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.




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{ 257 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt February 21, 2012 at 1:35 am

We have a 9 month old lab/boxer mix with lots of energy. We live in a rural area on a flat 1/2 acre lot and are looking at a containment system. The question is whether to go wireless or wired. It sounds like wired (the IUC 4100) is the preferred way to go, but we live in snow country where snows can pile up. Currently there are piles of hard compacted snow 3-5 feet deep where the buried wire would go. How much of an issue is this? Would a wireless system (Havahart radial system) be better with the deeper snow?

ADMIN – Hi Matt,

The wired systems are indeed preferable because they have a more consistent boundary that makes training the dog easier. They do however have problems once the snow accumulation reaches more than a couple of feet. If you have 3-5 feet of compacted snow, I doubt you would get a good signal at the surface. In those situations the wireless would have a definite advantage – the snow not impacting their performance. With a young lab/boxer mix, the Havahart Radial would be a good choice.

CJ February 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Hello I have a siberian husky and a redbone coonhound and I live in a town home so only parts of the yard would be considered mine. I would like to make get a dog containment system so I could just let her out the back and not have to worry about her running off or getting tangled in a tie-out. I have one power outlet in the middle of my deck and I would like to somehow make a two straight lines from my house. Any suggestions?

ADMIN 0- Hi CJ,

Generally, the easiest way to do the backyard for a townhouse, is to go around the three sides of the back yard, the go up a downspout and across the gutter line on the back of the house, before coming down the downspout on the other side and completing the loop.

Melissa Ruiz February 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Hello, I am wondering what system you think is best for my dogs. I live in the city and have a good sized backyard but it is a complete uphill slope from the house to the wooded area out back. My dogs are people and pet friendly. I have a 3 year old male yellow lab. He is 98lbs of pure muscle and loves to run away at any opportunity he can. My other is a female mix of lab and American hound about 50lbs. She follows him if he runs. I am very worried they will get hurt and hit by a car on our busy road. I just want something that works for both of them and is easy to install. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

ADMIN – Hi Melissa,

With that kind of variation in size and temperament, a system which lets us set the correction level for each collar seperately would be useful. The PetSafe Stubborn would be a good choice. With the system and a bit of training you shouldn’t have any trouble getting them contained.

Juli February 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I have 2 dogs, one is 130 lbs and the other is only 5 lbs. I have a yard of between 1/4 and 1/2 acre. What type fencing would you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Juli,

The PetSafe Containment Systems are a good choice where there is a lot of variation in the size of the dogs because you can use a mix and match of collars. I would use a PetSafe Stubborn Dog Fence system and use the included collar with the larger dog. For the smaller dog, I would use an extra PetSafe Little Dog Collar.

Clay January 29, 2012 at 11:39 pm

I have a 45 pound female Husky who is 10 months old. She only gets out of are fence on my neighbors side by pulling off the boards off the fence. I am thinking of just doing my hole yard in the in ground fence thing. What system do you think is best for a husky!

ADMIN – Hi Clay,

With Huskies, the Innotek IUC-4100 works particularly well. It can be difficult with Huskies to get the collar probes through their undercoat, so that you are getting the probe actually touching the dog’s skin. The 4100 helps solve this problem with the a built in collar tester that lets you know when the probes are touching skin.

Ron January 26, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I have a petsafe RF-15 system on about 1/2 acre. i have a 2 year old shiba inu and a 3 month old Pomeranian. while training the Pomm we found numerous area of the fence to be inconsistent. for example most of the time the collar activates at 15 feet from the line however i have found areas in my house about 50 feet from the line that the collar activates sometime. i have 3 models of collars (little dog, stubborn dog and regular) the stubborn and regular seem to be the worse. This makes raining the dog difficult.

ADMIN – Hi Ron,

Sounds like you have the boundary width turned up too high so it is blanketing the entire area. When this happens the opposite sides start interfering with each other and you get weird patterns of coverage. Turn the boundary width dial down all the way to minimum and then turn it up slightly. Go out and test the boundary with the collar. Keep increasing the boundary until you get the field starting about 5 feet out from the line.

The other possibility is that you have the signal leaking into some other cable or metal running nearby. Check for any sheet metal or electric wire running close to and parallel to the dog fence wire.

erin January 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

I have a 1.5 year old, 40 pound husky. Right now he is on a line and i take him out on a 26ft lead to run off energy. In the spring, I am moving to a 7 acre property that is almost all woods, and I would like to get a system that will allow him to have more freedom than he currently has, and yet keep him from visiting the neighbors and running after the wildlife throughout the country side. Any suggestions on a system and the best way to install it would be greatly appreciated.

ADMIN – Hi Erin,

For wooded areas, we usually just staple the wire to the ground. Burying wire with all those tree roots is not practical. And after a couple of years, as the leaves fall the wire tends to bury it self. The only sections you really need to bury are where it crosses heavily trafficked paths, and anywhere with grass that is mowed.

A good system for Huskies is the Innotek IUC-4100. It is a good all round system, and it the collar has a built in fit-tester, that lets you know when the collar is on the dog properly. That will comes in handy with getting the collar properly fitted on the thick undercoat of your Husky.

Melanie January 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm

We are about to rescue an 8 month old beagle, we have a fenced back yard so that is not the issue. We like to keep our garage door open during most of the summer and her area is off the back of the garage with a doggy door to the backyard. I would like to continue to open the garage door without her running and exploring. Is any of the systems ok to be installed on cement or above the garage door for just a garage door opening containment? I really don’t want to buy a bunch of gates to prevent this possible escape.

thanks,
melanie

Admin- Hi Melanie,

Absolutely, you will be able to install a dog fence around the garage door opening. You can simply run the wire inside the expansion join that separates the driveway and garage opening. Than continue the wire all the way around the outer trim of the garage door. This way you form a small boundary loop around the garage door to create the barrier. A great system for your Beagle will be the Innotek IUC-4100.

