Dog Containment Systems and Pet Containment Systems

How a Dog Containment Fence Works

Dog Fence Basic Layout
Diagram: Typical Dog Fence Layout

Dog Containment Systems, also known as Invisible Fences*, Pet Containment Fences, Radio Fences, Dog Fences, or Underground Fences, work using three main component:

  • Transmitter Box – the transmitter box usually resides in the your home or garage and sends weak radio signals out through the boundary wire. The controls on the transmitter box control how wide the signals radiate out from the boundary wire.
  • Boundary Wire – the boundary wire is laid around the perimeter of your yard to mark the boundary line that your dog cannot cross. There are wireless dog fences that do not require boundary wire, but they have drawbacks like less precise boundaries.
  • Receiver Collar – the receiver collars are worn by your dog, and listen for the radio signal sent out through the boundary wire.  When the dog nears the boundary wire, the receiver collar beeps to warn the dog to retreat. The collar corrects the dog with a mild static shock if they do not retreat.

To learn more about the different kinds of Dog Containment systems take a look at our Reviews of Dog Fence Systems or Dog Fence Recommendations to figure out which fence would work best with your dog.  Or learn about planning and installing your system and training your dog.

Why a Dog Fence Works

The dog learns there are negative consequences for approaching the boundary and so learns to avoid the boundary.  In much the same way we learn not to touch a hot stove by being told that it is bad and having a couple of bad experiences touching a bad stove, the dog learns not to go near the boundary by us training it to think crossing the boundary is bad and by having a couple of bad experiences going near the boundary and receiving the correction.  Psychologists call this process Operant Conditioning.

Idle Speculation

We have been installing Dog Fences for a while now, and have a theory as to why they are so successful.  We think that Dog Fences mimic the boundaries a dog would have in nature. The closest relatives to our domestic dogs were nomadic but they had boundaries. The boundaries were marked by geographic features such as waterway or biological features such as the presence of competing animals as indicated by scent. The wild dog knows where it is safe to go and more importantly it knows where it is not safe to go.

The domestic dog does not have any of that.  It is not obvious to the dog that it cannot go outside your yard or that it cannot go onto the road. The dog fence fills the gap. It gives your dog a territory and teaches them that leaving the territory without you can be dangerous.

You will find it fascinating to see the change in your dogs once they learn their boundaries. Dogs that were running wild, digging under traditional fences or darting out open doors seem to transform. Suddenly, they are happy in their territory. The dog is at peace and does not worry about things outside the boundary, it does not even see them.  We speculate that dogs crave boundaries and that the dog fence provides the boundaries they crave.

*Invisible Fence is a registered trademark of Radio Systems Corporation.

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{ 165 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole September 29, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Hi, Your site is terrific and informative. I think we’re going to get the Pet Safe yard max and will take your suggestion of the thicker 16 gauge wire. I can’t seem to find a price for the upgrade, please let me know. Thanks again, Nicole

ADMIN – Hi Nicole. What is the age, weight, breed, and temperament of your dog(s)? What is the size of the pet containment area? Answering these questions will help me match your dog(s) to the best electric dog fence system.

Jess September 27, 2015 at 9:10 pm

We have a high energy 9 year old 70lb shepard/lab mix that likes to run and wander. We have about .75 acres. I’m a little worried he may try to “take a hit” and still run past the boundary – what would you recommend?


ADMIN – Hi Jess. You will need 1000 ft of wire to contain your dog in a 3/4 acre perimeter loop. Have you looked at the PetSafe Yard Max Electric Dog Fence PIG00-11115? Please visit the DogFenceDIY “Planning, Installation and Layout” page. Which of these sample dog fence layouts is similar to your dog fence design?

Margaret August 17, 2015 at 3:53 pm

My house is built on top of a gently sloping small hill. The 5 acreage was once farm land and has small levees that would keep the soil from washing away. Would this interfere with transmission. I have a lab/retriever, a shepard mix, and a shnauzer. What type of fence do I need?

ADMIN – Hi Margaret. Yes. You can run the Boundary Wire along the sloping hills to contain your dog. You will need 2,000 feet of Boundary Wire to contain your dog in a 5 acre perimeter loop. Have you looked at the PetSafe YardMax – PIG00-11115 in-ground dog fence? The YardMax has a rechargeable collar and “run-through” prevention to keep the dog safely contained.

Carsten Reerslev July 29, 2015 at 3:10 pm

I have an 8 month old ½ (maybee more) Jack Russel and ½ Danish Swedish who loves to even bracke out of the house through the cat-doors. Do you have anything for the European market, Europe has 230 V. ?

ADMIN – Hi Carsten. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but our sales and support are limited to the United States coverage area. Therefore, we are required to only do business and process shipments within the United States.

katie May 26, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Hi, I have a 35 pound terrier mix that likes to chase anything and everything, a 70 pound bulldog that likes to go with and a 60lb mix that would rather just lay around. If i’m going to get a fence I would be getting collars for all 3. The yard max with the run through prevention seems like the best solution, but I’m also curious if it would be strong enough for my bulldog. We have a petsafe 400 collar, would the stimulation on the yard max be comparable to any of the settings on that?

ADMIN – Hi Katie. What is the size of your pet containment area? The PetSafe YardMax PIG00-11115 electric dog fence can handle a 10 acre yard. Yes. The settings are comparable with the PetSafe 400 Training Collar.

Fred Bean May 10, 2015 at 9:31 pm

I have an 800 foot fence connected to my house to enclose about an acre and half for my dogs. We just got a ittle dog (about 36 pounds) kind of a lab / doberman / tazmanian devil breed. She goes under the fence anywhere she wants. I would like to string the boundary wire through this fence and then bury it around the house so the dog can go in an out of our slider to the house but we can contain her otherwise.

Can this work OK with your system. Can you send me a quote for the system for this dog and this arrangement?


ADMIN – Hi Fred. Congratulations on your new dog! What is the age, weight, breed and temperament of your other dogs? Is your fence metal? You will need 1,500 feet of boundary wire to contain your dogs in a 2 acre perimeter loop. Have you looked at the PetSafe YardMax PIG00-11115 electric dog fence?

Rhonda May 5, 2015 at 5:52 pm

I am wonder what kind of fence would work for a cavapoo

ADMIN – Hi Rhonda. What is the age, weight and temperament of your Cavapoo? Answering these questions will help me match your dog to the best electric dog fence system.

Alice April 22, 2015 at 2:32 pm

I am wondering if I could use invisible fencing to keep dogs out of an area? Is that possible? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Alice. What is the age, weight, breed and temperament of your dog(s)? What is the size of your pet containment area? Answering these questions will help me match your dog(s) to the best electric dog fence system.

Amanda April 11, 2015 at 11:04 am

When choosing whether to upgrade to a thicker wire or not, what is the best rule of thumb to help me choose the best for my needs?

ADMIN – Hi Amanda. Will there be a lot of traffic (e.g., mowers, string trimmers, aerators, wildlife, tree debris, gardening) near the boundary wire? You will also want to consider seasonal high and low temperatures that also contribute to wire breaks. If so, we recommend upgrading the 20 gauge wire (that comes bundled with the system) to a stronger gauge wire (e.g., 16 gauge, 14 gauge).

Steve Youmans March 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm

We have 3 dogs, all about 5 years old… 60 lb Labrador retriever, 65 lb golden retriever, and 55 lb shepherd/basengi mutt (nicknamed houdini). We are moving to a spot in the country with about 1 acre. The lot is sloped in the front and back yards. We are wanting to contain the dogs in about a 1/2-2/3 acre area. I know the slope might cause some issues with the wireless systems. Is the wired system more reliable in this instance. Would we be required to cut into concrete driveway to bury wire?

ADMIN – Hi Steve. Yes. Under ground dog fence systems have more precise boundaries and are more reliable. We recommend crossing hard surfaces (e.g., driveways, sidewalks) by placing the Boundary Wire in a convenient expansion joint, or create a groove using a circular saw and masonry blade. Place the Boundary Wire in the groove and cover with an appropriate waterproofing compound. For best results, brush away dirt or other debris before patching. We also recommend crossing gravel or dirt driveways by placing the Boundary Wire in a PVC pipe, or garden water hose to protect the Boundary Wire before burying 1-3 inches in the ground. You will need 1,000 feet of boundary wire to contain your dogs in a 1 acre perimeter loop. I would not recommend a wireless dog fence for your 3 dogs. The slope will cause signal problems and make it difficult to contain your dogs. Many customers have tried using wireless dog fence systems with Labs, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds and have experienced containment problems. Also, the breed of your dogs tend to take the risk of the correction when tempted by things outside of the boundary area. I would recommend the PetSafe YardMax PIG00-11115 underground dog fence because of the run-through prevention feature. Instead of the collar correcting only inside the boundary zone, the correction on the Yard Max is a timed event. When the dog’s collar moves directly over top of the boundary wire, the collar will deliver the warning beep. If the dog’s collar moves outside of the boundary loop, the collar will deliver a correction for up to 15 seconds. If the dog turns and retreats back inside the pet area, the collar will immediately stop correcting. This means your dog will not be able to “run through” the dog fence. The YardMax system works great for dogs that are contained near busy roads or highways. The YardMax can handle a 10 acre yard.

