Humane Contain HC-8000 Review

Humane Contain HC-8000Pros

  • Very cheap, system with two collars under $100
  • Interoperable accessories

Cons

  • Poor reliability and after sales support
  • Ugly
  • No rechargeable battery, poor battery life

Review

Humane Contain Products are made by High Tech Pet and the price is sensational.  You can get a system with two collars for about $100.  Unfortunately, the HC-8000 has a couple of problems.

First, there have been lots of complaints about reliability, most notably at consumer affairs.  We have seen a few dead ones in the field.  And there are a lot of negative review online.  We are quick to discount most online review about DIY systems that complain the dog was not contained.  (For containment, the training is much more important than the system, bad reviews usually mean that the owner did not put in the time to train the dog properly – Humane Contain does not have a training DVD so just makes this problem worse for itself)  But the Humane Contain HC-8000 has complaints about system reliability, which is highly unusual.  Usually, once installed, systems last pretty much forever and most manufacturers are very good about fixing the occasional glitch, many having some flavor of life time warranties.  So we have been surprised to hear to so many complaints about the HC-8000 system reliability.

The second problem with the product is that the collars are extraordinarily ugly.  In general dog fence  systems seem to have been designed by engineers.  They are clunky and ugly.  But the Humane Contain collar is a particularly ugly duckling.  They are too big, multicolored and have buttons on them.  The band is made of plastic.  When we first saw them on a customer’s dog, we thought they must have been purchased in the former USSR.  They have that very 80’s big era electronics look.  They look particularly bad on small and light colored dogs.  It is definitely time for an overhaul of the design.  The button on the collar is completely unnecessary as are the colored logo, multiple lights and speaker grille.  The control unit is not quite as bad but also has a very Soviet feel, but this is not such a big deal given that most people keep them in their garage.

The third problem is the poor battery life.  The Humane Contain system use a proprietary non-rechargeable battery.  The battery lasts only a month and cost about five dollars each, putting it in Invisible Fence territory in terms of the ongoing expense.  There have been reports of very poor battery life, particularly in the training phase, but we have not had that experience.  There was a version with a rechargeable collar (HC-350RC), but it does not seem to be available any longer.  There is presently a version with a rechargeable backup battery on the transmitter unit (HC-8001), this is a good idea we would like to see more manufacturers adopt, it is standard on most alarm systems, but is not as important as a rechargeable collar since for most people the power does not go out very often so these batteries rarely need replacing.

Humane Contain does have two redeeming features, the price and the optional extras.

The system is cheap if you go through Sam’s Club or WalMart.  You can get a basic system with TWO collars for under one hundred dollars through Sam’s Club.  (although the price is much higher through other other online outlets and the manufacturer so buy yourself a Sam’s Club membership)  It is a shame that the battery is not rechargeable and has such a short life.  Paying out five dollars a month for their proprietary batteries quickly erodes any price advantage they have.

Humane Contain also offers a range of interoperative products.  They are the only manufacturer with an automatic dog door, and a scat mat (but unfortunately no wireless indoor pods) that work with the dog fence collar.  This means you can avoid having multiple collars on your dog if you want to use these additional accessories.

The Humane Contain systems have an above average 90 day money back guarantee (including shipping) and a below average one year warranty(most manufacturer have a limited lifetime warranty) when bought through the manufacturer.  But, given the problems reported by people trying to make claims on the warranty, we would not rely too heavily on that.  If you were to buy the Humane Contain system, I would recommend doing so through your local Sam’s Club or WalMart.  Sam’s Club in particular has a great return policy, if something goes wrong it should be much easier to go through them than to go through the manufacturer.

At this price point we could forgive the ugly design, but the reliability problems and high battery costs kill the deal.  We hope they can sort this out, because at this price Humane Contain they should have a winner.  If you are on a budget, the SD-2000 is at a similar price point or if you can spend a little more, get the rechargable IUC-4100.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Vernon August 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm

My first year with humane contain 8000 unit was outstanding as I no longer had to hunt for my beagles when then decided to go hunting. My second year has been a nightmare. Every week the console indicted a break in the loop. After another small investment, the breaks could be found and repaired. Recently I had 6 breaks to repair before the system was again operational. 3 nights later (3:30 am) the alarm for a break sounded again. I shut the unit off. Turning the system on to prepare to search for the break, I found the system working properly. 2 nights later (02:30 am) another alarm. Advised to call a local business dealing in invisible fencing, they indicated the light, poor quality wire the problem. What a deal!!! High Tech Inc was hard to find and of no assistnace. Never Again!

