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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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob October 7, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Hi- I have used the under ground fence for many years with great success. We recently got a new pup and re-activated the fence. It works great on three sides of the house. The side it does not work well on is the side a neighbor had an underground fence installed. If the fences are too close would it cancel out the signal?

ADMIN – HI Rob. Yes, if the wires are closer than 10 feet, that is what is causing the interference.

Fran May 29, 2017 at 11:13 am

Hi, we have the system and were ready to lay the wire ourselves. we rented a cable layer but the ground was so muddy we had to stop every 3 feet and clean out caked in mud from the blade area. we are thinking of hiring someone to do it. we have 7 acres and want to do most of it. ANy suggestions? we might try again to do it ourselves once the soil gets dry.

ADMIN – HI Fran. That sounds frustrating! We do not have any suggestions on how to keep the trencher clean. You may want to ask the rental company as they would know more about their equipment than we do. If the mud continues to be a problem when using the trencher, you may want to use an edger instead. You would still have to run the wire yourselves but the edger may be easier to use in muddy ground.

Jessica July 25, 2016 at 12:51 am

Hi we have a single wide trailer and we ran the wire from around back to around front of the house and transmitter is on the front porch but when we send the dogs out the back door the collars goes off we have no wire around the back door so why is the collars going on off we have 2 dogs

ADMIN – Hi Jessica. Is there any metal in the area? Metal roofing or siding? This could be amplifying the signal around the door area. If you think there could be a defect, you will want to contact the manufacturer directly.

Dan June 10, 2016 at 1:21 am

I’m installing a dog containment system through my backyard only. I’d like there to be a passage spot for the dog out of my patio door. I have a paver patio with a piece of PVC running underneath it (under the pavers, sand and class 5). I would guess the PVC, which I would run the wire through, sits 8-12″ below the surface. Is that enough to create a dead spot for the dog to safely cross without correction?

ADMIN – Hi Dan. That distance is not enough to create an area that your dog can pass through with out correction. There are a couple of ways to create that safe cross area from our Dog Fence Planning/Layouts page. You will want to scroll down to the Backyard Dog Fence Layout section.

Rochelle June 6, 2016 at 11:06 pm

We live on a lake and have a long narrow yard 43′ x 350′. We would like our 76 lb golden retriever to have access to the water without limitations. We are liking the u shape layout. If we bury our wire in pvc piping could we put the wire closer together? Keeping 5′ a part on either side would cut our width in half and we have a 16′ shed in the middle of our yard which would really limit the access. What other options do we have to keep a single parameter?

ADMIN – Hi Rochelle. Putting your wire in PVC would not allow you to place the wire closer in the double loop layout. What you can do is run the wire out into the lake and sink it in about 10 feet of water. This would be deep enough so that your dog would not receive a correction if/when they swim over it. You can run that part of your wire through flexible plastic tubing to give added protection on the bottom of the lake. I would recommend looking at Lakefront Option #1 on our Planning/Layouts page.

Robert April 14, 2016 at 5:47 pm

I’m putting in a new boundary wire do I need to remove the old boundary wire to avoid signal problem?

ADMIN – Hi Robert. You should not have to remove the old boundary wire. As it will not be carrying a signal, there should not be any interference.

Lori April 4, 2016 at 7:50 pm

I’m trying to layout my wire in a small backyard. It allows for my back door to be the entry way so she will not be shocked coming in and out. The instructions say to lay a double loop with 3 to 5 feet between the wires. How does this work when the wires come together at the connector? Can I not just bury the two wires in the same place? If I have to space them 3 to 5 feet apart that will greatly reduce the area left for my dog?

ADMIN – HI Lori. We have two “backyard” layout options on our Planning/Layouts page. I think one of these MAY be a better option which would allow for your dog to enter and exit your home without receiving a correction and still allow you more room for your dog in your yard. When you use the “double loop” layout, you WOULD have to keep the wires 5 to 10 feet apart so that the system wire would not interfere with itself.

King Pruitt March 28, 2016 at 7:47 pm

I want to loop a wire around a small yard (50’X50′), a buried 120 Volt electrical wire is burried along one side and supplies electric for my fish pond pump. Will that interfere with my system?
King Pruitt
PS: what system would you recommend, I have a Miniature Schnauzer that will be about 10 to 15 lb when an adult.

ADMIN – Hi King. 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 wire fencing, HVAC equipment, other electric fencing, etc) to avoid amplification problems, unintended corrections to the dog’s collar or signal interference.
We recommend laying the wire on top of the ground 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 or you can tack it to the ground using lawn staples.

Carol potts March 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

I have used invisible fencing for Years with Great results.Our 3rd dog is using it. His range is turned up, and it causes the corners to come into the yard more than I Like. it is in about 5 ft.. The back perimeter could be extend further into a thicket of hedge. Do you have any other solutions? Is there a wrap section of corner method. This was installed with 90 degree corners.

ADMIN – Hi Carol. My best guess, based on your post, is that the 90 degree corners are the source of the amplified signal. We usually recommend making your corners a gradual turn, not 90 degree angles, to avoid the signal from the wire interfering with itself. If you have a way to dig and re-position the corners, this should cut back on the amplification by quite a bit. You can see examples of the rounded corners on our Planning/Layouts page.

Come November 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm

i have about 3.5 acres that I have the regular 20ga boundry wire. I want to fence in my flower bed also to keep the dogs out. But now the system will only power the flower bed when it’s hooked up and when I cut it loose it will go back to powering the rest of my land. What is the reson for this happening?

ADMIN – Hi Come. What system do you currently have? Knowing this will help me assist you with options.

Sam Walton May 25, 2015 at 8:14 am

Hey, I have just bought a innotek and place the wire around the boundary, I have a steel frames house and I’m finding that the collar is shocking the dogs as the come inside the front door or close to the house, if I run the system on battery it doesn’t shock them at the door but on the power pack it does. What can u recommend? Can I use some kinda of plug that can stop that signal coming through electrical wire?

ADMIN – Hi Sam. I’m sorry to hear about your dogs. We recommend running the boundary wire 5-10 feet away from metal to avoid amplification problems. No. There is not a plug that can stop the signal from coming through the boundary wire. Please look at another dog fence layout on the DogFenceDIY “Planning, Installation and Layout” page.

Veronica April 12, 2015 at 11:18 pm

The weigh of my black lab is 55 pounds and the area is around 3500 square ft
Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Veronica. You will need 500 ft of boundary wire to contain your Lab in a 1/3 acre perimeter loop. Have you looked at the PetSafe YardMax PIG00-11115 Electric Dog Fence?

Veronica April 11, 2015 at 11:10 am

Hello, my dog is a black lab 3 years old, very active and he likes to run. We just moved into a new house with a yard without fence on a golf course. We are looking for an invisible fence but we don’t have any idea which one will be better for our super active crazy dog . I am afraid that my dog won’t care about the shots and he will run away. Any suggestions?
Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Veronica. Congratulations on your new home! What is the weight of your Black Lab? What is the size of your pet containment area? Answering these questions will help me match your Lab to the best electric dog fence.

Rosina April 9, 2015 at 7:06 pm

I am looking into a wire system for my pet goats and goat dog. Looking at about 3 acres but I don’t want to bury as I move them around every few months. I think I know the collar I need as the one for stubborn dogs as goats take more to shock (at least with regular electric fence). But not sure what wire or transmitter as I would love a battery powered one where I don’t have electricity close. Any ideas?

ADMIN – Hi Rosina. You will need 2,000 ft of boundary wire to contain your goats in a 3 acre perimeter loop. The PetSafe Stubborn Dog Fence (PIG00-10777) is for dogs that require a particularly strong correction. You can use Lawn Staples to secure your boundary wire to the ground. Will there be a lot of traffic (e.g., mowers, string trimmers, aerators, wildlife, tree debris, gardening) near the boundary wire? You will also want to consider seasonal high and low temperatures that also contribute to wire breaks. If so, we recommend upgrading the 20 gauge wire (that comes bundled with the system) to a stronger gauge wire (e.g., 16 gauge, 14 gauge).

