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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{ 150 comments… read them below or add one }

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.

john g February 27, 2011 at 6:22 pm

4 (80+ lb )dogs , 2 youngsters , two old timers. 1.25 acres. 3 sides wooded , one side mowed with gravel driveway(s)….. mostly mountainside any suggestions for a system?

oldest = chow / g shep 12 90lb
then = chow / golden 10 80lb
then = plott hound / black lab 2 75lb
the baby is black lab/g shep is about one year and 90lbs (he is still growing!)

the two younger ones play constantly and very rough….(will they destroy collar transmitters?)
the chows grew up in a fenced in yard , but dont know the boundaries of their new yard.
the youngest listens ok , and comes when he is called , but they all pester one certain neighbor…..
the plott is a hound , and bolts whenever she gets a chance….(she always goes to the same spot- and comes right away when we go after her)

ADMIN – You could use an Innotek IUC-4100 which has a smaller rechargeable collar. Or a PetSafe Stubborn, which is a larger and cheaper, but still good system. Both will work nicely with your mix of dogs.

You want to catch collar chewing early, because it can damage the collar. We usually spray a bit of bitter apple (a $2-3 vile tasting spray available in the pet section of most supermarkets) on the
collars for the first couple of weeks to give them a negative association with chewing the collars.

Mark February 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I read a review by a customer that said that he contacted Petsafe help because he wanted to have essentially a doorway out of the loop. He reported that they said this can be done by putting the wire undergound in metal conduit. Does this seem correct?

Admin – Hi Mark

Possible, Metal would simply disrupt the signal. I would recommend using twisted wire to create a safe crossing zone. Take a look at our page with that information…
I hope this is helpful.

Shelby February 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I am very interested in the Innotek UltraSmart IUC 4100, my question is, when I plan on laying the wire can I make a containment area inside of the perimeter. I ask because we have a garden that needs to be protected from our dog. If you need a diagram just let me know. Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Shelby,

Yes, you can have additional loops inside the main loop to protect parts of the garden from the dog. You can also use the wireless outdoor pods in conjunction with the Innotek 4100 to keep the dogs out of small areas within the garden. Please take a peak at the “Exclusion Zone” illustration on our Dog Fence Planning page for more information on this type of fence layout.

Janet February 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I am looking into getting an invisible fence to contain our 45-pound 1 1/2 year-old hound mix, who has been finding every means possible to escape our fenced areas. The fences are coated wire mesh (2-inch openings) with ivy growing over them — one is next to the house and the other goes around a swimming pool. I’d like to contain both areas along the perimeter of a larger overall fenced area. Can I thread the invisible fence wire through parts of the metal fences, or do I need to lay it further away, and how far away? Also, she is very headstrong and doesn’t mind very well when she’s outside. What strength collar would be best to use? I’m looking at the PetSafe system but am open to other systems as well.

Admin – Janet

The wire can be attached to your existing fence and will work just as well. You can weave the wire through the fence, or use zip-ties to hold it in place. With a strong headed Hound Mix, you would be good with the PetSafe Stubborn Dog which will give you a nice range of corrections. The Innotek IUC-4100 is also a good choice if you want something rechargeable. At that size and with that temperament, I would start with the correction at medium and then adjust it after seeing the dog’s reaction when you start the correction phase of the training.

Emily January 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Hi! I have a fence in between mine and my neighbors yard and need to put an invisible fence in, Two questions, can I just attach it to the existing fence or do I have to bury it and two, if the dogs only can get over one side of the fence do I need to do my whole yard or just where they get out, if not how do I just do that side? Thank you for taking time to answer.

ADMIN – Hi Emily,

You can indeed place the dog fence wire on the existing fence rather than burying it. That will work well. I would place the wire at least a few inches off the ground if you use a weedeater along the fence line to avoid the wire getting cut every time you do yard work.

The boundary wire does need to complete a full loop. If your fence is tall enough (5+ feet), you can complete the loop by running the wire along the top of the fence, then returning along the bottom of the fence. If the fence is shorter than that you will need to complete the loop some other way such as running it along the entire perimeter of the yard.

