PetSafe Stay And Play vs Free To Roam Wireless Dog Fence: Comparison, & Reviews

 

Both are popular wireless pet containment systems from PetSafe, so we thought we’d do a PetSafe Stay and Play vs Free To Roam Comparison.

We’ve listed the main differences and similarities between the two, as well as considering which one might be best for different owners and dogs.

We’ve also linked you to individual reviews for each system in case you want to read more about either of them.

Let’s check them out!

 

(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)

 

PetSafe Stay And Play vs Free To Roam Wireless Dog Fence Comparison

If you prefer, you can go straight to viewing each wireless fence system here:

 

There’s also a stubborn dog version of the Stay and Play:

 

Note though, that we think there are other electric dog fences on the market that present better value, and overall are better dog fence systems.

These models 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

 

You can read review guides on these dog fences here

Read the full review of the eXtreme Dog Fence models in this guide.

Read the full review of the SportDOG SDF-100A, & SDF-100C models in this guide.

 

Onto the PetSafe dog fence models …

 

PetSafe Stay + Play vs Free To Roam: Which Is Better?

Overall, the Stay and Play is the more advanced system of the two, and for the price difference, it’s probably better as well.

You might get the Stay and Play if you want:

A wider maximum range/diameter of operation of the transmitter of 210 feet diameter compared to 180 for the Free To Roam

A rechargeable battery, compared to the replaceable battery in the Free To Roam that you will have to replace every few months

A smaller and lighter transmitter

An automatic shut off safety feature

 

PetSafe Stay + Play vs Free To Roam: Differences

Some of the main differences between the two systems are:

The Stay and Play can cover a maximum area of 3/4 of an acre (210 feet in diameter), whilst the Free To Roam can cover a maximum area of 1/2 an acre, or 180 feet in diameter – without adding any extra transmitters

The Stay and Play uses a rechargeable battery that lasts approx. 3 weeks per charge and  roughly 3-5 years all up, whilst the Free To Roam uses a replaceable RFA-67 battery that has a 1-2 month expected life and is not rechargeable

The Stay and Play uses Stay and Play collar receivers, whilst the Free To Roam uses the Free To Roam collar receivers

The Stay and Play has an automatic safety shut-off where correction stops after 15 seconds of continuous stimulation

The Free To Roam has a low battery indicator

The Free To Roam has a Transmitter Power Loss Alarm – built in power loss alarm sounds an intermittent tone alarm if power is removed from the transmitter. If power is removed from the transmitter, your pet is no longer contained.

The Free To Roam transmitter comes with a mounting bracket and hardware

The Stay + Play transmitter is the smaller of the two transmitters (up to 67% smaller than other PetSafe Transmitters)

The Stay and Play comes with short and long contact points, whereas the Free To Roam comes with long contact points

 

PetSafe Stay + Play vs Free To Roam: Similarities

Some of the main similarities between the two systems are:

Both are wireless pet fence systems

Both take about 1-2 hours to set up

Both are portable systems

Both systems have transmitters and collars that are smaller and more compact that other PetSafe fence systems

Both systems have ranges that can be expanded with additional transmitters

Both systems allow you to add dogs to the system with additional add on collars

Both collars are for dogs 5 pounds and up and fits neck sizes 6-28 inches

Both collars have 5 different levels of static stimulation

Both collars have tone only training options

Both collars are waterproof

Both systems worth with the original Wireless Pet Containment System (PIF-300) and Receiver Collar (PIF-275)

Neither system comes with a vibration only training option

 

Subjectively, both systems may be affected in their consistency and reliability by a variety of factors including terrain, topography and metal objects.

For example, a metal roof, metal walls/siding, or metal objects or appliances which are within 5-10′ of the transmitter unit can create black out spots where the system may not work effectively.

Do a survey of the area you want to use the system in before buying and consider these factors.

