Are you looking for a dependable electric dog fence that can cover a lot of ground?
Then the SportDOG SDF-100A In-Ground Pet Fence System is the one for you!
Covering up to 100 acres this in-ground dog fence is in a class all by itself. And because it has the highest range of coverage of any underground fence, year after year it’s the top choice for people with large properties who live in rural areas.
Add to that a durable collar that can stand up to even the most rugged wear and tear, a reliable transmitter and the ability to contain an unlimited number of dogs and it’s easy to see why so many people love this SportDOG in-ground fence system.
SportDOG SDF-100A In-Ground Pet Fence System
Their goal was to develop products that would stand up to the harshest conditions such as those encountered by hunters and their canine companions.
Since then SportDOG has gone on to produce the SDF-100A in-ground fence – a top notch system with a fully waterproof collar that’s second to none when it comes to durability.
What’s unique about this SportDOG underground fence is that it can cover the largest area of any electric dog fence on the market – up to 100 acres – and that’s what makes it the go-to favorite for people who need a large installation.
Here’s what the SDF-100A has to offer:
- 4 progressive levels of static correction plus a beep and vibrate only mode
- Can cover up to 100 acres with additional dog fence wire
- The most durable collars on the market
- Low battery warning indicator
- Safety Time Out automatically stops the static correction after a maximum of 30 seconds
- Anti Linger function prevents your dog from intentionally draining the battery
- Visual and audible wire break alarms
- Good for dogs over about 20 lbs
- Can handle an unlimited number of dogs
- Multiple compatible collars so you can mix and match to suit the size and temperaments of all your dogs
- Excellent customer service
Along with all that you get SportDOG’s 2 year warranty which beats most other companies by a full year. Should any component of your fence need to be replaced within the first 2 yrs, that part will be free.
After the 2 year warranty expires they’ll replace individual items for what they call a ‘warranty service fee’ — a deep discount that translates into 50-70% off the full retail price.
Everything you need to get this in-ground dog fence up and running comes in the fence kit as follows:
- Transmitter and power adaptor
- SDF-R collar fitted with 1/2″ prongs
- Set of long (3/4″) probes
- 9 volt battery
- 1000 ft of 20 gauge boundary wire
- 100 training flags
- 2 wire nuts
- 2 gel filled capsules
- Test light tool
- Operating guide with training information
First Impressions Of This SportDOG 100-Acre In-Ground Fencing System
SportDOG is committed to designing products that stand up to any kind of outdoor challenge — heat, cold, rain, snow, dust, mud, and wind — whatever nature throws at them. And this electric dog fence is no exception.
The SDF-100A is an excellent underground fence for dogs and it’s the #1 choice if you have a large property and need a powerful transmitter.
Time and again users commented on the durability of the collar and the reliability of the system. Add the 2 year warranty and great customer service into the mix and you’re looking at a first class fence that won’t break the bank!
What Dog Lovers Have To Say
No matter what kind of terrain it was set up on — large rolling hills, ponds, wooded areas, properties with large lakes — this system did a bang up job of containing even the most difficult to contain dog.
Unlike some of the electronic dog collars I’ve reviewed, the SDF-R collar got top marks for its rugged durability and the fact that it’s fully submersible. Two things that are essential for dogs in the field.
No matter how hard dogs were on it — whether they were crashing through the bush, diving in the lake or rolling around on the ground — this SportDOG collar just didn’t quit!
Here’s what dog lovers especially liked:
- Completely customizable to any shape and size so will fit your yard perfectly
- Covers up to 100 acres with additional wire — most coverage of any electric dog fence
- Clear, well defined containment perimeter
- Can be used with unlimited number of dogs
- Multiple compatible collars – ensures you can use this underground fence with dogs of all sizes
- The SDF-R collar takes non- proprietary 9v batteries – cheaper than proprietary batteries and can be purchased anywhere
- Extremely durable receiver collar
- The receiver collar has the added vibration feature — great for older dogs that may be hard of hearing or for any dog that may be so caught up in the moment that they don’t hear the beep
- Safety time out
- Progressive stimulation ramps up the intensity level of the static correction as your dog gets closer to the boundary wire – discouraging your dog’s escape from the yard
- Anti linger function
- The fence kit comes with 1000 ft of boundary wire instead of only 500
- Excellent customer service
Overall there just weren’t many complaints about the SportDOG SDF-100A.
