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Hidden Dog Fence: Do Wireless Fences Work for Dogs?

Are you thinking of installing a wireless fence for your dog? Many people consider it the best solution and the most successful way to keep their buddy in the yard. According to The Pampered Pup, “it’s a humane way to give your dog a definite idea of their boundaries without having to leash them in the traditional fashion”. In fact, opinions are divided on this subject. Statistics say electric fences are about 70% effective. So the question is: is this a reasonable choice for your pup?

What is a wireless fence?

Let’s start with the definition. A wireless fence is an electronic system, also called an underground containment system, to keep dogs safe and happy in the yard without the use of a physical barrier. The structure emits a signal that’s picked up by a special collar worn by your pup. If the sound is ignored, the fence delivers a mild electric shock when the dog gets closer to the border. The point is to teach your buddy about the boundary line by providing a few ‘shocking’ experiences, so the dog learns about the area they are allowed to be.

Wireless fences transmit radio signals around the zone defined by the underground wire system. The collar worn by your dog signals the perimeter boundaries with a small shock. Some of the animals adapt to this system quickly and change their behavior. Some wild souls, on the other hand, can’t be stopped by the electric warning. So do wireless fences work or not? Below we pointed out a few pros and cons. 

Pros of a wireless fence

Easy installation 

The good news about the wireless fence is its convenience of installation. Compared to the regular fences, it’s much more comfortable and less time consuming to trench and lay wire than to build up an unsightly fence where you might not even want one. Wireless fencing allows you to manage your landscaping the way you want it.


Another essential aspect is the fence aesthetics. If you want to keep your backyard flawless, the invisible boundary line will not take away any of the charms of your beautiful garden. While sometimes, a fence is a great addition to your landscape design, sometimes you just want wide open spaces. The wireless fence system allows you to landscape however you want, keeping your dog inside (or outside!) certain areas.  


Obviously, protection is the main function of every fence, but because of the electric barrier’s transparency, some people might look twice when they see a dog running around without being fenced in. It’s a good option for those people with a large property, who want to give a signal to those who might wander onto their property.

Cons of a wireless fence

Battery life

As every electronic equipment, the wireless fence has the battery life you need to check regularly simply to make it work properly. The approximate life span of the replaceable battery range from one to three months. Usually, GPS fences use a rechargeable battery to power the dog’s collars. Unfortunately, more you charge, more likely it is to end up with a dead battery faster.


Many people claim electric fences cost a bomb, where in fact, you can save some by installing it. According to this blog, “Electric dog fences are a fraction of the cost compared to physical fences, which average $10 – $30 per foot depending on materials. On average, it is 45% – 80% more cost-effective to fence in a quarter acre with Invisible Fence than with a traditional fence”. You also need to include the costs of the battery that’s got to be exchanged regularly.

Big area only

Even though they say electric fence has no limit, I wouldn’t recommend you installing it when you have a small backyard. The system and its GPS can vary up to 10 feet. If you want to keep the dog away from the potential risk, the boundary line would have to be installed in a safe distance from the “danger”, such as the road, the woods, etc. It means that the electric fence could take a lot of space. Living in a small property can significantly limit the area range for your dog. That’s definitely not the right solution for your buddy.

Risk of escape

As I mentioned at the beginning, wireless fences are not 100% effective. If the battery dies, the dog has a free path to run freely over the fence. Sometimes your pups can get scared and runaway ignoring the electric stimulations. What’s quite dangerous is the fact that once they get out, they can’t get in that easily. If your dog gets an electric shock when close to the fence from the outside, it may be stuck on the other side. 

On the other hand, if your dog is used to the wireless fence, it won’t wait to get shocked in order to stop – it will do it because of the good old Pavlovian Response. So it might be effective even if it runs out of batteries! 

The bottom line

The main question to ask yourself is this: is this the best option for my dog?  Each pup is different, and you as the owner, surely know your buddy the best. Every property is different too – will a wireless fence be a good solution for the space that you have? Having in mind what I pointed above, I’m pretty sure you will make a proper choice and keep your little friend safe and sound.

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What do you think?


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