Ryan January 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I have a versatile hunting dog and am considering putting up an underground fence around my house that is located on 1 acre. I live in the middle of 40 acres and there are no other fences. I would like to be able to keep him in the 1 acre area when I let him out to run and take care of other business, but I am concerned that the stimulation caused by the fence could limit him from ranging out when hunting and the use of an e-collar when hunting may have a different affect than when he was originally trained. Please let me know if this should be a concern and if you have any others thoughts on this situation. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Ryan,

After initial month on the dog fence, you can get the dog into a routine where we teach him it is okay to cross the boundary if given permission by you. There will be hesitancy for the first few times, you take him outside the property to hunt, dog will quickly adapt to the new rules. (If you need to take him out in the first month drive him or carry him over the boundary) Se our training sectino for more details on how this is done.

Same with the e-collar. I would wait at least a month until after the dog fence training to start e-collar training. If you have already use an e-collar with the dog, you can continue to use it – we just want to avoid starting too many new things at the same time.

Scott January 8, 2012 at 12:59 am

I’m planning to install a SportDOG SDF-100A to enclose around 15 acres. Since I want my dog to have access to a small creek, how do you recommend crossing the stream, keeping in mind seasonal flooding with floating debris? Also, approximately 500′ of the perimeter is with barbed wire fence. How do you recommend attaching the boundary wire to that fence without it eventually snagging the barbs? Thanks so much. Scott

ADMIN – Hi Scott,

The easiest way to cross a stream is to be opportunistic and use a fallen tree of other convenient crossing point above the water line. It that is not available, I would place the wire in a protective conduit like an old hose pipe and staple it as best you can to the creek bed. You can also just run the wire through the creek naked, but It is worth putting in the extra effort – hunting and fixing wire breaks in a creek is never fun.

I find zipties to work great for attaching the dog fence perimeter wire to barbed wire fencing in a few spots. Because there is no pressure on the dog fence wire, it simply sits next to the barbs and does not tend to get torn up. The wire does tend to get tangled in the barbs, but that does not hurt the fence.

brian December 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I have two dogs. A 70 lb lab and a 110 lb german shepherd. We have 4 ft. chain link fence on two sides of our yard. The lab goes under and the shepherd goes over. Will that fence interfere with any of these systems signal? A friend of mine said that you can’t put underground fence near chain link. I am just wondering if that is true.

ADMIN – Hi Brian,

You can mount the dog fence boundary wire right on the chain link fence (either weaving it through the links or using zip-ties to hold it in place). The chain link fence will not cause interference. (Solid sheet metal fences in some circumstance can amplify the signal – but not chain link) One little tips, if you use a weed eater – then place the wire about a foot above the ground on the fence so that it does not get hit when you are edging around the fence. (PS – Smack you friend in the head for us.)

Dennis December 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I have 2 large male labs. One is about 2 years old and the other is 1 year old. The 2-year old is 100 ibs and the 1 year old is about 70 lbs. Both are extremely energetic and bolt out of the yard whenever they get a chance. They love to run. I’ve got a 2 acre lot that is rectangular in shape. I’d like to give them a 350′ X 100′ zone. Also, when they wrestle around, they tend to chew each other’s collars off, so I’d probably need the sturdiest collar in your line up. Just curious what in ground system you would recommend. Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Dennis,

For a sturdy collar for two large labs, the SportDog SDF-100A would be your best choice. The collars are the toughest available and could handle a couple of Labradors. Another slightly cheaper, but also good choice for your situation would be the PetSafe Stubborn.

Harry Kall December 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm

We have a 2-1/2 year old 20 pound miniature schnauzer that we got as stray from an animal shelter. He likes to run and dart. We need coverage on just one side of our yard…approx. 60 feet. What do you recommend? I have heard of Pet Safe? Innotek? Dog Watch? and Invisible Fence?…..totally confused. Help! Thanks Harry

ADMIN – Hi Harry,

To cover just one side of the yard, you are going to run a long thin loop along that one side. The opposite sides of the loop will need to be at least six feet apart to stop them interfering with each other. You will connect this long thin loop to the transmitter using the twisted wire.

With a mini-schnauzer, you have a lot of options. I would suggest something with a smaller collar. Either the Innotek IUC-4100 – a good system with a rechargeable collar, or the PetSafe Deluxe – a little cheaper but also good, but with a disposable collar battery.

Jennifer November 29, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I am thinking about adopting a pointer. I live on 1 acre n a rural neighborhood. I estimate his weight could reach up to 60 lbs at the most. Our yard is sloping with the majority of it being on the back side of the house. Can you recommend a system for this scenario?

ADMIN – Hi Jennifer,
We always recommend a wired dog fence over a wireless dog fence. If you go with a wired fence, the slope of your yard will not be a factor. For sporting dogs, we do typically recommend the SportDog SDF100A, but since you’re fencing in around an acre, I’d recommend going with the PetSafe Stubborn dog fence. The Stubborn fence and the SportDog fence share identical collars and they function the same as well. The differences are that the SportDog is designed for large installs up to 100 acres and the collar band is a woven fiber with a stainless steel buckle. You can save a bit of money with the Stubborn fence and still get that same great collar.

Clodie November 16, 2011 at 11:30 am

We are getting a 70lb husky mix and we live on 5.8 acres and would like to allow her to run our property. Our property sloops downward and we were thinking about getting the Havahart custom shape wireless system. I wasn’t sure with the sloop if it would work or not. We could do a system with a wire but our property is pretty rocky too. Any suggustions?

ADMIN – Hi Clodie,

The best way to know on wireless fences is to simply give it a try. If you have relatively few barriers, no metal buildings and roofs, or thick cement walls, you have a good chance.

