Fence Mounting the Dog Fence Boundary Wire

Introduction: Wall or Fence Mounting the Boundary Wire

If you have a wall or fence where some or all of the boundary will be, you can mount the dog fence boundary wire directly onto the fence. Fence mounting makes installation considerably faster and easier when compared to burying the wire. Additionally, the wire is protected from natural “predators” (lawnmower, edger, aerator) because it is elevated above the ground. Locating and repairing any wire breaks is also much easier. In terms of convenience, fence mounting the wire is almost as easy as installing a wireless dog fence.

Using the existing fence line also makes containment training easier. The fence is a powerful visual marker for the dog so he quickly learns the boundary lines. The fence is also a physical obstacle that makes running through the boundary practically impossible. So, if you have a fence located near your planned boundary, use it!

Types of Walls & Fences

What types of fences and walls can you mount the boundary wire on?

The transmitter can not be installed in a house that has aluminum siding.  The aluminum siding will amplify or deaden the radio signal in the transmitter.  Also, the transmitter cannot be installed in a house with a tin roof.  This will interfere with the radio signal coming from the base station.

Mounting the wire works on nearly all kinds of fences except Sheet Metal Fencing. You can attach boundary wire to wood fences, wood picket, galvanized metal picket, galvanized steel post, split log, concrete, galvanized metal chain-link and pretty much any other kind of fence.  Metal that has been galvanized has a protective zinc coating that prevents the metal from rusting.  The zinc coating shields the metal inside from amplifying or deadening the radio signal in the boundary wire.  One way to tell if a chain-link fence is galvanized is to look for signs of rust.  If you do not know what kind of chain-link fence that you have, it is a good idea to bury the boundary wire 10 feet in front or 10 feet behind the chain-link fence.

Sheet Metal fences are the exception. Often when you attach the dog fence wire to a sheet metal fence, the fence acts as a signal amplifier and makes the dog fence signal stronger. For some installations this causes problems because the signal is twice as strong around the fence, meaning you have uneven boundaries. (i.e. if you set the fence to be three feet wide, it is six feet wide in the sheet metal sections and only three feet wide everywhere else).

Note that this amplification effect does not happen with open metal fences like galvanized chain-link fences, galvanized barbed wire fences, wrought iron fences, or galvanized metal picket fences.

Wire Mounting Height

How high above the ground should you mount the dog fence boundary wire?

The ideal height for the dog fence wire is the height of the dog’s neck. But, there is a lot of flexibility in setting the height of the wire, so set the wire at a convenient height that allows you to hide the wire.

If a weed-eater or weed-trimmer is used in this area, mount the wire at least one foot above ground to avoid any damage from the weed-trimmer.

Creating Non-Active Sections

If the fence is already a secure boundary, and there are no concerns that the dog will get out in this section of the boundary, you may want to make these sections non-active or have a reduced boundary to give the dogs a little more space. To do this, mount the wire up high on the fence. The vertical height of the wire, decreases the boundary width down on ground level. Depending on how high up you can get the wire and how wide you have the boundary width set, you can even allow the dog to get all the way up to the edge of the fence.

For example if the boundary width is set to three feet and the fence is six feet high, mounting the wire at the top of the fence will allow the dog to get all the way up to the edge of the fence.

Mounting the Wire


U-shaped wood staples can be used to attach the dog fence wire to a wooden fence. Be careful when you staple the wire, since if you use too much force you will end up cutting through the insulation, resulting in a wire break or rust. We find that using a powered stapler or staplegun should not be used unless you have special staples that maintain spacing for wire to be run. We prefer to carefully drive the staples by hand in using a small hammer to give us more control over how far the staples are driven in.

If there is a convenient lip on the fence, you can staple the wire to the underside of the fence, to keep the wire hidden.

Concrete/Brick Staples

For attaching wire to a wall or brick fences, concrete staples can be hammered directly into the masonry to hold the wire in place. Concrete staples can be found in most larger hardware stores, typically hiding in the electrical aisle where they are sold to secure cable or satellite television wire to the side of a building.

Zip Ties, Twist Ties or Cable Ties

You can use a series of zip-ties, twist-ties, or cable ties to secure the wire to the fence. Secure the wire at 1-2 yard intervals. You don’t need to over-tighten the zip-ties. You want the wire to have a little give so that if the wire is accidentally pulled it has some flexibility.

Weaving Through Chain-link

With chain-link and lattice fences, you can simply weave the dog fence wire through the mesh pattern. Leave a little slack in the wire when you run it through the chain-link. One weave every few feet is all you need to hold the wire in place, there is no need to weave through every opening in the chain-link.

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Alissa November 13, 2015 at 3:00 pm


I have about .8 of an acre fenced in with chain link. I have 5 dogs, but only 2 are escape artists! I have a 65lb Boxer mix that puts her feet in the chain link and climbs over the top, and I have a 40lb Boglen terrier that digs under the fence. In a portion of the yard the fence is very close to our deck that the dogs use to go in and out of the house. What would your recommendation be as far as an invisible fence or actual wired fence?

ADMIN – Hi Alissa. Wow, dog lovers paradise! Sounds like you have your hands full. For jumpers, climbers and diggers, we usually recommend laying your wire at least 6 inches to a foot in front of the fence. This way, the escape artists do not even reach the fence to jump, climb or dig. As to which wired system, how many of your 5 dogs do you plan to use collars on? For those that you plan to train on the fence, what are their ages, weights, temperaments and breeds? Do those dogs have any obedience training? Answers to these questions will help me to match you to the best electric dog fence.

