The Best Fence for Dogs - Our 2021 Review - Backyard Boss
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The Best Fence for Dogs – Our 2021 Review

Caring for a dog is a rewarding experience, but it’s also one that comes with a lot of responsibility. One of these responsibilities involves keeping your dog safe. If your dog tends to wander or visit your neighbors, they’re at risk for several dangers including encountering an unfriendly dog or being hit by a vehicle. The best way to prevent accidents from happening is to keep your dog safely limited to only your property.

Installing a fence is a great option to keep your dog contained while still allowing them to run and play freely within the space. However, there are a wide variety of different fence styles to choose from. In this article, I share our top picks for the best dog fence as well as some tips and tricks for choosing the best fence for you and your family.

The Backyard Boss Top Dog Fence for 2021

Extreme Dog Fence Second Generation Kit - The Best Fence for Dogs – Our 2021 ReviewExtreme Dog Fence Second Generation Kit
  • Wired Invisible Dog Fence
  • Transmitter Can Cover Area Up to 10 Acres
  • Includes Collar Receivers with Battery, Training Flags, Splice Kits and 10 Staples
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JUSTPET Rechargeable Wireless Dog Containment System - The Best Fence for Dogs – Our 2021 ReviewJUSTPET Rechargeable Wireless Dog Containment System
  • Wireless Invisible Dog Fence and Training System
  • Adjustable Boundary Up to 1000 Feet
  • Includes Rechargeable Collar Receiver, Training Flags, Test Light Tool and 2 Chargers
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PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence  - The Best Fence for Dogs – Our 2021 ReviewPetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence
  • Wireless Invisible Dog Fence
  • Can Cover Up to ¾ Acre
  • Includes 1 Collar Receiver with Battery, Training Flags, Test Light Tool, Mounting Bracket
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MidWest Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen - The Best Fence for Dogs – Our 2021 ReviewMidWest Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen
  • Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen with Walk Through Door
  • 30” Tall, Includes 8 x 2’ Wide Panels
  • Includes 8 Ground Anchors, 8 Corner Stabilizers and 4 Thumb-Snaps
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Carlson Pet Products 3-in-1 Weather-Resistant Outdoor Fence - The Best Fence for Dogs – Our 2021 ReviewCarlson Pet Products 3-in-1 Weather-Resistant Outdoor Fence
  • Steel Mounted Outdoor Fence with Walk Through Door
  • 28” Tall, Adjustable 50-144” Long
  • Includes Fence and Mounting Hardware
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Why You Can Trust us

I was raised to love and respect dogs and the loyalty that they show us. This includes learning how to properly care for our furry family members. As I have grown older, this not only created a love of dogs but also a deep interest in the pet industry and the many products that help us to give them the best lives possible.

My husband and I currently own 2 dogs that we often refer to as our children. We’ve invested in a variety of pet safety products including ensuring that we have a safe, fenced-in yard for them to enjoy. This includes both at home and on the road, as we spend most of our summer camping with them.

Finding the right solutions for our two has taken a lot of research along with a fair amount of trial and error. I hope that this guide will help you to find the right item quickly and easily (and without having to purchase as many items that fall short as we did). After all, every dog owners just want to do their best for their pups.

Best Electric Fence for Irregular Shaped Yards

Extreme Dog Fence Second Generation Kit
    This professional-grade wired dog fence can be installed to accommodate yards of all shapes as well as uneven terrains, making it a great solution for most dog-friendly homes.



Why We Like It: Available in kit packages designed for 1 to 5 dogs, the Extreme Dog Fence Second Generation Kit. 

This invisible dog fence includes professional-grade heavy-duty boundary wire and an updated transmitter with 3 antennas to support the larger coverage area. The company provides a 1-year warranty which can be extended to 10 years by registering your purchase along with customer support for the setting up and training of your dog. The highly durable wire can be installed by burying the wire, running it along an existing physical fence, or tacking the wire on top of the ground.

Waterproof collar receivers are capable of being completely submerged up to 10’ deep, making them a great choice for properties where your dog has access to a pond, pool, or lake for swimming. For multiple dog households, each collar can be individually adjusted to accommodate dogs of all sizes with 7 correction levels and 1 warning tone level.

Who Should Buy It: The Extreme Dog Fence Second Generation Kit provides everything necessary for dog owners with larger, irregularly shaped, or uneven terrain yards. 