Samantha February 9, 2015 at 6:32 pm

We have just over 1 acre of land. The property is fenced all around, but we are having issues with our beagle digging out. It is not on a regular basis as we fill in his new hole when he gets out and it is another few months or so before he gets out again (it has happened 4 times in the last year). Would adding a simple electric fence to the existing physical fence line be beneficial, or would the beagle still be a beagle and figure out how to get out?

ADMIN – Hi Samantha. Sorry to hear about your Beagle digging out. Does your fence contain metal? You will need 1,000 feet of boundary wire to contain your dog in a 1 acre perimeter loop. Have you reviewed the PetSafe YardMax PIG00-11115 underground dog fence? Simply install the boundary wire 1-3 inches in the ground in front of the fence and adjust the boundary width control dial to the appropriate boundary width setting (1ft to 10ft). The dog will get a beep and then a correction as the dog approaches the boundary wire in front of the fence. Your dog is safely contained and will not be able to dig out.

Bill Wright January 26, 2015 at 1:23 pm

We have an 8 month old German Shepherd Puppy and an existing under ground fence system that only works some times with him , was wondering what system you would recommend using.

ADMIN – Hi Bill. What is the weight and temperament of your 8 month old German Shepherd? Does your puppy understand and follow the basic commands (e.g., come, sit, stay)? What is the model number of your existing under ground dog fence system? What is the size of your property? Are you going to contain your puppy in a perimeter loop?

Shay January 5, 2015 at 3:42 pm

I have loved your website it is very informative, but I would still like you professional opinion. I have two dogs, a 3 yr old 11 pound jack Russell and a 6 month old mini Australian Sheppard he ways 14 pounds now but I think he’ll get to about 20 pounds. What fence would you suggest for them?

ADMIN – Hi Shay. Do your dogs understand and follow the basic commands (e.g., come, sit, stay)? What is the temperament of your dogs? The PetSafe YardMax PIG00-11115 in-ground dog fence works for dogs 10lbs and up. What is the size of your yard? Will you be containing your pets in a perimeter loop? The YardMax can only handle a 10 acre yard.

Mari January 1, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Hi! I have had an invisible fence for 10 years and love it. About 4 years ago I had my house “tented for termites” and the guys demolished the wire. I purchased new wire from you and my handyman installed it and it worked beautifully…. until now! :( All of a sudden the system is not working. There is no beeping coming from the transmitter — just a solid green light that slowly blinks — which I believe is a sign that the transmitter is working. No beeping so that should mean no breaks in the wire. I replaced the battery in the collar — it works only with a stand alone unit I use indoors — but not outdoors. I checked to be sure the frequency is correct and it is! What do I do? Thanks in advance for your wonderful help!!

ADMIN – Hi Mari. What is the model number of you under ground dog fence system? Did you recently experience a thunderstorm? What is the model number of the stand alone unit that you use indoors?

Bob Ronan October 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Saw a containment fence in the neighborhood that was run thru a culvert under the driveway! About a foot below the driveway surface. Is that effective? Seems like a lot of dirt/asphalt/steel/rock for the signal to penetrate …

ADMIN – Hi Bob. We recommend placing the Boundary Wire in a PVC pipe or water hose to protect the Boundary Wire before burying. Cut a trench 1-3 inches deep along your planned boundary. We do not recommend cutting a trench 12 inches due to the distortion of the radio signal through the Boundary Wire. Also, metal and steel objects can interfere with the radio signal in the Boundary Wire.

Megan July 11, 2014 at 11:04 am

Hi, I am researching to buy a wireless invisible fence system for my 80lb golden doodle. I would like it to cover approximately 1 acre. A few I have seen mention Wi-Fi and I am in a rural area were that is not available, any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Megan

ADMIN – Hi Megan, for the area you are wanting to fence, the PetSafe Stay + Play is the best wireless dog fence. It will cover up to 3/4 of an acre. The collar is robust. The system is easy to set up. The collar is also rechargeable, lightweight, and waterproof.

BRITTNEY June 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

Hello, I am completely new to the underground fence. I do not know what “twisted wire” is and so on. I don’t know what I need. I have two very large Great Danes. We just purchased a new home and there are several, friendly, neighborhood dogs running around. Although we have 10 acres, the neighborhood dogs hang around the house. We don’t mind the neighborhood dogs, however we do not want our dogs to learn the habit of just wandering off. We would fence in approximately 4 acres. What product would be best for us? What supplies do we need? Thank You!

ADMIN – Hi Brittney, go with the PetSafe YardMax for your Great Danes. Upgrade to the 2,000 foot kit. I highly recommend upgrading to 16 gauge for a durable wire. The twisted wire is the set of wire that starts at the property line and leads back to the wall transmitter. It is twisted so that it does not activate the collars when the collars cross the twisted wire. If your wall transmitter is installed more than 10 feet away from your property line, you will need twisted wire. You can buy it in a 100 foot roll from us or you can make it from regular boundary wire.

Luka June 19, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Hey! I have a medium-large thick-furred Malamuth-Shepherd mix, and with thick furred I mean thick. She has a super thick, wooly underfur, and a long haired-coat on top of that. She’s also an escape artist and has been leaving our 3 acre property and running around wild to hunt. She’s a timid dog, but she is also an explorer, and while the shocks might scare her, I would rather have her a little scared than her run over. I have tried to use a shock collar, but the collar simply doesn’t shock her due to the fact that her fur is too thick for the prongs to actually touch her skin. I’m looking for an electric fence system, something that works in tons (a metre and a half for sure) of snow, rain, heat, and something sturdy. Also, I would like to fence my entire acreage, and I have a driveway made of packed gravel (it’s long) and while I can manage to place a wire underground, if I did so could I drive over it? Any suggestions? Ideas? I’m really on a time limit here (hyperactive dog stuck in the house most of the time)

ADMIN – Hi Luka, I would recommend the PetSafe YardMax for your Malamute mix. The YardMax mode alone is worth it. For your thick furred friend, you will need to thin the fur with scissors and/or shave her neck at the point where the contact points will touch the skin. Otherwise, any underground dog fence will be ineffective.

Candy Ries May 20, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Hello ADMIN: We have our Ragdoll cats on the wireless fence and they have no escapes! We now have an Australian Shepherd pup, she is now 11 weeks old, and is friends with the cats. She consistently sits, downs, paws (shakes) and is getting her “come” and “stay” reinforced. She is a very smart pup. Can we start training her on the fence? I know it is recommended to wait until 6 months, but I am so ready to open the doggy door!

ADMIN – Hi Candy, most dogs are ready for dog fence training between 3 to 6 months old. If your puppy can learn sit and stay, then they are ready for dog fence training.

Kathleen Boettger April 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I recently moved to a new house with a yard bordering a large empty grassy area that is perfect for playing and very tempting for any dog I end up getting. I know the previous owner had dogs and I have found a electric fence transmitter box in my basement. It’s labeled Home Free. I haven’t been able to dig up any information about this system. I have no idea how old the system is or where the wires have been placed. I of course do not have collars. From what I’ve read here the wire can work for any transmitter so it shouldn’t be hard to get it working again. What I’m wondering about is finding where the wire is buried if I decide to get a physical fence and whether it is still usable.

ADMIN – Hi Kathleen, the only way to locate where the wire is buried and if the wire is still intact is with a dog fence transmitter and collar. This will require the purchase of a dog fence so you can plug it in and use the collar to locate the boundary wire.

Tabitha March 16, 2014 at 12:25 pm

We have two big labs who have broken through the fences to go in the neighbor’s yard several times and so we have replaced the fences several times. They do not dig they bite the fence or use their paws to break through. What is the best method to prevent our dogs from continuing breaking the fences. We have a large back yard with 3 sided fenced yard. They have never broken out of the gate to go out through the front; it is always the dogs wanting to play with the other dogs. Please help! Thank you, Tabitha

ADMIN – Hi I would recommend the PetSafe Stubborn for two large labs. You can circle the fence with boundary wire and create a boundary zone buffer that keeps your labs several feet off the wire. This should quickly prevent them from chewing through the fence and leaving the safety of your property.

Chris March 10, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Hi we have (1) 7 yr old 5lb yorkie and (1) 6 yr old 14lb toy poodle. They were city dogs from birth and were leashed at all times when outside. We have just moved to a 10 acre property in the country and have 1 acre of clear area around the house that we would like both dogs to have access to. Over the winter I was able to make a “snow barrier” :) to contain them while outside, but with the weather about to get nice I want them to be safely contained. What in ground system would you recommend for my kids? The yorkie can be very skittish and I am worried she will become scared of going outside; the poodle is a quick learner and should be fine. Thank You!

