Why DIY a Dog Fence?

Companies like Invisible Fence, Dog Watch, Pet Stop or Dog Guard all install dog fences and do a good job.  So why would you want to DIY?  Here are some pros and cons of the DIY options.

Cost of a Dog Fence

Installing an electric dog fence system will costs around $300 for a good system and $50 more if you need to rent a trencher for installation.  A big national company like Invisible Fence will cost you around $1,500 for installation in an average sized yard with one dog.  So you could easily save $1,200 by looking at a DIY Invisible Fence substitute.

If you get a break in the wire or need to adjust a setting, that is going to mean a house call, which usually start at $100 for a local dog fence company. With a DIY Dog Fence we can show you how to adjust setting yourself, and find and fix a cut in the dog fence wire.

Also worth noting, the big national dog fence franchises like Invisible Fence will make you pay for special batteries for their system.  The Invisible Fence batteries cost around $70 per dog per year, an amount that quickly adds up.  The DIY systems we recommend have rechargeable batteries so you can avoid this annoying expense.

Ease of Installation

Call in the professionals and you don’t have to worry about a thing.  Most installers do a competent job.  They know what they are doing, have the right tools and will be in and out in a day.  They have trained hundreds of dogs and if you do the homework they assign you, in two weeks you are almost guaranteed a contained dog.

Do it yourself and you will need to put in a bit of time for the installation.  DIYing will probably take a full day.  For an average size yard you should budget ten hours, about two hours for reading the guide, planning and buying the necessary supplies, and the rest of the time for the actual installation.  You will also need to take on the responsibility of training your own dog. But, the process is straight forward and can be handles by even the most club-footed DIYer.


For us the main reason to take up any do-it-yourself project is the sense of satisfaction.  Installing a dog fence is a nice project to do over a weekend.  And once you are finished and your dog trained it is something you will appreciate every day.  Best of all the whole thing seems more complicated than it actually is, so everyone will think you are a DIY genius!!

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Brandon November 21, 2017 at 10:47 am

Is there a solar powered outdoor option? Need to keep my dogs off the road. It’s 300′ from the house and there is no electricity out there.

ADMION – Hi Brandon. At this time, there is not a solar option.

Lou October 2, 2017 at 2:59 pm

1) We just got our pup as a rescue and he’s just 12 weeks old as of October 1. While we consider him exceedingly bright (don’t we all??), is it still necessary to wait 6 full months to begin training? (Of course, this WOULD afford an old man like myself to install the system over a longer time, making it easier on ME…!) Seriously, is there a hard definition on this “wait time”?
2) Both Invisible Fence and Dog Guard Pet Fencing promote the use of either 14 or 16-guage SOLID COPPER wiring, as opposed to STRANDED wire which seems to be reflected in your pictures. Do you offer the solid copper as an alternative, or am I just mis-reading your materials?
3) On the issue of wiring, I have approximately 575′ of containment area necessary which will likely (hopefully) only require a single loop configuration. I’m guessing that I’d actually require a bit over 600′ to accommodate any necessary “twisted strand” sections. What would the fees be for this much 14 or 16 gauge wiring? I’m assuming/hoping for some form of credit against the standard 500′ of wiring provided…
4) Included within these perimeter measures is approximately 49′ of run where I want it tucked-up hard against my brick exterior wall – need to get the maximum distance from the neighbors’ containment system. To avoid any internal interference, could I run the containment wire through metal conduit for that 49′ to effectively “block” the signal, then continue the live run at the egress point of the metal conduit to continue the “loop”?
5) How many collars come with your offering?
6) Does the “DIY” aspect of your system impact the warranty – i.e., both Invisible Fencing and Dog Guard Pet Fencing offer lifetime warranties, but I’m assuming that this is impacted by them doing the installation and therefore avoiding any problems caused by the consumer in the installation efforts?

Lots of questions, I know, but I appreciate your expertise and time! If you’d rather discuss this real-time, shoot me a telephone number and I’ll call you directly. I have just left a message at your number noted above. Thanks in advance! Lou

stacy November 5, 2016 at 4:22 pm

We are purchasing a home that has a dog guard mounted in the garage. We have no idea where the perimeters are or if it works properly and have no collar. What is the best way for us to determine if it is working properly and where the perimeters are?

