How to Adjust Invisible Fence Collar Strength (2022 GUIDE)

If you don’t have the right strength setting on your dog’s invisible collar it may run right through your invisible fence.

While the static correction level needs to be adjusted carefully to not overcorrect your dog, rest assured that no correction collar can harm or injure your dog.

In this article, we will cover how to adjust invisible fence collar strength and other information surrounding your pet’s e-collar.


Before opting for an electric fence, we strongly 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 potentially severe 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 Do I Adjust Invisible Collar Strength?

boy adjusting a dog collar
The static correction is meant to be a reminder of the dog’s training. It is not a training tool in itself.

In order to adjust your pet’s invisible fence collar, you will need to slowly bring up the static correction level, looking for a reaction from your animal with each level.

Once your pet shows a reaction, move back down one level. 

The goal is to get your dog to pay attention to the reminder that he is not to pass the invisible barrier, but not receive enough of a shock that it makes him afraid to enter the yard.

All pet collar brands are different, and the method to actually change the correction level on your collar may vary by brand.

If at any point you are unsure, check your manual for further guidance.

How to Adjust an Invisible Fence Brand Collar

The Invisible Fence brand collar cannot be adjusted at home.

If you had a professional come out to install your fence and train your dog, you’ll have to have the same professional adjust the collar.

In order to have the static correction level adjusted, you must have one of their certified technicians or trainers come out to your home and assess your pet.

With this assessment, the technician or trainer will be able to make adjustments to the static correction level coming from your pet’s collar. 

The Invisible Fence brand also offers additional training to your pet in order to correct behaviors like running through your fence boundaries.

Read More: Does Electric Fence Have to Be a Loop? Or can it be in a straight line? Here’s what you need to know about different types of electric fences and their installation!

How to Adjust a PetSafe Brand Collar

dog on a leash
E-collars make it possible for your dog to enjoy your backyard without needing a leash – even if you don’t have a fence.

In order to change the static correction level, begin by pressing the mode button (the circular button between the correction prongs) until the indicator light flashes red. 

The number of red flashes the light makes indicates the level of static correction that your collar is on.

Pressing the mode button once more after this will increase the static correction by one level.

The correction level can be increased to level 6 (indicated by 6 flashes) before it resets at level one with the next press of the mode button.

How to Adjust a SportDOG Brand Collar

In order to change the static correction level of your SportDOG collar, you need to turn the unit off before turning it back on.

Within 5 seconds of turning it on, hold the on-off button down for three seconds. 

At this point, you will hear a beep from the collar and the indicator light will flash orange. This means your pet is in a low stimulation range

If you desire higher stimulation, continue holding the button, and wait for the beeps and lights to indicate the stimulation range that is right for you and your pet.

2 beeps indicate medium stimulation and 3 beeps indicate high stimulation. 

Release the power button at the stimulation level you desire. Once the button is released, the collar will power off.

When it is powered on again, it will be set to the range you chose. 

How to Adjust a DogWatch Brand Collar

In order to change the static correction level on your collar, you need to start by holding your test light’s magnet end on the two lines on the left side of your collar.

You will hear a series of beeps that indicate the current level of your collar.

  • The first beep is a sustained beep. This means that your collar is set to audible correction only.
  • Each short beep after that coincides with a correction level. 

Continue holding your magnet to the collar until you hear the number of beeps that match your level.

For example, level 2 is 2 short beeps. Once your level is reached, remove the test light’s magnet. 

Please note that in all of these videos, the adjustment process is carried out when the collar is not on the pet’s neck. This is for your dog’s safety.

Most collars have a setting that will not allow you to make this adjustment unless the collar is off the dog.

How Do I Determine What Static Correction Level to Use?

When first setting up your dog’s underground fence system, there is a method to use when trying to determine what level of static correction is appropriate.

This same method can be used to adjust your collar if you find an older setting is not working. 

The first thing you need to do is take your pet into a large area where they can roam around a bit. Once the pet has wandered off, it’s time to start testing the collar’s settings.

Beginning to Test

Start with the lowest correction setting and watch the dog. Keep increasing the correction setting until you see a reaction from your dog.

It’s important that you are really paying attention to your animal. The type of reaction you are looking for is a subtle one.

Perhaps your furry friend will twitch their ear or look around their environment. This is called their recognition level.

This article goes in-depth on finding the intensity level that your electric collar should be on.

Things to Look Out For

Your pet should never have an extreme reaction to the collar.

A yelp, jump, whine, or jolt is too much. If this is the case, you should back down several levels and start again, looking for that first initial reaction. 

If you make it to the highest setting without a reaction from your dog, it’s time to check into your collar.

Your collar needs to fit properly with the prongs touching your dog’s skin. We will explore this in-depth in a later section.

Reasons Your Dog May Not Be Responding to the Collar

Dog wearing an e-collar
A properly working e-collar will get your dog’s attention. If it’s not, then something needs to be adjusted or fixed.

If your dog is ignoring the invisible fence collar, there is a problem with the fit, battery, or your boundary settings.

How Tight Should the Invisible Fence Collar be?

Your Invisible fence collar should sit just below your pet’s skull, and it should be snug enough that you can only fit 1 finger between a correction prong and your pet’s neck.

The collar should be tight enough that the prongs are sitting flush against the dog’s skin, but not so tight that the prongs cause irritation to your dog’s skin.

Am I Using the Correct Prongs?

Many invisible fence collars have a short and long-haired option.

If you are having trouble getting your pet to respond to their collar, you may need to move to the longhaired prongs. 

If your pet still is not responding to the corrections, then you need to consider their grooming.

Is My Pet Properly Groomed?

If your pet is still not responding to the long-haired prongs, then it is time to consider clipping some of your pet’s hair.

If the hair is excessively long, the collar may not be able to make adequate contact with your pet’s skin.

Your collar also may not work if your pet is excessively dirty, as the dirt and oil between your collar and the dog’s skin may interfere with the correction.

If your pet’s fur is matted around the neck, there is also a good chance that the collar won’t work properly.

Is My Collar Still Working Well?

Looking over your pet’s collar to make sure that the correction mechanism has not been damaged is a good way to check and make sure your collar is not at fault for your pet’s unresponsiveness. 

The prongs should be straight and clean, and the system should not be damaged or dented in any way.

The battery life also should be checked when there is an issue with your collar. 

If your battery needs to be replaced,, has a variety of batteries that are compatible with many different brands of electric collars.

How Do I Change the Frequency On My Invisible Fence and Collar?

dog and owner
The frequency on the collar has to match the frequency on the fence or the collar won’t work.

If your fence was set up by a professional, then he or she set your collar to the same frequency as your fence.

However, if you set it up yourself, there may be a discrepancy between your collar and your fence.

We’ve gone over everything you need to know about adjusting your fence and collar frequency in this guide: How to Change the Frequency On Invisible Fence Collar.

Other Troubleshooting Steps

If none of the steps in this article fix your collar troubles then there are a number of other things you can check.

These include:

  • Boundary training needs to be revisited
  • Transmitter issues
  • A break in the underground component of your system
  • Pet boredom
  • Stubbornness

This article, Dog Runs Through Invisible Fence, is a good resource to help you troubleshoot these issues and more.

It also discusses what to do directly after your dog runs through the fence.

We’ve been there and we know what to do to keep your dog safe and keep it from happening again.

Final Thoughts

Overall, adjusting the correction level of your pet’s underground fence system is a good way to keep your pets safe and inside of their boundary.

If it’s done with care and patience, then it can be a great experience for both the dogs and the owners. Ensuring your fence works right is the key to keeping your dog safe.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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