Electronic Dog Fence Recommendations

In Ground Dog Fence Reviews Wireless Dog Fence Reviews Dog Fence Recommendations
  • PetSafe YardMax
  • Innotek IUC-5100
  • SportDog SDF-100A Fence
  • PetSafe Little Dog Fence
  • Havahart Wireless

#1 Overall System: PetSafe YardMax

PetSafe YardMax
PetSafe YardMax

For most installations we recommend the PetSafe YardMax. It is a tried and tested fence that has produced consistent good results for the last decade. The fence has a good mix of value and features. We use the PetSafe YardMax with most of our installation customers and it is by far the most popular system in our online store.

What sets this system apart, is that it is the only wired fence that your dog cannot run through. It is also the only system that lets you set the boundary to extend only outside your yard (instead of both inside and outside) so it leave more space for your dog.

The system has five levels of progressive correction, that self-adjust to take into account the persistence of the dog. We like the long-lasting rechargeable collar battery, and featherweight collar. The collars also have the unique feature of allowing you to tell whether they have been properly fitted. And the system is compatible with wireless indoor and outdoor pods so you can keep your dog out of certain rooms or a veggie garden.

The Ultrasmart is best for dogs over 10lbs. The weakness of the Ultrasmart is that it can only contain a maximum of 10 acres so is not appropriate for very large installations.

For a detailed review of the PetSafe YardMax, including pictures and a video review, click here.

Remote Trainer: Innotek IUC-5100

Innotek IUC-5100
Innotek Ultrasmart Contain and Train (IUC-5100)

For both remote training and dog fence functionality, the Innotek IUC-5100 combines 2-in-1. The system includes an excellent dog fence, based on the PetSafe Ultrasmart. Plus, the system includes a remote control that can be used to control the correction on the collar from a range of up to 100 yards.

The collar includes a rechargeable lithium ion battery. And bundled with the system are the lighting protection module and twisted wire, both optional extras on most other system.

For this versatility there are some tradeoffs. While the Innotek 5100 is an excellent dog fence, it is only a mediocre training collar. The range on the collar is limited and for hunting or advanced training, a dedicated training collar would be a better choice. The collar is also bigger and bulkier than other leading systems.

100 Acre Capacity: SportDog SDF-100A

SportDog SDF-100A
SportDog SDF-100A

For very large yards (over 10 acres), the SportDog SDF-100 is our recommendation. The SDF-100 has a range of up to 100 acres, unlike most regular strength systems which have a maximum range of 5-25 acres. The SportDog is also useful for large yards in cold climates where the extra signal strength lets you power through accumulated snow.

Built by the hunting dog company, SportDog, this system is one of the toughest and most durable systems, with particularly excellent waterproofing. The system also comes with 1,000 feet of boundary wire twice as much as you get standard with most systems.

The main drawback of this system is the collar is one of the biggest and heaviest wired dog fence collars.

Small Dogs: PetSafe Little Dog

PetSafe Little Dog
PetSafe Little Dog (PIG00-10773)

For small dogs, (under 10lbs) the Petsafe Little Dog is the way to go. The collars on regular dog fence systems are too big to be comfortable on a small dog. The PetSafe Little Dog has the smallest lightest collar, and reduced correction levels making it the best choice for very small dogs.

The PetSafe Little Dog is also compatible with PetSafe Stubborn and PetSafe Deluxe in-ground dog fence collars. So you can use a full size, full strength collar such as the PetSafe Stubborn, or PetSafe Deluxe to contain other dogs using the same system.

The main disadvantage of the PetSafe Little Dog is that it uses a proprietary PetSafe battery. The battery costs around $10 and only lasts 2-3 months. But, if your dog is less than 10 lbs this is still the only good choice.

Wireless: Havahart Radial

Havahart Radial
Havahart Radial

For wireless or portable installations, the Havahart Radial-Shape Wireless is the best of the three wireless dog fence options. Wireless systems like the Havahart Wireless, PetSafe PIF-300, and Perimeter Technologies WiFi project a circular boundary wirelessly and therefore do not require boundary wire. That makes these systems extremely convenient to set up. However, you do pay for that convenience with a relative drop in performance compared to the best in-ground wired systems. Wireless systems (particularly the PetSafe and Perimeter models) have trouble getting through physical barriers between them and the dog such as walls, trees, slopes, etc. The boundaries they create are also less precise and can move several feet second to second. They are also slow, often correcting the dog seconds too late and stopping the correction too late. This all makes them less effective than wire based systems.

However, Havahart has recently introduced the newest wireless fence with the Havahart Radial-Shape Wireless Fence and it is clearly the best of the three when considering boundary consistency, timing of correction, and barrier pass-through. Of the two other wireless units, the older PetSafe Wireless is the second best with the Perimeter WiFi fence coming in a distant third. Based on our field testing, the Havahart Wireless fence easily takes the top honors and should be your first choice when purchasing a wireless dog fence system.

In Ground Dog Fence Reviews Wireless Dog Fence Reviews Dog Fence Recommendations

Our Most Popular Pages

dog fence driveway ~ petsafe containment system ~ petsafe fences ~ dogtra ef 3000 ~ dogtek ef 4000 ~ no dig ~ smart dog fence ~ petsafe stubborn ~ perimeter dog fence ~ iuc 5100 ~ dog fence trencher ~ dog fence installation ~ bury dog fence wire ~ sdf100 ~ petsafe underground fence ~ innotek ultrasmart iuc 4100 ~ wifi dog fence ~ dog fence training diy ~ innotek sd 3000 ~ innotek 2000 ~ pet containment fences ~ best electric dog fence ~ humane contain ~ dog fence review ~ wireless fence review

{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh March 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I live in a suburb but have a German Shepherd that is an escape artist. She literally pulls boards off of the fence to go after squirrels that like to tempt her from the neighbors yard. Chain link doesn’t bother her either. I have been thinking about putting something along my fence line to keep her off the fences. Creating a loop will be difficult (because of my house setup I can’t loop it through the front and I don’t want it to go off when she walks into the house) so I’m wondering if each of the wired fences need to be loops. Also, I rent the house I am in now so I’d prefer to staple the wire to the fence so that I can easily remove it later. Would any of these units be compatible with something like this? Thanks for your help! This site is very informative.

ADMIN – Hi Josh,

All of the wired dog fences require a complete loop, but we can be a little creative about how we make a loop. Email a quick sketch and we can draw something up for you. I presume you are trying to do a backyard only layout. If you already have a fence, you can run one side of the loop along the top of the fence and complete the loop by doubling back on yourself along the top of the fence (provided the fence is at least 5 feet tall). Alternatively you can run the wire along the fence, then complete the loop by going up a downspout on the back of your house then along the gutter and down the downspout on the other side of your house (the vertical height of the wire over the house lets the dog enter and exit through the door).

Karen March 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I have two labs that are 1 1/2 years old. Very head strong but also VERY VERY friendly with everyone including other animals. But I am having a very hard time keeping them in the electric fence that I have now. We got a Humane Contain system with two collars and have it running around about 1 1/2 – 2 acres of land. Needless to say it doesn’t keep them contained!! They can run right through it. (My story is just like the lady that posted about her malamute, Christie, she posted on March 6th.) I need something that is going to keep them in the yard. We have around a hundred acres of wooded area and I don’t want them in there do to all the hunters we have. Please help me find a fence that will keep them in! Thank you.

ADMIN – Hi Karen,

With strong headed labs, I’d recommend the PetSafe Stubborn. It offers the strongest correction levels available among all dog fences. You can use the wire from your current system.

Christie March 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I have a malamute hushy mix that is 22 months old and appears to have just hit the teenage stage. She has decided to go through her electric fence in the last 4 days. She is running so fast that it does not even give a warning signal. It is a basic Innoteck system. We have put in a new battery, tightened the collar, checked to make sure it is working, and turned the feild up to the highest level and she is still bravely running through. She has never run back through the fence to come home. I have put her on a leash and walked her around the fence line today she even went into the feild and heard the sound ignored it. I pulled her back like we did in b asic training and she still tried to run through eventually getting a shock. She then wanted to go back to the front door and is not trusting me when walking on the leash around the safe zone. Can you make a suggestion on how to curtail this problem? Do we need a fence that will give punishment faster?

ADMIN – Hi Christie,

How wide is the boundary set up at the moment? If you have it set up at least five feet wide on either side of the boundary you should be fine, otherwise it might be worth trading up to a more powerful system.

I suspect she is not getting the correction consistently from your description, since some of the time she seems to ignore the boundary – but when she does get the correction she backs off. Especially with that thick husky / malamute undercoat getting the probes to touch skin is tricky. You can think out a little hair with scissors. When you put the collar on, you will need to wiggle the probes a little and move hair out of the way with your fingers.

You are doing the right thing retraining her and keeping her on leash. You want to avoid breaking through the fence becoming habit.

If you do turn out to need another system, the Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice since it has a collar-fit detection mode that will let you know if get the collar on perfectly and when you don’t.

Kiersten March 6, 2011 at 8:35 am

We have a 1/2 acre lot in a small town residential area and two 90 pound golden retrievers. The younger one was raised with us from a puppy but the older was a shelter dog, quite timid, but he runs away when he gets the chance. The younger golden is quite unruly and a bit mischievous so I am afraid he will just run through any boundary. But we don’t want something too strong because the older dog is very skittish and sensitive. What are your recommendations?

ADMIN – Hi Kiersten,

With two Golden’s, their sensitivity to the correction is likely to be similar and I would suggest an Innotek IUC-4100 or a PetSafe Stubborn as good systems. The Innotek is smaller, rechargeable, and has a collar fit feature which will be useful with the long-hair on the Golden. The Stubborn is a strong system, but you can turn it down. With the Golden Retrievers – I would start on level 2 or level 3. The Stubborn is a little bigger and not rechargeable but will be a little cheaper.

With the young fellow that you have concerns about, incorporate some strong temptations in to the training in the last few days so that he gets the message that he cannot run through no matter what is on the other side. Borrowing a neighbors dog always works well, as does food or another family member. With the training, I don’t think you will have any problems getting a Golden Retriever contained, they tend to be an easy to train breed.

Deborah February 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I have two 4 month old puppies. One is a German Shepherd, the other is a Husky. Both are on the large side of the breeds. I expect both of them to be near 100 lbs when fully grown. We have 4 acres and would like to keep them contained on the property. We have deer and other wildlife that the dogs like to chase after. What system would you recommend for my situation. Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Deborah,

I would wait till they are 6 months to start training. At six months they tend to learn a lot faster than when they are puppies. You can start earlier if they can confidently do a “sit/stay/come,” otherwise I would wait till 6 months.

For a German Shepherd and a Husky, the SportDog SDF-100 or PetSafe Stubborn would be a good choice. It is likely the GSD will require a stronger correction than the Husky, so it would be good to have a system with a strong and independent correction.

Candi February 25, 2011 at 11:57 pm

We have Mollie, a 2 year old Siberian Husky. She is Houdini. She has escaped 6 times in the past week. When we find where she has gotten out, fixed it, then she will find a new way out. She dug a hole under the fence about 6 inches deep & a foot long & got out . Her WHOLE side was muddy so we figure she scooted out on her side! She has learned how to open the screen door at our parent’s house (a pull-down handle) and push it open. We live on a busy road where there are 2 large hills. We’re at the top of the hill where cars cannot see until they’re right here. we have a 1/2 acre lot and a 30×40 pole barn in one corner. I have seen some portable wireless units, It would be awesome if we could take the system with us when we go to our parents since we visit them often (taking her with us) and Mollie has found several ways out of their yard as well. Is this a possibility and if so, could we take it on vacation if we ever decide to take Mollie with us? What do you suggest?

