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.

Clear Expansion Joint 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.
Insert Wire into Expansion Joint 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.
Caulk Over Boundary Wire 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

Mark a Straight Line to Cut Across the Driveway or FootpathFind 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.

Cut Across the Driveway With a Circular SawSecond 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)

Caulking Over the Dog Fence WireThird, 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:

Burying the Dog Fence Wire Deep on the Edges of the Driveway 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 with a Short Length of PVC Pipe 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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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristie March 14, 2016 at 5:57 am

I’m looking at fencing in a few acres of our farm to keep our dog from running to the neighbors all the time, but we have heavy equipment going in and out of our yard, weighing a few tons or more. Would this affect the underground system?

ADMIN – Hi Kristie. As long as the wire is buried 3 inches or so down, it should be fine. In the areas that are most traveled, I would recommend running the wire through a clear plastic flexible tubing like the type you can buy at your local hardware shop. You can also use an old garden hose, just make sure to cut the metal ends off first.

kathy February 21, 2016 at 12:35 pm

I have horse pasture with electric fence. I would like to allow our livestock guard dog access to at least part of the pasture to keep the coyotes away. Can I run the underground fence close to the electric fence without causing problems with either system?

ADMIN – Hi Kathy. The Boundary Wire should be installed 5-10 feet away from metal and/or electromagnetic interference (e.g., metal siding, aluminum siding, metal roof, metal or electric fencing, HVAC equipment, etc) to avoid amplification problems and unintended corrections to the dog’s collar.
During installation, we recommend laying the wire on top of the ground where you think you want it and testing the collar to make sure it beeps and corrects at the right location on the perimeter loop. Once the correct location has been determined, then bury your wire 1″ – 3″ in the ground.
The electric horse fence should not be affected at all.

Karen November 22, 2015 at 10:34 pm

I have a fenced in yard already but just got a second dog, a 10 month old Great Dane 90lb pup, obviously still growing. He and my other dog are loving -running and playing on our in ground pool cover. We are worried that although it can “hold an elephant”, the friction against the pavers will cause holes, which obviously wouldn’t be good. We also want to include the garden and shed that are right next to the pool. Obviously a wired system would be best. Any suggestions? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Karen. Are you trying to create an exclusion zone around your pool? Please visit the DogFenceDIY “Planning, Installation and Layout” page. Which of these sample dog fence layouts is similar to your dog fence design?

Tammy October 31, 2015 at 10:32 am

Hi .. My yard has a wood boundry all the way around sides and back. In the front there is a small size creek and a metal culvert for my driveway to cross. I wanted to know if I could run the fence on top of ground through the woods, then through the culvert using a pvc or water hose?

ADMIN – Hi Tammy. You can absolutely run the wire on the surface of the ground through the woods. We do recommend tacking the wire to the ground using lawn staples to hold it in place. We do not recommend running the wire through the metal culvert. The Boundary Wire should be installed 5-10 feet away from metal and/or electromagnetic interference (e.g., metal siding, aluminum siding, metal roof, metal fencing, HVAC equipment, etc) to avoid amplification problems and unintended corrections to the dog’s collar.

Deb October 20, 2015 at 2:26 pm

I have a chain link metal fenced yard that our dog digs under to escape. Can I run the wired fence around the existing fence to create a perimeter?

ADMIN – Hi Deb. The Boundary Wire should be installed 5-10 feet away from metal and/or electromagnetic interference (e.g., metal siding, aluminum siding, metal roof, metal fencing, HVAC equipment, etc) to avoid amplification problems and unintended corrections to the dog’s collar. What is the age, weight, breed, and temperament of your dog(s)? What is the size of the pet containment area? Answering these questions will help me match your dog(s) to the best electric dog fence system.

D. Alston June 6, 2015 at 8:53 am

I have a High Tech Driveway Traverse Strip to cross my asphalt driveway. However, I am not sure how to secure the strip. Is there some kind of special elastomer to asphalt adhesive or will any exterior silicone adhesive do the job? Thanks for any help.

ADMIN – Hi D.Alston. Yes. Any waterproof exterior silicone adhesive will do the job.

JB April 9, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Would I be able to run wire through my metal drainage pipe that runs under driveway without affecting the function of fence? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi JB. No. We recommend running the boundary wire 5-10 ft away from metal to avoid signal amplification problems. To Cross Hard Surfaces (e.g., driveway, sidewalks, etc) place the Boundary Wire in a convenient expansion joint, or create a groove using a circular saw and masonry blade. Place the Boundary Wire 1-3 inches in the groove and cover with an appropriate waterproofing compound. For best results, brush away dirt or other debris before patching. To cross a gravel or dirt Driveway, place the Boundary Wire in a PVC pipe, or garden water hose to protect the Boundary Wire before burying it 1-3 inches in the ground.

Rene March 22, 2015 at 10:33 pm

I have a deck off the back of my house that leads down into a small yard. My dogs are constantly digging out underneath the fence. I plan to run the wire around the fence but will have to connect it to power on the deck by the back door. I plan on putting the wire in pvc pipe. I would like to keep it on under the deck to keep them from scratching on the back door. Can I decrease the shock distance around the deck? My deck is approximately 15 foot by 20 foot.

ADMIN – Hi Rene. What is the age, weight, breed, and temperament of your dog(s)? What is the size of your pet containment area? Is your fence metal? Yes. You can run the boundary wire through PVC pipe. Yes. You can decrease the width of the signal on the Boundary Width Control Dial on the transmitter. We recommend setting the transmitter to Traditional Mode “B” and adjusting the Boundary Control Dial on the Transmitter to the appropriate Boundary Width setting. For example, if you set the Boundary Width Control Dial to 6 you will have 3 feet of signal on each side of the boundary wire. The boundary wire can be installed in front or along the bottom of the wood fence. This prevents the dog from damaging, digging, or jumping over the fence. The boundary flags are set at the 3 feet warning zone inside of the pet area. You can place the flags 10 feet apart around the warning area inside the boundary wire. Then, test the Collar with the Test Light Tool to make sure the collar is beeping and correcting 3 feet inside of the boundary wire.

Michael Williams December 31, 2014 at 7:52 pm

I live on a 3.5acre fenced in lot. My dogs can only get out at the driveway. Is there a system that will work for a 20ft. area.

ADMIN – Hi Michael. What is the age, breed, weight and temperament of your dogs? We recommend under ground dog fences for properties 1/3 of an acre and up. Will you be expanding your pet containment area in the future? Since you have a small area, have you considered the Pawz Away Outdoor Rock and Collar Set? The Pawz Away Rock is a barrier system that stops the dogs entering certain parts of the yard. You can use it to stop them entering a flower bed or bolting out through a gate. The Rock base station can operate either wirelessly, projecting an adjustable boundary up to 16 feet in diameter. You can also use the system with up to 150 feet of boundary wire. The rock takes four D batteries. The collar included with the system uses disposable 3V lithium batteries.

Ashley Ramirez June 8, 2014 at 2:18 am

Will the signal be cancelled out if i pass it under metal?

ADMIN – Hi Ashley, not always. Sometimes it will amplify or simply cause erratic corrections in that area.

Stefanie October 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I just bought the inground pet safe fence. I was wondering if you can keep it above ground and weave it in between the chain link fence instead of placing it under ground. My dad is scared my dog will teach our older dog bad habits. My dog is a red heeler/ german shepard and he scales the fence with no problem. Thank you.

Michelle September 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm

We are looking to install an invisible fence (wired) in our yard. We have a tall metal electrical wire tower very close to the property line.. Will this cause issues with the invisible fence?

Sharley September 19, 2013 at 9:08 am

I am building new home that has a blacktop driveway. The final layer of blacktop has not been done yet. If I put the wire across the driveway will the final layer of blactop melt the wire?

