Are you tired of constantly worrying about your pet dog’s safety when they're out in the yard? Imagining the countless scenarios that could put them in harm's way can be distressing. But what if there was a solution that offered both freedom and security? 

As a pet owner, ensuring the safety and security of your furry companion is a top priority. Dog fence systems have proven to be effective when it comes to keeping your furry friend within the boundaries of your property. Two popular options available in the market are wireless and wired electric dog fence systems. These fences are invisible, meaning they’re completely unseen to the eye. You don’t have to build a physical fence to prevent your dog from wandering away from your property. Invisible fences are ideal in places where building a fence isn’t possible or feasible. 

Invisible fences work by sending an electronic signal to a dog’s collar. The signal may either be a warning tone, vibration, shock or all three.

In this article, we'll compare both systems' features, benefits, and drawbacks to help you make an informed decision for your beloved canine companion.

Understanding the difference between these two is crucial before making the right purchase decision. Additionally, try to understand your requirements because it will help you choose the right fencing solution for your needs.

Exploring Wired Electric Dog Fence Systems

What is a Wired Fence and How Does it Work?

A wired canine containment system comprises an underground or above ground wire that serves as the boundary marker, a centrally positioned transmitter that emits a signal and a receiving collar that detects these signals. When your pet approaches the wire, the collar alerts them to halt. Depending on the model, some collars produce a beeping sound, vibration, or a combination of both, while others deliver small bursts of static electricity.

Wired Fence Diagram

Benefits of Wired Fences

Wired dog fences are easy to install. Most kits come with easy-to-follow instructions and user-friendly set-ups. With reduced time and labor costs, electric dog fences are often more cost-effective than traditional ones, especially when you have a large yard space.   

These fences can be customized to fit any space around your home, whether it’s a small backyard or a sprawling ground. 

But what about the effectiveness? Wired dog fences are one of the most reliable containment systems available. With proper training, your canine buddy will quickly learn their boundaries, ensuring they stay within a safe area without having the need to install physical barriers, or your constant attention and supervision. 

Compared to traditional physical fences, a wired electric dog fence allows your pet to enjoy the great outdoors within a safe zone. There’s nothing to obstruct the views surrounding your property, allowing you to maintain an aesthetically pleasing environment. This is also a plus when community regulations restrict visible fences. An added advantage is a wired fence is more affordable than a traditional fence.

If your dog’s a digger or a jumper, a wired dog fence can discourage them from engaging in these undesirable behaviours. An electric dog fence creates a psychological barrier that can be harder to challenge by a canine escape artist. 

Problems with Wired Fences

Wired fences need to be buried in order to prevent the wire from being damaged. This can be a challenge if your property is big. Also, once the wire is buried, it would be difficult to change its location. 

Wire breaks can be a challenge to deal with. A break in the wire fence means that the signal is interrupted, and the fence won’t work. It can be difficult to locate wire breaks and time-consuming, too. The cost of repairing breaks can also add up. More importantly, wire breaks mean more chances for your pet to leave the safety confines of your yard. 

Installing a wired fence for dogs can be time-consuming. You have to dig, lay, and bury the wire around the designated perimeter of your property. Depending on the terrain, you may need to cut through walkways, driveways, and other obstacles. However, special tools, such as a trencher, can help make the job easier. 

Pros and Cons of Wired Fences



  • 100% customizable
  • Easy to install
  • Can cover large areas
  • Unobstructed views
  • Discourage undesirable dog behaviors, like jumping and digging
  • Affordable compared to a traditional fence
  • Require burying the wire, which can be time-consuming
  • Difficult to change its location
  • Collar battery may need to be replaced every couple of weeks
  • Wire breaks


Understanding Wireless Electric Dog Fence Systems

What is a Wireless Fence and How Does it Work?

