Invisible Fence Alternatives: Are These Options Effective?

Last Updated on July, 2024

Let’s face it, you LOVE your dog, but for some reason, you feel the invisible fence is not for you. So you are here, digging our corner of the interweb, looking for the best alternatives to those invisible fences.

Most certainly, there are various alternatives to invisible fences. You care for your dog, so the last thing you want is your dog wandering away from your yard and getting snatched up by vultures.

Hence without further delay, here is what you came here for.

Quick Summary

There are various alternatives to invisible fences, including physical fencing, behavioral training, shock collars, and more.

Dog crates can also be used to keep dogs contained, but they should not be kept in them all the time.

Invisible fences are better than all of these alternatives because they are less expensive, more reliable, and easier to install.

Alternatives to Invisible Fence (Wireless Dog Fence) 

We have, for you, SIX possible alternatives that can do what an invisible fence does. 

1. The Tangible Fence (Old School)

Physical fencing, where possible, is the most straightforward alternative to invisible fences.

It’s tangible and old school, and people have relied on regular fencing for years. These are visible fences.

A tangible fence in the yard is by far the easiest thing to rack your brain around. It doesn’t require much thinking; we all know how a fence works.

The best thing about relying on the old and tested is simplicity.

Unlike an invisible fence, a visible fence won’t require much training using behavioral correction.

Tangible Fence

In other words, an invisible fence will NEVER hurt your dog. (Unless your dog likes running into fences for some reason.)

A tangible, physical fence made the old-school way has no elements of electricity involved. Hence, this alternative is probably your best bet for those who find technology challenging.


Build a fence and allow your dog to roam free in the yard. It’s as simple as taking a nap!

However, for many people, building an actual fence isn’t possible. Maybe you live on a farm or don’t have permission from the landowner to build a fence. Otherwise, the cost of installing a fence may be too high to consider right now.

Regardless, a solid, tangible fence will contain your dog in the area designated, ensuring your dog’s safety. As a bonus to all you pooch lovers, it causes NO PAIN to your loving pet. 

2. Behavioral Training

Training your dog is an essential part of life for dog owners. The better you train your dog, the more likely it will listen to your commands. 

If your dog is well-trained, you won’t need an invisible or visible fence to ensure it stays within the yard.

Your dog will know going outside is against the master’s command and will know enough to abide by it. 

Behavioral training isn’t the most straightforward thing to do. That being the case, ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE, can learn how to train a dog!

a human training the dogs

All you need are some lovely doggy treats and the time and patience to repeat commands and train your pooch.

That being the case, this is easier said than done. Many people find it difficult to train dogs and often even seek the help of professional dog trainers.

Now I’m not saying you have to go out there and hire a professional dog trainer. However, if budget permits and you feel your dog would be in better hands, then sure, why not?

Behavioral training is an excellent alternative to invisible fences. You get the added benefit of having a well-trained dog that listens to your words. 

Behavioral training will teach your dog to act without verbal commands. That is precisely what you need. You won’t always be in the yard with eyes on your pooch to say, ‘Brian… No!

As with anything, you have to start at the beginning. If training at home, rely on obedience training to teach your dog to be obedient, and then when your dog is ready, advance into behavioral training.

It sounds a little complicated. However, there is plenty of content on the internet on how to train your dog; inform yourself, and this alternative could be the one for you.

3. Electrified Fences – The Extreme Fence

With regular fences, your dog WILL find a way to jump that fence. They might dig a hole, jump over it or even break through the fence (it’s possible.)

For such instances where the regular fence doesn’t cut it, you could get yourself one of those electrified fences.

Electrified fences may, however, make your backyard look more like a prison. However, it is still an option, an alternative to the invisible dog fence. 

These fences use electrified boundary wire to limit your dog’s space in the yard.

Electrified Fence

Even elephants know not to go near the electrified fence. 