Colleen June 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Has anyone here tried it with blacktop? I’m concerned it won’t look right once it’s buried and if blacktop is even feasible to bury a wire with. They sell cold blacktop patch at Home Depot but some people had problems with it drying correctly. Thanks for any help or input.

ADMIN – Hi Colleen,

For blacktop, we cut a straight slot with a circular saw, put the wire in the new slot, then fill it with the patch compound.

The patch is not seamless. It will be clear that you made a cut and repaired it, the compound never quite matches the old blacktop. We have not had trouble with the compound drying, but we live in a warmer climate.

Cindy Flanders June 2, 2013 at 8:02 pm

How deep do you have to bury the wire?

ADMIN – Hi Cindy,

If you are going to bury the wire, you can bury it anywhere between 1 inch and 12 inches deep.

Craig May 20, 2013 at 12:00 am

Hi, You have a great site with great information and very friendly responses. I have a couple of questions.
1. We live in Alaska and have snow on the ground for at least half the year. How does that affect the buried wire fences?
2. It would be impractical to bury wire for the whole area (approx 1 acre) we would like to contain and the ground outside of our lawn is uneven tundra that is frequented by 800 pound moose. Any suggestions on an above ground installation?
3. The other consideration is a wireless system like the Havahart. Our 3 story house has a cedar shake roof, but our two car, single story detached garage has a metal roof which would be inside the 200′ radius range. How would that affect the wireless system? Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Craig,

Appreciate the compliment.

(1) Large amounts of accumulated snow blocks the signal from the boundary wire. To compensate, you need to turn up the boundary strength dial when the snow starts building-up. The systems can usually handle 2-3 feet of accumulated snow but beyond that they have trouble getting through.

(2) You can just staple the wire to the ground using lawn-staples. Over time it tends to bury itself. You want to keep the staples pretty close (every 3 feet) and tight to avoid tripping up a friendly moose. (I presume you don’t mow the tundra area).

(3) Wireless is a good option where there is a lot of snow. But, the garage roof is likely going to make that a non-option for you because it is going to cause major interference with the system signal.

Dennis April 6, 2013 at 8:06 am

I live on a lake and I want the dog to have access to the lake but not to my side neighbors. Can I run the wire down the side of my property into the water then to the other side and back up the opposite property line. How deep, in the water, must I go the cancel the signal to the collar.

ADMIN – Hi Dennis,

That layout would work, the other option would be to elevate the wire. The depth the wire needs to be run underwater (or the height overhead) depends on how wide you set the system boundary. For a typical boundary width of 4 feet on either side of the boundary wire, you will want a depth of around 6 feet (4 feet plus a 2 feet safety buffer)

Barbara March 26, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I have a bloodhound that can open gates unless they’re locked, but will try to escape when I unlock it to leave. She weighs 110 lbs and will knock people over if that’s what she needs to do. Her obedience training doesn’t help if I don’t see her leave.

We had a Invisible Fence installed and they were terrible. Installation , service calls and batteries were ridiculously high. It was an awful experience.

She doesn’t jump the fence on the sides of house. She escapes through the front and back gates. Should I install 2 separate systems with each having a side-fence to side-fence 2-foot narrow loop, or should I make 1 closed loop around the perimeter of the the yard? Which would be more effective and cost efficient?

ADMIN – Hi Barbara,

I would do a single loop around the entire yard perimeter. The gates might be the problem now, but once a dog has a taste for escaping and you block one route, they will tend to find new routes to break out. If you do a loop around the entire perimeter, you will know the dog is safely contained.

If you do end up just doing those two side-gates, instead of doing a full system, you could just use a couple of the outdoor wireless pods.

Beth March 17, 2013 at 9:07 am

I have a question. While running the boundary wire, I need to run in close to my home, on the outside of my foundation wall, to make my loop. The problem is, both of my dogs kennels are on the opposite side of that wall. Right up against it. Is this going to be a problem? Are they going to be too close to the wire?
Thanks in advance.

ADMIN – Hi Beth,

This is likely to be a problem. The signal can go through the walls, and if the dog’s kennels are nearby the collars could get triggered in what should be a safe area. If you need to run the wire so close, we need to do something to keep the signal away from the dogs such as elevating the wire and running it along the gutter line to create more separate between the wire and the dogs.

If you need help with the layout, email us a diagram and we would be happy to help you figure something out.

Marsha Smith November 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

As far as using cord covers across a driveway…visiually, there are Many sizes and thickness- is there a maximum that ‘It” can transmit through and a certain material it won’t go through? It seems they are all some kind of plastic/rubber.

ADMIN – Hi Marsha, no, any of the cord covers you can buy will not block the signal. Make sure to only use non-metal cord covers though as the metal ones can cause interference.

Dawn September 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Thinking of purchasing an invisible fence. Does it have to go in a full circle? I only have problem with my dogs on the farm by the road when a bike or walker goes by, don’t want them near the road!

ADMIN – Hi Dawn, yes the fence needs to be in a closed loop to function correctly. You can install the wire as far off the road as you need or you can keep them contained to the back of your property. Please refer to Planning/Layouts page located under Installation on the menu bar.

Kit April 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm

We have a year and a half old; 40 pound, Lab/Greyhound mix who is incredibly strong and fast. She scales our 6 foot wood fence with ease. What is the best containment option for her? Thanks.

Admin- Hi Kit,

The best rechargeable system for your Greyhound will be the Innotek IUC-5100. Since you already have the fence in place, you can attach the boundary wire directly to the wood fence. This way when your greyhound approach’s the fence, she will receive the warnings and correction well before she is able to jump the fence.

rex April 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm

What happens if you “Nick” the black wire casing some? Not much, just a couple of times when pushing it down in the crack when I cut into the drive.

Admin- Hi Rex,

Overtime you could experience some signal lose throughout the boundary. It would confuse the transmitter to think that the loop is complete but the signal will only project about 6 inches off of the wire. I would recommend cutting the wire and resplicing the nicks; however, since you know the location of the nicks. You could wait until a problem appears.

Kristin April 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Do you have any recommendations for fencing around a pool? About 1/3 of the perimeter of the pool does have an area where the wire can be buried, but the rest of the pool is a solid surface concrete without any expansion joints. It is an expensive surface so I hate cut a thin trench in it to bury the wire. I’ve thought about getting those tacky looking things that people lay over cords to prevent tripping, but wondered if you had any other thoughts?

ADMIN – Hi Kirstin,

Doing a pool with concrete landscaping is tough. You can’t use wireless pods, because the pod would need to be located in the middle of the pool. Running wire is also difficult as your described, because you don’t want to saw through your finished surface.

One option, is to lay the wire on the surface, and use the cord covers. Train the dog on the system, in winter when nobody is using the pool area. Then once the dogs have been thoroughly trained, and had a few months to get used to the system, remove the wiring. Now the system will no work of of course, but many dogs – particularly more timid dogs will not venture past the old boundaries, remembering that this used to cause them to get the shock.

Not this option is not certain to work. Some dogs will eventually figure out they can cross, in which case you need to quickly lay out the wire again, so they don’t get back into the habit of entering this area.

Andrea March 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

We already have a wire fence that the dogs are digging under. I want to use this fence. I thought I had read somewhere we can just zip tie this wire to the existing fence, is that true? Also, I want to run it along the front of the house to complete my loop, the fence touches the sides of the house. Is there any way I can shut it off for a portion, the length of the front of my house? I want them to be able to go out the garage door and front door when I’m there. THANK YOU!

ADMIN – Hi Andrea,

If you have an existing wire fence, you can indeed just attach the dog fence boundary wire to the existing fence. The easiest way to make the part of the loop running around the front of the house non-active is to run the wire up and over the house. The height of the fence above the ground will cause the signal to not reach the dogs down on the ground. The tidiest way to achieve this is to run the wire up a drainage spout, across the gutter, and down the spout on the other side of the house.

