An invisible dog fence is a type of containment system for your dog that doesn’t require a traditional, physical fence. You don’t need wood, posts, or wire panels. Instead, these fences operate on a system that transmits energy between the boundary line you establish and a receiver in the dog’s collar. Having an invisible fence allows your pet to roam freely in your yard (or other space) without being bound by a leash, rope, or physical fence. There are three types of invisible dog fences, underground wire fences, wireless invisible dog fences, and GPS invisible dog fences.
If you’re considering an invisible dog fence for your dog, we can help. Our vet advisor, Dr. Jennifer Coates, recently reviewed dozens of them, looking at collar battery life, variability of correction levels, ease of set-up, range of the fence, portability, fit for various size dogs, and cost. Dr. Coates chose the SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence System as her top pick. It’s easy to install, can be expanded up to 100 acres, has a variety of correction levels, and with additional collars, it can contain an unlimited number of dogs.
While this was Dr. Coates’s top choice, she also offers a series of her top tips for what to look for in choosing the best invisible dog fences, a section on who should avoid purchasing them altogether, and she personally selected the best fence for a variety of specific use cases.
The 5 Best Invisible Dog Fences
- Best Overall – SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence System
- Best Budget – PetSafe Basic In-Ground Pet Fence
- Best Wireless – PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Pet Fence
- Best Portable – WIEZ GPS Wireless Dog Fence
- Best Electric – Extreme Dog Fence Max Grade Electric Dog Fence
Invisible Dog Fences Compared
Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.
|Our Vet’s Top Pick
|SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence System
|[1 1/3 acre]
|Tone, vibration, 7 static levels
|PetSafe Basic In-Ground Pet Fence
|Tone, 4 static levels
|PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Pet Fence
|Tone, 5 static levels
|WIEZ GPS Wireless Dog Fence
|Tone, vibrate, 3 static levels
|Extreme Dog Fence Max Grade Electric Dog Fence
|Tone, 7 static levels
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers
In This Article
Who Should Buy an Invisible Dog Fence
- New dog owners – You have a new dog, but you don’t have a fence. An invisible dog fence can be a temporary or permanent solution, depending on the dog.
- Dog owners who don’t want to build a fence - If you have a beautiful view from our home that you don’t want to interrupt with a physical fence, an invisible dog fence may be a good solution.
- Dog owners who must follow subdivision rules – Some neighborhoods have strict rules against any type of fencing. A wireless invisible dog fence can work well in these situations.
Who Should Not Buy an Invisible Dog Fence
- Dog owners who want to keep other people and animals out of the yard - An invisible dog fence will not keep hazards from coming into the yard. Stray dogs, wildlife, and people can still access the yard and potentially harm your dog.
- Owners with prey-driven dogs - If you have a German shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, Doberman Pinscher, Husky, or another type of breed that has a strong prey drive, even the best invisible dog fence may not work. These dogs are sometimes so strongly driven they will break through the fence when they see a target.
- Owners with anxious dogs - If you have a sensitive or overly anxious dog, electric correction may add to their anxiety.
Buying Guide: Research Tips From a Veterinarian
Dog owners often ask me whether they should try an invisible dog fence. My answer is usually, “It depends.” These can be safe and effective, but it depends on what you need and the type of dog you have.
It can help to talk to other people who have tried invisible dog fences, such as family and friends, to gather information on how the products worked for them. Your veterinarian or dog trainer can also give you some pointers that might be helpful when considering this type of fence for your particular dog.
Make sure you do your research before purchasing an invisible dog fence. Read the product descriptions and take note of the customer reviews to see what other pet parents thought about the products you’re thinking about buying.
Here are some more tips and best practices when looking for an invisible dog fence.
- Think about your particular dog – Not every dog does well with an invisible fence. Those who have a strong prey drive, those who are overly anxious, or those who are excessively social may not adapt well to the fence.
- Training is required - When you first get your invisible dog fence, you must train your dog on how to use it. Set the flags included with the kit around the boundary, then carefully and kindly teach the dog what happens as they go near the barrier.
