How to Put in an Underground Dog Fence

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON HAZELTON:
Well, they say good fences make good neighbors and I've got to think that's especially true if you've got dogs like I do. And if that fence is invisible, I've got to think it makes even better neighbors.
WOODY:
Hi, my name's Woody. The city is where my pal Sammy and I grew up, 22 stories up, to be exact. Now the view was fine but the outdoor space was a little cramped and we never ventured into the concrete jungle without leashes. Sometimes it got to be just too much and when we did find grass, ah, it usually wasn't dog-friendly.

But the move here to the country changed all that. Ah, freedom, wide open spaces, the smell and feel of turf and room to run, run, run. And with all this space to explore, why should we stop at a stone wall? Ron though, says we need to have boundaries, so he's called Todd Brown over. Something about a fence that won't be seen.

Right now, they're talking about where it should go.
TODD BROWN:
This is where all the ticks are.
RON HAZELTON:
What's the issue with —
TODD BROWN:
Well, the ticks actually will migrate out from the wood line at least five or six feet. They're more in the woods.
[BOTH SPEAK AT ONCE]
TODD BROWN:
At least five or —

RON HAZELTON:
From where the grass stops.
TODD BROWN:
From where the grass ends and the woods begin.
[BOTH SPEAK AT ONCE]
RON HAZELTON:
All right, so let's just put it like under the tree line right here. That's a good five feet.
TODD BROWN:
If the dogs get ticks, you're going to the vet's.
RON HAZELTON:
Well, with the tick question settled, Todd explains how the fence works. A small wire will be buried in the ground and a radio signal transmitted from it. The dogs will wear receivers on their collars. As they approach the buried wire, they'll first hear a sound, then feel a mild correction like a static shock that will cause them to turn back.

Our first step is to draw up a plan. Now the backyard is large, so Todd suggests separating it from the front with two sharp bins or dog legs, if you will.

And the only way that the dogs can get from one to the other is through the breezeway here if we leave the gate open.
TODD BROWN:
That's right.
RON HAZELTON:
You know, I'm not real sure I want to do the dog legs. I kind of like the idea of just a perimeter all the way around the outside.
WOMAN:
But these dogs are coming from a 1000-square foot New York City apartment. Believe me, they'll have more than enough room.
RON HAZELTON:
Okay.
WOMAN:
Okay?
RON HAZELTON:
I'll fight a different battle.
TODD BROWN:
Okay.
RON HAZELTON:
Well, [LAUGHS] with that resolved, our next step is to temporarily mark the fence location with flags. These will indicate where the cable is to be buried and will also show the dogs where the fence is during your initial training.

The actual cable laying is done with this specialized piece of equipment. It cuts a slot into the ground and then lays in the cable all in one operation. The process is surprisingly fast. In our case, we bury over 1000 feet of wire in less than half an hour until — this is one heck of a machine.
TODD BROWN:
It sure is.
RON HAZELTON:
It's not going to get through that though.
TODD BROWN:
No, it will not get through that.
RON HAZELTON:
So what do we do here?
TODD BROWN:
You can rent a saw from your local tool rental place.
[MUSIC]
RON HAZELTON:
Hey, guys.
MAN:
How you doing?
RON HAZELTON:
How are you?

MAN:
Good.
RON HAZELTON:
Ron.
MIKE:
Mike. Nice to meet you.
RON HAZELTON:
Hi, Mike.
CHRIS:
Chris.
RON HAZELTON:
Chris, good to meet you. I got a ton of tools guys, but I don't have — I've got to cut a slot across the, an asphalt driveway. So I need some kind of a saw that will cut through there. You got something that will work?
CHRIS OR MIKE:
We certainly do and this will be it, right here.
RON HAZELTON:
So I just roll this along on the wheels then?

