How to Make Your Own (DIY) Invisible Dog Fence?

How to Make Your Own (DIY) Invisible Dog Fence?

Last Updated on December, 2022

As much as we love our dogs to roam off-leash, we know the risks involved when a dog ventures too far from home. However, building a sturdy fence around your yard may not be the pie in the sky for you. 

But a practical solution would be to have an invisible dog fence. Its simplicity in installation is a noticeable feature. Follow the below DIY step-by-step guide to make your invisible dog fence. 

Quick Summary

An invisible fence system has three units: a transmitter, a buried wire loop, and a dog collar.

To install, first decide the location for the transmitter and draw the layout, then chop down a trench in your perimeter and bury the wire.

The fence by itself will not protect your dog if he’s not trained, so invest time and effort in training your pup to enjoy playing within your boundaries

How Invisible Fences Work?

a dog wearing invisible fence collar and standing near the invisible fence boundary flag

The name implies that the fence is not visible but acts as an imaginary boundary fence for your dog.

An invisible fence system has three units. A transmitter, a buried wire loop, and a dog collar 

The wire is buried at your desired boundary. When your dog approaches the buried boundary wire, the receiver collar he’s wearing will sound a beeping warning. This happens when the transmitter detects the dog approaching your boundary.

Suppose he tries to cross the buried boundary wire. In that case, he’ll get a mild static shock that will distract him from going beyond the boundary line, effectively turning it into an imaginary fence surrounding your yard.

Read more about “How Does Invisible Fences Work.”

What You’ll Need to Get Your Invisible Fence Up and Running?

some materials needed to make an invisible fence

Materials Required:

  • Suitable invisible fence kit 
  • Additional wires <if your yard is bigger> (14 gauge solid 100% copper core wire)
  • Access to electricity close to the transmitter installation
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Concrete sealant (optional) 

Tools Required:

  • Wire splice kit (a few wire nuts, PVC tape, silicone capsules, wire stripper & pliers) 
  • Shovel 
  • Flat head screwdriver 
  • Mini ground trencher saw (recommended if for concrete or hard surfaces)
  • Mini trench digger machine (recommended if for big yards) 

Skills required: Medium

People needed: Do it your own (a helper is handy to have for bigger yards or harder surfaces) 

Consider These Factors When Selecting an Invisible Fence Kit

You must choose a system appropriate for your dog and your yard. There are collars suitable for dogs weighing between 5 and 200 pounds.

Of course, before purchasing any invisible fence kit, you should compare prices and customer reviews. However, there are a few features to consider.

 Consider the below when you buy a kit, 

  • Is it waterproof and durable? 
  • Battery life and the type of batteries (rechargeable or disposable cell batteries) 
  • Can you change the static corrections levels? 
  • Is there a beep, vibrate, or both? 
  • Are the beep and static correction selectable modes?
  • Can the system be used for multiple dogs? If so, are the correction levels adjustable for each dog, are there multiple collars available, and what is the maximum number of dogs?
  • Does it have a warranty period?

How to Set Up Your Invisible Fence? (Step-By-Step Guide)

Step 01: Decide the Location for the Transmitter Installation and Draw the Layout 

Once you’ve purchased the invisible fence kit, take a piece of paper and draw the desired layout. Do you want the fence to cover the entire perimeter of your yard? Do you want to exclude some areas? Where will you keep the invisible gate (the only place your dog will be trained and taken out)? 

The boundary wire starts from the transmitter mounted on the wall. Decide where you are going to place the transmitter. The location should be an indoor area near a power socket. We suggest your garage as the ideal location. 

garden

The two wire ends connected to your transmitter must form a loop around your desired perimeter. 

Once you’ve decided where you want your boundary wire to be buried, go to your yard and spray paint on the desired perimeter. 

Step 02: Chop Down a Trench in Your Perimeter & Bury the Wire 

Place your transmitter in the desired location (you can later wall mount it), connect one end of your wire to the transmitter, and pull your wire into your yard. Bring it all the way to the painted line.

Use a shovel or a trench digger to make a 3-inch deep trench on the painted boundary line. Start from the area near the transmitter’s location. Simultaneously placing the wire inside the trench. You can use a screwdriver or a flat tool to push the wire in.

Avoid making sharp corners with the buried wire. When burying the wire in the corners of your yard, curve it about 3 feet.

a human burying the wire

If you have to bury the wire over a concrete surface, such as your driveway, you must cut a gap with an electric saw. Ensure you cut straight lines. Place the wire in the gap you made. Later, you will fill it over with concrete sealant or a substitute. 

The trench you’re digging should have a complete perimeter and return to its starting point. You will now have a looped boundary wire. The wire roll should have reached its starting point by now.

Step 03: Making a Trench for the Twisted Wire 

Now you have to dig a trench from where you began the boundary trench to the indoor location where the transmitter is located. (one end of the wire is already connected to the transmitter; therefore, you only need to follow that wire to dig the trench)

The trench you are going to dig will contain the two ends of your wires, which will be twisted and followed back to the transmitter.

Step 04: Twist the Wires 

This step is essential to follow strictly. Unroll enough wire to reach the transmitter and cut it to separate the wire from the wire roll. 

Now unplug the wire end from the transmitter you connected in step 02, and twist both wires together up to the boundary trench. 

Twisting is mandatory. That will cancel the signal from the twisted wire, so your dog can walk over that part of the wire without getting beeped or shocked. 