- Consider the levels of correction - Check the product to see how many levels of correction it offers. This refers to the amount of energy in the deterrent “shock” as well as the availability of tones and vibrations. If you have a stubborn or physically strong dog, or if you have multiple dogs, you’ll want more correction levels.
- Check the makeup of the collar itself - The prongs on an invisible dog fence collar can cause skin damage if left on your dog too long. Put the collar on your dog only when they are outdoors. Don’t leave it on overnight or when it is not needed.
- Think about where you live – Invisible dog fences do nothing to keep other dogs, cats, wildlife, or people from entering your dog’s space. Make sure that your dog will be safe outside without a physical fence.
If you want some extra security for your dog when you’re gone, consider adding an outdoor dog kennel to your backyard setup.
How Much Do They Cost?
$100 to $350
The price of an invisible dog fence can range from about $100 to $350, depending on the collar battery life, type of fence (underground wire, wireless, GPS), the range, the number of dogs you want to contain, and the levels of correction available.
If you have a very large yard, for instance, you may pay more than if you have a smaller yard. With only one dog you’ll need only one collar, which will cost less than if you have to buy more collars for multiple dogs. If you have a “stubborn” dog that needs stronger correction, that may cost more, as well.
Most collars are rechargeable and waterproof, which means that your dog will be safe in the yard even if you have the sprinklers going. But invisible dog fences typically vary in terms of how many correction levels they have. More is usually best for your dog, but it could be more expensive.
Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily
Through the veterinary profession and my experience with numerous pet parents, I’ve selected the top five invisible dog fences based on several factors. Whether you have a new dog or are looking for containment for an older dog in a new location, the primary consideration is safety for the animal and peace of mind for you, the owner. – Dr. Jennifer Coates
The Best Invisible Dog Fence Reviews
1. Best Overall – SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence System
The SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence System kit contains everything you need to cover up to 1 – 1/3 acre of land for one dog. You can expand it if you like to cover 100 acres or more with additional wire and flags. Our vet chose it as our best invisible dog fence because of the combination of features and value.
Enjoy a quick, two-hour charge with the waterproof collar, which fits dogs 10 pounds and up. The collar gives a tone and vibration warning before moving to one of seven stimulation levels (you choose the best one for your dog), which makes this system adjustable to many different types of dogs.
The SportDOG fence also includes safety-focused features, including a wire break alarm and a built-in lightning protector. Includes a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Adjustable for various sizes and types of dogs
- Can be modified for small or large yards
- The collar is waterproof and recharges in two hours
- Long battery life
- Costs over $300
- No remote training option
- Collar not compatible with other SportDOG electric fences
2. Best Budget – PetSafe Basic In-Ground Pet Fence
You can create a fence for your dog with this weekend do-it-yourself PetSafe Basic In-Ground Pet Fence. As-is, the kit will create a safe 1/3-acre play area, but you can purchase additional wire to fence up to five acres if you like.
It has a small, lightweight, waterproof collar with a long battery life that will last up to two months. The low-battery indicator lets you know when it’s time to replace it. The collar fits dogs 8 pounds and up and adjusts to fit neck sizes 6-26 inches.
You have to bury the wire only 1-3 inches underground, and then you can train your dog with the four levels of correction available. The collar also includes a tone-only mode.
- Economical cost
- Create a fence that fits your yard
- Can be expanded for a larger yard and more dogs
- Long battery life lasts up to two months; low-battery indicator
- Can be attached to a physical fence to deter escape artists
- Compatible with all PetSafe In-Ground Fence receiver collars (except for YardMax)
- Batteries must be replaced; they are not rechargeable
- Requires installing the wire around the yard
- May require digging up the wire for corrections
3. Best Wireless – PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Pet Fence
Designed for stubborn and persistent dogs, the PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Pet Fence works well for hard-to-train pets with a tone-only mode and five levels of static correction. As is, it will protect a 3/4-acre yard, with no digging or wire to bury. It sets up in just a few hours, creating a wireless boundary that protects your pets without the hassle of burying wires.
Because there is no wire, you can take this system with you when camping, visiting a vacation home, or anywhere you travel as long as you have access to electric power. The transmitter’s placement indoors acts as the center of your pet’s play zone, then it stretches 22.5 to 105 feet in all directions.
