Pet Containment Systems: Wireless vs Wired Dog Fence?
One important decision every dog owner has to make is how to contain your dog. If you are in the city, with shared yards or parks, a leash may be your only option, but if your house has its own yard, you will have a few options to consider. Of course, there is the obvious option of a wooden or chain-link fence. These both keep dogs in and intruders out (human or animal), and even provide privacy from neighbors. However, these above-ground fences are quite expensive (they start at $2500), and often don’t keep determined dogs in – they will just dig or chew until they’re free.
A great alternative to a wooden or chain-link fence is a pet containment system – a “fence” that consists of a transmitter, which sends out a signal to establish a boundary around your yard, and a receiver, a small box on the dog collar that is in constant communication with the transmitter. If you are planning to install a pet containment system, you should know the differences between the two options.
To help you decide what best suits your needs, it us important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each system. We have broken these down and compared them by category below.
Wired : This system takes more work up front. In addition to plugging in the receiver and training your dog, you’ll need to dig a 2-3” trench for the wire. This takes an average of 1-2 days, so plan to set aside a weekend. If you have money to pay professional installers, it could take as little as an afternoon.
Winner: Wireless is a cinch!
Wired: A wired system varies more in price because a larger area will need a powerful transmitter and a lot of wire. You can spend as little as $150 for a basic unit with enough wire for a small yard, or as much as $500 to cover a much larger area (up to 100 acres). Many of these collars are rechargeable, so there is no need to buy a separate battery. In addition to the unit and wire, though, you’ll also need to plan on the cost of installation unless you plan to dig the trench yourself. This will add anywhere from $500 to $2000 to your total cost
Winner: Wireless once again takes the day, because it does not require setup costs, and its cost isn’t affected as much by the size of your property.
Wired: You can imagine the headache involved in relocating one of these. If you are not sure you will be in the same location for long, you can always install the wire above the grass, which would make the system slightly easier to remove and relocate. Ultimately, though, the transmitter might be okay to relocate, but it would make more sense to leave the wiring in place and purchase and install new wire at the new location.
Winner: Wireless systems are clearly once again the winner when it comes to being portable. If you are even thinking about moving in the next year or two, one of these would make that process much easier for you and your dog.
Wired: A wired system can send its wires around any shape, no matter how large (some brands advertize up to 100 acres). The wires can be doubled to prevent a stubborn dog from escaping. And finally, the wires can be run around objects such as flower gardens, swimming pool, or even a private putting green in order to keep them safe from pup intruders. Setups can vary infinitely, so if you have an unusual-shaped yard or special areas to protect, this is the system for you.
Wired: Many wired systems have a set length of prongs and also a set intensity for the correction, so a sensitive (or small) dog might feel strongly what a stubborn (or big) dog wouldn’t blink at.
Wired: The long wires dug into the ground will make repairs tricky. You will need to turn off the transmitter, and use a special tool to walk along the perimeter and find the gap in the wire. However, the wired system does have one positive in this category: because the correction is only felt when the signal is received, the dog will not receive a shock after the transmitter has stopped working.
Winner: Wireless for you, Wired for your dog.
Wired: The wired system has a negligible margin of error, since it is held in place by its wires! Its signal is also not affected by the weather or landscape.