Rating: Rating: 4.1 Reviewed by Debbie
What makes the DOGTEK EF-4000 Electronic Dog Fence System unique is the independent adjustment of your warning and stimulation zones.
Add to that 8 adjustable levels of static correction and you end up with an in-ground dog fence that has some impressive features offered at a bargain price.
DOGTEK EF-4000 Electronic Dog Fence System
DOGTEK has only been around since 2010 so they’re considered relatively new to the pet containment industry but they’re dedicated to bringing innovative, quality electronic training products to a competitive marketplace.
On top of that they provide exceptional customer service, cutting edge technology and an experienced research and development department.
The EF-4000 is the only electric dog fence DOGTEK manufactures and although it’s not perfect, their first offering does a lot of things right.
Here’s what the 4000 has to offer:
- 8 levels of static correction
- Independent adjustment of your warning and stimulation zones
- A lightweight waterproof receiver collar
- Warning Zone Timer automatically gives your dog a static correction any time they linger in the Warning Zone for longer than 20 seconds
- Stimulation Zone Timer acts as a safety time out and automatically stops the electric stimulation after a maximum of 20 seconds
- Safe and effective for dogs in the 12-125 lb range
- Can handle an unlimited number of dogs providing they each have their own receiver collar
- Can cover up to 5 acres with additional dog fence wire
- Audible wire break alarm
DOGTEK guarantees that the EF-4000 will be free from manufacturing defects for 1 year during which time replacement parts will be free. But after the first year you’ll pay full price for any replacement part.
FYI: Companies like PetSafe and Innotek offer the same 1 year warranty but after that first year is up they give you a deep discount on replacement parts. That discount can translate into significant savings over the lifetime of your underground fence so it’s something you might want to factor in if you’re comparison shopping.
Everything you need to set this in-ground dog fence up comes in the kit as follows:
- Transmitter with power adapter
- EF-4025 Receiver collar fitted with 1/2″ probes
- 1 pair of 3/4″ probes
- 1 CR2 3v lithium ion battery
- 500 feet of 20 gauge boundary wire
- 50 training flags
- 3 wire connectors
- Test Light
- Operating Guide
First Impressions Of This DOGTEK In-Ground Fence
The DOGTEK EF- 4000 is a solid reliable system that comes at an affordable price but it’s also a curious mix of good and bad.
The good is that you get some high end features for a very affordable price tag. The bad is that there’s no low battery warning and that’s a feature every electric dog fence should have no matter what the price point.
But overall the EF-4000 is a very effective way to keep dogs in the 12-125 lb range safely contained and out of harm’s way so it’s worth some consideration if you’re looking to pay less than $200 for a DIY dog fence.
What Dog Lovers Have To Say
Without a doubt the vast majority of users are completely satisfied with this electric dog fence!
People find the EF-4000 easy to set up, the training quick and easy and DOGTEK’s customer service very helpful.
What dog lovers especially liked:
- The warning area and stimulation area can be set independently
- 8 levels of static correction
- Completely customizable to any shape and size so will fit your yard perfectly
- Clear, well defined boundary
- Receiver collar battery is non proprietary and lasts up to 6 months
- Waterproof collar
- Safety time out
- Audible wire break alarm
- Can contain an unlimited number of dogs
On the flip side, although there weren’t a lot of complaints, there were some things that came up more than once in consumer reviews.
What Some Dog Lovers Didn’t Like:
- The static correction levels are a bit of a pain to set so it takes a little time and patience to get the level you want
- No low battery indicator
- Not strong enough for really stubborn dogs
- Non rechargeable collar battery
But all in all, the overwhelming majority of users said the EF-4000 is definitely worth the price.
Independent warning and stimulation zones, a lightweight dependable collar that’s fully waterproof and 8 correction levels are features unique to the DOGTEK EF-4000 and ones that make it good value for your money.
Installation Details For The DOGTEK EF-4000
Like any underground fence for dogs, the EF-4000 takes time and effort to install but it’s no more or less difficult than similar models.
While I won’t go into the fine points of the installation process, in this section I do want to briefly talk about a couple of the major components: the transmitter and the surge protector.
The transmitter is the heart of this in-ground system and it’s easy to set up.
There’s an on/off switch on the side and once it’s on a green light will come on to let you know that all’s well.
Indicator lights are an important feature on any electric dog fence because they tell you at a glance that your system is functioning OK. And that’s important to know before you let your furry friend out
From there you only have 2 controls to adjust:
- Warning Zone dial: Allows you to adjust how close to the wire your dog can get before hearing the warning beep.
- Stimulation Zone switch: Determines how close your dog can get to the fence line before receiving a static correction.
Being able to set your warning zone and stimulation zone independently is a feature that’s unique to the EF-4000 and it gives you more flexibility when it comes to customizing the Correction Zone to suit both your dog’s temperament and the layout of your yard.
For example, if you have an easy to train or timid dog you can set up a wider warning area and smaller stimulation area. This gives them plenty of time to react to the warning beep before receiving an electric stimulation.
Conversely, if you have a dog who is more difficult to train you can set up a wider stimulation area and a smaller warning area. Having to get endure the static correction for a longer period of time would definitely make your pooch think twice about leaving the yard!
You’ll have to purchased this item separately but many consumers say it’s well worth the money, especially if you live in an area prone to lightning strikes and electrical storms.
