5 Best Underground Dog Fences (2022 Reviews)

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Keeping your dog close to your house can be difficult if you live in a neighborhood where traditional fences aren’t allowed.

And that’s when an underground dog fence comes into play.

With a transmitter, underground wire, and a receiver collar, it allows you to create an invisible boundary to prevent your pup from leaving the designated safe area.

Below you will find the 5 top-rated underground dog fences I’ve reviewed in 2022.

Model PetSafe Basic In-Ground Dog Fence SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence Extreme Underground Electric Dog Fence Petsafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence
Coverage Area Up to 1/3 acre Up to 1 1/3 acres Up to 1/3 acre Up to 4 acres Up to 1/3 acre
Expandable Boundary Yes, up to 5 acres with additional wire Yes, up to 100 acres with additional wire Yes, up to 10 acres with additional wire Yes, up to 25 acres with additional wire Yes, up to 25 acres with additional wire
Boundary Flags 50 50 100 200 50
Number of Dogs Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Waterproof Collar
Collar Neck Size 6-26 inches Not specified 6-28 inches 10-30 inches 6-28 inches
Correction Type Tone
4 levels of static correction
Tone
Vibration
7 levels of static correction
Tone
5 levels of static correction
Tone
7 levels of static correction
Tone
Vibration
4 levels of static correction
Contact Probes Short and long Standard Short and long Short and long Short and long
Collar Battery Non-rechargeable Rechargeable Rechargeable Non-rechargeable Non-rechargeable
Mininum Dog Weight 8 pounds 8 pounds 5 pounds 8 pounds 8 pounds
Product Details Check Here Check Here Check Here Check Here Check Here

** Underground Invisible Fence for Dogs Comparison Table

Underground Dog Fence (Invisible Dog Fence): How Do They Work?

Best Underground Dog Fence
Photo Credit : SportDog Brand

You probably have heard of the terms underground dog fence, invisible dog fence, in-ground dog fence, and wireless fence when you search online and are confused with all the different types of dog fence systems that are available.

Well. You’re not alone. Many dog owners are confused about these, too, so I’ll explain the differences between them.

These terms are often used interchangeably, even though they refer to two different types of fencing systems for dogs with totally different strategies for keeping your pup secure within a specific area.

Invisible dog fences can be both in-ground fences or wireless fences and are essentially the broader term of the two.

So, underground dog fences are also called invisible dog fences and in-ground dog fences. This dog fence system requires you to bury wires around the perimeter of your yard for containment purposes.

It works by sending radio waves from the base unit in the home (transmitter) to the buried wire that surrounds your property. And when the receiver collar your dog wears is close enough to the boundary, it will pick up the signal and emit a beep and vibrations (only some models) to warn your pup. If they continue to cross the buried line, they will receive a mild electric shock.

Wireless fences work in a very similar way but without the need to dig and install wire along the perimeter of your property, just like its name suggests. The PetSafe wireless dog fence is an example of this.

The base unit will directly communicate with the receiver collar and give your canine a warning tone or vibration when they are getting too close to the boundary. And again, if your pup continues past that invisible line, then they’ll receive a mild electric shock.

Now you may be thinking, if both types of invisible fences work on the same principle, why would you choose the in-ground dog fencing system? Since it gives you extra work and hassle, requiring you to dig and bury additional wires, wouldn’t it be easier to use a wireless fence instead?

I’ll explain and provide you with the reasoning why you should pick the in-ground type over wireless fences in a minute, but first, I’ll talk about why you should use or buy an underground fence in general.

Why Buy an Underground Fence for Dogs?

An in-ground dog fence gives your furry friend the freedom to roam freely in the yard while preventing them from leaving the defined area, ultimately keeping them safe from the busy roads nearby.

It is especially beneficial for owners who don’t have a physical fence to keep their dogs contained due to the Homeowners Association (HOA) rules and restrictions. And because the wire is in the ground, there won’t be any obstructions blocking the beautiful views of your yard.

Not only that, but it is also more cost-effective than conventional fences. An underground fence system only costs between $150 to $350, and depending on where you live, installing a traditional fence can easily set you back around $1,500 to $3,000 for the same size of the property.

Why Choose Underground Dog Fencing Systems Over Wireless Dog Fences?

