History of the Dog Fence

Richard Peck, a traveling salesman, invented what we now know as a dog fence in 1971.  Peck was troubled by seeing all the stray dogs that ended up on the roads and looked for ways that owners could keep their dog inside their property without an expensive and visually obtrusive fence.  Working with an electrical engineer, Peck came up with the idea of using boundary wires in conjunction with a receiver collar to keep a dog contained.  Peck patented his invention in U.S. Patent Number 3,753,421, entitled ‘Method and Apparatus for Controlling an Animal.’  Peck called his invention , Stay-Put but the product did not take off until Peck sold it.

In 1976 John Purtell purchased the patent from Peck and changed the name to Invisible Fence*, building the company up until he sold it in 1993.

In the 1990’s as the Peck patent expired, many new companies entered the industry, including Dog Watch*, Dog Stop*, Contain a Pet* and smaller regional independent installers to provide competition to Invisible Fence.  Companies also started to produce DIY kits to provide cheaper Invisible Fence* alternatives.

Invisible Fence was bought and sold several more times and is now owned by Radio Systems Corporation, which dominates the industry.  Invisible Fence’s parent also makes the DIY brands Innotek and PetSafe which you will use in your installation.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Pace July 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm

As per Ken Boucher question
May 21, 2016
“I live in a stucco home. Will the wireless signals make it through the chicken wire grid underneath the stucco?
ADMIN – Hi Ken. A wireless system will not work reliably with stucco siding due to the wire grid holding the stucco in place.”

Are you indicating that the wire from the transmitter box to the start of the boundary wire start has to be passed under the stucco portion of the home? Given the prevalence of Stucco homes is there a section on your site for solutions on pass around the stucco wall?

Mike Pace

ADMIN – Hi Mike. Wired systems do not have the same limitations that wireless systems have with regards to stucco. When running the wire from your transmitter to the boundary loop, you may want to use twisted wire in order to carry the signal out to the boundary loop but this will cancel the signal along the twisted length which should mitigate any signal interference or amplification entering/exiting the home at the point where the wire is close to the house. For more information on twisted wire, please visit out twisted wire page here: https://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/twisted-wire/

Mike April 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm

The wireless fence works on a signal. When the signal can’t reach the collar the dog gets a shock to cause it to return home. What happens when the power goes out?


ADMIN – Hi Mike. When the power is out, so is the fence. You will want to contain your dog.

Machelle September 25, 2016 at 8:02 pm

We have 7 year old lab mix and we love our invisible fence. We have the pet safe wireless one. We adopted a pit bull puppy and got her trained on it keeps her in to. We had a 12 year old rotwilier and she never left our yard.

ADMIN – Hi Machelle. We are always happy to hear about success with the electric dog fences! That usually also includes happy and healthy dogs! Thanks you for sharing your experiences with us.

Ken Boucher May 21, 2016 at 9:34 pm

I live in a stucco home. Will the wireless signals make it through the chicken wire grid underneath the stucco?

ADMIN – Hi Ken. A wireless system will not work reliably with stucco siding due to the wire grid holding the stucco in place.

Robin October 24, 2015 at 9:55 am

Do invisible fence systems work via a constant signal, or do they emit a pulse? We have a Border Collie. The fence worked great for a while, but now we cannot keep him in. We’ve been told he may be timing pulses because he doesn’t run through. He waits patiently and then goes through. Suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Robin. The fences work on a low frequency radio signal and should be constant.

Barry August 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm

What radio frequencies do the electric dog fences work on? I am getting radio interference on the AM radio band (600 kHz) from my neighbor who is using an Innotek wire fence a few hundred yards away. If the dog fence is putting out this much RFI (radio frequency interference) is it defective? Perhaps a lightning hit has changed something?

ADMIN – Hi Barry,

The Innotek systems do indeed work at 600 Khz – but the range is very limited. Generally using a regular AM radio you don’t can’t hear signal once you are ten yards away. It is possible that the neighbor has his system set up with an unusually wide boundary, but even then you should not hear anything at 100 yards. Lightning damage is unlikely to be the culprit – as that will usually make the unit completely stop working. Ask the neighbor to switch off the fence for a few minutes and see if the interference stops.

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