Kayla November 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I am interested in purchasing The electronic dog fence. I have about 3 acres to cover. I have a dachshund and 2 puggles. One of the puggles is very energetic and will run all day. The dachshund is approx 10 lbs and The puggles are both under 25 lbs. Can you please tell me the best system to buy.
Thank you Kayla

ADMIN – Hi Kayla,

For the Dachshund, we want a smaller collar like the PetSafe Litte Dog. For the Puggles, we have a bit more flexibility and can either do a PetSafe Little Dog collar or a PetSafe Deluxe collar. The PetSafe Deluxe is the better choice, because although slightly bigger the batteries it uses are cheaper and have a longer life.

I would get the PetSafe Little Dog system and two extra PetSafe Deluxe collars for the puggles.

Justin Attridge October 20, 2011 at 9:27 pm

We have a 14 week old German Shepherd male and a one acre lot on a rural street. I am in the landscape business so I own the equipment needed to install an invisible dog fence. I have learned a lot from your website and wanted to know what system do you recommend. He is a registered German Shepherd and his father is 100lbs so he will be a big dog. Do you recommend the Innotek 4100 or the Petsafe Stubborn Dog? Also is he too young to train now, or what age do you recommend to train on a invisible fence? Thank you

Admin- Hi Justin,

We typically recommend waiting at least 6 months before training. It makes the dog fence training much quicker. However, if the dog can already understand basic commands like come sit and stay. Than the dog should be ready for training with the containment fence. For a German Shepherd we recommend either the PetSafe Stubborn or the SportDog SDF-100A. The collars on these systems are designed for larger/strong bread of dogs.

Lauren October 1, 2011 at 9:17 pm

We live in a home with a metal roof as well as metal siding. We are having difficulty finding a fencing solution. Our boxer and weimaraner keep running off. Can you please help with any suggestions? Everyone we speak with tells us that their product won’t work due to the metal. Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Lauren,

The wireless dog fences will not work with homes with metal siding, nor a metal rood. But, the wired dog fences will work perfectly, you just need to keep the dog fence boundaries at least six feet from the house siding – if that is possible in your property you should not have any problems.

For a Boxer and a Weimeraner, an Innotek IUC-4100 would work well, as would a PetSafe Stubborn.

Walt September 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm

We have a 2 month old beagle and we’ve been told that beagles will go wherever their nose leads them when they are outside. We’ve also heard both horror and success stories with beagles and invisible fences. We would like to contain her in a 3 acre perimitter around the house. What would you recommend and can a beagle truly be trained on an invisible fence?

Admin- Hi Walt,

When trained, even spirited dogs like beagle with a strong prey drive should be able to resist crossing the boundary. A properly trained dog will have no idea that it can go through the boundary, they will assume the boundary correction goes on forever, and that they can only stop the correction by turning and retreating. For your beagle I would highly recommend the Innotek IUC-4100. The IUC-4100 is a superb system and will work perfectly with your Beagle.

Jesse September 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Hi. I emailed this but saw this comment section and thought the advice might help out some other folks so I’ll post here too.

Our two dogs, one 90 pound Malamute and a 60 pound Shepard both love our chicken coop. I thought they would get over it but they haven’t yet. They just race around it and constantly jump on the screen cage. It’s strong but not going to last at this rate. Additionally they have been ruining the soil surrounding the coop by racing constantly around it.

From some online research I’ve gathered quite a bit of information and have determined the following options.

1) Using something similar to the PetSafe Exterior Pawz Away Instant Pet Barrier.
I thought this might work well since it will simply create a zone around the coop. My concern with this is if the correction levels will be strong enough.

2) Using the Petsafe Stubborn Dog along with a normal Petsafe Deluxe collar for the smaller dog. I’m guessing this will work but am curious if I can simply put the wire around the coop instead of in the ground. Would that work?

3) Maybe using a wireless fence.

Thanks for any help or other ideas.

ADMIN – Hi Jesse,

(1) The Pawz-Away Rocks would be your best bet, they will be much faster and cheaper to keep the dogs out of a small area. The collars are weaker, and not as good as the dog fence collars, but for keeping dogs out of an area, they should be good enough. Excluding dogs from an area is easier because, running through is less of an issue. I think this is going to be your cheapest and best option.

(2) The PetSafe Sutbborn system with an extra Deluxe collar would work. With those two dogs, you could also just use two of the cheaper Stubborn collars, just keep them both turned down – neither the Malamute nor the German Shepherd is likely to need more than the medium-low or the medium on that high powered collar. Either of these setups would work well for you.

(3) To keep the dogs out of a space, the wireless systems are not a good fit. They are only effective to keep the dogs inside a space. This would not be a good choice for your situation.

Kristen September 14, 2011 at 12:22 am

Hi, I have a 18 month old male Siberian Husky. The neighbors have a golden retriever, and he’s always trying to go next door to see the golden. I currently have a 100 foot aerial run in the backyard, but he doesn’t seem to like it much…and is so strong hes pulled it out of the house twice already. I’m looking to put in an inground fence so he can run (as huskies main passion is running haha)…but so that he can’t escape (i’ve had some close calls with almost losing him!). I’d like to get it in and have him trained and used to it before winter so that he can spend ‘his season’ free to play outdoors without being connected to a tie out or runner or a leash. What would you suggest as the best inground fence for an extremely stubborn male Siberian Husky…who is very strong, is an escape artist, and is ALWAYS trying to leave the yard to go chase or visit the neighbors…or anything he sees movement from for that matter..??

ADMIN – Hi Sandra,

Sounds like your typical Husky! The Innotek IUC-4100 is very good for Huskies. In particular, the collar has a feature that tells you when the collar is fitted properly, something that is tricky with the thick undercoat of a Husky. An improperly fitted collar seem to be the biggest issue with Huskies.