Scott March 7, 2014 at 11:57 am

I have a large, very athletic mixed breed in a fenced yard, but he easily jumps the 5′ tall HOA approved fence even after I added height with reinforced poultry netting. I am considering an invisible fence because we would be unable to keep a dog we cannot contain within our yard. If I ran the boundary wire around the entire perimeter of the backyard fence, would I then run twisted wire around the entire perimeter of the sides/rear of the house? There are no areas around the house itself that I am trying to restrict – I am simply trying to keep him in a yard where the physical border(s) allowed by the HOA is not enough.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer in my unique situation…

chaletnoll March 2, 2014 at 9:50 pm

We have two 45 lb. lab mix mutts. Our yard is 3 sloped acres…900 ft of perimeter. Which system do you recommend? thanks!

Felicia A Nowicki February 27, 2014 at 11:13 pm

I have 3 dogs all different sizes a 75 pound American bulldog mix a 10 pound Chihuahua mix and a five pound terrier mix puppy that will probably reached 40 pounds maximum. what kind of fence would be best for 1/3 acre yard ?

Laura February 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Hello there, I just sent you an email but thought I would put this here as well.

Question on dog fence regression.
Hello there, I am not sure if you are a person that could give us some advice, but if you can we certainly would appreciate it.

We have a 3 year old lab mix we adopted last July. We put in the electric dog fence in August, did the training and he took to it really well, and we have had zero problems up until now. Over the past few days he has been walking through the fence. We replaced the collar battery and tested it and it seems to be working fine, but he was still walking through it. We then turned up the power and I started the training again. When he is on the leash he jumps away as soon as he hears the beeping, and once he realized where the boundary was he would not go near it again. My husband then hid on the road and we let him out again, he walked right down the driveway through the fence without any hesitation.

We are really at a loss as to what to do now. If you have any ideas we would love to hear them. Thank you if you can help!

Alex February 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I have a fenced in yard except for an opening in the parking pad/driveway (about 20 feet across) that goes out to the road and the neighborhood. What are my best options for putting in a small fence/zone to contain our dog in the yard and keep him from going out through the driveway? I noticed the rock away zone accessory. But I dont think the 12′ diameter would do the trick. We have an electrical outlet out by the driveway. What would be the best option to do? Could we just get a small amount of wire?

Ken and Marti February 16, 2014 at 4:34 pm

A precious, yet willful young australian cattle dog just adopted us. We have 35 acres of unfenced wilderness adjacent to a lake. The topography is extremely rocky with sandstone, rolling hills and a hardwood forest. Burying a electric fence would be very difficult, if not impossible. We would like our dog to have a lot of land to explore on his own. Is it conceivable to wrap the electronic fence around rebarbed stakes and post throughout the forest? Also, he is so willful, and a breed seemingly adverse to pain……..we are concerned that the electric fence will barely be a mild deterrent. Any suggestions you may have would be extremely valuable. Also, we intend to travel with him to our summer cabin, can you recommend a portable containment system?

ADMIN – Hi Ken and Marti, yes, you can install the wire on the stakes, but you cannot wrap it. You will need to zip tie it. The signal will not be able to transmit properly when wrapped. I would strongly recommend the SportDog SDF100A fence which is designed for strong, willful breeds. For a portable unit, the best out there is the PetSafe Stay + Play. Now, it’s limited to 3/4 of an acre, but it’s the easiest for portability.

Brian H February 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm

my question is there a electric dog fence, that does not need to go around the entire area (a single or double wire system that can just end and not have to compete a loop). My back yard has a PVC post and rail fence around part of it and a stockade fence or house around the rest. my dog can only get out through the post and rail part. So i was hoping to run the wire inside the rail which is hollow. my power comes from a shed and there is about 140′ of Post and rail fence on each side. so if i could run the wire to the end of this fence and stop (note not a complete electrical loop). otherwise to go around the entire yard would include driveway and walkway issues.

Jen February 1, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Hi, We have 2 dogs, both mixes. One is 25 lbs, the other about 60. They keep either breaking pieces of our wooden fence or digging under it, getting out. Would a containment fence work? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Jen, for your mix of dogs, the PetSafe YardMax is a great fit.

Rob January 6, 2014 at 1:02 am

Can you use an IF to keep a dog out of a certain area? It seems like the buried wire is merely a boundary that would trigger a shock if crossed in either direction. I want to keep my dogs from stealing eggs out of my chicken coop.

ADMIN – Hi Rob, yes we have zones that you can encircle the chicken coop to successfully keep your dogs from entering.

Naomi November 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm

My husband and I are thinking of getting a dog soon (probably a collie or something of similar size) and I would want to install and underground fence. The only problem is that we live on a large farm. I would love to give the dog free reign on our land, but 63 acres is a very large area to be installing a fence, any suggestions? Our property is bordered on 2 sides by road, 1 side by a ditch and the other by a neighbor’s fence. -Naomi

ADMIN – Hi Naomi, we do have the SportDog SDF-100A which can contain up to 100 acres. Also, we have the YardMax which has a capacity of 10 acres.

jackie November 13, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I have a 4.9oz. mulitpoo I would like to have a wireless system but it looks like the collars would be to heavy.

Tom November 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Hi! I am trying to determine which system is best for my dogs. I have two dogs (a six pound yorkie and an 18 pound poodle). My property is about a half acre in size. I plan to make one loop around the outside of the property. Based on the size of the dogs, which system would you recommend? What gauge wire and how much wire? Thank you! Tom

ADMIN – Hi Tom, the best fence for your dogs is the PetSafe Basic Inground fence PIG00-13661. The fence comes with the Deluxe collar which you can use on your 18 lb poodle. Then bundle in the PetSafe Little Dog collar for the smaller guy. You will need to add an extra boundary wire kit to the order to cover your property. I highly recommend upgrading to 16 gauge for a break proof wire.

Jack November 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I have a 11 month old lab mix (around 40 pounds) and she has a ton of energy. We have a fenced in back yard, but just recently she has learned how to climb the fence and has now escaped 4 separate times even with someone watching her. I have considered a number of solutions, one of which is an invisible fence. Is it possible to run an electric fence around a metal chain linked fence or will the metal fence cause interference? If so, what type of fence should I use?

ADMIN – Hi Jack, Yes this is a great way to run a dog fence and it’s highly successful at immediate containment. I would recommend the YardMax. It has a small, rechargeable collar.

Don October 18, 2013 at 9:56 am

Dumb question – When you use the twisted wire do you attach your fence wire with one connector? The fence wire has one wire, the twisted has two. Do you attach the one wire to the two wires with one connector? Or do you attach one end of the fence wire to one of the pair in the twisted wire, make the loop and then attach the other end of the fence wire to the remaining twisted wire?

ADMIN – Hi Don, Yes, you will attach one open lead of the twisted wire to the boundary wire. Loop the boundary wire around the property and then attach the boundary wire to the second open lead of the twisted wire.

Trisha October 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I read somewhere that the collar should not remain on the dog longer than 12 hours at a time because it could cause irritation or a sore. If you can’t leave it on then what?

ADMIN – Hi Trisha, the manufacture recommends that time limit to be overly cautious. For owners with outside dogs, we recommend you perform regular inspections weekly. Remove the collar and make sure your dog’s skin is clean and healthy. That’s it.

Sudhir October 13, 2013 at 9:22 am

I have a pool on my property and want to prevent the dog from going into it (especially in the fall/winter) when there is a cover on. How can I use the system to keep the dog out of an area, rather than contain her within one?

Jody September 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

We have moved into a house with our 2 dogs a year ago. Last night the neighbors informed me that a few house owners ago, there was an IF installed on our property. I haven’t found a transmitter box in the house, but have found strange wiring near the garage and around the yard that isn’t completely buried over the past year, now I know what that wiring is! :-)
What, if anything, can I do so I can utilize this for my dogs? Having an IF is something my dogs would just love!

Gerri September 11, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Hi, I have 2 dogs, a lab and a lab/terrier mix. The neighbor has 4 dogs who charge the metal fence between our properties and bark, so my mix also charges, and I’d like to stop these confrontations using some type of additional restraint that won’t allow him to charge the fence. The neighbor’s fence line covers about 1/3 of our 2 acre lot. The lab doesn’t need to be restrained since he ignores the other dogs. What system should I use?

ADMIN – Hi Gerri, I would recommend the PetSafe Ultrasmart fence for your application. The collar is slim and rechargeable and should work great for keeping your terrier off the fence line.

Steve August 31, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I’ve been looking at both a wire fence and wireless options. I live in a townhouse end unit and would use the common land next to the house. It would not be a large area and it’s recommended to use double loop system but placing the wires 5-6ft apart causes me to loss area. Any recommendation would be helpful. My area would be like a “L”.

Michele August 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I have 2 German Shepherds and one day maybe 3. We are moving to a 2 acre lot of land and the neighbor’s dog is on a radial wireless system that overlaps into our yard. How can I keep my dogs contained and keep his out of my yard? Will the two systems interfere with one another? And I heard that there are systems that will continue to correct when they escape the perimeter. What’s my best option? We are also low budget but want to keep our kids safe. So many products and so little help at all the pet stores. One of my shepherds is very stubborn. The other is very laid back.

