Planning a Dog Fence for a Future Dog

Reader, Tiffany has questions about installing a dog fence for a new rescue dog.

I’m thinking of installing a system around our property before getting our next dog–we recently lost our last baby to truck-chasing on the busy road out front–and I have several questions about it, even after reading the existing comments…

I think the main trunk line for local phone service is buried across the front of our yard; will this also experience signal induction from the fencing line? I don’t think the neighbors would be too thrilled with the interference, in our rural area most services are already shades of crappy…

Also, would putting the line in a shallow trench around the perimeter of our 3-acre property, covered over by a line of bricks and/or cinderblocks, create a problem as far as signal is concerned? I’d like to try and keep the bricks/blocks level to the ground to facilitate mowing, but with our heavy clay soil and large number of moles, I’d prefer easy access for repair purposes. I understand that it might mean adjusting the boundary width accordingly, but I’d be taking that into account with the initial layout. (nothing left to chance, I only wish I’d realized the relative cost savings and installed a system sooner…)

Lastly, I’m not sure yet what size or type of dog we’ll have next, though it’s likely it’ll be a rescue of some sort. Which systems would be able to accommodate several different collars suited to different sizes of dogs? I know if we were to get a puppy, I’d be starting with a PetSafe Little Dog, and knowing my luck I’d end up with a PetSafe Stubborn at some point (I like a dog with brains, but it has its downsides…) I’m trying to keep my options open, but still plan for all comers. And is there a limit to the number of collars a system can reasonably support? Not like 20 dogs, but to have a spare or 2 for visiting family (all previously trained to this sort of fence, thankfully, as our dog was at their houses…)


Hi Tiffany,

Sorry to hear about your loss.

(1) You want to avoid running the wire both close and parallel to the telephone wire. You are unlikley to get interference with the phone, but in rare circumstances the dog fence signal when there are long parallel runs can get induced in the phone wire, and everywhere the phone wire runs will act like dog fence.

(2) No, keeping a row of bricks on top of the wire is not going to cause any problems.

(3) I would hold off on getting the system until you have decided on your dog. That way you can get a system that is perfectly suited to the dog. If you want to put the wire in now, just purchase the wire.

When you do get a system, I would get either the PetSafe Inground, PetSafe Little Dog, or PetSafe Stubborn. Those three systems let you mix and match collars between them, so you could accommodate any dog that comes your way.

(4) With the wired systems, there is no limit to the number of collars you can use on the system.

FYI – we generally don’t start puppies until they are about 6 months old, before that they are too goofy to be responsive to the training. With a rescue, I try and wait about a month before I do the training, so the dog has the chance to develop a good bond and settle into their new home. Introducing too many new things at once can be overwhelming.

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