I would not assume that he needs a particularly strong correction, and would start him on the medium. Huskies despite stubbornness, tend to be very sensitive to the correction and usually just need a tap to redirect their considerable energy.

kayla vondracek September 10, 2011 at 8:15 pm

I have two dogs. Sasha, a pit(50lbs) and Tuck, an Australian Shepard(40-50lbs). I need to keep them in my back yard. Sasha doesn’t leave the yard much, unless she sees a small animal she can chase. Tuck tries to sneak off any chance he gets. I need something with durable collars and batteries that don’t need replaced too frequently. What would you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Kayla,

With a Pitbull and an Aussie, I would get a system which lets you change the correction levels of the dogs individually, since the Pit is likely to require a higher correction level than the Aussie. I would use something like the PetSafe Stubborn. It has a good durable collar, and uses a regular 9V battery that lasts 2-3 months.

DS September 10, 2011 at 8:17 am

I notice from your reviews, that you make some recommendations based upon breed of the dog.
Do you have any experience with electric fencing for Japanese hunting breeds? We have a Kai Ken.

Our dog is 40 pounds at 7 months of age. He is not vicious. He is strong willed and forgets everything else when he scents something or sees a deer.

We live in a community that does not allow above-ground fencing, and we would want our dog to be able to run in an area next to our house.

Hi DS,

We do use breed, while not definitive, I find breed give a good indicator of how the dog will react to the correction. I have not worked with a Kai Ken. But, generally hunting dogs have that strong prey drive and will often be insensitive to the correction when on the chase.

I would start with an Innotek IUC-4100 on the medium setting. The Innotek collar-fit mode will be useful with that thick coat, and will let you use the . You could also try a PetSafe Stubborn, but given his size I would start on the medium-low and be conservative about using the higher settings.

Kathy Spencer August 31, 2011 at 10:37 am

I have a nine month old aussie and a two year old rescue border collie on very steep mountain propery with lots of trees and a gravel driveway. We also take the dogs to our RV which has a small flat lot, with lots of people traffic around it. I don’t believe a wireless/wifi system will work with all the hills and dropoffs,and a regular fence would be impossible here, so any suggestion would help. We have 13 acres, but would probably only fence 2-4 acres.Thank you for the consideration.

ADMIN – Hi Kathy,

Agreed in that kind of mountainous/forested terrain, a wireless is not going to be a good choice. Can you run the boundary wire along the containment area? For the non-mowed sections that are just forest you could just staple the wire down instead of burying it.

With an Australian Shepherd and a Border Collie, something like the Innotek IUC-4100 or the PetSafe Stubborn would work nicely.

Allison August 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thank you. If the dog does cross the barrier and keep going, will it keep correcting until they return back to the yard? Or, once they cross does it stop, then correct again when they come back?

ADMIN – Hi Allison,

With the wired systems the dog will stop getting the correction if they get far past the boundary and they will get the correction when they return. This is what make the training so important – a properly trained dog will immediately react to the correction by turning and retreating. They will think that is the only way to escape and will never learn that running through is an option.

Allison August 30, 2011 at 11:26 am

We have a 40 lb. beagle and a 55 lb. lab mix (possibly some chow). Both about 7 or 8 years old. They are both very inquisitive and like to chase. We have smaller front and side yards, but 1/2 acre in the back. It’s open, but there is a line of trees behind and some other houses. Fair amount of wildlife. We were going to put up a physical fence to contain them. I’m intrigued by the electric fence but am worried they will take off if they see another dog, wildlife or food to sniff. Do you have recommendations?

ADMIN – Hi Allison,

With the training, dogs will stay faithful to the fence boundary line even if there are strong temptations on the other side, even critters that trigger their prey drive. The sensation of the correction is so immediate and unusual for a dog that it redirect their attention. If you are particularly concerned about some particular trigger, we will encourage you to work with that trigger in the third step of the training we suggest.

For a lab and a beagle, an Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice. The system has a small collar and is rechargeable. The PetSafe Stubborn is also a good choice, it is bigger and uses a disposable battery but is a little cheaper and also works well.

Dillon August 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I own a large yorkie-poo at 15 pounds and a german shepherd at 84 pounds and it keeps jumping over our fence. What is the best system to contain two dog that differ alot in weight?

ADMIN – Hi Dillon,

I like using the PetSafe systems where there is a large disparity in sizes between the dogs. The PetSafe systems have two advantages in this situation: first they let you adjust the correction level of each collar independently, and second they allow you to mix-and-match collars so that you can use the best collar for each dog rather than having to chose a compromise collar for both dogs.

I would get a PetSafe Stubborn system and use the included collar for the German. For the Yorkie, I would get an extra PetSafe Deluxe collar.

Samantha August 17, 2011 at 8:54 am

I have a chug that is 10 pounds, but should get to be 11-13 pounds. Do I go up to the Innotek or down to the small dog? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Sam,

Start with the Innotek 4100, put the collar on the dog without switching it on and let the dog try it for a couple of days. If they are uncomfortable, swap it for the PetSafe, otherwise stick with the Innotek. The PetSafe proprietary battery is obnoxious and should be avoided where possible.

susan August 5, 2011 at 1:37 am

I plan to get a German Shepherd puppy. I live in town with a decent sized yard, but no acreage. My yard is fenced with redwood on 2 sides. On the 3rd side is a chain link, short fence because the ground shifts. (I am on a hill) The dog would be able to easily jump over that chain link fence into the neighbor’s yard, it is only about to my thighs in some spots. Neighbor doesn’t want me to replace the fence as he put it in himself 33 years ago. My only electrical outlet would cross in front of the door the dog would use to come into the house. My house sits about 10 feet higher than the yard below. Any suggestions?
Thanks

Admin- Hi Susan,

A great solution for your property would a single sided boundary. You will be able to run a portion of the wire on the chain link fence and bury the other half. Please view our single sided boundary diagram.
http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#singleside

A great fence for your German Shepherd will be the PetSafe Stubborn/Large Dog fence.

Jennifer August 3, 2011 at 7:13 am

We have a one yr old st bernard lab mix who continues to run through our current innotek 3100d system. We have trained her multiple times & she knows where the border is & wont go near it if on a leash. When she is loose in the yard and sees a squirrel or another dog goes through it without hesitation. Any suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Jennifer,

When a dog is running through the fence, we want to observe them going through the fence to see what their reaction to the correction is.

