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

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

Various trenchers will work differently, so ask the shop assistant to give you a demonstration of how to operate it.  A couple of questions you will want to ask: 1. Is the trenching blade adjustable? You do not want the wire any deeper than 4 inches maximum. 2. Is that particular trencher good for use with whatever gauge wire you select for your system. Many trenchers can only be used with thicker wires. Best to ask before you rent. Of course, always use safety glasses!

Pulling the trencher is not so effortless through most soils.  Still, trenching is much easier than laying boundary wire by hand.  The trencher is by far the best way to do the job.


  1. Matt says:

    We will be installing a fence this weekend and using the trencher. I have read some places that the 20 ga wire will have issues with the trencher. Does anyone have any experience with it? It is a Sportsdog system.

  2. Cole says:

    I am putting in a fence soon and am considering renting an EZ Cable Installer – I have read other places say you need the upgraded cable to use the machine, but I cant find that official advice in the owners manual – is there a minimum gauge wire to use? I am thinking of 16 or 18 instead of the 20 but want to make sure I dont need 14

    ADMIN – Hi Cole. You should be good with the 16 gauge wire. However, it’s best to ask the rental company as they will know their machines better than anyone else.

  3. Sadaqat Hussain says:

    where can I rent a trencher for installing wire for a underground fence.

    ADMIN – Hi Sadaqat. We recommend calling a local tool rental company such as Sunbelt Tool Rentals, which is a national company. You may also check with local home improvement stores.

  4. Bob Gibson says:

    Hi, I have 8 acres, completely fenced with chain link fence 6.5 ft high, but the 25′ driveway gate often gets left open. My two labradors often wander out of the gate and I want to stop them without having to shut the gate all of the time. It is a gravel driveway and I have power within 20′ of the gate. My question is can I just bury a loop on the inside of the gate to keep the dogs from crossing through the gate or do I have to loop the entire property (they do not try to dig under the fence or jump over it, so all I want to do is stop them from leaving through the gate). What are your recommendations for equipment and two collars, they are about 80-90 lbs each. Thanks for the great website and information!!

    ADMIN – Hi Bob. Yes, you could bury a long, skinny loop just in front of the opening for your gate. The wires going down and coming back would need to be at least 6 feet apart to minimize any chance of interference from it’s own signal. Please visit our Dog Fence Planning/Layouts page to see the layout of a “Single Sided Boundary” layout.

  5. Al Bingaman says:

    What is the max. depth to bury the wire without losing the signal?

    ADMIN – Hi Al. The recommended bury depth is 1 to 3 inches deep. Any deeper runs the risk of lessening the communication between the signal and the collar.

  6. Gordon says:

    My ZIP Code is 37030 I cannot find anyone I can rent the easy Trencher from there is a number for a company in Nashville but they do not have the machine
    If you have a moment please give me a call 615-330-2839 thank you very much.

    ADMIN – Hi Gordon. Sunbelt rentals is in your area. Try giving them a call. Their phone number is 1-800-667-9328.

  7. Deb says:

    Our border includes rugged, Rocky Mountain terrain, I have 2 Qs:
    1. You suggested stapling the wire in the rocky unmowed, woody area, I am guessing that you need to use mega sized staples … what do you suggest?

    2. If you need to cross a bridge, would it be wise to encase the wire in a plastic conduit cover and attach it to the underside of the bridge?

    ADMIN – Hi Deb. Our Lawn Staples are about the size of your hand. We do not recommend running boundary wire under a metal bridge due to amplification problems. You would need to run the boundary wire 5-10 feet away from the metal bridge and test the collar with the test light tool to confirm the collar is beeping and correcting at the correct location on the perimeter loop.

  8. Uri Bornstein says:

    How high above a door I should go if I want the dog to go through? Should I go up to the gutters?

    ADMIN – Hi Uri. Yes. We recommend running the boundary wire up a downspout on one side of the house, across the gutter, and down the downspout on the other side of the house. This vertical height over the ground gives your dog enough space to get in and out of the back door without triggering the correction. As always, you want to test with the dog collar at the back door to make sure there is no signal accidentally reaching down where the dog will walk. Also test rooms near the gutter line to make sure there is no signal spilling into those rooms. If there is unwanted spill, turn down the boundary width setting on the control box until you are getting no spill.

