How well do invisible fences work?


I’m looking to control where my young dog can go without having to put up a physical fence in my backyard. Do these invisible fences really work. Are there different brands and prices with different effectiveness?

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12 Responses to “How well do invisible fences work?”

  1. arkpudel says:

    My biggest concern is not necessarily keeping my dog in, but other dogs out! With a real fence, you don’t have to worry about another dog invading your turf. If you have the invisible fence, you have zero protection!

  2. happyMrs. says:

    Mine works great!I got mine from Northern Tool & Equipment the number is 1-800-533-5545. My husband and I installed it ourselves. Northern will send flags with the product and that will help your dog see where the fence is plus the dog will hear a warning beep from the collar– if they chose to go further then they will be shocked. I would recommend it to anyone! Just remember to check the batteries on occasion to make sure everything is working correctly.I usually have to replace mine every 8 months.My dog has been shocked twice and after that she takes heed to those warning beeps. Even when I find out her batteries are low she still WILL NOT GO through the fence. She definately learned her lesson. I highly recommend it.

  3. HandyManOrNot says:

    Use the "search for questions’ feature above – search for ‘invisible fence’. This question has been asked many, many times.

  4. iluvtorofl says:

    I am a fan of range collars unless you have a small area. If you have a bit of land, its a better choice than an invisible fence. In a small area, a physical fence works best.

  5. marci452 says:

    Invisible fences only work to keep your dog in, and then not all the time. They don’t keep stray dogs, and predators out. When the battery gets old, off your dog will go at the first sign of something interesting. They are a big waste of $$$ IMHO

    Source: neighbor with an electric fence that didn’t keep coyotes out or her dog in

  6. Tammy M says:

    The key to success with invisible fencing is training with the installation prcess. My mom has one with two german shepherds and they respect it very well. She also had a trainer come out and work with the dogs after its installion and continued working with them for a few weeks. Its great. You do have to be cautious though b/c predators / other dogs cabn still get in the yard.

  7. puppylover says:

    Yes! They work extremely well. We have one for our large dog, and she’s NEVER, EVER, once tried to get out. She loves having the freedom too. It’s great not having a big fence surrounding your yard. If you train your dog well, it’ll work. Also, we have the Invisible Fence brand. I highly recommend it for any dog owners.

  8. Lisa M says:

    The invisible fence comes with small posts that you put up around the border of your property. The dog wears a collar that can sense the posts and gives the dog a mild shock if he tries to cross the "invisible" line. Yes they do work. I am a mail carrier and a new customer moved to my route. They used invisible fence before they moved with 3 dogs. After moving he bought small posts with orange flags to temporarily mark his new boundary until he could install the invisible fence. The dogs recognize the posts as boundary and haven’t crossed the line yet so no need for the new invisible fence after all. The posts are about 18" high and the flags are so you don’t mow them down.

  9. Karen W says:

    According to those who SELL them they work great. They do not protect your dog from predators (2 or 4-legged) who may enter the yard. Also should he bite the bullet and brazen it through there is not much incentive to come back in.
    Check out this article:
    I’d consider a free-standing run of some sort, first.

  10. Aravyndra says:

    here’s the issue.

    they can work, and a lot of people I talk to have great success.

    however… it has been noted on MANY occassions, if a dog really wants to break out, it will. Especially in bigger breeds.

    Smaller breeds usually do better but I’ve seen one break through the invisible fence when they really wanted to get out.

    And another problem is, it doesn’t keep other animals out.

    And depending on where you live, you may want to keep animals like other possibly more agressive dogs away, deer, bears, wolves, coyotes, so on.

    I personally stick with a normal fenced in area not only to keep my dog in, but to keep other animals (And people) out unless they have my permission to be there.

    A person can walk into your yard and grab the dog.

    with a fence that has a lock or is only accessable through a door in the house, while not impossible, it is harder and would make it easier to catch a perp.

    just the other day, I had my dog out in my yard on a leash (I don’t have the fence up yet. I have to wait till spring).

    our neighbor’s dog whose allowed to run wild came bolting into my yard (risking getting hit by a car) he’s a nice dog and my dog loved him… but what if he wasn’t nice? my dog may have been lunch.

