SportDog SDF-100A Dog Fence Review

Pros

  • Powers up to 100 acres
  • Durable collar
  • Collar vibration feature

Cons

  • Bulky collar
  • Collar battery is not rechargeable
  • No battery backup for control box

Rating

Retail Price

$289.95

Our Price

$239.95

Availability: In Stock

Orders before 1pm ship same day

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SportDog SDF-100A Overview

Summary: Good Long Range System

The SportDog SDF-100A is a system intended for very large installations up to 100 acres. The SDF-100A is a perennial favorite, with a sturdy well-built collar with a vibration warning and best of class waterproofing.

100 Acre Capacity

The SportDog Containment System has a class leading 100 acre capacity, letting you run up to 9,000 feet of boundary wire.

1,000 Feet Boundary Wire

The basic system includes 1,000 feet of boundary wire (sufficient to cover an acres), twice the standard amount provided with other dog fencing system.

Collar Build Quality

SportDog primarily makes heavy duty training equipment for training dogs, and in keeping with that ethos the collar is one of the most sturdy and well built. The waterproofing on the collar is particularly good and it can easily handle full immersion.

Bulky Collar

The SportDog SDF-100A collar is one of the biggest, bulkiest and heavy collars. It is about the size of two 9 volt batteries, and does not suit smaller dogs. Even on large dogs, the collar is very noticeable.

SportDog SDF100A Collar

Vibration Warning

The SportDog collar vibrates as well as beeps to warn the dog when they are getting too close to the boundary. The tactile stimulation of the vibration is nice as it uses an additional one of the dog senses to engage them. Vibration is also useful with old dogs or dogs with hearing loss that have trouble hearing the warning beeps.

Bulky Heavy Collar

The SportDog collar is one of the biggest and heaviest wire dog fence collars. The size of the collar makes it completely unsuitable for dogs under 20lbs. If you have smaller dogs, use one of the smaller collars such as the Dogtek EF-6000 for dogs over 12lbs, or the PetSafe Little Dog for dogs under 12 lbs.

Note, the SportDog system is compatible with the PetSafe Deluxe collars, the PetSafe Little Dog collars, and the PetSafe Stubborn collars allowing you to mix and match collars to suit each dog’s size and temperament.

Disposable Generic Battery

The collar uses a regular 9V battery that you need to replace approximately every three months. Getting to the battery is a bit of a pain because you need a screwdriver to unscrew the four screws that hold the lid in place, but it does make for a really solid watertight fit.

The system loses points for not using a rechargeable collar. But, at least the battery is a widely available relatively inexpensive generic battery, instead of the obnoxious proprietary batteries used in some systems.

Long and Short Contact Prongs

The collar prongs are unscrewed using a pair of pliers. Included with the system are long and short probes for long hair and short hair dogs respectively.

Four Correction Levels

The collar has four progressive correction levels, that each increase in strength the longer the dog stays in the correction zone.

Independent Correction Levels

The corrections level for each dog on the SDF-100A is adjusted on the collar, which means you can have an independent correction level for each dog on the system. To adjust the correction level, you use a coin to remove a little plastic lid that protects the adjustment button underneath it.

Rubberized Collar Band

The collar attaches with a black rubberized collar band, with metal fasteners. The closure is belt-buckle style. We prefer the quicksnap buckles but this works well enough.

The collar band is not the high visibility orange you traditionally associate with SportDog and that was on their previous generation dog fence. However, it much garish.

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SportDog SDF-100A Transmitter

Transmitter

The heart of the SportDog system is a long-range transmitter that has a 100 acres capacity. The transmitter of the SDF-100A is significantly improved over the previous generation SDF-100. Aesthetically, it is no longer a big plastic brick. It’s now got a curvy face and much more appealing industrial look and is wall mountable using two screws that hook onto the back of the system.