ADMIN – Hi Candi,

The wireless units are great for taking on vacation, because you can easily take the unit and some flags with you and establish a new boundary at the vacation site. The downside of wireless is however that they struggle with some people’s homes. One of the things they struggle with is hills. A good rule of thumb is that if you imagine the house was made of glass, if you could see down the hill then the unit would likely work, if you cannot see down the hill then you are likely not going to get a good signal. If you want a wireless unit to take on vacation, it is worth trying something like the Havahart wireless, it should be obvious within a few minutes of plugging whether it will work in your location. And if it does not work you can send it back.

Another option is to use a wired system and lay a second perimeter at your parent’s house. This will be more work, but the wired systems work a lot more consistently than the wireless so you will have a better result.

Ed P. February 25, 2011 at 11:22 am

Hello, we have an almost 6 month old male Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie). These are the only dog we ever owned. We have about 1/4 acre, no trees. Basically all flat. I’ve gotten quotes to have invisible fence installed by professional. But may decide to install one myself. What would you recommend for Sheltie. I’d like to have a very nice system. We may get another dog in the future. And can almost guarantee it will not be bigger than 45 lbs. What do you suggest? Thanks for your time.

ADMIN – Hi Ed,

With herding dogs like Shelties you have a lot of choices because they tend to be smart and sensitive to the correction. Our top choice would be an Innotek IUC-4100, the collar is small and rechargeable. The 4100 also has a collar that lets you know if it is fitted correctly which is useful in long hair dogs like a Sheltie where fitting the collar can be tricky.

Nikki Wilson February 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I need recommendation for a system that will secure 2 very different dogs in 3-5 acres. I have an enormous (dumb) hound mix and a small (28-30lbs) very timid, Heeler mix. The porcupine that lives somewhere near our home has cost me $500 in vet bills in the last week, because the Hound keeps going back for revenge. I’m also worried about the hound running through the fence and taking the shock so would like a system with a remote as well as different levels of correction as the two are soooo different in temperment…Please help. I am at the end of my rope.
Nikki

ADMIN – Hi Nikki,

If having a remote trainer with your fence is a must, the fence you’ll need to get the Innotek 5100 for your hound mix and heeler. The remote works with up to two collars, so it will work well for you. The fence itself has 3 levels of correction and works well with most dogs. It’s got a sleek, low profile collar that’s also rechargeable. However, the correction level switch is on the wall transmitter. This means that both dogs will experience the same correction level. If having different correction levels is a must for each of your dogs, then I’d recommend the PetSafe Stubborn Dog fence and use the collar on the hound mix and then bundle in the PetSafe Deluxe collar for the heeler. Keep in mind that the Innotek 5100 is the only fence we have with a remote trainer.

The fence comes with enough wire to cover 1/3 of an acre, so you’ll need to add an additional 2,000 feet of wire to cover from 3 to 5 acres of property.

Noor February 10, 2011 at 10:52 am

I have a 80 pound Doberman and a 70 pound German shepherd(both are 2 years old). I am debating between the petsafe stubborn and the innotech 4100. I am not sure if I need the extra correction with the stubborn system. I want to get the better system but I don’t want my dogs breaking through the fence every other day because the correction is not strong enough. Can u please help me with a solution?

Admin – Hi Noor

The Innotek 4100 is our most recommended system and would be a good fit for your Doberman and German Shepard. Both could be slightly stubborn and if that is the case then the PetSafe Stubborn would also work well for you.
The Innotek 4100 has both battery backup and rechargeable collar, the PetSafe Stubborn does not. If those things are important to you.
I hope I have been of some help.

Andy January 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm

I just received my Innotek IUC-4100 but I have a 2 questions for your prior to installation. First, a few weeks ago, a representative from a leading invisible fence company came out to explain his product. It was far more expensive than what I can accomplish with the Innotek product. However, he did mention that their company can “kill” the connection at special places by driving some type of a metal stake into the ground rather than by twisting the wire like Innotek recommends. Is this possible to do with an Innotek product? Second, I would rather slip the wire through a plastic conduit so that I don’t accidentally cut it later when I am digging in that area of the yard ( I am planning to dig till the the ground for a future hedge row but not quite ready do do so at this time). Thanks for your assistance.

ADMIN – Hi Andy,

We seen some people use a metal stake on both sides of an open section of the fence to complete the loop. The way it works is that the signal instead of going through wire is conducted through the ground. It tends to work spottily where we are located because the ground dries out and the ground stops being conductive so we don’t use this method. You can certainly give it a try, but I would avoid doing it that way. (Let us know how it works if you give it a try, most of our customers have not had much luck)

You can run the wire through plastic conduit. It works great to protect the wire and does not block the signal. We generally use the black plastic tubing used for irrigation/sprinkler systems. The flexibility of the tubing makes it easier to work with than PVC.

Kallie Williams January 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I have two male beagle/labrador mixed dogs, they are brothers and weigh in at 45 pounds each. They have been trained with the Sport Dog field trainers, and they respond very well to the beeper when I take them places to let them run. My family is moving out to the country, and we have the chance to put an electronic fence in around our entire house so they can get off of their tie outs and have much more freedom. They have been separated for a while, and while they get along when we walk them together, they tend to get a little unruly when they are together. We have debated between the Innotek contain and train and the SD 2100 because it is rechargeable. Our thinking was it would be nice with the contain and train, because not only do they learn their new boundary but we still have a little control of them when they get unruly with each other, or when we’re teaching them new things, like not to jump or chase vehicles. They are really sensitive, and on the Sportdog trainer I never even have to use the electronic stimulation. What would you suggest? I’m looking for the easiest way to do this, because in about four months I am leaving for school and my mom is taking over. If we do the Contain and Train, is it going to confuse the dogs because they are learning their new boundaries at the same time? Would I be better off just using the SD 2100 and teaching them their boundaries first? I apologize for the somewhat random questions, but I am looking to find the best way to go about this. Thank you for reading this and any advice will be appreciated!!

One thing negative I read about the contain and train is that it can be confusing to a dog to use the remote trainer at the same time as teaching them about the boundary line.

ADMIN – Hi Kallie,

To avoid confusion I would do the dog fence containment training first. (you can either use the SD-2100 or use the Innotek IUC-5100 and keep the training function switched off) Then after a month start using the system for obedience training too. As you note, dogs get confused when you introduce both at the same time. Once the dogs are used to the containment system, adding the correction for obedience training as well is no big deal.

One thing to note, the Contain and Train is not as good as a dedicated field trainer. It works for training around the house, and basic obedience training where the dog is under 10 yards away. But, it does not work as well at the field trainers for training hunting dogs where you often need a range of 1+ miles.

Ed January 17, 2011 at 2:05 am

We have A 75 lb lab/heeler cross and a 20 lb Westie. We’d be happy to restrict them to 2-3 acres around the house, which is surrounded by flat lawn, 250′ from the road to the north. 180′ from the road to the east, 150′ from the neighbor to the south, and 20′ from the pasture fence to the west (120′ from the SE corner). Is it worth considering a Havahart wireless system? Would it protect the NW yard on the far side of the house? What would you recommend as a best solution.

ADMIN – Hi Ed,

Having open flat land sounds are good conditions for a wireless system. But, you also need to locate the system close to the center of the property, since it can only create a circular boundary with the center where the base station is located. Since, it sounds like your house is closer the western boundary, the fence would not work well if located in the house, you would want to find another location with shelter from the weather and a power outlet that is closer to the center (e.g. a barn or shed).

Wired systems are generally much better than wireless, because they create more reliable boundaries and can be shaped exactly to the property. With two dogs that are so different in size, a good choice of system would be the PetSafe Deluxe. The collar on the PetSafe Deluxe is small enough for a Westie to be comfortable, but can produce a stronger correction sufficient for a lab mix.

Rebekah January 14, 2011 at 1:29 am

I have a border collie kelpie mix and he is about 4 1/2 and he has started to run farther and farther away from home and I need a system that will keep him home and away from cars. We live out in the country but there is still a lot of traffic and I dont want him to get hurt. What would be the best system for an older dog to learn the quickest on? Thanks for your help.

ADMIN – Hi Rebekah,

Herding dogs like Border Collies and Kelpies tend to be among the easiest dogs to train because of their highly developed intelligence, so you would have a lot of good options you could choose from. If the area you are enclosing is under 15 acres, the Innotek IUC-4100 is a good choice – the inbuilt collar fit tester will be useful with the longer fur. If the area is over 15 acres, then the SportDog SDF-100A would be a good choice with its more high powered transmitter.

PS – if he is an older dog, it is worth checking that he can still hear. You would be surprised at how many older dogs can’t hear but have learned to adapt so their owners never notice. Clap when the dog is looking in another direction and see if he responds. If the dog is hard of hearing we would want to get a collar with a vibration setting (like the SportDog SDF-100 or the PetSafe Stubborn).

Tom January 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I have a 1 year old Yellow Lab. We have a pretty goo sized yard. We are considering buying a batting cage for my son. It will take up about 35ft x 12ft of space. My only hesitation is that the dog will tear it up. Any recommendations on what I can do here?

ADMIN – Hi Tom,

Blocking off a small area like the batting cage is the perfect job for the Pawz-Away Rock and Collar set. Since the cage is long and thin, you would be better off operating the rock in wired mode (rather than wireless). You can simply string the wire in a big loop around the batting cage either interweaving it through the chain-link or zip-tying it in place.

Janine January 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Hi we have a chocolate lab (female) and we own about 5 acres and would like to fence it all off she that she can run around, right now we keep her on a retracable leash as she loves to sniff the rabbit tracks and we are afraid she will take off and chase them. I need to know what fence we should use would like to bury it as we have 5 horses also. thanks

ADMIN – Hi Janine,

With a Lab and 5 acres, I would do an Innotek IUC-4100. It is a rechargeable system, that has a nice thin collar, and is very accurate and reliable. Another good option would be the SportDog SDF-100A, also a very good system and a little cheaper, but it has larger collar and you need to keep buying batteries for the unit.

Suse December 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm

I have recently rescued a 53 lb. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier mix. Mostly I walk her on a leash, but she loves to play fetch as well. I have a small patio/yard area which is enclosed with a 4 foot wall. She has already jumped the wall, headed for the golf course at top speed, but came back at the last minute because I had the tennis balls! I would like to be able to have her in the yard with me without a leash but always with supervision. Would you recommend a wireless system, a buried system, or a remote trainer?

ADMIN – Hi Suse,

To keep the dog contained within an area, I think a wired dog fence is your best bet. A wired system will give your dog consistent corrections when they stray making it much easier to train the dog not to try escaping.

The problem with a remote trainer is that it is not as consistent, because the human operator is rarely consistent enough. (people forget to always have the remote handy, or aren’t watching, or don’t correct the dog on time) Plus, a remote trainer usually only teaches the dog not to escape when you watching.

Wireless fences are a step in the right direction, but are less consistent than the wired systems, so if you have the option go with a wired system.

sandy December 4, 2010 at 9:13 pm

We have a 150lb mastiff and a 60lb pit mix. The smaller dog is the stubborn one. She is a bit harder to train and listen to commands. We are confused by what system to buy and if we go with 2 collars. We want to contain 2 acres and want rechargeable collars. Could you give us some advice on which direction to go. thank you

ADMIN – Hi Sandy,

With so much difference in weight, I would prefer to see you get a system with independent correction because it is likely that each dog will require a different correction level. With both a Mastiff and a Pit Bull Mix, it is definitely possible you may need the higher correction levels. So the system that leaps out to me is the PetSafe Stubborn. The system is not however rechargeable – it uses a disposable 9V battery that lasts about three months. If you wanted, you could get a rechargeable 9V battery from a Radio Shack, Walmart or Hardware Store.

