PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence Collar Review

Sportdog Brand Yardtrainer 350
PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence Collar

You've bought an in-ground fence system, got everything set up and then you realize that the included collar is huge and won't fit your miniature pooch. Worry not, what you need is a dog fence collar that is specifically designed for training and containing smaller dog breeds.

If PetSafe is your brand of choice, then the model we're reviewing today should be a great addition to your existing system. It's compact, reliable and fits into the category of the more affordable collars. Equip your feisty furball with one of these and save the bigger unit for your sluggish Great Dane.

Let's jump right into the review.

​Specifications

  • Fits neck sizes from 6 to 16 inches
  • Compatible with most PetSafe in-ground systems
  • Great for smaller dog breeds that weigh 5 pounds or more
  • 4 levels of static correction and a tone-only mode
  • Replaceable PetSafe RFA-188 battery
Collar fits dogs that weigh 8 pounds or more
5 -22 inches neck size
Eight levels of static stimulation and tone-only mode
Waterproof and submersible
300 yards of range
Fits neck sizes 6-23 inch
Compatible with PetSafe PIF-300 wireless fence
Fits dogs weighing 5 pounds or more
Five levels of correction as well as a tone-only mode
Rechargeable batteries
In-ground system
Waterproof collar
Four levels of stimulation plus vibration
Utilizes a conventional 9V battery
Low battery indicator light
System supports multiple collars

PetSafe Elite Little Dog Fence Collar (PIG00-10778) – The Basics

Sportdog Brand Yardtrainer 350 – The Basics
Petsafe Stay and Play Fence Receiver – The Basics

Like the name implies - this is your go-to model if you're looking for a collar that is ideal for smaller dog breeds. If you already have a PetSafe in-ground fence installed and just got a new puppy, this collar will be perfect for introducing him to his new home and teaching him to respect the boundary from an early age. It will also help tremendously with the training process. The nylon strap can be adjusted to fit neck sizes from 6 to 16 inches and the recommended weight is 5 pounds and above, so even teacup size dogs can wear it.

Similarly to the PUL-275 model we reviewed earlier, it is compatible with a plethora of PetSafe products with the exception of YardMax and UltraSmart. There are 4 levels of static correction that range from a barely noticeable tingling sensation (great for puppies) to a mild, harmless electrical jolt that will grab the attention even of those headstrong furry rascals. The intensity is generally more suited for smaller dogs and might not be strong enough to correct a bigger, tougher breed. There is also a tone-only mode that emits an audible beep instead of sending a shock. It is recommended to always start the training process with this mode while introducing your pet to the boundary line.

The collar is waterproof and will handle your yard sprinkling system with ease, but we would not recommend letting your pet go for a swim with the collar around its neck. It is powered by a proprietary RFA-188 battery that comes already installed.  It's very important to make sure the collar has a snug fit around your pet's neck. We recommend taking it off at night and cleaning the prongs from time to time.

This particular model is designed for owners with particularly stubborn and feisty pets. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it on dogs without behavioral issues, but the sole purpose of it is to deliver a somewhat uncomfortable static signal which is responsible for toning your pet’s behavior down.
As you can tell, it has eight levels of correction. Most other models on the market usually don’t have more than four or five. Those three more levels are what makes this collar so effective when restless pets are in question. The 300 yards of range gives you more than enough time to react properly if something goes wrong. In other words, you can rest assured that it won’t go out of signal range before you press any of the buttons on the controller.
The first thing you need to know is that this isn’t a fully functional system but a collar. That means it won’t work without a proper transmitter. In this case, if you have the PetSafe PIF-300 system already installed, this particular collar won’t have any issues when synchronization is in question.
This model offers five different levels of static correction and a tone-only mode for training. Five levels offer more than enough variety for you to fine-tune the unit and find the one that doesn’t over-stimulate your pet. It fits on any breed as long as they weigh more than five pounds. Therefore, if you own a particularly small breed, you might want to look for something with less correctional intensity.
The batteries are rechargeable, and the charger is included with the unit. You have the choice of buying the collar without the charger, but do that only if you already own one. In case this is your first PetSafe product, we recommend buying the whole set in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and additional costs.

​The ​Features

​The ​Design

When you have a small dog you never want to put a huge, heavy block around its neck. It's not comfortable and highly impractical. The size is a very important factor and this particular model has probably one of the smallest receivers on the market. It's also very light, weighing only 30 grams. We wish it was a bit sturdier made, but overall the build quality suffices. The default nylon strap is comfy, adjustable and has a reflective coating which drastically improves visibility at night. The battery is conveniently located in a plastic compartment that also acts as an ON/OFF knob.

