The Best Underground Wired Dog and Pet Containment Fences

One of the many challenges you face as a dog owner is keeping your dog safely on your property. An escape-prone dog can get us into hot water with a grouchy neighbor, a homeowners’ association, or – worse – local law enforcement. For those who would rather not incur the cost of erecting a physical fence (or who have a dog that would jump over or dig under it), a wired dog fence could be the best solution.

Here’s a quick table outlining the best units on the market today:

FencesWireDog SizeRatingPriceNotes
SportDOG SDF-100A 1000 Feet

100 Flags
10 lbs+4.5$$The best underground fence on the market

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PetSafe Yardmax 500 Feet

50 Flags
5 lbs+4.7$$$Quality name brand with PetSafe. Wire upgrades available for your peace of mind.

Read Our Review

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eXtreme Professional Series In-Ground Fence 1000 Feet

100 Flags
8 lbs+4.5$$$Made in the USA
Many options

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PetSafe Elite Little Dog 500 Feet

50 Flags
5 lbs+4.1$$Great for small dogs. Waterproof collar.

Read Our Review

Buy on Amazon

A wired dog fence is a way to train your dog to stay in the designated area without a physical barrier. A buried wire, a transmitter, and a special collar worn by the dog keep it within the confines. The wire sends out a signal when the dog’s collar gets within a certain distance from the fence which gives the dog an uncomfortable – but gentle – shock. Some systems even have a feature where the dog’s collar will emit a warning tone when it gets close to the boundary. In a short amount of time and training with its owner, the dog will learn where the boundaries are and will voluntarily stay within them.

A wireless dog fence works much in the same way as a wireless dog fence, but via a slightly different mechanism. Wireless fences rely on a transmitter plugged into an outlet inside the home or garage that emits a radio signal from that location – similar to a WiFi signal. The radius of the wireless signal’s range (sometimes referred to as the “safe zone”) can be adjusted, but will always transmit in a circle and cannot be customized to the shape of your property.

What are the benefits of using an underground dog fence?

In deciding whether or not an underground dog fence is right for you and your four-legged friend, you should consider the benefits and drawbacks of a wired fence. Here are some of the benefits of using an electric dog fence:

Cost Savings

The most obvious benefit of an underground fence is the cost versus a traditional fence.

Traditional fences (wood, vinyl, chain link, etc.) have a much higher cost for both the fencing material and the installation. The fencing materials alone can range in price from $3,000-$6,000 depending on your taste and yard size. If you choose to have the fence professionally installed, plan on adding anywhere from $1,500-$2,000 or more to your budget.

While installation of an underground fence is much easier than that of an above-ground fence, professional installation is usually available, but even then, it’s a fraction of the cost of traditional fence installation (the price ranges $900-$1,400 and typically includes training for both you and your dogs). But again, you can do it yourself, and all you’d have to do is pay for the cost of the system itself, which will only run you a couple hundred dollars.

Time Savings

Another benefit underground fences have over traditional fences is the time it takes to install them. A traditional fence can take anywhere from 3-5 days to install (or more depending on the size of your property), but an underground fence can be up and running in as little as 1-2 days. An underground fence can be a do-it-yourself weekend project, but a traditional fence would undoubtedly cut into your work week.

Customizable Boundaries

Unlike wireless dog fences, the boundaries of underground fences are completely customizable and enable you to give your dog access to all of your property or just certain sections. This is very useful if you want to keep your pup from digging up your garden but still want him to have the run of the yard.

Are there any drawbacks to using an underground electric fence?

As with any system, there are some drawbacks to underground dog fences. For example:

More Work Than Wireless

While easier to install than a traditional fence, underground fences are more work to install than a wireless system. While the wires typically only need to be buried 2-3” underground, this shallow trench needs to be dug around the entire perimeter of your property, or more precisely, the sections where the dog will be allowed.

