Good old fashioned digging requires the least equipment, but is also the hardest way to bury your fence.

First dig a very narrow trench about three inches deep with a pick axe or narrow hoe, going about one yard at a time.  Place the wire in the trench and then bury the wire with the soil you removed.  Tread on the soil to compact it, then move on to burying the next section of trench.

If the wire does not seem to want to stay in place when you place it in the trench, use lawn staples to hold them in place before burying.

The whole thing can be rather slow going, so budget about three minutes for each yard, longer if you have hard clay soils.

If you have soils that are particularly easy to work with, you can try the following shortcut.  Cut the earth with a shovel, then push the shovel forward to create a v-shaped gap in the ground.  Place the wire in the bottom of the v-shaped gap and then move the shovel and continue the process.  Again this only works if you have soil that is very easy to work with, it will only cause frustration in rocky or clay soils.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Will March 31, 2018 at 10:53 pm

Would there be any interference with connection with no matter what gauge of wire I use if I put the wire inside a standard garden hose to protect wire and connections from weather and burying all together within a couple inches down in ground?

ADMIN – Hi Will. As long as you cut the metal ends off of the garden hose, you should be fine with that set up. Bury depth is no more than 3 inches deep.

julie March 22, 2018 at 5:16 pm

I have a shore home and I live on a lagoon. My yard is stones but my driveway is stamp concrete. Any idea’s on how to do..

ADMIN – Hi Julie. You would want to use an existing seam in the concrete if you can. If not, you can cut a groove in your concrete with a circular saw and a masonry blade. You can read more about this on our Driveways and Paths page.

Trevor April 9, 2015 at 7:37 pm

just bought the petsafe yardmax. whats the minimum and maximum depth the wire can be barried?
I have to cross a gravel drive twice barring it in pvc wont effect the signal I would assume, correct?

ADMIN – Hi Trevor. We recommend burying the boundary wire 1-3 inches in the ground. When crossing a gravel or dirt driveway, place the Boundary Wire in a PVC pipe, or garden water hose to protect the Boundary Wire before burying it 1-3 inches in the ground.

Donna Overmon December 21, 2013 at 11:18 am

Good Morning, I just ordered the ordered the PetSafe Yard Max and after reading the reviews, I’m a little concerned about buring the wire only 3″ deep in the sandy soil of the gulf shores here in Florida. What do you recommend? Thanks so much, Donna

ADMIN – Hi Donna, we recommend upgrading to at least the 16 gauge wire so it will have the durability to last.

Robbin Taylor June 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm

I purchased the Petsafe PIG 0013661, and enough wire to cover our acre. Would running the wire about six inches from an electric fence (for livestock) cause a problem with the invisible fence?

ADMIN – Hi Robbin,

Running the dog fence wire near an electric livestock fence will not pose a problem.

Rusty May 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Hello. My fence has stopped working. I dug up a number of spots and used another length of wire to short the spots together. That got it working. However, now that it has stopped working again I wonder if it is not enough to solder and tape the wire and if ground moisture shorts out the signal. Do splices need to be waterproof? What product do you recommend if splices need to be waterproof? Thank you. We have enjoyed our fence for more than 10 years.

ADMIN – Hi Rusty,

Soldered joints tend to be fragile in dog fence applications. The soldered joint tends to be brittle and cannot deal with much stress, and we find it tends to fracture. Instead I would use a waterproof splice or waterproof wire nut. You can find them in our store, and you will also find them in any Lowes / Home Depot (in the electrical section). While not as elegant as a soldered joint, they tend to be much more resilient to both the elements, and stress being put on the wire.

Another little tip is to knot the two wires together a few inches before you splice them. The knot prevent stress from the wires being transmitted into the splice point.

Pat K April 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

You mention using lawn staples to hold the wire down. Since lawn staples are metal, won’t they cancel the signal?

ADMIN – Hi Pat,

Using lawn staples is fine. Metal on it’s own will not cancel the signal.

