Electric Dog Fence Installation

Overview of Dog Fence Installation

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).

The Steps of Installation:

1
STEP

Planning the Installation

The first thing we need to do is have your underground utility lines marked so you know where to be careful when digging. 811 is a free service that alerts water, sewer, electricity, cable and gas suppliers to mark your property with the route of any underground utility lines.

Simply call 811 and the utility companies will mark their underground utility lines with either flags or spray paint.  It can take up to  a week so you will want to call now.  If you have privately installed any utilities like a septic system or lines for gas cylinders you will want to mark these as well.  Most utilities are deeply buried (over a foot deep) and you will only be burying the cables a few inches deep so usually underground utilities are not an issue, but it is better to be safe than sorry and dig carefully in areas where utilities are located.

If possible mark the location of any sprinkler system lines or low voltage power lines for any outdoor lighting system you have had installed.  If you can’t determine the location of these lines, make your best guess.  Damaging a sprinkler line or a low voltage power line is not a big deal, both are easy to fix.  Just be sure to shut off the water and power before you start digging.

Diagram Your Yard

On grid paper, sketch a rough map of your property showing any buildings, paths, driveways, garden beds,  underground utilities and other obstacles.  Figure out which parts of the garden you want to give your dog access to and which parts you want to block access to.

Decide where you will locate the transmitter box.  The transmitter should be located near a power outlet and protected from the elements.  Inside a garage or electrified shed is ideal.

Now determine where you will run your fence.  The fence needs to make a complete loop starting and ending at the transmitter box.  You will use a pair of wires twisted together in places where you want the dog to be able to cross the wire safely. For more details on twisted wire, see here.

Design Principles

Some things to keep in mind when deciding on the placement of wires:

  1. Cross utility lines at right angles – you want to avoid running wire close to a utility line for an extended stretch because, in some rare instances a boundary wires running close to a utility wire can induce a signal in the utility wire making part of your home wiring trigger the collar receivers.
  2. Round corners –  boundary wires should turn corners gradually, avoiding sharp 90 degree turns.
  3. Separate parallel boundary wires – Boundary wires emit signals that will cancel each other out, so you want any boundary wires that are parallel to each other to be at least six feet apart.  Similarly, if your neighbors have a dog fence, keep your wires about six to ten feet from theirs.

Sample Layouts

Perimeter Dog Fence Layout

The most popular layout runs along your yard’s perimeter.  This layout allows your dog access to the entire property.

The twisted wire joins the house transmitter box to the boundary wire.  This enables the dog to safely walk over the twisted wire path.

Where possible lay the boundary wire two yards back from the road to give a good safety buffer for you dog and to allow a space for pedestrians.  Also try to allow three yards between the boundary wire and the house on at least one side to allow the dog room to pass between the front and back yard.

Backyard Dog Fence Layout

The challenge in doing a backyard only installation is that you want the house side of boundary to be inactive so your dog can freely enter and exit your home without getting the correction. However, for the system to work, you still need a full loop of single (untwisted wire). There are a number of approaches you can take:

The easiest way to make a complete loop, while only giving the dog access to the backyard is to make a loop that goes tight around the front of the house too. This completes the loop, but there is not enough space around the front of the house for the dog to have access to the front yard. When you do this type of layout, it is important to do a quick check with the collar inside the house to make sure that the signal is not inadvertently spilling into the house in rooms where you dog will stay. If there is a problem, just decrease the boundary width, or move the wire a little further from the front of your house.

Another popular method is go high over the back of your house. Run the wire up a downspout on one side of the house, across the gutter, and down the downspout on the other side of the house. This vertical height over the ground gives your dog enough space to get in and out of the back door without triggering the correction. As always, you want to test with the collar at the back door to make sure there is no signal accidentally reaching down where the dog will walk. Also test rooms near the gutter line to make sure there is no signal spilling into those rooms. If there is unwanted spill, turn down the boundary width setting on the control box until you are getting no spill. This method does not work with the PetSafe YardMax system in YardMax mode.

The final method is to go around the three sides of the yard, then double back on yourself to make a U-shaped loop. The two opposite wires need to be separated by at least six feet to avoid the signals from one loop from interfering with the other.  If they are too close you will not get a nice strong signal along the boundary, and you may have dead spots where there is no correction at all. If you already have a tall fence in place, on way to achieve this without digging is to run one leg of the wire along the top of the fence, and the return leg along the bottom of the fence, so you get the necessary separation. This layout will not work with the PetSafe YardMax system in YardMax mode.

Exclusion Zones
You can also add small exclusion zones to keep your dog out of small areas within your property. For example you may want your dog to have full access to your yard except a small garden bed.To do this you loop some boundary wire around the area you want to protect and join the loop to the main loop with some twisted wire. This does not work with the PetSafe YardMax in YardMax mode.

 

Figure 8/Hourglass Layout 

The hourglass layout contains the dog in both the front and back yard, but does not allow the dog to cross between the front and back yard. This is great if you want the dog with you in the front or back yard but do not want them crossing between them.
Note that the two loops are connected to each other on the left hand side of this diagram and that they both connect to the transmitter box on the right hand side. One note, where the wires are close to each other as it creates the center of the “hourglass”, you will still want to make sure that they are at least 10 feet apart so as not to have signal interference with its own signal.

Single-sided Boundary Layout

With a bit of inventiveness, you can create a single sided boundary. The only stipulation is that the twisted wire section can only be half the length of the looped boundary wire. For example, if your loop is 100 feet in a circle, you can only run 50 feet of twisted wire back. This install is very popular with people who live in a rural setting and they want to protect their dog from running out onto the freeway. You simply run a long length of twisted wire from the wall transmitter out to the road. Create a long, skinny loop of boundary wire, remembering to keep the parallel sections a minimum of 6 feet separated to avoid the wires interfering with each other. The key for success of this installation method is run your loop far enough along the road so that your dog doesn’t run around it. This layout will not work with the PetSafe YardMax system in YardMax mode.

 


Lake Front Layout

On a lake front property, if you’d like to incorporate the lake into your fence you have several options.  Do note that there is no danger for your dog to receive a correction when swimming.  The correction level will not change or pose any sort of safety threat.  When incorporating the lake, it’s useful to know if your lake front gradually gets deeper or simply drops off.  Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish will determine how you go about incorporating the lake.  It’s recommended when sinking wire into a lake to run it into a water hose or irrigation hose and sink it to the bottom.  This will protect the wire from critters and fishing hooks.

Lakefront Option One is to simply submerge extra boundary wire out into the lake at your desired distance. Do you want your dog to just be able to walk into the lake a few feet so she can get a drink or lay down in the water to cool off? Or do you want to sink the wire over 10 feet so that she can go for a deeper swim or freely jump into the boat when the family goes out? You’re goal will determine how much wire you plan to sink.

 

 

Lakefront Option Two if you have enough yard space, you can use a double back approach to create a three-sided boundary. Simply set an extra length into the lake when doubling back so that your dog will not be able to easily run around the fence. This layout will not work with the PetSafe YardMax system in YardMax mode.

 

 

Lakefront Option Three is a modification of the first where you incorporate the dock and boat house, but the lake is otherwise not incorporated into the fence plan.

 

 

 

Gate on the Boundary

The Boundary Gate allows you to create a “gate” along the boundary where there is no correction. This is useful where you have a physical gate that you want to use in this section instead of the electronic fence. For this layout to work, you will need to use the double back layout and keep the parallel wires separated by at least six feet. Where you get to the non-correction gate area, you will bring the two wires together and twist them. This layout will not work with the PetSafe YardMax system in YardMax mode.

