The Best In-Ground Dog Fences

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In-ground dog fences are sometimes called underground dog fences or invisible dog fences. They are an effective way to keep your pet inside the boundaries of your property. The main components of an inground electronic dog fence are as follows. A wire, which you bury in a shallow trench around your yard. An electronic collar, and, a Transmitter unit.

If your dog passes near to or over the buried wire, the collar will emit a mild static shock. The shock is usually preceded by a warning beep or vibration. The static shock correction tells your pet that they have strayed too far. The electronic collar teaches them where the boundary of their play area is.

When you install an in-ground pet fence system, you can set up safe zones. These are areas of the boundary that your dog can pass through. All you must do to set up a safe zone is twist the wires together. You would use this feature to create an entrance to the dog’s play area, for example.

The shock that an electronic dog collar emits is mild. It will not harm your pet. Most of invisible dog fences have several intensity settings. This is so that you can adjust the collar to suit your dog’s temperament. The shock is like the static shock that you might have felt when you have touched your car. It will startle you, but it’s not very painful.

Electronic in-ground invisible dog fences do take a bit of work to install. Once installed though, electronic dog fences provide a reliable way to keep your dog safe. They are also a lot cheaper than erecting a physical fence would be.

In the next section, you will find our detailed reviews of six of the best in-ground dog fences. We follow that with an explanation of the pros and cons of electronic dog fences. We hope that you find our pick of the underground dog fences helpful.


I. Top 6 Best In-Ground Dog Fences

1. Our #1 Pick: SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System

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The Sport-Dog system is our #1 pick. It’s a high-quality, fully-featured product, at a reasonable price. The system comes with all you need to create a safe and secure boundary for your dog over an area of up to 1/3 of an acre.

The first outstanding feature of this underground dog fence is the collar. The collar is small and lightweight, and it’s waterproof and submersible up to 25 feet. The collar runs on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that will last up to two months on one charge. The batteries take 2 hours to recharge.

The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System is adjustable to suit your dog’s temperament. There are seven static stimulation levels to choose from. If your dog tries to cross the boundary, the collar will give an audible and vibrating warning. If the dog continues, the collar will give a static shock correction. The collar is suitable for dogs weighing 10 pounds and above.

The SportDOG dog fence system includes 1,000 feet of wire. It also has 100 flags for marking the boundary. The transmitter has a wire-break alarm and it features lightning protection. The system is expandable up to 100 acres with more wire. Extra collars are available if you have more than one dog.

The SportsDOG brand is well-respected and this product gets great reviews from customers. We are more than happy to recommend this model.

What We liked

  • Good-quality product
  • The collar is waterproof and submersible
  • Can be expanded to cover an area of up to 100 acres
  • Can be used with multiple pets
  • Comes with 2-year manufacturer’s warranty

What You May Dislike

  • The collar is plastic, but you can fit the electronic unit to your own collar
  • Very stubborn dogs may ignore the static shock
  • Not suitable for very small dogs

2. Runner-Up: Extreme Dog Fence – Second Generation

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Coming in a very close second to the SportDOG systems is the Extreme 2nd Generation dog fence. The Extreme system is our pick for runner up. The outstanding features of this model include high-quality wire and a waterproof collar. The flexibility of the system is also outstanding.

This Extreme Dog Fence is an upgrade of previous versions of invisible dog fences sold by this manufacturer. The manufacturer has greatly improved the collar. The electronics inside the system have also been updated

The Extreme in-ground dog fence is available in several configurations. For this review, we selected the standard model. This is a model that is comparable to the other underground dog fence systems in our review.

The collar that comes with this system has 7 levels of static correction. It also has an audible warning. The collar is waterproof and submersible up to 10 feet. Your dog could go for a swim wearing this collar and it wouldn’t affect the functioning of the system.

The wire that comes with the standard Extreme Dog Fence is 20 gauge high-tensile wire. It’s better quality than many other underground dog fence systems. The entry-level system has five hundred feet of wire and one dog collar. You can buy extra collars when you order the system. You can also select longer lengths of wire up to 2,500 feet, which will cover up to 6 acres. The system comes with flags for marking the perimeter.

