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.

Our Most Popular Pages

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{ 119 comments… read them below or add one }

Penny June 7, 2014 at 10:18 pm

I have 20 gauge and 18 gauge wire left after running the 20 gauge wire around the perimeter. Will it work alright to twist the 18 and 20 together to cancel out the signal running from the fence to the transmitter in the house? I certainly hope so, as I just finished twisting 100 ft. thank you, PW

ADMIN – Hi Penny, with it already twisted, test it out and see if the collar will activate when it comes in contact with the twisted wire. If the collar does not activate, then it is a success.

Eddie May 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm

In the instructions for the SDF 100 A fence it says to put another collar for a leash ABOVE the electronic receiver collar. Does this mean on the head side of the electronic collar (which is what it sounds like to me), or on the tail side which is what seems to me would be better to keep the dog from pulling on the collar and causing the prongs on the electronic collar to dig into his neck.

ADMIN – Hi Eddie, you will want to use a separate dog collar to use with your leash. The instructions poorly communicate. You do not want to use the underground dog fence collar with a leash.

Angel Clere January 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm

I have had the SportDog in-ground fence for almost a year now. I have two labs that are almost one year old, they both weight about 90 pounds. The fence has been working great until about two weeks ago when one of the labs started getting through the fence. It appears she is getting a shock because she will whine as she goes through the fence but will just continue on. The other lab wont even attempt to get near the fence. I have the shock set at a 5 and its not keeping her in. Is there something else that I can do. Is there another collar that I can purchase that will give her a stronger shock. Any help with this matter is greatly appreciated. Again she is going to be my stubborn dog I am finding out.

ADMIN – Hi Angel, here are several solutions to try. 1) trim her fur with scissors to help the contact points make better contact with her skin. 2) increase the boundary radius so that the collar activates for a longer period of time. 3) If she is still breaking through, you can place a 2nd collar on her for increased correction.

Becky December 22, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Is the Petsafe stubborn dog collar receiver the same as the Sport Dog collar receiver? Do they both deliver the same amount of correction? It seems that they are but I have not found anything that says if they are or not. Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Becky, yes it is. The difference is in the range of the transmitters.

Regina Smith November 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I have installed the 100acre system and it worked well for awhile. I put it around 23 acres, i used wire that came with it–20gauge– I do not think it is a good enough wire to run that far– I have a break some where- land is mountains,rocky some etc.. I have got about $2000 dollars by the time i had to buy extra wire, connectors, and flags,etc…The fence is now down and i have to go back over it— if I had of known that info about upgrading the wire for strength and distance i would have run a better wire. The three clerks at the store didn’t know nothing about the unit– the service person I called never mentioned the size wire being a problem ????? So here I go more money more time to re-install—wish me luck

John Slater November 11, 2013 at 11:38 am

Hi I’m looking for advise on a electric collar for a small cockpoo dog not quite 20 pounds at full growth. I have another dog which is an English Springer and we bought the sport dog fence system for him which works good. My question is there a electric collar for our small dog to work with my sport dog system ? Thank you for your advise on what collar to get for the little dog. Thanks John Slater

ADMIN – Hi John, the PetSafe Rechargeable collar will be a great fit. You can locate this collar under “Collars” on the Dog Fence DIY Store.

Charmian October 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Is the wire solid or stranded?

ADMIN – Hi Charmian, the wire in most cases is solid core. However, both work well.

Dave Silcox October 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I purchased this system from you guys a few months back. I have lost my paperwork but my transmitter has stopped working. Is there anything I can do from this point?

Julie October 1, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I recently purchased this fence with 4 collars. one of my collars does not beep to warn the dog it is close to the fence, 2 of the other collars seem to randomly start shocking my dogs, and the third collar my dog ran through the fence and it did not seem to shock him and he got sprayed by a skunk and I cannot get the smell out…

over all I was very impressed by the fence until my husky has repeatedly run through the fence even on the highest setting… with this being said what is my best option…. I cannot get him to walk around my yard because he knows where the fence is and does not want to get shocked, yet he will bolt through this and the collar doesn’t even register… my family has used electric fences for years and I have never had a problem and I was super excited because you could individually set the strength of shock per dog. is there a different collar that I can use that can shock my dog a bit stronger? I know some consider the fence inhumane but that is not my intent at all this is to keep my dog safe and at home without me worrying about him.

ADMIN – Hi Julie, what you need is the thick fur probes. It is not registering cause the fur is blocking the correction. SportDog or PetSafe should have the thick fur you need. These probes are not for sale by retailers.

Clint August 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I want to underground fence 7 acres for my Lab. What are your recommendations for model and length of wire?

ADMIN – Hi Clint, the SportDog fence SDF-100A is a great fence for a lab. The PetSafe Ultrasmart PIG00-13619 would also be a good choice that is rechargeable. For 7 acres, you’ll need a total of 2,500 feet of wire to cover 7 acres. This provides protection against roots breaking the wire, adverse weather, and the ground changing through the seasons.

james July 29, 2013 at 10:42 pm

lightening fried my power unit, its been a great unit, I was wondering can you get a replacement unit by itself or do I need to order the whole package system for replacement. thanks

ADMIN – Hi James, replacement equipment can be acquired through the appropriate manufacture. Most of the time, they’ll extend a steep discount too.

jared June 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm

1. Can you use the sportdog collar with any of the petsafe systems?

2. Also will the sport dog collar work with any of the indoor or outdoor pods?

3. What about mixing wire gauges, bad idea?

4. I was considering setting up the wire in certain areas with some sort of switch so that I could turn on and off a specific area of the yard such as for a garden in the spring summer months but turn if off for the rest of the year, is this possible, what are your thoughts?

ADMIN – Hi Jared,

1. The SportDog dog fence collar, only works with the PetSafe Inground, PetSafe Stubborn, and the PetSafe Wireless systems. It does not work with any other PetSafe system.

2. The SportDog collar does not work with any of the PetSafe pods.

3. Mixing gauges is not the end of the world. The signal will go out a little further from the wire in the thicker sections, and will be a little narrower where you are using the thinner gauge of wire. Best to avoid mixing gauges, but if you have to it is not a huge deal – particularly if the gauges are close together.

4. It is possible from a technical standpoint, but is impractical from a training standpoint. The dogs find it confusing. In practice when people do this the dogs usually never go into the larger areas when they are opened up.

Chris Harmon May 27, 2013 at 10:40 am

We have 12 chocolate labs and have been breeding the Haverhill line now 31 years, we have the inotec system for about 15 acres which the dogs now run thru-it is really our two males both about 100 pounds. So I wanted to purchase the Sport Dog 100a system but I was also thinking about purchasing two Stubborn Dog collars for the males as you said these have the greatest shock available on the market-are the stubborn dog collars compatable with the sport dog 100a system?

If not do you think the sport dog collars are strong enough to keep these guys from running thru the system. Thank you. Chris Harmon

ADMIN – Hi Kayla,

The SportDog would work well with labs on a big property. You can indeed use the stronger correction PetSafe Stubborn collars with the SportDog. Only the ocassional lab will require the stubborn collars, the SportDog would be plenty strong for nearly all but the biggest and most hard-headed labs.

Jade May 20, 2013 at 1:33 am

I need to fence about 1.5 acres. All in very rocky ground, I am concerned about the wire breaking. Any suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Jade,

To protect the wire, you can either use the thicker gauges of wire (e.g. 14 gauge instead of the standard 20 gauge), or run the wire through a protective conduit (such as irrigation pipe).

Nile May 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm

We recently purchased and installed your Sportdog system. It works excellently on our three big dogs (Border Collie and two Coonhounds). Admittedly, we did not go through the recommended training routine. We only trained them for two days, but they are now contained.

Now for the strange question: Will this system possibly work on cats if we got a little dog collar for him? Or is there a cat collar that works with this system? We’d like to be able to give our cat the freedom to roam outdoors but not allow him to go into the road where he will get hit. Thank you,

ADMIN – Hi Nile,

Glad to hear they are contained. (Unimpressed by your abbreviated training schedule! … In all seriousness, some dogs will train faster and others slower, this should not be an invitation for other people to copy you, while it worked well for your dogs the risk of the abbreviated training schedule is that the dogs don’t get it and either become fence shy or learn to run through)

There is a special PetSafe Cat Containment Collar that is compatible with you system. The benefit of the cat collar is that it is break-away, which is a must have feature for cats that often get their collars snagged on branches. It is otherwise nearly identical to the PetSafe Little Dog collar.

Tony May 12, 2013 at 10:58 pm

I am considering a sportdog sdf-100a fence and the petsafe ultrasmart. My neighbor just installed a petsafe ultrasmart. The farthest I can bury my wire from his would be about 6-7 feet apart. Is that far enough away to use the sportdog unit and avoid interference? They have their petsafe set at only a couple feet. Just wondering if one brand would be better than the other for an installation only 6-7 feet between wires?

ADMIN – Hi Tony,

Whether you will get interference at 6-7 feet depends on how wide your neighbor has set up their fence. If they have the boundary set at more than 5-feet, you may well get interference, if they have it set at less than 5 feet you are unlikley to have interference.

If you think interference is likely to be an issue, use the dual frequency Perimeter Ultra that can be made to change frequencies to avoid any interference issues at any distance.

Maureen May 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Hi there, as our yard is under construction we don’t want to bury the wire. We have a temporary barbed wire fence surrounding our yard, can we use the barbed wire as the signal wire or if not just hang the supplied signal wire on the fence until we’re done construction? thanks

ADMIN – Hi Maureen,

You can string the boundary wire up along the barbed wire fence, just using a few zip-ties to hold it in place. That would work just as well as burying the wire.

You cannot however use the barbed wire, the steel wire used in barbed wire fences is not conductive enough and does not have an insulating layer around it.

