Malcolm Lightbody

Dog Fence Wire Installation

It depends on you and your layout, whether you decide to bury your wire or to mount it. You may even decide to do both. This can be done by burying a majority of it and mounting the rest of it along a fence line, for example. If you mow your lawn regularly, it is better to bury the wire. If there are areas where you don’t mow or where you cannot dig, you can simply plant the wires above ground, using lawn staples to keep the wire in place. It can also be mounted on trees or existing fencing. In some cases, professional dog fence owners prefer securing the wire tightly to the ground using dog fence staples, as the grass will eventually grow around the wire and hide it. Whether you decide to mount or bury the wire, it depends largely on the terrain where you want it installed.

Machine Method

If you have a trenching machine, it will dig the trench, lay the wire inside and bury it all at the same time. This is the tool that the professionals use, for a good reason. The time it takes to install your electric dog fence will be cut in half. About 3 yards of wire per minute can be installed with this machine. This makes it well worth the cost of renting one if you want the job to be quick and easy. A trencher can be rented from about any store that rents tools.

Tools Needed

  • Wire trenching machine
  • A stake or a shovel
  • Common wire stripper
  • Safety glasses
  • Ear protection

If you decide to use a wire trencher, here is how long it will take you:

  • ¼ of an acre= 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours
  • ½ of an acre= 2 to 2 ½ hours
  • ¾ of an acre: 2 to 3 hours

How to Install the Wire Using a Wire Trenching Machine

  1. Set your trenching machine up at the end of the section of neutral or twisted dog fence wire that originates from the transmitter box.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the wire trenching machine by getting a quick lesson from the rental center.
  3. Attach the dog fence wire spool to the trencher.
  4. Feed the end of the dog fence wire through the wire guide area and down through the hole in the trenching blade on the bottom rear of the machine. 
  5. Secure the end of the wire to a post or stake in the ground at the point where the boundary wire and twisted wire meet. You can do this with a shovel or garden trough. Leave plenty of room between the machine and the stake to ease starting. 
  6. Start the wire trenching machine and push along your perimeter line to lay the wire.
  7. Stop at driveways, pathway and sidewalks to cut or hand lay wire. Move the trencher to the other side and repeat the above steps to continue.
  8. Continue along the perimeter you designed until you meet back up with the twisted dog fence wire running to your transmitter box. 

Professional Tip: When you cross a driveway, release the cutting blade of your trencher, secure the wire on both sides of the crossing, leaving at least 12 inches of slack on both ends. This will make your job installing the dog fence cable through the driveway much easier down the road. 

How to Install the Wire Using the Easy Install Method

You may also choose to mount your wire on top of the ground instead of burying it. No matter which way you decide to go, the fence will work equally as well. A fence that has not been buried holds up just as well as one that has. 

If you decide to mount your wire above the ground, this will take hours off of your dog fence installation time. However, we do recommend burying your twisted neutral wire that runs from your transmitter to your main loop. You should also bury the dog fence wire across any pathways or driveways where there may be a lot of foot traffic. 

Tools & Materials Needed

  • A stake, shovel or garden trough to hold the wire in place
  • 6” garden staples
  • Wire strippers for cutting excess wire or splicing the cable
  • Wire ties for securing the cable to a fence or structure

Easy Install Method

  1. Beginning at the end of the twisted cable, attach the end of your dog fence wire to a stake or shovel. Begin to unspool the wire around your chosen perimeter, keeping in mind that where you finish will be your original starting point, creating a full loop. Ground staples should be used when you round the corners to keep the wire in place. Be sure to create rounded corners so that the signal doesn’t cancel out. When you are taking the wire off the spool, you should temporarily staple the wire every 50-60 feet. This will make sure it doesn’t move when you install it. 
  2. Continue laying out your dog fence wire. When you cross driveways, pathways, sidewalks and other heavy traffic areas, secure the cable to the ground, leaving at least 2-4 feet of slack on both ends. You will need to revisit this area later to complete the permanent installation. 
  3. When you approach a physical fence, secure the dog fence wire to them with zip ties or a staple gun. Remember to go along the ground when you reach a gate.
  4. Complete your circle back to your original starting point. Cut the wire and be sure to leave plenty of excess slack for connecting your wire to the neutral, twisted wire.
  5. Grab several dog fence staples and follow your wire back around the perimeter, tightly securing the wire to the ground. You should use a staple every 19 feet or so, depending upon the terrain and foot traffic. The grass will eventually grow over the wire, making it invisible. 

Professional Tip: Be sure to cut your grass short before you install. This will make it easier to secure the dog fence wire and encourage grass to grow around it. Make sure the wire is connected tightly to the ground.

Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash

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