If you’ve been wondering how to stop your dog from constantly wandering off, one great solution is a wireless fence but what are these exactly and how do they work?
With a wireless system, you won’t need to worry about constructing any kind of physical boundaries and you won’t need to dig to install wires like you would with an underground dog fence.
Instead, you’ll get a base station which acts as the centerpiece of your containment system. This transmitter sends a signal out in every direction up to a range of 100 feet or so. The perimeter wireless fences create is circular.
You should be aware that you will need to get hands-on when it comes to training your dog with a wireless fence. If you’re prepared to get involved and be proactive, you should be able to educate them fairly quickly and easily. Most of the best wireless fences come with detailed training guides that are well worth your time consulting.
You’ll need to set up the transmitter so you can connect it to a standard power outlet that’s not exposed to the weather. This should ideally be on the first floor of your house. The base station can transmit through walls but you’re well advised to keep it away from large metal objects like fridges or furnaces. This is to reduce the chance of any interference with the signal transmitted.
You should aim to mount the base station two feet above the floor. Once it’s in place, turn the power on and activate the boundary control so the fence is activated.
You set up boundary flags per manufacturer’s instructions and these play a crucial role in training your dog. These demarcate a handy physical guide to help your dog when you’re training him.
At this point, you can attach the collar to your dog’s neck. Make sure the center of the contact points are under the neck and in contact with his skin.
As your dog approaches the boundary, the collar will first emit an audible beep to instruct him he should go no further. If your dog fails to comply, this tone is followed up by a static shock. While this will not be strong enough to hurt your furry friend, it should be strong enough to dissuade him from trying to breach the boundary. You can manipulate correction levels to suit the size and temperament of your dog.
As with any dog training device, it always pays to kick off training at the lowest level of correction then gradually step things up if required.
Note: You should not leave the collar on for periods of more than 12 hours and always discontinue use immediately if you notice the collar in any way irritating your dog’s skin.
With those basics sketched in, we’ll now walk you through 5 of the best wireless dog fences on the market so you can see which would make the best fit for you and your dog.
Table of Contents
I. Top 5 Best Wireless Dog Fences
1. Our #1 Pick:PetSafe Wireless Containment System
Our favorite fence overall is the first of several PetSafe systems we look at today.
You can choose from 3 configurations:
- Wireless fence
- Collar only
- Wireless fence with additional battery pack
This is a smart move from the manufacturer since if you run into any problems with the receiver, you won’t need a complete new system.
Unlike in-ground fences, installation couldn’t be quicker or easier. You won’t need to dig up your beloved garden and you won’t need to mess around hiding wires either. You should allow perhaps a couple of hours for set-up. Instructions are clear and detailed. We’d recommend reading these before you get started so you have a solid overview of what you need to do. Then, take your time, enlist a spare pair of hands and set things up the right way. You’ll only need to do it once and, if you get impatient, think how much quicker this is than constructing a physical boundary.
The coverage area allows you to mark out a boundary across areas up to ½ an acre. As with all wireless fences, the constraints of radio waves mean the boundary will be circular in nature so make sure this fit with the layout of your yard.
You can choose from 5 variable levels of static correction or opt for a sound-only mode so you can gently train your dog starting off at the lowest setting.
Add an unlimited number of collars – another great bonus that they’re sold separately – and you can train multiple dogs within the same boundary.
The collar is fully waterproofed and you’ll get a generous 2 months of battery life.
This unit is completely portable so makes a neat fit if you often head out in the RV camping and you want to keep your dog safe and sound while you relax with a BBQ.
For a versatile all-rounder at a very reasonable price-point, this containment system deserves a place on any shortlist.
Things We Like
- Impressive ½-acre coverage area ideal for larger gardens
- Superb 2 months of battery life
- If your pet breaches the boundary, he won’t receive a static shock upon re-entry so he won’t be discouraged from returning home
Things We Dislike
- A few issues with consistency can develop over time
2. PetSafe Stay & Play Dog and Cat Wireless Fence
If you’re looking for a wireless containment system capable of a slightly larger area, this variant from PetSafe gives you fully ¾ acre of coverage.
As with the fence above, you’ll be able to pick up collars separately making this a great choice for households with several pets. You’ll be able to keep all your dogs safe from harm using a single containment system. You can also add in extra base units if you feel the need to expand coverage.