If you wanted something rechargeable straight out of the box, the Dogtra EF-3000 would be a good choice too. But, the PetSafe is much cheaper even if you have to go out and buy a set of rechargeable batteries and a recharger and I think it is better suited to your breeds – so the PetSafe would be my first choice.

Tracy Duchek November 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

We have a 2 year old border collie/collie cross and she has taken lately to chase joggers/bikers that travel down our road in front of our house. For the safety of the people on the road and our dog, we bare thinking of getting an invisible fence put across the front of our place. We live on 5 acres in a rural setting with about 125′ of house frontage and 125′ of field frontage. There is also a paved driveway down the middle which has a conduit pipe running underneath so we can supply power to the other side of the driveway. Would the driveway impede the strength of the signal compared to the grass? What system would you recommend? The dogs are in the water quite a bit….

ADMIN – Hi Tracy

You can run the containment fence wire through the conduit. The signal can penetrate the concrete as long as it is not too thick (more than a foot). If you need to, you can turn up the boundary width control dial to get a stronger signal to penetrate thicker sections of concrete – just be aware this will result in a wider boundary in other sections of the property.

With border collies, the Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice, it has a small collar, a collar fit sensor (which is useful on long hair dogs like collies), is rechargeable, and has good waterproofing for dogs that like to swim.

jill November 26, 2010 at 11:34 am

Thank you for your advice, I understand that there are 3 grades of the IUC-4100 systems, the Regular, the Heavy Duty and the Super Heavy Duty. I am assuming that in getting the Super heavy duty that the extra expense is worth it?
Also i noticed that there is an IUC-4200 with the same three grades.
Taking these two systems into account would the 4200SHD be better than the 4100SHD?
Where do i email the sketch to for your advice on the layout please?
Thanks again.

ADMIN – Hi Jill,

Wire grades – most of the systems come standard with 20 gauge wire which is what the manufacturers recommend. You can get the systems with different grades (read thickness) of wire. Unless you are doing a very large area near the limit of the system (read 15+ acres on an Innotek 4100) where wire resistance becomes an issue, there is no real benefit from thicker grades. The thicker wires don’t seem to be more durable in practice. The things that cut the wire (lawnmowers, aerators, edgers) slice through all the grades with equal ease! We offer the thicker gauges for a small additional charge for customers that want it, but for most people it is not something we recommend.

Innotek 4200/4100 – Confusingly the 4200 is an old version of the 4100 which included the 4100 system bundled with a few extra goodies. Innotek discontinued the 4200 in 2008. But, I think some folks still have dead stock or are assembling their own. We have not stocked the 4200 for a couple of years.

jill November 23, 2010 at 11:02 pm

We have just had a red heeler turn up as a stray, cannot find the owner after a lot of work trying. Have yet to confirm age but seems like around 8-10 months. She is very fast if she sees a deer or squirrel etc, quite the hunter. Very lively!
Seems like she is not going to like being in a large chainlink dog run so we are thinking of an electrical fence instead. Haven’t used one before and not much experience with dogs.
We have around 2 acres that we would either allow her the whole area to be fenced into or we could just let her have the run of the back yard area if it was too expensive or difficult to do the whole 2 acres.
We are on a lake fronted property so I assume that these collars are waterproof if she went in the lake? Or would we have to fence that off too?
We would like to allow her to come up to the house from the yard and on the deck can we run the wire next to the metal siding on the house/deck area or will this interfere with the system?
Could you advise the best system and the rough cost please?
Appreciate it greatly.

ADMIN – Hi Jill,

Where possible, I prefer to give the dogs a bigger area. The cost of extra wire is minimal and if you use a trencher – doing 2 acres is only a few hours of work. Especially for a high energy dog like a Red Heeler, the more space you can give them the better.

The collars on most of the better systems are waterproof. Most people will fence off the lake so the dog does not have unrestricted access. Otherwise, the dogs will continually be wet and tracking mud into the house. Instead, they give the dog only limited access, where the dog is allowed to go only when you give them permission (and take the collar off). If you do want to give the dog complete access to the water, there are some sample lakefront layouts on our planning page.

Not sure I understand the layout you are proposing. There are lots of ways to arrange the layout so that the dog still has free access to the home. Metal siding can sometimes amplify the signal, so we want to be strategic about where we put the wire to make sure you don’t get signal in the house. If you email us a sketch we are happy to diagram something out for you?

For a Red Heeler, an Innotek IUC-4100 would be my top choice. It is a great system with a rechargeable (and waterproof collar). The cost for 2 acres is likely to be around $340. Another good choice would be the SportDog SDF-100, which is a bigger collar and a uses a disposable battery, but will be closer to $250.

Gary November 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I have a 75+ Yellow Lab pup that we want to be able to run free on our 10 acres. A large majority of the property borders are restricted from crossing due to blackberrys and other obstacles/closed fencing. However, we are particularly concerned with approximately 1000 feet across the front bordering our neighbor. Unfortunately this is also where our driveway passes through. What would you suggest?

ADMIN – Hi Gary,

For a lab on 10 acres, the Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice if you want something rechargeable. If you want a disposable battery, the SportDog SDF-100 is a little bigger, but also very good.

There are two potential dog fence layouts you could choose. If you just want to block off the 1,000 feet, you could do a long thin loop across the front (diagram #6 on the layouts page). If you wanted to block off the whole property, you could do a large loop of boundary wire around the entire property (layout #1). I suggest the later option, because often once a dog has got the taste for wandering – then even if you block off the obvious escape routes – they will start looking for more.
Getting across the driveway should be no big deal, take a look at our driveway installation pages.

Billy November 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm

We have a 12 week old Great Dane puppy and are considering an invisible fence for our yard. We live in a duplex condo but have a pretty good sized back yard and side yard because we are on the end. We were considering the Wifi wireless system but after reading your reviews have decided that we don’t think it is the best choice. We would like to have a reliable fence that we can count on but running the wire in our situation seems almost impossible, I have laid awake many nights trying to figure this out. I was wondering if you had any ideas of how we could run wire in the ground with our situation and have a reliable fence. Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Billy.

When doing the wiring for a duplex, we generally run the wire up over the home to complete the loop. If there is a basement, you could also go down below your home to complete the dog fence circuit.

If you wanted to try wireless, the new Havahart Wireless would be a good option.

PS – I would wait until the pup is 6 months to start the training. A 12 week old Great Dane is a big dog, but they are still a pup in terms of mental development and most will be slow to learn the dog fence system. Much better to wait till they are 6 months when they will catch on very quickly.

April November 16, 2010 at 2:29 am

I have 1 black lab 10 mos old. We have a 3/4 acre back yard that has a 3 ft fence around it. He has stayed in until recently. We live in the mountains and have deer. He has now realized that he can jump the fence. He rarely does it, but I would hate to be gone from home and have him escape. I am wondering which fence system would be good to set the wire on the top of the existing fence. I want him to have full use of the yard to the fence.

Admin – Hi April,

You can mount the wire from any wired electric dog fence on too of your current physical fence and it will work great. Labradors tend to be very easy customers and you have a lot of choices. The Innotek IUC-4100 is a good choice if you want something smaller and rechargeable. The SportDog SDF-100A is a good choice for a less expensive system.

Jenny November 16, 2010 at 12:31 am

I’m trying to figure out an easy way to setup an above ground system for the backyard that will still let my labrador go in and out of the back door. Running the wire twice around the yard is not an option since only a postage stamp-sized area would be left.

I was looking at the Innotek Smart Dog Fence SD-2100 and thinking about running the wire over the door, along the roof line but I’m not sure how close she would need to come to the wire before getting zapped? Also the only outlets in the yard are within about 2 feet of the back door. Any ideas, advice?

ADMIN – Hi Jenny,

Take a look at the Installation –>Planning section of the website for a whole lot of diagrams for how you can do a backyard layout. One good way to do it, is to run the wire up a guttering downspout, across the gutters on the roof, then down a downspout on the other side of the house.

The distance the dog can get to the wire before getting the correction depends on how wide you set the fence (it is controlled by a dial on the control box). You will typically want it to be 3-5 wide on either side of the wire. You need to add another three feet of safety buffer – so the wire needs to be at least 6-8 feet above the dogs head to avoid correction – this is rarely a problem on a typical roof line which is 10+ feet high.

Michelle November 10, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Hi, I have adopted a wonderful 3 year old 74 lb. Belgian Malinois. She has a bit of separation anxiety when we leave and has dug under the fence to check on the front of the house and chase neighborhood squirrels. What fence do you recommend for our dog? Thanks! Michelle

ADMIN – Hi Michelle,

I don’t have much experience with Belgian Malinois. From what I understand they are a working dog that was bred to be a sheepdog and later a guard dog. I think a conservative choice would be a PetSafe Stubborn system. Often sheepdogs and guard dogs are bred to be very brave and having low sensitivity to pain. The PetSafe Stubborn has the strongest correction, I am not sure you will need all that correction, so I would start with that system on medium-low and work your way up the correction levels if you need it.

Lee in Houston November 10, 2010 at 1:15 pm

We have a couple of year and a half old Labs. Our back yard is fenced with Cedar pickets, and we do not have any issues with them escaping from the yard. Our problem is with our 106 pound male Lab bolting, or bullying his way out the front door, or the gate when we open them. We love him, but we are spent with chasing him down! What would you recommend to keep him from going through these doors and gates?

ADMIN – Hi Lee,

If the only space you are trying to block is the front door and the front gate, you could use a couple of the Pawz-Away Outdoor Pods to block his path rather than a full dog fence system. These pods are wireless so installation is very fast. They are also cheaper than a full fence and a good choice when only trying to block a small area.

Donna November 9, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I have a 3 year old Red Heeler approximately 35 pounds and a 6 month old Pitbull that is 70 lbs that will get up to 120 lbs. We have an acre and a half. What system would be best for us.

ADMIN – Hi Donna,

With that much difference in size, a system where we can use two different collars for the dogs would be a big advantage. I would get a PetSafe Stubborn system and use the included PetSafe Stubborn collar for the Pit Bull. The Red Healer could use a PetSafe Stubborn collar too (just keep it on the low levels), but would probably be more comfortable in the smaller PetSafe Deluxe collar which would work with your PetSafe Stubborn system.

kenny November 8, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I am thinking on installing a Innotek 2000 but my friend has a Petsafe stubborn and i was wondering if the collars would work on both systems.

ADMIN – Hi Kenny,

The Innotek collars will not work on the PetSafe system. If you want something compatible with your friend’s system you will either need a PetSafe Stubborn, PetSafe Deluxe, or PetSafe Little Dog system.

Beth November 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm

We have a 5 month beagle/lab puppy. She is about 20 lbs right now. We are on a 3/4 acre lot and our neighbors have a PetSafe Deluxe in-ground system. Which system would you recommend? Do we have to worry about it interfering with our neighbors? How far away would would we need to put the wire from theirs? Thank You!!

ADMIN – Hi Beth,

You will likely interference from your neighbor’s fence if you get too close. Getting 12 feet of separation will avoid interference, but you could be able to get closer.

One way to avoid interference is to use a system that lets you use multiple frequencies, that way you can adjust the frequency and avoid clashing with the neighbor’s system. A good choice for a beagle/lab with adjustable frequencies is the SportDog SDF-100:

Joe October 29, 2010 at 6:27 pm

We have a 12 week old Jack Russell. I am looking into which fence system would be best for a 3/8 acre yard? Also, what age do you think is best to start with a system? I was liking the wireless systems because we have plenty of trees to dig around. Thanks for your help!!