Chad November 5, 2015 at 10:57 pm

I have about 5 acre that is fenced in with barbed wire. I was wondering if I could run the wire along the fence attaching it to the t post? Would the post cause interference? Also, what wire would you recommend? I would like to go with a heavier gauge, but I’m having problems finding a wire that says it is uv resistant. Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Chad. The Boundary Wire should be installed 5-10 feet away from metal and/or electromagnetic interference (e.g., metal siding, aluminum siding, metal roof, metal fencing, HVAC equipment, etc) to avoid amplification problems and unintended corrections to the dog’s collar. We recommend laying the wire on top of the ground and testing the collar to make sure it beeps and corrects at the right location on the perimeter loop. Once the correct location has been determined, then bury your wire 1″ – 3″ in the ground or you can tack it to the ground using lawn staples.

Richard Sharp September 30, 2015 at 10:18 pm

If I use twin lead, lamp cord,standard two conductor wire as used in most appliances, radios, etc. where there are two separate insulated wires inside one cable will the signals cancel like twisted ,or will they transmit .I want to run the out and back of the same loop through a channel in the driveway.

ADMIN – Hi Richard. No, we do not recommend using this type of wire for your electric dog fence. What is the age, weight, breed, and temperament of your dog(s)? What is the size of the pet containment area? Answering these questions will help me match your dog(s) to the best electric dog fence system.

Nicole August 15, 2015 at 12:24 am

Hello I was wondering if the sensor responds simply when the dog gets close to the wire. Or can it tell which side of the fence or wire the dog is on? Like if I just want to close off one section of my yard to them and its easie to just make a straight line across the yard to do so. Or if I have to make a circle? Or if I want to allow the dog to leave the circle but maintain them in the other part of the yard will it shock them bc there not in the circle? Or is it just based on distance from the wire?

ADMIN – Hi Nicole. Depending on the model of the electric dog fence, the dog will receive the beep before the correction. Please visit the DogFenceDIY “Planning, Installation and Layout” page. Which of the sample dog fence layouts is similar to your dog fence design? What is the size of the pet containment area? What is the age, weight, breed and temperament of your dog(s)? Answering these questions will help me match your dog(s) to the best electric dog fence system.

Larry June 14, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Hi I have just installed an electric dog fence I have run the wire straight along the top of the bottom rail which is steel like the top hats used in sheds will this affect it at all cheers larry

ADMIN – Hi Larry. What state do you live in? Our sales and support are limited to the United States coverage area. Therefore, we are required to only do business and process shipments within the United States.

Andrew May 6, 2015 at 3:19 pm


We have a dog who frequently escapes the yard by digging under an existing 6′ wood privacy fence. Thus, we are looking to get one of the PetSafe systems. We just need the backyard contained and not the entire property. Thus, will need to double-back the wire. However, the fence is close to the house in some locations. If I bury both the outgoing and return wires with the recommended 5′ spacing, it wouldn’t provide enough space for the dog to clear. Therefore, I am considering mounting the outgoing wire to the top of the fence and the return to the bottom (with 5′ between the two wires).

Above, you recommend not using a staple gun, as this may damage the wires, and instead hand-nailing staples to provide some “give” in the wire. However, If the wires are not stapled firmly, I am worried this will look bad as the wire would droop between each post. Any suggestions for fence mounting to make sure it looks somewhat “neat”?

Have you used electric fence insulator clips? OR, I am considering installing 1/2 pvc conduit, secured at each post (about 8′ on center).

Thanks in advance for your help.

ADMIN – Hi Andrew. What is the age, weight, breed and temperament of your dog? What is the size of your pet containment area? Answering these questions will help me match your dog to the best electric dog fence. No. We do not recommend stapling the boundary wire to the wood fence because of nicks and damage to the wire. Please visit the DogFenceDIY “Planning, Installation, and Layout” page to view some sample dog fence layouts.

Julie April 22, 2015 at 10:33 am

We live on a small corner lot in a suburb and most of our yard is fenced in with 4′ high picket panels due to the city requirements for corner lots. Our 7 month old shepherd mix puppy jumped the fence last night and we are trying to figure out the most affordable and effective way to keep him from doing that again. I saw that you recommend installing the wire on the fencing, What system do you suggest we purchase and also what height would be best to install the wire so that it will prevent him from leaping the fence when excited by the neighbor kids? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

ADMIN – Hi Julie. I’m sorry to hear about your dog. What is the weight of your German Shepherd? This will help me match your dog to the best dog fence system. We recommend adjusting the Boundary Width Control Dial on the Transmitter to the appropriate Boundary Width setting. For example, if you set the Boundary Width Control Dial to 6 you will have 3 feet of signal on each side of the boundary wire. The boundary wire can be installed in front or along the bottom of the wood fence. This prevents the dog from damaging, digging, or jumping over the fence. The boundary flags are set at the 3 feet warning zone inside of the pet area. You can place the flags 10 feet apart around the warning area inside the boundary wire. Then, test the Dog Collar with the Test Light Tool to make sure the collar is beeping and correcting 3 feet inside of the boundary wire.