Kaylie August 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I have an acre and most of the wire is secured to our existing chain link fence, but wire is buried across the front and back of the property at about 3 inches. I’m having a problem with something digging up the wire at night. Perhaps rabbits? Squirrels? What can I do about this? Every day I’m reburying wire; it’s getting exhausting.

Greg Bazylewicz July 4, 2012 at 10:14 am

We will be moving to a beach house with sand and a gravel driveway. Are there any special considerations for this installations. Sand here blows around some, shifting as Nature decides.

Admin- Hi Greg,
1)The sand will not be an issues with the boundary wire.
2)With a gravel driveway, we prefer running the wire through PVP pipe 6-8 inches deep across the drive. The pipe helps protect the wire from the sharp and abrasive stones in the driveway that will shift thought the year when driven over. The pipe will not block the signal.

william flohr March 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I would like to add this product to my property line. I have T fence posts that hold up wire fencing. How far a way does the wire have to be away from the fence to be effective and not interfered with by the metal T posts.

ADMIN – Hi William,

You can run the dog fence boundary wire right on the T-posts. There will not be any interference from your wire fence.

cari marquez March 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Will the wire be okay if we bury under the driveway?

Admin- Hi Cari,

Absolutely, the driveway will not pose a problem for the signal. If the driveway happens to be rock, we recommend installing the wire inside of a PVC pipe for added protection from the rocks.

Ryan February 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Alternatively, couldn’t you just use a circular saw to quickly make a long cut in the ground and then lay the wire? Same as installing on pavement, but with grass/dirt.

ADMIN – Hi Ryan,

Using a circular saw to cut a trench in the ground sounds like it would work (much like using a garden edger). But, I think it would be a little difficult to do long runs, and it strikes me as a little dangerous. I would rather use an edger, but I can’t see any reason why the circular won’t do the trick too.

Jon Pietsch October 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Can the invisible fence wire be buried next to metal edging material without affecting the signal?

ADMIN – Hi Jon,

Well, I’d lay above ground beside the metal edging material and plug up the fence and test it before burying it. Technically, any kind of metal is a potential risk for interference. However, it doesn’t mean interference is automatic. The best way is to test it before finishing your installation.

Sergio September 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Hi, while I bury the wire if I go deeper than 3 inches the strength of the signal will be reduced in that section only?

ADMIN – Hi Sergio.

That is correct. If you bury the wire deeper in one section of the installation, the signal will be weaker in that section and that section only. This is because the signal will need to travel through more ground to get to the surface in that section and that diminishes the potency of the signal.

Kevin R December 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Hi; Quick tip for those using the shovel method. If you buy an edging shovel things will go faster and you’ll get straighter lines. Edging shovels have a flat and straight blade on them. As mentioned above, push it into the ground a few inches, pry it back and forth a bit, then move on. Won’t take long to cover 10′. After you lay the wire down, all you have to do is walk on the opened ground to compress it. Kevin

Joao January 25, 2010 at 6:03 pm

what is the maximum depth the wire can be buried without compromising effectiveness? Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Joao,

If you go deep, you just need to turn up the boundary width to compensate. This is not a problem unless is causes an issue in some other part of the yard where the wire is not buried as deep and the boundary will now be too wide.

In most circumstances you don’t want to go down much more than a foot.

mary perva January 13, 2010 at 8:59 pm

My question is what do you do when you get to a sidewalk ? do you go under and if so how is this done? thanks mary

ADMIN – Hi Mary,

You can dig under. There are a variety of ways, but one of the easiest is to use a piece of PVC pipe to burrow under.

But, most people will cut a shallow slot or use an existing expansion joint. Lay the wire in the slot and then seal over.

There is a lot more detail in the “driveways and pathways” under the installation menu of the dropdown menu.

Gale September 21, 2009 at 10:57 am

Regardless of the wire burying method, is the 3 inches mentioned here, at any danger of damage if constantly run over by a heavy ride on mower. If yes, would the 18 gauge wire be letter in the long run?

ADMIN – Hi Gale,

If you go down three inches you will be fine even if running it over with a heavy ride-on. No need to do 18 gauge, but it certainly would not hurt.

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