Spaniels walking in fenced-in area

The Best Dog Fences (2022 Reviews)

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Keeping your dog safe means having them under control inside and out, which often means a dog fence. You can take him on frequent walks, and he may love the closeness to you, but the freedom of running in a yard unhindered by a lead or leash will undoubtedly contribute to your dog’s happiness. A dog fence will keep your dog on your property, keep him out of areas such as lower beds where he could cause damage, and prevent him from accessing things that could be dangerous, such as pesticides or other chemicals stored in a shed.

Our vet advisor, Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, DVM, reviewed a variety of dog fences to select the best of the best. She chose the Halo 2 Wireless Dog Fence as the best dog fence for most dogs and their owners. The Halo 2 Wireless Dog Fence is invisible, with no wires required in or above ground, and it allows you to create up to 20 GPS wireless fences anywhere you go, so it’s a convenient portable option, too. Read how she chose the top 5.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Halo 2+ Dog Fence

If you’re looking for the best dog fence on the market, look no further than the Halo 2 fence.

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When your pup is outside, there are plenty of things you can do to make his time even more comfortable. Pick a comfortable outdoor bed to make sure he has a comfortable spot out there. Of course, ensure it’s not too cold for him to stay outside.

Our Vet’s Top 5 Dog Fences

Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Editor’s Picks Model Rating Type Size/Range GPS?
Our Vet’s Top Pick Halo Dog Fence n/a Electric GPS 20 customizable sizes
Best Budget _Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Dog Fence_ 4.6 Metal Playpen 60″x60″
Best In Ground _Pet Safe Stubborn Dog In-ground Fence_ 4.5 Electric Buried 500ft
Best Portable _FXW Dog Playpen_ 4.6 Metal Playpen 505″
Best GPS SpotOn GPS Dog Fence 4.5 Electric GPS Min of 1/2 acre

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Types of Dog Fences: An Overview

One common area of confusion for pet owners is the difference between electric dog fences, wireless dog fences, in-ground dog fences, GPS dog fences, and invisible dog fences. Some people will use these terms slightly differently, but here is a general breakdown:

Electric Dog Fence

An electric fence is any fence that has a correction once crossed. With regards to dogs, this typically refers to a signal sent to a collar, and it usually means a static shock. They can be GPS, in-ground, or wireless fences. It could also just mean a wired fence with an electric current that shocks anything that touches it.

In-ground Dog Fence

An in-ground dog fence will have a wire, which works best buried, that creates a boundary for your dog. It sends a signal to your dog’s collar (included as part of the fence system) that sends a correction if he tries to cross the perimeter

Wireless Dog Fence

Just like an in-ground fence, a wireless dog fence creates a boundary that signals a collar for correction. Unlike the electric fence, though, there are no wires. Instead, there is a base that sends a signal to the collar. As long as your dog is in the range of the hub, then he’s fine. Once he steps out of the base’s range, correction is sent through the collar.

GPS Dog Fences

GPS dog fences will create a boundary that uses GPS coordinates to ensure accuracy. The GPS signal allows you to set several different boundaries, meaning you can create a fence around your home and another around your in-law’s home if you frequently visit them with your pup. They will also signal correction when your dog exceeds the perimeter.

Invisible Dog Fences

Invisible dog fences are fences that create a boundary without being seen. Wireless, in-ground, and GPS dog fences are all examples of this. They will also send a signal to a collar that initiates a correction (usually static shock).

Who Should Buy a Dog Fence

  • Puppy owners – You never know when you get a puppy just how much containment they’ll need. But you know that no matter how much or little he needs, a fence for your fur baby will give him the freedom to stretch his legs unhindered and burn off some of that puppy energy.
  • Escape artist owners – When your dog is known for bolting the second you open the door, it may be a good idea to enclose the area so he can’t get too far. A fence in your backyard will likely give your dog the fresh air and open space to mitigate some of his impulses to run off.
  • Multiple dog families – When you have more than one dog to care for, a good dog fence is an excellent idea. You can’t be everywhere at once, nor can you watch everyone at once, so a dog fence helps to ensure your dogs don’t get into trouble.

Who Should Not Buy a Dog Fence

  • Apartment owners – If you don’t have a backyard, then it’s not an excellent idea to invest in a fence. Though you may benefit from a portable fence or gates for traveling, your apartment probably doesn’t present you with the opportunity to use the best fence for dogs.
  • Dog parents with landlord or homeowner’s association restrictions – If you rent your home, be sure your landlord permits you to use an in-ground or physical fence before installing one. Likewise, if your home is in a neighborhood subject to homeowner’s association (HOA) rules, you may or may not be allowed to erect a physical fence. On the other hand, your HOA may require you to have a visible fence if your dogs are ever outdoors off-leash. Fortunately, if you’re in one of these situations and need a dog fence, you can probably get away with a portable dog fence in most cases.

