Installation

The steps of installing your dog fence break down as follows:

  1. Planning the installation
  2. Mounting the transmitter box
  3. Laying out the wire
  4. Burying / Mounting the wire
  5. Driveways and Pathways
  6. Connecting and Testing

You should set aside about ten hours for the whole installation project.  The first and second steps will take about an hour.  Burying the wire will take about four hours (if you use a trencher or edger.  Doing the driveway will take an hour.  And if everything goes according to plan the final connection and testing will take another hour.  (The extra three hours is for the unexpected challenges and the much needed breaks that accompany any DIY task)

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{ 137 comments… read them below or add one }

Don March 16, 2014 at 7:10 am

I am seriously considering putting the invisible fence in this spring (if spring ever comes). I have two questions. One I am not sure how i will do it. We have a 35 ft deck with 3 different ways to get off it. I only want her to be able to use two of them. What is going to stop her from going under the deck and out? Also I live in Upstate NY and we get A LOT of snow at times and will invisible fence work thru feet and feet of snow? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Don, I would recommend going with the PetSafe YardMax. It will work great with snow. As snow builds, you simply increase the radius signal to compensate. As for the deck, I recommend using an Outdoor Rock zone that will create a signal just around those steps. The Outdoor Rock is compatible with the YardMax collar.

Alexandra November 8, 2013 at 11:24 am

I am thinking about installing the Petsafe Yardmax system for my dogs. My house does have metal siding, and I would have to put the transmitter inside my house. I’m thinking of putting the transmitter box in the basement and running the wire out through a hole in the foundation wall. I plan on using twisted wire from the transmitter out to the edge of my boundary and then boxing the house inside a big rectangle as in the perimeter layout design. My question is, will my siding interfere with my fence? And if so, how far from the house would the boundary wire have to be for the fence to work properly?

ADMIN – Hi Alexandra, your siding should not create an issue.

Phillip October 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I live on a little less than 1/2 an acre of land. From the top of my property at the driveway to my back yard, the angle can be close to 45degrees. Before I actually install a wired fence for my Jack Russell, I wanted to get your take on wireless fences. I’ve seen some comments from people saying that the ground needs to be fairly level for the wireless receivers to work, so I’m hoping you can provide some input. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Phillip, with a 45 degree angle, you’re not going to be able to establish a signal with a wireless fence. The wired fence is the best way to go and will provide you with a great long term solution.

Jenny October 7, 2013 at 11:44 am

We are thinking about getting an electric fence for our two dogs. A bulldog mix age 4 and a bichon age 13. Is it safe to use on an older dog? I am thinking that we won’t be able to use a wireless system because we have a metal roof on our house and we have a metal barn in the middle of our property. Is it easier to install your own or better to have it installed?

ADMIN – Hi Jenny, if your old dog is not a containment issue, you do not have to collar them. Overall, the dog’s age is not significant as long their mobility and vision are good. With the metal roof, the wireless fence is not going to work. Much cheaper than paying an installer and it really is not very difficult to install. You can do it Jenny!

Max Davis September 15, 2013 at 9:32 am

I have the SD-2000 system for my dog. I installed the wire around my backyard, which has a natural boundary of fence that my dog would regularly jump over. Where I ran the wire over the driveway, the fence extends past the boundary of the house, and there is about 4 ft between the wire and the fence. I have found my dog hanging out past the containment system, but not past the natural boundary of the fence–except for this morning she got out. I am going to move the wire closer to the fence at the section of the driveway. My question is do I only need to splice the wire at both ends of the driveway and add maybe a foot or two to extend the containment area closer to the fence?

Kev B August 26, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Hi, We have an English Pointer, around 60 pounds. Our property is tiny, around 8000 sq ft, but we have waterfront on a pond. Our dog likes to wander in the shallows watching fish so I’m wondering if I can run wire around the property and loop it into the pond. Will the wire still work or will it corrode? Secondly, since I have such a small property does it pay to get a thicker wire? What gauge to you recommend? many thanks! Kev

ADMIN – Hi Kev, you can run the wire into the water as you say. You can review our lake front layouts by clicking on Planning/Layouts on the drop down menu under the Installation menu heading. With small properties you can upgrade to as big as 14 gauge as long as there the boundary wire is 10-15 feet away from where your dog will be leaving the house.

Pete Derkowski July 11, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Hi, I just set up a large test area to find the field widths for the petsafe ultrasmart system we bought. With the field width dial at 12:00 the collar began to beep 3.5 ft from the wire. I then set up an hourglass configuration on top the ground around my house. I used about 600 ft of wire so its set to Small. The field width is about 1.5 ft when tested several feet away from the garage wall, and along the property line it is non existent. Along the rear of the yard it’s about 2 feet. My next door neighbor has a “DogWatch” system installed about 3 ft from the property line. I’m about 3 ft from the same property line, so I didn’t think there should be any problem. What could be causing the decrease in field width? And what could be causing the no-signal problem along the property line? Pete

ADMIN – Hi Pete,

The problem is most likely interference from your neighbor’s system. You often need around 12 feet of separation to avoid interference. You can test this out by having hte neighbor temporarily switch off their transmitter and see if the problem is fixed.

To permanently fix the interference issue, you either need to create more separation between wires, turn down the boundary width on both systems, or switch your system to a dual-frequency system that can avoid interference (like the Perimeter Ultra).

Susan June 29, 2013 at 8:55 am

Part testimonial-part question. I love my new fence! I’m not completely done with installation but the dog (some sort of hound mix with some retriever-60lbs), who was already trained to a remote PetSafe trainer (sort of) has picked up the idea not to cross the flags in just 2 days. We haven’t done the hard tests yet though. I also installed the indoor zone first and she immediately learned to stay out of the excluded room. Anyway, the issue I have now is with my PetSafe UltraSmart. I made a loop of fence just across the front of our property using a little over 600 ft of 18 gauge wire. I twisted 85 ft of wire back to my transmitter. I have the sides of the loop separated by between 10 and 20 feet in all places. the loop is currently just laid out on top of the ground. I have the transmitter set on large field and the boundary dial all the way up. The transmitter is green and the collar does beep but not until the dog is within about 5 ft of the wire. I was expecting twice that. Why is my boundary so narrow? Could it be that I have the transmitter plugged in next to a metal shelving unit?

ADMIN – Hi Susan,

Glad to hear! There are two potential issues:

(1) Sounds like you have the unit cranked up much higher than it needs to be. Sometimes when you turn it up that high, the signals from the opposite sides start cancelling each other out and you get a limited range. I would turn the boundary dial down to around 9-oclock, and turn the field size down to small and see if that helps.

(2) Big metal things (like your shelving unit) nearby can also cause problems. Try temporarily moving the transmitter and see if that fixes the issue.

Sharon May 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Hi! I have had a petsafe underground basic system for two years now. I have kept the boundary width control set on 3 (0-10). This week the unit stopped working, and will only work if I set the control to 10. With the unit set on 10, there is still only about 6 inches of correction area before my dogs can cross. I replaced the unit and am getting the same results with the new unit. Could this be in the wire or interference with something in the area? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Sharon,

The symptoms you describe are consistent with a partial break in the wire, so the system is only working when you run a lot of power through the wires. You may also notice that it works better when the ground is damp.

The most likely spot for the break would be at any splice points, and where the wire crosses the driveway or pavement (where they are likely to get hit by an edger). If you can’t find the break by inspecting the wire, you will need to use a wire break locator to find the break.

Paul April 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Does the wire have to twist coming out of the transmitter. Or can I go out one corner of the garage and back in the opposite corner and connect?

ADMIN – Hi Paul,

The wire does not have to be twisted coming out of the transmitter. You only use the twisted wire if you want that section of the fence to be non-active. With your layout, it sounds like you want the wire to be active as soon as it leaves the transmitter and so would not have any twisted sections.

jim April 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

Hi, I have two 135 lbs. bullmastiffs. With a dog that large will a shock collar for the invisible fence work. All the testimonials bout the fence have been for small dogs. Thank you Jim.

ADMIN – Hi Jim,

With very large dogs, or guardian/fighting breeds it is best to use one of the systems with a higher maximum correction strength. You fit into both those categories! Now, you may not need that high strength, but in some cases with these breed it is necessary to use a stronger correction to get the dog’s attention than you might with say a smaller timid breed. A good choice is the PetSafe Stubborn.

Frank March 31, 2013 at 11:45 am

I am going to install my new wired fence with the back yard only. Instead of looping could I run a wire through the basement to complete the loop?

ADMIN – Hi Frank,

You can indeed complete the loop by run the wiring under the house by going through the basement. As long as the dog doesn’t use the basement, the vertical separation will allow the dog to pass over the wire on the ground floor without getting the correction.

Jeff January 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm

If I want a linear barrier, using the loop, how far away does the wire need to be separated?

ADMIN – Hi Jeff, separate the loop by 4 foot minimum.