 

Since this requires a lot of extra wiring, many people find it easier to use a non-layout solution. Instead when they create a virtual gate, training the dog that when they you take off their collar and give them permission, they can walk through the gate without fear of correction. This is covered in more detail in the Dog Fence Training section of the website where we look at walking your dog through the boundary.

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2
STEP

Mounting the Transmitter Box

The control box (or transmitter box) is the main control unit for the dog fence. It creates the signal that goes through the dog fence boundary wire and creates the boundary.
From the control box, you can set the boundary width (how far out from the wire the warning and correction start).

The control box also includes an indicator that tells you if the fence is operating correctly and will usually sound an alarm if there is a break in the dog fence wire.

Locating the Control Box

The control box needs to be:

  • Near a Power Outlet – preferably, the control box is near an electrical receptacle so you can easily plug it in. When installing a lightning protection module, the power outlet must be grounded (i.e. three prongs instead of two)
  • Near an Exterior Wall – so you can easily run the boundary wire outside.
  • Protected from the Elements – the control box must be sheltered from the elements, particularly moisture, and kept above freezing. Many system manufacturers state that the control box needs to be kept above freezing point, our experience has been that if the box freezes overnight, this is fine as long as it warms up during the day. You may want to test your system in the morning after a cold night to make sure the system is functioning properly.

Interior

We usually put the control box in some out-of-the-way location like the garage, garden shed, or in a closet/cabinet on the inside of an exterior wall. After completing the initial installation, you will rarely use the control box, so ease of access is not particularly important.

Weatherproof Box

You can also put the control box outside in a weatherproof box. Weatherproof enclosures can be found at any hardware store, and are found in the electrical section. The weatherproof box provides extra protection if you are placing a control box outside under an eave or on a deck. However, remember, your box does need to stay above freezing.

Mounting the Control Box

Screw the transmitter box to the wall using the supplied mounting screws. If you are mounting onto drywall or masonry, you will need to use the appropriate anchors to get a secure mount. Control boxes are light (around 1 lb), so there is no need to mount them directly into a stud.

Installing the Lightning Protection (optional)

In geographic regions that experience frequent lightning strikes, or for large installations (over 5 acres), it is worth installing the lightning protection module. The module is included in most, but not all, systems. In all other systems, it is available for an additional $40.

The lightning protection module plugs directly into any grounded power outlet. Instead of the boundary wire connecting directly to the control box, the two boundary wires connect directly to the lightning protection module. Two wires are then used to connect the lightning protection to the control box. This configuration protects the control box from surges originating from the boundary wire or surges originating from your home’s electrical system.

Getting the Wire Outside

If the control box is mounted indoors, you need to run the wire outside. If there is some convenient venting or wiring already running outside, then use this opening to run the dog fence wiring. You can also run the wire through a window, or under a garage door. Do not run the wire through dryer ducting. Dryer vents get very hot when the dryer is in use and the insulation on the boundary wire will melt when exposed to this heat.

For most installations, the easiest way to get the wire outside is to drill a hole through the wall, pull the wire through the hole, then caulk the hole to ensure a good seal. Exterior silicone caulk works great for this application.

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3
STEP

Laying Out the Wire

First we lay out the wire above ground and connect it to the transmitter box to check that everything is working before we start burying the wire.

Start by laying out the sections of wire along the path indicated in your plan.  As you lay out the sections of wire, Leave about 20% extra wire to allow for burying.  Use twisted pair wire in the twisted pair wire sections, and ordinary single strand boundary wire for the boundary sections.

Now splice all the sections of wire together and connect them to the transmitter box.  Power on the transmitter box.  The transmitter should should show that everything is ok (usually indicated by a green light).  If the system indicates there is a problem (usully an alarm or flashing light), check that all the sections of wire are properly joined so that current can flow and check the wiring layout to make sure the wire forms a loop.

Now test the system using a collar to double check that everything is operational.  When you approach the boundary the collar should beep.

When everything is working, power off the system, disconnect all the sections of wire and proceed to the next section on burying the wire.

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4
STEP

Burying/Mounting the Wire

There are five principal ways you can bury or mount the dog fence boundary wire.

Many garden centers and home improvement stores rent trenchers with a cable installation attachment.  This machine digs a trench, lays the wire and then buries the wire (saving you a heap of time).  If you have everything ready, you should be able to do a fairly large property (about 1000 feet of boundary) in a half day.  Expect a half day rental to be about $40 including gas.  See for example.

The larger models are easier to use, but are more expensive and may not fit in the trunk of a car.  The smaller models work fine unless you are doing a very large area.  (e.g. over 2 acres)

Various trenchers will work differently, so ask the shop assistant to give you a demonstration of how to operate it.  Of course, always use safety glasses!

The video below gives you a general idea of how trenchers lay wire.  Note that the video is an advertisement for EZ-Trench, and therefore makes it seem easier than it is.  Pulling the trencher is not so effortless through most soils.  Still, trenching is much easier than laying boundary wire by hand.  The trencher is by far the best way to do the job.

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5
STEP

Driveways and Pathways

When you have to lay cable across driveways or pathways you can either: go through the driveway (using either an existing expansion joint, or cutting a slot with a circular saw); laying wire on top of the driveway; or tunnel through the driveway.

The first option is the most popular, because it hides the wire and is easy. Laying the wire on top of the driveway is more visible. And, tunnelling under is very time consuming, so we would reserve this method only for a narrow ornamental pathway that you just cannot cut through.

Expansion Joint Method

If you have a conveniently located expansion joint in your driveway you are in luck. You can just lay the wire in that joint, and caulk over to hold the wire in place.

First, Clean Out the Joint. Clean out the expansion joint of accumulated debris so there is a nice deep trench for the boundary wire, and to help the caulk better adhere to the driveway. A screwdriver makes the ideal tool for this task. Then use a pressure hose or broom to clear away the remaining dirt.

 

 

Second, Lay the Wire. Place the wire in the expansion joint, poking it down if necessary with that screwdriver, so that it is as near the bottom of the crack as you can get it.

 

 

Third, Caulk. Caulk over the wire with a waterproof caulk. Note that for most caulks to set, the temperature has to be above freezing. So either wait for a warm day, or warm the cement with a torch or similar.

 

 

Cutting a Slot with a Circular Saw Method

If you aren’t lucky enough to have a convenient expansion joint in the driveway, the circular saw method is the fastest and easiest way to get across a driveway.  You should budget about an hour for a driveway and about half that time for a pathway.  Professional installers usually do it this way, because you have more control over where you place the wire and it is fast.
Tools Needed:

  • Circular Saw with concrete/masonry cutting blade
  • concrete caulk
  • caulking gun

Find and Mark the Location for your Cut.

Look for a seam that is already in the driveway or path. Cutting along seam will result in a much easier and neater cut. Clean out the seams, these joints often accumulated debris over time. A high pressure washer works great if you have one, otherwise you can use a stiff broom.

If there is no convenient seam, mark out a line across the driveway using chalk. The line will help you make a neat cut.

Second Cut Along your Line with a Circular Saw. 

To make a neat cut, a circular saw will make life easy (a cheap $30 model is fine). You will also need a blade for cutting concrete. Cheap masonry blades are available for under $5 and will be good enough for most cuts – you will only need it for one small cut. For some tougher jobs, you may need a diamond tipped masonry blade which will set you back about $15. Now use the saw to make your cut. The cut only needs to be a half-inch deep. When cutting go slow letting the saw do all the work. If you are making a long cut, take a break every minute to prevent your saw from overheating. Always wear safety glasses when making the cuts as debris will be thrown up. If you need to make lots of cuts. consider renting a concrete cutter from you local home improvement store. (about $50 per day)

Third, Lay the Wire and Caulk. 

