Learning how to set up an underground dog fence is easier to learn by watching an expert do it on a video. I’ve provided a very good video below that goes into great detail and will prepare you to successfully complete your project.

Dog_fence1The Main Components

The transmitter – The in-ground dog fence systems include a standard or deluxe transmitter. The transmitter can easily be installed in any dry location on your property where you have access to an electrical outlet. The transmitter emits a radio signal that will travel through the underground wire.

Underground wiring – This is a single strand of insulated wire that is responsible for transmitting the radio signal. You’ll need to lay the wire around your yard as a loop and bring it back the other end to the transmitter.

Bury the wire at least 2 inches below the surface of your yard. Always test the system before burying the cable.

Dog collar/Receiver –  The in-ground system includes a water-resistant and lightweight collar.  All you need to do is put the collar on the dog that you need to keep within the boundaries of your yard.

A  battery is used to power up this dog collar. Some systems may use a 6-volt battery and others might use a 9-volt battery.  In addition, some systems use rechargeable batteries.

The system will most likely come with one collar. If you have more than one pet, additional collars can be purchased.

Remember to always remove the collar from your pet when not in use. There are two metal prongs that will make contact with your pet’s neck. Constant rubbing could irritate your dog’s neck. Most manufacturers will tell you never keep the collar on for more than 12 hours at a time.

PetSafe makes a flexible contact replacement. These are very inexpensive. Just make sure they are compatible with your dog fence.


How it works

The way an underground fence works is simple and easy to explain. The transmitter will send a signal through the buried underground wire. The wire will play the role of an antenna and it will convert the radio signal into electromagnetic waves.

  • There is a small radio receiver inside the dog collar.
  • When this collar approaches the buried wire, it will receive the signal that is transmitted through the wire.
  • When the collar receives the signal, your dog will hear an audible beep and/or a vibration (for hard of hearing dogs).
  • You dog will begin to learn the beeping is a warning that he is coming to the edge of the boundary.
  • If the dog continues toward the boundary, he will receive a mild static shock.
  • This shock is similar to the static electric shock you might receive if you were to walk across a carpet and touch a metal doorknob.


How much of a shock he receives is determined by you. Most collars have five settings. Start your dog’s training with the collar set at “audible only”.  Adjust the settings as the training continues. Always begin your dog’s training on the lowest setting. This is usually enough for most dogs. Of course, some dogs are a little stubborn and you might have to adjust to the next highest setting.

How to install the in-ground pet containment system

I found a great video on youtube that will show you everything you’ll need to know about setting up this system.

20 gauge wire vs. 14 gauge wire

One of the most important tips you might see in this video is the recommendation to purchase 14 gauge wire to replace the wire that comes with the product. Most of these systems come with 20 gauge wire.

You may or may not have any problems with the thinner wire (20 gauge). If the wire somehow does get broken, your system will notify you of the break, but you then have the task of finding the break in a wire buried two inches below the ground.

What’s a wire break locator?

You can always purchase a wire break locator kit. This will easily tell you where the break in the wire is. At the time of this article, they cost about $50. You can find a five hundred foot spool of 14 gauge wire for slightly less than that and stands a much better chance of never breaking.