Curt M July 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Do not waste your time with this system. Very low corrective shock delivered from the collar. Bought because I thought it would start with a low corrective shock and get stronger as the dog failed to retreat. Not so. I was trying to be Humane to my pet but now Golden lays down in the gardens with the collar beeping away and is not even phased. Should have spent the money from the beginning.

ADMIN – Hi Curt, thanks for the comment. It’s very helpful hearing from customers about this fence.

Ben July 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I have the HC-8000 system and I want to know if there is a collar I can add that has a stronger shock. We can’t turn the field up due to a long narrow yard. Anyone know anything on this?

ADMIN – Hi Ben, looking on High Tech Pet’s website it appears they do not have a stronger collar option. Unfortunately, no other brand of fence is compatible either.

Brandy January 5, 2013 at 10:51 am

I recently installed the HC 8000. I have a coon hound and a jack Russell. The hound walks ontop of the wire and the collar continues to alarm but she is not deterred, but the jack Russell can’t get anywhere close to the wire? I also found that the collars go off at various times in the middle of the yard. Anyone know a system good for 2 different size dogs– one is a bull in a china cabinet and the other is houdini?

ADMIN – HI Brandy, each collar has their own antenna which makes for the difference in reception distance. The smaller collars tend to have a smaller range and thus mean the collar be closer to the wire before it triggers a correction. The system you have is okay, it sounds like you are receiving interference in your yard from other electric utility lines.

Liz September 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm

I just bought the model HC-8000 Plus Super Electronic Dog Fence and I would like to know if it can be buried next to a chicken wire fence. I read the manual and laying it or burying it next to a metal fence is not included. Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Liz, yes you can bury the wire by the chicken wire fence. You should not experience any interference.

John August 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

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Admin- Hi John,

Thanks for the kind words!

Linda Ross July 17, 2011 at 7:35 am

We have used the Humane Contain system for the past year. Our two poodles are perfectly contained. I took the collars apart and used the components to make new collars that would fit their little necks. The dogs caught on immediately and have been safe ever since. This product is wonderful.

Admin- Hi Linda,

Thanks for the feedback. We are glad to hear how pleased you are with the product and are always delighted to hear from our customers.

Randall Moore April 28, 2011 at 8:15 am

I am thinking of buying the Perimeter Deluxe Ultra from you. Only question I have is on the Humane Contain hc 8000 plus ultra. Is your review on that system or just the 8000. The outside transmitter would make my installation easier, but all reviews suggest not using this product. Thanks, Randall Moore

ADMIN – Hi Randall,

I would avoid any of the Humane Contain systems, we get lots of bad reports from them. Our review was of the HC-8000 Ultra. I am not sure what the “Plus” designation adds.

Joan January 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I have the HC 8000 for over a year. We have had trouble with it from the beginning. It was randomly shocking the dog and we had to get a new collar. Now we have to keep it on the lowest setting or the collar beeps non stop. The dog now can walk right up to the wire, if there is a break in the wire she is gone. Where can I get batteries for it.

ADMIN – Hi Joan,

You can get the batteries directly from Humane Contain at their website hitecpet.com

Joe Panther November 26, 2010 at 10:18 am

Have small (approx 10lb) dog that gets through existing (iron type) steel fence. Fence fully encompasses back yard (3 sides and back of house). Area is approx 1/2 Acre and is flat with few obstacles. Can wire be installed on bottom of fence rather than buried and still have same effect?

Suggested unit for above? We have 2 other dogs but containment not needed.

Thanks! Joe Panther

ADMIN – Hi Joe,

The best choice for dogs under 12lbs is the PetSafe Little Dog. It is the only collar that is really small enough for a dog that size. It also has reduced correction levels to be more appropriate for small dogs.

Tina Sanders November 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I purchased this and it worked fine for the first couple of weeks then the alarm went off denoting a break in the line. I walked the line, reran the line and still the alarm. Any suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Tina,

I would start by connecting a short “test loop” and seeing if the system still signals a break. That will let us know if you truly have a break, or if the Humane Contain transmitter is broken.