  9. tony keslik says:

    where can I rent a trencher for installing wire for a underground fence I live in zip code 62877

    ADMIN – Hi Tony. I googled your zip code 62877 for tool rentals and found a helpful link:

  10. Keri says:

    We have close to 4 1/2 acres, but are looking at only wiring about 4 to exclude “high interest” areas, like the tree line and fence butting up to our neighbor’s property, our chicken coop and pigpen. We have 3 rottweilers, 85 pounds, 105 pounds and 125 pounds. The 105-pound dog is our primary concern, since he’s learned how to jump our fence, so we want to wire the boundary 10 feet inside the fence so the dogs can’t even get into the trees near the fence line. Our other dogs don’t even attempt to jump the fence. Rottweilers have a high prey drive, so the “switch” goes off with birds, rabbits, and unfortunately our chickens and cat too. I have been looking at the system that doesn’t allow them to run through and keeps providing correction, but wonder if the correction will be enough when their brain is switched into “prey drive.” Our 105 pound dog is the biggest culprit for prey brain, along with fence jumping. I’ve looked at the different systems and like the “no-run-through” capability of the newest PetSafe YardMax, but wonder if we could pair a stubborn dog with this containment, or if we need to match it. My husband is planning to rent a trencher this summer for a weekend anyway to bury some water and electric lines to different areas of our property, so we would probably do the fence the same weekend as the other projects so we can get it all done in a weekend. Also, is it best to train all of the dogs, or only the main offender?

    ADMIN – Hi Keri, yes, the YardMax is a great fit for even dogs with the strongest prey drive. The reason is that while the YardMax does not have quite a strong of correction strength compared to the PetSafe Stubborn, the YardMax fence will contain your Rottweiler’s because of the YardMax mode’s sustained correction. It is possible for a strong dog can run through a correction zone on a traditional fence, but they will not be able to do the same with the YardMax. As for training, you will want to train each dog separately.

  11. David says:

    I’ve repaired tv’s in the past, point to point wiring and circuit board and often used heat shrinkable tubing on wire solder connections. #1. Are soldered connections advisable and #2. Will the heat shrinkable tubing hold up over time? Wire and wood fencing surround my back yard and the signal wire will be 4 to 6 inches off the ground.

    ADMIN – Hi David,

    (1) I find that soldered connection are too brittle and over time tend to snap. I think you are better off using wire nuts.

    (2) I can’t see why heat-shrink shouldn’t work, I bet you could get a nice watertight seal. Is there an advantage of using heat-shrink over using the regular gel-filled capsules for making the splice watertight.

  12. Peter says:

    Do you use the trencher when wires have been spliced? Do you do that section by hand?

    ADMIN – Hi Peter, Yes, what you’ll do is run past the spot 5 feet with the trencher to create the trench. Splice the new wire in, lay it into the trench then continue on.

  13. Peter says:

    What is the best way to cut through as asphalt/black top?

    ADMIN – Hi Peter, we recommend fastening a masonry blade to a circular saw to cut through asphalt. Make sure to wear protective eye wear.

  14. Tim Cianciulli says:

    We would like to know how old should my dogs be before using the electronic fence? We have 2 Vizsla puppies (3 months old) and they love to run. Our lot is 125′ wide and we plan to fence the entire width in the front and back yards to approximately 350′ deep. They are getting more curious by the day and would like to get the fence installed as early as possible but we don’t want to start to early.

    Admin- Hi Tim,

    We typically recommend waiting at least 6 months before training. It makes the dog fence training much quicker. However, if your dogs can already understand basic commands like come, sit, and stay. Than the dogs should be ready for training with the containment fence.

  15. Susan says:

    We live on a narrow lot, so to form a complete boundary with both ends meeting at the transmitter and still let our dog in and out the only door at the back of the house, we would need to run the boundary wire up a significant length of our driveway (probably 30 feet or more), which is hard packed gravel. Would something like the EZ trench dig through that as well?

    Admin- Hi Susan,

    A small EZ trencher might not have enough horsepower to dig into your driveway. However, a larger unit with more horsepower will. Note: If you cannot dig into your driveway, you will need to run the wire through a section of hose that will lay across the driveway for protection.

