When burying your wire, you will want to be careful not to create any kinks, cuts, abrasions or any other damage that might create problems later on with your dog fence. Depending on the size of your installation you may need to do some splicing as you go, if you do, make sure to leave the splices where you can access them until after you have tested the system and then once the system tests out correctly, you can bury the splices as well and retest one more time to make sure the system works properly.
When burying your wire you will want to bury it between 1″ and 6″ deep with the ideal depth being 4″ to 6″.
There are three ways to bury the boundary wire for your dog fence and we cover them here from the easiest to the hardest:
Trencher – Easiest
You can rent a trencher with a wire laying attachment from your local tool rental shop for around $50 (call before showing up to make sure they carry them and have them in stock). This is a half day rate and you should be able to lay about 1000 feet of cable in half a day or less. The trencher will leave about a 3″ to 4″ wide line line of dirt as your bury the wire, so you may want to get some grass seed to use once you have completely setup and tested your system. Make sure to go over instructions on how to use the trencher with your rental store representative.
Edger – More Time Consuming
You can also rent an edger from your local tool rental facility, or you may have a neighbor that has one or you can buy a cheap one for around $60. You may already own one as well. However you get one, once you have it, you will use it to cut as deep a trench as possible through your yard. Once you have that done you will use something skinny and blunt to push the wire down into the bottom of the trench. We have found that a paint stirring stick works great. You may need some dirt to fill in wider areas but in most cases you will be able to use the displaced dirt and your foot to push the trench closed. You will want to bury the wire a few feet at a time before filling it in.
Shovel – Hardest
The first time we buried a dog fence wire we used a shovel. It was spring and had rained a lot that year so the ground was soft which made it much easier although very time consuming to get done. Depending on where you live and how soft the ground is, you may be able to use a flat spade type shovel and press it into the ground and move it back and forth to create a trough in which to put your wire. You could then use the paint stirring stick to press the wire down to the bottom of the trough and use your foot to close the trough on top of the wire. However, is areas where this isn’t possible, you will want to use a pick axe, small hoe or shovel to dig a small trench where you want to bury the wire. You will want it to be at least 3″ deep but as little as 1″ can work. We suggest laying and burying 3′ of wire at a time. If the wire won’t lay flat at the bottom of the trench when burying, you can use Yard Staples to hold it down then bury it. This will take some time to get done for even the smallest of installations, plan accordingly.
There may be several other things going on in your yard that can make installation easier or harder. A fence may present an opportunity to not have to bury wire along that stretch of yard or if a section of your wire goes through a wooded area you may be able to ground mount the wire and in most yards the wire will have to cross a driveway and/or walkway. We cover all three options below:
If you have a stretch of yard that is bordered by the fence but you need to have the wire go along it to get to another area that you want to include in the boundary you can attach the dog fence wire to the fence. For wood or composite fencing you could use staples, your local hardware store has staples that have a hump in it for just such installations. For chain link fences you can weave the wire back and forth through the links every foot or so to keep it in place, make sure to leave a little slack in the wire for fence movement. For vinyl or plastic fencing it will depend on the fence but you may be able to staple the wire to it or caulk it to the top but it may be worth burying the wire along this type of fence. For masonry (brick, concrete, stone, block, etc) you can use masonry attachments such as screws with wire clips to attach the wire along the fence. We recommend against installing on any solid sheet metal fencing.
In order to avoid the wire’s enemies (lawn mower, weed wacker, aerator, etc) you will want to install the wire up at least 1′ high on the fence. You can also use some pvc pipe where the wire comes off the fence and heads back underground to try to guard against those enemies as well.
In some cases the wire either can not be buried or it doesn’t make sense to bury it (like in very large installations where part of the installation runs through the woods). Whatever the reason you will want the wire to lay as flat as possible to the ground and you will want to use our Yard Staples to keep it there. You will not want to do this in an area that your mow or that is high traffic. Simply lay the wire along the ground and staple every 1′ to 3′ as you go depending on the terrain. If done in the woods the wire will soon disappear under debris and leaves after one or two seasons.
Driveways and Walkways
Most installations will include crossing a driveway or walkway or both, that is next on our Installing Wire Across Driveways page