Hello all, it’s been awhile!
We’ve had to go on a bit of a testing hiatus while sorting through some changes on the home front. In March, my husband enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and we’ve since been transferred to Seattle, WA. Now we’re finally settled in our new home and ready to get back to business. There are many products to try and new pet stores to explore, so be prepared for some fun ahead.
To get right to it, several months ago I was sent an awesome product to test from PetSafe called the Stay + Play Wireless Fence. I was so excited to test it out because I know this type of item could be very valuable to so many pet owners.
Because at the time I had a small fenced backyard and an even smaller front yard, I decided to wait until I was in my new place in Seattle before trying the Stay + Play. Unfortunately after arriving here and seeing our apartment for the first time, I realized the wireless fence unit would not test well here either. We don’t have a yard or large open space to contain the dogs to, and whenever we take them outside they are always leashed.
So, I enlisted the help of my dad back in California. His dog Tybee sometimes likes to travel into neighbors’ yards during his front yard excursions, so I thought perhaps the unit would be useful for them. The following is his review on the product:
We really did not have a large enough yard to use this product the way it is intended because with our small yard, we don’t have space for a full circle to train within. I set the transmitter near the front door so it would arc across the front yard and attempted to train in that area. However, even at the lowest boundary setting, a portion of the arc still went into the neighbor’s yard and our garage and cars blocked the signal in front of the garage area. Also, because the boundary extended beyond our lawn I would have had to install some small stands on the flags in order to set them up on the driveway area as they are intended to push into the dirt of a grassy area.
Setting up the transmitter in the house was easy and self-explanatory. You just have to plug it in and determine what boundary setting you need. I had mine set to the lowest. After charging the collar, I turned it on and set it so it would only give an audible alarm when it reached the warning area. To figure out where to place the flags, I carried the collar at the height of Tybee’s head and walked out into the yard until I heard the alarm, then placed a flag, backed up again, and then walked away from the transmitter again about ten feet to the left of the first flag. One issue I ran into was the volume of the audible alarm. It is a high-pitched, fairly low volume alarm and it was very hard for me to hear. When I started the first phase of the training using just the audible alarm it was even more difficult for me to hear because I was then standing straight up. (To set the flags I had to walk bent over at Tybee’s level and was closer to the collar unit).
I proceeded to walk Tybee on a leash to the first flag and when I heard the alarm go off we changed direction towards the house. We repeated this process for quite some time on the first flag, and then moved on to the next flag. There was only one time when I could tell Tybee heard the alarm because his ears went up. After that, however, he did not seem to pay any attention to it for the remainder of the training time that day as we continued to the other flags. We had two training sessions that first day of about 15 minutes each.
The next day I changed the settings on the collar to the first level of correction, or two blinks of the indicator light. Changing the level on the collar was not that easy, and the light is very small and in the light of day very hard to see. With the collar set to “2 blinks”, we started towards the flags. Once we got to the flags I expected Tybee to show some sign of distress from the static correction, but there was nothing. I checked to be sure the prongs on the collar were making good contact and tried the first correction level again; still no response from Tybee.
So, we went back, took the collar off again, and bumped up the level to 4 blinks just to see if it was going to get his attention. Wow, did it ever. Unfortunately, the correction time seemed very long, according to how long Tybee was yipping. I was thinking it was just going to be a nip but it went on for a few seconds. After that, poor Tybee was done and was shaking like a leaf. Since the set-up wasn’t that good for us anyway, I abandoned ship on the training, and packed it up. I think the unit and the training program would work if there is a sufficient area to do the training in and the training instructions are followed carefully. The volume would probably be a problem for older people who have started to lose some hearing in the higher frequencies.
Based on what I’ve read and seen, I have no doubt that, while maybe not working for every home scenario, the PetSafe Stay + Play Wireless Fence will ease the stress of pet owners who can benefit from it. I would recommend the system to those with large unfenced yards or acreage who would like to keep their dogs close to home.
The Stay + Play covers an area up to 210 feet across, but this can be increased by adding a second wireless transmitter with overlapping boundaries. You can also purchase additional collars so that multiple dogs will be contained within the boundary you set.
The collars are rechargeable and reach a full charge after being plugged in for 2-3 hours. A fully charged collar can last between 2-3 weeks and there is a charge strength indicator light on each collar to let you know when it’s time to recharge. The Wireless Fence Transmitter is now sleeker and lighter-weight than the original design and has a Power Loss Alarm that notifies you when power has been removed from the Transmitter and the boundary is no longer activated.
The Stay + Play Wireless Fence is available online and at retail locations for $329.95 and comes with one receiver collar. Additional collars can be purchased separately for $199.99 each.
For more information on the Stay + Play, please visit the product website. There are also video tutorials for initial set up and training available on the site that will aid you in correctly using your Stay + Play device.
Also, because I was unable to test this product out for myself, if anyone else would like to contribute to this review please let me know and we will add your thoughts to the mix.
Tybee's guest rating: 3.5 out of 5 wags