You could also run the wire up and over the back of the house, that would avoid you needing to run the wire along the sides of the house.

Dean March 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm

i understand that if you use the twisted wire it makes a dead spot were dogs may pass as long as it is making a closed circuit. i.e. both wires are in use in opposite current flow, i was wondering if you triple twist the wire can you acheive a dead spot that the dogs may pass in the middle of a loop? will this work????

current in {wire A}————————-/ solder A to B and the opposite end of B to C.
{wire B} \————-/ and have all 3 wires twisted together
{wire C} \——————————-current out

ADMIN – Hi Dean,

Afraid triple wiring will result in an active section of fence. Odd numbers of wires bundled together are active, only even numbers result in the signal being cancelled.

The only way to create a dead zone in the middle of the loop is to elevate the wire high overhead, or bury the wire deep below ground.

Melissa March 18, 2012 at 9:58 am

We have a 3 year old goldendoodle and have a fence already in place in the backyard. We want to keep her from getting all the way up to the fence (maybe 2-3 ft back) and also run the system to the front yard so she can hang out but can not run away or run up to people walking by. What is the best system and can we mount the wire on the fence and set the controls so it warns her when she get too close?

Admin- Hi Melissa,

A great system will be the Innotek/PetSafe IUC-4100 system. The IUC-4100 offers a slim fit rechargeable collar that will fit your goldendoodle great. For your set-up, you can simply attach the boundary wire to the existing fence in the backyard and bury the wire across the front yard. The minimum boundary will be 1-2 feet and the maximum is 10-12 feet, which you will be able to set on the transmitter yourself.

rick March 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Could i use insulated staples to fasten the wire to my asphalt driveway?

ADMIN – Hi Rick,

Great question. I’m not sure since we’ve never field tested it. I imagine it will depend on the age of the asphalt.

Mike February 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I just had a new house built and I currently only have an initial base coat of asphalt on the driveway. In a few weeks the final asphalt layer will go down. Can I place the wire on the base coat and have it covered by the final asphalt layer when that goes down? Any problems with heat if the wire is directly lying between the layers? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Mike,

You can indeed lay the wire down and asphalt over it, but you want to use some kind of protective tube like an old hose pipe, or PVC pipe. Otherwise, as you point out, the hot asphalt melts through the insulation of the dog fence wire and can cause problems.

molly February 2, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I have the same question about the drainage pipe under the driveway– it’s metal. Does that matter? Can we just run it through with a hose or PVC pipe?

ADMIN – Hi Molly,

You can run the wire under the driveway through a metal drainage pipe as long as it is not more than 1 foot below the surface assuming you set the boundary width to be at least 5 feet wide. When you go much deeper you get an inconsistent signal at ground level. You can also use a hose or a PVC pipe.

kevin December 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I had a question about tunneling the wire under my driveway. There is a drainage ditch that runs under my driveway. Can I fish the wire through this drain or does the wire need to be protected from the water that might go through it? Thanks.

Admin- Hi Kevin,

You can install the wire inside the drainage ditch. I recommend running the wire inside of a water hose or PVC pipe for added protection before installing the wire inside the ditch.

Ray Kidder December 18, 2011 at 11:53 am

I have a gravel driveway and the wire is in a 3/4″ pvc, it works going through this but it seems that the signal is weak. The PVs is buried about 2-4″. Is there anything I can do to boost the signal. The system is already set at it’s highest setting.

ADMIN – Hi Ray,

What type of system are you using. For most systems, operating within their capacity that should not be a problem. If the system has a large/small field size switch, turn it to large and turn up the boundary dial. You can also move the wire nearer the surface, or use a thicker wire although both those solutions will involve relaying the boundary in that area.

Darlene November 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Hello, I am going to do a figure 8 around the house so my 2 german shepards can remain out back or out front. My question is I have a metal pole barn that I am not including inside the boundry but I want to plug in the reciever inside the metal pole barn. The boundry will be approximately 15 feet away from the barn. Will i have problems with it being plugged inside the metal barn?

ADMIN – Hi Darlene,

Hello, I am going to do a figure 8 around the house so my 2 German Shepherds can remain out back or out front. My question is I have a metal pole barn that I am not including inside the boundary but I want to plug in the receiver inside the metal pole barn. The boundary will be approximately 15 feet away from the barn. Will I have problems with it being plugged inside the metal barn?

Jeff August 30, 2011 at 9:26 am

I am planning to use an expansion joint in my driveway and caulk it into place. I live in South Dakota and we frequently have harsh winters with lots of Snow blower use. My two questions are:
1) WIll the caulking hold up to the snow blower?
2) What brand of caulk should I use? It’s a regular concrete drive way. My concern is that with the drastic temperature changes we get in South Dakota (sometimes 10 F degress in the morning and 50 F by 3 PM) the expansion joint will probably actually get bigger/smaller throughout the year. I want to ensure the wire will last as long as possible without being to solid of a caulk that the concrete can’t adjust during tempurature changes. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Jeff,

1. Caulk is fine with the snow blower. A couple of tips to get a really good bond: (a) Make sure to really clean out all the debris in the expansion joint, (b) if the surface is too smooth – rough it up a little to give the caulk a bitter grip, (c) do it in the warmer months so the caulk can set and cure – it will not set below 50F.

2. Pretty much any outdoor caulk will do. We use the DAP brand and the Liquid Nails brand. The caulk is a really flexible putty like material and can take the expansion/contraction cycles.

robert August 26, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I have a gravel driveway what would be the procedure used to bury the wire

Admin- Hi Robert,

We recommend burying the wire 4-6 inches below the gravel drive inside of a PVC pipe for extra protection from the gravel.

Dawn August 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I have a small koi pond that my 2 dogs love to cool off in. I am ready to order the IUC4100 system and am wondering if the collars are waterproof?

ADMIN – Hi Dawn,

The collars on the Innotek IUC-4100 are fully waterproof. The dogs can swim with the collars on without any issues.

Jerry August 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Your site is terrific! Perhaps it’s here but I didn’t find it….I’m planning on a layout which allows our dog to access both the front and back yards individually (the sides of the house have narrow property lines, so not enough room to allow passage). Once the system is in place, how do we take our dog for a walk (ie walk off the property w/out the dog getting confused about the risk of a correction)?

ADMIN – Hi Jerry,

For the first couple of weeks you will avoid walking the dog through the fence because you want to have a consistent experience for the dog. During that training period when you walk the dog you can either carry them over or put them in the car and drive them over.

Once the dog is trained on the fence basics we can teach them that they can walk through when you give them permission. You will create a routine for them, like taking the collar off the dog, putting them on a leash, and walking them through the same spot every time. The first time you do it, the dog will resist and you will have to pull them through. But, after a few times the dog will get the hang of it.

There is more information on the training section of the website.

Gene July 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I just bought a house that already has a pvc tube going under my driveway. My concern is how to thread the wire through the tube so that it comes out the other side. If the wire is too flimsy, trying to push it through won’t work. If it’s too stiff, it won’t follow the bends in the tube. Just curious about how this is usually done.

Love your sight. Will definitely put you at the top of my list for a purchase decision. Thanks! Gene

ADMIN – Hi Gene,

To run wire through a conduit, we usually use fish tape. Fish tape is stiff steel tape (similar to a measuring tape) that you push through the conduit. Once you get the fish tape through, you tie the dog fence wire to the fish tape and pull it back through the conduit. Fish tape costs around $20 and is available at most hardware stores.

If it is just a small distance, you can use a metal measuring tape.

Frank Carraro July 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm

When the wire breaks is there an alarm to alert the user? Also, can the receiver function as a locator if carried close to the wire?

ADMIN – Hi Frank,

All of the systems let you know there is a wire break break by either an indicator light or an alarm (or both).

