In this Extreme Dog Fence review I’ll share what I’ve learned about it throughout the four years I’ve worked with invisible dog fences, and also what I’ve learned after using this in-ground dog fence first hand.
I’ll cover everything from setting up fences to testing its performance and, of course, evaluating it from a dog’s perspective.
Getting shocked is no fun.
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Who Is Extreme Dog Fence For?
If you want a reliable invisible fence that allows you to set precise boundaries of any shape in yards large and small without paying the hefty price tag of a professionally-installed system, then the Extreme Dog Fence is probably your best option.
If you have a property larger than an acre, you should also check out the SpotOn. It’s high-end, but really quite impressive.
But I want to make it clear right off the bat, I can’t advocate using the static correction—also known as a shock—on your dog. I tried it on myself just to see how it feels—and it seriously hurts.
That said, I know a lot of dog owners feel it is a small price to pay to keep their dogs safe from bigger hazards. I’m not here to change your mind, I’m here to tell you objectively how well the Extreme Dog Fence works.
Before Using The Extreme Dog Fence…
To test this invisible dog fence brand, I got the Pro Grade system. In the box, I got the following items for the dog fence:
- 16 gauge wire
- Pre-wound wire
- Training flags
- Stakes for the wires
- Waterproof junctions for connecting fence wires
- Owner’s Guide
- Replacement batteries
- Extra set of prongs and mounting hardware
- Power block for the transmitter
Before we move on to setting up the Extreme Dog Fence I want to mention that, as with any invisible dog fence, you’ll need to train your dog prior to using it. It’s not something where you can just put on the collar and let your dog run. They need to learn how the system works first.
Extreme Dog Fence recommends a training program that works through 6 lessons with your dog over the course of about 3 weeks. They recommend working with your dog for about 10-15 minutes twice per day until he or she is comfortable with the fence boundaries.
Now, let’s dive into setting up fences with the Extreme Dog Fence.
Setting Up The Extreme Dog Fence
Let’s start with some quick theory. You’re going to be creating one long loop of wire to set the boundary of the fence.
A single strand of wire will behave as a fence boundary, whereas twisted wire will act as a segment of the fence where the boundary is deactivated.
So basically, you’re going to start with a length of twisted wire coming off of your transmitter, which is mounted in a dry place safe from the elements. Then that twisted wire will run out to where it connects with your fence.
Even if you decide to bury the wire—which is probably the better solution for the long haul—you’ll want to lay out and connect the entire wire first. This prevents having to dig it back up should anything go not according to plan—and let’s be honest, how often do things go exactly as planned?
Now, technically you don’t have to bury the wire, and the Extreme Dog Fence comes with ground staples if you prefer to just work it into the landscaping. But an unburied wire is more susceptible to damage, and it could also be a tripping hazard.
Side note: those staples also help with keeping the wire taught as you’re laying out the boundary.
As you’re planning it out, if you want to make any keep out zones inside the fence, like to protect a vegetable garden for example, you’ll want to create a loop of twisted wire from the boundary to that keep out zone and back so that your dog can still pass over the twisted wire.
Also, the owner’s guide mentions doing a double boundary, so basically you do one loop for the first, and then a second one. The owner’s guide is a little unclear as to why, and I find that the manual is generally a bit lacking, but I think this would be to extend the zone where the collar is issuing warnings and corrections.
Unlike wireless systems which will keep issuing corrections beyond the boundary, a wired system just has a correction zone on either side of the wire.
Once you have the transmitter wired, you can set the range of the boundary zone. This basically sets how far the signal reaches from the wire in either direction.
Setting Up the Collar
By default the static correction on the Extreme Dog Fence is set at 5, which is the highest setting. The static correction level is set by pressing and holding both buttons on the receiver for three seconds. The display will show double zeros, at which point you can release the buttons and set your desired level using the top scroll button. Press the bottom set button to confirm your setting.
You can set the static from as low as zero—which is tone only—to as high as 5, and actually 6 and 7 with the active collar like I have. 6 and 7 are progressive settings that start with a lower static correction intensity and move up as it continues.
The hyper collars also allows for a setting of 8 which is a third progressive setting
I’ll discuss with you how the fence performed in my field testing, but first I want to go over how the fence works as well as some of the benefits and drawbacks of the system.
How Does the eXtreme Dog Fence Work?
Basically, the transmitter sends a radio signal through the boundary wire, and the collar will beep and administer a correction once it gets close enough to the wire to pick up the radio signal. It’s kind of like walkie talkies—if the collar and the boundary are close enough together, they can talkie.
If your dog stays in the correction zone for over 15 seconds the collar will timeout as a safety feature. As mentioned earlier, the collar will stop correcting if your dog continues past the boundary on the other side of the wire.
- No Strict Boundary Shape – One of the biggest advantages of the Extreme Dog Fence is that you have quite a bit of control over the shape of the boundary, unlike wireless systems that don’t use GPS.
- Less Susceptible to Interference – Unlike non-GPS wireless system, there’s less chance of signal interference with eXtreme dog fence. The only thing you really need to watch out for is utility lines running parallel to your boundary in close proximity.
- Unlimited Collars – The Extreme dog fence can be used with unlimited collars, so if you have a pack that rivals the 101 Dalmatians you only need to buy additional collars for each dog.
- Made in the USA – Maybe it’s not all that strong of a buying factor, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
- Not Portable – Extreme Dog Fence is far from a portable system—it’s not really designed for that.
- Installation is a Lot of Work – Burying a wire will almost certainly be a huge time sink, especially if you have a larger yard.
- Boundary is Limited by the Wire – the boundary doesn’t continue indefinitely past the wire like you get with wireless and GPS fences
- Batteries are proprietary – although it only works for the exclusive kind, they do say it should last 3-4 months.
Let’s see how the Extreme Dog Fence performed during my field testing.
Field Testing Results for eXtreme Dog Fence
Now, this review wouldn’t get my stamp of approval unless I evaluated it from a dog’s perspective, so here’s what happened when I wore the collar.
According to the results of my field test, the boundary enforcement of eXtreme Dog Fence is pretty reliable. It seems a bit more precise than wireless systems with where the boundary actually starts, which makes sense because it is relying on a physical wire.
However, I really don’t like how the collar doesn’t give any significant warning before issuing a static correction. Ideally, the collar should give your dog a chance to get back into the safe zone before issuing correction. By contrast, the SpotOn GPS dog fence and similar collars utilize alert and warning tones prior to triggering the correction, so your dog has plenty of warning before crossing the boundary line.
When I tested the dog fence, I set my collar at the default setting of 5 but the correction still felt really painful—I do not recommend this setting at all.
Is the eXtreme Dog Fence For You?
Again, the eXtreme Dog Fence system itself is very reliable and precise. The static correction, however, hurt pretty bad—and I can’t advocate using it on your dog, but if you choose to, just keep in mind how painful it is.
If you do decide to get eXtreme Dog Fence for all the positive features that is has, remember to check out my links for the latest recommendations and deals that I have.
Until next time dog lovers, keep those tails waggin’!