If you have dogs at home, it’s only natural to want them to play in the garden as much as possible.
Letting them roam loose in an unsecured garden is enough to keep you constantly on edge so what can you do about it? Well, one of the most common solutions is a wireless dog fence.
There are electric dog fences with wires you need to bury under the ground.
If you don’t like the idea of turning over your garden and messing about with wires, you’ve got plenty of wireless alternatives.
Wireless fences come with a receiver collar you put on your dog and a transmitter that you set up indoors.
This transmits a radio signal across a certain radius. If your pup breaches the boundaries, the collar communicates with the transmitter and he’ll receive a slight static shock.
Today, we’ll be highlighting the 3 best wireless dog fences you can find to make your life easier.
We’ll also be throwing in the usual treasure trove of buying guidance and useful tips so you’ve got everything you need in one place.
|Best Overall: PetSafe Wireless Dog And Cat Containment System||This Wireless Dog and Cat containment system covers half an acre. You can adjust the collar yourself to teach your pet where to stay and play. It is waterproof, has a long battery life, and is wireless.||Check Price|
|Runner Up: PetSafe Stay And Play Compact Wireless Fence||The collar for this wireless fence fits dogs above 5 pounds and fits neck size from 6 to 28 inches. The range is ¾ acres allowing your dog to have plenty of secure play space.||Check Price|
|Best For Multiple Dogs: PetSafe PIF-300 Wireless 2-Dog Fence||The PIF-300 features half an acre of range. The collar is comfortable for any dog above 8 pounds. This wireless fence will make sure to keep your dog in a safe play area.||Check Price|
Before opting for an electric fence, we suggest obedience training and taking the time to understand and carry out the process.
Training your dog can prevent the potential stress of an electric fence collar, and focuses on positive cues to reinforce boundaries.
While electric fence collars aren’t physically harmful, for certain dogs they can cause potential emotional distress without the proper training.
Brain training techniques are a science-backed way to help prepare your dog for new boundaries without the use of force or dominance!
How We Tested the Best Wireless Dog Fences
Apart from the obvious features regarding size and fit, we wanted to look at its durability as e-collars don’t come cheap.
We ask ourselves, is the material long-lasting? Will it break easily? Will the pup be able to chew it off easily?
You’ll want to check that the buckle is solid and won’t break easily. Also, we checked to see if it’s waterproof.
A sudden downpour could see your dog’s e-collar broken due to water damage and your money washed down the drain.
We also checked what kind of batteries you need. Are they rechargeable or disposable?
If the batteries are disposable see if they are proprietary. If you have to use the manufacturer’s batteries it might not be a cost-effective system.
Another important consideration is whether the e-collar has a time-out feature.
You want to be able to limit the amount of time that the collar emits a signal to keep your dog safe.
READ MORE: The Best Electric Dog Fences. We tested the top electric fences and here’s how it went.
Best Wireless Dog Fences Reviewed
1. Best Overall: PetSafe Wireless Dog And Cat Containment System
Size: Up to ½ acre coverage area | Dogs: 8 pounds and up & for neck sizes to 28 inches | Features: Exceptional 2-month battery life & add extra collars to train multiple dogs
What We Liked
- Circular coverage for areas to ½ acre
- Use additional collars to train multiple dogs
- Reasonably simple set-up
- Waterproof and lightweight collar
- Choose from a tonal warning or 5 progressive levels of static correction
- Superb 2-month battery life
What We Didn’t Like
- Receiver housing is slightly fragile
- The relatively sharp learning curve to deal with
Our favorite wireless dog fence comes from the inimitable PetSafe. This is the parent company of the Invisible Fence brand you might see in the pet store so what do you get for your money?
To kick-off, you’ll benefit from a sprawling ½-acre maximum coverage area. This should be more than fit for most purposes. If you have a larger space to contain, don’t worry.
You can choose from larger PetSafe fences with no problem at all.
