5 Best Underground Dog Fences (2020 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 are the 5 top-rated underground dog fences we’ve reviewed in 2020.

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

** Underground Dog Fence Comparison Table

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 that 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 levels of adjustable static correction 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:

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

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

Need an underground dog fence system 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 that will 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.

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

PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence
Photo Credit : PetSafe

Want an underground 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 fence system is expandable, giving you the ability to pair with additional wire to contain up to 10 acres. It 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.

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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 Underground Electric 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 dog fence apart from many other brands is that its radio frequency can be adjusted 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.

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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 dog fence system only has 4 levels of adjustable static correction, 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

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Best Underground Dog Fence
Photo Credit : SportDog Brand

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.

How Do Underground Dog Fences Work?

An underground dog fence, also known as an invisible dog fence, consists of a few things, a transmitter, receiver collar, and in-ground wiring. 

It works by sending radio waves from the 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.

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? Below we’ve listed out some of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of dog fence system.

Underground Dog Fence

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Wireless Dog Fence

What We Like

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How About Regular 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!

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

There are a few features you need to take into consideration 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. 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 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 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 we 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. We’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 not crossing 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. Also, note that the price will increase 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 dog fence wire?

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.