Wireless dog fences allow you to keep your canine safe and secure, without having to lock them in a cage or building a physical fence. What are the best wireless dog fences? But do they actually work? Are they even humane?
If you’re a dog parent, you only want the best for your dogs, including their safety. Dogs can sometimes runoff from the yard seemingly oblivious of the consequences, leaving you to worry and fret about their safety.
This can be a real problem if your family compound is too large or if your home is near a busy road and you haven’t installed a fence. Fortunately, with a well-installed wireless dog fence, you can ensure your pet stays within predetermined parameters without needing to install a physical fence.
The idea of something happening to your beloved dog is not what you would like to experience. However, while you can easily keep it locked all day, that option isn’t the best. Dogs need to play and they require exercise. Wireless dog fences allow you to keep your canine safe and secure, without having to lock them in a cage or having to build a physical fence.
Wireless dog fences are entirely invisible, allowing your dog to run around but within the set boundaries.
So how exactly do these wireless dog fences work? And are they safe?
Understanding How Wireless Dog Fences Work
The electric fence works with a transmitter that sends signals to the collar, bought as part of the system. You place the collar on the dog, ensuring the contact points are against their skin. The invisible fence then sends static correction signals that interrupt the dog when it strays close to the set boundary. However, you can use a beep only signal after your dog learns to stay within certain boundaries.
Manufacturers of wireless dog fences would have you believe that the mild shocks are not meant to punish your dog but to alert it of the boundaries.
The reality is this.
Shocks are designed to correct (and possibly punish) the dog’s behavior of approaching and attempting to leave a predetermined boundary. And it’s up to you as a responsible pet parent to decide whether or not the risks of getting an invisible fence are worth it.
Factors To Consider
When planning for a containment system, there are factors you should consider to ensure you buy the right fit for your dog. Here are some of these factors:
#1. The Size of the Area You Want to Contain
An invisible fence allows you to choose how much area you want to contain. The transmitter is the primary determinant of how much space the fence can cover. Some can only cover 1 acre, while there are those powerful enough to cover over 25 acres. Before you decide on the fence to buy, be sure of the size and shape of the yard you hope to contain.
#2. The Set-up Process
A wireless dog fence is easy to set up. You can easily have it up and running within an hour. You have to set the transmitter on a flat, dry surface but near a power outlet. Next, you need to adjust it to your preferred size of the boundaries, charge the collar, and place it on your dog’s neck.
However, note that an in-ground fence system takes more time to install than the standard wireless fences. So, as much as the process is almost the same for most fences, it’s best to understand the setup process before buying one. That way, even though the procedure is quite different, you’ll have an idea of what to do.
#3. Your Dog’s Size
Before you buy a fence, be sure to go through the manufacturer’s guide to know if it’s fit for your dog’s weight or size. That ensures your puppy is not harmed by the electric shock administered. Also, for your dog to be comfortable when rocking the collar, you must consider the canine’s size or weight and the collar.
#4. The Collar’s Features
Along with ensuring a collar is the appropriate size for your dog, here are other factors to consider when choosing a collar.
#1. Water Proof
Electric fence collars are meant to be used outside. You need one that is waterproof, meaning it cannot get damaged even if your dog is out in the rain or swimming. A waterproof collar can be submerged in water for prolonged periods, but a water-resistant collar cannot hold up for long.
Be keen to check the collar’s label when buying a fence. If you don’t, your decision might be costly, especially when there’s a pool within your contained area.
Different collars have varying build materials, meaning their durability differs significantly. Buy one that’s strong enough to contain your dog, depending on its size and power.
#3. Battery Type and Capacity
You can either get a collar with rechargeable batteries or one with single-use batteries. Rechargeable batteries are more convenient, but you have to understand how often and how long it takes to charge.
You also have to pay attention to its capacity. Some models can go for months, while others only last for a few days. The size of the battery is the primary determinant of how long it will last.
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Best Wireless Dog Fences to Buy
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best wireless dog fences that you can buy for your canine.
#1. Petsafe Stay and Play Wireless Dog Fence
It’s a radial fencing system with maximum coverage of 0.8 acres. It has a waterproof and lightweight collar, making it comfortable and perfect for most dogs. One of the best features is that it’s a small, portable system, meaning you can easily carry it and set it up wherever you go.
Also, it’s extendable, meaning more than one dog can use it. But be cautious of the static correction levels, as you can only use it once your dog gets fond of the shocks.
#2. Petsafe Wireless Invisible Dog Fence
Petsafe Wireless Invisible Dog Fence is perfect for a homeowner with a small backyard. It comes complete with everything you need to contain your dog within a 0.5-acre radius.
It’s relatively easy to install, and that’s why it’s highly recommended for families that don’t need the extra features. You can set it up outside your RV during a camping trip or even outside your guest house.
Even better, the collar is adjustable, meaning it can fit any dog without causing discomfort. You can also adjust the severity of the static shocks, meaning once your dog begins to behave, you can reduce the dose of the static correction.
