The 14 Best Electric & Wireless Dog Fences of 2019

1. Extreme Dog Fence Professional Grade Premium Kit 

The top of the line with all bells and whistles

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


The Extreme Dog Fence Professional Grade is the best for anyone looking to get the most out of an electric fence. This system contains everything you need to secure anywhere from 1 to 5 dogs in just one purchase! While this kit is one of the most expensive options on this list, it earns each penny and has the reviews to back it. If you’re a “buy it once” type, this is the pick for you.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to 25 acres of coverage

Replacement collars are expensive

Completely waterproof; dogs can swim with collars on

Collars are easy to chew through

Supports 5 dogs with collars

Still not strong enough to stop an especially determined dog

Includes splice kits and battery checks

Specialized collar batteries that must be purchased through the manufacturer

14-gauge wire and 16-gauge twisted wiring


2. Extreme Dog Fence Standard Grade Essential Kit 

The top of the line without too many frills

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


The Standard Grade Essential Kit is a slightly more modest option from the Professional Kit by Extreme Dog. It won’t cover quite as much land and has fewer tricks up its sleeves, but it will still meet most fencing needs. This kit still features most options the Professional Kit offers but in a smaller package and at a lower price point.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to 6 acres of coverage

Replacement collars are expensive

Supports 5 dogs with collars

Collars are easy to chew through

Includes splice kits and battery checks

Still not strong enough to stop a determined dog

20-gauge wire with a heavy protective jacket

Specialized collar batteries that must be purchased through the manufacturer

Key Features

 

3. PetSafe YardMax In-Ground Fence Cordless or Rechargeable System

High-end system with options and compatibility

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


The PetSafe YardMax comes in two options, one with a rechargeable transmitter that can handle up to 10 acres. If you don’t need quite as much range, the cordless option with a subtle waterproof receiver will cover up to 1.4 acres and can be placed anywhere in the yard. With either system, an unlimited number of pets can be added.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to 10 acres of coverage

Replacement collars are expensive

Supports an unlimited number of dogs

Prongs should be monitored for falling off

Includes 500 ft of wire

Collar batteries are not replaceable

Compatible with other PetSafe products

Batteries are known for lasting years

Tone-Only Setting


4. SportDOG In-Ground Fence

Mid-priced fence with range

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


SportDOG packs a lot of features into a lower cost fence with their in-ground fence. This fence has an incredible range, comes with a waterproof collar, and doesn’t limit the number of dogs you keep with it. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles but you still want a lot of strong features, this is a fantastic choice.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to 100 acres of coverage with additional wire

Collar battery is bulky

Supports an unlimited number of dogs

Perimeter isn’t always consistent

Includes over 1 acre of wire

Collar material is poor

Waterproof

2-year warranty

Collars accept 9-volt batteries

5. PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence

Mid-range fence for a stubborn dog

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


PetSafe focuses on more stubborn dogs in the in-ground market here. The Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence supports huge range while continuing to be compatible with many of their other products. Best of all, you’re not limited to how many of your dogs you can call “stubborn” as it supports them all.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to 25 acres of coverage

Collars fail often

Supports an unlimited number of dogs

Perimeter doesn’t work consistently

Includes 500 ft of wire

Transmitter fails often

Compatible with other PetSafe products

Collars are relatively inexpensive

Collar accepts 9-volt battery

Highest intensity correction

6. Sit Boo-Boo Hidden Fence System

All the bells and whistles on a budget

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


In this hidden fence system, you can set up your fence above or underground. It keeps all of the features of many more expensive options such as an IPV7 rating on top of welcoming as many dogs as you’d like. If you’ve got a large yard, this hidden fence can still support your needs. In addition, the Sit Boo-Boo fence has a host of features even more expensive fences don’t have, such as auto-correction.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to 20 acres of coverage

Inconsistent transmitters

Supports an unlimited number of dogs

Sometimes complicated set-up

Includes 500 ft of copper wire

More frequently requires troubleshooting

IPV7 rating (up to 3 ft of water)

Collar fails frequently and early

Long-lived rechargeable battery

Auto-Correct will skip warning tone when the dog is approaching quickly

Can include a trainer remote

Semi-portable; can be used above ground

Built-in surge protection

Auto-Correct reacts to your dog’s intent

7. Sit Boo-Boo Secure Pet Hidden Fence

Budget option for long-range coverage

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


If you’ve got a tight budget, you’d like to get an area quickly, or you have a small dog, the Secure-Pet is a perfect choice. It may not carry every feature, but the kit comes with enough wire to cover over an acre of ground and it still carries many of the features of more expensive kits!

