If you’re searching for the best invisible dog fence, one that can cover more ground, then this system by SportDog is definitely worth a closer look. This system covers 1 1/3 acres, but it can be expanded to cover up to one hundred acres. Because of this, it’s often the go-to choice for dog owners who live in rural areas. It comes complete with a powerful transmitter and waterproof collar that can handle plenty of wear and tear. This is the total package and one that’s available for a reasonable price.
Our Verdict: This system can cover up to 1 1/3 acres, but is expandable and can cover up to one hundred acres. This system includes a durable, waterproof receiver collar, transmitter, training flags, and a user’s manual. The collar features four correction settings to choose from and offers a totally waterproof design that will allow you to leave the collar on year-round, even if you decide to take your dog for a swim. The system itself is very reliable and won’t experience any issues with interference caused by obstacles and structures on your property. The only drawback is the fact that the collars cannot be used on dogs under ten pounds, however, you can purchase collars designed for smaller breeds, directly from the manufacturer. Overall, this is a pretty impressive, highly expandable, and easy to use invisible fence that’s designed to last and offers the type of reliable performance that all pet owners are looking for.
Overview and Features of Sportdog
This system is a big seller since it’s one of the most expandable invisible fences on the market. This particular system is designed for bigger dogs and works for dogs ten pounds and up, so it’s definitely not a good buy if you have chihuahuas or other toy breeds. It comes with plenty of bells and whistles such as a low battery indicator warning, safety time out, training flags, and audio and visual wire break alarms. The ability to expand the system is what makes it the perfect option for the pet owner with several dogs and plenty of land.
This model comes with:
- One receiver collar
- Two spools of wire
- Training flags
- User’s manual
This system is designed to stand up to inclement weather conditions and can also handle high winds, mud, dust, dirt, snow, rain, intense cold, and intense heat. If you have a large property and need a reliable invisible fence, this system is it. Keep in mind that the current system can only cover up to 1 1/3 acres, but the system itself can be expanded up to one hundred acres total.
The rugged receiver collar is one hundred percent waterproof, so you can even leave it on if you take your dog for a swim. The collar is very light, weighing just six and a half ounces. It will fit necks ranging from thirteen inches up to twenty-seven inches, however, according to the manufacturer, it will only work for dogs ten pounds and over. The system itself is highly customizable, so you can easily purchase a smaller or larger collar directly from the manufacturer and it will work perfectly with this setup.
Unlike wireless systems, this model doesn’t work in just a circular pattern. You can set the fence up in any design, along the perimeter of your land. I recommend doing a dry run of sorts before you start digging. Lay the wire out over the terrain you want it to cover, then test out the system to ensure it works before you bury the wire.
The wire should be buried one to three feet deep. If your part of the country normally experiences intense weather during the winter or summer months, I recommend burying it three feet deep. If the weather is relatively mild, then you can bury it one to two feet deep. If you have dogs that are diggers, such as huskies or labs, then I recommend burying it at around three free to prevent your pets from damaging it.
The system’s loop wire and the power adapter plug directly into the bottom of the transmitter. On the side you’ll find the following controls:
Stimulation mode-This will allow you to choose the type of stimulation that’s delivered by the collar. You can set it to warning only, which will emit a tone, or you can choose warning and stimulation, or stimulation only. During training, most pet owners will use warning only, then progress to warning and stimulation.
Range adjuster-Use this dial to adjust the distance from the dog’s receiver collar to the boundary wire. This system is highly adjustable, so you can adjust the distance from a few inches up to ten feet.
Range switch-This offers high and low settings. You can set this feature based on the size of the containment area.
The collars are battery-powered and use a standard nine-volt battery. The collar doesn’t have an on or off switch, however, it does come equipped with a low battery life warning, which will cause a red light to constantly flash, alerting you that it’s time to change the battery. Most dog owners claim that the collars have a battery life of six to twelve months.
Static Stimulation Setting
The stimulation level button on the collar will be used to set the correction level your dog receives. You’ll need to remove a small plastic cap to use this button, which is a great safety feature and one that prevents your dog from accidentally bumping and depressing the button during play. Aside from the static correction levels, the collar will also vibrate and beep to warn your dog that it’s getting too close to the boundary. Should your dog refuse to turn around and head back to the designated area, the four progressive static correction levels will continue to get stronger until he or she heads for home.
Safety Time Out
This is a built-in safety feature that will halt the static correction after a period of thirty seconds. This will ensure that your pet doesn’t experience the correction for more than thirty seconds.
This is another great, built-in safety feature and one that will deliver a static correction whenever your pet decides to linger next to the warning zone for more than two seconds. This feature will also help to save on battery life since your dog hanging around the warning zone can start draining the receiver’s battery.
The flags are used as a visual training device that will teach your dog how to identify the boundaries of the yard. Over a period of a few days, you can slowly start taking away some of the flags. Once your dog is fully trained, you can remove every flag.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sportdog
- Expandable up to one hundred acres
- Waterproof receiver collar
- Four static correction levels
- Long battery life
- Low price
- Built-in safety features
- Not designed for dogs under ten pounds
- Labor-intensive set up
SportDog Versus PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Dog and Cat Fence
This system by SportDog scored well in a number of areas, but how does it measure up to the competition? The competing system by PetSafe, the YardMax, comes with a rechargeable collar that offers a fast charging time and only needs to be recharged once a month. It also offers five levels of static correction, compared to this system’s four and can be used on dogs five pounds and up, while this system cannot be used on dogs under ten pounds.
However, the competing system can only provide coverage up to 1/3 of an acre, while this system can cover 1 1/3 acres. The competing system can be expanded up to ten acres, while the SportDog system can be expanded up to one hundred. However, if you have a small property, then the ability to expand the system up to a hundred acres won’t really matter. The competing system is a better choice for smaller breeds and yards, while this system is perfect for medium and large breeds and a great option for the pet owner with plenty of land.
Conclusion and Rating
This system by SportDog is highly expandable. The current system can cover up to 1 1/3 acres, but it has the potential to cover up to one hundred acres. The included waterproof receiver features four correction settings and built-in safety features that will ensure your dog heads back home and doesn’t cross the boundaries of the yard.
The system is very versatile and can be used in yards with hills, slopes, and several trees, unlike wireless fence systems. The durable collar can withstand heavy play and submersion and keep on ticking. Overall, this is an excellent system for pet owners with plenty of property. I gave this system a rating of four and a half out of five stars.