Compare Electric Dog Fence Reviews
Electric dog fences discourage your dogs from leaving your yard and getting hit by a car, stolen or otherwise harmed. Electronic training tools keep your dogs out of your garden or in specific areas of your house, which prevents them from eating or chewing up something that might make them sick.
Harrison Forbes, a dog trainer and animal behaviorist with more than 25 years of experience, offers this advice to people considering an electric fence or collar: “Do your research, use a reputable company that has been in business a long time and take time to read reviews. Make sure an electric fence fits your lifestyle and property, then spend the time to research and educate yourself on it.”
Use this guide to help you decide which kind of fence (wireless, in-ground, above ground) and/or which training tools (electric collars, electric mats, wireless barriers) are best for your furry friend.
Top 9 Best Rated Electric Dog Fences
|DOGTEK||Read 12 Reviews|
DOGTEK sells dog training products and in-ground fences online and through major retail chains. The company was founded in 2009 and is based in Clearwater, Florida. All its products come with a one-year limited warranty.
|Invisible Fence||Read 27 Reviews|
Invisible Fence is a Radio Systems Corporation company. It manufactures, sells and installs in-ground fences and other wireless barriers. The company has been in business over 40 years and helped more than 3 million pets.
|PetSafe||Read 24 Reviews|
PetSafe is a Radio Systems Corporation brand. It sells many types of pet products, including wireless fences, in-ground fences and electric training collars. Fences have a one-year limited warranty.
|High Tech Pet Store||Read 195 Reviews|
High Tech Pet Store specializes in pet-related technology products such as remote trainers, bark collars and electric dog fences. Founded in 1986, they are best known for their line of automatic pet doors.
|Perimeter Technologies||Read Expert Review||Be the first one to rate this company|
Perimeter Technologies manufactures and sells in-ground and wireless electric dog fences. All products come with a limited-lifetime warranty. The company has roots going back to 1989 and is based in Pennsylvania.
|Innotek||Read Expert Review||Be the first one to rate this company|
Innotek is a part of PetSafe and is owned by Radio Systems Corporation. It makes in-ground electric dog fences. You can buy Innotek products from select authorized retailers, both online and in stores.
|SportDOG||Read Expert Review||Be the first one to rate this company|
SportDOG sells in-ground electric fences, electric training collars and other tools for training hunting dogs. Based in Tennessee, it is a Radio Systems Corporation brand and has been in business since 2003.
|Havahart||Read Expert Review||Be the first one to rate this company|
Havahart manufactures and sells above ground fences kits and fence chargers. It has been in the animal-control industry since 1940 and is a part of Woodstream Corporation. You can find coupons and discounts on the Havahart site.
|Dogwatch||Read Expert Review||Be the first one to rate this company|
DogWatch manufactures in-ground fences, training collars and additional barriers at its facility in Massachusetts and sells them through a network of deals around the world. DogWatch has been in business for over 25 years.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Jami Barnett, Ph.D., is an experienced researcher, and she believes consumers have a right to clear and honest information about products. In her role at ConsumerAffairs, she thoroughly researches products and companies by interviewing experts, reviewing research studies, reading governmental regulations and investigating customer service responses. Her work gives consumers the information they need to make smart purchasing decisions.
Types of electric dog fences
Wireless electric dog fences
Wireless fences are great because you can easily transport them and set them up in a new location. They’re also relatively easy to set up because they don’t require any digging.
- How wireless fences work: Wireless fences use a base that transmits a radio or WiFi signal to your pet’s collar. If the pet gets too far from the base, the collar will deliver a shock, a sound or both to deter your pet. Indoor models keep your pet in particular areas of the house, and outdoor models keep your pet in your yard.
- Starting price: $100
The wire’s radio connection to the collar allows it to increase negative stimuli as the dog gets closer to the fence, which helps the dog learn faster and discourages him from running past the barrier. You can expand these fences with extra wire to cover an extensive area.
- How in-ground fences work: In-ground fences also employ radio waves. Install the fence by burying a wire around the perimeter of the area where you want your dog to stay. Then you put a base system in your home, which connects to the boundary wire. The wire connects to your dog’s collar with a radio signal and sends unpleasant sounds, vibrations and shocks if the dog gets too close. These negative stimuli increase as your dog gets closer to the wire.
- Starting price: $90
Above ground electric dog fences
Your dog won’t need to wear a special collar if you use an above ground electric dog fence. You can expand these fences for miles; many farmers use them at the edges of livestock pastures. You’ll usually have to buy components (wire, a charger and insulated post attachments) separately, but this makes the system easier to customize.