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to 5 acres of coverage

The included wire is thin

Supports an unlimited number of dogs

Not enough flags for the provided wire

Includes 955 ft of copper wire

Dial is deceptive

Waterproof

Difficult set-up

Lifetime warranty

Doesn’t always send warning tone before correcting

Five correction levels

Inconsistency with shock range

Semi-portable; can be used above ground

Sometimes fails very quickly

No minimum dog size

Consistently great customer service

8. Free Spirit In-Ground Fence

For modest needs with solid features

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


The Free Spirit in-ground fence doesn’t cover a large yard or offer a plethora of options, but it does deliver what it promises and has all the features most people need. This in-ground fence covers enough ground for most homes while keeping the more comfortable features of higher-end products like waterproofing, customized boundaries, and warning tones.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to 1 acre of coverage

Included wire seems low quality

Supports an unlimited number of dogs

Not enough flags for the provided wire

Includes 1/3 acre of wire

No surge protection

Waterproof

Difficult set-up

Lifetime warranty

Five correction levels with tone and vibration

Customers have had luck with an above-ground installation

Minimum dog size is only 5 lb.

Low-cost collars


9. PetSafe Stubborn Dog Stay & Play Wireless Fence

Best for Stubborn Dogs

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


For a wireless fence that carries most features of a wired fence with a difficult dog, PetSafe has one of the best options on the market. With multiple modes for training and correction and long battery life, you can feel secure about even your most difficult dog staying with you with the Stubborn Dog Stay & Play.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to ¾ acre of coverage

Stubborn dogs may still jump through the fence

Supports an unlimited number of dogs

Some dogs don’t feel the highest setting

Waterproof

Short battery lifespan

Portable; no wires to bury

Five correction levels with tone-only mode

10. PetSafe Stay & Play Kit

High-End Wireless Fence

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


The PetSafe Stay & Play is designed for dogs who aren’t quite as determined. Offering basically everything the Stubborn Dog model has, it is only short the strongest correction option. This fence is best for having a full-featured wireless fence for dogs who don’t need quite as much persuasion.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to ¾ acre of coverage

Stubborn dogs may still jump through the fence

Supports an unlimited number of dogs

Doesn’t have maximum correction strength

Transmitters can be overlapped for more coverage

Short transmitter lifespan; worse if transmitter set up near humid areas, metal objects, appliances

Waterproof

Inconsistent perimeter

Portable; no wires to bury

Five correction levels with tone-only mode

11. OKPET Wireless Dog Fence

Best mid-range wireless fence

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


If you’d like to have a fence without buying from the top shelf, you won’t be skimping with OKPET. The OKPET Wireless Dog Fence still includes everything you’d be looking for in a wireless fence with its own features. On top of every standard feature, this fence boasts up to 1,000 feet in range. This is a great choice for anyone at any budget level.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to 1,000 ft of coverage

Instructions are in broken English and difficult to understand

Supports an unlimited number of dogs (over 10 lb)

Customers have better luck with it working downhill than uphill

Water resistant IPX7

Shock strength isn’t very strong

Comes in a 2-dog set

Inconsistent perimeter

Portable; no wires to bury

Easily adjustable perimeter

12. JUSTPET Wireless Dog Fence

Fence for modest needs

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


While most electric fences are pricey and packed with options, the JUSTPET Wireless Dog Fence hits pretty low on price while still maintaining a hefty list of features that are more than enough for most dog owners. Coming equipped to support two dogs and a huge range for a wireless fence, there’s not much negative to say about this pick!

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Up to 900 ft of coverage

May not work well on sloped ground, worse on an upward slope

Supports an unlimited number of dogs (over 10 lb)

Shock strength isn’t very strong

Water resistant IPX7 rating

Inconsistent perimeter

Comes in a 2-dog set

Warning tone doesn’t always trigger

Portable; no wires to bury

The large range allows for some success in areas sloped downhill

Easily adjustable perimeter

13. PetSafe Indoor Radio Wireless Boundary Fence

Easiest indoor boundary control

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


Not all fences are to keep your dog inside a region. In this case, the PetSafe Indoor Radio encourages your pets to stay away from something. Most commonly, this might be the litter box, a plant, furniture or a nursery. If your needs fall more into the range of keeping your pet out of something than in something, this is a perfect choice!

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Relies on your pet approaching something rather than boxing it in

Radio is a 9-inch disk that customers find unsightly

Up to a 10 ft radius

Doesn’t work well near metal

You get to choose a collar that meets your pet’s needs

Collar sold separately

Portable; just plug and play

Inconsistent boundary

Compatible with other radios to extend the range

Some pets like to sit in the warning zone

Compatible with other PetSafe collars, seamless transition from fence to radio

Customers have successfully paired with SportDog fence

Longer-lived than many fences

14. PetSafe Pawz Away Pet Barrier

Best at creating indoor and outdoor boundaries

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


For pet owners where getting into the trash can is as much of a concern as digging in the garden beds, the PetSafe Pawz Away Barrier is the best on the market for discouraging your pet. This barrier comes in three options: The Mini, like the Indoor Radio but smaller, Outdoor, Threshold, and Indoor. Unlike the PetSafe Indoor Radio, these are battery powered.