That being the case, I am not a fan of electroshock therapy (it could actually KILL you). Hence though electrified fences are an apparent possible alternative to any wireless dog fence system, I do not recommend them. 

Really though, do you want your backyard to look like a prison?

However, electrified fences do work well for large spaces like farms. You could consider installing electric fences to close the space if you have a huge backyard. 

That being the case, any dog owner will tell you electrified fences are what you call extreme dog fences; one that is extreme. 

Most dog owners who are reading this may agree with me on this. You looked up alternatives to invisible fences but we don’t assume you want alternatives that could cause severe pain to your adorable pooch.

So why would you consider an electrified fence?

*NOTE: Keep the electrified fence away from the reach of children.

4. Dog Shock Training Collars

Now, this isn’t far from electrified fences. Dog Shock Training collars rely on electrical stimulation to train your dog.

Many dog owners still use shock collars, while others refrain due to the harmful nature of the maximum setting. 

Shock collars, much like aversion tools and techniques, instill fear in the hearts of your pet. This is the primary drawback.

When used at a maximum correction level, the fear instilled could negatively impact your dog’s welfare, which isn’t recommended.

a dog is wearing shock collar

However, in a regulated setting, shock collars work marvelously to train your dog good behavior. 

Shock collars now have vibration and tone settings, which enables you to keep your dog safe from a distance. 

Shock collars are a viable alternative to invisible fences, they work well as an alternative to invisible fences. However, shock collars may not be the best option on this list unless you are training guard dogs more for being bodyguards than pets. 

Though shock collars are great at training your dog, invisible fences are better.

However, newer shock collars now come with tone and vibration settings. They aren’t as cruel as they used to be. Hence, yes, so long as you don’t use the maximum correction level, it won’t really hurt your dog. 

5. The Dog Whistle (The 19th Century Invisible Dog Fence)

Now here is an alternative that we have no trouble recommending.

The dog whistle is a tried and tested tool that can help dog owners train their dogs. 

Dog whistles are a great way to call your dog. Blow the whistle, and your dog will come running to you. 

Dog whistles emit a sound that is only audible to the dog’s ears. Hence you don’t have to worry about noise complaints from the neighbors. 

a man holding a dog whistle in his mouth and a dog standing on the ground

If you use a dog whistle and train your dog to respond to a dog whistle, it is more likely that your dog will be well-trained. 

Unlike wireless dog fence systems and electronic fences brought to you by the 21st century, dog whistles are simple and easy to use. You won’t require expensive gear, nor would you have to pay a professional to install anything. 

Think about it, in the past police dogs were trained using dog whistles. They are the most reliable tool for any dog owner looking to train their dog.

This handy piece of 19th-century invention is no longer expensive. Back in the day, you would have to pay with a sack of gold to buy a decent dog whistle. Now, they are readily available and mighty cheap. 

Hence if you are looking for an alternative to invisible fences due to budget constraints, we recommend investing in a dog whistle and training your dog yourself.

That being the case, the drawback remains dog whistles are not a 100% effective way to ensure your dog stays within the boundary. This depends on how well your dog is trained. 

Hence never forget you may find yourself walking the streets in the pouring rain, blowing your dog whistle and searching for your pooch. 

6. The Dog Crate

Dogs are considered man’s best friend.

How would you like it if your best friend was stuck in a little dinghy room to call a house, with barely any space to move? Sad, right?

Well, dog crates are yet another alternative unless you go overboard and keep them in there all the time; if you have the stomach to watch your pooch go mad from being caged up all the time.

They prove to be a viable option for those looking for an alternative to keep a dog contained during certain parts of the day.

a dog crate on the floor

Caging your dog may be the only means of keeping your dog safe if everything else fails.

Though you may have good intentions, caged dogs like those found in pet stores often feel lonesome. Very much like humans, dogs, too, feel emotions. 

Caging up your dog would ensure it stays within the boundary. However, you shouldn’t keep your dog caged up all day. 