Nicole December 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Hi – I might have a unique situation. I live in a community that has ‘conservation land’ beside and behind the houses. Due to this, we are only allowed to install fences that are 4 ft. high, which I have done. My dog is 80 lbs and and nosey. He likes to stand on his back legs and look over the fence and can just barely got his head over the top ( if dogs had tip-toes, he would be standing on them). This has not been an issue until my new neighbors moved in and they have a boxer that does the same thing. The two dogs wait for each other all day and with happy wagging tails try to get to each other over the fence. Recently, the play has started to sound more aggressive and I fear that they will eventually jump high enough to nip/latch on each other. I am looking for an electric/invisible fence option that will correct the habit of trying to look over the top of the fence so that both my neighbor and I can enjoy being outside with our dogs at the same time. (Ideally, with both dogs having a collar on each side of the fence and not encouraging either dog to engage).

Hi Nicole,

You could run the boundary wire along the top of the fence. Then turn down the boundary width dial so that the boundary zone is very small, so that it is only triggered when they get right near the top of the fence.

If you strung the boundary wire along the top of the common fence line then both dogs could use the collars. To complete the loop, you could run the wire along the entire fence line, or you could double back along the common fence along the bottom of the fence.

It is a little left field, but you may instead want to try getting the dogs to be more friendly. We find that walking dogs together a few times will often go a long way toward getting them to bond.

George Masso December 1, 2010 at 11:23 am

I am currently doing research and wanted to know the best way to create a boundary in the back yard and front yard of the house. Is it possible to splice the lines from each side of the house and have a loop run around the back yard and one loop in the front yard? For ex. I would create a loop around the back of the yard and splice into each side of the house to create a loop int he front of the house. Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi George,

The most typical way you would create a separate front and back yard area is to make a hourglass type dog fence layout, covering both the front and back yard.

You could do a separate loop in the front, and a separate loop in the back and splice them together with the twisted wire. But, having a complete loop in the front would stop the dogs being able to come in and out of the front door. Similarly having a complete loop in the back would stop the dogs being able to go in the back door.

Joyce November 10, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Hello — I am shopping for the most effective dog fence, such as yours. Ammo is a very friendly 14 month old lab who loves to wander down the road, trail deer and moose, or follow people who walk by. I live in the mountains, and expect about 4 feet of snow by the end of winter. How will this affect the fence’s capability to work? We have about 1/2 acre of aspens and firs, and a steep hillside down to a creek. Would this be a problem? Also, does the fence need to be completely on the side of the house where the transmitter is ?

ADMIN – Hi Joyce,

As the snow builds up you just increase the field width by turning up a dial to boost the signal and penetrate the snow. As the accumulated snow melts in spring you need to turn the signal strength back down. Most systems can comfortably get 1-2 feet of accumulation, if you are going to go beyond that – make sure you get a more powerful system. Even though you are only doing 1/2 an acre – get one that can do at least 10 acres, preferably 20. A good choice for a lab would be an Innotek IUC-4100.

The dog fence does not need to be on the same side of the house as the transmitter with the wired system. (I presume you are getting a wired system, because wireless would not work well in wooded areas)

Dave November 10, 2010 at 12:39 am

I’d like to install the transmitter in a metal pole barn rather than the garage. The barn won’t be very close to the fence boundary. I’d be running the twisted wire to the perimeter boundary a good 50 feet away from the metal pole barn. Do I have to worry about signal interference because of the metal pole barn?

ADMIN – Hi Dave,

I am presuming you also have metal siding on the barn? The wired systems will work fine housed in a metal barn as long as you run the twisted wire out of the barn and start the boundary a few feet away as you plan to do.

Beth October 29, 2010 at 12:56 am

We have a 5 acre rectangle shaped lot with a large pond at one of the narrow ends. How do we lay wire so dogs (4) still have access to water? Also it’s October, I don’t really want to be wading in cold water now, could I skip the pond for now and redo the wire next summer to include the pond?

ADMIN – Hi Beth,

If you want to give the dogs access to the water, the best way to do it is to run the wire underwater across the pond. I usually put the wire in old hosepipe or tubing for sprinkler systems (for protection) and then sink it to the bottom of the pond with come rocks tied to the conduit. A word of caution, you may want to think about whether you want the dogs to have constant access to water. We often end up taking away this access a few weeks later after the owner has enjoyed a month of permanently wet dogs tracking mud into the house.

You can run the wire on your side of the pond now, and move it in summer. It will take the dogs a few months to get used to the new layout.

justb October 23, 2010 at 11:13 am

Hi and thanks. Testing the loop with a multimeter gives me .24 to .26 V. A reading at the source gives me .50-.56V. The box continues to beep as if there is a break in the wire. What is the minimum amount of voltage necessary to work? I have approx 2 acres perimeter.

