Dog fences are indispensable tools in preventing our dogs from running away. It also protects our pets from getting ran over by a car or chasing passers-by. But the question is this: which is better wired or wireless dog fence? With so many dog fence options in the market, the answer isn’t simple. But in this post, I will help you weigh the two options to see which one suits your pet better.
Here, I will discuss each type’s pros and cons, installation requirements, and limitations to help you decide.
Which is better wired or wireless dog fence?
Both wired and wireless dog fences are helpful in containing a dog within your yard. However, it largely differs in the way you install it and how it works. The choice depends on the level of accuracy, convenience, and customization you want to achieve.
Wired dog fence
Wired dog fences use a physical wire buried under the ground for 1 to 3 inches deep. You need to create a loop around your property where you can contain your dog. Both ends of the wire will then be connected to the transmitter, sending signals to the receiver collar.
Pros of wired dog fences
- Higher accuracy. Since it has actual wires buried on the perimeter, wired dog fences are more reliable and accurate than wireless types.
- Highly customizable. Another great thing about wired fences is that you can customize the borders you want to secure. You can make a loop in different shapes as long as the wires won’t get cut.
- Maximizes space. Since wires are flexible, you can run the wired fence up to the deepest corners of your property.
- Better coverage. Many wired dog fence systems can cover a few acres and not just hundreds of feet. This makes it a better choice for large properties.
Cons of wired dog fences
- Difficult to change the configuration. If you wish to change the coverage of the fence, you’d have to dig up the wires and reposition them. This can take a lot of work, especially for large systems. The same goes when parts of the wire that requires repairs or replacements.
- Labor intensive. Unlike wireless systems, a dog owner will have to do more work to install a wired fence. You have to dig a trench, bury the wire, cover it up, and set up the transmitter. Solid structures like paved patios will pose a challenge in laying the wire.
- Higher cost. Since wired fences use more materials and labor, it will definitely cost more. Wired fences can cost as much as $2,000 or more for big yards.
Wireless dog fences
On the other hand, there are wireless dog fences that bank on its convenience. Unlike wired types, there’s no wire to bury. Instead, it has a transmitter that emits a circular perimeter from where it’s installed. And just like a wired fence, this connects to the receiver collar through radio signals.
Pros of wireless dog fences
- Easy to install. A wireless dog fence system can be installed within minutes. You just have to mount the transmitter in a safe area and connect it to the collar. Installation is a breeze.
- Portable. You can bring a wireless dog fence almost anywhere. You can use it when camping or vacationing with your dog. As long as there’s a power source, this containment system will work.
- Easy to adjust. In case you want to adjust the size of the perimeter, you can easily do so by adjusting it on the transmitter. There’s no need to dig up the wires and reposition them.
- Affordable. For those on a budget, wireless dog fences are the easy choice. It’s way cheaper than wired fences. In fact, you can purchase a wireless system for a low as $200.
Cons of wireless dog fences
- Prone to interference. Metal objects like roofs, poles, walls, and sidings can interfere with a wireless fence’s signal. Electronic devices like radio, television, and mobile phones can also affect the accuracy of this system.
- Limited perimeter adjustments. With a wireless dog fence, you’re stuck with a circular containment. There’s no way you can reach the corners. This is why you have to be careful not to go beyond your yard when setting the limits.
- Limited coverage. While modern options have a bigger coverage, most wireless fences in the market can only manage a few hundred feet. Unless you install two systems, the coverage is pretty limited.
With all these pros and cons, you’d surely ask: what is the best option. Both works, but for specific conditions. If you own a large yard, you’re better off with a wired fence. It’s still invisible, but you have to deal with more work.
On the other hand, those with small spaces will thrive in wireless fences. Still, some opt for wired types if budget isn’t an issue. In the end, it’s all about your preference and what works for your dog better.
I also want to mention that if your area gets thick snow each winter, a wired underground dog fence may not work properly. Most of these systems only have 2 to 3 feet of vertical signal field from the wire to the collar. If you get thick snowdrifts, the signal might be erratic. In this case, you should consider having a wireless fence as a backup.
Which is better: DogWatch vs Invisible Fence?
Aside from PetSafe, two of the most popular wired dog fence brands in the market right now are DogWatch and Invisible Fence. Both offer topnotch products, but many dog owners wonder which one is better.
DogWatch is a provider of underground pet-containing systems. They’ve been in the business since 1990 and use their patented FM signal for their hidden fences. They also take pride in their SmartFence system that you can monitor through your smartphone. Currently, they offer the SmartFence, ProFence, and 1200Fence packages.
On the other hand, Invisible Fence is the pioneer brand when it comes to electronic dog fence systems. Its founder, Richard Peck, was the inventor of the first-ever electronic dog fence back in 1973. With over 45 years of experience in the industry, Invisible Fence is considered an authority for pet containment systems.