ADMIN – Hi Stacy. Congrats on your new home! The only way to test the boundary is to turn on the system and test the boundary with the collar using it to guide you as to the boundaries. You may also be able to do this with a wire break locator as it will make noise as long as there is a signal running through the wire, but it, too, would require you to walk the whole way around the property.

Robin December 14, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Our hound dog’s Invisible Fence brand dog collar was raked away with the leaves and the cost is $40.00 to replace it. Are other collars compatible?

ADMIN – Hi Robin. You can find a collar that is compatible with the Invisible Fence 700 series in our store under collars. Most other collars will not be compatible with your Invisible Fence system due to the difference in frequency.

Kate April 2, 2015 at 10:16 am

Many invisible dog fence brands state that the transmitter needs to be mounted in a safe, dry location that does not go below freezing. We live in MN where the temperature can easily be below freezing/32F for weeks or months on end… but we would like to install the transmitter in the garage (easiest location). The garage is always a little warmer than the outside temp, but on the days/weeks that the temp is below 0 degrees F, or just below freezing, will the transmitter function properly? What are the risks of mounting it in a location that might get cold? Will the transmitter actually BREAK, or will the signal just be weak or not transmit when it’s too cold? Thank you!

ADMIN – Hi Kate. The transmitter is rated to contain your dog at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, we recommend installing the transmitter in dry areas that do not fall below freezing 32 degrees Fahrenheit (e.g., garage, basement, etc). However, you can also use a remote trainer to bring your dog back in the boundary during the below freezing weeks or months.

Craig January 3, 2015 at 6:19 pm

We just bought a new house with a relatively square 0.58 acre lot with the house in the middle more or less with a rear entry garage and concrete driveway. We were planning on installing our own electric dog fence for our 120lb chocolate lab when we noticed the neighbor already has an electric dog fence that is installed directly on the property line instead of being setback from the property line by some dimension. How can we install a fence and allow our dog to walk the property line as close as he can now since their dog already comes up to the property line. It would be really great if our dog could go all the way to the line but not over it, too, maximizing his space in the yard. Also, there are buried electric lines along the rear and side property lines that feed power to our houses. Can I run my wire on top of their wire, considering they are probably in conduit and much deeper? Thank you in advance for your help with our fence.

ADMIN – Hi Craig. Congratulations on your new house! What is the age and temperament of your 120lb chocolate lab? The PetSafe YardMax PIG00-11115 in-ground dog fence would accommodate your 0.58 acre lot. Are you containing your pet in a perimeter loop around your house? What is the model number of you neighbor’s electric dog fence? We recommend installing the boundary wire 10-15 feet away from neighboring containment systems. Can your neighbor adjust his transmitter settings to accommodate your under ground dog fence? In YardMax mode, the transmitter can start the boundary at the boundary wire which means the collar begins to give the audible warning tone only after the collar has crossed the wire. This allows you to have more of your yard accessible than a standard dog fence. The fence can also be operated in a traditional where it acts just like a regular dog fence. The collar activates at an adjustable distance away from the wire. The traditional mode is preferable for single sided layouts, using the double loop, and with yards with physical fencing. In traditional mode the maximum radius is 8-10 feet from the wire. We recommend running the Boundary Wire parallel to and within 10 feet of electrical wires, neighboring containment systems, telephone wires, television or antenna cables, or satellite dishes may cause an inconsistent signal. If you must cross any of these, do so at 90-degree angles (perpendicularly). We do not recommend running the boundary wire on top of neighboring dog fence wire.

Bruce February 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

I am interested in purchasing a containment system for my 9 month old border collie. My neighbor is also talking about getting such a system for their young lab. Will two systems installed side by side cause any problem the will allow our dogs to leave the properties?
I am interested in the Petsafe Yard Max system because of the unlimited boundary.

