When is comes to pet containment systems, some brands are more popular and higher quality than others.
Two of the more popular brands are SportDOG and PetSafe
So, it made sense to do a SportDOG vs PetSafe Dog Fence Comparison guide.
In this guide we outlines the main dog fence models from each brand, along with similarities and differences.
You should be able to get a clear idea of which one might be best for your dog and property.
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)
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SportDOG vs Petsafe Dog Fence: Comparison, & Which Is Better?
In case you want to go to viewing the different models from each brand, you can do so here:
In Ground Fence Models
Some of the more popular and well rated models from SportDOG and PetSafe are:
- SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A (on Amazon) – standard kit is for properties up to 1 1/3 acres, and dogs 10lbs and over. Has a disposable/replaceable battery
- 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.
The SDF-100C also has a rechargeable battery and a few extra features over the SDF-100A:
- SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100C (on Amazon) (Has a rechargeable battery, and 7 levels of static stimulation, plus tone/vibration)
Other in ground model options from PetSafe include:
- PetSafe Basic In-Ground Fence System (on Chewy)
- PetSafe In-Ground Fence System (on Chewy)
- PetSafe Rechargeable In-Ground Fence System (on Chewy)
- PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Pet Fence System (on Chewy)
Read more about underground and above ground electric dog fences in theis guide.
Wireless Fence Models
Some of the top rated wireless models from PetSafe might be:
- PetSafe PIF-300 Wireless Dog and Cat Containment System (on Chewy)
- PetSafe PIF-300 Wireless Dog and Cat Containment System (on Amazon) – For dogs at least 8lbs, and with 6 to 28 inch neck size. Has 1/2 acre circular range. Has 5 adjustable levels of stimulation, and a tone only mode.
- PetSafe Stay & Play Compact Wireless Fence (on Amazon) – For dogs at least 5lbs, and with a 6 to 28 inch neck size. Has 3/4 acre circular range. Has 5 adjustable levels of stimulation, and a tone only mode.
- PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence for Stubborn Dogs (on Chewy)
- PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Fence (on Chewy)
- PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence for Stubborn Dogs (on Chewy)
- PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Fence (on Chewy)
- PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Fence (on Amazon)
- PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Fence (on Amazon)
Read more about wireless dog fence options here.
What Models Does Each Brand Offer?
Overall, both SportDOG and PetSafe offer a few different dog fence models with different features.
SportDOG has two main models:
– the SDF-100A (plus an option with thicker gauge wire)
– and the SDF-100C (has a rechargeable battery)
PetSafe has a far wider range – including in ground, but also wireless models.
In Ground vs Wireless – Which To Get?
We prefer in ground fences overall when considering performance, features, effectiveness and reliability
Even though we prefer in ground fences because they tend to be more effective and reliable, some people want a wireless dog fence.
Some wireless fences can be OK too depending on where and how you use them.
SportDOG vs PetSafe Dog Fence: Which To Get?
We like the SportDOG SDF-100A, although, the eXtreme brand dog fence models may be a better options than both SportDOG and PetSafe.
If you want in inground system – it might be worth checking out the eXtreme and SportDOG brands.
If you want a wireless system, you might be better off checking out PetSafe.
The type of dog fence that is best for you though really depends on:
– what features you want from the fence like correction/training options available
– whether you want an in ground or wireless fence
– and how much area you need the fence to cover.
Below we’ve summarised the key features of each brand and model of fence addressing the above criteria and more …
SportDOG Dog Fences
SportDOG In Ground Fence System SDF-100A
An In-ground/Invisible 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
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)
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
For dogs over 10lbs
There’s now a 14 gauge (thickest wire) wire model available
SportDOG Contain and Train System: In Ground Fence + Remote Trainer System
A 2 in 1 In Ground Pet Fence System, and remote dog trainer
Gives you all the current containment capabilities of the In-Ground Fence™ (SDF-100A) – you can read the SDF-100A Review here
You also get the remote training capabilities of the SportDOG FieldTrainer® 425 (SD-425) – you can read a review of the FieldTrainer 425 here.
Designed for both training your dog to stay within boundaries on your property with the fence system, or to train them in the open field with the remote trainer
The Collar Receiver for the Contain + Train works by receiving radio signal from both the Fence Transmitter and the Remote Transmitter.
PetSafe Dog Fences
PetSafe on the other hand sell a wide range of both in ground/invisible AND wireless dog fences.