The collar receiver can be used to locate the wire, because it will start beeping when you get close to the wire. Note, this will only work if there is no break in the wire – if there is a break the collar will not trigger anywhere at all.

Rob July 1, 2011 at 6:45 am

I only want to fence off the driveway entrance to stop my dog running onto the road as we are having an open driveway put in. How is best to go about it? It’s not a long driveway so I can’t double loop the cable and then do a small circuit with a 6ft gap because that would stop my dog going out of the front door completely. I want a fence that won’t stop my dog from going anywhere except out of the driveway entrance.
———————- (I only want to fence off this section to stop dog going on the road)
i i
i i (boundary wall)
i i
i i
—(front door here)——-

ADMIN – Hi Rob,

If you are just blocking a small area, one of these small outdoor pods may do the trick. You could either run it in wireless mode and create a small circular boundary around the pod, or put it in wired mode and run a small length of wire across the driveway then back (six feet apart).

Bob Morrison June 23, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I see in your installation procedures the technique for cutting through a driveway and caulking it. I have a blacktop driveway and I’m wondering what material you would recommend for caulking the groove.

ADMIN – Hi Bob,

At the hardware store you can get a black sealing compound for blacktop. It is made for repairing crack. You want to avoid the ones that require high heat – they tend to melt the insulation on the wire. You want the ones that can be applied at room temperature.

romeo panganiban June 20, 2011 at 11:39 am

Hi my next door neighbor has invisible fence underground. If i install my invincible fence will there be some interference on both system.
2nd question i have a surge protection that has two loops connection can i use one loop connection for backyard and other for front yard will that be a better way getting more power. Whats the pros and cons of using that method. Thanks for all the help great sites.

ADMIN – Hi Romeo

You will get interference between systems if the boundary wires are within 12 feet of one-another. To avoid this, you can use a dual frequency system like the Perimeter Ultra that lets you select different frequencies and avoid the interference.

I’m not quite sure I understand the second question fully. But, let me take a stab at it and if I completely miss the point, please let me know. If you are running two separate loops, you want to connect only one to the base station and splice the second loop into the first (so the loops are in series, not in parallel). When you connect two loops directly to the transmitter, you will get inconsistent boundary width across the two loops.

Dalton June 19, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I see you mentioned concrete driveways as well as asphalt, cutting a groove and sealing with sealant………what about those of us who have rock or what some folks in West Virginia call Devil Dog(chips of byproduct of coal for driveways)…or gravel type of driveways with sharp edges EVERYWHERE, which unprotected, will surely cut the wire in no time. Naturally..the closer to the top of the ground the better–and unlike solid concrete or asphalt…rock types of driveways do shift around a little as ground pressure of vehicles are riding across. What I was thinking of doing was cutting a small trench across my gravel driveway….then put in a couple of inches layer of sand that can be picked up at any home improvement place, and providing a soft layer for the wire to lay in….and then cover either in schedule 40 PVC, which can stand quite a bit of weight…or a long piece of angle iron to cover the wire, or maybe some black iron type of pipe for protection–I would think due to the size of the wire…an 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch black iron would do, at 20 foot. Then one can place rocks back on top of this affair…and nobody would be none the wiser. Will this work…or do you have another option?????

ADMIN – Hi Dalton,

With gravel type driveways, you definitely want to provide protect, because the rocks are as you say they are very abrasive and quickly strip the insulation from the wire.

PVC pipe works well, I also like using a flexible pipe like an old hose pipe or sprinkler system pipe. Flexible piping is easier to work with for folks like me that can’t dig a perfectly straight trench. I would avoid using a metal pipe if you are starting from scratch, it is usually not a problem but occasionally you get small signal magnification issues.

Martha Clark June 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Here is a curiosity question…..I used to own horses and have wondered if with a large enough collar could horses be trained to the fence????

ADMIN – Hi Martha,

Considering a horses high intelligence, I want to say yes. However, we do not have experience with training horses, so I cannot provide a definitive yes or no.

Kelly May 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Is there an issue with installing the transmitter inside a metal shed?

ADMIN – Hi Kelly,

With a wired system, there can be issues when transmitter is mounted on one of the metal wall. If possible, position the transmitter somewhere else. If that is not possible, you can often get away with keeping the transmitter somewhere away from the sheet metal walls. For example putting the transmitter on a support beam in the centre of a large shet.

Terry May 12, 2011 at 11:49 am

I ran my wire under my driveway through the culvert. I put the wire in a PVC pipe and I am not getting a signal from under the culvert. Everywhere else the signal works except from there. I don’t want to saw cut my driveway. I am just wondering how to get the signal to come through? Any ideas?

ADMIN – Hi Terry,

The signal is having trouble going through all the ground between the culvert and the top of the driveway. I am guessing it is pretty deep. You can turn up the boundary dial at the base station to boost the boundary width, although this will lead to the boundary being wider in all sections of the yard which may cause problems elsewhere. The only other thing you can do is move that wire closer to the surface, either by cutting the driveway or creating a second, higher culvert.

Chris May 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm

As we are getting ready to start on the landscape our new house I have one question. I am planning on running 1 3/4 conduit around the yard for future projects. Will this conduit be to large to transmit the signal or should it not be a problem? Also this conduit will be going under the driveway. We are thinking that the Innotek 4100 is going to be our best bet for our 2 goldens. V/R Chris

ADMIN – Hi Chris,

Good thinking. Laying down a conduit for future wiring needs when you do the landscaping is a great way to save future work. 1 3/4 inch PVC conduit if fine. The diameter of the conduit is not particularly important, you just don’t want to bury it too deep. Try to keep it less than one foot deep.

The 4100 is a good choice for Goldens. They are generally easily trainable dogs and don’t need much by way of correction. The only tricky part is fitting the collar correctly so they actually do get the correction through all that fur. The 4100 collar-check feature makes getting the collar on much easier for long-hair dogs!

pat April 12, 2011 at 7:51 am

I keep having problems with my fence I got at a local hardware store. I didn’t like the wire that came with is so I got #12 single wire made for marking gas line. Now the fence kicks out form time-to-time but the wire shows no short on an ohm meter. Do you have a unit that will work on heavy wire. I ran 800 linear feet of wire.

ADMIN – Hi Pat,

I am not sure what type of wire you used of the type of system you have, but generally the systems will work well with any insulated single copper wire. Thicker wire does not require different control units, thicker wire is actually easier for the systems to deal with, it is like having more lanes on a highway. If the line has no breaks (as evidenced by the ohm meter), my initial hypothesis would be that there is something wrong with your base station. Try confirming this by connecting a short test loop to your base station and seeing if that cuts out from time-to-time as well.

Sandra March 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm

My conduit is 2 feet under the drive way. Is this too deep ?

ADMIN – Hi Sandra,

Two feet is probably too deep. When you bury the wire deep in only one spot, you usually have to turn up the boundary width dial high to get the signal to penetrate the ground. This make the boundary too wide everywhere else. I would instead find an expansion joint on the surface, or cut a groove across with a circular saw.

Dane March 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Very helpful site. I am trying to decide between two systems. The Innotek 4100 and the SportDog 100. I have a Porty (PWD) that is very active and high energy. My property is only a couple of acres but includes some wooded areas and wet areas. I plan on using old garden hose to run the wires through the wooded and wet areas where I cannot bury it and hope to protect is some from the wildlife ( I boarder 200 acres of conservation land). Which system would you recommend? Thank you for your assistance.

Admin- Hi Dane

Hands down the Innotek 4100. It is the most reliable and top selling system. Also with the 4100, the collar is rechargeable and sits in a little cradle that you can plug into your wall socket. A full charge takes about two hours and lasts about a month; whereas, the SportDog -100A does not have a rechargeable battery. We always recommend using PVC pipe or water hose to protect any exposed wire so that is smart thinking by you.

