How It Works
The first thing to know is that there is actually NO electricity running through the fence! The name is really a misnomer as the system works off of radio frequencies between a boundary wire and your dogs’ new collar.
The only electrical part is the outlet that is required for the control box to plug into your property but more on that in a moment.
An electric dog fence system creates a safe area around your home so that your dog can run around freely without any type of leash or leads holding him back. One of the main purposes of a dog fence is the ability for your dog to run and play while releasing lots of energy. Dogs may have a lazy life while you are at work, but they need to dispel their energy to be good pets!
The graph above shows how the system works. The boundary wire is typically trenched around the edge of your property about 3-4 inches into the ground. The wire emits an omni-directional radio signal that we can control. Every dog is a different height and temperament so we can customize the system to your dog.
Typically, we adjust the signal to a distance that is appropriate to the height of your dog. When the dog fence collar receives the signal from the wire, that begins the containment zone. We place the boundary flags at this spot for a visual cue for your dog and they will also hear an audible warning from the collar.
If your dog continues into the containment zone, they will then receive a static correction from the collar. Our collars have several different levels and we adjust this according to your dog. The static correction does not have to hurt, but it can’t just tickle! We find the proper for your dog that they say I didn’t like that and don’t want to do it again. Your dog will learn to associate all these things and learn their boundary in about two weeks depending on your dog. We will also introduce distractions throughout the trainings using things that they are bound to see every day.
The system is controlled by a small box that needs a regular power outlet. We usually mount this box in a utility room or garage, just like an irrigation system. Included is a surge protector that plugs into your outlet to protect against lightning strikes.
The last part is a ‘twisted’ wire that connects the outer boundary wire to the control box. The interesting part is that the signal from the two twisted wires actually cancel themselves out and your dog can go over this line without any correction. This leaves the boundary wire as the active one and the twisted one is safe!
The most common type of boundary layout
This is a full yard configuration that is the most popular. It includes most of your yard and covers every house exit so if your dog gets out any door or even garage door, they will be safe.
The benefit of using a wired system is that if you have an oddly shaped yard lot, we can work around it. We have installed over brick walls, through some walk ways and even included part of a pond!
What if you just want a dog fence in the back yard?
It is not uncommon to have a request for just a back yard but it only works in certain yards.
The way the system works, we need to have the wire return back to itself and create a loop.
When doing just a back yard, we need to do a double loop of wire as seen in the picture.
The part that makes it less than ideal, is that those wires have to be about 5-6 feet apart from each other so that their signals do not cancel out. This cuts down on the usable yard space if you have a smaller yard.
Also, the price is not any less because as you can see, you use the same amount, if not more wire, to do just the backyard. That being said, some back yards work great for a dog fence system. What works best is if you have an elevated deck that comes off the back of your house and the stairs are away from the house edge. With that type of set up, we can do just a single loop and save that way!
Two Zone System – The best of both worlds!
For some customers, a two zone system is the perfect fit for their property! First, you get a large zone in the back yard where you want to primarily have your dog. Second, you also get a front zone as well!
This way if your dog ever gets out of the front of your house, they will have a boundary area there as well.
This is a great way to add security for your dog by having a zone in your front yard and it costs the same as a double loop in the back yard!
As you can see in the diagram, this is accomplished by trenching the wire towards the house in the middle of your yard. If you have a driveway that extends on one whole side of your house, that could present some challenges but we are always happy to come and look at your property and give a free estimate!
How do you cross the driveway?
For an asphalt driveway, we trim a saw blade width, the length of your driveway. This trimming only goes down about 1 inch. The boundary wire is laid in that line and then resealed. It is typically the only visible evidence of having a dog fence.
For a concrete driveway we can usually use one of the expansion joints and use the appropriate sealer.
If you are putting in a new driveway or building a new home, you can have a simple pvc pipe installed under your new driveway and we can use that for the boundary wire!