Installing an Electric Dog Fence
Installing an electric dog fence is a great way to provide some freedom for your pet, while ensuring his safety. An electric dog fence can provide peace of mind for you, and give your dog space to roam within an area you define.
STEP 1: Preparing to Install an Electric Fence for Dogs
Determine your boundary area. It is very helpful to sketch out a drawing of your yard, and then plan your electric dog fence based on your drawing.
- Remember to include things like pools, flower beds, mailboxes and driveways in your plan.
- Note any underground utility wires. You may need to contact your local utility company to determine the location of any buried wire.
- Keep in mind that the boundary wire must form a continuous loop from the transmitter.
- If you have a neighbor with an existing underground dog fence, be sure to keep the systems' wires at least 5 feet apart to eliminate potential interference.
- Twisted wire may be used in situations where you wish to cancel the radio signal from the wire. This is useful in situations where you want to create an off limits area for your dog or safe areas for meter readers, mailmen, etc. Please see the image below for an example of ways to use twisted wire.
Determine how much wire you will need
- Most systems include 500' of boundary wire, which will cover approximately 1/3 acre of land.
- For larger yards, extra dog fence boundary kits are available. These kits include additional spools of wire, boundary flags and splices. You can also purchase pre-twisted wire for safe zones. Alternatively, you can just twist the boundary wire you received in your kit, if you won't be needing the entire length of wire.
STEP 2: Install the Electric Dog Fence Transmitter
The next step in installing your electric dog fence is to choose a location for your transmitter. Some good places to consider are an exterior garage wall, basement or shed with electrical outlets.
Most transmitters can be hung on a wall. Using the supplied screws, hang the transmitter on your wall, making sure that the transmitter is level/straight.
- The chosen location should be dry and indoors. The transmitter should not get wet or be exposed to weather conditions.
- The transmitter should be within 5 feet of an electrical outlet.
- Provide a way for wire to be run outside. The wire may be run from the transmitter through a window, or you may drill a small hole at the base of your wall to run the wire through. This hole may be caulked after testing is complete to seal it.
STEP 3: Lay Out the Electric Dog Fence Boundary Wire
After installing the transmitter, you will next lay out the boundary fence wire using the drawing/plan you created in step one.
- Don't actually bury the wire at this point. You will want to fully test your system first - this will save a lot of frustration later if things don't work out exactly as you'd planned!
- Remember that boundary wire must form a complete, continuous loop from the transmitter.
- Leave approximately an 8" - 12" containment signal field from the wire. You don't want to run the wire so close to the house or objects that your dog doesn't have enough room to pass through.
- You will also want to lay out any twisted wire that is indicated in your layout design.
- Avoid using sharp corners. Instead, make any corners rounded out, using a minimum of a 2.5" radius. This will help to keep your electric dog fence signal consistent.
STEP 4: Connecting It All Together
During this step, you will splice together any twisted wire that you have laid out, as well as splice together any additional wire that was used when you laid out your fence design. The wire should be spliced using either the splices provided in your electric dog fence kit, or waterproof splices that you've purchased separately.
- Use only splices that are waterproof and intended for in ground use.
- Never use wire nuts, electrical tape or solder to splice wires. These connections aren't waterproof and your system may not function properly.
Next, bring the outside wire in to the transmitter, either through a window, or the hole you previously drilled at the base of your wall. Strip approximately 5/8" of insulation from the wire ends and insert them into the loop wire terminals on your transmitter (one wire per terminal).
Attach the supplied power adapter and plug your transmitter in. Most systems have an indicator light showing that the wire is properly connected and the boundary loop is working correctly. Refer to your owner's manual for additional information.
STEP 5: Testing Your Electric Dog Fence
This step may have variations depending on the fence you've purchased. In most cases, testing the fence is as simple as installing the supplied collar batteries into the receiver collar and walking the perimeter of the fence to be sure the collar and fence are functioning properly.
- If your transmitter allows for it, adjust the boundary to your desired field width.
- Holding the collar at the height where it would naturally be, if being worn by your dog, slowly walk with the collar towards the boundary wire. You should hear a warning tone as you approach the wire. Make the signal field as wide as possible to help prevent the dog from getting through. Adjust this field as necessary.
- Test the electric dog fence along several different areas. Pay special attention to any areas where you have laid out twisted wire; the signal should be canceled when walking across the twisted wire.
- Test the collar in different areas of the yard, and in the house. Make sure that no interference is detected that could accidentally set off the collar and correct your dog.
STEP 6 - Bury the Electric Dog Fence Wire
Once you're satisfied that your fence is working properly and you have the layout that you desire, it's time to bury the wire.
- Be sure to turn off the system and unplug the power adapter prior to burying the wire.
- Dig a trench approximately 2" - 3" deep. This can be easily accomplished by using a flat spade or an edger.
- Try to dig the trench at roughly a 30-40 degree angle. This makes it easier to close the trench and keep the wire buried.
- Leave a little slack in the wire, as temperature changes can cause expansion and contraction.
- To go across driveways or sidewalks, a circular saw with a masonry blade can be used. Make approximately a 1/4 " cut and place the wire in the crack. Asphalt sealant or silicone caulking in a matching color can be used to seal the crack.
- Use PVC pipe or garden hose to run the wire underwater, such as in creeks or streams.
STEP 7: Training Your Dog to Use the Electric Dog Fence
First, you will place the supplied white boundary flags around the perimeter of your fence wire. Using the test instructions in step 6, walk towards the boundary wire with the dog's collar. When you hear the warning beep, place a flag in the ground. Repeat this along the entire perimeter of the fence.
- Place flags approximately every 10 feet or so.
- For every 500 feet of boundary wire, you will need 50 flags.
- The boundary flags assist in teaching your dog by serving as a visual reminder where the boundary area begins.
Follow the supplied instructions in your electric dog fence owner's manual for further instructions on training your dog.
While these instructions will be useful in understanding the basic steps involved in installing an electric dog fence, always follow the manufacturer's recommended instructions for proper installation of your particular fence.