Daysha Hill March 24, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Hello, I have a 5 yr old 100 lb lab mix and a 2 yr old 45 lb pit, both are very active and playful. We’ve recently moved into an older trailer, with metal siding. I want to buy an underground fence, but I’m not sure how the house will affect the fence. We’ve got 1/2 an acre, but the front “yard” is only about 10-12′ from house to road. I saw that you had said that the twisted wire needs to run about 10′ from the house on someone else’s post, is that 10′ a void that the dogs can go through? Or does it still transmit to the collars?

ADMIN – Hi Daysha. Have you looked at the PetSafe Stubborn Electric Dog Fence (PIG00-10777)? Yes. Metal will interfere with the signal in the transmitter and boundary wire. The purpose of the twisted wire is to cancel the signal at the base station to avoid signal interference problems. Yes. Your dog can also cross over the twisted wire without receiving a correction. We recommend staying 10ft away from the metal objects that you described. Have you drawn out a layout of your dog fence system and where you want to run the boundary wire? Please look at the DogFenceDIY “Planning, Installation, and Layout” page. You will need 1,000 feet of boundary wire to contain your pets in a 1/2 acre perimeter loop. We recommend the transmitter be installed in a dry location, away from metal, and connected to an electrical outlet. You could also install a “Power Pole” with an electric outlet and install the transmitter in a weatherproof box. Then, run your twisted wire (10 foot section) from the transmitter and splice to the perimeter boundary loop.

april March 16, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Wanting to install a fence. But I’m wondering if I run the wire under my Mobil home if I still need to bury it? Also just to double check if I twist the wire around my door my dogs can still come in?

ADMIN – Hi April. What is the age, weight, breed, and temperament of your dog(s)? What is the size of your pet containment area? Does your Mobil home contain metal (e.g., metal siding, metal roof, etc)? Metal can amplify the signal in the boundary wire and send an unintended correction to your dog’s collar. We recommend testing the collar with the test light tool before putting the collar on the dog to confirm the collar is beeping and correcting at the right location on your perimeter boundary loop. The main purpose of the twisted wire is to connect the transmitter to the perimeter loop. The twisted wire can be installed in a dry location, away from metal, and connected to an electrical outlet. What is the distance from your transmitter to your front door? Have you looked at the DogFenceDIY “Planning, Installation, and Layout” page?

Andrew February 11, 2015 at 11:45 pm

I’m interested in getting an fence through you, either the sport dog or yard max. However I had one question. I was wondering if it would be possible to go around my back yard and run twisted wire through my basement from the back two corners of my house, so my lab would have full access to my house. If so, where should the twisted wire start?

ADMIN – Hi Andrew. What is the age, weight, and temperament of your Lab? What is the size of your containment area? Have you drawn out your layout? The transmitter can be installed in the basement away from metal objects (e.g., HVAC, water heater, etc). You can run the twisted wire connected to the transmitter through a hole in the wall of your basement. How long is the run of twisted wire before it is spliced to the boundary loop? We recommend a minimum of 10 feet of twisted wire. However, each install requires a different amount based on the boundary loop size. Have you looked at our underground dog fence Planning, Installation, and Layout page? Which of the layouts is most similar to your containment area?

Lisa January 31, 2015 at 6:02 pm

We live on a farm and there is above ground electric fence that runs around some of the perimeter of our yard. If we bury the wire underneath the metal electric wire fence, will it still work?

ADMIN – Hi Lisa. We recommend crossing the above ground electric fence perpendicularly so that you do not receive signal interference from running the boundary wire parallel with the electric fence. The boundary wire should be buried 1-3 inches in the ground as it intersects with the electric fence. What is the age, weight, breed, and temperament of your dog(s)? What is the size of your containment area?

Kristin September 28, 2014 at 11:46 am

I do not have enough 16 Gauge wire for my desired installation. I would like to finish the installation this weekend. I can only find 14 gauge wire at my local hardware store. Will my system still work if I use a mix of 16 and 14 gauge wire?

ADMIN – Hi Kristin, yes you can mix 14 and 16 gauge dog fence wire together. However, we recommend using the same gauges for the most part to avoid confusing people, but you can mix the gauges if there is only a slight difference.

Eric May 29, 2014 at 9:46 pm

I have a fenced in back yard and want my dogs to be able to use the whole yard front and back I ran a wire out of my service door to the side fence line, which would be 3 wire loop all twisted, to make a continuous loop and then a single line down the side yard across the front and back up the side. I then did the 3 loop ordeal along the backside of my house back to the service door. When testing the collar keeps beeping. I thought when I twist the wires it cancels out the signal. Is it have a reverse effect because of the 3 twisted wire format. Sorry if doesn’t make sense. Easier to show then explain. Thank You

ADMIN – Hi Eric, the problem is that 2 wires cancel but the third wire is active. You can only splice one wire to one wire. If you splice for example 2 wires into 1 wire, the 2 wire section will be treated as a single wire. The only way to have a canceled section is to run a double loop and where you want the signal canceled you bring the two parallel wire together to twisted.

Sherry May 13, 2014 at 9:37 am

I recently purchased a in-ground fence and I live in a mobile home with sheet metal underpinning because the ground is too rocky, I am going to run it above ground with the staples. My question is, is the underpinning going to interfere with the transmitter? I am going to have to double loop the wire around my front yard. Thanks, Sherry

ADMIN – Hi Sherry, if you make sure to use twisted wire out of the transmitter until it the wire clears your home by 10 feet, you should not have a problem.

Marc Trubiano May 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm

I want to run the fence out to opposite corners of my house. If I run in the basement will the signal come up through the floor?

ADMIN – Hi Marc, yes the signal will broadcast through the floor. The ideal approach is to run the wire in the basement low enough so that the signal does not reach the floor above.

Jeff April 19, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Can the signal from the wire be transmitted through my house plumbing or electrical system? I have a problem with the collar activating by my rear door when I turn the width of the field up. The wire does not run in that area but there is a baseboard heater there. The wire runs underneath the floor through the basement. Any ideas?

ADMIN – Hi Jeff, Yes. The signal can also be transmitted to the electrical and broadcast along the electrical wires. It sounds like you do have an interference issue. I would recommend moving the wire in that wire in the basement further away from the heater.

Robin March 16, 2014 at 11:15 am

Wondering how short of a distance you can set the signal for the side area of your house. If I only have about 12 ‘ from the house to the wire, can I set up a 3’ signal distance from the wire so that my dog can run up the side of the house? I can’t find the minimum setting requirement and the help line is closed on Sundays. Any info would be so appreciated. Thx!

ADMIN – Hi Robin, I do apologize that we missed your call. We are available 7 days a week. If the call volume is high, please leave a voice mail. Yes, you can set a minimum 3 foot signal to accomplish your goal of leaving space, but a better option is to go with the PetSafe YardMax. The signal does not activate the collar until the collar crosses the wire plane so you do not lose the 12 feet of space.

Will February 27, 2014 at 8:28 pm

We have 2 acres on a lake and plan on doing the double loop layout. Would we then need double the quantity of wire listed on the sizing chart (1,180 x 2 = 2,360 ft. of wire)? Also, the spool that came with our PIG00-11115 is 20 gauge, and we were planning on buying 18 gauge for the additional wire. Is there any compatibility issues with using different wire gauges?

Alfredo February 24, 2014 at 2:20 am

I was getting ready to order the Pet Safe Yard Max from your website and I got to the “extras” menu. I saw I had the ability to upgrade in the gauge of the wire. Is there a reason why I should upgrade? What does the thicker wire do?

ADMIN – Hi Alfredo, the 16 and 14 gauge wire are break proof and are exclusively used by professional installers. Tree roots and seasonal changes break the thin 20 and 18 wire.

