Is it Special Wire?

What kind of wire is used for the boundary?  Is it special wire?  Can I get the wire from the hardware store?  Do I need to get the wire from you?

You can use pretty much any insulated single core wire.   It does not matter if the wire is solid core, or has a stranded core.  Try and find a wire that is “rated for direct burial.”  This wire tends to last longer in the ground than regular PVC coated wire that can break down over time, particularly where there are acidic soils.  You can find this type of wire in most hardware stores and most  electrical supply stores.  It is typically used for sprinkler systems and outdoor lighting.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Wess May 4, 2018 at 11:13 pm

Hi, In the opening statement it mentions that it doesn’t matter if the single strand wire is solid core or braided,. Then in various answers it seems that the requirements is a solid core. I have a DogWatch system that was uninstalled from a prior home. The wire was left behind though. I have 1500 feet of 14 AWG single core stranded copper wire that is rated for burial. I was going to use it for driveway lights and bought it at a good electrical supply business. I have a bit over an acre of a rectangle property. Any reason I can’t use this stranded wire?

ADMIN – Hi Wess. The newer systems are meant to be used with solid core, single strand wire only. Stranded wire can cause the transmitter to read as a wire break.

Jonny April 29, 2018 at 11:57 pm

Do I need to use the same size wire for the entire system. I have 500 ft of 20 gauge wire that came with the fence and got another 1500 16 gauge wire to complete the project.

ADMIN – Hi Jonny. You can use one gauge different. However, we do not recommend using 16 gauge with 20 gauge as the difference in gauge is so large. This can cause the system to think there is a problem with the wire.

Mary April 20, 2018 at 5:57 pm

I have 16 gauge wire used mostly for automotive, will it work?

ADMIN – Hi Mary. These systems need a solid core copper wire with a bury rated coating.

Joe April 7, 2018 at 12:10 pm

Hello – I have about 5.5 acres and would like to install an invisible fence. The amount of wire needed looks to be very expensive if bought with the actual device(s). Would one device be enough or would I need multiple? What should I be looking for to have the best result? If I were to get the wire on my own, what kind would work the best? How much would I need?

ADMIN – Hi Joe. Most of the systems we offer will support 10 acres of wire or more with a single transmitter. For your 5.5 acres, we recommend 2500 feet of wire. This will give you some leftover wire which is nice to have on hand in case of a wire break or other needed situations. If you want to research sourcing your own wire, you do have the option to remove the included wire from any of our kits, which will bring the cost down by a small bit. We recommend beginning your search at an electricians supply shop as they tend to have more options and better prices than your local home improvement store. You will want to ask for solid copper core wire with a good durable bury rated coating such as a High Density Polyethylene coating.

Sarah April 3, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Hi there,

We have a SportDog system which has worked very well for us. Our dogs were trained on the fence with the wire that the system can with but after a year, the wire began to break all the time so we switched to a heavy duty 14 gauge stranded copper wire we got from Home Depot. Although the dogs were trained on the perimeter they have all begun to run across the fence or even lay down in the zap zone despite the fact that their collars are going off. Is it the stranded wire that has caused the issue? The wire communicated with the collar but just doesn’t seem to affect the dogs. What would you advise? They are working dogs and we are heavily dependent on the invisible fence.

ADMIN – Hi Sarah. The SportDog system is meant to be used with solid core wire. Stranded wire can cause the signal to be inconsistent and can render the system inoperable.

Rick sandbulte April 1, 2018 at 9:52 pm

I want to install a under ground dog fence but most of the acreage has a fence around it can I just run the wire off the ground on the fence rather than burying it around my acreage?

ADMIN – Hi Rick. With existing fences, we recommend laying the wire on top of the ground in the location you think you want it and testing the collar to make sure it beeps and corrects at the right location on the perimeter loop. This way, if you need to move the wire closer to or further away from the fence, you can do so easily. Once the correct location has been determined, then you can bury your wire 1″ – 3″ in the ground or tack it to the surface of the ground using lawn staples to hold it in place.

Keep in mind that your dog will not receive a correction until s/he actually crosses the boundary wire. We usually recommend laying the wire a foot or so inside the fence so that they do not even get to the fence to escape. Then you will want to set a wide boundary width for notification.