Johnny April 11, 2015 at 11:25 am

Can you use the same conduit that contains 120vAC as well as the low volts wire for the invisible fence wire? The pvc conduit is 1inch diameter that has a power line going to external lights at a flagpole. The conduit is already under the concrete of the driveway and I was going to use this conduit to cross the driveway.

ADMIN – Hi Johnny. No. We recommend running the Boundary Wire parallel to and within 10 feet of electrical wires, neighboring containment systems, telephone wires, television or antenna cables, or satellite dishes may cause an inconsistent signal. If you must cross any of these, do so at 90-degree angles (perpendicularly). We recommend crossing hard surfaces (e.g., driveways, sidewalks) by placing the Boundary Wire in a convenient expansion joint, or create a 1-3 inch groove using a circular saw and masonry blade. Place the Boundary Wire in the groove and cover with an appropriate waterproofing compound. For best results, brush away dirt or other debris before patching. We also recommend crossing gravel or dirt driveways by placing the Boundary Wire in a PVC pipe, or garden water hose to protect the Boundary Wire before burying 1-3 inches in the ground.

Jessica March 11, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Hi, I also find the article about mounting the dog fence wire to existing fence confusing. My yard is fenced with t posts and 4 strands of 14 gauge hot wire to keep my horses away from the house. An electrician told me that the intermittent solar charger on the hot wire would not interfere with the dog fence transmitter. I have an Aussie mix and a Redbone mix and I need to find a solution to keep them around the house and out of the pasture. Can the fence wire be att ached to t posts with plastic insulators? How do you recharge the collars if the dogs need to wear them at all times? Thank you.

ADMIN – Hi Jessica. We recommend running the boundary wire 5-10 feet in front of the horse fence and metal t posts. You can install the boundary wire 1-3 inches in the ground, or on top of the ground with Lawn Staples. We do not recommend installing the boundary wire across the metal t posts with plastic insulators because of amplification problems that would cause the dog collar to receive an unintended correction. What is the age, weight, breed, and temperament of your dog(s)? What is the size of your pet containment area?

Bruce March 5, 2015 at 12:36 am

I have read your literature regarding mounting the signal wire to barbed wire fence. I am VERY confused now because in the opening paragraph you state that it’s not a problem to mount the signal wire to galvanized barbed wire; however, in several of your responses you say it’s not advised that it will cause an amplification or canceling effect on the signal. What is the correct answer? This is a major contribution to me purchasing an invisible fence.

ADMIN – Hi Bruce. Sheet Metal fences are the exception. Often when you attach the invisible dog fence Boundary Wire wire to a sheet metal fence, the fence acts as a signal amplifier and makes the dog fence signal stronger. For some installations this causes problems because the signal is twice as strong around the fence, meaning you have uneven boundaries. (i.e. if you set the fence to be three feet wide, it is six feet wide in the sheet metal sections and only three feet wide everywhere else). Note that this amplification effect does not happen with open metal fences like galvanized chain-link fences, galvanized barbed wire fences, wrought iron fences, or galvanized metal picket fences.

Dan February 12, 2015 at 5:02 pm

It is interesting that the article about fence installation which is written/located immediately above the questions that you received states that the ” invisible fence” wire may be mounted to metal fences without problems. You state that it cannot. Which is correct? Perhaps you should read the article.

ADMIN – Hi Dan. Sheet Metal fences are the exception. Often when you attach the dog fence wire to a sheet metal fence, the fence acts as a signal amplifier and makes the dog fence signal stronger. For some installations this causes problems because the signal is twice as strong around the fence, meaning you have uneven boundaries. (i.e. if you set the fence to be three feet wide, it is six feet wide in the sheet metal sections and only three feet wide everywhere else). Note that this amplification effect does not happen with open metal fences like galvanized chain-link fences, galvanized barbed wire fences, wrought iron fences, or galvanized metal picket fences.

Ryan Miller February 10, 2015 at 11:11 am

I have a perimeter fence (1 acre) that is T-post and 3 strands going horizontal barbed wire. Trying to keep my 2 great danes from running our 80 acres so trying to contain them and keep them from cutting themselves again on barbed wire again. Can I zip tie to the middle strand and bury the wire under the front and back gate? Needing to install soon so any information would be helpful. Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Ryan. Sorry to hear about your dogs. You will need 1,000 feet of boundary wire to contain your Great Danes in a 1 acre perimeter loop. We recommend installing the boundary wire 5-10 feet away from the barbed wire to avoid signal interference. This can be done by digging a trench 1-3 inches in the ground, or using Lawn Staples to secure the boundary wire on top of the ground.

juanita shupe February 7, 2015 at 2:49 pm

so you have to cut all the brush that the coated wire comes in contact with or since it is coated does it matter

ADMIN – Hi Juanita. The boundary wire is coated with a 45mil thick insulation that should protect it from the brush. However, if the brush causes nicks in the insulation the transmitter will beep indicating a wire break. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to protect your boundary wire from falling debris.

Joel January 7, 2015 at 4:26 pm

I have 10 acres fenced with 2 x4 non-climb ranch fence, my dogs are digging out…I want to install a boundary wire type dog fence system, I just spoke with the technician at High Tech pet where I purchased my system and they are saying not to attached the boundary wire to the fencing as it will cause interference, I am going to return there system.
Do you have a system you recommend that will handle 10 acres as well as being attached directly to the fencing?


