The SportDOG Brand In-Ground Dog Fence uses a mild electric correction to keep your dog contained in an area of up to 100 acres.
Your dog wears a collar with two small prongs that deliver the correction when the dog crosses the boundary, which is a length of wire that runs along the perimeter of the area where you want to keep your dog contained. The wire attaches to a transmitter, which is where the main controls for the fence are located: on/off switch, boundary width (how wide the "correction field" is), wire break indicator, and more. You set the level of correction on the collar itself.
How An Electric Dog Fence Works
The SportDOG Brand® In-Ground Fence system and other in-ground dog fences work by transmitting a radio frequency (RF) signal along a wire that is buried in the ground and that attaches to a transmitter box, usually located indoors in the house or garage. Your dog wears a special electronic collar that picks up the frequency and beeps when your dog is near the wire. If the dog continues to cross the boundary, the collar will transmit a mild static shock (though you can also turn this feature off, and you can control the level of correction). The SportDOG Brand® system can be used with multiple dogs.
- If you purchase the SportDOG® system (or any other DIY system), you will be installing it - so it requires an upfront investment of time and energy. There are professional dog fence installation companies that you can hire instead - at a greater cost.
- An electric dog fence does not prevent people, dogs or other animals from crossing into your dog's territory.
- A dog fence system requires you to do some basic, specific training of your dog with regard to the boundaries.
- Some dogs might not respect the static correction and may run through the fence if the reward on the other side is great enough. But with proper training and tuning of the collar to the appropriate level for the dog, this risk can be minimized.
Review of the SportDOG Brand® In-Ground Fence
We purchased this system about a year ago for our labradoodle puppy. He was then about six months old. We installed the fence around approximately two acres of our 25-acre property, using the 1000 feet of wire that was included. It installed quickly - it took us about half a day - but we only dug the wire under the ground in high-traffic areas (by our walk and driveway). We used landscape or sod staples to tack the wire to the ground along the rest of the boundary, and by spring the grass had grown over the wire.
Within only several days of training, our puppy showed that he had learned the boundary. We didn't have any trouble with training him at the lowest correction level. We had to strongly encourage him to cross the "invisible gate" (you lure the dog over one spot, with the system and collar off, while on-leash and with you, to get him into the car or to go for a walk) but once he learned the situations when the "gate" was open, he went across it easily.
Advantages of the SportDog Brand® System
We looked at a lot of different in-ground fences. But for the small farm or homestead, we felt that the SportDOG system offered some distinct advantages. Other systems have some of these features, but the SportDOG has them all, and we found it to meet our needs the best.
- Can be used on up to 100 acres. Yes, 100! We have 25 acres of land, and have since expanded the system with more wire to enclose about 7 acres. There are some other systems that go up to 25 acres, and one that goes up to 40, but the SportDOG has the biggest potential boundary.
- Built-in lightning protection. You do have to connect it to a ground rod, but you don't have to buy a separate lightning protection module. Farms usually have plenty of ground rods!
- Simple 9-volt batteries. Some collars require recharging or use a specialty battery. We liked the rugged nature of the SportDOG collar and the fact that you can replace the battery with a regular old 9-volt.
- Waterproof, rugged collar. This collar is built really tough - great for dogs that swim in ponds, get in mud, and so on - farm dogs!
- Beep and vibrate only mode. Once the dog has learned that the beep and vibrate are associated with a static shock if he continues through the boundary, or for a very timid dog, you might use this mode.
- Independent correction levels. If you have two different-sized dogs or ones with very different temperaments, each collar can be set to a different correction level.
- 1000 feet of wire included. Twice as much as with other systems.