Now clean out your cut with a broom. Next lay the wire in the slot you have cut. You may need to use a stick to poke the wire to the bottom of the slot – the warning flags that came with your dog fence work great for this task. Finally caulk over the wire with a concrete sealant. You can buy cans of quick drying concrete at your local home improvement store, they will cost about $3 a canister. We like using Liquid Nails brand Concrete Repair, and the DAP brand Concrete Sealer. Cheaper brands are available in the $1.50 range, but we think the Liquid Nails brand is worth the extra in this instance because it tends to be more durable. Most caulks require a caulking gun for use, if you don’t already have one then you can buy one for less than $5 home improvement store.

When caulking go slow and be neat as the caulk will be visible on your driveway. If you are not confident, use masking tape to cover the driveway on both sides of the cut and remove once you have finished caulking for a neater finish.

Protecting the Ends

The most common place for the dog fence to get a break is at the edge of the driveway where the wire goes from the driveway back to the lawn. This section of the wire is a prime target for your garden edger or weed-whacker. To protect that segment of wire there are easy things you can do:

Bury the Wire Deep. You only need to make a very shallow cut across the driveway. But it really helps if you make a deep cut on the edges of the driveway where the wire crosses over into the lawn. Set you circular saw to full depth and make a cut. This allows you to bury the wire deeper and hopefully keep it out of harms way.

 

Protect the Wire. Slipping the wire into a short length of PVC pipe will protect the wire against being hit by an edger. The noise will also alert anyone edging to stop edging in this area. Instead of PVC pipe you can also use a old hose pipe, or even put a rock on top of the wire.

 

 

Laying Wire Over the Driveway Method

You can simply lay the wire over the driveway. The wire is surprisingly resilient to being driven over. It does tend to wear down over time, but you will typically get 1-3 years of wear out of the wire before you need to replace the section over the driveway. Even better, protect the wire by placing it in an old hose pipe, or a section of soft tubing from an indoor sprinkler system. With this kind of protection the wire will last a lot longer.

One thing to be wary of is that if the wire is not tightly secured to the ground it can become a tripping hazard. So if possible staple it tight to the ground on either side of the driveway.

Tunnel Under Method

Tunneling under is tougher but neater.  You will be creating a passage under the path or driveway.  This avoids putting any cuts through the path and may be useful if you later decide to put in a sprinkler system or outdoor lighting.  The downside is that it is time consuming, you will need to budget two hours for an average width pathway.  Doing a driveway is a labor of love.

On the positive, tunneling under is something you would be unlikely to get if you hired professionals.  If you are willing to put in the time, you can get a dog fence with no scarring of your driveway or pathways.

Tools Needed:

  • PVC pipe (3/4 inch diameter)
  • hack saw

Cut a length of PVC pipe the length of the required tunnel.  Now cut the end of the pipe at a 45degree angle to make a sharp point.  Dig a hole on one side of the driveway about a foot long and a bit deeper than you want the tunnel to be.

Use the PVC pipe to bore through the soil and create your tunnel.  Go only half a foot at a time then remove the PVC pipe by twisting it and empty the soil inside the pipe.

One more thing to keep in mind, you will want to make sure that your tunnel is no deeper than 3 to 4 inches from the surface of your driveway. Any deeper than this and you run the risk of an inconsistent signal between the wire and the collar.

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6
STEP

Connecting and Testing

Last step. Connect the wires to the control box and power on the system. Hopefully you will get a green light from the system telling you that everything is working. Hoorah. Do a quick celebration jig!

(We have done a whole heap of installations and seeing that green light is still a whole lot of fun)  Bask in the glow of your victory!!!

If you are getting a broken wire error from the control box, don’t fear.  Nine times out of ten the break is at one of the splices where you joined two pieces of wire.  Check all the joins.  If that didn’t fix it skip to the section on finding a break in the dog fence wire and hunt down that break.

Now the last part of the installation is setting up the boundary flags.  Adjust the boundary width on the control box so that the boundary reaches the desired width.  Make sure the boundary is at least three feet wide on either side of the wire, much narrower than that and it will be hard to train the dog.  It is easier to start wide, then narrow the width after the dog is trained to give the dog more space than to try and train them with a boundary that is too thin.

To test the boundary, take the collar and the included test light tool (making sure you are not touching the probes), and hold it at approximately the height of the dog’s head and get closer to the boundary wire until you hear it beep or see the collar light flash.  Now using the collar as your guide set the boundary flags at the point where the collar begins to beep and/or flash.  Try to space the flags no more than two yards apart, preferably closer.

In places where you cannot plant the flags in the ground such as the driveway, lie the flags down on the ground.

Congratulations.  Take a breather.  Then when you are ready, lets get started on the most important part, training your dogs to use the system.

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164 Comments

  1. Larry says:

    Great website. First, I would like to install fence at our lake house that we use on weekends. Can I install transmitter box in boathouse that will not be heated in winter. Can get quite cold. (Lake of the Ozarks). What system do you recommend? Don’t want to spend a lot as just used in summer. Dog is 40 lb GSP. Thanks in advance.

    Admin- Hi Larry,

    Absolutely, the boathouse will be fine. Cold weather will not effect the transmitter; however, the transmitter will need to be installed in a dry area inside the boathouse.

    A good cost effective system will be the PetSafe Stubborn/large dog system. The collars are durable operate on a standard 9v battery. Also, the system comes with 500′ of wire that can contain 1/3 acre.

  2. Steve says:

    Trying to do my backyard and have the house as the fourth side. I don’t have room to double back and keep 6 feet between the wires for the three sides. Could I run it along all four sides and where it runs against the house could I splice another wire in and twist the two along the length that I need to cancel out the signal?

    ADMIN – Hi Steve,
    Hi Steve,

    Afraid, splicing in that second wire and twisting won’t work – that section would still be active. Another solution, along with the ones you mentioned, is to elevate that wire along the fourth side so it is high enough that it does not activate the collars down on ground level. The easiest way to accomplish this is to run the wire up a drainage spout on one side of the house, along the gutters, and down the drainage spout on the other side of the house. Check out our Installation –> Layouts page for more details and some diagrams.

  3. Greg says:

    I have a rectangular yard and want to bury a single loop around it but along our back yard is a 5 ft high fence that runs the 100 ft length of the yard I would like the dog to be able to get right up to it to. If I use twisted wire along it can I connect the twisted pair to the single wire on the north end and at the south end connect that end of the twisted pair to the single wire to complete the loop. It is not feasible to run the loop back around the yard 6 ft away ( making the horseshoe design). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    ADMIN – Hi Greg,

    That configuration of twisted wire that you describe, connecting both the twisted pair of wires to a single wire, will not cancel the signal. All wire connections need to be one-to-one. If you did the configuration you describes, the twisted section would be active.

    If you run the wire along the top of that 5 foot fence, it would let the dog get much closer to the fence – since the vertical height of the wire above the ground would decrease the effective range down on ground level. If the boundary width was set to 3 feet, the dog could get right up to the fence without triggering the collar, but 3 feet may be too narrow a boundary for effective training depending on the breed of the dog.

  4. Tom says:

    Have an Innotek system for large lab. Have installed wire all around on 3 sides. Want to use twisted wire on 4th side on the river to allow lab to go to dock. When I connected, it made a full circuit. How can I lay it out differently?

    ADMIN – Hi Tom,

    Using the twisted wire as the fourth side of the loop will not work – that twisted section will be active. The twisted pair can only be used to go from the transmitter to the loop, it cannot be part of the loop itself.

