Houdini dog? How a dog fence can help protect your dog.

If your dog escapes, what harm may they run into?

In this guide to dog fences, we’ll take a look at what works, what doesn’t, and how you can protect your dog in the best possible way, for a price which suits your budget.

What is a dog fence (or dog containment system)?

A dog fence, or dog containment system, is best thought of as an invisible dog fence.

It is an easy to install system that will prevent your dog escaping your yard whether you have a physical fence or not.

What is a dog fence
How a dog fence works

Whether you have a suburban house block, or a 25 acre property, your dog will not be able to escape and will be contained within the boundary you define.

How does a dog fence work?

This dog fencing system works by deterring your dog from going near the yard boundary you set.

A wire is simply laid around your boundary, and once connected to the transmitter, it emits a radio frequency signal. This signal is then picked up by your dogs receiver collar whenever your dog gets too close to the boundary.

Should your dog get too close, the receiver collar will sound a warning tone followed by a harmless static correction.

With effective training, your dog will very quickly prefer to stay in your yard rather than your neighbours!

How to set up a dog fence

Simply run a wire right around the boundary of your yard and connect it to the supplied control box.

When turned on, this wire will then emit a radio frequency signal.

Fit the supplied collar on your dog, and whenever your dog gets close to the boundary, the collar will deliver a correction – usually an audible beep followed by a static zap.

One of the great features of modern dog containment systems is you can easily define how far away from your boundary (wire) that you want your dog to get before he receives the correction. This can be as close as 2-3 feet right up to 3 meters away.

The benefit of this is he’ll quickly learn never to get close enough to the boundary to jump over or dig his way under your existing fence to get out.

Why would you need a dog fence?

Wouldn’t it be just wonderful to just let your dog out in the yard, and never mind whether you leave a gate open knowing he isn’t going to run out? Dog containment systems give you this freedom and peace of mind. They are very quick to setup and dogs learn VERY quickly where they can and cannot go. If you have a dog that likes to escape, these containment systems can potentially save its life by preventing it from running out onto busy roads, or even on to neighboring properties. If you are in a rural setting, you certainly don’t want your dog to threaten your neighbours livestock – because you know what your neighbor will do!

Stop your dog escaping with a perimeter dog fence

Another important reason you’d want one of these containment systems, is to simply keep your dog away from certain areas in your garden. We’ve had numerous customers describe the beautiful (& expensive) gardens they’ve created, only to see their dog destroy it. So these containment systems can work to keep your dog off your prized gardens as well.

How much does a dog fence cost?

The cost of a dog fence can vary depending on a number of factors, but usually between $100 and $1000.

Your best bet is to budget $500 for a standard 6-foot privacy fence of a decent standard.

Of course, the actual cost depends on the materials you choose and the size and layout of your yard. If you have a larger property, you may need to install multiple fences or opt for a more expensive option such as an invisible fence.

If you decide to hire a company to install the dog fence, make sure you get several quotes and check for reviews from their other clients.

Here are some of the most trustworthy dog fences in Australia, combined with features and benefits.

Dog fence (containment kit)Dog sizeCoverageWaterproof collar?Collar battery typeBackup transmitter battery?
BEST VALUE: PetSafe Classic In-Ground Fence for Dogs and CatsAll Dog Sizes 5lb and up. Minimum 6 months.5 acresWaterproofRechargable
Petsafe Little Dog FenceSmall dogs25 acresYes3v lithiumNo
Innotek Smart Dog SD-2100All Dog Sizes25 acresYesRechargeable (NiMh)Yes
Innotek Smart Dog SD-2000Medium to large Dogs5 acresWater Resistant6v alkalineNo
Petsfafe Dog FenceMedium to Large Dogs10 acresYesNo
Petsafe Stubborn Dog FenceLarge Dogs10 acresYes9v alkalineNo
Innotek Ultra SmartMedium to Large dogs25 acresYesRechargeable LithiumYes
Innotek Contain ‘n TrainMedium to Large dogs25 acresYesRechargeable LithiumYes

What’s included in a dog fence kit / containment system?

