unwelcome shock that should swiftly pull him back into line.
Installation of these systems could scarcely be simpler. The drawback, however, is that you don’t have anywhere near the flexibility you’ll get with an invisible wired dog fence, also commonly known as an underground dog fence.
For completely symmetrical layouts – which, let’s face it, are pretty rare - wireless fences can work fairly effectively.
There’s a reason, though, that the core focus of our article is invisible dog fences. We’ll take a quick look now at where they excel before moving on to our best underground dog fence reviews.
5. Invisible Dog Fence / Underground Dog Fence
This type of containment system is known as an invisible dog fence, an underground dog fence or a wired fence.
Whatever term you use, the premise is the same…
Through a combination of wire and transmitter, you can deliver graded corrections to your dog to make certain he stays safely tucked within the designated boundaries.
Invisible fences are not the cheapest way to deal with the problem of escape-artist pets but when you consider the cost over the long-term, it really is money very well spent.
We’ll go into more detail of how they get the job done in our reviews and buying guide.
So, without further ado, we’ll present 5 of the very best underground dog fences on the market today…
III. Top 5 Invisible Dog Fence Reviews
1) SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System
First up in our search for the best invisible dog fence is an in-ground system from SportDOG.
If you have a larger property and don’t want the costs and restrictions of a traditional fence, this in-ground system makes a smart alternative.
The basic kit is tailor-made for areas up to 1 1/3 acres but you can buy more wire and flags and secure up to 100 acres allowing your dog to experience freedom without running into any danger.
Not all dogs respond in the same way to stimulation so the 4 progressive settings let you experiment and find the strength of signal he’s most comfortable with.
Read on to see how simple this fence is to set up, what’s included in the box and a breakdown of the pros and cons…
We’ll follow this pattern with all of our best under ground dog fence reviews so you can see at a glance where they stand and fall without needing to wade through thousands of words of technical information.
Completely customizable, installation of the SportDOG fence is a case of sinking the wire all around the edge of your property then plugging in the nifty transmitter.
Make sure the wire and power adaptor plug are hooked up to the transmitter. You’ll then see 2 lights to indicate that you have juice and that the loop wire is all present and correct.
Use the range settings according to the area you need to contain. Tweak the distance at which the collar activates according to your preference.
Choose between a warning, warning and stimulation or stimulation.
The guide goes into full details but follow these basic instructions and you’ll be up and running in no time without a headache.
- Transmitter with power adaptor
- Wire (1000ft, 20-gauge)
- 100 x training flags
- SDF-R collar
- Lengthy probes
- Nuts and gel filled capsules
- Testing tool
- This fence really is a versatile piece of kit. It’s fully adjustable nature gives you maximum leeway whatever set-up you require.
- Although it’s not the strongest fence on the market, it should deliver just enough correction to keep your dog safely within the boundaries you set.
- Rugged and built to last the distance, we really can’t knock the performance of this fence. It does exactly what it claims and it does it very well.
Things We Like
- Market-leader for coverage, this fence contains up to 1 1/3 acres and can be expanded for up to 100 acres of grounds
- Progressive static correction ramping up through 4 levels
- Waterproof receiver collar extremely rugged and equipped with vibration function so ideal for aging dogs
- With multiple compatible collars, this fence is suitable for all dogs
- Fully customizable so perfect for any outside space
- Get additional collars to contain any number of dogs
- Great guide and DVD combined with superb customer service makes getting set up a seamless experience
Things We Dislike
- Misleading branding since to cover 100 acres you need to spend quite a lot more money on extra wire and flags
- Some users reported dogs reacting badly to the static correction
2) PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence
This in-ground fence from PetSafe is not for the faint-hearted. With 5 correction levels which start out pretty strong and just get stronger, make sure your dog is hardy enough to cope before investing in this containment system…
It comes out at roughly double the strength of standard fences so whether your dog has a high pain threshold or is resistant to training, keep him fully in check with the PetSafe.
Although the basic kit only covers an area of 1/3 acre, you can expand the fence to cover a much more substantial 25 acres so it’s a great option for anyone with bigger outdoor spaces.
The key selling point of this fence is the raw power. Just make sure it’s the right fence for your dog to avoid any nasty shocks.
Like all in-ground fences, the world is your oyster when it comes to installation.
You can run the wire along a fence already in place, bury it or simply attach it to the ground with staples. Imagination is your only limitation.
The transmitter is much lighter than that of many competing fences and straightforward to activate.
It is fairly tough to get this installed so don’t think it’s a 5 minute job. If you’re not particularly practical, you might want to call in outside assistance.
- PetSafe transmitter with power adaptor
- Wire (500ft, 20-gauge)
- 50 x training flags
- PRF-275 collar
- Battery for collar
- Medium probes
- Nuts and gel filled capsules
- Testing tool
- Mounting bracket
- If you have a larger or more stubborn dog, as the name of this fence suggests, you’re in safe hands.