Rick May 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I have a question about the twisted wire. I have about 200 feet from my fence to my transmitter. My question is can I use 2 wire shielded wire in place of the twisted wire.

ADMIN – Hi Rick,

You do not want to use shielded wire for the twisted sections, it results in inconsistent cancellation. You can make your own twisted wire, but you want to use regular (unshielded) wire.

Jessica Runge April 8, 2013 at 10:35 am

Hello, We’ve had the Sport Dog installed for almost a year now, and it’s worked pretty well (I do think you need to a very low gauge wire — using 16 gauge, we could only do about 15 acres instead of the 30 we had planned for).

A month or so ago, the collars started beeping inside our house in two particular spots (in the middle of the house, not an outer wall). At first, I thought it had something to do with all the snow, but the snow has melted, and the collars still beep where they certainly should not. What could be the cause, or how do I figure it out? I’ve tried new batteries. The fence is at least 20 feet from the house on one side, 500′ on the other. The unit is located in the attached garage where there are no beeping issues.

Thank you very much for your time!

ADMIn – Hi Jessica,

The first step is to figure our if the dog fence transmitter is causing the issue (most likely) or some other electrical device (unlikely). To isolate the issue, you can unplug the transmitter and see if the collar triggers in those places.

If it doesn’t trigger with the transmitter disable we will know the issue was cause by the transmitter. This occasionally happens when the dog fence wire is run close and parallel to the electrical lines (or something else metal), and the dog fence signal gets induced into your electrical lines, causing part of the house where the electrical lines run to act like it is part of the dog fence system. To fix it, you need to move the offending dog fence line so it is either further away or no longer parallel.

If the collar does trigger with the transmitter off, the issue is most likely caused by some other piece of electronics. In this case, start turning things off in your house until the issue stops, and by that process of deduction you will know what is causing the issue.

Debbie March 19, 2013 at 10:56 am

We will be moving into a home that currently has a sportDOG fence installed. We have a 4 year old escape artist German Shepherd and a 2 year old Rottweiler. At our current home we have an invisible fence and a split rail fence, the GSD can scale the physical fence so we had to install the invisible fence. Current owners are taking their collars with them – which collars do you recommend for our dogs? the yard is 0.75 acres, and I am not sure how much of it is fenced w/the wiring currently.

ADMIN – Hi Debbie,

With that SportDog system, you can quite a few of the collars including the SportDog collars, PetSafe Inground, PetSafe Stubborn, and PetSafe Little Dog. With your two dogs, the SportDog and the PetSafe Stubborn collars would both be good choices. I would stick with the matching SportDog collars.

Lewis Webb February 12, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I have two lab 8mo old pups one weighing 96 lbs and the other 86lbs. The sdf100 a won’t keep them in. They run through the fence anytime they want to. I have the unit turned up as high as it will go and the collars up on high. I only have 4ac of land. What can I do to increase the power output? I need something stronger what do you suggest? I’ve tried new batteries more than once. I’ve even thought of buying extra collars and have two on each dog. I hope you can help me with some ideas. Thanks Lewis

Cynthia February 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Hi, I was looking at your wire required/acres covered chart on the Dogtek EF and wondered if this was the same? We want to cover about 7 acres for a St. Bernard that loves to run and I think this is the fence that would work for us. Can you buy this wire at a place like Lowes? Is there something special about the wire that comes with these fences? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Cynthia, for 7 acres, you’ll need a total of 2,500 feet of wire. Our wire is special. It is direct burial wire. I would also recommend upgrading to 14 gauge for such a large install. The tree roots and ground shifts can cause wire breaks on the smaller gauge wire.

Kelli OB January 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

I have a 6mo beagle/spaniel mix weighing approximately 26 pounds at this time. A very stubborn yet determined dog. I want to contain him in my slightly less than 1/4 acre yard. I have been doing extensive research for an electric fence that will fit our needs when I stumbled across this great site. The sportdog fence was my front runner due to the higher reliability rating over the petsafe stubborn dog fence. I can’t install until the spring due to the New England winter. Would the sportdog fence be the best to fit our needs?

ADMIN – Hi Kelli, for a hunting dog mix like your beagle/spaniel, I would go with the SportDog fence. Your dog will grow into the collar, but I highly recommend the SportDog fence for the higher corrections you may need for a stubborn hunting dog.

Greg December 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Hi, I have an 8 month old female beagle who was running through the Petsafe system with the regular collar so I am now using a stubborn dog collar. That seemed to work for while, but now I have observed the dog enduring the correction to the point that she will quiver and be in pain until the over-correction shut-off happens at which time she senses the pause and walks through uncorrected. I trained her and a poodle according to the instructions, and the poodle stays in but the beagle had outsmarted the system. is there any way to modify the over-correction shut-off or is there another system that doesn’t have it like a sport dog? Thanks Greg

ADMIN – Hi Greg, if you already have the Beagle on the Stubborn collar, then best option is place a second Stubborn collar on your beagle. We reserve this recommendation for cases only like yours. If your Beagle is not already on the Stubborn collar, get the Stubborn a try before buying a second Stubborn collar.

Jordan December 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm

We have 2 dogs, lab and malamute. The malamute is a 1 yr old 100 lb puppy. She is extremely stubborn and bull-headed. We are worried that the correction levels on the SDF-100 will not keep her in. We tried shock collars when she was smaller, roughly 50-60 lbs. and even at correction level 10 the shocks didn’t faze her at all, even when we tightened the collar. Will this fence keep her in? I do not want to spend all this money for a fence that won’t faze her in slightest. Thanks, Jordan

ADMIN – Hi Jordan, the SportDog fence will definitely keep her in. This collar is the same as the PetSafe Stubborn fence. The issue with Malamute’s is that they have a thick undercoat. You will most likely need to thin the fur with scissors and use thick fur probes in order for the probes to make good contact with your dog’s skin. Otherwise, it will not be productive. The manufacture is the only place you can request the thick fur probes.

Dan Cohn October 22, 2012 at 10:43 am

I have a Lab and Weimaraner; need to have 2 “fenced areas” small one at the lake the other about 3 acres – is there a setting that can be used at both locations without changing collars? Also what about a waterproof collar for at the lake. Thanks for your help.

ADMIN – Hi Dan, unfortunately, you’ll have to remove collars to change areas. Most of the dog fence collars are completely waterproof.

Hope October 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I have been training for about 10 days now and I did call to customer service about my issue, which is my dog is obedience trained and wont leave my side will checking out perimeter, so it was suggested that I take him off leash and he still follows closely and will not cross the boundary, He finally did and ignored the beep and we did the NO NO and ran back from the boundary and he seems to understand that part now, but I don’t want to lead him over the boundary so I have tossed treats etc but he will not cross, then one night he caught a scent and went chasing over the boundary and got a zap, I quickly shut off the box and went to find him as he chased the scent across an open field, got him home safe but will not cross while I am there, with or with out leash on. Help

ADMIN – Hi Hope, you’ll want to let your dog run free with a long (20 foot) lead dragging the ground. You’ll want to be able to grab it and physically restrain your dog from leaving the boundary. Otherwise, giving commands while your dogs breaks the boundary will lead to further difficulty in training.

Dawn October 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I have a 180lb english mastiff and 7lb min pinscher mix. Will the SDF-100 and the Pet Safe Little Dog collar work best? Can the transmitter be placed on my mastiff’s current collar? I am afraid the collar in the system will be too small for him.

ADMIN – Hi Dawn, yes that is exactly what we would recommend for your dogs!

SFerrell October 1, 2012 at 12:16 am

Can I use stranded wire or must it be solid? Can I use heavier than 14ga? can I use direct burial romex for added strength, but only use one of the 3 wires? I am taking it through the woods, lots of rocks, cannot bury, worried about breaks over time and critters chewing it.

ADMIN – Hi Ferrell,

Yes on all three counts. You can use either stranded wire or solid core wire. You can use wire heavier than 14 gauge for the boundary line, but not the wire starts to become very difficult to work with once you get thicker than 12 gauge because it is so stiff. You can use direct burial Romex cable and only use one of the three wires.

If you are particularly concerned about breaks, another good way to protect the wire is to run it through a protective sheath like irrigation tubing.

Dawn September 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I have a 180lb english mastiff and 7lb min pinscher mix. Will the SDF-100 and the Pet Safe Little Dog collar work best? Can the receiver be placed on my mastiff’s current collar? I am afraid the collar in the system will be too small for him.

ADMIN – Hi Dawn, yes this would be a great setup. And yes you can put the collar base on your mastiff’s current collar strap.

Tony June 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Hey there, I have a 30 pound American Eskimo Dog. We also have a neighbor who has an invisible fence. I’m wondering if the Sportdog fence is the best one for us? Would this collar be too big for a 30 pound American Eskimo? Will I be able to avoid interference with the changing frequencies?

ADMIN – Hi Tony, While it can change frequencies, we have come to learn that this frequency option does not work as advertized. Plus, this collar is a bit big for your Eskimo dog. I would recommend the Perimeter Technologies Ultra fence for a reliable fence that you can reliably change frequencies in order to avoid interference with a neighboring fence.

Pete June 7, 2012 at 8:51 am

Are any of the better featured systems compatible with the PetSafe small dog collar? (I.e. Could use the SportDog brand?) I want the SportDog collar for our Shepard and a PetSafe Little dog collar for our ‘toy’ spaniel? Thanks!

Admin- Hi Pete,

Absolutely, the PetSafe Little dog collar is compatible with the SportDog SDF100a, PetSafe Stubborn, and the PetSafe Deluxe system.