As with all wireless fences, the area covered needs to be circular. Make sure this is suitable for the outdoor space you have in mind.
Set-up is fairly simple. That said, it will still take a while to get used to the feel and operation.
You should also allow up to 2 weeks to train your dog properly before leaving the fence to do its work.
The lightweight and waterproof collar is built to stay the distance and your dog should find it comfortable and irritation-free.
As long as your pooch weighs 8 pounds or more and has a neck size anywhere from 6 to 28 inches, you’re in luck.
All the training flags you need to get started along with everything else required to start training your furball to respect boundaries.
Battery life is impressive returning anything up to 2 months of use before it needs swapping out.
Note that these are proprietary batteries so you’ll be locked into buying them from PetSafe.
Pick up additional collars and you’ll be able to keep unlimited dogs right where they belong.
Not sure how to connect a new PetSafe collar? This guide can help.
If they do breach the boundaries, static-free re-entry ensures they’re not dissuaded from returning home when they see fit.
PetSafe is an industry legend and this invisible containment system capable of securing several dogs is our overall favorite for price, performance, and build quality in one attractive package.
Read our related article, Is Invisible Fence Worth it? Where we explore the pros and cons of invisible fences to help dog owners decide if it’s right for them.SEE PRICE ON AMAZON
2. Runner Up: PetSafe Stay And Play Compact Wireless Fence
Size: Cover areas up to ¾ acre | Dogs: For small dogs from 5 pounds & large dogs to necks of 28 inches | Features: 5 progressive levels of static correction and unbeatable brand heritage
What We Liked
- Cover large areas to ¾ acre
- Create virtual boundaries with no need to buy any wire
- Reasonably straightforward set-up
- Waterproof and lightweight collar
- Suitable for any size of dog from 5 pounds upward
- Static-free re-entry
What We Didn’t Like
- The system initially feels awkward to use but that soon improves
Another stellar dog fence from PetSafe is up next in the form of the classic Stay and Play.
If the previous fence with ½ acre of coverage seems slightly small, this ¾-acre model steps things up a gear.
Since we’re on the topic of the previous PetSafe fence, we did a head-to-head comparison of the PetSafe Wireless Fence VS Stay and Play. Check it out!
While we wouldn’t exactly describe this system as plug-and-play simplicity, you shouldn’t find setting the fence up too demanding.
It pays to read the instructions and any accompanying guide closely before you get started. You should pack plenty of patience and be prepared for a sharp learning curve.
The good news?
Once you’ve got the fence installed, you should find it pretty much runs in the background while giving you peace of mind that your precious pooches are safely contained.
As you’d expect, collars are waterproof and shouldn’t irritate your dog’s neck. They run using a 6-volt battery.
PetSafe understands that many pet owners will never have used one of these fences before.
There’s a nifty guide thrown in so you should take the time to study this and you’ll make your life easier thanks to PetSafe.
If your dog does make their way outside, it’ll enjoy static-free re-entry. This is ideal since they might otherwise be discouraged from returning home.
Outstanding US-based customer care completes a winning package from a highly reputable brand: what’s not to love?
Bottom Line: If you have a larger yard and you want to keep more than one pet safely contained, this PetSafe Stay and Play is the ideal solution.
The PetSafe Stay & Play was featured in our Most Powerful Wireless Dog Fence article. If you have a stubborn dog, you’ll want to check it out!SEE PRICE ON AMAZON
3. Best for Multiple Dogs: PetSafe PIF-300 Wireless 2-Dog Fence
Size: ½ acre coverage for most gardens | Material: Waterproof | Dogs: Contains 2 dogs | Features: Static correction | Included: Detailed training manual
What We Liked
- Ideal if you have 2 dogs.
- Add more collars to contain more dogs.
- Fits all dogs from 8 lb+ with necks from 6 through 28 inches.
- Static-free re-entry.
- Lightweight, waterproof, and rugged collars.