Bill February 22, 2014 at 7:06 am

I was as a home show today, and was told that some invisible fences (Invisible Fence 800 series) can be set up so that the signal is directed away from the fence, so that our dog can walk right up to it. How is this accomplished?

Jeff January 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm

We have a 70# golden retriever male who likes to run. The Neighbor has Goldens as well across the street so likes to go there to visit. He got hit the other day but fortunately he was ok. I am looking at wireless fences PetSafe Yardmax, Ultrasmart, or stubborn dog and I didn’t know which one i should go with. Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Jeff, Since Golden’s are so versatile, the best choice for Golden’s is the PetSafe YardMax. The collar is small, rechargeable, and waterproof. It will have enough correction strength for your Golden.

Beth December 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm

We recently purchased a house that has a 3 acre ICT 700 Invisible Fence system but no collars. I tested the fence for breaks and made a necessary splice and it seems OK now. The wire is 14 gauge. I would like to replace the Invisible Fence controls with a Petsafe Yardmax but use the existing underground wire. Do you foresee any problems with doing this? I strongly prefer the rechargeable collars and I want to be able to control the correction levels as each of our two dogs has a different need, but I don’t want to reinstall 3 acres of wire unnecessarily. Thanks

Eric November 29, 2013 at 11:14 am

Good Morning and Happy day after Thanksgiving! We have a Pet Stop underground fence installed. One of our dogs lost her brown collar in the leaves and woods of our New England back yard. We searched for it, but no luck. I have some misc collars from PetSafe that we had at one point. Do PetSafe collars work with PetStop fences? Are these all interchangeable these days? Thanks in advance for your help! Eric

ADMIN – Hi Eric, unfortunately the PetSafe collars will not operate on the Pet Stop fences. And unfortunately, none of the manufactures are making the collars interchangeable; even among their new fence products.

Holly October 15, 2013 at 11:57 pm

We have a 6 month old hound dog who takes off any chance she can get, especially to visit the lab 2 doors down. Which in ground fence would you recommend? We live in the suburbs and don’t have a huge yard, but want to make sure our girl is safe if we turn our backs on her.

ADMIN – Hi Holly, with a hound, you will want to go with the PetSafe Stubborn fence. You will need the stronger correction levels to contain a hound dog.

Roxanna October 15, 2013 at 9:54 am

I need a electronic fence only for across the front of our yard at the road. I want my dog to be able to roam the rest of the farm but want him to stay away from the road. Is there such thing? I only need it for about 150 to 250 feet in a straight line only.

ADMIN – Hi Roxanna, since the dog fence must be in a loop, you can create a road side barrier by running the wire in a long narrow loop. The “Single side layout” illustration on our “Planning/Layouts” provides a visual of the layout. You can reach this page under the “Installation” heading on the menu bar.

Judith September 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I have the innotek 5100 system we have two labs and a Pomeranian Is there a smaller collar that will work with this system?

ADMIN – Hi Judith, yes the new PetSafe YardMax has a small, dainty collar that is rechargeable and is compatible with the 5100 transmitter.

Paul October 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Will petsafe collars work on any innotek, petsafe or radio fence system? I have an old Radio fence rf-1001 that i had for my rottweiler but now i have little Mi-kis well i want to get the small dog collar for the miki, Thanks Paul

ADMIN – Hi Paul, the Innotek collars and the PetSafe Ultrasmart PIG00-13619 will not be compatible with the RF-1001. However, the PetSafe Little Dog, Deluxe, and Stubborn are.

Kathy July 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm

We have a in ground system from PetStop for our 75 # lab mix for our 1 1/4 acre lot. It has provided us peace of mind and our dog enjoys his exercise. We have just purchased a second home that is just about .28 acre. We were told we could take our transmitter/collar with us and have a Petstop franchise do the wiring. Could we install our own wire to save money or is the wire used compatible only with specific brands/ product.

Admin- Hi Kathy,

Most of the boundary wires used for in-ground dog fence systems is universal. All the boundary wire that we offer will function perfectly with your transmitter.