Research Tips from a Veterinarian

Always spend some time researching the features and reliability of each fencing system. Speaking to someone who has used the system you are considering can be invaluable. You may also want to ask your veterinarian or other pet care professional for recommendations. Here are a few other things to consider when searching for a dog fence:

  1. Remember your circumstances – First, you’ll need to determine your specific needs. How large are your dog(s)? When and where will the fence be used? How much space do you need? Do you need a portable dog fence? You’ll find that while some dogs can be trained to obey the boundaries of an underground, wireless, or invisible fence quite easily while others need a physical fence barrier.
  2. Traditional fences – Traditional fences will likely give your dog a little more freedom and still protect them from outside predators. You may not worry as much about an electric malfunction, but you will need to frequently check for digging.
  3. Wireless systems – Wireless systems can be much more cost-effective and visually pleasing than a traditional fence. For dogs that chew or dig under traditional fences, a wireless fence may be a safer and more practical choice. They’re often more affordable compared to installing a physical fence, and many models are portable so you can keep your dog safe anywhere you go.
  4. Power outages – When you’re choosing a fence, consider the power outages in your area. If you live in a home with frequent outages, then you may want to steer clear of fences that rely on electricity. Power outages or failure to recharge the components can lead to fence failure and put your dog at risk of escape and injury. If you do choose an electric fence, be sure to choose a model that has battery backup so that it won’t fail immediately when an outage occurs.
  5. Your feelings on shock correction – Though many systems offer alternative corrections, such as vibration or sound, shocking your dog for correction is a method with which all owners may not be comfortable.1

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $100-$600+

The range for different types of dog fences varies a great deal. Most types of dog fences can be easily purchased online for somewhere from a little over $100 and up to $600. When you start talking about the materials and installation costs of traditional fences and privacy fences, however, you could easily spend thousands of dollars to fence your yard. For GPS fences, not only will you be paying for a steep initial cost (sometimes $1,000+), but they will often come with monthly fees, as well. Another thing to consider is that the cost of electric in-ground fences varies based on how large an area you’re covering, as a larger coverage area requires more underground wire.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily

As a veterinarian and pet owner myself, I’ve discussed dog fences with my colleagues and heard plenty of patient horror stories. We’ve determined the best fences for dogs to keep your pup contained and those with the longest durability over years. If you’re still not convinced about the right choice, consult your neighbors and, possibly most importantly, your veterinarian. She likely knows your dog well enough to make recommendations considering your pup’s demeanor.  – Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, DVM

The Best Dog Fences: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

Halo 2+ Dog Fence

If you’re looking for the best dog fence on the market, look no further than the Halo 2 fence.

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The Halo 2+ Wireless Dog Fence utilizes GPS technology to allow you maximum customization for your dog’s designated areas. You can use this fence with or without a Wi-Fi or cellular connection, so you don’t necessarily need to be in a Wi-Fi coverage area to use it.

This collar allows for 20 wireless GPS fences to be created using GPS positioning, so you can create a perimeter for all your most common spots. (And update whenever you stop by a new place!) The ability to create multiple fences easily also means that it’s a great choice if you need a portable dog fence.

Pros
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • GPS enabled
  • 3 sizes, 2 colors available
Cons
  • Requires a monthly fee
  • Occasional connection issues
Best Budget

Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Dog Fence

The Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Dog Fence will give you high-quality without the steep price tag.

The Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Dog Fence is a no-fuss fence solution for your dog that may just be the simplest containment method on our list. There will be no impact from power outages, and your pup is protected from most predators so you won’t need to supervise him the entire time he’s out. (Though you don’t want to leave him in such a small fence for too long.)

This playpen fence is excellent for portability, and you can choose the height of your pen (between 24″ to 48″) making it a solid choice for big or small dogs.

Pros
  • Portable, folds (nearly) flat
  • 60 x 60 playpen
  • With or without door
Cons
  • Less freedom with a smaller space
  • No permanent install
Best In Ground

Pet Safe Stubborn Dog In-ground Fence

If you’re looking for an electric dog fence you bury, take a look at the Pet Safe Stubborn Dog In-ground Fence.

The Pet Safe Stubborn Dog In-ground Fence is an excellent option for stubborn dogs and for any owner who doesn’t want a traditional fence (or if your HOA doesn’t allow it). You can adjust the fence to whatever shapes and layout you want to ensure your dog has full use of your yard without giving him access to areas that get him into trouble.

It offers multiple correction modes, including beeping, then vibrating when your dog approaches the boundary, and shocking when he crosses it. This correction will allow him to avoid the static shocks altogether after he understands how it works.

Pros
  • Covers up to 1/3 acre
  • Customizable shape
  • Waterproof collar
Cons
  • Occasional connectivity issues
  • Not compatible with YardMax receiver collars
Best Portable

FXW Dog Playpen

If you’re looking for a portable dog fence, consider the RXW Dog Playpen.

The FXW Dog Playpen collapses and folds easily to allow for travel, and you can choose from several sizing options. From nine different widths to four different heights, there’s every likelihood that you’ll be able to make this fence a convenient portable option for your dog.

This fence’s sturdy construction keeps pets confined safely, preventing them from escaping while also preventing predators from accessing the area. This fact means that you’ll be able to provide a safe enough environment for your pup so that you can take your eyes off him for a bit.

