The Best Invisible Dog Fences of 2024

We review everything from classic in-ground fences to the latest in GPS fencing

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Dogs want to run and play off leash, but we have to weigh keeping them safe and having fun. That’s why an invisible fence is an excellent option if you don’t have a fenced yard or want a backup to your physical fence for escape artists.

My dog Riley was a handful as a puppy, and I relied on an invisible fence to keep him safely in my yard. Even as a well-trained adult, he can’t contain himself at the sight of a deer. His high prey drive has led me to try several remote training collars, wireless fences, and in-ground fences over the last ten years. Some have been excellent, and others not so much.

I used my experience testing some of the best invisible dog fences to choose the top options available today.

Best Invisible Dog Fences: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Wireless: PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Pet Fence

Key Features

  • Coverage Area: ¾ acre
  • Number of Dogs: Unlimited
  • Dogs 5 pounds and up
  • Rechargeable collar
  • Price: $340


  • Easy install
  • Portable


  • Only covers a circular area

A wireless dog fence just gets plugged into a wall to create a boundary. There’s no burying wires needed. The downside is that it will only create a circular boundary, which might not conform with your actual property line. So you’ll have to adjust the settings and position of the transmitter until you find a sweet spot for your yard. 

The collar is rechargeable, which means you don’t have to buy expensive batteries. It has customizable settings, so whether you have a Yorkie or a burly lab, the collar will produce the proper amount of correction. 

It’s important to note that this invisible fence, or any other, isn’t a replacement for training. It is a backup to your training to keep your dog safely in your yard. You’ll also have to spend time training your dog to learn the boundaries of the invisible fence. 

Read Next: Best GPS Dog Trackers

Best In-Ground Fence: SportDOG Brand Rechargeable In-Ground Fence Systems

Key Features

  • Coverage Area: 1.3 acres
  • Number of Dogs: Unlimited
  • Rechargeable collar
  • One month battery life
  • Price: $320


  • Collar recharges in two hours
  • Tone, vibrate, and stimulation 


  • Requires burying a wire throughout your property 

Wireless fences only create a circular boundary, but an in-ground fence is custom tailored to your property boundary. Of course, that means you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and dig a trench for your wire. Be sure to call 811 before you dig to avoid hitting existing wires and pipes. But that upfront work results in an accurate boundary that won’t need to be repeated unless there’s a break in the wire. The unit has an indicator that tells you if there’s a break in the wire. 

While the SportDOG comes with one collar, additional collars can be added. They are suitable for dogs 8 pounds and up. The collar is rechargeable, which I really like because I’ve owned other models requiring expensive, proprietary batteries. The kit contains enough wires for 1 ⅓ acres, but can be expanded up to 100 acres. 

Best with GPS: SpotOn GPS Dog Fence

Key Features

  • 22-hour battery life
  • Tone and three stimulation levels
  • Uses GPS in conjunction with the app to create a custom boundary
  • Allows dogs to reenter the fence boundary without a correction 
  • For properties that are ½ acre or larger
  • Price: $1,295


  • Combines the ease of installation of wireless fences with the custom boundary of in-ground fences
  • Subscription not required 
  • Additional features like dog tracking and activity monitoring


  • Needs to be recharged daily
  • Expensive

SpotOn is the latest and greatest in invisible dog fences. It uses an app and GPS to create a custom boundary that has similar accuracy to an in-ground fence, but, like a wireless fence, takes very little effort to install. You also get the added benefits of GPS tracking by subscribing to a plan. 

This type of invisible fence is the future, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the other best invisible dog fences become obsolete to GPS technology. But the technology isn’t quite there to completely take over the market. For example, it doesn’t work if you have dense tree cover that interferes with the GPS signal. You also have to remove the collar when your dog is indoors to prevent false correction. The battery only lasts up to 22 hours and needs to be charged daily. 

