Dogs are skilled escape artists, and sometimes, using a fence is the only way to contain your pet to keep them out of trouble.

When a physical fence is not an option, your next best bet is an invisible dog fence.

Invisible fences for dogs are a type of containment system that you install in your backyard, which then sends a signal to a dog's collar.

When your pet approaches a boundary line, the collar emits a “beep” or vibration at first, signaling the dog to stop.

If your still proceeds, the collar will then emit a shock.

These devices are a hot-button topic for many, and the debate continues on whether they should be used or not.

The truth is that they do in fact work well, and many find success with them where the dog learns not to go past the boundary and never needs to receive the shock.

However, there are also downsides.

Quick Glance At The 10 Best Invisible Dog Fences

Top 10 Best Invisible Dog Fences
Extreme Dog Fence Second Generation 1000' Standard Grade
  • Best Overall Invisible Dog Fence
  • Built In Surge Protector
  • Extends from 500 to 2000 feet
  • Waterproof splices
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PetSafe Yardmax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence
  • Best Value
  • Rechargeable in-ground fence
  • Simple installation
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SportDOG Underground Wire Dog Containment Kit
  • Best For Multiple Dogs
  • Covers 1 1/3 Acre
  • Comes with flags to mark the boundaries
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SportDOG In-Ground Dog Fence System
  • Best For Hunting Training and Gun Dogs
  • Heavy-duty in-ground wire
  • Can install it without a professional
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PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Fence for Dogs
  • Best For Smaller Yard Owners
  • Comes with extra battery packs
  • Less labor since its not an in-ground fence
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PetSafe Elite Little Dog Invisible Dog Fence
  • Best For Small Dogs
  • For pet owners with multiple dogs
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PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Invisible Dog Fence
  • Best Portable Invisible Fence
  • Works great with unusual shaped yards
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PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System
  • Best Above Ground Invisible Fence
  • Next feature
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Petsafe Stubborn Dog Fence
  • Best For Large Dogs
  • Works best for stubborn dogs
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Extreme Dog Fence Second Generation 500' Standard Grade Invisible Fence
  • Best Large Property Invisible Dog Fence
  • 10 year warranty
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Top 10 Best Invisible Dog Fences

Pros and Cons of Invisible Dog Fences

Here are some of the advantages of invisible fences for dogs as opposed to using physical fencing.

  • Affordable. While pricing varies, invisible electric fences are cheaper than physical ones.
  • Invisibility. With most of them, nobody will ever know that the fence is even installed.
  • Ease of use. They're simple and quick to install, and convenient to use.
  • Reliability. Unlike physical fences, dogs are unable to “dig under” electrical fencing.
  • Adjustments. They work on pretty much any surface and terrain, including over water.
  • Home safety. Thieves don't like seeing a dog in an open yard, as opposed to behind a fence.

And here are some of the disadvantages that you may face with such containment systems.

  • Discomfort. Most dogs won't cross the line after a “beep” but others may get an electrical shock.
  • Training. To prevent unnecessary shock for the dog, training is required.
  • Frustration. Some dogs will be “annoyed” when seeing distractions that are past their boundary.
  • Unreliability. There's a chance the battery will die, rendering the invisible pet fence useless.

There are also a few different types of invisible fencing, and we'll discuss this later in the article.

We've also tested and reviewed different brands to find the best invisible dog fence.

Fence Types: Wireless vs. In-ground vs. Traditional

A traditional dog fence is exactly what you imagine – a regular type of fence that you put up to contain your dog.

The problem with traditional dog fences is they are very expensive (average of $3,000 to $6000 per home), take a look time to install, and after all of this, many dogs escape artists still find a way to get out.

The real question is what's the difference between a wireless dog fence and an in-ground canine fence (both of which are considered invisible dog fences, but with different setups), how much does each one cost, and what are their pros and cons?

Here's a brief on both of them.

Wireless Dog Fence:

Wireless dog fence coverage
Wireless dog fence coverage
  • It's simple to install, remove and adjust
  • Average setup time: 2-5 hours (depending on the system)
  • Covers only circular areas up to 3/4 of acre

Pros: Ease of use and setup
Cons: It's less reliable, covers only circular and small areas

In-ground Dog Fence:

  • It can be custom-tailored for each yard and pet(s)
  • It takes longer to install and remove
  • Average setup time: 1 day (a DIY project)
  • Covers preferred areas and up to 11 acres in size

Pros: Much more reliable, coverage setup that can be customized, largest cover area
Cons: Takes longer to install and remove

Both types of invisible dog fences – wireless or in-ground fence systems – have their own pros and cons, and it depends on what you're looking to get out of it.

