Electric Dog Fence Types, Costs & Installation & FAQs


Electric Dog Collar

Electric dog fences have been around for decades and continue to improve in design, effectiveness and safety and cost. 

They make for a great alternative to traditional fences which are several thousands of dollars compared to just a few hundred for most DIY electric dog fences.

Their advanced technology makes them safe for your dog while keeping them in your yard.  

Here’s where we answer all your questions about picket fencing.

 Electric Dog Fence: Types

What is a electric dog fence?

Electric dog fences create an invisible barrier in your yard with a buried underground wire that creates a parameter that stops your dog.

 Your dog wears a neck collar that communicates with the fence and shocks him if he attempts to go outside of the fence.

What are the top 3 models of electric dog fences?

  •  PetSafe Wireless Electric Dog Fence.
  • Extreme Dog Fence Standard Grade Kit.
  • SportDOG Brand Electric Dog Fence.

What types of electric dog fences are there?

  • Underground & Wireless.

Underground Electric Dog Fence

Underground Electric dog fences create an invisible use a buried underground wire to that creates a parameter that stops your dog.

Your dog’s neck collar communicates with the fence and shocks him if he attempts to go outside near the parameter. 

Wireless Electric Dog Fence

Wireless Electric dog fences do not use a buried cable. Instead, they use the transmitter to send out radio waves that communicate with the receiver on his collar.

 Electric Dog Fence: Costs

How much does an electric dog fence cost? 

First off, keep in mind that wood fence is the umbrella term we use to cover all wood types, fence styles, and yard sizes. 

So cost may vary.

Putting these variables into consideration, the average cost of installing a wood fence is around $100-400. This breaks down to $1.5/ft for DIY.

The price for installation may range from $750-$1400 or $2.5/ft for installation. Again, keep in mind that these numbers are only based on the national average.

 And the cost may vary since labor and contractor costs depend on location.  

Keeping this in mind, you can expect to

Electric Dog Fence: Installation

So, to get started, you’ll need the:

  • Electric dog fence
  • Shovel 

Step 1 Plan Your Fence

  1.  Clean the area.
  2. Call 811 and mark your yard. You will need to have your utility company scan your yard with their sensors and locate any underground utilities. That way you don’t slice through them with a shovel and have to pay for their replacement. 
  3. Lay out the wire. This will help make the wire straight so no kinks are in the wire. You will also know exactly where you will need to dig and if you have to move the line if it is near any of your marked utility lines that 811 spray painted.
  4. Place the transmitter. This helps with placement as well. You want the transmitters placed where they will not be ran over or broken by traffic in your yard.
Tools to use
Hand shovelInexpensiveLabor intensive
Electric Trimmer/trencherMid rangeMuch quicker than shovelNeed long electrical cord
Gas TrencherHigher pricedFastestNo cord needed
  1. Bury the wire. Approximately 1-3” deep. They should be buried deep enough so they won’t be damaged from the lawnmower or foot traffic but not too deep to interfere with the transmission signal.
  1.  Install and test. Follow the directions so you correctly test according to the instructions. If you skip this step the fence may not work correctly. 
  2.  Program your system

Where to buy?

You can purchase your electric dog fence from online fencing retail supply or wholesale stores or get them at a physical store. 

Several credible online stores offer the best deals. 

Electric Fence: Accessories

What is the life expectancy of an electric fence? 

The batteries of the dog collar need to be replaced or recharged often. The wireless systems will last up to 10 years. While the buried systems, specifically the wire is expected to last over 25 years. The transmitter for the buried systems will also last approximately 10 years. 

Electric Dog Fence: FAQs

Can invisible fence be installed above ground?

Yes invisible fence can be installed above ground.

There are several models that do not have to be buried underground. They act as a transmitter which sends out radio waves 90 feet in most instances from the control panel in the house.

Do invisible fences work for big dogs?

Yes they work for big and small dogs. Once a dog is trained to the fence they will not approach it and will stay in their designated area. 

Is an electric dog fence cheaper than a regular fence?

Generally yes.  The average cost of an electric fence is $2.5/linear ft where wooden fences cost $30/linear ft installed. Fences cost several thousands of dollar compared to a few hundred for a DIY electric dog fence

Does an invisible fence have to be closed loop?

Yes, the invisible fence must be a closed loop. 

How much electricity doe an invisible dog fence use?

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D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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