- The power is first-rate and will stop even the most demanding dog from straying out of bounds.
Things We Like
- Extremely strong correction strength so a winner for awkward or hard-to-train dogs
- Coverage of 1/3 acre, extendable to 25 acres if you buy additional flags and wire
- As with all good dog fences, combination of tone and vibration works well if your dog has hearing issues
- Waterproof collar is durable and adjustable for all animals over 8 pounds
- Wide neck size customization from 6 to 28 inches
- If you have multiple dogs, just purchase more collars for total protection
- Boundary alarm sounds if the wire gets broken
Things We Dislike
- Battery is not rechargeable meaning ongoing expense for replacements
- Control box lacks any battery back-up which can prove inconvenient
- Not suitable for smaller or sensitive dogs due to strength of correction even at lower levelsInstallation can be hard work
3) PetSafe Little Dog In-Ground Fence
We have tried to include something for everyone in these best invisible dog fence reviews so next up is a top-notch in-ground fence specifically designed for smaller animals.
This is one of only 2 fences available that are designed with small dogs in mind, both from PetSafe. This version is not only cheaper but also boasts better coverage so it’s a strong contender for the best invisible dog fence.
Fully customizable with safety time-out and anti-linger functionality, you’ll get a truly complete containment system purposely produced for the needs of smaller dogs.
As with all invisible dog fences, expect to put in some elbow grease but remember that set-up is a one-time deal and, once everything’s in place, you can rest easy knowing your dog can wander around without coming to grief.
You’re looking at the better part of a day to get things absolutely perfect.
The clear instructions and guide will make your life easier but don’t feel shy about contracting extra help if you find the whole installation process a little too challenging.
- PetSafe Elite transmitter (Little Dog) with power adaptor
- Wire (500ft, 20-gauge)
- 50 x training flags
- Little Dog receiver collar
- RFA-188 battery
- Nuts and gel filled capsules
- Testing tool
- Mounting bracket
- Much like the majority of invisible dog fences, you’ll get 4 correction levels to choose from, in this case tweaked for smaller breeds of dogs.
- If the wire breaks in any spot, you’ll get both a visible and audible alarm so you can take care of the breach promptly and won’t compromise your dog’s safety.
- The collars are lightweight without sacrificing performance and the anti-linger feature puts paid to accidental battery draining.
- Considering the competitive price point, you really can’t really ask for much more in an invisible dog fence.
Things We Like
- As with all PetSafe products, you’ll enjoy total flexibility so it’s a one-size-fits-all solution to protecting your dog
- Surge protector thrown in which is a nice bonus
- Conserve battery life by turning off the collar when not in use
- Expressly designed for smaller dogs so keep your pets safe with no concern of hurting them
- 4 levels of protection along with a training mode so very versatile
- Great value for money considering the performance on offer
- Collar is reflective giving you added confidence at night
- Safety time-out to prevent overcorrection
Things We Dislike
- You need to buy a specific battery which means added expense and restrictions so be warned in advance
- Transmitter has no back-up
4) Hidden Dog Fence
As we near the end of our best invisible dog fence reviews, we’ll outline an outstanding hidden dog fence from Sit Boo-Boo.
You’ll get top-grade copper boundary wire and a generous 5 correction levels. Training your dog up is quick and easy then you kick back knowing his movements are limited by the boundaries you choose. No more ruined flowerbeds and goodbye to panicking that your precious pet will end up as roadkill.
With relatively simple installation, improved wire and an enhanced battery life, this hidden dog fence is a steal at the considerable discount currently being offered.
With the choice of burying the wire or attaching it to an existing fence, you’ll have the freedom to set this fence up so it works for you and your personal requirements.
With enough wire to cover over an acre of ground, setting up your fence will take a little time but it’s not back-breaking work.
Once the boundary wire is laid out and the transmitter is fired up, you’re in business right away. You could be up and running in as little as 2 hours.
- Transmitter and mounting screws
- Wire (995ft, copper)
- Boundary flags
- Fully adjustable collar
- Long and short prongs
- Testing lightUSB charging cords
- For a budget-friendly invisible dog fence, we can’t knock the performance.
- You’ll get 5 varied levels of correction so you can ensure that you get the level just right for your dogs.
- Even if you have a really substantial area to cover, the top-tier transmitter won’t let you down. It’s good for areas up to 5 acres without dropping the signal.
- This fence does work best with smaller dogs so you might want to roll with one of our other options if you have a bigger breed.