 

PetSafe Stay + Play Review

PetSafe Stay And Play Wireless Fence

View On Amazon

Features

A wireless pet containment system

Portable – you can plug and unplug the transmitter as your need to and move the system around. This means you can use it for RV camping and vacation homes for example

Wireless means no wires and no digging wire trenches – installation is easier and quicker than an in ground pet fence – approx. 1-2 hours

Both the transmitter and collar on this system are  smaller and more compact than the other PetSafe systems. The transmitter is 67% smaller than other transmitters

The standard kit will allow you to cover a circular area of 3/4 of an acre (210 feet in diameter), and a minimum of 44 feet in diameter or 22 feet in radius

You can expand the area with additional transmitters

The collar is for dogs 5 pounds and up, and fits neck sizes 6-28 inches

There’s 5 adjustable levels of static correction on the collar

There’s also a tone-only mode on the collar that alerts your pet with a beep

The collar also features an automatic safety shut-off feature where correction stops after 15 seconds of stimulation

Collar is waterproof

Collar is rechargeable – uses a built in battery that is not replaceable. Lasts approx. 3 weeks per charge

Collars should last roughly 3-5 years all up

You can expand the system and add more dogs with additional collar receivers

System also works with the original Wireless Pet Containment System (PIF-300) and Receiver Collar (PIF-275)

PetSafe have good customer services for queries and issues with the system if you encounter them

If buying from a third party seller, make sure you check the warranty conditions and that it’s guaranteed

The system comes with visual flag training aids for the boundary line

 

Drawbacks

Operating range and consistency/reliability may be affected by a variety of factors including terrain, topography and metal objects. For example, a metal roof, metal walls/siding, or metal objects or appliances which are within 5-10′ of the transmitter unit can create black out spots where the system may not work effectively. Do a survey of the area you want to use the system in before buying and consider these factors

The Pet Area cannot be changed into a square or rectangular shape – it has to be a circle

Does not come with a vibration only training option

This system may not be for bigger pets or more stubborn dogs. You may need to get an in-ground system with a more reliable or stronger static stimulation

The tone only beep sound could be louder

 

Overall

Overall, the system work well in the right environment, and it’s probably more for smaller to medium sized pets, or pets who aren’t major escape artists, as black spots where the signal doesn’t work can occur. If you have metal in your yard, or you want the most reliable and effective pet fence system, consider one of PetSafe’s in ground pet containment systems.

 

View

View the PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Fence on Amazon

 

What Is The PetSafe Stay And Play Wireless Fence Designed For?

The standard system is intended to keep dogs larger than 5lbs with a neck size of between 6 to 28 inches inside up to an adjustable circular area of 3/4 an acre (210 feet in diameter)

You can expands the diameter with additional transmitters, and add dogs onto the system with add on collars.

 

How Does The PetSafe Stay And Play Wireless Fence Work?

PetSafe give you a set up and operation/training manual and guide which you should follow. But, as a general guide:

You choose between the 5 levels of static correction, or a tone only mode

Plug the transmitter into an outlet

You put the collar receiver on your dog

The transmitter signal covers a maximum of 210 feet in diameter 

Put the training flags out so your dog can visually see the boundary they are to stay in

When the pet strays into the warning zone, the receiver collar will give a warning tone

If they continue past the warning zone, a safe, static correction is delivered through the contact points until they return to the safe pet area

There’s a safety feature built in to protect against continual stimulation

 

Who Might The PetSafe Stay And Play Wireless Fence Be For?

The collar is designed for dogs over 5 lb. with neck sizes from 6 to 28 inches

Dogs six months or older

Properties up to 3/4 an acre (210 feet in diameter)

People looking for a system that can support several dogs/pets – as long as you buy the additional add on collar receivers

People looking for a wireless dog fence system

People who want a portable dog fence system

 

Who Might The PetSafe Stay And Play Wireless Fence NOT Be For?

Dogs under 5 lbs

Dogs with necks outside of 6 to 28 inches

Dogs less than 6 months old

Areas over 3/4 an acre

People who want the benefits of an in-ground dog fence system

People with metal in their yard such as a metal roof, metal walls/siding, or metal objects or appliances which are within 5-10′ of the transmitter

People who want a vibration only training option

 

 

PetSafe Free To Roam Review

This dog fence has a 180 feet diameter (circle) range of function, the small sized transmitter & collar receiver, and it’s portability.

