How Does an Invisible Electric Dog Fence Work?

How Does an Invisible Electric Dog Fence Work?

If you are a true dog lover looking for smart dog fencing solutions you have probably already considered in-ground or wireless dog fences. Even if you haven’t – you might be familiar with the struggle of choosing the best option for your canine well being. I’ve been there, and I know how it does feel. We have already discussed about all types of dog fences there are. And what to consider before getting one. This time I want to guide you through your options and help you make the right decision getting an invisible dog fence.

How Do Invisible Electric Dog Fence Works?

All invisible electric dog fence units come with an individual dog collar with the receiver installed in it. It allows the signals transfer when your dog is about to cross your property boundaries. Depending on the fence type you have, the receiver can send audio alerts, initiate a static warning. Also, it can provide a combination of both when your dog gets too close to the place borders you’ve established.

The reason why these fences are called electric is because of this static warning that dogs receive. To be clear, it is mild electrical stimulation. That is being sent to get the animal’s attention and interrupt their behaviour. Some of you may ask if it’s safe and there are a lot of discussions. Yet, there is a simple solution to prevent this stimulus and make sure your dog won’t be scared – it’s training. Another essential detail is to buy the right collar that suits your dog size and weight.

Getting back to how does invisible fence work it’s important to notice that there is a slight difference depending on your fence type. Underground electric fences are installed with the wires buried in the ground around the set perimeter of your property. Dog’s collar (with the receiver on it) communicates with the transmitter connected to the wiring and sends signals along the buried wires. Then the dog, approaching to the invisible fence boundaries, receives a signal to stop – a sound that only it can hear. If it’s not being stopped by this alert, it might receive a static warning if it continues to go.

With the wireless fence type, you don’t have to dig your yard and bury the wires in the ground. Instead, a wireless transmitter communicates with your set boundaries. Usually, it’s a circular area, and then constantly sends signals to your dog’s collar when it is in a safe zone. The difference comparing to a wired underground fence is that your pet will get a warning sound. And later the electric warning, when the signal is lost. It means it is only going to work when your dog gets out of the safe zone.

Types Of Electric Invisible Dog Fences

As I mentioned before, there are two types of electric invisible dog fences. Both of them serves different dog and their owners needs. There are also different manufacturers who offer a variety of various fence features. Nonetheless, I’m going to look at both of the pros and cons in general.

In-Ground/Wired Dog Fence

The main advantage of getting in-ground (wired) dog fence, of course, its invisibility and easy maintenance. Another good thing is that the perimeter of your fence can be customised. You can even fence your pool with the same wire). So compared to a physical fence you get more flexibility here. Also, it can stop your other dogs or cats from going outside the yard by receiving signals from the same, single transmitter. You need to purchase in-ground receiver collars for multiple pets.

But, there is another side of the coin. First of all, you will need a professional to help you install the fence. And this is why the fence’s price is automatically rising (not to mention the repair cost if the wire breaks). Also, it’s very similar to physical fencing as this type of fence is not portable. It only provides the security in your yard you set the boundaries in.

Wireless Dog Fence

Wireless dog fences use GPS or radio signals to send boundaries. Unlike a wired dog fence, it’s portable. It doesn’t need digging and complicated installation. What’s more, the boundaries can also be adjusted to your needs. For example, you can program specific areas as avoidance zones. And are not permanent. So this means you can change it anytime or take it while travelling. Everything else is like a wired fence type.

The pros here are few but quite essential. Usually, it only emits a circular boundary and can fluctuate to a small degree. Another thing is that the weather conditions can affect the radio signal for boundary lines. It means you are not getting a full-proof even if you make done everything else right.
dog running and playing with the ball in the back yard

Why Get A Wireless Dog Fence?

Invisible electric fences are great in many ways. It’s aesthetic – it lets you keep an open yard style and convenient – requires less of your time to set it up and maintain it. Moreover, if you are looking for the easiest solution, a wireless fence type can be the one. Why? Here are more of my observations:

  1. Reasonable cost. We all know that some of the neighbourhood regulations can be harsh for getting a fence that you want. Also, some of the materials can empty your wallet if you have a bigger yard or want to have a solid fence. Besides, you also would be required to repair or repaint your fence once in a while. And it only makes the price for the fence to grow every year. In the meantime, prices for wireless dog fences start from a couple of hundred US dollars.
  2. Flexibility. Invisible wireless dog fence can cover areas in a pattern that a physical fence couldn’t. It’s also adjustable and portable. You can change the boundaries of your invisible fence quite easily.
  3. Control. Active dogs which are more likely to jump, climb, dig or chew through fences can be taught new commands and learn to behave better. As a result, you can have a well-contained dog.
  4. Safety and Protection. It reduces a human error possibility. Because the system is always tracking the pet’s movement and sends the signals.
  5. Eco-friendly. No constructions, no waste. You can also choose rechargeable batteries for the whole system to work.
  6. Dog-friendly. It’s a reasonable option to keep your dog safe and let him wander free. It also enables you to keep your dog away from other animals or people (of course if a dog is trained correctly).

What to Consider when Buying a Wireless Dog Fence?

Let’s say you already convinced to buy a wireless dog fence. However, if you want to purchase a qualitative product and be happy with your decision. You need to make sure you are aware of a couple more things.


While shopping for a wireless dog fence you don’t need to forget it usually provides only a circular shaped boundary. Which means it won’t be the best option for an oddly shaped yard. They also are more active in smaller property areas. Less than 20 square meters. So you will want to measure and determine the range of your area before purchasing it. Last but not least – some of the users say it can have difficulties to work well on the bushy and hilly landscape.

Containing or Repealing

Some pets owners want to protect the specific area in their property for a dog not to enter it. For example, if you have a little garden, a pool or kids’ sandbox you want to keep your dog away, you have this opportunity. The only thing you need to do is to get a transmitter that will emit and affect a range that is an off-limits zone. You will be notified with an alert in no time when your dog comes in this zone.

Buried Wire

Good news for those, who don’t want to install a wired fence for the whole property boundaries. But also do not qualify for a wireless fence. Some of the manufacturers offer a hybrid fence. Which has both wireless and wired fence features? So if a circle shaped fence isn’t a good option for you, you can consider this possibility.

Range and Containment Areas

As I mentioned before, you are not very flexible with your containment areas if you choose a wireless dog fence. If you want to design your own fence shape but still buy an invisible fence, a wired underground fence here would be the best option.

Containment Combination

The fence only is never a solution to keep your dog from running away. Especially when there are no physical boundaries. For this reason, you are obligated to train your dog. If you want to get some support, you might ask a professional for help. Or choose a whole system that can help you prepare your pet. There are so-called dog behaviour e-collars that can serve you pretty well.

Tidbits about Wireless Receiver Collars

Even though the collar is safe for your dog, there is a limited time to wear it. Make sure your dog is not wearing it for more than 12 hours at a time. Being some time without it can reduce stress. Also can discomfort for your canine companion especially if you have just begun to train your pet. Moreover, the collar can irritate and inflame your dog’s neck. So you should also have to clean your dog’s neck and the contacts points of the collar regularly. You also need to leave a gap between the collar and your dog’s neck around three fingers width to protect your pet from injuries. For this reason, you should never put a leash on the collar and let your dog walk or run by your side.

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Is It Effective?

The effectiveness of invisible wireless fences depends on a few factors:

1.Your preparation.

2.Your love to your dog.

The only limitations which can prevent your wireless dog fence from working properly are the total ignorance of the leading fence’s features. For example circular boundaries. Furthermore, wireless dog fences work well only in wide and open spaces. And if your house has many metals outside, it can cause some problems with signal transmission. Also, you can’t expect that it will prevent other animals or people from entering your property and teasing your dog.

If you want a wireless fence to work for you, the critical factor of success depends on you. You need to be prepared to pay some extra time and attention to your dog while training and working with him. So that it can understand the signals and commands the system is sending.

Is It Safe For My Dog?

You can find a lot of controversial discussions about the safety of this product. Many people are still using the “shock collar” term to describe the outcome. Outcome a dog is receiving while using electric dog fences system. However, this term is outdated as it was used decades ago. Indeed those collars back then were powerful and had a few levels of the electric impulse to chose from. Right now technology has solved this problem. The static correction your dog is receiving is instead a small discomfort to distract his attention than a severe intervention. What is more, a well-trained dog might not be getting a lot of this electric stimulation as the system’s first alert is always a sound.

Importance Of Dog Training

Your dog’s training is essential. You don’t need to be worried that you’ll have to spend countless hours trying to teach your dog to adopt the new fencing style. On the contrary, dogs are brilliant animals, and they can be trained quite quickly and easily. However, you need to be consistent and patient.

The training sessions should not be longer than 15 minutes. Try to make it as fun as possible so it wouldn’t be stressful for your dog. You should also try putting the collar on your dog’s neck a few days before regular training. So that it wouldn’t associate the static corrections with a collar. Otherwise, it might refuse to wear it. Remember, you can’t be harsh and will have to adjust to your dog’s learning pace.

So Is A Wireless Dog Fence Right For You?

Despite a few limitations, a wireless dog fence can be the best option if you:

  • Need a fence for your dog, but hate big projects taking place at your home.
  • Would rather spend some time training your dog than building or digging your yard.
  • You are tech savvy and are interested in modern solutions. Want to keep your yard open and see a happy dog running in it.

So if this sounds something like you, you should go and add a wireless dog fence system to your purchase list.

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