Daiquiri McClelland April 16, 2012 at 10:44 am

We recently purchased a home and found that the property has an in ground electric fence. We were told by a neighbor that it was a DIY system and not a purchased service. The problem is we have no other information regarding what brand was used, where the boundary lines are, etc… A transmitter box and collars were NOT left with the house.

What is our best course of action so that we can utilize the existing fence? We have 2 huskies mixes and would love to not have to build a fence around our 1 acre property. Thank you!

Admin- Hi Daiquiri,

1) The good new is that the already installed wire will work with any of your systems.
2) With Huskies, the Innotek IUC-5100 works particularly well. It can be difficult with Huskies to get the collar probes through their undercoat, so that you are getting the probe actually touching the dog’s skin. The 5100 helps solve this problem with the a built in collar tester that lets you know when the probes are touching skin.

Malinda January 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I read your review for various Innotek indoor systems and think that is what I may need for my ShihTzu that sneaks off and pees on my rugs. I want to put one in the dining room entryway, living room entryway, and stairs.

Question 1: someone told me that the dog cannot wear the collar for more than 12 hours. Is that true?

Question 2: do the innotek indoor system collars work with the outdoor Pawz Away transmitter also? I want to also keep my dog away from the gate but don’t want her to wear 2 collars.

ADMIN – Hi Malinda,

(1) The manufacturers all state the collar should not be worn more than 12 hours a day. In practise many of our customers leave the collar on 24/7. If you are going to do that, just watch the collar area every day for the first two weeks, then weekly. You are just trying to make sure the collar is not chafing or causing an allergic reaction with the skin.

(2) Yes, you can use the Indoor pod collars with the Pawz Away outdoor pods.

Jackie KT_suds@msn.com December 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Our lab is extremely food driven and we need to make sure that he is not able to access the kitchen and dining room. We want to set up an electric fence indoors, what would be the best DIY electric fences and what are the installation requirements. Can it be installed on the basement wood ceiling? Any comments, tool requirements, recommendations and pros/cons would be helpful. Thank you Jackie

Admin- Hi Jackie,

I would recommend using an indoor zone to section off the kitchen. You will be able to set a pod at each entry point to the kitchen to create a boundary. This way your dog will not be able to gain access. Please view our indoor zones in our store page under the accessories tab.

Judd October 6, 2011 at 8:06 pm

We are wanting to install a wired fence on our property. We own alot of land but want to keep our dogs to about 2 acres. We have a 2 acre pond at the end of our “yard” and I am wondering, since the water level is so low right now can I bury wire now where water WILL BE once our drought is over? In doing this it would allow our dogs to go down to the pool for a drink and a dip in the summer. The wire would be about 3 feet under water when the pool is totally full, but right now its dirt.

ADMIN – Hi Judd,

That would work perfectly. Make sure to install the wire far enough into the pond to give your dogs enough space to walk into the pond.

Robert September 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Hi, My neighbor has a Invisible Fence System. Would a Petsafe little dog or the Innotek ICU-4100 work ok with no interference from his system?.

ADMIN – Hi Robert,

If the neighbor’s fence is within 12 feet of yours, you are likely to get interference along the common boundary with the Innotek or the PetSafe. Your best option would be to use a dual frequency system where you can set the frequency to avoid the problem. The Perimeter Technologies Ultra would be your best bet.

Helen July 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm

We have a 1 acre yard, fenced on two side with Stockade fencing. We have a pug and are thinking of getting another Golden. Which system do you recommend and what would be the estimated cost?
Thank you!

Admin- Hi Helen,

The best system for you will be the PetSafe Little Dog fence. You can use the included Little Dog Collar for the Pug and bundle in an additional PetSafe Stubborn Dog collar for a Golden. You should expect the price to range from $270-$350 depending on if you need any extra materials.

Ed G July 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I currently have a very sweet timid cat who used to share the house with an older Dalmatian. The Dalmatian is gone and we will be adopting two 1 year old lab mix littermates when my daughter moves back into the house. My main concern is protecting the cat and giving her a refuge area where the dogs cannot go without using lots of gates that will also put constraints on our mobility. From what I see in your videos are the wireless units will not work for my situation. I’m thinking of using your innotek 4100 unit and run the wires on the joists in the basement to block the dogs from ½ of the house. How far apart must the opposite sides of a loop be for the fence to work properly?

ADMIN – Hi Ed,

The opposite sides of the wire loop need to be at least six feet apart.

If you just want to keep the dog out of a couple of spots in the house, you may also want to consider some of the spot solutions that you could use to keep the dogs out certain rooms. It should be considerably easier than setting up a wired system under your floor board – the tradeoff being that you can only create circular exclusions and cannot custom shape the wire.

pat April 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm

my yard is 160ft. by 80ft. I would like to know what would be the best wireless system to use?

ADMIN – Hi Pat,

By far, if you are choosing to go with a wireless dog fence, our recommendation is the Havahart. It leads the pack in terms of performance and reliability. We’ve posted our test results here: http://www.dogfencediy.com/wireless-dog-fence/

stacey March 18, 2011 at 11:48 am

Hi, I was wondering if you would be able to help me, we have a black lab who is close to 100 lbs. she is a very good dog, but like others she likes to wonder, which isn’t a problem, except she has gotten braver and has started crossing the road. we live in the country and i was wondering how i would be able to go about keeping her away from the road. we have considered doing a complete wire around our back yard, but i would love for her to have complete access to the entire house. our problem is that the entire front of our home is driveway and very close to the road. would something like the rocks work for this problem?? thanks for any help you can offer to us!

ADMIN – Hi Stacey,

What kind of material is the driveway made out of? If it is concrete and you have a convenient expansion joint, that would be the easiest way to run he wire across the driveway. We could clean out the expansion joint and run the wire through the joint, then cailk over.

Otherwise, we would use a circular saw, or rent a concrete saw if it were a long distance and cut a shallow slot across for the wire.

I don’t think the wireless rock pods will be a good solution here, because in wireless mode they can only create small circular barriers, what we really want to block access to the highway is a long thin line of wire.

Janice March 2, 2011 at 10:01 am

How does this work with country living? We have large acreage and have deer that come in the yard, and we mow with a JD compact tractor. I’ve heard a deer standing on the wire location during the wet springs will break it. So a tractor would for sure. Is this a practical solution for farm living? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Janice,

The wire is flexible and pretty resilient. It can stand up to occasional wear with a car or tractor driving over it, so long as the ground is dirt, not gravel or shale. If the tractor is going to drive over certain spots a lot or there is an animal path, I would bury that section, or place it in a protective conduit (like an old hose pipe). Systems can handle up to 100 acres, and we have many customers that use them with small farms.

I don’t think a deer standing on the wire would break it (although I must admit I have never tried that experiment!). Where livestock or deer break wire, it is usually where it is not secured to the ground and the animals trip over the wire and snap it. If you do have animals in the area and are not burying the wire, it is definitely worth stapling it down every 10 feet using ground staples.

Dan February 2, 2011 at 12:26 am

You show a house with a large loop all the way around it. The perimeter boundary is connected to the fencer with twisted wire. Can the dog cross that twisted wire? I want to put a fence around the perimeter of my property. This is about 2000 feet. I want my dog to have free run everywhere inside the fence. I do not want to have an internal line he cannot cross. How can this be done?

ADMIN – Hi Dan,

Yes, the twisted wire section that connects the transmitter to the main boundary loop does not transmit a radio frequency. This means that you dog will be able to cross over the twisted wire and not receive a correction. I recommend checking out our twisted wire page for more info on twisted wire. We even have this concept illustrated as well there: http://www.dogfencediy.com/installation/plan/twisted-wire/.

Ken January 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I am considering a containment system for my backyard. I have 4ft chain link fencing around the entire yard. I have read that you can connect to fencing and was considering running the wire along the top pipe on the chain link fence. Will this work or are insulated stand offs of some type required ? Also by doing this would it cause the fence itself to become part of the loop in turn possibly requiring a higher output transmitter ? I have approximately 250 ft of fencing to utilize. Thank you in advance. Ken.

