Let the dogs out! If you’re fortunate enough to have a yard, but for whatever reason can’t build a fence, your pup can still run free: The solution is an electric fence. Invisible fences will keep your dog within established perimeters — no construction required. Of course, there are different types of electric dog fences, the main distinction being wireless vs. in-ground. And not all fences are suitable for any type of property, or any type of dog (some have size restrictions). With that in mind, StudyFinds hounded down expert reviews of the best electric dog fences so you can find the top product for your pooch.
It’s no secret that we love our pets. In fact, a recent study reveals that 36 percent of pet-owners’ conversations are about their pets. Can you say obsessed? Pet owners will not only do anything and everything to care for their pets, but have a habit of talking about them any chance they get. If they talk to other pet owners, both parties will have plenty to say, but if you can’t relate, buckle up for a long conversation about someone’s beloved pup.
The obsession goes farther than just talking about it, it’s also a requirement for many people that the person they’re dating has a pet, too. Research reveals that three in four people think owning a pet is attractive. Four in 10 admit they have even gone home with a potential date specifically to meet that person’s pet, according to the data.
Since our pets are clearly so important, having the best products for them matters. Compared to physical fences, electric fences are significantly cheaper. If you have a large property, your dog may be able to explore all of it without breaking the bank. There’s also no digging under an electric fence. On the downside, electric fences require training and use shock correction (though minimal) to keep a dog within property lines. They also don’t keep animals out, something to consider if you have strays or wildlife in the area.
If you are confident that you can train your dog not to leave the established boundaries and can keep them safe from wildlife (or vice versa), an electric fence may be for you. StudyFinds reviewed expert recommendations across ten websites to build our top-five list of the best electric dog fences. If you have a model to add, please let us know in the comments.
The List: Best Electric Dog Fences Most Recommended by Experts
Most experts recommend the (newer version of the) Extreme Dog Fence. According to World Animal Foundation, “This invisible in-ground Extreme dog fence has some nice options that allow you to purchase exactly what you need. You can choose from how many feet of wire you need, as well as get collars for up to five dogs with your kit.”
The Extreme fence is a winner due to its versatility and expandable “coverage:” “The Extreme Dog Fence Second Generation standard-grade kit is customizable for several dogs and different-size properties,” writes Bob Vila. “The Extreme Dog Fence includes 500 feet of wire that covers ⅓ acre. With the purchase of additional wire, the system can cover up to 10 acres. […] The kit is available with a collar that is waterproof to 10 feet, allowing users to let their dog run and play in a pond or pool without worrying about the collar shorting or shocking the dog. Owners of more than five dogs can purchase additional collars online.” This system is however not suitable for small dogs.
While this fence is expensive, “it comes with a 1-year warranty, but when you register the fence, your warranty extends to 5 years. In short, this fence will contain your dog and has been manufactured for over 25 years. Thus, it carries a stellar reputation for performance and reliability. All these things make it the best wired invisible dog fence,” adds iHeartDogs.
The SportDog Rechargeable Electric Fence Systems has the same number of recommendations as the Extreme. It’s also not cheap. But with additional fencing, it can cover up to 100 acres! That’s why This Old House lists this fence under “Best Coverage.” “With your purchase, you get a collar, a transmitter, wire, and flags. There are enough flags and wire spools to cover 1.3 acres, though you can purchase more if you have a larger property. The collar is also waterproof and submersible up to 25 feet.”
For Pet Keen, this fence is the “Premium Choice:” “If you have more cash to spend and want the best possible electric fence, the SportDog Rechargeable In-Ground Dog Fence System is the way to go. […] It’s a completely rechargeable system, and each charge lasts an impressive 2 months. When it is time to recharge it, it only takes 2 hours to get too full. This is an expensive option, but it also comes with everything that you need to set up a top-notch electric fence straight out of the box.”
World Animal Foundation also praises this fence but points out the reason why this fence isn’t our number one: Since this is an in-ground fence, there’s lots of “manual labor. Even in a small yard, burying all of that wire is a lot of work. Since you have to bury the wire, if part of your land is swampy or includes dense vegetation, you may struggle to create the loop that you need.”