ADMIN – Hi Michele, if you decide on installing a wired in-ground fence, there will not be interference with the neighboring fence. However, you will not be able to keep the neighbor’s dog out. You would need to ask the neighbor if decreasing their signal radius is feasible for their containment setup. For a fantastic, reliable dog fence on a budget, I would highly recommend the PetSafe Inground Fence PIG00-13661. It is $159.95. You can use the collar that comes with the Inground Fence for the laid back Shepherd and buy the PetSafe Stubborn collar for the other Shepherd. The Stubborn collar is compatible with the PetSafe Inground.

Gary Gribbell August 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Will all brands of collars work with all brands of containment. In other words is it an electric field that all brands recognize, or is is brand [frequency ] specific. Wondering if a pet safe collar will work on an electric fence wire

ADMIN – Hi Gary, the systems are frequency specific. The only brand specific fences are: PetSafe Inground Fence PIG00-13661, PetSafe Little Dog, and the PetSafe Stubborn fence. A dog fence collar will not work on an electric fence wire because the dog fence technology is a radio frequency technology, not run on power. In other words, the dog fence wire is simply a broadcast antenna.

Jamie July 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Hi there,
We have a 4 year old lab/pit bull mix with full access to our yard through a doggie door. We have also recently learned that he can clear our 6 foot fence (with no vertical slats for leverage) extremely quickly. We are considering an electric fence for the backyard only, but have a few questions- could you help?
— We would like him to have access to the doggie door/inside, so making a full circle boundary isn’t our best option. I’m assuming we would need to twist the wire to cancel the circuit or make a double-circle type ring around our fence?
— Given that he might hop over the fence w/out much effort, would you advice putting the fence wire in the ground or on the fence? We would prefer it on the fence, but aren’t sure if this would be effective with his escape tendancies. (We still can’t see him hop it in action- he only does it when he knows we have been gone for a while.)
— We tried implementing a wireless system in our last house for him. He learned VERY quickly, but within 2 days was too afraid to leave the house to poop because of the shock; We removed it and I re-trained him to understand there was no longer an electric boundary in the ground. I’m very concerned that the shock would have to be associated with a physical boundary (ex: fence) for him to be comfortable being in the yard.
— We have two small children and aren’t the handiest family on the block. :)
— What brand and type would you reccommend for this kind of dog/family?
Thank you for any advice!

ADMIN – Hi Jamie,

(1) You can make a three-sided loop, running the wire along the top of the fence, then doubling back on yourself along the bottom of the fence to complete the loop.

Alternatively, you can go along the three sides of your yard, then to complete the loop run the wire up a downspout, across the gutter, and down the downspout on the other side of the house.

(2) You can mount the wire on the fence, or place it in the ground – both will work. I would fence mount the wire – it is considerably easier.

(3) The way we introduce the correction is very gradual. The dog first spends the first week with no-correction learning the boundary. When the correction is introduced in the second week – the dog knows why it is happening and how to switch it off, reducing any anxiety. When properly trained the dog will only get the correct a few times. If you do the training, you should not have any problems with the dog becoming comfortable with the new boundary.

(4) Happy to make a recommendation, but I need a little more information. What is his temperament like – does the Lab or the Pit Bull dominate? DO you know his approximate weight?

Patricia June 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Hi, I have just adopted a Yellow Labrador/ Anatolian Shepherd dog. I have been reading about these two breeds. My new dog is 6months old and is already 50 lbs. The Anatolian is a guardian dog of ancient origins, the yellow labrador is well a lab. Our new dog is very much a mix, at times she is all 100% puppy and loves to be very busy chewing and romping around the house. Other times she is so quiet and contemplative, she seems quick to want to please and obey (Lab?) and yet, we see her stubbornness come through in her resistance to being led on leash at times.

Anyhow, all that to ask, do you think my dog who is this mix of breeds would work okay with a underground wire electric fencing and if so which one would be the wisest option?


ADMIN – Hi Patricia,

Where a dog is a mix, unless there is suggestion to the contrary, I usually choose the fence for the tougher breed, in this case the Anatolian. With large guardian breeds like Anatolians, they often need a quite strong correction to get them to take notice, because they have been bred to be very stoic and insensitive to pain (exactly what you would want from a dog out protecting your livestock).

The reason we pick the stronger fence is that if it turns out the dog doesn’t need a lot of correction, we just keep the fence on the lower levels and there is no problem. If we choose the weaker fence, and it turns out the dog needs a stronger correction, there isn’t much we can do.

A good system for your pup would be the PetSafe Stubborn. With the training, I would expect complete containment even with a purebred Anatolian, being part lab will make it even easier.

teresa corbin June 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm

we have lost 3 dogs in one year , 2 due to people driving too fast down the road. one to old age. have got a little terrier now and would like to contain him safely in our 1 quarter lot yard. how much would this cost to do?

ADMIN – Hi Teresa,

Sorry to hear about your dogs, that is a difficult year.

An electronic dog fence for a quarter acre lot would cost in the $200 – $300 range. Happy to make some more specific suggestions and give you an exact cost, I just need a little more information on the Terrier’s breed, age, weight, and temperament.

Karen June 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

We are looking for a solution to keep our cocker from running out of the front gate at the top of our driveway. Other than this small area, the yard is completely fenced. Is there a wireless solution you’d recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Karen,

To block just a small area, the wireless Outdoor Pods made by Pawz Away are a great choice.

You can put these collars in wireless mode and create a boundary up to 16 feet in diameter, or you can run up to 150 feet of boundary wire from the pod.

Patricia Chinni June 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I have recently moved to 3 acres of property at Possum Kingdom Lake in west Texas. It adjoins with acres of property that are not developed. I have 2 German Shepherds and a Blue Heeler that I need to keep on my property. They do stay near my home but more people are moving into the area and may not appreciate visits from friendly but large dogs. What type of system would you recommend? I am looking at having an underground system professionally installed. Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Patricia,

Particularly with the two German Shepherds, having one of the stronger systems would be advisable. I would use a PetSafe Stubborn system.

Sam June 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm

We recently moved into a rental house with our 7-month-old Retriever-Plot Hound mix. She’s about 45lbs now, and still growing. She was in an apartment before, and used to being on a lease when we were outside. Now we have a long backyard that she loves, and she’s pretty good at respecting the boundaries of unless she’s lead by another dog or squire, or my fiance comes home from work. She’s also pretty receptive to training, comes when called (most of the time) and stays close to her “humans”. Since home is a rental, we’re thinking an e-fence would be our best, most cost effective option. My parents also have one, so we thought it’d be easier to take her home when we visit as well (they have extra collars).

Just wanted your take on the best product line. Is the PetSafe UltraSmart our best option, or would you recommend somethings else?

ADMIN – Hi Sam,

For a retreiver / plot hound mix, I would choose the PetSafe Ultrasmart. It is a very nice reliable fence, and the size and correction are well suited to those energetic breeds.

Warwick A May 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Hi guys, I own a 4000sq/ft bay in a building, and bring my 4 month old black lab to work with me every day. Recently she has been exploring and is walking through the fence on the side and into the street. I can’t keep my eye on her all the time, but I can’t close the fence because I share it with a few other bays. I would like to cover a square footage space of about 12000 including outside, and the space is in the shape of a rectangle. Is there a wireless system that would work for me? If not is there any system where I could run a wire 15 or so feet above ground? It’s all asphalt so I can’t bury anything under ground, and if I leave it on the ground it will get destroyed by vehicles instantly. Please help!

ADMIN – Hi Warwick,

I don’t have any great options for you.

I don’t think wired solutions are going to work for you because of all the asphalt. Running the wire up 15 feet above the ground will stop the signal being received down at ground level, so I don’t think that is going to be a solution.

You could try the wireless Havahart Custom, which would let you have a custom shaped boundary, as long as the building doesn’t have a metal roof, or metal siding walls. When it works it works well, but they don’t work for a significant number of people.

If the dog is only getting out through the gate, we could use a wireless pod to block just that one area.

Mark J May 7, 2013 at 11:49 am

I am currently living in a rental with 5 acres of land. We have a barbed wire fence on 2 sides of our property that 2 of our 3 dogs love to crawl under and find sheep parts to bring back. One is a 110 pound 4 y/o yellow lab who is really strong willed (we got her from a rescue, she spent 3 years tied to a 8 foot rope) so she loves to explore. The other is a 7 month old black lab that is 30 pounds and she will probably top out at 40 pounds or so. I want to attach to the barbed wire fence on the 2 sides of our property, and will use fence posts on the other 2 sides so that I can give access to a creek that runs through the property.

So my big question, which system do you think would be best for my description?

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

With the yellow lab being so big and hard-headed, I think the Petsafe Stubborn system would be a good choice. You can also use an extra PetSafe Stubborn collar with the small black lab, but will want to have it turned down to the lower setting.

