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The 5 Best Invisible Fences (2023 Review)

In this review, we analyze and compare the best invisible fences on Amazon, discuss what to look for when buying, and answer common buyer questions.

PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System and SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System isolated on a green graph paper background Courtesy Amazon

Invisible fences establish a non-invasive but protective border around your yard. Letting your dog roam improves their quality of life because they get to exercise and explore. However, you don’t want them to venture too far. That’s why invisible fences exist as a cost-effective alternative to traditional fences.

The This Old House Reviews Team researched the best invisible fences on Amazon to help you choose what coverage area, installation method, control mechanism, and battery life work for you.

Explore our top fence recommendations, comprehensive buyer’s guide, and answers to common questions below.


In This Guide: Top 5 | Buyer’s Guide | Training Tips | FAQs | Why Trust This Old House

Compare the Top Invisible Fences

Product Coverage Area Pet Weight Correction Levels Warranty
Product Coverage Area Pet Weight Correction Levels Warranty
PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System 0.5 acres At least 8 pounds 5 1-year
SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System 1.3 acres (100 with additional wiring) At least 8 pounds 7 2-year
PetSafe In-Ground Pet Fence 0.3 acres (5 with additional wiring) At least 8 pounds 4 1-year
Pet Control HQ Wireless Pet Containment System 10 acres 11 to 154 pounds 10 1-year
Extreme Dog Fence Underground Electric Dog Fence 1 acre (10 with additional wiring) At least 8 pounds 7 1-year (10-year with registration)

Top 5 Invisible Fences


Best For Any Size Dog: PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System

PetSafe wireless pet containment system with featured accessories and product packaging

PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System

  • $320

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This invisible fence is a worthy option if you want to prioritize simple and easy installation. Using a wireless system, it takes only one or two hours to set up. The collar uses a two-month battery, has a waterproof construction, and offers six correction modes.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Doesn’t require burying the wire
✔ Has a long collar battery life of up to 2 months
✔ Offers five shock levels and one tone-only mode

✘ Comes with a short 1-year warranty
✘ Cannot accommodate areas larger than 12 acre

What Customers Are Saying

Dog owners appreciated the simple and quick installation of this invisible fence. They included that it only took a couple of hours to set up, which was on par with their expectations. Customers also spoke highly of the manufacturer’s customer service team that assisted with troubleshooting. However, select users had issues with consistency, stating that the collar didn’t always go off when their dog ventured too close to the perimeter.


Best Coverage: SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System

Pros and Cons

✔ The collar’s rechargeable batteries finish charging in 2 hours
✔ Offers seven levels of static correction
✔ Beeps and vibrates to warn the dog before initiating shock

✘ Only compatible with dogs weighing at least 10 pounds, which excludes toy breeds
✘ Must purchase more wire to achieve 100 acres of coverage

What Customers Are Saying

Customers who experienced the most success with this invisible fence made sure to familiarize themselves and their dogs with the system. Many customers also found installation to be easier than expected. Conversely, other customers had issues with the collar, stating that the buckle design was poor and the warning beep was inconsistent.


Best Entry-Level Fence: PetSafe In-Ground Pet Fence

PetSafe in-ground invisible pet fence with product packaging and featured items

PetSafe In-Ground Pet Fence

  • $190

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Securing an invisible perimeter around one-third of an acre of land, this fence is meant for small yards or small dogs who don’t need as much space to roam. If you get another dog or move to a larger home down the line, you can expand the kit with more wires and collars.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Includes flags to stake around the perimeter of the invisible fence
✔ Has a domestic customer service team
✔ Has a waterproof collar in case your pet is out in the rain

✘ Offers a limited number of correction levels
✘ Can’t use with pets that are younger than six months old

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked the invisible design of this fence because it prevented their destructive dogs from tearing or ripping through physical fences. Some users struggled with the collar, though, as it was too heavy and had poor battery life.


Best Remote Control: Pet Control HQ Wireless Pet Containment System

Pet Control HQ wireless pet containment system with product packaging and featured items

Pet Control HQ Wireless Pet Containment System

  • $198

Prices taken at time of publishing.

For the reliability of a wired, underground invisible fence and the convenience of an on-command, remote one, we recommend this kit. The collar works with dogs who weigh between 11 and 154 pounds, responding when they cross the perimeter or you use the remote control.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Offers 10 acres of coverage
✔ Features 10 correction levels
✔ System works with or without remote

✘ Has a short battery life of 3–7 days
✘ Remote only connects to three collars

What Customers Are Saying

Satisfied customers highlighted the remote control and ease of installation. They also mentioned that the manufacturer’s customer service line was accessible when they needed help. Unsatisfied customers stated that the correction system delivered shocks or vibrations inconsistently. In some cases, customers claimed that the collar didn’t respond at all if their dog ran past the perimeter too quickly.


