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An invisible, electric dog fence keeps pets safe and allows them room to play in the yard while maintaining the beauty of a home’s open landscaping. Perfect for yards without traditional fences, an invisible dog fence is buried underground to create a boundary, with flags inserted in the yard as visual cues. Dogs are first trained on-leash to recognize the boundary flags; then, when the underground electric fence is activated, they wear collars that receive a radio signal from a transmitter to warn them that they are nearing the boundary. The collars transmit either a sound or a mild correction stimulus. The cost of installing an invisible dog fence depends on the size of the boundary and the number of collars needed.

Size of dog fence

Underground electric fences can cover properties of any size, from 1/4 acre to 5 acres to 25 acres. The underground wire can be installed in rocky and hilly land, through wooded areas, and even underwater in ponds or streams. The size of the fence will affect the overall cost.

Underground wiring

The cost of the underground wiring is extremely variable, ranging from $200 to $2,500 to put a perimeter around one acre of land. For most homeowners, the average cost is $1,150.

Signal receivers

The collar receiver is designed to be comfortable; it’s lightweight at just 1.1 ounce and is coated in rubber, so few dogs will notice wearing it. It’s waterproof and durable enough to withstand most dogs’ chewing. The fencing system is programmable so the signal can be tuned to the dogs’ sensitivity, and allows for different frequencies to prevent interference with other radio systems in the area. Batteries usually need to be replaced every three to four months, depending on how often the dogs test the boundaries of the fence.

Each collar receiver costs between $150 and $180, according to Superior Dog Fence in Braselton, Georgia. Replacement collar batteries range from $15 to $20.

Mobile applications

Some companies, including DogWatch of the Twin Cities in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, offer "smart" electric dog fences. These advanced invisible fences feature a router-like communications portal that sends notifications to a mobile application for smartphones. The system alerts owners to low batteries, broken boundary wires, and disconnected collar receivers, as well as tracking pets’ activity levels. These smart fences are considerably more expensive; DogWatch receivers average about $300, but the batteries last for as long as two years.

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