Article: Pet Containment
System Brand Comparison.
Choosing a pet containment
system can be confusing, considering the number of models
We're often asked by customers, "Which is the best
one?". Well, the honest answer to that question is
'It depends'. It depends on what breed/size of dog you
have, how large your property is, if the dog has access
to water, and many other factors. All of the systems (except
the PetSafe Instant Fence) operate in basically the same
manner, and all of them allow you to adjust the 'depth
of field', or how close the dog can get to the boundary
wire before he receives a warning or correction. That said,
we will attempt to highlight the strengths and weaknesses
of the brands we carry.
PetSafe manufactures a full line of in-ground pet fence
systems. They excel, however, at creating 'Specialty' systems
designed for specific breeds or behavior types. The newest
addition to the PetSafe line, the Deluxe
In-Ground Cat Fence,
is the first containment system designed especially for cats.
Dog Fence is, as the name implies, specifically for small
breeds. On the other end of the spectrum, the Stubborn
Dog Fence is for large or hard-to-train dogs. Many customers
prefer the Stubborn Dog system as the receiver collars use
standard 9-volt batteries. The PetSafe
RF-304W Deluxe In-Ground Fence allows you to tailor
the correction for each dog, by selecting from 4 levels of
correction, or choosing a 'tone only' option. It is waterproof,
and uses the PetSafe RF-67 battery. While the battery is easy
to use, and should last for several months, it is necessary
to keep one or two on hand when one fails. The unit does have
a low-battery indicator on the receiver to allert you to a
low battery situation. A companion system to the RF-304 is
the RF-3004W Basic system. It operates
like the Deluxe model, but only provides a single strength
of correction. A nice feature about the PetSafe in-ground systems
all collars work on any system. That way you could, for example,
purchase a Stubborn Dog system, and add a 'Little Dog' receiver
collar at a later date.
We also carry the PetSafe IF-300 Instant
which requires no wires or installation. It is very effective,
portable, and easy to operate.
The drawbacks are that you need to have a fairly level lot for the system
to be effective, and the containment area will be in the
shape of a circle. Your
only control is how big the circle is. If you have multiple dogs, this system
tailor the correction level for each dog.
All PetSafe receiver collars are water-proof.
Innotek makes several different models of containment systems; including 'higher
end' rechargeable receiver systems. The The SD-2000
Basic System is a 'no-frills' system featuring
a user-replaceable battery powered water resistant receiver, and contains up
to 5 acres. The top end is represented by the IUC-4100,
which features an extremely sleek water-proof rechargeable receiver collar
which is suitable for the smallest
dogs. The IUC-4100 receiver features Lithium Ion batteries that recharge in
about 2 hours. In between is the SD-2100 (our
most economical rechargeable system), which is an older water-proof model,
savings. The SD-2100 receiver uses Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries that
need to charge overnight.
Innotek also offers 'Contain 'n Train' systems,
which allow you to also use a hand-held remote with your containment
system. (Interesting tidbit: we began carrying Innotek systems
in 1998 due to their original 'Contain 'n Train' system. Many
people considered it a bargain at $565!). The SD-3000
Basic system is comparable to the SD-2000 containment system.
This basic system is extremely hard on batteries, so it is
best suited for people who will only occasionally use the training
The receiver on this model is water-resistant. The IUC-5100
Contain 'n Train is
our best selling containment system. It is an impressive unit
that is water-proof and rechargeable. Like the IUC-4100, it
features Lithium Ion batteries that recharge in
about 2 hours. It is the best choice for
to add remote training capabilities to their system.
The SportDog SDF-100 is an excellent system which is
a good value if you have a large yard or need to enclose an extremely large area
(up to 100 acres).
approaches the boundary wire,
control the correction level for each dog you contain. Part of the value of
this system is it contains 1000 feet of wire, which is double the amount in
any other system. The water-proof receiver collar uses standard 9-volt batteries,
which are readily available. The only drawback is the size
of the receiver, which is probably too bulky for smaller breeds.
Electronic Fence is an excellent system.
features a waterproof rechargeable receiver collar, is strong enough to power
up to 40
and allows you to select from 5 levels of correction.
A great feature on this system is the 'pager' feature, which causes the receiver
collar to vibrate a pager when the dog approaches the boundary wire. We like
this feature as it is possible for dogs who have been trained on units that give
'warning beeps' become skittish around cell phones, answering machines, ovens,
or any other electronic appliance that beeps. The only drawback to the Dogtra
system is the receiver collar is probably to bulky for dogs under 15 pounds or