How to Install an Underground Dog Fence Like a Pro

Are you looking for a way to keep your dog contained in your yard? If so, then installing an underground dog fence might be the answer!

This article will take you through 4 steps on how to layout and install an underground dog fence. These are easy-to-follow instructions that anyone can follow.

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Quick Instructions

  1. It’s crucial to figure out the specific boundaries of your containment section. Figuring this out will empower you to purchase wiring in the appropriate quantity. There are many layouts you can choose from as well. See our full article first on choosing the right layout for your underground dog fence based on your needs and property shape.
    1. PetSafe Basic In-Ground Dog and Cat Fence, from the Parent Company of Invisible Fence Brand, Underground Electric Pet Fence
  2. Get the tools needed to install the wire. It doesn’t need to be buried deep so if you have a small yard a simple flat-bladed shovel will do. For larger yards consider renting a power trencher. See our article on the tools needed here.
  3. Lay down the wire directly on the ground in your chosen layout.
  4. Hook it up to the control box and test it before burying it. You could just stake it in the ground to see how it goes at first and then bury it later to protect it and make it last longer.

Detailed Instructions

Make sure that you have sufficient supplies of PVC conduit and 18 guage wire to lay out your fence and then try these simple steps:

  1. Measure the perimeter of your property
  2. Mark off the boundries of the area you plan to lay the underground fence on
  3. Set off the edges of any obstructions that you don’t want your dog near, like pools
  4. Test the electrical box that came with your underground fencing kit
  5. Cut channels in any driveway that you have to go across
  6. Use drainage ditches or other pathways to get around driveways
  7. Start to bury wire along the path you marked out
  8. Dig a trench in as straight of lines as possible then sink the conduit as you go
  9. Ensure that the wire stays straight in the conduit
  10. Continue laying this down until you come to a corner
  11. Use a joiner or pipe elbow to get around said corner
  12. Keep going until you get all the way around the perimeter
  13. Hook the two ends of the wire into the control system once you’ve made it around
  14. Check for any wires that might still be exposed
  15. Test your new system to make sure it works before letting your dog use it – keep in mind that safety always comes first

This video showcases the process of installing dog fences securely and safely. It can help you make informed supply purchase choices, too.

Underground Fence Vs Wireless Fence – When to Use Each

Wireless fences are considerably easier to install than an underground fence, since they can be deployed simply by laying out a few pieces of equipment and switching them on. They only work if your yard fits into a perfect sphere, however, and they’re somewhat sensitive to interference.
Underground fences can be installed in almost any layout you’d want them to be, but they’re going to take much longer to put into place.

Underground Fence Layouts

Simple perimeter layouts that go around your yard in a big rectangle are usually the easiest, especially if they’re small enough to avoid any major front yard obstacles like your driveway. More complex double loop layouts, instead of a single loop, are used by those who’d like to leave their sliding patio doors open.
A full front yard plus backyard loop is possible, too, simply by twisting wire ends together in a way that cancels the signal out between the two cords and therefore lets your dog go between the front and backyards. Creating exclusion zones as part of your layout is possible, which ensures that your dog doesn’t go near the pool or garden.
Routing the wires around these hazards would place them outside of the layout, which is an option as well. That would be at least somewhat easier than creating dedicated exclusion zones, though it would limit the amount of space your dog has to run around as well.

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Tools Needed

You may be able to do the job with simply a spade shovel as well as screwdrivers and a few things to connect the conduits together. Cutting a tunnel into a driveway would require you to have a Skilsaw, or some garden hose and a water drill to go underneath it.
Caulk and a trowel might also be useful for this chore. Anyone who is trying to install an underground fence in a larger yard will probably want to invest in a gas-powered trencher to make the job easier.
A smaller electric trencher might be a good idea for those who are managing yards that are larger than most but wouldn’t otherwise warrant something this big. The actual electrical process of hooking up the wires, however, can be accomplished with a minimum of tools.
Wire strippers are recommended, though.

How Deep Do You Bury an Invisible Dog Fence?

Different manufacturers have different recommendations on this, but in general 1½-2″ is usually sufficient to keep other animals from digging up the wire or conduit.

How Do You Bury an Underground Dog Fence?

You would usually simply replace the dirt that you moved before. Use a tool like a paint scraper if you have a hard time getting the earth to pack down.
Throwing the earth back with a spade shovel will generally be enough to get it covered over again.

Does an Invisible Dog Fence Have to Make a Complete Loop

While there are creative layouts that help to make use of areas that wouldn’t otherwise be able to have a big circular loop, the wires do have to loop around to complete a circuit. There’s no way to make a one-sided fence.

How Many Acres Will 1000 Feet of Wire Cover?

Assuming you have regular sides of around 210 linear feet each, an acre would take 840 linear feet to cover. Thus, that 1,000 foot roll would cover a little more than a single acre.

Can I Install My Own Invisible Fence?

Not only can you install your own invisible fence, it’s often seen as an easy DIY project that’s far less intensive than putting in a traditional fence.

Will My Neighbors Invisible Fence Interfere With Mine?

They’ll only interfere with each other if they’re on the same frequency and don’t provide any way of correction. Pretty much any of the higher-end invisible fences should work near one another.
Wireless fences, however, can interfere with each other and even get messed with by other sources of radio energy.

Can You Put an Underground Dog Fence Above Ground?

While you can put an underground dog fence above ground, it’s going to be at the mercy of moisture as well as animals that come into contact with it. That’s why people bury their fences to protect them.

Will Snow Short Out an Underground Fence?

Assuming that your fence is buried at least two inches in the ground, snow shouldn’t normally short it out. Wet snow that gets into the earth will eventually cause problems, however.

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Can You Install an Invisible Dog Fence Above Ground?

Installing an underground dog fence isn’t ever an above-ground job. That’s because it’s a job that calls for extensive and sometimes time-consuming digging work.

How Deep Do You Bury an Underground Dog Fence?

You can bury them anywhere between three and 12 inches down.

How Does an Underground Dog Fence Work?

These fences work like a charm because they give owners the ability to navigate yard components that have irregular forms.

Dog fences that are located above the ground can be markedly more difficult to navigate. People typically have no option but to construct them in even and horizontal manners.

Underground dog fences, in a nutshell, are designed primarily to stop mischievous canines from being able to escape their residential properties. Despite that, it isn’t unheard of for people to employ them as a means of deterring their pets from accessing certain home sections.

Some dog owners rely on underground fences simply to stop curious animals from accidentally falling into inground swimming pools or even hot tubs.

How Much Does it Cost to Install an Electric Dog Fence?

Some owners think about recruiting professionals for the installation of underground dog fences. Professional underground dog fence installation tends to cost anywhere in the ballpark of $950 to $1,500 or so.

Several key components influence installation prices. Collar expense and wiring caliber are just two examples of components that may affect installation pricing matters.

How Can I Handle Training?

In-depth training is the key for owners who have installed underground fences and who want their canines to respond to them well. Connect the receiver to your pet’s shock collar.

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Give your pooch a bit of time to adjust to the situation. It isn’t uncommon for dogs to find shock collars and receivers to be rather weighty initially.

Bring your pet to the boundary section on an hourly basis. Put a leash that’s snug on him at this time.

Firmly tug on the leash any time the shock collar gives off an alert. Allow your dog to grasp the boundary on the following day. Give him or her a treat whenever he or she steers clear of the location.

Once you believe that your dog grasps the boundary, you can give him the chance to roam free of his or her leash.

Installation of Underground Dog Fence