The choice is yours when it comes to laying down the boundary. Confine your dog to the back yard only or allow him to roam the entire property.
When he breaches the boundaries, there are 5 levels of static shock correction along with a sound-only option. Whatever the temperament of your canine, you should start out at the lower end and gently ramp things up as necessary.
Battery life on this model extends to 3 weeks which is reasonable. Signal is most effective in flat areas since hills can make it rather unreliable.
As with all PetSafe wireless fences, you should be up and running out the box in a couple of hours.
If you run into any snags, PetSafe offers a highly responsive US-based help desk available every day except Sunday.
Things We Like
- Ideal for large outdoor spaces up to ¾ acre in area
- Works for dogs as small as 5 pounds with 6-inch necks while also fitting large breeds with hulking 28-inch necks so highly flexible system
- Train an unlimited number of dogs with a single fence by purchasing extra collars
Things We Dislike
- Some difficulties in establishing consistency so be prepared to tweak the fence until it performs exactly as you want it to
3. PetSafe PIF-300 Wireless 2-Dog Fence Containment System
The PetSafe PIF-300 containment system might be a little costlier than its stablemates but in return for digging deeper you’ll get a second collar thrown in. This makes perfect sense for multi-pet households.
Just like the first fence we reviewed, you’ll be able to demarcate a circular boundary over a ½ acre area so you should be all set even if you’ve got a mid-sized property. For larger yards, check out the PetSafe above which is capable of ¾- acre coverage.
As with all wireless containment system, relying on the fence alone is not enough. You need to get proactive in the early stages to guide your dog along and show him the value of staying within those boundaries. How about if you have no idea how to train your furball, though? PetSafe has you covered here. The manual included is well worthwhile. You’ll get plenty of guidance on using positive reinforcement to complement the fence. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have your dog staying where he belongs in no time.
The receiver collar uses a standard 6-volt battery and it’s fully weatherproofed so you’ll have no concerns about malfunctioning even if you live somewhere with plenty of rain.
5 adjustable levels of static correction allow you to make use of progressive training rather than instantly landing your beloved pet with a jarring jolt. You can also opt for audio only if you’d sooner eliminate static from the equation.
Things We Like
- Extra collar bundled so you can train a pair of dogs without needing to invest further
- Instructive training manual included packed with plenty of useful advice
- Full weatherproofed collar ideal for even hostile climates
Things We Dislike
- Reasonably expensive so not one for bargain-seekers
4. PetSafe Free to Roam Dog and Cat Wireless Fence
Another wireless containment system from PetSafe, the Free to Roam model offers a robust ½ acre coverage area. This might not be large enough for your needs but other PetSafe systems protect your property up to a size of ¾ acre so take the time to measure up in advance so you get this element right.
Just like with any wireless fence, you’ll need to accept some limitations. You might find that large metal objects like fridges or radiators interfere with and attenuate the signal so plan set-up to avoid these. You’ll also be limited to a circular area of coverage as with all systems that make use of radio waves. With these restrictions taken into account, what can you expect to get on the upside?
The convenience of this fence is second to none. Set aside a couple of hours to get everything calibrated and the warning flags in place and you’ll be ready to start educating your dog about boundaries. A nice touch with this fence is the safe re-entry function. If your dog makes off, he won’t be shocked upon his return. This is sensible as he would otherwise perhaps be disinclined to head home.
You’ll be able to buy extra collars separately which is great if you’ve got more than one dog in the house.
With a 2-month battery life, class-leading customer care and solid build quality, this fence is another home run from the stellar PetSafe.
Things We Like
- Very easy to get set up in as little as 2 hours although you might require some assistance
- You won’t need to dig up your yard and you won’t need to mess around burying wires either
- First-class customer care if you run into any problems
Things We Dislike
- Large metal objects can interfere with the signal as with any wireless system dependent on radio waves
5. WIEZ Dog Fence Wireless and Training Collar 2-in-1 Electric Wireless Fence
Last but by no means least is a superb fence from WIEZ that comes packing 2.4GHz wireless technology to protect properties with a boundary range of 100 feet.
Unlike most of the competition, you can switch from containment training to all-purpose training by switching modes. The collar serves as a static warning collar with 6 levels of correction so you can train your dog when it comes to general behavior or barking as well as teaching him to respect boundaries.