Alan March 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Hi, I’ve got a next door neighbor who is into ham and other radios. One is a tall tower, and the other that i can see is like a long, low wire (10-12′ off the ground) going across to a tree in the woods. What is the likelihood of these causing a problem? Are there any specific questions I can ask him to see if there is a conflict? Thanks, Alan

ADMIN – Hi Alan,

It is unlikely that his Ham Radio is going to interfere with your dog fence. But, it is possible that a wired dog fence will interfere (cause static) with his Ham radio.

Jason February 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I have 1000′ of direct burial coaxial cable that I would like to use. Will the outer shield of the coax hamper the effectiveness of the system by preventing the signal from escaping?

Great site!

Admin – Hi Jason

If it is coaxial cable, I would say that it will not work. The strand and shielding would be wrong. The wire needs to be specific… Direct Burial – Solid Copper – At least 600v made of High Density Polyethylene Jacket.
I hope this helps you.

Terry January 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Great site! Just bought an Innotek 5100 for a 4 yr old golden doodle who is a sissy when it comes to pain. Couple of questions:
1. I have an expansion joint on the driveway that is perfectly placed but has a black foam-like insert clogging it. When the weather warms up I’m assuming it can be pulled out. Does it need to be or should I try and force the wire into the expansion with it? I haven’t seen many folks reference these inserts.
2. Do most folks typically start with the lowest correction level and go up from there?

ADMIN – Hi Terry,

  1. Often expansion joints have foam, rubber, or asphalt like substances that keep you from inserting the dog fence wire into the joint. You can pull them up, or if that is difficult use a circular saw to cut a slot down the middle of the compound. These compounds tend to be easier to cut that the driveway itself and once cut they are easy to remove. Melting them a little with a butane torch can also help soften them for removal.
  2. Start by adjusting the correction level to the level you thing would be appropriate for your dog. If in doubt, pick the lower level. Then after the dog gets their first correction reevaluate. If a dog just flinched, going up a level is a good idea. If the dog was overwhelmed or fearful then go down a correction level. If there was no reaction at all, it is most likely that the dog did not get the correction because the collar was not fitted correctly (even on a low correction most dogs will react).
Mark January 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Hi and thanks for the very helpful site. I am considering an Innotek IUC-4100 system for our yard and have a couple questions. First, both neighbors on either side of my home have a buried electric dog fence. I am not sure of the brands but may be able to find out. Is there any limitation on how close I can run my wire to theirs? Can I change the frequency if an issue? Ideally I could run very close to theirs to maximize the area. Second question is on gauge of wire. I am considering using 16 gauge since about half of the area will be in the woods and not buried. Is 16 gauge overkill? I was just thinking heavy duty since I was going to leave on the surface in the woods. Thanks so much!

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

To avoid interference you need to keep the wire about 12 feet from the neighbor’s fence. You can sometimes go closer depending on how wide the neighbors have their system turned up. The Perimeter Technologies Ultra Dog Fence is a good choice if you think there is going to be an interference problem because it allows you to change the frequency of the system to avoid interference.

Regarding wire gauge, 16 gauge works great. We find that thicker wire doesn’t make a huge difference in terms of durability, the things that cut the thinner wire seem to cut the thicker wire with equal ease. All that said, thicker wire certainly doesn’t hurt.

Micki January 13, 2011 at 2:07 am

We currently have two large Newfoundlands and have been thinking about getting another smaller dog in a couple years. Which system do you suggest? Our dogs have always been in a fenced yard and we will soon be moving to a 2 1/2 acre corner lot that will get a lot of traffic. I would be devastated if anything happened to them. Thank you for your help.

ADMIN – Hi Micki,

If you are going to have small dogs and big dogs like Newfies together then the either the PetSafe Stubborn or the SportDog-SDF-100A would be a great choice (they are very similar systems). They can both be used with the smaller PetSafe collars like the PetSafe Deluxe Collar and the PetSafe Little Dog Collar so should work well when you have a new addition to the pack.

Sarah December 29, 2010 at 10:16 am

How do we dig under our asphalt driveway to burying the dog fence wire?

ADMIN -Digging under an asphalt driveway is done by digging a hole on each side of the driveway. Then you use a sharpened section of PVC pipe to core out a small section of tunnel on each side. You tunnel in this way from each side until you meet in the middle. (see here above) It is slow going and difficult.

Most people instead, cut a shallow channel across the driveway using a circular saw. Then you lay the wire in the channel and then seal the slot using either an asphalt compound or a waterproof outdoor caulk. This is a much quicker and easier way to get the containment system wire across a driveway.

Jeff Becker December 28, 2010 at 12:03 am

I have a few questions. I have 3.3 acres and my house and barn both have metal roofs, do I have to rule out the Havahart Wireless because of metal roofs?
If I have to go with the wired system, can I simply attach it to present fencing to avoid burying it? I would have to cross a gravel driveway a few times- would putting the wire in an old hose suffice? In one small section my fence is also solar electrified for the horses- would it suffice if I were to run the dog’s wire at the bottom, leaving the horse wire at the top? One last question- I live in the NW- it’s damp here does that affect a system? Is there a” best” system given all of these conditions? Thanks Jeff

ADMIN – Hi Jeff,

If you have metal roofs, I would avoid all the wireless systems including the Havahart. The metal roof tends to interfere with the signal and gives you very patchy coverage.

You can attach the dog fence to a physical fence and it will work great. You occasionally get interference from a nearby electric fence – string up a small test section and test it with the dog fence collar to see if yours will be an issue. If there is interference, then you may need to separate them by up to six feet. Running one along the top, and one along the bottom of the wooden fence may be enough separation.

Crossing a driveway in any kind of protective pipe (hose pipe, PVC pipe, irrigation pipe) works great. It is particularly important in Gravel where the surface is so abrasive.

The damp is not any issue for any of the wired dog fence systems, the wiring is the only part exposed to the damp and it does fine in wet conditions.

In terms of the best dog fence system, let us know a bit more about your dogs (breed, age, weight, temperament) and your yard (acreage) and we are happy to make some recommendations.

Cecelia December 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I read in an above comment about containment pods for just a couple of gate openings but i don’t see them listed for purchase. can you tell me where to look for them on your website. thank you for all of the detailed answers above! I had a lot of questions and you answered them completely ( except for my question about the pods)!!!

ADMIN – Hi Cecelia,

You can access all our products through the store link on the top right of each page. You can also go directly to the containment pods and collar sets through this link.

Taso December 12, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Hey there, quick question. I ran my fence wire across the river in my backyard (when the water was low). I couldn’t exactly dig and bury the wire so instead I just laid a couple of flat rocks (gently) over the wire to hold it down. Hopefully I don’t think that the wire will have any problems or maybe if there is heavy rainfall it could rip the wire but do you think the insulation will deteriorate over time even though it is underground insulation?? Thanks for your time.

ADMIN – Hi Taso,

Running the wire through water is fine – sinking it to the bottom of the river bed is a good way to protect it.

The insulation will deteriorate over time, but even in the most aggressive conditions you should be getting five years and in more typical conditions at least ten years. I would think the wire getting torn by debris during a storm surge would be the most likely cause of failure.

If you do get a break, I find that running the loop wire through an old hose pipe before sinking it to the bottom of the river is a good quick way to give you a little extra protection against debris causing breaks.

Bill Murbs December 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I live on a small lake and there is a nice beach. Are there any systems on the market that would allow in the water installation-I see that some are waterproof. Just enough into the lake to allow our small dog to get to the water to get a drink and possible wade out a few feet?

ADMIN – Hi Bill,

You can run the wire through the water for an underwater installation. You want to try and avoid splicing the wire in the water, so strategically place your splices if possible to make sure they are not in an underwater section. Most of the systems have a waterproof collar.