 

View On Amazon

Features

A wireless pet containment system

Wireless means a quick setup, and there’s no trenches to dig or backfill for fence wires

Wireless also means the system is portable if you want to take it away camping for example, or take it when you move houses

The system covers a circular area up to 1/2 an acre, or 180 feet in diameter

You can increase the range of the system with additional transmitters

You can add dogs to the system with additional Free To Roam collar receivers

The collar receivers have 5 levels of static for static training mode

There’s also a tone only training mode

The collar uses replaceable RFA-67D-11 Batteries, and the batteries last about 1-2 months

The collar receiver is waterproof

The collar receiver is for dogs 5 pounds and up, and fits neck sizes 6-28 inches

The collar has a low-battery indicator

Transmitter Power Loss Alarm- built in power loss alarm sounds an intermittent tone alarm if power is removed from the transmitter. If power is removed from the transmitter, your pet is no longer contained.

The system works with the original Wireless Pet Containment System (PIF-300) and Receiver Collar (PIF-275)

PetSafe’s customer service is pretty good when it comes to issues and problems with getting the system to work as it should

 

Drawbacks

Operating range and consistency/reliability may be affected by a variety of factors including terrain, topography and metal objects. For example, a metal roof, metal walls/siding, or metal objects or appliances which are within 5-10′ of the transmitter unit can create black out spots where the system may not work effectively. Do a survey of the area you want to use the system in before buying and consider these factors

The Pet Area cannot be changed into a square or rectangular shape – it has to be a circle

Does not come with a vibration only training option

This system may not be for bigger pets or more stubborn dogs. You may need to get an in-ground system with a more reliable or stronger static stimulation

The tone only beep sound could be louder

The battery in the collar is not rechargeable – it is replaceable. It could be better if it was rechargeable

The Free To Roam has a smaller operating range than the Stay and Play wireless system

 

Overall

Overall, the Free To Roam is the less advanced version of the Stay and Play as it has a smaller range by 30 feet in diameter, and a battery that is not rechargeable. Similarly, it works well in the right environments and with the right dogs – smaller and less stubborn dogs. But, the system still has black spots where the signal can be interfered with. If you have metal in your yard, or you want the most reliable and effective pet fence system, consider one of PetSafe’s in ground pet containment systems.

 

What Is The PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Fence Designed For?

The standard system is intended to keep dogs larger than 5lbs with a neck size of between 6 to 28 inches inside up to an adjustable circular area of 1/2 an acre (180 feet in diameter)

You can expand the diameter with additional transmitters, and add dogs onto the system with add on collars.

 

How Does The PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Fence Work?

PetSafe gives you a set up and operation/training manual and guide which you should follow. But, as a general guide:

You choose between the 5 levels of static correction, or a tone only mode

Plug the transmitter into an outlet

You put the collar receiver on your dog

The transmitter signal covers a maximum of 180 feet in diameter 

Put the training flags out so your dog can visually see the boundary they are to stay in

When the pet strays into the warning zone, the receiver collar will give a warning tone

If they continue past the warning zone, a safe, static correction is delivered through the contact points until they return to the safe pet area

 

Who Might The PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Fence Be For?

The collar is designed for dogs over 5 lb. with neck sizes from 6 to 28 inches

Dogs six months or older

Properties up to 1/2 an acre in diameter

People looking for a system that can support several dogs/pets – as long as you buy the additional add on collar receivers

People looking for a wireless dog fence system

People who want a portable dog fence system that they can take from place to place

People who don’t want to dig wire trenches

 

Who Might The PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Fence NOT Be For?

Dogs under 5 lbs

Dogs with necks outside of 6 to 28 inches

Dogs less than 6 months old

Areas over 1/2 an acre in diameter

People who want the benefits of an in-ground dog fence system

People with lots of metal or other interfering objects in their yard

People who want a super reliable and consistent system

 

Best In Ground, Above Ground & Wireless Dog Fences On The Market

These guides outline some of the best dog fence models on the market at the moment:

Best Above Ground & In Ground Electric Dog Fences

Best Wireless Electric Dog Fences

Above Ground vs Underground vs Wireless Dog Fences: Comparison

 

FAQ Guide About Electric Dog Fences

You can read an FAQ Guide here about commonly asked questions by potential buyers and owners of electric dog fences.

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.

 

 

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