Bob Hicks March 28, 2018 at 7:30 pm

I have 500 feet of 16 gauge wire that is being used for my boundary and the tie in to the transmitter. My question is what kind of transmitter would I need to make the 16 gauge work proper.

ADMIN – HI Bob. Any of our transmitters will work with 16 gauge wire that is solid core copper wire. Please visit our Dog Fence DIY Reviews page to see what systems we have available.

Tony Rivers December 7, 2017 at 3:44 pm

I pretty much have the same problem with my dogs. I either fence them in, shock collars. But the greater problem is everyone else’s dogs. I plan on putting up a fence around my whole property, but still a small problem. Where the fence will cross the creek there will be a gap either is I leave a gap to allow the water to run under or the water flow washes out my fence. I get some pretty good gulley washers out here in Colorado. I have seen this so called NEW watergap fence called Kattle keeper. Has anyone tried it or has seen it working. cause I am getting to my witts end and I go spend $100 bucks for it.
Tony Rivers

Chris June 24, 2017 at 11:53 am

Can I use 9ga wire

ADMIN – Hi Chris. The systems will not fit anything larger than a 14 gauge wire.

Ted May 3, 2017 at 10:53 am

Can i run 16 guage wire in plastic water line through a culvert in gravel driveway. Will it work other than digginga trench across roadway

ADMIN – Hi Ted. You can run the wire through a plastic water line. However, remember that the wire needs to be no deeper than 3 to 4 inches in the ground. Any deeper and you run the risk of losing communication between the signal running through the wire and the dog’s collar.

Vicki Holm September 6, 2015 at 12:25 pm

My question is: the twisted wire coming from my ProTx-1tm I believe is 18 ga wire. Can I use 16 ga wire to connect to it for my boundary wire or do they have to both be of the same gauge?

ADMIN – Hi Vicki. Yes. We recommend using the same gauge for Boundary Wire and Twisted Wire so that the electric dog fence will operate correctly. What is the size of your pet containment area?

karl January 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm

I have 287 meters That I have to cover the original line isn’t worth anything it’s very brittle my question is would I be able to use RG 6 coax 75 ohm instead

ADMIN – Hi Karl. We calculate the amount of boundary wire needed in feet. 287 meters is equal to 941.60 feet. The boundary wire that we sell (e.g., 20ga, 18ga, 16ga, 14ga) has been tested by our engineers to provide optimum performance for our in-ground dog fence systems. The RG 6 coax 75 ohm wire is not compatible with our under ground dog fence systems.

RhonRae May 5, 2014 at 3:22 pm

I have a creek running through my property diagonally. So I intend to fence in an “L” shape along an existing fence line rather than bury. So this poses several questions: 1) Must the wire be insulated if above ground? 2) Does the fence wire need to be one continuous line or can it have the radio source in the middle and the ends not connect to each other? 3) Must I attach to trees and posts with insulator? 4) Can the wire for invisible fencing be run along a livestock fence line that carries one joule hot wire charge without any interference of either?

ADMIN – Hi RhonRae, the dog fence wire needs to be insulated copper for both underground and above ground installations. The fence wire does need to connect to the wall transmitter in a loop. No, you can attach with anything you choose as long as it does not damage the wire insulation. You can sort of. I would recommend keeping a distance of at least 4 feet away from the hot wire.

Ian Rae November 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I am looking at options to fence in our wooded 10 acres for our two Aussie pups. We have an existing electric fence that is not being used, can I reuse the wire from this fence for the dog fence? I would intend to have the majority of the wire installed above ground through the wooded areas, I wouldn’t be using the electric fence posts or anything to suspend it. Will electric fence wire work for this, or is there something special about the dog fence wire?

ADMIN – Hi Ian, electric fence wire will not work. A dog fence uses radio frequency technology and thus requires an insulated copper wire for transmission.

Mark October 23, 2011 at 9:56 pm

I have a wooded lot I would like to install the fence thru, can the wire be strung thru the woods above the ground a foot or two on post, using plastic insulators to secure the wire to the post?

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

That would be a great way to install the wire above ground because it suspends it off the ground to keep it out of harms way of critters.

Ken Butler January 17, 2011 at 7:45 am

I need to surround 5.5 acres of rectangular land. How much wire should I need and should I use the 18 gauge?

ADMIN – Hi Ken,

For 5.5 acres you will need around 2,000 feet of wire. You will not need to use the 18 gauge wire, the 20 gauge will work fine.

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