    To have an open section along the dock, you can either run the wire low down under the dock along the footings. The height of the dock deck above the wire will stop the collar triggering. The other option would be to make a large U-shaped loop, that doubled back on itself – six feet apart.

  5. Tim Hamlet says:

    I am considering the SportDog system to enclose approximately 20 acres including my pond to contain my Lab. My last system was from Petsafe and was not successful due to the numerous wire breaks due to rodents in the wooded areas, the strength was not enough to contain my lab and finally the receiver was struck by lightning. A few questions for you. 1. Would installing the wire alongside the buried telephone line coming into the house cause an interference problem? 2. What would you recommend for running the wire across the streams that come in and out of the pond? 3. Would I still have rodent issues in the wooded areas if the wire was buried everywhere? Thanks.

    ADMIN – Hi Tim,

    1. I would avoid running the dog fence wire alongside the phone wire. Generally we try and avoid long parallel runs to closeby wire. There will be no interference, but sometimes the dog fence signal will get induced in the telephone wire – this will make all the telephone wire in the house act like dog fence wire. This is not common, so if you can do it – you just need to lay the dog fence wire out, connect the system and test to make sure this is not happening before doing the final installtion. But if you can avoid it, that is the better approach.

    2. I usually use old hose pipe, or sprinkler system pipe.

    3. Burying wire in wooded areas would likely solve the rodent issue, but with all the roots is very difficult. I would instead run the wire through a protective conduit. Again, flexible irrigation pipe, or sprinkler system pipe work best.

  6. Merlin says:

    Looking to buy a system soon. I have someone making a cable plow for my utility tractor for me. There were a couple questions that arose. I am planning on getting 18ga wire from this website – I am thinking it solid correct? Also what size spool does it come on…… and what is the size of the interior hole on the spool – approximate is fine.

    I am really struggling to decide which system to buy. I am going to be fencing in 4 to 5 acres and have measured it to be around 2000 feet of boundary wire. My current dog is about 75# but I think it is highly likely we will have a little 10 pounder or so within the next couple years. I would really like a system that works for both but that is seeming difficult with the large area we have. I did read about the innotek workaround with a resistor.

    ADMIN – Hi Merlin,

    The spool is about 8 inches. The spool opening is about 1 inch in diameter. Let me know if you need an exact measurement and I can get someone in the warehouse to measure it up.

    The 18 gauge wire is solid. (Note the 20 gauge is also solid. The 16 gauge and 14 gauge are stranded)

    I would use the SportDog SDF-100A system, because it also lets you use the PetSafe collars. This means you can use the included SportDog collar with your current dog, and if you get the smaller dog you could use something like the PetSafe Little Dog collar.

    The Innotek is a good system, but the collars are generally too big and heavy for dogs under 12 lbs.

  7. Rachelle says:

    Hi, just wondering how many dogs / collars you can use per system? We have 12 small dogs (5 Mini Foxies & 7 Pugs) is there a particular system we need to use? Also can you set up multiple loops? Eg 3 separate loop areas to keep dogs separate from each other? Thanks

    ADMIN – Hi Rachelle,

    12 dogs, wow! If you are using the wired systems, there is not limit to the number of dogs you can have on the system. I am presuming some of those miniature Fox Terriers are under 12 pounds. If so, the system that you would want to use is the PetSafe Little Dog, a system with smaller collars and lower correction levels to suit dogs of this size.

    You can indeed set up multiple loops. You will just need a single transmitter. You make each loop separately, then connect the loops to each other and the transmitter using the non-correcting twisted wire.

  8. david phipps says:

    5100 innotek line break alarm went off 2 weeks after some tree removal ,found break repaired green ,couple nights later alarm broken wire turned system off for a couple hrs went back to green ,next night same thing checked connections i had made before while doing so i left them unhooked transmitter stayed green , reconnected green light no test light on collar i even did the dimwitted collar in hand test ant ideas? thanks

    Admin- Hi David,

    The first thing you want to do is to run a test loop. This test is great for determining issues on the transmitter, wire, and collar. Simply unplug your boundary wires from the transmitter and plug in a 10-foot section of boundary wire. Turn the field width down to minimum and test the collar with the test loop to see if the collar is reacting. Than, turn the field width dial to a higher level. Test the collar again and if changes where it receives the signal. If signal changes than the transmitter is working with the collar. You will need to proceed with the R/F choke test to find the break in the line.

  9. Bob Gibson says:

    We’re trying to do a 3/4 loop around our house- what do we need to do for the last leg which will go through the garage – we want this to be safe for the (dog 7 month boxer) to go out for a walk (we have plenty of room to negotiate)

    ADMIN – Hi Bob,

    To complete the loop, but still allow the dog to enter and exit through the garage, there are a couple of different techniques. The first option is to run the wire up and over the garage, hiding the wire in a convenient gutter – the height of the wire over the dog’s head lets them pass safely underneath. The second option is to run the 3/4 loop, then double back on yourself, six feet apart to make a large U-shaped loop. The third option is, if the dog is only using the garage exit for walks, you could remove the collar when you are taking the dog for a walk (which you will probably want to do anyway to avoid the collar getting triggered by a neighbor’s fence while out on your walk)

  10. randy says:

    I was considering installing a in-ground fence and Petsafe said to mount the control box 3′ from metal objects, I have a steel sided garage that I wanted to mount the control box in and petsafe said this would not work. The rep said no in-ground system would work with box mounted inside a steel building. Is this true? Thank you for the help, Randy

    ADMIN – Hi Randy,

    It would be better to mount the transmitter box away from any large metal object (like the steel wall). This is indeed true of all inground systems. If you do mount the system on a metal wall, sometimes you will get no signal out on the perimeter. It does not happen every time. If it is more convenient to place the transmitter in the steel building, give it a try and you might get lucky.

  11. Karen says:

    This has been so helpful. Thanks. I am trying to run my wire around my fence in my backyard. I need to have an opening for the patio door. I do not want to double back with the wire. I do not want to loose six feet of space. Could we take it up the edge of the house to the roof and over the door? Or do you have any other suggestions? Also, I read some talk about a pool pump etc. causing problems. My neighbors pool and pump etc. is relatively close to my fence, will this cause any problems. Thanks for your help

    ADMIN – Hi Karen,

    To keep the back porch door clear of signal, you can indeed run the dog fence up and over the door. We find it easiest to run the wire up a water downspout, across the gutter, then down the downspout on the other side of the house. The other option would be to run the wire around the front of the house.

    I too have read about pool pumps causing problems. But, I have never observed this problem firstand when doing an installations near a pool, and whenever someone calls in with this problem it has turned out to be something else. I can’t think of any reason why a pool pump would cause any problems. It is certainly possible there might be something to it, but my best guess is that it is one of those crazy rumors that gets started. It is worth keeping an eye out, but not something that would concern me.

  12. Kelly says:

    Help. We noticed our german shepherd jumping over the chain link fence today which now explains her cut we found on her leg the other day. Our property is one acre and totally fenced in. I was reading other comments and weaving the fence seems like the way to go. What system should we go with?

    ADMIN – Hi Kelly,

    Weaving the dog fence boundary wire through the chain link fence would indeed be a good way to go. For a german shepherd, the Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good system to go with, the collars are rechargeable, and the collar fit feature is useful for getting a good fit on a long-hair dog. The PetSafe Stubborn is also a good option, it is a little cheaper – the tradeoff being that the collar is not rechargeable and is a little bigger.