David Jeffries May 31, 2012 at 10:38 pm

I live on 35 acres in rural Australia surrounded by bush and want to run a fence around about 5 for my border collie, I have no neighbors and no existing electric fences. There is an existing fence line for me to use and will also be easy to fit some kind of visual line for her. She does not jump the fences and I think now she is used to the buzz that a system like this would work pretty quickly too. I will be getting another dog soon so want both dogs to have protection. I have lakes, which she loves, so system has to be fully waterproof. I often have to go away all day for work and hate tying her up.

I bought a Sportdog SD-800E which works great when out walking, she is now used to it and only a buzz and she responds. The kangaroos can kill a dog if trapped so it is a must have, they will get a dog to follow them into the water then drown them or rip them apart with their back legs, know a few people who this has happened to their dog. I lease about 30 acres to a sheep farmer and also need to restrain her from chasing them too.

I was wondering if there is a fence that is compatible with the Sportdog SD-800E so I only have one collar, or do I have to buy another one? Be best to have one collar that stays on but works with both.

If I have to buy a whole new system I will, but has to work as a fence as well as when out walking without the need to change collar. Rather pay for this than vet bills to sew her back together.

How do you rate the High Tech Pet’s Containment?

Great site btw.
Thanks.

Admin- Hi David,

Unfortunately the SportDog SDF-100a system is not compatible with your current SportDog collar. You will have to purchase a whole system for containment.

In our experience, High Tech Pet’s containment systems have reliability issues and poor battery life. There is no comparison between a SportDog system and the High Tech Pet System.

alexa May 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm

We are considering the SportDog system. We live in the city on a busy street. We have 2 Weimaraners, 3 years old and 4 years old. Is this system best for us? Our neighbor’s have a professionally installed invisible wire fence for their bullmastiff. Will we have interference with their system and how close can we put out wire to theirs? Also, can we lay the remaining wire at our in-law’s cottage and transport the box with us to their cottage as well?
Thank you
Alexa

Admin- Hi Alexa,

The Bullmastiff is likely to require a stronger correction level than the Weimaraner, so you will want a system that lets you set independent correction levels. The SportDog system will be a good choice. Note: the neighbors system could still cause interference. You will want too lay the wire out first and test the system for possible interference. If interferences occurs, the two wires will need to be separated by 10-20 feet.

Darla May 5, 2012 at 9:08 am

I am having difficulty understanding one thing. If the transmitter must be in a weather protected environment that does not get below freezing (a concern in Northern Wisconsin) AND you want to surround the area that would contain the transmitter by several feet (our house), how would the lines coming into the structure work? I wouldn’t want my dog to get any messages when near the house, just several feet from it. We have 5 acres of land but would likely do less than the 5 acres, maybe 2 – 3 acres or so.

Admin- Hi Daria,

You will be able to install twisted wire where the transmitter is located. You will run twisted wire from the transmitter to the outside perimeter. The twisted wire will create a dead zone that will allow your dogs to cross over. Please view our install diagrams under the installations tab.

Matt April 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm

The SportDog receiver and Stubborn dog receiver look the same, but on different collars. Are they the same receiver? Do the transmitters for larger areas send out a stronger frequency inside smaller areas making them a better choice for my stubborn dogs who will jump the line with their Stubborn collars on? Our PetSafe RF-1010 has essentially died and I want a good replacement without having to buy another set of expensive collars. Thanks.

Admin- Hi Matt,
1)The receiver box on the SportDog collar and Stubborn Dog collar are identical in size. The differences between the collar is the straps/band and the SportDog receiver is not compatible with an indoor zone.
2)The signals are sent out the same regardless of the size of install. For a smaller yard, the SportDog system will not benefit you but we do sale just the PetSafe- RF1010 replacement transmitter so you will not have to buy a whole system.

Kathleen April 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Very informative site. Thanks for the sharing the information. I have a 10 month old Lab/Shepard mix approx 50lbs. I recently purchased and returned a Havahart Wireless Fence system. That system seems like it would work for smaller dogs but his activity level and coat thickness seemed to work against this system. He didn’t even notice that he was being shocked. I felt the collar and it was definitely working. I have been looking at the SportDog 100A system as it seems it would be suitable for his “lack of attention” by giving a stronger shock. I see that there is also the option of the PetSafe Stubborn Dog system. We only want to fence in about 4 acres. We are located in the Northeast and get significant snow in the winter. What system do you suggest would be best for our high energy, ADD dog? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Kathleen,

The SportDog or the Stubborn would work well. If you are having trouble getting god contact between the probes and the dog’s skin – thinning out the hair in that region with some scissors will help a lot. You will also want to be sure to use the long probes. Turning up the correction level if there is no good contact will not help, it is like using a bigger cannon – but pointing it in the wrong direction!

The Innotek 4100 is also very good for that particular issue and would suit your dog. It has a collar fitting mode, that beeps to let you know when you are making good contact. This instant feedback makes fitting the collar much easier.

Tanya Munyard April 2, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Hi, we live on 35 acres and have a young dingo x who is a very smart master escape-artist. Initially we just want to apply a system around the house yard which is just under 2 acres. I know that the Innotek seems to be the best choice for smaller yards but I’m thinking that the SportDog collar may suit him better as he loves water and plays rough with our 4 other dogs – in other words he’s going to need an extremely tough collar. Will there be any problems with using the SportDog system in a smaller area and also will the lightning protector module suit Australian power outlets? Thank you, Tanya.

ADMIN – Hi Tanya,

Running the SportDog on smaller areas is no problem. There is a side switch for yard size, that you will just set to “small” for layouts under 4,500 feet (1,500 meters).

The lighting protection module requires a US socket. You could find try something domestically. Alternatively, the SportDog can be directly grounded using a grounding rod.

Jess Runge April 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm

We have a similar problem to Rob above. We just installed the fence on 30 acres. The loop is of 16 gauge wire, and is not broken–a multimeter test shows no resistance in the loop (i would think if there was a break, the multimeter would indicate that). But the unit still beeps. The test loop does not beep. I don’t understand what the problem is. Tomorrow I will try an even bigger test loop than the 10 feet. The unit should work with 16 gauge wire, right??? If it doesn’t, is there another system that will? Thank you for your time! jess

ADMIN – Hi Jess,

Any system should work with the thicker 16 gauge wire, thicker wire is easier for the systems than thinner wire (it is like driving down a wider highway lane). Since the multimeter is showing no resistance, that means you have a good continuous loop (although with the amount of wire you are using, I am a little suspicious that it shows not resistance, there should be some resistance with all that wire). That the test loop is working, tells me there is likely no problem with the transmitter.

Have you tried turning up the boundary width dial, and adjusting the range switch on the left side of the box to “high” (if you are using more than 4,400 feet of the wire). When the power going out to the wire is too low, the system will register a wire break even though there is no break. To fix that, we need to turn up the power as described above.

Rob March 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Hi, we have a SportDog invisible fence. It has worked great till now. The box is beeping loud and wont stop. We bypassed the whole fence to find the run that had the break and cannot find it. It stops beeping with a short loop test when the wire is 10 feet. When we do a loop test with more than 10 feet it still beeps and doesn’t buzz the collar. We are at a total lose here.

All help is a appreciated

Admin- Hi Rob,

If the transmitter is still beeping with a test loop that is larger than 10 feet, than the transmitter is going bad. You will need to contact SportDog for warranty work.

Tara March 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Hi there, I installed a sportdog system this summer and now we have snow on the ground. Where the snow covers the wire the collar does not work but where there is no snow the collar does work. Any suggestions??

Admin- Hi Tara,

Since you have snow that is blocking the signal, we recommend turning the boundary field width to a higher level so that the signal can project through the snow covered boundary wire.

Cathy March 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I am looking at buying the SportDog SDF-100A, but there are underground power lines on our property. How close can I get to these power lines and will I be able to bury the boundary line on top of them if I have to?

ADMIN – Hi Cathy,

Ideally, you need to keep the boundary wire away from these utility wires by a minimum of 10 feet. The best approach is to run the wire above ground so that you can move it around and also adjust the boundary width. Those are the two parameters you can adjust.

Brenda March 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Hi, we have a 25-acre commercial farm with a chain link fence surrounding the property. We have ten large dogs (English Mastiffs, Labs and a Rottweiler ) and one small Poodle mix. Their weight ranges from 12 to 210 pounds. The dogs are digging under the fence and leaving the property, and a few are also chasing the commercial vehicles that enter the farm. I was looking at the Sport Dog SDF-100A, but not sure if the wire would stand up to the high winds we get? (Gusts up to 50 mph today.) We want to run the wire on the upper part of the fence and underground where the entrance gate is. The dogs are always in the ponds swimming, so the collars must be waterproof. With that said, are there any alternatives regarding the collars since we need so many? Also, is there a separate remote that works with the collars that can be used to train them to quit chasing vehicles…and stop killing chickens? Thank you!

Admin- Hi Brenda,

1) The best system for your ten dogs will be the SportDog SDF100a system.
2) You will be able to use a SportDog collars on the dogs 30-pounds and up. For the small Poodle you will use a PetSafe Little dog collar. The SportDog and PetSafe collars are fully waterproof.
3) The SportDog system comes with 1000 feet of boundary wire. To cover 25 acres you will need a total of 5000 feet.
4) You will be able to attach the boundary wire to the top of the fence. Make sure the wire does not have a lot of slack in it. If the wire is snug to the fence, it will be fine in the wind. We recommend using zip types to secure the wire to the fence.
3) Unfortunately the SportDog collars are not compatible with a training remote.

Gloria February 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm

We are considering buying the SDF-100 for our 110Lb. Golden retriever. He is only a year old, so I know his weight will increase. We will only be enclosing 4-5 acres. My concern is that my husband owns and runs a welding shop on the property. It is very large with a metal roof. Will be experience any interference or problems with the system. We plan to encase the wire with plastic pipe, and the fencing itself will be at least 200 – 300 feet away.