What We Didn’t Like
- You’ll need to dig reasonably deep for the privilege.
- The lowest setting gives a sharp shock so start at the bottom and work slowly up if required.
This system is designed to keep a couple of dogs from straying.
The standard kit comes with a pair of collars. If you have more dogs in the house, simply add more collars and you’re ready to roll.
Flexibility is the name of the game here. As long as your dog weighs at least 8 pounds and has a neck measuring between 6 and 28 inches, this fence and collar make a neat fit.
One thing to be aware of is that the static shock administered is reasonably sharp.
We would advise starting at the lowest setting to make sure it’s not too much for your beloved furball.
Just like all PetSafe containment systems, static-free re-entry helps encourage your dog to return home.
When you’re training your dog before you leave the fence to do its work.
You’ll have the opportunity to play with your dog and offer up plenty of positive reinforcement when they respect their new boundaries.
The only real drawback with the PIF-300 is the stiff price tag. However, it is a small price to pay for your dog’s safety.
Bottom Line: For anyone with several dogs at home, the PIF-300 will make sure they stay safely inside instead of scampering off down the road.
Read our related article, Is There a Wireless Dog Fence for 2 Dogs or More? for additional information and options!SEE PRICE ON AMAZON
wireless Fence Side-By-Side Comparison Chart
PetSafe Wireless Pet Fence
PetSafe Stay & Play Compact Wireless Fence
|Best for Multiple Dogs: |
PetSafe PIF-300 Wireless 2-Dog Fence
|Price||$$ Check Price||$$$ Check Price||$$$$ Check Price|
|Minimum Dog Weight||8 pounds||5 pounds||8 pounds|
|Collar Size||6 to 28 inches||6 to 28 inches||6 to 28 inches|
|Coverage||1/2 acre||3/4 acre||1/2 acre|
|# of Correction Levels||5||5||5|
|Tone Only Mode||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Transmitter Power Source||Plug-in adapter||Plug-in adapter||Plug-in adapter|
|Collar Battery||Replaceable PetSafe RFA-67 battery||Rechargeable battery||Replaceable PetSafe RFA-67 battery|
|# of Included Training Flags||50||50||50|
|Warranty||1-year limited||1- year limited||1-year limited|
|Allows Pet Re-entry||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Expandable||Yes – unlimited||Yes – unlimited||Yes – unlimited|
Overall, we felt that the PetSafe Wireless Dog And Cat Containment System was the best option. It provides your dog with plenty of play space and is the best for the price.
We loved how you can add more than one pet on the system. We feel it will ensure that your dog does not wander outside of the play space.
Read our related article on Considerations When Choosing a Dog Fence for the Yard! Discover the various dog fencing options and how to choose the right fence for you and your pooch!
Guide to Setting Up and Using a Wireless Dog Fence Effectively
Plug It In
You don’t need any technical knowledge of voltage when you install your wireless electric fence, just make sure that you have an electrical outlet that is indoors and has a voltage of 120.
For a more in-depth guide to installation, check out our related article: How Do You Set Up a Wireless Dog Fence?
Work Out Where to Place it
As it transmits a circular boundary, the device is placed dead center of the dog’s roaming area. It can transmit through walls, but large metal objects can interfere with the signal.
Place the transmitter on a table or countertop and plug it in. It’s best to place it at least two feet off the floor.
When you flick the switch on, first turn it to high and turn the boundary up to the highest setting. You can adjust the boundary later on.
If you’re looking to expand the area where your dog can roam, stop by our How to Expand Wireless Dog Fence Systems guide.
Prepare the Collar
The next step is to prepare the dog collar. Place the batteries inside the collar and fit it to the dog.
You don’t want the collar to be too tight so that it’s uncomfortable, but you don’t want it to be too loose either or it won’t deliver the static correction effectively.
Read More: How to Test Invisible Fence Collar Battery. If your dog’s collar isn’t working as it should, the battery may need to be replaced. Here’s how to test and replace collar batteries.