- How above ground electric fences work: Above ground fences have a wire that runs through insulated post attachments that mount to an existing fence or small poles. The wire connects to a fence charger that plugs into a power source. The wire is electrified, and anything that touches it will receive a shock.
- Starting price: $50 (combined cost of components, not including the existing fence)
Electric training collars
Training collars put you in complete control of when your pet receives negative stimuli. Use these to discourage your dog from crossing a particular boundary, getting on furniture, jumping on people and more.
- How electric training collars work: Electric training collars are controlled by a handheld remote. You push a button to make the collar emit a noise or to shock your dog mildly. Collars usually have a variety of settings, so you decide whether your dog will hear a noise before he feels a shock; eventually the noise will be enough to stop bad behavior. Some collars also work with in-ground fences.
- Starting price: $40
You can place these mats anywhere in your house. Use them in doorways to prevent your pet front entering a specific room, or place them in front of furniture that you don’t want your dog to jump on.
- How electric mats work: Electric mats send a radio signal to your dog’s collar anytime he steps on the mat. These collars are usually designed to be used with an in-ground or wireless fence. You can buy a kit with the collar and mat together if you don’t need a fence, or buy the mat as an add-on to make the collar more useful.
- Starting price: $100 (for mat-and-collar kit)
Additional wireless barriers
You can use wireless barriers to keep dogs out of certain rooms, off furniture and away from flowerbeds.
- Additional wireless barriers and how they work: There are a variety of other types of electronic barriers to keep pets out of off-limits areas. For example, a sensor placed in your garden will trigger negative stimuli if your pet gets too close to it. Buy these as kits with a collar and barrier sensor, or buy just the sensors as an add-on to other electronic fence systems. These barriers use radio signals to communicate with the collar.
- Starting price: $40 (for sensor-and-collar kit)
Important questions when buying an electric dog fence
Are electric fences and collars safe?
Fences and collars made by reputable and well-established manufacturers are safe when they’re used correctly. “Before investing in a wireless fencing system, pet parents should do their research,” Forbes says. “Companies with reputable containment systems will provide customers with a variety of training and educational materials on the product's packaging and online. Look for brands that offer product manuals, instructional videos, a customer service hotline, FAQs and training tips to help customers use their products responsibly.”
What are electric dog-fence collars like?
Your dog will wear the collar that goes with your fence all the time, so you want to make sure it’s comfortable. Look to see how large the transmitter on the collar is and how much it weighs. The smaller and lighter the transmitter, the more comfortable it will be.
The collar must have contact with your pet’s skin to shock him when he gets close to the boundary. Some collars have soft contact points, made from a combination of metal and rubber. These will be the most comfortable for your dog, and they’re just as effective.
Does the fence have a good warranty?
Look for an electric dog fence that has at least a one-year warranty. Read the warranty information closely before you buy a fence system. See how returns, exchanges and repairs work, and look at what the warranty excludes.
You don’t want to dig up your wire and reinstall it if the fence malfunctions after just a few months. It may be worth paying slightly more for a product with a longer warranty or one that offers more substantial coverage.
How large can the containment area be?
Make sure the fence you choose can cover the containment area you want your dog to have access to. In-ground and above ground fences come with wire, but you might need to buy extra wire if you have a very large yard. It’s harder to expand wireless fences because you’ll need more than one base.
Can I control how strong the shock will be?
Some pets will respond to a minor shock, while others need a more substantial one to discourage them from leaving the boundary you’ve established. Most fence companies recognize this, and they have controls that let you determine the strength of the shock your pet receives.
All fences should have built-in safety features that prevent shocks from being too strong or lasting too long. Many in-ground fences let your pet determine how much discomfort he is willing to tolerate; the negative stimuli will increase as your dog gets closer to the fence.
Will I need professional installation for an electric dog fence?
Most fences come with comprehensive instruction manuals, and companies offer a lot of online support to help you install the fence yourself. If you’re somewhat comfortable with electrical wiring and you’re willing to spend some time reading the instructions or talking to customer support, you should be able to install any electric dog fence yourself.
Some companies offer professional installation. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, call the company to see if it offers installation or can recommend a local installer.
Are there any regulations of electric fences or collars? Does any agency certify them?
There is no agency or group that inspects or certifies electric fences or electric dog collars. However, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulates communication over radio signals. If you’re using a fence that has a collar that relies on radio waves, Forbes says “at least one of the components should be certified by the FCC." He adds that you should “avoid any new or off-brand product,” because you have to have “reliable equipment.”