Pros
  • Durable stake design
  • Customizable shapes to accommodate different areas
  • Secure locking door
Cons
  • Not rust-proof
  • Small dogs may get stuck between wires
Best GPS

SpotOn GPS Dog Fence

When you’re looking for a fence that utilizes GPS, don’t miss the SpotOn.

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The Spot on GPS Dog Fence uses wireless GPS technology to eliminate unsightly physical fencing and wires. You can create multiple boundaries, making this a portable option that works for the traveling pup. No area is too big, either — you can create a boundary of any size, 1/2 acre and above, and it has 30 levels of correction so you can customize it to the precise amount of correction your dog needs.

There is a 45-day money-back guarantee (no restocking fee!) and a 1-year warranty. You can even manage your dog’s zones directly on your phone. Plus, a subscription is optional.

Pros
  • Choose from Verizon or AT&T carrier
  • 1-year warranty
  • 3 collar options
Cons
  • Requires a monthly fee for tracking and breach alerts
  • Needs a minimum of 1/2 acre

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I put on the bottom of my fence to keep my dog in?

The very best dog fence won’t need you to put anything on the bottom. When your dog fencing is installed properly, there won’t be gaps and holes that your dog can fit through. However, persistent diggers (and climbers) can always find a way, so additions are sometimes necessary. You can add chicken wire, hardware cloth, or a chainlink fence for dogs who tend to escape.
How do you fence in a yard for a dog?

Dog fences are an excellent strategy to ensure your dog gets the exercise he needs, even when you don’t have the time to join him for outdoor playtime. If you intend to find a fence to keep dogs in, then you’ll need to make sure you install it properly. Every fence will come with specific installation instructions, but no matter the method, any good fence for dogs will be fully connected to prevent spaces. That means you’ll need to purchase enough fencing or wiring to extend the entirety of your yard. For a traditional fence, you’ll likely need to bury the posts and connect each post with the fence material. Measure twice before you purchase.
Which is better wired or wireless dog fence?

Which fence is best for you depends on your priorities and preferences — and your dog’s attitude, too. A wired fence may be more reliable, but wireless dog fences often have a lower price tag and are far easier to set up. Because wireless relies on a wireless signal, it’s more likely to malfunction, but the “plug and go” convenience of wireless can’t be understated, either. Your dog; your choice.
What is the best type of fence for dogs?

A traditional dog fence is a tried-and-true solution that will work for most dog parents. It will be all the better if it’s high enough a dog can’t jump over and durable enough that he can’t destroy it in an attempt to escape. You may not appreciate the barks of a curious dog if the fence is transparent, but there are options for reducing visibility to prevent them from seeing what’s going on, on the other side of the fence. Remember that your pup’s best interest isn’t merely about his enjoyment, though. It may very well be impossible to go with a traditional fence due to your Homeowner’s Association rules or the steep cost of privacy fences. There are many types of dog fences available today, so it really depends on how obedient and curious he is, as well as whether he’s always trying to escape. And the convenience of a wireless fence is more than a little appealing.
What is the most cost-effective fence for dogs?

The most cost-effective way to keep your dog secure is to leash them, of course. That doesn’t exactly give them a lot of freedom, though, so a dog fence is necessary for many dogs. The most expensive fence is a traditional fence with wood, polywood, or vinyl planking. Chainlink fences are far less expensive forms of a traditional fence, but for a big space, still cost a pretty penny. A wired invisible fence will cost between $200-$600, depending on brand and quality. A wireless fence requiring your dog to stay in a set range will be the most cost-efficient, with a price range of $100-$200.
What can I use for dog fence?

Generally, you have electric fences and traditional ones. Each has subcategories with a variety of options. The best option for you will depend on your situation. A wireless fence may work best when you’re in a temporary living situation, and a buried wired fence could be best for homes with Homeowner’s Association restrictions. A traditional fence will also work for keeping children secure, which may make it the most appealing to you.
Are dog fences cruel?

No, dog fences are not cruel. A traditional fence is usually considered an especially kind approach to giving your pup some freedom while keeping him safe and contained. You can play with them in a fenced-in yard without leashing them. Some controversy arises with dog fences that use static shock to correct your dog when he crosses the boundary, but the “shocks” are generally mild static shocks. (Hence the name.) You can also control the intensity of a lot of electric dog fences. Unlike a training collar, though, you won’t be administering the correction, but you will need to teach your dog the boundaries of his play area.2
How do I dog proof my backyard?

Start with a fence, of course, to keep your dog contained. Secure it by testing weak spots and checking for digging spots frequently. After the fence is installed, you must ensure that the entire space is safe for your dog. Remove any poisonous plants, secure trash cans, and keep the yard well-mowed so that bugs and critters aren’t attracted to it.

Article Sources

Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Buzhardt L, DVM. VCA Animal Hospitals. The Pros and Cons of Invisible Fences for Dogs. Accessed 28 Aug 2022.
  2. Logan Wilson S. CanineJournal.com Shock Collar For Dogs: 8 Things To Know Including Pros, Cons & How To Train. Published June 6, 2022. Accessed August 28, 2022.
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Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.