Looking for the best underground dog fence for small dogs? We’ve got you covered. In this article we’ll go over the best in-ground dog fences for any size yard, multiple dogs, and even one that comes with a remote for additional training.
Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Table of Contents
- Best for 2 Small Dogs (or Cats!)
- Best for 1 Acre
- Best for 5 Acres or 10 Acres
- Best Underground Fence With Training Collar and Remote Combo
- What Is An Underground Dog Fence (In-Ground Fence)?
- How Do Underground Dog Fences Work?
- Are Underground Dog Fences Safe?
- Why Use An Underground Dog Fence For Small Dogs?
- Are Underground Dog Fences Effective?
- What Is The Key Feature Of These Underground Dog Fences For Small Dogs?
- How to Properly Splice Wire for Underground Dog Fences
- How To Install An Underground Dog Fence
- CREATE A SECURE YARD: Give your pets a secure yard to play in with our durable and weather-resistant in-ground containment system that includes electric surge protection
- PERSONALIZE YOUR DOG’S COLLAR SETTINGS: Teach your pets to stay in the secure play area with a sound-only training mode plus 4 levels of static on his receiver collar
- FITS ANY YARD: This weekend do-it-yourself project comes with clear step-by-step instructions on how to design your personalized fence
- LIGHTWEIGHT, WATERPROOF RECEIVER COLLAR: Our collars are light, slim and designed to fit small, medium, large and x-large pets that are 8 lb and up with neck sizes 6-26 in
- ADD MORE THAN 2 PETS: Unlimited number of collars can be added to the fence system and set to match your dogs’ personality
What We Like
- Fits any yard
- Lightweight collar – great for small dogs and cats
- Can be used with cats
What We Don’t Like
- Petsafe wire splicers deteriorate after a few years of use – do your own splicing and be generous with electrical tape. Spliced wires are key areas for future breaks. See our article on finding breaks – you’ll need to know this for any underground fence.
- Plastic snap of collar breaks easily with high energy dogs
- Need to add a surge protector (generic to save costs) to prevent lightning strike damage
A 1 acre property will require about 1,100 feet of fencing though it will depend on the shape of your property. A perfect circle takes about 850 feet of fencing for 1 acre. The model below comes with 1,000 feet of wire so it should fit most acre yards.
- Easy-to-install containment kit includes everything needed to cover 1 1/3 acres of land for one dog; can be expanded to cover 100 acres with more wire and flags (sdf-wf)
- Waterproof collar takes standard 9-volt battery (included) that lasts 6-12 months; Fits dogs 10 pound And up
- Contain an unlimited number of dogs with additional collars (sdf-r)
- Collar gives Tone (beep) and vibration (Buzz) warning before moving to one of four static stimulation levels (you choose the best level for your dog)
- Transmitter features wire break alarm and built in Lightning Protector
What We Like
- Comes with 1,000 feet of wire – perfect for most 1 acre lots
- Much cheaper than install full privacy fence
- Keeps dogs out of pools and gardens (using the double loop layout)
- Can be installed quickly with a metal bladed edger
- Bulky collars still work fine on small dogs less than 20 lbs.
What We Don’t Like
- Comes with flimsy 20 gauge wire – Upgrade or tack on 14 gage solid wire rolls if you need to expand past a 1 acre lot.
5 acres requires 2,000 feet of fencing. This will vary on your yard shape.
For larger yards we like to recommend the underground dog fence by Extreme Dog Fence Store. Why? They use thicker gauge (14 gauge) wire. Don’t use their splicing. Invest in better equipment. See the FAQ section below on how to properly splice wire so it lasts longer underground.
What We Like
- Thick gauge wire
- Solid wire – doesn’t break as easily and lasts longer underground. Requires special splicing kits.
