What Really Works
About 90 percent of all wired dog fences or pet fences sold in the United States are purchased through the Internet or at retail stores and installed by the homeowner. These Internet and retail store systems will sometimes work and keep the pet secure, but many times they will not.
Some of the reasons for failure of these retail systems can include:
Poor quality equipment
Insufficient lightning protection for the transmitter
Small guage dog fence wire which is broken easily
Not enough correction from the dog fence collar
Incorrect training of the pet to the system
Dog fence receiver collars may not be waterproof
Short battery life in the collar
collar may activate on stray radio signals
Homeowners sometimes place the wire in the wrong place thereby shocking the pet inside the home
Some units do not have a wire break alarm to warn you the dog fence is not working
Some dog fence collars do not have a low battery light to warn you it is time to change the battery in the collar. Obviously, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages when it comes to Internet and retail store purchased systems.
The only wireless dog fence system on the market currently will send a radio signal in about a 90 foot radius from the unit usually placed in the middle of the house basement. This wireless unit uses opposite technology of the wired pet fence systems. The wireless transmitter inside the basement envelopes the home with radio signal out to a 90 foot radius.
The wireless dog fence receiver collar will only activate when it no longer senses the radio signal about 90 feet from the transmitter unit in all directions. Wired dog fences, on the other hand, will send about a 4 to 5 foot radius (this can be adjusted) off the buried wire in the yard and the dog fence collar will activate when the pet nears the radio signal coming from the buried wire. So, with a wired pet containment system the collar will only activate when it “sees” radio signal.
With a wireless dog fence, the collar activates only when there is no radio signal present. Again, the wireless system can work and has worked well for some homeowners, but it still has limitations. Some people report the wireless pet fence collar activating inside the house and thereby causing pets to be very scared and confused. The biggest disadvantage however is the 90 foot radius.
For most homeowners this does not work because the area for the pet to run in the yard is so small. In some instances the dog is also able to get onto the neighboring property on the sides of the home due to the radio signal radius extending to neighboring property. Their have also been some reports of wireless pet fence collars activating inside the house when power is lost to the transmitter unit. Their are safety features built into the transmitter to keep this from happening, but it apparently does not always work. Lastly, the wireless technology available at present comes with many limitations.
So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of professionally installed wired pet fence systems?
The only real disadvantage to professionally installed pet fence systems is price. Most professionally installed systems are priced 2 to 3 times higher than what an Internet or retail store system will cost.
The main reason for the cost difference is due to the professional dog fences costing more as well as employee and overhead costs of local dealers who install professional quality dog fencing.
So what are the advantages of professionally installed pet fences?
They are numerous:
The quality of the equipment is much better on most professional systems
The lightning protection on professionally installed systems is far superior to Internet or retail store systems
Most professional dealers will install 16 guage or 14 guage wire as compared to Internet or retail systems which come with 18 guage to 22 guage wire (The smaller the number for wire guage the bigger the wire diameter)
Customized training is usually provided by the dealer so pets are correctly trained to the system
Receiver collars are usually waterproof
Longer battery life in the dog fence collar
Radio signal coding is much better so collars will not activate inside the home from a stray radio signal
Dog fence wire placement will be correct due to the local professional dealer having knowledge about correct placement of the wire
Dog fence wire will be buried at least 3 to 4 inches deep compared to 1 to 2 inches when a homeowner installs the wire
Most warranty issues with equipment would be taken care of by your local dealer so you do not have to wait 2 to 4 weeks for equipment replacement
Local dealers can find pet fence wire breaks usually within 30 minutes time due to having proper break finding equipment. Homeowners will have difficulty finding wire breaks as a general rule.
Professional systems come with a wire break alarm to warn you the system is not working
Most professional dog fences come with a low battery light or status light on the receiver collar to warn you it is time to change the battery
The biggest advantage is knowing you will have ongoing support from your local authorized pet fence dealer.
In conclusion, some homeowners may have great success with Internet or retail systems, but if you want service and support, purchasing a system from a local professional dealer is the best solution. When it comes to dog fencing, the old adage, “You get what you pay for”, is true.