ADMIN – Hi Joel. What is the model number of your current dog fence system? Is the 2×4 non-climb ranch fence made of metal? We recommend installing the boundary wire 10 feet in front or behind the 2×4 non-climb ranch fence. Metal amplifies and/or deadens the signal in the boundary wire. What is the age, breed, weight and temperament of your dogs? You will need 3,000 feet of boundary wire to contain your pets in a perimeter loop.

Dan December 20, 2014 at 4:11 am

Hi Stewart,
I have a post and rail fence with ringlock wire. I want to run the wire through the ringlock and past the back of the posts. This will mean there is a 150mm section of timber(the post) between the dog and the wire, will this work?

ADMIN – Hi Dan. The wooden post and rail fence will not interfere with the radio signal in the Boundary Wire. Are the ringlocks made of galvanized metal? If so, then there should not be any wire interference.

Laura April 29, 2014 at 9:55 pm

I want to leave an open space at the base of my yard so my dog can get to the lake with us. When we didn’t have that set up before he would run through the fence to come with us but would not run through other times. We do not know where to get lead pipe but we were wondering if lead tape or copper sheeting might work to shield the signal over a small 10 foot section Thanks for your help Laura

ADMIN – Hi Laura, the best way to create a open gate with an underground dog fence is by using a double loop. That way you can bring the double loop together to twisted wire for a distance then split back to a double loop. This layout called “Gate” is illustrated on our Planning/Layouts page under the Installation tab on the menu bar. Shielding with copper or lead pipe has not worked in our experience.

Heather April 14, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Can you solder your invisible fence to your chain link fence and use the chain link fence to transmit the radio signal, instead of installing wire all along the chain link fence?

ADMIN – Hi Heather, unfortunately no that will not work. The fence is radio technology. It requires a insulated copper wire in a loop for proper transmission.

Steve April 12, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Hello, Can I hang my wire in the trees (I live in the woods), from tree to tree and about 12 ft. high, so cars can go under at driveway and no one walks into the wire. Thanks for your help, Steve

ADMIN – Hi Steve, that will allow the dog to exist as well. I’m not sure if that is what you have in mind or not.

Ryan April 3, 2014 at 10:26 pm

I have read this site but have not seen my question. Can I use galvanized electric fence wire with plastic offset insulators attached to a steel T post for the dog fence wire? I know I will need insulated wire for underground areas like gates but for above ground will the galvanized wire work? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Ryan, unfortunately, you will need to use the insulated copper wire for the dog fence application. This is a radio frequency technology, so it’s a radio antenna, not an electric fence.

Eric Sapp March 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

I have 6′ vinyl fence on one side of yard and 42″ chain link on back of yard and other side. Was wondering if I could run wire down one side, across back, then double back? All on the chain link. I don’t need to do the vinyl fence. Is it possible to have the wires (out going wire and return wire) less than 42″ apart?

Jodi January 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

We have an Innotek system and about 6 acres of horse property. We also just talked our neighbor in to a similar unit! However, when the neighbor installed theirs, they zip tied it to an existing 6- wire hot wire fence, it use to be for cattle but is now for my horses. It is kind of attached a bit “haphazardly” on the Hot wire fence and we use to use the hot wire till one day it stopped working. A couple weeks later they put on the dog fence. We have tried several times to get the hot wire fence back up and working and the main unit still works wonderfully, we also cannot find any connectivity issues with it around all 4 acres. My last effort and question is this: could the dog wire fence that is zip tied to the hot wire be causing a problem?

ADMIN – Hi Jodi, it is not the dog fence. I would recommend powering off the dog fence and troubleshoot the hot wire. When it is solved, turn the dog fence back on and see how it works.

Brisa January 12, 2014 at 3:06 am

I am thinking of getting the system but I have one concern. I would need to run the wire over a concrete driveway. Will the wire be able to withstand the cars driving over it? If not what would you recommend to fix this problem. There is a rod iron gate that is opened for the cars to come in. I would get the wireless system but I can’t afford it right now.

ADMIN – Hi Brisa, You can drive over it with no problem. You may need to replace it years down the road. You can simply cut the section out and splice in a new section.

Luke December 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Hello! Not sure if this is still active. Quick question 😀 I will soon be bringing a dog home that is capable of jumping or fairly short back yard walls. When mounting the electric fence on the wall, is there a way for it to be triggered when the dog jumps a certain height and passes the fence or is it on approach. For example, if I put it just near the top of the fence, a way for it to active upon jumping past the line. Or, just inside and on the wall and it will go off when the dog approaches too closely to the wall.


Kathy November 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Can I affix the wire to a tree trunk where my wooden fence ends?

ADMIN – Hi Kathy, as long as you follow the dog fence installation rules, meaning that the wire is in a complete loop, then yes you can affix the wire to a tree trunk.

Lana Sarchiapone October 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm

What happens at gates?

Linda June 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I recently adopted a dog who appears to be a lab/shepherd/ridgeback mix. When he sees the dog that lives 2 houses away or when another dog walks by the front of the house he runs and jumps against the fence causing the entire thing to shake. I would like to run an invisible fence just inside the existing fence in order to keep him from doing this, because the stockade fence isn’t that sturdy and actually belongs to our neighbors. Would it be better to bury the wire a few feet inside the fence or right inside the fence? I don’t think I can actually mount it to the fence because it isn’t ours, but I could ask the neighbors for permission if this is the best option. (especially if it keeps him from knocking down the fence!)

