If you’re on the look out for a pet containment system for your yard, you’ll want to have a quick look over this SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A Review Guide.
As a quick summary, the kit you get with the fence is for properties up to 1 1/3 acres (but can be for larger acreage with add ons), and has a collar for dogs 10lbs and over.
In this review, we take a look at the full list of features of the fence system, how you might add to it for bigger areas of land of for more dogs, and list the cons and drawbacks of the system as well.
We also consider who the fence system may and may not be for.
Let’s check it out in greater detail!
[We have also linked to the SDF-100C model that comes with a rechargeable battery, instead of the replaceable battery that the SDF-100A has]
(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)
SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A, & SDF-100C Review
If you prefer, you can go straight to viewing the SDF-100A (and SDF-100C) here:
- SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A (on Amazon) – for properties up to 1 1/3 acres, and dogs 10lbs and over. Has a replaceable battery and not a rechargeable battery. Has 4 levels of static stimulation, as well as vibration/tone
- SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100C (on Amazon) – with rechargeable battery instead of replaceable battery. Has 7 levels of static stimulation, as well as vibration/tone. For dogs 8lbs and larger. Collar is submersible, and not just waterproof.
- SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A, with thickest 14 Gauge Wire (on Amazon) – thicker and stronger wire than the standard model
People may often consider these extras with the fence system:
- Additional SportDOG SDF-R Add On Collar Receiver (on Amazon) – to add extra dogs to the system
- SportDOG Brand Wire & Flag Accessory Kit (on Amazon) – allows you to add an additional 1/3 acre for each kit
- PetSafe Surge Protector for Fence Transmitters (on Amazon) – designed to protect your In-Ground Fence from surges or spikes
- Wire Fence Splice Kit (on Amazon) – for repairing pet fence wire that has split or broken
SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A: Review
- Overall, a good fence system for most dog owners and dogs
- An in-ground dog fence system with 1,000 feet of wire, 100 flags, 1 Transmitter, and 1 Collar Receiver
- It’s designed to keep your dog contained in a yard up to 1 1/3 acres
- Installation is very simple – you bury the wire around the perimeter of your yard and plug in the transmitter
- The collar receiver offers 4 different levels of static stimulation to match any dogs’ temperament from softer to harder or more stubborn temperament dogs
- System also offers a tone and a vibration option
- You can add an unlimited number of dogs with the purchase of additional Add-A-Dog® Collar Receivers (SDF-R)
- The collar receivers are waterproof
- The collar receivers have replaceable 9-volt batteries that last about 6-12 months
- There’s a low battery indicator to tell you when the batteries are getting low
- Fence Transmitter is powerful enough to cover up to 100 acres of land with the purchase of additional Wire & Flag Kits (SDF-WF)
- System has a Wire-break Transmitter alarm that alerts you to possible problems with the Boundary Wire
- There’s an Anti-Linger Feature that prevents dog from running down Collar Receiver battery in warning zone
- Has built-in lightning protection
- There’s a wire chart that tells you how many feet of wire you need for how many acres of land
- There’s a wire loop layout that shows you how the zones work when the fence is installed
- For dogs over 10lbs
- There’s now a 14 gauge (thickest wire) wire model available
- Includes a warranty – check conditions at time of purchase
- The standard model doesn’t have very thick/strong wire – only 20 gauge
- For larger areas like 1 or 2 acres, the installation can take some time, especially if you have to prep the ground (cut grass and remove objects like rocks or other obstructions) or install a dedicated powerpoint just for the system. Take this into consideration and consider whether you will get an electrician and/or landscapers in to help with installation. The instruction guide tells you what you’ll need to set up and install the system so don’t worry too much
- The collar receiver can be slightly large for small dogs between 10-30lbs
- Test on the lowest setting of static first. The higher levels are usually for the most stubborn dogs.
- Some people may want more than 10 static stimulation levels
- Some users might experience collar compatibility differences between the 100A and the 100C when using collars from other brands on the system – but, to be fair, the system is designed with SportsDOG collars in mind
- Some users can experience difficulties in correctly adjusting the settings to give the dog enough time with the warning beep to walk away from the perimeter wire, before the correction stimulation. you may have to speak to customer service for help with setting this up
SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100C: Review
Similar to the SDF-100A, except:
- Comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery instead of a replaceable battery
- Battery charges in 2 hours, and lasts 1-2 months per charge
- Has 7 levels of static stimulation, as well as vibration/tone (compared to the 4 levels of the SDF-100A)
- Collar waterproof and submersible to 25 feet
- For dogs 8lbs or larger
- May come with additional accessories depending on who you buy it from
- Not compatible with the SDF-100A or SDF-CT Add-A-Dog® collars (SDF-R, SDF-CTR)
So, the SDF-100C is for people who want a rechargeable battery, additional static stimulation levels, and a submersible collar.
SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A: Buyer’s Guide
What Is The SDF-100A Designed For?
To contain dogs 10lbs and over to a containment area of the owner’s choosing (and within the capacity of the transmitter, wire, etc.)
How Does The SDF-100A Actually Work?
Read the instructions that come with the system for confirmation.
But a general description might be:
- The transmitter sends a radio signal through the fence wire – which you bury in the ground
- You can use above ground flag markers as training guides for your dog during the first training phase
- Where you bury the fence wire underground as the boundary is the stimulation zone, the area immediately before that is the warning zone, and the inside safe area where you want your dog to stay is the boundary area/safe zone
- Your dog/s wear a collar with a collar receiver, and contact points that touch the dog’s neck
- When your dog reaches the Warning Zone, the Collar Receiver gives a warning beep. If your dog continues into the Stimulation Zone, a safe static stimulation will be delivered through the Contact Points to get his attention until he returns to the Boundary Area zone
- There’s also sound and vibration training options too.
Who Might The SDF-100A Be For?
- Dogs overs 10lbs
- Small to large properties up to 1 1/3 acres
- With additional Wire & Flag Kits (SDF-WF), land up to 100 acres (that is the transmitter’s capacity)
- With additional Add-A-Dog® Collar Receivers (SDF-R), an unlimited number of dogs can use the system
Who Might The SDF-100A NOT Be For?
- Dogs under 10lbs
- Properties over 1 1/3 acres, unless your get wire and flag kits
- More than one dog, unless you get additional collar receivers
What Do You Get In The SDF-100A Kit?
It depends on the seller you buy from – so, confirm contents of kit at the time you buy.
But generally, the kit might look like:
- Transmitter Adaptor
- Collar Receiver
- Black Collar Strap
- 1,000 Feet of 20-Gauge Wire
- 100 Flags
- Basic Training Manual & DVD
How Do The SportDog Dog Fences Compare To The eXtreme Dog Fences?
Read more about a SportDOG vs eXtreme dog fence comparison in this guide.
Electric Dog Fence FAQ Questions For Buyers and Owners
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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