Wired vs. Wireless Dog Fences

Let’s compared wireless fences to wired fences across a few of the most important metrics where dog containment is concerned.

Cost

Wireless Fence: a quality model, such as the PetSafe Stay & Play or the Havahart Radial 2 will cost you around $250-$300. Depending on whether you get a model with a rechargeable or replaceable battery, you may need to pay an additional ~$25 per year for extra batteries.

Wired Fence: a quality model will cost around the same as a Wireless Fence. However, if you plan to burry the cable rather than keep it above the ground where it can be easily damaged, you’ll either need to do all the digging (including any digging in your driveway) and filling yourself, or pay a specialist to do so, which can cost anywhere between $500 and $2,000, depending on where you live and who you contact.

Ease of Installation

Wireless Fence: installation is as easy as powering up the main control unit, inserting a battery into the receiver, and you’re done. The procedure won’t take more than 10, maybe 15 minutes.

Wired Fence: planning the cable layout and burrying it can take a good 12 hours, unless you have access to specialized equipment or you hire professionals to do the job for you, in which case it can be finished in a few hours.

Containment Area

Wireless Fence: in the vast majority of models, a wireless fence can only cover a circular area, with a radius of up to 250 feet. It is possible in some systems however, particularly those made by PetSafe, to use two or more transmitters in conjunction, providing for containment of a significantly larger area, and one which can be shaped closer to a rectangle if need be.

Wired Fence: the containment area can be almost as large as 30 acres and can take any shape you like – it depends entirely on the length of the cable you use, and your cable layout pattern.

Signal Reliability

Wireless Fence: assuming you stick to the best practice and recommendations when it comes to minimizing signal interference, a quality wireless pet fence will provide for a very stable boundy, with an approximate 0.25% – 1% wobble. In other words, if you set the containment area diameter to 200 feet, you can expect an error margin of between 0.5 and 2 feet, depending on the model.

Wired Fence: the average boundary wobble is around 0.25%. There is also no need to worry about any signal interference as this is not an issue with an underground fence.

Maintenance

Wireless Fence: a wireless dog fence is easy to maintain. If either the transmitter or receiver malfunction, they can be quickly sent in for repair.

Wired Fence: in case of an issue with the cable, while unusual, the entire length may need to be dug out from the ground and replaced with a new one.

Collar

Wireless Fence: collars that come with a wireless fence are, on average, an ounce heavier than those that come with a wired fence. They always come with two pairs of correction probes: long ones for long-haired dogs, and shorter ones for dogs with shorter and thinner hair. Additionally, wireless fence collars allow for a minimum of 5 different static correction settings.

Wired Fence: the collar is an ounce lighter than a wireless fence collar on average. They do not always come with two pairs of contact probes, and they do not always have adjustable static correction level settings.

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