  16. Vicki says:

    We are planning to install a wired fence but have a couple problem areas.
    1. We need to run the fence along an electric and wood horse fence. I had hoped to just staple the wire to the existing fence on that side. Will the electric horse fence make the dog fence dead in that area (won’t really be a problem for us) or cause some other problem? Moving it 6 feet out will get it into an area that is frequently torn up by large tractor tires -sometimes a foot deep.
    2. Same sort of problem crossing dirt driveway. (Mud season here is very real!).
    and crossing a dirt driveway to the barn.
    Is it possible to make a lollipop with the fence? Or does it always have to return to the start point?

    Thanks for your help!

    Admin- Hi Vicki,

    1) There would not be any interference issues with the electric fence. You will be able to install the boundary wire on the same post (just make sure the wire do not touch). In our experienced, we have found that attaching the boundary wire to an existing fence will solve most containment issues very quickly.
    2) To Across the driveway, installing the wire inside a pvc pipe or water hose is preferred (No metal conduit though). This way, the wire will have added protection.
    3) As long as the system wire makes a complete loop the system will be active. Note: if you do double the wire back in the same route. The wire will need to be separated by 3-6 feet.

  17. Ted says:

    Hi, I was wondering what the best setup would be for my new system. I have a 3.5 acre rectangular lot. One side and the back has a 8 foot chain link fence. Originally, I was going to just do the exposed side and the front, because I was thought it would be easier if the dog only had to learn not to approach those areas. But by doing so, i would need to dig all the way down the yard, then move over 6 feet and bury all the way back. If I weaved the wire along the top of the fenced in sections, how close do you think the dog could get to those areas?

    ADMIN – Hi Ted,

    If you ran the wire along the top of the 8-foot high fence, and set the system to a typical boundary width (e.g. 5 feet wide on either side of the wire), then the dog could get all the way up to the fence without triggering the correction – because the signal would not reach down from the top of the 8-foot high fence down to the dog at ground level.

  18. Christina says:

    Hi, I have an 18 month old beagle who is really well trained but being a beagle he likes to run. We are surrounded by woods so want him to be able to run a bit but would like to keep him relatively close; the cleared part of the yard is around 1.5 acres. We don’t have a lot of money to spend on this. What option would you recommend?

    ADMIN – Hi Christina,

    For a beagle, we would want one of the smaller collars. Two good options would be the Innotek IUC-4100 and the Perimeter Ultra. Both are good system, and after the training should have no problems containing a beagle – even one in full flight! The Perimeter is going to be around $100 cheaper, but uses a Perimeter Technologies proprietary consumable battery, while the Innotek uses a rechargeable battery.

  19. Heather says:

    Hi, I have a 1 year old lab that is about 105 lbs, & a 4 year old frenchie that is about 27 lbs. What would be the best system to work for both of them. I can fence anywhere from 1 to 12 acres for them. Is there a system that doesn’t have to be buried? We have red clay here and it is terrible to dig or trench in, and I wasn’t sure if the wireless system would be sufficient for a 100+ lb dog because we have a 10X10X10 chain link kennel now that the lab gets out of by crawling out or digging, he has even popped the chainlink of the poles, and he is to large to continue to keep in the house…HELP…lol thanks, Heather

    ADMIN – Hi Heather,

    The PetSafe Systems are good where there is a big dog and a small dog on the same system, because they have different sized collars that you can fit to suit each dog. I would recommend a PetSafe Stubborn dog system and using the included collar for the Labrador. I would use an extra PetSafe Deluxe collar for the French Poodle. These systems have a wire boundary. The wire does not have to be buried per se, just laid out across along the boundary line and stapled down. However if you are running the wire along a mowed area, burial is highly recommended. For un-mowed areas like woods, you do not need to bury the wire.

    You could also use a wireless system like the Havahart Radial. It will not require any wire, but the performance will not be as good as a wired system. The boundaries will move around a few feet minute to minute making training more difficult. They also have trouble working in some homes, particularly where there is sheet metal or lots of trees on the property.

  20. Edilbacher says:

    How deep/shallow do you have to lay the wire underground?

