Best Wireless Dog Fence Reviews and Ultimate Buying Guide (2017 Edition)
A constant worry for any dog owner is that their pet will wander off on its own, but keeping a dog indoors all day long is not fair on the animal and not everyone wants to go to the expense of building a high fence all around their property. Wireless dog fences, which are sometimes called electric dog fences, are an affordable and effective solution to this problem. Wireless dog fence and In-ground dog fence provide a means of keeping your pet dog within the boundaries of your property without the need to build a physical fence or a wall.
For those of you who are not familiar with wireless dog fences, we have compiled this useful wireless dog fence buyer’s guide that explains how these fences work, what to look for in the best wireless dog fence and we have also provided you with our reviews of Top 4 wireless dog fence systems.
I. What is Wireless Dog Fence System?
Wireless dog fence is a dog fence system that will deter your dog from straying outside the boundaries of your property. There are two main types of electric dog fence systems. With some systems, you install a series of electrical wires, about three to four inches under the ground, all around the edges of your property. Those wires connect to a wireless transmitter that you can install somewhere like your garage or inside your home. With the other type of systems, the perimeter is established with a radio signal so there is no need for any wires to be buried.
In both types of system, when your dog approaches the invisible fence, the special collar that he will be wearing will emit a beeping sound to warn him not to cross the boundary. If the dog does try to cross the boundary, he will receive a small and completely harmless electrical shock to deter him from going any further.
II. What Other Types of Dog Fence Are On the Market Today
If you have a yard or garden with no fence and you have a dog that you want to let out without a leash, then you have two options. You can either build a physical wall or a fence, or you can use a wireless dog fence system
Building a wall or a fence around an average sized yard is likely to cost thousands of dollars and you may not want to fence yourself in and block out the view with a high fence. Two of the less obtrusive fence options would be a wooden fence or a chain link fence.
A ranch-style wooden fence could cost as much as $15,000 if you were to have it installed professionally, and around $5,000 if you were to build the fence yourself. A ranch style fence will only be of limited use too, as smaller dogs will easily get through it.
A chain link fence would be a cheaper option. You could probably build your own for about $2,000 or, if you brought in a professional, it might cost you about $5,000. While a chain link fence would be more effective than a wooden ranch style fence would be, they are not very attractive to look at and they do rust over time.
The other option would be to keep your dog indoors all the time, but that really wouldn’t be fair on the dog. The best wireless dog fence systems area fraction of the cost of a physical fence and they are very easy to install, which is why so many people choose them over the other dog fence options.
Take a look our wireless dog fence system reviews, and that will give you a better idea of some good wireless dog fence systems that are available on the market today.
III. Best Wireless Dog Fence Reviews
1. Our Pick for The Best Overall Wireless Dog Fence
The PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System is one of the best wireless dog fences in our wireless dog fence reviews that do not need any wires burying in the ground. The system only takes about an hour and a half to set up and it creates an adjustable circular boundary anything between 5 to 90 feet.
Like all wireless dog fences, the adjustable collar that comes with this system will provide a beep warning and it has five variable levels of static electric shock. Additional PetSafe wireless fence receiver collars can be purchased allowing the system to cater for an unlimited number of pets. The PetSafe wireless system is recommended for any dogs weighing 8 pounds or more and the collar will fit neck sizes of 6 to 28 inches.
The adjustable boundary and ease of setting up means that this wireless dog fence can be taken with you when you travel, so you could use it to keep your dog safe when you are on a camping trip, for example. The only potential negative of this system is that, because there are no underground wires, the boundary area will always circular, but, for most people, that won’t pose any problem at all.
Things We Liked
- Very easy to set up
- No need to dig trenches or bury any wires
- Portable – so you can take it on vacation with you
- Beep only mode for training purposes
- Covers up to 1.2 acres
Things We Disliked
- The boundary may vary from time to time
- Not suitable for very hilly terrain
- Additional collars for multiple pets are quite expensive
2. The PetSafe Wireless Fence (PIF-300)
The PetSafe Wireless Fence (PIF-300) is so easy to use that it definitely deserves a place on our top wireless dog fence reviews. This is the best cordless dog fence system from PetSafe, so there are no wires that you have to bury in the ground, and setup will only take about an hour or so.
This model will cover a circular area of up to 180 feet, or 1/2 an acre, so it will be more than enough for most average sized yards. The area covered by the wireless dog fence is adjustable, so you can keep your dog closer to you when you need him to be, and the unit is portable, so it’s easy to relocate when you move home and you can take it with you when you go on vacation as well.
Like other Wireless Dog Fences, this model comes complete with training flags and it will operate with multiple dog collars.