At some point, you will have to let it out of the cage to clean the cage at least. Unless you keep your dog tied to a tree, your dog could still run away if there is no fencing available.

Hence much like electrified fences, dog crates also have their drawbacks. If you care for the welfare of your pooch, you will NOT want to cage your dog up all day.

If you can keep that in mind, a dog crate can easily work to keep your dog contained and prove to be a reliable alternative. 

You can find the best dog crates in this article.

Why are Invisible Dog Fences Better? (The Wireless Dog Fence)

Really though, why were you looking for alternatives to invisible fences? Is the technology too complicated? Because it’s not! 

Or was it the cost factor?

Or did you really think it could harm your dog?

Regardless, the Invisible Fence system is by far the BETTER option than all these alternatives!

Firstly, invisible fences are NOT THAT EXPENSIVE. It may cost you less to buy one of these invisible electric dog fences than go out there and build an actual fence. 


Electronic fences such as wireless dog fences are VERY RELIABLE. Traditional fencing allows your dog to dig a hole under the fence or jump over. There is very little wiggle room for your trained dog regarding a wireless invisible fence.

All you have to do is install the underground wires along the boundary line, place the collar receiver around your dog’s fence, and your invisible electric dog fence is ready for the task. These systems are VERY EASY TO INSTALL.

This containment system is highly effective and will work with MULTIPLE DOGS.

It is also AESTHETICALLY APPEALING; all you have to do is bury underground wires. This means no physical structure is blocking your view or enclosing the space. You won’t need a physical wire.

Furthermore, a wireless pet fence leaves LESS ROOM FOR HUMAN ERROR. Let me paint you a picture. You come back from work in the pouring rain, thoroughly drenched.

You stumble with the gate keys and finally get the lock opened. In the moment’s rush, you dash towards the house, leaving the gate open. Your dog could easily walk out the gate, get lost, or fall prey to street traffic.

Invisible fencing is better. It will PROTECT your pooch, who will intern protect you. Though your yard may not have a physical fence, intruders will not intrude when the dog without a leash is barking (**FURY**) at them.

All in all, these wireless dog fences are excellent pet containment systems, much better than physical fences. It’s a virtual fence you cannot see, but it gets the job done!


A wireless fence is an electronic containment system that uses an underground wire to create an invisible boundary that triggers an audible warning when a pet wearing a compatible collar approaches the boundary.

Yes, invisible fences are safe for dogs. They provide an effective way to create boundaries for training and rely solely on noise to reinforce behavior, causing no harm to the dog.

No, an invisible fence does not require professional installation. It can be easily installed by following the instructions that come with the system.

The main difference between an invisible fence and an electric fence is that an invisible fence is a type of electric fence designed to create a boundary without having to build a physical fence, while electric fences are typically used in larger spaces such as zoos and sanctuaries and require building a physical fence.

The cost of a wireless fencing system can range from a few hundred dollars to more expensive options.

Yes, wireless pet containment systems can be used with multiple dogs in the same household.

No, wireless fences are not 100% effective at preventing a dog from crossing the fence line; they require training for the best results.

A wireless fence can be more aesthetically appealing and more dog-friendly than a regular fence.

Yes, wireless fences can be referred to as underground fences as they require the installation of an underground boundary wire.

Final Thoughts

Sure, there may be a few alternatives to the latest technology (wireless dog fence.) However, not all of these alternatives can be recommended to dog owners.

Though a dog whistle and good training can work to keep your pooch within the boundary of your space, they aren’t as effective as wireless fences. 

Invisible fence systems provide extra care to ensure that even your well-trained pooch doesn’t wander the unsafe roads with moving traffic. 

If you need help deciding on an invisible fence for your adorable pooch, look through this article on the best invisible dog fences.

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Stefano Giachetti
Stefano Giachetti is always excited to share his knowledge and love of animals with you through our blog, IPetGuides. And he has always loved animals and has been blessed to have many pets throughout his life. Currently has a Pomeranian Dog Breed.

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