The Best Invisible Fences for Dogs

We all want to provide our pooches with a high quality of life, and that means making sure that they get outside and moving every day. Dog owners with the privilege of a yard will be keen to take full advantage of their strip of nature. Unfortunately, physical fences can sometimes be financially unfeasible or even prohibited by your city ordinances. In cases such as these, invisible fences may be the only solution for keeping your canine contained. These different systems have a wide range of features and prices, so we’ve whittled down the list to our favorites in five different categories, from the wireless to the heavy-duty.

Extreme Dog Fence Standard Grade

Extreme Sets the Standard

Though it may lack the durability of more premium options, this standard model sports all the best features for a fair price.
Best Overall

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Few of us are willing to cut corners when it comes to our furry friends, and that’s why we recommend the Extreme Dog Fence’s Standard System. A US-based company with quality customer service, Extreme Dog Fence has become the trusted name in the invisible fence game. Their Standard Grade system doesn’t sport the heavy-duty durability of the premium line, but it’s a shockingly reliable containment system. It has a maximum range of 6 acres and comes with 1,000 feet of 20-gauge copper wire. The best part? The collar is light and comfortable and has rubber covers for the contacts to avoid irritating your dog’s neck. 

Pros:

  • 5-year warranty after registration
  • Great value for the price
  • Manufactured in the USA

Cons:

  • Collars are expensive to replace
  • Setup can be challenging

Sit Boo-Boo Invisible Fence Advanced

As Basic as it Gets

The Sit Boo-Boo Advanced is an invisible fence that keeps your dog in bounds without breaking the bank.
Best on a Budget

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Having a dog is an expensive endeavor. After all the vaccines, vet check-ups, dog food, chew toys, and licensing costs, you may find that your budget has all but run out. Fortunately, the Sit Boo-Boo Invisible Fence is a tenable option for people that want a safe containment system for a reasonable price. Although not as reliable as the more premium options, it has all the features that we look for in an invisible fence. The collar is waterproof and its correction settings can be adjusted for dogs of different sizes and sensitivities. It also features surge protection so you can feel secure that Fido won’t get over-zapped. 

Pros:

  • Can be expanded to cover up to 20 acres
  • Supports an unlimited number of collars
  • Durable, weatherproof collar

Cons:

  • Not appropriate for dogs under 10 pounds
  • Flimsy transmitter unit

Extreme Dog Fence Max Grade: Ultimate Performance

Take it to the Max

This invisible fence is the top choice for dog owners that want quality hardware, reliability, and a wide range.
Best Premium Pick

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The worst-case-scenario when it comes to invisible dog fences is a system malfunction and an unwarranted shock for Buster. With the Extreme Dog Fence Max Grade, you can rest assured that the extra cost comes with extra security. The system sports safeguard features such as frequency encoding to eliminate signal interference from other devices; other features include a temperature check program to keep the fence’s field stable in freezing temperatures. The hardware is also durable and made of quality materials, claimed to last at least twenty years. The 1,000 feet of 14-gauge wire has a 60-millimeter protective coating, and the collar and transmitter unit are equally as imperishable. The best part of all? The wire doesn’t have to be buried and works just as well above ground, meaning setup is a breeze.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Max range of 25 acres
  • 4-month battery life
  • 10-year warranty with registration

Cons:

  • Only Extreme brand batteries are compatible

PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence

A Fence for Vertically-Challenged Dogs

If your dog is dainty but your yard is large, PetSafe designed an invisible fence with you in mind.
Best for Petite Canines

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If you’ve ever seen a Jack Russel given the freedom to fly around the yard, you already know that small dogs can also be some of the most energetic and active. Why deny petite pups their day in the sun when there are options customized to their stature? The PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground fence comes with a collar that fits dogs as small as five pounds. And if you’re worried about the shock that it delivers, this system is customizable and features a tone-only mode. The ideal option for training puppies, the PetSafe Elite is the elite way to train your pups.

Pros:

  • Great value for the price
  • Expandable to up 25 acres with additional wire
  • Fits dogs as small as 5 pounds

Cons:

  • Batteries have an unpredictable lifespan
  • In-ground installation is time-consuming

PetSafe Stay & Play

No Wires? No Problem

With the same functionality as the in-ground systems, the PetSafe Stay & Play requires no digging and sets up in a snap.
Best Wireless

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If you want an invisible dog fence but can’t dig a trench or lay a wire around your yard, you may want to consider the PetSafe Stay & Play. Instead of having a customizable, wired perimeter, this containment system has an adjustable circular range. You get to decide how far from the portable transmitter your dog can wander, as long as it’s anywhere within a 20- to 105-foot radius. It is even advertised as portable, meaning you could bring it with you wherever you go, as long as there’s a power outlet available. However, we don’t recommend changing its location or diameter once your dog has become accustomed to it. While they do have their advantages, dog owners should be wary that these wireless systems are generally less reliable than the in-ground competitors.

Pros:

  • Rechargeable battery
  • Comfy collar
  • Static-free reentry

Cons:

  • Not a large range
  • Range is circular

Frequently Asked Questions

When is an invisible fence the appropriate containment method for my dog?

Modern dog trainers prefer positive reinforcement strategies instead of punishment. Although the shock delivered by most invisible fences may be mild, it is nonetheless a punishing and painful way to keep your dog contained. The last thing you want to teach your dog is that “might makes right,” as they may apply this lesson to strangers–or even the hand that feeds them. That being said, there are some scenarios where an invisible fence is an appropriate measure. For example, some properties are simply too large for a fence to be financially feasible, while others are prohibited from building fences by their neighborhood’s regulations. Responsible dog owners will consider all their options and should be diligent in ensuring that their training tactics are not centered on punishment.

When should I reconsider getting an invisible fence?

An invisible fence is not an appropriate containment system for a dog that suffers from barrier frustration. Barrier frustration emerges when an otherwise tame and mild-mannered dog becomes highly aggressive in the presence of another dog or person and cannot approach them. These dogs will bark and lunge at strangers when restricted by a fence or leash. In such cases, an invisible fence can make the problem worse by teaching your dog to fear what lies beyond the barrier. 

What are some alternative methods for containing my dog in the yard?

Physical fences can be expensive, but they are usually safer and more effective than invisible ones. We do not recommend tethering your dog, as it can cause behavioral problems and distress. At the end of the day, dogs are highly social animals just like humans and should live indoors. Your dog will appreciate time outside more when it is spent with you, so we recommend accompanying and supervising your dog when it’s time for fresh air and exercise.