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Electronic Dog Fences

What are Electronic Dog Fences?

An electronic dog fence, sometimes also referred to as an invisible fence is a copper wire boundary fence that is placed underground.

This creates an electrically charged boundary that keeps your pet within the confines of your property without the need for a physical fence. Your pet is connected to the electronic dog fence by a collar it wears around its neck.

How the Electronic collar dog fence works may vary between each fence system, the StayFence Pet Containment System pictured here works by first issuing the dog with an auditory warning when the dog nears the boundary, The pet containment system will issue 3 levels of correction, which intensify slightly as the dog nears the boundary. There are several options of pet containment available, check out our  which dog fence is best for your dog article.  

We go into more detail on how the electronic fence systems work can be found below. 

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How do Electronic Dog Fence Systems work?

Most underground electronic dog fences work in the same way, however, the efficiency, reliability and exact functionality between systems can vary. In all of these systems, the transmitter uses the buried loop of wire to broadcast a radio signal. The buried wire acts as an antenna. 

The transmitter only uses a small amount of power, This means that the signal produced by the boundary wire will only have a short range of a few meters at most. In some systems, the copper boundary wire has two signals running through it, one at higher power and the other low power. In these electronic dog fence systems, the dogs’ receiver collar can detect different distances from the boundary wire to provide different levels of correction.


Inside the collar is a small radio receiver. When the dog gets close enough to the buried boundary wire, the radio receiver in the collar receives the signal that the wire transmits. The radio then triggers a correction so the dog knows it is nearing the boundary.

The underground boundary wire installed around the perimeter of your property loops back to the transmitter that you have plugged in a safe, dry location. See the sample layouts from the StayFence installation manual for an example of this looping below. The transmitter controls determine how wide the electric field is from the installed wire.


Correction and Training

An underground electronic pet fence is basically a psychological device. It cannot harm your pet. Underground dog fences must be used in conjunction with training to offer the most effective deterrent value. Teaching your dog where the boundary is, and letting your dog know that going past the boundary is bad is essential. The collar reminds your dog about the deterrent when you are away.

The collar reminds your pet using different levels of correction, and how the fence system corrects your pet is up to you. The StayFence Pet Containment system as mentioned above uses an auditory deterrent by beeping first to notify the that it is getting close to the boundary, only then if the dog enters the correction zone will it receive up to three levels of mild correction depending on how close it gets to the boundary. Check out our which dog fence is best for your dog article for help in choosing the best system for your dog. 

The static correction is similar to a static shock you get when you shuffle your feet across carpet and then touch a metal door handle. This correction isn’t harmful to your pet. Rather, your pet will begin to associate the correction with the area in your yard where the boundary is.

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Underground pet fences should not be used as a replacement for obedience training, but as a supplement to it. With the proper training, your pet will quickly learn to adapt its behaviour to avoid the correction. 

Training with the underground pet fence involves boundary flags, the correction training and consistent training.

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Consistent Training: Some pets are more stubborn than others and need the system to be on all the time to contain them.

Correction Training: The first time your pet receives a correction should be on a leash. This enables the owner to easily redirect the pet to the appropriate behaviour should the pet become startled or confused.

Boundary flags: Boundary flags will serve as a visual training aid for both you and your pet. The flags should remain in place for at least two weeks, but in some cases as long as 30 days. Your pet will eventually associate everything inside those boundaries as its safe zone, the area where your pet can roam freely without getting a correction.

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When training your pet, you are teaching him that the beep he hears when approaching the boundary should be associated with the correction he will receive if he proceeds toward the boundary. You will teach your pet to retreat from the beeping and the boundary by pulling him away from the boundary when the correction signal goes off. 

Which electronic dog fence is best for your dog

Every dog is different and knowing which dog fence is best for your dog will depend on a number of factors. 

For instance, the best electronic dog fence for a large dogs will be very different from the best dog fence for small dogs. Wireless dog fences could be a better fit for you or dog runs might work best for you and your dog.

 Check out our which dog fence is best for your dog article for more help with this, or get in touch. Our experts are happy to help. 


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