Wayne December 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm

First let me thank you for this site, it’s a wealth of knowledge and information!
We have an Invisible fence ICT 725 transmitter with battery backup that is 4 1/2 years old. Recently it started beeping (1 second beep every minute) while showing a blinking green LED (1 second on, 4 seconds off). The owner’s manual doesn’t show this combination in the troubleshooting chart, so I don’t know what it means or what to do about it. The system is working fine, the collar produces a tone when the field is entered. I have read that the backup battery should be replaced every 5 years. Do you think that’s the problem even though the LED is green instead of red? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Wayne,

I don’t recognize that error code, the Invisible Fence systems are not our specialty. I don’t think it is the battery, because the Invisible Fence ICT 725 unit works fine without the battery.

You should be able to get your Invisible Fence rep to diagnose it over the phone. The units usually have a lifetime warranty, so if there is any issue you should be covered.

Diane November 28, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Do you have to bury the wire or can I mount it on posts above ground. We live in a remote area and I need to keep my German Shepherd contained to about a 3 acre area to avoid highway traffic. There are areas where it would be so much easier just to put it above ground and only bury the areas where it would be a tripping hazard. If I do this, how high should I string the wire…6 inches, 1 foot, 3 feet? We do live in the country and have areas where nobody goes (except the dog!).

ADMIN – Hi Diane,

You do not need to bury the wire. It is just as happy above ground as below ground. The only reason most people bury is to keep the wire from getting run over by the lawnmower. If you can place the wire on posts, that will keep it safe just the same way burying it would.

The ideal height is the height of the dog’s neck. But, you could place the electric fence boundary wire at any height and it would work fine.

Tom November 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I have a metal culvert that runs under my driveway will that work or will it shield/stop the signal?

ADMIN – Hi Tom,

You can run the boundary wire through a metal culvert – just make sure it is not too deep. If the culvert is more than a foot below the driveway, the signal may not get through and you will need to either get the wire closer to the surface or crank up the boundary width.

Janie Bailey November 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm

We are preparing to install an underground fence for our dogs. In order for them to have a very big area we will have to go under gravel twice. We are stumped. We used a lawn edger for the grass,but no one has been able to help us with this. My sons tried digging, and someone suggested a pick axe, but after attempting some digging, this looks impossible. Please help!

ADMIN – Hi Janie,

I am guessing that you have highly compacted gravel. With loose gravel, it is easy, you can just push the gravel aside or chip at it with a pick axe. But, once gravel is compacted and particularly once the voids between the gravel fill up it hardens like concrete and is very difficult to get across.

For a hardened gravel driveway, I would use either a circular saw with a good quality masonry blade or a angle grinder to cut a shallow slit through the driveway. It is especially important to wear eye protection when doing this, it will kick out a lot of debris.

An easier but more visible way to go, is to put the wire in an old hose pipe and just run it on top of the gravel driveway.

Heather November 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm

How do you recommend dealing with a driveway if you’re renting the house and not permitted to damage the driveway? Do you think it would work to just try to run the wire along a seam and cover it with something?

ADMIN – Hi Heather,

If there is an expansion joint or seam in place, you can just run the wire through the seam, then caulk over it. You can also just run the wire over the top of the driveway – placing the wire in something protective like an hosepipe is preferable as the wire will last longer, but is not necessary.

Denise November 13, 2010 at 10:52 pm

We have about 2 acres of land that we want to contain our two Boxers in. I think our only issue will be crossing the gravel drive way. We are considering purchasing the Innotek IUC-4100, but are concerned if we can run the wire through the metal culvert under the gravel drive way. It is about 3 or 4 feet below ground. Would there be interference from the metal culvert?? How about the depth of the culvert, would that weaken the signal? We really don’t want to purchase a system and then not be able to use it. Do you have any advice? THANKS!!

ADMIN – Hi Denise,

The metal culvert itself will not be a big issue, but running the wire 3-4 feet below ground will make it very difficult for the signal to get through to the surface – it will depend on how wide you set the boundary width and the type of soil, but I think it is unlikely to work at that great a depth.

If you can, run the wire across the gravel driveway through an old hose pipe or an irrigation pipe, shallowly buried if you want. It is important to give the wire some protection when burying in gravel because the gravel can be very abrasive.

Kim November 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm

We moved and we have the transmitter box to but no collar. The transmitter box was for a big dog but we have a small dog now. Can I use the same transmitter and just get a differant collar?

ADMIN – Hi Kim,

It depends on the brand. The PetSafe inground systems have a variety of collars that you can use on all their in ground transmitters. Other than PetSafe, all other systems usually only have one type of collar and only work with their own transmitter.

Cheri November 6, 2010 at 10:18 am

I have a very large lot and can’t fence the entire thing with traditional fencing and I don’t want to cut off the yard by fencing a smaller portion so an underground system would work best for us. I have 2 questions… I am looking at getting a Great Dane and wondering if this type of fence will keep a dog that big in the yard and is there a length limit for the signal to be effective? I would like to dog to have as much room to run and play as possible.

ADMIN – Hi Cheri,

With a Great Dane, the PetSafe Stubborn Dog fence is your best option. It’s designed for large breed dogs weighing over 100 lbs. It has the highest correction levels of any fence on the market. However, you should start on medium for a Great Dane and only work your way up to the higher levels if necessary.

Different systems have different containment area capacities. The PetSafe Stubborn we suggested can do 10 acres (300 feet), other systems go up to 100 acres (9500 feet).

The way the system works is that the boundary wire loops around your property. You adjust the radius of the boundary using a control at the wall transmitter. We recommend setting a boundary radius of 3 to 5 feet. That means that the signal should come off the wire 3-5 feet in all directions. So, if set to 5 feet, it’ll be 5 feet all the way around giving you a total of 10 foot zone of correction. If your dog steps into the that zone, the collar will receive the signal and give a warning beep. If your dog does not retreat into the yard, the collar will then give a correction.

Pat Allman October 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Hi, I live on 2 acres and we have 2 large double swing gates at both entrances. We just want to keep 2 big dogs and 1 small one from going outside the gates. Can we just put the wire on the ground at the gates?

ADMIN – Hi Pat,

Yes, you can make two small loops, one covering the area around each gate. You would link the two loops to each other and to the transmitter using the twisted wire.

An alternative suggestion, instead of getting a full dog fence system, consider instead just getting two of the outdoor pods and placing one at each gate. It will be a lot easier and cheaper than a full dog fence system.

Michael Krienik October 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm

I am planning in taking my dog to my home in the Virgin Islands for an extended stay.
I was thinking of buying a wireless system but based upon the reviews I’ve read, I’m concerned about reliability. I live on a hillside and worry if the terrain & stone retaining walls will create unreliable signals. Any thoughts?
Also, outsdie I have poured concrete stairs toped with brick with a pvc drainage pipe running about 1 – 1 1/2 ‘ under them..will that carry a wired signal if I go that route?

Please advise. Thanks for your help. Mike

ADMIN – Hi Michael,

The wireless systems have difficulties with slopes and situation with retaining walls, I would avoid them in that situation.

Running the wire through drainage pipe a few inches under the ground will work great.

Dave October 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I have a culvert running under my drive way…I’m estimating about 5 feet down. It’s under pavers and I’m assuming a bunch of class 5 crushed rock. I’ve thought about using this as my way under the driveway, but I’m concerned that the signal would not get through the metal culvert, 5 ft of gravel and the 3 inch pavers. Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

ADMIN – Hi Dave,

It’s possible either way. Most likely, if you get any sort of interference it’ll come in the form of a signal bouncing around the yard in that area. It’s difficult to tell with testing it. The possibility is that you receive no interference and it works without a hitch. If you can test it, that’s what I’d recommend, if not, I’d try to another solution.