ADMIN – Hi Linda,

Either burying the wire inside the fence, or mounting it on the fence would all work well. Feel free to do whichever one is easier for your situation.

From an installation standpoint, mounting it on the fence is the easiest, so if your neighbor doesn’t mind – that is the way to go.

Corey April 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Hi, if I was to buy the Smart Dog HT-023 pet fence would I be able to purchase thicker wire to use with it instead of using the supplied thin wire?

ADMIN – Hi Corey,

We are able to upgrade the wire to thicker gauges.

Jeff April 10, 2013 at 5:08 am

Have chain link fence and two diggers. Mounting on fence seems best. However there are high-voltage electric transmission wires overhead (about 35 feet above at lowest point) Will the system work under these wires? Burying is better? Thank you.

ADMIN – Hi Jeff,

The overhead power wires will not cause any problems. There is no benefit to burying the wire (it is only done to protect the wire from lawnmowers, and mounting the wire on the fence solves that problem).

Vicki York April 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Do I need to place the wire attached to the chain link fence low to stop a digger? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Vicki,

You can place the wire at any height along the chain link fence. The distance the dog can get to the wire is completely adjustable. You will just adjust the boundary dial on the transmitter to make sure the system triggers about 1-2 feet before the dog gets to the boundary line.

erin March 5, 2013 at 2:42 am

Have the pet safe unit, meant for ten acres. It has worked for several years, then the kids went for a run and I noticed the loop alarm. I checked each splice, but could not see all the wire due to snow. I just replaced 5 500 foot rolls above ground, plugged it in and no problem. Then in the morning the unit beeping again. I walked the line two times and redid the new splices and still it does not work. Any ideas?

ADMIN – Hi Erin,

The first step to diagnosing the problem would be for us to figure out if the problem is in the wire or the transmitter. I would do a ‘short loop test’. Get a 20 foot section of spare wire and connect it to the transmitter and check if the warning beep goes off. If it doesn’t go off, the problem is likely in the transmitter. If the loop alarm does stop, the problem is likely somewhere in the wire loop.

Which model do you have?

Matt Bowers February 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Finally finished fencing my 1.25 acre yard with a 4 foot wire mesh field fence. I’ve decided on an Innotek 5100, as the fence alone will never contain the husky we adopted recently–he stands 27 inches at the shoulder and loves to dig! After reading on the site I’ve decided to zip-tie instead of weave the wire through the fence. I was not looking forward to pulling up to 500ft. of wire at a time through each weave! I’ve read that corners can be a problem, so my question is this; how gradual of a curve is necessary to keep a decent signal? My corner posts are sections of telephone pole ranging from 14in. diameter (that one was a bear to set!) down to about 9in. Doing the math, that means the 90 degree corner would be a gradual curve over a length of between 10in. for the largest pole and 7in. for the smallest. Will that work? If not, what suggestions do you have? I’ll be using the 14 gauge wire to resist scraping from the branches of the privet hedge that will be growing up through the fence.

ADMIN – Congrats, sounds like a monster job!

You want to avoid having very crisp 90-degree corners. Generally a 1-2 foot radius is enough, although ideally you would have more.

I don’t think the curve on the telephone pole will be quite enough, particularly if you have the boundary width turned up high (if the boundary width is set low, say 3 feet, you may get away with it). It wouldn’t hurt to test it, you might get lucky – the thickness of the poles might help block the signal and stop the cancellation.

The easiest way to do it is to zip tie the wires tight a few feet from the corner on either side. Then as you get closer to the corner using progressively longer zip ties. That way you get a nice curve.

Robert Glass February 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Our ranch fence is primarily a 3 rail (6″ rails) steel fence welded to steel posts embedded in concrete. Can the wire be attached (clipped) to the bottom rail and, if not, how far from the bottom rail must it be to avoid problems? Would 2″ plastic fence insulators be adequate separation? Would embedding the wire in buried poly pipe at gate crossings be satisfactory? We have two giant German schnauzers who love to run so anticipate fencing about 2 acres. What gauge wire is recommended?

ADMIN – Hi Robert,

You can attach the wire to the steel rails. Zip-ties work well. You don’t need to use the plastic fence insulators – but they won’t hurt.

If you are attaching the wire to a fence, there is not going to be much risk of the wire getting cut, so you can use the cheapest 20 gauge wire. This is not a situation where investing in the thicker wire is going to make much difference, but again it won’t hurt.

Joel Lawler January 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Just received my order, PetSafe Ultra Smart unit. Have one question please. i will be attaching the wire to my existing fence approx; 3000 feet 6 acres 4 foot high cattle fence. will i need to use the flags or can i use just the fence in my training? I have seven small dogs ranging in size 10lbs to 21lbs. I have two that are getting outside of the fence a 18lb beagle and 15lb Boston terrier. one digs out the other goes through the fence. Thanks Joel

ADMIN – Hi Joel, you’ll need to set up the flags at the edge of the boundary signal in order to train your dogs this new invisible barrier that exist in front of the physical fence. Doing this will alleviate any confusion on your dogs part. The physical fence gives them the only option of turning around.