  13. Deborah Hartt says:

    Hi, Wow, this is by far the most informative site I’ve found. We have 3 dogs; a 6 year, 160 lbs. English Mastiff female; a 5 year,130 lbs, Great Dane male; and 13month,155 lbs, St.Bernard male. They are all pretty mellow, but the Dane likes to stretch out, and my Saint will follow him. We have a large property, and are thinking of giving them the run of one side of it; so we will have poop-free areas in the summer.(Big dogs=Big poop). What would you suggest as fencing options? I was thinking, come off the side of the house in a big square,(about 150X300 feet) it’s pretty much open mowed area with mature maple & apple trees. We would really like to invest in a quality system. Thank so much,peace, Deborah.

    ADMIN – Hi Deborah,

    For three big dog like your, the SportDog SDF-100a would be a good choice. The collar have a larger band and well built. The transmitter can handle large areas, so if you ever decide to extend you will be in good shape. If you add a smaller 4th dog, you can use some of the smaller PetSafe collars with the system.

  14. Ian says:

    I have an a acre yard that is fenced with chain link and 3 dogs – a 50 pound pit mix, an 80 pound lab mix, and a 140 pound mastiff. The mastiff and pit have taken to the sport of destroying the bottom of my fence to escape. The mastiff is the main culprit because he is a smart strong dog and thinks it is fun. They dig a little and push the fence out – mostly because our ground is very rocky here in northern AZ. This also means that burying a wire is impossible. The lab stays put and does not engage in the shenanigans.

    Which system is best for this situation and what is the best way to mount it to the chain link fencing?

    ADMIN – Hi Ian,

    With those three dogs, and their range of sizes and breeds, we would want something that lets us have individual correction levels for each dog. The PetSafe Stubborn would be a good choice. (The lab would presumably not need a collar since he is sans-shenanigans)

    With chain link, I will either just weave the wire through the chain link fence or use flex ties to attach the wire ot the fence every three yards or so. If you mount the wire 1-2 feet above the ground it will protect it from edgers and lawnmowers.

  15. Ben says:

    Two questions: 1) Do you have to purchase additional wire from the same manufacturer and model, or does it not matter what wire?
    2) Can you “double back” in a trench and have essentially two wires in a trench for my backyard to create a boundary? OR do I need to run the wire over the house to create a boundary? I would like to use the side of the house as the fence and avoid running over the roof. Thanks, Ben

    ADMIN – Hi Ben,

    (1) You don’t need to get wire from the specific manufacturer. But, you want to try and get wire that is the same diameter. Mixing wires that are different diameters leads to the boundary extending out inconsistent distances from the wire.

    (2) You can double back, but if you don’t separate the wires by at least six feet they cancel each other out. So you can double back, but not use the same trench, you need to use another trench at least six feet apart.

  16. Clark says:

    I have two boxers that love to run. I have a female that is a year old and a big jumper. We have a 6ft wood privacy fence and she can get over that within seconds. My male is not as adventures but will head out the front door never to look back. We have two kids that bring friends over and they forget to close the front door and gates all the way. I am only looking to fence in half of my back yard and most of my front due to underground city lines. My boxers are different in size female a lot smaller male bless his heart he is a big guy. Please help to find a good setup for us. How hard is it to go under a driveway?

    ADMIN – Hi Clark,

    Going under a driveway is really tough. We find it easier to cut a slot across the driveway with a circular saw (or use a convenient expansion crack), lay down the wire, and caulk over to keep the wire in place.

    With the dogs being very different in size, something with independent correction levels like the PetSafe Stubborn would be a good choice for the two boxers.

  17. Eddie G. says:

    Hi, I’m planning to install around a 15 acre fenced, mostly wooded area. Does the wire have to be insulated or can I use farm style galvanized steel wire?

    ADMIN – Hi Eddie,

    You will need to use insulated copper wire for the boundary wire in a dog containment fence. The farm style wiring used for electric livestock fence does not get you a consistent boundary signal.

  18. Chris says:

    My wife and I bought a house that has 3.5 acres and a pond. Our dog, a black lab and australian cattle dog mix, loves to run and swim. We would like him to be able to run around and swim whenever he would like during the day, even if we are not home. But I would like to keep the pond off limits during the winter, when it is iced over. Also, since we have a large area (some wooded, some lawn) what suggestions would you have? Thank you for your time.

    ADMIN – Hi Chris,

    The easiest way to create a temporary barrier around the pond would be to use one of the outdoor pods. You can run wire form the pods, up to 150 feet to circle the pond, and at the flick of a switch could switch it off in summer. You would also need to do a little training, and maybe put the flags up a the start of winter to teach the dogs that the pond was off limits, then again do some training in summer to show them that they were now allowed to access the area.

    If the pond circumference is more than 150 feet, you will need to create a loop around it with wire, and then connect it to your main loop with the twisted wire. You would need to disconnect and reconnect this subsidiary loop ever winter / summer to activate / deactivate the pond fence.

    What are the weight and temperament of the Lab and Aussie? If they are similar, something like the Innotek IUC-4100 would be ideal because it would work with your outdoor pods.

  19. Todd says:

    Hello, hopefully you can help me. I have a PetSafe in ground containment system. The wire is basically a rectangle 120′ x 50′. There is a section that runs past a sliding glass door. We want to make this section safe for the dogs to run through. I have tried two type of wires: 16 gauge and 20 gauge. I twisted the wire to varying degrees. The signal does not cancel. I tried to place the wire into a metal conduit. No luck. Do you have a suggestion? Todd

    ADMIN – Hi Todd,

    There is no avoiding having a complete loop – you cannot use the twisted wire as part of the loop to make one side of the boundary non-active. To make one side of the boundary non-active, you can either run the fourth side of the boundary tight around the front of the house, or run the wire up and over the house (through the guttering) so the dogs can pass under without getting the correction. Check out the Layouts page in the Installation section for some diagrams of how you can do a backyard only layout.

    TODD – We do have a complete loop. However, I have a 15 foot section that has a twisted wire. Doesn’t the twisted wire provide a section that is not broadcasting the signal?

    ADMIN – The problem isn’t the twisting, it is the way you are using the twisted wire. The twisted wire cannot be used as part of the main loop, only to get you from the transmitter to the start of the loop (i.e. it cannot be part of the rectangle, only get you from the transmitter to the start of the rectangle). If you use the wire as part of the loop as I am guessing you have, the twisted wire will act like regular single wire.

    Another way of diagnosing it is that you probably have the two twisted wires connect to a single straight wire on either end. Any time you have anything other than 1-1 connections or wires that are not connected to anything the twisted wire is not going to work.

    To get you past the rear sliding door, twisted wire is not going to help. Your best option is to run the regular wire up and over the door or to run the wire around the front of the house. For more information, check out the diagrams on the Installation –> Layouts page and in particular the “backyard only” layouts.

  20. Rick says:

    Not sure what type of fence I will get for my hound / lab mix, about 44-60 lb female. We are not allowed to install a real fence, and she needs a place to run in the back yard of my rental. My questions is: if I want to runt he pet fence in a circle, how do I go around / over a door way to the rear yard, so that she will cross the wire as it completes the circle.

    Hi Rick,

    For a lab/hound mix, an Innotek IUC-4100 or a Petsafe Stubborn would be a good choice. The Innotek has a smaller and lighter collar which is rechargeable. The Stubborn has a bigger bulkier collar and uses a disposable 9v battery but is a little cheaper.

    If you are just enclosing the back yard, to give the dogs access to the rear door you can either run the loop tight around the front of the house, or run the wire up and over the back of the house (we usually go up a downspout on one side of the house, across the gutter and down a downspout on the other side of the house) so that the vertical height of the wire over the head of the door stops the signal reaching the dog down at ground level. See our Installation–> Layouts pages for more details and diagrams.