ADMIN – Hi Joe,

Wireless systems are easy to install, but have problems penetrating lots of trees. I would avoid using wireless if you have thick vegetation, if it is a wooded area, you can just lay the wire on the ground and don’t need to bury it. Wireless systems also tend to have larger collars so I would avoid using them on dogs under 20lbs. For a Jack Russel under 12lbs I would use a PetSafe Little Dog, over 12lbs I would use an Innotek IUC-4100 (because you avoid the PetSafe proprietary batteries)

I like to wait until dogs are six months of age before introducing a dog fence. The problem with younger dogs is that they often don’t have the attention span to be properly trained. Training is much easier when the dogs are older. Some dogs do mature faster, so you can do it earlier if the dog can confidently do a sit/stay/come.

Susan Landon October 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm

We have three dogs a Brittany and Wheaten Terrier (both about 45 pounds) and a papillon (10 months, under 10 pounds). We have an Innotek 2100 that works fine for the Brittany and Wheaten. Unfortunately, the collar is too big for the Papillon. I understand the the Pet Safe is the only system that has a collar for a small dog. But we are very unhappy about having a system that isn’t rechargeable. So here’s the question — Could we attach two systems (Innotek and Pet Safe) to the single wire that is already installed? That way we could keep the two rechargeable collars and only deal with batteries for the Pet Safe. If that won’t work, do you have any other suggestions? Thanks!!! Susan

ADMIN – Hi Susan,

Unfortunately you can’t hoolk up both systems to the same wire otherwise neither will work. One option would be to get the PetSafe Little dog for the Papillon and to use the compatible PetSafe Stubborn collars for the Wheaton Terrier and the Brittany Spaniel. The Stubborn collar uses a disposable 9V battery, but you can buy a rechargeable 9V battery at a Wal-Mart or Home Depot and use that rechargeable battery with the collars.

Victoria October 20, 2010 at 11:35 am

I have a large Yorkie rescue dog who is an escape artist. I can’t let her get past the walk through gate of the smaller chain link fenced yard into the larger fenced area or she will get out. I need something to keep her in the smaller area and let the other dogs out into the bigger yard.

ADMIN – Hi Victoria,

How heavy is the Yorkie? Yorkies are right on the border, if she is under 12lbs – go with the PetSafe Little Dog. Over 12lbs, and the Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice.

Bill October 19, 2010 at 3:35 am

Purchased the sportdog sdf100 and it has worked like a charm. The training manual worked great. it took about a week to get the dog trained.Now she will not go passed the boundary,even without the colar on lol. Worth every penny.

Amy October 15, 2010 at 10:13 am

I am considering the Innoteck IUC-5100 for its remote capability. Just to clarify, can the remote be used independently, outside the boundary, as a field training aid? Thanks for the clarification.

ADMIN – Hi Amy,

Yes it can.

Wilton McPherson October 6, 2010 at 8:56 pm

We have a two rat terriers, one 11 years old and 9 lbs, one 7 years old and 6 lbs. We have just added a border collie to the group and she is 4 months old. I am looking for a in ground fence for the collie and maybe to puting the 7 yr old terrier on to. We live in on an acre lot in the country in an subdivision. The collie is very shy and easy to train.

ADMIN – Hi Wilton,

With your mix I’d recommend purchasing the PetSafe Deluxe fence (for the collie) and add in two PetSafe Little Dog collars (for the two terriers). The system comes with 500 feet of wire, so you’ll need one additional 500 foot roll to cover a full acre.

Denise October 2, 2010 at 6:58 am

I have a new dog, he’s a Saint Bernard approximately 2 years old, 130 pounds. He is jumping my fence daily and I’m very scared for his safety, we live very close to a busy highway and I’m worried sick that he’ll be injured. I’m trying to give him more exercise to help with possible boredom, in any event I think this fence jumping has become a game for him. I’m thinking electric fence as a back up measure to help contain him. Could you tell me which one would be right for him? Thanks so much!

ADMIN – Hi Denise,

With a Saint Bernard, I’d recommend the PetSafe Stubborn Dog Fence due to his size. You can attach the wire to the fence and it will solve your problem immediately. As a matter of fact, he will not be able to jump over or dig under the fence. I’d also recommend reviewing our planning page (Installation –> Planning) if you plan to install just the backyard, there are a few sample layouts that may be useful.

chris September 27, 2010 at 9:34 pm

we have boxer and he has barking problems when he is outside. we got him one of the petsafe bark collars and its working great. i am about to install the petsafe underground fence. im wondering if there would be any interference or any other problems from wearing both collars?? i dont think so but just wanted the opinion of someone who knows more about these than i do

ADMIN – Hi Chris,

You would not get any interference issues between the two collars on the wireless and wired systems.

Trish September 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I have a husky thats young and wild and am 8 pound Pom-Pom. I purchased a PetSafe system and set it up realizing that my neighbors fence interferes with it. I believe they have a Dog-Watch system. How do I determine the best system to use beside them and what would you recommend for collars etc. Thanks Trish

ADMIN – Hi Trish,

With interference situations, the two systems to try are the Perimeter Ultra or the new SportDog SDF-100A. These two systems let you switch frequencies. With a dog as small as 8lbs, the Perimeter Ultra would be the way to go, the SportDog collars are much too big.

Also check if you neighbor’s system allows them to change their frequency, that way you could keep the system you have and contain that wild Husky!

Denny September 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm

We have 2 80 plus lb labs that love to wander. We installed the Humane Contain system last summer, the system worked for a week until the dogs were able to walk right through the “electrical shock”. What system do you recommend we use for our labs? Denny

ADMIN – Hi Denny,

Labs tend to be pretty easy and you have a lot of choices. We really like the Innotek IUC-4100. Rechargeable and reliable.

The Humane Contain is notoriously flaky, we hear that kind of thing a lot.

Rick September 18, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Hello. Thanks for the website. I’m looking for the right fence for our 6month old golden puppy. We have about an acre of land to secure for our dog. I’m curious about you guys and where you get your financial support. I don’t see an “about us” feature on your site so I’m wondering whether you have some ties to innotek or other wired fences rather than others. Not a criticism but more a question of where you get your support and whether that influences your endorsements. Thanks, Rick.

ADMIN – Hi Rick,

Goldens are easy to train and you could go with a number of systems. I particularly like the Innotek IUC-4100 for long-hair dogs. The collar check feature is really useful when you are getting started because it lets you know when the collar is on properly and contacting the skin. It is a bit tricky getting the collar on correctly with a long-hair dog, it is not a big deal once you have done it a couple of times – but it is nice to have some feedback to let you know when it is on right.

The way we make our living is by selling the fences to our readers in our online store. Our business model is that we try and give readers great impartial advice to guide them through planning the layout, picking their system, installing, and training. In return our readers give us their business and hopefully refer us to their friends.

We don’t get any financial support (or any other kind of inducement) from any of the brands for reviews – I feel like that would defeat the spirit/purpose of the site. It also would not make any business sense, if our customers aren’t happy we are getting returns, and even more importantly we aren’t getting those precious referrals.

Don Markham September 16, 2010 at 11:24 am

We have a 8 year old 110 pound Bernese Mountain dog/German Shepherd mix dog and are getting ready to move to a .75 acre home. What system would you recommend to keep him at home. I have been looking at the various systems that are a self installation and at this point completely undecided on what will be the best way to go.

Thanks for the advice.
Don

ADMIN – Hi Dan,

I’d recommend the PetSafe Stubborn Dog for your Mountain Dog/Shepherd mix. At 110 lbs, you’ll want to have the higher correction levels that are available on this unit if necessary. However, we recommend starting at the lowest level first and them move up if you need to. The collar takes a regular 9v battery which you can buy as a rechargeable at Radio Shack. The Stubborn Dog fence has a total capacity of 10 acres. It comes with 500 feet of wire, so you’ll need to purchase 1, boundary wire kit for your install.

Linda September 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm

My question is that I have two shih-tzus weighing about 14 lbs each. This being borderline weight wise, would you recommend the Petsafe small dog or the innotec 4100. I’ve been reading the reviews and like everything that I’ve read about the 4100 but I like the small collar of the Petsafe small dog. In your opinion, would the Innotec collar be too bulky on a dog of this size and if on the lowest setting of the 4100, would this be too much for shih-tzu’s. I don’t anticipate too much trouble training either dog however, I have no doubt that the first time my little boy dog gets zapped, he may not leave the deck for awhile. He is kind of a baby.

Also, is there any problem you can anticipate if you are not laying the wire in a rectangle but more of sort of an “L” shape yard. We have an above ground pool that I don’t want the dogs to go behind out of sight.

Thanks and love this website.
Linda

ADMIN – Hi Linda,

If your dogs are 12 pounds or heavier, I’d recommend the Innotek. For the first couple of days, you can put the Innotek collar on the dogs (without switching them on) and see if the dogs are comfortable. They
should be fine, but if they aren’t we will swap them out for the PetSafe Little dog.

The PetSafe collar is very small and light, so it works great for small breeds under 12 lbs. The only downside to the collar is that it take a PetSafe proprietary battery that cost $10 dollars and will last
about 3 months.

As for the layout, as long as it’s a complete loop and separated by a minimum of 6 feet on the parallel sections, the L shape will work great.

Mike August 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

I have a 40 pound 4 month old Doberman, what system will work. 4000 sq ft yard. Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Mike,

You would want to wait till the pup is 6 months old if that is possible, I would only start younger if he can confidently do a sit/stay/come sequence. At 4 months most dogs don’t have the attention span to learn and training is longer and more difficult than if you wait a few months more.

Two good systems for a doberman and that size yard would be an Innotek IUC-4100 if you want something rechargeable or a PetSafe Stubborn if you wanted something with a disposable battery that is a little cheaper.

Roberta August 14, 2010 at 8:55 am

I have a 10y/o lab and a 1 y/o basset hound and have a partly wooded acre of land. My lab is very good about staying around but as you can imagine the basset being a hound, gets on a scent and wants to go. What fence would be best for us?

ADMIN – Hi Roberta,

A basset hound and a lab are going to be on pretty similar correction levels. If you wanted something rechargeable a PetSafe IUC-4100 would be a good choice. If you were after something with a disposable battery – the new SportDog SDF-100 or the PetSafe Deluxe would work well.

bill August 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Is there a “no go zone” wireless system for in the house (to keep the dog out of the garbage area for example) that is compatible with the collar that comes with the inotek or other wired perimiter system? If It matters, we have one 37# french bulldog named “booboo”. We may get a 2nd, bigger dog in the (somewhat distant) future who we will call “fang” 🙂

Thanks,
Bill

ADMIN – Hi Bill,

Yes, the indoor zone is compatible with the Innotek 4100 and 5100. It looks like a smoke detector and is wireless. Here’s where you can find it:

Also, if you do not have a fence system, you can buy the indoor zone and collar set:

carol greer August 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Please help – I have an appoximately 20 lb male cocker spaniel 6 month old puppy along with a 6 month ago 60 lb golden doodle puppy- which have ran away from our house – 2 nights in a row

what system would go best for these 2 vey active non listening puppites to keep them safe?

thanks

carol

ADMIN – Carol,

With that much difference in weight between the two dos, you want something with independent correction (that gives you the option of setting unique correction level for each dog) I’d recommend going with the PetSafe Deluxe.

nannette August 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I appreciate your responses to these different questions and have learned quite a bit by reading through them all. At this point, I feel we have sufficient information to make purchasing decisions for our two dogs. One issue remains that doesn’t seem to be addressed by a dog fence and I’m hoping you might give us your opinion. We live in an area frequented by coyotes. Even if our dogs are contained by wire fences and physical fences, they are really interested in “playing with” all their coyote friends who call to them regularly. Are there ways to keep the coyotes OUT that can combine with using appropriate dog fences to keep our dogs in? [I know that a very tall –like an 8-foot–fence would do it, but that’s not an option for us. Thanks for your help.