Best Rechargeable Wireless Dog Fence

JUSTPET Rechargeable Wireless Dog Containment System
    This rechargeable 2 in 1 wireless dog fence and training system not only works to keep your pet contained at home or on the go, but it also serves as a training collar.



Why We Like It: The JUSTPET Rechargeable Wireless Dog Containment System is a 2-in-1 system that functions both as a wireless dog fence to help keep your dog contained in your yard safely as well as a long-distance training collar. 

The containment system works by setting a radius from the transmitter, which can reach up to 1000 feet. The ‘safe zone’ then extends as a circle radiating out from the transmitter to the set distance. This means no digging up your yard or setting up elaborate fencing systems. This makes it easy to take the unit with you when visiting the cottage or campground. The collar can be adjusted to fit neck sizes from 8” to 28” and the system is suitable for dogs from 10lbs to 110lbs.

The collar receiver is waterproof, allowing your dog to swim while wearing the collar without concern about it causing damage. This is important for those who have a pool, pond, or lake access on the property. While in training system mode, the collar provides warning sound, vibration, and electric shock functions, controlled fully by the buttons on the remote transmitter. The available battery level is visible on the transmitter, and both the transmitter and collar receivers can be recharged using the provided AC charging cords.

Who Should Buy It: If you’re looking for an easy-to-use wireless dog fence and training collar for home or on vacation, the JUSTPET Rechargeable Wireless Dog Containment System is an all-in-one solution worth considering.

Best Invisible Dog Fence for Renters

PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence
    Keep your pet safe with this portable and easy to use wireless fence, providing you with up to ¾ acre of coverage for an unlimited number of pets.



Why We Like It: This easy-to-set-up wireless containment fence allows you to create a barrier around your yard, keeping your dog safe. 

The indoor transmitter offers up to ¾ acre of circular coverage without the need to dig up the yard and bury wires. This means no damage to the yard which makes it an ideal choice for renters. By marking the barrier with the included training flags, you provide your dog with a visible queue of how far they can go during the training process. The portable system is a suitable containment option for the home, cottage, campsite, or any location where you can plug the transmitter into an AC power supply.

A single PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence can accommodate an unlimited number of pets with the purchase of additional collars. The adjustable collar can fit neck sizes ranging from 6” to 28”, making the system suitable for all dogs 5 lbs and larger. The battery lasts approximately 1-2 months, with a low battery indicator letting you know when it’s time to replace it.

Who Should Buy It: The PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence is a great solution for renters by providing a safe containment option without the need for digging up the yard.

Best Dog Fence for Travel

MidWest Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen
    With a simple metal wire design, this foldable dog exercise pen can be used as a contained pet playpen or extended to create a barrier fence.



Why We Like It: Easy to set up and tear down with its thumb-snap design, the MidWest Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen is a highly portable solution for travelers. 

The entire enclosure can be set up in just minutes while the 8 ground anchors make it easy to secure the pen from being knocked over. No tools are required. Each panel is 30” tall and 2’ wide, with a total of 8 panels. If that isn’t large enough, space can be extended by combining multiple pens for a bigger enclosure. A walk-through door on one panel helps to enter and exit the pen, with a secure latch to keep it closed.

While the pen folds up for easy transport, adding multiple pens will require significant additional room. For this reason, it’s not a feasible option for larger areas. The 30” height of the panels will contain most dogs, however, giant breeds or those that are capable of jumping heights taller than 30” may be able to escape the enclosure.

Who Should Buy It: Dog owners that are looking for an easy-to-assemble fencing option that can travel from location to location will enjoy MidWest Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen. 

Best Dog Fence for Decks and Porches

Carlson Pet Products 3-in-1 Weather-Resistant Outdoor Fence
    Capable of being set up as a wall-mounted fence or free-standing barrier, the weather-resistant panels of this outdoor fence can withstand the elements and keep your dog safely contained.



Why We Like It: The Carlson Pet Products 3-in-1 Weather-Resistant Outdoor Fence is the perfect solution for keeping your dog contained in smaller areas such as porches and decks. 

The fence is constructed of 6 configurable panels that can be added or removed as needed to accommodate spaces of different sizes ranging from 50” to 144” wide. One panel includes a walk-through door for easy access with a built-in 9” by 8” small pet door that can be locked or unlocked. Constructed from weather-coated steel, it’s designed to stand up to the elements.