Wireless fence systems function using a transmitter and receiver and don’t rely on a physical wired boundary. There are primarily two types of wireless dog fences:

  • GPS-enabled wireless fences utilize satellite technology to determine the precise location of the dog and establish a virtual boundary. By transmitting GPS signals to the dog's collar, the fence can adapt the boundaries with the dog's movement, ensuring accurate containment. Just like their wired counterparts, these wireless and invisible systems utilize collars that alert pets through auditory cues (beeping), tactile cues (buzzing or vibrating), and corrective measures, such as bursts of static electricity or electric shock, in order to discourage them from straying beyond the designated boundaries.
  • Radio frequency wireless fences operate by utilizing a central transmitter to generate a radio signal, which establishes a circular or adjustable boundary. A receiver collar is worn by the dog, which detects the signal. When the dog nears the boundary, the collar produces warning signals. If the dog persists in crossing the boundary, the collar administers static or electric stimulation as a means of correction.

The main distinction between the two methods lies in the way the boundary is set. GPS-based fences utilize GPS signals to establish a boundary according to the dog's current location, whereas radio frequency-based fences establish a pre-determined boundary around the location of the transmitter. The latter systems don’t rely on GPS and don’t require a continuous satellite operation connection.

Benefits of Wireless Fences

Wireless dog fences can easily be installed. There is no need for digging or burying a wire. This ease of setup results in quicker installation and enhanced convenience. 

These fences provide flexibility in establishing boundaries, allowing owners to tailor the containment area to match their property's layout and their dog's individual requirements. This adaptability guarantees that dogs have ample space to play freely and move around.

Unlike conventional physical fences, these wireless alternatives don’t obstruct visibility, ensuring that the property's aesthetic appeal remains unaffected. Also, wireless dog fences are often a more economical option when compared to traditional fencing choices, making them a cost-effective solution for homeowners.

Wireless dog fences are portable, making them ideal for individuals who often move or enjoy traveling with their dogs. These systems require minimal maintenance once installed, eliminating the need for time-consuming tasks like repairing and repainting traditional fences or having to deal with wire breaks. 

Wireless dog containment systems generally don’t necessitate permits or zoning approvals, which are often a cause for worry when it comes to conventional physical fences. 

Problems with Wireless Fences

Wireless dog fences, although convenient and advantageous in certain aspects, come with their fair share of drawbacks and limitations. 

One major concern is the inconsistent transmission of boundary signals. Due to their reliance on GPS technology or radio signals, the effectiveness of wireless fences can be disrupted by various obstacles such as trees, buildings, or even unfavorable weather conditions. This inconsistency may result in unintended escapes and potentially compromise the safety of the dog.

Another issue to consider is the limited ability to customize the shapes of boundaries when using wireless fences. In contrast to physical fences or wired systems, wireless fences typically only offer circular or restricted boundary shapes, which can make it difficult to accurately fit irregularly-shaped properties. This may lead to inefficiency in space utilization or, in more concerning situations, areas where the dog could still manage to escape. 

Not all dog breeds and temperaments are compatible with wireless dog fences. Certain dogs may experience fear or anxiety as a result of the static or vibration corrections, resulting in stress and behavioral problems. Moreover, for highly motivated or stubborn dogs, these corrections may not be effective, rendering the fence useless as a containment option. 

The longevity of the battery is also an issue when it comes to wireless dog fences. Both the transmitter and the collar must be charged or their batteries replaced regularly. Failure to do so promptly can affect the fence's effectiveness, potentially resulting in the dog escaping from the designated containment area. 

Pros and Cons of Wireless Fences



  • Easy to set up
  • Flexibility in establishing boundaries
  • Don’t obstruct visibility of the surrounding areas
  • Portable
  • Cheaper than wired fences or traditional fencing  
  • Minimal maintenance
  • No need for permits or zoning approvals
  • Dependent on technology that may result in inconsistent transmission of boundary signals.
  • Difficult to accurately fit irregularly-shaped properties 
  • Might not be reliable enough for some dogs. 
  • Batteries and transmitter need to be charged and the batteries replaced regularly.


The Pet Control HQ Dog Containment systems provides peace of mind for dog owners. It provides an affordable and effective virtual fence solution for your home or property. 

