Wireless Vs. Underground Dog Fences

Underground wire and wireless hidden fences establish safe zones for your dog.
Underground wire and wireless hidden fences establish safe zones for your dog. (Image: dog image by cathy stancil from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Hidden fences--using either wireless radio signals or underground wires--establish safe zones for your dog. With both systems, a receiver on a special control collar sounds a warning as the dog crosses a underground boundary wire or wireless signal range. If your pet continues to move beyond the set boundary, a mild shock will be delivered through the collar. Although these two systems offer an alternative to conventional fencing, there are pros and cons to both wireless and underground wired dog fences.

Underground Wire Fence: Pros

An underground wire fence system offers the ability to create customized, well defined “off limit” sections of a yard--making it easier to train your dog. The hidden wire fencing establishes your dog’s territory without blocking the view of your yard or neighborhood. Underground fencing offers a sizable savings over the material, labor and maintenance costs of conventional fencing.

Underground Fencing: Cons

Installing, moving or repairing underground fencing can be difficult or expensive. Underground fencing does not keep other animals out of your yard. Unless you have an alternate energy source, when the power goes out, so goes your underground fencing.

Wireless Fencing: Pros

Using a radio signal from a centrally located transmitter, wireless fencing creates a safe zone for your dog quickly, without the work, time or cost of burying boundary wire. Like the underground wire system, a wireless fence does not restrict the view of your yard or neighborhood. The wireless system is portable--you can take it with you wherever you go.

Wireless Fencing: Cons

Wireless fencing is limited to about a 90-foot circular radius--suitable only for small yards. Many units have trouble transmitting through obstacles like aluminum siding, trees, metal roofs and some walls. Wireless units can be slow to respond, often sending a correction signal too late. They are also known to be imprecise, with boundaries often shifting small distances--making training difficult. Like underground wire systems, wireless fencing does not keep other animals out.

Training Necessary For Both Systems

The most important aspect of a wireless or an underground wire fencing system involves training your dog to obey the boundaries. First, you should spend a week introducing the dog to the system by teaching him to stop when he hears the warning beep. Then allow the dog to experience a week of leash-guided, low-power corrections to condition the pet to obey the boundary lines. Finally, conduct a week of testing--tempting the dog to approach boundaries to make sure the system is effective.

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