From the great collar to the durable wire this underground dog fence is top quality. The system comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty is extendable up to five years if you register the product.

What We Liked

  • Great quality dog fence – highly rated by customers
  • Waterproof and submersible
  • Good quality wire
  • Expandable up to 6 acres
  • 1-year warranty – extendable to 5-years

What You May Dislike

  • Instructions could be better
  • Some customers report inconsistent corrections
  • The surge protector provided with the larger kits could be better quality

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3. Best for Small Dogs: PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence

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If you have a small dog, it is advisable to choose a dog fence designed for little dogs. This is because the collar will be a better fit, and because the correction levels will be less severe. Small dogs are often timid dogs. So, a lower level of correction will usually be enough to deter them from crossing the boundary.

The PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence is one such system. It comes from PetSafe, which is a well-known and respected manufacturer of pet products. The system comes as standard with enough wire to cover an area of up to 1/3 acre. It is expandable, with extra wire, up to a total area of 25 acres.

The collar that comes with the PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence will fit dogs with a neck size of 6 to 16 inches. The system will suit dogs weighing 5 pounds or more. The collar, as you would expect, is small and lightweight. It’s also waterproof and submersible up to 5 feet. The collar features an audible warning tone and 4 levels of static correction.

The PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence comes with flags, wire, a base unit, and one dog collar. You can add extra collars to the system if you have more than one dog.

The one drawback with this model is that the batteries in the collar are not rechargeable. Even so, the batteries will last up to 3 months, depending on how often your dog triggers the collar. There is a low battery indicator to let you know when the batteries need replacing.

What We Liked

  • Perfect in-ground dog fence for small dogs
  • Waterproof and submersible
  • Expandable up to 25 acres
  • The collar is a nice size for small dogs
  • Reflective collar to help you find your dog in the dark

What You May Dislike

  • Only suitable for small dogs
  • Batteries not rechargeable
  • Not suitable for very timid dogs

4. PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Dog and Cat Fence

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The PetSafe YardMax is a rechargeable in-ground dog fence. It is suitable for use with both dogs and cats. It’s a great quality product from a well-known manufacturer. The PetSafe YardMax has some unique features. It’s a very well-designed pet containment fence that’s well worth a look at.

This dog fence only gives a correction when your pet crosses the boundary. It doesn’t give a correction when the pet returns. That’s a great idea that should be a feature of all electronic dog fences. The standard kit contains enough wire and flags to cover 1/3 of an acre. The system comes with one collar that will fit neck sizes of between 6-28 inches. The collar is recommended for pets weighing 5 pounds or over.

Another feature of this model is that you can set when the collar activates. For example, when the dog crosses the boundary. Most static shock dog fences activate when the dog approaches the boundary. This feature of the PetSafe YardMax is great if you have a small yard. With this feature activated, your pet will have a larger safe area to roam around in.

The collar with this system is waterproof. It has 5 levels of correction plus a warning beep. The system is expandable up to a total area of 10 acres. You can buy extra collars if you have more than one pet. The batteries in the collar are rechargeable.

What We Liked

  • Waterproof Collar
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Expandable up to 10 acres
  • Superb innovative features
  • Suitable for dogs and cats
  • Suitable for small and large pets

What You May Dislike

  • The collars could be more robust
  • More complicated to set up than some systems
  • Not the cheapest underground dog fence on the market

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5. PetSafe Stubborn Dog Waterproof In-Ground Dog Fence

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If you have a very stubborn dog, then this PetSafe In-Ground Dog fence would be a good choice for your pet. The PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Dog Fence has an adjustable, high-intensity static correction. It will keep even the most determined pet inside the perimeter that you set.

The PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Dog Fence features 5 levels of static correction. It also gives a vibrating and audible warning when the dog approaches the boundary. The standard system has enough wire to cover an area of up to 1/3 of an acre. The system is expandable to up to 25 acres. If you buy extra collars, this system will also work with an unlimited number of pets.

The collar that comes with the system is waterproof. It will fit dogs with neck sizes 6 to 28 inches. The electronic collar is suitable for dogs weighing 8 pounds or more. The receiver unit on the collar of this model is bulkier than some others. Even so, this is a system for larger pets. So, that shouldn’t be a problem.