#3. KAROTEZH 2 in 1 Electric Dog Fence
It’s one of the systems with the most extensive coverage areas, typically up to a maximum of 11 acres. It’s recommended for dogs that are older than six months and bigger. However, the collars come in different sizes, including small ones for smaller pets.
The collars are slightly heavier than others, but they’re waterproof. They have a rechargeable battery with five independent static correction levels, which are a tone only level.
#4. FunAce 100% Wireless Pet Containment System
It’s a system capable of covering up to 17 acres. You can adjust the boundaries to a maximum of 500 feet, which is perfect for many dogs.
The transmitter is wireless and has a single-use battery, but the collars have a rechargeable battery, making it very convenient. Also, the collar is water-resistant and has built-in protections to ensure your pet isn’t electrocuted.
#5. Other Wireless Dog Fences to Consider
Other invisible dog fences you may consider include the following:
- Petsafe PIF-300 Wireless 2-Dog Fence Containment System
- SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence Systems
- PetSafe Rechargeable In-Ground Fence for Dogs and Cats
- GPS dog collar fence.
Wireless Dog Fences 101 – The Q&A With Nickala Squire & Caroline Cochran
Now to the Q&A session. These are questions asked by real people and harvested from Google’s people also ask (PAA) boxes.
To help us unpack these questions, we spoke to two experts, Caroline Cochran and Nickala Squire.
Prepare to be blown away by their insight.
But first, let’s meet these two amazing ladies…
Nickala is an honors graduate of the Academy for Dog Trainers. She is Fear Free certified and has completed Michael Shikashio’s master course in aggressive dogs. She is the sole owner and trainer of Carefree Canine, in North Dakota.
Nickala has worked with dogs professionally in different fields for much of her life so she has a wide range of experience with different breeds, behaviors, backgrounds and sizes. She offers private and day training services both in person and virtually, as well as live online puppy classes. Although she assists with a wide range of behavior goals, she is most commonly called upon to help with aggressive dogs.
And then, Caroline.
Caroline attended Colorado State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Anatomy and Physiology. She is a life-long dog owner and former Vet tech with past clients who use wireless dog fences. However, she discovered that most invisible fences don’t work for her dog’s breed.
Caroline has a passion for canine nutrition and a desire to help pet owners like her find the best dog food for their furry best friends. She is excited about continuing to help pups all over the world live their best doggy life. She writes for Dog Food Heaven.
Back to the Q&A.
#1. Do the wireless dog fences work?
Great question to start off our Q&A session.
Caroline starts by explaining what wireless fences are, and how they work. She says, “Most people are familiar with invisible fences that use buried wires to create a boundary around the dog’s yard. Wireless fences use a satellite or wireless transmitter to map the yard’s boundary instead.
Both systems send alerts to a special collar that detects when the dog is too close to the boundary, triggering a beep or shock. In wireless fences, a transmitter for the signal is installed in the center of the property.
Wireless dog fences do work well for some owners and they are much more convenient than installing a wired fence. However, they are only ideal for wide, open, and flat properties. Trees and metal objects can block the signal. The GPS signal can also fluctuate, which may confuse and frustrate your dog.”
Nickala agrees that wired dog fences only work sometimes. But she believes that using a shock collar can leave a dog traumatised. Here’s more from her: “They rely on scaring or hurting a dog enough to overcome any motivation the dog may have to leave the yard. An easily scared dog who successfully learns the boundary (aka is not too traumatized to use the yard) may stay inside it.
However, they may also find something else more scary than the threat of shock, causing them to flee outside of the barrier. Often they are too scared to come back, as they don’t know whether or not they’ll be shocked for crossing the barrier from the opposite side.
On the other end of the spectrum we have dogs who are not as easily scared or have a high pain tolerance. They may find chasing a squirrel for instance, more motivating than the threat of pain and shock itself. My peers and I have heard countless anecdotes of dogs who escaped, many of which died after being hit by vehicles. One died from the shocks themselves when the collar wouldn’t shut off (it was designed to).
Some shelters refuse to adopt to homes with invisible fences because they receive so many loose dogs with shock fence collars on. The research shows this is not just perception, invisible fencing is the least secure of all forms of containment.”
#2. Can a dog run through an invisible fence?
Caroline believes they can. She says, “Yes, if your dog is motivated enough he may ignore the electric signal and run through an invisible fence. Some breeds, like my Great Pyrenees, have thicker skin that makes electric fences less effective.”
Nickala agrees that dogs can easily run through invisible fence boundaries because “there is nothing stopping them [except] the fear of being shocked.”
#3. What is the best wireless dog fence?
Caroline says Pet Safe fencing is the brand that veterinarians she worked with recommended the most. She tells us, “they offer both wireless and in-ground invisible fencing.” Nickala believes “no invisible fence is safe or humane”, and declined to offer an opinion as to which brand of wireless fencing is best.
#4. How far will a wireless dog fence work?
