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Best Wireless Dog Fences: PetSafe vs SportDog vs Halo vs SpotOn

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Last Updated: February 28, 2024 | 9 min read | 21 Comments

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My dog is an escape artist. I have to be very intentional with confining her to keep her safe. She has escaped travel crates and even climbed over our chain-link physical fence in the backyard twice. We live near a busy highway, so after she climbed our fence the second time, we knew we needed to find another solution to keep her safe. Thus, my research into the best invisible dog fences began.

WirelessGPSIn-GroundTraining & Activity Tracker
PetSafe Stay+Play Wireless FenceSpotOn collar and appSportDog Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence SystemsHalo collar 2
PetSafeSpotOnSportDOGHalo Collar 3
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Best Wireless Dog Fence Reviews

We’ve reviewed and compared four popular wireless dog fences to show you where each system excels and which one may fit your needs best. Below are our rankings.

Best Wireless: PetSafe Stay+Play Compact Wireless Fence Review

PetSafe Stay+Play Wireless Fence

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A top manufacturer of quality pet products, PetSafe is our pick for best wireless dog fence. This PetSafe Stay+Play Compact Wireless Fence has a smaller, more lightweight collar than the original system and a rechargeable battery. The transmitter is also 67% smaller than the original. The unit has excellent signal reliability and can be set up in one to two hours.

I purchased PetSafe’s Original Wireless Containment System for my dog, which works excellently as an added security level for our yard. I bought it in 2018, and the system still operates just as well as it did on the first day out of the box. My dog also responds well to the warning beep sound for the correction zone.

The biggest downside is that this type of wireless fences has a circular play area, and our fenced-in yard is rectangular. So, there are areas of the yard that she cannot access. The same would be true for most yards, as plots of land are typically sold in rectangles and not circles.

ProsCons
Excellent quality for the priceYard coverage isn’t as large as other systems (3/4-acre or 210′ diameter)
The transmitter is smaller than comparable systems to fit in more places and is portable
The collar fits neck sizes 6-28″ for dogs as small as 5 lbs
Built-in rechargeable battery
Waterproof collar
1-year warranty
Return within 30 days if not satisfied
Can add unlimited collars for multiple dogs on one system

Pricing

Best GPS Wireless: SpotOn GPS Fence Review

SpotOn tracker and phone

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The SpotOn GPS Fence system differs from a traditional wireless fence because it uses GPS rather than radio frequencies to set your dog’s boundaries. SpotOn is better suited for large yards and properties that contain vast acreage. It has 30 correction levels and allows you to create unlimited overlapping fences. And you can save up to 20 fences in the app at a time.

The system uses data from 120+ satellites from four dedicated systems using GPS (US), Galileo (European Union), GLONASS (Russia), and BeiDou (China) to keep your pup within your boundaries. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 22 hours in containment mode and 14 hours in tracking mode. You also get one-on-one training sessions with one of SpotOn’s certified dog trainers. Note: The minimum property size is 1/2 acre to use this system.

Our Personal Experience With SpotOn GPS Fence

We had the opportunity to try SpotOn’s collar with our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in exchange for an honest review. The collar was easy to set up, attach the contact points, and adjust the size. After activating the collar and creating an account, you can walk with your dog on a leash to create your virtual fence in real time. I was impressed at how detailed the fence line was and how accurate the invisible dog fence lines were.

Getting close to the “edge” makes a loud beep. As you get closer to the boundary, there is a two-tone alert. And if you cross the boundary, the collar vibrates. There’s no subscription required for the fence feedback, but if you want GSP tracking, that is an additional monthly fee. If you want to contain your dog without wires, this training collar is worth the investment.

Sadie Cornelius, Cavalier King Charles pet parent
ProsCons
Can create multiple, overlapping wireless fences over 100,000 acresVery expensive
Easy to set upRequires a minimum of 1/2 acre
Real-time alerts and accurate GPS trackingUnlikely to fit very small or very large dogs (10″-26″ neck sizes)
IP-67 waterproof rating
Mobile apps get good reviews
1-year limited warranty
90-day return policy
10% discount on multi-collar purchases
Made in the USA

Pricing

Coupon

Use coupon code CANINE to get $50 off your SpotOn purchase via this link.

