Small white dog with a brown collar carried by a boy inside an in-ground electric dog fence

In-Ground Electric Dog Fences

An in-ground electric dog fence, also known as an invisible dog fence or underground dog fence, is a popular pet containment system that allows dogs to roam freely within a defined boundary while preventing them from leaving the designated area. It consists of a transmitter, underground wires, and a receiver collar for the dog. Here’s how it works and some key considerations:

How it works


The transmitter is typically placed in a garage, basement, or an outdoor location near a power source. It emits a radio signal through a buried wire, creating a virtual boundary for your dog.

Underground Wire

A boundary wire is buried around the perimeter of your yard. This wire carries the signal from the transmitter. You can also create exclusion zones within your yard, like gardens or pools, by running the wire accordingly.

Receiver Collar

Your dog wears a receiver collar that is sensitive to the radio signal emitted by the underground wire. If the dog approaches the boundary, the collar emits a warning beep. If the dog continues toward the boundary, the collar administers a static correction (a mild electric shock) to deter the dog from crossing the boundary.


Training is a critical aspect of using an in-ground electric dog fence. Most systems come with guidelines on how to train your dog to understand the boundaries and the warning signals. Proper training ensures your dog’s safety and prevents anxiety or fear associated with the static correction.


Customizable Boundaries

You can set boundaries specific to your yard, making it ideal for irregularly shaped or large areas.


Unlike traditional above-ground fences, an in-ground electric fence doesn’t obstruct your view and maintains the aesthetics of your yard.


It’s often more cost-effective than physical fences, both in terms of installation and maintenance.



Some people have concerns about the mild static correction that the collar administers. While it’s not harmful, it’s important to choose a system with adjustable correction levels and consult with a professional for guidance.


Proper installation is crucial for the system to work effectively. You may want to hire a professional to install the fence, especially if you have a large or complex yard.


Regularly inspect and maintain the system, including checking the wires, the transmitter, and the dog’s collar, to ensure it works correctly.

Battery Replacement

Collar batteries need to be replaced periodically, so be prepared for ongoing costs.


Ensure that the system is suitable for your dog’s size and temperament, as some systems are not recommended for very small or very large dogs.

In-ground electric dog fences can be an effective way to keep your dog safe and contained within your property while allowing them the freedom to explore. However, it’s essential to approach their use responsibly, with proper training and maintenance to ensure your pet’s safety and well-being.