How To Adjust Invisible Fence Collar Strength *** 9 Easy Steps

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Looking to train your dog on your new invisible or wireless dog fence? This article will show you how to properly adjust your invisible or wireless fence collar’s strength. This will provide just enough static correction to keep your dog in the yard without causing them stress.

Note: If you click some of the links or pictures in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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Adjusting Your Invisible or Wireless Fence’s Collar Strength

Each receiver has different means to change the static correction strength. We’ve included a few sample videos of different models below.

For all models use the following steps to adjust the strength to the proper setting:

  1. Start at the lowest setting
  2. Place the collar on your dog
  3. Take your dog to the invisible or wireless fence boundary
  4. Did they notice the static correction? They should be aware of the collar correction but should not yelp or get overly stressed. Look for signs like their ears going up, looking straight ahead in attention, taking a pause, etc.
  5. Bring your dog back inside and away from the boundary
  6. Increase the strength one level
  7. Go back to the boundary
  8. Did your dog notice the correction? If not, repeat the steps above till you find the minimum setting where your dog notices the correction and there is no pain.
  9. Never turn it all the way up and never set it at a level that causes pain or stress.

Boston terrier and hounds with invisible fence shock collars saying hi

How to Set the Correction Level on a Petsafe YardMax Collar

PetSafe Stay & Play Compact Wireless Pet Fence for Dogs & Cats, Waterproof & Rechargeable, Above Ground Electric Fence Covers Up to 3/4 Acre for Pets 5 lb+ from Parent Company of Invisible Fence Brand

  1. Get a copy of the Petsafe Yardmax manual (or your model) and read it! (Link to manual) The instructions below are for the Petsafe YardMax Receiver collar and will vary slightly for different collars by Petsafe.
  2. Do the following steps after fully charging the collar and while it is NOT on your pet. As a safety feature if the collar is on your pet while you try and do the items below it will just turn off.
  3. Press and hold the mode/on the button. The green light will come on after about 1 second.
  4. The green indicator light will flash just once then go off for 1 second.
  5. Next, the light will come on and hold for five seconds telling you the condition of the battery.
    • Solid red means low battery, charge before use
    • Solid green means fully charged battery ready to go
    • Red/green means partially charged battery, keep charging
  6.  After the battery condition lights, there will be a series of red flashes which tell you the current static correction level.
    • 1 red flash – tone/beep only
    • 2 red flashes – low
    • 3 red flashes – medium-low
    • 4 red flashes – medium
    • 5 red flashes medium-high
    • 6 red flashes – high
  7. To set the static correction level press and hold the mode button again until you see a red light.
  8. Let go of the mode button after the red light.
  9. It will again emit red flashes to show you the current correction level. See list above.
  10. Press and hold the mode button again for 1 second. This will increase the static correction level by one level. It will flash red corresponding to the new correction level.
  11. When you get to 6 flashes, the high setting, if you press mode again it will reset down to the 1, tone/beep only, setting.
  12. Continue to press mode for a second and release until you get to the desired correctly level.

SportDog Collar Adjusting Video

DogWatch Collar Adjusting Video

What Level Should I Set My Shock Collar?

When training initially you should start without a static correction setting. Use treats and praise to teach them the edge of the invisible or wireless boundary.

In general, you want to find a setting that provides stimulus to the dog without hurting them. Start at the lowest setting and have them walk to the edge. Did their ears pop up? Did they notice it? Did they yelp?

If they yelp the setting is too high. Turn it down.

Did they fail to notice the boundary when the static correction happened? Turn the collar up one level.

Do this over and over slowly till you find the perfect level. It will depend on your dog’s hair thickness and tolerance for static corrections.

You can also test the level on your own skin to confirm that it’s not too high.

Check out our full training on teaching your dog to stay inside your wireless or invisible fence.

Black small dog with invisible fence collar

How Many Volts Should A Dog Shock Collar Have?

Other sources have claimed that shock collars range from 400 to 6,000 volts. This does not seem to be true.

We checked the user manuals for the top invisible wireless fence systems (PetSafe, Sport Dog) and couldn’t find anything to back that up.

Instead, we found that shock collars were operating off tiny 6 volt and 9-volt batteries.

Based on our research of top models, shock collars typically have 6 to 9 volts of static correction.

Invisible Fence Battery Voltage

The PetSafe Wireless fence system we recommend uses a 6-volt battery for the shock collar. This battery lasts up to 2 months of usage.

The SportDog model we like uses a 9-volt battery. This battery can contain your dog for up to 6 to 12 months between charges.

How Do I Know If My Shock Collar Is Working?

Your dog will tell you perfectly if the shock collar is working. You want to set it to a minimum setting where your dog notices the static correction and doesn’t yelp or seem stressed or in pain.

You can also test the collar on your arm to see if it’s correcting. If it’s not working you’ll know. If it’s too high you’ll also know.

Vibration training collar for hunting dog in field

How Tight Should Invisible Fence Collar Be?

Adjust your invisible or wireless fence collar so that you can snugly fit one finger underneath the collar. Your finger should fit perfectly underneath a static correction node and your dog’s skin. This will prevent the collar nodes from digging into your dog’s skin.

Adjust these settings as needed if your dog’s weight or hair length changes.

How Do You Check An Invisible Fence Collar?

  1. Make sure the collar is fully charged
  2. Make sure the transmitter is charged or plugged in and turned on
  3. Carry the collar by hand to the invisible or wireless fence boundary
  4. Depending on the model it will beep and/or lights will flash as you get close to the boundary
  5. Place the collar’s static correction contacts on your forearm.
  6. Approach the boundary and see if it delivers a static correction.
  7. If the unit isn’t beeping and isn’t providing a static correction go through troubleshooting.

Do You Leave Rubber Tips On Shock Collar?

Leave the rubber tips on the collar’s contact for the initial training. When your dog is ready for static correction training, remove the rubber tips.

You can leave the tips on if the collar is not in use and is being stored while your dog is inside.

Where Should A Shock Collar Be Placed On A Dog?

Shock collars should be placed on your dog’s neck under their chin. Follow the instructions above to properly fit and tighten a shock collar.

Should I Take My Dog’s Collar Off At Night?

Yes. You should absolutely take your dog’s shock collar off at night. The static correction contacts are not comfortable for sleeping.

How Long Should You Leave A Shock Collar On A Dog?

As this article relates to invisible and wireless fences we will answer this question as if you are using a shock collar to keep your dog inside your fence.

Leave the shock collar on as long as your dog is outside and you want them to remain inside the invisible or wireless fence boundary.

Take the shock collar off at night and when the dog comes inside.

Portable shock collars use on walks and for other behavior, training purposes should only be used for short 15-minute training intervals.

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