In Ground Dog Fences:
PetSafe Basic In Ground Dog Fence System
A basic and cheaper type in ground electric dog fence system for keeping your pet contained in your yard
The standard system comes with enough wire to cover 1/3 of an acre, but it is expandable up to 5 acres with the purchase of additional wires and flags (sold separately)
The collar is designed for dogs over 8 lb. with neck sizes from 6 to 26 inches
The collar features 4 levels of static correction plus a tone-only mode for training
PetSafe Stubborn Dog In Ground Dog Fence System
An in ground dog fence system designed specifically for persistent, hard to train dogs who might not respond to lower levels of static stimulation
This system has 4 higher levels of static intensity than the other PetSafe in ground systems
System also comes with a vibration only training mode
System also has a tone only training mode
The collar receiver is for dogs 8 pounds and up fits neck sizes 6-28 inches
System covers up to 1/3 acre with included boundary wire
System is expandable up to 25 acres with additional wire (not included)
PetSafe In-Ground Fence (PIG00-13661)
Comes with an updated black transmitter compared to the older bigger white transmitter on some other PetSafe models
The collar receiver for this systems is the Ultralight Collar Receiver, and is waterproof
The system fits dogs 8 pounds and up and the collar fits neck sizes 6-28 inches
There’s a static training mode with 4 different levels of varying intensity static
There’s a special feature called Run Through Prevention where the correction/static stimulation intensity increases if your dog tries to run through the boundary zone
There’s also a tone only mode
The system covers up to 1/3 acre with included boundary wire, although it’s expandable up to 25 acres with additional boundary wire
You can add more dogs to the system with additional collars
PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In Ground Dog Fence System
If you prefer, you can go straight to viewing the PetSafe YardMax here:
- PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence (on Amazon)
- PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence, Upgraded to 14 Gauge Wire (on Amazon) – 14 gauge is the thickest wire available for pet fences
Some people also choose to get these extras with the YardMax:
- PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence Receiver Collar (on Amazon) – to add additional dogs to the system
- Waterproof Invisible Fence Repair Splice Kit, Pack of 4 (on Amazon) – for repairing broken wire
- PetSafe Pawz Away Pet Barriers (on Amazon) – protect specific parts of your yard like garden beds, or protect your dog from specific parts of your yard that might be hazardous
One of the most advanced PetSafe In Ground Fences that covers 1/3 of an acre with the standard equipment you get in the fence kit
The PetSafe YardMax has several features most other PetSafe pet fences don’t, such as a bigger available area on the inside of the boundary line, a bigger correction zone (for dogs that try to sprint past the correction zone with normal fences), and compatibility with Pawz Away devices.
Has two modes you can choose from – Traditional mode, and YardMax mode
Traditional mode allows you a small warning zone on the inside of the fence where your dog receives a beep warning, and once your dog crosses the fence line, they receive a stimulation, but nothing after that
YardMax mode gets rid of the internal warning zone, and provides an infinite correction zone on the other side of the fence line. Your dog will receive corrections until he/she returns inside the boundary fence line, unless the safety feature activates
YardMax mode gives your pet/s up to 30% more play space inside the boundary fence line
The YardMax system is also compatible with the Pawz Away Indoor, Outdoor, Mini & Threshold pet barriers – barriers which can be used within the range of the YardMax transmitter to protect small areas such as flower beds, hazard zones etc.
Overall the YardMax system can cover up to a maximum of 10 acres with the purchase of additional boundary line wire
The static training option has 5 adjustable levels of static correction
There’s an automatic shut off safety feature – where correction stops after 15 seconds of continuous stimulation
There’s also a tone only training option
The YardMax collar receivers are for dogs 5 pounds and up, and fits neck sizes 6-28 inches
The YardMax collar receivers have the ReadyTest® and PerfectFit™ startups tests that ensure the receiver collar is ready and working when you want to use it
You can add an unlimited number of dogs to the YardMax system with the YardMax collar receivers
The collar receiver has a rechargeable battery (built-in; non-replaceable)
The receiver collar is waterproof
The system as a whole works with 14-20 gauge copper insulated wire
System comes with a surge protector for spikes
PetSafe have responsive and helpful customer service
– Potential Drawbacks
No vibration only training mode
The plastic contacts/prongs on the collar aren’t very strong. Some people may have issues with them breaking, in which case you’d need to get a new collar. This seems to be a design issue that PetSafe should have a look at at some stage
Like all in ground dog fences, you’ll need to spend some time and effort planning out the system placement and digging the wire trenches + backfilling
Various factors around your house like metal objects and other factors can impact how the system functions sometimes – although PetSafe are pretty good at helping you fix queries and issues
An override button to turn the collar off either at the collar or from the transmitter would be good
Overall, the YardMax has perhaps the most features of all the PetSafe in ground fences. It’s for people who can utilise the increased correction zone such as people with dogs who try to sprint through the correction zone on traditional fences. It’s also for people who want increased area inside the boundary line, compatibility with the Pawz Away devices and a rechargeable collar. It’s an advanced system at it’s core. The only major drawback is are the plastic contacts on the collar.
– What It’s Designed For
The YardMax is intended to keep dogs larger than 5lbs with a neck size of between 6 to 28 inches inside an area of 1/3 an acre, or up to 10 acres with additional wire.
It’s designed with a YardMax and a Traditional Mode, and can be used with stimulation and tone only training options.
