Best Underground Dog Fences 2017, Top In-ground Dog Fence Reviews
An electronic dog fence is the best way to keep your pet contained within a boundary, without having to go the expense of building a physical wall or fence. Which is the best in-ground dog fence for your dog will depend on a number of factors, including the size and the temperament of your dog, as well as the size and shape of your backyard. There are two types of electronic dog fences. There are wireless dog fences, which work with a radio signal, and there are in-ground dog fences, which work with a cord that is buried underground. We explain the main advantages and disadvantages of the two types after our underground dog fence reviews.
To help you find the best in-ground dog fence for your dog, we have given you below an explanation of how electronic dog fences work along with some in ground dog fence reviews for models that will suit different types of dogs and a brief comparison of in-ground dog fence systems and wireless fences.
SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System is one of the best underground dog fences
I. Best Invisible Dog Fence Comparison Table
SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System
The SportDOG in-ground fence system is our pick for the best overall dog fence system. With advanced features such as an anti-linger function, a vibration warning plus static correction system, and a standard range of up to 1 1/3 acres
PetSafe Little Dog In-Ground Fence
For small dogs, and for value for money, you really can’t beat the PetSafe Little Dog in-ground fence. This is a superb invisible dog fence from one of the most trusted brands on the market and it has been designed especially for small breeds of dogs. The collar is small and lightweight and it will fit neck sizes of between 6 and 16 inches.
PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence for Dogs
If your dog is a bit stronger-willed and stubborn than most, then you will appreciate the PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence. This system will emit a slightly higher level static correction than most other in-dog dog fence systems, as it is designed to deter even the most stubborn of dogs from wandering off where they shouldn’t.
eXtreme Dog Fence - Second Generation In-Ground Electric Dog Fence
For quality, the eXtreme Dog Fence is the top underground dog fence to look at. While you may pay a bit more for the eXtreme Dog Fence, you get everything you could possibly need bundled in with the package, including a waterproof dog collar, coverage of up to 25 acres, and a ten year guarantee.
Hidden Dog Fence - Safe & Unseen Pet Containment System
This model is designed to be used with the wire buried in a shallow trench, or with the wire laid over the top of the ground. Recently upgraded by the manufacturer, the Sit Boo-Boo Hidden Dog Fence will cover an area of 1.2 acres it has five levels of static correction, and it can be used with small dogs and puppies as well as larger dogs.
Read More: Best Bark Collar
II. About Underground Dog Fence
An underground dog fence is an electronic fence that will train your dog not wander outside of the boundary that you set. They cost a fraction of what a physical fence would cost and they are very effective.
To install an underground dog fence, you bury an electric cord around the perimeter of your yard in a shallow trench and you install flags as a visual reminder for your pet of where the boundary is located. The cord is connected to a transmitter, which is usually housed in the home, a garage or a garden shed.
The best underground dog fence kits will also include at least one special dog collar. When your dog approaches the boundary, the collar will emit a tone to warn your dog not to go any further. If your pet continues towards the boundary, the collar will emit a mild electric shock that will startle your pet and discourage it from crossing the boundary.
III. Warning: Underground Dog Fences and Wireless Fences Are Not the Same Thing
Unfortunately, some less than well informed websites make the mistake of assuming that wireless invisible dog fences and in-ground dog fences are the same thing, but they are two distinctly different types of invisible dog fences, so be sure that you understand the difference between the two before you buy a dog fence.
In Ground Dog Fence Boundary Zone
Wireless Dog Fence Boundary Zone
A wireless dog fence uses a radio signal to define the boundary. That makes them easier to install and it means that you can easily take the system with you when you move home or you go on vacation, but wireless systems will only be able to create a circular boundary, they can be prone to boundary fluctuations, and they may not work on uneven or sloping ground.
An underground dog fence system uses a wire that is buried in a shallow trench in the ground to define the boundary. Some models do allow for the wire to be laid above ground as well. Underground dog fence systems take longer to install, because you have to dig a trench to lay the wire in, but they are far less prone to boundary fluctuations, they can cover irregular shaped boundaries, and they can be used on uneven or inclining ground. You can also create safe zones with an underground dog fence system, which allows you to create areas of the boundary that the dog can pass safely through without receiving a correction. It allows you to fence off areas within the boundary, such as pools, ponds or flower beds.
