14 Gauge Wire Underground Dog Fence – Need to Know INFO

A common choice when it comes to the wire used in conjunction with an invisible or underground fencing system is a 14 gauge wire.

14 gauge wire is considered to be a good choice for pet owners when it comes to in-ground dog fence systems.

This article will explore using 14 gauge wire for underground fencing systems to help you make the best choice for your pet.

What is a 14 Gauge Wire Underground Dog Fence?

dog digging in snow
14 gauge wire is recommended for snowy areas where the wire will be buried deeper than the recommended 3-inches for the winter.

14 gauge wire is the thickest wire that is compatible with underground pet fence systems.

It has a thicker protective coating and contains 4 times more copper than the other wire gauges.

More copper means better conductivity and a more sensitive wire.

A 14 gauge wire is recommended for snowy areas so that the wire signal is strong enough to penetrate through snow drifts.

Types of In-Ground Dog Fence Wire

There are several types of wire that are compatible with an underground dog fence. These wires usually run from 20 gauge to 14 gauge.

A 20 gauge wire is the thinnest of the group and a 14 gauge is the thickest. 

The thinner gauge wires, like 20 gauge, are generally considered factory-grade wire.

These are the types of wires you can expect to receive in your underground fence installation kit. 

14 gauge wire is considered to be a more professional grade wire. Professionals who install your fence may choose to use this wire over the thinner versions.

You also have the choice to purchase this wire separately and use it in conjunction with your system.

Can You Use 14 Gauge Wire for Underground Dog Fences?

Dog in a coat
14-gauge wire doesn’t make a difference in everyday operations of your fence, but it does help the wire to deliver a stronger signal to the receiver collar.

When it comes to underground pet containment systems 14 gauge wire is a fine choice.

The average underground fencing system comes with 20 gauge wire, which is the thinnest wire possible for even the best underground dog fence.

The issue with this gauge of wire is that it has a weaker signal which can make it harder to keep a pet within the bounds of your yard especially if you bury the wire too deep or it gets covered with dirt or snow.

It is also more prone to cracking and damage than the thicker wire options. 

A 14 gauge wire is considerably thicker than the wire that is sold with these fencing systems.

The thicker wire is more resistant to damage from:

  • Corrosion
  • Crushing
  • Chemicals
  • Moisture
  • Abrasion
  • Oils

Altogether, replacing the factory wire with a 14 gauge wire is entirely possible, and carries benefits when considering the longevity of your underground fencing.

Where to Buy 14 Gauge Wire for an In-Ground Dog Fence

14 gauge wire can be readily found online and in person at many different stores.

If you wish to purchase your wire online, it is sold on:

If you wish to buy your wire in a store it is sold in:

  • Lowes
  • Napa
  • And many other home improvement, auto, and agricultural stores

The key is to look for insulated wire.

Don’t buy bare wire to bury underground because it will be susceptible to shorting due to water.

The coating on the wire that comes with your underground fence kit has an insulated coating.

This coating makes it safe to directly bury underground.

If you choose to buy an uninsulated wire you’ll need to bury it inside an electrical conduit which is expensive, difficult, and will impede the wire signal.

What to Expect to Pay for 14 Gauge Wire

Dog inside an invisible fence
14 gauge wire will send a stronger signal than smaller gauges. It can help keep stubborn dogs in the yard.

When shopping for 14 gauge wire you may find that they seem to be priced wildly different.

The difference in price can often be attributed to the length of wire that you are purchasing. 

  • In general, you should expect to pay between $0.20 and $0.05 per foot of wire.
  • Buying longer lengths of wire gives you a lower cost per foot of wire.
  • If you have a large project to tackle, consider buying your wire in bulk

We did an in-depth analysis of the invisible fence cost per acre! It’s well worth a read when considering the price of an underground electric fence.

What Gauge of Wire is Best for a Dog Fence?

dog and owner cuddling
You can’t keep your dog indoors all the time. A robust invisible fence is a great way to keep your dog safely at home while allowing it the freedom to roam.

It is generally agreed upon that the best gauge of wire for underground fences is 14 gauge wire.

This wire is able to withstand more adverse conditions than the other gauges, making it more likely to withstand the test of time.

With that being said, when you are looking for a wire, the thickest wire (so the smallest number) available is likely the best choice.

Just make sure that it is insulated. Bare wire won’t do.

How to Install an Underground Fence With 14 Gauge Wire

Luckily, the installation process for your fence is exactly the same no matter what gauge of wire you choose to use.

The process can be completed by a professional electric dog fence installers or done by a pet owner. 

Check out the full guide that we wrote on the easiest way to bury dog fence wire. It’s not as hard as you think!

If you want to use 14 gauge wire instead of the 20 gauge that came with your kit, simply buy the number of rolls you need for the perimeter of your property and bury it according to the directions in our guide.

You can also watch this video for more help:

Final Thoughts

When looking to extend the longevity of your underground fence, choosing a thicker gauge wire, like a 14 gauge, may be the answer.

Also, make sure you haven’t buried your wire too deeply. The deeper you bury the wire the more the signal will be stifled by the earth.

Keep it between 1 and 3 inches deep and you’ll get much better results from your wire, even in the snow.

The wire is more able to withstand wear and tear, so you have to do less maintenance. Seems like a win to us!

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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