  21. Gail Robin says:

    Hi, I am considering an electric fence for our 3 dogs: Newfoundland (9) Border Collie (1) & puppy Choc Lab. Is the collar strong enough to effect the newfie?

    ADMIN – Hi Gail,

    I would use one of the stronger collars if you are particularly concerned that the Newfoundland will require a stronger correction, although training these dogs I have never found that to be an issue. Something with independent correction would also be useful since with these three dogs, it is likely they will require different correction levels. Something like the PetSafe Stubborn, or the SportDog SDF-100A would be a good choice.

  22. Gail says:

    We just bought an Innotek system. We have a lab/husky mix who has been jumping over our five-foot block wall and climbing our chain link fence. I need to wire the concrete block wall next to the driveway and also the driveway gate where we have solid concrete on the ground and either solid concrete or chain link fencing as a barrier. Will you please advise? Would it be incredibly stupid and dangerous to run the wire through the chain link? I don’t do anything electrical at all, short of changing the occasional light bulb!
    Thanks! We’re just trying to keep our sanity and our puppy alive!

    ADMIN – Hi Gail,
    If you have the space to set a 4 or 5 foot radius on the wire, you probably will be able to run the wire along the ground and still prevent your lab/husky from jumping or climbing over the fence. It is okay to weave the wire through the chain link. When running the wire along the pavement in the case of the driveway gate, you can protect the wire buy running it through a hose or you can purchase floor strip to lay over the wire. If you plan to attach the wire to the concrete wall, I recommend using plastic anchors so you can screw in I-bolts. I-bolts have a looped head much like a needle. This way you can thread the wire through the I-bolts.

  23. Jason says:

    If my next door neighbor already has an invisible fence installed, and i am planning on putting one in, do i need to find out where his fence is and make sure i stay a certain distance away from it along that side of the yard? If so how far and would fence brand name matter at all? Thank you

    ADMIN – Jason,

    Yes, find out where his wire is buried and what fence model he has. You’ll need to keep a distance of 10 to 15 feet to avoid interference. If you do not have the room, the next best option is purchase a fence that allows you two operating frequencies in order to avoid interference. The Perimeter Technologies Ultra fence is the only fence available that can accomplish this successfully. You can locate the review on our site by clicking on “Dog Fence Reviews” on the menu bar, then click on “Perimeter Technologies” title on the second table.

  24. Annabel Wright says:

    I am about to install my dog fence, bit worried about the electricity lines running up the boundary, am i correct that it must be 2 metres from the electricity. If it interferes with the fence will it interfere with the whole loop or just the part of the fence by the electricity
    And do I gather that the wire should not be more than 1 ft above and below the ground. How do I join the wire if I need to add some onto my existing wire.
    Thank you

    ADMIN – Hi Annabel,

    There’s only a possible chance of interference. 2 meters may be sufficient. If you do receive interference, you’ll either need to try one of two things or both, move the wire further away or adjust the boundary width down. Interference will amply the signal only along the area where the wire interacts with the electrical. However, it can cause all the electrical lines to pick up the boundary signal and transmit along the electrical cables.

    You can place the wire several feet above or below ground. We recommend burying the wire 3 to 4 inches in the ground for protection. You can splice the wire to extend it by first tying a knot in the two wires you are splicing. Then splice it with a wire nut and then sink it into a waterproofing capsule.

  25. John says:

    I want to purchase the Pet Smart Deluxe underground system. My next-door neighbor has a system. My wire will run parallel with his. I cannot get 5′ between the wires. Will this affect the performance of both systems?

    ADMIN – Hi John,

    Yes, you will experience interference along that shared boundary. You’ll need a dog fence with two operating frequencies. The only current dog fence model available that will successfully achieve this is the Perimeter Technologies Ultra. The Ultra will operate properly either on the 7K or 10K frequency. This will allow you to lay the wire within inches of your neighbor’s fence. Here’s the link to the review page: http://www.dogfencediy.com/reviews/perimeter-technologies/

  26. Adam says:

    I’m getting ready to install a dog fence for a back yard only but i want the dog to be able to go in and out of the house freely. I want to go from one corner of the house in the back, go around the back yard, and go to the other corner. I have read about the double loop, but that requires twice as much trenching and wire. i have also read that the signal doesnt work if there is a double wire. So my question is, could i run a single wire from one corner of the house, around the yard, to the other corner, and then simply run a twisted wire along the edge of house to connect the circuit but yet not stop the dog, would that work? I just dont really want to dig twice as much trench is all. Thanks.

    ADMIN – Hi Adam,

    No, you will not be able to do that. The back yard only layouts are designed mainly because you cannot run twisted wire as part of the boundary loop. What happens when you splice twisted wire into the loop, the twisted wire section transmits the signal. The other options you have is to run the wire up into the gutters to elevate the wire high up so that the signal is out of range along the back of the home. The other option is to wrap the wire around the front of the home to include your house inside the loop. Here is a video that explains the limitations on twisted wire: http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/twisted-wire/. Here is the back yard only layouts illustrated: http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#backyard

  27. Joe Dixon says:

    I am buying a property that sits on peninsula surrounded by water. I want to only run the wiring on the side of my property that touches land. Is there a problem with that or will I have to go around the entire perimeter of the property.

    ADMIN – Hi Joe,

    The wire needs to make a complete loop. If you only want to do a partial section, you can cover the section of perimeter you want, then double back on yourself to complete the loop (with 6 feet of separation between the wires). The other alternative is just to run the wire around the entire perimeter. We have some diagrams of lakefront lot wiring on the Installation –> Layouts section of the website.

  28. Eric says:

    I still have signal even though I twisted the wire, what is or am I doing wrong

    ADMIN – Hi Eric,

    When twisting boundary wire, make sure you achieve at least 1 twist per inch consistently throughout the twisted wire section.

  29. Vern Miller says:

    I want to run the perimeter wire close enough to a building that the dogs can’t get through. The building has steel siding all the way to the ground. Will this cause interference with the signal ? Would it be better to run the wire on an angle colse to just one corner instead of the full length of the wall ? Thanks in advance ! You have a great site.

    Admin- Hi Vern,

    Metal has the potential for interference. We recommend laying the wire on the ground first, turning the fence on and testing the boundary with the collar to see if the signal is getting any interference. That way it’s easy to adjust the placement of the fence before burying it with either set-up.

  30. Bruce says:

    My twisted wire is hot. My 3 very large dogs will not get off my patio. Does it matter how the twisted wire is installed?
    Thanks Bruce

    Admin- Hi Bruce,

    The twisted wire only works when it is part of the main loop. There is no way to create a dead zone in the middle of the loop. Please take a look at our twisted wire page.

    Twisted Wire: http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/twisted-wire/

  31. Ellen says:

    We would like to install the fence so that our dog has access to the backyard and front yard separately. The hour glass set up would work but I can’t figure out where the exit point would be. How high would the wire have to be for the signal to not reach the collar? Our house is set up almost exactly as your hour glass lay-out example. Is there any way to have the garage/driveway be the inactive/exit point? Maybe we could go above the garage door and follow the outline of the driveway? The wire could be attached at about 9 feet above the ground. Is that high enough to not shock? Also, if the wire is run along the outside wall of the house will he be shocked if he gets close to the same wall while inside the house? Thanks for all the great and helpful advise and tips!

    ADMIN – Hi Ellen,

    I am not sure I completely understand your layout. Can you email me a diagram? (I should be able to get you a much better answer)

    If I understand correctly, by the exit point you mean the point where the dog can go into the house. Usually, the exit point for the front yard is a front door, and for the backyard a back door.

