August 24

How To Install An Electric Dog Fence


Installing an electric dog fence takes some planning. It also takes several hours out of your weekend to get it done right. You may have heard of wireless dog fences. We will spend some time discussing those as well. Wireless fences are convenient and portable.

Wired containment is an effective way to keep your dog safely in your yard, especially if you have a wide area to cover. Here’s how to install an electric dog fence, along with some tips to make the process easier.

How to install an elctric dog fence system

Plan Ahead

Before you even buy the unit, take some time to plan your project. Sketch out where you want to bury your wire. Be aware of where your utility lines are. You don’t want to disturb those with your digging.

You may even want to have your utility lines marked before you begin. This applies more so to sprinkler and cable lines.

Also, prepare for the time it will take you to install the electric fence system. Typically, people need at least ten hours for the entire project. Just burying your wire will take four hours or more depending on the size of your lot.

Gather Your Dog Fence Tools

Whether you are fencing a large or a small yard, gathering your tools ahead of time streamlines your project time. For a small yard, all you really need is a garden tool or a flat-edged shovel.

For larger yards, on the other hand, you’ll need some additional aids. Most of us don’t have all of these in our tool sheds. Though, renting them is worth the expense. First, a power edger is a must for digging those trenches.

All that’s left for you to do is lay the wire. Even more convenient is a trencher that does all the work for you, including covering the wire.

If you must lay wire across concrete or pavement, then a circular saw with a masonry blade makes the task easy. Next, you will need waterproof caulk to seal the wire.

How to Install an Electric Dog Fence

With the prep work done, it’s time to install your underground electric fence.

1. Mount the Transmitter Box

The transmitter box generates the signal that travels through the boundary wire. Essentially, it creates the boundary. It also serves as the control unit where you set the boundary width as well as the correction and warnings marks.

Select a location that’s convenient for you. Also, the transmitter should be undercover and protected from the elements.

2. Lay the Wire

Lay the wire above the ground, according to your diagram. Connect it to the transmitter and test the system. You want to be sure it’s working before you bury the wire.

3. Bury or Mount the Wire

burying wire

This is where the trencher comes in. Hopefully, you decided to rent one. The trencher digs the trench, lays the wire, and then buries it all in one motion. With a trencher, you can cover around 1000 feet of your total boundary in a few hours.

When laying cable across paved paths or driveways, you can lay the wire through the path or on top of it. To go through it, lay the wire in an expansion joint. Or, you can cut a slot with the circular saw. A third option is to tunnel under the pathway.

4. Connect and Test

You tested the system when you had the wires above ground. Now it’s time to test again now that everything is in place. Connect your writes to the transmitter control, and turn on the power. If all is well, you will see a green light.

Optional Components

Two optional components come up in product reviews for all brands of electric dog fences.

They are:

  • Surge protector
  • Battery backup

Both enhance the performance of your containment system.

Surge Protector

Lightening and the resulting power surges take out electrical equipment more often than you may think. Adding a surge protector will protect the transmitter from lightning damage. The surge protector must have ports to accommodate the boundary wire.

Surge protectors can be up to $60 or more. Though, you know how much you spent on the transmitter alone for your electric dog fence. A surge protector is worth the investment.

Battery Backup

When the power goes out, a wired fence system doesn’t work. That means your dog is free to leave the yard. If he does, he won’t receive a warning or correction. To keep your dog from temptation, an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) will keep your dog on the straight and narrow. Your fence will continue to operate during power outages.

Installing Above Ground

There are a couple of reasons why a homeowner may want to install the wire above ground. First, they may have a traditional chain link or wood fence around your yard.

Why install an electric fence at all?

  • Keep your dog from tunneling out
  • More affordable for small yards

Dog owners list the most common reason is to stop their dog from tunneling under (or jumping over) the physical fence. Sometimes, the escape artists need that correction to keep them from planning their next great escape.

Second, the homeowner may not have enough acreage to worry about renting a trencher. So, installing the wire above ground is easier and more affordable. As long as the wire isn’t in the path of the lawnmower, above-ground installation is as effective as burying the wire.

The installation steps are the same for the above-ground setup. The only variation is that you should secure the wire to the ground or an existing fence. Zip ties work well with an existing fence, as do dog fence staples. The staples are also the way to go when securing the wire to the ground.

Installing Wireless Dog Fences

Of course, a more straight forward solution for pet containment is a wireless dog fence. If your property is smaller in size or has odd angles to the property line, a wireless system works well. It also saves you from laying and burying the wire. Here you can read some wireless dog fence reviews.

The benefits to wireless containment systems are that they are:

  • Less expensive
  • Easier to install
  • Great for smaller properties
  • Portable

A wireless transmitter creates an invisible, 365-degree boundary around itself. You place it wherever it creates the radius you want for your dog. These systems usually come with visual markers that you place around your property.

The markers don’t affect operation one way or the other. Though, they allow both you and your dog a visual marker of the boundary lines. The dog learns to associate the markers with the warnings. Eventually, he won’t need the correction to know where his limits are.

The markers also come in handy if you take your wireless system with you on a trip. The boundary lines will change with the location. But your dog will recognize the markers and know where his “yard” ends.

Worth the Time and Effort

Installing an electric dog fence takes time and effort. Wireless dog fences are convenient and come in handy when traveling with your dog. Wired fences can outperform their wireless counterparts.

Further, an underground fence allows you to customize your dog’s containment area. You set the perimeter. You can also create an off-limits zone around your garden or pool if desired.

Now that you know how to install an electric dog fence, you can start designing your perimeter. Once you’re ready to lay the wire, you can start shopping for the transmitter and other materials. Once it all comes together, you’ll be able to enjoy your yard with your dog.


Electric dog fence

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