How Does a Pet Fence Work?
An invisible fence is a great way to contain your dog without dealing with the hassle or expense of building a traditional fence. An invisible fence is nearly maintenance-free, and it’s a great option if you don’t want an obstructed view.
The price of an pet fence varies based on the type of system, the size of your property, and whether you install the system yourself or hire a professional. You could spend just $150 for an invisible fence or you could spend $2,000. We’ll get into pricing specifics later on in this guide.
Try Our Free Electronic Fence Installation Quote Request Tool
Tell us some details about your needs and get connected to pre-screened companies in your area. Compare free price quotes from multiple companies and save time and money instantly! No obligations to hire or purchase ever!
Find a Fence Pro >>
About Pet Fences
There are two types of invisible fences: wired and wireless. Wired systems are more common for reasons we’ll address a bit later, but there are pros and cons to each. With either system, your dog wears a special collar that sends a mild electronic shock when he or she gets too close to the designated boundary.
Invisible fences may seem cruel, but they’re not. Veterinarians and animal advocacy groups have endorsed them as safe and effective. Most systems give the animal an audible warning before the shock, allowing the pet to back away and avoid it. And the shocks that are delivered are mild, not painful.
When you purchase an invisible fence, plan on spending time training your pet on how it works. Typically, pets are trained to stay eight feet from the boundary wire; however, the signal can be adjusted to make the limits closer or farther away.
Invisible Fence Prices
Do-it-yourself invisible fence kits cost about $150 to $400. That includes enough wire and flags for a quarter acre (unless the system is wireless), one transmitter and one collar. Expansion kits for larger yards of up to one acre in size cost about $30 to $50. Extra collars cost about $100.
Professionally installed, the average wired electric fence will run you about $1,000 to $1,500. However, the price for vary small yards can be closer to $500 and the price for very large yards can top $2,000. Wireless systems rarely require professional installation.
Budget about $50 to $100 per year to replace the collar batteries. The batteries typically need to be replaced every three to four months.
Choosing an Invisible Fence
There are many types and brands of invisible fences, each with varying attributes. Here are a few things to consider when choosing one:
- Wired or wireless? Wireless systems are much easier to install, but they’re not as effective. The transmitter creates a circular boundary that cannot be adapted to the shape of your yard. In many cases, you’re confining the dog to a smaller area than necessary. With wired systems, you can control the size and shape of the boundary, and you can block off specific areas such as gardens and flower beds.
- Single level of correction or multiple? Always choose a system with multiple correction settings so you can adjust the level of shock. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to shock. Some dogs are more sensitive and react to lower levels of correction, while others require a stronger sensation.
- What size is your dog? If you have a Chihuahua, chances are you can get by with a weaker transmitter than the owner of an English Mastiff.
- How large is your yard? If you have a small yard, just about any transmitter will do. If you have lots of acreage, you’ll need to buy a more powerful transmitter. Pay attention to the transmitter’s distance limits.
- What kind of collar is included? Some collars are designed for small dogs; others for large dogs. Some are designed for stubborn dogs; others for more passive dogs. Most require replacement batteries, but some are rechargeable. Be sure to read the detailed description of the collar before making a purchase.
Installing an Invisible Fence
People who are handy often choose to do the installation themselves to save money. Wireless systems are simple to install; wired systems are more complex.
There are several methods of installing a wired system – you can bury the wires, staple them to the ground or run them along a fence. Burying the lines involves more work because you’ll have to dig a trench around the property, but the wires are more secure that way. If you have a small yard, you can probably dig the trench by hand. For a large yard, you’re better off renting or borrowing a gas-powered trencher or edger.
After the wires have been laid or buried, install the transmitter, connect the system and power it up. The transmitter must be installed indoors where temperatures do not drop below freezing. The garage is a popular spot. If the wires are buried, it’s a good idea to put flags around the perimeter to give your dog a visual indicator of the boundary.