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Pet Containment Fence Systems
Pet Containment

Article: Pet Containment System Brand Comparison.
Choosing a pet containment system can be confusing, considering the number of models available. 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. The Little 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 is that 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 Fence, 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 allows you to 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, but offers some 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 feature. 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 anyone who wishes to add remote training capabilities to their system.

SportDog BrandSportDog.
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). It features a vibration warning or a tone as the dog approaches the boundary wire, and allows you to individually 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.

The Dogtra Electronic Fence is an excellent system. It features a waterproof rechargeable receiver collar, is strong enough to power up to 40 acres of fence, 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 so.


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