The Ins and Outs of Wireless Dog Fencing Systems

There are three types of canine electrical fencing:

  • Inground Fencing,
  • Instant Fencing (known as a Wireless Fence), and
  • Above Ground Fencing.


The wireless fencing system has become increasingly more popular. Currently the electric wireless fence product which dominates the market is made by Petsafe which is Radio Systems. Radio Systems makes both Petsafe and Innotek products.

Use coupon: wireless to save $5 on any outdoor wireless fence at our store until September 30, 2011.

Why purchase a wireless dog fence?
Wireless fencing offers pet owners and pets significant freedom over other containment methods. They also cost less than traditional fencing. The specific benefits of wireless electric fences are:

  • The units are portable and can be taken with you. Although you need to consider retraining your pet to a new boundary area. This is not a one day event.
  • You basically turn on the unit to operate. There is no installation to speak of. In-ground systems require that a trench be dug to lay the wire which defines the boundary. This can be a time consuming process. The boundary wires also need to be attached to the transmitter which must be mounted in an enclosed area (garage for example) that has access to the boundary wire.
  • The boundary is formed by a signal emitted from the transmitter that forms circle with the transmitter as the center. This circle boundary can be increased or decreased with the turn of a knob. There is an inherent flexibility with this feature.
  • The basic draw backs of wireless fences (as compared to in-ground fences) are are cost and boundary definition. In-ground fences can have larger available boundaries and more complex boundary definition capability.

Note that you can use this product with a cat if they will tolerate the collar receiver size and weight.

How Does Wireless Fencing Work?

Installation is performed by setting the transmitter in the center of the circular boundary you wish to define and adjusting the transmitter signal strength to get the desired boundary diameter. The signal is received by your pet’s collar receiver while they are within the boundary area. When your pet approached the perimeter the collar receiver then responds by emitting a warning tone. If the dog approaches further and/or hasn’t retreated, the tone is followed by a mild electrical stimulus. The receiver stimulus can be set to different levels to match pet temperament. Animals properly trained typically learned to avoid the boundary very quickly and do not test the perimeter. The system also detects if a power failure occurs and will shut down the collar receiver so that it will not shock your pet.

What to consider when buying

Fortunately, the wireless fence product offered by Petsafe has an LED indicator on the collar receiver when the battery is low on power. This is probably the most important product feature as a low collar battery is the most common reason that pets breach the boundary. Therefore this is not a consumer concern.

Make sure that a circular boundary is sufficient for your needs. Consider things like gardens, flowers, pools, etc. that you may not want your pet to have access but are within the boundary area. If this is a major concern than perhaps an in-ground system is more appropriate for you.

Also consider the maximum boundary diameter of the product. You can extend the range of the boundary by adding a second transmitter who’s boundary overlaps the first transmitter. This works if you have a second location protected from the elements that has electrical power the second transmitter can be located in.

I currently use a wireless electric fence and have no complaints with it’s performance. As I stated before, I would not do without an electric dog fence. The freedom it offer my pets as well as myself is worth far more that the cost of the item.