How Does Underground Dog Fence Work

Looking at invisible fence options and wondering what they are? In this article we’ll cover just how doe an underground dog fence work, what it is, how it compares to wireless fences, and why you might consider adding one to your yard.

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What Is An Underground Electric Dog Fence?

An underground fence is a special fence system that creates an invisible boundary line using radio signals that run through a buried underground line around your property.

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When a dog wearing a special receiver collar gets close to the boundary the collar makes a warning beep. If they keep getting closer it then supplies a vibration or small electric shock (static correction) telling your dog to back away.

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Underground fences usually cost far less than full wooden or metal privacy fences. An underground fence costs between $2 to $3 per linear foot whereas a full privacy fence ranges from $8 to $15 per linear foot.

Is That the Same as an Invisible Fence?

Yes, an underground fence is a type of invisible fence that uses radio signals paired with a receiver collar to keep your dog inside the boundary line. Wireless fences are another type of invisible fence that we’ll cover next.

What is a Wireless Fence?

A wireless fence using the same radio signal to create a boundary line except it doesn’t involve a buried wire. It uses a transmitter installed in your home to create a spherical boundary around your property. Most transmitters let you adjust the diameter of the boundary. You can make it large enough for your whole yard or small so it prevents your dog from getting into rooms or going through doors.

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PetSafe Stay & Play Wireless Fence for Stubborn Dogs – Above Ground Electric Pet Fence – from the Parent Company of Invisible Fence Brand

How Does An Underground Dog Fence (Invisible Fence) Work?

Underground fences are comprised of four basic parts:

  • Receiver Collar
  • Transmitter
  • Buried underground wire
  • Dog Training

The boundary line of the invisible fence is created by running a small underground wire around your property and attaching it to the transmitter box. The transmitter box sends a radio signal through the line which creates the “invisible fence.” Think of this part similar to a radio station sending out a signal.

The receiver collar is charged with a small rechargeable battery. When it comes near the boundary line it’s triggered to beep at a certain distance. Then as your dog gets closer to the boundary line it will provide an increased trigger like a vibration or a small electric shock. Think of the receiver collar like a radio that reads the signal from the radio station.

The last part of underground fences involves dog training. This is where you teach your dog the invisible fence boundary and what they triggers (beep, vibration, and shock) on the collar mean and how to respond.

Underground Fence Layouts

The big benefit of an underground wired fence is that it allows you to fully customize the boundary. Not all yards can easily fit in the spherical boundary created by a wireless transmitter. What if your yard is L-shaped? No problem, just bury the wire along that boundary and you’ll have a clear signal to work with the receiver collar.

You can also use the double loop layout to form both the outer yard boundary as well as a small inner boundary to keep your dog out of the pool or a garden. You can even run the line underwater to create a small swimming area if your yard borders a lake. High quality collars are waterproof and can withstand a small amount of swimming.

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What Can Go Wrong With An Underground Fence?

Underground fences aren’t perfect. There’s a variety of things that can go wrong with them such as:

  • The wire gets cut when doing yard work, the ground shifts over time, or from vehicle traffic at the driveway
  • Receiver collar battery dies
  • Transmitter breaks

Most of these problems have easy solutions. See our article on finding breaks in underground fences and what to do when your collar stops working.