An invisible electric dog fence can keep pets safe and allow them to play in the yard while maintaining the beauty of a home's open landscaping. Perfect for yards without traditional fences, an invisible fencing 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, to train your dog to stay inside the invisible fence. The cost of installing an invisible fence depends on the size of the boundary and the number of dog collars needed.
An invisible pet fence system transmits a signal between your boundary, a home base monitoring and transmitting device, and the receiver attached to your dog's specialized collar. The fence itself is a set of electrically charged wires placed 3 to 4 inches underground around the outer edges of your yard — or whatever parameters you choose. The transmitter is set up in the house or garage where you can easily access it. When your dog gets near the boundary line, the collar receiver will sound an alarm or vibrate enough to deter the pet from crossing the boundary; it works similarly to an ultrasonic anti-bark collar.
The underground wiring gives your dog a brief shock when he crosses the boundary line. The electric charge is designed to surprise your pets just enough to make them stop before leaving the yard, not to hurt them. ost invisible dog fence systems allow you to adjust the amount of electric charge your dog gets; the heavier the pet, in general, the greater the amount of electric charge necessary to stop him. You may need to experiment with the settings to figure out the exact right charge for your pet.
The size of the fence, the type of underground or in-ground fence, the number of dogs you need to train and other factors will affect the overall average cost of an invisible dog fence installation and professional fence installers generally offer dog owners free quotes.
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.
The cost of the underground wiring is extremely variable, ranging from $200 to $2,500, on average, to put a perimeter around one acre of land. For most homeowners, the average cost is $1,150.
Most people prefer a system that allows you to install the underground fence in whatever boundary shape works for your yard, matching the landscaping while giving pets the right amount of safety and freedom. Some boundary lines are laid in a square shape, but many are round, oval or irregularly shaped.
The collar receiver is designed to be comfortable; it's lightweight at just 1.1 ounce on average and is coated in rubber, so few dogs will notice wearing it. It's waterproof and durable enough to withstand most dogs' chewing. Most fencing systems are programmable so the signal can be tuned to the dogs' sensitivity, and allow for different frequencies to prevent interference with other radio systems in the area. Some systems even let you tune the electric charge to different amounts for different sized dogs on the same property, which is a good feature to look for if you have a large labrador and a small terrier. 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, on average, according to Superior Dog Fence in Braselton, Georgia. Replacement collar batteries typically range from $15 to $20. If you have multiple dogs you will need multiple receivers.
While it might be tempting to buy a DIY invisible dog fence kit from Amazon.com, take stock of the time and tools you need to install it before ordering. Many professional fence installers get calls from homeowners who tried to install the invisible dog fence on their own and then ended up paying more to have someone fix their initial efforts. When in doubt, hire a professional to install it for you. They have the tools and expertise needed to get it done properly and often far more quickly than you can do it yourself.
Although many pet owners successfully train their pets themselves to use the fence, hiring the invisible dog fence company for dog training on the fence can be a safer option. Most professional installation companies offer this service for around $500, on average.
Obviously, an electric fence will go down during a power outage, posing a safety hazard to your pets. If you don't want to risk an outage, or you don't have power on your property running out to the electric fence, you can use a solar charger to power it; just make sure the charger faces toward the sun so that it can get the most sunlight possible during the day. Consult with the invisible fence company for their recommendations on the best placement of the charger.
You may also choose to install lightning protection or a battery backup system to protect against power outages.
Some companies, including [DogWatch of the Twin Cities](https://www.thumbtack.com/-Eden Prairie-MN/service/2465282) in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, offer "smart" electric dog fences. These advanced invisible fences often 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 tracks 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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