What else is important to know about electric fences and collars?
It’s important to know that training is required after you install your fence or after you get your collar. Forbes says that the most important part of a fence or collar is training your pet so she learns the parameters and understands the warning tones the system makes.
He says, “Once the pet is acclimated to the new fencing system, they will understand the new yard boundaries and the collar will remind them with a tone or static correction if they forget. When pets are properly trained to stay within the containment area, attempts to escape are rare. The benefits of having a well-trained pet are worth the time and effort you put into it. Training should be an enjoyable experience.”
Reasons to consider an electric dog fence
Some homeowners’ associations (HOAs) have strict rules about the kinds of fences residents can install. If the type of fence you’re allowed to put up won’t keep your dog in the yard, a wireless or an in-ground fence can solve that problem.
When you rent, your lease often prohibits you from putting up a traditional fence, and you probably don’t want to spend that much money on improving a rental property even if you’re allowed to. Use a wireless fence to keep your dog safe without making any extensive changes to the house or yard.
If you don’t like the look of a chain-link or privacy fence, a wireless or in-ground fence is a great option. You’ll be able to establish a boundary for your dog without changing your yard’s appearance. Use additional wireless barriers to keep your dog out of your garden or flower beds.
You can use collars with negative stimuli to train your dog to obey your commands, including your commands to stay within a given area. An electric training collar that you can control with a handheld remote works great for dog training. With these kinds of multipurpose systems, you can train your dog and keep her in your yard without needing to switch among multiple collars.
If you frequently take your dog on trips, use a wireless fence or a training device to let her run around and get exercise off her leash. If you plan to use a collar or a wireless fence for traveling, buy one that employs sound to warn your dog to stop before it is shocked. This way, she doesn’t receive a shock when she learns where the new boundary is.
Some dogs can escape from yards with privacy or chain-link fences. If your dog can dig his way out of or jump over pretty much any standard fence, then an electric fence might be necessary. Depending on your yard, you could use an in-ground or above ground fence as an additional barrier.
Expert reviews for electric dog fence companies
PetSafe markets and sells products from Radio Systems Corporation under the PetSafe brand name. The company sells several types of containment systems, training collars, toys and automatic feeding stations. PetSafe products are available in 52 countries. The company is headquartered in Plainfield, Indiana, and has been in business since 1991.
Invisible Fence makes containment and training products for dogs and cats. It has worked with consumers to keep more than 3 million pets safely in their yards. The systems are available in seven countries through 289 dealers. The company was founded in 1973 and became a part of Radio Systems Corporation in 2006.
DOGTEK makes training tools for dogs, including an in-ground fence. The company is headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, and has been in business since 2009.
Perimeter Technologies sells in-ground and wireless electric dog fences. Its products are made in the United States, and the company is headquartered in Reading, Pennsylvania. Perimeter Technologies fences come with a limited-lifetime warranty and are compatible with Invisible Fence products.
- Options: Perimeter Technologies sells in-ground and wireless fences. The company offers its products on its website and at select local pet stores. Visit the Perimeter Technologies website to see a list of retail locations.
- Comfort Contacts: The contact points on Perimeter Technologies collars have patented Comfort Contacts made with metal-infused rubber. These contact points will not irritate your dog’s skin.
- WiFi wireless fence: Perimeter Technologies’ wireless fence uses WiFi to connect the collar to the base. Most wireless fences work using radio waves.
- Installation available: Although Perimeter Technologies’ fences are designed for do-it-yourself installation, the company also offers professional installation if you don’t feel up to setting up the system yourself. Enter your zip code on the website to find a nearby installer.
- Compatible with Invisible Fence: Perimeter Technologies’ products are compatible with products from Invisible Fence. Update or expand your existing Invisible Fence system with products from Perimeter Technologies.
- Best for: people who can’t put up a fence because they rent or because of HOA restrictions, people who don’t like the look of standard fences, people who travel and people with hard-to-contain dogs.
Innotek manufactures in-ground electric dog fences. It’s owned by Radio Systems Corporation and is part of the PetSafe company.
- Options: Innotek makes in-ground fences. You can buy them at several online retailers, including Chewy, Gundogs Online, Best Pet Stores Online and others. You can also find them at retailers such as Academy Sports and Outdoors, Petco and Bass Pro Shops. Visit Innotek’s website to see a complete list of authorized retailers.