ADMIN – Hi JustB,

It depends on the brand and the system. Often, where there is just a small nick causing a voltage drop, you can turn up the boundary width to compensate and get the system to start working properly and the break alert to go off. Do you get the beep even if you connect a small dummy loop?

Kaitlynn Bosch October 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Hi there, i was just curious as to how many collars you can have as we have three dogs that would need one?

ADMIN – Hi Kaitlynn,

The wired systems do not have a limit on collars, so you’ll be okay with whichever system you choose. If your dogs vary greatly in size, you’ll need to look at getting one of the PetSafe fences and bundling appropriate collars for the other dogs.

Dan October 11, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Help!!! Ready to install a 4100 this weekend, I have a five acre, 18 ga two dog system.
I would like to install the transmitter, panamax lightinging suppressor, and power supply outside in a waterproof enclosure. This would be a very neat installtion in my case. This area provides power away from all the other problems you outline concerning buried utilities, metal buildings and large appliances. I will be over ten feet away from cable, phone and 7000 volt power to the main house transformer. My septic tank compressor and lift station are currently housed in a 16 gauge steel waterproof pedestal mounted control box. There are two 20 amp breakers in the septic tank panel. Plenty of power. I would like to know if I can piggy back mount the dog fence controls in an enclosure as mentioned directly to the septic panel and not have unwanted interferrence or unwanted corrections from the metal box? Would it work better to use a fiberglass or plastic box tied into the septic metal box? This allows me to jumper conduit over to the dog control enclosure. Will I need to be three feet or more away from the septic box? I guess I need more than anything to understand the distances needed. This is only the twisted wire I am talking about. The boundary wire will junction 75 ft away. Also can the 4100 handle the cold temperatures sustained here in Ohio. Thanks alot.


ADMIN – Hi Dan,

Yes, the cold temperatures will not be a problem for the transmitter. It does need protection from wind and rain. We definitely recommend keeping a minimum distance of 3 feet from the septic box to avoid possible interference. However, can you test it? This is truly the only way to know if you’re going to have issues.

Roger October 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Hello, I am considering a pet containment system. We have two rescued dogs, both labs and they are runners. If they run through the ” hot zone ” will they be hesitate
about returning?

ADMIN – Hi Roger,

Once the dogs get through the correction zone, they will get another correction when they return. Once this happens a few times, the dogs begin to realize that they will get a correction if they return – so they will often hang around on the other side of the border waiting for you to let them back in.

It is really important to stop that happening, so when we train the dogs we need to take a lot of care to make sure they do not learn they can run through. A dog that does the 2-3 weeks of training will not realize that running through is a possibility, they will think the only way to stop getting the correction is to turn and retreat.

sherry September 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm

How far away from metal buildings will I have to go if there is interference?

I didn’t make my self clear on the second question. Can I run the wire in PVC as a preventive to the wire getting in the weed eater or mower. I have 2 acres I would like to cover, and don’t think we can dig that much in 1 or 2 days. How deep should we put the wire?

What system would be best for 4 or 5 Boxers? About 15 lbs to 90 lbs?

ADMIN – HI Sherry,

Distance will depend on several factors, but you may need to distance the wire 6 to 15 feet away from the metal building. If you have a really wide boundary set on the wire, the distance needed could be greater.

Yes, running the wire through PVC to protect it from the mower work great.

Bury the wire no more than 3 inches into the ground. A gas powered edger will do a good job.

With a wide swing in weight between your boxers, I’d recommend the PetSafe Stubborn Dog. I’d put the stubborn collar on the larger boxers and I’d recommend getting PetSafe Deluxe collars for the smaller ones.

sherry September 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

Is there a fence I can use with metal buildings? Can you put the wire in PVC pipe?

ADMIN – Hi Sherry,

Metal has the potential for interference. It doesn’t mean that it will interfere. We recommend customers to lay the wire on the ground first, turn the fence on and test the boundary with collar to see if the signal is getting any interference. That way, it’s easy to adjust the placement of the fence. As for pvc, there isn’t any solution like the one you mentioned that will assist in preventing interference.

Raoul September 11, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Good Day

I’m located in Brisbane Australia and have purchased the Innotek Contain ‘ n Train.

Our dog loves playing with the neighbor’s dog along a shared picket fence and there is no chance of them escaping through there.

We’d like this playing to continue, so how do I create a “dead” area in the invisible fence for the dogs to play in without our dog being “corrected” ? Kind Regards Raoul Smit.

