How Wireless Pet Fences Work


Your pets should be allowed to enjoy your yard, not be locked up indoors when you’re away from home

Wireless pet fences have revolutionized pet containment. The technology they use allows pet owners to quickly establish a protective perimeter within which their pets can roam and play freely, and they are among the safest and most effective methods of pet containment available. But how do they work? Our resident electronics expert explains all, so you can decide if a pet fence is the best solution to keep your beloved pets safe and sound.

Wireless pet fences work using radio waves to create a safe containment boundary through which a pet will not pass. This might all sound a bit complicated, but wireless fences are really very simple.


Explaining the Base Unit and Pet Collar


The PetSafe PIF-300 Wireless

Every wireless fence consists of a base unit that transmits a signal, and a special pet collar that receives the signal. The collar is worn by the pet (well what did you think it was for?) and the base unit is placed somewhere within the pet owner’s home. All the base unit requires is an electrical outlet and protection from the elements, so it can be put anywhere unobtrusive, and once in place it’s then set to create a boundary.


Setting the boundry zone is easy

Setting the Base Unit

Once the base unit is plugged in it is then set to create the boundary, which can range anywhere from a few feet to over 100 yards. This boundary is made up by high frequency radio waves and because radio waves travel in all directions simultaneously, the base unit creates a circular perimeter with itself at the very center. If you set the base unit to 40-feet it will create a circular perimeter 80-feet in diameter. The whole process of setting up the wireless fence can take as little as just a few minutes. See, we told you it was simple!


A typical wireless fence collar

How the Collar Works

The collar receives the radio waves as long as the pet remains within the boundary. If the pet goes farther than the boundary the collar stops receiving the signal and issues a corrective stimulation to the pet as a result. Depending on individual models, this corrective signal can be a sound, a vibration, or a mild electrical pulse – earning the collars the nickname ‘shock collar’.

Learning With Your Pets

It’s important to point out that you can’t just install a wireless fence, pop the collar on your pet and sit back and do nothing – that simply won’t work. Eventually your pet will cross the boundary, receive the correction but won’t understand what or why it’s happening.

Flags help your pet recognize where the boundary ends (photo courtesy PetSafe)
For a wireless fence to be effective you will need to train your pet accordingly. The most popular recommendation is to position markers (such as small flags) around the boundary so your pet can actually see the perimeter. Once a visual borderline is established, lead your pet up to the boundary until it receives the corrective stimulation and then lead it back within the perimeter again. Your pet will soon recognize and understand the boundary and come to respect it.

Easy Peasy

And that, as they say, is pretty much that. A wireless pet fence is easy to install, easy to setup and easy to train your pets to obey, in fact everything about them is easy peasy. If you want a simple, safe system to ensure your pet stays within the protective boundary of your property, a wireless pet fence is definitely the best option for you.

By John Bone
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