Johnny May 30, 2012 at 11:02 am

I just purchased the PTPCC200K system that has 500 ft of wire, in case I run out of wire for just a few feet, can I run to say radio shack and grab some wire of the same gauge and extend it, will that work?

Admin- Hi Johnny,
Absolutely, you can purchase the wire at a local store. Just make sure the wire is the same gauge and is rated for direct burial.

Mike May 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I hope to be able to use the electric fence. The yard that I want to use it in has an underground electric power line and telephone line crossing it. Can i run it over the power line or will it interfere with the dog fence?

ADMIN – Hi Mike, You can run it across the power line just make sure you cross the power line in a perpendicular angle to avoid the signal getting induced along the power line. When running parallel to utility cables, make sure to keep a distance of 6 to 10 feet depending on how far the boundary signal travels from the boundary wire.

Cory April 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Hi, I am planning an install, probably using the PetSafe small-dog deluxe for a 12lb Terrier. On one side of the house is an aluminum fence with vertical bars about every 6 inches. It also has horizontal bars at the top and bottom. This runs for about 100 Ft. Would the aluminum interfere with the signal? And, how would you run the wire on this kind of fence – on the vertical or horizontal bars?
I could bury the wire but it would not be so easy in this location.

Admin-Hi Cory,

You should be able to mount the wire to the aluminum fence without worries; however, if there was any interferences to accrue. It would be signal amplification, meaning that the signal might project off of the fence a little further than you have it set for. You should be able to find some insulated connecters at the local hardware store to connect the wire to the fence. Also, you could do a combination of burying and installing on the fence itself. The system will work either way.

Elizabeth Gazzard March 24, 2012 at 4:42 am

can I attach the wire to a normal seven wire fence – six plain wires and barbed wire on the top? I started looping the dog containment wire through the plain wire (about 15 – 20 inches high) and then thought I should check if the wire fence will interfere with the it.

ADMIN – Hi Elizabeth,

You can indeed attach the dog fence Boundary Wire to a non-galvanized wire fence. It should not cause any interference.

Beth March 12, 2012 at 8:51 am

We have just completed a metal rod some barbed wire fencing around our 1.25 acre lot. We have three similar sized dogs waiting anxiously to be turned “loose” in the yard. We have planned to run the wire in metal conduit just below the surface. The main reason is that the rodent population is enormous and we fear the if we run the wire along the fence (the easiest) the pack rats will chew the wire frequently like they chew the wire in our car engines if given the chance. Someone told us they chew wire because the insulating coating is somehow coated with a soy based plastic! If we run the wire in the metal conduit will it interfere with the strength of the signal? We live on a very busy rural road and keeping the dogs safely inside the fence is crucial. Hope you can recommend a way to mount the wire on the fence if not thanks for advice about the conduit and perhaps a good system for this application.

ADMIN – Hi Beth,

You can run the dog fence wire through metal conduit, although I suspect that will be a lot of work and take you a few days to complete.

I would surprised if the rats chewed the wire if it was attached to the barbed wire fencing above the ground. If it were me, I would start by fence mounting the wire – then moving it underground if you starting getting problems. This could save you a lot of work, and worst case scenario you will have to replace a little cheap wire. We rarely see rodent problems for wire that is elevated above ground – it usually only happens if the wire is just laid on top of the ground, and even then not often. But naturally, I will bow to your superior knowledge of local conditions. They are some serious rodents you have!

Happy to recommend a system, just let me know a but more about the dogs. (Breeds, weight, age, and temperament)

Ron February 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I have rotting 30 year old wood fence that runs around my 1 acre propriety that I plan to staple the wire 18 inches off the ground. However I was planing on burring the wire to accommodate the RV access on the side yard. I am worried that the weight of the RV will crush the wire. What options do I have. I was thinking of running it through some PVC or heavy metal pipe, is that a good idea?

ADMIN – Hi Ron,

You can definately run the wire through a PVC or metal pipe to be extra safe. But our experience is that the wire doesn’t tend to get hurt by driving over it, even with something heavy like an RV. Even buried an inch or two below ground, the forces caused by the weight of the RV are so spread out by the time they get to the wire, and the wire is so flexible that even without protection it should be fine.

Kim February 22, 2012 at 8:51 am

We live on a ranch that borders a road and has a year round creek. We need to keep our dogs out of the road, and I’d like to install on the fence, but what can we do about the creek (with a fence across it that is underwater for a few hours at a time in big storms).

ADMIN – Hi Kim,

You can just run the wire across the creek. (attaching the wire to the fence would work well) The system will still work even if the wire is exposed to water or submerged during flooding.

Stephanie February 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I am installing an electronic fence for my cat because I live right next to a busy street and there are coyotes in our area, but I would like him to be able to go in the backyard. I am wondering if I can just run the wire higher on the fence so that he can have the run of the backyard and only be corrected if he tries to climb out. Will this work?

ADMIN – Hi Stephanie,

Having the wire higher up the fence and turning down the boundary width would work well with a cat, letting her still have the full run of the yard but not let her start going up the fence.

Note, for other readers, this approach does not work with larger dogs because they just jump over the fence during, and so need to be stopped a couple of feet before the fence before they get airborne.