ADMIN – Hi Nannette,

Unfortunately, unless you can put collars on the coyotes, there’s not much you can do to keep them out. I’d suggest really working hard at training your dogs to avoid as many distractions as possible. If you dogs are contained, you don’t have to worry about them leaving the boundary to play with wild neighbors.

Sherry Herrington July 27, 2010 at 11:36 pm

I have a female blonde lab 5yrs, male red heeler 2 yrs, female blue heeler 10 yrs, female 6 yrs jack russell, and female 3 yrs jack russel, live on five acres but only want to keep them in side three acres. I want the best equipment possible.

ADMIN – Hi Sherry,

For that menagerie, you want a system that can work well with dogs of different sizes. I would suggest a PetSafe Deluxe system. Use the PetSafe Deluxe collars for the Labrador, and the two Heelers. For the two Jack Russell’s I would get PetSafe Little Dog collars – they will work with your PetSafe Deluxe system, but are smaller than the regular collars and will be much more comfortable on the dogs.

Rich July 20, 2010 at 10:48 am

I’d like to get a system for an 18lb Jack Russell and an 8lb Yorkshire Terrier. I really don’t want to use the non-rechargeable batteries. Is there any chance the Innotek’s would work with the 8lb dog? What other choices do I have?

ADMIN – Hi Rich,

For a dog at 8lbs, the rechargeable systems, the PetSafe IUC-4100, the IUC-5100, and the EF-3000 collars are all going to be too big. The only good choice would be the PetSafe Little Dog. I would add a PetSafe Deluxe collar for the Jack Russell. The only other option would be to start a round of steroids on the Yorkie.

Denise July 16, 2010 at 10:50 am

I am planning on installing a system around my 3 acre field. It already has existing field fencing that does not contain our dogs. Can I just attach the wire to the existing fence to avoid digging? Most of it is 4X4 wire, but I do have about 300 ft of wooden corral type fence. I would like to have it off the ground about 12 inches if possible. We have wild pigs that might tear it up if the wire was simply laid on the ground.

ADMIN – Hi Denise,

You can indeed mount the dog fence wire on the existing fence to avoid digging. The wire does not have to be at ground level. Elevating the wire a bit to avoid lawn mowers, weed whackers, or wild hogs is a good idea.

Kimberly June 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Hi. I have a lab/hound mix. She LOVES squirrels and went she get a scent, she’s GONE. I need a fence she will not run through even with the excitement of a squirrel. Any suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Kimberly,

With a lab/hound mix the IUC-4100 is always a good choice. The trick with dogs that have that strong tracking or chasing drive, is to try and get a bit of the squirrel temptations to test the dog toward the end of the training period. With squirrels one good way to get this is to lay out food just before doing the training in the early morning or later afternoon when they are active. (with hounds, laying down a scent trail through the fence boundary also works well) Then test the dog while they are still on leash to see if they go through. If they don’t go through – reward them. If they do go through, let them get the correction and pull them back with the leash – they will quickly learn that they need to obey the boundary rules even when tempted.

jamie June 16, 2010 at 2:12 pm

i have twn 65lb boxers and a ‘C’ shaped yard, what would be the best the best system?

ADMIN – Hi Jamie,

With boxers, the IUC-4100 is a good choice. But, boxers are generally pretty easy to train so you have a lot of other options too. With twin dogs, one thing to remember is to train the dogs separately. If you try training them together they often focus too much on one-another and don’t focus on the task at hand.

Rebekah June 13, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Hello! We are looking to get an in-ground fence for our two dogs – 35lb beagle mix (2 yrs old) and a 35+lb english bulldog pup (6mos), who we expect to be about 50lbs. They are good overall about staying in the yard and have trained them based on natural yard boundaries, but the bulldog is a little more ‘confident’ and when she sees someone walking by she immediately wants to leave the yard to check things out. The beagle is not nearly as bold, but is always happy to follow. I have read through most of your above responses, and still am not sure if I have figured out what would be the best choice for us. They are neither people or dog aggressive (so far) but the bulldog is definitely ‘large and in charge’ and wants to check everything and everyone out, along with signs of typical bulldog protective behavior. Your suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Rebekah,

Bulldogs tend to have a much lower pain sensitivity to Beagles, than plus the size difference make me think they will probably need pretty different correction levels. I would go with a PetSafe Stubborn system for the Bulldog and get one extra PetSafe deluxe collar for the Beagle. The stubborn collar has more power (only if you need it) for the Bulldog, and the Deluxe collar is going to be a bit smaller and a more comfortable fit on the Beagle.

JENNIFER WOOSLEY June 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm

hi, i have a shepherd mix 25-30 pounds, medium size dog. She is 11 months still in the puppy stage i was wondering what type of wireless fencing would be the best for her we have 1.6acres.
thank you
jennifer

ADMIN – Hi Jennifer,

With your shepherd mix, I’d recommend either the Innotek IUC 4100 or the PetSafe Stubborn Dog. Both are great systems. With the 4100 you get a rechargeable collar. With the Stubborn Dog, you get a fence that can deliver higher levels of correction if you need it. The Stubborn Dog takes a regular 9v battery. I think either of these will work well with your dog.

As for wire, 500 feet comes with either system and you’d need an additional 1,000 feet to cover your 1.6 acres.

Kerry June 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

We live on 10 acres in an orchard and would like to teach our dog not to roam around the neighborhood, yet have the freedom to roam in the orchard. I was reluctant about the wired fences, because since our orchard is a working farm, I did not want the wire to be damaged. Also, since it is a large area, my husband is not looking forward to burying the thousands of feet of wire. But, I understand that the wireless systems are not as reliable. Which system would you recommend for our 7 mo old Lab? Also, how much wire would we need?

ADMIN – Hi Kerry,

There are two great fences I’d recommend: the Innotek IUC 4100 and the SportDog SDF 100. The 4100 would work well and has a capacity of 25 acres, but we like this fence cause it has a rechargeable collar. The SportDog system, while not rechargeable, does take a regular 9v battery. We like the SportDog because the system and collar is extremely durable and is better suited for large installs and large breed dogs like your lab. The SportDog has a very strong transmitter and can cover up to 100 acres.

I think you can’t go wrong with either of these two systems. I do believe though that the SportDog is much more durable than the 4100 and may be a better fit for your dog and land.

Tambra Harrison May 12, 2010 at 1:03 am

We have a beagle mix (she weighs about 25 lbs, and we are guessing that she is about 1 1/2 yrs old), who was sent to an adoption agency from a family that did not treat her well. She spent almost all of her time crated, and now we are struggling to train her properly. She also has those natural hunting instincts that means she can be difficult to rein in when we’re walking sometimes. That being said, we are moving to a new house with no fence around the yard. We already have a PetSafe Stubborn system. Would a PetSafe Stubborn be too much for her? If so, is it possible to use this system and get one of the other collars for it?

Thanks!
Tambra

ADMIN – Hi Tambra,

The correction strength on a PetSafe Stubborn is going to be more than you want for a beagle, you will really only be able to use one, maybe two of the correction levels. This is particularly true for a timid dog. The collar is also a little on the big side for a 20lb dog. I would prefer to see you use a different PetSafe collar with your existing system, a PetSafe deluxe collar would be a much better choice for the beagle.

Troy May 7, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I’m on 2 acres and have a 15lb Terrier who likes to run into the road and a 80lb Cur who loves to hunt. As soon as he’s let off his chain he bolts for the woods and is gone for hours so I’m not even sure I can hold him with an electronic fence. Most importantly I’m looking for separate correction levels with separate remote training capabilities. Is that possible? What would you suggest? Thanks….

ADMIN – Hi Troy,

I’m afraid where there is that big a difference in size between the two dogs, you cannot use any of the dog fences with remote training (e.g. Innotek IUC-5100 or Innotek SD-3000) because these systems do not have independent correction in fence mode. You would need to get a separate training collar if you wanted to use it for remote correction.

Your best bet would be a PetSafe Stubborn system for the big dog, and an extra PetSafe Little Dog collar or a PetSafe Deluxe collar.

Dayna Holt May 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

I have a 10 month old siberian husky weighing about 65 pounds and a 22 lb 10 yr old miniature schnauzer. The schnauzer is well behaved and has never given us any trouble tearing up the landscaping. the husky is ruining the back yard digging up plants. Is it feasible to use a system with just the husky to prevent her from entering the flower beds and stop digging in the planters? would we need to use the system with both dogs? If so, what system would work for both dogs?

Thank you.
Dayna

ADMIN – Hi Dayna,

You can use the system on just one dog, the other dog just does not wear one of the receiver collars. The easiest way to stop a dog from digging up a garden is to use one or more of the outdoor pods. They are great for keeping the dogs out of areas and are quicker and cheaper than a full fence system.

Nikki May 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

We are moving to a house on 5 acres with our three dogs. Two are Brittney Spaniels (29 and 37 lbs). These girls love to run, so the acreage is a plus. But without proper fencing, they will escape immediately. We also have a male English Mastiff (150 lbs, but only 11 months so he’s still growing). The property has pipe fencing and we’re considering installing no climb to keep them contained but that is cost prohibitive. What type of in-ground fence would you recommend? Ideally we prefer a collar with rechargeable batteries, and remote for the Brittneys so we can later train them outside our property. Can we mix/match the systems? Are there compatible systems that will work with all the dogs? Your help is appreciated!!! THANKS!

ADMIN – Hi Nikki,

With dogs of such different sizes, I would use a PetSafe system where you can mix/match collars. I would get a PetSafe Stubborn system, and use the stubborn collar for the Mastiff due to his size. For the two Brittneys, I would get some extra PetSafe Deluxe collars. Afraid they are going to be neither rechargeable, nor have the remote trainer – but, there are no good options with these features when you have such a large size disparity between dogs!

Melissa April 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Hi – Our 4 year old English Setter easily jumps our 4 foot fence so we need to upgrade to an electric fence (much cheaper than replacing with a 6 foot fence!). Is there a collar that would tell us where he is IF he were to get out of the electric fence? Kind of like a tracking device? He is a Champion show dog and not neutered, so this is entirely possible if there is a dog in season within a few miles of our house. Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Melissa,

Unfortunately there is no dog fence with in built tracking. There are separate GPS units used for hunting dogs that you could put on him for tracking.

Andrea April 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Hi,

I have two Bloodhound-Plott mixes, one male and one female, both are spayed/neutered, siblings. Both are about 50-60lbs, 1 and 1/2 years old. They have had some formal training and the female does much better on a leash and listening in general than the male. The male still likes to run out the front door and will not listen when he is tracking. We have had a dog die this way. I think the invisible fence would be great training though, boundary-wise.

I am interested in the Innotek 5100. Especially because of the rechargeable battery with indicator, the slim collar, and the remote. I would like for them to be able to go on hikes with us without a leash. So far they have not been without a physical fence, but our new house does not have one. Our new property is about an acre, with trees all along the borders except the driveway. I am concerned about whether the correction would be high enough for the male, but he does respond to correction when tugging his collar. I’d like to keep the cost less than $400-500 if possible.

What do you recommend?

Thanks,
Andrea

ADMIN – Hi Andrea,

I am most interested in what the older one’s pain tolerance is like. If you accidentally stood on a paw or tail, would you hear a yelp or the dog not particularly bothered. With a bloodhound, the 5100 is usually going to be plenty. I would give it a try, but if there is a problem, we are happy to swap it out for a more powerful system like the PetSafe Stubborn (and refund the difference) within the first 30 days – but of course with another system you will not be to have remote correction.

