A pet containment system can be a significant investment of time, effort and money.
Not only have we identified a few of the most popular and best rated in ground go fences, but we’ve linked you to a review of them and their main features, pros and cons.
We’ve also put together a buyer’s guide with FAQs and other important information you might want to know.
Let’s check them out!
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
Our top picks for the best in ground invisible dog fence systems are:
SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A (on Amazon) – for properties up to 1 1/3 acres, and dogs 10lbs and over
SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A, with thickest 14 Gauge Wire (on Amazon) – thicker and stronger wire than the standard model
eXtreme Dog Fence – Heavy Duty Professional Grade In Ground Electric Dog Fence (on Amazon) (for 1 dog and 1/2 an acre of land)
Best In Ground Invisible Dog Fence System: Reviews
SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A
- Overall, a good fence system for most dog owners and dogs
- An in-ground dog fence system with 1,000 feet of wire, 100 flags, 1 Transmitter, and 1 Collar Receiver
- It’s designed to keep your dog contained in a yard up to 1 1/3 acres
- Installation is very simple – you bury the wire around the perimeter of your yard and plug in the transmitter
- The collar receiver offers 4 different levels of static stimulation to match any dogs’ temperament from softer to harder or more stubborn temperament dogs
- System also offers a tone and a vibration option
- You can add an unlimited number of dogs with the purchase of additional Add-A-Dog® Collar Receivers (SDF-R)
- The collar receivers are waterproof
- The collar receivers have replaceable 9-volt batteries that last about 6-12 months
- There’s a low battery indicator to tell you when the batteries are getting low
- Fence Transmitter is powerful enough to cover up to 100 acres of land with the purchase of additional Wire & Flag Kits (SDF-WF)
- System has a Wire-break Transmitter alarm that alerts you to possible problems with the Boundary Wire
- There’s an Anti-Linger Feature that prevents dog from running down Collar Receiver battery in warning zone
- Has built-in lightning protection
- There’s a wire chart that tells you how many feet of wire you need for how many acres of land
- There’s a wire loop layout that shows you how the zones work when the fence is installed
- For dogs over 10lbs
- There’s now a 14 gauge (thickest wire) wire model available
- The standard model doesn’t have very thick/strong wire
- For larger areas like 1 or 2 acres, the installation can take some time, especially if you have to prep the ground (cut grass and remove objects like rocks or other obstructions) or install a dedicated powerpoint just for the system. Take this into consideration and consider whether you will get an electrician and/or landscapers in to help with installation. The instruction guide tells you what you’ll need to set up and install the system so don’t worry too much
- The collar receiver can be slightly large for small dogs between 10-30lbs
- Test on the lowest setting of static first. The higher levels are usually for the most stubborn dogs. Having said that – 10 levels of static stimulation to choose from instead of only 4 would have been nice, but it’s not a major issue
View the SportDOG In-Ground Fence System SDF-100A on Amazon
- Read the full review of the SportDOG SDF-100A in this guide.
eXtreme Dog Fence – In Ground Dog Fence
- A professional grade, DIY installation, in ground pet containment system, with underground wire, a transmitter and a collar receiver as the main components
- You get a complete kit to complete your own installation – this saves you money that you might have had to pay to get a professional to do it
- The standard system provides you everything you need for 1 dog on a ½ acre of land
- Comes in a 1 dog system, all the way up to a 5 dog system, but you can purchase additional add on collars too for more dogs
- You can get different sets of length of eXtreme wire, from 500 feet, all the way up to 5000 feet – to expand the system up to 25 acres
- The wire is 14 gauge, which is some of the thickest on the market
- Collar and collar device only weighs 1.1 ounces, and it is suitable for dogs as small as 8lbs. For smaller dogs, the PetSafe Elite Little Dog is more suitable
- Collars are capable of 4 unique correction level settings and 1 progressive setting that automatically increases as the dog continues towards the boundary line
- You set the correction level of each collar at/on the transmitter
- You can set the boundary zone from between just a few inches to up to about 32 feet diameter
- Collars have a battery check/low battery indicator feature
- Collars are waterproof and submersible
- Collar uses a disposable proprietary battery that has an estimated 4-6 month lifespan, depending on different factors
- The kit comes with contacts and training caps for the collar device for different size and fur length dogs
- System is manufactured in the U.S.A.
