Summary: Basic Wireless System
The Petsafe Stay + Play is the update on the decade old PetSafe Wireless PIF-300. It features significant improvements to the range and accuracy of the system, as well as adding rechargeable collars.
The Stay + Play creates a circular wireless boundary around your property without the need for any buried wire. While more convenient, the tradeoff is less accurate boundaries and less flexibility than wired systems.
The PetSafe Stay + Play is a decent wireless system, but is ultimately overshadowed by the Havahart Radial 2 which has more features and better performance at the same price point.
Improved But Not the Best
The PetSafe Stay + Play improves the boundary accuracy over it’s predecessor the PetSafe Wireless, with boundary wobble around 30% less. But, it still lags far behind the benchmarks set by the Havahart Radial 2.
The Stay + Play adds a fully rechargeable lithium ion battery to the system. It gives around two weeks of battery life from a single 2 hours charge.
Smallest Wireless Collar
The PetSafe Stay + Play has the smallest and lightest wireless fence collar. It is still by no means small, but is significantly smaller than it’s competitors and can be used with dogs as small as 12 lbs.
Unlimited Number of Dogs
The PetSafe wireless systems can support an unlimited number of collars on the system. In contrast, the competing system can only support two dogs on the system at the same time.
The PetSafe Stay + Play’s best feature is it’s smaller, lighter, and rechargeable collar.
The PetSafe Stay + Play Collar is significantly smaller than the collars on competing wireless systems. The collar receiver weighs only 2 ounces, and the collar plus the full length of collar band weight just over 3 ounces, a 20% reduction on it’s next nearest competitor the Havahart Radial 2 Small Dog.
While the Stay + Play is still not as small as the smallest wired collars such as the PetSafe Little Dog, it can be used with dogs as small as 12 lbs.
The Stay + Play uses a rechargeable lithium ion collar battery. The battery is charged by plugging the supplied adapter into the collar for around 2 hours. A full charge lasts around 2 weeks. And as the collar battery level gets low, the collar signals you to recharge it with a flashing red light.
The battery is integrated into the collar so cannot be remove unlike the Havahart and Perimeter systems, which means that the collar needs to be returned to the factory if it ever needs replacing. However, we general find these lithium ion batteries to have a long lifespan that usually extends beyond that of the fence.
This represents a major upgrade over it’s predecessor the PetSafe Wireless PIF-300, which used a disposable proprietary battery.
Five Correction Levels
The collars have five correction levels that are set using a button on the collar. The correction levels can be set individually for each dog and provide a sufficient range of correction that they can be used on most dogs.
The Stay + Play Collars performs in the middle of the wireless pack. They are a lot better than the Perimeter Technologies Wifi system and the old PetSafe Wireless, but is markedly inferior to the Havahart Radial and Havahart Custom systems.
In the primary test of boundary integrity, we measure how much the boundary moves minute-to-minute on the wireless systems. The Stay + Play performs around the middle of the pack with an average boundary movement of over 3 feet. This amount of boundary movement is at the upper end of acceptable, but makes training your dogs more challenging than with a more accurate system like the Havaharts.
Average Boundary Wobble (feet)
(a smaller number is better)
As well as the middling performance in the boundary wobble test, we found that the Stay + Play was one of the slower systems in stopping correcting the dogs once they returned to the safe area (retreat response).
Long and Short Prongs
The systems includes both long and short prong options for long and short hair dogs respectively. The collar prongs can be simply unscrewed from the collar receiver and the new prongs can be screwed into place.
The receiver fastens with a cloth collar strap and a quick-snap buckle. This is our preferred collar band combination. The collar band can also be easily removed for replacement with your own collar band.
PetSafe has put their transmitter on a diet for the Stay + Play, shrinking the transmitter by about half to the size of a half-gallon tub of ice cream.
0.75 Acre Coverage
The boundary radius of the Stay + Play Wireless transmitter can be adjusted up to a maximum of 105 feet, providing a coverage area of 0.75 acres. The boundary radius is adjusted using a dial on the side of the transmitter.
This is one of the smaller coverage areas of a wireless fence. It is significantly less than the 2.8 acre coverage available from it’s direct competitor the Havahart Radial 2. However, 0.75 acres is still sufficient to cover most suburban lots.
Like all other conventional wireless systems, the Petsafe Stay + Play transmitter can only create a circular boundary. (The exception is the $800 Havahart Wireless Custom, which allows you a completely custom shaped boundary, but has some basic functionality issues.) Circular containment areas are a problem in a world where land is usually sold in rectangular parcels!