    ADMIN – Hi Edmund,

    There is no minimum burial width, however if you are going to mow the area you want the wire to be at least an inch below ground to avoid it being accidently hit by the mower. The maximum burial width is about one foot (more for sandy soils, less for heavy clays)

  21. Doug and Jen says:

    Hi, Great site! I have a 6-acre area that is surrounded by trees and brush and is not flat. I have 4 Olde English Bulldogges (large version over 100 lbs.) and they are quite stubborn dogs, LOL. I need a “wired” system that is durable (we have lots of Moles, groundhogs, etc, and rough terrain) yet affordable. I need approximately 2000 ft. of wire and 4 collars. If I upgrade to a twisted, heavy-gauge wire, will I need to upgrade other components? I’ve seen 14 thru 22 gauge wire and didnt know if the resistance would diminish with the 2000 ft. distance without raising the volts/amps of the power supply and wire gauge? Also, is there any system that offers price breaks on multiple collars or are there aftermarket versions compatible with good systems such as the “Innotek” that may be affordable yet effective? Much thanks in advance to any help you may offer. Sincerely, Doug and Jen May

    ADMIN – Hi Doug & Jen,

    The thinner gauge wires do have higher resistance which results in lower range than the thicker gauges. But, for 2,000 feet you should not have a problem with the standard 20 gauge.

    Generally mixing different gauges is not a good idea, because the areas with a thicker gauge end up with different boundary widths than the areas with the thinner gauge. But, with the twisted wire since there is no boundary this is a non-issue – so you can freely mix one gauge twisted wire with a different gauge single boundary wire.

    The PetSafe Stubborn is a good system at a good price. The main drawback is that the collar are bigger than most, but that is not going to be an issue with your dogs. The Stubborn also has a higher correction level than other systems that can come in useful with particularly truculent OEB’s. The extra collars on the Stubborn are also much cheaper than those on other systems like the Innoteks.

  22. Gregg Hunt says:

    My 2 year old pit and new mix great Pyrenees pup are digging out and I work away from home alot. I would like to just hook it to my fence, about 6 inches high or so. I live in the country and my wife lets the dogs in at night I just need to keep them up during the day, because if they get around the calves the farmer will shoot them.

    ADMIN – Hi Gregg,

    Fence mounting the wire on chain link works well. As you mention placing the wire a few inches above the ground is a good practice because it keeps the wire away from weed-eaters. With those two guardian dogs, a stronger correction collar may be needed. I would use something like the PetSafe Stubborn.

  23. Mac Chandler says:

    Love your website. One of the best I have ever seen. Very useful information in a very user friendly format. Thanks for making it available. Our home is located in the center of a 1.8 acre triangle shaped lot. We have one 30 pound short haired dog with very long legs. It can run incredibly fast & loves to chase squirrels, rabbits, birds, off our property.
    1. What under ground system do you recommend for us?
    2. What gauge wire do you recommend?
    3. How much wire will we need?

    ADMIN – Hi Mac,

    1. A good system would be the Innotek IUC-4100. It is a good responsive system which helps for dogs with a high prey drive, and the collar is small enough that it would not be a bother on a 30lb dog. There are a few other nice features, like the rechargeable collar, and the collar-fit test.

    2. For a 1.8 acre lot, I would use the standard 20 gauge wire. The marginal benefit from using the thicker wire for a 1.8 acres installation is small.

    3. A good rule of thumb is that 1500 feet of wire will enclose about 2 acres. For a high energy dog, I would want at least five feet on either side of the wire, at least for the training. You are lucky to have a nice big yard, so you can make the boundary nice and wide.

  24. Lea says:

    I would like to install either a wireless or in ground pet fence system. I have 4 acres with a pond that the dogs love to swim in. What is the best system to protect my three Rottweiler’s from going to the road, and a system that will allow them in the water without damaging the collar. I have a remote shock collar (pet safe) with a level up to ten. The level ten doesn’t phase them they just turn their head a little bit and keep on going. Two of the dogs weigh around 75 pounds the other is 150 pounds. If you can give me any suggestions I would deeply appreciate it . Thank You…

    ADMIN Hi Lea,

    For a high powered system that is waterproof, the PetSafe Stubborn Fence would be a good choice. The PetSafe has collars that can handle full immersion for when the dogs swim. And the PetSafe Stubborn has higher correction levels than other systems which will be useful with a dogs that need a bit more power to get their attention.

