7 Best Underground Dog Fences & Reviews (Updated list for 2018)
There are two choices with invisible dog fences – in-ground and wireless. The wireless options are popular, but this may be because there are some misconceptions about the in-ground system. Those familiar with the simple invisible wireless containment devices may assume that the in-ground version is more substantial and complex, perhaps even less safe for the dog. This isn’t the case at all. This is still an invisible boundary with a basic receiver, just a different way of setting the boundary.
Here we will look at the benefits and disadvantages of choosing this type of product, with some important considerations for choosing the right model, laying it in the garden and working safely. We will also look at 5 of the best underground dog fences to help you make your choice.
What benefits are provided to dog owners with these top in-ground dog fences?
The first benefit comes in choosing the shape of the boundary in the way that you lay the wire in the ground. This is the main issue with the alternative, the wireless models. These wireless device create a perfect circle that isn’t practical in most yards. Here you can match the boundary of the fence to the perimeter of the property. This means that the dog is free to roam the whole garden and no further. The next important advantage here is the reduced risk of interference.
The EMF signals of wireless containment units are susceptible to interference from metal objects in the garden, metal sidings and roofs and even cars in the garage. Also, because it is underground, there isn’t anything to see. There is no physical change to the landscape that might detract from the function or look of the area. Finally, there is the fact that the collars and devices are just as humane for the dog.
Our Top 7 Best In-ground Dog Fence
Max. Number of Dogs
Size of Dog
1 1/3 acres.
over 5 lbs
over 8 lb
Over 8 pounds
over 8 lb
**Above all the ratings are given by writers/editors based on their expertise.
Still, even the best underground dog fences have their downsides.
The biggest problem with this approach is the difficulty with the installation. Wireless systems are simple by comparison, with above ground devices and receivers. Here dog owners need to take the time to dig up the perimeter, safely install the wire and then make sure it all works. Any breaks in the line, just one small issue underground, can disconnect the whole system as it runs in a loop. It is also important that users stay on top of the system in terms of battery life in the receivers and the performance. Others talk about the downside that these systems let wildlife in, but this is true for all invisible fence systems.
What other considerations do owners need to keep in mind when choosing an underground dog fence for the garden?
Before we look at some the best models of underground fence for the garden, there are some important features to look out for.
- The adjustable nature of the collar in terms of both the size, the breeds that can use it and the level of the static shock. The best have multiple intensity levels.
- The number of animals that can use one system. How many collars can connect up to this in-ground fence if there are multiple dogs in the house?
- The general ease of use and additional features and parts that could improve installation and use.
- The battery life and the type of batteries used within the system.
- The presence of indicators and warnings. The issue above with breaks in the line leads to some major concerns for pet owners. The solution here may be to find a device with enough sensors and indicators to alert users to problems, such an audible line break warning.
Top 5 underground dog fence reviews.
1. SportDOG Brand Expandable In-Ground Fence System:
There is a simple reason why this SportDOG Brand model comes out top of this list, and that is the adaptability. We mentioned the need for a range of setting and multiple collars above, and this model does just that. This is an expandable option that provides a secure boundary for multiple animals, with additional safety features and convenient elements for the owner. For the most part, users say that it is easy to understand and install.
The compact transmitter does a lot for the peace of mind of users, with the lightning protection and wire break alarms. The collar is also beneficial with the 4 levels of static correction, the choice of tone or vibration settings and the waterproof construction. The fence itself is expandable to 100 acres with 100 flags. Pretty much every element here seems to perform as required on the best days.
The issue here is that there are mixed reviews on the reliability of the fence, with some users talking about damage and blown fuses. There are also those that point out the long installation time for this large area – but this is to be expected.
2. eXtreme Dog Fence - 2nd Generation In-Ground Dog Fence:
This is anall-American product that promises high quality, reliable performance and helpful features within a locally-made device. The name “eXtreme” suggests something large and intense, but it all depends on your needs. This is because this is a “100% customisable” option with freedom on the layout, five levels of correction, 100 training flags and two type of contact points for different breeds.
One clear benefit here is that this is a 2nd gen model, which means improvements on previous versions. Here this comes with the new electronics on the collar to improve compatibility and signal. There are also improvements to the antennas and battery. Many feel that the system is as rugged as claimed and like that the collar is submersible, not just waterproof.
