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June 8, 2021

PetSafe® Expert

Hank Champion

Wireless or In-Ground Pet Fence: Which is Best for My Pet and Me?

If you have pets and a yard, it's time to consider what's sometimes referred to as an electric pet fence, and the best place to start your search is by understanding the different types available. Here, we'll discuss how a pet fence works, how they compare to traditional wood or metal yard fences and the difference between in-ground and wireless pet fences. After reading this article, you will better understand how pet fences work and how they can help your pet safely enjoy your yard.

How a pet fence works

The two types of pet fences we will focus on are in-ground and wireless; both work by creating a boundary that interacts with a receiver collar worn by your pet to let him know where the boundary is. For pet fences to be effective, you must do some basic training with your dog. The training is pretty straightforward; when your dog approaches the boundary, he will hear a warning tone. If your dog goes past the boundary, he will receive a static correction. The static correction is harmless and similar to the sensation you feel when touching a doorknob after walking on a rug in socks. Like a tap on the shoulder, this sensation is enough to get your pet's attention so that they remain safely in their yard.

Why a pet fence is better than traditional fencing

It's easy to understand how a traditional fence works because you can see the physical boundary created by its structure. While conventional fences create a barrier out of metal, wood or vinyl, they can be intrusive and expensive, and many pets learn how to escape by digging under them or jumping over. In-ground or wireless pet fences have many benefits, but the most important is that they keep your pets secure in your yard. Some of the other benefits are:

  • Lower cost
  • Easy to install
  • Low maintenance
  • Non-obstructive yard view
  • Prevents escape by digging or jumping 

With all these benefits, it's easy to understand why in-ground and wireless pet fences have become so popular.

All About In-Ground Pet Fences

An in-ground or underground pet fence is a perfect option for someone who wants to offer their pet the most yard space by burying a wire to create a custom boundary that can follow the contour of their yard or any shape. Among the benefits of an in-ground pet fence is that it won't affect the appearance of your yard and is also an excellent solution for extensive coverage of up to 25 acres. If you have more than one pet or plan to add others, you can contain an unlimited number with the purchase of additional receiver collars. If you have a pre-existing physical fence that your pet digs under or jumps over, you can run an in-ground fence next to it to prevent your pets from escaping.

All About Wireless Pet Fences

As the name implies, a wireless pet fence does not require burying any wires, and you can easily install it in just 1 to 2 hours. A wireless pet fence works by creating a circular boundary up to ¾ acre around its location. Because a wireless fence is portable, it can be an excellent solution for those who like to take their pets on vacations and camping trips (outlet required), and it's also perfect for renters who can easily take it if they move. Like an in-ground pet fence, you can protect as many pets as you want by purchasing extra collars, making it a great solution for multi-pet families, or if you plan on adding more pets down the road.

Training your pet to use a fence

As mentioned earlier, training is crucial for you and your pets to have success with your in-ground or wireless pet fence. Training starts on the leash and should be fun, fair and consistent – and don't forget the treats! Plan on at least 14 days of training, but it can take less time if your pet is a speedy learner. Try to train your pet for 3 x 10 to 15 minutes sessions a day. Short, frequent sessions are better than fewer, longer sessions. If your pet shows signs of stress like tucked ears, tail down, nervous movement and wants to go back to the house, slow down your training schedule by adding additional days and spend some time playing in the containment area to help your dog feel relaxed and comfortable. Always remember to finish each training session on a positive note with lots of praise and play. It's essential to complete the entire training course because reinforcement is important to your pet's success. Once you've set up your pet fence, you'll be ready to begin training. The stages of pet training will be in this order:

  • Days 1-4: The first stage of training involves introducing your pet to the fence boundary marked by small flags.
  • Days 5-8: Work on training your pet not to be attracted by distractions beyond the pet fence boundary.
  • Days 9-14: You can start to let your pet have supervised off-leash time within the pet fence boundary.
  • Days 15-30: Now your pet is ready to run free! While you don't have to be outside, keep an eye on your furry friend for the next couple of weeks to make sure that he adjusts to his newfound freedom.

Once you feel comfortable that your pet knows the boundary, you can begin removing every other boundary flag. Do this every 4 days until all the flags are gone. You'll want to save the flags in case you need to train another pet or move to a new home. That said, after most pets have been trained, they usually respond to the warning tone, have memorized their safety area and often don't require static correction again.


Having a safe yard to relax and play in can make life more enjoyable for pets and pet parents alike. While traditional wood or metal fences can provide some security, they can also be expensive, obstruct views, and in some cases, pets learn how to jump over or dig under them. An in-ground or wireless pet fence can offer unobstructed views and be a safe, reliable, time-saving and cost-effective solution that you and your pets will enjoy for years to come.

Written by

Hank Champion

Hank Champion

PetSafe® Brand Copywriter

PetSafe® Expert

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