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Invisible Dog Fence Part II: Installation

While it has the potential to be confusing, doing a project yourself can be very rewarding and fun.

There are two ways to get your invisible dog fence in the ground – either hire someone who sells you the kit and installs if for you, or buy the kit and install it yourself.  We did the latter, which made for some interesting times, especially in the rockier parts of the soil.  You bury the fence several inches down, plug in and voila, an invisible barrier to protect your dog!

When we research the kits available, the front runner, Petsafe, was only available directly from the manufacturer.  Now, however, you can find it on amazon.


Invisible Dog Fence –

Upcoming Steps and Cautions

With a solid plan in place and an accurate sketch of your fence plan will go a long way in making a do-it-yourself install a success.  Before burying the wire, check the following list-

  1. Are there any breaks or discontinuities in the wire?  The wire needs to form one big loop that begins and ends at the control box.
  2. Can the dog enter and exit the house?  If you want to be able to release dog from inside the house, it is essential that that no boundary wires cross the threshold.
  3. Are there any boundary wires that are so close to the house that the signal is transmitted inside?

If the above questions are address and satisfied, then it is time to get dirty!  This is a good time to throw your collar on the charger (if it is rechargeable) so it is ready to go once the installation is complete.  Unless your yard is small, the installation is likely not going to happen in a lickety-split, so give yourself enough time to manage the task patiently and frustration-free.


Burying the Wire

A cable-burying trencher is by far the fastest way to install your invisible dog fence.

There are a few ways to get the wire for your invisible dog fence in the ground – using an edger, a trencher or with your hands.  We did a combination of two of those options.  We did not dig our trench with a shovel but we did spent a lot of time on our hands and knees.

A cable-burying trencher is a great way to go – it digs the trench, puts the wire down and then buries it.  Super easy – you can see it in action here.  The only issue is expense and transportation.  We did not have a truck available when we were installing the fence, so we had to rent the tool that could fit in the back of the Honda Fit.  I don’t remember the cost at this point, but I do remember it was more expensive than the edger.

Unless the area for your invisible dog fence is fairly small, using a shovel would be kind of intolerable.  Since most people know about shovels, I’m going to leave it at that.

An edger is okay.  It’s ultimately what we used and it kinda sucked in the rockier parts.  Not only did it throw rocks at the house, but it did not always create a deep enough trench for the wire.  After Brian went around with the edger, I followed – placing the wire in the trench and covering it with dirt.  Or in areas that were rocky and were not really affected by the edger, I manually dug a trench, placed the wire and covered it.


Placing the Flags

Flag boundary for our invisible dog fence

After installing your invisible dog fence, the next step is placing the flags in the ground.  You want to place them every few feet along the fence, directly over the place where the fence is OR where the beeping starts (this will vary depending on the setting chosen for the perimeter).  The flags show the dog that something changes; one side of the flags will soon be communicated to be the yard and the other side is no man’s land.

When your warning zone is BIG, the flags will be far from the fence.  When you have a very small warning zone (either because you don’t have much yard to spare for a big warning zone or your dog just gets it), your flags will be nearly right on top of the wire.

Next up is Training for your Invisible Dog Fence.  Stay tuned!


  1. I tried to install the fencing myself with a flat shovel. I immediately gave up after about 10 feet. Then went and rented the trench digger from the company. It was supper slick and pushed the wire into the ground as I went along. I should of read this article first. Thanks for sharing.

    • :) Yeah, the shovel method is HARD. If you have anything greater than a tiny yard, it quickly becomes worthwhile to rent the tool. Thanks for reading!