– How Does It Work
PetSafe give you a set up and operation/training manual and guide which you should follow. But, as a general guide:
You plan out where the fence will go, and the transmitter (you need to have a power source nearby)
You lay out the wire above ground and test the system and collars are working
You dig the wire trenches and lay the wire and backfill
You set the static level, or set the system to tone only
You set the mode to YardMax or Traditional mode
You put in the training flags above ground so your dog can see where the boundary is and put the collar/s on your dog/s
Depending on the mode you set the system to, the collar will respond differently to the warning and correction zones in different locations
If you have Pawz Away devices installed, the collar will also respond to them
The training period should be roughly 2 weeks for your dog to learn where the boundary is
Once your dog learns where the boundary is, some people choose to remove the collar until or if re-training is required
– Who Might It Be For
The collar is designed for dogs over 5 lb. with neck sizes from 6 to 28 inches
Properties up to 1/3 an acre, or 10 with additional wire
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 an in ground dog fence system
People looking to train with static and tone only modes
People looking for an alternate mode to traditional mode
People with dogs who try to sprint through the regular correction zones
– Who Might It NOT Be For
Dogs under 5 lbs
Dogs with necks outside of 6 to 28 inches
Areas over 1/3 an acre, or 10 acres with additional wire
People who want a wireless dog fence system
People who are OK with just the traditional mode PetSafe fences
People who want more of a basic PetSafe fence with more basic features
– What’s In The Kit
Transmitter with mounting hardware and power adapter
YardMax rechargeable receiver with adjustable collar fits neck sizes 6-28 inches
Receiver collar charger
Short and long contact points
Operating and training guide
500 feet of 20-gauge boundary wire
50 training flags
Waterproof splice capsules and wire nuts
Test light tool and contact point wrench
PetSafe Rechargeable In Ground Fence System
In ground electric dog fence system, with a rechargeable collar
Each charge can last up to 2 months depending on usage
For dogs 5 pounds and up, and for neck sizes 6-26 inches
The standard kit covers up to 1/3 of an acre
You can cover up to 25 acres with additional wire
The collar has 4 levels of static stimulation for the static training option. Your dog will hear a beep in the warning zone, and if they continue to the correction zone they will get a static stimulation
There’s also a Run Through Prevention feature where the correction increases if your dog tries to run through the boundary zone
There’s also a tone only training option, if you want to train with sound only
You can buy add on collars to add more dogs to the system
This system has an automatic safety shut-off feature whereby the correction stops after 15 seconds if your dog doesn’t go back to the warning zone or the boundary zone
PetSafe Little Dog In Ground Fence System
In ground electric dog fence system specifically for small dogs
The collar receiver is small and lightweight – it’s for dogs 5 pounds and up with neck sizes 6-16 inches
The collar receiver has 4 adjustable levels of static correction when using static as a training mode
There’s also a tone only training mode if you want to use beeps to train your dog
The system as standard covers 1/3 acre with included boundary wire
If you want to expand the system with additional boundary wire, you can do so up to 25 acres
You can add any number of dogs to the system when you purchase additional collars
The system has Run Through Prevention where the correction increases if your dog tries to run through the boundary zone
Wireless Dog Fences
PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Dog Fence System
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 for dogs 5 pounds and up, and fits neck sizes 6-28 inches
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 Stay and Play Wireless Dog Fence System
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 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 PIF-300 Wireless Dog Fence System
Wireless pet containment system for dogs 8 lbs and over, and with neck sizes 6-28 inches
Installation usually only takes 1-2 hours
The system is portable – you plug in and unplug the signal transmitter as required
It covers an adjustable circular area up to 1/2 acre (180 feet in diameter) – this is how far the signal reaches to the collar receiver. Also has a minimum of 10 feet in diameter or 5 feet in radius
Has either a static stimulation training option, or a tone only training option
Static mode has 5 different levels of varying intensity of static to choose from
Tone only mode uses a beep to train your dog
Has a built in safety feature – safety shut-off stops correction after 30 seconds
The collar uses a PetSafe RFA-67 battery (included)
You can expand the signal range with additional transmitters
You can add more dogs to the system with add on collars
System works with Stay+Play Wireless Fence® and Stay + Play Wireless Fence receiver collar
PetSafe Free To Roam vs Free To Roam
We wrote a comparison guide of these two dog fence systems here:
PetSafe Pet Barriers
Separate to the PetSafe pet fences, PetSafe also have a similar type of product called a ‘pet barrier’.
Some of those models are the:
– PetSafe Pawz Away Threshold Pet Barrier (on Amazon) (Designed for thresholds between rooms (doorways) or at the top or bottom of stairs.)
– PetSafe Pawz Away Mini Pet Barrier (on Amazon). A cheap version of the indoor barrier, and has decreased range (and smaller transmitter). It will still act to keep pets away from certain areas or objects in your house though.
SportDOG vs eXtreme vs PetSafe Fence Comparison
In case you wanted to get a comparison to the PetSafe dog fence, you can read this comparison guide.
You can also read an individual SportDOG vs eXtreme comparison here:
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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