Mike April 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Hi, I’m looking at getting into breeding malamutes. Any recommendations for a system that would work for containing 5 malamutes (up to 130 lbs in size)? I have about 2 acres of fenced property. Would it be best to attach the wire to the fence or to bury it? Thanks much! Mike

ADMIN – Hi Mike,

Malamutes tend to be easy in terms of correction strength. They tend to be sensitive to the correction and so we don’t have to worry much about having a powerful system. Fitting the collar correctly can be a problem the first few times, because there is definitely an art to getting the collar on right so that the probes actually contact the skin given that beautiful thick coat that they have. The Innotek IUC-5100 and IUC-4100 are particularly well suited to the task because they have a feature that beeps to help you figure out if the collar is fitted correctly. But, there are a lot of other good options. The PetSafe Stubborn (with he optional long prongs) and the SportDog would be good cheaper choices.

I would attach the wire to the fence. The main reason people bury wire is to avoid lawnmowers, but if it is fence mounted that is a non-issue.

Julie April 15, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Hi,

We have a smaller German Shepherd mutt mix that weighs about 40 lbs and then a half Shepherd/Husky mix that weighs about 60 lbs. The smaller dog respects our current fences now, but the bigger one jumps 6 ft fence and digs under them. She has taught the smaller one to dig as well. Our yard is perimeter is about 3/4 acre. Which system would be best for these two? I am leaning toward the Sport Dog system as it states it is very durable. These dogs are strictly outdoor dogs 24/7 with a garage for shelter.

Appreciate all your insight!

ADMIN – Hi Julie,

Since the dogs are fairly different in size and breed, I would go with a system that has independently adjustable correction levels. The SportDog would be a good choice. The Dogtra would be another good choice if you wanted something rechargeable. The PetSafe Stubborn would also be worth considering, although with those dogs you are unlikely to need the higher correction levels.

Ashlie April 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm

we have a 200lb mastiff, 4 shih-tzu ranging from 13lbs-16lbs and a mutt that is only 3months old right now. we are going to be fencing off about an acre. what would be the best system to get for our dogs?……i was thinkin about an underground system but have heard that you have to buy a special collar for large breed dogs…..is that true? also at the bottom of our yard it gets kinda swampy and i read on one of the petsafe boxes that its smart to waterproof the wiring in that case…..what kind of waterproofer should i get? thank you so much 🙂 ashlie

ADMIN – Hi Ashlie,

We definately want to use a different collar on a dog like a Mastiff that is large and can have low pain sensitivity than we would on a smaller dog. A good choice would be a PetSafe system, because they have a few different types of collars you can use on the same system. I woudl get a PetSafe Stubborn system for the Mastiff, then add a couple of PetSafe Little Dog collars for the Shih Tzus.

I don’t usually run the wire through any waterproofing, it is fine even being completely immersed in water. Where a client really wants waterproofing, I will run the wire through an old hose pipe, or that flexible black tubing used for inground sprinkler systems.

Let us know if you need any further assistance!

Dave April 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I have an 85lb Golden and a small yard of 7000 sq. ft. The problem is him running off out the front yard that is small. What system would you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Dave,

The Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice for a golden. It is rechargeable, has a smaller collar, and has a collar fit feature that helps you make sure the collar is fitted right. Another good choice woudl be the PetSafe stubborn with the optional long prongs, which is larger and has a disposable battery but is also a lot cheaper. (if you go the stubborn route, you won’t need al lthe power of the system, so keep it turned down to medium or below)

Training Golden Retreivers is usually pretty easy, the only thing to watch for is that the collra is fitted right. It is a bit tricky with all that fur. Just use your fingers to make sure that the probes are actually contacting the skin.

Ellis March 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I have a chocolate lab about 50 to 60 pounds and pound dog who is about 15 to 20. I have 2 acres that I want to contain. I did this about 12 years ago with one I bought at Kmart. It worked but found out that the TV was activating the collar on inside/outside Miniature Schneazer(sp) and lighting was triggering our border collie collar. That collie loved my kids and if the left the yard, she was going no matter what. She would hit at fast as possible and you could see her dip when it hit, but she made it. Oh it was so much fun to get her back across, take off collar pick her up and bring her back across. Anyway which system do i need to buy and do I need to worry about the tv or lightning with the new system.

ADMIN – Hi Ellis,

Training is the most important part of the installation and with the two weeks of training we should be able to stop your dogs crossing even when there is major temptation.

There are a couple of good choices for your situation. You are going to want something with independent correction levels for each dog. If you want something rechargeable, the Dogtra EF-3000 would be a good choice. If you are ok with a disposable battery, then the PetSafe Deluxe would be a good choice.

The interference with TVs and lightning is a thing of the past. But, if you are concerned you should always test them out before you put the collar on the dog.

Hope that helps

Dwight Carson March 21, 2010 at 8:52 am

Thanks in advice for your advice and this great site. I have a rescued great dane at around 130 lbs, and an Anatolian Shepherd puppy we also rescued. Our yard area that I want to fence is about 3 to 4 acres. One end of the yard stays wet and swampy through a good portion of the year, and I would not be able to bury the wire. The yard is also surrounded on three sides by woods with mature trees so burial of the wire is a little bit of a concern there too. I was also thinking about the size of the box on the sport god and the stubborn dog systems and was thinking that after the dogs were trained for the yard it might be possible to move them down to smaller, less bulky collars for looks and subtlety. We may add other rescue dogs in the future also, and don’t know what size they would be. Hopefully mastiff size or danes, but may be smaller and the smaller collars would be necessary. What are your recommendations?

Also, can other collars be modified to take the buzzer boxes, or are you restricted to the collars that come with the system?

ADMIN – Hi Dwight,

Appreciate the compliment.

If these areas are not mowed, I would just staple the wire down in place rather than trying to bury.

We have only done a half dozen or so Anatolians, and at least from that small sample they seemed to have quite a low sensitivity to the correction – perhaps due to their breeding as guardian dogs – so I would recommend using the PetSafe Stubborn when you work with the Anatolian. Great Danes tend to be a lot easier, but they are a larger dog so the PetSafe Stubborn would also be a good choice.

The PetSafe inground systems can be used with any PetSafe or SportDog collar. You could get something smaller after the initial training, but I think these dogs are so big that the size of the collars will be a non-issue for them.

You can remove the correction collar band and make something custom to replace it. Unfortunately there are no off the shelf collars that I am aware of that. But we have seen lots of custom sewn collars that people have made the replace the original.

PS – you mentioned the Anatolian was a pup, I like to see you start at six months, dogs often don’t have enough attention span for training before that.

Brooke moving back to Boston area March 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I have two seven year old mixed terriers (11 lb female miniature pinscher/yokie mix and a 20lbs male cairn/border terrier) which I rescued when they were both younger. Since I’ve had them, they have had a nice big fenced in yard in which to roam around. But I’m now moving to the Boston area, and while I’m in transition, I plan on living with my parents for about a year. My parents aren’t open to a traditional fence but will go for an invisable fence. While I’m very happy that they will permitted the invisable fence, I’m am concerned that since they are such active and fast little dogs, that they will go right through the invisable fence. Living next to a school with lots of school buses coming and going, I worry that they get out and get hurt. Mini Pins are known as little “Houdini’s” and I know for a fact that I’m my little mini pins 3rd owner as she’s is an escape artist. Which, if any, of the invisable fences do you think would be the best option for my dogs?

Many Thanks in advance!

Brooke

ADMIN – Hi Brooke,

Our clients get great result even with notorious escape artists like huskies and miniature pinschers – the key is really the training. If you consistently follow the training routine for two weeks you will be in great shape even with a Miniature Pinscher in full run.

With the Pinscher cross, I would use a PetSafe Little Dog – with dogs under 12lbs this tends to be a nicer fit and have more appropriate correction levels. You have a few more options with the Border Terrier, but I would get a second PetSafe Little Dog collar — because having two of the same collar is generally much easier. But you could also use a PetSafe Deluxe collar.

Joe from Central Ohio March 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm

We have two Cocker Spaniel, 10 year old 30# female and 10 month old 20# male.
They are not bad if you stay out with them, but if you go to another part of the yard
or in the house, one or both of them might wonder off. Our property is not quite an
acre, what unit would you recommend. And, do you recommend using a heavier
gage wire. THANK YOU

ADMIN – Hi Joe,

With a pair of Cocker Spaniels, I would use one of the smaller collars. One good options would be the Innotek IUC-4100 – it is rechargeable and has a nice slimline collar. Another good option would be the Perimeter Ultra, it has an even smaller collar and is a bit cheaper but uses a proprietary battery.

Dale March 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I have a soon to be 6 month old Beagle and have plenty of area around my home. Problem is my home is way out in the country with nothing around but deer, rabbits, racoons and all sorts of other wildlife. What system would be a good choice for me?

Hi Dale,

Having lots of room is great, because it means you can turn the boundary width up, which makes training much easier (it is very hard for a dog to run through a wide boundary). Overcoming distractions like wildlife not a big deal, but do try and incorporate some of these temptations into the last week of the training. (Do the training at times of the day when you are likely to run into critters, and perhaps even leave some food out to encourage the squirrels)

Two good systems for a beagle would be the Innotek IUC-4100 and the SportDog SDF-100. The Innotek is smaller, lighter and rechargeable, but will only do 25 acres. The SportDog is a bigger collar and uses a disposable 9V battery, but will do 100 acres and is a bit cheaper.

Blue Tic from Ohio March 12, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I just have a few questions my master would like to know. How deep can the wired be placed to avoid the yard aireation he likes to do.? Are there units with power back up in case of power outages.? How does the system handle deep snow of 2 ft or so where it drifts.? He’s happy to put in the best system for me so I can run and enjoy the outside. But we just needed a couple answers. Thanks, and looking forward to a great summer. Jessey

Hi Jessey (& Master)

The maximum depth you can put the wire is about a foot, but note that if you do you will need to crank up the boundary width, which may cause problems in other parts of the installation where the wire is not buried. The Innotek IUC 4100/5100 has battery backup.

The systems can handle snow up to about 3 feet of snow (if it is light fluffy snow, less if it is hard packed almost ice snow), again you just turn up the boundary width to compensate for the snow, then turn the boundary width back down after the thaw. I suspect however if you both bury the wire very deep and have the snow you could be in for problems with not being able to turn the boundary width up enought to compensate for all that depth. I would try to get a system that is rated to do a lot more area than you need so that you have plenty of power in reserve. If you are doing up to two acres, the Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice (it is rated for 25 acres). If you are doing more, go with the SportDog SDF-100, it is rated for 100 acres.

Grant March 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Is there a system whose collars work for inground (backyard) and for inside the home? We have a 75 lbs lab and a 25 lbs havenese. What do you recommend for the indoor system (just want to keep the dogs out of the kitchen and from going up the stairs.

ADMIN – Hi Grant,

Some systems have indoor pods you can use to keep the dogs out of certain parts of your home. A good choice for a Labrador and a Havenese would be a PetSafe system because you will want a different correction level for each dog. I would use a PetSafe Stubborn or PetSafe Deluxe collar for the lab (either will work, the Stubborn is bulkier but cheaper) and an extra PetSafe Deluxe collar for the Havanese. For the indoor part, use the PetSafe Indoor Zones.