    You can indeed elevate the wire to stop the correction being felt at ground level. The height you need depends on how wide you set up your system. Typically we set the dog fence boundaries to be 3-5 feet wide, so we want to elevate the wire about 3 feet higher than that to create a safety buffer.

    Running the wire along the side of the house can create signals in the house. So you need to be careful to run the wire in placed (e.g. high up) where it will not reach the dog. You also want to be sure to test the system with the collar to make sure you are not getting any inadvertent correction inside the house.

    If you meant the exit point as where the dog can leave the property to go on a walk – then usually the fence system has no exit point. To take the dog out on a walk, you remove the collar and train the dog that when you give them permission it is acceptable to exit the property. This take a little training, we have more details on how this is done in the training section of the website.

  32. Erica says:

    We currently have a 13 lb dachshund and are planning on adopting a Doberman. If we were to put an electric fence it, what type would be compatible for both size dogs? Also, we live on acreage and really do not want to restrict them from all directions. The main concern would be to give them a boundary for the road and possibly an adjacent side. Is it possible to bury wire to keep the dog off only one or two sides, or does the wire have to make a complete loop? Thanks!

    ADMIN – Hi Erica,

    With a very big and a very small dog, the PetSafe systems are good. With the PetSafe inground systems, you can use the various collars interchangeably. I would use a PetSafe Little dog system, and use the included collar for the Dachshund. When you get the Doberman, add in a PetSafe Stubborn collar.

    Your boundary wire always needs to make a complete loop. If you want to block two sides, you can either (1) make a complete look around the entire property, or (2) go along the two sides and then double back on yourself six-feet apart, to make a big L-shaped loop.

  33. Chad says:

    I hope to install the 5100 for my 4 month lab. my back yard is low land that has standing water some times. Its fun for him too swim there, is it posible to run the wire throgh the deep grass (and under water if it rains alot(up to 2 feet))? its only a 1/4 acer area where it s wet. thank you much, Chad

    ADMIN – Hi Chad,

    You can indeed run the dog fence wire through the grass and water. I would just staple or weight down the wire in a couple of spots to keep it from moving. And avoid doing any splices in the section subject to flooding.

    If you want to be extra cautious, you can run the wire through a conduit like old hose pipe for extra protection. This is not necessary, but useful because finding wire breaks where there is standing water is no fun!

  34. Jill says:

    Hi there. I am considering buying a system for my 80lb Great Pyrenees. We are having issues with her digging up the yard. We have a separate section of the yard that is fenced for her, but it’s a 4ft chain link fence and she just climbs over it. The section that is not secure is about 11ft long wide. What would be the best way to keep her contained in the dog run so she is not digging up the yard when we can’t supervise her? Thanks.

    Admin- Hi Jill,

    I recommend the PetSafe Stubborn/Large dog for your Pyrenees. The Stubborn system is designed for large breed dogs and will work great your Pyrenees. For your install, I recommend installing the boundary wire in a single-sided layout. View our install pages for the diagram,
    http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#singleside

  35. Katherine says:

    I have a 5y/o boxer and plan to get another in the next few months. We currently tie him up but I now have a number of rope burn scars from playing with him in the yard. I foresee plastic surgery if I have two dogs wrapping my legs with rope.
    Can you suggest a fence that can be installed in flexible tube? We have a rock wall that would be nearly impossible to bury a fence near and thick bushes around the rest. I’d like to run tube through the bushes and ‘over’ the rock wall. What kind of pipe would you suggest? And will this work?

    ADMIN – Hi Katherine,

    You can place the wire for any of the systems in a flexible conduit. Running the wire through a conduit will work. Also, if the area is just bushes, you could run the wire without protection and it should be fine.

    A good system for a pair of boxers would be an Innotek IUC-4100 or a PetSafe Stubborn. The later is smaller and has a rechargeable collar. The later is bigger and uses a disposable collar battery but is cheaper.

  36. Maria T says:

    Hi, Can the wire be placed in the driveway and the cars go over it? Thanks.

    ADMIN – Hi Maria,

    Usually you will place the wire in a an expansion joint and caulk over it. Or if there is no expansion joint you will cut a slot in the wire with a circular saw, place the wire in the cut, then caulk over it. If installed in this way, there is no problem with a car going over the wire.

    You can also just lay the wire right on top of the driveway. As long as the driveway is not something abrasive like gravel or the driveway is not snow plowed – the car can drive over it without breaking the wire. The wire section will wear out ever couple of years but replacing it is simple enough.

    See the Driveways (Installation) section of our website for more details.

  37. Jacob says:

    Hi, we’re looking to install an electric dog fence. The back of our property is protected by an electric fence which is not always on. If we run the dog fence wire on the same posts as the electric fence, would that be ok? It doesn’t matter if that portion of the fence is interfered with, as the electric fence would be active. But would the whole fence be interfered with? Thanks!

    ADMIN – Hi Jacob,

    That is fine – you can run the dog fence and an electric fence on the same posts with no issues with either system.

  38. mark says:

    We currently have 3 petsafe “wireless” transmitters that create a large oval for our 5 dogs to play in on our farm (100’x600′). We are getting ready to install a barbed wire fence around a portion of the property that will not prove much of a boundary for the dogs by itself. We would like to be able to set up a wired invisible fence (have used on small scale before successfully). It would be excellent if the transmitter could be attached to one continuous strand of the barbed wire, having that act as the conductor and eliminating the need to bury or run another wire. Will this work??? Thanks.

    ADMIN – Hi Mark,

    Trying to run the signal through the barbed wire will not work – you need to use an insulated copper wire – the uninsulated steel barbed wire will not transmit the signal properly. You could however run the boundary wire along the barbed wire using zipties to hold it in place. That would eliminate the need to bury wire.

  39. Joanie says:

    We live on a lake. we want to put the wire into the lake as the dogs like to swim in summer. during the winter however, they go out on the frozen lake. this i don’t want. will the wire under the lake transmit through a foot of ice?

    ADMIN – Hi Joanie,

    The answer depends on how widely you set the transmitter. Generally if you have the boundary set wide enough that it will transmit through the water, it will also transmit through the ice.

  40. Brian says:

    Can I use any 18 gauge wire or does it have to be wire specifically for invisible fences? Also, how deep can I bury it before it is non effective? Thank you.

    ADMIN – Hi Brian,

    You can use any insulated 18 gauge wire. The best type of wire is rated for direct burial. If you use regular PVC insulated house wiring, it tends to rot out in the ground.

    You can bury the wire about 1 foot deep before the signals start to have trouble reaching the surface.

  41. Julie Thaxton says:

    My husband and I are getting ready to install our Ultrasmart 4100 dog fence next week. We had the cable, gas, electric and phone company come out and spray paint where all the wires are in the the ground. I am kind of confused on where to lay out/bury the dog fence wire around all of the in ground existing wires! It seems the cable one maybe the most important one that may cause trouble. I read something about it in the instructions that the cable wire may interfere with the remote system, causing unnecessary shocks to the dog if the wire is buried too close to the existing cable wire. It said something about burying it 10 feet away or run it perpendicular across the cable wires. I don’t see how this can be done! It seems the orange markings are over the front yard in different places and there is not much front yard anyway! Please let me know what to do. Thanks so much!

    Admin- Hi Julie,

    If you are crossing the buried utility lines at ninety degrees you will be fine. We recommend layout your wire out in your planned route and test the fence with the collars before burying the wire. If you have interference issues, you will be able to adjust the wire to avoid any interference problems.