- Extremely affordable without dipping out on build quality
- Compared to many invisible fences, installation is rapid and stress-free
- Customize boundary area so a smart choice whatever the layout of your garden
- Flick between the 5 correction levels with ease depending on the stubbornness of your dog
- Exceptional 5 acre range on transmitter is class-leading
- First-class customer care so you’re supported every step of the way
- Lifetime warranty allows you to buy in complete confidence
- Not the best fence for larger dogs so take this into account if applicable
5) eXtreme In-Ground Dog Fence
Last up in our best in-ground dog fence reviews is a slightly pricier offering, the uprated eXtreme, a strong contender for the best underground dog fence.
Available in a wide array of variants, you can select a system fit for 1 to 5 dogs with anywhere from 500ft of wire right through to 5000ft.
Compared to the marathon involved installing some invisible fences, getting the eXtreme fully functional is a relative breeze.
With extra-thick wire and a supremely capable transmitter, this fence might be rather expensive but you really do get what you pay for.
The installation kit gives you everything you need to get your fence ready for action without needing days of backbreaking work.
Once you have chosen how to lay out your wire, get the transmitter going and you’ll be all set to cut your dog loose without fearing for his whereabouts.
As with all invisible fences, be honest about how handy you are with electrics and practical projects. If you find the instructions baffle you or you’re all fingers and thumbs, don’t hesitate to call for assistance.
- Digital transmitter
- Wire (500ft, 14-gauge)
- Twisted wire (50ft, 16-gauge)
- 50 x training flags
- Waterproof collar
- Battery for receiver
- Contact points
- Contact covers
- Contact training caps
- Splice kits
- Testing tool
- 10 x staples
- Of all the underground dog fences we tested, the eXtreme is a notch above the rest.
- The copper wire is professional-grade and weatherproofed. It’s a far thicker gauge than the thinner stuff often bundled with home fences.
- Whether your dog is big or small, obedient or more resistant, this fence is a strong performer across the board.
- A feature-laden transmitter, the cornerstone of any great dog fence, really ices the cake.
- There’s no area in which we can say this fence will let you down. It really does deliver in fine style.
- Diverse options catering for a number of dogs and varying areas of coverage so a truly flexible underground dog fence
- Very thick gauge wire stands head and shoulders above most competing fences
- Complete freedom when it comes to layout so customize to your requirements with ease
- Waterproof to 100ft which is a nice touch
- Great functionality on transmitter
- Works well with dogs of all sizes
- Optional dog door adds another dimension to an already excellent fence
- Relatively easy DIY installation
- 10-year electrical warranty and lifetime fence warranty inspires confidence when purchasing
- Not the cheapest underground dog fence but the best things in life are rarely cheap
- Battery is not rechargeable
Now we’re done with our underground dog fence reviews, you should be well placed to get the most appropriate fencing system.
Before wrapping up, we’ll take a quick look at general set-up, making sure your dog doesn’t feel neglected and the overarching benefits of invisible dog fences…
IV. General Guide to Setting Up Your Dog Fence
For the purposes of this section, we’re going to assume you’ve plumped for an invisible dog fence.
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Proper preparation is crucial. Don’t make the mistake of launching straight in to installation without thinking things through. Draw up a plan of where you’ll put the wire. Call your utility company if you are not confident of the location of underground power lines. Take into account the terrain you’ll be working on. Factor any concrete or awkward surfaces into the equation
Wire Comes First: The inbuilt flaw with many dog fences on the market is wire that’s not man enough for the job. Upgrade to a thicker gauge if the wire you have is too thin and not liable to stand up to the elements. While it’s possible to attach the wire to an existing fence, your safest bet is to bury it. This, obviously, will protect the wire more fully from adverse weather conditions. Rather than unrolling the whole spool – this will lead to a tangled birds nest – unroll small lengths you can easily work with
Grab Some Tools: Get yourself a shovel, ideally with a long handle to prevent unnecessary strain. A wire cutter is essential, a weeding tool useful and you’ll also be advised to lay in some wire splices
Dig a Trench: There’s no need to go over the top here. A thin trench is sufficient. Shoot for something between 1 and 5 inches deep. This only requires smashing your shovel in and moving it swiftly back and forth a few times
Boundary Wire Installation: Methodically place the wire in the trench and stamp down on it to cover it with earth. A weeding tool with blunted prongs can be a time-saver here but you can easily do this part with just your feet. This is perhaps the most tedious part of the whole installation process so be patient and think of the end result
Time for Twisted Wire: There are some areas where you might need non-correcting wire, the section that connects the transmitter to the boundary wire, for example. Luckily, this can be easily accomplished. BY twisting a couple of strands of wire together, the signal will be cancelled out. This can again be tiresome if you need to deal with a longer length so take your time and plenty of breaks to avoid frustration setting in
Check the Trench: Make absolutely sure that the wire in the trench is all covered
Set out the Flags: During the training period, these flags will serve to give your dog extra warning. You can remove them once he is fully aware of the new order. Set out the flags a few feet apart and you’re almost good to go…
The All-Important Transmitter: Always consult the instruction manual to make sure you get this step spot-on. You’ll need some screws, a screwdriver, a level and a straight edge. Choose an appropriate spot for your transmitter and mount it to a wall. Install, too, the lightning device if your fence comes with this handy protective add-on. Connect the transmitter to the boundary wire and it’s time to start training your dog
V. Keeping Your Dog Happy Inside The Dog Fence
There’s no boilerplate answer to making sure your dog is content within the confines of a fenced-off area. A great deal depends on his temperament and desire for company.