ADMIN – Hi Gloria,

That will not be a problem. A metal roof in the containment area is only a problem with wireless systems. Since you are using a wired system the metal roof will be a complete non-issue.

Brent February 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm

I have a suburban yard 80′ wide x 125′ deep. What would be the best system go with? I just have to replace a little wire that was removed when we moved in because I never thought I would have a dog. My plan is to get a Wiemaraner puppy and the breed is high energy with very short hair. I have heard that the Innotek IUC-4100 & 5100 can get interrupted by the new energy efficient appliances and I should stay away from them.

ADMIN – Hi Brent,

With a Weimaraner you have a lot of options, they usually don’t require a lot of correction and tend to learn the fence quickly. The SportDog SDF-100A would be a good choice, but probably overkill with your size lot. The PetSafe Stubborn is cheaper, it doesn’t come with as much wire included and the transmitter is not as powerful but neither of those things will be an issue for you. The Innotek IUC-4100, is also a good choice, it is more expensive but is rechargeable and has a smaller collar.

We haven’t heard about the issue with high efficiency appliances, I can’t see why they would impact the system, but if you have a source we would be interested in chasing it up to see if we can learn more.

Craig Sidmore February 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I have 2 different size dogs one is a pit bull cross and the other is a miniature Shitzu. both love to roam. We live in rural area and they have been seen in cow pastures. I was thinking of the SportDog 100A . But I see it is not doable for the different sizes any suggestions.

ADMIN – Hi Craig,

The SportDog Collar is going to work well with the Pit Bull, but is going to be too big for the Shih Tzu. For the smaller dog, you can use a PetSafe Little Dog collar that is much smaller and has a proportionally lower correction. The PetSafe collar will be compatible with the SportDog system.

Sally January 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm

We have ordered a SportDog 110A system. Will the collar work with either frequency? What must be done with the collar to change frequencies?

Admin- Hi Sally,

Yes, both frequencies will work with the SportDog Collar. The collar is always looking for either frequencies. If you change the frequencies on the transmitter, nothing will need to be done to the collar.

Joshua January 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I am looking at the SportDog SDF-100a, I really like it for the reviews and the included 1000′ wire and lightning protection. I need to contain 2 dogs on my 5 acres and my budget is no more than $400. One Dog is a Stubborn Husky and the other is a Jack Russell. I know the included collar will be great for the Husky but what about for the Jack? Wold the Petsafe little dog collar work with the SportDog?

ADMIN – Hi Joshua,

The SportDog Fence should work well with the Husky, just be sure to use the long prongs and make sure you are getting good contact with the skin – it will be a little tricky the first few times because of that thick undercoat.

With the Jack Russell, the SportDog collar is going to be too big. If the Jack Russel is under 12 lbs, use a PetSafe Little Dog Collar. If he is over 12 lbs, the PetSafe Deluxe collar is cheaper, has less expensive batteries, and has better battery life. The PetSafe inground collars are all compatible with the SportDog Fence.

For 5 acres, you will need about 1000 additional feet of wire ($60). Add in the extra $100 for another collar and you should just squeak in under budget.

Katie December 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Hi! We have a 40lb German Shorthair Pointer that loves to stretch her legs. We own an acre property, which you have commented that the SDF-100A is a little overkill for. We already own the shock collar for hunting and am looking for something at home and camping. I believe that someone has told us that sport dog has the ability for this, can you please help/advise? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Katie,

Unfortunately, you cannot use the SportDog remote training collars with the dog fence system. All the systems require a dedicated dog fence collar.

With a GSP, the Sportdog SDF-100A will work nicely. You should also consider the PetSafe Stubborn (very similar, but lower capacity – not an issue for 1 acre, and a little cheaper). Or the Innotek IUC-4100 (a little more expensive, but a smaller and rechargeable collar).

Karen November 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Hi there! We are looking at putting in the Sport Dog Fence for our two big dogs (100 lb and 150 lb mastiff crosses). Our property is riverfront, and while I’d like to keep them out of the river, there is an overflow pond that they love to swim in. Depending on the time of year, it can be anywhere from a couple feet deep to probably 15 feet deep. If I place the wire into old garden hose and throw it in, how far will the signal reach through the water? (90% of the year, the water would be between 3 and 6 feet deep.) As we live on 40 acres, the width of the boundary can be as wide as the system allows, as it will never come close to creating a narrow corridor. Also, when it does freeze, will the signal be affected by a couple feet of ice? Thanks for the advice! Karen

ADMIN – Hi Karen,
You can expect a boundary radius of 10 plus feet. Yes, you can absolutely run it through a water hose sink it the pond. Note that when the pond is 15 feet deep, they will be able to swim across out of range of the signal. Also, there is a slight signal loss for submerged wire. The radius will be about 10% smaller than in other areas of the boundary. This should be the same for ice as well, depending on the depth. For 40 acres, we do also recommend upgrading to as large of gauge of wire as possible. This will provide the strongest wire and should not experience breaks from ground shifting. We offer 14 gauge wire which is the largest gauge this system can handle.

Steven November 15, 2011 at 7:38 am

I am looking to buy the Sport Dog fence. I will be fencing 60 acres above ground. I currently have electric livestock fence in-place with standard steel wire. Will this standard steel wire work for the Sport Dog system.

ADMIN – Hi Steven,

Unfortunately it will not. You’ll need insulated copper wire (direct burial) for your dog fence.

Ed September 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I have 20 acres, no current fence, and adopted a German Shepherd/Malamute mix. He’s approximately 85 pounds at 2.5 years; incredibly sweet, but unlike any of my other dogs, loves to take off for a run in the woods; and because it isn’t fenced, isn’t always on my property. Unlike any other dog I have had, I have learned I cannot trust him to return on command when he is ‘distracted’ with his ‘joy’, especially if he sees a deer (or thinks he sees/smells a deer…). My neighbor thought it was great to reinforce this behavior by encouraging him to play with their lonely dog when he circled back, vs. sending him home. If they didn’t corral him, he always made it home within 10-20 minutes, but some folks might shoot if they see a large roaming dog near livestock. I have since been keeping him on a leash until I develop a solution. It’s really a drag for both of us.

I have contemplated fencing the complete property, but that is very expensive. There are some t-posts marking the property line, but I need to add to those and install at least 5 1/2 foot tall field fence.

I’m not convinced he needs a full 20 acres to roam when he isn’t perfect about coming when called, and potentially out of sight because of the forest, so am thinking about wiring up approximately 4-5 acres. Given I want him to have full freedom in the yard and a trail that I use regularly, I’d be weaving most of this through the woods and am thinking that stringing it above ground with t-posts might be easiest, as well as help find breaks. I read how to use a conduit for crossing the driveway already- thanks.

1. Which system would you recommend?
2. Pro’s and con’s of above ground vs. buried wire? (I’ve heard breaks in the buried wire are not uncommon).
3. Can I string it with another wire for increased strength, or will proximity dead it out?
4. Does contact with limbs etc, override anything?
5. Is there an easy way to ensure it is always working before letting him out the door?
6. If he is running, I figure he needs at least 10 feet of warning so get him time to turn around or divert- do you agree?
7. If I buy a system that just fits 5 or so acres, am I pushing the system too far to its limits? and what if I wanted to expand it to the 20 acres as I have money and time to work around the property more. What the tipping point between under or over utilization of systems?

Thanks for your time and expertise-

ADMIN – Hi Ed,

That wandering behavior is typical of Malamutes. They are among our best customers.

1. The Innotek IUC-4100 would work well, as would the SportDog SDF-100A. The Innotek is smaller, and rechargeable, but more expensive. The Innotek also has a collar fit-detection system which is useful for getting the collar on a long-hair dog like yours. The SportDog is cheaper, but uses a disposable battery and has a bigger collar. Both will do a good job and could handle the full 20 acres if you later decided to expand.

2. Above ground tends to be easier to install and find break. Below ground is hidden and more aesthetically appealing. The rate of breaks for both options is similar. There is no difference in the function of the fence between below and above ground installation.

3. If I am understanding your correctly, you want to use a higher strength (non-active) wire as support for the dog fence wire. So the high tensile strength wire would go between the T-posts and the dog fence wire would be tied to the high strength wire. This would work great, there should be not problems. The problems only arise when you run two of the active dog fence wires close together.

4. Contact with limbs (tree or human) does not affect the function of the system, nor is it unsafe to the tree (or human). The wire is insulated so is unaffected by any contact.

5. The transmitter will sound an alarm if the wire is broken. Similarly if the collar has a low battery, there is an indicator on the collar that will light up to let you know. So if you are getting the green status light at the transmitter and no alarm, and the collar is not showing a low battery everything should be working fine. You could also check by taking the collar near a boundary and seeing if it starts beeping – but this should not be necessary.

6. With a big dog, I like to have the boundary set to trigger at least 5-feet on either side of the boundary wire. With 4-5 acres, you could make that correction zone even wider. I don’t think dogs need a huge warning zone – a trained dog should not need any warning or a couple of feet at most.

7. Avoid operating the system near the limits, it tends to result in unnecessarily thin boundaries and unstable. Much better to have a system that has plenty of capacity in reserve, that way you can have nice wide boundary zones. Most of the good systems cover 10+ acres so it should not be a problem for doing the initial 4-5 acres. If however you want to do the full 20 acres, a system that can do at least 25 acres is advisable.

Connie August 31, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I have purchased the SportDog SDF-100A. I plan to bury the wire in a field that is a little soft and we use a larger tractor to brush hog it a couple times a year. I think it would be better buried deeper than the suggested 3-4 inches. How deep can the wire be buried and still work effectively? Thanks, Connie

ADMIN – It depends on how large your installation is and the soil type. Usually you can do down about 12 inches before you run into problem. You will just need to turn up the boundary width dial to compensate for that extra depth.