If the dog goes through and doesn’t seem to have any reaction, then they are not getting the correction. We want to test the collar and system to make sure it is still correcting at the boundary. And we want to make sure the collar is properly fitted so that the probes touch the dog’s skin (this is the most common cause of dogs going through – this is very common on long hair dog’s like St Bernards), you may need to thin out hair around the probes.

If the dog has a reaction (which it seems yours did not) – then the deterrence is insufficient or the dog is not properly trained. We turn up the correction strength, turn up the boundary wideness, and start retraining the dog (usually starting at Step 2). If there are specific temptation issues like squirrels.

buzzy August 1, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I have 3 dogs; 15# shitzu-bichon, 45# golden retriever; 50# chocolate lab/german shorthair. I have about 1.2 acres of land; 1/3 is bordered by a river. The dogs love to swim and I want them to. I have a long blacktop/concrete driveway. Part of the yard is near a very busy street (kids/cars/bikes etc) and my dogs love to visit and chase squirrels/cats etc. What is my best option for containment of these 3? Buzzy

ADMIN – Hi Buzzy,

With the biggest dog being more than 3 times the size of the smallest, the PetSafe systems are a good choice. The PetSafe systems let you use their collars inter-compatibly so you can use a collar appropriate for each dog. I would suggest a PetSafe Stubborn base system. Use PetSafe Stubborn collars for the larger two dogs (you won’t need a collar that strong, but it is very good value for money, and fine to use with dogs like yours as long as you keep it turned down to the lower levels). And add the smaller PetSafe Deluxe collar for the Shih Tzu / Bichon.

Greg August 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Does an ” in- ground” fence have to be buried? We’re renting a house and don’t want to dig up the yard. There’s also an asphalt driveway.

ADMIN – In-ground (aka wired) dog containment systems do not need to be buried. The wire can happily sit on top of the ground or even hover in the air (attached to a fence for example).

You don’t have to bury the wire across the driveway either, but most people do for aesthetics. The easiest way to do it without cutting is to run the wire through an existing expansion joint. That failing, you can run the wire over the top of the asphalt. A car will not do much damage the wire – and the wire will last a couple of years before you need to replace it even with moderate traffic over it.

Kelly Jundt July 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I am impressed as I read the testimonials about your company. You seem to have the answers to many varied situations. I hope you have one for me. We have a home on the lakeshore and have a young golden retriever who loves to swim but also thinks its a fun game to bust through the garden fence we put up around the entire lake side of our home and run out to the road…several times a day. We would like a system that could contain him to the lake side yard and allow him to go 50 to 75 feet out into the water. Is there something that is waterproof? We also like a rechargeable battery. Our daughters 120 lb lab also comes on weekends but he stays around just fine so I don’t think we would put a collar on him. Thanks in advance…I would like to order a system from you asap.

Admin- Hi Kelly,

We recommend the Innotek IUC-4100. The collar is a slim fit, rechargeable that is fully waterproof. You will be able to install the boundary wire in one of our pre-planned layout options for lakefront properties. Please take a look at the link below.

Lake Front: http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#lakefront

Molly July 25, 2011 at 12:44 am

I have 2 visiting dogs, one 100 pound boxer and one 50 pound lab, who are used to freedom in a fenced back yard. The boxer is a strong male and can bolt when curious. The female lab is a velcro dog and not so aggressive. Since the dogs visit only a few days a month, my needs are for temporary use and therefore prefer a wireless fence if possible. My land area is 3/4 of an acre but prefer the dogs remain in the back yard (< 1/2 acre). What would be your best suggestion for my needs? Thanks!

Admin- Hi Molly,

The best wireless system is the Havahart Radial shape. The Havahart Radial shape fence is the most effect wireless system on the market and will work great for your ½ acre.

Beth July 9, 2011 at 11:24 am

My yard is about 3/4 fenced in. The only part that is not is across the driveway which is maybe 20-30ft long. We would not like to fence that section off. What would you recommend as the best electronic fence for that area?

ADMIN – Hi Beth,

If you wanted to block only a small section, you could run a small loop or wire that goes across the driveway and then returns 6+ feet apart. You could use either a full wired dog fence system, or one of the cheaper outdoor pods if all you need is a short run of wire.

Happy to give you a recommendation regarding a specific system. How many dogs do you have and what are the age, weight, and temperament of each?

Asim July 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I have 4 acres and german shephard that is a puppy, but it will grow. What wireless system is best for me, because it is very uneven, mountain area, almost no flat… Thanks A.

ADMIN – Hi Asim,

The Havahart Radial is the best of the wireless systems. Although, if the terrain is so uneven that you could not get a line of sight to the dog – wireless may not work very well in your situation.

If you wanted to look at wired dog containment systems for a German Shepherd pup, the Innotek IUC-4100, SportDog SDF-100A or the PetSafe Stubborn would all be good choices (in that order).

Avryl Fairbrother July 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

We have two 4 mth old labrador puppies, weighing between 20-22ibs with a neck size about half that of an adult lab. When buying a fence kit, are the collars adaptable for the difference in the neck size from a puppy to an adult? Or is it necessary to buy second collars as they grow (hoping this is not a requirement considering the $$$ outlay!)? Greatly appreciate your advice on this. Thanks for your time.

ADMIN – Hi Ave,

The collars all adjust to fit a range of neck sizes and will accommodate both a puppy and a full grown lab. Usually, once the collar is fitted you cut off the excess – in your case, I would keep a little excess on the collar so you can let the collar out as they grow.

PS – we usually wait till six months old, unless the dogs can already confidently do a sit/stay/come. For most dogs, 4 months is a little early and they just don’t have the attention span for the dog fence training. It becomes much easier at six months.

