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E-Fence Buying Guide 2023

E-Fence Buying Guide 2023

Many pet owners use an e-fence as a practical solution to keep their pets inside their property. This gives dogs enough freedom to roam around and play while ensuring they’re still protected and safe.

If you’re exploring the idea of getting an electronic e-fence, you've come to the right blog.

Like bark collars, there’s a diverse collection of e-fences on the market. Because of that, the decision-making process can be a bit tricky and laborious. This blog aims to make it simple and easy for you.

How Does an Electronic Dog Fence Work?

An electronic dog fence works as an invisible barrier to prevent your dog from leaving your property. It creates a boundary that your pet shouldn’t cross. Otherwise, they get a correction. An electric fence is also called a pet containment system or an e-fence for dogs.

A pet containment system includes a dog collar programmed to receive a signal from an e-fence transmitter. Unlike an e-collar with a remote you can carry around, an e-fence requires a mounted or wireless transmitter placed in your house or garage.

A PetSafe In-Ground E-Fence Kit

The transmitter sends a radio signal whenever your dog nears the set boundary. This signal is detected by your dog’s collar, which delivers stimulation to warn your pet to back off from the perimeter.

With proper training and consistency, your dog learns to avoid the property boundary.

What Are the Types of Electric Dog Fences?

Electric dog fences typically are of two types: in-ground and wireless fences. Let’s take a look at how they differ from each other.

1. In-ground E-Fence

In-ground fences have underground wires to outline the boundary where your dog shouldn’t cross. The wires are then connected to the transmitter installed inside the house. In-ground dog fences are also commonly known as underground fences.

2. Wireless E-Fence

As the name implies, wireless dog fences don’t need wires to operate. Instead, it employs a wireless circular range or barrier with its transmitter plugged somewhere inside the house or garage.

In-Ground vs. Wireless Dog Fence: Which One Is Better?

E-Fence Type



In-Ground Fence

  • Good alternative to unsightly traditional physical fences
  • Coverage area can be expanded
  • Customizable boundary depending on the shape or containment area
  • Perfect for any terrain or landscape
  • Requires wires to be buried
  • Generally, not portable

Wireless Fence

  • Great alternative if you’re not allowed to put up a physical fence
  • Easy to install without the need to bury wires
  • Portable for any adventure
  • Covers a smaller boundary area
  • Limited to a circular range
  • Not ideal on rectangular-shaped properties


What Is the Best Electric Fence for Dogs?

There are a lot of options available for pet containment systems. To ensure you get the right equipment, you must know what e-fence features to look for. The following are the top things to consider before buying an e-fence:

1. Shape of Your Property

As mentioned earlier, in-ground and wireless e-fence systems operate differently. The former gives you leeway for the boundary shape you want, while the latter is limited only to circular coverage. Hence, a wireless dog fence may not be the best choice if you have an odd-shaped property.

Outlined Property Lot Area

2. Coverage Area

Electronic dog fences vary according to their coverage area. Some can cover as much as 100 acres or more. On the other hand, other e-fences can only provide a smaller boundary space, for instance, 5 acres or less. Underground dog fences usually cover a broader area, so this is perfect if you have expansive land.

House and Lot Property Outlined Using Broken Lines

3. Ease of Installation

One advantage of using an e-fence for dogs is its ease of installation. With an invisible dog fence, you get to skip the backbreaking work that traditional fences entail. However, between the two e-fence types, the wireless e-fence is easier and faster to install.

Installation Process

  • In-Ground E-Fence

Since in-ground fences allow you to customize the containment area, this means you need to bury the wires. Oftentimes, it’s not much work since a few inches underground would suffice to hide the boundary wires.

Illustration on Burying E-Fence Boundary Wires


The problem comes in when the wire needs to cross a concrete driveway. In this case, the installation requires an expansion joint or concrete groove.

  • Wireless E-Fence

For this type of e-fence, you can have a pet containment area running in less than an hour. Just ensure the e-fence transmitter is plugged somewhere near the middle of your dog’s roaming area.

However, since this type doesn’t have buried wires to tell you where the boundary lies, it can be tricky finding out where it is exactly. You will need to test the system to find out how far the range is around your property.

For a detailed e-fence installation guide, we have a separate blog dedicated to the topic.