Levon August 18, 2011 at 4:46 am

I am Planning on buying the SportDog SDF-100A for my Pure Breed German Shepard, i am wanting to buy a Remote Trainer by SPORTDOG, for example, SportDog Pro Hunter 2 Mile Trainer SD 2525, can i only have one collar on my dog for both the boundary and the remote trainer, or is that even possible??? Thank you for your assistance.

ADMIN – Hi Levon,

Alas, the SportDog remote trainer collar and dog fence collars are not intercompatible. If you want a single system that does both, take a look at the Innotek IUC-5100. Note the remote training function on that dual system will not be as good as with a dedicated SportDog unit, but is serviceable for short distance obedience training.

Mike August 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I’d like your recommendations for the following situation/layout: I live on a peninsula of about 6 acres. I want to contain my dogs at the neck of the peninsula. The dimensions are: 75 ft from my house to the peninsula neck (twisted pair), and 400 ft across the neck ( narrow loop). The area across the neck is 1/2 lawn, driveway, and 1/2 woods with water on both sides.

My 3 dogs are: a poodle – 80 lbs, a bouvier – 80 lbs, and a tera-poo – 40 lbs. I’ve been using Sport Dog FR-200 training collars on the poodle and bouvier with good success, however they have learned to be very obedient with the collars on and not so good with the collars removed. The poodle required very little low to medium level correction; the bouvier required a little more correction in both frequency and intensity, but the end result for both has been excellent. The problem is: when left outside unattended they challenge anyone who approaches my property; I need them to stop at my property line. The tera-poo has never worn a correction collar, but is thin skinned and somewhat timid. Also the batteries in the collars deplete rather quickly (6 to 8 hrs).

ADMIN – Hi Mike,

With the Tera-poo likely to require less correction than the other two dogs, a system that will let you adjust correction independently is a must. A PetSafe Stubborn or a SportDog system would be a good choice. I would use the PetSafe Stubborn or SportDog collars with the two larger dogs. With the tera-poo a smaller collar, less powerful collar like the PetSafe Deluxe would be a good choice (the collar will work with both the PetSafe Stubborn and the SportDog systems)

Dog fence collars deplete much more slowly than correction collars. Depending on the model you should get 1-3 months of life from the batteries before they need replacing. The two systems I recommended both use a disposable battery which should last you 2-3 months.

Andrew August 1, 2011 at 11:07 am

We are looking into containment systems for our 2 year old Flatcoated Retreiver and Irish Setter mix. She is 60 lbs, somewhat stubborn and has very long fur around her neck. While the yard is not large (0.25 acres) we are looking for something inexpensive that will keep her contained with all of the kids/dogs/squirrels in the neighborhood we are moving into. Would this potentially work well and is there a better option for dogs with longer fur?

ADMIN – Hi Andrew,

For a Retreiver/Setter mix, the SportDog would be a good choice.

In regards to long fur, use the long probes and thin out the hair a little around the probes. Particularly when training, it is very important that the probes touch the skin – otherwise the collar will not work. That said, if you take a couple of minutes it is not a big deal and I would not anticipate any problems/

The only better option for your situation would be the Innotek IUC-4100. The advantage there is that the collar has a mode where it can tell you if the collar is properly fastened. That feedback makes it easier to get the collar situated, particularly in the early days when it is all new to you.

Carolyn July 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

We want to purchase an inground system for our rural property. We plan to use the single sided boundary layout shown in your diagrams to keep the dogs out of the road. We have 5 dogs- 1 very stubborn beagle, a German Shepard, a medium poodle mix and 2 small terriers about 20lbs

1. Do I need a large system such as Sport Dog 100 since I need waterproof collars for the shepard and Beagle and then get Pet Safe little dog collars for the other 3? The poodle is close to 30lbs Also, is there a waterproof collar for little dogs? .

2. What is the best system given my dogs various temperaments and sizes? And the appropriate compatible collars for each?

I believe we need about 2000 ft of wire but I will measure before ordering.

Thanks in advance for your help. The other posts have been very informative. Great website!

Admin-Hi Carolyn,
1) A great system for your set up will be the PetSafe Stubborn/Large Dog system. All the collars we offer are waterproof. You will use the included Stubborn Dog Collar for the Beagle and bundle in an additional Stubborn Dog Collar for the German Shepard. For the Poodle and two small Terriers I would bundle in PetSafe Deluxe collars. With all these collars, you will be able set the correction level on the collar themselves.
2) If you have a total of 2000 feet, your wire will be able to cover up to 5 acres.

Gordon July 23, 2011 at 10:09 am

We are having trouble with our new sport dog 100-A fence. We did about 4,000 feet of boundary wire around our 3,000 foot cattle fence. We want our dogs to be able to go around the cattle fence but not in the cattle fence, so we ran boundary wire above ground on the cattle fence as well. The outter loop is conected to the inner loop by twisted wire in one continous loop. We have the range set on Hi. The sytem works but very weak. The alarm will continue to go off on the transmitter box. We did a test by disconecting the two loops and put the transmitter on each of loops indpendantly of each other. Each loop works great by themselves, but not when they are connected. We did not violate any of the rules for layouts. Please help!
Thanks, Gordon

Admin-Hi Gorden,

It sounds like you might have different gauges of wire connected. The gauge of wire does need to be consistent all the way around the loop. When you have different gauges of wire connected together it could confuse the transmitter.

Jo-Ann July 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm

We will be installing a fence for two standard poodles (smaller side at just about 50 pounds each). The neighbor has a Dogwatch system that runs on an FM signal. Do I need to go with the SportDog system for the ability to change frequencies because of the neighbor? They ran their wire right along the property line. I can certainly run my wire 10 feet in but would like the flexibility to go closer to the line.

We are also on a lake and plan to lay the wire far enough into the lake so the dogs can swim. We will hold the wire down with bricks or a hose until the silt covers the wire enough. We also plan to string swim noodles right above the line and stick flags into them for training purposes to establish the boundary.

ADMIN – Hi Jo-Ann,

Typically we don’t get interference with the DIY systems when the neighboring system is a Dogwatch because they tend to use different frequencies.

Sounds like a good plan on the lakefront wiring.

Tracy July 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm

We currently have 2 sets of SportDog Field Trainer collars. Are these collars compatible with the SportDog SDF-100A system? Also wondering if the wire needs to be placed on the ground or can in be run partway up a wood or chain link fence? We have some really devious ground squirrels that I’m afraid will destroy anything on or underground… Thanks in advance!

ADMIN – Hi Tracy,

Afraid the field trainer collars are not going to be compatible with the dog containment system.

The wire does not need to be placed on the ground, it can be run along a chain link or wooden fence (using staples or zip-ties to hold it in place). If you do place it in the ground and have concerns about critters – you can use a conduit like hose or irrigation pipe to protect it.

Bill July 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I have 3 labs that wear the RF-275 collar. Will they work with the sportdog sdg 100? Also I am trying to set up a lake usage. To cross the lot at the lake edge and allow access to the water, while still leaving the sides of the lot HOT, can I cross the lake from starting point 1, go across the lake to point 2, loop back to where I came to the lake edge (point 1), return to point 2, twist these 3 wires together, then go up the side of the lot. I hope some kind of sense can be made from this question. I could draw it better to ask the question. Thanks Bill

ADMIN – Hi Bill,

The PetSafe stubborn collar (RF-275 is indeed compatible with the SportDog SDF-100A system.

Twisting three wires together results in a live section of wire. To do a lakefront layout where you allow access to the water, your options are to run the wire out into the lake, or to create a big U-shaped loop, with the wire covering the three non-lakefront sides and doubling back on yourself. For more details on lakefront layouts, check out the Installation –> Layouts section on our website.

Cassie and Mick June 12, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Hello, we recently bought the SDF-100A containment system, we are waiting for it to be delivered (to Australia). However after reading these comments I am concerned we have chosen a system that is too large? We will be using it on approx 4.5acres and our dog weighs roughly 8-10kg. We will also need to buy extra wire to fence the boundary but I can only find SDF-100A Boundary Kits for around $60-70. Is there anywhere I can get it cheaper or is there a different kind of wire we could use? Many thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Carrie & Mick,

With a 8-10kg dog (18-22lbs) dog, the collar will be bigger than is ideal but will still be ok. Keep the correction level down on the low setting.

You can use boundary kits from any system. We have them for $30 per 500 feet. You can also get wire locally in Australia. You want to get a wire that is rated for direct burial (Polyethylene coated, not PVC so it will hold up better outdoors). Try and get wire that matches the gauge of the wire you already have (20 gauge in the case of the SportDog), or replace all the wire with the new gauge of wire.

Ken June 10, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Hello, I am interested in the SportDog underground fence for a second home. I have the older version of this unit at my current home and it works great. I have 4 dogs currently using that unit, and 3 of the dogs have the PetSafe Ultralight or Deluxe collars. I just wanted to confirm that those collars would be compatible with this newer model of the SportDog fence.

ADMIN – Hi Ken,

The new SDF-100A is indeed compatible with the older SDF-100. You can use the collars and systems interchangeably.

Jeff June 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm

You have a very informative website and it makes selecting a fence much easier. However, I have one question: For wired fences, can any of the control boxes, such as the SportDog SDF-100A, be located in an unheated building where it will go below freezing much of the winter?

ADMIN – Hi Jeff,

Yes it can. Temperature is not going to be an issue with the SportDog, Innotek, and PetSafe transmitters. It just needs to be installed in a place that’s safe from rain and wind.