Karen February 23, 2014 at 10:57 am

We have an existing fenced in yard, we never had a problem….Till Marley came. She has discovered she can climb OVER the fence and escape… Is there a way to put the wire on the fence instead of burying cable?????

Craig January 20, 2014 at 1:05 am

If the wires are not twisted but next to each other will the signal be canceled out? I want to run it in the ground along a wall and then turn at a right angle to go across a gate opening running the wire in the expansion joint and then back across the opening in the same expansion joint and back to the mounted unit. Will the area at the gate opening where the wire is doubled back to complete the loop be effective?

ADMIN – Hi Craig, the signal will be small when the wire laying next to each other, but not completely canceled out. Keep a distance of around 5 feet for double loops.

John January 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm

I have a fenced-in back yard. I want to use the containment fence to deter the dog from digging under the wooden fence. I figure I can mount the box at the house and run a twisted pair along/under an eight-foot gate. Then I separate the wires and install a loop extending around to almost the other side of the house. This covers most of the yard while leaving the gates on either side of the house un-wired. Here’s my question: You say that the looped wires should be six feet apart. My wood fence is not that tall. How far apart should I put the wires? I don’t need and don’t want much distance. Ideally, the collar will trigger only when the dog is right up against the fence. Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi John, there is some flexibility in this. You can separate them around 4 feet and up. The closer the wires get to each other, the more the signal shrinks. This will keep your dogs back by a couple feet.

Tim September 22, 2013 at 10:25 am

Hi, I live by a lake and want to run 18 gauge wire into the water about 25 feet. What is the best method to protect the submerged wire (from waves and fishing hooks)?
Thanks, Tim

Dan Rosellini August 16, 2013 at 7:41 am

I ordered twisted wire on-line but they goofed and sent single wire instead. When I called them about it they said that instead of twisted wire I could tape 2 wires together for the same canceling affect. Is this true? It makes somewhat sense since the instructions warn about running the boundary wires too close to each other to avoid canceling each other out. What’s your opinion?

ADMIN – Hi Dan, if you tape the wire together, it will cancel to a certain point, but not fully. Placing the wires next to each other will result in a 6 inch or so boundary signal.

Mike Swartz May 26, 2013 at 11:32 am

I just found a little info about terminating both ends of the wire with ground rods. I would really like to use this method of installation instead of the double loop. Can you provide any additional info about this? Is it reliable? Will four foot ground rods be deep enough? I will be installing a petsafe PIG00-13661 for two cockapoos if that matters. Thanks in advance…

ADMIN – Hi Mike,

Invisible Fence sometimes uses grounding rods to complete the loop while creating a non-correcting area, but it will work with any wired system. What you do is drive the grounding rods deep into the ground (3-feet is usually enough) on either side of the open section. Note that this method is temperamental, and only works where the soil is permanently damp. It is not something we advise.

Jane May 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm

I bought the Innotek underground fence to keep our 2yr old Lab out of our above ground pool. She leaps in and then can’t get out. We have 10 acres and she stays home well. But she loves to swim…go figure!! 🙂 Anyway, according to the directions the warning area goes out to 15 ft. So I just ran it around the perimeter of our 21 ft pool. I tested the collar and it doesn’t go off until you standing on top of the wire. I adjusted the warning and boundary area to max but still doesn’t go off until I’m standing on top of the wire, What am I doing wrong?

ADMIN – Hi Jane,

When the wires are so close to each other and you turn up the boundary width to maximum the signal from the opposite wires start canceling each other out. With such a small area, you need to turn the boundary strength down, close to the minimum, and very gradually increase until you get your desired warning area. With those wires being so close, you aren’t going to be able to get a boundary much more than 6 feet. (But, you also shouldn’t need a boundary more than that in order to train the dog)

Cavatassi May 22, 2013 at 11:42 am

Can you inform me how to lay an invisible fence next to a buried utility line? I have read some articles that say it must be kept 10 feet away and some that say just don’t run it for an extended length parallel. We have about 15 feet of buried electrical lines where we need to run the fence and then will also have to cross it. Thank you for your time.

ADMIN – Hi Cavatassi,

Out guideline is where possible try to cross the buried utility lines at right-angles. If you have to run the wire parallel to the utility line, then you want as much separation as possible (ideally 6+ feet). What you are trying to guard against is the dog fence signal getting induced in the utility wire so that wherever the utility line runs, it also acts as part of the boundary.

This is a rare occurrence, so if you need to brake these guidelines, it is not a big deal. But, if you do, test with the collars along the utility line and inside the house to make sure this has not happened.

Rick May 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I keep hearing that I should lay all the wire out and hook everything up before I bury the wire. However I am going to rent an easy trencher. Once the wire is laid out can how do I use the easy trencher? I see the trencher has a place for the spool of wire and it trenches and puts the wire into the ground in one step.

ADMIN – Hi Randy,

You can either wrap the wire back around the spool, or you can leave the wire on the ground and just run it through the trencher without using the spool.

Elizabeth Gary March 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I am trying to determine which dog fence would be best for our 6 month old lab… Our yard is just under an acre.. shape is like a triangle… most of yard is in the back of the house. Also we have large trees on our yard, they are not close together but we do have about 15 trees. and our yard backs up to woods.. with houses on both sides.

My dog is a rescue lab mix (not sure what he is mixed with) he looks like a golden lab. he will be six months old April 1st.. he is an inside pet.. he does most commands and is crate trained, but we want him to be able to run off leash and play in our yard (also sometimes people come through the woods at our property line and walk through our yard. We are hoping that having him in the yard will prevent this. He weighs approx 40 pounds and has a little stubborn streak at times.

My husband would prefer a wireless system if possible. Any suggestions would be appreciated…

ADMIN – Hi Elizabeth,

With a lab you have a lot of good options, they are generally among the easiest to train and contain.

Given that you have a triangular lot and a significant number of trees in the yard, I don’t think the wireless systems are going to be a good fit. I think you will be a lot better off with a wired system which will let the dog enjoy the whole yard and won’t be impacted by the trees.

The PetSafe Ultrasmart would be a great choice. It is a good reliable system. has one of the smaller and lighter collars, and is rechargeable.

Dee September 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I want to run my Stubborn dog fence along an existing wood fence with a facer board attached at each post (this way I can run the wire on top of the bottom board and through the space the facer board provides at each post). I’m unsure how to go about this without having a big tangled mess of wire if I lay it out first to test the system. Thanks for the great site and all the useful information!

ADMIN – Hi Dee, Laying the wire out is much more important when you plan to bury the wire. It’s just difficult to dig up and move. It seems like in your scenario, it may be a hassle to change but not as much considering your installing the wire above ground.

charli July 16, 2012 at 12:10 am

I am installing a wired fence this week and our backyard is fully fenced but our carport is on the outside of the fence. How would I lay the wire so our lab can go under the carport and into the back door with out being corrected? Is there a certain way to lay the wire so he can come inside the house through the door that leads into the house from the fenced in section?

ADMIN – Hi Charli, Do you have a gate in your fence that you plan to leave open so that your lab can travel to the carport? If so, You can use the gate layout. It will require a double loop so that you can create the dead area at the gate. The double loop will need to separated by about 4 feet. See the diagram underneath our “Dog fence Installations tab”.

dave April 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I would like to run about 1500′ and terminate using a ground rod method. Is this possible with the 100a?

Admin-Hi Dave,

The SportDog SDF100a system can operate up to 100 acres or 10000 total feet of wire. Plus, the system does offer a ground off feature so you will be able to ground the transmitter.

Dave March 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Hi, what can you tell me about FM vs. AM wire systems? I have read that the FM wire does not interfere with electronics in or around the house, as well as with other dog fence systems that neighbors may have. Is one better/more effective than the other? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Dave,

We haven’t found any difference between the two transmission technologies AM and the FM systems in terms of functionality or reliability. Interference with electronics is rare irrespective of AM or FM.