Susan April 16, 2013 at 11:56 am

We inherited an PetSafe RF 1010 system when we purchased our house 2 years ago. The house is right in the middle of a rectangular 1.7 acres. We got a 10 month old rescue dog in December. He is a aussie/golden mix, very sweet and very smart. Until now, we walk him in the nearby open space and let him run around the neighborhood as he stays fairly close to home and always comes back. We don’t want to press our luck so we think we are all ready to use the containment system. When I plugged it in, the two red lights showed a break in the containment wire. I hired someone from Invisible Fence (per website) to come and fix the break. The guy said there were several breaks and the signal is very faint due to degrading wire. Then he wanted to sell me a new system. Can I use that system and simply (simply, not necessarily easily?) retrench a 14 or 16 gauge wire around the perimeter of our lot? I would need to purchase a collar as we didn’t find one lying around. What would be the most cost effective and otherwise efficient and effective way to approach this situation? Thank you.

ADMIN – Hi Susan,

You can indeed use your current system with a new collar and new wiring. The three collars that will work with your transmitter are the PetSafe Little Dog (dogs <12lbs), PetSafe Deluxe (12 lbs – 50 lbs) and PetSafe Stubborn (50 lbs +).

Before you invest in the collars, I would check the transmitter is working, by creating a short dummy loop and checking to see if the error lights go off.

PS – if you use a trencher with a wire guide (available at tool rental stores), it is not a big deal to do 2 acres and will take around 2 hours.

Ashley Samuelson April 10, 2013 at 8:24 am

Hi! I have three full blooded labs…One is extremely protective and I cant trust him when my neighbors come outside…(We only have one neighbor) He is a 110lb black lab. He actually charged at one of the neighbors children. Then I have two female labs around 65lbs each. One of them is just very curious and likes to run off every now and then. The other female is the friendliest dog ever, she loves people and never really leaves the property. So I don’t have a lot of money to spend and I have almost an acre of land to cover. Is there any way I could get two collars instead of three..since I don’t have any issues with the one female. Would it be just as effective if I only trained two dogs instead of all three. And if i was to get the fence with the wire that u put underground is there any warranty on these systems because I’ve heard several people say that if u have a bad spot in the wire then you have to go around searching for it. Basically, I need the cheapest type of fence that will be effective. Id rather have rechargeable collars too. Thank you for any advice

ADMIN – Hi Ashely,

You don’t have to put collars on dogs that are not as escape risk. If you had to skip one of the dogs, I think you have the right idea to leave the collar off the most submissive. I would still however train the dog on the collar, so that at least during the training phase they get some experience on the fence.

The wire can develop breaks. This is not covered under the warranty (because it is usually caused by someone accidently cutting through the wire, rather than any defect in the wire). When this happens, you do indeed have to hunt for the break. But, there are tools that help you find the break (so you don’t have to dig it all back up).

A good choice given that your two dogs are so different in size would be the Dogtra EF-3000 which is rechargeable.

If you could live with a disposable battery, the PetSafe Inground would also be a good choice and is a little cheaper.

Tally Baldwin April 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

I have 3 dogs that like to roam in our neighbors yard. I currently have the Pet Safe Portable wireless fence. I purchased that because we live on a lake and I want them to not go into the neighbors yard yet be able to swim. I would like an electric fence that can be buried but can let the dogs swim. In other word I would only need 3 sides. I hope this makes sense! Please help as the neighbors are getting mad! The Pet Safe works great but I just can’t pull it in to cover the area I need.

ADMIN – Hi Tally,

To get a wired fence to work along only three sides on a lakefront lot, you have a few options.

The first would be to run the wire along three sides of your lot, then double back on yourself six feet apart to make a large U-shaped loop. The second option is to make a loop around all four sides but to make one side non-active by either running the wire high up in the air (using nearby trees if available), or running the water deep out into the lake and sinking it to the lake bottom.

You can see some lakefront diagrams in our Installation –> Layouts section.

Keri Davis April 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Hi, I have a rottweiler / border collie mix and a Jack Russel, they both love to run and have recently found out they are eating the neighbors chickens/eggs. I have a total of 3 acres with about 1-1/2 of if being yard and the rest wood. Which system would work best with these 2 dogs? Do you recommend wireless or in ground? Can the box be outside under shelter or does it have to be indoors like a garage? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Keri,

With the wooded area in your property, a wired fence is a better choice because the trees will not interfere with it’s signal as happens with wireless systems.

A good choice would be the SportDog SDF-100A, using the included collar for the larger dog. For the Jack Russel, you could add the compatible PetSafe Little Dog collar.

Claudia March 26, 2013 at 10:05 pm

We have new rescue dog that has a good amount of retriever in her. We have a fenced in yard that also has a pool in it that we would like to keep her out of. Is it possible to set the perimeter around the pool only, leaving her free run of the rest of this yard?

ADMIN – Hi Claudia,

Yes, you can run the boundary wire just around the pool perimeter to keep the dog out of that area (instead of using it for containment).

Andy March 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

Can the transmitter be located under an open porch? (Traditional front porch with roof but no side walls) Are there any weatherproof boxes/covers available?

ADMIN – Hi Andy,

You can place the transmitter on an open porch as long as it is out of the rain. If it is going to get rained on, you will want to put it in a waterproof box as you suggested. We don’t sell them, but you can get them at any big box hardware store in the electrical section.

Kelsie March 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Hi: We have a puggle which is about 20 pounds and a terrier mix which is about 50 pounds. The terrier loves to be outside which includes the neighbors houses where he gets treats from. We also live in the woods and have about 4 acres where we have a large pond in out front yard and 2 creeks and would like to let them swim in. Do you have water proof collars? We also have a neighbor who has horses and they use an electric fence would that interfere with the dogs fence? We are on a budget and would love to get a fence soon.

ADMIN – Hi Kelsie,

(1) Most (but not all) of the collars are waterproof.

(2) An electric livestock fence will not interfere with an electric dog fence.

(3) You will want a fence that lets you have independent correction levels for each dog on the system because they are so different in size. We would also want a collar that is smaller and lighter because of the Puggle. A couple of good options would be the Dogtek EF-6000 and the PetSafe Inground. They are both excellent systems. The Dogtek is a little more expensive, is rechargeable, and has a few extra features. The PetSafe is cheaper, but uses a disposable battery and does not have as many frills.

Meghan March 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

Hello! We have 2 adult dogs (35lbs+) and 1 new 12 week old puppy (currently ~10lbs, will grow to be 50lbs+). They are all mixed breeds and LOVE to dig. The oldest female (german/basenji mix) has even started breaking through our fence boards. We are on a bit of a budget, so what would be the best fit for the pocket and 3 determined dogs?

ADMIN – Hi Meghan,

With those three dogs of different sizes and breed, we need a system that can set the correction level independently for each dog. The cheapest good option that meets those needs would be the PetSafe Inground. (I presume you need less than (10 acres contained)

PS – for the puppy you will want to wait until she is around six months old to start training. But, observing the two older dogs respect the boundary will help her a lot in learning/

Matthew Wright March 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Hi, we have two maltese poodle crosses, Bailey and Shadow that are both under a year old. They are extremely active and love to run around our backyard and play but have been getting more and more bold and mischievous. We would like to put in an invisible fence for our back yard and about 1/2 of our front yard, crossing the driveway. Bailey is about 12 pounds (may only get a little bigger) and Shadow (bred with a toy poodle) is only 5 pounds (maybe 8-10 pounds fully grow). For that reason we want collars that are programmable separately. What package would you recommend? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Mathew,

With dogs that small, the PetSafe Little Dog would be your best best, particularly for Shadow. The Little Dog has collars that are by far the lightest and smallest. The collars on that system are separately programmable, and the correction levels are scaled down for smaller dog.

Heather March 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Our 40 lb German Shepherd mix keeps escaping out the front door. We’ve had little success training the dog to stay inside despite an open door OR training the people (i.e. 6 y.o. son) to close the door. We thought an electric fence for the front yard might work. However, our dog would need to wear the collar in the house (we’d take it off at bedtime). I’ve heard of accidental shocks in the house d/t other electrical appliances. What are your thoughts? Any recommendations on systems with less likelihood of accidental indoor shocks? Thanks, Heather

ADMIN – Hi Heather,

None of the modern systems will be triggered by electrical appliances. This was a problem in the early days of electronic dog fences (1970s / 1980s), but it no longer an issue that you are ever likely to encounter. If you are just trying to stop the dog busting through the front door, perhaps one of the wireless indoor pods will be a cheaper and easier solution?

Pam Johnson March 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Hi, We have a black lab retriever rescue dog about 3 1/2 years old. There is an area about 75′ x 50′ which would make a good area for the dog. It is located in northern Mn. There is some sort of electronic fencing close by for the next door neighbor’s little dog. Our yard has a slight incline. Which type of fencing do you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Pam,

When a neighbor has a fence nearby (within 6 – 12 feet), it will cause interference with your fence along the common boundary. A good solution is to use a dual frequency system, such as the Perimeter Ultra, that can avoid the interference. The Perimeter Ultra would work well with a Labrador.