This is a great product for training a large stubborn dog. The static correction, though, is more intense than most other invisible dog fences. For that reason, it is not suitable for small or very timid dogs. The collar is adjustable to fit dogs of various sizes. But the receiver unit is bulky, so it will only suit large dogs. If you have a large dog that refuses to stay in the yard, this could be the answer to your problem.

What We Liked

  • Great for training large stubborn dogs
  • Adjustable waterproof collar
  • Expandable up to 25 acres
  • Can be used with an unlimited number of pets
  • 5 levels of correction plus a warning beep and vibration
  • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty

What You May Dislike

  • Not suitable for very small or timid dogs
  • Batteries not rechargeable
  • Collar receiver a bit bulky

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6. Sit Boo-Boo Electric Dog Fence

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Our final selection is the Sit Boo-Boo Electric Dog Fence. This is an affordable underground electronic dog fence system. Despite the low price, this system is feature-rich.

The Fence comes with 500 feet of good-quality wire. The system is expandable with extra wire to cover an area of up to 20 acres. This system includes built-in surge protection to protect the equipment from lightning damage. This in-ground dog fence will work with an unlimited number of dog collars.

The Sit Boo-Boo system features auto-correct technology. The collar will emit a gentle correction as the dog approaches the boundary. It will then emit more intense corrections if the dog continues towards the boundary.

The dog collar features 7 levels of correction plus a tone and vibration settings. The collar is waterproof and submersible up to 3 feet. The collar runs on rechargeable batteries. The collar is very well-made, and it looks tough and robust.

The Sit Boo-Boo Electric Dog Fence is an excellent piece of kit for the price. The collar is well-made, and the features well thought out. We rate the Sit Boo-Boo Electric Dog Fence as the best value for money in-ground dog fence.

What We Liked

  • Excellent value for money in-ground dog fence
  • Waterproof and submersible
  • 7 Correction settings plus vibrate and beep
  • Supports an unlimited number of dog collars
  • Smart, graduated correction feature
  • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty

What You May Dislike

  • Setting up the System is a bit complicated
  • The collar may be too large for small dogs
  • Instructions could be made clearer

II. Key Differences Between In-Ground Dog Fences and Wireless Fences

 

There are two types of invisible dog fences. There are in-ground dog fences. These are sometimes called underground dog fences. And, there are wireless dog fences, which operate using radio signals. Although both types of dog fences do the same basic thing, they are very different devices.

Both wireless and in-ground dog fences work with electronic dog collars. When a dog approaches or crosses the boundary, the collar emits a static electric shock. The gentle shock reminds the dog where the boundary is. The static correction is usually preceded by an audible or vibrating warning.

The main difference between an in-ground dog fence and a wireless system is the wire. With an in-ground system, the boundary is set by a buried wire. A wireless system uses a radio signal to define the boundary. This difference in technology leads to several important functional differences.

Boundary Shape

With a wireless dog fence, the boundary must be circular. The wires of an in-ground system, though, can fit around the perimeter of an irregular shaped space.

Safe Areas

You can also create safe areas with wired underground dog fences. If you twist the wires of an in-ground invisible dog fence together, it won’t trigger the collar. You can use this to create sections of the perimeter that a dog can pass through. This feature is useful for allowing the dog to enter and exit the home. Or, to fence off specific dangerous areas, such as a pool or a pond.

Gradients

Because wireless systems rely on a radio signal, they may not work in areas that are on a steep gradient. Irregularities in the ground can interfere with the signal. Wired in-ground systems do not have this problem at all.

Reliability

Wired in-ground dog fences are usually more reliable than wireless systems. They don’t suffer from inference in the same way that wireless systems can. Wireless systems are much easier to install than in-ground systems. Even so, their reliance on a radio signal makes them less reliable.

Area of Coverage

The in-ground electronic dog fences can cover much larger areas than wireless models. Some of the best underground dog fences are extendable to cover an area of as much as 25 acres or more.

Boundary Fluctuations

Another drawback that some wireless systems have is that the boundary can fluctuate. In other words, the boundary created by the radio signal can move back and forth. This can be very confusing for a dog because they can never be sure where they should stop.