Right now, Invisible Fence offers four systems: Boundary Plus Smart System, Boundary Plus Wired System, Outdoor Shields Plus Solution, and Boundary Plus GPS Wireless System.
Below, I’ll take a quick rundown of both brands to see what works for your pet best:
These two providers primarily differ on the signals they use to connect the transmitter and the collar. For DogWatch, they use their patented FM signal while Invisible Fence utilizes a digital signaling system. Of the two, pet owners say that Invisible Fence’s signal is less prone to interference. This is due to their 10-X technology that blocks radio signals from other fence systems.
Based on pet owners’ experience, DogWatch has longer battery life that can last for up to four months on the receiver collar. Meanwhile, Invisible Fence can last for around three months, so the difference is just small. Another advantage of DogWatch is that they use standard batteries that pet owners can easily acquire instead of Invisible Fence’s proprietary model.
Control and programming
Both DogWatch and Invisible Fence offer systems with smart features. This allows you to monitor the fence remotely, including collar connectivity, boundary wire condition, dog activity, and battery status.
When it comes to boundary limits, Invisible Fence has the upper hand. They have a patented Boundary Plus Technology that allows dogs to approach the perimeter’s very edge without the risk of running away. This gives pets more space to run and play, especially on small yards. On the other hand, DogWatch still requires a 3 to 5 feet buffer to prevent escapes.
The cost of DogWatch fences varies based on the specific installation area. They provide quotes based on your needs, so there’s no one-size-fits-all pricing for their systems, which already includes installation. But on average, DogWatch has a median price of $1,450. This will be lower or higher once you’ve received the custom quote for your property.
But how much does an Invisible Fence cost? For Invisible Fence with training, it will cost you around $2,000 for a ground fence. This will be higher if you have a large yard or if the installation area requires more work.
Can an electric fence kill a dog?
Unlike a ground dog fence or hidden fence, an electric dog fence is a physical containment that uses electric shock. Depending on the level of shock, this can harm or even kill a small dog. This is why many dog owners prefer invisible fences, wired or not, as an alternative solution.
What collars work with Invisible Fence and DogWatch?
For Invisible Fence, they have their proprietary computer collar for accurate corrections. It’s lightweight and provides a gentle reminder to the dog whenever it tries to stray from your yard. It’s exclusive for their containment systems and can be purchased in multiple units to accommodate multiple dogs.
As for DogWatch, they have their R9 receiver collar that provides either audio or static correction. It’s easy to adjust and suits dogs of all breeds.
How long do invisible fence collars last?
A dog collar can last for years if maintained well. Also, the quality of the collar itself will affect its service years.
When it comes to wired dog fences, the buried wire can last for up to 27 years if left undisturbed. On the other hand, wireless systems are highly dependent on the wear and tear since it’s exposed to various elements.
The bottom line here is if you want a system that lasts, you should invest in a quality setup. The extra bucks will do you a big favor later on.
Are invisible fences bad?
Invisible fences are far from bad. In fact, you can use it to keep your dog safe from accidents and running away. You just have to set and use it right for your dog’s benefit.
Remember that you need to set the right correction level to prevent negative effects. You can do this by observing your dog’s personality and sensitivity to stimuli. A sensitive dog will usually thrive in lower correction settings instead of pushing them to the limits.
Also, I suggest asking the help of a professional when installing and training your dog. Both DogWatch and Invisible Fence provides professional training as part of their containment system products. They will train your dog while helping you understand how the system works.
Are dog fences cruel?
There are many dog fence types, but hidden types are usually safe and humane. Unlike using electric fences, an invisible dog fence won’t burn your dog’s skin, and they will not expose them to electrocution. You can also choose between wired and wireless to suit your needs.
Many veterinarians and dog trainers swear by invisible fences when it comes to keeping dogs safe in the yard. It’s far from cruel as long as you use it right.
Why do rescues require fences?
Rescue dogs will often try to escape their new homes. This is a normal reaction, and it will take months of training and adjustments before rehomed dogs can finally settle on their new place. A ground and traditional fence will help a lot in this process.
Aside from that, rescue organizations often look for a pet fence around a property to approve an adoption application. It says a lot about your preparedness in raising a canine as well as the safety of the dog in your care.
Rescue or not, fences are necessary for a dog’s safety. Our job as responsible pet owners is to ensure that such containments are safe, effective, and beneficial for dogs.
Which is better wired or wireless dog fence? Both of these fence types work, but for specific users. Wired fences are ideal for large yards and those who have the budget. Meanwhile, those with smaller yards can explore using wireless types, but wired options are also ideal. It’s a matter of finding what suits your property, your dog, and your budget.