The fence includes multiple safety locks, creating a strong enough barrier to contain medium to large dogs. The included hardware mounting kit makes it easy to wall-mount the gate to deck posts or exterior walls for additional stability. It can also be used as a free-standing fence option. When it’s not in use, the fence folds up for convenient storage.

Who Should Buy It: If you’re searching for a reliable fencing solution for your porch or back deck, the Carlson Pet Products 3-in-1 Weather-Resistant Outdoor Fence will be a great choice.

Types of Fences for Dogs

A brown dog with a white chest sitting next to a metal fence
Image Credit: MabelAmber on Pixabay

There are a wide variety of different fencing solutions available, depending on your personal aesthetic, the dogs that you’re trying to contain, and the space that you’re working with. The first step in picking the right fence for your dog is to know your possibilities.

Invisible Fences

Invisible fences are the fencing options that work by sending an electronic signal to your dog’s collar, either using wired or wireless technology with a transmitter. This signal tells the collar to either provide a warning tone or administer a correction in the form of a shock or vibration.

Collar receivers are small electronic devices that attach to a dog collar, holding them against a dog’s neck. These devices have little contact points that connect with the skin of the dog’s neck to administer the correction. Most companies provide different sizes of contact points for their receiver collars to allow you to adjust based on whether your dog has long hair or short hair to contend with.

The most important thing to note with invisible fences is that they will require training. While you can put training flags out as a visual cue of the barrier, there is still no physical barrier to stop your dog from escaping. If you aren’t prepared to put the training time in, you should consider another alternative.

Wired Fences

These fences require a little more work to install than the wireless varieties, however, they also offer the most flexibility for yards that are an irregular shape. For the fence to work, you must run the wire along the full perimeter of the yard that you’re containing, closing the circuit. Depending on the brand and the type of wire used, this involves burying wire, staking wire down above ground, or securing the wire to an existing traditional fence.

The wire then connects to a transmitter that is usually kept in the home for easy access. From these units, the fence can be turned on or off as necessary. If you wish to adjust the perimeter of the fence or move the fence to a new location, you would either need to move the wiring itself or purchase new wiring for your new home.

Wireless Fences

Both wired and wireless fences work by sending a signal to the collar receiver. The big difference is that they don’t require the installation of wire along the barrier. Instead, the transmitter sends out the signal wirelessly, creating a barrier in a circle around the transmitter itself. The size of this contained area can be customized by adjusting the radius from the transmitter (the distance from the transmitter to the edge of the contained area).

These fences don’t require all the installation work associated with the wired fences, and they’re also better suited for travels. There is no wire to consider, simply adjust the radius of your contained area to suit your new location. However, there are no options to change the shape of the contained area, it will always be a circle surrounding the transmitter.

Traditional Fences

Unlike invisible fences, traditional fences work by creating a physical barrier standing in the way of your dog if they try to escape. This can range from a short and simple log-style fence that your dog is trained to obey right up to a large privacy fence completely blocking all access.

The downside to choosing a traditional fence is that first and foremost, it will be visible. The good news is that there are many options that you can use to add aesthetic appeal to your outdoor space.

Wooden Fences

There are many different wooden fences to choose from for your yard or outdoor space. Some are more for aesthetic reasons, creating a visual barrier at the edge of your property without stopping your dog from leaving the yard. For fences like this, you still have to work on training your dog to understand that they need to adhere to that barrier before trusting it to keep them contained.

The alternative is to create a taller and more solid fence like a wooden privacy fence. These fences create a complete barrier, however, they also cut off any view of the property outside of it.

If you live in a more urban or populated area, a privacy fence is a great way to create your personal space for you and your dog without the prying eyes of neighbors or those passing by your home. These are also a great choice if you have a dog that tends to bark at any people or animals that they see, as it restricts their view of what is happening outside of the yard.

Chain-link Fences

Often used for park spaces or schoolyards, chain link fences are popular largely because they’re highly durable with little to no maintenance required. They have a more industrial appearance which some homeowners may believe takes away from the curb appeal of their home. The open design of the fence will allow your dog to see what is happening outside of your yard while still creating a barrier that they can’t break through.

One concern with the use of chain-link style fences in some situations is the ability of some dogs to scale a fence. The spaces in the fence can provide a foothold for more stubborn and determined dogs, allowing them to escape over the fence. This can be prevented by running plastic slats through the fence, which will also block the view of the outside.