Here’s what a handful of dog lovers didn’t like:
- There were infrequent concerns about the wire coming off the spools when people were unwrapping them.
- A few people said that their dogs had adverse reactions to the static correction.
But the vast majority of dog lovers who installed this DIY dog fence gave it top marks for the everything from durability to reliability. There just didn’t seem to be much that could stop this system from containing any kind of dog it was used on.
It can cover up to 100 acres, its receiver collar is loaded with features and it gets top marks for reliability so if you’re looking for a underground pet fence that can cover a lot of ground you’d be hard pressed to find one that’s better than the SDF-100A.
Installation Details For The SDF-100A
No matter how you slice it, one of the best things about an in-ground fence is that you can completely customize your set up.
You can literally go ‘over the river and through the woods’ and end up with the exact size and shape of containment area you want!
Not only that, you can also create exclusion zones to keep your furry friend out of any off-limits areas such as pools, gardens and flowerbeds.
But that kind of customization takes time, sweat and elbow grease, no matter which underground dog fence you choose and the SDF-100A is no more or less difficult to install than other models.
I won’t go into the nitty gritty details of how to install the SDF-100A here but I do want to cover the basics of one of the major components of this system — the transmitter.
Powerful enough to cover up to 100 acres the SDT00-12721 transmitter is a solid and extremely reliable unit that’s easy to set up.
There’s an on/off switch on the side and once it’s plugged in and turned on you’ll see 2 indicator lights telling you:
- Your system has power
- Your boundary wire loop is intact
Indicator lights are an important feature to look for in any electric dog fence. A quick peek at this SportDOG transmitter will allow you to be sure that everything is working properly before you let your four legged friend out.
Your loop wire and power adapter plug into the bottom of the transmitter and on the side you’ll find these controls:
- Range Switch: High and Low settings. Set to this according to the size of containment area you want.
- Range Adjuster: This dial adjusts the distance from the boundary wire that your dog’s receiver collar will activate. With the SDF-100A you can adjust that distance from a several inches to over 10 feet.
- Stimulation Mode Switch: This switch is used to select the type of stimulation delivered by the receiver collar. You can set it for warning only, stimulation only or warning and stimulation.
What Do You Need To Know About This SportDOG Collar?
SportDOG dog collars are built for hunting dogs and dogs in training and they’re known for their ability to stand up to even the most rigorous work routine. The SDF-R collar that comes standard with the 100A is no exception; from what the reviews say, this collar can handle anything you and your dog can throw at it.
Many people had 2 or more large dogs on this system and were surprised at how well the collar held up to their dog’s rough and tumble play.
A lot of other electronic dog collars claim to be waterproof but in actual fact are only water resistant. But the SDF-R is fully waterproof and, as many people stated in their reviews, submerging it for extended periods of time won’t hurt it at all.
The collar weighs in at 6.5 oz and the receiver unit measures 2.5″ long X 1.5″ high X 1.5″ wide so it’s one of the heavier and more bulky collars on the market.
The SDF-R fits neck sizes of 13″- 27″ and although the manufacturer says it’s good for dogs over 10 lbs, at that weight and size most people who wrote a review on the 100A said it’s too big for any dog under about 20 lbs.
Fortunately there are a number of PetSafe collars that are compatible with this system so if you have more than one dog and they’re all different sizes you’ll have no trouble finding an appropriate collar for all your canine buddies.
You can have an unlimited number of dogs on this system providing they each have their own receiver collar and I’ve included details about the compatible collars in the accessory section of this review.
While a lot of receiver collars require more expensive proprietary batteries, the SDF-R collar takes a standard 9v battery. That saves you money and means you’ll be able to pick a battery up anywhere batteries are sold.
There’s no on/off switch on this collar but there is a low battery warning light that flashes red to let you know it’s time to change the battery. Most people say they got about 6-12 months out of one battery and given that your dog will be very hesitant to even test the boundary once they’re fully trained, a long battery life isn’t really that surprising.
The Stimulation Level Button on the collar is used to set the level of static correction your dog receives. You have to remove a plastic cap to access the button and this added safety feature means there’s little chance that you’ll accidentally change the level of electric stimulation your pet is receiving.
A nice feature of this collar is the receiver unit is a ‘pass through’ type. That’s a money saver because it means if the material wears out before the receiver unit does, you can easily transfer the unit onto any non metallic strap.