4. Dog Size and Personality

Like remote trainers and no bark collars, pet containment systems work best for specific dogs. Some are recommended for small dogs for the simple reason that the collar receivers are built smaller and lighter.

Also, consider an e-fence with multiple levels of correction. This ensures you get to find the perfect level for your dog. Regarding dog personality, timid or sensitive dogs may only need a beep or vibration to keep them away from the boundary. So, look for an electronic dog fence offering other training modes besides static stimulation.

Fluffy Dog Resting in the Frontyard

5. Collar Receiver Rechargeability

Rechargeable e-collars save you additional costs from purchasing replacement batteries. However, this also means you have to wait a few hours to charge the collar before you can use it again. For non-rechargeable batteries, that is not the case. Just ensure you have extra batteries ready to replace a drained battery.

A PetSafe E-Fence Collar Receiver

Choosing the Best E-Fence for Your Dog

When it comes to the best e-fence systems, Dogtra, PetSafe, E-Collar Educator, and SportDOG have excellent collections you can choose from.

Dogtra E-Fence

  • E-Fence 3500 Underground Containment System

PetSafe E-Fence Systems

  • PIF-300 - Wireless Pet Containment System
  • PIF00-12917 - Stay & Play Compact Wireless Fence
  • PIF00-13663 - Stay and Play Wireless Fence for Stubborn Dogs
  • PIF00-15001 - Stay and Play Wireless Fence
  • PIG00-10777 - Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence
  • PIG00-11115 - YardMax Rechargeable Fence
  • PIG00-13661 - In-Ground Fence
  • PIG00-14582 – Basic In-Ground Fence System
  • PIG00-14673 – Rechargeable In-Ground Fence System
  • PIG00-15958 – YardMax® Cordless In-Ground Fence
  • PIG20-11041 – Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence

Educator E-Fence

  • PF-100 Pet Containment E-Fence System

SportDOG E-Fences

  • SDF-100C Rechargeable In-Ground Fence System
  • SDF-CT Contain + Train In-Ground Fence System

Dogtra E-Fence 3500

The Dogtra E-Fence 3500 is an underground containment system. This dog fence has a wide coverage area of up to 40 acres. Designed for dogs of all temperaments, this Dogtra fence has 8 stimulation levels and includes two correction modes:

  1. High-Performance Pager Vibration Warning Before Stimulation
  2. High-Performance Pager Vibration Only

One unique feature of the E-Fence 3500 is its Boundary Wire Continuity Light. This alerts you whenever there’s a wire breakage so that you can fix the problem quickly. The system comes with a waterproof and rechargeable receiver collar, great for dogs 15 pounds and above.


Dogtra E-Fence 3500 Underground Containment System

PetSafe E-Fence Systems

PetSafe is known for its top-notch collection of e-fence systems. Whether you’re looking for an in-ground or a wireless pet containment system, they got you covered.

Wireless Fences

  • PetSafe PIF-300 - This wireless e-fence has a 1/2 acre of circular range that can be expanded by purchasing additional wireless transmitters. It has 5 levels of correction and a tone-only feature that delivers a beeping sound instead of static. It has a waterproof collar, recommended for dogs as small as 8 pounds.
  • PetSafe PIF00-12917 - The PetSafe Stay & Play Compact Wireless Fence is built for smaller dogs weighing 5 pounds and larger. It has 3/4 acre of circular coverage and 5 levels of correction. With its Static-Free Re-entry feature, your dog won’t get stimulated if your pet re-enters your property, training them that it’s safe to return. It comes with a tone-only mode and a waterproof collar.
  • PetSafe PIF00-13663 - The PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Fence for Stubborn Dogs is intended for dogs with strong-willed personalities. It comes with 3/4 acre of circular coverage with an expandable containment size. It is excellent for dogs 5 pounds and up, has 5 stimulation levels, a tone-only option, and a rechargeable collar receiver.
  • PetSafe PIF00-15001 - The PIF00-15001 Stay and Play Wireless Fence system has a wide coverage area of up to 3/4 acre. It has a maximum radius of 90 feet in all directions from the transmitter and an expandable containment area. With 5 levels of static correction and tone feature, this e-fence trains your dog to stay within the property boundary. It’s an excellent fence for dogs 5 pounds and up with a replaceable battery collar.
PetSafe Wireless Fence Comparison Chart

