If you want to keep your dog confined within your property, allowing him or her to romp around freely, you may want to buy an electric dog fence. Figures compiled by the Humane Society of the U.S. from the American Pet Products Association’s 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey show that thirty-nine percent of households in the U.S. own at least one pet dog. There are many brands and models of electronic dog fences catering to this vast market, and choosing the best one can be confusing. To assist you in your decision-making, we’ll be showing you the best electric containment systems for dogs based on buyer-written electric dog fence reviews.
How Does Electric Dog Fencing Work?
Do the regulations of your subdivision, village or homeowners’ association have restrictions when it comes to using large and obtrusive property fencing? This is the case for many dog owners, and it’s one of the reasons why many are looking to buy an electric fence for dogs. But how does the system work, and is it really safe for dogs?
Electric dog fences transmit a remote signal to a specialized collar worn by your dog that he or she associates with an established boundary. If your dog gets too close to the electric fence, he or she receives a small shock from the collar. The sensation the dog feels is described as being similar to static electricity; it startles the dog but causes no harm to it. He or she then learns that crossing the boundary is a no-no.
Kinds of Electric Dog Fencing
There are three basic types of electric fences for dogs, and here we’ll take a brief look at each one.
Above ground electric dog fence: This system usually consists of several fence posts, aluminum wire, wire-fastening pins, a ground clamp, ground rod, an energizer, and fuses. It’s designed to contain a dog within an established area and to keep unwanted animals out. Any animal that touches the electrified wire receives a mild shock.
Underground electric dog fence: This type of dog restraint system involves a transmitter that is placed somewhere inside the residence. The system’s boundary wires are buried underground and training flags are placed along the line of the fence to establish a visual boundary for the dog. The dog wears a special collar containing a receiver and several metal prongs. As the dog approaches the fence, the collar emits a warning sound to alert the dog that it’s about to receive a shock. If the dog ignores the alarm and begins to go across the underground wire, the prongs in his collar deliver a shock to him.
Wireless electric dog fence: This system involves a base station that transmits a circular boundary around it. The base station needs to be placed in a location that shelters it from the elements. So if you place the device in your garage, for example, it will establish an invisible outdoor circular fence around the garage. An electric dog fence that’s wireless is suitable for those who rent a house since it doesn’t require any digging or installation.
What to Consider When Shopping for an Electric Dog Fencing System
If you have a large property, consider getting a wireless or underground electric dog fence as many models are capable of covering areas as large as 100 acres. It’s also important to make sure that the system’s size is compatible to your dog’s size.
If you are considering an electric wire system, look for one that is waterproof and has lightning protection. The wire should ideally be made of material that is corrosion-resistant, like copper. It should also be thick enough to withstand attacks by animals such as moles, which may attempt to chew or bite it.
When it comes to transmitters, there are several things you should look at. Check for the transmitter’s adjustable range, its ability to be grounded, and the presence of an alarm system that goes off if the wire is cut or if there’s a power outage.
Regarding dog collars, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that they should have electrodes of variable length. Dogs with thick fur or long hair need longer prongs on the receiver on the collar. Otherwise, the prongs won’t come into contact with the dog’s skin and she will not receive the shock the system is meant to deliver when she crosses the boundary. It’s also important to choose a collar with a waterproof receiver since your dog may get caught in the rain or go swimming in a pool or another body of water on your property.
3 Top-Rated and Best Invisible Dog Fences by Electric Dog Fence Reviews
There are numerous electronic dog fences for sale in pet supply stores and online shopping sites like Amazon.com. But our research shows that the bestselling and most positively reviewed systems by users are underground and wireless systems. Take a look at the devices below and learn why they’re considered as the best electric fences for dogs by many dog owners.
1. PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System, PIF-300
This wireless electric dog fence from PetSafe enjoys an average of four out of five stars. Its circular coverage area can extend to up to half an acre or a diameter of 180 feet, and is recommended for pets weighing at least eight pounds. A static correction is delivered by the receiver on the dog’s collar if the animal enters the warning zone. The collar is waterproof and is powered by a 6-volt battery. Here are some of the things that buyers have observed about this invisible dog fence.
– The system offers a tone-only warning mode as well as five adjustable levels of correction.
– It gives pet dogs a wide area to run and play freely while staying within the boundary.
– It’s suitable for big dogs.
– The collar and transmitter are easy to set up.
– The unit is conveniently portable and can be easily transported to other locations.
– Extra batteries for the system are readily available in popular stores like Radio Shack and Home Depot.
– Cable and electricity boxes on your property may affect the system’s radio frequency signal.
– Several reviewers experienced the system’s battery dying without any warning.
2. SportDOG In-Ground Fence System, SDF-100
This underground electric dog fence from SportDog is said to be effective and safe for all dogs weighing more than ten pounds. The system includes 1,000 feet of wire and 100 training flags. It features vibrate- and beep-only modes in addition to four adjustable electric correction intensities. Additional collar-receivers may be purchased by multiple-dog owners.
– Installation is easy.
– The collar is powered by regular 9-volt batteries, which one reviewer said did not need replacing even after almost a year of use.
– It does not interfere with neighbors’ underground fence.
– The boundary range can be adjusted.
– The receiver-collar is waterproof.
– Many buyers said the system works even with high-strung dogs.
– Battery life is extensive and the system is durable; one reviewer reported that his SportDog was still working perfectly three winters after its installation.
– Some buyers said the collar fit too loosely or is too bulky.
– Parts of the instruction manual are said to be incomplete or inaccurate.
3. Innotek Basic In-Ground Pet Fencing System, SD-2000
This is a smaller, more affordable underground dog fence from Innotek. It can be used with dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages, and includes 500 feet of wiring, contact points, water-resistant receiver, collar, and training flags. The boundary area can be extended up to .33 acres and the transmitter capacity is up to five acres.
– It’s inexpensive.
– The included training DVD is informative and helpful.
– The perimeter of the invisible dog fence is easily adjustable.
– It’s a durable product; one buyer said they’ve had it for 3 years.
– Customer service is exceptional.
– Installation can take considerable time and effort.
– The intensity of the shock the dog receives can be difficult to adjust.
Keeping your dog safe on your property without drastically curtailing her freedom by leashing her or keeping her in a cage is possible with a high quality electric fence for dogs. We recommend that you take a closer look at the systems described above and read more electric dog fence reviews written by the purchasers. Doing so may just lead you to the perfect electric dog fencing system for your pet.