However, if a small DIY project that will take about a day to do does not scare you, then an in-ground option is a better choice due to larger coverage and reliability.

When is An Invisible Dog Fence the Right Choice for You?

Despite the fact that many disagree with the use of invisible fences for dogs (and even created petitions to remove these devices from circulation), these systems are very effective at keeping dogs contained.

The reason most owners use invisible fences is to keep their dogs away from getting into trouble, which could be far worse than a quick electrical shock.

Moreover, not all dog containment systems are created equal. And if you're not sure whether this is the right choice for you, consider the below questions:

  • Have you first considered other ways to contain your pet, such as physical fencing?
  • Have you already tried boundary training your dog? Training should be your first choice.
  • Is your dog healthy enough to be wearing a shock collar? Consult with a vet beforehand.
  • If at all possible, can you have an animal behaviorist check your fencing setup for safety?
  • For the device that you're buying, is there a non-shock setting as the first point of stimuli?
  • Are you prepared to get rid of the electric fence if your pet doesn't respond well to it?

In the end, if using electrical fencing for dogs is unavoidable for example, you need to prevent your dog from accessing a pool in case they drown.

Below you can find ten of our favorite best invisible dog fence brands that we've reviewed over the years, available on Amazon or Chewy.

Top 10 Best Invisible Dog Fence

1 Second Generation In-Ground Electric Dog Fence
 by Extreme Dog Fence

Coverage area: 10 acresSecond Generation In-Ground Electric Dog Fence  by Extreme Dog Fence
Wire: 500′ to 5000′ 14 Gauge
Dog size: 8 lbs and up
Type: In-ground dog fence

After having tested this brand, the Extreme Dog Fence System jumped up to the first spot.

Currently, this is the most popular company and product in the whole invisible dog fence market, and a long-time Amazon bestseller.

Extreme Dog Fence has manufactured the highest quality invisible dog fence with a ton of perks, features, and additions that are hard to beat.

eXtreme Dog Fence PRO Grade Electric Dog FenceTheir price is higher than the average invisible fence out there, but they have a far better cost-to-value ratio since they offer the largest cover area, best-rated, and largest wiring options with a ton of additional options.

It extends from 500 to 5000 feet of the highest rate 14 gauge wiring, depending on how much you need to cover the areas on your property you want to have fenced in.

The receiver collar of this wireless dog fence contains five correction levels, so you can keep it at low power if necessary.

Alongside a big box of stuff that you receive with this package, one of the more notable ones is a surge protector that's included in the kit, which comes in handy in the event of lightning strikes or power surges.

The kit also contains an underground dog fence wire (waterproof professional-grade twisted), waterproof splices, and other necessary installation material for your very first electric fence for dogs.

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We've ranked the Second Generation in-ground electric dog fence as our first pick of most recommended invisible dog fence brands due to its ease of installation and additional features when compared to most other brands.

A huge amount of positive reviews from other owners have proved our assessment to be true, and we love the fact that its wiring is so extensive.

The correction levels for this electric dog fence are more varied, which makes it a convenient option for most pet parents.

eXtreme Dog Fence PRO Grade Electric Dog FenceOther dog owners were impressed by the quality of this electric doggy fence and many have noted the importance of the fact that it's made in the USA and is of really high quality.

The waterproof durability of the wiring is especially useful (no one wants to deal with haywire every time there’s a rainstorm) and, as one pet owner said, it was “heavier duty than most of the retail systems you can buy on the market.”

The battery life of this wireless fence for dogs is long-lasting. The system isn’t rechargeable because charges tend to lose their power after a long period of time.

Extreme Dog Fence System's heaviness and ease of installment are two big pluses for pet parents looking to secure their pets using a high-quality fence in their yard.

The downside is that it can be rather unwieldy. This electric dog fence is heavy, especially its wiring, so you’re going to do some lugging when you’re setting it up.

