How to Lay an Electric Dog Fence

An electric dog fence is fantastic for keeping your pets safely in your yard, without blocking out the view. While there are variations on the dog fence, such as a transmitter that only allows the dog to travel so far away from it, this article is focused on wire fences. Many of the kits you receive state that you can simply staple the wire to the ground and it will bury itself eventually.


Step 1

Plan out your fence. You may even want to draw a rough sketch of your yard to make sure you have all the bases covered. First of all, your transmitter needs to be in a dry place and near a power supply. You also want to determine if there are any areas inside the yard that you want set apart, like a pool or flower bed for instance.

Step 2

Use your flags to mark out the lines of your fence. Make sure to leave the flags in place after you get your fence installed, as they are meant to help you train your pets as well.

Step 3

Test your signal transmitter. Take a short length of wire and make sure that the transmitter is working. Just attach the ends of the wire to the terminals on the transmitter. The whole idea is to form a loop that lets the signal travel through the wire. If your short-loop test fails, there is probably something wrong with your transmitter. Be sure to check the instructions included with the transmitter before taking it back to the store.

Step 4

Dig a small trench around your yard and anywhere the wire needs to travel. If you have a really large space you are trying to enclose, you may want to consider renting a small trencher. Keep in mind, however, that the trench only needs to be a couple of inches deep. A spade or flat edged shovel should be fine for this. Just sink the shovel a couple of inches into the soil and rock it back and forth. This should give you plenty of space for the wire and will quickly close back up. It's not overly hard, but it can be time consuming.

Step 5

Lay out your fencing wire. Make sure to leave plenty of slack, initially, so you have room to stick the wire into the ground. If you have areas in the center of your yard, you can set these apart easily. Twisting lengths of wire together will cancel out the signal along that length without disrupting the loop. So, run a twist to the special area and then a single strand around the area and back to the twist. Connect the ends using wire nuts. Once you have everything laid out, test your loop. It's going to be much easier to find breaks or bad connections at this point than after you've buried it.

Step 6

Bury the wire. The easiest way to do this is to take a stick with a small 'y' on the end of it or a garden weed puller to push the wire into the groove. Be careful not to break the wire. You may want to leave the fence on while you are doing this as most of them have an alarm that sounds if the loop is broken. You may also want to carry the dogs collar with the receiver on it. Most of them beep and vibrate before sending a small shock. You can constantly check to make sure the signal is going through OK. If you came to a location where the wire can't be buried, such as over tree roots or across a sidewalk, use yard staples on either end to keep the wire tight to the ground. If there is an expansion break in the pavement, run the wire along there to keep it below the level of the surface.

Step 7

Cover the wire. Once you have it all in the ground, check the run to make sure the wire is all buried properly and didn't pull up anywhere while you were pushing it into the ground. Using your feet to make sure the trench is closed up is usually enough. Your fence is now ready for use.

Tips and Warnings

If you do get a break in the wire, you can easily repair it with a short length of wire and a couple of wire nuts. If the fence breaks after you have it buried, it can be tough to find the break. A cheap AM radio is usually the best tool. If you walk around the fence with the radio close to the ground, it will usually set up a squeal wherever the break is. Change the batteries in the receiver on your dogs collar every six months. An easy way to remember is to do it at the time changes, just like your smoke detectors. Make sure you follow the directions for training your dogs if this is a new fence.

Things You'll Need

Signal transmitter, Wire, Yard staples, Flags, Shovel or trencher, Wire nuts
Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Lay an Electric Dog Fence