In-Ground Fences

  • PetSafe PIG00-10777 - The PetSafe PIG00-10777 Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence™ e-fence system has 1/3 acre of coverage and is expandable up to 25 acres. It comes with multiple levels of stimulation and tone plus vibration mode for sensitive canines. Ideal for dogs weighing 8 pounds and above.
  • PetSafe PIG00-11115 - The PetSafe PIG00-1115 YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence™ e-fence system covers up to 1/3 acre. This system is expandable up to 10 yards with the purchase of additional boundary wires. Perfect for dogs 5 pounds and up, its rechargeable collar provides 5 levels of static correction and a tone-only feature for multiple training options.
  • PetSafe PIG00-13661 - This PetSafe in-ground fence comes with 1/3 acre of circular range with expandable coverage of up to 25 acres. It has a lightweight collar receiver that provides 4 levels of stimulation and a tone-only feature. Recommended for dogs 8 pounds and up, this includes a surge protector, which is used to prevent damage due to power surges.
  • PetSafe PIG00-14582 - The PetSafe PIG00-14582 Basic In-Ground Fence has 1/3 acre of circular coverage that is expandable up to 5 acres. The system comes with a PetSafe Deluxe UltraLight™ Receiver Collar for dogs as small as 8 pounds. It has adjustable levels of stimulation and a tone-only training feature.
  • PetSafe PIG00-14673 - This in-ground e-fence system has a 1/3 acre coverage area and can be expanded up to 25 acres. With 4 levels of stimulation and a tone-only mode, this e-fence for dogs helps contain your pet within the perimeter boundary. Ideal for dogs 5 pounds and larger, the kit includes a surge protector and a waterproof and rechargeable collar receiver.
  • PetSafe PIG00-15958 - The PetSafe YardMax Cordless In-Ground Fence system is a great choice for renters and travelers with pets. This is because it comes with a battery-operated transmitter, which allows you to choose where and how to put up the boundary. It has an expandable coverage area of up to 1.4 acres, 5 static levels, tone, and a rechargeable collar receiver.
  • PetSafe PIG20-11041 - The PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence™ covers an area of 1/3 acre, which is expandable up to 25 acres. Like other PetSafe fence systems, it comes with 4 levels of static correction and a tone-only feature. Perfect for dogs 5 pounds and up, the e-fence kit includes a reflective collar strap for night visibility.
PetSafe In-Ground Fence Comparison Chart

E-Collar Technologies PF-1000 E-Fence Self-Install Kit

The Educator PF-100 Pet Containment E-Fence Self-Install Kit is an in-ground system with expandable coverage of up to 25 acres. Unlike its e-fence counterparts, this dog fence offers a wide range of stimulation with 30 adjustable levels. 

This Educator pet containment system has a tone-only option for sensitive dogs and prevents overstimulation by shutting off the correction after 30 seconds. To ensure that your dog won’t cross the set boundary, the fence gradually increases the correction every time your dog tries to escape. This is an excellent choice for dogs 15 pounds and up.

E-Collar Technologies PF-1000 E-Fence Self-Install Kit


SportDOG E-Fence Systems

SportDOG has superb e-fence for dogs.

  • SDF-100C Rechargeable In-Ground Fence System - This e-fence offers a broad coverage area of up to 100 acres. It has 7 static correction levels and a tone and vibrate warning mode, alerting your dog to back off to avoid stimulation. In case of wire breakage, the Wire Break Transmitter Alarm lets you know to fix the issue promptly. The collar receiver is fully waterproof and submersible, excellent for dogs as small as 8 pounds.

This includes 3 training modes:

    1. Containment Mode
    2. Training Mode
    3. Containment and Training Mode

The SDF-CT system comes with an SD-425 remote transmitter, so you can train outside your house for dog obedience lessons. Like the SportDOG SDF-100C, it has 100 acres of maximum coverage, 7 static levels, and tone or vibrate warning feature. The collar receiver is waterproof and rechargeable recommended for dogs 10 pounds and up.

SportDOG In-Ground E-Fence Comparison Table


Pet containment systems are a great solution to contain your pets within the safe spaces of your property. A good e-fence that matches your needs is essential to ensure that you will get promising results over time.

However, like other dog training tools, you can’t just leave your dog and expect them to learn. You need to teach your pet not to cross the perimeter boundary on a regular basis. With consistency and patience, your pet would learn to stay within your property where they can enjoy and be the dog that they are.


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