DebbieB January 27, 2013 at 9:39 am

Planning to use solid 14 gauge solid wire. What length of untwisted wire do I need to plan for to make 30′ of twisted wire? How difficult is it to twist this size wire? Can a 30′ section be twisted at one time, or do you have to twist in smaller sections and, if so, how do you do that? (The drill method I’ve seen demonstrated would only seem to work at the end of the wire. I’m not sure how to use the drill if I have to twist in sections.)

ADMIN – Hi Debbie, What you will need to do is unroll a little more than twice the distance you need. I would recommend 70 feet in your case. Then fold it in half and put the loop end over a fence or door knob and tighten the two open ends in an electric drill to twist it. Make sure to achieve 1 twist per inch. You should be able to twist that length but anything more than that may be too heavy to twist. You can twist 1, 30 foot section for sure. For multiple sections of twisted wire, simply splice them together.

Lakeside January 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

Are there systems that do not require a closed loop system?

ADMIN – Hi there, the only systems that do not require a closed loop are the wireless fences.

Jamie December 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I have a 70lbs 7 month old doberman. What type of fencing do you recommend for a 1 to 2 acre area? I am new to this and really need something dependable as He will have access to outside for long periods of time while I am at work. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Jamie, For a doberman of that size, I would recommend the PetSafe Stubborn fence. It has a capacity of 10 acres and comes with enough wire to cover 1/3 of an acre. To cover up to 2 acres, make sure to add in an extra 1,000 feet of wire. With great training, you should expect 100% containment.

kelli December 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Hello, I was wanting to know how much it would cost for about 2 1/2 acres? I have 5 acres but my house takes up some what part of my property and then I don’t want to fence my front yard. would you say about 2 1/2 acres? or I don’t know…just wanting to know….my family has been really excited to have a fence but we just don’t have enough money. I love my dogs and I can’t stand making them live in a little area. I have 3 dogs a German shepherd and a German sort haired pointer and also a Yorkie. this was a longer comment then I thought I was going to type but I just have a lot to say I guess. What do you think the best fence would be for me and my big family I have? How much wire comes in one package?

ADMIN – Hi Kelli, for your dogs and property I would recommend the PetSafe Stubborn, with one extra Stubborn collar, and one PetSafe Little Dog collar. For 2.5 acres, add an extra 1,500 feet of boundary wire to your order.

Laurence Frank November 27, 2012 at 12:27 am

Can these collars be worn permanently or do they cause skin problems? Many thanks, Laurence

ADMIN – Hi Laurence, in scenario’s where you dog is kenneled or in the house at night, it is recommended to remove the collar. If your dog is outside 24/7, then we recommend that you remove the collar 3 times a week to inspect your dog’s neck to confirm it is healthy and clean. A small percentage of dogs do develop rashes when the collar is worn for an extended amount of time.

Amanda November 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm

We currently have wire buried for a PetSafe fence system. Can we buy the Dogtek EF-6000 system and use this same wire?

Admin- Hi Amanda,

Yes, the boundary wire you have in place will work. You will simply just hook up the existing boundary wire to the new transmitter.

Brian November 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I live out in the country on 4 acres. My dogs roam the woods of public land which is about 10,000 acres. I like my dogs being able to roam and have fun in the great outdoors and do not like keeping them confined. However, I do have a neighbor that likes to leave their trash just sitting outside and is complaining my dogs are getting in to their trash. I am trying to figure out how to let my dogs roam, but keep them out of my neighbors yard. I guess I could use the underground fence and keep them on my 4 acres. However, it is wooded land and trenching would be a problem. Could I just lay the wire down? I imagine it will cover itself up in time? I’m not sure what to do. Also, if I get this underground fence, how do I create a radius without having a active line from my power to the edge of the property? It seems like I would have a radius with a line through it where the dogs couldn’t cross. If that makes sense. Not sure how to explain it

ADMIN – Hi Brian, you can definitely lay the wire on the ground. We recommend pinning it down with sod staples and raking ground cover over or let it cover naturally. To power the fence properly to the control unit on the wall, we use twisted wire as a jumper connecting the loop to the transmitter. The twisted wire does not transmit the signal along itself thus preventing your dogs from receiving a correction.

Joel October 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I have installed a stubborn dog underground fence. It has been in for about 6 months. Now my warning beepers on the house unit are going on and off occasionally but it is not constant. Any ideas?

ADMIN – Hi Joel, there are many things that could be causing this issue. The first thing you want to do is run a 15 foot short loop test. Disconnect your fence wire and plug in a 15 foot section. See if it is solved and operating normally during the short loop test. If so, then proceed to check splices and visually walk the boundary looking for disturbed areas that might indicate damaged wire. If all checks out, you may just very well have a wall transmitter that has been hit by lightning. Sometimes, the transmitter will get hit and weaken it’s operation, but not fully knock it out.

bruce mclane October 11, 2012 at 6:45 am

Planning on DIY fence, but only 3 sided. About 500 ft. Not sure what is meant by the loop process. Could you verify please . Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Bruce, the wire must go out and come back to the wall transmitter in a closed loop. So, in order to create a 3 sided boundary, you’ll need to run the wire out from the transmitter along the 3 sides then make a u-turn and go back to the transmitter a minimum of 4 feet away from the first wire. You can see this layout illustrated by clicking on “Dog Fence Installation”-> “Planning the Installation” -> “Backyard”. As for the lightning protector, this products provides electrical surge protection from two sources 1) the power outlet and 2) from lightning strikes directly on the boundary wire.

petra October 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

I’ve purchased a electronic pet fencing system for my German shepherd, and it won’t work above 6 inch. Can you give me an advice what to do?

ADMIN – Hi Petra, there could be a number of issues, but first check all your splices. Simply test the wires together and do a test without the wire nuts on the splice. It’s most likely a poor connection issue.

Tom August 11, 2012 at 11:17 am

I have had a fence in the ground for 10 years and the wire failed. I can not locate the break with my radio. My yard is small and I am thinking of just putting a new wire down. Will the old wire interfere with the new wire? I would rather not pull the old wire out if I do not have to. Thank you Tom

ADMIN – Hi Tom, as long as the old wire is not connected, it will not interfere with the new wire. No need for removing the old wire.

peter De Keles August 3, 2012 at 12:11 am

I only need to have a 50 foot barrier to keep 75# dog out of garden. Which system is best for such a small area?

ADMIN – Hi Peter, all of our reliable systems handle a 50 foot barrier. You’ll essentially utilize our single-sided boundary layout to accomplish this. You can see our single-sided layout illustrated by clicking on “Planning/Layouts” under the “Dog Fence Installation” menu. Keep in mind that you can only run twisted wire up to half the distance of the amount of wire on your loop. For your layout, you will have a 100 foot loop. You can run up to 50 feet of twisted wire. For a 75 lb dog, I’d recommend the PetSafe Ultrasmart fence PIG00-13619.

Susan July 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Thanks for all or your information. Is aluminum siding on a house a problem for an underground wired fence? I plan to fence from the sides of the house to an existing chain length fence; the fence will need to be active up to the aluminum sided edges of my house.
Thanks, Susan

Admin-Hi Susan,
Aluminum siding will not pose a problem for a wired in-ground system.

William Solomon July 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Two questions, please recommend the system I should use for 2 dogs that weight about 50 to 60 lbs each. We are going to cover about 4 acres. In reading the other comments, they talk about using PVC conduit. Before I had my driveway paved last year I buried a PVC conduit, it is between 1 and 2 feet deep. Plus, you mentioned using a larger wire in this area. What size if wire comes with the kit and what size do you recommend? Also, what size wire should I use in the driveway area?

Thanks

Bill

Admin- Hi Bill,

1) Our top choices for your two dogs at 50-60 pounds will be either the PetSafe PIG0013619 or IUC5100 system. Both systems offer a slim line rechargeable collar. The main difference between the two is the IUC5100 system comes with a hand held training remote.
2) You will be able to install the boundary wire inside of the PVC pipe under the driveway. You can set the signal strength projecting off of the wire on the transmitter. Once the wire is installed, you simply turn the signal strength up to project through the driveway.
3) The system comes with 500 feet of 20-gauge boundary wire. To cover 4 acres you will need a total of 2,000 feet.
4) We do offer upgrades to the thicker wire. The main difference between the wire is the protective coating and the copper core. You can use the 20 gauges, which will work fine; however, wire breaks are more common with 20 gauges. Any install over 1,000 feet, we recommend at least upgrading to 18 gauge and install’s over 2,000 feet we recommend upgrading to the professional grade of wire 16-14 gauge.

Dawn June 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm

There’s a lot of great information here! I have a PetSafe underground system that works great for my Jack Russell but I have found my Pit Mix runs through it. So I bought him a Stubborn Dog collar, but he still runs through the fence. So now I want to try a wireless system. Question#1. Can I use it along with an underground system and #2 will it keep the Pit Mix from running through the fence? #3 If not, what will? Thanks!