The wireless fence has a range of up to 100 feet so it’s fit for most average sized properties and gives you furry friend ample room to roam. Switch modes and you’ll get up to 1000 feet of range with the training collar so you can use this when you head out to the park or the campsite and keep an unruly dog in check.
IP65-rated against dust and IPX7 waterproof, this collar packs a nifty reflective stripe for safety and is ideal for use in all winds and weathers.
Charging is brisk with the receiver charging up in 2 or 3 hours. The transmitter requires a little longer but 5 hours is sufficient to deliver a full burst of charge. You’ll get indicator lights to alert you when it’s time to juice up.
The collar is designed to fit dogs with neck sizes from 8 inches to 21 inches. Weight-wise, it’s good for dogs as light as 10 pounds or as heavy as 110 pounds so you’ve got a great deal of flexibility here.
For a solid dual-purpose training and containment system, put your trust in WIEZ and watch your dog start behaving more appropriately across the board.
Things We Like
- Dependable, precise 2.4GHz signal that won’t let you down
- Serves double-duty as a training collar so plenty of bang for your buck
- Eco-friendly collar comes with a reflective stripe and full weatherproofing
Things We Dislike
- Some issues with range consistency according to a couple of disgruntled users
II. Pros and Cons of Wireless Dog Fences
We’re going to double down and present a balanced view of wireless dog fences but, before we do that, it’s worth pointing out the differences between a wireless fence and an in-ground fence.
Wireless Dog Fence
With a wireless containment system, you won’t need any physical wiring at all.
The heart of these systems is a transmitter that kicks out an invisible field. When your dog triggers the boundaries of this field, he’ll get a slight shock that should quickly check his behavior. It’s not sharp enough to cause him any real pain but the jolt is strong enough to make him think twice about breaching the boundary again.
Installing a wireless fence is a cinch. On the flipside, you won’t get quite the same degree of scope as a wired fence provides.
Wireless fences come into their own if your outdoor space is symmetrical.
In-Ground Dog Fence
The alternative to a wireless dog fence is known as an underground dog fence or invisible, in-ground fence.
You can deliver the same graded corrections whenever your dog strays from the boundaries through a combination of hidden wires and a transmitter.
While this type of fence is not especially cheap, it makes a superb training device even with stubborn dogs prone to wandering off indiscriminately.
With those variants of fence briefly explained, what are the benefits and drawbacks of the wireless fences we’ll be scoping out today?
Wireless Fence: Pros
- No Physical Barriers: With a wireless fence, you don’t need to introduce any unsightly physical barriers into your beloved garden. With chain link fences or walls, the standard physical barriers to keep your dog where he belongs, you’ll need to incorporate this into your yard layout even if you’d sooner not have one
- Ease of Installation: Arguably the primary selling point of a wireless fence is the simplicity of set-up. Even if you’re not too technically-inclined, you should be up and running with relatively little effort with a wireless fence
- Affordability: If you take your time to scope out the most affordable options, wireless fences are reasonably priced and you won’t need to pay a professional for installation either
Wireless Fence: Cons
- Won’t Stop Intruders From Entering: While a wireless fence will undoubtedly keep your dog contained, it won’t do anything to prevent stray dogs or wild animals from entering so it doesn’t offer two-way protection
- Relies on Uninterrupted Power Supply: If there’s any kind of power outage, a wireless fence will let you down where a physical barrier would obviously remain in place
- Not as Humane as Some Methods: While the pain from the static shock administered is not strong or cruel, only you know whether you’re happy causing your dog to feel discomfort while you’re training him
- Not Ideal on Uneven Terrain and Only Set Up Circular Perimeter: Wireless fences don’t work so well when the ground is uneven due to the way radio emission works. Also, due to similar limitations with radio waves, the space defined by a wireless fence will be circular rather than square
As you can see, it’s a fairy balanced equation with wireless fences.
In summary, they are highly effective in some circumstances but by no means a catch-all solution. As with any buying decision, you should think closely about your own needs before committing to purchase.
So what, exactly should you look out for when you’re on the buying trail? We’ll laser in on that before we round out.
III. Wireless Dog Fence Buying Guide
Make no mistake, buying the right dog fence is not the quickest or easiest job. As with any buying decision, if you take the time to analyze your needs before steaming in on the buying trail, you’ll maximize your chance of getting things right and avoiding an expensive mistake.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider.