Tracy March 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I’ve got two dogs, one is a border collie mix and one looks a pit mix. The pit mix is a digger and seems to be related to Houdini; she can get out of anywhere. They are both high energy and I am wondering what type of fence you would recommend. The border collie mix is about 65 pounds & the pit mix is about 55 pounds.

ADMIN – Hi Tracy,

With a Border Collie mix and a Pittbull mix, you probably want one of the stronger systems (because Pittbulls can often need a stronger correction than the average dog). You also want a system that lets you set different correction levels for each dog (because the Collie is likely to be on a lower correction level). the Dogtek EF-6000 would be a good choice, as would the PetSafe Stubborn.

The Dogtek is smaller, rechargeable, and give you better control over the boundary. The SportDog has a bigger collar, and uses disposable batteries, but is around $50 cheaper.

Tony March 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Hello diy-ers and Dog Fence specialists! My wife and I just bought a house with 2.5 acres and we have a most curious lab mix that we would like to keep safe in the yard. Can you tell me what system would be the best for us and send me a list of all the stuff I need to order? I’ve been in the landscaping business for years and have always said when it came time for a dog fence, I could “do it myself” and now I get the chance to put my money where my mouth is :-) Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Tony,

Labradors tend to be among the easiest dogs to contain, because they are sensitive to the correction and have that ‘eager to please’ temperament. That means you can use pretty much anything with a lab.

My top choice would be the new Dogtek EF-6000. It has one of the smaller collar, is rechargeable, and give you a lot more control over the boundary that most systems.

As well as the basic system, you will need around 2,000 feet of extra wire to cover 2.5 acres. If you don’t have a trencher, renting one will make a big job like that easy – particularly if you get one with a wire-layer built in (they are often used for sprinkler system installs).

Tomi March 3, 2013 at 1:12 am

Hello, I have a male husky and a female american bulldog…both VERY stubborn dogs. They will dig under the fence in the backyard and are gone! We also have a small “creek” (really its a just where rain runoff goes) that the dogs love to play in and across to the back side. Is there a system that would be best for us? I would love to be able to put the system under the “creek” when it’s dry and still be effective when the water flows…HELP! Thank you so much.

ADMIN – Hi Tomi,

The Bulldog is likely to need a stronger correction so a system with a stronger correction would be a good choice. Generally Huskies while stubborn are more sensitive to the correction and should be started on a lower correction level. It would thus be good to have a system where each dog could be on their own correction level.

The Dogtek EF-6000 or the PetSafe Stubborn would fit the bill.

Mary Tauer February 28, 2013 at 12:04 am

Hi, I have a question. We have a 16 lbs. Schnoodle and live in about 3 acres – our backyard is already fenced in so we are only wanting to dog fence the front of the house (1 acre) in a U shape… is that possible.. we would like to start at the front corner of the backyard fench outlining the front yard and ending at the other front corner of the backyard fence. this way our dog can go from the front yard to the back since she can fit thru the decorative fencing that is only the front of the fence and the remaining 3 sides is chain link which she can’t get thru… I hope this makes sense… Help what should we do – is this possible.

ADMIN – Hi Mary,

The boundary wire always needs to form a complete loop. To do just the front yard, there are three ways you could do this.

First, you could do a big U-shaped loop. Go around the three sides of the front yard, then double back on yourself, six feet away to complete the loop.

Second, you could complete the loop by going over the top of the house. You would go around the three sides of the yard, then on one side of the house, you would run the wire up a downspout, go through the gutters and down the downspout on the other side of the house to complete the loop.

Third, you could go around the entire property. You would go along the three sides of the front of the yard, then go around the three sides of the backyard. To avoid the fence being active in the backyard where you don’t need it, you could ziptie the wire to the top of the chain link fence, so the signal will not reach the dog down on ground level.

You can find more information in the Installation –> Layouts section of our website.

Brad February 25, 2013 at 1:24 am

We have a 9 week old Jack Russel mix (with Beagle we think) that is only 5 lbs at present. We want to confine her to the back yard of approx. 10,000 sq. feet. I also want to keep her out of my 20 ft X 20 ft. garden. What system would you recommend? If we were to want to use a training collar in the future would you recommend a different system?

ADMIN – Hi Brad,

For a Jack Russel, the PetSafe Little Dog would be a good choice. The collar is smaller and the correction levels lower so that they are more appropriate for smaller dogs.

I would wait until the pup is around 6 months old to begin training on the fence. Younger dogs are harder to train, because they generally haven’t developed the attention span and self control that they need for the training.

If you are going to use a remote trainer, I would use a separate collar. The systems that combine remote training and dog fence systems (like the Innotek IUC-5100) in a single collar have a collar that is going to be much too big to be comfortable on your dog.

Sue February 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm

We have 10 acres — 3.5 under pasture for the horses, about 10 barn cats and 10 dogs. I am involved in Pitt Rescue. The dogs are 2 goldens (45 &80 lbs), one black lab (100), and 7 pits (placing 3 – hopefully – in the 2 weeks). The pitts are 5 adults ( from 70 to 100 pounds) and 2 eight month old pups @ 53 to 45 lbs.) On a back road w/ light traffic. Want set an area approximately 1 acre for them to do their business — don’t need to roam the full 10 acres picking up puppy presents! Please recommend a system.

ADMIN – Hi Sue,

The PetSafe Stubborn would be a good option. For work with Pittbulls, you can sometimes need the higher correction levels, so it is good to chose a system that has a lot of power in reserve. The other thing driving my recommendation is that the collars on this system are cheaper than on other systems which makes a big difference if you are buying a lot of collars.

The other good choice with that range of dogs would be the Dogtek EF-6000. It also has that big range of correction levels, and also rechargeable collars. But, it the collars are a little more expensive.

Scott F February 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I have a 18 month old Labrador Retriever and live on 1.25 acres wooded property with 250′ of shoreline (calm, tidal cove condition). He loves to swim every day and has free reign of the property but has started going up to the street and wandering onto the road. He is very active and stubborn. Is there a system that can allow him to keep swimming yet “fenced” in? (We have a dock that extends 40′ out and could put a transmitter on it and there is no boat traffic on the cove.). Also, since we are in a rural conservation zone, the perimeter of the property is treed and natural growth so burying/protecting the wire may be a challenge. What system could we use?

ADMIN – Hi Scott,

The wireless systems may be a good choice in your situation. They are less consistent, but you don’t need to bury the wire which would be challenging in your situation.

The Havahart Wireless Radial would be a good choice for a lab. The other good option would be the PetSafe Stay + Play – this system is not quite as good, but you can use two transmitters overlapping to create a more customized layout (placing one transmitter in the house, and the other on the dock)

tammy January 28, 2013 at 2:18 am

I have 2 not quite 1 yr old great Pyrenees who have a habit of wondering for miles, off our 63 acres. They have been impounded by the local police recently. They love their deer meat unlike us and go looking for it when ever they get a chance. As of now they weigh 93 and 94 lbs. These boys have no live stock to care for we got them solely to be watch guardians over us. Never expected them to not be here for days at a time. My past 3 dogs took adventures to the river and came right home nothing like these boys. They have never worn collars. This bred is very independent to say the least. Not sure how much to fence but know I want them to feel free to roam a good amount of the property as money permits. Some of the land is hilly. Do I need to keep to areas that are not ravines? Do you have experience with this breed if so what do u recommend? Their fur is very thick and nature is very stubborn. Also can I have a price on 5 acres with 2 collars and a price on 20 with two collars maybe even 40 if possible please. Not sure how to figure all this out. But can’t imagine 40 wouldn’t be plenty even if they are use to miles of roaming. Sorry that was a lot of info any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

ADMIN – Hi Tammy, for your two Great Pyrenees and the tremendous about of land you plan to eventually cover, I would highly recommend the SportDog SDF100A. The wall transmitter is robust and built well. It can cover up to 100 acres, so if you eventually wanted to fence all 63 acres, you could. For a large property, I also highly recommend upgrading to 14 gauge. The 20 and 18 gauge will break on you and it’s a pain to locate and repair. The SportDog collar is the same as the PetSafe Stubborn collar and is specifically designed for large breed dogs that are independent and stubborn.

Natasha January 20, 2013 at 10:22 pm

We are looking at an e fence for our 2 dogs in our new home. We have a traditional fence now that the dogs occasionally dig under, and the new home is near a busy street. WE have a Australian Shepherd mix and a Border Collie German Shepherd mix. What system would you recommend? Also we have 2 cats that we would like to be able to use the fence with as well if at all possible. Any recommendations for a fence that could cover all four of our animals. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Natasha, the best option for all four pets would be the PetSafe Deluxe fence. You can add in one extra Deluxe collar for the either dog and then add in two cat containment collars. When you use this fence with your natural fence, you will have 100% containment very quickly.

susan January 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I have a 1 year old yellow lab, very large for a one year old. He weighs about 100 lbs. we have purchased and installed the PetSafe Stubborn dog underground electric fence. He was trained for a full 2 weeks, he is very intelligent. For the past four months it has worked and he has not crossed! Now, he will just run right through it! And then just wander around the neighborhood, he has even crossed the highway! Our roads are very busy and we are scared he could get ran over! Any suggestions? Thank you in advance!