Bill(Ph.D.) September 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Try this: “Driveway Medic” driveway repair tape! Clean the driveway with air or water (must be dry for installation). Lay the wire across the driveway, anchored at both ends. Cut the tape to size, peel off backing as you stick it over the wire. It looks great (though you will see a slight ridge where the wire is. I added a tube of driveway sealer over the top to be thorough, although on a very new driveway that might make it look worse. This product is a lifesaver. Obviously don’t try this with line voltage (120V) wires.

Melissa August 29, 2010 at 8:04 am

We have an invisible fence around our entire property and now we want to keep the dogs from going from the back to the front of the yard. Can this correct be done without digging up the wire?

ADMIN – Hi Melissa,

In most cases you are going to need to dig up the wire around the side, and splice in a new section of wire that comes in at the side to block off the passage between the front and the back. If you have an Innotek IUC-4100 or an IUC-5100 you could get one of the outdoor wireless pods and plonk it down along the sides of the house to block off that passage.

Frank Scholle June 19, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Is there any way, other than twisting, to suppress the RF for a 25 foot portion of the run? Have you ever tried a triple twist, that is like a flattened “Z” ? Do you think that would be worth trying? Thanks Frank S.

Hi Frank,

Unfortunately, there is not good way to suppress the signal for part of the loop. A triple twist does not work, nor does shielding.

Usually, you will try and design around the problem. Go high up above that section, go down underground below that section, or make a C-shaped loop doubling back on yourself.

Jim June 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I have an existing fence that has not worked for a couple of years. The wire got so green and corroded over the years that it quit working. I got tired of splicing in new areas of the wire. My old dog got used to the boundary and did not need it. We now have a new dog and I need to put in new wire. I used the wire that came with the Pet Safe Kit originally. Any suggestions for wire that will last longer?

ADMIN – Hi Jim,

You want to use a wire that is “direct burial” rated. The insulation on this type of wire is reistance to soil acid and tends to last a lot longer than regular household wire.

Sometimes soil can be very corossive and nothing will hold up well. I suspect this is the problem, since the wire in the current PetSafe kits is direct burial rated and should have held up around ten years. This is rare, but if you think that is what is going on, then you can put the wire in irrigation tubing or an old hosepipe before burying it and that should fix the problem.

Steve June 3, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I am planning the layout of my invisible fence but have heard from a friend that they are prone to lighting strikes. Is there an easy method to ground the fence or is there any other options that will protect the system and my house?


ADMIN – Hi Steve,

If you’re not sure about grounding your system to a ground rod, you have the option to go with a plug-in dog fence lightning protection module. It’s a dedicated surge protector made for dog fences. It plugs into a wall outlet and the boundary wires terminate into the module.

Billy May 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Is there anything wrong with triple twisting wire for areas I want my dog to be able to pass without correction? I live in a split-level duplex and want to avoid running the wire on the unit. I thought that if I came out of each side of the transmitter with one wire of a twisted wire and layed the twisted wire out where I want my dog to be able to cross without correction. At the end of the twisted wire run, splice the twisted wire together. Then come back to the transmitter where the other wire of each side is located and splice a single wire to this end and twist that wire to the already twisted wire and run this single wire (which will ultimately become the boundry wire) around the boundry. Once the single wire is run beyond the now triple twisted wire, will that work as the boundry wire?

ADMIN – Hi Billy,

I’m not sure I’m following your description. However, I may still be able to answer your question. In order for the system to work, the boundary wire must go out from the transmitter, make the boundary and come back to the transmitter and plug into the second terminal. Twisted wire cannot be used in any part of this loop. Twisted wire is used to only connect the transmitter to the main boundary loop or to connect one main loop to a secondary loop.

Here’s an illustration that helps explain twisted wire:

Here are some other installation methods you can also consider when designing your layout:

I hope this answers your question.

Page May 23, 2010 at 9:29 pm

We ran the wire right up along side the driveway on one side. Obviously I can’t put flags into the driveway to train her where the boundary is and where she will start hearing the warning beep. I was thinking of drawing a chalk line to mark the boundary line along the driveway. Do you think the dog can be trained to the chalk line just like the flags?

ADMIN – Hi Page,

Any visual marker will aid in training your dog. We usually just drop the flags on the driveway, and the dogs usually figure out that it means the same as a flag that is stuck in the ground.

Dan Kocso May 18, 2010 at 9:51 am

What about running the wire on top of the driveway then putting a little sealer/tar/caulk over that so its not completely open but i dont have to cut. – thoughts?
thanks, Dan

ADMIN – Hi Dan,

That works, you really just want to stop the wire moving around and creating a tripping hazard for your guests. If possible find an expansion joint but if not, your coudl do it as you suggest – the wire is suprisingly resilient to being run over.

Clint May 10, 2010 at 9:23 pm

We are in the procees of laying out the wire. There is an area in our yard that the wire will run thru that we cross with our tractor regularly, also our driveway is a hard pack gravel driveway which could have heavy traffic. These two areas I am planning on using either electrical plastic conduit or small diameter pvc pipe. Is this ok, will the plastic pipe degrade the signal from the wire ? How deep should the wire/pvc pipe be buried in these areas ?
Thanks, Clint

ADMIN – Hi Clint,

Conduit is a really good idea with a gravel driveway – otherwise the sharp edges of the gravel can be very abrasive. We usually use flexible irrigation piping or hose pipe, but PVC conduit works fine too. The signal goes through the PVC or plastic just fine. We usually bury it just below the surface (about 3 inches), but you can go up to about a foot down if you wish.

Jen April 16, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I am making an assumption here but….I already have an existing fence that my dogs dig under, it is a chain link fence….can I just run the wire through the bottom of the fence instead of burying it since that is the boundary that I want my dogs to have? Will my dogs be able to go right up to the fence then? Also, will that electrify the fence in any way? I do not want to hurt any wildlife of it happens to shock the dog when there is a bird or squirrel on the fence if they activate it.

ADMIN – Hi Jen,

You can run the wire along the fence instead of burying it. You can run it along the bottom of the fence, but I prefer to run it a little higher to keep it away from any errant weed whacker!

The boundary wire is completely safe, it will not electrify the fence, the boundary wire does not deliver any correction, that is done by the collar. Similarly wildlife crossing the boundary will not activate the system, the system is only activated by the collar crossing the boundary.

Maria April 15, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I want to contain the backyard only and use the entire back of my house as a natural fence. The dog will need to pass in and out of the sliding doors, how do I cancel the signal across the patio doors?

ADMIN – Hi Maria,
You cannot cancel the signal in part of the loop. Instead run the wire up a downspout, and across the gutter over the sliding doors. The vertical height over the doors should get you enough separation so the dog can go in and out through the doors. Alternatively you can run the wire tight around the front of the house. For a lot more layout information, check out the “Installation –> Planning” section of the website.

Russ April 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I have an opposite problem to most of the question here about burying the wire. To create a loop, I have to run the wire under an areas where I WANT my dog to be able to pass WITHOUT getting a correction. Is there any way to insulate it to keep the wire from tripping the dog’s collar? Perhaps I have to bury it so deep it won’t reach the collar? Any ideas here?

ADMIN – Hi Russ,

There is no good way to insulate the wire. You can go deep down below the area. The depth you need depends on how wide you have the boundary set up, but a word of warning you will usually need to go very deep (e.g. 3+ feet). It is usually easier to change the layout. We can usually achieve the same ends by playing with the layout.

Julie March 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Hi, can I run the wire up to our garage doors then up and around the doors and back down. I know she my be able to get out of the garage if the doors are open do to the height of the doors.

ADMIN – Hi Julie,

Running the wire above the garage doors to get across the driveway works. When you lay out the wire, just check that aren’t getting any unwanted signals in the garage. Sometimes metal garage doors will amplify the signal in that local area and create an unwanted signal near the entrance to the garage.