There are a few reasons why you should choose in-ground fences over wireless invisible fence systems. For one, they offer a better containment area.

What I mean by that is, most wireless fences can only work up to a standard range of about 1/2 acre to 3/4 acre. On the other hand, in-ground dog fences allow you to expand up to a whopping 100 acres, depending on the brand. Yes, you’re reading this right. Although you might not need one this big, it’s nice to know that you have the option of adding on another section if needed.

Secondly, with an underground invisible dog fence system, you can customize the shape however you like. This can come in handy, especially if you have gardens or pools you want to keep your dog away from. But with wireless fences, you’re stuck with a circular-shaped area.

Another reason why you should choose wired over a wireless invisible fence is that they’re more effective.

Wireless fences can be affected by the type of terrain they are set up in. Not only that but their signals can also be disrupted by the weather and obstructions like big rocks and trees. So it’s not always a guarantee that you won’t have to worry about anything.

In contrast, in-ground invisible fence systems are more reliable and won’t be affected by the weather or the shape of your landscape. In fact, if your house is on a hill or slope, an underground invisible dog fence is what you should go for.

Overall, in-ground dog fences give you more control and flexibility when setting up boundaries, making them easier to work with. And while they may require additional setup than wireless systems, they provide you with better results and performance.

In Summary: Underground Dog Fence vs. Wireless Dog Fence

If you’ve been shopping for the best underground fence for dogs, the chances are that you’ve also come across wireless dog fences. So, how is a wireless dog fence compared to an in-ground dog fence? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of dog fence system? Below is the summary of each type and why you should choose one over the other: 

In-Ground Invisible Dog Fence

What We Like

Pros

What We Dislike

Cons

Wireless Dog Fence System

What We Like

Pros

What We Dislike

Cons

How About Traditional Dog Fences?

There are many different regular fences on the market, such as wood fences, chain-link fences, picket fences, and wide-gap metal fences. And you can, of course, put up one of those to stop your dog from escaping from the yard, but the drawback is that they are more expensive and labor-intensive.

Also, some communities may have limitations on the types of fences you can install. Even if physical barriers are allowed in where you live, there’s always a possibility your pooch will dig under or jump over it to escape!

Read More: 8 Reasons Why Dogs Dig & How to Stop Them From Digging

5 Best Invisible Dog Fences (In-Ground)

1. Our Top Pick - PetSafe Basic In-Ground Dog Fence

PetSafe Basic In-Ground Dog Fence
Photo Credit : PetSafe

The PetSafe Basic In-Ground Dog Fence is our top choice for underground dog fences. It has everything you need to contain your dog in the perimeter and is twice as cheap as most in-ground dog fences on the market.

It includes 500 feet of wire to cover up to a ⅓-acre yard and is expandable up to 5 acres by adding more wire. The receiver collar has 4 adjustable static correction levels and a tone-only mode to keep your dog safe and secure in the boundary. It also has an automatic safety shut-off feature to prevent your pup from receiving an extended static shock if they stay in the correction zone for 30 seconds.

The receiver collar is lightweight, waterproof, and has a low battery indicator that will tell you when the battery needs a replacement.

Key Features:

What We Like

PROS

What We Dislike

CONS

Bottom Line: This is the best cheap in-ground dog fence. It’s an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on features and has everything you need to contain your pooch within a designated perimeter.

2. Best for Large Acreage - SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System

SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System
Photo Credit : SportDog Brand

Need an underground electric dog fence that can cover a large amount of acreage?

Look no further than the SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System. While the included wire and flags can only cover 1⅓ acres, it is expandable to a whopping 100 acres with additional wire and flags.

The receiver collar is rechargeable, waterproof, and has 7 adjustable static stimulation levels to deter your dog from leaving the safe zone. Plus, a tone and vibration mode can help warn your canine as they approach the boundary. The collar also has an anti-linger feature that prevents your pup from draining the battery when they stand in the warning zone.

The transmitter comes with a built-in power surge and lightning protector, along with an alarm system that will tell you immediately if there’s a break in the wire.

