If you’re looking for a way to safely contain your dog without installing a physical fence, a wireless invisible fence is an excellent option. Halo and PetSafe are two of the most popular brands of wireless dog fences. But which one is right for your canine companion?
This comprehensive guide compares Halo and PetSafe head-to-head so you can decide which wireless fence is the better fit for you and Fido.
How Do Wireless Dog Fences Work?
Wireless dog fences create an invisible boundary around your property that keeps your dog safely contained. Here’s a quick overview of how they work:
- A transmitter plugged into an outlet sends a radio signal that creates an adjustable circular boundary.
- Your dog wears a lightweight collar with a receiver that picks up the transmitter’s signal.
- As your dog approaches the boundary, the collar gives a warning beep. If they continue, it delivers a safe but startling static correction.
- This teaches your dog to stay within the set boundary without needing a physical fence or buried wire.
Key Differences Between Halo and PetSafe
While Halo and PetSafe are both quality brands, there are some notable differences:
- Halo uses GPS to create customizable, irregular boundaries you can draw via the app, as this comparison of Halo alternatives explains.
- PetSafe has a circular boundary that extends out from wherever you place the transmitter.
This makes Halo better for oddly shaped yards, while PetSafe suits rectangular spaces.
1. Maximum Coverage
- Halo GPS fences can cover unlimited acreage.
- PetSafe transmitters cover a max of 1/2 acre for the Free to Roam model and 3/4 acre for the Stay+Play.
So Halo is preferable for large rural properties.
2. Tracking Capabilities
- The Halo collar doubles as a dog tracker that shows your dog’s location via the app.
- PetSafe only contains your dog within the set radius but can’t track their location if they escape.
If knowing your dog’s whereabouts is important, Halo is the way to go.
- Halo offers more flexibility with 15 adjustable correction levels and the ability to set the type of deterrent (shock, vibration, or tone).
- PetSafe has 5 correction levels but allows tone-only for especially sensitive pups.
Halo gives more flexibility for customization based on your dog’s temperament.
4. Training Tools
- Halo provides access to professional dog training videos and guidance.
- PetSafe includes flags for visual guidance but no structured training content.
If you want built-in training support, Halo is the better choice.
Now let’s take an in-depth look at how Halo and PetSafe wireless fences stack up across a range of factors:
Wireless Fence Comparison Chart
|Unlimited with GPS
|Up to 3/4 acre
|Collar Correction Levels
|Yes, via app
|Rechargeable Collar Battery
|Collar Waterproof Rating
|6.5″ – 26″ neck circumference
|6″ – 28″ neck circumference
|Yes, videos & guidance
|Training flags only
As you can see, Halo excels in flexibility, tracking, and training while PetSafe keeps things simple and budget-friendly. Keep reading for more details.
Halo Dog Fence In-Depth Review
The Halo Collar pioneered combining GPS tracking with an adjustable wireless fence in one collar. It uses a proprietary GPS/GNSS system to allow you to set customized boundaries from your smartphone.
With the ability to create multiple fences, add Keep Out Zones, and track your pup if they wander, Halo offers maximum flexibility and control.
Adjustable Correction Levels
The Halo Collar has 15 customizable correction levels so you can tailor the intensity to your dog’s temperament. Levels range from just an audible tone to more intense vibration or static correction.
Multiple Boundary Options
Set up to 20 boundaries at once using the GPS mapping on the Halo smartphone app. Fences can be any shape or size and can overlap.
The Halo Collar uses a combination of GPS, GLONASS, Galileo satellites and LTE cellular networks to pinpoint your dog’s location anywhere. If they leave a boundary, you’ll get real-time tracking updates.
Halo provides training videos narrated by dog behavior expert Cesar Milan to teach your dog proper boundary etiquette and positive reinforcement.
The Halo app tracks your dog’s daily steps, active time, rests, and sleep trends. This helps monitor their health and fitness.
In addition to boundaries, you can set up smart geofences around “safe zones” like your home or backyard where correction alerts are disabled.
What Owners Are Saying
Halo Collar reviews are generally quite positive, with most owners agreeing it’s easy to set up their fences and the training aspect makes it simpler for dogs to learn the new system. Many like the ability to track their dogs on camping trips or walks, giving them peace of mind.