ADMIN – Hi Ken,

You can safely run the dog fence wire along the top of a chain link fence. You don’t need any insulation, because the wire itself is insulated. You can simply weave the boundary wire through the chain link, or use zip-ties to hold the wire in place.

Sometimes with a sheet metal fence, when you run the wire along the fence, the whole fence acts like a dog fence and emit the radio signal that triggers the collar. This doesn’t tend to happen with chain link, nor does it require a higher output transmitter.

marcia December 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm

hi, we have had a system installed professionally by one of the companies you mentioned above – it is now 10 years old. we have 2 labs – each 4 years old. in the past we had a husky and another old lab. the husky used to escape once in a while but when he got older he stopped doing it – mostly bored i think – and i almost expected it from him, but not the labs – i could be naive!
our new labs have a habit of getting out down by the road – usually when someone walks by with another dog or a stray dog is nearby. i have tried everything i can think of – retraining, replacing batteries, tightening the collars, correcting with my voice, testing the collars. it is set to the highest level and they do not try to escape from any other point in the yard. we have about 1 acre covered of our 2 acre property. it doesn’t seem reasonable that an electrical circuit has weak spots, but nothing is working and I’m getting frustrated trying to contain them. we no longer leave them out together – only one at a time and they must be supervised b/c I can’t trust them. Should we replace the system? Or do you have other recommendations? thanks

ADMIN – Hi Marcia,

I think you will be fine with your old system, training is usually the culprit … not the system. Just give it a quick check to make sure it is still correcting and make sure the collar is properly fitted so that the prongs are actually touching the dog’s skin, if they aren’t the dog does not get the correction.

Then redo the last stage of the training that you will find on our website. Basically you will put the dog on a long leash, and have temptation in the form of a neighbor’s dog walk by. When your dog attempts to cross the boundary, let them get the correction, then pull them back across the boundary line using the leash. Repeat these sessions a couple of times a day until the dog is obeying the boundaries. It should take no more than a week.

Generally, if you notice your dog getting out, it is time to check that everything is working and repeat the final stage of the training using the specific triggers that are causing the problem. You want to start early, once it becomes a habit it can be difficult to break, if you catch it the first few times it usually only requires one or two training sessions to get back on track.

Tom November 20, 2010 at 9:16 pm

We are exploring the installation of an electric dog fence and we will be fencing a rather large area, the total perimeter will be around 1,500 feet. Is there a limit to the length of the perimeter that is effective?

ADMIN – Hi Tom,

Each system has a different rating in terms of how much wire and area it can power. There are systems that can do from 5 acres up to 100 acres. I try and be conservative and go at least 20% under the manufacturer’s rating, and at least 50% under if there is going to be heavy accumulation of snow. Nearly every system can easily handle 1,500 feet without any problems.

Christine November 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm

We would like to contain 1 lab (approx 80 lbs) and 2 cats (less than 10 lbs each). Do any of these systems work for cats, too? Which system would you recommend?

ADMIN – Hi Christine,

There is a PetSafe cat system we have available in our store. The PetSafe cat collars are also available separately and can work with any PetSafe Deluxe, PetSafe Stubborn, or PetSafe Little Dog system.

For you situation, get either a PetSafe Deluxe (smaller collar put proprietary battery) or a PetSafe Stubborn (cheaper, uses standard 9V battery, but a bigger collar) and add two extra PetSafe cat collars for the two cats.

Greg B September 9, 2010 at 7:06 am

Looking for some good equipment to help me with the installation of my dog fence. Know of anything good to cut the slit in the ground (just my yard)? I read that there is something that puts the slit in the ground while laying the wire as well. Ever hear of anything? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Greg,

I highly recommend using a trencher with a wire laying attachment. You can get them at most tool rental places, they cut a slit in the ground place the wire in the slit then backfill. It makes life a lot easier! For more details check out the section of our site on trenchers. (Installation–> Burying the Wire —> Trencher)

Angela Monday July 21, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I live on a farm and want to contain 5 dog to approx 5 acres. My concern is that I have a Great Pyr (140 lbs) 2 Chihuhuas (7 lbs each) and 2 Shih Tsu’s (will be approx 15 lbs) Could you explain how I would go about having different levels for each dog and which would be best to use and cost effective. Inground vs. Wireless. Also, is it a shock system? I keep hearing corrections…..so I just wondered.