Steve Sehring March 16, 2010 at 12:28 am

I have a 25′ metal drain pipe with 12″ diameter which goes under my driveway (culvert). I would love to put the wire through the pipe. Any ideas how to thread or fish the wire? It seems like electrician’s fish tape will not be rigid enough. I am tempted to attach the wire to my little dog and sen him through to the other side, but was hoping there was a less traumatic solution.;)

ADMIN – Hi Steve,

We usually use fish tape. 25 feet should not be too hard with fish tape. If you are having trouble getting it through, put a long ten foot piece of PVC pipe in the drain, then feed the fish tape through the pipe, so that at least the first ten feet is easy for the fish tape.

PS – Tying wire to the dog is inhumane. Generally we tie a thread to the little dog when we send them down the pipe, then we use the threat to pull through wire. 🙂

Jeff March 14, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I read where others have ran wires through their drive metal drain pipe. Does this really work? Does it need to be ran on the top side of the pipe or is leaving it on the bottom ground sside fine? Also, who deep should wire be buried?

ADMIN – Hi Jeff,

Running the wire through a metal pipe usually works perfectly. As always you want to check with the collar to make sure you are not getting any interference or any unintended amplification of the signal. Running the wire along the top or the bottom of the drain pipe does not make a big difference. We usually do the bottom because it is easier.

Generally when burying the wire, you just need it deep enough to avoid getting hit by the lawn mower. Two inches is plenty, but you can go deeper if you wish. One thing to note is that the deeper you go, the more you need to crank up the boundary width so that the signal gets through the ground. This can create problems with the boundary being too wide in other less deeply buried sections of the electronic dog fence boundary.

Glenn January 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I live on a lake that is lowered in the winter months. I want to put the wire in the lakebed so the dog won’t escape when the water is down. Installers have told me that I can bury it in the lake bed or even leave it exposed. Any suggestions? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Glenn,

You can put the wire underwater, either buried in the bed, or just in the water. You want to try and avoid doing any splices in the water, but otherwise it will work fine. Many people put the wire in an old garden hose to protect it, but you don’t have to. One thing worth noting, is that water installation are not always practical just from a liveability standpoint. A good proportion of our water installers end up eventually moving the wire back because the dogs use their new found freedom to swim and then track mud into the house all day long.

Sharon January 6, 2010 at 11:30 am

I’m considering purchasing this unit for my american bull dog who constantly digs under our chainlink fence. I guess I can run the wire along the existing fence but am questioning what to do once I reach the gate which is very wide (allows 2 cars to come onto property) Any suggestions? I really don’t want to cut into the road/driveway.

ADMIN – Hi Sharon,

You have three options if you don’t want to cut.

  1. Go over the driveway – run the wire naked (or protected through an old hosepipe) over the top of the driveway, if the wire is naked, expect to change out that section every couple of years as it will wear out
  2. Find an Exsisting Cut – find an expansion joint in the driveway, put the wire in the joint and caulk over it
  3. Tunnel under the driveway – difficult, but if you already have a culvert or pipe under the driveway in place you may be able to take this option.
Bart December 26, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Will a cattle guard interfere with transmission.

Hi Bart,

A cattle guard will not interfere with transmission. (I presume you mean the metal grid that goes in the ground that stops cattle walking over it) An electric cattle fence can sometimes cause interference, you have to test a small section to find out — if it does you will need to separate them, usually by about 6 feet.

Ken White December 21, 2009 at 9:33 pm

1st question: when tunneling under the asphalt driveway is there any depht restrictions.
2nd question: i already have a 1″ pvc conduit under the drive way for my auto gate controler cable. the existing cable is for 12 volt dc moter that powers the gate moter. useing the same pvc conduit for the fence wire will this efect the performance of the fence.?

ADMIN – Hi Ken,

There is no maximum depth, but the lower you go, the more you are going to have to turn up the boundary width to get through the ground. I would avoid going much deeper than six inches.

I think you could get away with using the same conduit, there is probably no current going through that wire when the gate is not in use so it is unlikely to cause interference. The only way to know for certain would be to test.

Amanda November 19, 2009 at 10:02 am

We are about to move to a house on the lake, we have a fairly small lot, about 100 feet on the lake and we are at the end of a cove with a dock. Would it be possible to somehow put the wire in pvc in the lake to allow the dogs to swim around the dock but not get further out into the lake? We have 2 labs and I would hate to not let them swim. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Amanda,

Some folks put the wire in an old hose pipe. This keeps the wire floating at the surface (although you could sink it if you wish, but depending on the depth, the signal may not reach the surface) You can also put the wire in PVC.

chuck November 8, 2009 at 9:33 pm

the property is fenced with hi tensil livestock fence which is electrified. how far
should the wire be kept from this type of fencing to prevent problems.

Admin – Hi Chuck

Ideally you want to keep six feet away from an electric livestock fence. Sometimes you can get lucky and get no interference with just a small separation, which is great because you can string the dog fence up on the same posts that are holding the dog fence and avoid burying. The only way to know for sure how the interference will affect system is to string up a short length and test it.

Jim Keenan November 3, 2009 at 11:51 am

Can the wire run through the seam and then be caulked over?
This would seem to me to be the easiest option, yet I dont see it here?

Hi Jim,

Agreed. Running the wire through the seam or expansion joint and then caulking over is a great way to do it. We will add it during the next update. Thanks for the tip.

Donna October 8, 2009 at 11:54 am

How does heavy snow affect the effectiveness of a system?

ADMIN – Hi Donna,

Heavy snow is not a big deal, you just need to turn up the boundary width dial when it happens to compensate for the extra depth.

Patrick Rosera September 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

I might of miss some information but here are some questions. Does the collar pick up the signal from the wire if the wire is inside plastic conduit? Does regular 18 or 20 guage wire from a home center work or does this wire have t be something special for this task?

ADMIN – Hi Patrick,

(1) The signal will go through plastic/PVC conduit or piping.

(2) Regular hardware store wire wire works fine. Try and get wire rated for direct burial if it is available. This will last longer in the ground. Gauge is not particularly important.

Doug September 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm

I ran mine through an existing corrugated 12″ metal drain pipe at the entrance to my drive. It’s at least 3″ underground. I was concerned about coverage, but it works just fine with a low (3′) boundary width settings. I’ve got a layer of asphalt, dirt and metal with no problems. You should be fine.

Mike August 17, 2009 at 8:16 pm

I’m installing a new asphalt driveway & a invisible fence.
Is there a chance that the current will not go through the drive because it is too thick?
Also, Is there any need to worry about the new asphalt melting the pvc as it is laid over it due to its heat?

ADMIN – Mike, I would put the wire in some PVC conduit to protect it from the heat (hopefully that will not melt too much). It will also be useful if you ever need to run anything else through there (sprinklers, etc).

Thickness is not be a problem because the boundary width is adjustable and if the signal is not getting through you can just increase the signal strength. Besides, I imagine that you are only putting down a few inches of asphalt.

Mitch August 10, 2009 at 10:34 am

How would you suggest cutting through an asphalt rather than concrete driveway?

ADMIN Hi Mitch,

We do asphalt the same way. Cut it with a circular saw, bury the wire and then patch it with some asphalt compound or caulk.

Matt August 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Just curious if you would leave the pvc pipe underneath the driveway. Also, I have an invisible fence which I am moving to my new property would the wires you have here be compatible and would you recommend 18 or 20 gauge? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Matt,

I would leave the pipe under the driveway, it is a useful conduit the next time you need to run something under (e.g. sprinkler system hose).

I would use 20 gauge that all the manufacturers use and recommend. The 18 g is not much thicker, is harder to work with (due to being stiff), and costs more. Our experience is that anything that is going to cut and break the 20 gauge is also going to cut an 18 gauge.

greg July 11, 2009 at 8:52 am

One alternative to make the “Tunnel Under Method” go faster is to insert a garden hose in the pipe and allow the water to wash away and expel the dirt as you work.

BTW – great site and great info. I’m moving into a new house soon and will definitely be buying my materials from you!

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