CHRIS OR MIKE:
Exactly.
RON HAZELTON:
Now what will I need for a blade here?
CHRIS OR MIKE:
You probably want to go with a 14-inch masonry blade. One of these will do you fine.
RON HAZELTON:
Okay, all right.
[MUSIC]
What's step one?
TODD BROWN:
Well, we need to snap a chalk line.
RON HAZELTON:
Go ahead, snap. [SAWING SOUNDS] Stretch this wire out.
TODD BROWN:
Right down here?
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah. Okay.
TODD BROWN:
Pack the wire down into the slot and then we'll use the sealer and you can overfill it just a little bit so that the caulk comes just over the top.
RON HAZELTON:
For the most part, we've been able to lay the underground fence as one continuous piece of wire. However, there are a couple of places where we'll need to make splices.
TODD BROWN:
So we'll just take the two wires, I'm going to strip off about 3/4 of an inch of the jacket. Now this splice here has a gel in it that doesn't harden.
RON HAZELTON:
It looks like a, almost like a petroleum jelly in there.
TODD BROWN:
Put in a little of this.
RON HAZELTON:
Our underground fence now lies completely buried around the edge of the lawn, invisible except for the marker flags. Our next step is to bore a hole in the garage wall and bring the ends of the wires inside where we’ll connect them to the transmitter.

Can you see it, Todd? Got it?

This transmitter emits a radio signal that travels along the buried wire. First, we install a screw and mount the unit to the wall. Then attach the ends of the wire loop to the terminals.
TODD BROWN:
I'll just staple these in here. We use an arched staple for cable tacking.
RON HAZELTON:
All right. So now there's still no power to this yet, right?
TODD BROWN:
Yeah. We have our AC adapter here. This will step everything down. Now we've got two indicator lights on here. We've got a power light that lets us know that everything is on and working. And we have a loop indicator that tells us that the loop is continuous all the way around.

Well, the power is on and the indicators say the fence is working. But before I slip the receiver collars on the dogs, I decide to check out the correction myself.

All right, can I try?
TODD BROWN:
Sure.
RON HAZELTON:
Can I actually feel it?
TODD BROWN:
Yeah, you can.
RON HAZELTON:
I hate getting shocked. Stand right there. Ah ha-ha. No, it didn't hurt, it just surprised me.
TODD BROWN:
[LAUGHS] It's enough to get your attention.
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah, yeah. It was like hey, hey, hey, you know. And that's what it's supposed to do, right?
TODD BROWN:
That's correct.
[DOGS BARKING]
Now that everything's installed, we can start the training.
RON HAZELTON:
Is it going to be unpleasant for her?

TODD BROWN:
Not generally. When we, when we do the training —
[BOTH SPEAK AT ONCE]
WOMAN:
The prongs won't poke into her neck?
TODD BROWN:
They don't. They rest on the surface. We're going to give Sammy just the opportunity to, to hear the tone and as we approach, she should start hearing the beep. She's hearing the beeping.
WOMAN:
[LAUGHS] She's looking around.
TODD BROWN:
Good girl, Sammy, good girl.
RON HAZELTON:
Good girl.
WOMAN:
Good girl, Sam.
RON HAZELTON:
Yay [CLAPS]
WOMAN:
Did she turn around because she heard the beep?
TODD BROWN:
She heard the beep, she got into a little bit of a correction and started to back away. Although it probably wasn't evident to you, I saw her turn her head a little bit as she approached the boundary. Once it starts correcting, at the low levels, you can almost not even feel it.

It's like feeling static shock off of a — off of like a doorknob in the wintertime but, but much milder than that.
RON HAZELTON:
Well, Sammy gets high marks for her first lesson. Now it's Woody's turn.
TODD BROWN:
Now walk him up. He should be he hearing the beeping right about here.
WOMAN:
I hear the beeping.
TODD BROWN:
He's getting the correction. Good boy, Woody, good —
RON HAZELTON:
Yay.
WOMAN:
Yay.
TODD BROWN:
Good boy.
WOMAN:
Hey, good boy, Wood.
TODD BROWN:
Things happen differently with every dog. And sometimes we can make adjustments on the fly.