- Great customer service 7 days a week
- American Made
- Includes surge protector
What We Don’t Like
- Instructions and documentation are a OK but wish there were more tutorials online directly from the manufacturer
- Replacement batteries for receiver collar are not easy to find in typical store
- 2-IN-1 SOLUTION: This system is both an electric dog fence and a remote trainer, using a single collar for both. Designed for medium to large dogs (40 to 180 lbs)
- FENCE: 2 Collars Included. Contain any number of dogs (with add-on collars) on up to 1 acre. Includes 1000 feet of 16 gauge underground dog fence wire, to be buried or run above ground
- REMOTE TRAINER: Use the handheld remote to train up to 3 dogs at a time. 10 static correction levels, 10 vibration levels, and a beep only function. Each collar set individually, per each dog's need
- RECHARGEABLE: The collars and the handheld remote are rechargeable. They run on internal 3.7v lithium ion batteries that fully charge (after first charge) in a 2 hour window
- EXTENDED WARRANTY: Register your product on the manufacturer's website and your warranty extends from 1 year to 5 years. Phone support available 7 days per week
What We Like
- Use like a standard underground fence
- Remote works in your yard or out while hiking
- Comes with an extra remote so you can do full shock collar training for other tricks and behavior work. See our other articles for more…
What We Don’t Like
- Beep or sound function is too quiet
What Is An Underground Dog Fence (In-Ground Fence)?
An underground fence creates an invisible boundary using a buried wire connected to a transmitter. The wire gives off a small signal when activated.
When a paired receiver collar comes near the boundary it emits a beep or sound function followed by a vibration or small electric shock (static correction) if the dog continues to get closer to the boundary.
How Do Underground Dog Fences Work?
The transmitter sends a small radio signal through the underground wire surrounding your property. The receiver collar picks up that signal and creates a beep, vibration, or small electric shock.
Proper dog training teaches your dog what that signal means and to back away from the barrier.
Are Underground Dog Fences Safe?
Yes – underground fences when properly installed and working with a properly trained dog are perfectly safe.
The problem comes in when you don’t have those things. Some of the common safety issues are:
- Interference or short circuiting of the boundary line
- Uncharged receiver collar
- Malfunctioning transmitter box
- Malfunctioning receiver collar
- Distractions from other dogs, people, or animals outside the fence causing your dog to run through the boundary
- Not enough underground fence training
- Improperly fitted receiver collar – this is the biggest safety hazard as the prongs can damage the skin if too tight or left on for too long
Why Use An Underground Dog Fence For Small Dogs?
Underground fences are significantly cheaper than above-ground privacy fence. Underground fences usually cost $2 to $3 per linear foot. Whereas privacy fences range from $8 to $15 per linear foot. Installation costs can be even higher.
Underground fences also let you keep views that a privacy fence might block.
Top Reasons To Use and Underground Fence
- Cheaper than privacy fences or normal fences
- No HOA issues
- Maintain views around your property – keep a good view of the lake
- Easier to install than privacy fences
- No building permit required
- Won’t be affected by local regulations (most likely but do check)
- Won’t bother the neighbors
- Can be moved
- Double loop layout lets you keep dogs out of the garden or pool
Are Underground Dog Fences Effective?
Yes, if properly installed with a properly fitted collar and good dog training for underground fences.
What Is The Key Feature Of These Underground Dog Fences For Small Dogs?
The key to finding the right underground dog fence is to choose a collar with prongs that are suited for your dog’s hair length. Most models come with two sets of prongs – short prongs or nubs for short haired dogs and longer prongs for long-haired dogs.
The second most important feature is proper installation. See our installation article for underground dog fences here.
Lastly, the third and final feature is proper dog training on underground fences. The key is getting the right collar. Combining that with proper installation and training and you have the triforce of power for a really great underground dog fence.
How to Properly Splice Wire for Underground Dog Fences
In general we recommend purchasing better splicing equipment than the stuff that comes in the kits recommended above. Why? It’ll last longer underground and is less likely to break due to shifting ground, cars driving over it, etc.
Check your wire to see if it’s stranded (made of lots of small copper strands wound together) or if it’s one solid piece of copper wire.
How To Install An Underground Dog Fence
We’ve written about how to install an underground dog fence in another article.
1. Layout the fence wire first and test it before you bury it. You want to check for interference along the line that may come from criss crossing TV cables or other metal structures like gutters.
2. Use a power edger and two people to install the line faster. One person uses the edger and the second follows behind installing the line. Expect to finish a 2 acre yard in a full day using this method.