Overall, wireless dog fences are easier to set up and they are portable, but they have their limitations and they are generally less reliable than underground electric dog fences. If you are looking to create a permanent electric dog fence around your property, your best option would probably be to purchase an underground, wired, invisible dog fence.
IV. Best In-ground Dog Fences Reviews
Here in our In-ground dog fence reviews we explain what the main features and benefits of the best in-ground dog fences
1. The SportDOG in-ground fence system
The SportDOG in-ground fence system will cover a range of 1 1/3 acres and it comes with 1,000 feet of wire and 100 flags. The system is supplied with one waterproof collar that is designed to fit dogs weighing 10lb or over. The collar has 4 levels of static correction plus beep and vibration modes. As the dog approaches the In-ground dog fence, the collar will vibrate first, as a warning, and then, if the dog continues towards that fence, the collar will emit a static stimulation.
This is one of the best underground dog fence systems because of all the advanced features that it has, including an anti-linger function, which deters the dog from staying too long in the warning zone, which would run down the battery. You can use this best underground dog fence with any number dogs; you just needed to purchase additional collars. You can also extend the range up to 100 acres with additional wire and flags.
Things We Liked
- 1 1/3 acre area – can be extended to 100 acres
- Comes with 100 flags and 1,000 feet of wire
- 4 levels of correction plus beep and vibration warnings
- Anti-linger feature and wire break alarm built in
- Will suit dogs of 10lbs or larger
Things We Disliked
- The receiver unit is quite large
- The effective triggering distance from the perimeter wire can vary
Read More: Best Dog Training Collars
2. PetSafe Little Dog in-ground fence
Designed for dogs weighing 5 lbs or more and for neck sizes of between 6 and 16 inches, the PetSafe Little Dog in-ground fence is one of the best underground dog fence systems for the smaller breeds of dogs. The standard system will cover an area of 1/3 acre, but it can be extended to 25 acres with additional wire and flags. PetSafe is one of the best in ground dog fence manufacturers and they have an excellent reputation.
As you’d expect from a best underground dog fence, as the dog approaches the fence, it will hear a warning beep before the mild static shock correction is given. This model has 4 levels of static correction that can be set to suit the temperament of your dog or, if you prefer, you can set the dog collar to beep-only mode. Most pet owners report that it only takes one or two corrections for dogs to learn where the boundaries have been set with the PetSafe Little Dog in-ground dog fence.
Things We Liked
- Designed especially for small dogs – collar size 6 to 16 inches
- 1/3 acre area – Expandable up to 25 acres
- 4 levels of static correction and a tone only mode
- Warning beeps given before correction
- Best underground dog fence for small dogs
Things We Disliked
- Will only suit small dogs
- No vibrate mode, but there is a tone mode
3. PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence
The final model in our Underground dog fence reviews is the PetSafe Stubborn Dog in-ground fence. This underground dog fence will cover an area of 1/3 of an acre and it’s expandable up to 25 acres. The collar is waterproof, it will fit neck sizes of 6-28 inches, and it has four levels of static correction plus vibration and tone modes. The PetSafe Stubborn Dog in-ground fence also has a neat pager system, which can be very useful for getting the attention of a dog that is hard of hearing.
The system comes with 50 boundary flags and 500 feet of wire, which will be enough for the average sized yard. This great dog fence from PetSafe will train even the most stubborn of dogs to stay within the boundary of your yard and it’s definitely one of the best in-ground dog fence systems for high spirited dogs that don’t want to do as they are told.
