Underground Pet Fence
Electric Dog Containment Fences
Any type of containment fence is a great investment to potentially prevent your dog from getting loose, whether it be a wooden fence, chain link fence, or a rail guard, but these type of fences are not always an option, especially in neighborhoods with strict rules on what you can and cannot do around the outside of your home... (Curb appeal is very strong in many neighborhoods.)
If you live in a neighborhood or area that says you cannot have a fence or you must have a particular fence approved by the neighborhood committee, you may want to consider purchasing an underground electric dog fence.
Wireless pet fences are meant to be training deterrents and not punishment. Also, remember that these pet fences are meant to keep your dog within the boundary; it will not prevent dogs from coming into the boundary, so if you have a female in heat, the wireless systems will not prevent a male from getting into the boundary and getting your dog pregnant.
They are actually endorsed by national humane societies and various animal organizations.
Electric Pet Fences
Underground pet fences have been on the market since the early 1970s, but have just recently become popular among pet parents. They are a great way to protect your pet while still keeping up the curb appeal to your home.
As more neighborhoods are formed, the restrictions on homeowners are increasing, which can restrict a pet's freedom. You can purchase a small 6' x 6' fence area to put in you backyard for your dog to play in or potty, but that's just not fair when you may have a huge backyard. In these cases, the wireless fences are the ideal solution, as you still meet your subdivision restrictions, and still allow your dog to run in a regularly fenced in yard.
Another good reason that you may want to choose an underground dog fence, is because they are typically cheaper, as you can see in the chart below. Again looking at the chart, the averaged price is for a 1/2 acre, or 500 foot, parameter without a pool or garden and with 2 pets.
Compare the Price of Regular Fences and a Basic Underground Fence
Petsafe Underground Fence Parts
Radio Wireless Fence Parts
What's Included in a Basic Underground Fence
Typically, you'll receive a transmitter, underground wiring, and a receiver that your pet wil wear on his collar.
The Transmitter: You have to mount the transmitter in a dry location near an electrical outlet. All you need is a few screws, a screwdriver, and the outlet to hang your transmitter. You'll plug the transmitter into the electrical outlet, so that it can emit the radio signal through the underground wire that react to the receiver on your pet's collar.
You'll get a standard or deluxe transmitter, depending on which system you purchase; the only difference is how much are you want to cover.
Underground Wiring: The underground wire is a single strand of insulated wire that essentially makes a big loop around the area that you want to confine your dog and ends back at the transmitter. With most systems, you'll receive about 500 feet of 18 gauge wire with the wire nuts and the wire fastener. If you want to cover more than a 1/2 acre of land, you'll need to purchase additional packages of wire and training flags for about $34.
Tip: You may want to mark off the boundary with spray paint so that you can pre-plan the area before you dig.
You want to bury the underground wire at least 1 to 3 inches below the surface, but the fencing system will still work if you don't bury the wire. But, but not burying the wire, you may accidentally cut the wire with the lawn mower or someone may trip over it.
The cool thing about using underground fences, is that you can block off underground pools, gardens, and any area that you want your dog to stay out of. All you have to do is twist the wires together between the secondary area and the main area. By twisting the wires, you cancel the signal, which allows your pet to have access between the boundaries of each enclosure, but he cannot actually pass through, unless you take off the collar.
The Receiver: You should receive one waterproof receiver and collar that you'll need to put around your dog's neck in order for the electric fence to work. If the collar is not the right size, you can purchase a regular collar and put the receiver through the new collar. If you need an extra collar, for a second dog, you can purchase that as well.
The receiver is powered by 6-volt batteries that you'll need to replace every few months.
Understand how Invisible Fences Work
Different pets react to the fences differently- some will quickly retreat, while others may test their boundaries but for the most part underground fences are used as a psychological device that cannot actually harm your pet.
You need to teach your dog the rules and where he can go, and after that the collar can be used as a reminder.
Depending on which type of fencing system you purchased- basic or deluxe- you will have different training modes, varying from warning, warning and correction, and correction only. But with either system, the receiver will begin to beep as the dog gets closer to the boundary line, and the closer he gets, the faster the beeps get. If the dog ignores the warnings, he may get a shock or or a spray of citronella, which is dependant on which you choose.
Eventually, the pet will associate the shock or the spray with a specific area, which is where the boundary is.
When training your dog to the new fence system, you may want to let him walk around wearing the receiver for a few days just to get used to the weight, but that's up to you. You may even want to activate the collar and walk your dog up to the fence, while on leash, so that he knows his boundaries.
You'll also want to set up the boundary flags to set up the visual fence boundary. They will help you and your dog visualize the boundary line. Leave them up for at least 2 weeks. Your dog will eventually realize that within the flags is the "safe zone."
You want to make sure that you keep up consistent training with your dog. Hopefully, you're dog will get used to the "safe zone" and will not need to wear the activated receiver long term, but for stubborn dogs, you may have to leave the collar on and activated.
When Won't the Fence Work?
So that you don't assume electric underground fences will work in any and all situations, here are a few in which the fence systems won't work.
- They cannot contain untrained dogs, so make sure that you train your dog to the system using the receiver collar for at least 2 weeks, 30 days being the optimum time. But, of course for insurance purposes, leave the activated receiver on at all times.
- Dogs and pets that are not wearing an active receiving collar are not bound by the fence boundary, so if you have an unaltered female dog or your neighborhood has dogs that just roam the area, this may not be the best option, as 1) you may end up with a pregnant pup or 2) you may have a seriously injured dog hurt in a fight from a stray.
- If there is a power outage, the fence won't work. It needs electricity to run properly, so if the power goes out, it's best to bring an outside dog inside and walk inside dogs on a leash while outside until the power comes back.
Other concerns with underground fences may include:
- Faulty wiring.
- Gaps where you did not fully cover the area.
- Low electricity powering the transmitter.
- Low battery powering the receiver.
If you opt for the slight shock of correction, you may want to shave thick coated dogs, so that they actually feel the correction, otherwise the shock may not be sufficient to keeping your dog away from the boundary area.
Remember that if you have a dog that likes to escape, you really need to check the battery of the receiver and all wiring to ensure that your dog cannot escape.
More by this Author
A fearful dog is a challenge to own and train. In familiar settings the dog may be a sweet, wonderful family pet, but in new places, he may turn into a jittery mess. If your dog is like this, it is important to help it...
I find that there are many different methods of dog training and there are some methods that work better than others, all of which depend on the individual dog and the dog owner. I have found that some dogs work wonders...
Learn some of the signs of infected belly-button piercings and what to do about them.