Key Features:

What We Like

PROS

What We Dislike

CONS

Bottom Line: If you want an in-ground dog fence for a large area, the SportDOG Brand is your best bet. It comes with wire and flags to cover 1⅓ acres of land. If needed, you can also expand it to cover up to 100 acres with additional wire and flags (sold separately). The system also has built-in lightning protection and a power surge protector to protect it from electrical damages.

3. Best for Small Dogs - PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence

PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence
Photo Credit : PetSafe

Want an underground invisible fence for small dogs?

Consider the PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence, a popular option on the market, with a coverage area of up to ⅓ acre.

As you would expect, this invisible fence system is expandable, giving you the ability to pair with additional wire to contain up to 10 acres. It also includes a waterproof, rechargeable receiver collar that fits small dogs who weigh 5 pounds and above, with 5 levels of adjustable static correction and a sound-only warning mode to keep your pup safe in their secure play area.

What’s more, it has a static-free re-entry feature that won’t correct your fido when they return to the safe zone.

Key Features:

What We Like

PROS

What We Dislike

CONS

Bottom Line: This invisible fence is a great option for small dogs. The collar, which fits pets weighing as light as 5 pounds, has five levels of adjustable static correction and a tone-only mode to keep your pup safe within the confines of their secure play area.

4. Best for Large Dogs - Extreme Underground Electric Dog Fence

Extreme Underground Electric Dog Fence
Photo Credit : Extreme Dog Fence

If you have a large dog, you would probably want to consider the Extreme Dog Fence.

It comes with a receiver collar that can fit a neck size between 10-30 inches, with a beep-only mode and 7 adjustable correction levels to emit an intense enough static shock to deter your large dog from crossing the boundary. It is also waterproof, meaning your four-legged friend can swim with the collar on as its functionality won’t be affected.

What sets this underground electric fence system apart from other brands is that you can adjust its radio frequency from the digital transmitter to prevent interference with nearby fence systems. Each collar’s correction level can also be programmed individually based on each dog’s needs, which is especially useful if you have multiple dogs with different temperaments.

Key Features:

What We Like

PROS

What We Dislike

CONS

Bottom Line: This is an excellent option if you have a large dog as the receiver collar can fit around necks of up to 30 inches. Also made with durability in mind, this is one of the most sturdy underground invisible dog fences on the market, ideal for containing large rowdy and adventurous pups.

5. Best for Stubborn Dogs - PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence

PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence
Photo Credit : PetSafe

Have a stubborn dog who doesn’t listen to you when you tell them not to leave the yard? Consider the PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence.

While this underground electric dog fence only has 4 adjustable static correction levels, it has a higher intensity to keep the most persistent dogs safe and secure inside the set perimeter. It also has a tone-only and vibration mode that will warn your canine as they get closer to the edge.

Like the PetSafe Basic In-Ground Dog Fence, it has an automatic safety shut-off feature that keeps your fido from receiving an extended static stimulation if they remain in the correction zone for 30 seconds.

Key Features:

What We Like

PROS

What We Dislike

CONS

Bottom Line: If you have a persistent pooch who doesn’t listen to you when you tell them not to leave the yard, then this is the ideal underground electric dog fence to use. It comes with a more intense static correction than most brands and will surely be enough to keep your willful pup in the yard even if they are determined to escape.

Best In Ground Dog Fence Buyer’s Guide: Important Features to Consider

There are a few features you need to consider when buying an underground fence for your pup. Here are some of them. 

Covered Area

Some underground fences have a coverage area of up to 5 acres with additional wire, while some can cover 100 acres of land. So, make sure the one you are getting is enough to cover your yard or places you want to prevent your furkid from entering.

Wire Gauge

wire size chart
Photo Credit : Extreme Dog Fence

It may also be a good idea to check the wire’s size, also known as wire gauge. The reason is that you will find some fence systems come with 20 gauge wire, whereas some use 14 gauge wire. The lower the number, the thicker the boundary wire. And you are better off picking those that include thicker wire (lower gauge) as they are more robust and don’t break easily.

Correction Type and Levels

Many receiver collars will have both beep-only and static stimulation, while some have additional vibration mode, which is particularly beneficial for training hearing-impaired dogs. And ideally, you would want to choose collars with more correction levels as that will give you the flexibility to fine-tune the static’s intensity to match your dog’s temperament.

