Training Training Tips Why - And How - You Should Install An Invisible Dog Fence

Why – And How – You Should Install An Invisible Dog Fence

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An invisible dog fence should be part of every dog owner’s list of essentials. Dogs need lots of physical activity, and giving them the freedom to roam around the yard is part of this. However, it’s not a good idea to allow your dog to wander too far from your home.

There are many items that attract your pooch’s interest. For example, that squirrel dashing from tree to tree or the allure of the female dog walking by. Of course, your dog may also be tempted to chase the neighborhood cats, leading to multiple dogs running down the streets. This can be described as the nature of cats and dogs.

Whatever the circumstance the result is the same, a pet leaving home. Potentially exposing them to all sorts of threats.

Dogs face an array of potential issues when you don’t have a fence preventing them from exiting your yard. This includes pests from the surrounding yards and parks. Clashes with other dogs due to territorial disputes are always a concern.

You should also consider the imminent danger of running out onto the road and being hit by cars. There are also dog-nappers to be considered. Unfortunately, there are people walking around kidnapping dogs.

Fencing comes in handy to limit the movement of your pooch. Here, we will look at invisible dog fences, what they are, and the value they bring.

How The Invisible Dog Fence Works

With traditional fences, one would install physical barriers around the property, be it stone, wood, barbed wire, etc.

Setting these up took lots of time and effort, and also came with ramifications on your landscaping – and not to mention those disputes when the fence design goes against “community guidelines”.

Invisible fences come in to solve the issues with traditional fence systems.

The invisible fence systems use wireless signals. You install a transmitter in your home and add a receiver collar to your dog. The signal is sent between the two making the invisible fence work.

You then set the range, creating a barrier around your home. When the signal between the collar and transmitter breaks a stimulating signal is given to your pet. The breakage in connection tells the receiver the dog has gone past it’s allocated distance.

Your dog receives a slight shock, vibration of the collar, or a beeping sound, You can even program it to give a combination of the three options. Of course, your specific instructions will depend on the design of the unit you’ve chosen.

Benefits Of An Invisible Dog Fence

Protecting your pet

Firstly, they keep your pet within the safe zones of your property – which you have set out yourself. This will ensure you don’t need to worry about your pet disappearing the moment you take your eye off them.

Your dog will not be able to leap over an invisible fence as it goes by distance.

Aiding in the dog training process

Next, the invisible dog fence systems serve as a disciplinary tool, especially for the dogs that have formed a habit of roaming around. Note that they have not been designed to cause pain to your furry friend.

The shocks given are corrective, and you can even adjust the levels to suit your pet.


The costs involved with setting up the fence are far much lower than the traditional pet fences. You also get to avoid maintenance measures like repainting, or plugging in holes that would have been associated with the latter’s exposure to the elements, wear and tear. This is also a time-saving approach.


This system can be installed anywhere with an electrical connection. It’s plug n’ play, and you can move with it from one residence to the next, being a more convenient tool compared to the typical wood and wired electric dog fences.

No obstruction

The beauty of the invisible fence is that you retain an unobstructed view of your garden. The invisible barrier is only noticed by the dog, it’s not necessary to share this information with your neighbours.

This means that your landscaping is also protected from undesired changes from fence construction.

Types of Invisible Dog Fences

Wireless fences

This system just has two components, the transmitter set up in the house, and the dog collar that’s triggered when the dog goes beyond the fence. With this setup, the barrier is circular, and when there is interference in the signal connecting the transmitter and collar, it can affect its functionality.

This is why it is recommended that you have the transmitter plugged in on the wall of the house bordering the yard itself, as opposed to the walls that are in the middle of the home connecting the different rooms. It also works best when the terrain is flat, or just has a slight gradient.

In-ground fences

They follow the same principle of operation – with your dog receiving stimulation that discourages whatever activity she was doing that caused her to cross the invisible barrier.

However, here the pet owners use underground wires. When the dog comes close to the boundary wire, an alarm is triggered, together with the stimulation through the collar.

Consequently, more work goes into the setup, and it has less flexibility compared to the pure wireless option, and the replacement/maintenance process for this will also take some elbow grease.