Out of the box, the collar is fitted with the short contact points (ie 1/2″) but longer contact points (3/4″) also come with the kit if your dog’s of the extra furry variety.
The SDF-R receiver collar beeps and vibrates to warn your dog that they’re getting too close to the boundary wire.
If they refuse to retreat, the collar has 4 progressive levels of static correction which means the closer they get to the wire, the stronger the electric stimulation becomes.
2 additional safety features of the SDF-R:
Safety Time Out:
- Stops the static correction after a maximum of 30 seconds
- Ensures that no matter what, your dog will never receive an electric stimulation for longer than 30 seconds
- Delivers a static correction any time your pet lingers in the Warning Zone for longer than 2 seconds
- Prevents your dog from hanging around the Warning Zone in an attempt to drain the battery
Dog Fence Accessories For The SportDOG SDF-100A
Dog Fencing Supplies
PetSafe Wire and flag kit – PIG00-13769:
Your SDF-100A fence kit comes with 1,000 ft of wire and 100 flags — that’s enough to cover about 1 acre. This Petsafe Wire and Flag kit will expand your coverage to almost 2 acres.
Tip: Because the 20 gauge wire that comes with your fence kit is fairly thin and can break easily a lot of people choose to upgrade to thicker 14g or 16g wire when they buy their fence.
If you purchase the SDF-100A on Amazon you’ll be able to upgrade your wire at the time of purchase.
The table below will tell you approximately how much additional wire you’ll need depending on the layout of your containment area.
Tip: You can purchase everything you need to expand your pet’s perimeter — burial grade wire, wire nuts and waterproof gel capsules — inexpensively at most local hardware or home improvement stores.
Dog Fence Staples: These staples are ideal for above ground installations where you want to secure your boundary wire to:
- A pre-existing above ground traditional fence
- The ground
PetSafe Boundary Flags – RFA-2:
100 flags will be enough to cover about 1 acre during the training process.
Should you need more flags, this bundle contains 50 flags.
Tip: Your local lawn and garden or home improvement store will probably carry some sort of inexpensive metal flag that you can use to mark the boundary during the training process.
SportDOG Replacement Collars
The SDF-100A can have an unlimited number of dogs on the system as long as each dog has their own receiver collar. If yours is a multiple dog household and your furry friends are different sizes and temperaments here are your options for collars:
Sportdog Dog Collar, SDF-R:
- Comes standard with the SDF-100A system.
- Is recommended for dogs over 20 lbs.
- If you plan to have multiple dogs on this system each dog has to have their own receiver collar.
PetSafe Elite Little Dog Collar – PIG00-10778:
If you have any dogs that you want on the SportDOG SDF-100A system that are in the 5 lb range this is the collar for you. The Elite Little Dog collar weighs only 2.0 oz, fits neck sizes of 6″- 16″ and has a receiver unit that measures 2.25″ long X 1.0″ high X 1.0″ wide.
In addition to being very lightweight, the Elite Little Dog Collar has 4 levels of static correction plus a beep only training mode and is equipped with a low battery warning.
PetSafe Stubborn Dog Collar – PRF-275:
The only difference between this collar and the SDF-R is that the Stubborn Dog delivers the static corrections at a much higher intensity level.
If you have a dog that’s particularly stubborn you’ll want to consider this collar and most people were using the PRF-275 on dogs weighing between 50 – 200 lbs.
Here are some other dog fence accessories to consider:
PetSafe Surge Protector – LP-4100:
- Protects your transmitter from damage that can be caused by lightning-induced power surges.
- Highly recommended by the vast majority of reviews and the manufacturer, especially if you live in an area prone to electrical storms and lightning strikes.
PetSafe Collar Accessory Pack – RFA-529:
- Contains everything you need to repair or replace anything on your dog’s receiver collar.
- Includes a set of both the long and short metal contact points.
PetSafe Wire Break Detector – RFA-450:
It might not happen often but when it does, finding a break in your boundary wire can be a real hassle.
The RFA-450 is designed to help you locate a break more easily and most people said it worked well and was a huge time saver.
Electric Fence Dog Training
Whether you buy an underground or a wireless dog fence, you’re going to have to spend some time training your dog to their new pet fence. If you want your investment to pay off by keeping your dog safe and secure, there’s simply no way around that.
In fact, that one element is so critical to the success or failure of your fence that I’ve devoted an entire article to the electric dog fence training process.