Doesn’t Keep Other Animals Out

Invisible fences (wired as well as wireless) will keep your dog IN but will not keep other animals OUT. If you have aggressive strays, neighbors that don’t keep their dogs leashed, or a smaller breed that could be an easy target for a coyote, an electric pet containment system might not be the right fit for your family. If strays or unleashed neighbor dogs are not a concern where you live, you can still protect your dog from predatory animals by not leaving it outside unsupervised for long periods of time.

Quick Reviews Of The 4 Best Wired Dog Fences

SportDOG SDF-100A Review

The SportDOG 100-Acre In-Ground Pet Fence System is just about the best you can find, and is suitable for dogs 10 pounds and up.

It has the option to upgrade to professional-grade wires (such as 16 and 14 gauge), and has built-in lightning protection. It comes with 100 boundary flags to serve as a visual cue for the dog of where he can safely roam until he is fully trained on the fence.

Installation is straightforward but, like all wired fence systems, can be labor intensive. This system is equipped to alert the dog with a warning tone if he gets too close to the perimeter.

We liked that you could use this system with additional collars, so if you get another pet, all you have to do is add a collar and you can train him the same way you did your first dog, without needing to re-install anything.

Overall, this is our favorite. The quality, consistency, and ease of use get full marks.

Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com

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PetSafe Yardmax Review

The PetSafe Yardmax Rechargeable In-ground Pet Fencing System also has available wire upgrades, and is suitable for dogs weighing 5 or more pounds. This gives it a bit more use than our #1 pick above for people with smaller dogs.

However, what we like most about this unit is where it comes from.

PetSafe is a renowned company in the pet containment system industry. Their wireless fences are almost unbeatable, boasting some of the best all around performance on the market. It’s no surprise, then that this wired version performs just as well.

This system’s collars are rechargeable and have five levels of static correction. The Yardmax does not have a limit of how many dogs it will contain provided each dog has his own collar, which is the same as the SportDOG model.

This system also comes with training flags, but only 50. I did note, however, that ever so rarely, the collar did not deliver a shock when the dog went to the wire. This may have just been our testing unit, and like I said, it was rare, but still a bit of a concern.

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eXtreme Professional Series Easy Install DIY Inground Fence

 

eXtreme

eXtreme Dog Fence kits make use of high quality transmitter and receiver combinations from well-known brands, in conjunction with their own additional materials. Their battery and fencing materials are top-notch which results in the highest quality in-ground dog fence you could ask for. They also try to make things easy for your by allowing large amounts of customizability when purchasing a kit, letting you specify the area and number of dogs you want covered.

The eXtreme Professional Series dog fence system makes use of a Perimeter Technology transmitter and collar combination. It is one of the best kits on the market, with a number of unique features. The transmitter is able to cover up to 10 acres of land, and the collar is suitable for dogs weighing from 8 to 120 pounds.

The collar itself weighs only 1.1 ounces, and features Perimeter’s unique comfort contacts. Normal metal contacts can be abrasive and irritate your pets. The comfort contacts are conductive rubber covers which you place over the metal contacts to minimize irritation.

The transmitter allows you to set the desired boundary zone, and features their patented temperature check system which monitors real-time conditions to adjust the power output, ensuring a stable boundary zone with less than a 5% variation.

The kit costs more than most, but is of the highest quality, and has the most features.

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PetSafe Elite Little Dog Review

The Elite Little Dog In-ground Fence is designed specifically for smaller-breed dogs and has four levels of static correction. We liked that you could turn it onto “tone only”, which delivers only an audible warning for approaching the boundary, rather than a small shock.

Overall it’s a decent unit, of course being high quality as it’s a PetSafe model, but we wanted to provide you with options in case you had a smaller dog. It’s nice when a fence gives you the option by starting at 5 pounds (like the PetSafe model above), but when a product is specifically designed for your small dog, it typically performs better, because it’s not trying to satisfy a huge range of dog sizes.

The RFA-188 battery in this unit’s collar tends to die fairly quickly, especially if the dog continues to test his boundaries. A good part about the collar, however, is that it is waterproof.

This unit has a maximum perimeter of only 1/3 acre, but this may of course be ideal for owners of smaller dogs and smaller yards.

Click here to see pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com

Click Here for our full review