Customers also shared their recommendations for laying down the wire: one suggested digging a trench whereas others thought of threading it through a PVC pipe.

Either way, it was widely recommended that installers walk the perimeter of the wire and ensure that there are no gaps in connectivity not only before laying it down but even before purchasing any of these fences.

Overall, this is undeniably the best invisible dog fence on the market, but it comes at a price and would only be recommended for owners who are serious about their dogs' containment.

2 Yardmax Rechargeable In-Ground System for Dogs
by PetSafe

Coverage area: 1/3 acreYardmax Rechargeable In-Ground System for Dogs by PetSafe
Wire: 500′ 20 Gauge
Dog size: 5 lbs and up
Type: In-ground dog fence

The second brand on this list is from a well-known and much more established company, PetSafe, which essentially dominates the market with different types of pet fencing systems.

This in-ground fence system is rechargeable and not battery-powered like the invisible dog fence I mentioned above.

It also has been tested and found to conform to pet safety and health measures (some have labeled it as humane, but this is entirely subjective).

Rechargeable In-Ground System for DogsThis in-ground fence for dogs uses a transmitter and buried wire to encircle the property.

Your pet’s collar is also rechargeable and the warning tone and static are quickly emitted if he or she crosses the boundary.

Our decision to put PetSafe Yardmax Rechargeable System as the second top-rated dog fence was due to the fact that the wiring isn’t as long as that one on the first dog fence and the correction levels aren’t as flexible, yet it is still high-quality, very effective underground dog fence for the price.

With this Yardmax technology, if your dog receives static when he or she leaves the boundary, they will not be shocked again if they return after fifteen seconds (which is very likely, considering they’re probably chasing after something).

This way, your dog won’t be afraid to return back into your yard even past the wireless dog fence.

PetSafe dog fences are also made of very hardy material so they won’t be damaged easily, especially considering the wiring is in-ground.

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You may want to purchase a heavier gauge wire for your future in-ground electric dog fence, just in case conditions require you to have extra-strength wiring.

It’s very simple to install, but make sure you have a shovel—the wire doesn’t have to be deeply under the ground, but it still does need to be buried.

Overall, it's a solid choice and for a much cheaper price than the Extreme Dog Fence System.

3 Underground Wire Dog Containment Kit
 by SportDog Brand

Coverage area: 1 1/3 acreUnderground Wire Dog Containment Kit  by SportDog Brand
Wire: 1000′ 20 Gauge
Dog size: 10 lbs and up
Type: In-ground

This in-ground fence kit contains a few additional flags and the cost is a little less than the SportDog fence listed below. The wire also stretches 1,000 feet and there are 100 flags included in the system kit.

There also is the option to expand the transmitter’s reach to your other dogs simply by buying another SDF-R receiver, which is convenient for canine owners with multiple dogs (a good number of us).

The battery life is great and there are four levels of corrective action available on the collar.

This electric dog fence is an effective containment system that works consistently and as it should. We advise using a staple gun to ensure that the wires stay in place.

Also, make sure that you check the screws on the battery pack often on your dog to make sure that it hasn’t fallen off.

After using it for a while, the battery life is still holding up and everything seems to stay in place well.

The downside of this invisible fence is that the corrective levels on it don’t stretch as high as the ones before it, but a large number of flags and wiring make it a great bargain.

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Something that should be said for all invisible fences for dogs is that they’re not right for some pets.

If your canine has a nervous temperament, he or she could become more fearful and stressed because of this electric dog fence.

Before purchasing SportDOG 100-Acre In-Ground Fence System or any other electric equipment, such as shock collars or in-ground fences, make sure your pet has the personality and the health to handle it—i.e. that they’ll learn fast and won’t be scared by the shock.

4 In-Ground Dog Fence System, SDF-100A
by SportDOG

Coverage area: 1 1/3 acreIn-Ground Dog Fence System, SDF-100A by SportDOG
Wire: 1000′ 14/16/18 Gauge
Dog size: 10 lbs and up
Type: In-ground dog fence

The fourth best invisible dog fence on the list comes from the same dog supplies brand that is well-known to dog trainers and hunters with gun dogs.

SportDog is established as one of the top manufacturers of dog shock collars and dog GPS collars, among many other pet tech products.

Now they've entered the invisible dog fence market.