  25. Trenching when wet says:

    Hello, I was wondering if it is possible to use a cable install/trencher when the ground outside is still somewhat wet (no puddling)? I don’t know if that would impact the way the machine making my renting of it a wast of money, or is I should wait a month or more until the ground dries up. It is winter now and the ground just doesn’t seem to be getting any better and I have a German Shepherd Puppy that I need to get trained. Also, will a different petsafe collar work on the petsafe deluxe little dog system? I figure I’ll need a bigger collar for my German Shepherd compared to my two Pomeranians and don’t want to have to install a whole new system in the yard. Thank You

    ADMIN – Hi Trenching When Wet,

    If the ground is wet, particularly clay soils it gets very sticky and tends to clog up the trencher making progress tough going. For sandy soils, the wet is not a big deal and you can trench away. In winter, lots of our customers simply staple the wire to the ground and start training the dog. Then, when the weather gets better they do the permanent below ground installation.

    The PetSafe Deluxe system can use the collars from the PetSafe Stubborn, PetSafe Little Dog, and the SportDog SDF-100A. For the German Shepherd, a PetSafe Stubborn collar would be your best bet.

  26. Heidi Chappell says:

    I’m looking at renting a trencher or edger to lay the wire around our 3 acres. I’m new to the area down south here, and half our property is wooded. The summer months everyone said stay clear of woods with snakes… so I’m thinking now is the perfect time, before it freezes. But do you have to literally clear the path of all debris to run this. Sorry if this is stupid obvious question, it’s just a lot of woods, and that’ll be the bigger task than trenching. Or is there a different method you’d recommend? I guess i need to put the boots on and walk it to see how bad it is.

    ADMIN – Hi Heidi,

    With the wooded area we don’t usually bury the wire. Since the area is not mowed, we usually just staple the wire to the ground. Over time, the wire tends to bury itself as leaves fall down and cover the wire. Burying the wire is very difficult in wooded areas, because the tree roots make it close to impossible to trench.

  27. Shawn Woods says:

    Hello Charlie,

    We have a pet stop fence and it has stopped working. I had a company come out to look at it and they said the wire was cut or knocked in quite a few places and recommended replacing all the wire as the collar and main control are still good. If I chose to do this myself what type of wire should I use?


    ADMIN – Hi Charlie,

    You want to replace the wire with direct burial wire rated at least 600 volts. We sell 20 gauge all the way down to 14 gauge. 14 gauge offers you the lowest risk against breaks and the widest boundary radius.

    Our wire’s insulation is made of a high density polyethylene jacket which keeps it from deteriorating in the ground over a long period of time.

    Other than that, both stranded or solid copper insulated will do the job great.

  28. Greg says:

    How can you find a break in the wire once its been in the ground awhile? I think I have laid so much wire in my yard that it might be worth strip mining. Greg

    ADMIN – Hi Greg,

    Finding old wire should not be any different. Take a look at our Installation page on “Find a Wire Break.” Only the wire that is currently plugged into the transmitter will be detected. It does not matter if you have a lot of old wire in the ground. Nor does it matter if the wire you are hunting is old.

  29. Penny says:

    I have an enormous bloodhound, 1 1/2 years old, determined to know everyone in our neighborhood, personally 🙂 I am thinking the petsafe stubborn setup is for our family. Just a few questions:
    1. Does it happen often, that dogs get used to shock and decide that it’s worth it to bust thru and go on their merry way? (We’ve heard that bigger dogs sometimes decide they can handle the shock, once they get to the other side a time or two.)
    2. How much wire would be needed to do 3 acres? (3000 feet- give or take)
    3. A large part of the property is unkept- briars and weeds, but Bones loves it back there. If we had to – could we surround that area with wire and then bury it once fall comes? We live in the country, there are definitely wild animals about.
    Wonderful site, thanks!