Installing an in-ground dog fence does need some work. You need to dig a shallow trench around the perimeter of your property to bury the wire in. Even so, there are some big advantages a wired underground dog fence has over a wireless system. Wireless systems are more portable than in-ground dog fence systems. You could take a wireless system on vacation with you, for example. We explain more about the pros and cons of in-ground dog fences in the next section.


III. Pros and Cons of In-Ground Dog Fences

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In this section, we provide you with a balanced view of the pros and cons of invisible in-ground dog fences.

Advantages of In-ground Dog Fences

First, let’s look at the advantages of in-ground dog fences. Not only in comparison to wireless systems but as a dog training aid as well.

1. Cheaper Than a Physical Fence

If you want your dog to be able to play in your yard, you are going to need a fence of some kind. Erecting a physical fence can be very expensive, though, especially if you have a large yard. The cost of a good invisible dog fence will only be a few hundred dollars. That’s a lot cheaper than any type of physical fence.

2. More Pleasing to the Eye than a Physical Fence

If you have a yard that backs onto a stunning view, you are not going to want to block that view with a large physical fence. An in-ground electronic fence will allow you to keep your dog in your yard, but let you admire the view.

3. Trains Your Dog to Stay Within the Boundaries

Some people worry about the mild electric shock that electric dog collars give. The truth is that the static shock given by shock collars won’t harm your pet, it will only startle them. Most dogs learn where the boundary is after only one or two corrections. The collar doesn’t punish your pet, it trains your dog to stay within the boundary.

4. Keeps Your Dog Safe

A dog on the lose is not only a nuisance, but it’s also a danger to itself. In-ground pet fences are very effective. They will stop your dog straying, getting lost, or walking out onto a busy road. If you have a dog that leaps physical fences or digs under them, an electronic dog fence can help here too. An in-ground dog fence can be useful as an extra precaution along with a physical fence.

5. More Adaptable and Reliable than Wireless Dog Fences

In-ground dog fences are more adaptable and reliable than wireless dog fences. Underground dog fences can cover areas as large as 25 acres. You can also use them on hilly or uneven ground. In-ground systems do not have the fluctuating boundary issue that some wireless systems have. Plus, they are not as prone to radio interference.

6. You Can Create Safe Zones

If you twist the wires of an in-ground dog fence together, you create a safe zone over which the dog can cross. That means that you can allow the dog to go in out of the yard without receiving a correction. It also means that you can fence off dangerous areas in your yard, such as your swimming pool.


Disadvantages of In-Ground Dog Fences

The main disadvantage of an in-ground dog fence system is the effort it takes to install the system. And, of course, some people don’t like the idea of using even a mild electric shock on their pets. Here are the main drawbacks:

1. Installation

The biggest disadvantage of in-ground invisible dog fences is the installation. The best way to install wired dog fences is to bury the wire in a shallow trench. If you have a large yard, that could involve a lot of digging and it may take some time to complete if you do it yourself.

2. Electronic Dog Fences Don’t Work with All Dogs

Some dogs are so stubborn that they ignore the corrections of an electronic dog collar. A big, stubborn dog may cross the boundary, regardless of the static shock corrections that it is receiving.

3. Lack of Portability

Because you bury the wire of an in-ground dog fence, you can’t take the system with you on vacation. Also, if you want to move the system to another location, you must buy new wire. Unless that is, you want to dig up the old wire.

4. Some People Don’t Like Using Electronic Dog Collars

Electronic dog collars are safe to use on pets. Even so, some people aren’t comfortable with the idea of electric shock collars. This may be an important consideration if you have a dog that is very timid.


IV. Conclusion

We hope that you have found our In-Ground Dog Fence reviews useful. Underground dog fences are an effective way to train your dog to stay within the boundaries if your yard. They take a bit of effort to install. Even so, they are much cheaper than a physical fence and they are more reliable than a wireless dog fence.

The best way to use an electronic dog fence is to use it as a training aid. Show the dog where the flags are and use verbal commands and rewards to teach the dog not to cross the boundary. Once the dog realizes what is causing the corrections, he will stop crossing the boundary. In most cases, this will only take a few corrections and a bit of training.

Many thanks for reading!

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