Charlotte June 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Greetings, How far away does a Sport Dog system wire have to be away from a large animal stock fencer (horse / cattle)? Does the intermittent pulsating electrical current of the above fencer interfere somehow with your product? Thank you Charlotte

ADMIN – Hi Charlotte,

You rarely get any interference from a livestock electric fence. If you are particularly concerned, you can string up a test section right alongside the livestock fence and see if you get any interference. You should be able to hang the dog fence on the same mounts as the livestock fence.

If for some reason there is interference, six feet of separation will usually fix it.

Brian May 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Your review for the SportDog SDF-100A system states:

“The SportDog also features an in-built grounding terminal in the control box to give you lightning protection, a must for large rural installations. It is a nice idea, but unless you have a grounding rod nearby….”

How close is nearby? I have no problem installing one very close to the system, but I have a ground rod 85′ away at the fuse panel. Is that close enough? Also, with a ground rod, I’m assuming the instructions cover how to hook it up for protection. Would I still need the plug-in lightning protection device?

ADMIN – Hi Brian,

The grounding rod is a substitute for the plug in lighting protection. You do not need to do both and in fact should not use both simultaneously.

You want that ground terminal to be as close as possible to the control box. I would keep it under 12 feet, although this may vary based on your local building code.

Also remember for the grounding wire, do not use the supplied 20 gauge wire. I would use a thicker 14 gauge wire or as otherwise directed by your local code.

LB May 30, 2011 at 11:42 am

Hi there- We have the sport dog fence. We do have 600 ft of fencing that we have woven the wire through to keep the dogs from digging under. Two problems:
1. With the boundry adjusted to it’s lowest level, the boundary width is about 10 feet! I have it strung about 10 feet above their outdoor kennel to complete the loop but it still causes the collar to activate.
2. At the gate area, I burried the wire doubling back on itself twice so there are essentially 3 layers of wire next to each other. I read somewhere that by having the wire that close it would cancel itself out making the gate safe to use. Is this correct because the collars still activate at the gate.
I suppose it is possibly due to the wide boundary, as the regular wire stops about 5 feet from the gate….
Any suggestions would be appreciated!

ADMIN – Hi LB,

(1) Make sure you have the range switch set to low (the switch on the left hand side of the box, second from the top). Your symptoms of having a very wide boundary even on the lowest level sound a lot like the system has been accidentally set to high range (i.e for systems over 4400 feet of boundary wire) – this boosts the signal strength which is what you need for large installations – but makes the boundaries ultra wide on regular size installations.

(2) Two wires close together cancel each other out. Adding a third makes it active again.

Randy May 28, 2011 at 9:37 am

I’m curious why you give the SportDog systems an Excellent in reliability and 4 stars and the PetSafe Deluxe system only get a Good and 3.5 stars? I have two dogs, a Boston Terrier that is around 22 pounds and a Goldendoodle that is around 80 pounds. So I will need a system that allows different correction levels for each dog. The SportDog collar is probably a bit too large for my Boston Terrier so I am leaning towards the SportDog system because it gets a better rating and then just adding a PetSafe Deluxe collar for my Boston Terrier. Does this make sense? Or should I just go with the PetSafe Deluxe system with two collars even though the Reliability is not Excellent?

ADMIN – Hi Randy,

The SportDog system has a particularly durable collar. It can really take a beating in a way that most other collars cannot. It is particularly good if you have farm dogs that give their collars a lot of abuse. The Deluxe is good too, and I would not hesitate to use it.

I think that you are right that the SportDog SDF-100A collar would be too big for a Boston Terrier to be comfortable and that the PetSafe Deluxe system would be a good choice.

If you have a yard under 5 acres, another good choice would be to get the PetSafe Stubborn system (which has a collar very similar to the SportDog) and use the included collar for the Golden Doodle and then add a PetSafe Deluxe collar for the Boston. That will be a considerably cheaper option and leave you with a very good system for those dogs.

Branden May 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Hi, I am considering the SportDog SDF-100A for our pit-bull “Daisy.” I saw in your review that it works with other Petsafe, Innotek collars and I was wondering if it will also work with the rock thing? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Brandon,

The SportDog SDF-100A works with the PetSafe Deluxe, PetSafe Stubborn and PetSafe Little Dog systems. Unfortunately is does not work with the Innotek systems, nor with any of the Indoor or Outdoor pods. If you want to use the Outdoor Rock Pods, you will ahve to use the Innotek IUC-4100 or the IUC-5100 systems.

Rachel April 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Hi there,
We have a pug/beagle/spaniel mix and about an acre of land. Our dog, Hawkeye, loves to run and sniff. The problem is that when he gets a scent, he won’t come back to us if we call. He’s very determined. So we’re thinking of getting an electric fence but aren’t sure which one. We’re looking at the SportDog SDF-100A. I’m curious– how much wire would we need to purchase for 1 acre? Also, we have a metal roof on our house and shed; will that affect the electric fence? Thanks for your helpful site!

ADMIN – Hi Rachel,

The SportDog collar shares the same collar base and correction levels as the PetSafe Deluxe. This means it does have the highest correction levels of all fences on the market, which will be necessary for your dog who loves to hunt. If you purchase the SportDog, it comes with 1,000 feet of wire which will be enough to cover up to 1 acre. If your dog weighs around 20 to 25 lbs and heavier, he’ll be fine on the SportDog fence. Metal roofs are only major problems with wireless systems and shouldn’t pose a problem with the SportDog.

Robert Howard April 19, 2011 at 10:50 am

Recently purchased and installed a Sportdog 100 from your site. Customer service was great and the system worked well until now. Initial installation was for three acres and it worked perfectly. This week I spliced in and additional loop using connectors in a waterproof box at the halfway point of the 3 acre loop. This expands the system from from 3 to 15 acres. A loop within a loop. I can use the 3 acre loop alone but the 15 acre loop has to be connected to the 3 acre loop via the connectors. The signal in the large loop is continious throughout the 15 acre loop and activates the collars and stimulation but the range is very narrow – about one foot from the bounday wire. Once the additional 15 acre loop is disconected and the 3 acre reconected the 3 acre loop returns to perfect operational status. All splices and connectors have been triple checked are secure and making good contact. Any opinons on where to look next?

ADMIN – Hi Robert,

Does the 3 acre loop not work when you have the 15 acre loop active?

Jeff April 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I have existing fences for livestock, can your wire run above ground on my fence?

ADMIN – Hi Jeff,

If your livestock fence is not electric, you can run the dog fence wire on the fence off the ground if you like.

james April 14, 2011 at 9:58 am

i will be installing your system underneath major power lines. poles and towers that run overhead. is there a concern with any of your electric fences when they are installed near power.

ADMIN – Hi James,

No, they will be out of range so the it will not an issue.

Patrick April 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm

We have three dogs that we are trying to contain in 1/2 an acre. Two of the dogs are prone to jump our 4 foot fence. When the dogs are not jumping the fence and are actually in our yard, they are always rough housing. We are looking at the SportsDog SDF-100A but I am worried that the fence will not keep the dogs contained. I am also worried that one of the collars could potentially get ripped off or damaged since the collar is so bulky. Would this system be the best to contain fence jumpers or would there be a better system to get?

Admin-Hi Patrick,

We recommend the PetSafe Stubborn Dog. The collars are recommended for dog over 20 pounds and will be strong enough for roughhousing. The Stubborn dogs can contain up to 10 acres. We think the Stubborn Dog system will be the best fit for your dogs. Please view our review page for information about the Stubborn Dog:

Kitura April 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Hi, we just received this system for our yard; we bought it through here and it arrived way sooner than I thought. I am excited to get it set up, but I have a very odd and possibly silly question for you. Will the system signal/frequency effect my implanted spinal cord stimulator? I want to keep my dog locked in the yard…just not me with it. Thank you in advance for your help and advice. Kit

ADMIN – Hi Kit,

The systems work for the most part on radio waves, the same type that are used by an AM radio, so are unlikely to interfere with electronic devices. I am not sure how a spinal cord stimulator works, I would give your doctor a call to check if you are concerned.

Kelley April 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm

What a great website! I’m really impressed with all of the information and the time you have put into it! We are currently looking at the SportDog SDF-100A system. I have two questions: 1) will it work on rural terrain that is wooded and hilly? and 2) we are located right on a river, which does flood our yard. Will this affect the system if the wire is buried in an area that floods? Certain areas of our yard can go about 10-15 feet below water when it floods. Thank you in advance for your feedback! I really appreciate it!

Admin- Hi Kelley,

1)Absolutely, the SportDog system will work great in a rural area. The only issue you might experience is some difficulty installing the wire in a heavy wooded area.
2)The water will not affect the boundary wire. We recommend if the wire is covered by snow or water that you turn the boundary signal to a higher level.

Jodee April 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm

We live on a 200+ acre farm and my house is close to the road. Our new dog (stray) come up one and day and we fell in love with her. The only problem is she like to go bother the lady that lives across the street. We plan on building a house next year and if I get a dog fence can I use it somewhere else? I really would love to just put the fence beside the road and that is it. We live in the country and everyone has dogs running lose. So would the SportDog SDF-100A be good for me?

Admin-Hi Jodee,

Absolutely, the SportDog SDF-100A will work well for your property. The SportDog can contain areas up 100 acres. If you installed the fence where you currently live and then moved in a year, you would either have to pull the wire up or install new wire at your new house.