WOMAN:
[LAUGHS] He pushed me to the….
RON HAZELTON:
I want you to get closer to Todd.
[LAUGHTER]
You have a better shot here.
[OVERTALK]
WOMAN:
We'll become — you have to go through …
TODD BROWN:
Do you have a collar on?
RON HAZELTON:
This dog learned so much more quickly than somebody else in our family.

Learn how to install an invisible electric dog fence to confine your pet to your yard.

Installing an underground fence to keep your dog confined and safe is a fairly simple project. The fence uses a buried wire that continuously emits a radio signal. Your pet must wear a special collar with a receiver on it and two small prongs/electrodes. When the dog approaches the wire, the radio signal first causes the collar to beep as an audio warning and will then activate the collar to deliver a mild corrective shock to the pet that will cause it to turn back from the fence.

Plan the Location of the Underground Dog Fence
Step 1

Plan the Location of the Underground Dog Fence

Draw a plan to indicate the location and size of the underground dog fence. Separate back yard from front by looping fence back on itself at the sides of the house to maintain a continuous circuit.

Mark the Underground Dog Fence Location with Temporary Flags
Step 2

Mark the Underground Dog Fence Location with Temporary Flags

Use garden flags to mark the desired path for invisible electric fencing. Leave them in place briefly after the underground dog fence is completed to add a visual cue to help the dog recognize the boundary during initial training.

Lay the Underground Dog Fence with a Wire Trencher
Step 3

Lay the Underground Dog Fence with a Wire Trencher

Install the underground dog cable with a gasoline-powered wire trenching machine. Guide the motorized tool along the flag markers to cut a slot in the ground and insert the invisible electric fencing wire at the same time.

Slot the Driveway for the Underground Dog Fencing
Step 4

Slot the Driveway for the Underground Dog Fencing

Position the slot for the underground dog fencing to avoid edging stones and snap a chalk line as a cut mark. Use a rolling saw equipped with a masonry blade to cut through the asphalt driveway.

Seal the Underground Dog Fencing into the Driveway
Step 5

Seal the Underground Dog Fencing into the Driveway

Stretch the underground dog fence wire across the driveway and tamp it into the slot with a narrow plastic putty knife that will not abrade or damage the insulating jacket on the wire. Overfill the crack with sealant.

Splice the Underground Dog Fence Wire Where Necessary
Step 6

Splice the Underground Dog Fence Wire Where Necessary

Lay the wire for the underground dog fence as one continuous loop , splicing it as necessary. Widen the slot for the splice, stripping off some wire insulation, joining ends with a gel wire-splice, and burying the device.

Fish the Underground Dog Fence through the Garage Wall
Step 7

Fish the Underground Dog Fence through the Garage Wall

Bore an unobtrusive hole near ground level in the garage wall. Fish the two ends of the wire loop for the underground dog fence inside to connect to the transmitter. Caulk around the hole.

Mount Underground Dog Fence Radio Transmitter to the Garage Wall
Step 8

Mount Underground Dog Fence Radio Transmitter to the Garage Wall

Mount the radio transmitter for the underground dog fence to the interior garage wall and attach the ends of wire loop to the terminals. Secure the wire to the garage wall with arched staples.

Plug in the AC Power Adaptor to Step-Down the Voltage
Step 9

Plug in the AC Power Adaptor to Step-Down the Voltage

Plug in the AC power adaptor for the underground dog fence to step-down the voltage of the house current. Check its two lights to confirm the power is working and the loop is continuous.

Teach Your Pet about the Underground Dog Fence
Step 10

Teach Your Pet about the Underground Dog Fence

Put the collar on your dog. Walk your pet slowly towards the underground dog fence until the collar's audio signal is triggered. When the dog turns away, praise it. Approach near enough for a mild static shock, if necessary. Repeat.