Some owners of easily excitable dogs did report needing to keep correction levels relatively high at first for the collar to be a deterrent. But many noted they were able to reduce the intensity over time as their dog learned the boundaries, as this Halo vs Fi collar comparison explains.
The Halo Collar itself is $699, with optional subscription plans for accessing cellular data starting at $4.49/month. This makes it one of the more expensive wireless dog fence options. However, the high-tech features make the cost more justifiable for many pet owners.
For those wanting maximum flexibility, tracking capability, and training guidance built into their wireless fence system, the innovative Halo Collar is a great solution. While pricier than other options, its cutting edge GPS/GNSS technology and real-time dog monitoring makes Halo an excellent containment system for adventurous pups.Shop Halo on Amazon
PetSafe Wireless Fences In-Depth Review
PetSafe is a trusted brand in pet fence systems, with their wireless fences providing a simple but effective way to keep your dog safely in your yard without a physical barrier. Their systems use a circular fenced boundary that extends out from a central transmitter location.
They offer two versions: the PetSafe Free to Roam for a more budget-friendly option and the upgraded PetSafe Stay+Play model.
Adjustable Boundary Radius
Change the size of the wireless fence boundary up to 1/2 acre (Free to Roam) or 3/4 acre (Stay+Play) with the turn of a dial on the transmitter.
Both systems include a waterproof collar receiver so your pup can safely swim and play in wet conditions.
If your dog is especially sensitive you can set the collar to emit a warning tone instead of static correction when they approach the boundary.
Add multiple collars that sync to the same transmitter so you can contain multiple pets on one system.
Weighing only 2.3 ounces, the Stay+Play collar won’t bother dogs of any size. The Free to Roam collar is slightly heavier at 4.2 oz.
What Owners Are Saying
The majority of PetSafe wireless fence reviews mention how easy it was to setup their circular containment zone in a short amount of time. Most dogs adapted well to the collar’s correction levels after the initial training period.
Some owners of easily excitable dogs did report needing to keep correction levels relatively high at first for the collar to be a deterrent. But many noted they were able to reduce the intensity over time as their dog learned the boundaries.
The PetSafe Free to Roam transmitter kit costs $299.95 and the Stay+Play version retails for $279.95. Additional collars range from $189 – $229.
This makes PetSafe one of the most budget-friendly options, especially if you need multiple collars. There are no required subscription fees either.
For a quick, hassle-free wireless dog fence that keeps costs low, PetSafe systems are great options. While the circular boundary limits flexibility, the ease of setup and use makes these kits ideal for most average-sized suburban yards. Lack of tracking capability is the main tradeoff for the affordability factor.Shop PetSafe on Amazon
Key Factors in Deciding Between Halo vs PetSafe
Your Yard’s Layout
- For a square or rectangular yard, a PetSafe circular boundary will likely be fine.
- If your yard is an irregular shape with multiple sections, go with Halo’s flexible GPS fencing.
Amount of Land You Need to Cover
- For containment across large rural acreages, Halo is the only option.
- Suburban yards under 1 acre will be well served by either PetSafe model.
Your Dog’s Temperament
- High energy dogs or those prone to chasing prey may need Halo’s unlimited boundary range.
- Calmer dogs who respect boundaries can do well with PetSafe’s 1/2 – 3/4 acre fence.
- The Halo collar offers more correction levels to suit sensitive dogs.
- PetSafe only provides boundary flags to aid in training.
- The Halo app includes structured training videos narrated by dog training expert Cesar Milan to make the process easier.
- The PetSafe systems are more budget-friendly if cost is a concern.
- Those willing to spend more will get more features with the Halo fence and collar.
Installation and Training Tips
While wireless dog fences are easier to install than wired in-ground systems, introducing your dog to the technology still requires time and patience. Here are some top training tips to have the safest and most successful experience:
- Slowly introduce your dog to wearing the collar before turning it on. Periodically attach it during play or walks so they get used to the feel.
- Review training manuals and videos so you fully understand the recommended introduction process. Look for resources specific to your particular system.
- When first using the collar, keep correction levels very low or in tone-only mode until your dog understands the cues.
- Drop the provided boundary flags around the perimeter so your dog can clearly see the boundary zone while learning.
- Walk your dog on a leash around the flagged boundary frequently in the first few weeks so they associate the beep and corrections with the visual markers. Praise and reward when they stop or retreat.
- Avoid physically forcing or harshly correcting your dog during introduction. This can create negative associations.