Scott September 1, 2010 at 12:29 am

My brother bought one of these systems but never took it out of the box, he gave it to me for our new home, I ran the control wire around 2.5 acres, twisted 50 ft of wire, made all the connections, added new $5 batteries and plugged in the transmitter – lights are on but no signal – customer service basically said in so many words – “you have a bad unit, we do not make that model anymore, so sorry” – she didn’t even offer to sell me another unit – she hung up, in other words; their equipment is crap and their service is worse

ADMIN – Hi Scott,

Sorry to hear of your bad experience. In regards to your current system, I’d advise reading up all the sections under the “Dog Fence Installation” menu tab to see you can determine if there’s an install issue causing the problem.

As for other options, let me know what kind of dog or dogs you have, the size of your yard and how you want to install it and I’d be happy to recommend a fence to you. That way if the current unit you have doesn’t work, you’ll have something else to consider.

M July 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I have had not problems with my dogs running away with this system, my dogs are trained and know when to stop. I bought this through sams club and have found it to be a huge stress releiver, now my dogs do not run away anymore and that is a good thing!

Bill May 10, 2010 at 9:15 am

To everyone reading this review, Beware of this product look at all others before concidering this one. I purchased this shortly after moving into a new home, I read and reread the instructions and went through the whole training process, however my dogs were continuously being shocked for no reason and became afraid to even go through a door, the collars are real cheap and seem to malfunction alot. I get no support from their “helpline” and have had my e-mails to the company ignored. I have reported this company to the BBB for misrepresentation and failure to absolve the problem. The lesson learned is You get what you pay for, protect your pets from unjust punishments, stay away from this item and invest in something better.

Denny March 16, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I purchased the hc-8000 6 months ago and since then i have had both collars replaced and then the transmitter replaced. I e-mailed customer support numerous times and the the ceo of the company.The only reply from the ceo was from the automated reply.I’ve been trying for a refund after the 3rd month and as you can see that was refused. Still waiting to get this resolved and to here from the ceo

Dan February 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I bought the HC 7000 series system about 3 years ago. I have had problems with it from day one. I have an escape prone dog, so I have a 6 foot privacy fence and the HC 7000 is wired around my privacy fence. I have been through 7 collars besides the two rechargeable collars that came with the system. The are sensitive to moisture, not very durable and inconsistent at correction. I have seen my dog run up and down my fence with the collar beeping like mad and never get a correction. I’ve also seen the thing go off in the middle of the yard when she is nowhere near the fence. I guess I’m a slow learner, I should have replaced this thing a long time ago. And customer support, don’t waste your time.

Adam February 10, 2010 at 12:23 am

This thing would shock my dogs every time they went in the house or crossed our underground power line. I contacted support and all they told me is that it is not recommended for indoor use and to take the collars off when the dogs go inside… pretty crappy, and you have to buy batteries that are way too expensive, rather than just using common batteries.

Dave February 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

I’m having second thoughts about this system. I bought the Humaine Contain system last year with the rechargeable collar. I noticed recently that the collar has been going off intermitently within the containment zone and nowhere near the invisible fence. I walked around and checked with the collar dangling below my knees. Sure enough, it does go off with no reason. I don’t want to put it on my dog anymore because its only confusing him. I contacted customer support for help today via “online support” but based on the reviews I’m reading, it looks like I might not get any help.

Derek October 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I bought the hc-8000 as well. The collars fell apart and the button covers came out causing the collar to remain on continuously without my dogs being anywhere near the lines. My dogs took to it very well but when the collar messed up one of my dogs developed a severe burn like spot next to the polls of the collar which got infected severely. The company shipped me a new collar and informed me that the pulse from the collar makes it impossible to burn the skin, but that many dogs have this happen to them. Stay away from this company. They supplied me with a collar but I was too afraid to put it on my dogs again.

Bill September 9, 2009 at 8:12 pm

I bought the HC8001 kit. It worked great for about 3 months, although I had problems with the indicator lights on the transmitter from day one that the company (hightec pet) never addressed. Then the collars went bad. They sent one new one that never worked right at all. After a number of emails to them with no response I asked for a refund . I finally got a reply to my email but it was to tell me I was out of their return period. I guess that is what they were waiting on. In my opinion I wasted around $300 on JUNK! Buyer beware with this company!

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