Size of the Receiver Collar

Also, take a look at the size of the receiver dog collar. Most collars have an adjustable strap, and make sure to choose those that can fit your dog’s neck snugly. Not too big or too small to ensure it can effectively train your furry friend and won’t make it uncomfortable for them. 

Waterproof Collar

It may also be better to select underground invisible fence systems that use waterproof collars. That way, you don’t have to worry about the collar malfunctions when it rains or if your pup decides to jump into your backyard pool for a swim.

Number of Dogs

Though all dog fence systems I recommended can contain an unlimited number of dogs, some can only handle up to as little as two dogs. So, it would be a good idea to check how many collars the system you want to get can support if you have multiple dogs at home or if you plan to adopt more dogs in the future.

Battery

The type of battery used in the receiver collar is another thing you have to consider. The ones that use rechargeable batteries are much more convenient and cheaper than those powered by disposable batteries in the long run.

Step by Step Guide on How to Train Your Dog to Use an Underground Dog Fence

Now you’ve got your in-ground dog fence set up but unsure how to train your canine to use it? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered too! 

  1. Introduce your pup to the fence by marking the boundary with the included flags.
  2. Set the correction type to tone-only mode, walk your pup towards the edge with the collar on, and when it beeps, walk them back and reward them with their favorite treats. That is to get them to understand they have to return when they hear the audible warning.
  3. Repeat this process until they will go back to the safe zone without you assisting them.
  4. Once they’ve learned what the warning beep means, you can start introducing them to the static correction.
  5. Now set the static stimulation to the lowest setting, and if they stop and do not cross the boundary line, praise and reward them with their favorite treats. But if they ignore the correction, you would want to increase the intensity until they react to the shock and avoid approaching the edge.
  6. Next, you would want to throw something rewarding outside the buried line like their favorite toys, tennis balls, or get people to walk by to ensure they will ignore the distractions and remain in the safe zone.
  7. Once your pup has passed all the steps, you can let them roam freely. And make sure to leave the boundary flags there for a couple of weeks until they know exactly where they can or cannot go.

Best Underground Dog Fence FAQ

How much do invisible dog fences cost?

Underground dog fences usually cost around $150 to $350, depending on the model. Those with a higher price tag typically come with longer wire and more correction types and levels to help train your dog. And of course, the price will be higher if you buy extra accessories, for instance, more wire to expand the boundary and additional collars to contain multiple dogs.

How deep should I bury the underground electric dog fences?

It depends on the model you buy, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. However, most will recommend two to three inches deep as burying too deep can affect its signal strength and reliability. 

Are underground fences the best invisible dog fence or the better pet containment systems than wireless dog fence systems?

As mentioned earlier, both types of invisible fences have their pros and cons. It really depends on your preference. But consider spending a little more to have an in-ground invisible dog fence installed if your yard is large or has many obstacles. 

Does the invisible fence for dogs really work?

Invisible fences for dogs do work when installed correctly and that your canine is trained properly. It’s not just about getting the collar on your dog and letting them run around outside with the wireless system turned on. You have to spend time training your pup to help them understand what it means to have the collar on, and more importantly, know where the boundaries are.

Do I need to train my dog to use an invisible fence?

Yes. As with any dog gear, be it a collar or harness, you need to train your furry friend on how to use it. In this case, it means teaching them what each signal (beep and vibration) means and where the boundaries are that they cannot cross.

How long will it take to train my dog to use invisible electric dog fences?

Since each canine is different, I won’t be able to give you an exact answer. However, it took me about four weeks to train my dog, but it can take twice as long for others. So be patient and give your dog time to learn and adjust to their new boundary area. 

Is there an invisible fence that does not require burying wire?

Yes. These are called wireless fences designed to work with a transmitter that’s placed near where you want to establish the “safe zone” around. And they will emit a circular signal up to a 3/4-acre boundary area. One thing to note, though, if there are many trees or obstacles around your site, this type of pet containment might not suit you.

Which type of invisible fences is better for irregularly shaped landscapes?

An underground or in-ground electric dog fence is better for irregularly shaped land. Unlike wireless pet containment systems that create a circular signal, this type of system is designed to let you create a specific shape and size and gives you the ability to expand the coverage area if needed.