In terms of interference with neighbor’s systems there can be an advantage if you use a different system to your neighbors. For example, if you have an AM system, and your neighbor’s an FM you won’t get any interference. There are other ways to avoid interference, for example, using a dual frequency system (like the Perimeter Ultra Dog Fence system) can switch between frequencies to avoid clashing with a neighbor’s system.

All the DIY systems, and most of the professional systems use AM. I believe the only company that uses FM is Dog Watch. Candidly, we think the whole AM vs FM is just marketing hype.

john vitale March 5, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I have the PRf-3004w transmitter in my garage with a double red light on so it should working. However, it doesn’t work when my dog enters to area where the fence is buried? Could the transmitter be interference with something in my garage with the radio or small refrigerator? They are within 3 feet of the transmitter, could that be a problem it use to work perfect and it has new batteries in the collar.

ADMIN – Hi John,

Interference is unlikely. We can start the diagnosis, by moving the transmitter to another room and hooking up a small dummy loop and seeing if that triggers the transmitter. Also, when you unhook the current loop, check if the transmitter detects the break.

These two tests will tell us if the issue is the wire, or the transmitter/collar.

kelly bradley January 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm

We do not want to include our house in the fenced area; we want it to start on the other side of our driveway, where we have a large field. But I have to have a “gate” where I can let the dogs in and out without getting shocked. I can’t figure this one out. – emailed customer for diagram.

Lucinda Fields January 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I read that the wire must be insulated, so can you use the 17 gauge aluminum wire as long as it is insulated? Is it because the wire can not get wet?

ADMIN – Hi Lucinda,

We have trouble using the aluminum wire. Unless you already have it hanging around, I would use insulated copper wire. Without the insulation, the wire does not tend to throw off a consistent signal, particularly when it is in contact with the ground or anything metal.

Sam December 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Can the unit be installed inside a metal building? My shop is 40X30 and all metal.

ADMIN – Hi Sam,

The base station on a wired dog fence can indeed be installed in a metal building. It is only the wireless systems where the base station will no work inside a metal building.

Jesse December 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Hi, I’ll be doing a backyard layout and plan on bringing the wire out of the basement through a window. The wires will exit a side yard window (the side yard will not be accessible to the dog) and then loop close to the house around the front (again no dog access); then follow our rear-yard fence providing a dog-safe zone in our backyard; finally the wire will reenter the same basement window at the side yard. Do I need to use twisted wire where the wire enters/exits the basement at the side yard? Again, the dog will not be in the side yard. Thanks in advance!

ADMIN – Hi Jesse,

If the dog is not going to be using the side yard, you do not need to use the twisted wire. The twisted wire is only necessary when you want the dog to be able to walk over the wire. If the area is off limits anyway, running two regular wires into the basement will work just as well.

Hillary December 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Hello again, I just remembered another question I had about the splices. I bought an extra 500ft. of wire but only the wire. It did not come with anything else and the fence I bought comes with 2 splices. Do I need to buy more to connect the wires or will 2 spices work? Thanks so much! This is a great site! 🙂

ADMIN – Hi Hillary,

You may be able to get by with the two splices. If you need more you can get them through our store, or at your local hardware store. Most don’t have these exact splices, but you can make do with waterproof wire nuts.

Hillary December 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Hi! I just bought a fence and have not set it up yet. I wanted to know if it is safe to run the wire on the outside of our garage which is about 2 feet next to our property line. I would like for my dog to be able to come inside the garage when we are home but I don’t know if he would try to squeeze between the garage and the fence which would be pretty close.
Also I’ve read that the wire should not run parallel to electric wires unless they are about 6 feet apart. We have wires that gradually move in closer to our garage to where it goes slightly over the back end of it so the fence and wires would criss-cross but not be perfectly perpendicular. From where the electrical wires start to gradually move in to where I can move the wire out past six feet it’s about 100 ft. long. But once around the garage I can move the fence far enough away from the electrical wires. I was wondering if this would be safe or not or should I just keep them out of the garage altogether?

ADMIN – Hi Hillary,

If you run the wire on the outside of the garage, the dogs would not be able to go in the garage, particularly on the side with the wire running. (Unless you run the wire up high on the outside of the garage .. in that case the vertical separation will keep the dogs protected.

From your description, there should not be a problem with the electric wires, I don’t think there is a long enough parallel section for a signal to get induced. I would still check with the collar to make sure the dog fence signals aren’t getting into your electric wires (i.e. test to see if the collar is triggered near power outlets or along walls where wiring runs). But, I would not expect any problems.

Tony November 29, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I am installing a petsafe stubborn dog for my German shepherds to keep them out of my kids playset. The fence will run along my house and the loop will branch out from there to enclose the playset. The lines will then come back together after the playset is enclosed and run back to the transmitter in the garage. I’m not worried about keeping the wire 6 ft apart by the house because the house creates a barrier. My concern is about where the wires will come back together to to enclose the playset…if these wires are 3 feet apart will they cancel the signal and leave a gap for the dogs to get in?

ADMIN – Hi Tony,

In the section where the wires are 3-feet apart you are likely to get some signal cancellation and a gap where the dogs can escape. A way around this would be to leave a bigger gap and curve the wires around the playset so the opposite wires are not parallel.

dave November 23, 2011 at 11:55 am

thank you so much for your help. One more question…how do i set the wire to close the circuit but, allow my dog to gain access through the doggie door? the only outlet I have is by the door. the door is on my deck I will have to run the wire up to the deck and to the outlet. Does raising the wire higher off the ground change the strength? The wire will be close to the door. any ideas? thank you so much again!

ADMIN – Hi Dave,
If you’re running a perimeter loop, you’ll want to use twisted wire coming from the transmitter that runs out to the edge of where the boundary begins. This will allow your dog access to the doggie door. You can locate twisted wire and how to make it by going to the twisted wire page located under the “Dog Fence Installation heading on the menu bar. If you are running only a backyard loop, then yes you can suspend the wire up into the gutters or eaves of the roof to elevate the wire high enough to put the signal out of range. You can locate this backyard loop illustrated on our Planning/Layouts page also located under the “Dog Fence Installation” menu heading.

dave November 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I have a escape artist of a dog. I have a existing 6 foot wood fence with two gates. she has dug out multiple times. I put chicken wire on the bottom of the fence and into the yard and she has even pulled out the staples and pulled up the wire to dig out. I have decided to install a invisible fence to keep her in. I want to attach to the fence and not bury it. I have utilities running down the entire length of one fence line. I would also like to let her get to within a foot of the fence before a shock. I am perplexed at the proper installation at the corners and how to then bury the cables at the gate. I have read you can not make a sharp angle. What is the proper way to install? Thank you so much, I have been lucky my dog has not been hit or lost and I do not want to lose her.

ADMIN – Hi Dave,
For your layout, when you bring the wire down the fence line, you can stop several feet short of the corner and suspend the wire to the next fence line to prevent creating a right angle. Of course, right angles are not as a big of a problem with fenced in properties. When you create a 90 degree angle, it will stay work, but the corners may not have a signal. For your gates, I recommend running the wire at a 45 degree angle down to the ground to bury it under the gate. Additionally, I recommend laying the wire out first and get your system plugged in and tested. You want to make sure that you are not getting interference along the boundary with the power cables. As for your boundary width, 1 foot is very tight. We recommend 2 to 3 feet as a minimum when combining with an existing fence.

D Bell November 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I’m looking at putting the containment wire in plastice tubing. will that cause any issues with the transmissions?

ADMIN – Hi D Bell,

No, that is a great way to protect the wire while not hindering it’s functionality.

Heidi September 23, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I have an existing underground system. We just added a few new flower beds that are not in the original loop. The dog has already dug in them. How can I add these flower beds to the loop myself?

ADMIN – Hi Heidi,

The most common way to connect up the flower beds would be to splice intot he main loop and run some twisted wire from the main loop to the flower beds. At the flower beds, the twisted wire would connect to a small loop that ran around the flower bed. Take a look at some of our dog fence layouts for some ideas.

