What Do I Need to Know About Dog Fence Wire?

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What Do I Need to Know About Dog Fence Wire?

A lot of dog owners buy fences and they wonder about a lot of things like whether to buy a fence with wire or not. The ones that purchase dog fences without wire wonder if they need to get a wire and if they are to get a wire, can they use any wire? And the ones that purchase fences with wire, wonder if the wire is too thin, thick and if it is the right one.

What Do I Need to Know About Dog Fence Wire?

As a dog owner who is looking to contain their dog in the yard, there is a lot you should know. Ranging from what a dog fence is, what a dog fence wire is, how it is used, and possibly how they work. Luckily, that is not some course you need to sit down and study but a little research would help a lot.

A dog fence is a containment fence that uses an electronic signal to keep your dog in and within a particular area. The dog fence is designed to deliver a mild static shock to your pooch when it steps out of its boundary. This corrects and makes your dog return to its boundary.

As for the wire, it is what makes the fence. well, it is technically invisible. It is engineered to have a 360-degree signal which prevents your dog from escaping the boundary, be it by jumping over or digging under or running through it. It is one of the best options for keeping your pet safe without a physical fence.

It is worthy to note that in as much as the dog fence wire keeps your dog safe in the yard, you need to train your pet. Your dog should be trained to familiarize itself with its boundary so that when it oversteps and is being corrected by the system, it knows the area to return to.

Now that you know about what a dog fence wire is, let’s dive into more details people ask and want to know about the dog fence wire.

What Type of Wire to Use for an Underground Dog Fence?

Choosing the right type of wire to work with your fence can be a little confusing especially if you do not know the types of dog fence wires and how good they are. So let’s take a look at the types of wires you can use.

Wires are of two thicknesses, 18 and 20 inches. These thicknesses come in two types, the stranded wire, and the solid core wire. While it is very easy to work with the stranded wire, it is also fragile and non-resistant to rust. The solid core wire is very strong, takes longer to rust, and lasts longer than the stranded wire.

As for the thickness of the wire, the size of your yard determines to some extent how thick the wire should be. For a yard smaller than 5 acres, a wire as thick as 20 gauge is enough while for a yard larger than 5 acres, a wire as thick as 18 gauge should be used.

So you can choose between a solid core wire or a stranded wire ranging from 18 gauge to 20 gauge as the size of your yard/boundary demands.

Most importantly, do not use two different types of wires together. Don’t switch from a solid core wire to a stranded wire midway through the same installation to prevent electrical hazards. When purchasing your dog fence wire, be sure to come in not less than 500 feet which are most likely to cover your boundary no matter the size.

Is there Anything Special About Dog Fence Wire?

Actually no, there is not. Apart from the fact that it helps to keep your dog within its boundary and helps you monitor your pet’s movement, most dog fence wires break easily. These breaks when they happen are very difficult to find and the broken pieces of wire can be swallowed by your pet if care is not taken. Hence the need to keep it buried.

It is also good for indoor installations like installations with the speaker but not so good for outdoor installations especially if it is going to be left in the open. Don’t forget the possibility of trip hazards.

How to Bury Dog Fence Wire?

Although dog fence wires can work above ground, it is advisable to bury your wire to prevent trip hazards, your pet from swallowing broken wire pieces e.t.c. A dog fence wire is to be buried deep enough to protect it from the sun, water, getting broken and chewed on by animals but shallow enough to deliver and uphold a strong signal. Now, when burying the dog fence wire, it might be in soil or might cross your driveway which is most likely cemented. Either way, it is still quite to bury.

Also, the wire can be buried using a trench. Using a wiring trench is very easy. It practically digs your ground and buries your wire for you, so you don’t have to stress yourself. But for dog owners without a wiring trench, it can still be done with your hands. Let’s discuss the steps;

STEP ONE: Make your boundary: this is the earliest and first step to burying your dog fence wire. Before even purchasing a dog fence, you must have had a mapped-out boundary, that is the area that you want your dog to be contained in. Your boundary might be in any shape, circular or 4-cornered.

STEP TWO: Get a shovel, saw, or a wiring trench as the case demands: as mentioned earlier, a wiring trench punctures the ground and puts in the wire. It reduces stress and saves time. But in the absence of a wiring trench, you can use a shovel. But a circular saw comes into play if you are burying your wire in an area that has been cemented.

STEP THREE: Dig! Dig!! Dig!!!: Holding your shovel horizontally, hit the ground with the tip and wiggle it side by side to open the ground wider. Continue this way until you have made the same opening on the perimeter you have chosen for the fence.

If you are using a saw, cut through the pavement you want to insert the wire. The cuts done on cemented areas should be deeper than that done on ordinary soil to prevent edging tools used in the future from cutting the wire.

STEP FOUR: Insert the wire and fill: After, you have made the cuts in the ground around the perimeter of the fence deep and wide enough to contain the wire, insert the wire. Do make sure that the wire is inserted and filled back with soil, covering it properly such that it can not be mistakenly dug out by your pet. If it crosses your driveway, do well to cover it back with cement.

Do you Have to Bury the Wire for a Dog Fence?

It depends. While dog fence wires can work above the ground, it should be buried. This is because some dog fence wire can easily break.

Some electric dog fence wires which can be used above the ground are designed with some features that allow them to be used above the ground. These features include water resistance, high strength as well as UV features and they are responsible for the longevity and durability of the above-ground dog fence wire.

So No, you do not have to bury your dog fence wire. Just as long as it has the right features to allow it to be used for above-ground installations. If not, you would just be throwing your money away. But it is advisable to bury the wire.

Can you Drive Over a Dog Fence Wire?

This is also one of the many questions dog owners ask and the answer to it is YES!. Many dog owners worry about how the underground wire will cross their driveway and if they would be able to drive over it when it is installed. If you are one of them, then you should know that when the wire is installed, it is done in such a clean way that it becomes almost impossible to know that a wire is there.

This does not mean that it has to be buried deep into the ground though. Expert underground wire installers just make a small incision on the driveway to put in the wire. A small incision is enough to make it invisible. But it is still perfectly safe for you to drive over it with any kind of vehicle whether heavy or light.


It is not news how much we feel attached to our pets, of course, it’s natural especially when it comes to “Man’s best friend”, dogs. And for dog owners, keeping them safe becomes a priority.

Although installing your dog fence might not be difficult as it comes with guides, do not hesitate to call on an expert if you at any point get confused. Do some more research before making any purchase or installation. This way you would know more about the dog fence wire, how best to use it, and get it right.

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Maria Martinez is a dog lover who likes to write about different dog products. She likes to share those products which she owns and uses and provide honest reviews about them.

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