The Receiver Collar works with PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment Systems
Things We Liked
- Adjustable range
- Very easy to install
- Extra battery packs included
- Safe and humane way to train dogs
Things We Disliked
- Not suitable for very hilly terrain
- The collar is quite large, so it probably wouldn’t suit a small dog
3. Our Pick for The Best Portable Wireless Dog Fence
The next wireless dog fence in our reviews is another model from PetSafe. The PetSafe Stay + Play Wireless Fence is another system that is completely wireless and does not need any cords burying in the ground.
The collar that is supplied with this system is designed for use with dogs that are 5 pounds in weight or more and that have a neck size of between 6 and 28 inches. The collar is ergonomically designed for your pet’s comfort and it has rechargeable batteries that can last for as long as 3 weeks.
This particular PetSafe wireless dog fence will work over an area of up to 3/4 acre and it’s portable too, so you can take it away on vacation with you.
The collar has five levels of static correction and it has a tone only mode as well for training purposes. Additional dog collars are available from PetSafe, so you can use this wireless dog fence with as many dogs as you need to.
This is one of the best wireless dog fences on the market today. It’s easy to install, easy to use and it’s a great way to safely train your dogs to stay within the boundaries of your property.
Things We Liked
- Easy to set up and easy to use
- Will work with an unlimited number of pets
- Totally wireless
- Much cheaper than building a physical fence
- Dogs quickly learn where the boundary is
Things We Disliked
- Not very effective on an incline
- The boundary may fluctuate, but that is a potential issue with all wireless dog fences
- Setup can be a bit time consuming
4. PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Fence Reviews
The final in our wireless dog fence reviews is the Free to Roam model from PetSafe. This is a good wireless fence that will allow your dog the freedom of your yard, but train it to stay within the safe boundary that you set.
This wireless dog fence requires no digging and burying of cords and it is very simple to set up. If your dog does try to cross the boundary, he will feel a very mild static electric shock that will startle him, but not hurt him. The wireless dog fences are designed to be a training aid which will help to teach your dog not to wander, and that is exactly how this wireless dog fence works.
The system uses a radio signal that can be adjusted to create a circular boundary of up to 1/2 acre. The collar is waterproof and it uses RFA-67 batteries that will last 1-2 months, depending on the frequency of use.
We have no hesitation in recommending PetSafe wireless dog fences. The company has been leading the way with pet behavioural products since 1991 and they have an excellent reputation, both in terms of quality and for customer service.
Things We Liked
- Highly effective dog training aid
- Simple to configure
- Take it with you when you move home
- No digging and no burying cord
- Excellent customer service
Things We Disliked
- Large metal objects, like metal roofs, can interfere with the radio signal
- The collar is quite large
- The instructions could be better
IV. Things You Need To Check Before You Buy a Dog Fence
Electric dog fences come in two main types. There are those that use a cord buried in a shallow trench around the perimeter of your property to trigger the dog collar and there those that operate on and adjustable radio signal that triggers the correction. Here are the main things to bear in mind when you are looking for the best wireless dog fence for your dog.
The mild electric shock that wireless dog fence collars give when the dog crosses the boundary are perfectly safe and harmless, but you do need to set the correction level to suit your dog’s size and temperament. It is also advisable to check with your veterinarian before you use a wireless dog fence collar. Your vet will be able to advise you on the use of the system and will tell you if your dog has any medical conditions that might be aggravated by the use of an electric dog collar.
The main practical consideration when choosing between different models of wireless dog fence systems is that size and shape of the area that you want to restrict the dog’s movements too. While a cordless dog fence is easy to set up, it does cover a circular area only. If you have an irregular shaped yard or garden, an in-ground system might suit you better. You will also need to check the maximum range of any system that you look at to make sure that it will be large enough for your needs.
V. Benefits of a Wireless Dog Fence System
A wireless dog fence is a very effective way to train a dog to stay within the boundaries you set for it, which is important for the dog safety and for ensuring that your dog does not bother your neighbours or passers-by.
Wireless dog fences, such as the ones that we have included in our wireless dog fence system reviews, can be used to train your dog through visual reminders, like flags marking the boundary, backed up by an audible warning and a mild electric static shock for correctional purposes.
One of the big advantages of an electric dog fence over a physical fence or wall is, of course, the expense. To erect a fence that is high enough to retain a dog around the average sized yard or garden would cost thousands of dollars, whereas the wireless dog fence would only cost a few hundred dollars.
There is also the visual impact of a tall physical fence to consider. If you live in a beautiful area and you have great views, you simply may not want to block out those wonderful views with a tall man-made structure.
Many people find that the correctional features of a wireless dog fence only need to be triggered a few times before the dog learns where the boundaries lie. After that, the dog does not even attempt to wander off. Once that has happened, you know that you can relax safe in the knowledge that your pet won’t be roaming around being a nuisance or getting in harm’s way.