You can partly mitigate this issue by overlapping transmitters as discussed below.
Multiple Stay + Play transmitters can be combined and overlapped to create a larger coverage area. You can for example overlap two transmitters to create a boundary area that is more rectangular as seen on the illustration on the left.
Note, the manufacturers specification claim a maximum radius of 400 yards. In our testing, we found this was unrealistic and lead to very unstable boundaries and poor reliability. We would avoid setting the boundary at more than 200 yards in real-world conditions.
Wire Free Installation
The PetSafe Stay + Play can be installed within 15 minutes. Simply plug in the transmitter, adjust the boundary radius dial, plant the boundary marking flags, and you are ready to start training your dog. This ease of installation is the primary appeal for a wireless fence over it’s wired counterparts.
The ease of installation also allows wireless systems to be used in temporary locations such as rental homes, vacation homes, trailers, or at a friend’s house, where running a wire boundary would be impractical.
Wireless systems have maintaining good reception when there are large obstacles in the containment area. Obstacles such as wooded areas, large metal objects (metal roof, sheet metal, etc), and downhill slopes (sloping down as you head away from the house) all tend to create problems.
In trying to determine if a wireless fence would work in your home, a good rule of thumb is that if an obstacle (excluding the house walls) would block your line of sight to the dog, it would probably block the system signal.
The Stay + Play includes a collar charger, 50 boundary flags, a tester tool, and a collar prong tool.
The collar charger plugs into your power outlet and into the wireless collar to recharge the unit. A full charge takes around 2 hours and generally last for around 2 weeks (a little less during the training period when the collar gets a more vigorous workout).
Collar Tester Tool
The collar tester is held against the collar probes, and lights up when the correction is trigger at the collar. This helps you test that the collar is working properly. It is also helpful as you are trying to mark the boundary location.
Collar Prong Tool
The collar prong tool fits around the collar prongs and allows you to easily loosen and tighten the collar prongs. The inclusion of this tool is a nice touch that avoids you needing to find a pair of pliers to remove and replace the collar prongs.
50 Boundary Flags
The system includes 50 flags for marking the system boundary to give your dog visual cues as they learn the boundary. These flags are removed once your dog develops confidence using the system.
The 50 flags are only enough to mark around 0.2 acres, although additional flags are cheaply available ($10 per 50).
|Boundary Radius (feet)
One Year + Limited Lifetime Warranty
The Petsafe Stay + Play has a one year comprehensive warranty. After that time you get a limited lifetime warranty, which really means you get a discounted repair for the rest of the life of the system. The average repair usually costs $30 – $50 depending on the part that breaks.
The PetSafe Stay + Play Wireless system is a significant improvement on the previous PetSafe Wireless PIF-300 system. Capacity is upgraded, boundary integrity improved, and the collars made rechargeable. But the improvement does not go far enough and leave the system significantly lagging the Havahart Radial in terms of performance and features.
Most notably, the Stay + Play boundary moves around more than twice as much as the Havahrt, making training harder and making the dog more skittish around the boundary. The system is also too slow in switching off the correction when the dog returns to the safe zone. The system also lacks the boundary alarm, and 2.8 acre capacity that are standard on the Havahart.
The Stay + Play does shine in a few areas. You can overlap transmitter, to make a more customized layout. The collars are around 20% smaller than the Havahart Small Dog allowing you to use the system with dogs as small as 12 lbs. But, if you don’t need either of those things, the Havahart is a much better system at the same price.
||Petsafe Stay + Play
||Rechargeable (Lithium Ion)
|Beep Only Training Mode
|Collar Warning beep
|Independent Correction Levels
||1.4” (L) x 2.4” (W) x 1.3″ (D)
|Collar Weight (with band)
|Collar Weight (without band)
|Collar Neck Size
||6″ – 23″
|Collar Water Resistance
|Collar Fit Test
|Maximum Number of Dogs
|Minimum Dog Size
|Maximum Containment Area
||40 – 105 feet (adjustable)
|Control Box Dimensions
||6.3 (L) x 6.9″ (W) x 6″ (D)
|Control Box Power Source
||Wall Outlet (110V)
|Control Box Battery Backup
|Indoor Pod Compatibility
|Outdoor Pod Compatibility
|Included Boundary Flags
||Collar tester tool, collar prong tool
||18″ (L) x 8″ (W) x 12″ (D)
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- The only time we don’t take returns is if it is well after the 30 days, or the unit is seriously damaged.
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