    ADMIN – Hi Penny,

    1) The PetSafe Stubborn system will be a great option for your Bloodhound. You can sort out boundary issues with training. You will setup training flags and work with the Bloodhound to help make him familiar with the new boundaries. You will teach him that the only way to “switch-off” the correction is to turn and retreat. A trained dog will not think that busting through is a possibility, they will assume the correction goes on forever, and the only way to escape is to turn and retreat.
    2) You will need about 2000 total feet of wire to cover 3 acres.
    3) Absolutely, if you wanted to leave the wire above the ground in the unkept areas you can. We do recommend stapling the wire down in a few places to keep it from moving.

  30. Teri says:

    We just ordered the Stubborn dog fence from Petsafe. We have a 60 pound dog and a 6 pound dog, can we buy a small collar for the little dog and use the same system?

    ADMIN – Hi Teri

    You can indeed use the PetSafe Little Dog collar with the PetSafe Stubborn transmitter.

  31. Rod says:

    Hello, I have an 8 month old Shelti fast as heck! She will get to around 35 lbs is the collar for the 4100 going to fit nice. I mean I really don’t want this big honking collar around her neck. Thank you Great site!

    ADMIN – Hi Rod,

    With a Shetland Terrier, the PetSafe IUC-4100 collar will fit nicely. The collar is one of the smaller full-sized collars. It is a good choice with a longhair dog like a Sheltie, because the collar lets you know when it is fitted correctly and when you have contact between the prongs and the skin.

  32. David Eisner says:

    I live in Mukwonago WI, 53149, where can I rent one. Thanks

    ADMIN – Hi David,

    We aren’t familiar with Mukwonago. Have you tried the local Home Depot or Lowe’s and the local tool rental stores. In a pinch, you can call folks that install outdoor sprinkler systems. They usually have the right type of trencher and can rent you theirs.

  33. mark kritz says:

    hi, on my property I would need to cross our asphalt driveway, can the trencher penetrate the driveway or is there another way to deal with this barrier? Thanks, Mark

    ADMIN – Hi Mark,

    I’m not sure the trencher can cut through the driveway. We recommend equipping a masonry blade to a circular saw to cut asphalt then caulk it over with asphalt sealant.

  34. Anna says:

    Is it possible that our trampoline can mess up our invisible dog fence? Or can metal also mess it up? Thank you

    Admin-Hi Anna,

    You should not receive any interference from you trampoline because the metal is so irregularly shaped and the area is relatively small. The main structures that have to worry about are large flat metal structures like metal barns, and metal walls. The dog fence signal can sometimes get induced in these type of metal if you run the wire close and parallel to the metal, when this happens these structures can act like they are dog fence boundaries.

  35. Paco Vallejo says:

    Hi, thanks for this helpful site ! I’ve been reading instructions in your site and I am about to install an invisible fence on my own. My question is how do I know how deep utilities are buried in my front and back yard? … I am afraid I can cut a service with a trencher. Thanks in advance

    ADMIN – Hi Paco,

    We usually call 811, a free service that will come out and mark where your utilities line run. They don’t tell you how deep the utilities are buried, so we usually will dig the sections that cross the utility lines with hand tools so that we don’t accidentally cut the line with the trencher. Utilities are usually at least a foot deep, so the trencher should not cut them, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

  36. Mark says:

    I have 2 questions. 1) Our lot is wide open, 200FT wide by 600Ft Deep with the house sitting in the middle of the width but sits on the front 100FT and have decided on a Wired System since we feel the wireless will not be able to accomadate the configuration. Do you agree? My wife likes the idea of the more expensive Havaheart wireless custom or the Petsafe wireless system with an additional unit. One unit at each end of the house to better customize the zones. My senses tell me the wired is more fail safe and more consistent and reliable. I really do not want to install the wireless have it not work then re-train the dog on the wired. Cost seems about the same with the added wire needed, renting a trencher, Conduit and some garden hose. So if money had nothing to do with it, we would appreciate your thoughts on the wired vs the wireless system. We do not plan on moving over the next 10 years.

    2) I will be using some in ground and above ground installation. For the above ground sections it will be a mix of plastic conduit and regular (non metel) cheap garden hose slit to get the wire slid in easy, I will also use the plastic conduit through an under ground culvert that runs under the driveway and one other spot that will run across a small ditch. Now to my questions. Do you see any issues with the running water through the culvert and a small ditch if I use the plastic conduit sealed at both ends for those areas?

