Innotek/PetSafe UltraSmart IUC 5100 Review


  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion Collar Battery
  • Includes 100 ft. of twisted wire
  • Includes lightning protection
  • Remote training functionality


  • No independent correction level for different size dogs


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Innotek IUC-5100 Overview

Summary: Dog Fence + Remote Trainer

The Innotek IUC-5100 combines both a dog containment and a remote training system in a single collar. The Innotek IUC-5100 is $40 more than it’s sibling system, the PetSafe Ultrasmart, and gets you the remote trainer functionality plus 100 feet of the twisted wire.

Remote Trainer

The unique feature on the Innotek IUC-5100 is that the collar can be used with the included remote to allow you to correct your dog. The remote has a minimal range so is not useful for training hunting dogs, but is a perfectly functional remote trainer for basic obedience training.

Larger Collar

The tradeoff for the remote trainer is that the collar is about 50% larger than the collar on the sibling Petsafe Ultrasmart system. The collar is only suitable for dogs over 20 lbs.

Rechargeable Collar

The Innotek includes a rechargeable lithium ion collar battery. A charge takes less than two hours and last around a month (in dog fence mode) .

Collar Fit Test

The collar has a inbuilt test to help you check if the collar is properly fitted on the dog. This is particularly helpful for long-hair dogs where fitting the collar can be tricky.

Innotek IUC-5100 Collar

Containment + Training Collar

The unique feature on the Innotek IUC-5100 collars is that it can be used both for containment and correction. If you are going to use a training collar and containment system with your dog, the IUC-5100 lets the dog wear only a single collar.

Training Collar

The collar on the IUC-5100 can be used in conjunction with the included remote transmitter. This allows you to correct your dog by pressing a button on the remote. This kind of negative stimulus is useful as a training aid to reinforce training commands.

Note, that as with dog containment – these remote trainers are only effective when used as part of a structured training program. You need to teach the dog what you do want them to do, and only then do you layer on the correction to teach them there is a consequence for not obeying a command. Correcting a dog without training will only create a fearful dog with no improvement in behavior!

The collar always runs in containment mode. Training mode is activated by holding the collar next to the remote and holding down a button.

Larger Collar

The tradeoff for the additional training collar functionality is that the collar is bigger than the otherwise identical PetSafe Ultrasmart system. To accommodate the extra circuitry and sensor, the collar is 50% bigger, although the weights are around the same (4.4 ounces vs 4 ounces).

The extra bulk of the collar makes it unsuitable for dogs under 20 lbs. The PetSafe Ultrasmart which does not have the remote trainer can be used with dogs as small as 12 lbs.

Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery

The 5100 collar is rechargeable. The sits on a charging cradle to charge. The cradle is included. When the collar is fully charged, the status lights changes from red to green. The 5100 collar requires a 2 hour charge one a month.

The battery and collar have shown over time to last a very long time. This collar has been tested in the field by thousands of customers and has proven to last 6 plus years. Once the collar battery can no longer hold a charge, the great thing is that for around $35 plus shipping, you can receive a new collar.

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3 Progressive Correction Levels

The Innotek Contain & Train has three correction levels when used in containment mode. A few more correction levels would be ideal to allow more customization. However, the correction levels are progressive, meaning that the correction strength automatically increases the further the dog goes into the correction zone.

The correction levels on the Innotek range from low to medium-high and will suit most dogs. Particularly hard-headed and less sensitive dogs would benefit from a stronger collar such as the Dogtek EF-6000 or the PetSafe Stubborn.

Short Training Battery Life

While the battery life is long when the collar is used for containment, battery life is considerably shorter when training mode is activated. When in training mode, the collars need recharging at least every 3 days.

No Independent Correction Levels

The Innotek 5100 does not allow you to set different correction levels for each dog. This can be an issue if you have two very different sized dogs or two dogs with very different temperaments. There is one solution you could use. It requires fastening a resistor to the collar probes to decrease the correction strength.

Rubber Collar Band

The IUC-5100 collar fastens with a rubbery collar band. The fastener is a gimmicky combination buckle and quick-snap style. We would prefer a cloth band and a simple-quick snap collar.

Long, Short & Training Prongs

The basic system includes both long and short prongs for use with long and short hair dogs respectively. The prongs are easily interchanged using the supplied tool to unscrew the old prongs and fasten the new prongs.

The system also includes two yellow caps that can be placed over the prongs to prevent them from correcting. You will use these in the early stages of containment training when you want to teach the dog the new boundaries without shocking them.

Innotek IUC-5100 Remote


The handheld remote allows you to trigger the correction on the dog collar and allows you to use the system for obedience training.

9 Correction Levels + Beep

The remote has 9 correction levels, plus a beep only level. The correction level can be adjusted using the arrow keys on the remote.

The correction level is shown on the LCD screen in the center of the remote. The LCD is not backlit. Which makes it hard to see at night.

Two Dog Capacity

The remote transmitter can control up to two IUC-5100 collars. The transmitter can be set to correct each collar individually, or both collars at the same time.

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Using the collar for both teaching obedience and containment at the same time can ge confusing and overwhelming for your dog. We recommend teaching the containment first, then waiting three months for the dog to become confident with the boundary rules before starting to use the collar for obedience training. Teaching the dog the new containment rules, as well as doing obedience training w

50 Yard Range

The remote has a very limited range of around 50 yards. The manufacturer specifications claim a generous 150 yard range, in practice we find the remote becomes unreliable after 50 yards.