John Nathan January 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm

How do you wire an area that is three sided with the house being the fourth side? Can you double the wire around the three sides and connect the ends to the control box. This application is for a 15lb poodle who is difficult to contain. Thanks: John

ADMIN – Hi John,

For a three-sided layout covering just the backyard, there are a few options. The easiest is to run the containment wire along the three sides of the yard, then run the fourth side up a downspout along the gutter and then down the downspout on the other side of the house. You can also run the wire close around the front of the house. Finally, as you mentioned, you can run the wire around the three sides, then double back on yourself (six feet apart from the outbound run) to make a big U-shaped loop.

There is more information and diagrams in the Installation –> Layouts –> Backyard Only section of the website.

Claire January 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Hi there, I have a 2 acre block that I am wanting to contain. I can attach the wire to the existing fence line for most of the block but am wanting to keep Bruce off the driveway – can I bury the wire directly under a gravel driveway or would you recommend running the wire through alkathine pipe? Will the signal still be strong through plastic pipe?

Also, as I will be needing much more wire, can you please advise if it is ok to mix stranded and solid wire together? (ie half the section with solid and remainder with stranded). Thank you! Claire

ADMIN – Hi Claire,

With a gravel driveway, I prefer running the wire through pipe. The pipe helps protect the wire from the sharp and abrasive stones in the driveway. Alkathene pipe works. I prefer using something like Alkathene over PVC because it is flexible and easier to work with. The pipe will not block the signal.

Yes, you can mix solid core wire with stranded core wire without any problems.

David Schneider January 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I have the Innotek SD2000 system. I have a 4′ high chain link fence and a dog that jumps it. What would be the best way to run the wire, in front of the fence, thru the chainlinks or on top.

ADMIN – Hi David,

Either location would work. Just adjust he boundary width after you have done the installation so that the correction starts a couple of feet before the dog gets to the base of the fence.

Sheldon January 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Hi – I was wondering, can I use an unused electric fence wire as the actual boundary wire if it remains on the insulators insulating them from the metal posts? In other words, splicing it from the insulated wire to the uninsulated electric fence wire and then back to the insulated wire where the electric fence stops.

ADMIN – Hi Sheldon,

We find the electric fence wire, even when mounted on the insulators does not work well and tends to produce an inconsistent field. It is particularly problematic when you mix the higher resistance electric fence wire and the low resistance insulated wire.

I would use insulated wire for the entire boundary, for the portion that already has an electric fence, you can attach the dog fence wire to the fence posts so you don’t need to bury the wire.

Gary December 16, 2011 at 9:23 am

Hi – I’m just about to place my order with your company but have one question about fencing. I have a pool with aluminum, Ideal picket fencing, powder-finished I believe. Can I wrap wires around this material and have effective correction? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Gary,

You can indeed wrap the dog fence wire through aluminum pickets and it will work fine.

Ann December 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Hi, I have purchased the Innotek Ultrasmart IUC 4100. I note I cannot place the wire along an existing full sheet metal fence. Unfortunately i have one that runs down one side of my property, It is 6 feet high. Could I run the the wire along the top of my fence to reduce the amplifying effect at ground level? Thanks Ann

ADMIN – Hi Ann,

Running the wire at the top of the fence should help, as you mentioned the signal even if it gets amplified will have a lower effective range when placed up high because the signal needs to travel the extra distance down to ground level.

Richard M November 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I plan on running my wire in PVC pipe along the bottom rail of my fence which would make it invisible from the roadside, however the fence would make a 90 degree bend with a PVC elbow is this acceptable and what’s the deal about 90 degree turns anyways how does this effect anything?

ADMIN – Hi Richard,
Bending the wire in a 90 degree angle turns the wire on itself and cancels the signal in that corner. The degree of cancellation is determined by how wide the boundary width is set. So, a wider the boundary equates to a wider dead space in the corner. If there’s not way of escape in the corner, then this may not be an issue. We typically recommend suspending the wire from one fence line to the next creating two 45 angle turns to create a soft corner. You’d do this several feet off the corner.

MM October 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Part of the boundary area for our dog is the electric cattle fence we have. Would we be able to run the dog fence on the same poles as the electric cattle fence or would they interfere with each other?


You can indeed attach the dog fence wire to the same poles you use to hang the electric cattle fence wiring.

Ski October 13, 2011 at 9:47 am

My yard is fenced with vinyl on the front and standard red brand/high tensile farm fence on all other sides. The bracing for the fence is wood posts in corners, wood bracing everey 150′ and metal T-posts every 8-10′ between braces. Will the T-posts or wire fencing cause problems with this type of system.

Admin- Hi Ski,

We have experienced great success when the dog fences are attach to a stationary fence 12 to 18 inches off on the ground. The T-post or wire fence will not cause any interferences issues with the boundary wire.

ljh September 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Hello: I thinking of getting an underground fence but wish to not to bury it. I live in North Dakota and the wind and snow can get 6 feet high and 40-60 below. Would it be better to bury it and how deep or can I get away with attaching it to my 6 ft chain link fence and how high with the snow? Lastly, I have to have the snow removed several times each winter with a bobcat and wonder how I can connect the fence where there are kennel panels are used as gates to allow the bobcat through. I would need to disconnect the wire in at least 2 places and would also be able to bend the wire in cold weather.

I have my yard separated into two kennels with a kennel fence separating the two how does one lay the wire and can it come up and around next to existing wire to close the circuit? I would like to basically have two separate units for each kennel but that’s expensive- so I thought to loop the wire back up again but it would lay next to the other.

