A dog fence can keep your dog from getting into the street, causing trouble in the neighborhood, and protecting him from other animals in the area. Fencing for dogs can vary from invisible models to metal fences with panels.  The size and layout of your property and how often you need the fencing make a difference in the model that will work best for you.

Our vet advisor for Every Dog’s Dream selected the dog fences on our list. The Halo 2+ made the top spot for its battery life, versatility, portability, and reliable GPS technology.

Our Vet's Pick for Every Dog's Dream
Halo 2+

This versatile fence can travel with you and track your dog if he escapes.

Check Price

A dog fence isn’t the only item you need to keep your dog safe and secure. His collar, leash, food bowl, and bed are all potential places where the right product will keep your dog safer and more secure.

Our Vet’s Top 5 Dog Fences

Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallHalo 2+4.3
Best BudgetAmazonBasics Foldable Metal Dog Fence4.6
Best In-GroundPetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence4.5
Best PortableFXW Dog Playpen4.6
Best GPSSpotOn GPS Dog Fence4.5
responsive=flip /]
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy a Dog Fence

  • Owners of wandering dogs – Some dogs and breeds like to wander far and wide. A dog fence can keep them contained when you’re working in the backyard.
  • Dog owners living in an urban area – Your neighbors probably don’t love your pup as much as you do, and it’s the neighborly thing to do to keep your dog on your own property. Dog fences can also keep your dog from wandering into oncoming traffic or getting into fights with other animals in the area.
  • Pet parents of bolting dogs – If your dog runs for the hills as soon as he’s out of the house, a dog fence gives you a second layer of protection against losing him.

Who Should Not Buy a Dog Fence

  • Apartment dwellers – If you live in an apartment, you probably don’t need a fence since you don’t have a yard. However, there are portable dog fences that you might want to consider if you travel with your pup.
  • Owners of a homebody – Older dogs and some lazier breeds may never wander farther than their front door. If that’s your dog, a fence doesn’t make much sense.

Research Tips from a Veterinarian

As a veterinarian, I get lots of questions about fencing, from the most effective to the safest for small or large dogs. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned from my practice.

  1. Your fencing needs – The first thing to determine before you purchase a dog fence is your needs. When and where will the fence be used? How large are your dogs? How much space do you need? Does the fencing system need to be portable? Some dogs are amenable to being trained to obey the boundaries of a wireless fence. Others will need to be contained within physical barriers.
  2. Wireless vs physical fence – Wireless fences have many pros and cons, and it is essential to make sure you are aware of both. These systems can be much more cost-effective and visually pleasing than a traditional fence. They are also more adaptable to uneven terrain and frequent moving. For dogs that chew or dig under traditional fences, a wireless fence may be a safer and more effective choice. However, wireless fences do not offer protection to the dogs inside the boundary area from people, predators, or other pets. Patient training is required to help the dog learn the boundaries of the fence. These fencing systems can be frustrating or even ineffective for some dogs. Power outages or failure to recharge the components can lead to fence failure and put your dog at risk of escape and injury. Lastly, though many systems offer alternative corrections, such as vibration or sound, shocking your dog for correction is a method with which all owners may not be comfortable.
  3. Do your homework and ask around – Always spend some time researching the features and reliability of each fencing system. Speaking to someone who has used the system you are considering can be invaluable. You may also want to ask your veterinarian or other pet care professional for recommendations.

How Much Do They Cost?

[pricetag]Between $35 and $2,000[/pricetag]

Fencing for dogs comes in a wide price range, with small metal panels making up the lower end of the price range and high-tech GPS systems topping out the category. Most dog fencing falls between $100-$500. At that price, you get a reliable product that can cover the average-sized yard. Keep in mind that if you have a bigger space to cover you’ll probably pay a bit more for extra panels or wiring.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Every Dog’s Dream

I talk with many pet owners in the course of my day, and many are searching for fences to keep their dogs safe. I chose these dog fences based on my professional experience, talking with owners to see what’s worked for them, and consulting my colleagues. Safety was my number one concern because a fence that malfunctions could let your dog escape or hurt him in some cases. 

The Best Dog Fences: Full Reviews

Our Vet's Pick for Every Dog's Dream
Halo 2+

This versatile fence can travel with you and track your dog if he escapes.

Check Price

The Halo 2+ combines a dog fence, training collar, and GPS tracker into a single unit. This fence/collar/GPS has a built-in GPS/GNSS to create a fenceline using the accompanying app. You can create and save 20 different fences based on GPS locations. The Halo 2+ takes some training because it uses static, vibration, sound, or a combination of those features to train your dog to stay within the designated area. For example, you can create a fence at a park to prevent your dog from running away. If he gets close to the barrier you’ve set, your selected alarm will start to go off on the collar. If the dog has been properly trained, he’ll stop and stay within his boundary.

This model also features an activity tracker, giving you the option to see where your dog has been throughout the course of the day. Of course, that also means if he escapes your home, you can use the collar to track his location. Activity charts can also help you make sure your dog gets enough activity, since you can track his rest and play and where he’s doing those activities. The collar comes in two sizes and each comes with two sizes of contact tips. The downside to this model is the price. It’s expensive upfront and requires a monthly subscription in various tiers to access all of the fences features.

[pros title=”Pros”]

  • Can create portable fences
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • GPS locator can keep tabs on your dog
  • May be used with or without WiFi or a cellular connection
  • Stores up to 20 fences

[/pros][cons]

  • Expensive
  • Requires monthly subscription

[/cons]

Best Budget
AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Dog Fence
A simple design makes this panel based dog fence simple and reliable.

The AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Dog Fence keeps fencing for dogs basic and simple. It comes in six heights and consists of interlocking panels, so you can change the shape based on the space available. Each set includes eight panels. You can buy additional sets of eight if you need more space. In some cases, a physical fence like this can work better than GPS invisible fences. For example, when you’re camping, you may be in a location that doesn’t get WiFi or a cell signal, and this dog fence can still keep your pop safe.

The AmazonBasics can also be used indoors or out. A rustproof black finish protects the durable iron construction. Users report that it’s easy to put together and lightweight for the quality of the construction. Plus, any panel can act as the gate. It comes in six heights, so be sure to get the right height so that taller dogs can jump the fence.

[pros title=”Pros”]

  • For indoor or outdoor use
  • Lightweight, portable, and easy to assemble
  • rustproof construction that’s free of sharp edges
  • Works for small breeds

[/pros][cons]

  • May have to buy multiple sets to contain a large area

[/cons]

Best In-Ground
PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence
With a long battery life and the option to extend the coverage area, this invisible dog fence will keep your dog contained for the long haul.

The PetSafe Stubborn Dog In-Ground Fence comes with enough wire to contain a 1/3 of an acre. However, if you have a larger coverage area, you can order additional wire. The flexibility in coverage works well for odd-shaped or extra-large yards. It’s also a good option because the receiver has tone and vibration correction as well as four levels of static correction. That gives you plenty of options for training and works well for all but the most persistent dogs.

An adjustable collar with the receiver is included with the fence. It fits dogs eight pounds and up, fitting necks measuring 6 to 28 inches. The system can work with multiple collars for those who have more than one dog, too. However, you’ll have to buy additional collars separately. The collars are also a bit of a weak spot. While the majority work as expected, every now and then there’s one that will malfunction after only a couple of months.

[pros title=”Pros”]

  • Covers up to 1/3 acre, with options to expand
  • Can be adjusted to fit any shape
  • Adjustable collar
  • Multiple correction modes provide better chances of success

[/pros][cons]

  • A small number of collars malfunction relatively soon after purchase

[/cons]

Best Portable
FXW Dog Playpen
This portable physical dog fence offers versatile configurations and easy set up.

The FXW Dog Playpen is as versatile as it is portable. You have the option to buy panels in pack sizes that range from 2 to 48, giving you the option to expand the fence as needed. It comes in heights from 24 to 50 inches, which are tall enough for small to large breeds.

However, most users’ favorite feature is how easy the panels are to assemble and set up. Of course, for a portable model, they need to be just as easy to take down, which they are. Panels are powdered coated, making them appropriate for indoor or outdoor use. That lets you take them on trips or use them in your own backyard. Keep in mind that while the panels are portable, the larger panels can get heavy, especially if you’re transporting a large number of them.
[pros title=”Pros”]

  • Versatile options for ordering number and size of panels
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Can be configured in various shapes
  • Sturdy, durable panel construction

[/pros][cons]

  • Taller panels can be heavy to move

[/cons]

Best GPS
SpotOn GPS Dog Fence

Advanced GPS technology lets you contain your dog in areas small and large while tracking them in real time using mobile data.

Check Price

The SpotOn GPS Dog Fence puts up some impressive specs, including a highly sensitive GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/Beidou receiver to keep tabs on your dog. Using your cellular data (AT&T and Verizon only), you can adjust boundaries based on where you are, expanding to cover up to 1,000 acres. Use of the collar requires some training, but that’s made easier with 30 levels of static correction.

This “fence” also lets you track your dog in real-time to see how close he is to any boundary you’ve set. Using the accompanying app, you can also get breach alerts so you now as soon as you’re dog has broken through a boundary. The waterproof collar comes in three sizes, fitting necks up to 26 inches. One of the best features is that you can set up boundaries anywhere at anytime as long as you can access your cellular data. However, save your money, this is an expensive system, and it requires a monthly subscription to keep it running.
[pros title=”Pros”]

  • Expandable boundary
  • Can set up fence anywhere
  • Can track dogs location</li.
  • Three collar sizes available

[/pros][cons]

  • Requires a monthly subscription
  • Expensive
  • Only compatible with AT&T and Verizon

[/cons]

Frequently Asked Questions

How high should a dog fence be?

A dog fence should be high enough that your dog can’t scale or jump over it. However, the exact height will vary by the dog and the breed. Active, athletic breeds like a border collie can jump a six-foot fence, as can many large breeds, in which case you’d a seven foot fence. You can also train your dog to stay within the fence’s boundaries, which can make height a moot point. However, training takes time and consistency.

Do dogs need a fenced yard?

Yes, most dogs need a fenced yard for a few reasons. One, dogs don’t understand boundaries unless they are taught them. Dogs may wander from your yard into traffic or into a neighbor’s yard where they can get into trouble. They can also get into altercations with other animals if they aren’t fenced properly. Some breeds like Huskies and Malamutes are known for roaming and may not come back.

Which dog fencing is best?

The best dog fencing depends on the shape of your yard, size and persistence of your dog, and how you’d like to use the fence. Invisible fences that have a wire are a favorite, but they do require training. GPS fences are replacing invisible fences, though they too are invisible and require training. These fences let you create different boundaries using an app. However, you have to train your dog to respond to the warnings of the collar. If you don’t want to pay the high price of an invisible or GPS fence, dog fences made of metal panels are a good option. They’re durable, tough, and less expensive.

How can I keep my dog in the yard without a fence?

Training, training, training is the best way to keep your dog in the yard without a fence. However, an invisible fence or wireless GPS fence can help you with that training. These devices have a collar that emits a noise, vibrations, or static to warn your dog away from the boundary. With practice and consistency, your dog will respond to the warnings and stay away from the boundary, keeping your dog contained without a physical fence.

[/FAQ]

If you’re looking for more information on the best fence to buy or set up for your dog, we have a series of in-depth guides on the topic. Check out any of the posts below for more information: