In a perfect world, your pooch would be able to run free wherever he wants to roam. He could explore woods, meet neighbors, and dig holes to his heart’s content.
Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect. The woods pose hazards to your pup’s health, between poisonous plants and angry animals. Your human neighbors might not be too happy if your pooch has to poo in their front yard, and their furry friends could be upset if your dog starts marking his territory in their favorite spots. People prefer keeping their grass hole-free so they don’t risk an ankle injury.
What does that mean? Your dog is not able to roam as a free-range pup. Instead, they need a safe and manageable way to stay on their patch of land. One option is a traditional fence, but use it with caution. Your pooch might figure out how to jump over it or dig his way under it. Another option is a leash or tether. However, your dog could gnaw or rip his way to freedom, or bark and growl enough to drive you absolutely crazy.
So, if old-school fences and leashes are out, what is left? One of the most popular options on the market nowadays is a portable wireless dog fence. A fence like that might be the perfect solution for the stressed pet owner, the best option for keeping your pooch safe and happy.
- 1 What is a portable wireless dog fence?
- 2 What is the Best Portable Wireless Dog Fence?
- 3 #1 PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System
- 4 #2 SportDOG In-Ground Fence System
- 5 #3 PetSafe Stay + Play Wireless Fence
- 6 #4 Extreme Dog Fence Professional Dog Containment System
- 7 #5 PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence
- 8 #6 FunAce Wire-Free Rechargeable Dog Fence
- 9 What is the difference between a hybrid invisible fence and a wireless one?
- 10 How exactly does an invisible fence work?
- 11 Can they be custom-shaped?
- 12 What about my dog’s other collar?
- 13 Can more than one dog use the same invisible fence?
- 14 Are invisible fences actually effective?
- 15 Are invisible fences safe for dogs?
- 16 What about for people?
- 17 Portability
- 18 Perimeter size
- 19 Levels of correction
- 20 Cost
- 21 Durability
- 22 Is there anything else I should know about the cost?
- 23 My final thoughts about Best Portable Wireless Dog Fence
What is a portable wireless dog fence?
A portable wireless dog fence is also known as an electric dog fence or an invisible fence. It has two key components. First, there is a cable that emits a radio signal. Second, there is a computerized collar. Instead of any wooden boards and nails, there is the cable, a wire placed around your yard’s perimeter, as far as you are willing to let your pup roam. Any time he goes outside of that perimeter, the computerized collar will pick up the signal and shock your pooch, just enough to make him stay inside.
You may also want to include some flags that poke into the ground with stakes for your own reference purposes and to help teach your pooch where the boundary ends.
What is the Best Portable Wireless Dog Fence?
There are a variety of invisible fence options on the market, all with differences that could be significant to your pup. As with any purchase for your furry friend, you should make sure to look at plenty of options and do your research before making a decision. That being said, here are some of the most popular invisible fences on the market right now, with descriptions and approximate prices.
This is not the cheapest option on the market, but a high-end price point in this case means a high-end product. It is easy to install and, with its handy training guide, easy to get your pup accustomed to. In fact, a lot of pet owners said it only took their furry friends a few days to understand the system.
For training, it includes 50 boundary flags, which should be enough for even the largest perimeters set. The contact points of the computerized collar are long, so they even work with dogs that have long hair. There is only one computerized collar included, which comes with an RFA-67D battery.
The entire design is waterproof, which is great for ensuring that there is no potential danger for your pooch. The collar has a light that tells you when the battery is running low, so you can avoid the risk of letting your dog go into the yard unprotected by mistake. Plus, there is a 1-year warranty in case something goes wrong.
The kit covers over 1 acre with its 1000 feet of wire, though additional wire can be bought to expand that distance. Since it uses wires, it has to be buried. It also initially supports 1 dog, but if you purchase more collars, then more than one pooch can be contained with the same invisible fence.
The collar is waterproof and the battery is supposed to last at least 6 months. If your dog is at least 10 pounds, then it should fit. The collar initially warns your pooch that he has gone outside of his boundary with a sound and a vibration.