ADMIN – Hi Susan, if he is not reacting to the correction when he crosses then the collar is probably not fit correctly. He should display a physical reaction like yelping or jumping. If he is doing this to some extent, then the correction setting is too low. Also, if you have a small radius boundary of 3 feet or less, then he may be crossing fast enough to get on the outside of the boundary before the collar responds. In this scenario we would recommend increasing the radius to as wide as you can and still give your dog plenty of space. And finally, you may need to run through several training sessions to reinforce the boundary rules.

Dan January 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm

We have an 11 year old Jack Russell that we have used a shocking bark collar with in the past. We just moved into a new home with a one acre yard that has an electric fence already installed and would like to use it. He only wore the bark collar occasionally when he was being really out of hand. Will he be able to learn to use the fence without confusion after having the bark collar on in the past? The wire and controller are still present but we will be buying a collar that may or may not be the same brand. Will this work ok?

ADMIN – Hi Dan, with good training, yes your Jack Russell should be able to transition to the fence. We recommend using the beep only training heavily at first until he understands what is being asked of him. Only then, move on to turning the correction on.

Brad December 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I am getting an Alaskan malamute puppy. Should be about 100 pounds when grown. I have three acres that I would like to fence in. Will likely be getting a second one next summer (another puppy). Which system would you recommend and what additional would I need for the acreage.

ADMIN – Hi Brad, even though your Malamute will be large, this breed is typically a wimp when it comes to corrections. I would recommend the PetSafe Ultrasmart PIG00-13619. It will have plenty of correction levels to suit your Malamutes.

Laura December 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm

We are living at a rental house and have adopted 2 strays. They are lab mixes, vet says they are as big as they are going to get, one weighs 28lbs, the other 32lbs. They love chasing squirrels all over the yard and neighborhood, what kind of fence should I get for them, we need to keep them in our yard.

ADMIN – Hi Laura, the PetSafe Ultrasmart PIG00-13619 is going to work very well for your two lab mixes. They are a perfect size for the collar which is rechargeable and will have plenty of correction strength.

Sherry Madeya December 11, 2012 at 11:52 am

I have 3 dogs. I would like to know which one you recommend for all of them. 1 is a small dog about 8 lbs, the others are 90 and 45. Would the SD 2100 work for all three and can it be woven through a chain link fence with 2 gates in it? Thank you, Sherry

ADMIN – Hi Sherry, The SD 2100 will not work for such a variety of dogs. You will need to go with the PetSafe Little Dog fence and add in the PetSafe Deluxe collar for your 45 pound dog, and the Stubborn collar for the 90 pound dog.

Aaron November 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

We have a 80lb pitbull/lab and a 9lb chihuahua with about 1 1/2 acres to contain. Is there a system I can use for both dogs. The pit/lab is really smart ( can’t say the same for the chihuahua) and only wonders off if there are squirrels to chase. Are there different size collars to buy? What system do you suggest? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Aaron, you will want to go with the PetSafe Stubborn fence with a PetSafe Little Dog collar bundled in. You’ll need an extra 1,000 feet of wire and we highly recommend upgrading to 14 gauge to receive the maximum strength wire.

Sonny November 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I have a 5 months old English setter and a 1-year-old Yorkie. I have one acre that has a four-foot chain link fence surrounding the entire property. The gate is always closed when we are not home but we leave it open when we are home. We would like to know if you have a dog fence system that would be strong enough for our Setter but will not harm the Yorkie?

Admin- Hi Sonny,

Absolutely, the key for you picking out a dog fence system will be a system with independent correction levels and a small enough collar for the Yorkie. Given the Yorkie’s size, the best dog fence will be the PetSafe Little dog fence. The Little dog collar is designed for small dogs (under 10 pounds) and it offers a larger available collar with independent correction levels. For the old English Setter you will want to bundle in the extra PetSafe Deluxe collar.

Anne October 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Hi, I have a 4 month old German shepherd mix. I have stockade and wire fencing in the backyard, which she has already figured out how to either jump or go under. My front yard is not fenced and she has gotten loose and run down the street. I am looking to install an electric fence around the whole yard, approx 1 acre, but am not sure what system would be the best. What is your recommendation?

ADMIN – Hi Anne, I would recommend the PetSafe Stubborn for you dog. We typically utilize the Stubborn fence this breed. For 1 acre, you’ll need to bundle in an additional 500 feet of wire.

Aimee September 15, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Hello, We have a two-year-old Border Collie (short hair) who loves to run fast. We’d like to install an electric fence, preferably above ground using stakes to pin the wire down. We live on 10 acres in Central Oregon so snow and freezing weather are an issue. Could you tell me which system you would recommend?
Thank you so much for your help!

ADMIN – Hi Aimee, for a short hair border collie, I would recommend the PetSafe Ultrasmart PIG00-13619. I recommend upgrading the wire to 14 gauge for such a large installation. For 10 acres, you’ll need to bundle in an extra 2,500 feet of wire.

Marty September 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

Our family just got a 2 year-old German Shepherd named Ruger. Our neighborhood covenants won’t allow privacy fences, so we really only have the option of using an electric fence. Ruger is very intelligent, doesn’t seem to be a flight risk, but does get distracted, so I had to chase him through a few neighbor’s yards the other day. Thus the need for a fence. I’m looking at the PetSafe Ultrasmart PIG00-13619. Is that the right one for us? Also, we have extensive landscaping in the yard with lots of different areas divided by metal edging. Can I just run the wire along the edging. I read something about not twisting the wire because the signal will get canceled out. Does the same thing happen if you run the wire along another piece of metal (like the edging). Thanks so much. Love the site by the way – lots of great information.

ADMIN – Hi Marty, the PetSafe Ultrasmart (formerly Innotek 4100), is a great fence for Ruger. It’s a great all around fence that is a good fit for smart, even tempered dogs over 12 lbs. As for installation, the metal edging may create interference. Any way to install the wire on one side or the other of the edging? The only way you can cancel the signal along the boundary with twisted wire is to you a double boundary which will require twice the amount of wire and eat up another 4 feet of yard on your perimeter. You can locate this layout by clicking on “Dog Fence Installation” -> “Planning the Installation” -> “Gate”.

Aj July 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Hi, I have a small dog ( 16 lb) and I use baby gate to confine him to den and kitchen. Is there any fence I can use wired or wireless preferred . I can’t take these gates.
Thank you

Admin- Hi Aj,

A good option for indoor containment will be the Indoor zone which is about the size of a smoke detector. The collar that comes in the set will fit nicely on your 16-pound dog. You will place the zone near the den and kitchen areas you wish to contain. The zone will project a wireless signal that will create a boundary.

Paul Mitri May 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

We have just taken home a eight week old Border collie. At what age can we start training on our 4100 system?

Admin- Hi Paul,

You will want to wait least 6 months before training. It makes training much quicker; however, if the dog can already understand basic commands (come, sit, and stay). Than the dog should be ready for training with the containment fence.

Lori May 18, 2012 at 10:22 am

Does the transmitter box for the Innotek IUC-4100 have the plug built right into the unit or is it a cord that runs from the transmitter to the outlet where you would have to mount the transmitter unit on the wall beside the outlet? I ask this funny question because I do not have many options on where I could plug the unit in and I would like to purchase this model.

Admin- Hi Lori,

The PetSafe IUC4100 system comes with a power plug with a cord that will connect into the transmitter close to the bottom. For your set-up, you could run an extension cord over to where you wish to install the transmitter box.

Dana April 29, 2012 at 11:18 am

We have a Rottweiler that is a VERY stubborn puppy. The Rottweiler’s parents are 100 plus pounds. Our second dog is a mini Aussie that is 25 pounds (very well behaved). What fence do you recommend? We live on 1 1/3 acre neighborhood and do not have a fence.

Admin- Hi Dana,

Based on the size and temperament difference between your dogs, we recommend the PetSafe Stubborn/Large dog fence.The PetSafe Stubborn system offers a very durable collar and has independent correction levels. You will be able to have both your dogs on different correction levels. I would recommend the Stubborn dog collar that comes with the system for the Rottweiler and a PetSafe Deluxe collar for the Mini Aussie.

Pam April 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I already have an electric goat fence that I have used successfully to contain my now deceased Husky and Airedale. I now have a small dog, a 20 lb. welsh terrier, who flies through the wires like a circus performer. No ground contact, no shock. I there a transmitter and collar that will work with my existing fence wire?

Admin- Hi Pam,

You will not get a consistent signal with bare wire that is used for electric fencing, even if it is on the insulating rods. Afraid you need to use an insulated copper wire to get a good consistent signal. However the good news is, you can run the dog fence boundary wire in the same rout as the electric fence wire. You can attach the wire to the fence 12-18 off of the ground. We do find this to be very effective.

A good system for a 20-pound Welsh terrier will be the PetSafe Deluxe system.

joe April 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm

In NE Ohio, I have a 6 yr. old, 60lb black lab, VERY actively friendly, and a 425 ft perimeter I’d like to cover for him. I really have no other facts to go on, so which kit would you recommend, or how do I choose?