Nearly all containment systems offer the same components.


This is your control box. Plug this into a power point and switch it on. Here you can define how far you want your dog to get to the boundary before he gets a correction.

Receiver collar

You will get one collar. These can be rechargeable or use replaceable batteries. Another consideration is that some are waterproof, while others are only water resistant. This system you select will determine the size of collar. You can add many more collars to these systems – they just need to be compatible.


Nearly all containment systems come with one roll of wire (150m). This will do about half an acre. You can add more wire for larger yards


You will get 50 flags in each kit. These are to be placed around your boundary where the invisible fence exists. This is to represent a visual cue as to where the correction will occur. You get more flags when you add more wire to your system.

How to set up a Dog Containment System?

In its simplest form, firstly identify the location where you can power the transmitter. This should be a power point that is close to the boundary.

Connect the wire to the Transmitter and then run the wire directly to the nearest boundary.

Continue running the wire right around until you return from where you started and connect the wire back into the control box.

Will a dog fence work at containing my dog?

You will have created one big loop with both ends of the wire now connected to the transmitter.

NOTE: the wire you run around the boundary can either be buried or simply attached to the base of an existing fence.

Turn on the transmitter and define how far you want your dog to get to the boundary. You can check this by walking out with the collar and taking note when the collar picks up the radio signal from the wire. You can then place flags along the boundary to visually indicate where the collars will provide the correction.

The next thing to do is to slowly introduce your dog to his new boundary.

Take your time when training your dog. Ideally begin with your dog on lead and walk them close to the flags. When you notice the collar working (a beep or your dog reacts), bring your dog in to your yard showing him where he needs to go to avoid that sensation. Repeat this at different points of your boundary. This training period should be performed over a two week period until your dog if fully trained.

Which Dog Containment System Should you get?

You may already have noticed that there are many brands and models to choose from. But there are a few simple and easy questions to ask to help you select the right system.

Yes there are a number of dog fence kits to select from. The dog fence kit that is right for your dog and yard will depend on the size of your dog, the size of your yard, and whether you need a receiver collar that is waterproof?

What Type of Dog/s?

This really speaks to the size of your dog. Do you have a big dog? Is your dog a small breed? Do you have more than one dog and of different sizes? So what we are looking for here is the size of collar that comes with the kit.

What size is the area you want to contain?

Some kits do up to 5 acres, while others can do up to 25 acres. The size of your yard can determine which kits are right for you

Do you need a waterproof Collar?

Is it likely your dog will swim while wearing the collar? If so, ensure you select a kit with a waterproof collar.

Collar Features

The next thing to consider are the features you would prefer the collar to have. Would you like a Rechargeable collar, or are replaceable batteries OK? Would you like a more contoured collar or doesn’t it matter the shape of collar?

Transmitter Features

Do you commonly experience power failures? Some transmitters offer a battery backup feature to keep your containment system functioning during a blackout.

Does The Brand Matter?

Petsafe and Innotek have a leading reputation for manufacturing quality containment systems – they’ve been doing it for years!

Their kits are not only reliable, but safe for your pet too.

If you have been shopping around for these dog fences, you no doubt will have come across those cheaper imports. These products may not have undergone the necessary controls and testing procedures.

Before putting any electronic device on your dog, it is very important to ensure its safety and reliability, and in this case the brand does matter.

Common questions about dog fences

Are electric dog fences cruel?

Electric fences are designed not to physically harm your dog, only prevent them escaping a designated area.

The benefits are safety, ensuring your dog does not escape and come into harms way.

If you are using a dog fence correctly, your dog will only feel a mild shock when he or she comes into contact with the fence. This is not harmful to your dog and is considered one of the most effective ways to keep them safe.

Are electric dog fences cruel?

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