SportDOG vs PetSafe Dog Fences: Which Is Best For Your Dog?

February 11, 2024

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Choosing the right invisible dog fence for your pet and property is an important decision. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to determine which brand is the best.

Two of the most popular and reputable invisible fence brands are SportDOG and PetSafe. But how do you decide which one is right for you?

This in-depth guide compares SportDOG and PetSafe’s key features, pros and cons, and top-rated models to help you make the right choice.

What To Look For In An Invisible Dog Fence

Before diving into the SportDOG vs PetSafe comparison, let’s first go over what to look for when shopping for an invisible dog fence system:

Coverage Area

How much area do you need to contain your dog? Entry-level systems cover 1/3 to 1 acre. But you can expand up to 25+ acres with additional wire.

Customization

Can you customize the boundary shape? Square systems are easier than irregular shapes.

Collar Comfort

The receiver collar must be comfortable and not too heavy. Look for adjustable, waterproof designs.

Correction Levels

Multiple static correction levels allow you to match your dog’s temperament. Tone/vibration modes are gentler.

Battery Life

Rechargeable batteries last longer than replaceable ones. But replaceable batteries can be switched out immediately.

Training Support

Flags, guides, videos, and customer service help train your pet on the new system. Check out this guide to training your dog on an invisible fence.

Warranty

1-2 year warranties protect against defects. Plus accidental damage options.

Price

Invisible fences range from $200 for basic coverage to $1500+ for maximum acreage and features.

Now let’s see how SportDOG and PetSafe stack up in these key categories.

SportDOG vs PetSafe Dog Fence Comparison

 SportDOGPetSafe
Brand HistoryParent company Invisible Fence invented underground dog fencesLeading brand since 1991 with nationwide network of installers
Popular SystemsSDF-100A
SDF-100C (rechargeable)
Free To Roam
Stay & Play
PIF-300
YardMax (rechargeable)
Collar Correction4-7 levels + tone/vibrate5 levels + tone/vibrate
Collar FitAdjustable from 5-22 inchesAdjustable from 6-28 inches
WaterproofUp to 10 feetFully waterproof on all models
Coverage AreaUp to 100 acresUp to 10 acres
Wire Gauge16-2020 gauge
ShapeCustomizableCircular only on wireless models
Battery LifeReplaceable (1-2 mo)
V. Rechargeable (2 mo)
Replaceable (1-2 mo)
Rechargeable (2-3 wks)
Training ManualPrinted guide + videoPrinted guide + video
Warranty1 year electronics
2 years for wire
1 year

As you can see, both SportDOG and PetSafe offer quality systems but have some differences. Let’s dig deeper into each brand’s key strengths and potential drawbacks.

SportDOG Invisible Dog Fences

Sportdog

SportDOG is manufactured by Radio Systems Corporation, the same parent company behind PetSafe. But the SportDOG brand focuses more on higher-end systems for larger properties and stubborn dogs.

SportDOG Fence Pros

  • Large acreage capacity – Cover up to 100 acres standard or 500+ acres with additional wire. Great for rural areas.
  • Customizable boundaries – Unlike circular wireless systems, you can customize any shape with wire.
  • Thick wire gauge – Available with 16 or 20 gauge wire for maximum durability. Can withstand lawn mowers.
  • Higher correction levels – Has extra correction levels up to 7 for hard-headed dogs.
  • Lightning protection – Surge protector prevents electrical damage from lightning strikes. Learn what to do if your AirTag stops connecting or working.
  • Rechargeable and replaceable batteries – Choose the collar battery that fits your preferences.
  • 2 year limited warranty – Twice as long as PetSafe’s warranty for extra coverage.

Potential SportDOG Drawbacks

  • Higher cost – Expect to pay more for the larger coverage capacities and premium features.
  • Professional installation recommended – Larger systems are more complex to install and train yourself.

Overall, SportDOG is ideal for large, rural properties with dogs who need stronger correction levels. The systems are durable and customizable but come at a higher price.

PetSafe Invisible Dog Fences

Petsafe Logo

PetSafe focuses more on convenient, affordable systems for suburban homes and yards. They offer both wireless and wired options.

PetSafe Fence Pros

  • Wireless convenience – No wires to bury and quick, easy set up in 1-2 hours.
  • Compact size – Smaller collars and transmitters than SportDOG. Great for small dogs.
  • Affordable pricing – Good value for smaller yards and basic features. Starts under $200.
  • Pre-assembled kits – Components come ready to use out of the box for simpler installation.
  • Rechargeable batteries – No need to frequently replace batteries. Just recharge weekly.
  • Tone + vibration modes – Gentler correction options than static stimulation.
  • 1 year warranty – Same as SportDOG and covers entire system.

Potential PetSafe Drawbacks

  • Limited wireless range – Typically just 1/2 acre or 180 feet diameter without adding transmitters.
  • Minimal wire gauge – Only 20 gauge wire isn’t as durable. Vulnerable to damage.
  • Circular shape only – Wireless models can’t create custom boundaries.

Overall, PetSafe systems work well for small, suburban lots needing basic coverage. The wireless and rechargeable options add convenience. Just be aware of the more limited wireless range.

Now let’s take a closer look at SportDOG and PetSafe’s best selling invisible dog fence models.

Top Rated SportDOG Invisible Fences

SportDOG’s most popular wired underground fence systems are:

1. SportDOG SDF-100A

Sportdog Sdf 100a
  • Covers up to 100 acres (1+ acre included)
  • Custom boundary shape
  • 4 static correction levels
  • Tone + vibration modes
  • Waterproof collar
  • 1 year warranty

Overall: Best-selling wired system for large areas

Shop SportDOG SDF-100A on ebay

2. SportDOG SDF-100C

Sportdog Sdf 100c
  • Same coverage and features as SDF-100A
  • Adds rechargeable battery collar
  • 7 levels of static correction

Overall: Top choice for rechargeable collar convenience

Shop SportDOG SDF-100C on Amazon

See how SportDOG compares to other popular brands like Garmin and Dogtra.

Top Rated PetSafe Invisible Fences

PetSafe’s best selling systems are:

1. PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless

Petsafe Free To Roam Wireless
  • Covers 1/2 acre
  • 5 static levels
  • Tone-only mode
  • Waterproof collar
  • Portable

Overall: Most convenient wireless fence

Shop PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless on ebay

2. PetSafe In-Ground Fence

Petsafe In Ground Fence
  • Covers up to 1/3 acre (expandable)
  • 4 static levels
  • Tone-only mode
  • Waterproof collar
  • 1 year warranty

Overall: Top selling wired underground system

Shop PetSafe In-Ground Fence on Amazon

3. PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable

Petsafe Yardmax Rechargeable
  • Covers up to 1/3 acre
  • Rechargeable collar
  • 5 static levels
  • Tone-only mode
  • Infinite boundary edge

Overall: Best rechargeable underground option

Shop PetSafe YardMax Rechargeable on Amazon

Conclusion: SportDOG vs PetSafe

When choosing between PetSafe vs SportDOG, consider your coverage needs and correction preferences.

For large areas, stubborn dogs, and customizable boundaries – SportDOG is the winner. Their premium systems justify the higher cost for rural or large properties.

For small yards, milder dogs, and wireless convenience – PetSafe gets the vote. Their systems are more affordable and tailored to suburban homeowners.

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either SportDOG or PetSafe. Both brands offer quality craftsmanship and excellent customer service. Be sure to also consider professional installation if covering over 1 acre.