Admin- Hi Dawn,

1) You can us a wireless system along with a wire system. However, the wireless systems are far less reliable and effective. The wireless system will not be a better option for containment with your Pit Mix than the PetSafe Stubborn dog collar.
2) The key to containment is good training. The corrections will refocus a dogs attention to the fence and remind them to retreat back into the yard but the dog must first understand what the warning tones and corrections represent. I recommend looking over our dog fence training and start the training process again.

Pat Rippey June 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I have a gate adjacent to the front corner of the house that I would like to keep a “dead” zone to be able to walk my dogs. I have read about the twisting and looping and see the twisting as the best solution (the looping and needing 6′ between the wires does not appeal at all). Understanding that the loop has to be closed back to the base unit, will a triple twist (where I twist two wires connected to the base out to the far side of the gate, run my wire around the yard and across the front of the house, twist around the already twisted two wires and connect to the one open end) still leave a dead zone?

Admin- Hi Pat,
Afraid the triple wiring will result in an active section of fence. When the wires are bundled together the signal will only be reduced and will not create a full cancelation. You can install a double loop or horse shoes layout with twisted wire buried at the gate area which would allow your dog to cross.Please see the gate diagram under the install tab.

David June 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Hello, I just installed the PetSafe UltraSmart 13619 system and the fence is working but it is also sending the signal to my hot water baseboard (copper pipes). The pipes are about 3 feet from the transmitter the wire going out of the house is twisted together but the collars still activate near it both the pipes and the transmitter. Do you have any suggestions to fix the signal jumping?
Thanks Dave

Admin- Hi David,

It sounds like the signal is jumping from the transmitter to the pipe. We recommend keeping at least 5-6 feet between any electrical appliances and circuit breakers. To identify where the signal is coming from, move the transmitter several feet from the room or pipes. Once the transmitter is moved, test the collar around the pipes. If the signal is nonexistent than you can remount the transmitter accordingly.

Princess May 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm

We just purchased an invisible fence. I am hesitant to install it because I want to do it correctly. So here’s my question, is the twisted wire something we twist ourselves? And do we double back everywhere we lay the wire? Will we be able to just outline our yard, bury the wire and connect?

Admin- Hi Princess,

1) The twisted wire is the same wire as the boundary wire and you can twist it yourself.
2) For your install, you will simply outline your property with the boundary wire and run the twisted wire from the house to the property line to complete the loop. Please see our diagrams under the Dog Fence Installation tab.

Pam May 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm

We have about 4 acres in eastern Idaho. Our neighbor uses a portion of our land to pasture his horses. He has an electric fence on poles. I am unsure of what the system is but it seems to work with the horses. I am wondering if we can attach your systems’ wire to the existing poles so we do not have to dig in the back area.

ADMIN – Hi Pam, Yes, you can attach the boundary wire to the existing poles and not receive interference. That is a great idea.

Jennifer May 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I just purchased the Innotek 4100. After laying out the wire, I realized I need more than the 500 feet that comes with my kit. Should I purchase 1000 feet of wire on one spool? If no, how do I connect more wire to the original 500 to complete my loop??

Admin- Hi Jennifer,

Most the of the boundary wire you will find comes in 500′ sections. You can simply splice the boundary wire together to connect the new spools. There is no limit to the amount of splices that you can use.

Mark and Tina Kramer May 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Our yard is partially fenced. Would be have to bury the entire wire or could we attach it to the fence somehow? Thanks!

Admin- Hi Mark,

Absolutely, you can simply attach the boundary wire to the fence for a speedy install. Our boundary wire is UV protected and will not be effect with direct sun light.

Jay May 6, 2012 at 9:33 am

Hi. Is a standard power strip, surge protector sufficient to protect my system from lightning damage? Or is there another better option?

Thanks!

Admin- Hi Jay,

The lightning protection Modules work similar to a surge protector. The Lightning Protection module that we offer will help protect your transmitter from receiving electrical surges in your houses power outlet and electrical surges in the boundary wire. The standard power strips will only protect from surges in the house outlets, not boundary wire.

John K. April 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I need to buy flags for my dog fence, but that’s all i need, so i went to the hardware store and they had wire flags that you can put in the ground, but all they had was orange pink and yellow… will any of these work( get the dogs attention), or do i need white flags?
Thanks

Admin- Hi John,

In our experience we have not notice a significant difference in the color of flags that are used; therefore, any color will be adequate. The flags are simply to help your dog gain an understanding of the invisible boundary.

Greg Giesing April 22, 2012 at 7:50 am

Do you offer fencing layout sketches when I purchase the system from you? I have 6 acres with the house in the middle and a metal shed up against one side of the fence and one driveway to cross.

Admin- Hi Greg,

Once you place an order, you will receive our exhaustive Experts Guide to Installation and Training with pictures and diagrams to walk you through the install. Plus, if you wanted to draw your property layout and email it to us. We would be happy to configure the best arrangement options for your property.

Larry April 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Great website. First, I would like to install fence at our lake house that we use on weekends. Can I install transmitter box in boathouse that will not be heated in winter. Can get quite cold. (Lake of the Ozarks). What system do you recommend? Don’t want to spend a lot as just used in summer. Dog is 40 lb GSP. Thanks in advance.

Admin- Hi Larry,

Absolutely, the boathouse will be fine. Cold weather will not effect the transmitter; however, the transmitter will need to be installed in a dry area inside the boathouse.

A good cost effective system will be the PetSafe Stubborn/large dog system. The collars are durable operate on a standard 9v battery. Also, the system comes with 500′ of wire that can contain 1/3 acre.

Steve April 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Trying to do my backyard and have the house as the fourth side. I don’t have room to double back and keep 6 feet between the wires for the three sides. Could I run it along all four sides and where it runs against the house could I splice another wire in and twist the two along the length that I need to cancel out the signal?

ADMIN – Hi Steve,
Hi Steve,

Afraid, splicing in that second wire and twisting won’t work – that section would still be active. Another solution, along with the ones you mentioned, is to elevate that wire along the fourth side so it is high enough that it does not activate the collars down on ground level. The easiest way to accomplish this is to run the wire up a drainage spout on one side of the house, along the gutters, and down the drainage spout on the other side of the house. Check out our Installation –> Layouts page for more details and some diagrams.

Greg April 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I have a rectangular yard and want to bury a single loop around it but along our back yard is a 5 ft high fence that runs the 100 ft length of the yard I would like the dog to be able to get right up to it to. If I use twisted wire along it can I connect the twisted pair to the single wire on the north end and at the south end connect that end of the twisted pair to the single wire to complete the loop. It is not feasible to run the loop back around the yard 6 ft away ( making the horseshoe design). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

ADMIN – Hi Greg,

That configuration of twisted wire that you describe, connecting both the twisted pair of wires to a single wire, will not cancel the signal. All wire connections need to be one-to-one. If you did the configuration you describes, the twisted section would be active.

If you run the wire along the top of that 5 foot fence, it would let the dog get much closer to the fence – since the vertical height of the wire above the ground would decrease the effective range down on ground level. If the boundary width was set to 3 feet, the dog could get right up to the fence without triggering the collar, but 3 feet may be too narrow a boundary for effective training depending on the breed of the dog.

Tom April 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Have an Innotek system for large lab. Have installed wire all around on 3 sides. Want to use twisted wire on 4th side on the river to allow lab to go to dock. When I connected, it made a full circuit. How can I lay it out differently?

ADMIN – Hi Tom,

Using the twisted wire as the fourth side of the loop will not work – that twisted section will be active. The twisted pair can only be used to go from the transmitter to the loop, it cannot be part of the loop itself.

To have an open section along the dock, you can either run the wire low down under the dock along the footings. The height of the dock deck above the wire will stop the collar triggering. The other option would be to make a large U-shaped loop, that doubled back on itself – six feet apart.

Tim Hamlet March 28, 2012 at 9:32 am

I am considering the SportDog system to enclose approximately 20 acres including my pond to contain my Lab. My last system was from Petsafe and was not successful due to the numerous wire breaks due to rodents in the wooded areas, the strength was not enough to contain my lab and finally the receiver was struck by lightning. A few questions for you. 1. Would installing the wire alongside the buried telephone line coming into the house cause an interference problem? 2. What would you recommend for running the wire across the streams that come in and out of the pond? 3. Would I still have rodent issues in the wooded areas if the wire was buried everywhere? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Tim,

1. I would avoid running the dog fence wire alongside the phone wire. Generally we try and avoid long parallel runs to closeby wire. There will be no interference, but sometimes the dog fence signal will get induced in the telephone wire – this will make all the telephone wire in the house act like dog fence wire. This is not common, so if you can do it – you just need to lay the dog fence wire out, connect the system and test to make sure this is not happening before doing the final installtion. But if you can avoid it, that is the better approach.

2. I usually use old hose pipe, or sprinkler system pipe.

3. Burying wire in wooded areas would likely solve the rodent issue, but with all the roots is very difficult. I would instead run the wire through a protective conduit. Again, flexible irrigation pipe, or sprinkler system pipe work best.

Merlin March 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Looking to buy a system soon. I have someone making a cable plow for my utility tractor for me. There were a couple questions that arose. I am planning on getting 18ga wire from this website – I am thinking it solid correct? Also what size spool does it come on…… and what is the size of the interior hole on the spool – approximate is fine.

I am really struggling to decide which system to buy. I am going to be fencing in 4 to 5 acres and have measured it to be around 2000 feet of boundary wire. My current dog is about 75# but I think it is highly likely we will have a little 10 pounder or so within the next couple years. I would really like a system that works for both but that is seeming difficult with the large area we have. I did read about the innotek workaround with a resistor.

ADMIN – Hi Merlin,

The spool is about 8 inches. The spool opening is about 1 inch in diameter. Let me know if you need an exact measurement and I can get someone in the warehouse to measure it up.

The 18 gauge wire is solid. (Note the 20 gauge is also solid. The 16 gauge and 14 gauge are stranded)

I would use the SportDog SDF-100A system, because it also lets you use the PetSafe collars. This means you can use the included SportDog collar with your current dog, and if you get the smaller dog you could use something like the PetSafe Little Dog collar.

The Innotek is a good system, but the collars are generally too big and heavy for dogs under 12 lbs.

Rachelle March 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Hi, just wondering how many dogs / collars you can use per system? We have 12 small dogs (5 Mini Foxies & 7 Pugs) is there a particular system we need to use? Also can you set up multiple loops? Eg 3 separate loop areas to keep dogs separate from each other? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Rachelle,

12 dogs, wow! If you are using the wired systems, there is not limit to the number of dogs you can have on the system. I am presuming some of those miniature Fox Terriers are under 12 pounds. If so, the system that you would want to use is the PetSafe Little Dog, a system with smaller collars and lower correction levels to suit dogs of this size.

You can indeed set up multiple loops. You will just need a single transmitter. You make each loop separately, then connect the loops to each other and the transmitter using the non-correcting twisted wire.

david phipps March 13, 2012 at 9:18 pm

5100 innotek line break alarm went off 2 weeks after some tree removal ,found break repaired green ,couple nights later alarm broken wire turned system off for a couple hrs went back to green ,next night same thing checked connections i had made before while doing so i left them unhooked transmitter stayed green , reconnected green light no test light on collar i even did the dimwitted collar in hand test ant ideas? thanks

Admin- Hi David,

The first thing you want to do is to run a test loop. This test is great for determining issues on the transmitter, wire, and collar. Simply unplug your boundary wires from the transmitter and plug in a 10-foot section of boundary wire. Turn the field width down to minimum and test the collar with the test loop to see if the collar is reacting. Than, turn the field width dial to a higher level. Test the collar again and if changes where it receives the signal. If signal changes than the transmitter is working with the collar. You will need to proceed with the R/F choke test to find the break in the line.

Bob Gibson March 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

We’re trying to do a 3/4 loop around our house- what do we need to do for the last leg which will go through the garage – we want this to be safe for the (dog 7 month boxer) to go out for a walk (we have plenty of room to negotiate)

ADMIN – Hi Bob,

To complete the loop, but still allow the dog to enter and exit through the garage, there are a couple of different techniques. The first option is to run the wire up and over the garage, hiding the wire in a convenient gutter – the height of the wire over the dog’s head lets them pass safely underneath. The second option is to run the 3/4 loop, then double back on yourself, six feet apart to make a large U-shaped loop. The third option is, if the dog is only using the garage exit for walks, you could remove the collar when you are taking the dog for a walk (which you will probably want to do anyway to avoid the collar getting triggered by a neighbor’s fence while out on your walk)

randy March 9, 2012 at 11:56 am

I was considering installing a in-ground fence and Petsafe said to mount the control box 3′ from metal objects, I have a steel sided garage that I wanted to mount the control box in and petsafe said this would not work. The rep said no in-ground system would work with box mounted inside a steel building. Is this true? Thank you for the help, Randy

ADMIN – Hi Randy,

It would be better to mount the transmitter box away from any large metal object (like the steel wall). This is indeed true of all inground systems. If you do mount the system on a metal wall, sometimes you will get no signal out on the perimeter. It does not happen every time. If it is more convenient to place the transmitter in the steel building, give it a try and you might get lucky.

Karen March 8, 2012 at 2:41 pm

This has been so helpful. Thanks. I am trying to run my wire around my fence in my backyard. I need to have an opening for the patio door. I do not want to double back with the wire. I do not want to loose six feet of space. Could we take it up the edge of the house to the roof and over the door? Or do you have any other suggestions? Also, I read some talk about a pool pump etc. causing problems. My neighbors pool and pump etc. is relatively close to my fence, will this cause any problems. Thanks for your help

ADMIN – Hi Karen,

To keep the back porch door clear of signal, you can indeed run the dog fence up and over the door. We find it easiest to run the wire up a water downspout, across the gutter, then down the downspout on the other side of the house. The other option would be to run the wire around the front of the house.

I too have read about pool pumps causing problems. But, I have never observed this problem firstand when doing an installations near a pool, and whenever someone calls in with this problem it has turned out to be something else. I can’t think of any reason why a pool pump would cause any problems. It is certainly possible there might be something to it, but my best guess is that it is one of those crazy rumors that gets started. It is worth keeping an eye out, but not something that would concern me.

Kelly February 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Help. We noticed our german shepherd jumping over the chain link fence today which now explains her cut we found on her leg the other day. Our property is one acre and totally fenced in. I was reading other comments and weaving the fence seems like the way to go. What system should we go with?

ADMIN – Hi Kelly,

Weaving the dog fence boundary wire through the chain link fence would indeed be a good way to go. For a german shepherd, the Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good system to go with, the collars are rechargeable, and the collar fit feature is useful for getting a good fit on a long-hair dog. The PetSafe Stubborn is also a good option, it is a little cheaper – the tradeoff being that the collar is not rechargeable and is a little bigger.

Deborah Hartt February 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Hi, Wow, this is by far the most informative site I’ve found. We have 3 dogs; a 6 year, 160 lbs. English Mastiff female; a 5 year,130 lbs, Great Dane male; and 13month,155 lbs, St.Bernard male. They are all pretty mellow, but the Dane likes to stretch out, and my Saint will follow him. We have a large property, and are thinking of giving them the run of one side of it; so we will have poop-free areas in the summer.(Big dogs=Big poop). What would you suggest as fencing options? I was thinking, come off the side of the house in a big square,(about 150X300 feet) it’s pretty much open mowed area with mature maple & apple trees. We would really like to invest in a quality system. Thank so much,peace, Deborah.

ADMIN – Hi Deborah,

For three big dog like your, the SportDog SDF-100a would be a good choice. The collar have a larger band and well built. The transmitter can handle large areas, so if you ever decide to extend you will be in good shape. If you add a smaller 4th dog, you can use some of the smaller PetSafe collars with the system.

Ian February 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I have an a acre yard that is fenced with chain link and 3 dogs – a 50 pound pit mix, an 80 pound lab mix, and a 140 pound mastiff. The mastiff and pit have taken to the sport of destroying the bottom of my fence to escape. The mastiff is the main culprit because he is a smart strong dog and thinks it is fun. They dig a little and push the fence out – mostly because our ground is very rocky here in northern AZ. This also means that burying a wire is impossible. The lab stays put and does not engage in the shenanigans.

Which system is best for this situation and what is the best way to mount it to the chain link fencing?

ADMIN – Hi Ian,

With those three dogs, and their range of sizes and breeds, we would want something that lets us have individual correction levels for each dog. The PetSafe Stubborn would be a good choice. (The lab would presumably not need a collar since he is sans-shenanigans)

With chain link, I will either just weave the wire through the chain link fence or use flex ties to attach the wire ot the fence every three yards or so. If you mount the wire 1-2 feet above the ground it will protect it from edgers and lawnmowers.

Ben February 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Two questions: 1) Do you have to purchase additional wire from the same manufacturer and model, or does it not matter what wire?
2) Can you “double back” in a trench and have essentially two wires in a trench for my backyard to create a boundary? OR do I need to run the wire over the house to create a boundary? I would like to use the side of the house as the fence and avoid running over the roof. Thanks, Ben

ADMIN – Hi Ben,

(1) You don’t need to get wire from the specific manufacturer. But, you want to try and get wire that is the same diameter. Mixing wires that are different diameters leads to the boundary extending out inconsistent distances from the wire.

(2) You can double back, but if you don’t separate the wires by at least six feet they cancel each other out. So you can double back, but not use the same trench, you need to use another trench at least six feet apart.

Clark February 5, 2012 at 11:33 am

I have two boxers that love to run. I have a female that is a year old and a big jumper. We have a 6ft wood privacy fence and she can get over that within seconds. My male is not as adventures but will head out the front door never to look back. We have two kids that bring friends over and they forget to close the front door and gates all the way. I am only looking to fence in half of my back yard and most of my front due to underground city lines. My boxers are different in size female a lot smaller male bless his heart he is a big guy. Please help to find a good setup for us. How hard is it to go under a driveway?

ADMIN – Hi Clark,

Going under a driveway is really tough. We find it easier to cut a slot across the driveway with a circular saw (or use a convenient expansion crack), lay down the wire, and caulk over to keep the wire in place.

With the dogs being very different in size, something with independent correction levels like the PetSafe Stubborn would be a good choice for the two boxers.

Eddie G. January 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Hi, I’m planning to install around a 15 acre fenced, mostly wooded area. Does the wire have to be insulated or can I use farm style galvanized steel wire?

ADMIN – Hi Eddie,

You will need to use insulated copper wire for the boundary wire in a dog containment fence. The farm style wiring used for electric livestock fence does not get you a consistent boundary signal.

Chris January 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm

My wife and I bought a house that has 3.5 acres and a pond. Our dog, a black lab and australian cattle dog mix, loves to run and swim. We would like him to be able to run around and swim whenever he would like during the day, even if we are not home. But I would like to keep the pond off limits during the winter, when it is iced over. Also, since we have a large area (some wooded, some lawn) what suggestions would you have? Thank you for your time.

ADMIN – Hi Chris,

The easiest way to create a temporary barrier around the pond would be to use one of the outdoor pods. You can run wire form the pods, up to 150 feet to circle the pond, and at the flick of a switch could switch it off in summer. You would also need to do a little training, and maybe put the flags up a the start of winter to teach the dogs that the pond was off limits, then again do some training in summer to show them that they were now allowed to access the area.

If the pond circumference is more than 150 feet, you will need to create a loop around it with wire, and then connect it to your main loop with the twisted wire. You would need to disconnect and reconnect this subsidiary loop ever winter / summer to activate / deactivate the pond fence.

What are the weight and temperament of the Lab and Aussie? If they are similar, something like the Innotek IUC-4100 would be ideal because it would work with your outdoor pods.

Todd December 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Hello, hopefully you can help me. I have a PetSafe in ground containment system. The wire is basically a rectangle 120′ x 50′. There is a section that runs past a sliding glass door. We want to make this section safe for the dogs to run through. I have tried two type of wires: 16 gauge and 20 gauge. I twisted the wire to varying degrees. The signal does not cancel. I tried to place the wire into a metal conduit. No luck. Do you have a suggestion? Todd

ADMIN – Hi Todd,

There is no avoiding having a complete loop – you cannot use the twisted wire as part of the loop to make one side of the boundary non-active. To make one side of the boundary non-active, you can either run the fourth side of the boundary tight around the front of the house, or run the wire up and over the house (through the guttering) so the dogs can pass under without getting the correction. Check out the Layouts page in the Installation section for some diagrams of how you can do a backyard only layout.

TODD – We do have a complete loop. However, I have a 15 foot section that has a twisted wire. Doesn’t the twisted wire provide a section that is not broadcasting the signal?

ADMIN – The problem isn’t the twisting, it is the way you are using the twisted wire. The twisted wire cannot be used as part of the main loop, only to get you from the transmitter to the start of the loop (i.e. it cannot be part of the rectangle, only get you from the transmitter to the start of the rectangle). If you use the wire as part of the loop as I am guessing you have, the twisted wire will act like regular single wire.

Another way of diagnosing it is that you probably have the two twisted wires connect to a single straight wire on either end. Any time you have anything other than 1-1 connections or wires that are not connected to anything the twisted wire is not going to work.

To get you past the rear sliding door, twisted wire is not going to help. Your best option is to run the regular wire up and over the door or to run the wire around the front of the house. For more information, check out the diagrams on the Installation –> Layouts page and in particular the “backyard only” layouts.

Rick December 28, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Not sure what type of fence I will get for my hound / lab mix, about 44-60 lb female. We are not allowed to install a real fence, and she needs a place to run in the back yard of my rental. My questions is: if I want to runt he pet fence in a circle, how do I go around / over a door way to the rear yard, so that she will cross the wire as it completes the circle.

Hi Rick,

For a lab/hound mix, an Innotek IUC-4100 or a Petsafe Stubborn would be a good choice. The Innotek has a smaller and lighter collar which is rechargeable. The Stubborn has a bigger bulkier collar and uses a disposable 9v battery but is a little cheaper.

If you are just enclosing the back yard, to give the dogs access to the rear door you can either run the loop tight around the front of the house, or run the wire up and over the back of the house (we usually go up a downspout on one side of the house, across the gutter and down a downspout on the other side of the house) so that the vertical height of the wire over the head of the door stops the signal reaching the dog down at ground level. See our Installation–> Layouts pages for more details and diagrams.

Gail Robin December 17, 2011 at 8:53 am

Hi, I am considering an electric fence for our 3 dogs: Newfoundland (9) Border Collie (1) & puppy Choc Lab. Is the collar strong enough to effect the newfie?

ADMIN – Hi Gail,

I would use one of the stronger collars if you are particularly concerned that the Newfoundland will require a stronger correction, although training these dogs I have never found that to be an issue. Something with independent correction would also be useful since with these three dogs, it is likely they will require different correction levels. Something like the PetSafe Stubborn, or the SportDog SDF-100A would be a good choice.

Gail November 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm

We just bought an Innotek system. We have a lab/husky mix who has been jumping over our five-foot block wall and climbing our chain link fence. I need to wire the concrete block wall next to the driveway and also the driveway gate where we have solid concrete on the ground and either solid concrete or chain link fencing as a barrier. Will you please advise? Would it be incredibly stupid and dangerous to run the wire through the chain link? I don’t do anything electrical at all, short of changing the occasional light bulb!
Thanks! We’re just trying to keep our sanity and our puppy alive!

ADMIN – Hi Gail,
If you have the space to set a 4 or 5 foot radius on the wire, you probably will be able to run the wire along the ground and still prevent your lab/husky from jumping or climbing over the fence. It is okay to weave the wire through the chain link. When running the wire along the pavement in the case of the driveway gate, you can protect the wire buy running it through a hose or you can purchase floor strip to lay over the wire. If you plan to attach the wire to the concrete wall, I recommend using plastic anchors so you can screw in I-bolts. I-bolts have a looped head much like a needle. This way you can thread the wire through the I-bolts.

Jason November 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm

If my next door neighbor already has an invisible fence installed, and i am planning on putting one in, do i need to find out where his fence is and make sure i stay a certain distance away from it along that side of the yard? If so how far and would fence brand name matter at all? Thank you

ADMIN – Jason,

Yes, find out where his wire is buried and what fence model he has. You’ll need to keep a distance of 10 to 15 feet to avoid interference. If you do not have the room, the next best option is purchase a fence that allows you two operating frequencies in order to avoid interference. The Perimeter Technologies Ultra fence is the only fence available that can accomplish this successfully. You can locate the review on our site by clicking on “Dog Fence Reviews” on the menu bar, then click on “Perimeter Technologies” title on the second table.

Annabel Wright November 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I am about to install my dog fence, bit worried about the electricity lines running up the boundary, am i correct that it must be 2 metres from the electricity. If it interferes with the fence will it interfere with the whole loop or just the part of the fence by the electricity
And do I gather that the wire should not be more than 1 ft above and below the ground. How do I join the wire if I need to add some onto my existing wire.
Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Annabel,

There’s only a possible chance of interference. 2 meters may be sufficient. If you do receive interference, you’ll either need to try one of two things or both, move the wire further away or adjust the boundary width down. Interference will amply the signal only along the area where the wire interacts with the electrical. However, it can cause all the electrical lines to pick up the boundary signal and transmit along the electrical cables.

You can place the wire several feet above or below ground. We recommend burying the wire 3 to 4 inches in the ground for protection. You can splice the wire to extend it by first tying a knot in the two wires you are splicing. Then splice it with a wire nut and then sink it into a waterproofing capsule.

John November 14, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I want to purchase the Pet Smart Deluxe underground system. My next-door neighbor has a system. My wire will run parallel with his. I cannot get 5′ between the wires. Will this affect the performance of both systems?

ADMIN – Hi John,

Yes, you will experience interference along that shared boundary. You’ll need a dog fence with two operating frequencies. The only current dog fence model available that will successfully achieve this is the Perimeter Technologies Ultra. The Ultra will operate properly either on the 7K or 10K frequency. This will allow you to lay the wire within inches of your neighbor’s fence. Here’s the link to the review page: http://www.dogfencediy.com/reviews/perimeter-technologies/

Adam November 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I’m getting ready to install a dog fence for a back yard only but i want the dog to be able to go in and out of the house freely. I want to go from one corner of the house in the back, go around the back yard, and go to the other corner. I have read about the double loop, but that requires twice as much trenching and wire. i have also read that the signal doesnt work if there is a double wire. So my question is, could i run a single wire from one corner of the house, around the yard, to the other corner, and then simply run a twisted wire along the edge of house to connect the circuit but yet not stop the dog, would that work? I just dont really want to dig twice as much trench is all. Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Adam,

No, you will not be able to do that. The back yard only layouts are designed mainly because you cannot run twisted wire as part of the boundary loop. What happens when you splice twisted wire into the loop, the twisted wire section transmits the signal. The other options you have is to run the wire up into the gutters to elevate the wire high up so that the signal is out of range along the back of the home. The other option is to wrap the wire around the front of the home to include your house inside the loop. Here is a video that explains the limitations on twisted wire: http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/twisted-wire/. Here is the back yard only layouts illustrated: http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#backyard

Joe Dixon November 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I am buying a property that sits on peninsula surrounded by water. I want to only run the wiring on the side of my property that touches land. Is there a problem with that or will I have to go around the entire perimeter of the property.

ADMIN – Hi Joe,

The wire needs to make a complete loop. If you only want to do a partial section, you can cover the section of perimeter you want, then double back on yourself to complete the loop (with 6 feet of separation between the wires). The other alternative is just to run the wire around the entire perimeter. We have some diagrams of lakefront lot wiring on the Installation –> Layouts section of the website.

Eric October 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I still have signal even though I twisted the wire, what is or am I doing wrong

ADMIN – Hi Eric,

When twisting boundary wire, make sure you achieve at least 1 twist per inch consistently throughout the twisted wire section.

Vern Miller October 15, 2011 at 2:33 am

I want to run the perimeter wire close enough to a building that the dogs can’t get through. The building has steel siding all the way to the ground. Will this cause interference with the signal ? Would it be better to run the wire on an angle colse to just one corner instead of the full length of the wall ? Thanks in advance ! You have a great site.

Admin- Hi Vern,

Metal has the potential for interference. We recommend laying the wire on the ground first, turning the fence on and testing the boundary with the collar to see if the signal is getting any interference. That way it’s easy to adjust the placement of the fence before burying it with either set-up.

Bruce October 12, 2011 at 11:21 am

My twisted wire is hot. My 3 very large dogs will not get off my patio. Does it matter how the twisted wire is installed?
Thanks Bruce

Admin- Hi Bruce,

The twisted wire only works when it is part of the main loop. There is no way to create a dead zone in the middle of the loop. Please take a look at our twisted wire page.

Twisted Wire: http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/twisted-wire/

Ellen October 3, 2011 at 1:57 pm

We would like to install the fence so that our dog has access to the backyard and front yard separately. The hour glass set up would work but I can’t figure out where the exit point would be. How high would the wire have to be for the signal to not reach the collar? Our house is set up almost exactly as your hour glass lay-out example. Is there any way to have the garage/driveway be the inactive/exit point? Maybe we could go above the garage door and follow the outline of the driveway? The wire could be attached at about 9 feet above the ground. Is that high enough to not shock? Also, if the wire is run along the outside wall of the house will he be shocked if he gets close to the same wall while inside the house? Thanks for all the great and helpful advise and tips!

ADMIN – Hi Ellen,

I am not sure I completely understand your layout. Can you email me a diagram? (I should be able to get you a much better answer)

If I understand correctly, by the exit point you mean the point where the dog can go into the house. Usually, the exit point for the front yard is a front door, and for the backyard a back door.

You can indeed elevate the wire to stop the correction being felt at ground level. The height you need depends on how wide you set up your system. Typically we set the dog fence boundaries to be 3-5 feet wide, so we want to elevate the wire about 3 feet higher than that to create a safety buffer.

Running the wire along the side of the house can create signals in the house. So you need to be careful to run the wire in placed (e.g. high up) where it will not reach the dog. You also want to be sure to test the system with the collar to make sure you are not getting any inadvertent correction inside the house.

If you meant the exit point as where the dog can leave the property to go on a walk – then usually the fence system has no exit point. To take the dog out on a walk, you remove the collar and train the dog that when you give them permission it is acceptable to exit the property. This take a little training, we have more details on how this is done in the training section of the website.

Erica September 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm

We currently have a 13 lb dachshund and are planning on adopting a Doberman. If we were to put an electric fence it, what type would be compatible for both size dogs? Also, we live on acreage and really do not want to restrict them from all directions. The main concern would be to give them a boundary for the road and possibly an adjacent side. Is it possible to bury wire to keep the dog off only one or two sides, or does the wire have to make a complete loop? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Erica,

With a very big and a very small dog, the PetSafe systems are good. With the PetSafe inground systems, you can use the various collars interchangeably. I would use a PetSafe Little dog system, and use the included collar for the Dachshund. When you get the Doberman, add in a PetSafe Stubborn collar.

Your boundary wire always needs to make a complete loop. If you want to block two sides, you can either (1) make a complete look around the entire property, or (2) go along the two sides and then double back on yourself six-feet apart, to make a big L-shaped loop.

Chad September 12, 2011 at 10:47 am

I hope to install the 5100 for my 4 month lab. my back yard is low land that has standing water some times. Its fun for him too swim there, is it posible to run the wire throgh the deep grass (and under water if it rains alot(up to 2 feet))? its only a 1/4 acer area where it s wet. thank you much, Chad

ADMIN – Hi Chad,

You can indeed run the dog fence wire through the grass and water. I would just staple or weight down the wire in a couple of spots to keep it from moving. And avoid doing any splices in the section subject to flooding.

If you want to be extra cautious, you can run the wire through a conduit like old hose pipe for extra protection. This is not necessary, but useful because finding wire breaks where there is standing water is no fun!

Jill September 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Hi there. I am considering buying a system for my 80lb Great Pyrenees. We are having issues with her digging up the yard. We have a separate section of the yard that is fenced for her, but it’s a 4ft chain link fence and she just climbs over it. The section that is not secure is about 11ft long wide. What would be the best way to keep her contained in the dog run so she is not digging up the yard when we can’t supervise her? Thanks.

Admin- Hi Jill,

I recommend the PetSafe Stubborn/Large dog for your Pyrenees. The Stubborn system is designed for large breed dogs and will work great your Pyrenees. For your install, I recommend installing the boundary wire in a single-sided layout. View our install pages for the diagram,
http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#singleside

Katherine September 5, 2011 at 3:58 am

I have a 5y/o boxer and plan to get another in the next few months. We currently tie him up but I now have a number of rope burn scars from playing with him in the yard. I foresee plastic surgery if I have two dogs wrapping my legs with rope.
Can you suggest a fence that can be installed in flexible tube? We have a rock wall that would be nearly impossible to bury a fence near and thick bushes around the rest. I’d like to run tube through the bushes and ‘over’ the rock wall. What kind of pipe would you suggest? And will this work?

ADMIN – Hi Katherine,

You can place the wire for any of the systems in a flexible conduit. Running the wire through a conduit will work. Also, if the area is just bushes, you could run the wire without protection and it should be fine.

A good system for a pair of boxers would be an Innotek IUC-4100 or a PetSafe Stubborn. The later is smaller and has a rechargeable collar. The later is bigger and uses a disposable collar battery but is cheaper.

Maria T August 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Hi, Can the wire be placed in the driveway and the cars go over it? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Maria,

Usually you will place the wire in a an expansion joint and caulk over it. Or if there is no expansion joint you will cut a slot in the wire with a circular saw, place the wire in the cut, then caulk over it. If installed in this way, there is no problem with a car going over the wire.

You can also just lay the wire right on top of the driveway. As long as the driveway is not something abrasive like gravel or the driveway is not snow plowed – the car can drive over it without breaking the wire. The wire section will wear out ever couple of years but replacing it is simple enough.

See the Driveways (Installation) section of our website for more details.

Jacob August 25, 2011 at 11:59 am

Hi, we’re looking to install an electric dog fence. The back of our property is protected by an electric fence which is not always on. If we run the dog fence wire on the same posts as the electric fence, would that be ok? It doesn’t matter if that portion of the fence is interfered with, as the electric fence would be active. But would the whole fence be interfered with? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Jacob,

That is fine – you can run the dog fence and an electric fence on the same posts with no issues with either system.

mark August 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm

We currently have 3 petsafe “wireless” transmitters that create a large oval for our 5 dogs to play in on our farm (100′x600′). We are getting ready to install a barbed wire fence around a portion of the property that will not prove much of a boundary for the dogs by itself. We would like to be able to set up a wired invisible fence (have used on small scale before successfully). It would be excellent if the transmitter could be attached to one continuous strand of the barbed wire, having that act as the conductor and eliminating the need to bury or run another wire. Will this work??? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

Trying to run the signal through the barbed wire will not work – you need to use an insulated copper wire – the uninsulated steel barbed wire will not transmit the signal properly. You could however run the boundary wire along the barbed wire using zipties to hold it in place. That would eliminate the need to bury wire.