Things We Liked
- Specifically designed for stubborn dogs
- Covers an area of 1/3 acre – Can be expanded to 25 acres
- Waterproof collar fits neck sizes of 6-28 inches
- Inbuilt pet pager for hard of hearing dogs
- Can be used with an unlimited number of dogs, with additional collars
Things We Disliked
- Not suitable for timid dogs
- Some people report that if a dog runs very fast across the bounder, they won’t receive a correction
- The dog collar is not the best quality
4. eXtreme Dog Fence
The eXtreme Dog Fence in-ground electric dog fence system is one of the best quality dog fences on the market at the moment and it comes with everything that you need to create an invisible boundary dog fence. The wire that comes with this model is heavy duty, thick gauge wire, the dog collar is guaranteed to be waterproof, not just water resistant, and the whole system is guaranteed for ten years. The eXtreme Dog Fence comes in a range of different configurations, so check carefully before you order. You can choose a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 dog system, and you can select from a range of wire lengths too.
The system includes lightweight dog collars, training flags, batteries, and absolutely everything that you need to set the system up. Every single component of this system is high quality and made to last. If you were comparing the eXtreme Dog Fence to other models on the market, then this would be the professional level electronic dog fences. However, for that premium quality, you do pay a slightly higher price. If you don’t expect to be moving home any time soon, though, then for that higher price will get you a top quality in ground dog fence that will easily last the life of your pet and beyond.
Things We Liked
- Excellent Quality
- Small and lightweight dog collars
- Highly configurable
- Guaranteed for 10 years
- Will cover an area of up to 25 acres
Things We Disliked
- More expensive than many other models
- Instructions could be better
- Battery life is a bit limited
5. Sit Boo-Boo Hidden Dog Fence
Sit Boo-Boo has recently upgraded their hidden dog fence by upgrading the wire to a pure copper wire, extending the battery life and improving the transmitter range. The Sit Boo-Boo hidden dog fence now comes with 955 feet of solid copper wire, which is enough to cover 1.2 acres. If you purchase additional wire, the transmitter will work over a five acre area. The collar is splash proof, but it is not totally waterproof, and it has five levels of correction, so it is suitable for small dogs and puppies as well as large dogs.
This system is designed to be an above ground or in an in-ground dog fence, but if you want to lay the wire above ground, you will need to buy the staples separately. Although above ground installation of a dog fence is obviously a lot easier than burying the wire in a trench, you do have to be aware that a wire laid across the ground is going to be far more prone to damage. This system comes with a very good manual and it also has a lifetime guarantee. Overall, the Sit Boo-Boo Secure-Pet hidden dog fence is a good quality, invisible dog fence that will do the job that it is designed to do very well.
Things We Liked
- Good quality for the price
- Very good instructions and user manual
- 5 levels of correction
- Works above or below ground
- Good customer service
Things We Disliked
- The wire could still be better quality
- No warning to tone in advance of the correction
- Collar not fully waterproof
V. How To Install An Invisible Fence
VI. Advantages and Disadvantages of In-ground Dog Fences
While in-ground dog fences do require more effort to install than a wireless dog fence system, they do have some distinct advantages.
The main advantage is that an underground dog fence is a lot more flexible than a wireless system. A wireless dog fence creates an invisible boundary around the transmitter that is circular, which means that they are not as effective in an irregular shaped field or yard as an in-ground system would be. When you use in-ground dog fences, however, you can bury the cord in whatever shape you like. The best underground dog fence will also allow you to create safe passage areas where your dog is allowed to pass through the boundary.
Another aspect where wireless fences can fall short is in areas of uneven ground. If your yard has a slope on it, that can interfere with the radio signal from a wireless dog fence, whereas an in-ground fence wouldn’t have that problem at all.
On the plus side for wireless systems; they are portable. Because there is no buried wire, you can easily take a wireless system with you when you move home, or you can take it with you on vacation.
Here’s a summary of the main advantages and disadvantages of an in-ground dog fence.
- The boundary can be any shape
- Entry and exit points can be built into the boundary
- Larger areas can be covered
- Areas within the boundary can also be covered, such as a pool or flower beds
- Uneven ground will not interrupt the signal
- A wire has to be buried in a trench in the ground
- Takes longer to install than a wireless system
- Not as portable as a wireless system
- Once the cord has been buried, the boundary is fixed
VII. Electric Dog Fence Wire for Your Underground Dog Fence
Underground invisible dog fences come with a reasonable amount of electric cord for burying around the perimeter of your yard, but there are times when you might need to some more wire. When that does happen, it is usually advisable to purchase the suppliers’ own brand of cord to go with the dog fence that has. Here, we discuss why you might need to buy extra dog fence wire and we explain which wires you will need to buy for the leading underground dog fences.