Key Features

Things to Keep in Mind

Relies on your pet approaching something rather than boxing it in

Everything is battery-powered and should be monitored

Indoor options offer from 2 inches to 32 ft of range

Often has a short lifespan

The outdoor barrier protects 8 ft or combines with wire for up to 150 ft.

Frequently doesn’t affect long-haired pets

Purchase with a collar or just an extra barrier

Ineffective on double coats

The included collar is compatible with YardMax

Inconsistent boundary

Well-established product with over 2,500 reviews


Electric Dog Fences Buying Guide

With so many features and additional considerations, it can be hard to choose which features are right for your situation. Not all considerations are negatives, and not all features are good for everyone. We’ll go over many of these basics to make sense of what you should know when selecting your fence.

Size of Your Dog

The size of your dog makes a big difference on what fence to buy. Most fences won’t support an animal under 10 lb. If your pet falls under 10 lb., make sure the collar on your fence will support it. Most fences support smaller dogs with a collar that can be cut, but some also support them with simply smaller electronics. At the very least, most collars will also advise you on how small of a neck they’ll fit.

If your dog is especially large or has a thick neck, ensure their collar will fit. Most can fit a neck size of 24-26 inches, with a few up to 28 inches. For most dogs, this is enough, but if it doesn’t quite reach, you can look for a different system or pursue a different collar that you can attach to the electronics of the system’s collar.

For most dogs that fall in between, the size of a standard collar shouldn’t be an issue.

Electric Fences: What to Know

Generally speaking, an electric fence is a charged wire fence that will shock anything that touches it. In the context of dogs, we mean an in-ground wire that traces the boundary a dog is safe to roam in. The dog must wear a collar that communicates with the wire. Once the dog approaches the wire, it will send a signal to the collar for what level of warning or correction to offer.

An in-ground fence excels in these areas:

  • Low maintenance
  • Larger range
  • Sensitivity to your dog’s intentions
  • Permanence
  • Wire isn’t loyal to a brand and can be changed out in a moment’s notice
  • Handles sloped land, trees, metal fixtures, and other common hindrances to a wireless fence’s signal
  • Can be set up in any shape

An in-ground fence is weaker in these areas:

  • Wire must be wrapped around the boundary, whether it needs to be buried or not
  • Perimeter not easily adjustable
  • Only somewhat portable with above-ground wire
  • Quality wire is expensive
  • Wire can be damaged and need to be replaced

Wireless Fences: What to Know

Wireless fences are sometimes entirely wireless between the transmitter and collar. They work by setting up a transmitter in a central location. It communicates with the collar to determine its location and sends out correction signals when the dog begins to leave its range. These fences can have their range adjusted from the transmitter in a moment and don’t require manually tracing the perimeter.

Wireless fences excel in these areas:

  • Fast set-up
  • Very portable
  • Most systems can extend the range by simply adding another transmitter
  • No wires to damage or replace
  • Battery powered transmitters aren’t as likely to be damaged by lightning

But, here’s where wireless fences struggle:

  • Sloped land, especially where it slopes upward
  • Trees, metal fixtures and roofing, and anything else that interferes with radio signal
  • Radio signal can make the perimeter more inconsistent
  • Radio won’t penetrate walls, so a second transmitter is often necessary to cover the front yard and back yard
  • Only works in a circle

In-ground wire gauge

The thicker a wire is, the more reliable and durable it is. Copper wire is a big feature for its reliability and strength of the signal. The thickest wires often sold are 14 gauge while 20 gauge is on the lower end of what’s sold.

If a product offers thin, low-grade wire, it’s more likely to struggle with tracking your dog and staying in one piece. On the other hand, it will usually come with a lower price tag if you’re still trying to test the waters. Not all dogs respond to an electric fence, and it isn’t feasible for everyone to take a gamble with a high-end product.

Thicker wire is very expensive, especially if you’re considering covering a large yard. However, compared to a physical fence for large areas or areas with a lot of changes in the boundaries, it can be well worth the investment. Thicker wire is going to last longer, often more protected, and won’t need to be replaced often.

Wireless Dog Fence Range

It’s easy to get disoriented reading descriptions of fences covering 100 acres of range and another just 5 acres. While a wireless fence might “only” offer 200 ft of coverage, that might be more than enough for most of us! So, how much do you need to buy for?

For an in-ground fence, you’ll want to know the total perimeter size of the land since it’ll trace the outside completely. Some descriptions will tell you how many acres their product will cover, which is usually all you need if you know the size of the area. If you’re not sure and the land is quite a bit, you can always measure the longest side and multiply it 4 to get the square perimeter. As always, buy more than you expect to need.

