Can You Run an Electric Fence in a Straight Line? – ANSWERED

Electric fences are commonly used for containing escape artist dogs who don’t like to stay in the yard.

But what if you just need one side kept safe from your wandering dog? Can you run an electric fence in a straight line?

It depends on the type of fence you’re using. Physical electric fences can easily be run in a straight line while invisible electric fences must be made into a very thin loop to mimic a straight line.

Electric fences have a multitude of uses. From creating that one-sided boundary to making a dead-end, you will be able to set up a variety of barriers for your dog.

Can You Run an Electric Fence in a Straight Line?

can you run an electric fence in a straight line?
Some electric fences can be run in a straight line, while others can not.

The short answer is yes, you can run your electric fence in a straight line but it depends on what kind of fence you are using.  

That said, you cannot run an invisible electric fence in a straight line with different start and end points.

In order for the fence to work, it must loop back to its starting point. However, you can use a twisted wire to connect the two ends of your loop with the transmitter. 

By twisting the wire in this manner, you will effectively create a section of crossable wire for your dog to not be shocked when crossing. 

An electric fence works by installing a wire a few inches underground and connecting its ends to a transmitter.

That transmitter needs to be able to send a radio signal down the length of the wire and receive the signal back at the end

If the loop is not closed, the signal is broken and will not effectively communicate with the receiver on your dog’s collar.

Some people will use a physical electric fence in conjunction with a permanent fence line.

In these situations, the shape of the electric fence will vary, and may not be a closed loop. The actual shape of your electric fence will depend on your needs.

So the simple answer is, yes, a physical electric fence can be run in a straight line and does not have to be in a closed loop.

However, there are advantages to running your fence in a closed loop.

  • Having a continuous loop means that the voltage will be increased along the fence line because power is being pushed both ways along the fence.

What this means is that the voltage essentially only has to travel halfway.

You will also find, however, that there are benefits to running your fence in a straight line as well.

  • With voltage only traveling in one direction, you will not have any trouble finding a fault in the line.

What if You Only Need to Block Off a Straight Line?

When you can’t run your invisible fence in a straight line, there is an alternative method.

You can create a loop that is the entire length of the line you originally wanted to run. 

The wire will have to remain a minimum of 4 feet apart at all times or else the pieces will cancel each other out. 

There is a stipulation with this setup.

You can only run half as much twisted wire back to the transmitter as you have in the loop.

For example, if you have a 100-foot loop, you can only run 50 feet of twisted wire back to the transmitter.

This method is an excellent option if all you need to do is keep your dog from going onto the road but don’t have to worry about the other sides of your house.

Just make sure that you run the line long enough that he won’t run around it.

For fence layouts, watch this video for other configurations that might be helpful for your situation:

Can You Dead End an Electric Fence?

 Electric Fence
Can You Dead End an Electric Fence?

If you are trying to contain your dog in an area or prevent them from going into another area, you can create a dead end with your invisible electric fence.

In this case, you will need to surround the area you don’t want him to enter with the fence wire and you may need to create a double loop.

Once you have established your boundary, twist the wires together all the way back to the power source.

This will allow you to easily use your physical electric fencing to partition your yard or a field by dead-ending it.

When you run a fence in a non-loop pattern, you will have to remember to support the ends so that they don’t sag. 

One way to accomplish this is by tying off the last post of your wire to a T-post or a wooden post that is part of the fence you are tying it to. 

Whatever shape you decide on will have no effect on the overall charge of the fence.

This allows you the freedom that you need to enclose an entire area, or just block off one section.

How Do You Create a Dead Spot in the Line?

Sometimes when you lay your invisible electric fence wire you need to have dead spots for your dog to cross without any corrective action taken.

In order for this to happen, you simply need to twist the wires so that they cancel each other out. 

It’s important to note that you can only use twisted wires in specific situations.

First, you will need to twist the wires on the return trip to the transmitter, ensuring that your dog does not have any complications from these wires. 

Second, you can use twisted wires to connect two loops together. However, you cannot use twisted wire as part of your main loop as twister wires cancel out the signal.


Depending on the type of electric fencing you are using, if you need to run it in a straight line, you can.

While physical fencing is the type that you will need for straight lines, there is an alternative method that allows you to mimic a straight line with invisible electric fencing. 

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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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