SportDOG In-Ground Fence System

Last updated date: March 20, 2019

DWYM Score
9.2

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We looked at the top 1 Invisible Fences and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, The Daily Shep, Up Dog Fence, Wireless Dog Fence Guide, Woof Dog, Pet Life Today, Paw Castle and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Invisible Fence you should buy.

Overall Take

You'll get some of the benefits of a wireless system with the SportDOG In-Ground Fence System, which is a hybrid model. You can easily add more dogs to this system by purchasing extra collars, but you'll pay more than $100 each. If you have more than an acre of land, this may be the best choice for your home since it offers coverage for 1.3 acres, with expandability to 10 acres for an extra cost. In our analysis of 50 expert reviews, the SportDOG SportDOG In-Ground Fence System placed 1st when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 26, 2019:
Checkout The Best Invisible Fence for a detailed review of all the top invisible fences.

Expert Summarized Score
9.7
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.1
650 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
It is expandable and the transmitter is strong enough to cover up to 100 acres
- BestReviews
System has a Wire-break Transmitter alarm that alerts you to possible problems with the Boundary Wire
- The Daily Shep
Huge Area Coverage- SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System or Contain + Train System can easily cover up to 100 acres of the place. With the availability of 1000 feet long boundary wire, and an easy to install manual in hand, setting up a secured fencing system is extremely easy.
- Up Dog Fence
The static corrections work effectively on dogs to teach them proper behavior and the allotted boundaries.
- Wireless Dog Fence Guide
Wire-break alarm present on the transmitter
- Woof Dog
As a top-rated hybrid system, the SportDOG Invisible Dog Fence blends buried wire with wireless receiver collars, to build a highly expandable, highly customizable containment system.
- Pet Life Today
Cover up to 1.3 acres and can be extended up to 10 acres with added flag receptors.
- Paw Castle
What experts didn't like
On the more expensive side, but it's well worth the investment
- BestReviews
The standard model doesn’t have very thick/strong wire
- The Daily Shep
A lot of Digging and Fencing to do- One of the most obvious downsides of the underground wire fencing system is the excessive amount of work linked to it. Only purchase this containment kit, if you can give a lot of time and energy installing it.
- Up Dog Fence
The battery is non-rechargeable, so you have to stock up on a few batteries.
- Wireless Dog Fence Guide
500 ft. of wire included unlike 1000ft. being advertised
- Woof Dog
The package comes with many small items that could get lost easily during the installation process.
- Paw Castle

From The Manufacturer

The SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence system is a simple and cost-effective alternative to a traditional fence. 1,000 feet of wire, 100 flags, 1 Transmitter, and 1 Collar Receiver are included to keep your dog contained in a yard up to 1 1/3 acres.

Overall Product Rankings

1. SportDOG In-Ground Fence System
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 7
2. PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment Systems
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 8
3. Perimeter Technologies Ultimate Dog Fence
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 3
4. Extreme Dog Fence Invisible Fence
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 6
5. PetSafe Stay+Play Wireless Fence
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 4
6. Pet Control HQ Wireless Combo Electric Dog Fence System
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 3
7. PetSafe Basic In-Ground Fence
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 3
8. Friendly Pet Products Wireless Dog Fence
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 6
9. High Tech Pet Electronic Pet Containment Systems
Overall Score: 7.0
Expert Reviews: 3

An Overview On Invisible Fences

Life with a dog in today’s neighborhoods can be tough. Some don’t allow fences and even in those that do, the type of fencing allowed can be extremely expensive. Taking a dog out on a leash multiple times a day gets old quickly. Plus, dogs benefit from being able to run and play freely.

Invisible fencing is a great alternative to pricey, obstructive fencing. Today’s invisible fencing options mean you don’t even have to bury a wire if you prefer. After an initial training period, you’ll hopefully find your dog doesn’t even try to cross the barrier, keeping Fido safe while also giving him the freedom to roam.

The biggest decision you’ll face when you commit to buying an electric fence is whether to go with a wireless or traditional model. Traditional electric fences involve burying wire ­— a process that can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Although wireless fences clearly have that advantage, they do have a few issues. They use a transmitter to send a signal, which means bulky items can interfere. They also may not work as well on smaller yards or in bad weather.

Weather is a consideration with all electric fences. It’s important to make sure the collar that comes along with any electric fence you buy is waterproof. Otherwise, it could short out and harm your dog. You’ll find many of the collars on the market offer that feature. Another weakness of electric fences is that they keep your dog contained, but they don’t restrict your yard from visitors. For this reason, you may want to keep an eye on your dog and have a plan in case a stray dog, critter or even a person happens to walk through your yard.

Electric fencing has been associated with sending a shock to the dog, but many of today’s units use sound as a deterrent, with the jolt being the final measure. A continuous beep will warn the dog who, when properly trained, will gradually learn to avoid that area. Some dogs never even need a physical warning.

Overall, though, many people have found electric fences provide a great level of security. Once trained, you’ll find your dog likely doesn’t even stray to the edge of the yard. Experts recommend multiple short training sessions initially with flags around the yard. You’ll walk your dog on a leash, helping him learn the boundary area. As the dog nears the boundary, the unit will beep, eventually teaching him to avoid that area.