ADMIN – Hi Leslie,

With snow accumulating so high, the system would work best if you attached the wire toward the top of the chain link fence – so that the signal would not have to penetrate all that snow.

If you need to connect and disconnect the wire where the bobcat enters and leaves – place one splice on one side of the removable panels. This will allow you to disconnect the wire at the splice and move it out of the way to let the bobcat pass through. Your other options would be to run the wire high above, so the bobcat could pass under.

You would make one complete loop around each kennel, and connect the two loops using the twisted wire. Connect any one of the loops to the transmitter, again using the twisted wire. You should not need two transmitters.

Loren Moerer September 7, 2011 at 8:19 am

I have a chain link fence around my back yard. I have 4 gates how do you go around those to be able to use the gates? I plan on putting the wire on the fence itself.

ADMIN – Hi Loren,

Usually for gates, if they are low we run the wire under the gate (i.e. dig the ground under the gate and place the wire in the trench created.

If the gate is high, you also have the option of running the wire up above the gate.

Seth June 24, 2011 at 1:23 am

I have a fence that covers the sides and back of my yard so I plan to mount the wire on those pieces, but when coming down to the ground, how do I avoid 90 degree angles and still keep the wire out of sight? Thank you!

ADMIN – Hi Seth,

Try to have a gradual arc on the wire when transitioning down. But, if you can’t make an arc then coming down at 90 degrees is ok – just avoid a very sharp bend in the wire.

Kelly Henderson June 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

When mounting the wire on a fence, what is the radius of the shocking mechanism? In other words, how far away will the dog be when he gets shocked? This question is asked because I am wondering, what if the dog starts digging before he reaches the shock area? Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Kelly,

You can adjust the radius of the boundary zone by turning a dial on the main control box. You can adjust it anywhere from a few inches to 10+ feet. Where there is already a fence in place, a 3 foot radius is usually plenty. If the dog is beyond the boundary zone they don’t get the correction. So if there is a particular area you want to protect from digging, you need to set the boundary zone a little wider than normal to cover that area.

Dwayne May 28, 2011 at 7:26 am

Does a metal pole holding up wooden fences affect the system when attaching the border wire to the fence and under the metal fence posts facing my yard? I will be installing the fence this weekend. Thank you.

ADMIN – Hi Dwayne,

The occasional metal support post for a wooden fence will not cause any problems. Metal is only a problem when you have long stretches of metal fencing (like sheet metal).

Kevin May 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I am pretty well decided on the Dogtra EF-3000 Gold for my two dogs. I just have a couple of questions before I purchase.

One dog is pretty timid and will not need much correction. The other dog will more than likely need a higher correction while she is learning. I really like the ability to have the different correction levels and the beeping feature as I feel that it will help them learn the fence.

I have a five acre lot and would like them to have access to the majority of it. I have a layout in mind and I was planning on using the barbed wire fence that runs around the majority of the property as a perimeter by wire tying the signal wire to one of the strands of the wire. Will this work or will the metal in the fencing cause a problem with the signal wire?

I have one dog that likes to pull and chew on the collar of the other dog. Is there a replaceable collar for the dogtra unit or will I be buying a new collar each time she destroys a collar? The product pictures make it look like this is a replaceable collar even if I have to have one made.

Based on this information is there another system that you would recommend other than the Dogtra EF-3000 Gold.

ADMIN – Hi Kevin

Mounting the boundary wire on the barbed wire fence might amplify and/or deaden the radio signal.

The collar bands on the Dogtra can indeed be removed and replaced. To break dogs of the habit of chewing on the collar, we usually spray the collar in bitter apple for a few days. This is an unpleasant tasting, but otherwise unharmful spray that you can get in the pet section of most larger supermarkets or pet stores. Once the dogs have tasted the bitter apple on the collar, they usually leave it alone even after you stop spraying the collar.

Happy to give you some other options. What kind of dogs do you have? (breed, weight, temperament, age)

AJ May 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I just ordered an Innotek IUC-4100 from you guys and I have some questions not covered in the guide.

1. Will twin lead (two strands) wire have the same cancelling effect as twisting wire together?
2. How wide is the field for the various levels of correction on a loop running about 1600 feet?
3. I’m running most of it along existing barbed wire and pasture fencing at about 1-2 feet above ground using the fence posts. Will that affect the field strength?


  1. No. Stranded wire, where the wire is contained inside the same insulation acts the same as solid core wire. For the twisting effect to work, both the two twisted wires need to be in their own insulated cover.
  2. You will be able to set the field width on the transmitter. The minimum is around 1′ and the maximum is around 12′.
  3. Running the Boundary Wire on an existing barbed wire fence will amplify and/or deaden the radio signal strength.
Debra May 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I have 1/2 acre fenced with 4′ chain link, can the Innotek UltraSmart IUC 4100 be installed above ground and attached to the metal fencing? It is just bare metal, not the plastic coated kind. If so how high off the ground and what type of clip or fastener will be needed.

ADMIN – Hi Debra,

Yes, you can install the Innotek 4100 on metal chain link fencing, it is fine if it is bare metal. I’d recommend installing the wire between 12″ to 18″ off the ground. As for clips, you can use zip ties, twist ties or any other type of clip that you have handy. I personally like zip-ties, they are quick and durable.

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