Property owners who don’t have the budget to put up a physical fence usually invest in an underground dog fence system. With this system, a line will be buried underground, which will serve as the barrier between the yard and the outside space. However, knowing how to bury underground dog fence is critical for its success. To help you out, I discussed a step-by-step guide so you can set up your fence fast and easy.
Burying an underground dog fence
If you bought an underground dog fence system from, say, PetSafe, you could also pay for the installation. They use a specialized machine that splices through the ground and lays the wire underneath. It’s a fairly fast process that won’t take over an hour, even in a huge yard.
However, if you’re doing it on your own, it wouldn’t be easy. Still, there’s a workaround that you can do to install your underground fence. Here’s what you need to do:
What you need:
Straight edge shovel
Work shoes with reinforced soles
- Step 1. Plan the installation
Before you reach for the shovel, you must map out the installation area first. This will give you an idea about how long the underground fence wire should be. Also, it will save you from guesswork that wastes more time and energy.
You should draw the installation line a paper, which you will use as a guide. After that, place stake flags on the path where the underground wire fence will be buried. This will make it easier for you to dig later on.
- Step 2. Dull the tip of the weeder tool
Before we start digging, it’s important to sand the weeder tool’s tip so it won’t damage the wires. For this process, we will use the weeder tool to help clear the trenches and drive the wire underground.
You can use sandpaper or just scrape the tip on a concrete pavement.
- Step 3. Start digging
Before you start digging, make sure that you’re wearing work shoes with firm soles. This will protect your feet from injuries since you have to stomp the shovel into the ground the entire time.
Once your tools are all set, it’s time to start digging. I personally used a straight edge shovel because it covers more ground in every dig. A round edge shovel will require more work, a bummer if you have a large yard. Also, a straight edge shovel works well on grassy areas and soft soil.
After that, start stomping the shovel into the ground to create the trenches. Keep digging until you have finished up the flagged path.
Remember that you should only bury the wire about 1 to 3 inches on the ground. Going deeper than this will block the signal transmission, deeming your underground fence dysfunctional.
But what if the underground fence will pass through a concrete surface? You need to use a wheeled concrete saw to cut a clean line through the pavement. But if you don’t have one, you can do it the old-fashioned way using a pick mattock. Just make sure that you wear safety glasses.
- Step 4. Start burying the line
Once you have the trenches dug, it’s time to install the wire. You should still be wearing the safety glasses here as debris from the ground will be flying around as you use the mattock.
Using the weeder tool, drive the wire into the trench. On your other hand, use the pick mattock to cover the trenches with soil. You should also pound the surface mildly to ensure that the soil is compacted and won’t get washed away during a downpour.
- Step 5. Installing the transmitter
After you have buried the line, you need to drill a hole into your garage or anywhere you want to install the transmitter. The transmitter must be installed in an enclosed area with a wall socket. The most convenient option is your garage or a shed if you have one.
Use the hand drill to bore a hole large enough to fit the underground fence wire. After that, plug the wire into the transmitter.
Don’t forget to caulk the hole you made to prevent pests from using the wire as a bridge to your house. Since the fence is buried underground, it’s attractive to termites. The mite won’t damage the cables, but they can use it to enter your home if you don’t seal up.
- Step 6. Testing the line
Once the transmitter is plugged and working, your job isn’t done yet. You have to check if the collar will receive the signal properly. The only way to test this is to hold the collar by the prongs where the shock comes from and walk into the line.
As you approach, you’ll hear a warning sound. Once you breach the line, you will receive an electrostatic shock. This correction doesn’t hurt the dog, and it will not burn their necks. It works just like a typical wireless dog fence. Once you’re sure that the wires are properly installed, the next step is to train your dog for it.
Do underground dog fences work?
Underground dog fences work if you install it right. Also, training is necessary since this fence is not 100% foolproof. Dogs that have high pain tolerance can easily endure an electrostatic correction.
You must teach your dog to respond to the beep warning as it approaches the fence as well as the correction further on. To train the dog, you must give it a food reward every time it turns around upon hearing the sound or receiving the correction.
Aside from that, you should be careful about installing the wires. Make sure that the weeder tool is dull so it won’t cut anything. Even a tiny cut on the wire will affect the signal transmission and the underground fence system’s efficiency.
Can you use any wire for an underground dog fence?
Most underground dog fence kits have wires that are compatible with the transmitter. You should only use this for the installation. However, if your yard is larger, you may need to purchase a longer alternative. As much as possible, avoid patchwork with the wires because it will affect the signal.
Most underground dog fences are designed with 20-gauge wires being the thinnest and 14-gauge as the thickest. You should read through the guide carefully or contact the seller to ask about the wire gauge.
If that didn’t yield any answers, take the wire from the underground dog fence kit to a hardware store. The folks there can identify the wire gauge so you can buy a longer version to cover the distance you need.
How can I find a bad wire on my underground dog fence?
If the underground dog fence suddenly stopped working, one reason is a bad wire. Somewhere along the line, there might be breakage, which cuts off the signal transmission.
In this case, the only way to spot the bad wire is to use a specialized tool that picks up the electrical current. You may need to call the pros or just replace the wire if it has been there for decades. Instead of digging up spot by spot, you might as well replace it with a new one to solve the problem.
Will an underground dog fence get dug up easily?
At a depth of 1 to 3 inches, the wire should stay underneath. Besides, your dog won’t even have the chance to go near it without receiving an electrostatic correction.
Also, you should note that an underground wire dog fence isn’t an absolute barrier. It’s only a secondary enclosure that will stop your dog from leaping out of your physical fence.
Knowing how to bury underground dog fence is easy with a few tools. If you have a large yard, I suggest asking someone for help or consider investing in a concrete saw to get the job done fast. You can also rent or borrow one if you don’t have the budget to buy the unit.