For a wireless fence, get the radius by measuring from the center of the range (where the transmitter will be placed) to the furthest point out. Multiply this number by 2 for the diameter, or the range of the transmitter. Keep in mind the transmitter won’t penetrate walls very well so you may need to do this for the front yard as well as the back yard.

Warning Levels for Your Dog

Not all fences will warn your pet at the same point for the same level. If your dog handles warnings in a one-size-fits-all manner, then fences without customizable options will work fine for you. This is an area where it is best to know your dog’s temperament.

If your dog is especially stubborn, you should consider a fence that gives a stronger correction than your average dog.

If your dog is especially timid, a fence with a warning-only setting is a great choice. For some pups, any warning is more than enough to ruin their day, and a full correction could be traumatizing. For them, it may be best to avoid any fence that doesn’t offer warnings. Due to many fences offering an inconsistent border, it may also be better for them to be kept on a warning-only setting.

Another feature is fences that detect the speed of your dog’s movement. If they’re moving slowly and curious, it will take a lot to move past warning tones. If they’re approaching too quickly, it will skip straight to correction levels. Some dog owners take issue with this, and if you would prefer your dog always get a warning for training purposes, it’s best to pass on a fence with Auto-Correct.

Type of coat: Does it Matter?

While many of the fences offer prongs for long and short hair, it is a feature to double check if you have a dog with long hair or even a double coat. Prongs designed for long hair are surely too much for a short-haired dog, but dogs with double coats may not even feel the long-hair prongs. If your dog has a double coat, it’s best to check if the fence has long-hair prongs included and if reviews mention any issues with it reaching through these coats.

Waterproof or Water Resistant Dog Fence?

Most fences and electronics will tout “waterproof,” but it’s a much more detailed conversation than just “waterproof.” While “water resistant” is a term meaning it won’t promptly fail if it touches any water and can handle being slightly submerged, “waterproof” implies it might even handle going for a swim.

If your dog is prone to getting his or her collar wet or you have a water feature, check the water rating before purchasing.

A rating of IPV7 means the collar can be submerged up to 3 feet, while an IP67 rating means the collar can take a powerful stream of water. If your pup likes to splish-splash and frequently takes a bath, make sure the manufacturer states what rating they have, and what that rating means.

Collar batteries

Collars usually come in two options: Replaceable batteries or rechargeable batteries.

Many rechargeable collars are made to be much smaller than using a standardized battery, making them more comfortable and agreeable to smaller necks. Best of all, you won’t need to run out to buy batteries when they get low. On the other hand, they are specialized, and you’ll often have to buy a whole new collar when the batteries wear down.

Some collars allow you to replace the batteries yourself, and you can use your own rechargeable batteries if they fit! These are cheaper and may last longer since you’re watching for other parts to wear down rather than the batteries. Of course, these collars are often bulkier and a real nuisance to smaller necks. If you have a smaller dog, they’ll be much happier with a rechargeable variety.

Training Your Dog With a Wireless or Electric Fence

Any fence will require training with your dog. They need to understand what’s up with the flags, the beeping, and the buzzing. If you don’t take ample time to help them grasp the concept, they might be more traumatized than anything. Even if it doesn’t mention it or how to do it, make use of the training flags that come with it and give your dog time to understand the change you’re introducing.

Additional Purchases

There are a few extra purchases you might be looking at with a wireless or in-ground fence.

You or your dog might not like the actual collar it came with. You can DIY a more agreeable collar, or purchase wireless fence adaptable collars that are designed to fit the electronics.

You might need more wire or a different wire. If you’re doing an in-ground fence, you might want to price this out ahead of time. Some fences have a very cheap starter kit, but if you want to replace the wire with better quality, higher gauge options or just more, you might save money going with the more expensive kit in the first place.

Some kits don’t come with enough training flags. If you want to teach your dog to avoid a certain marker in general, you’ll want to purchase more of the flags or your own markers you can reliably get your hands on.

A good surge protector is a must for any piece that is plugged in, especially the transmitter. A small surge can damage your transmitter and make it unreliable or completely nonfunctional. A surge protector with a good UL rating and an internal circuit breaker can maximize the life of your transmitter.

Sources

About IP ratings
http://www.enclosurecompany.com/ip-ratings-explained.php

Quality of wires and cables
https://edisontechcenter.org/wires.html

Why and how to use a surge protector
https://www.ucop.edu/risk-services/_files/bsas/safetymeetings/powerstripsafety.pdf

Jessica Child
Jessica is an animal lover living in Colorado who cannot help but collect and learn more and more about animals. She has been caring for cats, dogs, and fish since she was a child. As an adult, she’s also handled amphibians, dinoflagellates, dogs, fish, insects, and reptiles. Her newest friend is a St. Bernard and Pyrenees mix who keeps her two Labs busy.