With this approach, you can cover more area, and the barrier can be set up in different shapes, which comes in handy if you want to have customized safe zones on your property.

For example, when you want to allow your dog freedom around the yard, but prevent him from coming close to the pool or walking into your garden. They also allow for installation on irregular terrains.

Running gray and white dog. Part of the "Why – And How – You Should Install An Invisible Dog Fence" article.
Photo by William Nettmann on Unsplash

In a nutshell, for portability and convenience, the wireless fences take the cake, while for barrier customisation, the in-ground fences give you more room to work with.

Guide To Selecting The Right Invisible Dog Fence For Your Needs

Let’s delve into factors that dog owners should consider when making the purchase:

Size and shape of your yard

If the yard’s shape is not a cause for concern, then wireless dog fences will work just fine. This also applies to the smaller areas. However, if you’re dealing with a large space that will require the fence to be customized in different areas, then it’s recommended that you go with the in-ground fence.

Size of your pet

Larger dogs will require more space to roam around in, hence the fence selected should have more range.

The aim is to give your dog enough room to roam freely and get the exercise they need. Weight also matters here, especially when it comes to the shock that is delivered through the collar.

In fact, the invisible dog fence manufacturers usually have a minimum weight limit for the use of their units. This is to ensure that the shock will not pose health risks to the dog, regardless of correction levels chosen.

Note that there are dog collars that come with a feature allowing you to regulate the static correction delivered to the dog.

Durability of the wire

This is specifically for the in-ground fences. Here, the thicker the wire is, the harder it will be, and the higher the resistance it will have to breakage and wearing down. The wires in the market are usually 20-gauge units, but there are also 16 and even 14-gauge options to work with.

Note that if you have a dog that is particularly fond of digging, you should get a more durable wire.

Although it’s called an in-ground fence you may consider placing the wire above ground. Unfortunately, this is not a viable option. Some pet owners choose to simply place the wire on the surface when setting up the different barriers. But this exposes it to a number of issues, from sweet Bella spotting the wire and chewing on it, tripping accidents when people come over, and it may even be accidentally cut when one is mowing the lawn.

Besides, having all those visible wires on the property is not exactly pleasing to the eyes, dealing your landscaping efforts a blow.

Installing Your Invisible Dog Fence

Advance Preparation

While getting the wireless fence up and ready is a breeze, with the wired option you may need to get professional installation. There are plenty of fence companies who will be willing to help.

You can also roll up your sleeves and take it on as a DIY project – but be prepared for lots of digging. Note that different states come with set regulations concerning the utility lines that are buried in your area.

You will need to look these up or contact your local authorities first before you start digging around your property.

When it comes to the process itself, start by sketching out a map, and creating the desired layout of the invisible fence. Be sure to indicate any spots with utility cables buried underneath on the map.

Next, decide on where you want the transmitter to be located within the house. Ideally, this should be in an area where it won’t be interfered with by the household members.

Measure the length of the wire that will be required. A tape measure will be essential for this stage. It’s best to obtain approximately 20% more wire than you think you need. This will give you sufficient allowance to work with.


For the setup, begin by laying out the wires without burying them first. Run the ends of the wires to the transmitters, to ensure that you have allocated the right size.

Proceed to strip off some of the insulation on the end of the wire – ¾ inch should do – then connect these ends to the terminals of the transmitter. Plug the transmitter into the wall outlet.

Test out the wire by moving along the fence with the compatible dog collar, to see if the triggering systems work at different points. You should move slowly inward to your house, establishing the perimeter where the alarm is triggered.

If a signal is being triggered indoors you’ll need to move the wires a little further from the house.

You can start digging once you’re happy that the distances and transmitter configurations are in order. Bury the wires, ideally at a distance that’s at least two inches deep. Cover up the wires, and you can now focus on training your dog about the boundary.

Your dog will take a little time to get used to the fence, and not get confused by the static correction. You can fix a dog leash to the collar and walk your dog around the perimeter, showing him that he should move in the direction of the house whenever he feels the shock from the collar.


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