1. Some cases where you might need to use more dog fence wire
Most in-ground invisible dog fences come with sufficient wire for an average sized yard, along with a good number of training flags, but there are a number of reasons why you might need to purchase additional wire for your dog fence system:
1.1. You have a very large boundary
One of the advantages of an in-ground dog fence over a wireless system is that it can be expanded to cover a wider area simply by purchasing more dog fence wire. If this is the reason that you need purchase more wire, read the product manual first and find out what the maximum area is that your unit will cover.
1.2. You are moving home
One of the disadvantages of a buried wire dog fence is that they are not as easily portable as a wireless dog fence would be. However, if you buy some additional dog fence wire for your in-ground dog fence when you move home, all you need to take with you is the transmitter and the dog collars.
1.3. You want to change the shape of your boundary
With an underground dog fence system, you can create an irregular boundary and, using twisted wire, you can create safe areas over which dogs can pass without being given a correction. If you change the layout of your yard, you get a pool, or you enlarge your house, extra dog then you might need to purchase more electric dog fence wire to accommodate those changes to the boundary
1.4.You want to set up a temporary boundary
If you are going on a long vacation, you might want to take your underground dog fence with you and set up a temporary boundary for your dog where you are staying. If you extra dog fence wire, you can take the main transmitter unit and the dog collars with you on vacation and set up a temporary boundary for your pet.
2. Important features need to check before buying underground dog fence wires
By far the easiest way to make sure that you have the correct wire for your underground dog fence is to use the wire that is recommended by the manufacturer, but you can use other wire with your dog fence if you really want to.
2.1. Thick gauge or thin gauge wire?
Some people like to buy thicker gauge wire than that which is supplied with their in-ground dog fence system because it is less prone breakage. In some cases, a thicker gauge wire will give you a greater range was well, which can be useful if you have a very large boundary to cover.
The downside to a thicker gauge wire is that it is harder to work with because it is not as easy to manipulate as the thin gauge dog fence wire is. You will also find that thick gauge wire is quite a lot more expensive, so that’s another thing to bear in mind.
2.2. Twisted wire or untwisted?
The difference between twisted wire and untwisted wire is very important indeed. Untwisted wire is used for the parts of the boundary that you do not want your dog to cross over and the twisted dog fence wire is used for the safe areas of the boundary that your dog is allowed to cross.
2.3. Colour can make a difference
Of course, the colour of the dog fence wire makes no difference at all to its performance, but the colour can be important to some people. If you intend to use your extra wire to set up a temporary boundary on the surface of the ground, a bright colour will make it easier to see. If you do this, don’t forget to take some flags with you as well, because your dog will not be familiar with where the boundary is.
2.4. How to work out how much dog fence wire you will need
The easiest way to work out what length of dog fence wire you will need is to walk around the boundary and count your steps. If you multiply your steps by three, you will have a good approximation, in feet, of the length of wire that you will need.
VIII. Some Popular Dog Fence Wire Reviews
1. SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System - Wires
The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System comes as standard with 1,000 feet of boundary wire which will be enough to cover about 1 1/3 acres of ground. If you need to expand that area or you need extra wire for any of the reasons that we mentioned above, you can buy a SportDOG Brand Wire & Flag Accessory Kit for In-Ground Fence (SportDOG Product Code: SDF-WF). The kit includes 500 feet of 20-gauge wire, 50 extra boundary flags, and 2 wire nuts and 2 waterproof gel-filled splice capsules for joining the wires together. This extension kit from SportDOG will give you extra boundary coverage of up to a further 1/3 acre to your existing in-ground dog fence system.