Installing Dog Fence Systems

Planning and designing the layout is very important before installing either a wireless or wired dog fence system. Decide on the area you want to contain and mark the boundaries. Any obstacles, such as shrubs, trees, or buildings, should be considered, as these may affect the installation and signal transmission. 

Make sure that all the necessary materials are available before installation. Most kits already come with everything you need to install an electric dog fence system. However, you must purchase more wire and training flags if you need additional coverage. Other items we recommend to have on hand (you may not require all items as it depends on your installation type)

• Tape measure
• Drill
• Spade shovel or lawn edger
• Pliers
• Wire stripping pliers
• Scissors
• Electrical Tape
• Additional wire nuts and gel-filled splice capsules
• Waterproofing compound (e.g., silicone caulk)
• PVC pipe or water hose
• Circular saw with masonry blade
• Staple gun
• Non-metallic collar and leash


Read more about installation of wired electric dog fences.


Installation of Wireless Dog Fences

The transmitter, also called the base unit, sends signals to create the wireless fence. Ideally, the location of the transmitter is in the middle of the desired area. Make sure the location is near an electrical outlet, indoor and weather-proof area, about 60cm-1.2m above the ground and 3 metres away from any solid metal or electrical appliances. 

Install the transmitter on a flat and stable surface. You may mount it on the wall or place it on top of a table or shelf. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. 

Use the transmitter's settings to adjust the boundary's range to the desired size. Most wireless dog fences create a circular boundary around the transmitter. 

Some wireless dog fence set-ups come with training flags. These flags are placed around the boundary, at least 1m apart, to provide a visual cue for your dog. 

After the transmitter is installed, introduce the collar to your dog according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Make sure the collar fits securely but comfortably. It’s important that the collar must fit properly to be effective. As a rule of thumb, there should be a finger’s width of space between your dog’s neck and the collar. The collar has probes that must be touching the skin of the dog’s neck so static stimulation can be felt. Make sure to regularly check the tightness of the probes to keep the collar secure. 


Choosing The Right Dog Fence System

The type of dog fence system that you choose will depend on several factors that should be carefully considered. These include the following:


Table 3. Factors to Consider In Choosing The Right Dog Fence System

Factors To Consider

Wired Dog Fence System

Wireless Dog Fence System

Size and shape of the property

Can be customized to fit any property size and shape; suitable for irregular or large areas

Best for smaller or regular-shaped properties because they create circular boundaries around the transmitter; may not be as adaptable to uneven layouts. 

Complexity of installation

Requires burying or securing the boundary wire, which can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. 

Simpler installation and requires minimal set-up, as it mainly involves placing the transmitter and adjusting the settings.

Obstacles and interferences

Signal interference can be a concern when there are physical obstacles, like trees, changes in terrain, buildings, etc.

There is a high possibility of signal disruption from obstacles, and it may not work well in areas with significant interference. 


Permanent and not easily removed once installed. 

Portable and can be taken along when moving to another place or traveling with your dog.

Training and behavior

Dogs must be trained to recognize the boundaries of a wired fence. Some dogs may learn quickly, while others may take more time.

It may offer quicker training as dogs receive immediate feedback when approaching the boundary.

Size and temperament of your dog

Suitable for dogs of various sizes and temperaments, as training can be tailored to individual needs.

More suitable for dogs that respond well to auditory or sensory cues.


The cost includes materials for the boundary wire, installation tools, labor, etc. 

More cost-effective as it requires fewer materials and less labor installation.

Aesthetics and zonal regulations

Don’t affect property aesthetics and may be preferable for properties with restrictions on physical fences.

Don’t affect property aesthetics and may be a preferable option for properties with restrictions on physical fences.


Requires occasional maintenance 

Have minimal maintenance 



Extremely reliable

As it relies on GPS or WiFi it is very unreliable

When making the choice between a wireless electric dog fence system and a wired one, it is important to carefully weigh your options. Each system offers distinct advantages, and selecting the one that best suits your dog's requirements, property layout, and training preferences is crucial. Whether you prefer the flexibility of wireless systems or the precision of wired systems, the ultimate objective remains to ensure the safety and well-being of your dog.

August 13, 2023 — Merliza Cabriles