Subscription Plan

The SpotOn GPS Fence works in containment mode without a subscription but requires cellular coverage service for its tracking feature to work. You can get a 90-day free trial of their subscription plan, but only if you sign up for the one or two-year plan.

  • $9.95/month (monthly)
  • $7.95/month (1-year plan)
  • $5.95/month (2-year plan)

In-Depth Review Of SpotOn GPS Fence

Read our complete review of SpotOn GPS Fence to learn more about our personal experience and the pros, cons, FAQs, and more.

Best In-Ground System: SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence Systems Review

SportDOG in ground wireless fence

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Note: This is not technically a wireless fence but is invisible and may interest some readers.

SportDOG’s parent brand is INVISIBLE FENCE, so you can trust that their product comes backed with a solid reputation. Its range is massive compared to the PetSafe system, so this is ideal for those living on large land or farms. It comes with 1-1/3 acres coverage out of the box but can expand to 100 acres with additional wire and flags. It comes with 100 flags and works for dogs 8 pounds and up.

I purchased a SportDOG In-Ground Fence System for my dog initially. We planned to weave the wire through the bottom of the chainlink physical fence because we’ve spoken to others who have done this before.

However, after purchasing it, I realized it wasn’t ideal for our fenced-in yard because gates prevent us from feeding the wire through the chainlink fence. And we didn’t want to spend all the time digging and burying the wire, so we returned it and got the PetSafe Original Wireless Containment System instead. But if we didn’t have a chainlink fence, we would’ve been happy with this SportDOG option because it would’ve been more affordable than putting in a physical fence.

ProsCons
Huge coverage area (100 acres)Not ideal for smaller dogs or properties
Collar is waterproof and submersible to 25′Must bury the wire, which takes lots of time and manual labor
One charge lasts 1 to 2 months
U.S.-based customer service
2-year warranty
Can add unlimited collars for multiple dogs on one system

Pricing

Best For Training & Activity Tracking: Halo Collar 3 Wireless Fence System Review

Halo 3 Collars

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The Halo Collar Wireless Fence System, backed by dog guru Cesar Millan, uses GPS satellite technology and cell service to keep tabs on where your pup is within your set boundaries. Halo allows you to set up 20 different virtual fences and has 15 correction levels with your dog’s collar, including tone, vibration, and static modes. You can get notifications on their mobile apps on your dog’s location, and the system also includes a built-in activity tracker and Cesar Millan’s 21-day training program.

The new and improved Halo Collar 3 has some excellent upgrades to address specific customer feedback from the original Halo, Halo 2, and Halo 2+ collars. These improvements include AI GPS coverage, better location accuracy, 24-hour battery life, a much more rugged collar with a Pro-case that can withstand chewing and harsh terrain, and better cellular, wifi, and Bluetooth performance.

Our Personal Experience With Halo Collar 3

I tried out the latest Halo Collar 3 and must say it’s a huge improvement from the previous Halo 2+ version. The GSP tracking is very precise and much better now than previously. I especially love the training tools that comes with the collar so I could properly train my dog to use the wirelesss fence without fear. The videos were very informative and entertaining. Our dog is around 20 pounds and we used the small collar on him.

– Sadie Cornelius, Cavalier King Charles pet parent
ProsCons
Large coverage area – up to 10 square milesExpensive
Uses GPS/GNSS, Bluetooth, wifi, and LTE technologiesRequires monthly subscription
Waterproof collarNot for very small dogs (minimum neck size is 11″ and minimum weight is 20 lbs)
24-hour battery life
Apps get generally good reviews
1-year limited warranty
30-day return policy
Customer service and tech support via live Zoom sessions
Can add unlimited collars for multiple dogs on one system

Pricing

Subscription Plans

A Halo subscription plan is required to enable data storage for fences, GPS location services, activity tracking, and training from Cesar Millan. The Basic plan gives you most of what you’ll need for the system to work, including unlimited cellular data. The Silver plan’s primary benefit is advanced tracking, and the Gold plan gives you premium training content.

  • Basic: $5.99/month
  • Silver: $9.99/month
  • Gold: $29.99/month

Coupon Code

Use this link to get $50 off your Halo Collar purchase.

In-Depth Review Of Halo Collar

Read our complete review of Halo Collar to learn more about our personal experience and the pros, cons, FAQs, and more.

