How Deep Do You Bury Invisible Fence Wire? ANSWERED

If you are a pet owner, you may have considered an invisible fencing system to allow your dog to be able to roam freely within a specified boundary.

Wireless fences can be installed professionally, or if you have the time, installing an invisible fence can be your next DIY project.

The process is simple and takes about a day for an average yard, but how deep do you bury an invisible fence wire?

That’s what we aim to answer!

How Deep Do You Bury Invisible Fence Wire?

dig a shallow ditch
Digging a shallow ditch for invisible fence wire is not very difficult.

How deep do you bury an invisible fence wire?

In general, you need to bury invisible fence wire in a shallow ditch about 1 to 3 inches deep.

No deeper than 3 inches to make sure the collar can interact with the boundary wire.

The point of burying the wire is to protect it from tangling, lawnmowers, weed trimmers, dog teeth, etc.

A narrow, shallow 1 to 2-inch ditch is quick to dig around a normal-sized yard.

The entire installation of a wired dog fence usually takes a single day.

For those with large acreage, it may take a weekend or a few days to dig the ditch, string the wire, and rebury.

Read our related article, How Deep is an Invisible Fence Buried? for more information and installation tips!

Why Purchase an Invisible Fence?

happy dog with invisible fence
Dogs are happiest when they have room to roam outdoors without a leash or dog run.

If you are a dog owner, you are all too familiar with how often a dog needs to go outside to do their business or get some exercise.

Often, dogs need to be let out at inconvenient times of the day, like early morning or late at night.

If you don’t have a physically fenced-in yard or a dog run, the early morning and late-night walk outside can become quite time-consuming. 

A great solution to this problem is an invisible fencing system. Are you shopping for the perfect invisible fence for your dogs?

Check out our reviews of our favorite invisible dog fences that we tested.

Invisible fences are an excellent option for dog owners because they can be installed without having the view from your home obstructed by a physical fence. 

Another benefit to installing an underground pet fence is that it eliminates the potential for any trip hazard.

It allows lawnmowers to pass the boundary wire freely without the risk of damaging the fence.

Are Wired Dog Fences Safe for Dogs and Humans?

Wired dog fences are perfectly safe for both dogs and humans.

The wire is buried beneath the soil at such a level that it will not cause trip hazards, and will be out of the way of lawnmowers.

The underground installation leaves no risk for electric shock from the wire. The moisture-resistant wire also requires no maintenance once installed.

The shock your dog will receive if they try to cross the pet containment system is mild, like the static shock you might get when you touch a metal doorknob.

The shock should be enough to deter your pet from bad behavior, but not strong enough to cause harm or even fear.

Read our related article, Do Invisible Fences Work for Your Dog? for a guide to which dog breeds are the best and worst for invisible fences (based on experience).

Should You Install an Invisible Fence Yourself?

preparing to dig a hole
Contrary to popular belief, installing a wired dog fence isn’t a ton of work.

Pet containment systems are the go-to solution for dog owners. 

Electric dog fences allow your dog the freedom to run, play and exercise without the need for continuous supervision.

At one time, the only way to be able to have the freedom of an invisible fence was to have it professionally installed. 

Though the task is time-consuming it’s easy enough for most homeowners to DIY.

To have an electric containment system professionally installed, pet owners can expect to pay an average of $1,500. 

To install your own pet fence wire kit, you can expect to spend on average $250 and a weekend burying invisible fence wire and installing the control box.

If you decide to install an electric dog fence yourself, the recommended burying depth is 1-3 inches. 

You can easily dig the tiny trench needed around your property using a shovel, a sharp hoe, a pickaxe, or a rented “Ditch Witch” trencher.

While many homeowners envision shoveling piles of dirt to install the electric wire, the truth is you’re more likely to have trouble keeping the trench shallow enough. An inch is not a lot of dirt.

Want to see a trencher in action? They’re easy to use, but the tendency is to go much too deep.

The key to installing a wired invisible fence is to barely scratch the surface of the dirt with the trencher.

How To Install Your Invisible Fence

The first step to installing your invisible fence is to plan where you want the boundary line to be around your home. 

Next, you want to mark the entire perimeter line to know where to dig the trench to lay your electric dog fence wire. Make sure that your perimeter is in a closed loop for the fence to work.

This part can be omitted if the wire will mirror an existing fence line.

You will also want to specially mark where you want your dog to be able to cross the wire safely. These areas will use a different kind of wire, called twisted wire.

A DIY electric dog fence kit comes with a transmitter box that is installed into an outlet in your home.

Most homeowners install the transmitter box into an outlet in their garage or on a back porch out of the weather.

What’s the easiest way to bury dog fence wire? If you’re going the DIY route, you’ll want to check this article out!

Dig the Trench

Dig a shallow ditch
Because the needed trench is so shallow, a simple garden tool is sufficient to place and bury the boundary wire.

The next step to installing your invisible fence is to dig the trench that will hold the boundary wire. 

Follow the perimeter you previously mapped out, and dig a very narrow trench about 1-3 inches deep to install the buried lines properly.

You can dig the trench using a flat-edged shovel, a garden hoe, a power edger, or a trencher to get the job done. 

When digging your trench, you want to make sure you avoid other buried lines that may be inside your property.

A power edger uses a blade to help create a clean line to place your underground wire, and will make quick work of your digging project.

Installing Under Driveways

If you plan to put your fence in the front yard, you may be wondering, “how do I run an invisible fence under my driveway?”

If your boundary wire needs to cross a concrete or asphalt driveway, you must use a cut-off saw or hire someone to cut a crevice to lay the wire underground. 

If you decide to cut the crevice in your driveway, wear safety glasses. The trench across the driveway only needs to be an inch deep.

You can then fill the created trench with driveway sealant once the wire has been placed.

Read More: Do Other Collars Work With Invisible Fence? If you have an old shock collar, you may wonder if it’ll work with your new fence system. Here’s what you need to know.

Dead Zones

Once you have the trench dug around your boundary line, you will then be able to proceed with burying the wire underground.

To allow your dog to cross the boundary in a particular area, you will need to use a pair of wire cutters to install the twisted wire to create a dead zone for your dog to pass.

If your boundary wire has to cross a dog door or garage door where the dog needs to shelter, this is a perfect location for a twisted wire exception in your boundary.

You will want to snip the boundary wire at the location where you would like your dog to be able to pass freely and twist two wires together, creating the twisted wire. 

You will then splice the twisted wire and place it back inside the boundary loop, where it can be reconnected to the control box.

Read our related article on How to Create a Dead Spot in Invisible Fence so your dog can safely cross the boundary!

Test Your New Fence

How do you test an underground dog fence?

Once your wire has been buried underground, you can then plug in the dog fence transmitter, and test your new electric dog fence.

You can test the electric dog fence for functionality by walking around the perimeter line with the receiver collar to ensure your dog will not be able to pass through.

Then once you are certain the boundary wire is getting adequate transmission, you can bury the wire beneath the soil.

Use small flags to mark the ground where the dog fence wire is buried for dog training.

Read More: What Happens if You Don’t Earth an Electric Fence? Should your electric fence be grounded? What about your invisible dog fence? Get answers here!

Final Thoughts

Once you have installed the electric dog fence wire, your dog will have a safe space to roam in your yard without being supervised. 

Although it may be a tedious weekend project, you and your pet can both enjoy your yard for years to come without any worries that your dog will make a break for it.

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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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