Underground Invisible Fence For Dogs
Several years ago we moved to a house in the country. However, there was not a good fence for the dogs, and there is a highway just over the hill. Building a fence at the time was not an option because of the time and expense involved. Besides, we really wanted to let our dogs take advantage of as much of our new acreage as we could! So we decided to look into an in-ground, wire containment system.
In case you don’t know how one works, let us explain. Basically you bury a long wire an inch or so in the ground all around the area where you want your dogs to stay. A signal is sent through the wire, and the dogs wear special collars that give them a shock if they get too close. And after they are trained, and there is no need for the collars to be worn all the time.
NOTE: Although the fence uses small shocks to keep the dogs inside the fence, we felt that the trade-offs for keeping our dogs safe from the highway was worth using the small shocks for a while.
First of all, let us say that we were not thrilled with the idea of shocking our dogs. But we were not thrilled with the idea of them getting onto the road or having to live in a small fenced yard either. So we choose to try the system. Also let us say we did try out the system on ourselves before we shocked our dogs with it. We were not going to do that to them without first testing to see how bad it was. We laid some wire out and plugged it in. We held the collars in our hands and walked toward the wire. After the few seconds of warning beeps, we felt the shock. It definitely will get your attention! But we didn’t think it was too bad to use on the dogs considering the potential benefits.
We Love Dogs At Cactus Canyon!
Click Here for 100% Natural Dog Teeth Cleaning Products
Click Here for Syn-flex Glucosamine for Dog Joint Health
How It all Works
We purchased the system from for about $280.00. The system came with 500 feet of wire and was capable of using another 500 feet. We purchased the extra length kit for about $40.00. The kit also came with two collars with batteries, a how-to video, flags, and the control module the wires to plug in to. We strung the wire on the ground around our house in a large, somewhat oval circle.
We only buried it where the driveway goes across it. We live in the middle of a wooded pasture, so it really was not in the way. Most of it now is covered up with leaves, grass, and such. You will need some place to mount the small control box. It must be in a dry place and where it can be plugged in to an outlet. The control box has two connectors on it. One end of the wire goes in one side.
That wire goes out all around the house in the oval, and then comes back to the well house where that end goes into the other connector.
The first week or two
The wire is not to be turned on for the first week or two. In that time, as the video demonstrates, you work with one dog at a time twice a day. The little white flags are placed along the wire every 10 to 15 feet to at first show the dogs where the new boundary is.
The dog is put on the leash and slowly walked toward the flags in different parts of the yard. When the dog is close to the wire, one person is there by a flag and starts shaking it and says, “BAD FLAGS!” in a very stern voice. The other person holding the leash immediately turns the dog and runs away from the flags. After we did this to 3 of our dogs for two weeks on a twice daily basis, they seemed to be getting the hang of it ….maybe.
By the way, our fourth dog, Oreo, is a free roamer. She always has been and seems to be car and highway savvy as some dogs are. Anyway, she was never trained on the system. We were worried that she would be too tempting for the other dogs to follow across the wire, but for the most part that has not been a problem.
The Big Day!
Finally, after two weeks of “BAD FLAGS”, the day came to energize the system. First was Katie. We slowly walked her to the wire. When the collar gets within about 10 feet of the wire it starts beeping. This will train the dog that if there are beeps, a shock is sure to come if they continue on.
Of course Katie did not know about the meaning of the beeps yet! The collar started beeping, and Katie kept on. We started saying BAD FLAGS, but did not pull her away this time. And shortly she got shocked. She jumped about 3 feet into the air and high tailed it out of there. All the time we were yelling “BAD FLAGS”!
Then it was Lucky’s turn. We repeated the same process with her, and when she got shocked, she acted like she hardly cared….not like Katie did anyway. But it did get her attention for sure. And then it was Storm’s turn. I was worried about him since he was older and been through so much more trauma in his life anyway. Storm took it hard.
He spent the rest of the day on the porch acting too scared to leave it. We understood then the true power of what we were doing! If you don’t have the time to break your dogs into this kind of containment system, DON’T USE IT!! If used improperly, we feel a dog could be emotionally damaged! So take your time to do it right!
We skipped a few days and did the shocking procedure again on each dog in another part of the yard. Then we skipped a few days and did the procedure again in yet a different part of the yard. And those three times is about all it took. The next day with the collars off, we turned the dogs loose. When they approached the flags, we yelled, “BAD FLAGS”.
They would immediately turn away from the flags every time. They knew when we hollered “BAD FLAGS”, they better get away from those flags. After a few days of this, wild horses could not have dragged them across those flags! We would stand on the other side and call them. They would NOT come across…PERIOD! In the next week we spent a lot of time watching them. They were respecting the flags well.
We noticed in a month Katie was testing it and getting too close, so we put the collar back on her and then Storm too. We watched and they both got shocked once. But that is all it took to make believers out of them again for quite some time!
Current Update …
All in all, getting the containment system was probably one of the best things we could have done for our dogs. It has worked quite well. A couple of the dogs need to wear the collar once in a while to be reminded. And we have had a couple of short “breakouts” during the chaos of a rabbit chase.
We never leave the dogs out in the main yard when we are gone or at night. If they should have the collar on and do end up on the wrong side of the wire, that would not be a good thing. (By the way, never leave the collars on the dogs unsupervised for anything but a short amount of time.) And, since the wire is not 100% fool proof at keeping them in, we don’t trust them to stay out alone while we are gone. We have a large fenced back yard they stay in when we are away.
As we said before, make sure you have plenty of training time when you install the wire. If you train your dogs correctly with it, they will LOVE their new freedom!