Admin- Hi Joe,

Labs tend to be easy to train, giving you a wide variety of options. My top choice would be an Innotek IUC-4100, it is a good reliable system with a rechargeable collar. My second choice would be a SportDog SDF-100A, the collar is a little bulkier and it is not rechargeable (standard 9-volt rechargeable can be used) but it is also excellent and costs less.

bob April 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I am trying to put a electrical fence in the front of my garage so my do stays out but the signal is to weak. i think it because the wire is so close together. Any suggestions?

Admin- Hi Bob,

If the boundary wires are simply laid close to each other, the signal strength will be reduced. The boundary wires will need to be separated by 3-6 feet.

Rex March 4, 2012 at 9:46 am

Very good website and info-
The back of our yard goes into a field and in the spring (and heavy rain) it’s very wet, if the dog has the collar on and wire is in the ground with water lying on the ground will this hurt the dog or interfere with the signal? Also, will the “PetSafe Boundary Wire Break Locator” work for the IUC 4100?


Admin- Hi Rex,

1) The boundary wire is only transmitting a weak AM radio wave. The water will not effect the signal and it will not increase the correction amount.
2) If you have the IUC4100 system, you can use either the PetSafe wire break locator or our Wire break kit to locate the break in the boundary wire.

Lynn March 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I have a Siberian Husky who lives up to her breed; stubborn, runs off, and a very high prey drive. I’m looking at the Innotek 4100 and wanted to know if this system would work best or is there another one that is better?

ADMIN – Hi Lynn,

The Innotek 4100 Ultrasmart would be my top choice for a Husky. It is generally an excellent system, but what makes it particularly useful for Huskies is that it has a fit-detection mode that helps you get the collar prongs properly situated on the dog so they are contacting the skin. That is something that can be difficult with their thick undercoat. The 4100 makes that a lot easier.

FYI – We generally find Huskies a treat to train, because although they have a well deserved reputation for free-spirited behavior, they are also extremely motivated to avoid the correction. When you have a little leverage over them, they are completely different dogs.

Christine February 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

We moved into a home that has the boundary wire in place that they got installed from a local invisible fence dealer. We don’t have a collar or receiver as they took it with them. Does the boundary wire work with all brands of receivers? Or are they specific to that brand? We need to do some repair work and find out where the boundaries are. Hoping to save a little money by doing it ourselves. We don’t have a control box, transmitter, or receiver, just the boundary wire. Can we get any system to work with the invisible fence wire or is it specific to that brand?

ADMIN – Hi Christine,

The boundary wire will work with all brands of wired fence. As long as the old wire is still intact, you just need to get a new control box, plug it in, put out the marking flags and start training your dog.

Rebecca VanCordt February 12, 2012 at 10:42 pm

We’re thinking of installing one of your systems, but we have a big question. Is this system safe for dogs weighing five pounds? We have 2 Yorkies…and now an adopted 15 pound Chihuahua-Jack Russell mix. Thanks for the answer.

ADMIN – Hi Rebecca,

5 pounds is on the border line for fit. While the collar on the lower correction levels is safe for dogs of your size, it may simply be too big and too heavy for the dog to comfortably wear the collar all day. The best way to tell is to switch the collar off and put it on the dog for a couple of days and see if they are comfortable or it is dragging them down like the proverbial albatross around their neck.

RAY February 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

How close can I run the wire for my Innotek SD-2200 system next to a PetSafe system?

ADMIN – Hi Ray,

You want to have at least six feet between your wire and your neighbor’s PetSafe wired system. (If they have a PetSafe wireless system, you can get as close as you want).

Cecilia January 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Excellent site! I’m considering getting the innotek 4100 as I’m moving to an awkwardly shaped rented plot beside a main road with a energetic setter cross (kind of spaniel size, not quite sure what she is to be honest but I’ve been told that since she’s a bit of a loon and is very vocal, there’s setter in her!) who is used to being able to wander where she likes. Problem is I live in Ireland and I cannot find this product anywhere outside of the US, would it be possible to use it with a standard 110v to 220v UK adapter or would I need to purchase a more sophisticated power supply converter. Alternatively if you could list anywhere it can be bought in Europe (I see you’ve mentioned already to someone in France to find a European or Australian one) I’ve searched all over and can’t find it anywhere outside of the US, I have found some of the Petsafe one’s (the wireless one is easily available here) but the 4100 sounds like the best especially with the option of the staples as I don’t really want to go digging up my landlord’s lawn! Failing finding that model do you know what is the best wired equivalent one which is available this side of the water? Many thanks

ADMIN – Hi Cecillia,

If using a US system overseas, you need a more expensive adapter that converts voltage from US 110 volts to UK 110 volts, not just something that changes the shape of the plug. You can also use a Dogtra system which we have in 220 volts.

Terrell December 31, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Very helpful page. I have a basic question. Once the dog is trained to stay inside the boundary can you remove the collar? I assume this is the case, but I could not find this discussed anywhere. I really don’t want my dogs wearing the collars forever.

ADMIN – Hi Terrell,

After the dogs have been trained, most dogs will not keep within the boundary even if the collar is removed. However, eventually the dog will unlearn the boundary limitations and will start to wander through the boundary. Depending on the dog this may take weeks or months. Forgetting to put the collar on occasionally is not a big deal, but I would caution against making a habit of removing the collars, as it can lead to dangerous situations for the dogs.

Carin November 29, 2011 at 7:57 am

I have two big dogs one is a Siberian Husky and the other is a Lab mix. My backyard is big and fenced in but they keep getting out some how. We have tried everything to keep them in and nothing works. They are adult dogs will this style fence system work for them? Any advice will be appreciated, we are out of ideas.

ADMIN – Hi Carin,
Yes, a dog fence system will work great for your dogs and your pet containment needs. I’d recommend the Innotek IUC 4100. The fence comes with 500 feet of wire that will cover up to 1/3 of an acre. The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out your layout plan. We have the most common layout plans illustrated on our Planning/Layout page which can be accessed under the Dog Fence Installation heading on our menu bar. With an existing fence you can attach the wire a foot or so off the ground and this would keep your Husky and Lab mix from digging out, jumping over, or squeezing through an weak area of the fence.

Eddie Schaap October 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I live on a farm (600 ace) and I just want to keep the dogs off the road. My house is 400 ft from road. We have a mile of road frontage. The fence goes a half mile each direction along the road. My dogs hardly ever go to end of fence. If I run a loop along fence each direction from driveway 1000 ft will dogs get the idea that maybe its a good idea to stay away from fence and road? When dogs go to road they usally go down the driveway. I have a 30 lb dog and 40 lb dog. What system do recomend. If this idea doesnt work I would probly have a 20 acre dog area.

ADMIN – Hi Eddie,

It’s difficult for me to say if you’re dogs will discover that they can go around the fence. It depends on how much they are willing roam, which sounds like they don’t roam too much. So, if I go on that info, I might say it’s safe that 1000 feet will suffice.

The key to success is mostly with the training. If you’re dogs are trained well, they will not attempt to cross the boundary toward the road.

Ole Dam October 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm

We are moving to France with our 10 month old Poodle – different voltage and amp to the system. Do you have a transformer built into the box? Do you have representation in France (Nice area)?

ADMIN – Hi Ole,

The systems we have are all 110V, for France you will need to either get a system locally or use a US system and a voltage converter. Afraid we don’t have a Nice office (yet!).

Patrick August 19, 2011 at 9:33 am

Hello, I am looking to rent a place that has a big back yard, Our dogs are both about 70 lbs and are used to being able to roam around. The house is on a busy road and we need to put in an electric fence. What model do you recommend for older dogs with no past experience. I want to make sure it is something they will get used too, and not something they can get through if they want if they see a squirrel. Please recommend models!

ADMIN – Hi Patrick,

What breed are the dogs and what is their temperament like. And how large is the yard? A generally good choice would be the Innotek IUC-4100.

If they are older dogs, test their hearing by clapping your hand when their head is turned and see if they notice. A small number of older dogs have lost hearing and owners are unaware, because the dog has so cleverly adapted. If the dog cannot hear we will want to use a vibrating collar like the PetSafe Stubborn.

As to squirrels, that it more dependent on the training than the system. With the two weeks of training we prescribe, I would not expect any problems getting them to obey the containment line even if they are high prey drive dogs and there is a quartet of juicy squirrels dancing the Can-Can on the other side of the boundary line.

Raymond July 17, 2011 at 12:00 am

Our problem is indoors, not out. We have two male dogs. My son and his family moved in with his male dog. Three male dogs, ugh. We have a lot of hardwood, which is not a problem, but we also have two areas of carpet and the dogs insist on marking it. Can we use this type of system to keep them off the carpeted areas?

Admin- Hi Raymond,

Your best option for containing the dogs from the carpeted areas would be a indoor Pod. The indoor pod will project a diameter that can be adjusted from 2 feet up to 12 feet. Please take a look at indoor zones below.
Indoor Zone:

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