You can find more information about the IMPI surge protector in the accessory section of this review.
What Do You Need To Know About Using This DOGTEK Underground Fence Collar?
The EF-4025 receiver collar fits neck sizes of 6″-24″and weighs in at just over 2 oz which makes it one of the lighter collars on the market.
The strap itself is made of cloth and closes with a quick-snap buckle. In addition to that, the receiver unit slips off the collar and this allows you to transfer the receiver unit onto any other non metallic strap when the cloth material wears out.
DOGTEK states that the EF-4025 is fully waterproof and this claim is backed up by many reviews in which users commented that they had no problem with the collar being fully submerged.
The one glaring omission with the EF-4025 receiver collar is that it has no low battery warning. As I’ve already said, this is such a basic and essential feature that I can’t figure out why manufacturers leave it off fences at any price point.
But this issue is mitigated somewhat by a couple of things:
- The battery only has to be changed 2-3 times/year.
- It’s an inexpensive non proprietary CR2 3v lithium battery — the kind used in many cameras and widely available
To be sure — many users said they would have preferred a low battery indicator but for the most part, it wasn’t a deal breaker.
The metal probes are what delivers the static correction when necessary and out of the box the collar is fitted with shorter (1/2″) probes. The kit also includes longer (3/4″) probes in case your four legged friend is of the longer haired variety.
This DOGTEK collar has 8 adjustable levels of static correction.
It’s not ideal that you have no beep only option for training but you do have very mild levels of electric stimulation available and most people were able to find one that worked well for training purposes.
As I said earlier, more than a few users commented on how finicky it is to get the collar set to whatever correction level you want. The button is tiny and located under the cover right beside the battery compartment which means you have to remove 4 screws to access it. Once you get to it you need a pointed object such as the tip of a pencil to press the button.
But the fact that it’s difficult to access will only be inconvenient during the training phase when you might have to adjust the static correction level a few times before finding the one that’s best for your dog.
Once you’ve found that perfect level you’ll rarely, if ever, need to adjust it again. And the upside to having it in a well protected location is that your dog’s static correction level won’t get changed inadvertently.
2 additional safety features of the EF-4025 receiver collar:
Stimulation Zone Timer
- Ensures your dog will never receive a static correction for longer than 20 seconds.
- Automatically stops the static correction after 20 seconds.
Warning Zone Timer
- Ensures that your dog will automatically get a static correction any time they linger in the warning area for longer than 20 seconds.
- Stops your dog from hanging out in the warning zone trying to drain the battery.
Dog Fence Accessories For The DOGTEK EF-4000 Electronic Dog Fence System
Dog Fencing Supplies:
PetSafe Wire and flag kit – PIG00-13769:
Your fence kit comes enough wire and supplies to cover about 1/3 of an acre.
You can expand your coverage to about 1 acre with this wire and flag kit.
Tip: Many people opt to upgrade from the 20 gauge wire that comes in their fence kit to a heavier dog fence wire. It’s more expense upfront but the stronger wire decreases the chance of breaks, saving you time and hassle down the road.
If you’re interested in a wire upgrade you can check out details for the 16g here.
The following chart gives you an idea of how much wire you’ll need. Keep in mind that the total amount will vary depending on your layout.
Dog Fence Staples:
These are ideal if you’re doing an above ground installation and need to secure your boundary wire to:
- The ground.
- A pre-existing above ground traditional fence.
Tip: You can probably purchase everything you need to expand your dog’s containment area inexpensively at most local hardware or home improvement stores. Doing so might save you a bit of money too! 😉
PetSafe Boundary Flags – RFA-2:
- Your EF-4000 fence kit comes with enough flags to cover about 3/4 of an acre during the training process.
- If you need to cover a larger area you’ll need more flags.
- The RFA-2 flags come in bundles of 50.
Extra Underground Dog Fence Collars:
DOGTEK Collar – EF 4025:
- If you live in a multiple dog household and need more than one receiver collar the EF-4025 is the only collar that’s compatible with this system.
- Consumer reviews recommend this collar for dogs over 12 lbs.
Here are some other dog fence accessories to consider:
Impi Surge Protector:
- Protects your transmitter from damage caused by lightning-induced power surges.
- Recommended by both the manufacturer and many people who wrote reviews of the DOGTEK EF-4000 in-ground system.
- Can be difficult to find so it’s probably a good idea to include it when you purchase your kit.
PetSafe Wire Break Detector – RFA-450:
Trying to find a break in your dog fence wire can be time consuming and frustrating.
The RFA-450 is designed to make that process easier and most consumer reviews say it works very well.
Electric Fence Dog Training
Training is an essential part of owning any type of electric dog fence. In fact, my research indicates that improper training is the main reason fences ‘fail’.
Because it’s so important I’ve devoted a separate article covering how to train your doggie to an electric dog fence.
If you’re serious about buying an underground dog fence you should definitely check the article out so you have an idea of what’s involved. But before you head over there I want to reiterate this point:
Athough the EF-4000 doesn’t offer a beep only training mode, you do have very mild levels of electric stimulation available and it’s recommended that you start the training at the lowest level and increase it only if you need to.
The good thing is that even on the lowest level of static correction your dog still hears the beep so in the early phase of their training you can still achieve your goal, which is to condition them to retreat from the fence line whenever they hear the beep.