We decided to put in an in ground dog fence because a wooden fence would be too expensive and time consuming to install, we didn’t like the look of chain link fences, and Nala kept running out of the yard to chase cars into the streets and rabbits into neighboring yards.
After looking at options, I decided to go with PetSafe. Originally, we were hoping to install a wireless fence, as the installation is much less time consuming. However, the unit can only be programed to create a circle with the transmitter at the center. This would have meant that based on our front and side yard boundaries, the dogs would not have been able to use much of our yard. What is the point of having over an acre, if the dogs can’t use it?! We ultimately went with an in ground wired fence from the same company.
We laid out the wire around our yard, starting and ending in our garage. We bought an extra wire and flag pack because we didn’t think the 500 feet of boundary wire would be enough. We only used a little bit of the 2nd spool, but we will have extra in case we have a wire break in the future. Next, we plugged in the line to test that the loop was complete and all was good to go. The directions weren’t great as they were not specific to the fence we bought, but after some cursing, internet searching and fiddling, we figured it out.
Our wire loop was testing as complete, so Derek began using a hand edger to create a trench for the wire. Even though the wire only had to be 1-3 inches deep, after completing 20 feet, Derek realized how long this would take. Michelle quickly called Home Depot and found that they had a gas powered edger (see the image above!). While the machine proved to be quite helpful, it was not perfect. Maybe the machine was old or just hadn’t been run in a while, but it would often quit or not want to dig through our rocky soil and thick grass. We ended up using the machine to break the ground, then going back and using the hand edger to create a deeper trench. Michelle followed behind pushing the wire into the trench with a plastic knife because she didn’t want to get her fingernails dirty and the trench really wasn’t wide enough for her fingers to push the wire deep enough. All told we spent 5 hours laying the wire.
After placing the flags 10 feet apart, we leashed up the dogs and walked them around the fence. The collars were only set to tone and not static correction. They didn’t seem to care about the tone and weren’t making the connection to the flags. As we were in a bit of a hurry to be able to leave our dogs outside alone, we didn’t follow the directions at all… We changed the collars to correction mode and let the dogs off their leashes. Both quickly learned that they would get a zap if they ventured to the edge of the property. They also began learning that the tone was a warning that they were getting too close and would receive a zap soon. Derek could’t believe how effective this was! After a few hours in they yard, the dogs still seem a little unsure of where exactly their boundaries are (because they don’t seem to be associating the flags with the boundary), but we are confident that they will quickly pick this up! Now the question is when will we trust them enough to leave them outside while we are gone?