- There’s a 24 hour support team in case you get stuck in your installation
- Transmitter runs on 7K or 10K frequency, and includes a temperature or wire check (Transmitter should be located near an electrical outlet but at least 3 feet away from large metal objects)
- Kit comes with 1 power surge and lightning protector
- A big 10 year manufacturer warranty on the electronics and lifetime warranty on the wire
- eXtreme seem to have great customer support and get back to you quickly
- No sound/tone only training option
- No vibration only training option
- You do have to put some time in planning the layout of the fence, and digging and backfilling the wire trenches. But, to be fair – you’d have to do this with any pet containment fence system. Some people choose to hire a mini trencher and do it themselves, and other prefer to hire a landscaper to do this for them.
- To be honest, overall this is a quality dog fence system, and eXtreme are a great company to deal with (they’re very helpful and care you are satisfied). Not too many people will be dissatisfied with their purchase of this system
View the eXtreme Dog Fence (on Amazon)
- Read the full review of the eXtreme Dog Fence in this guide.
Best In Ground Invisible Dog Fence System: Buyer’s Guide
What Is A Dog Fence System, and What Are They Used For?
Another name for a dog fence system is a ‘pet containment system’.
They are a system designed and used for keeping one or several dogs inside an area of your yard or property.
This is especially true for dogs that want to try to escape or get out of a yard, or dogs that just need to learn where they can and can’t go.
They usually include a transmitter, and a collar receiver that the dog/s wear, and a boundary line which can be wire, or wireless.
What Is An In Ground Or Invisible Dog Fence System?
An in ground dog fence system, or an invisible dog fence system, is a dog fence system that contains a boundary wire fence.
They are called invisible because the wire going around the boundary of the area you want to contain your dog/s in is buried in a shallow trench in the ground – so it is out of sight and invisible.
Note with an in ground system that you will either have to dig and install the system yourself, or you may pay a landscaper or ground maintenance professional to dig and back fill the trenches for you. This can be an extra time and money cost.
Also note that not all in ground systems have the wire buried. Some owners choose to run the wire above ground along the perimeter – it usually has to be fixed to some form of existing fence or structure.
How Do In Ground and Invisible Dog Fence Systems Work?
Different in ground systems work differently, and you can read the owner’s manual and operating and training guide to find out exactly how.
But, in general:
- The transmitter is plugged into a nearby power source on a wall
- The system is laid out above ground first to make sure everything is working
- The boundary wire is planned out, dug and buried, or attached to a fixed object to enclose the dog’s Boundary Area
- The collar goes on the dog/s, with Contact Points that touch his/her neck and, once trained, is allowed to roam freely in the Boundary Area.
- There’s a radio signal from the Fence Transmitter through the Boundary Wire.
- You temporarily define the Boundary Area with Boundary Flags for a visual aid in training your dog.
- When your dog reaches the Warning Zone, the Collar Receiver gives a warning beep.
- If your dog continues into the Stimulation Zone, a safe stimulation will be delivered through the Contact Points to get his/her attention until they return to the internal zone
- Other fence operating and safety features effect how the collar reacts to your dog’s movements
In Ground vs Wireless Dog Fence – What’s The Difference?
With a wireless dog fence, there is no boundary wire.
What happens instead is the transmitter wirelessly sets a perimeter boundary for the collar receiver your dog is wearing.
This boundary is usually a circle area from the transmitter.
Wireless dog fences are usually much less consistent, less reliable and overall less effective than in ground dog fences because they rely on the signal – which can be interfered with by many factors such as metal objects, solid objects and the strength and connection of the signal itself to the collar.
Where Can I Check Out The Best Wireless Dog Fence Systems?
