If you are looking for a pet containment system, you have plenty of options among the wireless fences mentioned on http://shihtzuexpert.com/wireless-dog-fence/. Of course there is also the more well-known option of an invisible fence that uses a wire placed around the perimeter of your yard. And now there is a third option in wireless dog containment that you might not know about: the GPS-based pet containment system they are called GPS dog fences.
Satellite-to-Collar Signal. A GPS-based pet containment system has, similar to other wireless pet fences, a “controller” and the collar. The collar receives a signal when the pet leaves the pre-set area, and gives the dog a gentle electric correction. But the difference between this system and other wireless systems is that the controller doesn’t talk directly to the collar. Instead, the collar receives its signals from up to four satellites at a time. The satellites tell the collar its exact location. Then the collar will react and correct the dog if the dog is outside a preset boundary. Each of the systems below uses a different way to set the boundary, so I’ll get into the question of how the boundary is set when we talk about the systems individually.
Works Across Varied Terrain, Including Water. The amazing part about this use of GPS technology is that it doesn’t matter how big your yard is; you will be able to enclose as many acres as you have without purchasing all the extra boundary wire you’d need for a wired system. This boundary can also be programmed straight through a pond or stream. If you want to let your dog splash on a pond that you share with your neighbor, just set the boundary straight down your property line; you won’t have to worry about wires corroding in the water. And unlike other wireless systems, if you have a strangely shaped yard (say, a very long rectangle, or a trapezoid corner lot), you can include all the strange nooks in the property’s per. And of course, you can enclose and keep your dog out of delicate areas like gardens and pools.
Failsafe Signal. One clear benefit of a system that doesn’t rely on a transmitter to set and maintain the boundary is that the signal can’t get hung up by any objects in the way – a heavily sloped yard is fine, as is a wooded lot – so your dog won’t get accidentally shocked like they would with a wireless system. Additionally, the signal can’t get lost by the transmitter losing power in a power outage, which would also result in your dog getting a correction in error. The GPS signal can pierce through the average tree canopy, though it might get hung up on a very thick one, but even then the collar won’t correct your dog when it loses signal.
Cost. This unit does require a good amount of setup, so the cost ranges into the thousands – well over $3000, on average.
Portable Circular Boundary
Customizable Correction. In addition to the 50 levels of correction, the training mode of the TC1 also enables you to use “nick” – a succession of quick corrections – “rise” – a slowly rising level of correction if the dog isn’t responding – and “jump” – a short burst of more intense correction while you are already correcting them using a less intense setting. Additionally, for those of us who get turned around in the woods, this system also has up to four waypoints that you can mark along your route, to help you find yourself back.
Adjustable Signal Field. This system also has an amazing GPS-based fence mode! In this mode, the handheld remote works a bit like the transmitter in other wireless models. You start by setting the radius you want, and the system will set a perfect circle around the transmitter – from 15 to 800 feet in every direction. BUT, because this uses GPS from satellites instead of wifi from the remote, the circle’s center point gets saved by the dog’s collar. Even if you turn off the controller, the circle you set will stay in place. You can’t get more portable than this system, because even if your controller runs out of battery life (or if you turn it off to save the batteries), the collar can operate independently for up to 12 hours, until it needs a charge.
Flexible Correction Area. This system has 50 levels of correction, and also has an optional warning area. When you set the range of the circular boundary, you get to choose if there should be a warning zone inside the correction zone – and whether the warning should be a beep, a vibration, or both.
100% Portable. The benefit of using this kind of model in training mode is that, unlike the radial fence mode, the training mode can adjust to your location. The center point of the “radial fence” gets set to a center point that you choose, saves the coordinates of that point, and can’t move until you change the center point. This would be time consuming on the go, and it would probably result in your dog finding himself on the outside of the boundary perimeter without having gotten a warning.
Zero Accidental Yard Lockouts. The TC1 has special programming that makes sure the dog does not get locked out of the containment area. While your dog is crossing through the circular bands of the warning area and into the correction area, he will experience the mild shock level that you have chosen. But once he has passed outside the correction area, he won’t feel the shock anymore. But when he decides to return to the safe area that you have programmed, he will need to cross back through the correction and warning areas. However, because of its proprietary “Welcome Home” programming, the TC1 will never shock the dog on the way back into the safety area. Your dog will never get “locked out.”
Works with Sloped Yards and Tree Coverage. Since the signal is coming from satellites above, you’re not limited by slope or dense tree coverage. Feel free to put a swath of mountainside inside your boundary. Additionally, because there is no wire, you don’t have to worry about putting a boundary across a pond or stream.
Cost. This is a fairly “simple” controller / collar system, but because of all the bells and whistles, it will cost you more than the usual wifi-based wireless fence – around $600, and more if you want to add another 1-4 dogs.
Downsides of GPS Pet Boundary Technology
Are GPS Dog Fences for You? Comparison with Wifi Transmitters and Wired Systems
Wired vs. Invisible Fence GPS? The Invisible Fence GPS system has all the benefits that a wired system has – an infinitely flexible shape and size – without the wires. Both require a professional to come install them for best results, and both cost around the same amount of money. The GPS system, though, has a leg up: it is able to cross bodies of water very easily to allow your dog some swimming in the pond or stream that borders your property. If you have a yard that is large enough to offset the 30-foot drift of the GPS signal, that has a unique shape (and a maybe a body of water in it), and that also happens to not be near any busy roads, the Invisible Fence brand GPS system is for you.
Caveat? The only time a wired system is a better choice is if your large, uniquely shaped yard is near a busy road. Then the variability of the GPS system would leave your pooch in danger.
Wireless vs. Handheld Remote / Circular Boundary GPS? The TC1 and its circular boundary have a leg up on the wifi system in many respects. THough they both cast circular shapes from a chosen center point, the TC1 lets you pick your point and turn off the transmitter. And of course, the TC1 is alone in being usable as a remote training tool or to keep your dogs close on a hike. Caveat? A wireless system like Petsafe actually may be a better pick if you live near a busy road or if your yard is quite small, due to the variability of the GPS reading.