Type of Containment System
The first thing to establish is whether you want a wired or wireless system. We assume since you’re reading this, you’re already sold on the benefits of a wire-free fence so you’ve got that part in place.
Most fences are broadly similar in terms of the coverage area they offer.
If you’re looking for a larger boundary for properties ¾ acre and above in size, you’ll have more limited options with wireless fences but you’ll still find some fences that work. In general, for much larger areas, you’ll need to consider a wired fence.
It’s worth keeping in mind, too, that the coverage perimeter with wireless radio signals is circular in nature so make sure this fits your needs.
Placement of Transmitter
Before committing to purchase, it’s worth determining whether or not you’ll have somewhere suitable to accommodate the transmitter.
Firstly, you’ll need to be close to a standard 120-volt outlet for the purposes of power.
You should also have somewhere away from any large metal objects so you reduce the chance of interference. This usually renders the kitchen a poor placement option.
Low temperatures don’t work well either so make sure you’ve got all these bases covered before you hit the buying trail.
Do You Need to Train More Than One Dog?
If you’ve got several pets in the house, you should prioritize a containment system that allows you to purchase extra collars. Most of the leading brands cater for this need but double-check before purchase if you have 2 or more dogs to keep safe.
Here, you shouldn’t shoot for a collar with as many features as possible if you’re not planning to use them.
Waterproof collars are fairly standard so make sure the one you’re looking at is protected against the rain. Reflective stripes on the collar can be a nice safety feature but they’re by no means essential.
Battery life is much more crucial so examine how much lifespan you’ll get and whether the batteries are disposable or rechargeable. Think about how much importance you place on keeping running costs down and how much priority you give to convenience. With rechargeables, think about how long the batteries take to charge up, too.
A Note: We’ll reiterate here before closing that a wireless dog fence is best used as part of a robust training regime. If you rely on the fence alone to work wonders, you might end up disappointed. If, on the other hand, you take the time and trouble to educate your dog on the benefits of staying within the confines of the boundary using plenty of positive reinforcement, he’ll soon to start to play ball. Alongside proper training, the shock administered when he breaches the boundaries should be all the encouragement he needs to stay safely inside. Most of the best fences come with training manuals if you need a little help here.
We’ll round out with a curated list of the most frequently asked questions about wireless dog fences…
1) Does static correction hurt your dog?
Obviously, some degree of shock is involved or the system simply wouldn’t be effective. If you imagine the type of static shock you get from touching metal after walking across a carpet, that’s roughly the same level of pain your dog would experience. The shock will be enough to check your dog’s behavior and strong enough to make him think twice about breaching the boundary again but it won’t cause your pet any undue distress or pain.
2) Can you train more than one pet using the same wireless containment system?
Yes you can. Fortunately, most manufacturers understand that many pet owners have more than one animal in the house. To this end, collars are usually sold separately allowing you to train multiple digs simultaneously using the same boundary and separate collars.
3) Is a wireless fence better than an underground dog fence?
That depends entirely on what you want from the fence. Both systems come with their own upsides and drawbacks. Perhaps the key selling point of a wireless system is ease of installation without needing to dig up your garden. Configuration is more limited so you should think closely about the layout of your yard and what sort of boundary you’re looking for.
4) Can you train cats to stay within the boundaries of a wireless fence?
Absolutely. You’ll need to make sure the collar fits and you should also accept that cats are far tougher to train than dogs. Nevertheless, you might have some degree of luck keeping your cat from wandering off so it’s worth a try. Wired fences tend to work best if you’re looking to stop cats from heading too far from home.
5) How long do you need to leave the training flags in place for?
General advice is to leave them for anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks depending on how well your dog takes to training.
We very much hope this guide to wireless dog fences has given you plenty of inspiration. As we explained above, this is by no means the only solution for keeping your dog contained and it’s not always the best approach. That said, for pure convenience, cost-effectiveness and overall performance, a wireless fence is hard to beat.
Bookmark our site here at the PrinceLA and come back any time you need some guidance on the best products for your home, garden and your beloved pets. We constantly refresh our content and strive to bring you impartial and honest reviews combined with all the handy hints you need to streamline your buying decision every step of the way.
Drop us a line and let us know if you invest in one of these fences. We’re always delighted to get feedback from our readers and we’re highly responsive to messages.
See you soon!