    ADMIN – Hi Mark,

    (1) The wired is a definitely the better choice, like you say you get a much crisper boundary which makes training a lot easier. (We did not say it, but you are right, your wife is wrong) If you can spare the day to install the wired system you will be much happier with the results. Between the two wireless systems, the Havahart is much better than the PetSafe although it is almost triple the cost.

    (2) Plastic consuit and garden hose work great to protect the wire. If the water does pool around the wire it is no big deal. The wire doesn’t mind sitting in standing water.

    PS – Slitting the garden hose to get the wire in is a great idea, we are going to have to give that a try – threading the wire through the hose is a bit of a pain.

  37. jim says:

    I have some 12ga stranded wire on 25 foot spools. Is this wire acceptable? or do i have to go to the smaller size wire?

    ADMIN – Hi Jim,

    Thicker wire and stranded wire are both fine. If possible use wire where the insulation is rated for direct burial – that will last longer in the ground. Also, you may want to see if you can find something with longer than 25 foot spools. Splicing the wire every 25 feet will be a major pain and will make the wire more vulnerable to breaks.

  38. Doug says:

    First – thanks for this website. It’s very well done and very helpful.

    We’re putting in an invisible fence around about 3 acres, and in one stretch we also have to bury a 110v power cord to supply power to a pond. We could easily arrange the cord and the fence to be in the same trench, but it sounds like this could mess up the fence signal. Is that correct? If so, any suggestions as to how to avoid having to do two trenches? Thanks a lot.

    ADMIN – Hi Doug,

    You’re welcome Doug! Thanks for the feedback. You’re correct. I’d first recommend laying it out above ground and testing it, but you’ll need to keep a distance of 6 to 10 feet of separation.

  39. Rachel says:

    We have a sport dog static collar and are now considering an electric fence around our property. Can we use the same collar?
    Also how much wire do we need? We have a little over an acre lot.

    ADMIN – Hi Rachel,

    Afraid the SportDog remote training collars are not compatible with the SportDog Dog Fences. (nor is any other brand of remote training collar)

    For a one-acre lot you will require about 1,000 feet of boundary wire.

  40. Kim Anderson says:

    We would like to install this ourselves. We live in an urban neighborhood where there is not 6ft on the side of our house. Can we design a layout that allows our dog to go from front to back without having 6ft on the side of the house? Or should we go with 2 loops and assume she can’t travel between the front and back. How much distance does she need to pass by the fence safely?

    ADMIN – Hi Kim,

    With less than 6 feet on either side of the house, I would think it unlikely that you could get the dog going from front to back. You can still have a single loop, but the dogs are unlikely to utilize the passage along the sides of the house. The reason is that you are going to want to adjust the fence settings so that the fence starts working at least 3 feet from the boundary wire. A trained dog is generally going to want at least another 3 feet of safety space between them and the start of the correction zone. Thus, six feet is the effective minimum space between the sides of the house and the boundary if you want the dogs to use the side passages.

    There are a couple of workarounds that work in limited circumstances:

    • Physical Fences – If you have fences on the sides of the house, run the wire along the top of the fence – this height stops the dog fence signal reaching as far down at ground level so the correction zone is narrower in this area.
    • Neighboring Property – If you have an agreeable neighbor you can run the dog fence wire on their side of the boundary.
  41. mike says:

    Can I attach the boundary wire to a metal fence that surrounds the yard to prevent the dog from digging instead of having to bury the wire around the perimeter?

    ADMIN – Hi Mike,

    Tying the wire to a fence works well. We usually elevate the wire a little to keep it out of the way of your friendly weed whacker.

    One thing to note is that sheet metal fences can often amplify the dog fence signal so it will go out about double the usual distance from the boundary wire. You may need to adjust your fence layout, or your boundary width settings accordingly.

  42. Brandon says:

    Can i run the wire through a metal drain running under my drive way or is that to thick for the wire to go through?

    ADMIN – Hi Brandon,

    The signal will usually get through metal pipe and concrete, provided it is not more than a foot thick.