- Contain 'N' Train System: Innotek’s Contain ‘N’ Train System combines the features of an in-ground fence and an electric training collar. Your pet will receive a shock when she gets too close to the barrier established by the buried wire and/or when you push a button on your remote control.
- Owner’s manuals: The company’s website has downloadable owner's manuals for all its in-ground fences. If you misplace your manual, simply find it on the site.
- Warranty: Innotek’s fences come with a limited lifetime warranty, and the company guarantees the product will be free of defects in workmanship or materials. If the product malfunctions or stops working during the first year you own it, Innotek offers several replacement options. After one year, the company will repair or replace the broken component at a fixed rate.
- Product registration: Register your product online to make it easier to get a replacement through the warranty if the fence malfunctions. When you register, you can opt in to receive newsletters about pet safety, new products and more.
- Best for: people who can’t put up a fence because of HOA restrictions, people who don’t like the look of standard fences and people with hard-to-contain dogs.
SportDOG sells a variety of products for training hunting dogs, including in-ground electric fences and electric training collars. The company was formed in 2003 and is a part of Radio Systems Corporation. SportDOG supports conservation and hunting education through its Companions for Conservation program.
- Options: SportDOG has electric training collars and in-ground fences. You can buy these items from the company’s website or an authorized retailer. Retailers include Cabela’s, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Gundogs Online and many others. Visit the SportDOG website to see the full list.
- Contain + Train fence: SportDOGs Contain + Train includes the components for both an in-ground fence and an electronic training collar. You can order extra collars and use the training collar mode on up to three different dogs.
- Online support: The SportDog website offers a lot of useful information about each of its products. It includes FAQs to help you choose the right collar or fence, downloadable product manuals and troubleshooting articles. To get more help, live-chat with a customer service representative.
- Warranty: All SportDOG products come with a limited warranty. The company will replace a product with materials defects or flaws in workmanship. The warranty period varies by product; visit the company’s website to see how long your fence or collar is covered.
- Shipping: SportDOG says it will process your order within one business day. Flat-rate shipping is $4.95, and your package should arrive in about a week.
- Best for: people who can’t put up a fence because of HOA restrictions, people who don’t like the look of standard fences, people working on training their dog and people with hard-to-contain dogs.
Havahart manufactures and sells animal-control products, including above ground fence kits and chargers. The company has been in business for more than 70 years. It’s a part of Woodstream Corporation and is based in Lititz, Pennsylvania.
- Havahart-brand fences: Havahart sells its own fence kits. These kits include everything you need to put up a fence around your garden or any area where you don’t want your pets to go. Installation is simple and quick. Some fences are battery powered, so they won’t need to be near an outlet. You can buy these products online or from major retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot.
- Above ground fence supplies: If you need to mount an above ground electric dog fence to your current fence, you can get most of the items you need on the Havahart website. Supplies include fence chargers and mounts to connect electric wire to fence posts.
- Coupons and discounts: You can find Havahart coupons on the Havahart website. You can also get discounts by signing up for its email list.
- Free shipping: Orders over $49 ship for free. Some fence kits and products are more than $49, so you may automatically qualify for free standard shipping.
- Manufactured in America: Many Havahart and Woodstream Corporation products are manufactured in Pennsylvania.
- Best for: people with hard-to-contain dogs.
DogWatch manufactures and sells in-ground fences and additional electric barriers. It has been in business since 1990. The company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility is in Massachusetts, but it has dealerships throughout the United States and around the world.
- Options: DogWatch sells in-ground fences, electric training collars and additional electronic barriers. These products are sold only through dealers; you can find the dealer nearest you on DogWatch’s website.
- FM signal: The buried wire for DogWatch fences sends out an FM radio signal. The company says FM signals are safer for your dog because they can’t be accidentally triggered by other devices that use an AM signal, like a garage door opener. Most electronic fences use an AM signal.
- Trade-in option: In many cases, DogWatch can use the wire from your existing in-ground fence for one of its systems. The dealer will replace your transmitter base and your dog’s collar. This option may save you some money, and it won’t require anyone to dig up your yard.
- Customer service: DogWatch prides itself on providing excellent customer service. You’ll work with your local dealer for installation and to resolve any problems once your fence is installed. You can also find owner’s manuals and other support materials on the DogWatch website.
- Battery Plan: DogWatch’s Battery Plan helps you remember when to change your system’s batteries. You prepay for batteries through the plan, and the company ships them to you a few weeks before you’ll need them.
- Best for: people who can’t put up a fence because of HOA restrictions, people who don’t like the look of standard fences, people working on training their dog and people with hard-to-contain dogs.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.