ADMIN – Hi Raoul,

There are two way to make the common fence non-active. First, you could elevate the dog fence wire – running it along the top of the picket fence (if it is tall enough). Lifting the wire up stops the signal from reaching down to the ground level where the dog is playing. Second, you could redo your fence layout so it is like a horseshoe, covering only the three sides of the property where you want the fence to be active, then doubling back on itself (six feet away) to complete the loop. This will look similar to the backyard only, or lake layouts in the planning section of the website.

Lisa September 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Great site! Looking to finally make a purchase. We have two large dogs, one 95 lbs, one 45 lbs. Roughly half of our yard if fenced off and our smaller fox hound has begun jumping and digging under and over the fence. We are finally ready to reinforce this with an electric fence, but a couple of questions. 1. We can run the wire along the fence, and it seems as though we will have to double back on it. If it needs 6 feet apart from the two wires, can they be seperated veritically one above and below on the fence, or does it have to be horizontal? 2. Will our large above the ground pool, interfere with this system? 3. When you do seperate the wires by 6 feet, which wire becomes the active one, the one closest to the transmitter, or the one further behind? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Lisa,

1. Yes you can run it over the fence and yes you can separate the wires vertically to create your 6 feet of separation.

2. As long as the wiring and power to the pool is 6 to 10 feet away from your boundary wire, you’re pool should be create any interference.

3. The wire works in a closed loop and the whole wire will have the same consistent boundary width and strength.

Brian September 1, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Great site!
I have a Innotek SD1000 system that works fine. I had to use the double loop install for my backyard. My question is about using the rf choke to find a break. My wire are only about 3-4ft apart, but the fence works fine.

Will the am radio method work with a double loop with the wires this close? I thought it might just pick up the signal from the side of the loop thats not broken. But I have not tried it yet as the wire is not broken


ADMIN – Hi Brian,

What you’ll need to do when performing an RF choke test is to turn the boundary width down to minimum so that you do not pick up the parallel section of wire. Do note that this means you’ll need to walk the AM radio close to the ground along the boundary to check the signal.

carrie August 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Hi i am considering purchasing the system for our dogs,ranging from 2 jacks,a golden lab 8mth ,a mini schnauzer and a 30 lb mix …any suggestions?..i have several acres that i would like to dogs are products of kids not wanting the responsibility and me being too soft hearted.(ps i love them though).thanx..crazy in PA.

ADMIN – Hi Carrie,

Now that’s a cocktail of dogs. :) A PetSafe system will suit you best because you can use different collars (PetSafe Stubborn, Deluxe, and Little Dog) on the same system. I’d recommend the PetSafe Deluxe system. You can use the deluxe collar on the Golden and the mix. As for the others, any that are under 12 lbs need the PetSafe Little Dog collar and any that are over 12 lbs can use the Deluxe collar.

Robin August 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm

We purchased a fencing system from you for our Karelioan Bear Dog puppy & it works wonderfully. We have one small issue & need your advice on how to best solve it. We have a small pond (75 by 50ft) that doesn’t maintain a constant level of water, especially in the heat of summer. Our puppy loves to hunt for frogs (catch & release,thankfully) so much that he fixates on this one thing & nothing else. At times the pond is full & 5 ft deep & other times little more than a puddle.
How can we wire off the pond so he can no longer enter it & does the wire have to be above the water line? The pond is approximately 20-25ft from the wire, will we lose all this area once we wire this area off?
Thank you for providing such great products to keep our pets safe & happy along with your advice & experience. Kudos to you & your site!

ADMIN – Hi Robin,

The best way is to determine where the pond will be at it’s highest level and then decide how far you want the wire to be from that spot. You’ll lose alot of space during the down time, but it will keep your dog from the pond when it’s at its fullest.

Eric Fogle August 9, 2010 at 12:19 am

My wife read somewhere that you should not install the box near appliances or an electrical panel. If this is true, how far away should you be from an electrical panel? Also, does this include air conditioners (if the twisted wire will possibly run near)? Thanks for the great site, it has the best info I’ve come across all in one place! Keep up the great work!

ADMIN – Hi Eric,

You should plan to install the wall transmitter a minimum of 3 feet away from any appliances or electrical panels. The twisted wire running near won’t be such an issue. The key is the wall transmitter.