Then, if he does not go back, it emits a shock at one of four levels, which you choose for your pup. The transmitter has an alarm that will go off when the wire breaks and has built-in protection against lightning. There is a 2-year warranty on it.
This is a more expensive option from PetSafe. Coverage-wise, the maximum radius from the transmitter is 105 feet, which can be changed with the twist of a knob. You can also purchase an extender if you want to perimeter to extend even farther.
It is able to work with as many computerized collars as you need it to, so it is perfect for an owner with more than one pup. The transmitter can easily be picked up and brought somewhere else, making it great for traveling.
Plus, it is waterproof. The computerized collars carry charges very well – yes, they are rechargeable, so you do not need to worry about having to change batteries over and over again. With the flags for initial training, set-up is not supposed to take more than an hour or two.
Here is a more traditional option, one with wires. You can purchase different lengths of feet for the boundary and different systems that support different numbers of computerized collars, so if you prepare in advance, you should be able to get exactly what you are looking for.
Because it is wire, you can customize the shape of your perimeter. The wire is high-tensile and coated with a protective jacket to prevent damages underground. And while it does need to be installed underground, the company is proud to offer 24-hour assistance with set-up and troubleshooting, as well as with using the boundary flags to train your pup. The collar is waterproof, durable enough that your pooch can swim with it on if he wants.
You will have to change the collar’s battery when it runs out, but the system monitors the battery every 2 hours, checking the collar 12 times a day to make sure that it indicates when the battery is low and not a moment too soon. The entire system is manufactured in the United States, there is a 1-year warranty on electronics, and there is a 2-year warranty on the wire itself. It very highly recommended and well-reviewed, as far as hybrid options go.
Unlike the other options from PetSafe, this is a wired invisible fence. It allows you to customize the layout of the perimeter, unlike the other PetSafe invisible fences. The collar is adjustable, fitting neck sizes between 6 inches and 28 inches. With the PerfectFit technology, the collar is able to tell you when it fits your dog properly. The computerized collar has 5 adjustable levels of correction and a sound-only option.
Plus, there is no shock when your pooch reenters the property if he crosses out of it, preventing confusion. The shock is delivered at the boundary, not before the boundary like other systems, giving your pup more space to play. Its battery is rechargeable, taking only 2 to 3 hours to charge.
The battery lasts a maximum of 3 weeks on that charge. The system can host more than one computerized collar, working well for families with multiple furry friends. The included 500 feet of wire is 20-gauge copper that is insulated, and you can get additional wire to expand it as necessary.
This is a Wi-Fi invisible fence option. There is a boundary minimum; there must be at least 50 feet between the transmitter and the boundary. It supports a maximum radius of 500 feet. It is designed to prevent over-shocking by ensuring that there is a limited amount of time that it will shock when your pooch crosses outside of the perimeter.
The shocks are short, with continuous beeping in between, and the cycle is repeated a few times, giving your dog ample time and reminders to come back to the right side of the boundary. It also works this way during a power outage. If you think the 54-second time maximum for shocking (3 cycles of 18-second shocks) is not going to be enough to motivate your dog, there is a stubborn dog model (2 cycles of 3-minute shocks).
As long as your pup is at least 10 pounds, the shock is not harmful at all. You can have as many computerized collars working with the system as you would like. Plus, the computerized collars work with dogs of all shapes and sizes. The training is made easy by given instructions that break it down, step by step. There is a 30-day 100-percent money-back guarantee, a 90-day manufacturer warranty, and daily customer service support.
What is the difference between a hybrid invisible fence and a wireless one?
A hybrid invisible fence has wires that are buried in the ground. You are able to shape the perimeter however you want by moving the wires, but once they are in the ground, they will stay there. It takes longer to set up than a wireless invisible fence because the wires have to be buried. A wireless fence uses a transmitter instead. Both use shocks to punish your pooch for stepping over the line of the boundary.