Lauren Carey March 9, 2010 at 10:14 am

I have 2 Newfies, 10 and 15 months. They have that puppy energy, are intact, and they are already ~100lbs. I worry about them jumping over the fence. I sometime use a shock collar, but unless I make the power level high and tight aroung their necks (because of all the extra skin/fur under their heads) they don’t work. What type of fence to recommend for me? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Lauren,

From your experience with Shock Collars, I would guess you are going to want to use the PetSafe Stubborn. Usually with a New Finland, I would recommend an PetSafe Ultrasmart, they are usually pretty responsive even on low correction levels. But if your dogs were not responsive on the correction collar at low levels, I think it would be good to have the extra levels of correction that you get on the Stubborn. As always, start conservatively and use say the medium setting and only work your way up if the dogs are unresponsive to the lower levels.

Sarah Engel March 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Just wondering if the SportDog SDF 100 would be the appropriate fence for us. We would be using it with a chocolate lab (about 65 pounds), a Rhodesian Ridgeback (90lbs) and a Wheaten Terrier (30lbs). It would span across two properties (ours and parents) for approximately 1.5 acres. Would prefer the look and low profile of the Innotek but worried about the one setting fits all approach. Also liked that you get 1000ft with the SportDog and the reviews on other websites seemed to be really good. Not too concerned about the “ugly” orange collar…just making sure we’re getting the right system for multiple dogs of somewhat different sizes.

ADMIN – Hi Sarah,

The SDF-100 would be a good choice for you, because you can adjust the correction/shock strength for each dog separately, something you cannot do on any of the Innotek systems. The collar is appropriate for all three of the dogs. Also note that if you ever get a smaller dog, you can also use the PetSafe collars with this system (e.g. the PetSafe Little Dog)

Ellen March 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I have a female Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue, 70 lbs, who loves to hunt. My backyard is about 1/2 acre with a four foot fence which the dog jumps easily. I would prefer not to bury any lines, but attach them to the existing fence. Which system would you suggest? Are there any systems that do not punish the dog for ‘coming home’? My dog will chase deer and small animals out of the yard (and over the fence), but jumps back over the fence to come home. Thanks very much for your help.

ADMIN – Hi Ellen,

Attaching the boundary line wire to the fence works great if you already have a physical fence. A good choice of system for a Rhodesian Ridgeback would be the PetSafe Ultrasmart. While very strong dogs, they don’t need a great deal of correction and you are probably going to want to use the medium correction level on the Ultrasmart at least as a starting point.

All systems will correct the dog when both exiting and reentering the yard, that is why it is so important to do the training when you first start so that the dogs do not realize they can run through and learn to always retreat from the correction rather than run through.

Chandra March 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Thank you for all of your information. I have an 8 month old Akita who is already 80 pounds. She will likely end up at over 100 pounds. We are moving to a neighborhood and want to start off by training her with this type of fencing. Please give me your recommendation and input….I SO appreciate it!

ADMIN – Hi Chandra,

With an Akita, I would use the PetSafe Stubborn. You may not need the full strength when training, but if she is typical size and temperament for an Akita it is good to have in reserve. As you know with an Akita you really do need to be firm in the training and cannot be as wishy washy as you might be with a less powerful or less strong willed dog.

J. A. Daugherty March 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I have two german shorthaired pointers, a one year old female who is very free spirited and wants to run, and a seven year old male who is extremely people friendly but very dog aggressive. I am thinking PetSafe Ultrasmart but would like your opinion. what do you suggest? both dogs under 60lbs.and lot size less than 1 acre. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Mr. Daugherty,

I concur. The Ultrasmart is what I would pick a good choice for a German Shorthair Pointer.

Jean March 5, 2010 at 1:24 am

I have a chocolate lab and my property includes a small strip pit that he loves! Can he get in the water with his collar on without damaging it and the effectiveness?

ADMIN – Hi Jean,

Most of the systems are waterproof. If the collar is going to be fully immersed, the collars I would recommend are the Innotek 5100, PetSafe Ultrasmart, and the SportDog SDF-100. They have the best waterproofing.

Curtis March 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Hello, we are getting a beagle puppy in June and I’d like to know what you recommend for an electric fence. I own a very small townhome (30 feet by 100 feet lot) and would like to put a perimeter around the front yard and also at the back gate. Our beagle will obviously be very small (3 lbs?) when we get him, but will get up to around 20 lbs I beleive. So does that mean I can use the PetSafe Ultrasmart, but only after he is full grown or can I get it while he’s still growing? Also, I’d like to only keep him downstairs in the house. Is there any way to run one of these along the bottom of the stairs? Thanks for your help!

Curtis

ADMIN – Hi Curtis,

A plot that narrow is really tough, because if you have the boundaries on either side it really reduces the area the dog can play in. If you set the boundary width at say 3 feet (the minimum I would recommend), and factor in that the dog will not get close to the boundary, the area available to the dog will only be 20×90.

You can use a PetSafe Ultrasmart comfortably on a beagle. You want to wait till they are six months old before you start the electric dog fence training. They are usually too immature to be trained when they are much younger. To keep the dog off the stairs, I would use one of the wireless Innotek indoor pods. They work with the collar to keep them out of an indoor area, and are pretty cheap ($40). That will be much easier that trying to run the wire indoors.

Heather Waite March 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm

my name is Heather Waite and i have a purebred collie, and he is about 65-70 lbs. i have a tight budget and need a good electric fence that uses wire. my dog has recently killed one of my neighbors chickens, and we must keep him contained. he also gets very excited to see other dogs in the street and will run off to go say hello. this is not such a great thing for him to be doing. with my tight budget, i need something cheap, but reliable and i need a good collar with rechargeable batteries. i dont have very much money to spend, only about $150. i have about 3 acres of land to cover. what do you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Heather,

A rechargeable system, capable of containing a Border Collie and covering 3 acres, that is a toughie. The least expensive rechargeable system is the Innotek IUC-2100 which is $200 which is already over your budget. We will also need to add 1,500 feet of boundary wire kit to the system (to make a total of 2,000 feet which is enough for 3 acres) which is an additional $90.

The least expensive system which would make sense on a Collie is the PetSafe Stubborn which is $185, and again we will need an additional 1,500 feet of wire so I am afraid we are still well over your budget. Realistically, I think you are going to need to increase your budget. Another option might be to ask around and see if anyone has an old system then no longer use. If you can pick up a used system at a reasonable price you just need to get the wire and may be able to squeeze it in under budget.

Mary February 28, 2010 at 8:07 pm

We have a new Golden Retriever puppy. 13 weeks old now. We live on a farm, but are right next to a busy county road. We need to keep him off the road, but the area he could roam in the other direction is rather large. From what I have read, it seems that it is not possible to just make a boundary on one side and that we would need to decide on a certain containment area. Is that right?

ADMIN – Hi Mary,

You do need to have a complete loop, but that does not mean you need to contain the entire area. One option is to run a long length of wire along the road, then double back on yourself six feet apart (so you have a very long thin loop).

Joanne February 25, 2010 at 3:11 pm

We have two Australian Shepherds who have justed celebrated their first birthday. With 3 1/2 acres, you’d think they’d be satisfied on the property but they do wander off. Carson (75lb) is a bit more stubborn than his sister Leia (55 lb). The perimeter on three sides is woods, the last side is curbing in front of the house. We regularly take them off-property for hiking trips so collar durability is important unless it can be easily removed. We live in Northeast PA which has been getting slammed with snow this year and our property gets a lot of water run-off, sitting at the bottom of a hill. What system would you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Joanne,

With a pair of Aussies, I would use the PetSafe Ultrasmart or the SportDog SDF-100. The Ultrasmart is a smaller collar and is rechargeable. The SportDog is a little bulkier (but no big deal on an Aussie), and uses a disposable 9V battery. Both are very reliable and are waterproof.

When it snows, you will turn up the boundary width to compensate for the accumulated snow. And in the spring you will turn it back down as the snow melts.

I would take off the collars when I take them outside. You can’t use it to attach a leash (since it has prongs), so you are better off swapping it for a regular collar.

Kristin February 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm

I have 2 Shih Tzu’s around 15 lbs each. What is the best in ground system for them? We live in a subdivision with a very small yard. Would prefer to get a collar that does not need a brand-specific battery replacement every 2-3 months for $10 if possible. Thank you!

Hi Kristin,

For dogs over 12lbs, I would use the PetSafe Ultrasmart. It fully rechargeable and will free you from the curse of the proprietary battery. When you get the collars, put them uncharged on the dogs for a day or two to check if they are comfortable. You should be fine, but if it turns out to be too big, we can swap it out for a PetSafe Little … but then of course you have the proprietary battery to contend with.

Jessi February 20, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I have two boxers. One is 55 lbs and the other is still growing. He is 3 and a half months and 30 lbs. The 55 lb one is very hyper and stubborn. What fence would be best to use? I really wanted the wireless because I will be moving in 6 months and really like the idea of run through protection, but after reading the reviews I’m indifferent. I live on the top of a ridge so the yard is very big, but all hills.

ADMIN – Hi Jessi,

For a boxer, there are lot of good choices. They tend to be pretty easy to train. The PetSafe Ultrasmart would be my top choice. It is rechargeable, very reliable, and has a nice slim collar. Another good choice which is cheaper but a bit bulkier is the PetSafe Stubborn (you won’t need the full strength, but you can keep it turned down)

For the younger dog, I would wait until they are six months, or can confidently do a sit/stay/come to start the training. Before six months, they tend to be big puppy dopes – and don’t have the attention span for training.

Avoid the wireless. They really don’t work well, especially in hilly terrain. If you aren’t going to be there long, just lay the wire along the surface and don’t bother with burying until you get to your permanent location.

ISMAEL February 19, 2010 at 3:12 am

I have 3 dogs: Pitbull, 1 year old about 75 lbs; 2 maltepoos, one about 8lbs and the other about 12lbs. I need a system that would keep them out of the back lawn since they are digging it up (mainly the 2 small dogs). The opening to the back yard is about 25′ wide. What would you recommend? I would like something reliable and a system which i would not have to constantly charge or change the batteries on the collars. Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Ismael,

A good choice where the dogs are such different sizes is the PetSafe systems that let you mix the collars. Use the PetSafe Stubborn for the Pitbull (you want that extra correction strength). Use the PetSafe Little Dog for the Maltepoos (you want that small collar and lower correction strength).

They are both reliable systems. The Stubborn uses a standard 9V battery that lasts about 3 months. The PetSafe Little uses a special PetSafe Little Dog battery which is less desirable. It lasts about 2 months and costs about $10 (you can get an extra month out of them if you remember to switch off the collars every night). But, it really is the only good choice with a small dog.

Tim February 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I have a 10 week old Walker puppy. We’re thinking of putting in an underground fence around the farmstead (2 – 3 acres). What system do you recommend, and at what age can I start training. We would put in the system when the ground allows, probably about a month.

ADMIN – Hi Tim,

With a Walker Coonhound, I would either go with a PetSafe Ultrasmart or a PetSafe stubborn system. The Ultrasmart is a smaller, more streamline, rechargeable collar. The PetSafe Stubborn is bigger and uses a disposable 9V battery, and has a stronger correction.

Try and figure out the Walker’s pain sensitivity. If you think they are likely to have a low sensitivity go with the Stubborn, otherwise the Ultrasmart.

You want to wait until the dog is six months old, or can confidently do a sit/stay/come. That makes the dog a lot easier to train, too much earlier and they just don’t have the attention span to be easily trained on the system.

Rebecca February 17, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Hi! I have 3 dogs: Matzo Ball (standard poodle 65 lbs), Challah (miniature poodle 11 lbs) and Kugel (shih tzu 8 lbs). I simply want to contain them in our front yard, as our back yard is fenced. I would like them to be able to play there with us without worrying they will suddenly run into the street when they see someone walking by or they see another dog. What system would you recommend, since there is such a discrepancy in size? Our front yard is not large at all as our entire property is only 2/3 acre and the majority is in the back. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Rebecca,

Where you have that much variation in size between the dogs, the PetSafe systems are a good bet, because you can use different collars with the same system to get a good fit for each dog.

