PETSAFE FREE TO ROAM WIRELESS FENCE Review

Sportdog Brand Yardtrainer 350
PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Fence

If you are in the market for a dog containment system but digging up your entire yard is not exactly your cup of tea - consider purchasing a wireless dog fence.

While you will save time setting up your brand new fence since there are no wires needed and even an inexperienced user can have it up and running in a matter of minutes - you need to realize that this method has some drawbacks.

By reviewing this particular model, we are going to cover all of its pros and cons and help you determine if an in-ground wired system suits you better or is wireless the way to go.

​Specifications

  • Wireless fence system
  • 1/2 of an acre range
  • 5 levels of static correction and a tone-only mode
  • RFA-67 proprietary battery
  • Supports multiple collars simultaneously
  • Fits dogs with a neck size from 6 - 28 inches
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

Free To Roam Wireless Fence by PetSafe – The Basics

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

If you're looking for a containment system that you can take with you on road trips, hiking or to your grandma's house, then a wireless option is your best choice. It's portable and setting it up is a breeze compared to some other types of dog fences. The way it works is that the transmitter creates a circular boundary zone covering 1/2 of an acre. To paraphrase that - the transmitter sends radio signals up to 90 feet in all directions. The boundary zone diameter can be adjusted but the shape is always a circle, so expect to have a few challenges if you own an oddly shaped property.

The receiver collar around your pet's neck picks up these radio signals and emits an audible beep if your pet is in close proximity to the perimeter line. If your curious adventurer ignores the sound and keeps on wandering out of bounds he gets a mild static simulation delivered through the collar contact points that are touching his neck. This harmless correction is meant to grab your pet's attention and give him an idea that it's wrong to leave the designated area. It's a proven effective and safe method that is great for correcting unwanted behavior.

The system features 5 levels of static simulation so you can fine-tune it to your liking. It's effective for dog breeds that are over 5 pounds so you can use this product even on smaller pets. Once your pet is introduced to the perimeter and trained to recognize the tone as a warning, he should have no problem whatsoever and will utilize the area to his full advantage.

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

PetSafe is known for making ergonomically designed collars that are extremely comfortable and this one doesn't disappoint either. It's lightweight, waterproof and comes with a nice nylon strap that is highly adjustable. It can fit neck sizes from 6 to 28 inches which gives you more than enough options to use the collar on different sized dog breeds. If you own a pet that has a longer coat, simply use the included wrench and swap the default contact points for the longer ones.

The transmitter is neatly designed and doesn't occupy a lot of space. Technically you can place it almost anywhere, but we recommend finding the geometric center of your property and then locating the ideal spot. Make sure it's elevated at least 2 feet above the ground or you just mount it on the wall using the included mounting bracket, anchors, and screws. Something to pay attention to is the surrounding of the transmitter. Metal objects could affect the strength of the radio signal so keep that in mind when choosing the correct location.

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.
Owner And A little Dog

The Battery

The collar comes with a replaceable RFA-67 battery. These are proprietary and sold by PetSafe. Since these are 6 volts batteries they should have a decent lifespan and usually last about a month or so before going flat. Still, a rechargeable option would be a much better solution in our opinion. Make sure to buy some in advance so you can swap them out as soon as your collar goes low on 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:

• Compact, can be transferred
• Completely wireless, just needs an AC socket
• Easy to set up

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

CONS:

• Non-rechargeable batteries

• Non-adjustable circular boundary

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

What We Liked about It

Having the freedom of moving around and taking the containment system with you is a huge advantage. This way you can make sure your faithful companion is safe and sound no matter where your adventures take you. Also, not everyone is willing to invest their time and effort into burying 1000 feet of wire into the ground and spending hours or even days in setting up the whole system so an invisible wireless fence is a major selling point for them.

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

While the proprietary battery is definitely a downside - some folks are okay with replacing them once a month instead of recharging the collar every few days. We personally still prefer the rechargeable option. Another thing to note is the shape of the boundary. We can all agree that few of us actually live on a circular property so effectively you are never utilizing the entire boundary to its full potential.

This is generally the issue with all wireless fences, not just this unit in particular. Try playing around with the dial button and tweak it until you figure out what works best for your yard layout.

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


In conclusion, PetSafe Free To Roam Wireless Fence is another great product from a manufacturer that is constantly doing everything to solidify its place as the leader in the industry and keep its products at the forefront of dog containment systems.

While not without flaws, this wireless fence packs everything you would expect from such a system and definitely works as advertised which is most important in our opinion.

If you're looking for an upgraded version and are willing to pay a little bit more, there is a product from the same manufacturer that we already reviewed. We would recommend you consider purchasing either of them, you won't go wrong.

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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