  43. Lori says:

    Hello, we own 6 acres and are considering an invisible fence as Charlie ask before, if we run a mixture of underground and above ground wire, what type of above ground wire would we need? And would we be able to run it across the top of our fence or does it need to be down low? We also have a hunting dog what system do you best recommend and can any of the collars be transferred to field training collars?

    ADMIN – Hi Lori,

    You can use the regular 20 gauge or 18 gauge wire for above ground. If possible, get a wire that has a coating that is rated for direct burial – it will hold up a little better in the ground. You can run the wire along the top of the fence, just as long as you have that boundary width turned up enough so that the signal still reaches the ground.

    The Innotek IUC-5100 has a convertible collar and a remote that can be used for field training. If you are going to do a lot of serious field training, you would however be better off with a real dedicated training collar.

  44. Al says:

    How do I deal with tree roots that are in the path of where the underground fence to be? (Using the trencher)

    ADMIN – Hi Al,

    The EZ Trench wire installers will actually cut clean through tree roots. I’m not exactly sure about what diameter the root could be too large to cut through.

  45. Laura says:

    Your instructions say to lay out all the wire, make temporary connections, test the system and THEN bury the wire. I plan to rent a trencher from Sunbelt and I have a couple of questions.

    After the initial test, do you disconnect the temp connections and roll the wire back up onto individual spools? Does the trencher feed the wire from the spool? From the picture, I think yes.

    Do you make the permanent spliced connections after the trencher buries the wire? I’m thinking that you have to dig it back up to make the splice because the huge wire nuts won’t feed through the trencher but I’ve never used one so I don’t know. With your vast experience, how do you handle the splices using a trencher?

    ADMIN – Hi Laura,

    We will usually disconnect one temporary connection at a time and feed that wire through the trencher. You can leave the wire laying out on the ground when you use the trencher, just use your free hand to keep tension on the wire. Alternatively you can roll it back up onto the spool, it takes a bit more time but makes the actual trenching easier,

    After burying each section, I like to redo the temporary connection and make sure everything works before progressing to the next section.

    I usually bury the spliced sections by hand – you cannot run the splice through the trencher!

  46. Alicia says:

    I just ordered an underground fence. The company I work for will let me use their trencher, but the wire would be buried at 36 inches. Is that too deep?

    ADMIN – Hi Alicia,

    Afraid 36 inches is too deep. I would not bury more than 12 inches deep. Is the unit adjustable, most trencher will let you select the depth up to a maximum.

  47. eric says:

    Can I run the wire through a metal calvert that runs the width of my driveway? It is about a foot under the road.

    ADMIN – Hi Eric,

    You can run the wire through a metal culvert. You may have to turn the boundary width up a little to get you through the foot of concrete to the surface of the driveway, so as long as you weren’t planning on having the boundary width be too narrow (say less than 4-5 feet) you should be fine.

  48. charlie morgan says:

    Before I order the PetSafe Ultrasmart underground fence from you, a couple questions:
    we want to fence in about 7 acres of our land in vermont, a mixture of woods and pastures– it is remote, but trafficked by deer, bear, wild turkey, etc. Even with a professional edger or wire/trencher, it may be hard to get to all the places we’d want…..1) can the wire be a mixture of underground and above ground? 2) under our dirt driveway, can i run the wire through metal conduit or would that interfere with the signal; what about pvc conduit.
    any other suggestions or concerns about doing this? thank you. Charlie p.s. we will be up at our cabin for the month of august, so want to install the system soon…. however, we then visit only one or two weekends a month– will this be a problem for the dogs remembering the system? Let me know soon if you can.

    ADMIN – Hi Charlie,

    Hi Charlie,

    (1) You can have a mixture of underground and above ground

    (2) Test the metal conduit if you already have it installed. It can do odd things like magnifying the signal or killing the signal. If you haven’t installed anything PVC is the way to go, it will work every time. For a dirt driveway, have you considered not using a conduit at all and just using the trencher?

    (3) You would want to give the dogs a nice chunk of continuous time on the system to learn it. (a month would work) They will remember fine after that. But it is important that you get that long chunk of time when you do the initial training. It is much harder to train them if they only have say a weekend once a week. If you ever get more than a year between visits, you may have to put the flags back up for a couple of days. New dogs tend to learn quickly from following the lead of their pack.

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