D.E. Systems Border Patrol TC1 GPS Dog Fence Review
Wireless Electric Dog Fences
Average Price: $599 – $699
Pros: huge capacity, completely mobile, includes remote training and tracking
Cons: large & heavy collar with flimsy antenna, circular boundary only
Best Uses: properties over 2.5 acres or with lots of obstacles that want a wireless system, dogs over 30 lbs
The first GPS-based dog fence, the Border Patrol by Dog Expedition Systems is a 3-in-1 wireless dog fence, dog tracking, and dog training system. The Border Patrol uses GPS satellites instead of radio frequency or WiFi, allowing you to create massive wireless containment areas with very stable boundaries. Unfortunately, the collar on this system is huge and heavy with a fragile antenna and a short collar strap.
Huge & Heavy Collar
The main drawback of the Border Patrol TC1 is the gigantic, heavy collar. At almost 10 oz. this collar is nearly 3 times heavier than competing wireless fence collars like the Havahart Radial. The size and weight alone make this collar unsuitable for dogs under about 30 lbs. Despite the massive receiver size, the collar strap is too short, only able to accommodate necks up to 20” so it won’t fit very large dogs either. These collar design issues really limit who can even consider this system based solely on the size of their dogs. The last bit about the collar is the built-in and flimsy antenna. The antenna is built in to the collar strap, sticks out at an odd angle, and looks like it would snap if caught on something or grabbed by another dog. Since it’s built-in, there’s no way for the user to change out the collar strap to fit a bigger dog, and if the antenna breaks, you’ll need to send the whole collar in for replacement.
The collar utilizes a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that is built into the collar. The collar battery charges via an adapter plug in 2-3 hours and the charge lasts roughly two days under normal usage and depending on how frequently your dog challenges the boundary and whether you are using the remote training functions. You can preserve battery a bit by powering the collar off when not in use.
Up To 5 Dogs With Individual Correction Settings
The Border Patrol system can accommodate up to 5 dogs simultaneously. There are 50 correction level setting options for each dog on the system. The correction level settings are managed on the handheld controller and if you are using the fence only mode, you don’t have to keep the controller on. The collars work independently once the initial settings are made.
Warning Tone & Vibration
We like receiver collars that utilize vibration in addition to the warning tone. Vibration is necessary for deaf dogs, but is also a great way to use more of any dog’s senses to help with the teaching process. The tradeoff is in the size of the collar. The vibration feature inherently makes a collar larger.
The Border Patrol offers a huge 400-acre capacity. Far larger than any other available dog fence – wired or wireless. You’ll establish the size of the circular enclosure using the handheld controller, setting a radius of up to 800 yards. Like all wireless fences, this one too can only manage a circular containment area.
Excellent Boundary Stability & Correction Timing
The great advantage of the GPS-based system is the stability of the boundary compared to other wireless systems based on radio or WiFi. Although they still aren’t as stable as a wired fence, the Border Patrol boundaries move only a few yards from moment to moment. This boundary stability is maintained even when the fence is operating at max capacity (800 yard radius). This is where more wireless fence systems really fail – the closer to the max you try to use them, the more unreliable the signal gets. The Border Patrol does not have this issue.
No Correction On Returning Home
The Border Patrol is the first wireless fence to make it safe for your dog to come home should she break through the perimeter. This technology is pretty important in the event of a breakout. In most dog fence systems, the correction field is a set width and warns and corrects the dog for entering that field no matter which direction the dog comes from. This means that in the event of a breakout, you need to turn off your system so that your dog does not receive a correction for coming back home. This can be complicated or impossible depending on whether you’re aware that the perimeter was breached. The Border Patrol allows the dog to return to the containment area without receiving a correction.
Remote Training & Tracking Included
The Border Patrol is a 3-in-1 containment fence, remote trainer, and tracker. You can use all three functions separately or together. The remote training allows you to work on obedience commands with your dog both inside or out of the containment area. The tracker allows you to keep an eye on the position of your dog up to 2 miles out.
The Border Patrol is the most expensive wireless dog fence you can buy. In general we find it is worth the money if you need the features it provides (i.e. tracking, remote training, or massive capacity). The quality of the collar is questionable for this price-point.
Due mainly to the cost of the system, we only recommend the Border Patrol to those people who absolutely need the gigantic capacity, or need a wireless fence but can’t use the Havahart or Stay + Play due to metal siding or roofing, sloping properties, or obstacles. The size of the collar and price are very limiting.