Keep in mind that hybrid invisible fences are slowly becoming more and more obsolete, with wireless invisible fences now being encouraged as the preferred option of the two.
How exactly does an invisible fence work?
That depends on whether the invisible fence is hybrid or wireless.
If it is hybrid, then the boundary wire is buried underground. If your pooch moves too close to or over the wire, then the computerized collar will emit a shock that, with training, will tell your pup to move back.
If the invisible fence is wireless, then there is a transmitter that will be at the center of the boundary area. Once the dog passes the perimeter, which is set equidistant from the transmitter, the collar will let out a small shock or make a sound to motivate your pooch to step back.
Can they be custom-shaped?
If you choose a hybrid, the nature of the wire will allow to shape it however you would like, as long as you are willing to bury it that way. This ensures that they can work with any property. You could go around things like a garden or flower bed to keep your pooch out.
If you choose a wireless invisible fence, the transmitter will create a boundary that is usually circular. You can adjust the size to best fit your property, but not the shape, which means your pooch will not have full access to their yard. At least some part of it will be excluded just by the nature of the perimeter design. Unlike with a hybrid invisible fence, things like flower beds cannot be selectively excluded from the boundary.
What about my dog’s other collar?
Keep it! Your dog does not need to wear the computerized collar all the time, especially because it is going to be much clunkier than a traditional collar. Let your pup wear the other collar in the house.
Can more than one dog use the same invisible fence?
That depends on the fence you buy. Some systems will support more than one transmitting computerized collar working at the same time. You will want to make sure that the intensity of the level of correction can be adjusted separately for each one, though, because if your dogs are different sizes, then the bigger dog will need a stronger shock, while the smaller dog will be better off with a milder shock.
Are invisible fences actually effective?
The effectiveness of an invisible fence depends on which fence you purchase. While some statistics say that an invisible fence is only effective 70 percent of the time, remember that there a cheap, low-end invisible fences out there that add to that level of ineffectiveness. If you do your research and pick the right invisible fence, then it will be effective.
Invisible fences are usually perfect if you are in a suburban environment, one where you have a patch of grassy land to yourself but your dog could possibly run into a neighbor’s yard or a busy street. Everyone wants their pooch to be as safe as can be, which is probably why you are looking for some sort of fence or restraint in the first place.
Keep in mind that if there are forms of interference in your yard, then it is possible that the invisible fence will not be able to work effectively in that spot.
The important thing about an invisible fence is the way that it trains your pup to obey the boundary without restricting their freedom within the perimeter of the fence. Your dog will grow into the perfect blend of independence and respect.
Are invisible fences safe for dogs?
Yes, an invisible fence is safe. The strongest shocks are still only mild, and in a high-end invisible fence system, shocks that strong will only be used at the beginning of training your pup. Over time, with a nice invisible fence system, the strength of the shocks will decrease, continuing to do so until only a warning sound is used instead.
It is worth splurging a bit to make sure you get an invisible fence with adjustable levels of correction. That way, the strongest shocks – which, again, are mild – will only be used as long as is necessary to train your pooch.
What about for people?
Yes, they are very safe for people. The shock is administered by the collar, so unless you put the collar around the ankle or wrist of a human, nothing is going to happen if they walk across the perimeter of the fence. Even if you choose an outdated hybrid invisible fence, it is buried underground, so people will not be able to trip over it.
Are there negative side effects to using an invisible fence?
Unfortunately, like most things in life, there are some negative side effects to using an invisible fence. Keep in mind that these all vary based on the fence and the dog.
Your dog will not understand what is shocking them or, at first, why. Their anxiety, aggression, and fear levels may spike. (Keep in mind that the jury is out on this and it depends on the dog. Many trainers compare the shocks to spritzing your pooch with some water.) If they cross the perimeter to try and say hello to someone passing by, then they might associate the punishment of the shock with meeting new people and dogs, making them hostile to strangers. This is especially significant if your furry friend is a rescue pet who comes from a traumatic background of some kind.