Again, there are the usual comments about the length of time needed for installation. The added problem here is that there are no clear instructions within the box. Users should also be aware that this product comes in different lengths of 14 gauge wire, so it is important that you measure out the area and make the right calculations.
3. PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence for Dogs:
On the surface, this PetSafe model looks like it should be a great option for anyone that wants an easy-to-use system for their dog. The well-known brand name does help here. There are some great features here. For example, the collar is adjustable from 6 inches to 28 inches and there is room for unlimited collars. The problem is that there are also some limitations to the system and design, such as the lack of a surge protector. This is why is falls behind some of the other products in this list.
There are plenty of owners that suggest that this “stubborn dog” name is correct, as this has helped owners with animals that are hard to train. This is possible thanks to the choice of tone, static and vibration, and the 4 intensity levels.
The first issue here that owners need to be aware of is the small boundary offered here, especially compared to other options. It is only expandable up to 25 acres. This may not be enough for many users. Others criticise the build quality of the collar, as there are reports of breakages and screws coming loose. This leads to further concerns over the waterproofing.
4. PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable Underground Fence for Dogs and Cats:
Next up with have a similar looking system, and that it because this is another from PetSafe. The difference here is that this sold as an option for cats and dogs, and there is that rechargeable collar. The collars recharge in 2-3 hours and promise to be adjustable and waterproof.
The main benefit of this YardMax model over the PetSafe option above is the ability to use this system on a range of smaller animals. The collar fits pets as small as 5 pounds, with neck sizes from 6 to 26 inches. The new rechargeable collars also mean greater convenience for the user. Another added bonus here is the additional level of static on this collar. It is easy to install and fit with some great results.
Unfortunately, there are still areas where this model lets users down a little. Buyers should be aware of that promise of “30% more play area”, as this only expands to 10 acres. There is also no mention of that vibration option seen above. There are also similar concerns on build quality.
5. PetSafe Basic In-Ground Fence:
The last model of in-ground dog fences to look at here completes this trilogy of PetSafe containment systems. This is sold as the basic option for small “keep out” areas, which would suggest a no-thrills solution with fewer benefits than the models above. Still, there is enough here for many users, with the standard package of the collar, wire, transmitter, training flags. It is an affordable starting point for smaller areas.
The good news here is that this model isn’t completely lacking in features and benefits for the users. The pack also includes a surge protector, there is a low battery indicator and there is the promise that the collar is waterproof and adjustable. There are mixed responses depending on the setting used and the training of the dog.
This is a basic solution because it is the cheaper, streamlined version with a small capacity. This is for smaller yards of no more than 5 acres, which is tiny compared to our top model. Users may find that they need to purchase additional wire and flags to meet their needs.
Training your dog to use an underground dog fence.
No owner can expect their dog to use this fence with peace of mind straight away. It is vital to train the dog to get used to the settings and understand the purpose. Start on the leash, for greater control, and gradually work to off-leash training. It helps if they wear a deactivated collar for a while so that they associate the static with the perimeter not the device.
Another helpful aid are the red flags at the boundary points to highlight the perimeter, so the dog can learn the outer limits. Finally, work on creating an invisible gate that the dog can leave through when needed. Again, take the time to read guide and tips for a smooth, hassle-free process.
Safety considerations with these electric dog fences.
Safety is essential here, such as the use of lightning protection and surge protection to save equipment from damage in a storm. Many owners are more worried about the safety of the dog with this use of static. There is little more than a mild irritation that correct behaviour, and it does not hurt them.
However, don’t use this on dogs younger than 6 month or smaller than 10 pounds and be sure to use the three finger rule on the snug fit of the collar. Finally, the collar is not to be worn more than 12 hours at a time due to the irritation from the prongs.
Summary: finding the best underground dog fence for your home.
There is a lot to read and plenty to consider when choosing and installing the right underground dog containment system for your pet. There are plenty of considerations with reliability, ease of use, installation, safety and more. Yet, there is no doubt that the right model can provide a strong boundary in areas where the alternative, those wireless containment systems, fail. Take your time to understand the area, the product and to train your dog and you are likely to see some great results.