Electric Dog Fence: Layout Guide

A commonly asked question is, “can you install an invisible dog fence yourself?” The answer is yes. Most electric dog fences in the market today allow DIY installation. But as most pet owners would affirm, involving professional installers often tends to be the wisest decision in the long run.

Based on your yard’s size, terrain, and the number of ‘no-go’ zones on your property, installing a dog containment system yourself may take a day or two. Pet fence installation is followed by fence training, which takes 1-2 weeks before pups happily adjust to the invisible boundaries.

Most do-it-yourself dog fence kits are relatively cheap partly because they utilize lightweight and thin (20-gauge) wire to keep the purchase price low. Unfortunately, you’ll be losing these savings to regular repairs and maintenance several months after installation.

On the other hand, working with professional installers will give you peace of mind for three significant reasons. Here, K9 electric pet fence systems are designed with high-quality wire, tough enough to resist breakages due to corrosion and rodent damage. Secondly, professional installers have the technical know-how plus specialized tools to deal with complex electric dog fence layouts and trouble spots in your yard.

The other reason why you want to choose professional installation is the warranty and after-sales services that you get. While most DIY pet fence brands offer 1-2 years of warranty, K9 electric pet fences come with a lifetime warranty. They also repair all types and models of electric dog fences in New England.

Always Call 811 Before You Dig

Electric dog fences work above ground; they don’t need to be buried. Where digging may be challenging, or there’s a need to protect aesthetic value, professional installers and the homeowner may decide to use ground staples to secure the fence nicely to the ground.

However, there are several instances when burying the dog fence is recommended. For example, when fencing a high-traffic and regularly mowed area, you may want to have the fence installed several inches underground so that it’s not tripped over, nicked, or cut.

Always remember to call 811 before putting the shovel in the ground. It is necessary to avoid hitting or damaging underground utility lines like telephone, gas, and electricity cables that may be running across your property. Put in mind that there’s no ‘safe depth’ before contacting 811 as some utilities are buried a few inches below the surface.

Another important consideration before placing a dog fence wire is to mark off any privately installed utilities, such as low-voltage outdoor lighting lines and TV antennas. Some of these utilities may disrupt radio signal transfer, especially if they run parallel to the fence. If you’re uncertain, call professional underground dog fence installers to separate your dog fence wire from underground lines.

Electric Dog Fence Layouts

The primary benefit that wire-based invisible pet fences offer is flexibility. Every yard is exceptional, and so is every pet. The circular safe zones that wireless dog fences create may not work for all homeowners. While there’s an option to adjust the perimeter, the edge may spill over, for instance, to your neighbors’ yard or even toward the road defeating the purpose of the fence.

With a wire-based electric pet containment system, wherever the cable passes becomes the edge of the fence. This flexibility allows you to customize the boundary to match any front and backyard dog fence ideas that will work best for you and the pup.

Here are some of the most popular hidden dog fence layouts you can use for your underground pet fence.

  • Full Yard

This simple perimeter dog fence is the most popular, thanks to its simplicity and the amount of freedom it renders to your canine family members. It allows the absolute dog freedom to roam within the property but deters them from going to your neighbors’ property or road.

  • Avoiding Areas Within the Perimeter

It is a modification of the full yard layout above. In this method, the invisible fence makes a complete loop around the property, but some areas, such as the swimming pool, garden, flower beds, and ponds, are marked as no-go zones. To section the pond, you create a loop around it and use twisted wires to connect the electric pond fence to the main loop.

Twisted wires are used to cancel the signals. Keeping them at least 4 feet apart reinstates the signal to create a boundary.

  • Double Loop

The double loop pet fence layout comes in handy when you want to fence either the front or back yard only- not both. If you already have an effective traditional barrier at the back of the house, you could double-loop the front yard, only ensuring there’s a dog fence across the driveway.

For this setup, you start by laying the first containment boundary line from the transmitter along the three sides of the yard and then double back to the transmitter. You only need to ensure that the two lines are at least 4ft apart. Otherwise, you won’t have enough signal to create corrections.

  • Split Yard

This pet fence layout is also known as the hourglass fence design. It contains the dogs at the front and back yards but restricts them from crossing freely around the house. The center of the hourglass almost touches the wall of your home on both sides, preventing your dogs from going from the front to the back yard. The only way to move between the 2 yards is through the house. It gives you greater control over the dog’s whereabouts while allowing them more freedom.

Importance of Electric Fence Design

These considerations will save you headaches when installing an invisible electric fence for dogs;

–  Don’t run wire close to a utility line- running the boundary line parallel to a utility line for an extended length tends to interfere with the signals. In some instances, this may cause unwanted corrections or signal failure increasing the chances of a breach. It’s possible to cross utility lines perpendicularly, though.

–  Round your backyard corners- it’s necessary to round the corners as right angles often confuse the transmitter.

–  Keep a separation between parallel dog fence wires- if your preferred layout involves laying two wires parallel to each other, then the two should be at least 4 feet away. Placing them closer than this will most likely cancel the signal creating a loophole that your canine friend may exploit.


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