The collar is pretty neatly designed. The biggest upside of it is the fact that it isn’t bulky or cumbersome. That being said, we did find the two contact points on the collar a bit peculiar and invasive, but it’s not a massive concern as it is more of a matter of your pet getting used to it. The on/off button might not seem like a big deal, but many other models simply don’t feature one. When you have a battery powered gadget, an on/off button is of utmost importance when it comes to efficiency and energy saving.
The transmitter works well and it’s quite easy to get the hang of it. It features two buttons of which one sends a short-timed signal whereas the other sends a continuous signal. On top of that, you can choose between eight different levels or even select the tone-only mode if you’re just getting started. Keep in mind that you need to find the optimal level of correction as soon as possible because not all dogs react the same to respective impulses.
Four Dogs With Collar

The Battery

The included battery is an RFA-188 model. It is replaceable and can be found online or at most pet stores. Judging by comments from other consumers, the lifespan is around 3 months which is pretty good but could be better since this is such a small model. Make sure to turn the collar off when not in use, this way you will extend the duration of the battery life. Also, while there is a way to modify the collar so that you could use non-OEM batteries, we do not recommend doing so since you could experience inconsistency issues. Pay attention to the indicator light, it will tell you if it's at low power.

This model features rechargeable NiMH batteries that last about 40-60 hours per charge. The biggest complaint most people have is the fact that this model does not feature Li-Ion batteries which are more efficient and offer better performance.
Both the collar and receiver feature a low-battery indicator and can be charged at the same time thanks to the included split-end charger. Make sure to keep them charged at all times and you shouldn’t run into any major issues.
While many people consider this feature pretty irrelevant, the difference between rechargeable and switchable batteries does exist and it’s worth mentioning. As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is the fact that you don’t have to stack on batteries and plan ahead. Instead, all you have to do is plug it into the charger and let it recharge. The cycle lasts only about two or three hours, meaning there isn’t much downtime in the first place.
The drawback of this system is that the battery is built-in. In other words, if anything happens to the battery itself, the whole unit becomes more or less worthless. Luckily, these batteries aren’t prone to failing and breaking often.
The correction levels are excellent. The difference between levels isn’t massive which allows you to adjust the collar quite precisely. Furthermore, if you don’t want to use the correction system right away, there is a tone-only mode which is designed to help your pet get used to wearing and using its new accessory. The fact that everything is wireless makes this model perfect for parks, camping, RVs, and etcetera.
One of the great features is the vibration mode. It allows the owner to train their pet without having to use the electric stimulation. It helps you to gradually train your faithful companion instead of making you use progressive methods immediately.
Other features
While most pet collars look pretty similar to each other, some crucial differences need to be pointed out. As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is the build quality. One can easily tell that this unit is made to last, even in case you have a particularly feisty furry friend. The gadget isn’t too bulky or cumbersome, but it’s not the most comfortable thing on the market either. The collar features a plastic clip which does its job relatively well.
The system box is pretty straightforward, and there’s not much more to it. It comes with an adapter which can be a nuisance for some people due to its somewhat short wire. Therefore, make sure you plan the positioning thoroughly and install the box near an electric outlet to avoid issues with the length of the adapter wires.
While most pet collars look pretty similar to each other, some crucial differences need to be pointed out. As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is the build quality. One can easily tell that this unit is made to last, even in case you have a particularly feisty furry friend. The gadget isn’t too bulky or cumbersome, but it’s not the most comfortable thing on the market either. The collar features a plastic clip which does its job relatively well.
The system box is pretty straightforward, and there’s not much more to it. It comes with an adapter which can be a nuisance for some people due to its somewhat short wire. Therefore, make sure you plan the positioning thoroughly and install the box near an electric outlet to avoid issues with the length of the adapter wires.

PROS:

• Small size, lightweight
• Compatible with PetSafe in-ground fences
• Static correction level tone downed for smaller pets

​​• Easy to use
​​• Affordable
​​• Good coverage
​• Easy to setup
​• Good build quality
​• Smooth correction levels
• Easy to use
• Affordable
• Good build quality

CONS:

• Uses non-rechargeable batteries

• Build quality could be better

​​• Underwhelming battery
​• Batteries are built-in
​• No on/off switch
• Batteries don’t last long
• No OFF button

What We Liked about It

Besides its compact size, the thing that stands out for us is the ease of use. Like for many PetSafe products, the instructions are pretty straightforward and you can use the product right out of the box. With the battery already installed, all you have to do is adjust the strap to the appropriate size and turn it on.  Four levels of correction offer enough variety and will be effective no matter how timid or stubborn your pet is.

Like we already mentioned, this is a great buy if you already own an in-ground fence from the same manufacturer and need a dog collar for a smaller sized breed. You can use more than one at the same time without worrying about signal interference so if you own multiple pets this is definitely a unit you would want to pick up.

The best thing about this particular model is its portability. In other words, you don’t have to set up any invisible fences or hassle with miniature flags. All you have to do is put the collar on your pet and start the training. Also, the user manual is well-written, and it contains quite a bit of useful information on how to start the training process if you’re a complete novice.
The other thing we liked is the price. Many people expect it to be more expensive than the wireless containment system, but it’s not. In fact, it comes at an affordable price meaning that most pet owners can indeed plan on investing in such a gadget without having to think about their budget too much. However, it may not be as versatile as some containment systems that are available on the market nowadays.
The overall versatility and build quality are the things that we liked the most. In the sea of cheap and underwhelming dog collars, this stands out as one that’s worth investing in. As we already said, if you own the PIF-300 system, this particular unit is one of your safest bets.
The fact that it’s very easy to use makes it ideal for beginners and inexperienced pet owners. It’s also an affordable piece in comparison to some other models that offer similar capabilities and features. It isn’t the best thing on the market, but it’s certainly a piece that’s worth checking out.
People who are searching for high portability combined with great efficiency should find this collar interesting, to say the least.

​What We didn’t Like

What We didn’t Like

Unfortunately, this unit uses a replaceable battery which is not necessarily a deal breaker but we would like to see a rechargeable battery in one of the future iterations of this model. Luckily, the batteries are not expensive and should have a decent lifespan so you won't have to worry about changing them every week.

The batteries are probably the weakest point of this product. While they aren’t bad per se, the engineers could have implemented Li-Ion batteries without a problem. The included ones may be considered obsolete and subpar in comparison to Li-Ion. While 40-60 hours seems long and sufficient, you may run into battery issues occasionally.  
The other thing a lot of users complained about is the inconsistency of the signal. In other words, if you select the level seven, the device might output a level four signal. It’s not a frequent occurrence, but it can happen. If you’re worried about consistency, consider checking some other models out, this one might give you troubles in the long run.
The battery is okay, but the fact that it cannot be changed might be a deal-breaker for some people. The recharging cycle doesn’t last long, but it can catch you off-guard. However, there is a low-battery LED light on the collar, meaning you should keep an eye on the levels.
The pet area cannot be changed into a square or rectangular shape. While this is usually typical for most wireless containment systems, it’s still worth mentioning. If you have anything against a circular shape of the area of effect, you might want to look into wired units as they offer more adjustability.
The lack of the OFF button is a major issue for many pet owners. Even though the process of changing the batteries is incredibly simple, it’s not uncommon for people to forget about it. That means you’ll have to go to the nearest store in case you forgot to stack on batteries the last time you were shopping.
As we already said, this fence does not come with wire included. While it’s clearly stated in the description, you would be surprised by the number of people that oversee it. Therefore, if you don’t have wiring installed in the yard, make sure you purchase it separately.

​Conclusion


The final verdict for the PetSafe Elite Little Dog In-Ground Fence Collar is that it's a great choice if you're looking to add a collar to your existing system or replace the one you already have for a smaller unit.

Does it deserve a rating of 4.3 out of 5?

Even though it's a somewhat specialized model,  it's very effective as long as you use it on the right sized pet. If you are a lucky owner of a cute, little pooch that you want to keep safely inside the limits of your yard then this is your best bet when shopping for a wireless dog fence collar.

The Yardtrainer 350 is a decent remote trainer; there is no question about that. Is it the best one on the market? It certainly isn’t. Is it worth checking it out? Yes, it definitely is. In the end, it all comes down to your requirements and preferences. If its features and capabilities fit your idea of a perfect dog trainer, don’t hesitate to give it a chance. On the other hand, there are plenty of other models to choose from.
As far as the advantages go, the biggest one is its ease of use. If you’re an absolute beginner, this model won’t be much of a challenge thanks to its simplistic concept. As for the downsides, the battery and signal inconsistency should be your primary concerns.
This collar is a universal answer for most of your problems. If you have a feisty or disobedient pet, the Stay and Play Fence Receiver can help you when it comes to behavioral corrections. On the other hand, you have to be prepared for trials and errors because nothing happens overnight, especially when it comes to radical changes.
Beginners and inexperienced owners love the ease of use and simplicity of this unit. On the other hand, people who already trained their pets usually look for something with more features. In the end, it all comes down to your needs and preferences. As far as we are concerned, it’s definitely worth checking it out.
If you’re looking for a long-term solution when it comes to training your pet and correcting their behavior, an invisible fence is one of your safest bets. Now, make sure you fully understand your possibilities and responsibilities towards your furry friend. These things can easily become an instrument of abuse if you don’t use them correctly. That doesn’t always mean it’s the owner’s fault, but it does correlate with owner’s ignorance or lack of experience.
As far as your budget goes, you won’t damage it too much. As we said earlier, these fences aren’t cheap but are certainly a good investment, especially if you own a problematic dog. Many people spend hundreds of dollars on professional trainers, and they don’t always guarantee success. This way, you can take a role of a trainer even if you don’t have any experience, and train your pet according to your own preferences. It does take a bit of effort and time, but it definitely pays out in the end.

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