Terri June 17, 2011 at 7:18 pm

We have a small 10 pound dog who has decided that it is fun to chase our neighbor’s chickens and unfortunately has injured one trying to play with it. The neighbor refuses to fix their chicken coop area so that the chicken our not roaming throughout her yard and our dog is keeps getting under our wooden fence and under the chicken wire fence we have even though we have modified both of them. Is there an electric dog fence that might help?

ADMIN – Hi Terri,

If the chickens are staying in your neighbor’s yard, you could simply run a dog fence around the perimeter of your yard. Since you already have a fence in place, you could just attach the boundary wire to your existing fence instead of burying it.

A good system for a 10lb dog would be the PetSafe Little Dog.

Zack May 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

I must say first off, fantastic website! A lot of great information & the reviews are top notch. My wife and I are looking at putting in an electric or wireless system and a couple of questions. We are open to wired and wireless systems and very comfortable in installing them but we have 2 breeds of dogs. A 40 pound standard poodle (female) and a quite large 135lb 11 month old great dane (Male). Both listen quite well and stay in our yard 80% of the time but will run over to see our neighbors & their dogs from time to time. We have about 1.5 acres and would like to setup the fence for them to use almost all of the yard. Any thoughts on which system would work best for our setup? Property is almost a perfect square with the house pretty close to being in the middle and our dogs are overall well behaved and not stubborn. The great dane especially is easy to train (plus he’s a HUGE wimp J ). Thanks again for the great site and I look forward to becoming one of your customers.

ADMIN – Hi Zack,

If you can do wired, definately go in that direction. It is a little bit more work up front, but a lot better solution because you get nice consistent boundaries that make training the dogs much easier.

With that much difference in size we would want a system with independent correction levels. The PetSafe Stubborn or the SportDog SDF-100 would work well. They are both good reliable systems that will let you set a different correction level for each dog. The base station on the SportDog is a little better, but with just 1.5 acres you would be fine with the PetSafe. Because it is slightly cheaper, I would opt for the PetSafe. One thing to watch out for – they are both strong system, which is does not sound like you will need with either of your dogs, so be sure to keep the collars turned down low.

If you wanted something rechargeable the Dogtra EF-3000 would work. Although, you coudl just get a couple of rechargeable 9 volt batteries for the PetSafe which would again be much cheaper.

Gana Wilson May 28, 2011 at 10:28 am

Hi, I have 3 dogs….2 full grown labs (girls) and a 6 month old pup who is the son of one of my labs, a lab/pit mix. Knew nothing of his father but seen him climb fences like a pro to mate with my 2yr old lab. Now his son seems to have the same traits.
He has only jumped/climbed it one time so far, ended up in neighbors yard, but we live on a busy road and I am very worried.
My older dogs behave very well, and the pup is actually a very calm dog, and minds very well. I am thinking he may need more attention from me and some new toys. My yard is about an acre, what fence do you recommend???

ADMIN – Hi Gana,

With a fence already in place, you can easily fence mount the wire and training will be particularly straight forward. You should have the fence climbing issue fixed very quickly. You might consider just getting a collar for the escapee and only add collars for the others if they become a problem later on.

For two labs and a lab mix, the Innotek IUC-4100 would be an excellent choice. It has a slimline rechargeable collar and is very reliable.

A second good option would be the PetSafe Stubborn. It has a larger collar and uses a disposable instead of rechargeable battery, but will be a bit cheaper.

I think more attention and new toys are always welcome!

Sarah May 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I have three young dogs – a very exuberant 2-yr old Aussie, a super mellow/sensitive border collie cross (also 2) and a 7 mo old Aussie who is in between the other two in temperament. The older Aussie likes to chase cars, although I have been working with him with a remote collar and he is starting to come around. I’d like to install an underground fence that will keep the rascals contained on about an acre. Could you suggest an appropriate system? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Sarah,

Working dogs like Aussies and Border Collies train well, so you should have smooth sailing through your training.

The SportDog SDF-100A would be a good choice. It will give you independent correction levels, and enough wire to do the full 1 acre. The cons are that the collars are a little bigger, and it uses a 9 volt disposable battery.

The Innotek IUC-4100 would also work well. It is rechargeable and has a smaller collar, but is a little more expensive.

Jeff May 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Hello I am writing to ask a few questions that I can’t seem to find straight answers to on dogfencediy.

1. What system do you personally recommend for an 1 acre 5ft fenced lot that my 100lb lab continues to dig out of?

2. Need to for system that is water proof for swimming as I might purchase 2 units one for home and another for family lake house. This dog swims alot….

3. What system is easy to add 2nd collar as we are thinking about expanding our family.

ADMIN – Hi Jeff,

1. The Innotek IUC-4100, which is rechargeable and has a slimline collar would be our top choice. The SportDog SDF-100 would also be a good choice, it has a bigger collar and uses a disposable battery, but is also a little cheaper and has an extra 500 feet of wire included in the package.

2. Both systems above have fully waterproof collars that can be completely immersed.

3. Both the Innotek and the SportDog will let you add additional collars without any hassle. You just power on the new collar and you are ready to go.

Stephanie May 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I have a Golden Retriever/ Cocker Spaniel mix (about 45 lbs), he loves to run after bird and go where ever his nose takes him. We would like to fence him in so he doesn’t have to be tied out any more and we live on about 1/2 acre and by two main highways. What type of fence do you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Stephanie,

Field dogs like Spaniels and Retrievers tend to be easy to contain and leave you a lot of options. The Innotek IUC-4100 is a particulalry good choice for long hair dogs, because the collar has a “fit” detector to tell you when the collar is properly contacting the dog’s skin – something a bit tricky with long hair dogs. Another good option would be the PetSafe Stubborn, it is a little bigger and uses a disposable battery unlike the rechargeable battery on the Innotek, but it is also a bit cheaper and also a good dependable system.

