Using an Electric Dog Fence in France

by Gajan Retnasaba on March 13, 2010

A French reader ask about setting up a system in their

I ran over my terrier yesterday, and need to do something to stop a similar accident happening again! Her back leg has come out of the socket and she’s being operated on tomorrow. Thankfully I didn’t kill her! My priority now is to prevent this happening again.

My two terriers get very excited when cars come up the driveway and run alongside and infront of cars. They also tend to head out if I am not here, either over the wall of our property, or under the hedge and out of the neigbour’s gates.I have a large plot of 20 acres. My main priority is to stop them exiting on the West and North sides of the property and on to the road. The South and East sides are all grassland, surrounded by electric horse fencing, as well as woods behind the house. The house is a very old farmhouse with thick walls, and sits on top of a hill.

Is it possible to just fence the two sides that I don’t want the dogs going out of, ie in to the neigbour’s and on to the driveway? There is timber and wire mesh fencing along the North boundary but it is only about 5 ft high, so I don’t suppose I can do a loop and attach one wire to the top and one at the bottom of the fence as it may not be far enough apart – you recommend 6ft? Could I run the cable in hosepipe across the driveway, and in the wooded area instead of burying it?
I would like the dogs to still be able to come out with me into the fields with the horses, and I feel that it will be very labour intensive to bury a cable all the way around the land, 6ft from the existing electric fence, which is why I am thinking that it might be better to do a loop just along two sides of the property. I also have a track running around the outside of the horse fencing which I walk the dogs on, and I’d be concerned that maybe I would no longer be able to do that with them without removing the collars.
What is your advice please?

The other option I looked at was the WiFi system, but I don’t think this would work from the main house – because of the thick walls. However, I have a studio, made of timber, about 160ft from the house. If I put this in the studio, would I end up with a boundary penetrating through the house walls that may be inconsistent? Again, my main objective is to keep them off the driveway and off the road, so it really is just for an arc of about 1/4 of a circle that I need, so maybe Wifi is a bad option?
We get severe thunder storms in summer, and the house was hit by lighting last year, so I need a system with lightning protection.
Most importantly, will your system work in France? We are on 220v and you are on 110v I think…..

What would you recommend?

Sorry for the long email!

Hi CL,

Sounds like an awful experience for both of you. I hope she is feeling a little better.

With a wired system, you do need to have a complete loop. You can do just two sides, but then you will need to double back on yourself with about 6 feet of separation between the two wires. If you have a five foot fence, you can experiment with running one length along the top and one length along the bottom. You can sometimes get it to work if you are willing to turn the boundary width down to three feet.

You are correct that if you run the wire along a fence close your walking track, you will not be able to walk the dogs there without removing their collars.

I would avoid a wireless dog fence system. With thick walls, the system will have a lot of trouble getting a consistent boundary established on the perimeter. They also seem to have a lot of trouble with log cabins, and I suspect in the timber walled studio there will be similar issues.

The systems on this site are all 110V, but there are European versions that you can find locally that will work on 220 volts electric systems that you find in France. I think there are a couple of British sites that I know of that sell the systems.

Your property sounds very picturesque.

I hope that was helpful.


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