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Invisible Fences Shopping Guide
When shopping for your pup, one of the most exciting activities is buying new toys, treats, beds, and collars. That enthusiasm might fall short as soon as you start thinking of how you’re going to keep your pup in the yard.
As you picture a wooden fence tall enough to keep your Border Collie from jumping over, you might envision wood slats blocking your favorite view. That chain-link fence isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, and most athletic dogs might as well be using a stepladder to get to the other side. If you think picket fences are the solution, you may as well leave the door wide open for your pup to explore the world unsupervised, since most are built with dog-sized gaps between each slat.
Fence shopping isn’t necessarily the most engaging activity, but throw in the word “invisibility” and the fence industry gets a lot more interesting.
Why an Invisible Fence?
The concept of an invisible fence is simple: Trick your neighbors into believing that your dog is so well-behaved that they don’t need a fence.
We’re joking, sort of.
In all seriousness, one of the biggest appeals to an invisible fence is the no-profile effectiveness of a boundary that depends on digital signals to keep your pup safe. You don’t have to compromise your view just to keep your dog from chasing squirrels.
Plus, the cost is a huge bonus when considering these little technological marvels. One spool of wire to span your yard, and you could be saving thousands of dollars on fencing. At the top of the price spectrum, you can get 10 acres of coverage for $300. For the materials to build a wood fence for the same area, you will easily exceed $2,000, and that isn’t including the labor to install.
With an invisible fence, the homeowner is able to install every piece of the equipment with little to no hassle. On a cool day, you might not even break a sweat.
What Makes an Invisible Fence?
Before investing in the gear to keep your dog safe, it’s important to know the components of an invisible fence.
There are two types of invisible dog fences to be aware of, and they both depend on the control you want to set for your pup.
Wireless: While none of our featured top 10 picks are wireless, it’s still important to note wireless invisible fences are an option. If you’re looking for a boundary that moves with you and the transmitter you hold in your hand, this might be a better option for you and your pup.
Consider a wireless option if you want to control your pet during trips or if you prefer to not install a more permanent perimeter. Moving from apartment to apartment? Wireless might be the better option.
In-Ground: In-ground fences are as effective as a physical barrier between your yard and space beyond. To achieve the full setup, you’ll be equipped with a receiver collar, transmitter, wires, flagging, and occasionally other accessories like a surge protector, extra battery, or rubber prongs to improve collar comfort.
Receiver Collar: This can range in size, so be sure to choose one that properly fits your pet. If this is uncomfortable, your pet might try everything to remove their collar, so you want to be sure it fits properly and isn’t heavily weighted.
Wires: Wires will serve as the boundary, and can be installed in whichever shape you choose. The wire perimeter will give out a signal detected by your pet’s receiver collar. Be sure to compare acreage capabilities between each product — if you have a ranch, you’ll want a fence like the SportDOG or Extreme Dog Fence 2. With more coverage, you’ll start inching into the $200 range. For smaller play areas, you can compare more affordable options like the PetSafe Basic. To install wiring, you can either keep it above ground and protect the wiring with lawn staples, or you can build a trench and bury it. We’ve made note of which systems are easy to install, and which ones have been noted as more difficult by reviewers.
Transmitter: Typically, a transmitter is stored in the home or garage, and it broadcasts the signal that is received by the wiring. Keep your eye out for features like surge protectors, wire break alarms, and low battery alarms. The more prepared a system is for technology fails, the safer your dog is.
Flagging: In order to give your dog a boundary they can see, your invisible fence setup typically will come with flagging. While your dog is learning the new perimeter, flagging can help them visibly associate the perimeter. Flagging can also help homeowners avoid digging up the boundary wire or cutting it when mowing the lawn.
Proven to be Effective
The power of invisible fences has been proven time and time again to be more effective than other dog containment strategies. If your dog is a masterful escape artist, an invisible fence is the answer you’re looking for. There’s nothing more important than keeping your four-legged friend safe while sniffing out their favorite smells, so why settle for anything less than the best?
Compare our top 10 picks for invisible fences, and give your dog the yard of their dreams.
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