100 Acre Capacity

The transmitter has enough power to contain a 100 acre property (over 9,000 feet of boundary wire). This gives the transmitter the highest capacity of any dog fence system, more than double the capacity of the next highest capacity system. This makes the SportDog the go-to system for owners with large properties.

No Battery Backup

The SportDog transmitter has no inbuilt battery backup, and so will stop working when there is a power outage. While this is a non-issue for most urban dwellers, it is a useful function in rural properties where power availability can be more temperamental. As a system primarily used in rural location, it is a feature we would have preferred to see in the SportDog system.

If you need battery backup, the PetSafe Ultrasmart and the Innotek IUC-5100 have this functionality.

Adjustable Boundary Only

The width of the boundary can be adjusted using a dial on the side of the transmitter. This control can change the distance that that the boundary zone extends from the boundary wire from a few inches through to 10+ feet.

However, unlike the Dogtek EF-6000 and EF-4000, only the boundary correction and warning distance cannot be adjusted independently and instead move together.

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SportDog SDF-100A Wire and Accessories
Dog Fence Wire Gauges

Boundary Wire & Acessories

Tester Tool

The SportDog system includes a basic tester tool for checking whether the collar is working (without you needing to find a patsy to shock).

Professional Gauge Wire Available

The basic system includes 20 gauge wire, but can be upgraded to 18, 16, and 14 gauge wire. Thicker wires like 14 gauge is considered professional grade and is what you would see on an Invisible Fence installation. With professional grade, the copper wire and protective insulation are both four times thicker and stronger than the standard wire. This makes the wire stronger and more durable and therefore less likely to break.

For small installations, upgrading the wire is a modest investment and will dramatically reduces the likelihood of you needing to hunt for wire breaks.

For large installations, the thicker gauges of wire are useful because of their superior transmission characteristics. However, the additional cost imposed by the thicker wire can quickly add up.

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1,000 feet of wire, 100 Flags and 2 Splices

The SportDog includes double the usual amount of boundary wire, 1,000 feet. This allows you contain 1 acre. Additional boundary wire is available for purchase, with the system capable of powering over 9,000 feet of wire.

The wire is direct burial rated, so holds up better in the ground than standard electrical wire. The boundary wire is surrounded by a PET jacket. This protects the wire against the elements better than standard PVC coated electrical wire that will tend to rot, particularly in acidic soils.

The standard SportDog Fence kit includes 100 flags to mark the boundary line during training. It also includes 2 wire splices. Additional flags and splices are available through our online store.

Area (acres) Wire Required (feet)
1/3 500
1/2 1,000
1 1,000
2 1,500
3 2,000
4 2,000
5 2,000
10 3,000
15 4,000
20 4,500
30 5,500
40 6,500
50 6,500
60 7,500
70 8,500
90 9,000
100 9,500
SportDog SDF-100A Two Year Warranty

Two Year Warranty

SportDog systems are covered by a full two year warranty. This warranty is twice as long as most standard system. The systems to be robust and reliable, and we find they rarely need repairs.

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Conclusion

The SportDog is a good system, and is particularly well suited for large installations where you need a transmitter with a lot of power. The reliability of the system, the durability of the collars, and the two year warranty make it a smart choice.

Where you don’t need all that range there are other choices . For example the Dogtek EF-6000, while it only has 5 acres of capacity, is rechargeable, has smaller collars, and is at the same price point.

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SportDog SDF-100A Video Review

Video: SportDog SDF-100A Review

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SportDog SDF-100A Manual

SportDog SDF-100A Manual

Download the SportDog SDF-100A Manual (PDF).