Metal Pet Playpens

Pet playpens are a great alternative for those with smaller dogs, new puppies, or looking for an easy-to-transport solution while on the go. These enclosures come with individual metal panels that attach to create a contained exercise area or a dog gate that can be used to block off or restrict a specific area. The versatility is one reason why these solutions are so popular.

These pens fold down, allowing you to store them easily or pack them away with your gear while traveling. They’re highly popular among campers and those that enjoy RV life or van life, as you can easily create a barrier extending from the doorway into your trailer, van, or RV.

DIY Fences

If you’re looking for a low-cost alternative, why not create your own fence or barrier? Whether you want to contain the whole yard or block off a specific area to restrict access, like a garden fence, there are many great DIY options. Some common examples include using pallets or pallet wood, chicken wire, or reclaimed timber.

The best part about choosing a DIY option is the ability to consider your personal aesthetics. Choose materials that match the décor of your backyard space, and you can create a trendy, stylish, and budget-friendly solution.

A German Shepherd standing on it's hind legs with it's front legs on a wooden and wire fence
Image Credit: tribbs_2009 on Pixabay

How to Choose a Dog Fence

The ‘right’ dog fence for each situation will depend on a variety of important factors including the number of dogs that you’re trying to contain, their size, the space that you’re working with, and the effort that you’re willing to put into the process. Be sure to be completely honest with yourself when considering these options.

Number of Dogs

Some fencing solutions can support multiple dogs at once without much additional work on your part. Traditional fences aren’t restrictive to the number of dogs, as they operate by creating a physical barrier. However, invisible fences can be restricted based on a couple of different factors.

You will need to purchase an additional collar receiver for every dog. Not all transmitters can handle an unlimited number of receivers. If you have a larger number of dogs to consider, make sure to check the restrictions on the fences.

Additionally, you will have to consider the training associated with some of the fencing options. If you choose an invisible fence or a smaller visible barrier that doesn’t restrict the movement of your dogs, you will need to take the time to train each dog individually. Failure to properly train your dog on these fences will result in the devices failing to contain your dogs. If you can’t commit to the work required, you should consider a more permanent physical solution.

Size of Dogs and Temperaments

When considering your fences, the size of the dog that you are trying to contain will make a significant difference. If your dog is a small Chihuahua, you can use a smaller or shorter fence without too much concern. However, with a German Shepherd or another larger breed, you will require something more extensive.

In addition to the size of your dog, consider their temperament. Some dogs are more curious, mischievous, and stubborn than others. If you know that your dog has a history of being an ‘escape artist’, this will be an important factor to consider. 

Space and Terrain

Some fences, like the exercise pens, are better suited for small areas like porches and decks while a wired invisible fence can easily cover a much larger yard. Look at the type of terrain that you’re working with as some fences can adjust to an uneven terrain better than others.

Training Requirements

As I mentioned above, some fencing solutions will require ongoing training on your part while other options will require you to train your dog to recognize and obey the specified boundaries.

If you know that you won’t be able to dedicate the time required, a physical boundary such as a chain-link fence or privacy fence may be the best option. On the other hand, if you’re committed to putting the time and effort into training, an invisible fence will be better for you.

How We Picked

To choose the top dog fence for each situation, we first had to look at the different scenarios in which a dog fence is used, including at home, at the cottage, visiting family/friends, or at the campsite. Another important consideration was the wide spectrum of different dogs ranging from small toy breeds up to giant breeds, as well as the more stubborn dogs that can jump significant heights and the possibility of multi-dog households.

With all of this in mind, we put together a list of reliable dog fence options based on quality, durability, ease of use, reliability, and overall value. In addition to these, we also considered the features that each option provided, the experiences of the Backyard Boss team, and reviews that have been shared by other customers. In the end, we’re left with the top five options available to keep your dog safely contained.

The Best Fence for Dogs Is…

The best fence is going to depend on a variety of factors including the situation that it’s required for and the dog that you’re trying to contain. That being said, some important factors can be applied to every fence option. This includes the quality of the fence, ease of use, and reliability. We all want to choose a secure fence that we can trust to keep our pets contained.

Of the options listed, the one fence that stood out was the Extreme Dog Fence Second Generation Kit. It requires a little more work to install than the other options on the list, but it can secure a large or irregular-shaped yard and will work for nearly any dog owner. Additionally, the wire can be staked down above ground which means that it can be moved far easier than most wired invisible fences.