The Best Invisible Fences
If you want to protect your pet, an invisible fence is a great choice. Here's the best invisible fence for six situations.
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Wired or Wireless
A wide selection of invisible fences are available for almost any need. Virtually all fall into two categories: wired and wireless. And if you don’t want an invisible fence, there are other options to keep your beloved dog contained too.
Wired systems create a barrier with a loop of wire, while wireless systems send out a radio signal from a central transmitter. In either case, if the dog strays beyond that boundary, they’ll receive a corrective shock from their collar.
Here are six invisible fences that might serve your specific needs.
Best for Renters
Renters are often hesitant to install anything that can be viewed as damaging or disruptive, in case it affects their security deposit down the road. Or they may simply want to take it with them when their lease is up. If that’s the position you find yourself in, we suggest you look at a DIY wireless invisible fence. They do come with limitations such as signal radius, which may not cover all of your property, or extend into a neighbor’s. That’s why it’s important to look for a device with an adjustable safe zone. This wireless unit from PetSafe allows you to customize the diameter of your fenced zone from 10 to 180 feet.
Best for Large Properties
With coverage up to a staggering 100 acres, this in-ground wired system from SportDog allows you to create a virtual playground where your pet will be free to roam, unhindered. If you’re looking at a larger fenced-in area, then the cost difference between an in-ground wire and a physical fence becomes even more dramatic. (Note that the basic kit shown comes with a smaller amount of fencing. It’s modular, and scales up easily to the size that’s right for you.)
Best for Hunting/Hiking Dogs
Wire loops or radio signals are fine if you’re at home or in a single location. But if you’re on the trail hunting or hiking, then you need the expanded range, mobility and pin-point accuracy of a GPS invisible fence. From GPS leader Garmin, this system allows you to track the whereabouts of up to 20 dogs (or party members), and create geo-fences to alert you when they stray or trapped their prey up a tree.
Best for Small Dogs
The weight and shock level of some collars make them more appropriate for larger dogs. The PetSafe Stay and Play invisible fence is designed for dogs as small as five pounds. With additional features such as water resistance and easy re-entry, this is a great system to consider for that adorable mini-Houdini.
Best Solution for Custom Shapes
Twisted strand wire nullifies the signal area around the wire without breaking the connection with the rest of the fence. You can use it to extend your invisible fence inward without creating a barrier that triggers your pet’s receiving collar. Once the wire run reaches an interior obstacle, like a swimming pool or flowerbed, simply switch back to regular straight wire and you can create an inner barrier as well. This allows the invisible fence to take on a doughnut shape, and allows for customizable boundaries throughout your yard.
This wire isn’t an all-in-one kit, but a useful accessory to a DIY invisible fence. It’s also worth noting that you can also create this effect by hand twisting a length of wire onto itself. But the pre-twisted wire is a great time saver, especially for longer runs.
Best Solution for Difficult Terrain
Most invisible fence boundary wire is buried a few inches below ground, deep enough to prevent damage from foot traffic and lawn mowers but shallow enough not to interfere with the signal. But not all ground is convenient for burying wire.
Above-ground wire is perfect for rocky terrain with many obstacles. With reinforced sheathing and a thicker copper wire, it’s able to withstand harsh weather conditions, abrasive sunlight and normal foot traffic. This is a great way to save installation time and cost, and a perfect choice to avoid tunneling under hardscaping or cutting channels across concrete sidewalks.