Joanie August 15, 2011 at 2:47 pm

We live on a lake. we want to put the wire into the lake as the dogs like to swim in summer. during the winter however, they go out on the frozen lake. this i don’t want. will the wire under the lake transmit through a foot of ice?

ADMIN – Hi Joanie,

The answer depends on how widely you set the transmitter. Generally if you have the boundary set wide enough that it will transmit through the water, it will also transmit through the ice.

Brian August 11, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Can I use any 18 gauge wire or does it have to be wire specifically for invisible fences? Also, how deep can I bury it before it is non effective? Thank you.

ADMIN – Hi Brian,

You can use any insulated 18 gauge wire. The best type of wire is rated for direct burial. If you use regular PVC insulated house wiring, it tends to rot out in the ground.

You can bury the wire about 1 foot deep before the signals start to have trouble reaching the surface.

Julie Thaxton July 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm

My husband and I are getting ready to install our Ultrasmart 4100 dog fence next week. We had the cable, gas, electric and phone company come out and spray paint where all the wires are in the the ground. I am kind of confused on where to lay out/bury the dog fence wire around all of the in ground existing wires! It seems the cable one maybe the most important one that may cause trouble. I read something about it in the instructions that the cable wire may interfere with the remote system, causing unnecessary shocks to the dog if the wire is buried too close to the existing cable wire. It said something about burying it 10 feet away or run it perpendicular across the cable wires. I don’t see how this can be done! It seems the orange markings are over the front yard in different places and there is not much front yard anyway! Please let me know what to do. Thanks so much!

Admin- Hi Julie,

If you are crossing the buried utility lines at ninety degrees you will be fine. We recommend layout your wire out in your planned route and test the fence with the collars before burying the wire. If you have interference issues, you will be able to adjust the wire to avoid any interference problems.

Cindy July 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm

We have 45lb Pit mix who likes to bound over the 6′ wall and smile at the neighbors. The neighbors do not mind the intrusion but we are all worried that she is going to get hurt. We really want a system with rechargeable batteries (Innotek/PetSafe UltraSmart IUC 4100 is our first thought) but our neighbor has the Humane contain system. What are the chances of interference between the 2 systems? Would we be better off with the Perimeter Technologies Ultra Dog Fence? The neighbors Humane contain eats batteries and they are not cheap and have to be special ordered and that is main reason we wanted rechargeable but is it worth the risk of interference? Thank you in advance – love the site

Admin- Hi Cindy,

There is a good chance that there will be interference issues with the two systems. If you purchased the Innotek IUC-4100 and found that the two systems have problems operating in close proximity, the boundary wires would need to be separated by 15 feet. Your best option to avoid interference problems would be the Perimeter Technologies Ultra.

Amy July 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

Our yard is fenced on 3 sides, can we only put a electric fence in the front to prevent the dog from going into the street?

Admin- Hi Amy,

For sure, you can install the boundary wire in what we call single-sided boundary to block off the road. Please view your layout diagram.

Single Sided Boundary- http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#singleside

Mark July 7, 2011 at 2:06 am

Hi, I have 2 large dogs, 1 german shepherd (around 90 lbs) and a black lab mixed (around 95 lbs) and they keep jumping up to the 6 ft wall fence (with around 2.5 ft concrete block at the bottom and metal fence on the top) and bark at people, cars, and other animal that passes by and I intense to keep them away from the fence so can I run a “vertical double loop” wire for this type of system within the 2.5 ft concrete blocks on the bottom part of my wall? I mean, do I have enough clearance for the double loop? Thanks Mark

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

Ideally you would have 6 feet of separation for a vertical double loop. You could get down to 4 feet in a pinch – but 2.5 feet would be too little separation.

You could run the vertical double loop, but I would run one wire at the top of the metal fence and the return leg near the bottom of the concrete block.

Kim July 5, 2011 at 11:33 am

Hi, I bought the innotek 4100 a couple of months ago, it is installed and the dog is trained. Now all of a sudden the alarm is going off on the box and the light is flashing red and green. The collar was not even on the dog at the time. I shut it off for a while, then its fine for an hour or so, the starts again. Any ideas?

ADMIN – Hi Kim,

The red and green flashing light on the Innotek IUC-4100 is the battery reminder – a legacy feature on the system that needs to be switched off. Go to the control box, find the middle switch labeled “recharge reminder” and switch it to the “Off” position (NOT A, or B)

The red and green flashing happens once a month and is meant to remind you to recharge the collar. It does not know if the collar actually needs recharging, it is just a ‘dumb’ once a month timer. You are meant to switch the reminder from A to B and vice-versa to reset it. But, on the modern collars the collar itself reminds you to recharge it when the battery is running low. Hence, we just switch the base station reminder off.

brad June 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

Hey I have the innotek and its all hooked up the collar beeps when close to the wire but the dog just walks through he got zapped maybe twice out of 20 times going through it. What could I look for?

ADMIN – Hi Brad,

First I would test the system with the collar and make sure it is consistently triggering at least 3-5 feet before the boundary wire. If not, then increase the boundary width on the system by turning up the boundary width dial.

Second, I would check that the collar is properly fitted. That is the most common cause of an inconsistent correction. If you have the Innotek IUC-4100/5100 then use the collar fit mode. If not, make sure you can see the collar prongs touching skin. This is a little messy at first and involves you jiggling the collar and moving hair out of the way. For long hair dogs, you may need to trim the fur a little. The collar also needs to be tight enough that you can slip two fingers in between the collar and the dog’s neck, but not a lot more.

It is also worth testing the collar with the supplied tester (or the hand of a brave/dim-witted volunteer) to make sure the collar is actually correcting.

Ed Scott June 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I just ordered an Innotek 5100 and plan to put a loop around front of house about 200′ x 80′. Can i put part of the return loop in copper house gutters to allow movement from house to yard? Thanks,

ADMIN – Hi Ed,

Yes. You can run the wire through metal gutters including copper to go up and over the house.

LB May 30, 2011 at 12:34 am

I have the twisted wire running along a conduit for wiring in an outside building. Does the twisted wire cause the regular wiring to pick up the dig fence signal?

ADMIN – Hi LB,

The twisted wire will not cause the signal to get induced in any other type of household wiring. You can indeed run it up alongside the house wiring.

Jay May 27, 2011 at 10:58 pm

I’m planning on putting in the inground fence this weekend but we have a dirt road and when it rains, and we drive over it we sink quite far, is there anything we can do to protect the wire from breaking.

ADMIN – Hi Jay,

Place the wire in a flexible conduit like an old hose pipe or an irrigation pipe when you bury it across the road. This will protect the wire when you drive over it. You also want to build in a little extra slack int eh wire around this area so that it can move a little. Avoid a rigid conduit like PVC in this situation because in muddy conditions, the PVC will tend to snap when driven over.

steve May 25, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Little confused, in one response the answer was that the wire could be close to an electrical panel. In another response, the answer was that the wire had to be 6 feet from the pool pump. What would happen if the wire was closer than 6 feet to the pool motor and pool electrical box?

ADMIN – Hi Steve,

Ideally, you would keep the dog fence wire 6+ feet away from any other parallel wiring wiring. As a practical matter this is impossible on most installations.

The reason you want the separation is that in a small amount of cases where you have nearby parallel wires, the dog fence signal gets induced in those other wire and then those wires also act as the dog fence. When we are faced with needing to lay wires closer than we would like, you just need to test the area around the pool to make sure the collar is not triggering in any undesirable locations before we start using the collar with the dog.

The pool pump should be a non-issue. But, you want to avoid running the wire parallel and within 6 feet of long stretches of the pool wiring.

Cory May 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I am looking for an efficient way to install inground dog fencing through multiple sections of english ivy. I don’t want to lay it on/under the ivy as there are many rabbits and squirrels in the area that may chew it. I also perform periodic clearing of sections of ivy. I was thinking of running the wire through a 100′ section of garden hose and putting the hose under the ivy. Would the hose create any interference with the signal? Do you have any other suggestions for installing the fence in the ivy? Thanks for your help. This site is wonderful!! Cory

ADMIN – Hi Cory,

That will work well. The dog fence signals can transmit through garden hose. You could also use irrigation pipe (used for inground sprinkler systems), it is a little cheaper and easier to work with than hose pipe – but not quite as strong.

To get the wire into the hose, if it is too long to feed through, slit the hose and then feed the wire in.

Mike April 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Sorry if I am asking a repetitive question, but I live out in the country and have a barb wire fence around most of the perimeter that I want to put the dog wire. No other metal to speak of nearby except the barb wire. It would a lot easier for me to just zip tie the dog wire to the barb wire, rather than bury it, but am I just asking for trouble? I know that testing it is the only true way to know if it will interfere or not, but this is a five acre parcel and I’d only want to do it once if possible. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Mike,

You can attach the dog fence wire to the barbed wire without any interference issues. It is only electrified wire that causes problems. Zip-ties and twist-ties work great and are a lot faster than burial as you mention.