SportDog is a company that has made many different pieces of outdoor equipment for dogs, and theirs includes 1,000 feet of wire. It can enclose two-thirds to one acre.

SportDog's invisible dog fence also has a lightning surge protector and is recommended for dogs over ten pounds.

The wire is a heavy-duty 20-gauge and the company recommends that you mark the areas to be bordered with flags first so that you know where you’re laying down the wire for the wireless dog fence (the strength of the wiring will make it hard to redo).

In-Ground Dog Fence System, SDF-100A by SportDOGSportDOG 100-Acre In-Ground Fence System was placed on the list of our recommended electric fences for dogs due to its wiring being very long; however, that same wiring is slightly difficult to get into the transmitter.

Though the setup is easy, the struggle with the wiring is a small issue to consider.

The obvious pro of this underground dog fence is the durability of the wiring and how hefty it is.

18 gauge is very strong, ensuring that you won’t run into any issues involving damage being done to the wire or other possible inconveniences like that.

We liked the convenience of being able to do it ourselves at home without professional installation.

The adjustable zone and power levels reach a wide range on this equipment, so you’ll be able to program the transmitters for these dog fences to whatever level you think is appropriate and necessary.

Always make sure you don’t mix the two up, as that can lead to your dog possibly getting a nasty shock.

One of the biggest disadvantages of this wireless animal fence from SportDog is that although the wiring itself is strong, the insulation may not be able to prevent a creature with large teeth who chews on it continuously from ruining it.

We’re talking more like a bear, but I'm sure a really large and enthusiastic dog can also chew through some of this pet fence.

Though this seems like an infrequent thing—how many wire-chewing bears do most people live by?—it is worth mentioning.

This is a solid choice that's a great alternative to the PetSafe brand and is also much cheaper than the Extreme brand.

5 Free To Roam Wireless Fence for Dogs
 by PetSafe

Coverage area: 1/2 acreFree To Roam Wireless Fence by PetSafe
Dog size: 5 lbs and up
Type: Wireless dog fence

The PetSafe company has the technology for both wireless and in-ground fences down very well; however, by its own design, a wireless dog fence simply cannot beat an invisible dog fence, thus we're only getting to them with the top options out of the way.

This PetSafe kit is the fifth top-rated fence brand because it comes with two extra battery packs that are free of charge and a great connection and range, compared to some other wireless dog fence brands discuss below.

It covers a circular area of ½ an acre and is adjustable to the distance you need it for, which is always great.

You can put it in the tone-only mode or in the correctional level, but those are adjustable too.

This is a wireless dog fence and it's also easily portable if you need to move it.

PetSafe's new Free To Roam Wireless Fence model got the middle spot at number five because the battery packs were spotty for some customers and the acreage it covers wasn’t as high as that of other most recommended invisible fences for dogs on this list.

But, if you have a smaller yard and purchase extra packs – and the costs obviously add up – it will most likely work well for you.

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The convenience of this fence is the best part. It’s very portable and easy to install, but it is also very durable and water-resistant. This is one of the more durable models on the list which makes it a great bargain for its current price.

Also, whether it's a pro or a con, the fence is not in-ground, so setup is less labor-intensive.

We did notice a battery issue with the collar; the replacement batteries are having a shorter life—the replacements being different from the actual battery.

6 Elite Little Dog Invisible Dog Fence
 by PetSafe

Coverage area: 1/3 acreElite Little Fence by PetSafe
Wire: 14/16/18/20 Gauge
Dog size: 5 lbs and up
Type: In-ground

Yet another good invisible dog fence from PetSafe, designed for smaller dogs between five and fifty pounds (hence the name). It’s compatible with several different types of correctional collars for dogs and it can also work for multiple canines.

The collars it’s compatible with include: Deluxe Ultralight Collar, cat collars, SportDOG in-ground fence collars, and most rechargeable dog collars. It also works with the PetSafe indoor barrier.

PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence is the sixth-best product and at the bottom half of the list not because it isn’t a good pet fence, but because the size limit makes it restrictive to only small breeds, not owners with medium or large size dogs.

We liked the quality of this invisible dog fence, but for the price, some may think it's not worth it, especially for little dogs.

We were impressed at the versatility of this invisible dog fence and the way it works with multiple dog collars for multiple purposes, both indoor and outdoor.

