Never hesitate to ask. I always just try to remind people to search because there will be other answers out there from people who might not respond this time. (and by asking you will get answers that weren't on the previous posts because there are always new people joining).
We live on 4 acres and have the Invisible Fence Brand system. It works great for us and Hudson was a super quick learner. We started with a portable device inside and he learned what the flags meant very quickly on a low level of correction. (there is a warning beep before the collar correction) He does have a sensitive personality, and I'm sure that helped him to learn fast. We had the package where the trainer comes out 3 times to work with you. We trained a lot in between his visits. Like others have said, training is a key element to success. Hudson knows the yard boundries very well and stops way ahead of the line- even when we are playing and his ball accidentally goes out of bounds and even when he is clearing his yard of all wildlife (squirrels, rabbits, birds). That being said, I don't leave him outside for long- just a quick potty break. All other times he is out with us playing or just hanging out if we are working in the yard. He would much rather be with his family than outside. I don't know about other brands, but I was very happy with the service from the Invisible Fence brand and our trainers were great to work with.
A friend of mine has one for her great pyrenees. He- the dog- eventually took the shock, and went though it each morning to walk her daughter to the school bus stop. So, she called the company and up the boltage. Since it went through near the garage door, somehow, he - the dog started getting shocked in the kitchen!! They are still tweeking the system, and its a mess.
I know that a lot of people do no like electric fenses and/or have had bad experiences with them. We actually have the Innotek Contain & Train system - I forget the number. We followed the instruction video on training exactly and we have had great success with it. We use the remote trainer also and it has really helped. She doesn't go any where near the borders to even make it beep. She doesn't get overly excited at all to see a person, another dog or anything walk down our road so she never pushes the issue or makes me worry she will run accross it. We kept the flags up for longer than recommended and removed a few flags at a time a little slower also. I think doing the training exactly as recommended is really a key to it. You really can't expect to put the collar on and let your dog out and expect it to understand that when it hears a beep if it keeps going it will get shocked. They have to be trained to their borders to begin with, the key is to never get shocked not to have them get shocked to learn what to do. I personally think that with the right training and paying attention that they can be used with great success :-) Good Luck!!
I also bought an underground fence because at the time we couldn't afford a real fence. Not to mention that our neighborhood is quite friendly and we enjoy the kids running/playing through all the yards. My wife and I both got a shock treatment just to see what it was like. My wife did not like it one bit and was hesitant on using it with Chloe. I convinced her to let me try it for a while. Training went pretty well. Chloe did get shocked twice during the training and it was the most upsetting thing watching her jump in the air yelping and then run towards me with her tail between her legs. I never mentioned this to my wife or she would've gotten too upset. However, after that she was completely trained. She knew where the boundries were and never crossed them again. I actually still use the flags to prevent her from going to areas she's not allowed to like plants, dirt...etc. Even though there is no 'fencing' attached to the flags she recognizes the flags as a border and stays away. I also turned of the shock feature and set it to vibrate only. Most of the times I don't even use the collar anymore. I've tested her with her toys and neighborhood dogs have come in to play a couple times but she never left the yard. The neighborhood cat and birds have also put her to the test and she passed :)
We have a wireless fence at the cottage for Gavin. You plug the transmitter into an outlet and he has an area of 90 feet in all directions. It has worked very well for us. He respects the border even if you throw a tennis ball through it. However, it takes a great deal of training. THERE IS NO SHORT CUT OR MAGIC! As others have said, I do no leave him unsupervised outside with it.
We use the Invisible Fence System for Sasha...
We have two acres of waterfront property...and it actually goes out into the water...which is very helpful for us...since Sasha like to swim...
Like others...we really liked the training that the company provided...and it worked very well.
They come out several times to work with your dog...and I loved the way they treated Sasha.
We also worked with her during the week...so that she would understand her boundaries.
There is a vibrating sound that she hears...that let's her know that she is getting close to the border of the property...and...she stops...several feet clear of the border.
A good example is what happened yesterday...
We were away...and my brother was watching Sasha at our home...
We have a family of foxes that live nearby...and we haven't seen them for quite a number of months!!
Well...wouldn't you know it...while I wasn't there...they showed up!! Ugh!!
When Sasha went outside after breakfast...my brother said that a fox ran across the property!
Sasha took off after it....BUT...he said that she stopped short...before she got to the border of our property!!
I was SO HAPPY to hear that...and SO THANKFUL for the Invisible Fence!!
Sasha...on the other hand...was sad to miss the opportunity to play with her fox friend...Ugh!! (smile)
Also...I am always outside with Sasha...or someone else is...but...she does have LOTS of time to run and play...not just to go out to go "potty".
She loves running and playing and going in the water...and just plain...Having Fun!!
It' a good thing that I Do Too!! Lol...
I hope this is helpful Charlie...
We have the Petsafe Wireless Fence. It works well for one of our dogs but not so well for the other. For the one we only have the collar set to level 4 of 6, he really respects the flag boundaries and won't go within a couple of feet of them. Our other dog stays within the boundaries most of the time, he will wait even for a ball if I have thrown it too far. But, he cannot resist the deer. We have a lot of deer that pass through our yard several times a day. As soon as he sees the deer he is gone, and we have the collar set to maximum correction. It certainly is true that once the dog has learnt he can run through the fence you are done for. Chase runs so fast that I think he pretty much outruns the correction. We never leave them outside unattended, not just for this reason but because of the other passing wildlife we get - coyotes, bears etc!!