Caroline says wireless fences are not recommended for small properties because the boundary can fluctuate. She recommends that to use a wireless dog fence, “your yard must be at least 30 feet wide”. On the other hand, she says “the wireless transmitter will not cover properties greater than 1000 feet in diameter.”
#5. Which is better wireless or wired dog fence?
Caroline says that although “wireless fences are much more convenient to install than wired dog fences, they are also more expensive and less reliable.” She believes that a wired dog fence is the better option for consistency and reliability.
Nickala agrees. She says, “A wired fence is by far the better option. Not only will it be more successful in containing the dog, it blocks other hazards from getting in the yard. An aggressive off leash dog, a wild animal, a pet thief, etc, all have easier access to harm your dog with no physical fence stopping them. In addition, a wired fence does not rely on scaring or hurting dogs to work. There is no risk of emotional or behavioral fallout.”
#6. Is an invisible fence worth the money?
Caroline offers a pragmatic answer. “An invisible fence is a good investment for dog owners with properties that are difficult to fence with traditional materials. Invisible fencing can enclose hilly terrain and water. This fencing is also ideal for pet parents who live in neighborhoods with strict codes about fencing materials.”
Nickala gives a different perspective and says dog parents should think long term. Hear her: “While they may seem like a cost-efficient option at first, thinking long term can paint a different picture. Since they’re inconsistent in containing dogs, there may be fees from the city in the event the dog escapes, for failing to contain them. There could also be considerable vet bills if they are hit by a car after escaping. Dogs trained with shock are at high risk of developing fear, anxiety, and even aggression.”
Nickala says, “Working with a certified professional dog trainer after behavior problems develop, potentially even a veterinary behaviorist depending on the severity of the issue, is not cheap and they may require long term help. Additionally, if the dog escapes and bites someone (a well documented possibility) it could mean a hefty lawsuit, not only costing money for legal fees but losing homeowner’s insurance.”
More FAQs on Wireless Dog Fencing
Now to the rest of the FAQs with our amazing experts, Caroline Cochran and Nickala Squire.
#7. At what age can a dog use an invisible fence?
Every dog requires a bit of training to get used to an invisible fence. This is because, as Caroline puts it, “The dog has to learn to associate where the fence is with an unpleasant beep or shock.” In terms of age, she says “your puppy should be at least 2 months old or older.” She cautions that “younger dogs should be introduced to collars with the lightest settings.”
Not surprising, Nickala offers a different and unique perspective. Here’s how she puts it, “It is never safe to use an invisible fence. However, immature dogs (approximately younger than 2 years) whose brains are still developing, are at the greatest risk of developing fear and anxiety as well as generalizing that fear to other contexts.”
#8. What do I do if my dog runs through an invisible fence?
Nickala offers a hands on approach with some practical tips. Here’s what she says, “If they’re nearby, use food! Grab some stinky delicious food, use your happiest voice and call them. Rather than immediately grab them or run towards them, walk the other way, tossing little pieces of food. Lure them home. Do not behave aggressively by rushing to grab a collar, scolding, etc.”
She adds that “if they’ve been gone a while, call your local animal control or the police, as well as the local shelter. Update microchip registries if your dog has one. Use eye catching flyers with clear photos and social media to get the word out. Then get out there and search.”
On the other hand, Caroline is clear that your dog will need some retraining if he runs through an invisible fence. She explains that “some dogs experience barrier frustration and choose to ignore the electric stimulus to play with other dogs or people outside of the fence.”
She says, “You may need to place flags around the perimeter of the property again to reintroduce your dog to the boundary. Sometimes dogs need a collar on higher stimulus settings. But, others may need a traditional fence to keep them on your property.”
#9. How long do you leave invisible fence flags up?
Caroline says “Most invisible fence companies recommend leaving perimeter flags up for two weeks to 30 days while your dog learns the boundary.”
#10. Does an invisible fence have to be buried?
Unlike wired fences, Caroline tell us “Wireless fences do not require any installation of boundary wires” and so do not need to be buried. On the other hand, she says “Wired invisible fences can work above ground, but the wires are easily broken. So most wired fences must be buried.”
#11. How deep is an invisible fence buried?
Caroline believes that “Wired invisible fences only have to be buried 1 to 3 inches deep. The wire must be shallow enough to allow signal transmission.”
#12. Will my neighbors invisible fence interfere with mine?
Caroline says “Neighboring invisible fencing systems can create an inconsistent signal that may interfere with your pet’s boundary.” She recommends “Boundary wires of different yards should be at least 10 feet apart.”
#13. Can you run invisible fence under driveway?
Caroline says “You can run an invisible fence wire under a driveway by tunneling a path underground. If you have a concrete driveway, you can place the wire in a convenient expansion joint.”
Wireless Dog Fences – Your Turn
Pets make our lives better and are great companions during stressful moments. That’s why at Pet Connection Worldwide we’re passionate about helping you connect with your pets. We have a team dedicated to guiding you on anything pet related. For further information on wireless dog fences, kindly feel free to contact us today.
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