If you have the Innotek IUC-4100 or IUC-5100 you can use a couple of the wireless rock pods to keep the dogs out of specific areas like flower beds.

Carlos August 19, 2011 at 11:40 am

Is there a maximum length of twisted wire I can use in my system (Stubborn Dog Fence)?

ADMIN – Hi Carlos,

There is no maximum length of twisted wire you can use on any of the wired system, as long as the total length of wire (twisted wire plus regular wire) you use is within the limits for your system. In the case of the PetSafe Stubborn, as long as you use less than a total of 3,000 feet of wire you will be fine.

Carlos August 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm

I have 1400 ft of fence upon which I intend to install the perimeter wire. The fence is 3″ metal pipe both posts and rails. Will attaching the wire adjacent to the rails cause any issue with the signal?

ADMIN – Hi Carlos,

A pipe metal fence will not cause a problem. (It is sheet metal that is problematic). You can attach the wire to the metal fence if you like, it would be easier than burying the wire and would work just as well.

G.L. Dearman July 9, 2011 at 9:12 am

I bought the SportDog SDF-100A. My property is already fenced around its whole perimeter with field fence, but my persistent escaper dog can always find a way over, under or through. I was planning on attaching the dog fence above-ground to the existing fence, at a height of about 2 feet. But the installation book tells me to avoid right-angle corners when planning my layout. My existing fence has right-angle corners. Does this mean that I will have to bring the wire away from the fence at the corners and bury it?

ADMIN – Hi G.L.,

You just need to round the corners a little bit. (i.e. avoid a sharp 90-degree bend in the wire) You don’t need to bury the wire away from the fence, just round give the wire a little slack on the corner so that it rounds out a little.

The reason we avoid sharp bends is that the signals can cancel each other out around the corner if the bend is too sharp. So, you will want to test your corners after you have done the installation to make sure the collar is still triggering in the corner. If you get problems, simply round the corner more. In most situations you only need a very small rounding to avoid cancellation.

Inga June 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Can I use 2 different fences with different size loops? One Innotek- 5100 with large loop, other PetSafe Little Dogs with much smaller loop inside the large loop. There will 10 feet and more space between them.

ADMIN – Hi Inga,

You can indeed have two different fences powering two different loops, one inside the other. As you said, you want to keep a good space between them otherwise they will cancel each other out. Ten feet will work well.

Mike May 25, 2011 at 10:16 am

Great website. I am laying the wire down now, and seem to be right at the limits as far as length is concerned. My control box is inside the bedroom window, and I plan on running the wire out the window. The plan is to not have the dog on that side of the house; in other words, the loop will go from front L corner, around property, to back L corner. Is twisted wire with splices absolutely necessary or can both ends of the wire be inserted straight into the control box? I am trying to eliminate approx 8 extra feet of wire for twisting.

i.e. Can the wire be plugged straight into the control box without splicing to a twisted wire? Thanks in advance for your help. Thanks for the amazing helpful website! Mike.

ADMIN – Hi Mike,

The untwisted boundary wire can indeed go straight into the control box without splicing in a section of twisted wire.

Most of our diagrams show a section of twisted wire, because that is the most common layout. But, if the transmitter is going to be near a boundary, then you can go straight to the regular (untwisted wire)

Ken May 14, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I am running a single loop around my back yard. How can I cancel the signal on a short segments out away from the ends of the loops. For example, I need to keep the dog out from under my deck but I want to allow her to go down the steps from the deck into the yard. My impression is that I can double back in front of the steps and twist the wires together and continue the loop. Is that correct?

Hi Ken,

Doubling back (and twisting the two wires together) cancels the signal, but if you have three wires, the section is active again. If you double back in front of the stairs you will be in good shape, but if you need to come across again (as most people need to do in order to get back to the other side), then the triple wire will no work.

The only reliable way to create a dead section in the loop is to raise the wire high enough above ground that the signal or far enough below the ground that the signal does not reach the dog. If you email us a diagram, we would be happy to take a look and suggest a layout.

Eric May 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm

What a great resource. I am getting ready to lay out the wire. Can I run the twisted portion (coming form the transmitter out of the house) parallel to electrical lines? also can I run any part of the remaining wire along metal landscape edging… Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Eric,

Running the twisted wire nearly an electrical line is fine. The twisted wire does not emit any of the signals so there is no risk of it getting into your electrical system.

Laying boundary wire near metal landscape edging is usually fine. Even if the dog fence signals got into the metal edging they are probably not going to go anywhere that is a problem. (Unike electrical wiring that is going to be running through your house)

abby carroll May 1, 2011 at 11:33 am

Should I put the flags directly on top of the wire or in front of it?

ADMIN – Hi Abby,

You should put the flags a few feet in front of the wire, where the collar starts beeping. The exact distance will depend on how wide you have set your boundary width, using the boundary width dial on the control box. You want the flags to mark the point where the dogs cannot pass without getting the correction.

William Carson April 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm

What is the best way to waterproof a splice joint?

ADMIN – Hi William,

The best way is to use a waterproof capsule and sink the wire nut splice into the capsule. They are filled with a gel that prevents water infiltrating the splice. Here’s our demonstration video for doing a waterproof splice for your review.

Williaml Carson April 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

do the spice joints have to be waterproof? thank you

ADMIN – Hi William,

Yes. If not waterproofed, oxidation will destroy the connection over time. This will eventually lead to the wall transmitter giving off wire break alarms.

Del March 29, 2011 at 10:36 am

Hi, I’m interested in the IUC-4100 but have a question regarding how deep the wire can be buried and still be effective. We have trails which we ride on and occasionally have a dozer on them to maintain the trails. I would need to bury the wire deep enough so the wire isn’t ripped up and need to know if it would still be working.


Admin-Hi Del,

There is not exact maximum depth for the wire. You can adjust the signal strength on the transmitter depending on how deep you buried the wire. The maximum depends on the soil type (sandy soils let you go deeper), and on the total area of the installation. A good rule of thumb is around 1 foot. Be aware that if only one section is buried deep, the boundary will be much wider in the non-buried sections.

tony March 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm

can the transmitter be kept in an outside shed or barn?

Admin- Hi Tony,
Yes, the transmitter just needs to be kept in a place that can protect it from the elements.

susan denecker March 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I have the invisible fence equipment and it worked perfectly but we have had some yard work and the fence is done, do you just lay the wire? Can you do it now and when the snow is gone, I will finalize it.

ADMIN – Hi Susan,

If the Inivisble Fence wire gets damaged to the point of being unrepairable, you can simply replace it with any dog fence wire (insulated, single strand, rated for direct burial). You can indeed lay the wire on the ground until the snow melts, just pin it down in a few places with staples or a brick.

lynn February 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm

We installed a Petsafe fence ourselves about 8 years ago and it worked fine til last August. We looked for a break, but could not find it. We now have a new puppy that desperately needs a boundary. Can we install a new system, laying new wire in the same layout without interference from the old wire?

ADMIN – Hi Lynn,

Yes, if the old wire is not connected it will present in interference risks.

Marlene Whitten January 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I want an invisible fence to keep my dog out of the garage. The garage is completely open on the front, a distance of about 20 to 25 feet. Is there anyway to set up such a fence, or do they all have to work on a circular area? I do not want to block the dog from any other area in the yard. He insists on shredding my car cover. I want another dog and the cat to be able to get into the garage so do not want to enclose the front. From what I have been able to find about these fences it appears they must encircle a specific area, not just block the dog from a straight line like the opening to my garage.

ADMIN – Hi Marlene,

The boundary layouts with the wired dog systems do always have to be a complete loop. To block a straight line, we usually use a long thin loop (with opposite sides six feet apart).

If you are just trying to block a small area, consider getting one of these pawz-away wireless outdoor pods. You could use one or two of these pods to block access to the garage, and it should be much easier and cheaper than a full dog fence system. You could also use the wireless indoor dog pods if the area is sheltered, these are even smaller and cheaper.

