Wired vs Wireless Dog Fences

If, when you hear the term wired dog fence, you think we’re talking about a normal garden fence that is made of wire, intended to contain your dog, then you’ve come to the right place. Wired and wireless dog fences both operate on a similar principal. In theory, they are tools to train your dog to respect boundaries, without the need for a physical fence or wall. In practice, they comprise of a transmitter, and a collar with a receiver. When your dog reaches a certain distance from the transmitter, it is given an audible warning or a static correction is administered. With the proper training by its owner, a dog will begin to learn these boundaries, and not require the corrections.

How they work

ballAs we mentioned both a wired and wireless dog fence make use of a transmitter and receiver to set up boundaries, the main difference comes in how the transmitter is operates.

A wireless dog fence is the easier one. The transmitter is in one place and transmits a signal from that point. Much like walkie-talkies, this signal is broadcast in every direction and covers the same distance all around. From this the receiver is able to determine roughly how far away from the transmitter it is. With that knowledge, the receiver can then warn the dog when it is nearing the edge of the specified boundary, and administer a static correction when it exceeds the boundary.

One important things to note about wireless dog fences, is that because they transmit in all directions at the same strength, the boundary they generate is always circular. You are however able to adjust the distance at which you want the boundary to be set.

A wired dog fence operates on pretty much the same principle, except that the antenna for the transmitter is a wire that you lay in the ground. The wire is buried a few inches beneath the ground, and stretches the entire length of your boundary. Whenever the collar comes too close to the wire, a warning sound is emitted, and if the collar gets even closer to the wire, a static correction is delivered.


Which is better

Both systems have their own pros and cons making them suitable for different application. You should apply the following information to your intended installation to decide what is best for you. The two biggest factors to consider are the required installation and the type of boundary you want. Costs are very similar for either setup.


A wireless dog fence is far easier to install than a wired one. With a wireless dog fence, all you have to do is find somewhere central on your property that you can plug the transmitter in, preferably indoors where the transmitter is not exposed to the weather. Turn it on and adjust the strength and you’re sorted.

A wired dog fence is a bit more effort. The transmitter has to be plugged in inside somewhere, and then you have to lay a wire from the transmitter, outside, along your entire boundary, and then back to your transmitter. Kits are usually supplied with several hundred feet of wire, and more can be purchased to extend a boundary.

If you have a fenced property, you can attach the wire to your fence, but otherwise it is advised to bury the wire a few inches in the ground. Simple enough for a small property, but it takes a while to dig a small trench 1000ft long.



The biggest downside to a wireless dog fence is that the boundary is circular. For some uses this can work, but often it means you have to make compromises, either limiting the area you want covered, or having the boundary further away than what you would have wanted. This can be mitigated by installing several transmitters with overlapping operational areas, but this can get expensive.

Wired dog fences on the other hand can be made to border almost any shape of property. As long as you can lay the lines down without too sharp a corner, and without the wire coming too close to itself, you can run a wired dog fence on that property. Even if you have a paved or walled area, a wired dog fence can still be installed.


Dog fences, both wired and wireless can be effectively used to train your dog to acknowledge a boundary, whether a physical implementation of it exists or not. Both systems operate in a similar manner, but have their own pros and cons. Although there are several small differences between the two systems, we just covered the main two considerations in this article. Consider how you would implement both systems on your property to determine which will be more effective.

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