How to Choose an Underground Dog Fence

Dog Fence shares insiders tips on installing your own underground dog fence. In this guest post, they will share three tips for how to choose a dog containment system.

Underground vs. Wireless

Underground dog fences use a buried wire to define your dog’s boundary. Because you actually have to lay down the boundary wire, this involves a little more work in setting up the system, with an average installation taking a full day. But, what you get for your hard work is a boundary that is precisely shaped to your property. The other big perk is that these systems are very precise, the boundary line will be very consistent and it will be easier to train your dog on where the boundary lines lie. For these reasons underground dog fence system are by far the more popular choice.

Wireless dog fence systems are a little newer. They use a central base station that creates a circular boundary around your property. They are great for getting up and running quickly, you just plug them in and you are ready to go. They are also highly portable, you can just pick them up and move them to a new location, so you can take them to a holiday house. But these systems have a couple of limitations. First, you can only have a circular boundary, so they don’t fit well with most people’s rectangular property lines. Second, they are prone to interference, and can have a lot of trouble getting their signal out through your walls leading to a wonky boundary line. Finally, the boundary they create tends to be imprecise and can wobble a few feet from moment to moment. This inconsistency makes it harder to train you dog on where exactly the boundary line lays.

Most professionals would recommend that people training a dog for the first time start with an underground dog fence over a wireless. You will put in a bit more work, but you are going to be much happier with your results.

Disposable vs. Rechargeable Batteries

The collar on a dog fence is battery powered. Systems with a replaceable battery require you to buy a new battery every few months as the old battery becomes exhausted. Particularly if the battery is some kind of special battery, like the proprietary battery on the PetSafe small dog fence, the cost can quickly add up. However, these systems do tend to be significantly cheaper up front.

Rechargeable systems have a battery that can be recharged by plugging them into a wall outlet. This is a major convenience, since you never run out of batteries for the collar. It also tends to be a major money saver. If you go the rechargeable route, look for a system with a Lithium Ion battery like the Innotek IUC-5100. Lithium ion systems give you a longer time between charges and a longer battery life than the older NiMH systems.

We think the rechargeable systems are the better deal. Even though you pay a bit more up front, after the first or second year you will be ahead.

Training Materials

The final and most important ingredient for getting great results with your dog fence system is training. For a dog fence to work, your loyal companion has to understand what exactly you want him to do and for that they need training. With good training the dog will be safely contained. Without good training, the system is worse than useless.

Training is easy if done correctly so look for a system that comes with some good training materials. Some systems include a training DVD which is useful, but at the least you should get a well illustrated guide that will show you exactly how to get your dog comfortable with the system.

Many thanks to Dog Fence DIY. This was a sponsored post and all opinions expressed are those of the people at Dog Fence DIY.

7 Responses to “How to Choose an Underground Dog Fence”

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  1. Bob Grant says:

    I used the wireless system for a while until I switched to the underground one. My dog is very well trained which makes my system work exactly how I need it to. This is a great blog and it is also the reason I switched in the first place. Thanks:)

  2. Three Dog Blogger says:

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the compliment. Sounds like you have got a great systme there.

  3. K9Ring says:

    Seems like the wireless dog fence system is convenient but not as effective as the underground fence. We recently added a post on our dog blog about whether electric shock collars are inhumane, and many people still think that they are. I think that if used properly and in the right situations, these devices can be effective ways of training your dog.

  4. Lindsay says:

    I use an underground fence with my dog when we visit my parents’ house. It works great for their dogs and it even works great for Ace when we visit a few times per year. He remembers the boundaries well.

  5. We installed an underground wire barrier (Invisible Fence brand) around our log home when we lived out in the woods in New York. After training Trixie and Tucker on it, it proved to be highly effective at keeping them in the yard. When going for walks out in the woods, we trained them to stop and wait at the border before crossing (even though they didn’t have their fence collars on) so they would know how far they could go. I don’t think I would use one in a populated area like where we are now, though, because it doesn’t keep anything out. Also, one time Tucker charged across the boundary chasing something or other that had run by the yard, then ended up trapped outside it barking for us to come save him.

    Still, for the time and place when we had it, it worked well for us.

  6. Three Dog Blogger says:


    It sounds like it did work extremely well. Tucker sounds about as bright as our three although it shows he was trained well.

  7. Very nice article on what factors to decide on when choosing an underground/invisible dog fence.