ADMIN – Hi Angela,

With such a broad variety of dogs, I’d suggest going with the PetSafe Stubborn Dog system (for the Great Pyrenees), add in 2 PetSafe Little Dog collars for the Chihuahua’s and add 2 PetSafe Deluxe collars for the 2 Shih Tsu’s. This is the most cost effective solution. The system comes with 500 feet of wire, so you’ll need to add an additional 1,500 feet to cover 5 acres.

On each of these collars, there’s a button that you can press to set the level of correction. It is a mild static shock, but it does not harm your dog. That’s why we say correction cause shock sounds as if it’s harmful.

The above recommendation is an in ground system and we always recommend those over the wireless systems. Wired systems are much more stable and reliable.

M.P Nathan March 4, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Hi… I am considering getting a Dog Guard system. How does this compare with other brands? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Nathan,

Dog Guard is one of the smaller full service installation companies that popped up to compete with Invisible Fence. With all these franchised companies, quality varies a lot from franchisee to franchisee. I would speak to your local representative, asking to speak with the trainer that will be helping you train your dog, in addition to the sales rep. The trainer is always the most important piece in the puzzle when putting in a containment system. Then they inspire confidence and get rapport with your dog that is a good sign. If not, consider talking to the trainer from a couple of the other local franchisees. Equipment wise, I haven’t heard much and would love to hear from other readers who have.

Dale March 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm

My fiance brought home a blue tick coon dog, as a housepet. As you probably know, they love to run free and they are kind of hard headed. We already have a 4 foot chainlink fence around our property, and recently he has figured out how to get under it. Which would be fine, if there wasnt a railroad track and a parkway within a quarter of a mile of the house. As well as the 45 mph road in front of the house. Now our fence is around an acre, and I am ready to purchase either an Innotek 5100, or a Petsafe Ultrasmart or Stubborn Dog system. I am just wondering if the correction level is high enough on the Innotek system or the Ultrasmart for my dog. His last vet visit he weighed in at around 65 pounds. I plan on placing the boundary wire as close to the chainlink fence as possible to keep him as much room as possible. I would rather do the 5100 or the Ultrasmart system because of the pros that they have. I’m just wondering if they will have enough correction for my dog. Thanks

BARBARA March 1, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Hi, My problem is similar to Peter who commented earlier. We’ve recently moved and we have a 3 sided stucco fence/wall. The only open area is across the driveway with a little lawn on one side. The fence starts on the other side of the house opposite the driveway, are there any other options to contain our boxer without running the wire along the stucco wall?
We had a invisible fence at our old house and yes we did get a 1200 bid. We are thinking there has to be other inexpensive options considering the area we need covered is just across the driveway. Thanks, Barbara

ADMIN – Hi Barbara,

If you are just trying to block a small area like a driveway, the Pawz-Away Rock is a good option, that is cheaper and a lot easier to set up than a regular system. The rock can be used with up to 150 feet of wire, so you can create a long thin loop (with six feet between the opposite sides) to cover the driveway area. If that passage is more than about 70 feet, you will probably need two rocks. But still much more inexpensive than a full system.

Deb February 28, 2010 at 11:27 am

I’m so glad I came across your site! My husband and I are planning on purchasing a system this spring, however, I have a bit of a concern with our dog. We have a Xolo (Mexican Hairless) and because the collar will be directly on her skin, I was wondering if you have had any experience with hairless dogs using your collars and if it is safe for the dog?

Thanks for your time.
Boston, MA

ADMIN – Hi Deb,

Hairless dogs are fine using the collars (you want it to touch the skin directly irrespective of whether the dog is hairless or not). But, you always want to be especially careful, particularly in the initial weeks that the dog fence collar is not irritating the skin.