Jenn May 20, 2011 at 11:50 pm

We have a 7 y/o lab and a 1 y/o weimerainer (both weigh between 55 and 70 lbs). The lab should be relatively easy to train but our weimerainer is a little bit “off”. He has a very short attention span and A LOT of energy. We are looking into getting an underground fence for out 3/4 acre yard. Neither are mean to any extent, they just enjoy wandering our cul-de-sac (and visiting the neighbors) and we are looking for a better way to keep them in our unfenced yard. We were leaning toward the Petsafe IUC-4100. Do you think that this would have enough correction for the weimerainer? Do you feel this is our best option? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Jenn,

Weimaraners like labs don’t tend to need a lot of correction. They are usually sensitive to the correction. The PetSafe IUC-4100, with the correction on medium would be a good choice for those two dogs.

Jill May 19, 2011 at 11:13 am

We found a puppy whose owner we never found. He is a mixed brindle colored boxer/labrador dog now almost a year old and weighing about 55 lbs.We have him in our chain link fenced back yard. He is very muscular and strong and figures out how to climb over the fence and get out. We have tried numerous ways to obstruct his ability to get out mainly by propping things up higher than the fence where he loves to get out. We have had to place him on a runner until we can find a solution. We live a city neighborhood with a school close by. He loves children so if he gets out that is probably where he would head first or on a major road into town- one block from our house.

Our backyard is rectangular in shape. In this area are steps down to two patios off the back of the house, shrubbery across the back of the patios as well as shrubbery across the fence line behind the house. There are several pine and dogwood trees n this area. It is not a clear open area. What do you suggest.?

ADMIN – Hi Jill,

With a fence already in place, it would be easiest to run the dog fence wire along the current chain link fence. (Either weave the wire through the chain link or zip-tie it in place)

For a boxer lab mix, you have a lot of options for the fence system. The two top choices would be the Innotek IUC-4100 if you wanted something rechargeable or the PetSafe Stubborn if you wanted something a little cheaper (the trade-off being a larger collar and a disposable battery).

JILL – Thanks so much. That is a wonderful suggestion about weaving the wire through the fence or to zip- tie it . I never thought about that ! You have been a big help !! Sam has been quite a challenge for us baby boomers he is so strong, healthy and muscular however, we are trying to do our best to provide him a good home.

Frustrated in Ky May 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Thanks for the quick reply! The area they need to stay out of is a “L-shaped” area. It is the back left corner of the property. The garage sits lined in this corner as well creating a 10 foot path on the side and back (bordered by the problem fence). I was thinking that I’d have to put the rock right at the corner of the garage and it could be set to broadcast 25 ft. The total “problem” area of the fence is roughly 50 feet and the both side fences measure out at a linear feet. I think I will buy this rock. Your 30 day guarantee gives me the confidence to spend the money and try it.

Frustrated in Ky May 11, 2011 at 12:36 am

I’ve spent hours on this site reading and pondering. I am on overload now I think. I’m looking for help to solve a problem. I have a one year old male aussie/lab/?? mix and a 6 year old half blind, three-legged border collie. The dogs were free to roam the fenced backyard, but a few months the dogs figured out that they could push the fence (sometimes combined with digging) and get under it on the south and southwest corner of the yard.This area of my property was apparently built up to level the yard for the detached garage and is held up by retaining walls. However, erosion and so forth over the years have created large gaps under the fence that drop off to the neighboring property a few feet below. I routinely have to “plug up” holes with logs and so forth which only seem to provoke exploration to another area of fence [sigh]. It will be super expensive to build the yard back up several inches (along with a higher retaining wall) and I don’t plan on living here forever. S0……..I guess my true need is to keep the dogs from even going near that area of fence. I was thinking of getting the Pawz Off Rock to broadcast from that corner and maybe even adding line along the rest of that back fence. What would you suggest? Thank you in advance for keeping some of my hair from changing colors (along with my face!)

ADMIN – Hi Frustrated,

How big is the area where we need to block the dogs from entering. If it is just a small area, (less than 50 feet), the Pawz Away Rock would work well. We could just set up a small loop of wire that ran along the bottom of the fence they are escaping, and made the return leg of the loop along the top of the fence.

If it is much larger than 50 feet, we can use a full dog fence system to make a loop around the entire property. Again we would simply attach the wire to the fence. For an Aussie and a Border Collie, the Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice.

Tera May 7, 2011 at 12:42 am

I have a 19 lb pug and a 65 lb english bulldog. I tried a petsafe wireless fence system and the extra receiver but decided the underground would work better for our boundaries. Both dogs were super sensitive to the correction and I found that this collar wasn’t a great fit…but that could be because of the extra skin folds in the neck area on both of them? Which system would you recommend that would have a low correction setting and a collar that will fit well on pugs and bulldogs?

ADMIN – Hi Tera,

We would want something with independent correction, because I suspect the Bulldog will need a little more correction than the pug and so I would pick something that let you set the correction level for each dog separately. The PetSafe Deluxe would be a good choice, as would the Perimeter Technologies Ultra.

Those folds of skin that you get on wrinkly dogs are tricky. I sometimes find that using the long collar probes works better with dogs with skin folds, even though they if they are shorthair dogs.

For something with a really low correction, the PetSafe Little Dog would work, although I suspect it would be underpowered for the Bulldog.

It was interesting that your bulldog was so sensitive. Bulldogs known for requiring stronger corrections. It is a good example of why you need to be attentive to individual dogs and not get hung up on breed stereotypes.

Angel April 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I have a miniature schnauzer (18lbs) and a golden retriever (80lbs). We have a 1 acre lot in an active neighborhood. The miniature schnauzer will chase anything with fur or feathers. What type of underground system do you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Angel,

With the miniature schnauzer, I would do a PetSafe Deluxe collar, it is small enough that is will be comfortable on the Schnauzer.

For the lab, we could use either a PetSafe Deluxe collar or a PetSafe Stubborn collar (set to the low correction settings). The Deluxe collar is a little more expensive and uses a proprietary battery. the Stubborn collar is much bigger, but is also cheaper and uses a generic 9V battery.