Dawn December 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Hello, I am planning on buying the 4100 but before I do I have a question. We really only need it for one linear fence where my dog is digging to get to his friends next door. How can I make the loop in this case? We were planning on stapling it to the fence if possible. He is a big German shorthair lab mix, and if I’d have known better I would have named him Houdini! He is an escape artist with separation anxiety, not a good combo! Any ideas would be appreciated!

ADMIN – Hi Dawn,

You will make a long thing loop that goes along the one fence you want to secure. The wire will go along that one side then doubles back on itself (with the opposite sides around six feet apart) to complete the loop.

See the Single-sided Dog Fence Boundary Layout on our planning page.

If your fence is tall enough, you can staple one run of the boundary wire to the top of the fence and the return leg on the bottom of the fence.

Gary December 1, 2010 at 11:17 pm

The Innotek 5100 system arrived today, and we’re planning our layout. Our electric and phone lines are buried parallel to the drive, but we’d like to cross the drive and extend part of the loop to the other side. Is it acceptable to cross the power/phone line at right angles? They are several feet underground. Thanks, Gary

ADMIN – Hi Gary,

Crossing parallel to utility lines is fine. It is long & close parallel runs that you need to watch out for.

Kristin December 1, 2010 at 12:29 am

Question: I am looking for a dog fence unit. However, I live in Las Vegas where we already have walls around our backyards. I have a doggy door so my Airdales can go in and out of the house through the garage and then through the garage into the back yard. I would love to be able to come home and open the garage and not have to catch my sweet dogs down the street! Is there a way I can use this system without having to go under the wall and into the back yard? Thanks, Kristin

ADMIN – Hi Kristen,

If you are just trying to block a small spot (the garage door), then instead of a full dog fence system – consider using one of the outdoor dog pods. They can be used to block a small section (30 feet of less) and are much easier to install and cheaper where you don’t need a full dog fence system.

Jake Ameel November 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I installed innoteck 5100 system forgetting my neighbor already had an invisible fence system installed. Although I was over 6 foot from his wire (dumb luck) that 800 feet along his property would not work. Using the Radio Shack choke and boom box, I had great signal except for that 800 feet. My problem is that I have to stay minimum 30 feet away to get any reaction on the collar. 40 – 50 works great. How can I regain that lost footage ?

ADMIN – Hi Jake,

Generally you want to stay 12+ feet away from another fence. Before you start, lets verify that it is in fact your neighbor’s fence causing the issue. Have them switch their fence off for a couple of minutes (or sneak over and cut their wire one night!) and test whether than common boundary starts working again. Once we are sure the interference is caused by the neighbor we have a few options.

First, you could move your fence further away along the common boundary.

Second, have the neighbor turn down their boundary width. Some people have it cranked up much too wide. For a trained dog, there is not much reason they need to have it much wider than 5 feet on either side of the wire. With their system turned down, you don’t have to be as far away to avoid interference.

Third, you swap out you transmitter and collars for a unit that has adjustable frequencies so you can find a frequency that will not interfere. The new SportDog SDF-100 and the Perimeter Ultra both have adjustable frequencies.

Russell November 10, 2010 at 11:28 am

I have purchased and installed your product and it works excellent. Except a section of the boundary wire must run beside the doghouse. There is a chain link fence there and I ran the boundary wire along the top of it but the dog cannot go inside while collar is on. I cut the single boundary wire at this area and connected the twist wire thinking it would cancel out the boundary at this part (which is fine because I have a chain link fence here), but it does not? Can i use something to deaden the current at the dog house??

Thank you for your help. Great product and easy to install.

ADMIN – Hi Russell,

Unfortunately there is no avoiding having a complete loop of the single active dog fence wire. (i.e. you cannot use a section of twisted wire to replace the single wire to make it non-active) You need to either turn down the boundary width so the signal does not get inside the dog house, move the single wire further away from the dog house, or to raise the single wire higher so that it passes further overhead above the dog house.

Shea November 5, 2010 at 2:54 pm

I had someone come out and quote an Invisible Fence system, and the salesman said they use 12 gauge wire, and bury it all the way around, but according to everything I’ve read on your great website, 20 gauge is enough. Is this really true? I am also planning on just laying it in the woods on the ground instead of burying it (except in the grass where practical). The salesman said that the wire will end up getting chewed and broken if it is just layed on the ground.
I know you’ve answered these questions, but I just want to confirm, as these are my 2 big sticking points right now.

ADMIN – Hi Shea,

Invisible Fence uses 12 gauge wire because the industrial trenchers they use can be harsh on the wire. That’s really the only good reason to go with such large gauge wire. Both systems will work the same. You can use thicker gauge wire with the DIY systems, and we offer wire upgrades – but our perspective is that the thickness doesn’t particularly matter, that anything likely to cut the wire (edgers, aerators, etc) will just as easily cut the thick wire as the thin wire.

It’s possible for the wire to get chewed by critters if it’s lying on the ground. In our experience, we rarely hear of this happening – the wire is not very tasty! If the wire is in a wooded area, there isn’t any additional risk of having a wire break. We also rarely hear of people getting random wire breaks simply because the wire is above ground. Stapling the wire is an acceptable installation method. That is not to say you will never get breaks, regardless of the way you install the system you will get the occasional break but it should not be a regular thing. Some customers that are particularly concerned will run the wire through the flexible rubber conduit used in sprinkler systems, that is much more effective that using a thicker wire.

Invisible Fence offers a great system with great service. If you’re looking for a completely hands-off free solution, Invisible Fence is the way to go. It definitely cost a lot for the system and each service call cost money, but if you ever need them they’ll promptly come out and take care of any issue. But, you can also definitely do it yourself. It is not particularly difficult and we think it is a great way to get an equally good system at a significantly lower cost.

Shea November 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Can I run my [twisted] wire through the existing hole in my house where the electrical, telephone, cable TV, and yard lights wiring comes through, or will i get interference from the other wires?

ADMIN – Hi Shea,

Absolutely yes, you can run your twisted wire through the same hole as the other cables. Twisted wire does not transmit a radio signal, so there’s risk of interference.

zack October 25, 2010 at 9:59 pm

I will be purchasing a system in the next week or 2. I am leaning towards the sportdog as I have used their products for hunting as well. I would like to know how much the 1000ft of wire would cover in general if doing roughly a 1/3 acre yard front and back. And adding an additional collar for a puppy (currently have a 100lb+ black fm lab and now also have a small 8wk old choc male) is there a way to setup seperate corrections for each dog?

ADMIN – Hi Zack,

With 1,000 feet of wire you can do about 1 acre. The SportDog collars let you set the correction level for each dog separately, so you could set it up with a stronger correction for the big dog and a weaker correction for a smaller dog.

You may want to wait until the puppy is closer to six months to start training. Unless a dog is advanced (can do a sit, stay, and a come) – I avoid training on the dog fence until six months because it is a lot easier then. Most pups don’t have the attention span to be effectively trained until then.

Wynne October 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I limitjust moved and reinstalled my fence at new location. I want to limit the dogs access to one end of my shop near front door. I put the transmitter at that end, went thru the metal wall around the yard and came thru the other end of metal shop wall across the floor making a nice loop. However, when the collars are near the BACK door going outside they buzz! Did I activate the metal building somehow? How can I deactive it? Twisted wire thru each side of metal shop wall.
Please advise.

ADMIN – Hi Wynne,

Large surface area metal causes quite a bit of interference when in range of the signal. Depending on the width of the signal, we recommend keeping a distance of 6 to 15 feet between the metal building and the boundary wire. You can run twisted wire to connect the transmitter to avoid interference for that section as well.