For the layout you wish, we recommend the Single-Sided layout. Please see our planning page for the diagram.
Single-Sided Boundary (http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#singleside)

Brad March 29, 2011 at 9:57 am

I have an eight month old Bernese Mountain Dog (currently 80lbs.) and I am looking at the SportDog system. We are currently looking at fencing only 3 acres in a rectangular shape with the long side running east and west (property is like a landing strip only 150 wide in the 3 acres before belling out up and over the hill) with the home in the first 1/2 acres closest to the road but would like the ability to fence more but nowhere near 100 acres. We live in rural western NY and at times can have several inches to feet of snow with ice buildup on top. I plan on only burying the wire in the mowed areas and leaving the rest above ground and at times tied to an existing fence line. At the house we have a buried cable for our TV/phone/internet connection and a concrete driveway. Is the SportDog a good system for our dog and our setup? Is 20ga wire acceptable? What do I need to do with the concrete driveway and the buried cable system? The buried cable comes from the NW corner of the property to the NW corner of the house. Do I need to avoid the cable? The dog only enters/exists the home on the back side (west side) of the house but I would like to provide access to the front yard where the cable is located. Thank you for providing the wonderful website!

Admin-Hi Brad,

The SportDog SDF-100A would work perfectly.

1) The 20-Gauge wire that we offer will work great. The wire is very durable and we rarely ever have problems with it.
2) Check out our driveways and pathways installation page for tips on installing the dog fence wire across the driveway.
3) You should not have a problem with the cables. Interference problems with buried cables are hit or miss. The best option is to lay the wire in your planned route and test the system. Test the collar around the house where the power/phone outlets are located to see if you receive feedback.

Vaughn March 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I am thinking about installing the fence above ground and was wondering if the stock wire is built to take large amounts of beating from the sunlight every day since we live in a very dry, sunny area.

Admin- Hi Vaughn,

The 18 and 20-gauge wire that we offer is very durable. The wire is UV protected and you should not have a problem installing the wire in view of the sun.

Linda March 20, 2011 at 9:56 pm

we are looking into using the sport dog sdf-100A invisible fencing for 4 acres with a rhodesian ridgeback. we will be training him with the system as a puppy.
would you suggest the stubborn dog fencing or the sporting dog fencing for this breed or another type?
thanks for your help

ADMIN – Hi Linda,

The good news is that the SportDog fence and Stubborn share the same collar base and correction levels. If you have less than 10 acres to cover, I’d recommend choosing the PetSafe Stubborn fence. The Stubborn fence will work very well for your Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Christy February 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm

We are thinking of putting an underground fence around the perimeter of our backyard. Our yard backs up to a lake. My question is about those times when the lake may rise and cover more of the back yard…maybe 15 or 20+feet. How should we install the wire for the underground fence? We have a 12 year old (70 pound) male redbone coonhound who loves to wander. Also, we have successfully used the Innotek Zone in our house. Is the Sporting Dog collar system compatible with the “zones” in our house?

Thank you!

ADMIN – Hi Christy,

Do you have the smoke-detector size zone that operates on batteries?

How deep will the water get at the point you propose to bury the wire?

Fish February 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm

My SportDog transmitter is labeled SDF 104A. It has the 10k/7k switch. I am using it with two older Petsafe 7K collars that work, but I need to get a new collar for our stubborn Golden. Will an SDF-R collar work 7K? I can’t find any documentation on this. Thanks! — Fish

ADMIN – Hi Fish,

Yes, the new SportDog collar will work on both the 7 and 10k.

george February 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm

While installing my border my installation requires that i run the wire up the side of my home. My question is that I have my Directv cable in that location. Can i zip-tie to that cable?

Admin – Hi George

I would not recommend attaching the wire to any existing live cable. The interference could easily disrupt the signal from the wire. Best to run it independently.
I hope this helps.

Heather February 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Hello! We have three dogs all above 85lbs on 2.5 acres. We currently have an invisible fence installed however, the collars are forever malfunctioning giving me three free to roam dogs. Will this be strong enough to contain? How often will I have to replace or maintain the collars? Are they waterproof?

Admin – Heather

All collars will require a certain amount of maintainence, however all of our collars are very reliable.
Collars with the Innotek systems 4100 and 5100 have rechargable collars making at least that part easier.
The collars are waterproof, dogs are expected to play in the water and rain. Collars are expected to get wet.
And yes the SportDog SDF 100A will be strong enough to handle the 2.5 acres as well as the dog size of 85lbs.

Dave Barnard January 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Thanks for the great information on your website. I just have a couple questions before making my purchase from you. After reading through the various descriptions and comments, I am leaning towards the SportDog system for our dog, which is a 65 pound, 4-yr old yellow lab. We want to enclose about a 3/4 acre area. It appears that the main negative for the SportDog system is the bulky collar. We’re not worried about the appearance on the dog. My question is, does the dog seem to care about this? My other question is about the lack of battery backup for the transmitter. I assume that usually once the dog is trained, that if you lose power for a few hours it’s not much of a concern. Is that correct?
Thank you very much!
Dave;

ADMIN – Hi Dave,

Lets go through your questions one by one.

The SportDog SDF 100A would work fine for you. The system works for dogs 20lbs and up and is a good fit for your Yellow Lab, 12″ to 25″ neck and yes it dos have a more “bulky” collar. Does this bother dogs? I would say generally no, especially on larger dogs. This also somewhat depends on the breed and temperament of the dog.

3/4 of an acre would not be an issue for any of our systems. The SportDog also comes with 1000′ of wire as opposed to the 500′ that other systems include which would cover your 3/4 of an acre.

However, the Innotek 4100 would also be a good choice for you, recommended for dogs 12lbs and up, The system covers the size of your Yellow Lab just fine. Although not a concern, it has a sleek, smaller collar, which is rechargeable, the SportDog collar is not. And as you mentioned, it has a battery backup.

And you are correct, once the dog is properly trained, the loss of power should not be a big concern. The dog will have learned the boundaries and respect those without the need for corrections.

Colleen January 19, 2011 at 8:09 pm

This website has been so helpful! Thank you so much. I do have a question though. I have an 85 lb lab and a 48lb mix, and 2 acres of yard. At first I was thinking that the Sportdog was my best option, but it seems like this one can handle more acreage than I need. My 48lb, 2 yr old is stubborn and so I want to be able to keep him within the fence. I looked into innotek, but the reviews I read said that the collars were flimsy and broke often. Is this true? Which fence do you think wouild be best?

ADMI – Hi Colleen,

The SportDog would be the better choice where you have two dogs that have such a large difference in weight. The SportDog has independent correction, so you can set the two dogs at different correction levels. With the Innotek 4100, all the collars are set to the same correction level which is fine where dogs are similar size and temperament, but makes less sense where one dog is almost double the weight of the second.

Al January 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I have an Akita. She has very thick fur. Will this work for her?

ADMIN – Hi Al,

With dogs with thick and long fur like an Akita, you can switch out the standard probes for long probes (both are included). You will also want to thin out the fur a little with some scissors in the region of the neck. When you fit the collar you want to move as much hair out of the way as possible. Then tighten the collar so that you can slip two fingers under the band, but not three fingers.

You may also want to consider the Innotek 4100 or 5100, they have a feature that lets you know if the collar is fitted right which is very helpful for getting a good fit on a long-hair dog.

Glenn January 15, 2011 at 2:32 am

I am considering buying the SportDog SDF-100A but I will need 1500′ of additional wire. What size comes with the kit, 18 or 20 gauge? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Glen,

The SportDog comes with 1,000 feet of 20 gauge wire as standard. We can upgrade this wire to 18 gauge ($20). When you are ordering, if you select any of the dropdown options for adding extra 18 gauge wire, the price includes upgrading the included wire to 18 gauge. (i.e. we send you all 18 gauge wire, we won’t send you out a mix of 18 & 20 gauge wire)

Jason January 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Does the old SPF-100 work with new Petsafe collars and indoor devices?

ADMIN – Hi Jason,

The Old SportDog SDF-100 does work with the new PetSafe collars (and vice-versa). But, neither the new SportDog SDF-100A or the older SDF-100 work with the indoor zones.

Ray January 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Hello Sir, I have two dogs: Lab (80 lbs) & Beagle (40 lbs). We have always put the Beagle on a leash outside but our Lab has always stayed close to home until recently. She has been wondering off & we live close to the highway, so that isn’t good. We are looking into fence systems. We live on 6 acres and will need to fence in the entire property. There are some additional properties that we will also fence in the future, so have “extra” fence left is a good thing.

All of that to say, I am not sure which fence we need. I’m considering the “SportDog SDF-100″ due to the even correction over the entire fence, but I think the collar might be too large for our Beagle. That is where I am asking for your help. Is it possible to get a smaller collar for the 40 lb dog?

Also, what do the various “gauge upgrades” do? Lastly, I have heard stories about dogs being able to run over the wires with little or no correction?? This concerns me.

ADMIN – Hi Ray,

With that much variation in size between dogs, the SportDog would be a good choice because you can adjust the correction strength on each collar separately. The SportDog collar would be fine on a beagle, but you can use the PetSafe Deluxe collar which is considerably smaller and will be compatible with the SportDog system.

A dog can indeed run through the fence, since the correction only extends for a finite distance on either side of the boundary wire. That is why the training is so important – properly trained the dog thinks the only way to escape is to “turn & retreat” and does not realize that running through is a possibility.

The various wire gauges refer to the thickness of the copper boundary wire. Smaller numbers refer to thicker boundary wire. (i.e. 18 gauge is thicker than 20 gauge) The system manufacturers all include 20 gauge standard and recommend the use of 20 gauge wire. Some people prefer thicker wire, the thinking being that it is stronger and less likely to break. We offer the thicker wire for anyone that wants it, but our experience has been that it is only slightly tougher. Anything that is going to damage the thinner wire (lawnmower, edger, etc) is going to cause the same damage to a thicker wire. The thicker wire is also a slightly better conductor of the dog fence signal, so makes a modest difference if you want to run the fence close to it’s stated capacity (in the case of the SportDog 100 acres).

