System Layout

In order to plan the layout of your system we suggest that you take a piece of paper and create a rough drawing of your yard including your house, driveway, walkways, gardens, pools, planting beds and anything else that may influence where you setup your fence. Keep in mind that the electric field will start 3-feet in from the actual wire, so the space will be slightly smaller that where you place the wire.

Once you have that drawing, you will figure out which areas in your yard that you will allow your dog to access and which you will not allow it to access. Draw a continuous line around all outside boundary of where you want to contain your dog and if there is something like a pool in the middle of your yard, draw a line from the outside boundary to the pool, around it and back out to the boundary right next to the line coming in, this section will be twisted wire in order to cancel out the signal to and from the pool area while keeping the pool area off limits for the dog (we will cover twisted wire below). The line, or wire, must start and end at the transmitter. See below for diagrams of sample layouts.

Some important things to think about in planning your layout:

  1. Locate your transmitter near an outlet. The transmitters are not weather proof so they need to be installed inside or using some sort of weather proof box. We suggest inside your garage or in an unfinished portion of your basement near a window.
  2. You need to round any corners so as not to create and 90 degree turns that may effect performance of the system.
    If you are running your wire parallel to itself or a neighbors line or even a utility line, you will want to keep the wire at least 5′ apart or away from the other lines.
  3. You will want to cross all utility lines at 90 angles to avoid any possible interference.
  4. Twisted wire cancels out the signal from the transmitter for that stretch but only if done correctly. Visit the Twisted Wire page to get more information on how it can and can’t be used.
  5. Check with your neighborhood association, town, city and county to see if there are any rules, regulations or laws that govern how close you can bury your wire to the road, sidewalks or even neighbors.

Once you have your layout go outside and walk the line that you drew on your paper and keep track of the number of steps that you take. When you have walked the entire boundary line starting at the transmitter and ending at the transmitter, take the number of steps and multiply by 3 and that is approximately how much wire you will need. You can also estimate the amount of wire you will need if you know about how big your yard is by visiting our Dog Fence Wire Estimate page. Remember that the rolls of wire come in 500′ spools.

Sample Layouts:

In order to get you started we have come up with a few sample layout designs as well as one layout to show you how twisted wire can not be used.

This is a standard layout for your entire yard. The twisted wire comes out from the transmitter (red box) and continues out to the edge of the containment zone with the twisted wire splitting and going around the entire yard.


This is the standard layout with an island containment zone within the yard. We show a pool but it could be a garden, a pool, a shed or some other feature that you want to keep your dog away from. In this case the boundary wire meets and is twisted in to where the pool is and then surround the pool. So the dog can go all the way around the area but can’t enter it.


If you want to enclose just the back yard in your boundary zone. This is only one of the ways that you can layout the fence. You could also run the wire only in the back yard but would need to run the wire across the back of the house up in the gutter or across the eaves of the house.


This is a back yard layout that we get questions about on a regular basis. The homeowner would like the wire to be run entirely in the back yard but wants to create an area by the back door where the dog won’t get a correction so it can come and go out that door. The problem is that this layout won’t work. The twisted wire only works if there are two wire running into the twist and two wires running out. Instead of twisted wire, if this is the layout that you want, you need to figure out a way to run the wire high enough on the house that the correction zone won’t reach the ground where the dog will cross into the house, usually up along the soffit or in a gutter. We suggest running the wire around the front of the house.


The above layout is if you have a fence that keeps your dog from getting out of the yard but you don’t have a fence all the way around the yard. This layout will allow you to keep your dog from crossing that one area of the fence that is open. The wire is twisted coming off the transmitter and then a narrow loop of wire goes across the open area in the fence. The narrow loop must be at least 5′ apart in order to not get any kind of interference.


Now that you have your system laid out you are ready to move on to Mounting Your Transmitter.