A pet containment system requires a certain level of time, effort and money investment.
We wanted to help you cut down the research time/effort, and help you get great value for money with this Best In Ground/Invisible & Above Ground Dog Fence System Reviews & Buyer’s Guide.
Let’s check out some of the best models!
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
(*Friendly Disclosure – links to retailers or brands on this page may include affiliate links, and we may receive a commission when you purchase through these links)
Best Underground & Above Ground Electric Dog Fences
Our top picks for the best in ground/invisible and above ground dog fence systems are:
- eXtreme Dog Fence Professional Grade System (on Amazon) – Possibly the best overall dog fence system on the market when you consider price, features, capabilities, performance, durability, and so on. Thick 14 gauge wire with a poly coated jacket, and doesn’t have to be buried underground. For dogs 8lbs and up. Can be installed above or in ground
- eXtreme Dog Fence Standard Grade System (on Amazon) – Good value for money. It is the eXtreme model that might be most comparable to the SportDOG models in terms of price and range of features. Has a replaceable/disposable battery. Has 7 stimulation/correction levels (5 steady, and 2 progressive), and a beep only mode). For dogs 8lbs and up. An in ground dog fence
- eXtreme Dog Fence Max Grade System (on Amazon) – Most features and the thickest/strongest wire of the eXtreme dog models, with a slightly thicker poly jacket than the Pro Grade model. Doesn’t have to be buried underground. For dogs 8lbs and up. Can be installed above or in ground
- SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A (on Amazon) – Has a replaceable battery, and 4 levels of static stimulation, plus tone/vibration. An in ground dog fence
- PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence System (on Chewy)
- PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence (on Amazon) – for dogs at least 8lbs, and with a 6 to 28 inch neck size. Has 1/3 acre range. Has 4 levels of adjustable stimulation for the most persistent dogs, as well as a vibration mode.
*Make sure to also check collar strap size to dog neck size measurements before you buy.
Best In Ground/Invisible & Above Ground Electric Dog Fence Systems: Reviews
eXtreme Dog Fences Reviews – Basic, Standard, Professional Grade, & Max Grade
SportDOG In-Ground Fence SDF-100A, & SDF-100C System Reviews
PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence
Best In Ground/Invisible & Above Ground Electric Dog Fence System: Buyer’s Guide
What Is A Dog Fence System, and What Are They Used For?
Another name for a dog fence system is a ‘pet containment system’.
They are systems designed and used for containing one or several dogs to a specific area (of a certain acreage) in an owner’s yard, or keeping them away from a certain area.
They can be set up and configured in different ways to achieve this.
They are especially useful for dogs that might try to escape yards, dogs that dig, dogs that aren’t responding to regular training, or dogs that might just need help with where safe boundaries are.
In Ground vs Above Ground vs Wireless Electric Dog Fence Systems
The main difference between them is that firstly, in ground and above ground dog fences tend to be more reliable and better performing.
And secondly, above ground dog fences are easier to install than in ground systems.
A wireless dog fence doesn’t use wire, but rather has a circular signal emitted from the transmitter which acts as a perimeter.
You can also read a guide about the best wireless dog fences here.
What Factors To Consider When Buying An Electric Dog Fence?
It depends on your yard, your pet/s, and your personal wants and needs.
But, some of the main considerations you may take into account when deciding on what dog fence system to get might include (but aren’t limited to):
What type of fence system is it – perimeter wire system, wireless?
Is the dog fence system built for a specific type of dog – tiny, stubborn, and so on?
What is the price range of the dog fence system?
Can the fence system order be customized with add ons and changes to the items in the standard kit?
Can the fence system be installed just below ground, or above ground too?
What does the full set up of the fence system involve?
What are the full range of features the fence system has?
Are there any safety features, or special features, such as run through protection?
How many different programmable settings does the fence system have?
What layouts and configurations can the fence system wire be laid out in?
What is the maximum acreage that the fence system can contain? – based on each individual transmitter, number of transmitters that can be used, and maximum amount of perimeter wire it can support
What are the sizes of the inner, warning and correction zones?
Is the fence perimeter boundary zone adjustable?
How does the fence system actually work when set up and in operation?
How many collars (dogs) can the fence system support – 1, 2, 3, or more?
What collars (from the same brand and other brands) is the fence system compatible with?
Are the collars water proof?
Are the collars submersible?