Wireless Pet Fence Comparison Table

 Wireless: PetSafe Stay+PlayGPS: SpotOn GPS FenceIn Ground: SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence SystemsTraining & Activity Tracking: Halo Collar 3
Price $259.95 $1,295 Check Amazon for availability $699
Requires Monthly FeeFor Tracking FeatureCheckmark (Yes)
Minimum Dog Weight5 lbs15 lbs8 lbs20 lbs
Collar Neck Size6″ to 28″10″ to 26″12″ to 26″11″ to 30.5″
Coverage3/4 Acre100,000+ Acres100 Acres10 Square Miles
Correction Levels530715
Number Of Collars On One SystemUnlimited1UnlimitedUnlimited
Rechargeable Receiver Charge Time2 to 4 Hours1 Hour2 Hours2 to 2.5 Hours
Battery LastsUp to 3 WeeksUp to 22 Hours1 to 2 MonthsUp to 24 Hours
Training Flags Provided50100
Warranty1 Year1 Year2 Years1 Year
Return Policy30 Days90 Days30 Days30 Days

Why Get A Wireless Dog Fence?

Here are a few reasons why you might be a good candidate for a wireless dog fence:

  • Strict neighborhood regulations don’t allow fences
  • Don’t want the eyesore of a wooden or metal fence surrounding your yard
  • Block other outdoor areas like the swimming pool or garden
  • Can easily move to a new location or possibly take it with you on vacation
  • Easy to set up and more affordable than traditional fencing

Many dog owners use both a wireless dog fence and a traditional fence to keep their dogs safe. For example, if you have a white picket fence around the outside of your property, but your dog loves to dig in your garden, then you can use a wireless dog fence to keep them from getting into your tomatoes.

The same goes for other things like the sandbox your kids play in. You probably don’t want your pup going potty in it! Wireless dog fences can help maintain more boundaries to keep your dog where you want him to be.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering exactly how these systems work? We’ve got an explanation and infographic that helps break down the process. Plus, a video on how to install it. Still have questions? Ask us in the comments.

How Do Wireless Dog Fences Work?

A wireless dog containment system has two parts: the transmitter and the receiver.

The transmitter plugs into an electrical outlet, and the wireless dog collar has the receiver. The transmitter sends out a radius of radio frequencies, and you can adjust the signal distance to your desired boundary space. If your dog goes beyond the perimeter you set, they will receive an electric shock. The static shock is not painful or traumatic – it’s like a splash of cold water in the face. Some receivers also have the option to make a noise when they cross over the set boundary.

However, shock collars can cause slight skin irritation. Owners should regularly clean their dog’s neck and contact points and not leave the shock collar on for extended periods. But what’s the best wireless dog containment system?

How do wireless dog fences work (Infographic)

How To Install A Wireless Fence?

This three-minute video from Lowe’s walks you through the steps, including where to put the transmitter and other tips on easy setup (using one of our top recommended fences as an example).

On The Fence About Which Type To Choose?

Are you looking for a cheap wireless dog fence or something to cover your entire yard? A traditional fence is the safest option but carries the heftiest price tag and commitment levelA less expensive option is an in-ground wired fence. These fences are typically cheaper than wireless fences, but they also take more time to install and aren’t portable.

You may not need a fully fenced yard if you have a calm, small dog. doggy playpen can corral your dog outdoors without the commitment. But, you should never leave a dog alone in a playpen because it is portable and, thus, relatively easy to escape from if the dog is determined to do so.

And, if you did opt for a fence, a doggy door is a helpful way to give your dog more control over when it enters and exits your home into its fenced domain.

For more information, check out this article covering invisible fences for dogs. But, if you want smaller boundaries within your yard, don’t want the hassle of burying wires, or need something portable, wireless fences are an excellent option.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Kimberly Alt thoroughly researched available wireless pet fences when her Coonhound mix climbed over her chainlink fence. To keep her dog safe, she purchased an invisible fence, which has kept her dog in her yard safely for years. Kimberly also consulted with Sadie Cornelius, another member of Canine Journal, for her experience with two of the most popular virtual wireless dog fencing systems. Kimberly and Sadie’s firsthand accounts provide detailed information to our readers to help you select the best wireless fence for your dog.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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