Place the Boundary Flags
You will need to train your dog otherwise the wireless electric fence won’t work. The first step is to mark the perimeter of the boundary with the boundary flags.
The pet fence flags come with the wireless electric dog fence kit. The manufacturer’s instruction manual will have its own guidelines for you to follow.
First, hold the collar in your hand at the height of your dog’s neck and at the spot where you don’t want them to go further.
With the aid of someone else, get them to turn the dial down on the transmitter indoors.
When the collar beeps, get your colleague to stop turning the dial as you’ll have found the correct boundary area.
Next, place the boundary flags. Every time the collar beeps, place a flag in the ground.
Space the flags approximately 10 feet from each other until you’ve created a visual flag fence. They’ll stay there until your dog is familiar with the boundary.
Read our related article, How Close Can a Dog Get to an Invisible Fence? Discover the boundaries you can set with an invisible fence.
Keeping the Collar Safe
It’s a good idea to clean the contact points on the e-collar weekly and keep an eye out for any rashes or sores.
It’s vital to remember that the wireless electric dog fence is not a solid boundary, and you will need to train your dog properly to ensure their safety.
READ MORE: What is an Invisible Dog Fence? Discover what an invisible dog fence is, how they work, and if they’re the right choice for your home and your dog!
Training Your Dog
First, you’ll need to fit the collar.
The prongs go under their neck and should sit flush on their skin. Make sure there is good contact between the prongs and your dog’s skin.
Remember to leave it loose enough so that it’s comfortable.
For training, you’ll need to put them on a lead. Attach an additional collar on top of the e-collar.
It must be non-metallic so that it doesn’t interfere with the e-collar. Then attach a lead to the second collar.
Have plenty of treats to hand out to your dog and keep their favorite play toy to hand.
Training your dog to respect boundaries is carried out over five distinct phases.
Read More: Are Wireless Dog Fences Safe? and Are Wireless Dog Fences Safe for Humans? These posts cover everything you need to know about the safety of electric fences!
First, you introduce your dog to where the boundaries are. At this stage, you will only use the beep on the e-collar. On the first day, take them out for three 15-minute sessions.
You’ll use this day to show them where the boundary flags are and introduce the tones from the collar.
Keeping your dog on a tight lead, walk them up to the flags. When they get a beep, gently pull them back to the play area. Give them treats and love.
Do this for each flag. Remember to keep it fun and keep rewarding them, this is key to success.
Over the next two to four days, you can start to introduce the static correction.
Again, carry out three training sessions of 15 minutes each day. Repeat the same steps as in the first phase, only this time you’ll use the static correction.
If they don’t respond to the static correction, ratchet it up a setting.
Next, it’s time to train them to stay in the play area without distractions.
Play with them in the boundary area and get someone to cross the outside of the boundary, or throw a ball outside of the boundary.
Every time they cross the boundary, coax them back and reward them with praise and treats. Keep repeating this process until eventually, they stop crossing the boundary.
Once they stop crossing the boundary completely, even with distractions, you may start to play with them off the leash.
Stay with them at all times and start with training sessions that are 15 minutes long building up to an hour.
At this stage, you should be free to let your dog roam but you still need to keep an eye on them.
When you’re sure that he’s learned the boundary, you can then remove the flags.
Read our related article on How to Train Your Dog With an Invisible Fence for more training know-how!
Things You Should Consider
Buying a wireless dog fence is a decision with a fair few variables so what do you need to consider?
READ MORE: The Best Exercise Pens for Dogs. These exercise pens are great for bringing along with you on road trips or for putting in your backyard so your dog can enjoy the outdoors safely!
Location of Your Transmitter
To avoid any gaps in the signal, make sure no large metal objects are obstructing the signal.
Objects such as ovens, electric switch boxes, cars, fridges, and washing machines will block the signal, allowing your furry chum to perform an escape trick.