Jim August 23, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I have lake front property…I want to run the wire from the house, down to the lake, then use twisted wire so the dog can get to the dock and boat…then continue on the opposite property line back to the house….in order to make the loop I would have to triple twist the wire….will this work?….thanks

ADMIN – Hi Jim,

Unfortunately you cannot run twisted wire along any part of the boundary. You need to have a complete loop of single wire for the system to work, you cannot splice twisted wire into the loop. Doing so means that you’d be splicing 3 wires together, which doesn’t work. One tip for designing a working layout is to make sure each wire connects to only one other wire.

Unfortunately triple twisting does not work either. The first two lines will cancel out but the 3rd will be active.

The two ways people install for lake front properties is 1) make a perimeter loop and at the lake add extra wire to sink it into the water with fishing weights. 2) The other way is to create a horseshoe shaped boundary. You walk down the side yard toward the lake. When you get to the lake you do a u turn and go back, keeping the two parallel wires a minimum of 6 feet apart. You walk down and do the same on the other side then walk back to the transmitter. This will create a 3 sided boundary with the lake front open. You can see the basic lakefront layouts in the Installation –> Planning –> Lakefront section of our website.

Jonathan August 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Can you use different wire within a loop? My home has a boundry loop installed with red stranded copper wire, and I see the Innotek systems come with yellow. I’m not sure of the gauges yet, but the yellow Innotek stuff appears to be much smaller solid wire. I have a 5 acre lot and I know it has multiple breaks. I was planning on the 5100 unit, but wanted to make sure I had everything set before ordering.


ADMIN – Hi Jonathan,

You can use any gauge wire you like solid or stranded with any of the systems we sell. The key standard is that the wire is rated for direct burial. Also if possible, try and be consistent and use the same wire everywhere.

Jennifer July 18, 2010 at 8:50 am

we had someone from Invisible Fence out yesterday, and when they learned our neighbors had buried their power line on our property line, right where we’d like to put the invisible fence. They said it was OK because their (digital) system had been validated by the FCC or something like that, and in only extremely rare instances would it mis-fire the collars. Is this true of all systems, or just of the Invisible Fence?

ADMIN – Hi Jennifer,

Most collars will not be affected by systems that are from another brand. Some systems like the Invisible Fence, the Perimeter Technologies systems, and the new SportDog systems allow you to switch frequencies to avoid interference with neighboring systems.

Jery Vaughn July 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I have an inactive electric fence around my property. The wire is, of course, on insulators and made of aluminum which is cheap, doesn’t rust or corrode (more than the light coat of oxidation it will always have) and is an excellent conductor. I understand that your underground wire is intended to carry RF signals. I think the aluminum wire I have around the property (about 18 acres) might carry the same signal. What would transpire were I to connect the pet deterrent signal generator to the fence wire (the regular fence charger would not be used). Also, I note that your wire appears to be insulated. Were the insulation to break could the signal be shorted to ground (I doubt it but needed to ask.) Thanks, GV

ADMIN – Hi Jery,

The system doesn’t work well on a bare wire. When the wire is uninsulated, anything touching the wire becomes part of the transmission loop and distorts the signal. (Much in the same way that the new iPhone aerial is sensitive to being touched) For this reason, if the insulation gets stripped, you often get a drop off in performance as the current shorts to ground.

That said, if you already have the wire set up around your home – you can always give it a shot. Let us know how it works.

Janna Redington July 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm

We have a great Pyrenees and we live on a busy highway. I can see how it should be laid around the front and coming down one side next to neighbors house but at the back we have a creek and it comes around to form our pond. Then we have a small dam which has a dry bed creek that borders the other side of our property. We have an acre and a half. To form the loop will I need to bury twisted wire around the pond and creek? Or since Pyrenees are said to run-through should I loop back and bring it around the concrete pathway that leads to the dam. That way if he breaks through the first one I will have another backup to keep him from the highway? I don’t particularly want him in front yard anyway. But if I have to lay twisted all the way around the pond and creek will I need twice as much? Sorry, Just don’t want to see this dog killed on the highway.

ADMIN – Hi Janna,

I’m not sure if I completely understand your property, but I’ve drawn a layout option based on what I could formulate from your description.

The way you describe using the twisted wire, however, cannot work. The fence must be in a continuous loop, meaning that the wire must go out and return to the wall transmitter. Twisted wire is two separate wires twisted together which means it will have two wires on each end that will need to be spliced to their own wire. Our twisted wire page will help: Twisted wire can only be used to connect the wall transmitter to a boundary loop or the boundary loop to a secondary loop. So, you cannot run the boundary wire, splice in twisted wire, then go back to the boundary wire to create a “dead” area for the dogs to pass through.

So, that’s why I’ve drawn up the double back method for you install. If you have any questions about the sketch, please let me know.

Tracy June 27, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Hi there we have a vacation home on a lake. We want to be able to let the dog go to the lake. It is not practical to do a double loop back like the directions. I also tried to go down the beach, then back and then back to the other end and then twist the three wires together and it does not cancel out. Can I run the wire through “metal” conduit am
Nd then bury deep into the sand. Will this cancel the signal ? I saw on another website that you could drive copper grounding rods at each corner of the beach and then attach the end of each loop to a post and that would complete the circuit? That does not make sense to me however.

ADMIN – Hi Tracy,

There is unfortunately no getting around having a complete loop of wire. Doing a triple twisted wire does not work. One thing you can do is either make the wire high enough above the dogs or deep enough below the dogs that they don’t get the correction. So either string the wire high above the lake side of your property (perhaps in some trees) or run the wire out into the lake and sinking it to the bottom. If you sink the wire deep enough, the dogs will effectively be able to swim over the wire without getting any correction. The only other option is to do the double U-shaped loop.

The grounding rod trick is really inconsistent in our experience. The idea is that you complete the circuit by having a copper grounding rod on either side and the signal goes through the soil. When we experimented with this method it worked very inconsistently and seemed very sensitive to the soil moisture and the type of soil. So sometimes it would work fine, and then other times it would stop working when it got a bit dry. Also you often had to turn up the signal strength really high to get it working which leads to having very wide boundaries. You can experiment with the copper rods, but I would not rely on it working.

Kim June 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm

I have a pug that has a little head and fat neck and body. I am worried that a collar won’t fit her correctly. What should I do or am I worrying about nothing?

ADMIN – Hi Kim,

It does sound nutty, but sometimes dogs with a fat neck and small head are a problem because the collar will not stay on and just slips off the dog’s head. Generally, if a regular collar stays on you will be fine. But, if you have trouble keeping a regular collar around the dog’s neck then you will have the same problem with the correction collar and the system will be ineffective.

Dan May 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm

After the utilities were marked, I found out my phone line runs parallel on one side of my planned perimeter (front and back yard loop) for roughly 100 feet. How close can I bury my wire to this line without any interference? The system (IUC-4100) instructions state ‘not within 10 feet’, but this would then place the wire too close to the house. Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Dan,

10 feet is a good recommendation but I think if you stay a minimum of 6 feet away when running parallel to any kind of utility lines. If you need to cross a utility line, make sure to cross over it at perpendicular angle.

Make sure to run the wire and test it before making the install permanent. That way you can easily adjust it.

Jen May 11, 2010 at 1:22 pm

We have a large yard and ordered extra wire in order to have enough to cover the entire perimeter. How do we connect two segments of wire together? Do we have to get extra “splices” or is there another way to connect the two?? Thank you!

ADMIN – Hi Jen,

The boundary kits each come with an additional two splices to help you connect the two segments of wire. You strip a half-inch of insulation from the end of each wire. You twiste the exposed wires together in the supplied wire nuts, then place the wire in the waterproof gel capsule to seal it off.

