How much wire do I need?

How much boundary wire should I get?

The best way to figure out how much boundary wire is to walk around the intended boundary wire path and count your steps.  Multiply the number of steps by three and you have a good approximation of the amount of boundary wire you need in feet.

Most systems come with 500 feet of boundary wire, which can cover about one-third of an acre.  You can buy extra boundary wire in 500 foot lengths.

You can also get a rough idea of the amount of boundary wire you need from the following table:

Area (acres) Wire (feet) Area (acres) Wire (feet)
1/3 500 11 3500
1/2 1000 15 4000
1 1000 20 4500
2 1500 25 5000
3 2000 30 5500
4 2000 36 6000
5 2000 43 6500
6 2500 51 7000
7 2500 59 7500
8 3000 67 8000
9 3000 76 8500
10 3000 86 9000

You can also get an estimate  of the amount of boundary wire by taking the area you want to cover (in acres), multiplying by 40,000; taking the square root; and then multiplying the result by four.    This gives you the approximate amount of boundary wire you require in feet.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy November 8, 2015 at 4:22 am

I need to cover 1 acre i have a 7 month old Rottweiler that weighs 80 lbs and still growing what would be the best electric fence for him?

ADMIN – HI Nancy. Have you begun any obedience training with him yet? Is he doing a reliable sit, stay, come, etc.? We usually do not recommend beginning fence training until a puppy has some command with obedience training. What is his temperament? Answering these questions will help me match your dog(s) to the best electric dog fence system.

Nicole February 15, 2015 at 2:10 am

I have a Male pug currently about 20 lbs. I have 4.4 acres I would like to be able to allow him access to. I also have a mini daschound that is about 10 lbs max. I live in Benson, AZ and we get snow and freezing weather here every winter, plus lightening. What is the best system for me ?


ADMIN – Hi Nicole. You will need 2,000 feet of boundary wire to contain your Pug and mini Dachshund in a 5 acre perimeter loop. The Petsafe Little Dog (PIG00-10773) underground dog fence system designed specifically for small dogs. Accordingly it has a smaller collar and milder corrections than regular systems. The dog collars on the PetSafe Little Dog, PetSafe Stubborn, PetSafe Deluxe, and PetSafe In-Ground are all intercompatible. This allows you to use a mix of collars on the same system. This versatility is useful if you have dogs of very different sizes.

TIM ROBERTSON December 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm

i am looking to purchase the iuc-5100 and wanting to cover 2 acres in a rectangle lay-out. how much additional wire will i need. thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Tim, you will need an additional 1,000 feet of wire to cover up to 2 acres.

MJ March 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Hi team,

Does the wire need to be one continuous loop? Is it possible to create “islands” that I do not want my dog to trespass into? I have multiple areas in my backyard (flower beds, air conditioning area, etc) that I do not want poochie crossing into.



1) Yes, the wire needs to be a continuous loop. The wire must go out and back to the wall transmitter.

2) Yes, you can come off the main boundary loop with a section of twisted wire that leads to a smaller secondary loop that surrounds what your planning to exclude.

Raj April 30, 2010 at 12:03 am

Hi Team,
I purchased a 1/3 acre kit recently and the PetSafe unit has been wonderfull. Now the pup and I are moving out to a 3 acre lot. Can I use the same box and more wire? Or, will I have to purchase another transmitter and wire them in series 180* apart?

ADMIN – Hi Raj,

The capacity of the unit depends on what model you have. But, all the PetSafe dog fences have a capacity over 10 acres so you will be fine. I bet your pup will love that extra space!

Deb Witte March 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I just purchased a Pet Safe Little Dog fence unit, and wanted to know if the cable wire, electric wire will interfere with the signal and give my puppy and extra shock?
Thank you, Deb

ADMIN – Hi Deb,

Where possible you want to keep the utility wires six feet away, and if you need to cross them, cross at right angles. The concern is not so much interference, so much as the dog fence signal jumping across into those utility wires and carrying through into the house. This is very rare, but it always pays to check that the collar is not accidentally triggering in unintended places before you put the collar on the dog.

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