How To Install An Underground Electric Pet Fence


What Do You Need To Install An Underground Electric Fence?

First and foremost, you need a dog! If you want to give your dog more freedom in the yard, an underground electric fence is a great option to contain your dog in the yard. Whether you have a small yard or multiple acres, an invisible fence may be a great option for you! 

There are multiple things you need in order to do it yourself, however. Such tools include a trenching spade like the one we use from Wilton Thinline. This professional grade, steel trenching spade will allow you to cut through the grass with ease so you can quickly install your wire. Next, you’ll need some supplies like an electric fence system and wire. We love using products from PetSafe that are consistent, reliable, and effective. Lastly, grab a friend, because you may need a hand with the installation of the electric fence wire!


What Are The Steps To Install An Electric Fence?

Contact 811 Before You Dig

The very first step you need to take before you begin digging is to contact your local 811 office. 811 is a local service that will come and mark any underground utility lines, including gas, electric, internet service provider utilities, and more. They will come and mark any lines where you may be digging to ensure safety. Since you are digging for the invisible fence installation, you want to avoid hitting any of these underground utility lines. 

Plan Your Layout For The Boundary Wire

Once you have contacted 811 and they have marked your property, it is time to plan your electric fence layout. You can utilize this great tool from PetSafe to plan your layout, or contact your local, Delaware professional at Contained K9 to get a free, virtual quote. Once you have planned out the path for your underground wire, it is time for the fun part.

Installing The Underground Electric Fence Wire

You need to decide what type of wire you want to install. Solid copper wire is more expensive, but will carry the signal across larger properties with ease. Normally, most installers will use solid core wire which is relatively inexpensive. You can use the chart below from RadioFence to determine how much wire you may need. Now that you have the wire and your layout is prepared, it is time for the actual installation.


If you are digging by hand using a trenching spade, it will be an arduous process. You need to slowly dig a straight line around the property, then manually bury the wire by hand.

You may need to use wire splices to connect wires together, which should be secured with gel caps that allow the splices to be fully weather resistant. Once the wire has been buried and your in-ground splices are set, it is time to install the transmitter box inside the home. Most installations can be completed by installing the transmitter in the garage or basement to allow for easy access. You may need to adjust settings or monitor warning alarms in case of wire breaks, so having the box in a centralized location can be ideal. Once you have installed the transmitter box and your wires are connected, you’re done! Well, almost.


Last Step: Test Your System

Once you believe that your wires are secured and your transmitter box is secured, grab your electric pet fence product manual to view the testing requirements. Since every invisible fence product is different, you will need to see the specific testing steps to finish the installation. Most DIY electric pet fences come with a testing attachment for the collar to ensure the system is functioning properly. If there are no alarms coming from the transmitter box and you have tested the functions, you’re good to go!


Training Your Dog To An Electric Fence

While this section could be an entire blog post on its own, there are some basic concepts that we can cover here. Most underground electric pet fence systems give an audible tone when the dog approaches the end of the containment zone. Through many repetitions and training sessions, we want to teach the dog to respect the tone and retreat back towards the house when they hear it. You will want to use high value treats and rewards to mark the behavior, reward your dog for backing up, and continue to make it a habit. If your dog repeatedly pushes the boundary and does not respect the audible tone, the dog will receive a stimulation correction from the collar to communicate that they need to back away from the boundary. While each system is different, most can be adjusted to fine tune the appropriate level of correction for your dog. 


Final Thoughts

Taking on a DIY electric pet fence project can certainly be done, but will require a great deal of manual labor. The process of manually trenching with a spade and burying the wire by hand can be a daunting task. If you live in Delaware or the surrounding areas, consider reaching out to the professionals for some help! To learn more about Contained K9, check out their About Us section to see why they are different from the competition. While there are many electric pet fence installers to choose from, most are national franchises that provide cookie-cutter services. At Contained K9, you are guaranteed to have a fully customized experience to hit all of your needs.