How to Safely Install an Underground Electric Fence for Your Pet

Installing an underground electric fence can help keep your pets safe in your yard. This type of fencing uses a wire buried underground along with a collar receiver to deliver a small static correction when your pet approaches the boundary. With proper training, an underground fence can work very well to contain pets. However, there are some important considerations when installing and using an electric fence to ensure it is effective and humane.

Selecting the Right Underground Fence System

There are several factors to evaluate when choosing an underground fence system:

I personally chose the Havahart Radial-Shape Select system for my yard. It was easy to install, fit my dog's neck perfectly, and had great training features.

Planning the Layout

Properly planning where to place the boundary wire is crucial for containing your pet. Here are some tips:

I mapped my yard and laid out the wire in an oval pattern enclosing my lawn and garden while excluding the pool and front sidewalk. This provided good coverage and avoided any dangerous areas.

Installing the Boundary Wire

Burying the boundary wire properly is very important for system effectiveness:

I trenched the full loop 1 inch deep taking care not to kink the wire. I used a ton of staples to keep everything in place. Once connected, I tested the loop and got the green light before backfilling the trench.

Collar Setup and Pet Training

The right approach to collar fitting, settings, and training is key for having an effective fence:

For my Labrador, I fitted the collar properly and kept it on the lowest setting at first. I spent a lot of time walking him by the boundary with flags and praising good behavior over 2 weeks. Now he rarely tests the boundary but if he does, the tone gets him back on track.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Despite best efforts, you may encounter some problems getting your system to work right:

I originally had false alarms in my house with the base settings. Reducing the boundary width eliminated this. I also used the wire tester to find a spot where the insulation was damaged, causing signal loss.


Installing an underground fence for your pets takes planning and care but can be a very effective containment solution when done properly. The most important aspects are laying a good boundary wire loop, fitting the collar correctly, and taking time to properly train your pets on the system. With patience and consistency, an underground fence can provide both freedom for your pets while keeping them safely in the yard. Just be sure to check the system regularly and monitor your pets until fully conditioned to the boundaries.