50 yards allows you to use the collar for basic obedience training in your yard or at your home. But, the range is not sufficient to use with your dog off leash at the park, or to using with a hunting dog. For these applications, you will need a dedicated training collar where ranges can exceed 2 miles.

Innotek IUC-5100 Transmitter


The base station powers the dog fence boundary wire and creates the radio signal that is picked up by the collars. The transmitter is the brains of the dog fence system. The Ultrasmart transmitter has all the regular features, plus a few extras.

25 Acre Capacity

The transmitter can create a boundary of up to 25 acres (around 5,000 feet of boundary wire). This makes it one of the highest capacity systems. If you need an even higher capacity, the SportDog SDF-100A can contain a 100 acre property.

Includes Lighting Protection Module

The Ultrasmart includes a lightning protection module standard with the kit. You run the boundary wire into the lightning protection before running it into the transmitter. This module protects the transmitter in case the boundary wire gets struck by lightning. This is particularly useful for large installations in areas where lightning strikes are common. Having the lightning protection included standard is a nice extra that is seen in few other systems and saves you $39.95.

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Adjustable Boundary Only

The boundary zone, the distance between the boundary wire and the point where the collar starts beeping, can be adjusted using a dial on the transmitter. You can set the boundary width anywhere from a few inches to 10+ yards wide.

The correction zone, the distance from the boundary wire that the collar starts correcting the dog, is always set at 80% of the boundary zone. Unlike the Dogtek systems, the boundary zone cannot be independently set.

Battery Backup

The transmitter has a battery backup so it will keep working even if there is a power outage. Insert 8 AA batteries in the back of the unit and if there is a power failure, you get 2-3 days of power before the batteries are drained.

Battery backup is a useful feature in places where power outages are common. But, for most urban dwellers with reliable power this is not terribly useful. If power failures are only occasional, your dogs will not realize that the fence is off.

Innotek IUC-5100 Wire and Accessories
Dog Fence Wire Gauges

Boundary Wire

Direct Burial Rated Wire

The included boundary wire is direct burial rated, having a PET insulation layer that is designed for placement directly into the ground. Direct burial wire lasts longer in the soil than standard electrical wire which tends to disintegrate over time (particularly in acidic soil condidions).

Professional Gauge Wire Available

The standard 20 gauge wire can be upgraded to 18, 16, and 14 gauge wire. 14 gauge wire 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 no-brainer. A modest additional cost reduces the likelihood of you needing to hunt for wire breaks.

For very large installations, the thicker gauges of wire are useful because of their superior transmission characteristics. However, the additional cost becomes significant.

Standard 500 Feet of 20 Gauge Wire

The Innotek basic system includes enough 500 feet of standard 20 gauge wire, 50 boundary flags, and 2 wire splices. The included wire can cover approximately one-third of an acre. Additional boundary kits (500 feet of wire, 2 splices, and 50 flags) are available and can expand capacity up to 25 acres (5,000 feet).

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
25 5,000

Tester Tool

The included tester tool is held against the collar to test whether the system is working. When everything is set up properly, the tester lamp will glow as you take the collar across the boundary line.

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Innotek IUC-5100 One Year Warranty

One Year Warranty

Innotek systems are covered by a limited one year warranty. What this means is that the systems has a limited one year warranty on the system, and then for the rest of the lifetime of the system repairs are made at a nominal charge.

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If you want a single collar with both containment and remote training functionality, the Innotek IUC-5100 is a good bet. For $40 more than the standard PetSafe Ultrasmart, you get a remote trainer which is a great deal.

There are tradeoffs for the added functionality. The IUC-5100 collar is bulkier than comparable training only collars, and the training function is more limited than dedicated training collars.

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Innotek IUC-5100 Video Review

Video: Innotek IUC-5100 Review

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Innotek IUC-5100 Manual

Innotek IUC-5100 Manual

Download the Innotek IUC-5100 Manual (PDF).

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Model Innotek IUC-5100
Type In Ground
Collar Battery Rechargeable (Lithium Ion)
Correction Levels 3 Levels + Progressive Correction
Beep Only Training Mode Yes
Collar Warning beep Yes
Collar Vibration No
Independent Correction Levels No
Collar Dimensions 2.5” (L) x 1.2” (W) x 1.1″ (D)
Collar Weight (with band) 3.8 ounces
Collar Weight (without band) 2 ounces
Collar Neck Size 7″ – 32″
Collar Water Resistance Waterproof
Collar Fit Test Yes
Maximum Number of Dogs Unlimited
Minimum Dog Size 20 lbs
Minimum Age 6 months
Maximum Containment Area 25 acres (5,000 feet)
Boundary Width 0-10 feet (adjustable)
Control Box Dimensions 6” (L) x 5.5” (W) x 2.25“ (D)
Control Box Power Source Wall Outlet (110V)
Control Box Battery Backup Yes
Indoor Pod Compatibility Yes – ZND-1000
Outdoor Pod Compatibility Yes – Pawz Away Rock
Included Boundary Wire 500 feet + 2 wire Splices
Included Boundary Flags 50
Training Materials Manual
Other 100 ft twisted wire, Charging Cradle, Boundary tester
Package Dimensions 12” (L) x 8” (W) x 6″ (D)
Package Weight 12 lbs
Warranty Limited One 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 Innotek IUC-5100 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 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 helps you locate and repair breaks in the boundary wire.

The RF choke causes the dog fence boundary wire to make a noise that you can hear on any AM radio. Simply follow the boundary wire and use your radio to listen for the point where the noise becomes weaker and there you will find the wire break.

