SportDOG In-Ground Fence Collar review

Sportdog Brand Yardtrainer 350
SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence Add-A-Dog Collar

If you're looking to add another pet to your family and you live on a large property that already has an in-ground dog fence installed, you are going to need another collar. Not all collars are compatible with all containment systems. Also, there is a variety of units that are specialized for certain dog breeds and temperaments.

Now depending on the brand, you are more than often going to have to find a model that is specifically made for your existing containment system. Today we are going take a detailed view of a collar that is made for all those SportDog Brand users out there. More precisely the SDF-100A in-ground fence model.

Let's dive right into the review and see if it's a worthy investment.

​Specifications

  • Highly adjustable rubberized strap
  • Works with SportDOG Brand In-Ground Fence System (SDF-100A)
  • Made for dog breeds that weigh 10 pounds and above
  • 4 levels of static correction and a tone-vibration mode
  • Powered by standard 9V batteries
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

SportDog in Ground Fence Extra Receiver Collar – The Basics

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

One of the great features of the SportDog SDF-100A in-ground dog fence system is that you can, in theory, use it with an unlimited number of pets. You can do that without worrying about inconsistencies and signal interference. The SportDOG Add-A-Dog Collar comes with 4 levels of static correction which offers enough precision to tailor the intensity of the electrical jolt to your pet. If you are using more of these, each collar can have a different setting at any time which makes it ideal if your dogs have a different temperament or are different sized breeds.

All you have to do is remove the plastic on the back in order to reach the correction level settings. With the battery installed, set the desired level and put the plastic lid back on. The indicator light on the receiver will let you know what level you've selected by emitting a number of flashes that correspond to the level of static simulation. The collar also features a tone-vibration mode that goes off as a warning sign when your dog is in the near proximity of the boundary line. It can be used in the training process as well, especially at the beginning when you're introducing your pet to the system.

When placing the collar around your dog's neck pay close attention to how it fits and adjust accordingly. It's important to make sure it's not too tight but not too loose either. The best way to figure this out is to insert one finger between the neck of your pet and the end of the contact prong.

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

By the size of the receiver, you can tell right away that this collar is meant to be used on medium to large sized dogs. The recommended dog breed weight is 10 pounds and above. The included rubberized strap is a bit narrow but is highly adjustable. You could always swap it for a custom strap as long as you find one that is the correct width. Two sets of contact points are included so if you own a breed that has a lengthier coat, make sure to use the enclosed long ones.

The entire unit is waterproof and is specifically designed to withstand any kind of rough weather, you really get the impression that it is a heavy-duty product built for the most adventurous canine spirits out there.

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.
Dog Owners Happy With Their Dog

The Battery

This is a user-replaceable battery collar, which is great for customers that don't want to worry about recharging every few days. It is almost common knowledge by now that we are big supporters of rechargeable systems, but this particular model uses standard 9-volt batteries which are powerful and have a great lifespan. They are also very common so you can buy them practically anywhere, but you probably won't have to worry about replacing them at least 6 months anyway.

The unit also has an anti-linger feature which prevents the collar from continuously shocking your dog while it's standing near the boundary line. This also helps tremendously with battery life preservation.

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:

• Great as a replacement or an add-on collar
• Well-built, sturdy
• Waterproof and submersible

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

CONS:

• The receiver is bulky

• Takes effort to replace the battery

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

What We Liked about It

The SDF-100A In-ground fence is one of the best selling containment systems on the market so having an extra collar that is on par with the original one is very important. Simple design combined with good quality are clear indicators that this product is built to last. Different levels of static correction give it much-needed versatility; add waterproof on top of that and you got yourself a reliable collar.

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

The size of the receiver makes this model very impractical if you are planning to use it on a miniature dog. Because of its bulkiness, there is a higher chance of the collar moving and the contact points not touching your dog's skin, subsequently negating the effect. You shouldn't be worried about this If you own a medium- to large-sized dog.

Another thing to note is that you will need at least a screwdriver and some effort to replace the battery. This can be inconvenient if you're on the go and don't have your tools with you. Luckily, the battery life is great and there is an LED indicator light that lets you know when it's about time to get a new one.

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 SportDog In-Ground Fence Collar is a pretty straightforward model that you can use right out of the box. Just read the included instruction manual and you'll be able to put it to good use in a matter of no time. We all dread the thought of something breaking down and not being able to get an adequate replacement for it, especially if you are already invested in a system. Luckily, you can sleep tight knowing that there is a replacement collar of this quality sold by the same manufacturer.

We would highly recommend this product if you already own an in-ground dog fence made by SportDog Brand. Otherwise, you could check some other products by reading our list of top wireless dog fence collars.

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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