    So I chose a really pretty, cost effective, normal fence with a lifetime guarantee. Its tall enough to keep other dogs and animals out. Especially where I live where there are a lot of bears and a growing number of wolves.

    that’s my opinion tho.

  11. sophia Grace says:

    well i had one installed on my property and the tree roots broke the line in the ground. =(. And when it worked, my dog would just run through it if he was determined enough to get through it. He could run up to 20 mph. O.o

  12. Phil W says:

    I have had this type of fence for over 10 years now.

    The "Invisible" type of fence consists of three things. First is the wire which is buried an inch or two into the ground. Second is the transmitter which is mounted to the wall indoors and connected to the fence wire, and third is the collar that the dog wears. The transmitter sends out an AM radio band signal that the collar will sense if your pet gets to close to the electronic field. The collar will then deliver a correction. Some of the better ones will give a warning beep prior to delivering a shock. Though it is a strong shock it will not harm the pet in any way. Small marker flags are placed along the inner edge of the field about 5 to 10 feet apart during the training period and removed (every other one) as the pet gets used to the fence.

    Huskies are escape artists. We have 14 of them. The only thing that I have found that they can’t go over or under is invisible type fencing. Some folks say that it doesn’t work on Huskies. They don’t know what they are talking about. You can’t buy the cheap stuff, like what they sell at Lowe’s or Home Depot or PetSmart etc. The best I have found is the Smart Dog 2100 by Innotek. You can find it on line at several sites, discounted for less than $300.00 with 2 collars. Extra collars are about $80.00. The kit has everything needed. The collars are rechargeable (unlike the "Invisible Fence" and most others where you have to buy the proprietary (one place to get it = expensive) batteries every 3 or so months), has battery backup for the transmitter, run through prevention, waterproof, etc. Innotek now owns Invisible Fence brand. Be sure to use heat shrink type splices in the wire if needed. They are available at marine supply stores. Do not use the "weatherproof wire nuts" from Lowe’s etc. They will not work for this application. Use an edger to dig the "trench" for the wire. The wire only has to be buried 1 or 2 inches down.

    The key is taking the time to train your pet. I have known of people to pay big money to install a fence, strap the collar on their dog and then complain that the fence is junk when the dog blows right through it. Also, you do not mention the breed of dog. Longhaired breeds require a longer contact probe on the collar (these are included with the system above). Training may take awhile, one of ours took 18 months (she was a bit stubborn) before we trusted her, most were pretty good in a month or so and we have one that it only took 3 days! The amazing thing is that we can take the collar off, put them on a leash and when we head towards the perimeter their brakes come on immediately! You can also block off areas of the yard that you don’t want them in. When hurricane Isabelle came through we had no power for 3 weeks, the terrain was changed with all the fallen trees, and the underground wire for the fence was damaged and NONE of the kids even tried the fence. As I said earlier, the people who say that it doesn’t work don’t know what they are talking about. We have 14 Huskies (15 until we lost one over the summer due to medical reasons), all free to run around, contained in our 6 acre yard. And no I am not a dealer ….. just a satisfied customer with 14 hardheaded Huskies most of them rescued as adults. We can leave them outside unsupervised for hours with no problems. However, we do not leave them outside when we leave the house.

    It will not keep other animals out including the neighbor’s brats. Neither will a 6 foot stockade fence … this I learned when I lived elsewhere and was attacked by a neighbors dog in my backyard. As far as people being scared of dogs, well if a 15 to 20 foot barrier field isn’t enough, neither would a chain link fence be. Besides, if the pet stays on your property who cares if they are unreasonably scared. As far as a dog running through … well yes, that could happen, however, with proper training it is unlikely. Huskies have an extremely high prey drive. Where we live we have a lot of wildlife, large and small. The kids will line up along the edge of the field and watch the rabbits, geese, deer etc. They won’t challenge the fence. The deer and geese have learned where the kids can and cannot go and will stay just outside "Husky country". Sometimes within 5 feet of the kids. As I said it does work. The key is training. That is the most important part of the installation of the fence

    25 years of being owned by Siberian Huskies. I currently have 14 Huskies most of whom were rescued by us from people who didn’t know what they were getting into.

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