2. PetSafe Little Dog In-Ground Fence - Wires
The PetSafe Little Dog In-Ground Fence, which we reviewed in our best underground dog fences 2017 reviews, is a great underground dog fence system that is designed especially for little dogs. The basic system comes with enough wire and flags to cover an area of 1/3 of an acre, but with additional dog fence wire and flags, it can cover an amazing 25 acres. The recommended wire for extending the boundary of a PetSafe Little Dog In-Ground Fence is PetSafe 500-foot Spool of 20-Gauge, Solid Core Boundary Wire (PetSafe Product Code: RFA-1). This will cover an additional 1/3 of an acre, but it doesn’t include extra boundary flags, so you will need to purchase those separately.
3. PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence - Wires
If you have a PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence, the recommend wire for extending the boundary is the same as it is for The PetSafe Little Dog In-Ground Fence, which is PetSafe 500-foot Spool of 20-Gauge, Solid Core Boundary Wire (PetSafe Product Code: RFA-1). The PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence is designed especially for dogs with a will of their own, so it has higher levels of intensity of correction than the little dog model. The PetSafe dog fence wire extension pack is 500 feet long, so that will give you about 1/3 of an acre extra coverage. Additional boundary flags will need to be purchased separately.
IX. Benefits of Underground Dog Fence
If you have a dog or dogs that you want to give the freedom of your garden or yard, but you don’t want them to wander off your land, then you have three options. You could build a fence or a wall around your property, but that is very expensive and you might not want to close yourself in, or you can buy an electric invisible dog fence.
Invisible dog fences come in two main types; in-ground wired fences and wireless dog fences. Wireless dog fences are much easier to install and they are more portable than in-ground dog fences, but they will only create a circular boundary and they are prone to boundary fluctuations.
Here are the main benefits of wired invisible dog fences.
1. Much cheaper than a physical fence
Underground dog fences are many times cheaper than a physical fence and, if you have a beautiful view to look out on from your garden, they won’t restrict your view. A typical underground dog fence will cost you, at most, a few hundred dollars, whereas a physical fence could cost you thousands of dollars.
2. They will cover irregular boundaries
A wireless dog fence will create a circular boundary around the transmitter, but with a wired underground dog fence, the boundary is created by where you place the wires, so it will cover irregular shaped boundaries as well.
3. You can create safe zones with an in-ground dog fence
If you twist the two wires of an in-ground dog fence together, it will create a safe zone through which your dog can pass without receiving a correction. That means that you can leave a safe passage for your dog to enter and exit your home and you can also fence off areas within the boundary, such as pools or ponds.
4. Inclines are no problem
If your yard or garden is on an incline, or the ground is uneven, then you might find that a wireless dog fence doesn’t work. Because an underground dog fence doesn’t rely on a wireless signal to create the boundary, it can be used on uneven ground and on steep inclines.
5. No Boundary fluctuations
One of the biggest issues that people have with wireless dog fences is that the boundary can fluctuate, which can be very confusing for a dog. While wireless dog fences do have their advantages, underground dog fences do not have this particular issue. Any fluctuations in the boundary of an in-ground wired dog fence, which might be caused by variations in the performance of the receiver in the collar, will be minor compared to those that can occur with a wireless dog fence.
6. Peace of mind
Once an underground invisible dog fence has been installed and the dog has been trained, an owner can sit back with the peace of mind that the dog won’t stray from their property. In-ground dog fences are extremely effective and reliable and they are a much more economical solution than a physical fence. A dog that can run loose can be a nuisance and a danger to people, and it can also be a danger to itself. An underground invisible dog fence provides a secure boundary through which a well-trained dog will not pass. It’s the most economical, reliable, and safe way to keep a dog within the boundaries that you set it.
In summary, the best in-ground dog fence systems will provide an effective and humane means of keeping a pet with a given boundary. The main downsides to buried cord dog fences are that you have to dig a trench around your yard and they are not as portable.
Both in ground systems and wireless systems work well and when combined with proper training, they will teach your dog to stay within the boundaries you set it.
If you don’t mind that little bit of extra effort, the best underground dog fence systems are generally more reliable and flexible than wireless systems and they can cover larger areas which, for many people, will outweigh the disadvantages that they may have.