PetSafe Elite Little Fence is also very easy to install and set up—it'll be a relief for dog owners who are tired of dealing with pet equipment that seems needlessly complicated.

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You do need something to cut through the ground with to bury the wire, but that’s to be expected (we suggest edgers or hand shovels accomplish this task).

It's a good system for extremely energetic puppies and small breed dogs who have trouble obeying instructions and constantly try running into the street.

The biggest problem with this invisible dog fence is that there is a size limit, and for our bigger dogs we experienced user error and found that large breeds blasted straight through the fencing. Take heed of the instructions.

Also, note that a double wire is possibly necessary to install if you live in an area where the wiring could be damaged, such as near woods where creatures might chew on it or in an area with a lot of lightning strikes (tornado alley).

7  PIF00-12917 Stay and Play Wireless Invisible Dog Fence
 by PetSafe

Coverage area: 3/4 acrePIF00-12917 Stay and Play Wireless Fence  by PetSafe
Dog size: 5 lbs and up
Type: Wireless dog fence

As we continue with more PetSafe dog fences, they have another newer model out, called “Stay and Play.” With this new PetSafe's PIF00-12917 model as our seventh choice, you'd think there's not much left to offer, and you're almost right.

There are no wires to bury and the transmitter is portable, as with all other wireless dog fences.

There are five levels of static corrective power and you can also set it to “tone only,” which has no static in it.

These invisible fences from PetSafe are also compatible with the PetSafe PIF-300, which is the original PetSafe dog fence and electric collars.

The perimeter of this invisible dog fence is ¾ of an acre, which is definitely a decent area. It can be set up wherever you need it to be, and not just at home.

Though the wireless system on PetSafe PIF00-12917 Stay and Play Wireless Fence is convenient, certainly, the transmitter doesn’t always cover all of the areas it needs to, though it is compatible with another PetSafe fence.

Again, it depends on the size of your yard. Smaller yards probably work better, which is why many customers still find this to be one of the best brands you can purchase. But we'll leave it at number seven, and present you with more reasons as to why below.

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The portability of this electric fencing kit is what draws many customers to it. If you travel frequently or need your wireless dog fence for other outside purposes, it is possible to set it up anywhere.

PetSafe PIF00-12917 Stay and Play Wireless Fence also works with smaller dogs that are around five pounds.

Customers with, as one put it, “oddly shaped yards,” were delighted that these animal fences worked with their ground plan and weren't that inconvenient for them.

The fence is also simple to set up and use and works with multiple dogs.

Several customers who purchased this dog electric fence pointed out that if your lawn is on a hill or steep slope, the signal won’t curve with the slope and will not reach the ground level.

Be aware of that before purchasing this model, if you have a yard that is on an incline or decline, you may want to look into in-ground fencing instead, like the ones we’ve listed above.

8  Wireless Pet Containment System
 by PetSafe

Coverage area: 1/2 acre Wireless Pet Containment System  by PetSafe
Wire: 500′ 20 Gauge
Dog size: 8 lbs and up
Type: Wireless dog fence

Another product from PetSafe is their Wireless Pet Containment System, a brand that has been tested and found to meet the safety and health levels required by canines. It covers a range of ½ an acre in diameter (AKA 180 feet) and is definitely worth being on this list.

It works for pets that are eight pounds or more and there are no wires to bury, making the system easy to set up.

The static correction is also set at a low level that the company describes as “startling but not harmful.”

The company also notes that the pet area is only workable in a circular area and cannot be transferred into a square/rectangular shape.

PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System is the eighth most popular invisible dog fence that covers a smaller area and the connection problems when around metal objects were definitely something to take heed of (see the cons section below).

However, it remains a potentially great option from this list as many customers were still very satisfied with their purchase.

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This is arguably one of the best wireless dog fences out there, but due to some flaws, it ranked slightly lower. However, despite the fact that the shape is circular only, customers still found that it provided enough space and “wiggle room” for their dogs.

Customers reported the effectiveness of this wireless dog fence, saying that their pets were trained with little to no extra effort necessary (dogs are good at figuring these things out most of the time).

Owners with labs especially said that this eighth brand had been successful for them.