- Introduce the activated collar in short 10-15 minute sessions multiple times per day during the first couple weeks. Don’t rush the process.
- Adjust correction intensity up cautiously if your dog isn’t responding to the initial lowest settings. Never go higher than the minimum level needed to get a response.
- If your dog seems excessively stressed or shuts down, pause the process and consult a trainer experienced with wireless fences and proper introduction techniques.
- Remove the flags gradually over 2-4 weeks once your dog reliably respects the wireless fence boundary.
What to Look for in a Wireless Dog Fence
If you’ve decided to take the wireless fence route, here are some key factors to consider as you choose the system that’s right for you and your pup:
Make sure the transmitter covers the full area you want to contain. Measure your yard’s dimensions to determine the minimum circular range needed.
Look for multiple, adjustable levels to tailor corrections based on your dog’s sensitivity and response threshold.
The collar should be lightweight and adjustable with short and long contact prongs to work with your dog’s coat thickness.
Rechargeable collars are most convenient. But replaceable batteries that last 1-3 months are acceptable.
Make sure the collar/receiver has a high IPX waterproof rating so it holds up in wet conditions.
Tutorials, videos, flags, and other learning tools will make the system easier to introduce.
Consider whether monthly subscription fees for cellular data are warranted based on your need for GPS location tracking.
In case the system doesn’t work for your dog, look for at least a 30 day money-back guarantee.
Expert Tips on Wireless Fences
As a professional dog trainer with over 10 years experience, here are my top expert recommendations on wireless dog fences:
- Don’t see wireless fences as a shortcut – introduce new boundaries gradually through positive training.
- Ensure the collar has an audible warning cue before correction. This allows dogs the chance to retreat.
- For sensitive dogs, use tones or vibration before considering static correction.
- Avoid leaving dogs outside unsupervised, even if contained by a wireless fence. It doesn’t keep other animals or people out of your yard.
- Check the tightness of collar contact points regularly and watch for skin irritation, especially in dogs with thick coats.
- Never use a wireless containment system on aggressive dogs as it can increase frustration and trigger aggressive responses.
- Double check that collar batteries are charged before letting your dog outside to maintain consistent boundary enforcement.
- Consider professionally installed in-ground wire systems for dogs under 10 lbs or over 100 lbs, as these sizes may fall outside wireless systems’ optimal weight ranges.
- If you rescue an older dog of unknown history, have them thoroughly evaluated by a trainer to determine suitability for a wireless fence system.
- Obedience training is a must. Dogs should have mastered recall commands before introducing any boundary training.
- Remember that underground wires and proper perimeter fencing are still the most secure ways to contain dogs physically. View wireless systems as secondary reinforcement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dogs run through an invisible fence?
Yes, dogs can run through an invisible fence if they are highly motivated or excited enough. Proper introduction training will reduce the chance of this, but it’s not foolproof containment for all dogs in all situations.
Will an invisible fence work for small dogs?
Wireless fences are suitable for dogs over 10-15 lbs. Very small dogs may not respond consistently to the collar corrections.
Do wireless fences work for big dogs?
As long as the collar fits properly, wireless systems can work for larger dogs over 100 lbs. But very large, powerful breeds may be harder to contain if they are driven to push through.
Can I use a wireless fence with multiple dogs?
Yes, you can add additional collars to one wireless fence system to contain multiple pets. This is a cost-effective way to fence in 2 or more dogs (or cats!), as this GPS boat tracker review mentions.
Are wireless dog fences humane?
When introduced properly and used responsibly, wireless dog fences are considered humane containment solutions. Using the lowest effective static level, avoiding excessive corrections, and monitoring your dog’s comfort helps maintain humaneness.
Will a wireless dog fence drain my home’s electricity?
PetSafe estimates their wireless fence transmitters use less than $3 of electricity per year when plugged in 24/7. So the operating cost is negligible. Any impact on your electric bill will be very minor.
Wireless dog fences provide an affordable, flexible way to keep your dog safely contained without installing traditional fencing. While PetSafe systems offer simplicity and value pricing, advanced options like the Halo smart collar offer maximum functionality through innovative GPS technology.
When introducing your dog to any wireless boundary system, allow plenty of time for positive training to reinforce the cues and corrections. With patience and consistency, wireless fences can give both you and your dog the security and freedom to comfortably enjoy your yard without restraints.