Best For Multiple Dogs: Extreme Dog Fence Underground Electric Dog Fence

Extreme Dog Fence underground electric dog fence with featured items

Extreme Dog Fence Underground Fence

  • $899

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Meant for pet lovers who own several animals on a large property, this invisible fence contains up to five pets in a 10-acre area. All of the supplies in this kit are built to last with waterproof and submersible collars, thick wiring, and metal flag stakes.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ System handles up to five dogs
✔ Safety features include frequency coding and battery check
✔ Features heavy-duty wire that’s UV-resistant and burial-rated

✘ Doesn’t cover shipping and handling for the surge protector
✘ Can’t get the 10-year warranty unless you register the product

What Customers Are Saying

Reliability, consistency, and effectiveness appeared in many Amazon reviews for this system. Several users also mentioned a positive customer service experience. However, some customers struggled to add more than one collar to the fencing system, stating that it worked as designed with one collar, but syncing a second collar caused it to malfunction.


Buyer’s Guide

Whether a physical fence is too expensive, a hassle to install, or against local ordinances, an invisible fence is a sensible alternative. Here are some key points to consider when shopping.

Wired vs. Wireless

Invisible fences can be wired, wireless, or a combination of the two.

If convenience is a priority, opt for a wireless dog fence because it’s easier to install and program.

If you want to ensure that your invisible fence works correctly at all times, we recommend a wired design instead. This type of fence is also useful if you have an oddly shaped yard or certain areas of your yard that you want to keep your pets out of because you can install the buried wire in whatever pattern you desire.

Some kits come with a handheld remote control in addition to underground wiring. You can use the remote to train your dog to curtail bad habits, such as digging in the dirt or walking through the garden. It also works outside of the perimeter, so you can take it with you on a walk or trip.

Coverage Area

The coverage area of an invisible fence is typically expressed in acres. The coverage range for smaller invisible fences begins around 1/3–1/2 acre, whereas more expansive systems will cover up to 10 acres. You can even extend the range of some models to 100 acres by installing more wire or purchasing an expansion kit.

Installation

Wireless invisible fences have a plug-and-play design, but they’re also adjustable. After plugging the transmitter into a wall outlet, you can adjust the size of the invisible dome around your house.

Installing a wired system, on the other hand, requires intense labor and careful planning. You’ll have to dig a few feet into the ground to bury the wire that communicates with the collar and transmitter.

Correction Level

Correction refers to the mild shock or vibration your dog receives when they go beyond the perimeter or close to the edge. You can also send corrections manually via remote control.

Most invisible fence systems offer between five and 10 correction levels to suit different situations. For example, you can up the intensity if your dog does not respond to lighter modes or choose a lower level if you have a small dog.

Collar

If you have more than one dog, look for an invisible fence kit that comes with multiple collars. Even if you only have one pet at the moment, it can’t hurt to get a kit that works with add-on dog collars in case you get another dog down the line or watch a friend’s or family member’s dog.

Battery Life

Another aspect to consider is the collar battery. Many of the collars available today feature rechargeable batteries, but the battery life varies greatly between models. Some collar batteries last several days on a single charge, whereas others die after several hours,


Off-Leash Training Tips

If a physical fence isn’t an option, an invisible one is the next best way to ensure that your dog doesn’t run away. While an invisible fence keeps your dog safe outside, you can further ease your mind by using the following tips to train them without a leash.

  • Train your dog to understand and obey basic verbal commands. Some common ones include “come,” “heel,” “leave it,” “look,” and “stay.”
  • Consistency is key. Any time you take your dog off of its leash, correct inappropriate actions and reward appropriate behavior.
  • If your dog is food-motivated, reward them with treats when they obey commands and display appropriate behavior. You can also show positive reinforcement through pets or words.
  • Intentionally add distractions, such as other dogs, people, or food, to see how your dog reacts off of a leash.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do invisible fences work?

After establishing a wired or wireless perimeter, you sync your dog's collar to the wire and transmitter. Whenever your dog approaches or crosses the perimeter, the collar vibrates, beeps, buzzes, or shocks.

Are invisible fences inhumane?

No. When your dog activates their collar, the resulting shock is minimal—only enough for them to know that they’ve ventured too far. Tethering your dog is generally considered more inhumane, as this causes continuous stress.

Can a dog run through an invisible fence?

Your dog can physically run past the perimeter of your invisible fence, but it may not get far before the shock signal sends it back. However, it’s important to note that invisible fences don’t prevent people or other animals from entering the fence from the opposite side.

Is there anything that could interfere with my invisible fence?

Yes. Sloping hills, metal roofing, stucco siding, and multiple trees can affect your invisible fence’s performance. However, this typically only happens with wireless models, not wired ones. Consider a physical or wired fence if your property has any of these features.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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