In general, dogs are absolutely in their element outdoors. The problem is that they have a tendency to wreak havoc if they are left unattended for too long. Whether they dig up the plants, bite on garden furniture or simply try to escape, there’s no substitute for regularly checking in on your furry friend.
Pathways around the edges of the garden help your dog to patrol the perimeter using a perfect running space.
Consider using rosebushes or similar plants to keep them away from any areas you want protected. Fence off any vegetable or herb gardens.
If you have a lawn, water it frequently to offset the dark patches caused by your dog urinating on it.
Leave plenty of your dog’s favorite toys in the garden so the temptation to get up to mischief is minimized.
Give him a bone so he can get plenty of goodness and keep his teeth in order while doing what he loves best.
As long as your dog doesn’t feel like he is being placed out of sight and out of mind, he should revel in the joys of playing outside without being supervised constantly. You can relax knowing that whatever mischief he gets up to, at least he won’t be vaulting into the neighbor’s yard or running out into traffic.
VI. Benefits and Drawbacks of Invisible Dog Fences vs Wireless Dog Fences
Just before rounding up, we’ll give you a shotgun look at the main advantages and invisible dog fences along with the downside.
Affordability: With a range of price points suitable for most budgets, buying the best invisible dog fence is within the reach of pretty much every pet owner. While they might not seem particularly cheap, when you compare the one-off cost of an underground fence to your weekly dog food bill or vet’s bill, it doesn’t seem quite so bad. A wireless fence is generally more expensive so invisible fences win on this score
Total Flexibility: While a wireless fence is limited, you can set out your underground dog fence in line with whatever the configuration of your garden. You can also extend it with ease by purchasing more wire and flags
No Unsightly Barriers: The attraction of both invisible and wireless dog fences is that you won’t be forced into adding an unattractive physical barrier to your yard. A wall or chain link fence might work well but not if you’re forced into one against your wall. As the name makes very clear, an invisible dog fence gets the job nailed without that unsightly barrier
More Freedom for Your Dog: Capable of covering very large areas and containing even stubborn dogs, invisible fences trump wireless alternatives when it comes to giving your dog the maximum freedom to roam around without putting his safety on the block
Highly Effective Method of Containment: Where wireless dog fences are often limited in scope and physical barriers can be negotiated by wily dogs, overall an invisible fence is an incredibly effective way to keep your dog safely within bounds. The very nature of the sharp shock he’ll get if he steps out of line rapidly teaches your dog to stick to his designated area
Convenience: It’s pointless to deny that a wireless fence is easier to set up. That said, its restrictions should make you question whether or not you think it’s worth the hassle of a one-off installation job to gain flexibility and functionality. Invisible fences don’t require a PhD to set up and if you’re really not that way inclined, you can easily call in a contractor and you’ll be operational in no time
Training Period Required: However swiftly you manage to set up your invisible dog fence, you’ll still need to educate your pets and use the flags along with plenty of patience to ensure they comply
Don’t Stop Intruders From Entering: Although your dog won’t be escaping in a hurry, any potential menaces can easily enter your garden. Whether it’s stray dogs or feral animals, an invisible fence is not inviolable
Reliance on Power Supply: In the event of any kind of power cut, your underground fence will stop working. This is also true of a wireless fence and one of the advantages of installing a barrier like a wall or physical fence
Pain: Last but by no means least, there is an element of potential pain involved for your dog if he fails to heed the warnings and gets a shock from the fence. Although many fence manufacturers compare this to the sort of static shock you might get from time to time, in reality it’s a little harsher than that. Think about this factor and decide whether it will influence your decision to purchase an underground dog fence or whether it’s something you can live with
We hope you’ve enjoyed this study of the most effective underground dog fences. We’ve also tried to include plenty of other approaches to keeping your dog safe since we realize not everyone has the same type of garden, the same dog or the same general requirements.
While all of these methods discussed today can, in the right circumstances, keep your dog from wandering off, there’s no doubt in our mind that invisible dog fences are the most efficient overall.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or feedback. We love to hear from our dog-loving readers and we’re here to help you in any way we can.
Now go and get that fence ordered so you can rest easy while your dog plays happily and stays safe from harm.