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Specifications

Model SportDog SDF-100A
Type In Ground
Collar Battery Disposable – 9 volt
Correction Levels 4 Levels + Progressive Correction
Beep Only Training Mode Yes
Collar Warning beep Yes
Collar Vibration Yes
Independent Correction Levels Yes
Collar Dimensions 2.5” (L) x 1.5” (W) x 1.5″ (D)
Collar Neck Size 13″ – 25″
Collar Water Resistance Waterproof
Collar Fit Test No
Maximum Number of Dogs Unlimited
Minimum Dog Size 20 lbs
Minimum Age 6 months
Maximum Containment Area 100 acres (10,000 feet)
Boundary Width 0-10 feet (adjustable)
Control Box Dimensions 8.5” (L) x 7.5” (W) x 2.5“ (D)
Control Box Power Source Wall Outlet (110V)
Control Box Battery Backup No
Indoor Pod Compatibility No
Outdoor Pod Compatibility No
Included Boundary Wire 1,000 feet (2 x 500 foot spools) + 2 wire Splices
Included Boundary Flags 100
Training Materials Manual
Other Boundary tester
Package Dimensions 15” (L) x 10” (W) x 6″ (D)
Package Weight 11 lbs
Warranty 2 Year

FREE Expert Advice

When you call us, you will talk to an experienced expert.

Containment Guarantee

Your dog will be completely contained to your satisfaction within 30 days, or we will give you a full refund. That is a better deal than you would get from a $2,000 invisible fence. You have nothing to lose.

FREE Dog Fence Guide

experts guide

The PetSafe Ultrasmart come with a FREE copy of our Dog Fence Experts Book on installing a dog fence and training your dog (instantly downloadable in PDF form). The book has 90 pages of great information and tons of illustrations to make installation easy, and training effective. It will save you hours and get you complete containment faster.

You get the book immediately with your purchase. Your order confirmation email will include an instantly downloadable copy of our book. Value $24.95.

30 Day Easy Refunds

easy returns

If you are unhappy with your purchase for any reason you can return your system within 30 days for a full refund of your purchase price. Getting a refund is easy, just email us at returns@dogfencediy.com or call on (888) 936 – 4349.

Our returns are easy and hassle free:

  • It is no problem if you used the system, that was the point! We will still take it back even if there is some wear-and-tear
  • Did you bury the wire? No problem, we will still take it back. (If you can’t or don’t want to dig the wire back up, we will just charge you the regular price for the wire you kept)
  • The 30 day period starts from the time you receive the package so you have plenty of time to do the installation and training. If you need a little extra time, let us know.
  • The only time we don’t take returns is if it is well after the 30 days, or the unit is seriously damaged.

FREE Wire Break Kit

wire break kit

The wire break kit provides extra wire and splices for you to fix any break in the boundary wire. The kit includes extra wire, two wire nuts, and two waterproof capsules to keep your splice watertight. Value $14.95.

Free Fast Shipping

fast shipping

Shipping within the continental US is free.

Orders placed before 1pm EST ship out the same day. We have warehouses spread across the country so you get your package in 2-3 business days.

12,000 Happy Customers

We had more than 10,000 happy customers last year, and are hoping to have even more in 2012. We understand how important it is to keep your dog safely contained, and understand the trust you place in us when you make an order. We want to make containment as easy as possible. We value your business, and we want you to refer your friends.

Low Price Guarantee

low price guarantee

We strive to have the lowest prices of any SportDog authorized retailer. If you find any of our products at a lower price from an authorized retailer, please let us know and we will be happy to match the price. For a price match, call us on (888) 936 – 4349 or email pricematch@dogfencediy.com.

PetSafe Authorized

SportDog Authorized

We are a SportDog authorized retailer. This means you are guaranteed the full manufacturer’s warranty, and a brand new system. Beware of unauthorized retailers that sell grey-market systems. Systems coming from unauthorized retailers do not receive a warranty.

Family Owned

Family Owned

We are family owned and operated. We know the only way a small business like ours can prosper is by providing exceptional service at an exceptional price.

We know you can give your business to Wal-mart, Amazon, or anyone on the internet. So we will work harder to get your business. And we work harder after the sale to make sure you have a great experience and tell your friends.

Confused? Have Questions?

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns don’t hesitate to call or email us.

We will treat you like our neighbor. No sales pitch. No spam. No obligation. Just honest to goodness advice from the experts.

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