The modern day electric dog fence was born in suburban Philadelphia in 1973. A traveling salesman named Richard Peck noticed many dead dogs on the roadways and wanted to solve this disturbing problem.

Mr. Peck spent much time and worked with an electronic engineer to patent the first electric dog fence system. It was US Patent Number 3,753,421, entitled ‘Method and Apparatus for Controlling an Animal.’  The collar was large (about 13oz and shaped like a pack of cigarettes). The principle behind it was quite simple. Use a wire to carry a coded radio signal, a base unit (transmitter) to generate a signal and a collar for the dog to wear. The collar would pick up the signal and would give the dog a mild stimulus if he attempted to cross the buried wire.

An avid animal lover, Mr. Peck wanted to make sure his system was safe for dogs. He partnered with University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School to study the short and long term effects of his electric dog fence system. The research showed that the mild stimulus had no negative effects on dogs. In fact, it proved to be a satisfactory method to help keep dogs at safe at home.

The “Stay Put” dog fence system was first advertised in Dogs and Dog Fancy magazines. The first year 50 systems were installed. Mr. Peck sold the systems through catalogs and direct mail. In the early 1980’s Richard Peck sold his patent to a group of Philadelphia investors. The group changed the name of the electric dog fence to “Invisible Fence”.

In 1991, the original patent expired. Many new companies came into the pet containment industry. Dogwatch®, Pet Stop®, Contain a Pet® and others brought the electric dog fence to people all across the country. The first DIY Company, Radio Systems Corp (PetSafe) was also created in the early 1990s.

I am a Philadelphia native. I have been in this industry since early 2000. I was at a local home and garden show in the Allentown area. Imagine my surprise, when I was introduced to Mrs. Peck. Her husband Richard created my industry 30 years previous. I had the chance to speak with her at length. She told me how much Richard loved dogs and how happy he would be to see how his invention had changed so many lives.

Today you can find electric dog fences in homes all across the globe. At, we are proud authorized retailers of PetSafe, Innotek and SportDOG brands.