You can manually twist the wires. But if you have a long way from your indoor area to the boundary trench, you might want a drill to twist your wires. 

The optimum number of twists is – 10 twists for every foot.

Step 05: Setting Up the Transmitter and the Surge Protector

Congratulations! You’ve done the hard work.

A reliable invisible fence kit will include a surge protector. We strongly suggest you have one if it’s not included, as it will protect your system from lightning.

Connect the twisted two ends of the looped boundary wire to the red spots on the surge protector that say “looped wire.”

Take another pair of the same wires, about 3 feet long, and twist them as you did earlier. Connect this pair of wires to the surge protector’s black spots that say ‘transmitter.’

Transmitter box

You must connect the other end of this twisted pair to the transmitter. 

The surge protector is plugged into your power outlet, and you should plug the transmitter’s power adapter into the surge protector. 

Once you power up the transmitter, it should indicate two green lights. On the side, there’s a setting named “abc.” You should set it accordingly to the length of your perimeter wire.

You can set the knob to determine the width of the warning zone (at what distance the beeping and corrections are given from the boundary line). You can customize it to your liking. 

Don’t place the transmitter close to large metal items such as washing machines, refrigerators, water heaters, etc…

Step 06: Set Up Your Collar 

Insert the battery into the collar and turn it on. Take it near the boundary wire, holding it at the height of your dog’s neck. Once you go near the perimeter, you will hear the beep. You can use the test lights to do the checking. 

You can set up training flags in the locations where it beeps. This will give you and your dog a temporary view of where the invisible fence is and let your dog get familiar with the danger zone. 

Step 07: Finishing the Installation 

Now you should check your boundary wire and properly bury the wire in your trench. Simultaneously close the trench and press the soil to return to its original position. Bury the twisted wires as well. Fill in the concrete gap (if you had to make it) with concrete sealant or a substitute. 

Now your fence is not visible to the naked eye.

The twisted wire should reach from the outside to your transmitter in a safe, convenient way. You can mount your transmitter to the wall and place the twisted wires neatly.

If you dare, you can put the collar on yourself to test the beeping and shock.

Read our complete guide on setting up an invisible dog fence.

Training Your Dog and Fine-Tuning the System 

a man training a dog

Now is the time to train your pup to stay within your boundaries. Let him get familiar with the invisible fence. 

Read your owner’s manual to learn how to train your dog step by step. You’ll need to start by installing the collar probes that are best suited to your dog’s fur. 

A proper training program will have 04 stages:

  • Passive training (training to the beep warning)
  • Active training (beep & correction)
  • Training for on-leash temptations
  • Off-leash supervision

Your dog will learn to respect your boundaries faster than you think. You won’t have to worry about your dog attempting to escape your yard once they’ve become familiar with their invisible dog fence.

During the training sessions, you will likely understand your dog’s response to the beep and static correction.

If he doesn’t respond to the lowest static correction, you will need to increase the static correction level. Ensure you don’t over shock your dog. During these sessions, you will figure out the optimum width of the beep zone for your dog.

Play with your dog and play around with your system until you figure out what is best for you and your dog. 

Here’s our complete guide to training a dog for a fence.

Underground Fences vs Wireless Fences

a dog wearing invisible fence collar and sitting near the boundary flags

A wireless fence works like an underground fence, but there is no buried wire in your yard to mark the “invisible” fence. Dog wireless fences emit a signal in a limited circular range, providing your dog with limited protection. Both fences generate a warning beep, vibration, and a correction shock.

A wireless fence is straightforward to set up. However, it is not the best choice for larger yards. Starting with the base unit, which can only be placed indoors, the safety range is limited and circular.

This makes it more difficult to reach all of your desired areas. The odds of a malfunction or accidental shock are high. Here’s the difference between a Wireless & Wired Electric Dog Fence.

Related article: How tall should a dog fence be?

FAQs 

The ideal depth to bury the dog fence wire is between 1 and 3 inches. However, if you encounter tree roots or other obstacles, you may bury the wire up to 12 inches (1 foot) deep. However, it is best to avoid such barriers and keep the underground wire at a depth of 1 to 3 inches.

Yes, the invisible fence should form a loop to work correctly. The wire should create a closed loop around your entire perimeter. You must connect both wires to the transmitter; otherwise, the “loop” indicator light will not illuminate, and if you do not create a closed loop, your transmitter may beep continuously. 

You should bury the invisible fence wire to ensure your pet’s safety. The fence system will still function if the wire is left above ground. However, burying it protects your wire from being driven, lawn mowing, animal chewing, tension, and weather conditions.

Once you set up an invisible dog fence, you must adequately train your dog to respect your boundaries. Read the user manual to learn how to train your dog. However, if your dog is strong and stubborn, you should invest in a more robust system designed for stubborn dogs. Such dogs require a higher static shock and proper training to stay within your yard.

Final Thoughts 

Installing a dog fence on your own might be a tedious task to do. But now you know it is possible and how to do it.

The fence by itself will not protect your dog if he’s not trained. That’s why you need to invest time and effort in training your pup to enjoy playing within your boundaries. 

We wish you the best of luck with your invisible dog fence installation project.

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Stefano Giachetti
Stefano Giachetti is always excited to share his knowledge and love of animals with you through our blog, IPetGuides. And he has always loved animals and has been blessed to have many pets throughout his life. Currently has a Pomeranian Dog Breed.

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