Do Electric Fences Work in the Winter? (Wired AND Wireless)

When researching electric fences it’s important to keep your region’s climate in mind, as certain weather patterns and temperatures can affect the efficacy of an electric fence. 

The efficacy of electric fences in the wintertime is dependent on the type, brand, and severity of winter in your area.

Generally, they do work in the winter, but there are some specific cases to look out for.

If your area tends to get snowy, cold, and often drops to freezing temperatures, you may be wondering, do electric fences work in the winter?

So let’s see how your fence may be affected.

Do Electric Fences Work in the Winter?

Dog in the snow
In general, electric invisible fences work throughout all types of normal winter weather.

Yes, wired and wireless invisible fences typically work through all types of normal winter weather, provided that the electricity is on to power the transmitter box.

Extremely deep snow (over 4 feet) can decrease the effectiveness of in-ground fence wire.

Extreme cold can cause the lithium-ion collar batteries to not work or refuse to charge.

Otherwise, the fences work as normal throughout cold and wet winter weather.

Read our related article, Can You Install an Invisible Fence in the Winter? Here’s more about what you can expect from installing your invisible fence during the winter months!

Do Electric Fences Work in Bad Weather?

Wired and wireless invisible fences work through a wide variety of weather conditions experienced by most users.

  • Snow
  • Sleet
  • Ice storms
  • Freezing temperatures
  • Damp and frozen soil

You may experience some issues with your invisible fence if you get thick snowfall.

If the system is buried too deep in the ground, and snowfall is heavy on the ground, the collar may lose contact with the perimeter.

Have questions about this fence type? Invisible Fence has an extremely helpful FAQ page that covers important information about its products. 

Read More: Which is Better Wired or Wireless Dog Fence? We explore wired and wireless fences in this guide to help you make the right choice for you!

Does an Electric Dog Fence Work in the Snow?

In the case of an underground dog fence, snow can pose an issue. If the snow becomes too thick and covers the wires a few feet deep, they can lose their usual effectiveness. 

This can be solved by increasing the boundary width on the transmitter while the snow is very deep.

Retest the collar before sending the dog out to roam in the snow.

Wireless electric dog fences should work properly in the snow, as long as the transmitter is connected to a power source, and not exposed to the elements.

If the transmitter on your electric fence is set to a width of 3-4, and the snowfall is a thick layer on the ground, your transmitter may only work at half of the distance as usual.

Your dog may be able to escape. 

To avoid your dog escaping or getting confused, we suggest taking time to flag the new boundary so they can become familiar with how far they are allowed to go on their own within the safe zone. 

See our related article, Invisible Fence Beeping After Power Outage, to see whether or not your invisible fence will work in the event of no power – and what to do about it!

Does an Electric Fence Work in Frozen Ground?

Frozen ground shouldn’t affect the performance of your fence, providing there are no shorts or breaks in the wire.

Electricity doesn’t pass as quickly in the cold though, so you may notice decreased performance.

We recommend researching the specific brand of electric fence that you have installed to see if they have any recommendations or information on preparing your electric fence for the winter.

Read our related article, Does Cold Weather Affect Invisible Fence? for more info on dog fences in the winter, how to winterize your system, and keeping your dog’s training up-to-date!

Do Wireless Dog Fences Work in the Winter?

Dog standing in the snow
Using an invisible fence in the winter can be challenging at times.

Wireless dog fences do work in the winter! As long as you have a steady power supply, your wireless dog fence transmitter should work fine.

You may notice that the boundary changes as the snow comes up higher, so we recommend retesting the perimeter as the snow gets deeper to make sure it’s still located where your dog expects.

The more common issue with wired and wireless fences is that the battery in the receiver collar has trouble operating in extremely cold temperatures.

Lithium-ion batteries need heat to work and charge.

If it is cold enough that the batteries aren’t working, your dog shouldn’t be outside.

Here is an article with three helpful tips on making your yard dog-friendly in preparation for winter weather conditions. 

Are Electric Fences Waterproof?

All parts of both wired and wireless invisible fences are waterproof except the transmitters.

Both types of transmitters have to be plugged into a 110v outlet and kept out of the weather.

Wireless dog fences also have to be ventilated so they don’t overheat. So keep that in mind if you decide to install one inside a weatherproof box.

Would you like to learn more about the best electric dog fences? We have independently tested these fences, and here’s the best electric fence for dogs options we could find!

Are Wireless Fence Collars Waterproof?

Yes, they are waterproof, though not all are submersible.

They’re designed to keep working if your dog is in the rain or snow, but you’ll need one that’s submersible if your dog likes to dip in the pool. 

You can typically find information specific to the brand of the wireless fence in the owner’s manual, on the packaging of the product, or detailed in the product description online. 

Can an Invisible Fence Be Installed in the Winter?

dog staying in an invisible fence with a deer outside
An invisible fence can work well in the winter as long as the snow isn’t several feet deep.

An invisible fence can be installed in the winter! The Invisible Fence company offers professional installation services in the winter, and while it snows. 

The Invisible Fence brand also manufactures products to keep your dog away from hazardous areas that they should not have access to, like:

  • Frozen bodies of water
  • Muddy areas
  • Dangerous ice spots 

While professional installers can deal with snow and frozen ground to get your fence up and running, DIY installers usually wait until the ground thaws in the spring before installing.

Read More: What Happens if You Don’t Earth an Electric Fence? Is grounding your electric or invisible dog fence necessary? Here’s what to know!

Do Electric Fence Ground Wires Require Insulation?

Should electric fence ground wire be insulated?

Yes. Electric fence in-ground wires should already be insulated by the manufacturer.

The covering on the wire is the insulation that protects it from shorting and makes it waterproof.

If you splice the wire for some reason, use a wire nut and a wire sleeve to fix it such that the splice is waterproof.

Wondering how in-ground dog fences work? Check out this video that shows how it gets installed and how it works to keep your dog safely at home.

How High Are Invisible Fence Signal Fields?

Invisible Fence signal field height does vary depending on the product you purchase, but they will generally reach around 4-7 feet high. 

Wired fences have a signal that is emitted around all sides of the wire. The height is dependent on the boundary width that you set.

This can be anywhere from 1 to 25 feet.

The fences must have a good signal to communicate between the wire (or wireless transmitter) and the receiver collar.

Do Electric Fences Harm Pets?

dog in the snow
Fences designed to be used by dogs (and cats) are also designed to operate without harming the animals.

Wired and wireless electric fences are carefully designed to never harm your pets, provided you don’t put one on a small dog that is too big for it.

Follow the weight and age limits for each fence and collar.

Before purchasing an electric fence you should research which product is best used on the size and weight of your dog.

You should be able to control the levels and set them to what works best for your pet. 

Are wireless dog fences safe? Check out this article to learn everything you need to know.

The reason that some animals may be harmed by the use of an invisible fence is if they are not trained to understand it.

Without training, they may perceive the fence as random shocks and become fearful.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you now feel as if you have a better understanding of how electric fences work in the winter, as well as other important information to know before deciding to purchase and install. 

We want to remind you that not all electric fences are compatible with winter weather conditions, so it is best to research which electric fence product works best for the area you live in. 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

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.

You can read more about me in our about us page

Connect with me:

Leave a Comment