Thanks for the feedback too!

jasonHi August 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Hi, We have 2 dogs. one 55lbs and the other 25lbs. What system would work for both as they would need different correction shocks. also the system would be installed at our cottage which is manily used in the summer for a couple of weeks and long weekends. would training take longer and be ongoing each time we return?
New to this idea and currently fact finding, your site is the best and need some more help. i have water, a rude neighbour, road and tree line with poision ivy on approx 2 acres. any thoughts or suggestions would be great.
thank you

ADMIN – Hi Jason,

If you want something rechargeable – the dogtra system is a good choice. If you are ok with a disposable battery, the PetSafe Deluxe would be a good choice.

Training for summer houses is the same as for your regular home, just try and start the training when you have two straight weeks when you can train the dog up there. Dogs tend to have a very good territorial sense, and once they learn the boundaries will remember them even years later. If you want, you can put up the flags again if there is a really long time between visits.

In areas that aren’t mode, I find it easier just to staple the wire to the ground with lawn staples, rather than burying it. That would be my choice for the tree and poison ivy areas. You can take the wire straight through the water, or run it along a fallen tree. For the rude neighbour – I have heard a homemade casserole works well.

Chris July 30, 2010 at 11:26 am

We purchased a invisible fence system at a yard sale. It came with everything but wire. Is there a certain wire I can use to install the system? Or is the wire specific to the system? If it’s not a specific wire, where would I find a wire to purchase?

ADMIN – Hi Chris,

Yes, you want to use Direct Burial Wire. We recommend using 18 gauge solid core copper wire. Here’s where you can locate it on our online store:

Chris July 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm

We are moving into a condominium, two grouped together – so we don’t have a complete circle for the fence. Are there any fences that don’t need the circle – or do we have to do the double back of the wire to complete the circle? How far apart does the double back wire have to be? Its not a huge area to begin with – in some spots by the side of the condo its only 10 feet wide. Thanks.

Hi Chris,

All the systems require a complete loop. You have two choices: you can either double back on yourself (the wires need to be six feet apart), or you can run the wire over the roof line and around the front of the condo to complete the loop.

Nicole July 12, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Can get a Innotek fairly cheap (opened but not used) but does not come with the wire (lost it I guess). Do we have to purchase Innotek wire or can we just go to the hardware store and buy wire? Thanks for help.

ADMIN – Hi Nicole,

Make sure to look for insulated copper wire that’s rated for direct burial and you’ll be fine.

Fred June 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

I’m considering purchasing the Innotek IUC-4100 kit. We have a neighbor across the street from us who we take turns watching each other dogs when we go on vacations. They have a system that was installed 3 years ago by Invisible Fence company. I want to ensure that the IUC 4100 is compatible with their system (i.e., their dog’s collar will work on my system, and my dog’s collar will work with their systerm). My neighbor’s wall unit was labeled “ICT 700”, but couldn’t find any other information on it. Do you know if this would be compatible with a IUC-4100? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Fred,

Regrettably there is no compatibility between the Invisible Fence system and any of the other systems. There are a couple of solutions:

  1. You both get Invisible Fence, both get Innotek systems
  2. You get an extra Invisible Fence collar or an extra Innotek Collar
  3. Lots of people will take the collar off the trained dog and put it on the non-trained dog. The trained dog will tend to stay in their yard out of habit. This is a bit risky, and I don’t recommend it – but lots of people do it and risk is relatively low with a dog that is mellow and is a homebody.
Robert Mickelsen May 26, 2010 at 9:44 am

We have five dogs, all in the 15 – 20 pound range. We have a fenced property, but the dogs dig under the fence so we are considering electric fencing. How many collars come with the Petsmart 5100 system? Can correction with the remote be directed to only one dog at a time? How about two of five, etc.?

For installation I believe we can staple the wire to the bottom of the fence posts instead of trenching. What do you think? Will that work? Thanks in advance for your advice.

Robert Mickelsen

ADMIN – Hi Robert,

With the 5100, the remote can only work with up to two collars and the system only comes with 1 collar. The remote can only correct one dog at a time. I’d suggest going with the 4100 system as the collar is not as bulky as the 5100. If you’re looking for a great lower cost option, consider the Perimeter Technologies Deluxe Ultra. It was created by two Invisible Fence engineers and the collar is a great size for dogs 15 to 20 pounds. The only downside is that the collar requires a propriety battery, while the Innotek 4100 is rechargeable.

With your existing fence, stapling to the fence or at the base of the fence is a great installation method and our customers experience great success with it.