Be aware that your dog shouldn’t wear this while in the house because of false corrections spurred by metal objects, which is a huge con for this product and a big potential problem for the owner if you ever forget. This was the main reason we've ranked this as the eighth fence overall.

One pet owner reported that the metal items in the kitchen ended up setting off the collar; however, this is still anecdotal evidence and more proof would be needed to make sure that this is certainly the case.

These things do happen, of course, so be careful to take the collar off the dog if you have a lot of metal materials, or simply opt-in for any other option from this list.

9 Stubborn Dog Fence
 by PetSafe

Coverage area: 1/3 acreStubborn Dog Fence by PetSafe
Wire: 500′ 20 Gauge
Dog size: 30 lbs and up
Type: In-ground

The ninth dog fence is on the best invisible dog fence list, and the fourth product from PetSafe is simply because the company is truly focused on these items.

Their Stubborn fence works with dogs that are stubborn and large and probably haven’t responded well to training or prior fence implementation.

This invisible dog fence has four different static correctional levels, with the highest one being 50% stronger than most collars.

Again, the fence works mostly for larger dogs that have shown a lack of interest in being trained and told to stay within their boundaries.

You can purchase extra shock collars, which are sold separately, for unlimited amounts of other dogs. There also is a tone-only setting for the collar that doesn’t emit any static.

The wire is 14 gauge and very durable (it may require some extra muscle to weave it into the transmitter). Included in the kit is 500 feet of wire, a transmitter, a training guide, 50 boundary flags, and a few other essentials.

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PetSafe Stubborn Canine Fence is placed here because although it’s very good at correcting stubborn dogs, it did pose a problem for some owners when it came to the wire getting chewed through.

The wire strength didn’t withstand good chewing from some larger dogs, and nobody wants to run into that.

I suggest you do your due diligence if for some reason you'd like to choose this item over anything else on this list.

The size of the dog and the coating thickness is the most determinable factors in getting your dog to listen effectively to the static of your invisible dog fences.

Other customers remarked that it was “perfect for awkward yards,” meaning that people with yards that aren’t in a perfect circle or square (i.e. most of us) will find this inground dog fence to be well worth the money and installation time.

If you have a smart dog, as one irritated purchaser did, he or she may be able to discover what is actually the source of the shock—the wire.

This individual’s dog, who the owner termed a “very talented escape artist,” figured out that the wire was what was shocking him and chewed through it with some effort.

After doing that, he was able to run out and this invisible dog fence was truly invisible to him. I doubt that this ingeniousness is typical of many dogs, but it is something to be aware of (do consistent boundary checks if you think your dog is the type to do this).


10 Extreme Dog Fence – Standard Grade – Second Generation – Invisible Dog Fence
 by Extreme Dog Fence

Coverage area: 11 acres
Dog size: 8 lbs and up
Type: In-ground

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Our last pick is the product from Extreme Dog Fence, a trusted company manufacturing in the United States.

This invisible dog fence standard grade verge has coverage up to 6 acres, more than most other invisible dog fences on this list. To use this, dogs must be over eight pounds and have neck circumferences of 14-16 inches. It is also waterproof and can work for two dogs.

The correction levels are adjustable and the wired fence allows you to place the boundary right where you want it.

Even though it's at number ten, Extreme Dog Fence's invisible dog fence is still one of the top-rated invisible dog fences you can find to purchase on Amazon or most other online retailers.

And apparently, their customer service is above and beyond normal companies if you need help with training and setup.

On top of its coverage being large, it can be used for up to 5 dogs and is waterproof for up to 10 ft if submerged. This tenth-rated invisible dog fence provides adequate coverage for pet owners who live on large spaces of land.

Customers with several acres said that they were excited to finally have a canine fence that would cover the necessary areas.

The “trigger zone” is three to six feet, a shorter zone than most, so be aware when deciding the boundaries you want this fence to be—keep it away from the road.

Although customers may find it tedious to dig and bury this invisible dog fence, hundreds of customers were relieved that this was very reliable, and if registered the warranty lasts up to 10 years (depending on what model you choose).

There are seven correctional levels of the Extreme Dog Fence that also provide leeway when teaching your dog not to cross the boundary.

Disclosure: We may earn affiliate commissions at no cost to you from the links on this page. This did not affect our assessment of products. Read more here and find full disclosure here.

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