What Is a Wireless Dog Fence and How Does It Work? - Backyard Boss
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What Is a Wireless Dog Fence and How Does It Work?

Wireless dog fences are an ingenious system that completely replaces the need for a physical boundary fence.

The system creates a safe dog perimeter “fence” as well as a “danger” or “no-go” zone for your pet. Wearing a special collar, whenever your dog gets too close, or attempts crossing the invisible perimeter you have set for them, an alarm goes off. Depending on the exact wireless dog fence product you’re using, there may also be a vibrating sensation accompanied by the beeping or buzzing of the collar.

Do Wireless Dog Fences Really Work?

There is no cut-and-dry answer to this question. Just as old-fashioned fences don’t always keep pets or livestock from breaking the perimeter and getting away, neither do wireless fences. However, with wireless dog fences, the beeping and/or vibrations that occur whenever they try to cross the boundary are actively teaching them what areas are off-limits to them.

With classic fences, there is no active teaching process happening, rather the fence acts as a physical barrier or at least a visible reminder of where they shouldn’t go. A wireless fence allows you to rest assured that your dog will be corrected if they try to take advantage of the fact that you aren’t there to watch over them and test their boundaries.

It is also crucial to note that some systems utilize collars that activate a small electric burst to get the dog’s attention if they ignore the beeping and cross the dog perimeter. The shock is not meant to harm the animal whatsoever, but should simply startle them into stopping what they are trying to do.

How Does a PetSafe Wireless Fence Work?

An info-graphic showing a PetSafe dog perimeter being broadcast around a house.

The PetSafe Wireless Fence is one of the easiest dog fences on the market. It takes barely any time to set up and can be taken anywhere, making it great for traveling as well as at home. All you need to do is stick a few flags in the ground, plug the transmitter into any standard outlet, and put the lightweight receiver collar on your pet.

    PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Fence

PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Fence for Stubborn Dogs
    This wireless fence covers a circular rage of a 3/4-acre and is suitable for dogs up to five pounds and a neck circumference of six to 28 inches.

The transmitter broadcasts a circular signal that is approximately three-quarters of an acre in diameter around the home. The receiver then emits warning “beeps” from the collar letting your dog know when they’re about to go out of bounds. If the area is too big, you can adjust it to be smaller. On the other hand, if it isn’t big enough you can add up to two more transmitters to your PetSafe Wireless Fence to add up to half an acre at a time.

Pros and Cons of Wireless Dog Fences

Now that we’ve discussed what wireless dog fences are, as well as covering how PetSafe fences work, let’s dive a bit deeper into the subject with a quick look at their major advantages and disadvantages.

The Pros:

  • Affordable compared to traditional fences
  • Quick and easy to install and operate
  • Hardly any maintenance is required
  • Aesthetically, they aren’t visible
  • Compatible with any type of terrain
  • Sound mind, knowing your dog has boundaries
  • No need to worry about closing the gate

The Cons:

  • They are not 100-percent escape-proof
  • Beeping and vibrations may not work for all dogs
  • Does nothing to keep wild animals out
  • Some collars actually shock your pet
  • There is a learning curve involved for both pet and owner

Final Thoughts

All things considered, most wireless dog fences are relatively easy to install and use, relying on underground wires or other types of transmitters, as well as a receiver collar. Many systems can be expanded by one transmitter or extra collar at a time to fit your exact needs.

A few important factors to keep in mind while searching for the right wireless dog fence system for you and your pet are the size of your yard and the breed/personality of your dog as well as whether or not you are comfortable with a collar that employs electricity or not.