My recommendation would be to get the PetSafe Stubborn system, and add an extra PetSafe Deluxe collar for the Schnauzer.

Kristin April 26, 2011 at 11:37 am

Hello, after searching the web for an underground dog fence I am now seriously confused by which one to get. We have 2 very different size dogs. An 8 year old lab and a Welsh Corgi. We want to cover 5 acres. What is the best system that we should use? thanks

Hi Kristin,

With two dogs so different in size, the PetSafe systems are a good bet because you can mix and match collars and correction levels. I would get a PetSafe Deluxe collar for the Corgi, it is small enough that it will be comfortable on her. For the lab I would get a PetSafe Stubborn collar, the collar is a little bigger but is cheaper and does not use a proprietary battery.

It will work out cheaper if you get the PetSafe Stubborn system and an extra PetSafe Deluxe collar than if you do it the other way around.

Sadie April 20, 2011 at 9:37 am

We are moving to a lake home and are looking for an invisible fence for our 5 year old yellow lab. She is very well behaved, mild mannered, and typically has learned easily, but she has always lived in a backyard that has a fence. What do you suggest would be the best? We want her to be able to enjoy the lake, but not necessarily when we aren’t there. Do you have experience or advice with how to handle a lake? Thanks for your help!

ADMIN – Hi Sadie,

Golden’s do well on a number of DIY dog fence models. The fence I highly recommend is the Innotek IUC 4100. It has a rechargeable collar that is quite sleek and low profile. For your goal with the lake, I’d recommend excluding the lake from your boundary. When you decide to go on the lake with your dog, you can use the safe gate training to train your dog to be able to cross the boundary.

marc April 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Hello. I have an 8year old Brittney, and she loves to run. We moved to a 2 acre lake property 9 months ago, and she has been used to running free all winter. Now that it is spring, lake cabin owners are around and we don’t want her out of our yard anymore. It was stupid of us to let her run free in the first place. Anyway, I went to purchase an e-fence today, and the gal working there talked me out of installing anything stating that Brittneys generally just run through the fence because they are pretty intellegent and figure out that it only hurts for a second. Any opinions supporting or refuting this arguement?
Also…I want to keep the lake open if I do put in the e-fence. I figure I would have to double loop the wire back in order to keep the circuit complete. Do I have to keep the wires away from each other when I double back?

ADMIN – Hi Marc,

Our take on it is that any dog, with good persistent training has the best chances of 100% containment. A dog who runs through a boundary needs better training, a wider boundary, better fitted collar, higher correction level, or any number of these solutions combined. Running through the boundary is primarily an obedience issue, so more thorough training is recommended. I will also say that anytime someone outright guarantee’s either way that it will always work or never will work shouldn’t be fully trusted. The fact of the matter is that without trying it on your property, with your dog, how can anyone truly know?

I think you have as good a chance to successfully contain your Brittney as anyone with any other sort of dog breed.

barb April 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Hello. We have an Innotek 5100 system installed already for our German Shorthair pointer. Works great. But we now have a 9 pound yorkie poo and I would like to get a collar for him to run free with us when we our out in the yard. Is there any small breed collar that would work with our Innotek 5100 system.

ADMIN – Hi Barb,

The smallest collar that will work with the Innotek IUC-5100 system is the Innotek IUC-4100 collar, but even this is not usually used for dogs under 12lbs. You can try the Innotek IUC-4100 collar, but my intuition is that it will be too big and you need to get something smaller like a PetSafe Little Dog collar. Using the PetSafe collar will require you to change your base station as well, and get another PetSafe collar for the German Shorthair (the PetSafe Deluxe collar would be a good choice)

Penny & Bella April 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Hello, I’m looking for the best in-ground system possible to contain my two dogs and keep them out of the garden, flowerbeds, neighbour’s yards, busy road in front of our house and river that runs out back. As if all those temptations weren’t enough, we also live in the country where there’s an abundance of wildlife! I have two dogs: Penny is a high energy, fast-running, smart and stubborn goldendoodle (30lbs) and Bella is an easy-going but very curious golden retriever (60lbs). What are you recommendations? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Penny & Bella,

With those two dogs it sounds like they will require similar correction levels, the smaller dog being the more hard headed and the bigger dog being more happy-go-lucky. My top choice would be the Innotek IUC-4100 would work well, the collar fit sensor will be particularly useful given that both your dogs are long hair. Add in a bit of training, and you should not have much trouble getting those two contained.

Raymond Budke April 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I have a 30lb black lab puppy thats going to get alot bigger, and a weenie dog that is 8lbs. and full grown. Going to use about 350ft of wire. What system should i use for both dogs?

ADMIN – Hi Raymond,

With two dogs of very different size, the PetSafe systems where you can mix and match collars would work well. The Weenie dog should get a PetSafe Little Dog Collar. The Labrador can use either a PetSafe Deluxe Collar (smaller, uses a proprietary battery, more expensive) or the PetSafe Stubborn Collar (bigger, but cheaper and uses a regular 9V battery). I would suggest the latter option to keep cost down, as both will work equally well.

John March 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I have an English Mastif. In your experience, is the IUC 5100 adequate for a dog of that size and nature.

Admin- Hi John,

The Innotek IUC-5100 is a good system with Mastiffs. One think to check on is the neck size, the collar only works with dog with a neck size of 31 inches or smaller.

Jim March 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I have a 20 lb mini Aussie (she is somewhat stubborn) and an 8 lb chihuahua. We have 6.5 acres. I want to give them room to run but not escape and harm themselves or others. What would be the best fence and collars for them? Thank you for your help.

ADMIN – Hi Jim,

With a dog that a Chihuahua, we would want to use a PetSafe Little Dog collar and with the Aussie, a PetSafe Deluxe collar would be a good choice. The cheapest way to do it would be to get the PetSafe Deluxe system, and add a PetSafe Little Dog collar rather than doing it the other way around.

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.

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