If possible, install the transmitter on the first floor.
The Size and Shape of Your Garden
If your garden is awkwardly shaped, with corners and big trees, a wireless electric dog fence system will probably not be sufficient for your dog.
If you have a precious flower bed or a rockery you’ve spent ages crafting, you might be better off going for an underground wired electric dog fence system, as your dog will be free to roam in those areas.
Wireless electric dog fences are best suited to smallish uniform gardens without obstructions like corners of buildings and big trees.
The transmitter is placed at the center of the signal radius so your boundary will be circle-shaped.
If your garden is square-shaped, you’ll want to make sure that the invisible boundary will be within the compounds of your garden.
Depending on the model of wireless dog fence you purchase, the signal should be able to reach up to 3 acres.
This is fine if your garden doesn’t have lots of big trees. If it’s a flat area, there should be no problem.
But, if there are hills or ditches, you may find that the signal doesn’t work as well.
Speaking of the signal, Do Wireless Dog Fences Need Wifi? This quick guide answers this question and more!
You Can’t Leave Your Dog Unattended
It may be tempting to leave your dog to roam freely while you crack on with cooking lunch, but dogs do sometimes overcome the static correction, especially if they’re particularly tempted by a rabbit or pigeon.
If your dog does escape from inside the boundary after chasing after something furry and delicious-looking, they will have to come back inside.
If they get back and receive another static correction, it could discourage them from returning leaving you with a problem on your hands.
A wireless dog fence should be viewed more as a training aid than anything else.
Read More: Is the PetSafe Wireless Fence Waterproof? Is it safe to use around water? This article answers all of your questions and discusses what you need to know!
Your Dog’s Personality
Although a static correction won’t harm your dog in any way, it’s essential to assess whether your dog is suited to an e-collar.
Some anxious dogs can react nervously to the static corrections, so in some cases, it could worsen their nervous disposition.
Equally, if your dog has an aggressive nature, it might not be suited to a wireless electric dog fence. You may be better off sticking with a conventional solid fence instead.
For conventional fences, check out our guide to the Best DIY Dog Fence Ideas!
Size of Your Dog
The size of your dog will determine which e-collar you need to use with them.
This is probably one of the most vital considerations with a wireless electronic dog fence system.
Always look at the manufacturer’s guidelines on which systems you should purchase for the size of your dog. Some are suited to dogs over 5kg, others are suited for bigger dogs of 15kg.
You cannot use a wireless electric dog fence with a puppy that’s too young.
They lack the maturity needed for training, and as they’re so young the static corrections will scare them.
So, at what age can a puppy use an electric fence? We cover everything you need to know in this short guide.
If you don’t have a huge amount of cash to spare you’d probably be best off with a wireless system, they are far more affordable than underground dog fence systems.
You may want to spend more on the collars. E-collars at the cheaper end of the market aren’t as accurate as more expensive e-collars.
The problem with inaccurate e-collars is that they can administer a static correction when they’re nowhere near the boundary.
The problem here is that you could end up with behavioral issues further down the line.
Wireless systems cost from $50 to $350 for a complete kit with training flags and collars.
In-ground systems can cost as much as $3000 if you’re going to have them professionally installed.
If your fence will need to be buried under your driveway, you may want to opt for the additional cost of professional installation.
If you have multiple dogs, you’ll need to buy more collars, and due to their reliability, you should invest in e-collars from the higher end of the market.
You’ll need to ensure that you’ve got reliable collars if you have multiple dogs to guarantee more effective behavioral management.
Read our related article, Is an Electric Fence Cheaper Than a Regular Dog Fence? Here’s everything you need to know about fence costs!
Maintenance of the System
A wireless dog fence system shouldn’t require too much looking after but you will need to change or charge the e-collar batteries.
It’s advisable to check the contact points on the e-collar every week to check that the channel is clear.
If it’s dirty it could block the static correction and fail to prevent your dog from shooting off.
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