Ryan May 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

When I lay out the wire, if I lay a section with triple wire…(forward, back, forward, so I can keep going in the loop, but have created a door) will that have the same effect of the double wire?

ADMIN – Hi Ryan,

Laying out a triple section of wire will act like a single section of wire – it will be active.

Clint May 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm

We are laying out the wire for our installation (about 2 acres). Where should the flags be placed in reference to the wire …distance from the wire ?

Cheryl March 29, 2010 at 10:00 am

My property is fenced with metal fencing and my little dogs find their way out. Can I weave the wire through this fence safely or do I need to put it in ground?

ADMIN – Hi Cheryl,

If you have a fence already in place, I would weave it through the existing fence, or use zip-ties, twist ties, or cable ties to hold it in place, there is not need to bury the wire . It is much quicker than burial and you should be ready to train in an hour for a typical yard. One tip, try and mount the wire at least a foot above ground to avoid it being struck by the dreaded weed eater!

chuck March 19, 2010 at 10:01 am

Hi there, I’m having the lawn aerated and need to locate the twisted wire that runs to the transmitter. What do you suggest? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Chuck,

Finding the twisted wire is tricky, since by design the two wires are meant to cancel each other out. The easiest way is to connect up an RF-Choke just like you were trying to find a wire break, but only connect one of the two wire leads.

philip hunnicutt March 10, 2010 at 12:37 am

I used your tips and had great success installing the system myself. Thanks a million! The dog was trained in 2 days! My dog is a 120lb great dane/ black lab and is not the smartest dog around but he learned very fast. I put the fence on the side of our house. I had to double back to make it work. We are finding now that our dog tries really hard to sneak out the front door and bolt. We want to put a boundary in the front yard to stop him from doing this. A very small one right by the front door to keep him from running away. I can not figure out how to make this work. Any ideas?

ADMIN – Hi Philip,

You could add a really small loop around the front door, then link it to the main loop with twisted wire. A much easier way would be to use one of the outdoor zones (the rock) if you have the Innotek 5100 or PetSafe Ultrasmart, then just use it in wireless mode to create a small barrier keep the dogs from bolting from the front door.

Glenda March 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I would like to install underground fencing for my dogs but I share a yard with my neighbor. How can I install it without having to go completely around the whole building but still contain my dogs on my side of the yard.Only the east and south side of the yard is open and I want to stop them from leaving it without putting a big wooden/chain link fence up. Can I dig two trenches about a foot apart and just run it along those two sides in one trench and back in the other, twist the wires where they go into the house to the transmitter?

ADMIN – Hi Glenda,

You can double back on yourself as you suggest, but you will need six feet of separation between the two wire. Perhaps you can run the dog fence wire along the north and west sides as well to complete the loop? If you send us a diagram by email or fax we are happy to take a look and suggest a layout to you.

paul January 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

What is the life expectency of a system buried in the ground in New England? Would the lifetime improve if barried below the frost line.
What is the standard technie emloyed in the installation of the wire and crossing a driveway?

ADMIN – Hi Paul,
The life expectency is approximately 10 years. I don’t believe the expectency changes based on burying the wire below the frost line. The standard technique for crossing a driving is to put the line in an expansion joint and seal over silicon. Alternatively you can use a circular saw and a masonry blade to create a trench in the driveway.

lynn January 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I have large property to fence with woods on perimeter. Can I just lay the fence through the woods on top of the ground? What about laying it in a rock ditch and then just on top of grass?

ADMIN – Hi Lynn,

You are fine laying it on top of the ground for the wooded section and in a rock ditch. But on the grassed section, I would rather see you bury it if that area is mowed. You could just staple it down there, but you will inevitably get breaks in the wire where the lawn mower goes over which is a pain … so you are usually better off just burying it.

Mark Norton July 14, 2009 at 1:56 pm

I don’t know if you answer questions or not, but can you tell me how close a dog can get to the buried wire before the warning and subsequent correction will typically go off? I have several areas of my yard where the property line runs at an angle to the house and at the narrow points there are only 6 or 7 feet between the house and the property line (where I would bury the wire) before it widens out. Is this enough space, or would the dog never be able to pass through these areas of the yard? Thanks for your help.
– Mark

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

Mark, the boundary width can be set by the user on most systems. You can vary the boundary width anywhere from 1 foot up to 20 feet. Most people are going to want to set the boundary width at about 5 feet for the training phase, but you can certainly reduce it to 3 feet to work with a narrow side passage between the house and the boundary wire.

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