How much does the collar receiver weigh?
What length contacts do the collars come with?
What size dogs is the fence system for e.g. 8lbs and up?
What size neck is the dog collar strap for?
Is the battery disposable, or rechargeable?
What type of battery is it?
How long does the battery charge last?
What gauge wire does the fence system come with? – 14, 16, 18. 20?
How long is the wire designed to last? How many years
Does the wire come with any additional poly jacket coating?
How many different training and operation modes are there – stimulation/correction, vibration and beep modes?
How many different stimulation levels are there?
Does the fence system come with different frequency levels?
Are there any specific extras like a surge protector included?
How long is the warranty for, and what are the conditions?
Is there a return or satisfaction guarantee policy?
Is there a dedicated customer support line?
Where is the company based, and where are the fence systems manufactured? – America, or somewhere else?
Can Puppies Use An In Ground and Invisible Dog Fence System?
Ask your vet at what age you can begin using static stimulation and electronic training devices with them.
Some manufacturers might say at 6 months old and over, or for all dogs over 8lbs for example.
Electric Dog Fence FAQ Questions For Buyers and Owners
We outline things such as:
Types of electric dog fences
All factors to consider in choosing an electric dog fence
Most important factors to consider in choosing an electric dog fence
How much an electric dog fence costs
How to install and set up an electric dog fence
How an electric dog fence works
How to train a dog to use an electric dog fence, and how long it takes
Type of wire used for an electric dog fence
How much wire is required for an electric dog fence
Which electric dog fence wire is best
How to bury the wire for an electric dog fence system
How deep to bury the wire
Are dog fences safe, and are they effective
Some Safety Considerations For Using An Electric Dog Fence
Safety is extremely important with an dog fence.
Always always get your vet’s advice or the advice of an animal health and/or training expert – nothing is a substitute for professional advice.
Some general safety guidelines for using a dog fence humanely might be:
Buy from a reputable company who put proper use of the dog fence and the safety of the dog as a priority
Read and follow the operating guide, instruction/safety manual and training guide that comes with the dog fence system from the manufacturer for operation and safety instructions and guidelines
Pay attention to any warnings issued by the manufacturer
Monitor your dog’s response both mentally and physically to using a dog fence. Take the collar off immediately and discontinue use of the system if you notice any negative implications or reactions
A good dog fence that uses static stimulation should simply stimulate the muscle (to the point of reflex) to get the dog’s attention, but should not cause pain (it might be slightly annoying for the dog to act as a small deterrent – but shouldn’t cause pain or harm). It certainly shouldn’t cause a ‘sharp pain’ to the muscle or body.
To get a safe stimulation level – you can always start from the lowest stimulation level, and work your way up to a level that gets the dog’s attention (such as changing body language when a stimulation, vibration or tone is administered) without any visible sign of pain or harm (such as yelping, or showing signs of stress).
A good dog fence company should give you all the necessary safety, use and training instructions, and should have a dedicated customer service line to help when you being using the fence system.
The static function does not need to be used either – tone and vibrate training modes can be used instead.
Some owners like to use their dog fence system as a temporary training tool i.e. once their dog/s have learnt the boundaries and are properly training to stay in the yard, they turn the fence off or remove it.
If the dog starts going outside the boundaries again, they use the fence again to re-train their dog.
As a safety precaution for humans as well – make sure to get a qualified company to do an underground utility search and get these utilities marked before doing any digging.
Read more about the safety of electric dog fences in this guide.
Best Electric Dog Fences For Small Dogs
The fence models in the top rated list are mostly suitable for small dogs (although check the sizing instructions provided by the manufacturer)
Another small dog electric fence model is the:
- PetSafe Elite Little Dog In Ground Fence System (on Amazon) – for dogs 5lbs and over, with 6-16 inch neck sizes. Standard kit covers 1/3 of an acre. Has a more compact transmitter, and uses the Elite Little Dog Add On Collar Receiver
Best Electric Dog Fences For Large Dogs
The electric dog fences in the top rated list at the top of this guide are mostly good for larger dogs.
Best Electric Dog Fence For Stubborn Dogs
The dog fence models listed at the top of this guide might be good for stubborn dogs, especially the PetSafe Stubborn Dog model.
Check the product description of the listed dog fence models.
Rechargeable Electric Dog Fences
You can read more in this guide about the PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable Dog Fence.
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