Another major advantage of an electric dog fence is that, should you move home, you can take the fence with you, which is obviously impossible with a physical fence. If you have a cordless style wireless dog fence, there will be no cost involved in moving it at all. Even if you have a dog fence that does use buried cords, your only additional cost will be the cords themselves.
Wireless dog fences give your pet the freedom that it needs to be happy while giving you the control that you need. No dog likes to be cooped up indoors all day long and an electric dog fence will allow your pet to run and play in your garden without you having to worry about it running away. You don’t even have to be present all the time to keep your dog within the boundaries of your property.
Wireless dog fences are easy to install and easy to use. The mild corrective shock that they give is perfectly safe and harmless and you can adjust the intensity of the correction to suit the breed, size and the temperament of your dog. The sensation that a dog feels when wearing one of these collars is no more than you would feel with a static electricity shock that you might get in your home, but it is enough to teach the dog not stray outside of the boundaries that you have set.
The best Wireless dog fences are far cheaper than a physical fence, they take only an hour or so to set up and, with some models, you can take the system with you on vacation too. Electric dog fences give your dog the freedom to be happy and you the freedom to let your pet roam free, safe within the confines of your own back yard.
VI. Basic Guide on How to Set Up | Install a Wireless Dog Fence
The installation of a wireless dog fence is very simple. It will vary with different models, but the basic steps are the same for all types of electric dog fences. If you have a chosen an in-ground model, like the Friendly Pet Products Wireless Dog Fence we mentioned in our wireless dog fence system reviews, you will need to dig a shallow trench to place the cord in but, other than that, the process if virtually the same for both types of wireless dog fences.
Step 1: Locating the transmitter
The first step is to find a suitable location for the main transmitter for your wireless dog fence. Ideally, this will be in a garage or a shed, but it will need to be somewhere dry, somewhere with a power outlet, and preferably on an outside wall. If you are installing a cordless radio type wireless dog fence, remember that wherever you install the transmitter will be the centre of your perimeter. It is also advisable to locate the transmitter away from large metal objects and other electronic equipment because they could cause interference.
Step 2: Setting the perimeter
The next step is to set your wireless dog fence. If you have an in-ground model, you will do this by placing the cord in a shallow trench around the perimeter of your property. If you have a cordless wireless dog fence, you will need to set the radius by walking with the collar out towards the perimeter until you hear the warning beep. This is best done with two people; one holding the collar and the other adjusting the transmitter.
Step 3: Setting the correction level
Most of the wireless dog fences have at least five levels of correction that can be set in the collar. As a general guide, a small dog will respond well to correction level 1 or 2, a medium dog to 3, and a large dog will respond to level 4 or 5. You do, however, have to take your dog’s temperament into consideration as well, but it is always better to start off low and increase the setting if you feel that your dog needs it. An electric training dog collar should startle a dog, not make it yelp in pain.
Step 4: Training your dog
Above all else, a wireless dog fence is a training aid and the ideal outcome of using one is that your dog ceases to even attempt to cross the boundary. The first step to training your dog is to set up flags around the perimeter so that there is a visual reminder. Then, you can set the dog collar to beep first as an audible warning for our dog followed by the correction if he crosses the perimeter. Most people find that their dogs learn not cross the perimeter after just a few corrections.
VII. Important Things to Remember When Using a Wireless Dog Fence
A wireless dog fence is a very effective way to keep your dog safely in the confines of the perimeter that you set, without the need for a physical fence or wall, but they need to be used properly and they need to be used consistently. Here are the main things that you need to be aware of when using a wireless dog fence.
1. Train your dog
It is important to remember that a wireless dog fence is a training aid. Your dog will need to be introduced to the collar and taught that, if they cross the perimeter, they will receive the correction.
2. Be consistent
Your dog will need to understand that, whenever they are wearing the collar, they are not allowed to cross over the perimeter. If you want to lead the dog outside the perimeter, remove the correction collar and replace it with another collar and a leash. That way your dog will clearly understand when it is OK to go beyond the boundary and when it is not.
3. Check the batteries often
You will need to test the batteries on the collar regally to make sure that the collar is still working. If you don’t, you might just find that your dog has wandered off one day.
4. Remember that a wireless dog fence doesn’t keep people out
A wireless dog fence is an excellent way to keep your dog in, but it does nothing to keep people or other dogs out. For this reason, it is not a good idea to leave a dog unattended for any length of time, even if you do have a wireless dog fence.
5. Never use a wireless dog fence to tease or punish a dog
A wireless dog fence should only ever be used for the purpose for which it was designed. Whilst the static shock that electric collars give is mild, if you or anyone else abuses one, it will lose its effectiveness and, more importantly, it could cause physiological harm to the dog.
A wireless dog fence is an affordable way to allow your dog the freedom he will enjoy while keeping him within the strict boundaries that you have set. They are far less expensive and obtrusive than a physical fence and they are very easy to set up.