For an Xolo, you may want to consider the PetSafe Little Dog. It is going to be a lighter and more comfortable fit for a smaller dog like a Mexican Hairless. It also has the comfort fit probes which are a little gentler on the skin.

heidi McNamara February 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

I currently have an Invisible Fence system, with one collar, but it is 16 years old. I have had to repair quite a few breaks over the years, and my neighbor is about to re-lanscape their property ( my fence is under their ground along the property line!). I will basically have to redo the system (according to invisible fence) since it is so old. I am about to train my six month old beagle on this system, but am expecting a second dog any time now. I have 2 questions…If I break free from I.F. and get a new system now, could I hook it up to the existing ground wire (at least until I have to replace the wire)? It is just the collar that needs to pick up the signal from the system…the wire has nothing to do with it right? Also, are these DIY collars just as small and durable as the I.F. collars? One more thing…Since I still have 3 batteries from the I.F. battery plan, do you think I will confuse the dog if I start with this system (and it’s warning sound) and switch when I get the second dog and need the second collar? Thanks, Heidi

Hi Heidi,

Yes, you can hook up a new system to the old Invisible Fence system wiring and as long as that wire is still intact it will work perfectly.

If your dog is already trained, then switching won’t be a big deal for him. The sounds are all pretty similar, and he will quickly learn that the new sounds apply just the same as the old sounds. If you already have a system, and it works, I would wait until you are ready to start training the young beagle to replace it.

Michelle February 10, 2010 at 11:20 pm

We have three malamutes. We live in the mountains and our dogs love running around the neighborhood. We would love to contain them to ensure their safety. In the winter months we have huge piles of snow around the perimeter of our one acre lot. Will the piles of snow impact the effectiveness of an electronic fence?

ADMIN – Hi Michelle,

When it snows you will need to turn up the boundary width dial so the signal can penetrate the accumulated snow. You can usually get through around three feet of snow before it becomes ineffective. When it thaws out in the spring you will need to turn that boundary width dial down again.

Steven Brunelle January 31, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I have a complete Invisible fence setup at my old house . If I just took the unit and the collars , what kind of wire do I buy to install it at our new house ?

ADMIN – Hi Steve,

You want to try and get a wire that says that it is “rated for direct burial.” This kind of wire tends to hold up better in the soil. The wire should be a single insulated wire. The guage is not particularly important, but get something 20 gauge or thicker. It does not matter if the wire is solid core or stranded. And remember, when you splice wires together always use a waterproof splice.

Kimm Warren October 12, 2009 at 8:08 pm

We are frustrated with buying expensive batteries, the installer often takes a week or so to return our call and then we wait another week for new batteries and they are expensive and the dog whose collar has a dead battery gets loose! This frustration led me to the internet and finding your informative site, thank you. Our question is about compatibility between the various systems, in other words can we mix and match. We bought a Petsafe collar from Lowe’s which turns out to not be compatible with the transmitter which is a Pet Stop unit, I liked the idea that the collar uses an ordinary 9 volt battery available everywhere for reasonable cost. The collar for our large dog is a Dog Guard and it works with Pet Stop transmitter. Are you able to compile and publish a list of compatible systems? I think many who visit your site would appreciate this.

ADMIN – Hi Kimm,

Unfortunately there is no intercompatibility between brands and for the most part between systems. You can use a current inground fence PetSafe collar with any PetSafe inground system. You can also use an PetSafe Ultrasmart collar with a IUC-5100 system and vice versa. That is the extent of intercompatibility.

The only option if you have a petstop and want something with a regular 9v battery or a rechargable battery is to switch out the contorl box (leaving the existing wire in place.

peter September 16, 2009 at 7:03 pm

I only need to contain a straight line, the other 3 sides of my property already have a fence. The area is 175 ‘ across. can this be done? Or do iI have to contain more of an area? How much twisted wire can I use?

ADMIN – Hi Peter

The boundary line can only be laid in complete loops, so unfortunately you cannot do just a straight line. What most people do if they have a fence, is staple or ziptie the wire to the three fenced sides to complete the loop.

The twisted wire is used to connect the control box to the boundary loop. You cannot use it as part of the boundary loop (although this would be very convenient!). So the most you would use in an installation is the distance from the control box out ot the nearest boundary.

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