The PetSafe Wireless is the top pick of three experts This Old House notes that it’s great for dogs of all sizes. K9 Of Mine refers to the PetSafe Wireless as “an affordable wireless fence that emits a radio signal boundary to cover a circular range of up to 1/2 acre. It provides five levels of correction, including a sound-only mode, it is also portable and very easy to set up.”
“PetSafe is a big name in the wireless pet fence world, and the brand’s containment system is a consistent fan-favorite,” writes Forbes. “The system is portable, so you can take it on the road, and the waterproof collar’s battery life lasts for up to two months before you’ll get an alert that it’s time to swap it out. Flip between five adjustable settings to find the one that’s right for your dog. A thoughtful element to consider: The system lets your pet come home without being corrected if they happen to pass the boundary. You can also purchase additional compatible collars for more pets, if needed.”
Per iHeartDogs, the “PetSafe Wireless Fence is the most reliable invisible dog fence. It consists of the main transmitter unit that communicates with your dog’s collar. […] The product has an adjustable circular perimeter, so you can establish a perimeter with a 90-foot radius in all directions. Also, it’s easy to install; you just need to turn on the transmitter unit, adjust your circular diameter range, and that’s all. This invisible fence is waterproof, so you don’t need to keep your dog inside when it’s raining.”
If you are lucky enough to have a really big “yard” (where the word park would be more appropriate), check out this model. “The SpotOn GPS fence system is amazing for pet owners with lots of land who want their pups to be able to run free. You can fence in up to 1,000 acres! You can also add multiple dog collars to the app so that your pups are all on the same system,” adds World Animal Foundation.
This fencing system is the “Best Overall” for Technobark. “The best and the most high-quality option as of today is definitely SpotOn GPS Fence. We fully tested it and really loved it. It is a little bit pricey but it is definitely worth it. […] One of the top features that it has is the installation, it is super easy; just walk in the perimeter or draw the fence on your phone to create the area of the fence. As it gives you up to 1500 fence posts that can cover from ½ acre to a thousand acres, it can take all kinds of shapes which you can also change even after the installation. Furthermore, the collar is comfortable for your dog and it helps you track your dog’s position through GPS with more accuracy than Halo Collar since it’s connected to four satellite navigation systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou) and patented True Location™ technology for a better tracking location.”
And K9 Of Mine writes, “This cutting-edge, tech-packed containment system uses no radio signal or wires, instead relying on GPS networks to keep your canine safe. You can customize your boundary completely for up to 1,000 acres, and it requires no digging or burying wires. It also offers a shock-free mode for those uncomfortable with aversive corrections.”
With an equal amount of expert recommendations and differing features, these two fences both deserve a spot on our list. While the In-Ground fence is more affordable, it requires more work to set up (see our number two). According to K9 Of Mine, the Stay and Play is “Wireless & Easy: Simply turn on the transmitter unit, set your circular diameter range, and you’re done!” whereas with the In-Ground “you can customize your boundaries for your property.” Both have adjustable correction options.
K9 Of Mine further mentions that the Stay & Play is “portable, making it great for pet parents on the go” and is “compatible with the original PetSafe wireless fence.” It “can establish a circular containment area of ¾ acre,” whereas the In-Ground “comes with 500 feet of boundary wire, and is capable of being extended to cover up to 5 acres of land (with the purchase of additional wire).”
iHeartDogs points out that the Stay & Play “has rechargeable collars. Unlike the other wireless fences, it doesn’t rely on batteries. […] Furthermore, it’s waterproof and can connect multiple yards. It also has an automatic shut-off feature and is suitable for dogs weighing 5 pounds or more.” As for the In-Ground, “it also has an automatic shut-off feature like the other PetSafe units. Last but not least, this fence is ideal for dogs weighing 8 pounds or more and is designed to fit necks that are 6-28 inches.”
You might also like:
- Best Dog Training Apps
- Best Pet Insurance
- Best Dog Collars
- Best Flea Treatments For Dogs
- Best Dog Beds
- Bob Vila
- K9 Of Mine
- Pet Keen
- World Animal Foundation
- The Kansas City Star
- This Old House
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.