DYWM Fun Fact

You may have only begun hearing about electric fencing for dogs in recent years, but the technology has actually been in use for more than a century. You likely first heard about the electric fence in a movie since it was initially used to deter people from crossing certain barrier lines.

It was invented in New Zealand in 1936 by an inventor who wanted to deter his horses from getting close to his car. At first, this type of fencing was expensive and had a limited range. It became more prevalent in the 1960s, when an inventor adjusted the technology, making it not only more affordable but safer.

Invisible pet fences came along in the 1970s when a traveling salesman named Richard Peck came up with the idea for what would become known as the Invisible Fence brand. The fence provided a way to train pets to stay in their yard that was safer than traditional electric fencing.

The Invisible Fence Buying Guide

  • The first choice you’ll need to make is whether you want a traditional buried-wire fence or a wireless system. PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment is a wireless model, which means you won’t have to install any wire. This also makes it more flexible than wired models, which will require you to dig up any existing wire or install new wire if you ever want to alter the range. The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System is a hybrid model that uses a combination of a wireless receiver and wire in the ground to keep pets safe.
  • Some households have more than one dog. Even if that isn’t you yet, consider that you may eventually decide Benji needs a companion. The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System can be expanded using SDF-R Add-A-Dog Collars, which retail for more than $100 each. With PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment, you can buy additional collars for less than $50, which could sway you in the direction of a wireless fence.
  • The Perimeter Technologies Ultimate Dog Fence and High Tech Pet Electronic Pet Containment Systems both sell their systems based on the number of dogs you have, with the price jumping up significantly from one to two or three dogs. The big negative to this is that if you add a dog later, you’ll have to upgrade your system rather than just adding another collar.
  • This may not top your list of features, but the High Tech Pet Electronic Pet Containment Systems collar offers something other systems don’t: fitness tracking. You’ll be able to see the percentage of time your dog spends resting versus active, as well as how much of that active time is spent engaging in mild and intense activity.
  • Coverage area is important as well. SportDOG In-Ground Fence System covers 1.3 acres out of the box. You can purchase more flag receptors to increase that up to 10 acres. With the Perimeter Technologies Ultimate Dog Fence system, you’ll choose from 500 feet to 2,500 feet, with the latter option only increasing the cost slightly. However, you can purchase additional wire to expand that unit up to 10 acres. The PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment covers up to half an acre, but it’s important to note that wireless units rely on a signal. You’ll be able to adjust within 90 feet in each direction, so that can put restrictions on the area in which you can use it.
  • Dog size can also restrict which unit you choose, especially if you have an extremely small dog. The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System is limited to dogs over 10 pounds, while PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment works with dogs as small as 8 pounds, with neck sizes between 6 and 28 inches. The Perimeter Technologies Ultimate Dog Fence works with dogs between 8 and 120 pounds.
  • If you’re working with a budget, you’ll find many electric fences range between $200 and $300. However, you’ll add to that price if you want to expand your coverage area or if you have more than one pet to safeguard.
  • Any purchase of a new electric fence will start with a training period. Some of today’s fences use tone-based correction, with the shock kicking in only once that part of correction fails. The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System sends a tone and vibrates the collar as the dog nears the boundary area, which will be enough to encourage some dogs to back off. The PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment has a tone-only mode that you can use during training.
  • As for the physical correction portion of your electric fencing, the SportDOG In-Ground Fence System uses four correction levels that you set, each increasing in intensity. PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment and the Perimeter Technologies Ultimate Dog Fence each have five correction levels.
  • You probably already know that water and electricity don’t mix very well, but your dog will still have to go out when it’s raining. For that reason, there are many waterproof collars now. The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System, PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment and High Tech Pet Electronic Pet Containment Systems all have waterproof collars.
  • If there’s an issue with your in-ground wire, you may not realize it until it’s too late. The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System remedies that by sending an alarm if a problem is detected with the boundary wire.
  • With in-ground systems, you’ll, unfortunately, need to do some digging and burying when your wire first arrives. The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System includes an installation manual to help walk you through it.
  • Your collars will come with batteries that have to be replaced. But these collars are known for going through batteries fairly quickly. The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System takes a standard 9-volt battery that you can buy in any hardware store. The High Tech Pet Electronic Pet Containment Systems collar and PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment collar, on the other hand, require a special replacement battery that you have to special order every time.
  • One additional benefit of a wireless fence like PetSafe Wireless Fence Pet Containment is portability. If you move, you simply pack up all your items and go. With in-ground systems, you’ll need to dig everything up and install it at the new location.
  • Another safety feature not found on all electric fences is lightning surge protection. The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System has that protection built into its transmitter.
  • The Perimeter Technologies Ultimate Dog Fence comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which may be a plus for those who want that security. The SportDOG In-Ground Fence System includes customer service that can answer any questions you have, six days a week. That system also includes an operating guide with training tips to help walk you through those tough early days.
  • One benefit of High Tech Pet Electronic Pet Containment Systems is that it also includes bark control. This will help with cutting down on barking, which can be particularly important if you live in close proximity to other homes.