Are you trying to decide between DogWatch and Invisible Fence for your underground dog fence? As a long-time pet owner and dog fence expert, I’ve researched both extensively.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll compare DogWatch and Invisible Fence on key features like battery life, warranty, training, technology and more. I’ll also provide tips from 15+ years experience with underground fences to help you make the right choice for your dog.
DogWatch and Invisible Fence are the two biggest brands for professionally installed underground dog fences. Both have dealers across the country to install and service the systems. The key differences come down to proprietary technology, equipment warranties, and overall customer experience.
In my experience, DogWatch consistently outperforms Invisible Fence when it comes to battery life, adjustability, and providing a worry-free experience. DogWatch receivers can last 2+ years on a single battery while Invisible Fence receivers last 2-3 months. DogWatch also gives DIY adjustment options and lifetime equipment warranties that Invisible Fence doesn’t match.
However, both are reputable options that will contain most dogs. This guide will walk through how the two systems compare on features, technology, warranties, and other factors so you can determine which is the better choice for your needs.
DogWatch vs Invisible Fence: Key Differences
The main ongoing cost for any underground dog fence is replacement batteries for the receiver collar. DogWatch batteries typically last around 2 years, while Invisible Fence batteries need to be replaced every 2-3 months. This difference adds up to over $300 in savings on batteries for DogWatch over the first 10 years of ownership compared to Invisible Fence.
With an Invisible Fence, you’ll spend over $300 on batteries the first 10 years. With DogWatch, you’ll spend around $60 in the same time frame. DogWatch uses common battery sizes you can buy anywhere, while Invisible Fence uses proprietary batteries only available through dealers.
Over 10 years, DogWatch fences save $240+ on batteries over Invisible Fence.
DogWatch transmitters and receivers are user-adjustable so you can change settings and correction levels yourself. With Invisible Fence systems, only a dealer can adjust settings on a service call or you need to ship equipment in.
The DIY adjustability of DogWatch systems makes training much easier and more convenient for owners over time. Brands like Dog Guard also give homeowners more flexibility to tweak settings themselves.
DogWatch uses digital FM signal that is less prone to unintended corrections. Invisible Fence uses AM signal that can be more finicky.
DogWatch collars also use Distance Based Correction that triggers a warning beep when the dog reaches a set distance from the wire, regardless of speed. Invisible Fence uses Time Based Correction that corrects after a set time period. Distance Based Correction is more consistent and easier for dogs to understand.
The DogWatch Lifetime Equipment Warranty covers the transmitter, receiver collars, and wiring for the life of original owner. Even dog chews are covered.
Invisible Fence warranties are more limited and only cover certain components for set time periods. Their lifetime warranty only applies to the transmitter. For full coverage comparable to DogWatch’s warranty, you need to purchase an extended “Peace of Mind” warranty from Invisible Fence.
Both brands have been around for 30+ years and have installed millions of systems nationwide. DogWatch is the only brand designated as a Consumers Digest Best Buy for pet containment. Their fences are also rated #1 for dog fences by ConsumerAdvocate.org.
Invisible Fence tends to have more variable customer experiences depending on the local dealer. DogWatch stands out for consistently great customer service across all dealers.
Both DogWatch and Invisible Fence systems must be professionally installed by local dealers. Invisible Fence dealers cover set territories while DogWatch dealers can serve customers anywhere. This gives DogWatch customers more flexibility in finding a dealer they like.
What Do Customers Say About the Brands?
“We switched from Invisible Fence to DogWatch 3 years ago. The DogWatch equipment has held up so much better, and the batteries last way longer. Their customer service is also more responsive when I’ve had any issues or questions.” – Jackie D., DogWatch Customer
“I’m so glad we went with a DogWatch hidden fence. It was easy to train our Lab puppy thanks to the adjustable collar. Now he has the run of our 3 acres safely. The two-year battery life is also a lifesaver.” – Andrew G., DogWatch Customer
Invisible Fence Reviews
“Our Invisible Fence worked great at first. But replacing those expensive custom batteries every 2 months got old really fast. Wish we had gone with a brand like DogWatch that uses common batteries.” – Tyler J., Invisible Fence Customer
“The Invisible Fence system worked for our dog containment needs. But any time I wanted to adjust settings I had to wait days or weeks for a technician to come out. It was inconvenient compared to brands that let you adjust the system yourself.” – Allison P., Invisible Fence Customer
FAQ About DogWatch vs. Invisible Fence
Does DogWatch make better dog fences than Invisible Fence?
Overall, DogWatch hidden fences do tend to rate higher than Invisible Fence based on third-party testing and customer experiences. According to in-depth comparisons on sites like HotAirTag.com, DogWatch consistently comes out ahead for key factors like battery performance and warranties.
Is DogWatch cheaper than Invisible Fence?
The initial installation costs are similar between DogWatch and Invisible Fence. However, DogWatch saves you money over time thanks to batteries lasting 2+ years vs just 2-3 months with Invisible Fence. DogWatch’s lifetime equipment warranty also protects you from future costs if equipment fails or wiring gets damaged.
Can any wire be used for DogWatch?
DogWatch requires special 20 or 18 gauge insulated wire designed for their systems. You cannot substitute random wire. Some DogWatch dealers may reuse existing wire from old systems, but they test it thoroughly first to ensure conductivity and insulation is sound. They will replace it if there are any concerns.
Does DogWatch use FM signal?
Yes, DogWatch uses digital FM signal that is less prone to interference than AM signals used by Invisible Fence and other brands. FM provides more consistent operation and allows for longer battery life.
Can I adjust a DogWatch system myself?
DogWatch systems are designed to be user-adjustable. After initial training, homeowners can change the correction level or other settings on their own very easily. There’s no need to wait for a technician or ship products out for adjustment. This DIY adjustability makes DogWatch very convenient to own.
The Bottom Line
While Invisible Fence is a viable option, DogWatch consistently outperforms them on key criteria like battery life, warranties, and ease of use. DogWatch’s superior technology and equipment gives a better experience for both dogs and owners.
The best choice comes down to your specific needs and containment challenges. For most families, I recommend considering your long term costs and convenience. DogWatch will save you money and hassle compared to other major brands like Invisible Fence.
If you still have any questions about choosing the right underground dog fence, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m happy to provide additional guidance based on your unique situation. Give me a call or email anytime!