Best for Small Yards: PetSafe Wireless Pet Fence

Key Features

  • Coverage Area: ½ acres
  • Number of Dogs: Unlimited
  • Uses replaceable battery 
  • Price: $289


  • Easy to install
  • Allows pet to reenter the yard without correction 


  • Circular coverage area might not conform to property boundaries 
  • Batteries are expensive

The PetSafe Wireless Pet Fence was the first wireless fence I purchased. We didn’t have a fenced yard, but we had a high-energy dog that needed to run, and the invisible fence allowed him to run off his energy between walks. We liked that the coverage area was customizable and that we could take it with us when we visited relatives. That flexibility made it well worth the purchase price. The only thing we didn’t like about this particular fence is that the batteries are proprietary and expensive. 

Best Training Collar: Garmin Delta SE

Key Features

  • Coverage Area: ½ mile
  • Number of Dogs: Two
  • Rechargeable collar
  • Price: $200


  • Tone, vibration, and stimulation 
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent for off leash exercise 


  • Requires training for effective use

The Garmin Delta SE isn’t an invisible fence, but it’s a similar concept that allows you to take your dog on off-leash hikes. When I go on a hike I like to keep Riley within eyesight but also allow him to explore untethered. Instead of yelling his name each time he wanders off too far, he’s been trained to respond to the “beep” on his collar. I press the tone button, and he comes to me the same way as if I were to call his name. This system also has a vibrate mode, which is a warning for when he doesn’t want to listen. It also has a range of stimulation levels for when it’s imperative that you stop your dog and get him back to you. For example, if they run toward a road or chase an animal. 

You can’t just strap this collar on a dog and expect it to work. You’ll have to train your dog on the e-collar with the help of a trainer or on your own. 

Read Next: Garmin Alpha 200i Review

How to Choose the Best Invisible Dog Fence

Wireless or In-Ground? 

The best option for a large yard is an in-ground fence. While they come with added work, they allow a large and accurate coverage area. 

If you have a small yard or are using an invisible fence as a backup for a physical fence, then a wireless fence is a great option. It’s also a great option if you want the flexibility to take your fence with you as you travel. The main downside to a wireless fence is that they create a circular perimeter, which doesn’t conform to exact property boundaries.

Dog owners also have the option of choosing GPS collars like Halo or SpotOn. These collars work well with a few stipulations: Your yard has to have a clear view of the sky, so no thick tree cover or overhanging structures. You have to take off the collar when your dog is in the house because the GPS signal can get lost, and it might think your dog is outside of the boundary. The batteries don’t last more than a day. The positives are that they are easy to use, like a wireless invisible dog fence, but customizable to your property boundary, like an in-ground fence. 

Stimulation Levels

Invisible fences work because they discourage a dog from leaving the boundary with a small electric shock. I’ve tested them on myself, and they range from getting shocked by static electricity to something that feels like a light slap in the face. Some dogs are very sensitive to even light stimulation levels, and others are unphased. I suggest working with a trainer to find one that will work well for your dog. Also, be sure you have the proper prongs on the collar for your dog’s coat because most collars will come with long prongs for dogs with thick coats. 


Q: Do invisible dog fences really work?

Invisible dog fences are a training tool and only work if you put in the time to train your dog. 

Q: What are the negatives of an invisible fence?

Invisible fences aren’t a physical barrier, and dogs can choose to ignore even the highest stimulation levels to charge through them.

Q: Which is better: Halo or SpotOn?

Halo and SpotOn use similar technology, but SpotOn has a more robust feature set for creating an accurate invisible boundary. SpotOn uses more GPS fence posts to create a custom fence shape, it has more custom stimulation levels, and it doesn’t require a subscription to use. Halo’s app has better training support, and its collar does look nicer than the SpotOn. 

Final Thoughts on the Best Invisible Dog Fence 

Dog owners have a ton of great options for invisible dog fences, and it’s easy to find an option that will work best for you. Remember that the best invisible dog fences are training tools that only work with proper training. 


Scott Einsmann Avatar

Scott Einsmann

Executive Gear Editor

Scott Einsmann is Outdoor Life’s gear editor. He oversees the gear team’s editors and writers who are subject matter experts in bows, knives, hunting, fishing, backpacking, and more. He lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and two bird dogs.