Dog fence

Underground Electronic Dog Fence - How it Works, Does it Work?

The underground electronic dog fence consists of

• a shielded wire installed just underground around the circumference of the area that you dedicate to the animal, or the same wire installed above ground.

• a transmitter located in a weather proof location; it must be plugged into 120 V electrical outlet,

• a light weight battery-pack collar for the dog,

• visual flags to mark the training area,

• a manual, some tools and a battery for the collar

This type of dog containment fence is very satisfactory for one or more dogs, large and small. Training takes a little time but is not difficult.

A six month old dog can be introduced to the fence. Animals are trained individually to recognize the electronic fence for dogs simply by being walked around the perimeter while they wear the receiver collar.

Puppies have to reach the age indicated in the manual before training can begin although they can be walked gently around the perimeter on a normal collar and lead.

The cost varies. Small backyard areas can be fenced by the owner with material available at local hardware or dog supply shops. Large areas, half an acre or more, will require much more length of wire, a stronger transmitter and possibly a professional installer if you are not a happy do-it-yourself person since even the very shallow trench needed is done by a machine for large areas. The costs can be several hundred dollars for these installations.

Any land area can be fenced. If the terrain is rough or wooded some or all parts of the fence may be installed on sturdy stakes above ground. Note that the underground electric fence or its equivalent above ground line will hold dogs in all seasons even under snow cover.

Visual flags are normally placed on thin stakes at regular intervals, a foot inside the path of the buried fence wire or on the stakes of the visible-wire fencing. These flags act as guidelines during training. The flags are gradually removed over a period weeks leaving increasingly larger spaces without flags; eventually they are removed entirely.

Training may take one day though usually more - count on a week or two. For very stubborn dogs the fence transmitter is set on maximum. When recognition and respect has been learned the setting is lowered gradually to the maintenance level.

The shock felt by the dog is very slight. Test it on your arm. It will show you that the animal does not suffer when experiencing this restraint although it will dislike it.

The special battery-pack collar for the dog holds a standard nine volt battery in a weather proof case. When the containment fence for dogs is installed correctly a transmitter located in a sheltered location, porch or workshop, and plugged into a 120 V electrical outlet it will send a signal through the underground electric fence wire to the dog collar and warn the dog. The dog does not receive the 120 V but the 9 V warning buzz or tingle from its collar. Even dogs with much hair on their necks do hear and feel the signal and keep a very respectful distance.

Checking the battery on the collar monthly ensures constant security. A good electronic dog fence will use 9 V collar batteries easily purchased in a neighborhood store. Always keep some spares. Do not use rechargeable batteries, or cheap bargain types they do not last. A fresh battery ensures a secure above ground or underground electric dog fence.


Put the normal collar and lead on your dog and then the battery-pack collar which does not need to be tight, just comfortable.

Walk in a relaxed way about two to three feet from the flagged line. Vary this distance as you go. Your dog will wander about and become aware of the warning buzz in the flagged area. The dog may challenge this signal or recoil. Continue the walk without forcing the dog or going closer, stop, give it time to relax, to learn this new sound and try to check its meaning. When coming even closer to the flagged line the dog may feel its first shock. Dogs respond in various ways. The dog may try to bolt when it feels the tingle of the fence. Hold on! Do not panic, maintain a good hold on the lead, breathe deeply, speak kindly, and just continue your wandering-walk father away and then again closer to the flagged line. These are the basic steps, which must be repeated consistently. The training is also explained more fully in your owners manual.

Remember: your dog will discover the safe limits because dogs are curious.

Be careful and gentle with a nervous animal! Take more time. Never force an animal against the fence when you are teaching. Take lots of time, the fence is new to you and to your pet. (You will not feel a shock unless you touch the prongs on the battery-pack collar when you approach the fence line).

Train for short periods two or three times during the day. When the dog actually receives a shock on one or more challenges of the fence, gets agitated, and refuses to walk along even the 'buzz' line training is successful. Relax, repeat and repeat to reinforce. Soon it will be a firm memory. To feel totally secure you can do the walk-about periodically to check the fence line and your dog. Soon you can walk on a slack lead and then with no lead at all. Your dog is safe. It is true that other dogs, cats, or wildlife, can come in but your dog will not chase anything beyond the fence line which it respects as long as the collar battery is good.

Remember: The dog wears the receiver collar and a regular dog collar and lead while your train. When your dog is a successful graduate of the training process only the receiver collar is used.

Be sure to remove the electronic receiver collar when you take the dog for a walk outside the fence line, and even if your drive with your dog in the car across the buried fence line; there also your dog can Learn More get a shock.