You can read this guide about the Best Wireless Dog Fence Systems.
Types of In Ground/Invisible Dog Fence Systems?
There’s many ways you could classify in ground systems by type.
The best way might be to classify them by the type of training cue/correction they deliver.
You can have static stimulation (shock), vibration, and tone or beeping as training options.
Some fences have one of these training options, whilst others might have all three.
Features To Look For In An In Ground/ Invisible Dog Fence System
Some of the features you might look for in an in ground dog fence system are:
- What you get with the standard kit – how much boundary wire for example
- What can you buy extra for the system i.e. can you buy extra wire, collars, repair supplies, batteries etc.?
- What area the standard kit covers e.g. 1 and a 1/2 acres
- What training options the system has – i.e. just static stimulation? Or all three of static, vibration and tone training modes?
- Within each training mode, what settings and custom programs or levels does the mode have? Are the modes manual or automatic? Are they progressive or fixed?
- How many dogs can the system support with add on collars?
- What thickness of wire do you get with the system? 14 gauge is the thickest, whilst 20 gauge is the thinnest
- What weight and neck size of dog does the collar fit?
- What batteries does the collar operate on? Rechargeable or replaceable?
- How long do the batteries last and how often do they need to be replaced?
- How do the boundary, warning and correction areas work in the system? Are they adjustable? How big are they?
- Are there any extra features like Run Through Prevention on the system?
- Are there any safety features on the system?
- Is the system waterproof?
- What is the warranty on the system and what are the conditions?
- What extras do you get in the kit e.g. training flags? Surge protector? etc.
When Might You Use An In Ground and Invisible Dog Fence System?
You may choose to use an in ground dog fence system after the following:
- Once you’ve worked on building a strong bond with your dog & you have their trust
- Once you’ve undertaken basic obedience with your dog, or advanced training courses
- Once positive reinforcement training without electronic training tools has not been effective
- Once you’ve consulted the advice of a professional dog trainer, and your vet
- Once you’ve consulted the laws in your area as to the use of dog fences
- Once you’ve done your own research on the case studies of use of dog fences
Dog fences can be used as a temporary training tool. Once your dog/s learn the boundaries, the system can be switched off and you may not need to use it again unless your dog starts straying outside the boundaries again.
They don’t have to be a permanent thing.
What In Ground and Invisible Dog Fence System Do I Get For My Dog?
It depends on what features you want.
But in general:
- Make sure the system will cover the area you need it to
- Make sure it supports the number of dogs you own
- Make sure it has all 3 of static, vibration and tone training modes if you want them
- Make sure it fits the neck size of your dog, and is for the weight your dog is
Can Puppies Use An In Ground and Invisible Dog Fence System?
Ask your vet at what age you can begin using static stimulation and electronic training devices with them.
Some manufacturers might say at 6 months old and over, or for all dogs over 8lbs for example.
Are In Ground and Invisible Dog Fence Systems Safe?
Safety is extremely important with an dog fence. Some safety guidelines for using a dog fence humanely might be:
- Always always get your vet’s advice or the advice of an animal health expert – nothing is a substitute for professional advice
- Read the operating guide, instruction/safety manual and training guide that comes with the dog fence system
- Research yourself how to use dog fence systems effectively and safely
- Buy from a reputable company who put proper use of the dog fence and the safety of the dog as a priority like SportDOG for example
- Monitor your dog’s response both mentally and physically to using a dog fence. Take the collar off immediately and discontinue use of the system if you notice any negative implications or reactions
A good dog fence should not cause pain to your dog.
Static stimulation should simply stimulate the muscle and perhaps cause some mild discomfort as a deterrent for going near the boundary you set.
The static function does not need to be used either – tone and vibrate training modes can be used instead.
Where Can I Read More About The Best In Ground Dog Fence Systems?
You can read more about dog fences from reputable brands like SportDOG and PetSafe here:
- SportDOG Dog Fences Reviews Guide
- PetSafe Dog Fence Reviews Guide
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