I recently moved into a new housing development which has strict guidelines on the the types of fencing you can install. Several families in the neighborhood have installed an invisible dog fence (or invisible cat fence). Other names for this type of fence is electric dog fence, wireless fence, electronic fence, underground fence, invisible pet fence, electronic pet containment fence, and radio fence. No matter what it’s called, I wanted to know the pros and cons of invisible fencing before installing it on my property, so I did some research.

Invisible Fence is actually a brand name owned by Invisible Fence, Inc. Underground fencing was invented by Richard Peck in the 1970’s and was marketed exclusively under the “Invisible Fence” brand until the patent expired in 1991. Today, the most popular brands are Innotek and PetSafe.

Basically, here’s how invisible fence works…

You install an underground perimeter wire around the desired pet containment area (your yard). Your dog wears a transmitter on his collar. If your dog gets too close to the buried wire, he gets a little zap through the collar.

Each system comes with training flags to mark the perimeter. In most cases, your dog or cat will be trained in about a week.

The advantages of invisible fencing are…

  • It’s invisible.
  • It’s much less expensive than a traditional fence
  • It preserves the openness of your property.
  • There is little-to-no maintenance. In most cases, all you need to do is keep fresh batteries in the dog collar.

Disadvantages of invisible fencing are…

  • Since the fence is invisible, people walking by your property don’t know your dog is contained. People might be startled if your dog charges to the edge of your property only to stop at the last second. But, the person walking by doesn’t know the dog will stop.
  • Some dogs have a higher pain tolerance and might run through the barrier if the temptation is too great.


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For me, the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages. I’ve chosen to order my own kit and install the fence myself. I can rent a ditch digger for about $100.

The kits come in all sizes from 1/4 acre to over 20 acres.

The best prices and selection that I’ve found on invisible fencing is from PetStreetMall.com. They have the most popular 2 brands… Innotek and Petsafe fences. They also offer free shipping.

For my property, I’ll have the entire dog fence installed for less than $350. Monetarily speaking, compared to spending thousands on a traditional fence, you can’t beat an invisible fence.

I hope this information on invisible fencing helps you decide whether it’s right for you and your pet.

5 Comments on Invisible Fence for Dogs and Cats – Is It Right for You?

  1. […] I looked at a whole bunch of invisible fence web pages, but this one gave me a great link to get a great price: Invisible fence at 123-pet.com […]

  2. Invisible Fence for Dogs and Cats – Is It Right for You?…

    Great post. Thanks! I’ll add a link to your post….

  3. DogLover24 says:

    Hmmm. I never thought about invisible fencing for cats. Not a bad idea.

  4. Jeanne Thomas says:

    I know of 3 other disadvantages:

    1)other dogs, people and animals can come within the boundary from outside; your pet is not safe from attack, harassment or theft. Having an invisible fence doesn’t mean you can leave your pet outdoors unsupervised

    2)if your dog is shocked when running up to greet passersby, they may begin to associate humans with getting the shock; in some dogs this has caused them to become aggressive toward strangers.

    3)some dogs respond to unskilled shock training by becoming very afraid of the outdoors; be sure you have a very good fence rep to help you train the dog to respect the boundaries without becoming frightened

  5. Todd B says:

    Jeanne brings up a good point, training is a huge part of installing an electronic/invisible dog fence. Our site provides detailed instructions on installation and training was well as selling systems.
    And the cost savings are not only over physical fences but you can save thousands over an installed dog fence as well.
    While it may not be right for some, it has worked wonderfully for thousands of dog owners for many years!
    Todd

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