Eric Hardcorn May 9, 2010 at 8:09 am

Hi, Ok I was wondering if it is possible to run two separate containment system loops from one transmitter via the origin of the loops both be twisted pairs landing on the same terminals on a single transmitter?? Example: A twisted pair on the transmitter running to a loop in the back yard, and another twisted pair coming off the same transmitter in the house, heading the opposite direction, to the front of the house, to a loop there? Take in point I have no desire for the dogs to have access to the sides of the house. Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Eric,

You can run as many loops as you want from a single transmitter, provided that the total length of wire does not exceed the system capacity (rarely an issue on any lot less than 5 acres). But, instead of running both loops to control box (in parallel), you want to have one loop hang off the other loop (in series). This pretty easy, just splice some twisted wire into the primary loop at any point, run the twisted wire to the secondary loop, and splice the twisted wire into the secondary loop.

The reason that it is better to run them in series than in parallel is two-fold. First, in series you will be alerted of any break – in parallel if one of the two loops get a break you will not get any notification from the system. Second, if you run it in parallel the two loops can have very different boundary widths – if you run them in series the boundary widths will be the consistent.

Jeff May 2, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Would there be an issue running the wire along steel (metal) landscape edging?

ADMIN – Hi Jeff,

Landscaping edging is so small, it would be very unlikely to cause a problem. One thing to watch out for is to make sure you don’t put it on the side of the edging that is actually edged with an electric/gas edger or with a weed whacker. They are notorious for tearing up dog fence wire, so where possible we want to either avoid those locations or protect the wire in those locations by putting it in some stronger conduit.

Jennifer April 4, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I am installing a fence this week, will there be a conflict if I burry the underground fence wire next to my electric horse fence? Is there a certain distance they should be apart so they do not conflict with each other? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Jennifer,

Sometimes you will get interference with an electric horse fence, it is really hit and miss. The only way to know for sure is to test a small section. You will be able to tell if there is interference if the collar does not start beeping in the test section where it is near the fence but works normally elsewhere. You also want to check that the dog fence signal isn’t getting into the electric fence and causing the collar to trigger wherever the horse fence runs even if the dog fence is not in that place. Again, the best way to test is to take the collar and see if it beeps in any sections of horse wire where there is no dog fence wire.

If you do get interference, you want to move the dog fence six feet away from the horse or cattle electric fence. As always, test to make sure the interference has stopped.

Julie March 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm

How deep should I bury the wire. 3 to 5 inches??
Thanks Julie

ADMIN – Hi Julie,

You only need to bury the wire deep enough so that it will not get hit by the lawn mower. Two inches is plenty, but you can go as deep as one foot if you please.

Julie March 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm

What is the best gauge of wire to lie if you live in the Midwest? Last summer we insulted our underground fence and it worked great. Then this winter the loop indicator started ringing. Well with 6+ feet of snow on the ground we had to wait tell spring. At this point we are unable to find a break in the wire and I have it all pulled up and looking at starting over. With not knowing what we did wrong we are not sure what to do differently. Just wondering if we should lay a bigger gauge wire than a 20 gauge?

ADMIN – Hi Julie,

Our experience has been that there is no great benefit from running a thicker gauge. Anything likely to break the 20 gauge (lawnmower, edger, aerator), will just as easily slice through the thick gauges. You can of course get thicker gauges either through our store, through most hardware stores or electrical supply stores, but I would not expect any significant benefit.

If your system started showing a wire break in winter when nothing was disturbing the soil, I would guess that either:

(1) There was no break and something else was wrong (try inserting a dummy loop or a short length of wire into the system and seeing if you still get the noise). For example, many of our customers with say the Innotek IUC-4100 or IUC-5100 mistakenly interpret the signal for a low battery or the signal for the collar recharge reminder as a wire break.

(2) Checking the splice points. If the wire is not tied off before the splice or there is a weak splice, sometimes shifting soil will pull on the wire and cause a break.

Let us know if you need any further assistance!

Sarah from NY March 21, 2010 at 11:30 am

Just wanted to say that burying the wire with a mini-cable installer, rented from Home Depot for $48 (24 hour rental) was the best money we ever spent!! Did two acres in a flash!! It actually digs the trench, lays the cable, then covers it back up! My husband actually said, “That was a great idea, honey!,”–which is priceless to me!! Thanks! Love it already–would have been over 2K to have a big national company put it in!

ADMIN – Hi Sarah,

Cool! My favorite emails are the “my husband/wife said we couldn’t do it myself and we should just spend the $2,000” type. I enjoy them so much, because many moons I go my otherwise correct wife said the same thing.

We are thinking of changing our slogan to Dog Fence DIY – Proving Your Skeptical Partner Wrong Made Easy.

Brian Stanley March 20, 2010 at 10:15 am

I was wondering if the wire could be tie wrapped to my chain link fence at the base, or does it need to be buried. If so, what is the range that the dog will stay away from the fence? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Brian,

You can attach the wire to the chain link fence. We usually just weave it through the fence, but you can also zip tie it in place. I would keep it a little higher than the base so that it stays safe from the weed whacker. The range of the system is adjustable from a few inches up to about ten feet, using a dial on the control box With a fence installation, I adjust the boundary width range it so that it keeps the dog 1-3 feet from the fence.

Ken from Tennessee January 25, 2010 at 8:36 am

I was wondering if you could use 17 gauge aluminum wire or does it have to be coated wire? Thanks Ken

ADMIN – Hi Ken,

It has to be insulated wire.

Lori January 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Hi there. I have not purchased this yet, but would like to. I understand from what I’ve read that I can’t put the transmitter in my shed due to below freezing temps. I do have a few areas I can put it inside the house, but I don’t have a garage and what I’m not understanding is how the wires hook to the transmitter. Are there going to be wires that have to run through my house to meet the transmitter? THANKS

ADMIN – Hi Lori,

The wire does need to connect to the transmitter. Most people that put the transmitter in their house will either go through an existing hole (like a ventilation shaft, or under a door), or they will create a new hole by drilling through a wall to create a small portal and then caulking to fill in any excess space.

Fran Provost January 12, 2010 at 9:35 am

I have a straight run just Point A to Point B. Can I run the wire back across itself? In other words; run it from Point A to Point B and then Point B to Point A. It seems so but I just want to be sure.
Thanks, Fran

ADMIN – Hi Fran,

You can do that, but you will need to separate the two runs by about six feet. If the two runs are too close, the signal from the two wires will cancel each other out, hence the need for separation.

dan November 17, 2009 at 11:57 am

We just built a home and but because we are late in the year we did not get the back yard grass growing. We have sod in the front yard. We would like a perimater system once the yard has been seeded but do not want to run the wire back there yet since it will be re graded and that could snag the wire.

If we do a double loop in the front yard, what is the distance between the wires? I assume if they are too close they will cancel out the signal like the twisted wire does.

Is there another option to consider other than double loop now and splice in the backyard next year?


ADMIN – Hi Dan,

If you double loop, the two loops need to be at least six feet apart.

An alternative to the double loop is to do a single loop with the the fourth side of the boundary loop running up the gutter downspout on one side of the house, along the gutter, and down the downspout on the other side. The vertical height about the ground allows the dog to go in and out of the house without getting the correction.

Another option would to be to do a loop around front and back yard, just stapling the back yard wire into place. That way when you need to do the grading, you can quickly move that wire, let the grader do it’s work and then put it back in place.

Chris November 16, 2009 at 7:42 pm

I am looking to install an invisible fence, but my neighbor already has one on the opposite side of the property line – will there be a conflict between the two systems? Or, do they operate on independent frequencies and therefore are compatible?
Thanks in advance for your help!

ADMIN – Hi Chris

This is pretty hit and miss; some systems will interfere with each other and others will not. Two options: The first is to move six feet away from the neighbor’s system. The second option is to opt for one of the Perimeter Ultra Systems, you can switch the frequency on those systems, so if you do get interference you try a different frequency.

Mike October 30, 2009 at 11:04 am

Does the fence have to be a continuous loop? I have lake front property and don’t want to discourage the dogs from going down to the lake or dock .

ADMIN – Hi Mike,

The fence does have to make a continuous loop. You can be creative about what that loop looks like, to make it effectively three sides, but you do need a continuous loop of the regular single wire.

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Tanya Cornwell July 17, 2009 at 7:43 am

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