Looking to install an underground invisible fence? Have you been hearing about the double loop layout? Did you want to know just what is the double loop layout and why do you need to do it?
In this article we’ll cover just what is a double loop, how you can use it, and how to install it.
But first we need to cover just a bit of background. This is a method for an underground fence. Already know what that is? Just skip below.
We’ve made figures of some of the more common and useful double loop layouts.
Table of Contents
How Does an Underground Fence Work?
Double loops are a method of installing an underground fence. The underground fence itself is a buried boundary wire that creates an invisible fence. The boundary wire transmits a signal that is picked up by a receiver collar worn by your dog.
When the receiver collar comes close to the underground boundary wire it creates a beep warning to tell your dog to stay away. If your dog continues to get closer that beep usually turns into a vibration or small electric shock.
The beauty of this system is that it’s much cheaper than a true fence and more or less easier to install.
The double loop layout also gives you cool options like create a small swimming space along a beach while preventing your dog from going too deep. Try that with a physical fence.
Just What is the Double Loop Layout?
First a fact – when two boundary wires of an underground fence system are less than 3′ from each other they cancel each other out. The receiver collar will not trigger when the boundary width between wires is less that that.
You can use that fact to do a bunch of cool things:
- You can create one loop for the front yard and a separate loop for the backyard while preventing your dog from crossing anywhere but through the house.
- You can use extra loops to block your dog from getting into your pool or your garden
- You can use double loops to prevent your dog from jumping over a fence. One loop is on the top of the fence and the second loop is along the bottom of the fence.
There’s a ton of other creative setups for underground fences. Scan below for figures and examples.
What Can You Use the Double Loop For?
Front Yard Loop Plus Backyard Loop – Full Accessibility
The example below uses one loop to contain the entire front and backyard. When the two ends come together they are twisted together. The twist cancels the signal allowing your dog to freely go between the front yard and backyard on both sides of the house.
Hourglass – Dog Can Only Move From Front to Backyard through the House – No Side Shortcuts
The hourglass is similar to the one above in that you have one continuous loop for the front and back yard. However, you create two loops, one for the front and one for the back and you make sure they are at least 3 feet apart so the signal stays strong.
That will prevent your dog from going from the backyard straight to the front. You control when your dog goes into the front yard.
Backyard Only Double Loop
The backyard double loop allows your dog to have access into and out of the house while the fence is active.
If you were to do the back yard with just one loop you’d have to continue the line along the back of the house to connect it to the fence transmitter.
That would effectively make a fence preventing your dog from coming inside.
Instead you use the large double loop illustrated below to keep house access and doggie doors open.
Block from Pools and Garden – Creating Exclusion Zones
This next example illustrates how you can make multiple loops as exclusion zones to prevent your dog from going into a pool, your garden, or anywhere else you want to section off.
Fence Jumping Deterrent
You can even use a double loop system vertically along your fence line. Again, like the double loop in the backyard, this system keeps access to the house open while preventing your dog from jumping over the existing fence.
Use the twisted boundary wire technique under gates so your dog can go in and out of the gate when you open it.
Double Loop Layout Cons and Warnings
- Complicating multi-loop systems require more time and work to install
- Loops that are too close together cancel each other out
- If your neighbor has a loop or a wireless invisible fence then it could case distortions along your loop boundary wire
- Breaks and shorts happen and they are harder to find and fix than using a typical wireless fence
How to Install a Double Loop Layout
Installing a double loop is no different than installing an underground fence. We have a whole article on how to install an underground fence.
In short you’ll need to do the following:
- Make a diagram of your layout. You can do this on paper or online using Google Earth Pro.
- Leave 3 – 4 feet of space wherever two wires come close to each other.
- Make sure that all crossings (e.g. going from the front yard to back yard or going through a gate) use the twisted wire technique. The two wires twisted together will cancel the signal in that area.
- Use flags and chalk line to mark where the loops will go
- Install the fence transmitter
- Dig and install the boundary wire. Boundary wires must be buried at least 3 inches down and can go as deep as 12 inches.
- Connect the boundary wire ends to the fence transmitter.
- Turn on the fence transmitter.
- Make sure the receiver collar is fully charged.
- Turn on the receiver collar and walk the line. Look for weak points or breaks. Make sure the receiver collar is sending a consistent signal along the boundary wire.
- Replace the flags to mark the boundary wire. You’ll use that for training.
- Train your dog to understand the boundary wire, the receiver collar signals, and how to stay inside the fence and where they can cross safely. Read and use our training article on underground fences.
This first video will demonstrate some of the different underground fence layouts.
This next video shows the basics of installing a PetSafe underground fence or in-ground fence. This is the same method you can use for any layout.
This next video will explain how to install the twisted boundary wire section.