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Product Review: Innotek In-Ground Fences

Overall Rating:   

Pros: Includes high-quality wire; receivers are small in size; built-in lightning protection

Cons: Receivers are not customizable enough to be effective

Innotek offers three dog fence product lines. Unfortunately, I don't recommend any of them because none offers a receiver with more than three training levels (for more information on why that's important, read this article).

Interestingly, Innotek is manufactured by the same company that makes PetSafe and SportDOG products — brands that, in my opinion, offer much better features for the money. There are only two things that Innotek products really have going for them: they include 20-gauge solid-core copper wire as a standard part of the hardware package (so you don't have to buy upgraded wire) and they offer a rechargeable receiver.

Innotek products include a training and installation DVD. Innotek also provides a toll-free hotline for training and installation support. Innotek products include a limited lifetime product warranty. Warranty returns are handled by mail

UltraSmart Systems

Product Rating:  

Innotek offers two in-ground fences in its UltraSmart line: one features a remote trainer (UltraSmart Contain N Train® Pet Fence System), and the other does not (UltraSmart In-Ground Pet Fence System). I don't recommend fences that include a remote trainer — in my experience, mixing remote training with fence training can be confusing and stressful for a dog.

The biggest downside to the Innotek UltraSmart system is that the receiver includes only three fence correction levels, which just isn't flexible enough. If you're like me, you want to use low-stress training methods that are customized to your dog's unique temperament. To do that, you need a receiver with at least five different correction levels, and, honestly, ten levels is much, much better. Think of it this way: similar to Goldilocks, you don't want the correction your dog receives from his invisible dog fence to be either too much (because you might stress him) or too little (because he might run away). With subtler changes between stimulation levels, you have the flexibility to dial in exactly the right amount of stimulation for your dog's temperament.

It's a shame that the Innotek receivers are so inflexible, because otherwise this is a good product. In fact, UltraSmart is the only major line of dog fences that offers a rechargeable receiver battery. As for the UltraSmart Transmitter, its ability to power up to 25 acres makes it appropriate for all but the biggest installations. A really nice feature of this transmitter is its built-in lightning protection. If you purchase a dog fence system that does not include built-in lightning protection, you should purchase a separate lightning protection device, like this Panamax .

Why I recommend

Rechargeable Systems

Product Rating:  

Like the UltraSmart system, Innotek's Rechargeable system includes a receiver with just three fence correction levels (see the UltraSmart product review above for more details). The rechargeable receiver is "micro-sized" and, as far as I can tell, is the smallest dog fence receiver on the market.

Also like the UltraSmart system, the transmitter that comes with the Rechargeable system powers up to 25 acres. Unlike the most other do-it-yourself dog fence systems, the transmitter comes with a 24/7 battery backup, which is an interesting feature. Of course, you can purchase a separate battery backup  for any dog fence if you have frequent power outages.

Why I recommend

Basic Systems

Product Rating:  

The Innotek Basic receiver includes only one fence correction level, which makes it far too inflexible to use with low-stress training techniques (see the UltraSmart product review above for more details). But, as an upside to this product, the Basic receiver runs on a 6-volt alkaline battery, which means you don't have to go out of your way to buy expensive proprietary batteries.

The Innotek Basic Transmitter powers up to 5 acres. A nice feature of this transmitter is its built-in lightning protection. If you purchase a dog fence system that does not include built-in lightning protection, you should purchase a separate lightning protection device, like this Panamax.

Why I recommend

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Invisible Fence®, PetSafe®, Guardian®, Innotek®, SportDOG®, RadioFence®, ComfortFit™, UltraLight™, Deluxe In-Ground Fence™, and Contain N Train® are trademarks of Radio Systems Corporation. PetStop®, Wire-Free®, and Perimeter are trademarks of Perimeter Technologies. DogWatch® is a registered trademark of DogWatch Inc. is not affiliated with Radio Systems Corp, Perimeter Technologies, or DogWatch Inc. and diclaims any interest in any trademarks not its own.

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