Heather April 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm

fantastic wealth of info above! I have a question tho – how would you handle burying (or not burying) wire on a driveway made of pavers? the other edge of this driveway is the paved road with no space in between to dig. is there anything like a flat rubber threshold that i could put the wire under then use some sort of adhesive (like liquid nails) to keep it in place? and also, which is the system that the sensitivty can be adjusted to be very close to the wire? along one side of property is only about 8′ between house and neighbor’s fence. we have about 1/4 acre that’s partially fenced in wooden split rail (will staple to bottom rung of fence) and after reading everything above, i think we can handle it except for the paver question…
thanks in advance!

ADMIN – Hi Heather,

There are wire covers that are used to keep extension cords down that you can purchase online through Amazon and such. If you want to keep it simple, we often use a section of garden hose across driveways that we cannot cut into or bury underneath.

You will be able turn down the boundary width as well. We recommend a boundary width of 3 to 5 feet.

Marcia April 22, 2011 at 11:48 am

Years ago we tried to install a buried pet fence before and had some difficulties. Our neighbor has an invisible fence already buried on the property line between our lots. Our side yard is very thin on this side of the house. There is only 3′ – 5′ from the property line to our house. Where or how do we install the wire on this side of the house? We want to enclose the entire 3/4 acre lot, including a driveway.

Our previous dog was old, small and played well with the neighbor’s dogs and they didn’t mind our dog visiting their 2 dogs, so we didn’t install it then, but our dog passed last Fall and we have adopted a new dog that is invisible fence trained and want to install one now. She is 2yrs old and around 55 lbs. I would greatly appreciate your recommendations.

Really love the website and reading through the comments and your answers and learning tips I didn’t know I wanted to know :)

Thanks, Marcia

ADMIN – Hi Marcia,

Thanks for the feedback! If you want to install a fence and not receive any interference from your neighbor, my recommendation is to go with the Perimeter Technologies Ultra Fence.

You’ll be able to lay your boundary wire right beside your neighbors and not have a problem. With only 3-5 feet of space on that side of the home, you’re dog will not be able to travel through that side of yard. Do you see this causing an issue?

Layne Bunger April 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I have a 15 month old husky male that has learned to jump our chain link fence. What option(s) do I have to contain/train the dog? I live in South Dakota and we had almost two feet of snow in our yard this winter, but the dog didn’t leave. Once spring came he started to jump and roam. We had him fixed hoping it would help, but he still jumps. Would I be able to mount a wire around the top of the fence instead of burying it?

Admin- Hi Layne,

A good option for your Husky would be the Innotek IUC-4100. The system can contain up to 25 acres and you will be able to attach the wire to the top of the chain link fence. With good training you should be able prevent any containment issues almost immediately. Layouts where there is already a fence in place tend to be particularly easy to train the dogs because there is a easily recognizable boundary for the dog to learn.

Mark April 18, 2011 at 9:05 am

I have a dog that is a “digger” and she has already dug through buried chicken wire. I’ve looked into the buried wire fences before, but was told that she may dig and break the wire. I have a chain link fence surrounding my back yard (which she digs under to get out) and was wondering if I could run the wire for the electric fence through the loops on the bottom of the fence rather than burying it to avoid this.

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

With the signal transmitting multiple feet off the wire, chances are slim to none that your dog will ever have the chance to get close enough to the wire to dig up and destroy the buried wire. Also, when you combine the dog fence with your physical fence, you should see this digging problem solved immediately. But, running the wire through your fence as you mentioned will work as well.

Jeff March 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I am helping my parents with an invisible fence installation. They currently have an existing metal fence around their property. Our plan is to mount the wire on the exiting metal fence around the property. If we run the wire through the existing metal fence, would we still have to make a complete loop of the wire?

Admin- Hi Jeff,

That sounds like a good idea. I would recommend mounting the wire 12 to 18 inches off the ground.
Absolutely, the wire has to make a complete loop around the containment area for the system to work.

Tammy Harris March 16, 2011 at 8:07 am

I am gonna be getting a schweenie puppy in 3 weeks when it will be 7 weeks old. Im wondering what kind of fence would you suggest for her. And also at what age should i start training her to use the system. Thank you Tammy Harris

Admin- Hi Tammy
If you think that your Schweenie is going to weight more than 12-pounds than I would recommend the Innotek 4100. If your Schweenie is smaller than 12-pounds than I would recommend getting the PetSafe Little Dog(Pig00-10773). We recommend waiting until a dog is at least 6 months old before you start training.

Erin March 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Hi, we have a 4 year old boxer/lab mix. She is a runner and she is very fast. We are worried an electric fence wouldn’t even register with her, that she would get up to speed and run right through without even noticing the zap. Do you think an electric fence could work for her and if so, which one? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Admin-Hi Erin,

I would recommend the Innotek IUC-4100. The IUC-4100 dog fence system has proven to be extremely reliable and durable. The 4100 will fit your boxers/lab perfectly. It has a slim, low profile collar that is rechargeable. The system can cover up to 25 acres.

The key with your boxer is going to be in the training. A dog that runs through a boundary either isn’t trained properly, has an incorrectly fitted collar, or inappropriate correction level.

Frank March 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I have a 50 x 200′ lot. It has numerous underground utility lines. Gas, Electric, Phone, Cable TV etc. Do you have any suggestions for a fence? Possibly a Wireless?

ADMIN – HI Frank,

A wired fence would be preferable, particularly with such a rectangular block.

I would call 811 and have them mark the utility lines (free service). Where possible keep the dog fence wire from running close and parallel to the utilities. If you have to run the dog fence close & parallel, you just want to check that the dog fence signal is not leaking into those utility wires and creating false boundaries inside the home.

To test this, before doing the permanent installation, lay the dog fence wire on the ground and plug in the system. Then walk around the house with the collar and check to make sure you aren’t getting the collar triggering in odd places that are connected to the utilities like the the power outlets our faucets. The is rare, but it is worth checking before you do the permanent installation. To fix it, you will need to move the wire so it is a little further from and less parallel to the offending utility line.

Rogr Brown March 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I have about 12 acres in the back yard that is completely chain fenced in. I have a Brittany CS and he is now 1 year old and is jumping the 4 ft high fence. Can i weave the underground fence around the whole property on the Chain fence. FYI the Chain Fence has the rubber coating on the fence.

ADMIN – Hi Rogr,

Running the wire along the chain link fence works great for fence jumping. You can weave the wire through the chain link mesh, or zip-tie it in place. If you use a power weed-whacker along the fence, it is useful to elevate the wire about 12 inches above the ground to avoid the wire becoming a victim of the weed-whacker.

caroline March 6, 2011 at 9:18 pm

We have an 11 week old English Lab pup. We have an acre of property, and a fenced-in backyard. We are thinking about only doing an electric fence on the backyard, and assume it would be okay to attach the wire to the fence, rather than putting underground. Do you think it’s a mistake to only wire the backyard? Which system do you recommend? His parents are both 85lbs.

ADMIN – Hi Caroline,

Doing the backyard only is fine, especially since you have such a big yard.

The disadvantages of doing the backyard only are:

  • Space – the dog gets less area in which to play
  • Not Able to Guard – the dog cannot protect front of the house (or even act as a visual deterrent)

The advantages are:

  • Pedestrians – the dog will be less likely to bark pedestrians walking by. Dogs on an electronic containment system can scare new neighbors, because they don’t realize the dog is contained
  • Landscaping – keeping the dog away from the front yard, means containing any digging or other doggy mayhem to the backyard where it is less visible

If you already have a fence in place, mounting the wire on the fence rather than burying it works great. If possible elevate the wire a foot above the ground so that it does not get hit by the weed-eater.

Blaine March 2, 2011 at 12:16 am

I already have a fenced in backyard (about 1 acre in size) one dog digs and the other that climbs. The neighbor has small dogs (Jack Russel Terriers I think) that like to put their paws up on the fence and bark at my dogs. I though about using a 14 gauge solid wire THHN and attaching it to the fence with zip ties and running it in a loop around the back yard and around the front of the house to complete the loop. I am looking at the 14 wire for durability, and I cannot find a 16 or 18 solid at my hardware store. I really want something that will last, will the heavier gauge change the way the system works? Any suggestions for system? both dogs are around 35 pounds and both can be stubborn.

ADMIN – Hi Blaine,

What breed of dogs are they? The Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice. I would be surprised if a 35 lb dog required anything as strong as the PetSafe Stubborn collars, although these collar would also be a good choice too, provided you kept them turned down low.

The 14 gauge wire will work great. You should also be fine with something thinner, particularly when the wire is attached to a fence, it does not experience a lot of wear.

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