I would get a PetSafe Deluxe system for the poodle or if you want to save a little, get the PetSafe Stubborn system (just keep it turned down, you will not need it turned up high for a poodle). Get two extra petsafe little dog collars for the shih tzu and the miniature poodle.

Ann February 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm

We have 2 puppies (sisters) 10 months old, border collie golden retriever cross. We live in the country on 45 acres, mostly fields and some woods, but lots of woods all around us. The dogs have started running off, and we need to figure something out quickly. We don’t have fences around our land so there isn’t anything to attach the wire too. We wouldn’t need to have all of the acreage in a containment area, but it would be nice to have 10-2o acres. We have about a foot of snow on the ground now, and we’ll probably have snow cover for another month or two. It looks like most of the systems come with 500 ft of wire, which would only fence in about 1/2 acre, so we’d not a lot more. Is the wire expensive and where would we get it? What would you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Ann,

For the winter, just lay the wire along the ground, secured in a few spots either with a rock or a lawn staple. The PetSafe Ultrasmart would be a good choice for a collie/retriever mix but can only do up to 25 acres. The SportDog SDF-100 is also a good choice and can do 100 acres.

Wire is cheap. The cost to increase the yard size is very small, although a lot more labor is involved. The wire kits we sell cost $30 per 500 feet (including wire, splices and flags). You can also get wire from most local hardware stores or electrical supply houses.

Lisa Hinton February 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I have two very different dogs and no clue what fence to get. The first and easiest of our two is a pug. He has a short attention span, but has never gone far. It is usually not too hard to get him to come back. He is dog and people aggresive when they ‘encroach’ on his territory. He is stubborn about the stop command when there are people or dogs near his yard. The second is a mix (shar-pei/red heeler) and fits none of the descriptions for either breed. She is an adopted pet and very scared of everything. She is why we need the fence, though. She will dart at any given chance and you can’t catch her because she is scared she will be in trouble. It takes hours to get her back in. Reading through the descriptions of these fences is very educating, but we have two different types of dogs, in personality and size, and I see no recommended fence for this. The pug is 23 pounds and the mix is 60 pounds. Could you please help me??

ADMIN – Hi Lisa,

You are going to want something with independent correction levels, so you can set the level of correction for each dog separately. If you want something rechargeable, the Dogtra EF-3000 would be a good choice, although the collars are on the bigger side. Otherwise, the PetSafe Deluxe, or Perimeter Technologies inground system would be good choices (although both have proprietary collars).

Donna January 23, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I have three German Shepherds – they are friendly with people but very dog aggressive. I normally take them out together and they are fine unless they see another dog. I live on a 60 acre farm and have room to run them to get some of the steam off, but have a neighbor who allows their dog to run loose. Big Problem! Will any of your systems work with high drive dogs?

ADMIN – Hi Donna,

The key is to consistently do the training for the first two weeks, then test them with a couple of the things that are really tempting. (e.g. borrow the neighbors dogs for a couple of the training sessions) With the training, containment is rarely a problem.

I usually go with a PetSafe Stubborn with German Shepherds. Some of them have very low pain sensitivity and will not feel the correction at all on lower powered systems. The stock transmitter with the PetSafe Stubborn does 10 acres. If you need more area, another good choice would be the SportDog SDF-100 which will do 100 acres.

Arbob Ekol January 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Thanks for all the reviews. I have a toy fox terrier and she is about 15lbs. What do you recommend for her?

ADMIN – Hi Arbob,

There are two ways you could go. The PetSafe small dog would be a good choice, and the PetSafe Ultrasmart would be a good choice. The small dog will have the smaller collar but has a proprietary PetSafe battery. The PetSafe Ultrasmart is a little bigger, but has a rechargeable collar battery. I would lean toward the Ultrasmart.

Frank January 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm

We have 4 dogs: an older male blue heeler/basset former stray, a 10+ yo male Westy Terrier, a 3 yo female blue heeler (soon to be fixed), and a 4mo female blue heeler/brown dog. We live on 5 acres in the country with fences completely surrounding our place except at the gate with a gravel drive way. Our dogs are very easy going other than barking and besides chasing cows next door, being adventurous at the neighbors ‘creek, or chasing the occasional bike rider/runner on the road, we don’t worry a lot about them and the neighbors have had no concerns. But we’ve had a couple stolen and don’t want them to get run over. Conveniently, there is an outlet at the gate. Love the site. What would be your suggestions for a boundary system? Thanks in advance.

ADMIN – Hi Frank,

It depends on the size of the Westie. If he is within 10lbs of the blue heeeler, I would go with an PetSafe Ultrasmart. If he isn’t you are going ot want something with independent correction levels. The Dogtra is good if you want something rechargeable, otherwise the SportDog (cheaper, regular 9V battery, and more boundary wire included in the kit) or Perimeter (proprietary battery) or PetSafe Deluxe (proprietary battery) systems would be good choices.

Sorry to hear you had dogs stolen in the past. One thing to note is that electronic fences don’t help at all in this regard.

Greg n TN January 22, 2010 at 10:59 am

I would like to enclose about 2 acres and after reading your questions and answers section, I’m guessing the PetSafe Stubborn system or IUC 1500 system would work. Agree? Another question: Does either of these systems have an optional remote control to help control behavior inside the wire?

ADMIN – Hi Greg,

The remote control is included with the Innotek IUC-5100. It is not included (nor available) with the PetSafe Stubborn. Both would do fine on 2 acres. Hard to say if these are good choices without knowing more about your dog, but generally these are suited for a dog over 40lb in the case of the PetSafe, and over 20 lbs in the case of the Innotek.

Rhonda January 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

We have taken in a 5 year old labrador as a rescue dog. We live on 5 acres. We want her to be able to run yet stay on our property. She has been allowed to run all her life all over, that is why we have her now she ended getting very injured and almost died. What system would be the best? Also 2.5 acres of our land is used for alfafa ( so we don’t have to mow it). Any suggestion how we could either make the wire obvious or something so it doesn’t get dug up with plowing. I figure an inground system would be best to give her more room to run, but we are concerned with the working of the field that the wire may get dug up.

ADMIN: Hi Rhonda,

We strongly suggest an in-ground system such as the PetSafe Ultrasmart or Innotek 5100. To ensure the boundary is visible you can mow/shred the boundary line and keep the training flags in place. A few options regarding working the field. 1. Just use ground staples to secure the wire and pull back the wire when working the field. 2. Elevate the boundary on stakes or fencing to avoid the digging and keeping it visible. 3. attempt to bury the wire below any danger of digging (this may be very time consuming.

James - Indiana January 14, 2010 at 10:04 am

We have three dogs (German Shepherd – 90 lbs)(German Wirehaired Pointer – 70 lbs)(German Shorthaired Pointer – 45 lbs). We have had the Innotek IUC 1500 installed for many years (approximately 5 Acre boundry) and used it with great success. The German Shepherd cries like a baby when he gets into the fence boundry and we have had no problems with the Wirehaired Pointer crossing the boundry. The Shorthaired Pointer is still a pup (1 year old). We cannot keep him in the fence. All three of the collars and the system is working fine. He does get shocked but just goes on through. I am concerned with him getting hit on the road, or getting into the pasture with the horses and getting hurt, or with him just running off (he likes to think that he is a great hunter). The underground system doesn’t get his attention well enough to keep him contained. We have remote training collars (Tritronics) that we use when we hunt with the dogs. Because of the higher levels of stimulation I can use this to keep track of him outside but I have to stay out with him in order to make the corrections. Would the PetSafe Stubborn Collar provide a higher level of stimulation than the Innotek IUC 1500? Is there something else that you can recommend for him?

ADMIN – Hi James,

How odd, pups are usually easy when you have two already contained dogs, because they just follow the lead of the older dogs. That must be one rebelious teenager you have there!

(1) I would check to make sure he is getting the correction. (use the collar fit feature on the 5100) You would be surprised how often that is the culprit.
(2) increase the boundary width at the control box
(3) Spend a week retraining him on a leash to retreat when he gets the correction. (week two fo the training protocol on the website).

Only if you are sure the dog is getting the correction, knows they are supposed to retreat, and is still willfully ignoring it would I increase the correction level. I would not think you need any higher correction level when the dog is only 45lbs.

The PetSafe stubborn is much stronger and your could try that, a cheaper way might be to add a second 4100 or 5100 collar to the pointer at least while you are training him, Sounds like you already have three IUC-5100 collars so that might be the way to do it.

Robert Ripa January 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I have a fenced 1 1/2 acre area where we would like to keep our 80 lb golden retriever. We have a newly installed automatic gate opener and the dog has figured out that when we get into the car he can get out when the gate opens for the car. What would you recommend to keep our retriever inside the fenced in area?

ADMIN – Hi Robert,

If you only need to block the gate area, the Pawz-Away Outdoor Rock and Collar would be a good choice instead of a full fledged electric dog fence. For a driveway, you can lay a small distance of wire from the rock (or use it in wireless mode if you get two and put one on each side of the driveway) The unit is a lot cheaper than a full fence and easier to install. It will do the trick for such a small area.

Micah Indiana January 11, 2010 at 10:35 pm

We have a Jack Russell Terrier (18 lbs) and a German Shepherd (95 lbs) on approximately 1 acre. Both are well mannered and obedient, but would require different correctional levels due to size. Which system or combination of systems would work best? Thank you.

ADMIN – Hi Micah, a PetSafe stubborn system (the collar for the German Shepherd), and an extra PetSafe Deluxe collar for the Jack Russell would be a good fit.

lynn leatherwood January 10, 2010 at 4:02 pm

we have a mastiff (200 lb), chihuahua (5 lb), minature schnauzer (20 lb) and australian shepard (70 lb) . 5 acres of property would appreciate ideas on a system that would suffic for all.

ADMIN – Hi Lynn,

You have the United Nations of Dogs! PetSafe Stubborn collar for the Mastiff, Petsafe Little Dog collar for the Chihuahua, and the PetSafe Deluxe collar (or you could do another Stubborn collar if you are on a budget or don’t want to be locked into the PetSafe brand batteries) for the Aussie.

The cheapest way to do this would be to get the PetSafe Stubborn system, and get the extra collar for the other types.

Danny January 6, 2010 at 6:12 pm

What system would be best for a Great Dane about 115 lbs. She is dog aggressive and we live in a small community where people are walking near our property with their dogs.

ADMIN – Hi Danny,

With a Great Dane I would probably go with a PetSafe Stubborn Dog system. I would however, caution you against using an electric dog fence with an aggressive dog. Not only is there the danger of your dog escaping, there is also a risk that someone will unknowingly enter your property. I would err toward using two modes of containment when their is a risk of causing a dangerous situation. (e.g. physical fence + electronic fence)

Jennifer January 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I have a couple of issues. First, we live on a farm, greater than 100 acres, with ponds. Our dog only crosses the road from our drive-way. Is it possible to do a straight line across the drive-way and approx. 30 ft on each side? Secondly, we have no power supply where we wish to bury the wire. Is it possible to use solar battery instead of power outlet.

ADMIN – Hi Jennifer,

Unfortunately, even the highest capacity system (the SportDog SDF-100) is only capable of doing 100 acres. But, if you just want to block off one section – you can make a long thin loop that will go along the 60 ft straight section then double back on itself (keeping the opposing wires six feet apart from each other)

You can use a DC adapter to power most of the system instead of plugging it directly into a power outlet. Each system has different power needs, but generally they are all very low. For example, the PetSafe Ultrasmart and Innotek 5100 use 12V @ 100mA (DC).

Leave a Comment