Do I need to Check My Electric Dog Fence Loop After Flooding or a Hurricane?

If you have an electric dog fence such as the YardMax or SportDog you are probably concerned about its reliability after a flood or major water event. The level of damage if any to your wire loop depends on the nature of your installation and other environmental factors such as water currents or soft soil that might have exposed the wire.

The first thing that we want to recommend is to always turn off both your cattle wire and your electric dog fence prior to a severe weather event to allow any animals left in the pasture a chance to save themselves and move to high ground.

After the storm has passed and once the waters have receded it is time to test your electric dog fence. If you have a self testing system simply by turning it on it will alert you if you have any failures in the loop. But before you begin that process make sure that you are not having issues with the transmitter unit.

How to test the transmitter unit

This is how you check if your electric dog fence transmitter has a break: On most units there are two wires run from the transmitter to the perimeter fence wire Proceed to disconnect these wires from the transmitter unit and put the ends of a paper clip or small piece of wire into the jacks where the wires had been connected. If placing this mini-loop results in the alarm turning off the transmitter is working properly and you indeed  have a break in the actual wire. You can also use an ohmmeter if you have one to check the resistance on the disconnected wires. If there is no resistance showing this means that the wires are continuous and there is not a break. This tells you that the failure you are facing is with the unit and it might have been the result of a power outage or lighting damage.

Is my wire damaged?

It is entirely possible that your electric dog fence wire might have become damaged at connecting points or if you used a more economical wire it might have split completely. The first step is going to consist in walking the perimeter to inspect areas where the wire is visible or might have become unburied due to water currents causing erosion of the soil. damage will be evident. proceed to splice cut and reattach.

This is how you do it:

To make a splice:

  1. Strip or peel approximately 3⁄8 inch of insulation off the ends of the boundary wires to be spliced. Ensure that the copper of the wire is not corroded. If there is corrosion continue to strip until you find a spot that is not corroded
  2. Proceed to insert the stripped ends of the wire into the wire nut and twist the wire nut around the wires. Make certain that there is no copper exposed beyond the end of the wire nut.  Now you need to tie a knot 3 to 4 inches from the wire nut. Check that that the wire nut is secure on the wire splice.
  3. Now that you have securely spliced the wires together, open the lid of the gel-filled splice capsule and insert the wire nut as deeply as possible into the waterproof gel inside the capsule.
  4. You will need to snap the lid of the capsule shut to close it down. For proper system performance, the splice connection must be waterproof.

We highly recommend that you buy a wire break kit for electric dog fences.


If there are many areas of your wire that have broken due to flood pressure or movement of soil it might be best to fully replace the damaged areas with new wire. If your wire is tied to fences or exposed consider replacing zip ties if the ones you had have been stretched beyond the point where they can effectively hold the wire in place.

Make sure the wire is in the prior perimeter for which your dog has been trained. This is very important. Conduct a test walk with your dog . If there have been significant changes to the topography make sure you note those, flag them and retrain your dog appropriately.

It is important to remember that your batteries might have become depleted due to power outages on your transmission unit. If your dog wears a rechargeable collar take it back to the station and charge it fully.

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