Another thing to keep in mind is the ability for other animals to come onto your property, something that a traditional fence would limit. If you live somewhere that has a lot of wild animals, particularly larger ones like bears, wolves, or coyotes, then they could come onto the property, while your pooch would not be able to leave the property to run.
It is also possible that whatever your pooch sees and wants to chase will be, in his eyes, worth the shock, even if shocks are administered multiple times.
You have to take time to train your dog to respond to the invisible fence, which will take time or money, depending on if you or a hired trainer is going to put in the work.
Evidently, whether or not an invisible fence is a good fit depends on the dog and the landscape. Evaluate both of these before deciding if you are going to purchase an invisible fence.
What should I look for in an invisible fence?
There are a few key things to pay attention to as you begin shopping around for the best possible invisible fence you can find on the market.
One purchasing point is whether or not it is totally mobile. Odds are, you are looking for something that is extremely portable and can be installed anywhere and everywhere. Invisible fences are great if you love to go on camping trips or visit family and friends who live far enough away that you need to travel to see them. Your pup will be able to respond to their familiar shocks in any environment, so you will not need to babysit them all the time or provide any extra training. That is why your invisible fence should be super portable. The best ones only take a few minutes to install, and if it takes more than a few hours, it is definitely not worth your time or money.
Another thing to watch for is perimeter size. You want your invisible fence to cover exactly as much territory as it should. Any more, and you are overpaying. Any less, and you will need to purchase extra fencing. Your best bet, of course, is to measure the property that you want included in your fence’s coverage and shop for a fence accordingly.
Levels of correction
Third, keep an eye on the levels of correction offered by any given invisible fence. If the fence you are looking at is cheap or low-end, then there is a high probability that it only comes with one level of correction. That means the shock will have equal intensity every time your pup gets shocked. A high-end invisible fence, even one that is in a more affordable price range than the most expensive options, will most likely offer multiple levels of correction. You would be able to decrease the intensity of the shock over time, training your pooch to obey lighter and lighter shocks to maximize his comfort without negatively impacting his overall obedience. In fact, it is possible that, over time, your dog will properly respond to a simple warning of just a sound instead of needing a shock at all.
A fourth thing to pay attention to, and perhaps most important to you, is the price. As mentioned before, the cheaper options may not include things like changeable levels of correction or enough length to cover the entire perimeter. If it is incredibly inexpensive, then it is also probably too good to be true, unfortunately. A decent invisible fence is on the market for around $100+. Better invisible fences will cost more than that, but should not come in at around much more than $250. The highest-end options could be more than $300, but you should be careful because it is highly likely at that point that you are paying too much for unusable or unnecessary features.
Finally, and likely most important to your furry friend, is a consideration of the collar’s durability. The dog collar you choose should be waterproof. If you go with a low-end option, then it is entirely possible that the quality will be such that mud or other liquids can damage it. If that happens, then your pooch is at risk. Since the computerized collar is able to administer electric shocks – indeed, that is its purpose – it is likely that a more dangerous shock will strike your pup if the collar is wet or broken in any way.
Is there anything else I should know about the cost?
Invisible fence kits that allow you to “do it yourself” will be cheaper, but installation and training would be left to you. Those invisible fences are the ones in that $150 to $300 range mentioned above.
A hybrid invisible fence will be more expensive because it has to be buried, meaning someone will have to do that work.
You will need to pay for batteries, at the very least for the collar. One way to extend battery life is to remove them when your pooch is in the house, not wearing the collar.
If you want someone to train your dog for you, then you will have to pay them. Some professionals charge upward of $500, depending on who you look for and what qualifications they have.
My final thoughts about Best Portable Wireless Dog Fence
No matter which invisible fence you decide to go with, you are sure to have the very best for your furry friends. Just remember that every dog and every yard is different, so assess both before making a decision on what to buy. The most important thing is that the invisible fence is the best fit possible for you and your pup counterpart.