Once you have located the break the kit includes: extra wire, two wire nuts, and two waterproof capsules to let you repair the break. 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 Innotek 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

PetSafe Authorized

PetSafe Authorized

We are a Innotek 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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{ 143 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth November 24, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Hi – I’m interested in the IUC 5100 but need two collars. Can a single collar be purchased? If so, for how much?

ADMIN – Hi Beth,
You can get extra collars for the Innotek IUC-5100 in our store. When you click “add to cart” it gives you a chance to configure the system on the next screen. The cost of each extra collar is $110.

Note that you can only use two collars at a time for the remote correction part of the Innotek IUC-5100. You can use as many collars as you want for the containment fence.

Katy November 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Hi, My daughter lives in the state of Michigan (lower northern) and has a large dog (bluetick/mix, more of a hunting dog) that doesn’t like to stay in the yard when she lets him loose. She has been wanting an under ground fence for him so he can have more freedom. I have read up on Innotek, and it has alot of very pleased customers. Can you suggest which company offers the best diy underground fencing? Also, since she lives in a state that is known for cold weather and alot of snow, does innotek still work in these weather climates? Sincerely, Katy

ADMIN – Hi Katy,

The systems work fine in cold climates. Where you get snow accumulation, you just need to turn up the boundary width dial to compensate for all that extra snow that the fence needs to get through. Then in the spring, you need to turn down the boundary width dial once the snow melts. Using an Innotek IUC-5100, in a suburban lot (anything under 5 acres), you can do easily get through a foot of snow.

ron November 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm

How can i test to see if a system will work next to the neighbors professionally installed system? I have a driveway that runs parallel to this boundary with minimal distance between property line. 2nd is there a standard distance that these installations should be to avoid this issue.

ADMIN – Hi Ron,

The only systems that work well beside each other are the one’s where at least one system can change operating frequency. Otherwise, you’d need to keep a minimum distance of 15 separation between shared boundaries. The Perimeter Technologies Ultra and the SportDog SDF-100A the two fence option that allows you to change the frequency.

Fred McMaken November 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm

I just purchased a new home and in the garage I found a radio fence box called “Radio Fence pet containment system”. It was made by Radio Systems Corp. Knoxville, Tenn. I do not have a co;;ar or do not know if it even works. Any info you can provide would be greatly appreiciated.

ADMIN – Hi Fred,

Radio Systems is the owner of PetSafe, Innotek, Invisible Fence, and SportDog, so unfortunately that does not narrow it down a whole lot! Take a picture of the system and send it to us and we can help you figure out what model it is. Alternatively if you can find a model number, that would be helpful.

As far as figuring out if it works, generally the control units last a long time – so you should be fine. To test it, switch it on, and see whether it powers-up and whether the status lights indicate a healthy boundary loop – or if the loop has a break in it. If it shows a break in the loop, then connect a small dummy loop and see if that makes the error light go away.

Melissa November 10, 2010 at 4:48 am

Good Evening,

I am moving to our new property and have 2 labradors of similar size. We are on 3.5 acres with the house situated in the middle of the block. I have a few questions

1. I also have a beach house without fences and need to contain the dogs
2. Is there a remote system I can use and transfer between the 2 properties?? so I dont need to purchase 2 wired systems.??
3. Are the adaptors compatible to Australian use??

ADMIN – Hi Melissa,

The only system that we have that will work with Aussie voltage is the Dogtra EF-3000 Gold (EU Edition). It is nearly identical to the EF-3000 Gold that you can see on our site. Shipping to Australia is around $150 and is not refundable.

You can take all the systems between houses. For the wired systems you need to have wiring in each location, but you can just unplug the base station and take it with you when you travel. I would be careful to write down the setting for each property so that you can restore them when you go back and forth – that way the dogs will have a nice consistent boundary.

Rich Preville November 6, 2010 at 7:09 am

I have a relative with an older IUC-5100 system, bought around 2004-05. Everything except the collar is in good condition. Would the new ones work with the older system? Thanks!–Rich

ADMIN – Hi Rich,

Yes, today’s 5100 collar will work your transmitter.

Lisa November 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I currently have the 4100 and I wish I went with the 5100. I would really like to have the remote. My GSD has been doing great with it for 3 months but am wondering if I can get it upgraded to the 5100. Do I just need to buy a new collar and remote? Or do I need to upgrade the Transmitter? Thank you!

ADMIN – Hi Lisa,

Glad to hear your German Shepherd is doing well on the system. The 5100 system uses different collars and has a remote, but it does use the same transmitter. So you would need to replace the collars and get a remote to upgrade you 4100 to a 5100, but you can keep the control unit.

Laura November 1, 2010 at 9:31 am

HI! I have an 8 month old husky and live on the side of a mountain. I would like to leave him out all day on a wired system so i was wondering if i really needed a stubborn dog system? He is kind of a baby when it comes to pain, but is true to his breed in stubbornness. I also get a lot of lightening here and only see one model with the lightening protection unit. Is that something i can buy separately or do i need to stick with that system? Also do they make long probes on the collars of all the systems.?

ADMIN – Hi Laura,

For Husky’s we always recommend the PetSafe/Innotek IUC 4100 for the reason you mentioned, Huskies are independent but are wimps when it comes to pain so don’t need a particularly strong system. You can simply add in a lightning protection module to your 4100 from the Accessories page. The system comes with long and short probes that you can interchange. The long probes are fine for a Husky, although you may want to thin out the hair around the probe region a little with some scissors to make fitting the collar easy. Since you’re considering the 4100 and lightning protector (which cost $319.95),take a look at the Innotek 5100 which is 319.95. The collar is a bit bigger, but it will not be a problem for your Husky. For the same cost you would also get with the 5100 the remote trainer and a roll of twisted wire.

Mike October 28, 2010 at 1:41 am

Hi, I would like to install the 5100 in my yard. My yard has a neighbors fence on one side. I do not wish to attached the wire to the fence because I don’t trust my kids not to damage the wire. If I run the wire underground at the base of the fence can I put it inside a pipe so my dog can run right up to the fence without receiving a correction. I was thinking of using metal electrical conduit. I appreciate your advice.

ADMIN – Hi Mike,

If you have a neighboring system you are likely to get interference. You may want to get a system with adjustable frequencies instead so that you can avoid interference from the neighbor’s system. Two good choices would be the SportDog SDF-100A or the Perimeter Ultra.

You can run the wire through conduit, but I would avoid using long stretches of metal conduit. PVC pipe works well. I also really like using old hose pipe or the flexible black pipe used for sprinkler systems.

You can set the fence up with any boundary width you want. But, it is hard to train the dog unless you have at least a few feet of correction before your dog reaches the fence. If the wire is going to be at the base of the fence, there would be no practical way to let the dog get right up to the fence. The only way to let the dog get right up tot he physical fence is to either have no boundary wire in that section or to put the wire on your neighbor’s side of the fence.

Robert Coleman October 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

Is the collar for the 5100 model waterproof? How much wire comes with the system?

ADMIN – Hi Robert,

Yes, the 5100 collar is completely waterproof. It’s even safe if your dog jumps into the pool.

Austin October 20, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I have a 7 month old American bulldog. I have about an acre fence in backyard, and he is digging through under the chain length and destroying my vinyl privacy fences. I want to wrap the yard with underground fencing. I also would like to keep him off the backporch to keep him from getting to our shoes. Which would be my best fence to go with? I’m thinking the 5100. What type of boundry should I start with, and how long will it take for him to know his boundaries?

ADMIN – Hi Austin,

The easiest layout would be to wrap the whole yard in a big loop and then train the dog. A couple of weeks later when the dog is trained, either add a secondary loop to protect the porch and shoes – or add a pawz-away outdoor zone (the fake rock looking thing – to protect the shoes. I find it easier to train dogs on a simple layout – then add in extra little bits later once the dogs have it down.

The IUC-5100/4100 would be a good choice, if you wanted to use the outdoor zone. Another one worth considering would be the PetSafe Stubborn – sometimes the bulldogs need a little stronger system to feel the correction.

Kristin October 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Hi! I have a 9 month old GSD puppy, and 11 acres, partially fenced in “hot” wire for my horses. I am considering purchasing the IUC 5100, but am concerned over instalation. I read on another website that the wire MUST be in contact with the ground, but above you state it can be zip tied to an existing fence – in my pasture areas, I would like to be able to run the fence wire on the posts already installed for my horse fencing, for several various reasons (I pratice rotational grazing, so the dog’s boundarys would be easy to move to coincide with the horses for one…). Can I do this? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Kristin,

We recommend that you keep a minimum distance of 6 feet from the electric fence. For 11 acres I’d advise 10 to 15 feet separation considering you’ll be setting a wide boundary width. If your fence was not electric, it would have been okay to attach the boundary wire to it. Large surface area metal is the type of metal to avoid as well as utility wires in general.

Mélanie October 16, 2010 at 6:28 am

I am really interested in purchasing this fence but I have underground electricity, phone line and cable. Will it be ok if I install the wire in a parallel direction as my electric line but at least 10 feet from it? thank you

ADMIN – Hi Mélanie,

Ten feet of separation is fine. I would only start being concerned with six feet or less of separation.

Often you can even get away with having the wires all right on top of each other. The reason we separate wires is that sometime when you have parallel wires close together, the dog fence signal jumps into the other wires. So you get the dog fence signal going everywhere the phone wire goes. That rarely happens, but if you are going to run wires close together (less that six feet), you just need to test it – after you have layed out the wire, use the collar to test around the house to see if the collar is triggering where the wiring runs or where the power/phone outlets are located. If you do get this happening, you just need to play with the dog fence layout a bit to either get more separation or angle the wire more so that it is less parallel.

But for you, since there is ten feet of separation you don’t even need to do this step.

Michelle October 14, 2010 at 6:54 pm

I am interested in purchasing the fence for our 40 pound beagle. I’m just a little confused about the installation. Is the wire buried in the ground?

ADMIN – Hi Michelle,

The wire can be buried at 3 inches in the ground, stapled to the lawn with lawn staples, or even attached with zip ties to existing fencing. We have customers do all 3 with one boundary. Some staple the wire in wooded areas and bury the wire close to the home.

Tony October 4, 2010 at 11:08 am

I have an IUC 5100 system for my two dogs. Introducing the dogs to the fence, the Ridgeback showed strong recognition to the boundary. The very hairy, Australian Sheppard/Border Collie mix walked back and forth over the wire trying to understand the beeping sound. Is the only way to get the system to work for the second dog involve shaving part of her neck?

ADMIN – Hi Tony,

I would make sure you have the long hair probes on the 5100 collar for the Aussie/Collie. I would also trim a little of the fur with scissors. You don’t want to shave the neck, just thin out the fur a little where the probes contact the skin. Then put the collar into the fit test mode and get the collar on right. The first couple of times are tricky, put one you get used to it and know what it should feel like it is easy.

Paul Whaley October 4, 2010 at 12:31 am

Hello, I am attempting to select the appropriate system for my chocolate lab who continually roams my road. He is about 80lbs and growing at 1.5 y/o and I live in a wooded area with 1.5 acres of yarded property. I dont have many requirements for a system other than it needs to work well since he is extremely active. I have been thinking about a wireless system but am really unsure the pro/con of wireless vs traditional buried wire. I am unsure about using rechargeable batteries however I would like whatever system meets the above scenario and is going to work effectively for our needs. Can you please provide some information? Regards Paul

ADMIN – Hi Paul,

With a Labrador Retriever you have a lot of options, they are generally both easy to train and receptive to the correction. I would definitely use a wired fence, they work a lot better. If you want something rechargeable, the Innotek IUC-4100 is a good choice. If you want something with a remote trainer, the IUC-5100 is a good choice. The SportDog SDF-100 is a good choice if you want a system with a disposable battery (it uses a regular 9V battery). The SportDog has a little bigger collar. Both are good reliable systems. Combine either with steady training for the initial two weeks and you should have a happily contained (although still hyper) chocolate lab.

tony September 27, 2010 at 3:14 am

We have 2 Huskies, 1.5 year olds. they are fixed but still dig under the fences to get out all the time. they are brothers and almost same size. because we can’t exercise them everyday, they get crazy and dig. they yard is all dirt, so digging a wire is ok, I just do not want to deal with it. I saw a company that has a WIFI transmitter that seems cool too. What do you think of those?

ADMIN – Hi Tony,

If you’re considering wireless, my recommendation is the Havahart. It is by far the best wireless system on the market. The Perimeter Technologies WiFi system doesn’t work all that well and if you’re considering the PetSafe Wireless, you mine as well go with the Havahart cause you can create a much larger boundary, the boundary line has the least amount of fluctuation, and the collar responds the quickest among the other wireless brands.

Bob Kirchner September 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Very helpful information. My neighbor and I are considering putting in a IUC-5100 system covering both of our yards. Our dogs love to play together. I have been unable to find any information on the ability to order a second remote trainer – cost and how to order. Any information you can provide would be geratly appreciated.

ADMIN – Hi Bob,

Unfortunately, the remote trainer for the 5100 can only be purchased with the fence. We can sell the extra collars, but the remotes are not sold separately.

Debbie August 31, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I noticed that you said that the control box should be kept above freezing. I live in north western wisconsin. My garage is attached to the house but it defiietly is below freezing in my garage many days during the winter. This is where I plan on keeping the control box. Is this going to be a problem?

ADMIN – Hi Debbie,

Beyond the review, I’ve contacted Innotek directly. Freezing temperatures will not be an issue. The key is to install the wall transmitter in a place that is safe from wind and rain. This makes the garage a great place to install it. We sell these units to customers in every climate in the U.S. and Canada. I haven’t heard of any transmitter issues from our customers resulting from extreme temperatures, so you should okay to install in your garage.

Jill Zimmerman August 25, 2010 at 11:02 am

Hello- I did a bit of skimming on both the Innotek 4100 and Innotek 5100 and didn’t find anything that really jumped out at me so: What is the difference between the two?

ADMIN – Hi Jill,

The 5100 adds remote correction. This means that the 5100 has a little remote control that can be used to correct the dog by pressing a button. Remote correction training is popular with people training hunting dogs, we find it less useful for training non-hunting pets.

The base stations of the 4100 and the 5100 are exactly the same. The collars look similar for the 5100 is about 50% bigger than the 4100. The collars are intercompatible for use as a dog fence, but only the 5100 collars can be used for the remote correction.

The 5100 also includes the lighting protection and 100 feet of twisted wire in the box, these are optional extras on the 4100.

Chris August 9, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Can anyone tell me if I was to put the radio wire thru an electrical conduit if the frequency will be cancelled? I already have a natural fence on one side o fthe property and my dog goes along the fence line to go the bathroom in the trees. I do not want to disscurage this but need to complete my loop for the system. I was thinking that if I put the radio wire in electrical conduit, that would cancel out the signal????? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks Chris

ADMIN – Hi Chris,

Unfortunately the signal cannot be blocked consistently by electrical conduit. You could try running the wire along the top of the fence to complete the loop. If the wire is high above the ground, the signal will not reach your dog on ground level.

Laura August 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I am considering a 5100 system but only one of the dogs would need trained with the remote. Would a 4100 collar work for the second dog which I do not plan to remote train? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Laura,

Yes, you can use a 4100 collar with the second dog that you don’t plan to remote train. The IUC-4100 collar is compatible with the IUC-5100 system. The 4100 collar will be a bit lighter and a bit cheaper so is a better choice for dog’s that you don’t need the remote training.

Susan July 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Hi I am thinking about getting the Innotek 4100 but I like the idea of being about to page the dogs when I want them to come in which the 5100 would be able to do but we have 4 hunting dogs that are use to the dogtra training collars… We have an 2 English setters, a springer spaniel and a mixed lab springer, setter. Would this be a good choice to keep them all in a 2 1/2 acre yard? And be able to get them to come in when I want them to?

Thank you for any advice

ADMIN – Hi Susan,

The 4100/5100 would be a good choice for containment for those dogs.

The 5100 is competent but not great in remote mode and has a number of limitation that may make it less useful for your application. First, the useful range of the remote is only about 100 yard, it is nowhere near as powerful as a dedicated Dogtra training collar, which may not be far enough in your property. Second, the remote only has two channels – so you could not control each of the four collars independently. Third, for the remote to work, the collars have to be in training mode and that severely reduces their battery life from about a month between charges to about three days.

Kate June 17, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I have had problems with one of my large dogs (suspected lab/mastiff mix) jumping the 3ft chain link fence of my backyard. I will be moving in a couple weeks to another house which also has a 3ft chain link fence. I am wondering if it is a good idea to begin to introduce the fence at the time when he is first learning terrain? Also, if I intend to run the wire on the fence, do I still need the flags to mark the boundary? Or will he recognize the fence as a boundary even though he has jumped the fence many times before at the old house? Do you think the 5100 is a good choice?

I am also wondering if it is possible to setup a “forbidden” area inside the house, using the same collar to provide correction and some kind of add-on? I would like to train both him and my other dog, a lab, to stay out of a particular bathroom so that my poor cat will have an area of peaceful enjoyment. I’m not sure I could use the remote for this, because he clearly knows or senses when I am within hearing range, and only ransacks the kitty litter box when I am not aware he is doing so. If there is such a thing, would it be better to introduce it at the same time as the outdoor fence?

ADMIN – Hi Kate

Hi Kate,

(1) I would install the fence when you first move in. It is always easier to be consistent with the new boundaries than to introduce new rules later on. But, no big deal either way.

(2) Where you have an actual physical fence there is less need to use the training flags. I still like to use them. They are an extra reminder and let the dog know how close to the fence they can get. It is also very useful to have the dog trained on flags in case you move or go to a vacation house … once a dog recognizes the flags it is very easy to teach them other locations. But, again no big deal either way.

(3) Either the Innotek 4100 or 5100 would be a good choice for a lab/mastiff mix.

(4) To keep them out of an area of your house, use one of the indoor pods, they create a small area that excludes the dog. Using the remote is a bad idea for training the dog to stay out of certain areas. Because you are not always around it is hard to be consistent. At best, people usually just end up training the dog to be a sneaker (teaching them not to do something when they are around but that they can do it when you are not looking).

Nikos June 9, 2010 at 10:35 pm

We are going to be moving to an 8 acre property that will have both our house on it and a working nursery. Is it possible to make 2 separate zones of coverage — one being our 3 acre backyard, and the other being the entire 8 acres. We have two dogs — an Australian Cattle Dog (5) and a Vizsla/Giant Dachshund Mix (2). The reason behind this is to have the flexibility to allow the dogs access outside in the backyard (and out of the nursery) when vehicles and equipment are in use in the nursery. When there is no activity I would like to open up the rest of the property to allow them to have access to the entire 8 acres.

Is this possible to do or do you have any other suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Nikos,

You can run two separate boundaries and alternate which loop is plugged into the transmitter. The other way would be to run two transmitters.

Chuck May 2, 2010 at 12:17 pm

We just became became owners of a 3 yr old Australian shepherd mix. So far a great dog except that she loves to chase…….. anything including cars. We live in a rural area with all kinds of wildlife so we are looking for a yard containment system that will handle a dog that’s on the move. She weighs 55#. Also is the 5100 compatible with deep snow? Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Chuck,

With a fast moving dog that likes to chase like an Aussie, if possible you want to set up the system with a nice wide boundary, particularly during the training phase. That way the dog cannot easily run through. When trained right the dog should rarely if ever run through the fence line so will not realize that running through is a possibility. Particularly with dogs like this, you want to spend a few days at the end of training testing the dog with it’s trigger points to make sure they learn that they must obey the boundaries when they get excited. (so get a confederate to drive by in a car, or to walk their dog past). The best way to help a dog overcome a particular trigger point is to work with them with that trigger point. Your are lucky because Aussies are smart and quick learners so it should be a quick process.

There are a few good choices with an Australian. The Innotek IUC 5100 or PetSafe Ultrasmart would both be a good choice and are rechargeable. The PetSafe Stubborn, or a SportDog SDF-100 are also good choices that are a little bigger, but also a little cheaper.

You can increase the boundary width on the control box when the snow starts accumulating to compensate for the depth of snow cover. Where snow is likely to be an issue, get a unit that have a capacity well above what your need. For example, the 5100 and Ultrasmart can do 25 acres, but if you know you need to crank up the boundary width when it snows don’t use it when you are doing more than say 12.5 acres. Similarly, the SportDog is rated for 100 acres, but if snow is an issue, don’t use it for more than 50 acres. You can also use a thicker gauge of wire to help increase the boundary width to help you get through snow.

steve May 1, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I plan on using 1000′ of 12 gauge solid wire. I only want my dog to access the back yard. So I plan on running the wire close to the front of the house for my complete loop. However it would be running parallel and adjacent to low voltage lighting wire which I believe is DC. With this interfere with my system?

Also I want to mount my transmitter in the garage but I wont be able to see it all the time to check for errors. Which system has error lights built into the collar?

ADMIN – Hi Steve,

Low voltage lighting rarely causes system interference, but sometimes with parallel runs of wire and low voltage lighting, the electronic dog fence signal gets into the lighting cable, making everywhere that cable runs effectively part of the dog fence boundary. If you do run those parallel sections, you want to make sure to test to see if this is happening, and if so moving the boundary wire.

Unfortunately, none of the systems tell you if there is a boundary breakage at the collar. But most of them (like the Innotek 5100) have an alarm that sounds at the base station to alert you to the break.

Gordie April 27, 2010 at 2:43 am

Trying to decide between a 4100 or 5100 for my 7 month old Golden? I wanted to use the remote in the large fields attached to my property, mostly for getting his attention and to respond to my come command. He gets at least 2 walks per day. Don’t need the Zones for the house.

ADMIN – Hi Gordie,

Both the 4100 and 5100 would be a good choice for a lab. The difference in collar size is not going to be a big deal, and the price difference is small (especially if you needed the twisted wire or lightning protection anyway). I would go with the 5100. Just be sure to wait a few weeks until the fence training is complete to start on the remote training; and try and work with a friend or trainer that has experience doing remote training for your first couple of sessions. You have to use the remote trainer in a very structured way for it to be effective.

bob barry April 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm


Admin – Hi Barry,

The Innotek 5100 does not need any booster for use with 1,500 feet of wire. You can do up to 25 acres (5,000 feet) of wire without any issues. The collar takes between one and two hours to charge. A charge is good for about one month on just containment mode, and is good for about three days in training mode.

Steve D April 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I have a 14 week old golden doodle puppy that I am shopping for. I wasn’t sure at what age would be safe to start with the invisible fence. I was hoping to install the system myself and do the training too. Also two of my friends have a fence system called DogWatch and mentioned getting that so my pup can enjoy off-leash play time at both locations. I have hundreds of flags to re-mark the other yards for training at multiple locations. I didn’t see any reviews on the dogwatch system and was wondering if anyone was current user of it. Im going to need 420′ of the boundary wire and 90′ of the twisted wire of what would be the best system for my dog. I was thinking of just getting a remote collar and line the yard with flags and do the training as if i had installed a fence there… the issue with that is I don’t want to rely on my older parents to have to look for a remote when i travel and give corrections at the wrong time. but that seems like the easiest install. a trip up to my brothers with a remote and a couple dozen flags makes me feel like i can have a fence anywhere. Im lost on what to do and im sorry for being all over the place with my comments and ideas. any help would be great

ADMIN – Hi Steve,

I would like to see you wait till the pup is six months old. Before that, most dogs aren’t mature enough and don’t have the attention span for the training to be effective. If you have already worked with teh dog and they can confidently do a sit/stay/come, then you can start a little earlier. The IUC-4100 and the IUC-5100 would be good choices for a golden doodle.

DogWatch is full service company that does installations. If you want a system compatible with your friends, it would be worthwhile giving them a call to get some information from them. They make good products, we hear good things from their customers.

I would avoid trying to teach the dog with just a remote training collar. It rarely works. Because nobody is patient enough to watch the dog all day, you end up being very inconsistent and at best you just end up teaching the dog not to escape while you are watching. But, once the dog is trained on a proper fence system, you can sometimes (but not always), do a temporary fence with just flags and the training collar. (e.g. we have some people that set up a temporary fence when they take the dog camping or on vacation)

Jim March 29, 2010 at 10:33 am

I’m trying to decide between the 4100 and the 5100. I have a Lab/Retriever mix and likely will not be training him with the remote but I was wondering if it would be useful for times when we bring him places where he isn’t fenced. Will it just confuse him or can it be used effectively at a friends house for example? Typically I just bring a stake and a leash when we visit and that works fine but I was wondering if the remote would work to give him a little more freedom.

ADMIN – Hi Jim,

Once the dog is trained, you can often get quite impressive containment results just by plonking the flags down when you take him to a friends house. You can even do a quick training session on the new property boundary. Often, but not always that will be plenty to keep the dog contained. You could definitely reinforce the flags with the remote, but you would have to keep a watchful eye on him, the remote is of course no good if you aren’t watching the dog. Again, that will not work for every dog, a fraction of dogs are just going to learn to wait till you are not looking to make a bolt for it.

I would avoid using just the remote without the flags. Our training philosophy is that the dog should no exactly what they are supposed to be doing before you correct them. If there is no clear demarcation for the dog of where they should not go, correcting the dog tends to lead to general fearfulness.

Emily March 21, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Can you plug the 5100 transmitter in inside your house?

ADMIN – Hi Emily,

Yes, all the systems plug into a regular 110v wall outlet. Most people will put the transmitter either hidden away in the house (I like to use a closet) or in their garage.

bob barry March 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I am an above-knee amputee with a shepard/retriever mix that I am training with a sportdog field trainer400. Is there any underground fence, or other system, that would work with this collar and transmitter? Is it true that 16G wire would last longer than 18 or 20G that comes with most systems? I would need to install about 800 to 1000 ft. Also, would it be better to staple or bury wire? I have to go under a gravel driveway and deal with some wooded area.

ADMIN – Hi Bob,

Afraid that none of the systems will work with any of the dedicated training collars, like the SportDog Trainer400.

Our experience with wire has been that it does not make a big difference. The most common cause of the wire failing being cut by a mower or edger. It does not particularly matter what gauge you use, if a mower hits any wire it is going to sever it. As for wire degrading in the ground, the jacket is more important than the gauge, you always want something that is rated for direct burial. I encourage people to save their money and get the thinner 20 gauge for the vast majority of installations.

Shelly Floyd February 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I’m trying to figure out if this will work on the back part of our property. We’re in Florida, and the back half is swamp 3-4 months of the year. During the rainy season, it can fill up to a foot deep with water. If we install our wires when it’s dry, will they continue to keep our Border Collie/Black Lab mix in the yard when it fills with water? Or will it somehow short out the signal? This dog loves water, so I know that she’ll be out there in it. Thanks in advance for any advice!

ADMIN – The wire does not mind getting wet. Try to keep any splices out of the waterlogged area (but not the end of the world if you can’t). The signal still transmits through water, but you may want to increase the boundary width a little when you get those rains to compensate for the water depth.

John Alberts February 3, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I just purchased an Innotek 5100 from you guys and spoke to Bob Holmes in the process. He recommended a hunting dog training book for help in using the remote with the collar. I looked on Amazon but wasn’t sure which book he meant. Does anyone there know the title or author?

ADMIN – Hi John,

The book I liked for showing you how to use the remote correction with your dog was “Training the Hunting Retriever ” by Robinson. I am sure there are lots of other good one I have not read. If anyone else has suggestions, I would love to hear them.

phillip January 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm

i have a st. bernard and was woundering if this will work because he is about 200lb

ADMIN – Hi Phillip,

Considering going with something with a little more powerful correction, like a PetSafe Stubborn. An IUC-5100 will probably be fine — st bernards are usually motivated by the correction, but do need a higher correction than say a lab due to their size. It is hard to tell how any individual dog will react, if you think he is going to be sensitive to the correction go with the IUC-5100 and we would be happy to swap it out for a stubborn is it proved insufficient. If he is a little tougher, start out with the stubborn.

Angela January 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm

If I already have the fence can I purchase the remote trainer seperately?

ADMIN – Hi Angela – you can purchase remote training systems separately. Or you can get an IUC-5100 collar separately and the remote control separately. But you cannot use a PetSafe Ultrasmart collar with the remote control — you need the larger 5100 collar, only this has the receiver built in.

Julie December 20, 2009 at 11:56 pm

I already have the standard ultrasmart fence. The collar went bad and I was wondering if I bought the collar and remote extra for the 5100 system would it work with my PetSafe Ultrasmart existing system?

ADMIN – Hi Julie,

A collar and remote from the 5100 would work on an PetSafe Ultrasmart system.

K Hayward November 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm

I have an older Husky (13). She has started both digging under the fence and destroying door jams over the last year. I am both worried about her safety if she gets out but also about the property we are renting. Primarily I want something that will keep her in the backyard but allow her in the house. Secondarily, I would like to keep her away from the doors unless she is coming inside. What is the most effective way to do this? I was thinking the remote training collar and the invisible fence. Suggestions?


A dog fence would work well to keep her in the yard. You could use the indoor pods to keep her away from the doors, or alternatively a “scat mat”. The remote training doesn’t have great results for this kind of thing because you have to be around to observe and correct the behaviour which is usually not the case, especially with huskies who tend to escape only when left alone. Even if you are around, the dog just learns not to dig at the door while you are not around. You really want something more automatic to keep them away from doors like the indoor zones pods (you can get them on the Innotek IUC-5100 and on the PetSafe inground systems), or a scat mat.

Nicole October 21, 2009 at 11:02 pm

How do you change between dogs with the one remote control? Is it something where you can do it as your out and about or is it a toggle switch type under the back cover?

ADMIN – Hi Nicole,

The remote control has a button on the front that switches the mode from one dog to another. You press it once and you get dog A, press it again and you get dog B, press it a third time and you get both dogs.

Michael October 10, 2009 at 8:50 am

I’m thinking about getting this for our Lab and Golden Retriever. It’s nice that it allows two collars and the dogs are the same size so it sounds like it will work well. I like having the remote control for training but how does that work with two dogs/collars? If I correct one, does the other get a shock/tone as well? Can I select which collar is connected to the remote?

ADMIN – Hi Michael,

The remote control lets you select each dog separately or both together. So you could correct one dog, but not the other. (note that you can only do this with two collars at a time, it does not work with 3+ collars)

Nichole October 3, 2009 at 7:54 pm

We have a 30 pound Beagle and a 60 pound lab that we would like to get a fence for. I see that the PetSafe Ultrasmart isn’t set up to have different settings for dogs of such different sizes, but none of the other Pet Safe models seem to meet our needs either (rechargable batteries, waterproof collars, etc.) Can the Innotek 5100 model accomodate dogs of different sizes?

ADMIN – Hi Nichole,

The IUC-5100 is not a good match for dogs of different sizes, since you cannot independently adjust the correction level for each dog. If you want something rechargeable, the best choice would be the Dogtra EF-3000 gold. It is rechargeable and lets you set the correction level for each collar separately.

Al July 20, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I saw the quote below on another review…have you heard of this issue before with neighboring underground fences? If so, does it apply to the Petsafe Ultrasmart as well?

“Because of the zone feature in the 5100 model, the collar will not work if your neighbors have installed a inground training fence. Our neighbors have a non Innotek professionally installed system. We installed the Innotek 5100 and the collar disables itself within 15 feet of the lot line – system works fine on the other three sides. Innotek’s solution for this is to move our fence more than 15 feet from the shared lot line, considering our fence is currently only 12 feet from the house on that side of our yard, this is impossible. I do not understand why Innotek would make no mention of this in the instructions or even in small print on the box, so customer could avoid the effort of installation for no reason and frustration of trying to troubleshoot the issue.”

ADMIN – Hi Al,

None of the systems like being near another fence. You can usually get within six feet unless you neighbor has their fence set to a really wide boundary. Then you need to ask them to narrow their boundary width a little. The best systems for this problem are the Perimeter Technologies Ultra systems, that you can switch to multiple frequencies to try and avoid interference.

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