Does Invisible Fence Have to Be a Closed Loop? SETUP TIPS

Invisible Fence is a brand of underground fencing. Underground fencing uses wire, radio waves, and static electricity to keep your pets contained in their proper area. 

Does Invisible Fence have to be a closed loop? In order to create the radio waves, the cable must be a closed circuit or closed loop.

This allows the electrons to flow from one end of the cable to the other and back into the transmitter.

Underground fencing has become popular, since it is cheaper than building a barrier fence, allows your pets to run and enjoy the outdoors, and can even be used indoors to keep pets in specific rooms. 

Does an Invisible Fence Need To Be a Closed Loop?

Large dog inside an invisible fence
The invisible fence wire must be a completely closed loop in order to function.

Does electric fence have to be a loop?

Yes, your Invisible Fence does need to be a closed-loop to create a circuit in order to send signals to your pets computer receiving collar.

Closed loop just means that both ends of the wire need to meet back up at the central transmitter creating a complete circuit.

If the circuit is broken, the transmitter will beep until the wire is fixed into a closed loop. 

You may be thinking, “won’t this make it more difficult for my dog to avoid where the two wires need to connect?” You would be correct with this assumption. 

Since any part of the wire can trigger a static shock, the people who created Invisible Fence had to come up with some tricks to make some of the wires inert.

However, let’s talk about what a circuit is first.

You can find out more about how underground fencing works in this ultimate guide.

What is a Circuit?

A circuit, simply put, is an enclosed circular path, usually of wire, that allows electrons to flow through it. Electrons are little guys that make up what we know as electricity. 

There are two kinds of electrical systems, but we’ll just briefly discuss the type of current that is used for a wired invisible fence.

A direct current system is when the electrons in the wire can only move in one direction. This is similar to a one-way street, where traffic can only move, well, one way. 

The electrons are forced through the wire. It is the electron’s movement through the wire that produces power and performs work.

In this case, the electrons broadcast a radio frequency.

That broadcast doesn’t flow into the wire unless the path back out is also completed by the wire entering the transmitter unit.

If the wire is severed or disconnected, the electrons don’t flow.

So you have to set up the fence wire as an open circuit, but there are tricks to make sure your dog can pass over safe areas in the invisible fence while still creating a closed-loop circuit with the wire.

Read More: What Happens if You Don’t Earth an Electric Fence? To complete the circuit, you may need to ground your electric fence. Here’s what you need to know!

How Do I Allow My Dog To Walk Over Invisible Fence Wire?

Dog being trained to an invisible fence barrier
You can use twisted wire to create safe areas for your dog to pass over a buried fence wire and not receive correction.

Now that we have talked about circuits, we can talk about how to allow your dog to walk over specific parts of your Invisible Fence wire. 

So, how do you cancel out parts of underground fence for dogs?

Since the Invisible Fence system uses radio frequencies to transmit to the receiver collar, we can block those radio frequencies by doubling up the wire where we want an inert spot. 

This may sound complex at first but, imagine it as two people trying to throw a ball at the same person.

The two balls, instead of getting to their target, collide in the air and become useless. 

That is of course, the non-scientific way of explaining it. Here you can learn more about electromagnetic interference.

To make sure the frequencies are inhibited, preventing them from triggering the dog’s collar, we can twist the two wires together. 

This scrambles the signal in that area, while still allowing the electrons to complete the circuit.

Twisted wires allow users to cover the perimeter of the yard while cutting out the line where the wires have to go back to the house.

Check out this video to see how to twist the wire during installation as well as splice wires when needed. It’s very simple once you see how it’s done.

How Much Area Can Invisible Fence Cover?

Invisible Fence can cover any size of yard! From about ⅛ of an acre to 5 acres, your yard can be covered by the underground fencing system offered by Invisible Fence. 

This is the main attraction of using a wired invisible fence.

The shape is totally customizable and you can run as much wire as you need to cover your property and keep your dog inside.

If your yard is larger than 5 acres, there is no need to worry: Invisible Fence has a GPS option. You can set your own parameters using satellites. 

Can you move an invisible fence to another part of the yard or take it with you when you move? Yes! Learn more in this complete guide.

Can I Install an Invisible Fence Myself?

Man installing an invisible fence
A wired invisible fence is easy to install, but it takes a bit of time and effort to lay the wire.

If you would prefer to save costs, or not have a professional come and install the Invisible Fence, you can buy an Invisible Fence kit and do it yourself.

There are a few things to remember though. 

You will want to know where any utility lines are to avoid them.

Luckily, your utilities should be buried about a foot down, and the Invisible Fence wire only needs to be buried 1 to 3 inches deep. 

However, sometimes utility wires can interfere with the Invisible Fence cable, possibly making a gap in the containment zone.

It’s important to note that the better care you put into your system the longer it will last.

Another thing to note is that you will need to train your dog on your own if you plan to put in the system yourself.

Read More: Does a Metal Roof Interfere with a Wireless Dog Fence? Find out what features could impact how well your invisible fence works.

Can I Reuse Old Invisible Fence Wire?

If the Invisible Fence wire is buried 3 inches deep, it’s not advised to reuse the wire if you need to move.

You can bring the central transmitter and the receiver collar. The only thing you would need replace is the wire. 

Reusing the transmitter and collar saves a ton of cash.

If you would like to have a wire professionally installed at your new house all you need to do is schedule a new appointment with Invisible Fence. 

Otherwise you can buy new wire, and install the new fence yourself. Your dog will also need to be retrained to understand its new boundaries.

If you know there is old boundary wire on a property you’ve purchased, but the previous owner took the transmitter and collar, you can hook up to the boundary wire and see if it works.

If the transmitter emits a continuous beep when the wires are plugged in, you know there’s a break in the wire somewhere.

It’s probably easier to run new wire than figure out where the old one is broken.

Read More: Do Other Collars Work With Invisible Fence? Here’s what to know if you’re using a previously-installed containment system.


So, does Invisible Fence have to be a closed loop? Yes, but even though Invisible Fences need to have a closed loop there are ways to make certain wires inert.

This allows you to make paths for your dog to enter or leave the containment area. The size of your containment area can be as big as you want or as small as ⅛ of an acre.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to using underground fencing, so there is no reason not to try 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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