This system is also great for small dogs, as the collar will fit those 5 pounds and up (neck sizes 6-28 inches). And unlike traditional underground wire fences, it allows your pet to return home without being corrected.
- Easy set-up in only a couple of hours
- Take it with you camping or on vacation
- Suitable for small dogs
- 5 adjustable correction levels
- Over $300
- Transmitter needs to be indoors
- Boundary may be variable depending on connection
4. Best Portable – WIEZ GPS Wireless Dog Fence
Want to take your dog with you? The WIEZ GPS Wireless Dog Fence makes it super easy to contain your dog once you arrive at your destination. All you need is the collar—no wires and no transmitter. The intelligent wireless system works via GPS to cover up to 776 acres, with a control distance adjustable between 98 and 3281 feet.
The vibration and electric correction can be adjusted on three levels. Once you set it up, it has a full memory function that will recall the location. If your dog goes beyond the set range, the correction will work nonstop for 16 seconds, followed by a 30-second pause. This will repeat three times, and then stop until your dog comes back within the safe area.
Comes with a two-year product warranty.
- Easily take it anywhere
- Wide range of space can be covered
- Beep, vibration and shock intensities
- Very easy set-up
- Costs over $300
- Won’t work for very small yards
- GPS signal may vary depending on weather and environment
5. Best Electric – Extreme Dog Fence Max Grade Electric Dog Fence
If you want a heavy-duty electric fence that’s built to last, choose the Extreme Dog Fence Max Grade Electric Dog Fence. This is a traditional wired, in-ground fence that you bury on your property, but it’s made to be extra durable and to last up to 25 years or more. It comes with a 10-year warranty on the electronics with a lifetime warranty on the wire. The manufacturer guarantees the fence will contain your dog.
This all-inclusive kit is available in combinations of 1/3 acre to 4 acres and from one to five dogs. You can expand it up to 15 acres with extra wire. An included twisted wire that will not produce shocks allows you to connect boundary areas or an entry/exit area.
Like the other systems here, this one has a waterproof collar that is submersible up to 10 feet. It’s 3/4 wide and fits necks from 10 to 30 inches. It includes a beep and seven shock levels and also has a long set of contact probes for dogs with long neck hair and a short set for dogs with shorter hair. A set of metal-infused rubber comfort covers are included to keep the collar comfortable on your dog’s neck.
- The heavy-duty wire is long-lasting and strong
- Manufacturer guarantees fence will contain your dog
- The waterproof collar can be submerged up to 10 feet
- Different-sized contact probes to fit your dog
- Many different correction levels
- High cost
- Batteries must be replaced; they are not rechargeable
Frequently Asked Questions
Some wireless dog fences have unique frequencies that will not interfere. Research the product and read any customer reviews to see if the fence you’re looking at will work with your existing Wi-Fi equipment.
- Check the batteries in the collar
- Test the fence to make sure the collar is working at all locations.
- Make sure your dog is feeling the correction. Long-haired dogs sometimes don’t feel it much. Use longer prongs or groom the hair closer.
- Check that the transmitter (if applicable) is plugged in and functioning.
- Check the range of the transmitter to make sure it’s correct and that the space is adequate for your dog.
If everything looks good, try retraining your dog once again on respecting the boundaries. Post flags around the boundary, and use a whistle as the dog approaches the fence line to reinforce the warning.
Finally, make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and daily interaction with you. A happy and contented dog is usually less interested in exploring.
Looking for more information about dog fences? We have a library of in-depth information about various aspects of dog fences. Including tips and ideas for keeping your dog from jumping and building your own dog fence:
- 90+ creative and inexpensive dog fence ideas
- DIY dog fence ideas to build your own dog fence
- How to keep a dog from jumping a fence (or climbing a fence)
- How to keep a dog from digging under a fence
- How tall should a dog fence be?
As well as in-depth reviews of each category of dog fence (with recommendations generated by licensed veterinarians):
- The best dog fences (overall)
- The best in ground dog fences
- The best portable dog fences
- The best GPS dog fences
- The best invisible dog fences
- The best wireless dog fences
- The Best Outdoor Dog Fences
And in-depth product reviews of some of the leading dog fence brands: