Smart Dog Inground Pet Fence HT-023

Pros

  • None

Cons

  • Poor Quality
  • Lack of features
  • Thin wire
  • Knock-off of an subpar system

Rating

Retail Price

$69.95

Our Price

$49.95

Availability: In Stock

Orders before 1pm ship same day

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The unbranded Smart Dog system is a bare bones offering, priced at around the $50 mark and creeping into independent discount stores. It is one to avoid.

The Smart Dog HT-023 bears more than a passing resemblance to the Innotek SD-2000 Smart Dog. One would imagine if you were going to produce a knock-off, you would at least knock off something a little better. We understand trying to produce a cheap version of say a Rolex, but why would you want to make a knock of a base model Timex? The Timex is cheap enough, why would customers take the risk of buying the knock off.

Like the SD-2000, this system has a single correction level that is proportional. This limits the usefulness of the system since you really want multiple correction levels to be able to adjust the collar in response to the dog's reaction.

Even more limiting is the inconsistency of the unit. The demo unit we purchased was highly variable in when and if it warned and corrected when approaching the boundary line. Using a second collar, we got better results although still the occasional inconsistency suggesting the problem is in the collars not the base station.

The collar is powered by a 6V battery disposable battery. Life on the collar was above average at about 4 months. The unit comes with 1,000 feet of boundary wire which seems great until you realize that it is so thin that it can be snapped with a medium strength tug With the 1,000 feet of wire are only 20 flags.

Summary: Complete junk at an extraordinary price. If the factory was going to imitate a product they should have chosen something better to imitate and done a better job of it.

We first came across the Smart-Dog system in early 2009 when we were looking to create our own brand of dog fence. This no name brand made by an anonymous factory in China was spotted in a trade show by a buddy. An incredibly cheap system with all the basics for less than $30 wholesale, including 1,000 feet of wire. Wow. 1,000 feet of wire on it’s own with no system costs us $30. We had a demo unit sent to Dallas and were pretty keen to see it in action. Not only would they sell us units for $30, but they would brand it for us with custom packaging even for a pretty small order quantity like 5,000. From the photos the system looked like a very close knock-off of the Innotek SD-2000. We figured the Innotek and PetSafe low end systems were dead meat. Our first clue that something was off was the shipping bill, the box was much lighter and cheaper than we expected for something with 1,000 feet of wire. The units are amazing and disappointing at the same time. It is as advertised, a basic dog fence that works. I am amazed that they can make one of these systems and sell it to use for $30. This is only a second generation unit and it was close to working. There is a third generation unit in the wings, although it is not yet available, it looks even better with adjustable correction levels and progressive correction – features you would expect on a $200 system. But, the problem is it just did not work consistently enough to put on your dog. The wire does technically contain 1,000 feet, but it is 28 gauge wire that is so thin it could be mistaken for a roll of yarn. When we tried using it with a trencher it snapped immediately and was completely unusable. Try putting this in the ground and you will get so many breaks that you might as well be trying to work with fuse wire. There are technically boundary flags, but only 20 of them, so you cannot mark an area much bigger than a garage. There are minimal instructions, no training dvd, no warranty, no support. The box is comical, done by someone that clearly has no clue. It pictures a scene of the Austrian alps, with two Labrador Retrievers pasted on and with shadows drawn in that have curiously freed themselves of the constraint of matching the body of the dog to which they belong. clearly do not match the bodies. Give the developers a couple more generations and they will catch up, but it just doesn’t work yet. Not even close yet.

Collar

Smart Dog HT-023 CollarOne Correction Level The collar on the smartdog has one correction level but are progressive so the correction level increases when the dog gets closer to the boundary. The collar fills a touch flimsier than most, like it is made of a thinner more brittle plastic. The collar looks water resistant but not waterproof.

Disposable Battery

The battery takes a standard 6V battery that can be replaced by removing a slider on the back of the collar. When using the collar, it behaved inconsistently, not always registering the signal at the same distance from the boundary wire.

Collar Band

Strangely the collar strap is very short. The strap will fit dogs under 60lbs, but could be tight for anything bigger.

Transmitter

HT-023 transmitterThe HT-023 control box is a basic design with three status lights and a boundary width knob. The three lights tell you when the system is plugged in, when the collar is function properly, and when there is a wire break respectively. Like the collar, something about the control box plastic feels very then and brittle although there is not reason for the control box to be made very well, for most people it will be hidden away and not exposed to any stresses.

Boundary Kit

The system comes standard with:

  • 1,000 feet of boundary wire (28 gauge - very thin), enough for about one full acre
  • 20 boundary flags – there are ridiculously few flags included with the system.
  • 2 wire splice - used to join sections of the boundary wire

Instruction Manual

HT-023 box sideConsidering all the typos on the outer packaging, the included instructions are well written although short and basic.

Warranty

No warranty is mentioned and we think that it is a safe assumption that you get no warranty with the system. But, given the price - purchasing a new system is not particularly onerous.

Model

Smart Dog HT-023

Type

In Ground

Collar Battery

Disposable - 6V

Correction Levels

1 Level + Progressive Correction

Beep Only Training Mode

No

Collar Warning beep

Yes

Collar Vibration

No

Independent Correction Levels

n.a

Collar Dimensions

2.5” (L) x 1.2” (W) x 0.7" (D)

Collar Neck Size

0"-12"

Collar Water Resistance

Waterproof

Collar Fit Test

No

Maximum Number of Dogs

Unlimited

Minimum Dog Size

12 lbs

Minimum Age

6 months

Maximum Containment Area

Unknown

Boundary Width

0-8 feet (adjustable)

Control Box Dimensions

??” (L) x ??” (W) x ??“ (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 (28 gauge)

Included Boundary Flags

20

Training Materials

Manual

Other

No

Package Dimensions

??” (L) x ?” (W) x ?" (D)

Package Weight

4 lbs

Warranty

None

For the Smart Dog HT-023 Manual click here. (PDF)

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Renae January 31, 2014 at 12:14 am

Hi admin we’ve purchased the 023 kit offline and we are happy with it for our beagle just the battery only last a few weeks in the collar.. we just had alot of rain and the collar has died I am wondering if we can purchase a collar that will suit this system we’ve already got??

ADMIN – Hi Renae, unfortunately, there is no add on collar to buy for that system and there are no compatible collars available.

rebecca December 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Hello, we just bought the Electronic Pet Fencing System online. We set up and tested it. Only one of the collars actually sends a correction. How do I get another collar? Thanks.

tim July 20, 2013 at 12:45 am

ours goes off right round the walls of the house for no reason we have set up the basic single wire loop with new upgraded wire and i have even tried running it off the gen set and taking the loop way away from the house to make sure its not the house wiring feeling a bit annoyed about now

Zsolt Szakaly May 27, 2013 at 9:40 am

Hi, We need an AWG24/AWG30 wire wrapping wire for 023 Electronic Pet Fencing system but We are in Hungary. Have you any distributor or reseller in this part of Europe? Pls. be kind let me know how we can purchase it. Best Regards: Zsolt from Hungary

ADMIN – Hi Zsolt,

Afraid we do not ship wire to Hungary (it is heavy and you are much better off buying it locally). You should be able to get the wire locally at a local electrical supply retailer. You just need any single conductor, direct burial rated wire.

FYI – You can use any gauge wire with this system. (Thicker wire is better, the 24 and 30 gauge wire that comes with the system is much too thin and will not last)

Belinda November 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Hi I just purchased a hidden electric dog fence, put it all up, tested it all, working fine, then came out today only to find that the lovely little wild rabbits we have have chewed through parts of the wire. Does anyone know if I am able to reconnect the wire in the broken spots using a connector or do I have to purchase a whole new ream of wire? Haven’t even had a chance to test it with my dogs yet! Any help would be much appreciated.

ADMIN – Hi Belinda, Yes, you can definitely splice the broken wires together and it will work. I highly recommend raking ground cover over the wire to protect it from further rabbit damage.

Gail August 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Hi, I too am just finding this review AFTER purchasing and installing. It has worked fine for the first week and now both the OK and power lights are on but I get a chirp and the break lights up about every 30 seconds. My question, is there any way to determine where in the yard the problem is coming from? I have a double loop running approx over 1 1/2 acres. And of course I used the wire that came with the system. I can’t seem to get the collars to activate unless I’m over top of the transmitter box.

ADMIN – Hi Gail, in our estimation, this system isn’t worth troubleshooting. One, the system itself is not reliable and two the wire will not hold up long-term. It is just too thin. However, if you want to locate wire breaks on your fence, the best product for this is the PetSafe Wire Break Locator. You can find this product on our store by clicking on the “PetSafe” title on the menu bar.

ben rush April 28, 2012 at 9:39 am

Well I got this system and applied the collar like it said. The little joker of a collar is junk and fell apart in 20 minutes ….You get what you pay for people ….In my case, I got junk ……

dansler April 10, 2012 at 7:16 am

Je vient d’intaller l’emetteur mais le clignotant rouge bip es ce que c’est normal merci pour vos commentaires.

ADMIN – Hi Dansler,

A flashing red light is not normal, that indicates there is a break in the wire or the system is defective. If you have a good circuit, the light should be solid red. You can test that the system is working correctly, by connecting a small dummy loop of wire to the transmitter and checking to see if you get the solid red light.

Peter O Neill March 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Hi – Unfortunately I am only reading your review now when I have a problem. I purchased this unit with two collars for 120 dollars in Ireland. I laid down all the wire taking about one day. The system seemed to be working when I eventually joined all the breaks in the wire. I tested without putting on Dogs and decided I would try them following day. The receiver is working but neither collar is receiving and therefore useless. Glad I didn’t get them on my American Aikita and Irish Red Setter. I am heading to shop tomorrow to buy The Pet Safe system with two collars which is going to set me back another 400 dollars. Should have done this first and saved myself grief.

Sandi January 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Thank you for this site and your review on the Smart Dog product. I was considering buying this, even though it was clearly a knock-off, because I’ll be using it in a fenced area to help train our young lab/pit not to jump over lower fences within the property and not to rush the perimeter fence in his frenzied barking fits at passing people and dogs.In this situation intermittent performance (not always correcting when it should) wouldn’t be dangerous, and I figured on upgrading the wire anyway. HOWEVER, the reported problems with unpredictable correction (when not near the perimeter) and unpredictable voltage has changed my mind on this.

So, now I’m looking for an alternative. I have a suburban lot, so less than 1/4 acre, and also have a second dog (less of a problem, but should be consistent). I’m definitely on a budget, and don’t necessarily need something that will last forever, but certainly need something safe (for our dogs and our 6-yr old) and would ideally like a collar that can also be used with a remote training system.

Incidentally, can a Motorola walkie-talkie be (safely) programmed to be used as a remote training transmitter?

ADMIN – Hi Sandy,

Happy to make a recommendation. A good inexpensive system for a pit/lab mix would be the PetSafe Stubborn. The collars on that system are also among the cheapest, so if you need to add the second dog that will be helpful. The Stubborn is a good system, the collars are on the large side but that should not be a problem with your dog.

I have not heard of anyone converting a Motorola walkie-talkie into a training collar transmitter, but that is not to say it cannot be done. Afraid that is way out of my realm of competence.

Michelle January 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I purchased the 023 from Ebay a few months ago for my 2 dogs (a lab/chow mix and a shepherd/border collie mix). Other than needing new batteries about every 2-3 weeks, it worked really well until just here in the last week or so. It has begun beeping at the transmitter as if there was a break in the line at odd times (most often when it rains), even though no break can be found. Also despite new batteries, the collars frequently only beep if they are literally laid on the wire (unless they are very near another electronic device such as computer or printer). I have never had the problem some have described of dogs being shocked indoors because I followed the instructions and removed the collars when they came in (not like you really need them inside anyway). In trying to figure out what is wrong with the stupid thing, I realized that the booklet says to plug it into a 240 volt outlet despite the plug only having 2 prongs (as a 110 should). What is the discrepancy with that? I realize there probably isn’t much I can do about the occasional transmitter beeping, but Until I can get the funds for a better device, would replacing the collars at least solve the problem with them not warning/correcting the dogs? Either which way, I have come to realize that this was a wasted $50 as far as be fully reliable at containing my lab/chow mix (she’s ok as long as it works properly) , although it did last long enough to get my BC/shepherd mix to stay in the safe area even without collar regardless of temptations.

Dawn November 14, 2011 at 11:08 pm

I completely agree with Sue Staff. My collar shocked my dog even when he was in our garage 20 feet from the line. It randomly beeps at/shocks him and he is so confused where he is allowed to roam on our property. I hate this system!! Tonight I thought maybe his tags on his collar hitting the electronic collar were to blame and just to check my theory, I held the collar against a metal scoop shovel, IT WENT OFF!! Again, holding it against the metal clip on his outside leash made it beep. It shocked him so badly a few days back when we pulled our grain truck up to the house that I could hear his cries in my basement and he was outside!! He was shaking in fear when I found him hiding in the far corner of the garage. Who can I contact to tell them their equipment is faulty? It has ruined my dog!! He is now timid and is scared of his own home!!

ADMIN – Hi Dawn,

Yes, the Smart Dog HT-023 is a sham product that does not operate safely. We advise everyone to stay away from this product and look to Innotek and PetSafe for reliable, pet friendly dog fence products.

Unfortunately, the Smart Dog HT-023 is an overseas product. There is no way to make contact with the manufacture. We had to get our sample through eBay for the review video.

Again for others reading, do not buy this product. It does not work. For an entry level dog fence on a tight budget, look at the Innotek SD 2000 which is $119.95: http://www.dogfencediy.com/reviews/innotek-sd2000/

Xaydin November 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I bought a cheap 3 collar system. Just because it was cheap!! lol. After buying I read the reviews on this and just was disappointing I bought it. Wrongful Shocking, stuck on shock, and even a claimed “death” (but personally I thought it was her fault)

But I didn’t skimp on the wire. I bought 1500 meters of 18 gage wire. Just because if it didn’t work I could buy a new system without needing to upgrade wire to cover my 3 acres of swamp. Story shorted. It’s JUNK, hasn’t been able to work right once. If I blow on it, it will beep but walk all over the line and nothing happens. The main box says there is no breaks.

But my question is my line is about 14ft from the (street) sized power lines and about 18ft below them. How would I know if the utility lines were interfering? I’m looking at sports dog 100acre model, so should I just wait and see how the sports dog works or is there something I can do a head of time? My system is a simple Perimeter set up.

ADMIN – Hi Xaydin,

There will be no problem with that much distance between the powerlines and your boundary line. Overhead lines are never an issue.

If you were much closer (within 6 feet), what you would be on the lookout for, is to ensure that the dog fence signal was not jumping into your electrical system – this causes all the wiring in your house to act like the dog fence and trigger the collar. But again, this should be a non-issue for you.

john good September 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Hi, I have a question. There are so many inground fences made by many manufactures. I have 2 acres and an adult Dobie and 2 four months old pups. What is the best inground system that my money can buy ? Also I want a heavier gauge wire like an 18 or 16 gauge wire. Can you help me ? looking for a great system. Not sure where to go!

ADMIN – Hi John,

Are the pups dobermans’ as well. If so, the Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice, as would the PetSafe Stubborn. Both are good reliable systems that should not have any problems with 2 acres or a doberman. The Innotek is a smaller, rechargeable collar. The PetSafe is bulkier and uses a disposable battery but is a bit cheaper.

All the systems come with 20 gauge wire standard, but can be upgraded to 18, 16, or 14 gauge when you get to the checkout page.

PS – if you wait till the pups are 6 months before training them, they will train much faster and the process will be much easier.

pete f July 30, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Why didn’t I read this website first. Just received second collar from supplier as first one stopped working as soon as it was put on the dog. Second one is dead now, no lights no beep no charge. Seems to be electrode section of receiver, when opened up and disconnected from charging unit then collar will charge. However, same thing will happen again. Anyway, the bottom line is…. It’s cheap for a reason, and that reason is ….. It’s crap…!

Heather July 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

HI there,
Thanks so much for all of the valuable information on your site! I recently purchased an inground fence system for my dog. Yesterday, I put the wire in the ground with sod staples and when finished, the box indicated that we were ready to go. Well, as soon as I started testing the collar, it was a little “iffy”. It seemed to work after we kept adjusting the box and when the dog came too close to the boundary, it would beep. But in the house and even on our covered porch, the collar just beeps and sends corrections. Some corrections are mild and some are stronger. It is no where near the boundary line. I even tested it outside and it just seems to beep and send corrections spontaneously. Does that mean there is a malfunction? The collar has no adjustment setting on it. The box has an on and off knob that you can adjust. This was a cheaper model bought from ebay and there really isn’t even a namebrand anywhere on the unit itself. Now I am a little nervous that we bought something that may not be great. If that is the case, would I need to buy a new collar and unit? Could I still use the same wire that took me hours to put around my house with another unit? Thanks a lot, Heather

ADMIN – Hi Heather,

We reviewed a couple of the cheap generic models like this one and found similar variability – where the boundary would move or the collar trigger for no apparent reason. I would avoid using them, I certainly wouldn’t use them on my dogs.

The wire on all systems can be used interchangeably – you can plug any transmitter into the wire and it will work fine. Note however, if it was the very thin thread like wire that you get on some of the thinner systems, you might want to replace it now – it does not tend to hold up very well in the ground. It will not make any difference for the transmission of the signal – it will just be more prone to breaks particularly in acid soils.

CaliO June 16, 2011 at 12:36 am

I have been suckered in just like everyone here. I have bought it via ebay but yet to install it. I was just going to upgrade the wire to at the least 20 gauge because this system in going on 3 acres But now I’m reading all these shock story’s and not working. I’m having second thoughts.

The problem I have is I have 3 dogs I need to contain and 2 are “sensitive” or ‘better trained’, and the other is an older temperamental male. Ranging weights from 70lbs to 140lbs and still growing.

I’m just real afraid of the thing shocking them while we’re at the kids soccer game. The whole point is to give them indoor/ outdoor privileges while protecting our yard and livestock.

But has anyone have experience after upgrading wire size or using any other methods.

Liz Q December 26, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Whats the alternate collar? I wouldn’t mind a smaller/better one.

ps. Had to lol at Sue Staff fake story, seriously,the battery doesn’t put enough out to put you in hospital , let alone do much more than a tiny buzz on a dog :D

ADMIN – Hi Liz,

There are some much better alternatives depending on your dogs breed, temperament, and the size of the property. If you want something smaller and better, the PetSafe Little Dog is a good choice for dogs under 12lbs and the Innotek Ultrasmart IUC-4100 is a good choice for dogs over 12lbs.

We have no idea about the truth of Sue’s story. But, one thing to note – all the dog fence systems can put out a stronger correction than you would think based on the small battery. They use a capacitor to store up a lot of charge over a period of time, then let it out in very short burst to give a more intense correction.

For example the PetSafe Stubborn can have a very small correction despite having only a 9V battery. Many of us as kids have licked a 9V battery and got a slight tingle – the zap from a PetSafe Stubborn is much stronger than that tingle despite coming from the same battery.

Jennifer August 27, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I too purchased this item on ebay. Wish I had seen this first. This item does not work at all. I thought I had it set to give my dog enough warning before getting zapped, but half the time it didnt work. When I turned it up slightly, it started beeping before I even got out of the door. I am currently looking for a replacement fence and wanted to know if I can use the wire that is already in the ground with a different system? Does anyone know?

ADMIN – Hi Jennifer,

That Smart Dog wire will work, but is really flimsy and the insulation is not right for in ground installation. This means that it is prone to breaking and corroding out – in the long term (about one year depending on your soil type) it will need to be replaced. But you can make do with that wire in the short term.

Melody August 1, 2010 at 11:03 am

Does anyone know where we can buy another collar?
The one that came with the fence doesn’t beep at all anymore and only shocks my dog.
We’ve already installed the fence, so we now need a collar that will work with it.
Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Melody,

Unfortunately, you’re best bet is to look on Ebay. I don’t think anyone sells the collars separately.

Sue Staff July 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Any help you can get in stopping this item from entering the US would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to gather information on this to turn over to the CT State Attorney General’s office, the CT Humane Society, the Better Business Bureau, and a LAWYER.

Our son purchased this “invisible fence” from an individual on E Bay. He says he tried to contact the person and got nowhere,.

On Thursday, this is what happened: While trying to acclimate the dogs (he has a German Shepherd and I have a Shepherd Rottie mix), the system started “announcing” way before the boundaries. My dog was INSIDE OUR HOUSE when my husband came home from work and turned on the tv with the remote control.

Instantly, both dogs began screaming and thrashing about on the ground. I never want to hear screams like that again, and cannot get it out of my head. My dog was being “electrocuted” by the cheap damn system and almost went through a sliding door to get away from it. Of course with the collars on their necks, that was impossible. I grabbed her and as I unclipped the collar with one hand, I wrapped the other hand around the collar itself.

I myself was shocked to the point where it short circuited my heart. YES, IT DID. The fire department, police and ambulance responded and I was transported to the emergency room of our local hospital. The doctors there were unable to find any information out about this system.

I AM FURIOUS and also had to spend 24 hours in the Telemetry Department of the hospital on a heart monitor. My BP shot up to 227 over 127 and the ambulance had to pump me full of nitro before being able to safely take off.

The trauma, expenses and effect this has had on everyone in this home and our doors is inexcusable. Someone needs to be held accountable for htis and will be if I die trying to do so.

Had my son perhaps seen your website before buying this from E Bay, it could have been avoided. I am totally furious and like I said, want satisfaction for this.

Please help as much as you can and spread the word about this incident. The ER doctors said if a small child had been “zapped” by this, there would have been an almost guaranteed fatality.

How products can enter the US from China without proper testing and registrations is dumbfounding. Their literature should be composed according to EPA, CPSC, etc. regulations and the distributor should be listed clearly on the packaging so that they can be contacted by US authorities.

Thanks for your help and please spread the word.

Craig June 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I just installed mine. What a peice of Junk. I wish I would have found this site first. It is so inconsistent. Sometimes it correct and sometimes it does not. I thought that I had it adjusted and so I put the collar on my dog and the thing shocked him no matter where he was in the containment field, even in the middle. I will not subject my dog to such punishment again. The people that made this ought to be brought up on animal cruelty charges.

rosa May 2, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I just installed mine … my fingers are crossed. so far so good the collar functions fine i just need another collar wish me luck.

John February 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I totally agree…..I have had nothing but problems with the collar and wire. I had the collar replaced once already and the one I have now doesn’t produce any audio signal. Mine also goes thru batteries every 6 weeks or so.

Lexi January 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I completely agree. I bought this on eBay. It took about a month for them to send it to me and it didn’t working a week later. I wish I read this first.

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