Brad January 2, 2011 at 9:35 am

I have a sport dog in ground fence system already, not the 100 but the older model. My wife and I recently moved and I believe my neighbor has the invisible fence system or at least that’s what he thought it was called. I was wondering since the new home we bought is in a smaller neighborhood, if I put my wire next to his if it will cause problems? I have noticed the new sport dog system you can change frequencies. But I do not believe I can on mine. Do you think my system will interfere with his? If so is there anything I can do besides move my wire in 10′?? The lot is pretty small so I would like to avoid from making it smaller.

ADMIN – Hi Brad,

When you have a neighboring system, the likelihood of interference depends on the frequency they are set up on, and whether they are operating on AM or FM. With an Invisible Fence brand system, they usually have the ability to switch between two frequencies (but the collars cannot). The best way to find out if you will get interference is to rig up a small section and see if the collars are triggering properly.

If you do get interference there are a few thing you can do:

  1. Move Wire – you can move either your boundary wire of the neighbor’s boundary wire a few feet away so that you get more separation. The total amount of separation depends on how high each fence is turned up. Ten feet is a nice conservative figure, but you can often get much closer if each person turns down their boundary width setting a little.
  2. Turn Down Signal Strength – reducing the signal strength on each system can let two boundary wires that are relatively close to each other coexist without interference (although you still need some separation. Particularly with a trained dog, there is no reason to have the boundary more than five feet out from the wire
  3. Switch Frequencies – either you or your neighbor can switch their base station to another frequency. If you know in advance that your neighbor has an electronic dog fence, it is a good idea to get a system that lets you switch frequencies. These systems include the SportDog SDF-100A (the new model only) and the Perimeter Technologies Deluxe. Most Invisible Fence systems can also switch frequency, but the collars do not – so they would need new collars.
  4. Scissors – furtively approach the neighbor’s fence line at night and slice it in a few places like a ninja assassin. If they repair the fence repeat the process.
Melissa December 31, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I have a 40lb dog, 2-20 lb dogs and an 8lb miniature poodle. I have 2 acres of land that I would like to cover. The three bigger dogs are beagles and a beagle mix and are very stubborn. I also need a crossover for a driveway. What system would be best? I’ve been looking at the SportDog SDF 100A. I’m concerned about it being too strong for the poodle.

Also, how deep does the line need to be buried?

ADMIN – Hi Melissa,

The SportDog SDF-100 or a PetSafe Deluxe system would work well for the three bigger beagles, but you are right that it would be too big and strong for the miniature poodle. For the poodle, I would use a PetSafe Little Dog collar which is compatible with the two systems I suggested for the bigger dogs.

The wire only needs to be buried deep enough to keep it safe from a lawnmower. An inch or two is fine, but you can go deeper if you need to.

Ashley December 28, 2010 at 10:24 am

I have 2.67 acres of land and have 2 german shepherds that like to run away, I was wondering if this fence would be good for them? they are 75-85 lbs dogs….I was reading another customers questions and i have to go across my gravel driveway, do i have to put it in piping of insulated it so that the gravel doesn’t tear it up?
Thank You.

ADMIN – Hi Ashley,

The SportDog SDF-100 dog fence works well with German Shepherds. GSDs tend to need higher correction levels but are quick students and tend to learn the fence quickly with a bit of training and a bit of motivation.

If you have a gravel driveway, I would prefer to see you put the wire in some sort of protective pipe like PVC or old hose pipe, particularly if the wire is near the surface. Otherwise the moving gravel abrades the insulation on the dog fence wire and eventually causes a break in the wire.

keith December 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm

We have a 8 month old bull dog. She has recently started to wander away from out 1.3 acre in town property. She is a bit hard headed, though delightful in all other ways. She is a sweet heart. Our property is sloped and well treed. We want the pup to utilize about 1/2 the yard. Which system would you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Keith,

With a bulldog, I would recommend the PetSafe Stubborn. Often bulldogs, have very high pain thresholds and will not notice unless you give them a strong correction. Of course, all dogs are different, so we would start on a medium or low correction and work our way up only if needed.

Megan November 30, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I have 2, 10 month old German Shepherds and live on a 10 acres. I’m wanting to do the inground fencing for the whole area, but i do have some concerns.This system sounds like a great system to use; and I’m not to worried about the collar since they are large dogs. My issues are: the area is very irregular, how far from the wire is the “warning zone” because it is very narrow between the house and where the fence line would be. Also it would be passing over a gravel road, if i was to run the wire inside a piece of a water hose and placed under/through the road will it interfere with the freq. at all? How do you find if there are any, broken lines or issues? Can you buy extra splices separate if needed?

Thanks! Megan

ADMIN – Hi Megan,

It is completely up top you to set how far from the boundary wire the warning and correction start, you just turn a dial on the base station. You can set it anywhere from a few feet to 10+ feet. I would like to see you set a wider correction zone since you have German Shepherds, perhaps five feet on either side of the wire, although we could do something as small as three feet if we absolutely needed. If you have a narrow side passage, you also need to have another three feet of “buffer space” because your dogs will not want to venture too close to the boundary when they are trained. So to have a useable side passage you would need at least six, preferably eight. If there is not enough space, there are a few work arounds – such as mounting the wire high up on a fence for that narrow section, etc.

For gravel roads, you do want to cover the wire with something like a water hose, or pvc piping – otherwise the wire gets shredded by the sharp stones. This will not interfere with the signal transmission.

The system comes with an extra couple of splices in our Free Wire Break Kit. You can also buy them through our online store, they are about $2 each. In a pinch, you can also use the waterproof wire nuts that are available in any hardware store. To find a line break in the dog fence, you start by inspecting the line and looking for obvious signs of damage (most of the time it is near recent edger, or aerator activity). If that doesn’t turn up the location of the break, the best method for 10 acres would be to use one of these wire break locator kits that lets you hear where the break is located.

For more information on locating dog fence line breaks, take a look at our wire break page.

DeAnna November 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

We have 2 Dalmatian puppies about to be 6 months old (so I don’t know what their individual temperaments will be when it comes to challenging the fence later on). We were looking at getting a wifi fence but we have a metal roof (although it’s on top of a 3 story house so if the unit is on the 2nd or 3rd floor with a line of sight down into the yard, I don’t see how the metal roof interferes with it) In any case we started looking at in ground fences instead however we live in Hawaii and our yard is a lot of lava rock. The whole property is only 1/4 acre and we won’t be fencing in all of it. How do you run the wire so it ends at the house? Won’t you have a wire on both sides of the house that just stop and don’t come together (because I can’t run it through the house) What system do you recommend for us?

ADMIN – Hi DeAnna,

Dalmations shouldn’t pose any problems with training.

I don’t have a good grasp on why having a metal roof interferes with the signal even when you have direct line of site (but it does). Let me reach out to some of the engineers behind the products and see if they can give you a more satisfying answer than “because I said so!”

You do need the wire to form a complete loop, starting and finishing at the control box. If you are only doing only one-side of you yard, the easiest way to complete the loop is run the wire up a downspout – across the gutter – and down the downspout on the other side. The height of the wire above ground stops the dog getting the correction when they enter and exit the house. The Installation–>Planning section of the website has many sample layout diagrams that can help you with your design.

For two Dalmation, an Innotek IUC-4100 is a good choice if you want something smaller with a rechargeable battery. The SportDog would also be a good choice, although a little bigger and with a disposable battery.

Robert Noe November 26, 2010 at 3:48 am

I have reviewed the wired systems and in most of the installation manuals a square or rectangle is shown. Will this work with an irregularly shaped area. I am primarily thinking of a rectangle with a triangular extension. Let me know your thoughts, or if there is one system that is more viable for the irregular shape. Thanks, Bob Noe

ADMIN – Hi Bob,

With the wired dog fences, the boundary can take any shape you want. We just drew squares because it was easier, but you can definately do an irregular shaped boundary.

Sally November 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm

We are considering purchasing the SportDog model SDF-100A but I have a few questions to make sure this is the best model for our needs. We are wanting to confine our dogs to a 60 acre area of our property and our home would be located in approximately the middle of the 60 acres and is where the transmitter will be located. These are my questions: 1) Is there a maximum number of collars that can be used? (we have 2-5, 50-70 lb. dogs at various times), 2) I read in an earlier post that you recommend a larger gauge wire for larger properties…is that what you would reccommend in our case? 3) Is there a maximum distance that I can run the twisted wire from the splits to the transmitter?

ADMIN – Hi Sally,

If you are doing a large area, the SportDog is typically the best choice.

  1. There is no maximum number of collars you can use on the SportDog, or indeed any other wired system
  2. There is a small improvement in transmission when you have the thicker wire. It makes no practical difference for small suburban installation – but when you are doing an extremely large area (larger than 25 acres) it can be useful. This is particularly the case if you get snow accumulation. The thicker wire is by no means mandatory and the thinner wire will still work – but with 60 acres, I think it would be worth doing the thicker wire
  3. There is no maximum distance you can run the twisted wire
Michelle November 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm

We are interested in purchasing the Sport Dog system. Our neighbor uses this system on their dog. Will there be any radio transmission overlaps? In other words, if our wire is running next to his will there be any chance of our dog being able to get in their yard or theirs getting into ours?

ADMIN – Hi Michelle,

Yes will get receive interference from overlapping radio transmissions, unless the wires are more than 10 feet apart. But, the new SportDog model SDF-100A lets you change the frequency at the wall transmitter to avoid interference, so if one of you has teh new SportDog you will be in good shape..

jenn October 31, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Thanks for putting together a very informative web site. I read somewhere else that the SportDog system is compatible with PetSafe collars as well. Is this true?

ADMIN – Hi Jenn,

The SportDog SDF-100 can indeed be used with other PetSafe inground collars. You can use a PetSafe Deluxe, PetSafe Little Dog, or PetSafe Stubborn collar with a SportDog electric fence system and vice versa. One small quirk, the SportDog does not work with the PetSafe indoor zones.

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