  42. Cindy says:

    We have 45lb Pit mix who likes to bound over the 6′ wall and smile at the neighbors. The neighbors do not mind the intrusion but we are all worried that she is going to get hurt. We really want a system with rechargeable batteries (Innotek/PetSafe UltraSmart IUC 4100 is our first thought) but our neighbor has the Humane contain system. What are the chances of interference between the 2 systems? Would we be better off with the Perimeter Technologies Ultra Dog Fence? The neighbors Humane contain eats batteries and they are not cheap and have to be special ordered and that is main reason we wanted rechargeable but is it worth the risk of interference? Thank you in advance – love the site

    Admin- Hi Cindy,

    There is a good chance that there will be interference issues with the two systems. If you purchased the Innotek IUC-4100 and found that the two systems have problems operating in close proximity, the boundary wires would need to be separated by 15 feet. Your best option to avoid interference problems would be the Perimeter Technologies Ultra.

  43. Amy says:

    Our yard is fenced on 3 sides, can we only put a electric fence in the front to prevent the dog from going into the street?

    Admin- Hi Amy,

    For sure, you can install the boundary wire in what we call single-sided boundary to block off the road. Please view your layout diagram.

    Single Sided Boundary- http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/#singleside

  44. Mark says:

    Hi, I have 2 large dogs, 1 german shepherd (around 90 lbs) and a black lab mixed (around 95 lbs) and they keep jumping up to the 6 ft wall fence (with around 2.5 ft concrete block at the bottom and metal fence on the top) and bark at people, cars, and other animal that passes by and I intense to keep them away from the fence so can I run a “vertical double loop” wire for this type of system within the 2.5 ft concrete blocks on the bottom part of my wall? I mean, do I have enough clearance for the double loop? Thanks Mark

    ADMIN – Hi Mark,

    Ideally you would have 6 feet of separation for a vertical double loop. You could get down to 4 feet in a pinch – but 2.5 feet would be too little separation.

    You could run the vertical double loop, but I would run one wire at the top of the metal fence and the return leg near the bottom of the concrete block.

  45. Kim says:

    Hi, I bought the innotek 4100 a couple of months ago, it is installed and the dog is trained. Now all of a sudden the alarm is going off on the box and the light is flashing red and green. The collar was not even on the dog at the time. I shut it off for a while, then its fine for an hour or so, the starts again. Any ideas?

    ADMIN – Hi Kim,

    The red and green flashing light on the Innotek IUC-4100 is the battery reminder – a legacy feature on the system that needs to be switched off. Go to the control box, find the middle switch labeled “recharge reminder” and switch it to the “Off” position (NOT A, or B)

    The red and green flashing happens once a month and is meant to remind you to recharge the collar. It does not know if the collar actually needs recharging, it is just a ‘dumb’ once a month timer. You are meant to switch the reminder from A to B and vice-versa to reset it. But, on the modern collars the collar itself reminds you to recharge it when the battery is running low. Hence, we just switch the base station reminder off.

  46. brad says:

    Hey I have the innotek and its all hooked up the collar beeps when close to the wire but the dog just walks through he got zapped maybe twice out of 20 times going through it. What could I look for?

    ADMIN – Hi Brad,

    First I would test the system with the collar and make sure it is consistently triggering at least 3-5 feet before the boundary wire. If not, then increase the boundary width on the system by turning up the boundary width dial.

    Second, I would check that the collar is properly fitted. That is the most common cause of an inconsistent correction. If you have the Innotek IUC-4100/5100 then use the collar fit mode. If not, make sure you can see the collar prongs touching skin. This is a little messy at first and involves you jiggling the collar and moving hair out of the way. For long hair dogs, you may need to trim the fur a little. The collar also needs to be tight enough that you can slip two fingers in between the collar and the dog’s neck, but not a lot more.

    It is also worth testing the collar with the supplied tester (or the hand of a brave/dim-witted volunteer) to make sure the collar is actually correcting.

  47. Ed Scott says:

    I just ordered an Innotek 5100 and plan to put a loop around front of house about 200′ x 80′. Can i put part of the return loop in copper house gutters to allow movement from house to yard? Thanks,

    ADMIN – Hi Ed,

    Yes. You can run the wire through metal gutters including copper to go up and over the house.

  48. LB says:

    I have the twisted wire running along a conduit for wiring in an outside building. Does the twisted wire cause the regular wiring to pick up the dig fence signal?

    ADMIN – Hi LB,

    The twisted wire will not cause the signal to get induced in any other type of household wiring. You can indeed run it up alongside the house wiring.

  49. Jay says:

    I’m planning on putting in the inground fence this weekend but we have a dirt road and when it rains, and we drive over it we sink quite far, is there anything we can do to protect the wire from breaking.

    ADMIN – Hi Jay,

    Place the wire in a flexible conduit like an old hose pipe or an irrigation pipe when you bury it across the road. This will protect the wire when you drive over it. You also want to build in a little extra slack int eh wire around this area so that it can move a little. Avoid a rigid conduit like PVC in this situation because in muddy conditions, the PVC will tend to snap when driven over.

  50. steve says:

    Little confused, in one response the answer was that the wire could be close to an electrical panel. In another response, the answer was that the wire had to be 6 feet from the pool pump. What would happen if the wire was closer than 6 feet to the pool motor and pool electrical box?

    ADMIN – Hi Steve,

    Ideally, you would keep the dog fence wire 6+ feet away from any other parallel wiring wiring. As a practical matter this is impossible on most installations.

    The reason you want the separation is that in a small amount of cases where you have nearby parallel wires, the dog fence signal gets induced in those other wire and then those wires also act as the dog fence. When we are faced with needing to lay wires closer than we would like, you just need to test the area around the pool to make sure the collar is not triggering in any undesirable locations before we start using the collar with the dog.

    The pool pump should be a non-issue. But, you want to avoid running the wire parallel and within 6 feet of long stretches of the pool wiring.

  51. Cory says:

    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.

  52. Mike says:

    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.

  53. Heather says:

    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.

  54. Marcia says:

    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?

  55. Layne Bunger says:

    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.

  56. Mark says:

    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.

  57. Jeff says:

    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.

  58. Tammy Harris says:

    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.

  59. Erin says:

    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.

  60. Frank says:

    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.

  61. Rogr Brown says:

    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.

  62. caroline says:

    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.

  63. Blaine says:

    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.

  64. john g says:

    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.

  65. Mark says:

    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… http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/.
    I hope this is helpful.

  66. Shelby says:

    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.

  67. Janet says:

    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.

  68. Emily says:

    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.

  69. Nicole says:

    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.

  70. George Masso says:

    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.

  71. Joyce says:

    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)

  72. Dave says:

    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.

  73. Beth says:

    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.

  74. justb says:

    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?

  75. Kaitlynn Bosch says:

    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.

  76. Dan says:

    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.

    Dan

    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.

  77. Roger says:

    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.

  78. sherry says:

    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.

  79. sherry says:

    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.

  80. Raoul says:

    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.

  81. Lisa says:

    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.

  82. Brian says:

    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

    thanks

    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.

  83. carrie says:

    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 enclose..ps.these 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.

  84. Robin says:

    Hi,
    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.

  85. Eric Fogle says:

    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!

  86. jasonHi says:

    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.

  87. Chris says:

    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:

    http://dogfencediy.com/store/wire.html

  88. Chris says:

    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.

  89. Nicole says:

    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.

  90. Fred says:

    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.
  91. Robert Mickelsen says:

    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.

  92. Ryan says:

    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.

  93. Clint says:

    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 ?
    Thanks,
    Clint

  94. Cheryl says:

    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!

  95. chuck says:

    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.

  96. philip hunnicutt says:

    Hello,
    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.

  97. Glenda says:

    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.

  98. paul says:

    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.

  99. lynn says:

    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.

  100. Mark Norton says:

    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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