No Free Horses!

No Free Horses!
Shiloh - a rescued horse (date was 7/14)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Underground Dog Fence

I lost one of my treasured dogs to a speeding truck and trailer a few years ago . . . right out in the road in front of the house . . . thankfully, the vet was here giving rabies shots and vaccinations to the horses.  He and I both saw it happen . . . and he was here to help put my beloved Springer, Percy, down.

Since that time, I decided I would be a responsible dog owner and get an underground dog fence to do my best to protect my canine treasures . . . at this time, a Black and Tan Coonhound, a Black LabX, and an Aussie/BorderX . . . all rescue dogs and special to me.

Three years ago, I ordered the underground fencing online. 

"No need to bury the wire . . . just stake it on top of the ground . . . "

I thought to myself, "This will be easy!  I won't have to drive fenceposts or BUILD a fence!  How great is that??!!"

When the fencing arrived by UPS, I eagerly opened the box containing an electric charger, battery-powered dog collars, insulated wire, waterproof connectors, metal stakes, and little white flags to provide a visual boundary for the dogs until they memorize where the fence is located.

As I turned to the direction booklet, my heart sunk . . .
"For best results, bury the wire 2-3 inches below the surface . . . "  WHAT????????????????

So, for the next two weeks, I spent many hours on my hands and knees . . . crawling around the perimeter of the yard . . . slicing the lawn with a hatchet . . . and burying the thin, insulated wire beneath the ground . . . through garden hose under the driveways . . . carefully using the waterproof connectors whenever necessary . . .

and I spent another two weeks training the dogs to the fence . . .

and when it works, it's FABULOUS . . .
but when it doesn't work . . . (sigh) . . . The dogs eventually figure it out, and I have to go hunt for them . . . and usually can't find them but have to wait for them to wander home hours later . . .

and the times it has decided NOT to work have always coincided with RAIN . . .

and I have to go dig up the connectors and try to figure out why the fence isn't working . . .

I have fixed the fence many times over the past 3 years . . . About 3 weeks ago, the fence stopped working again (the charger sends out a shrill squeal when it shorts out) . . . and the dogs figured it out this week . . . So I have had to go look for them 3 times in the past week . . . and it's just too hard to keep an eye on them when I'm doing chores or working in the field . . . So . . . Today, I put the boys (they are the ones who wander) in the big kennel and determined to fix the fence.

Bad boys

 I got the pickax and started hunting for the wire and the connectors . . .

(sigh) . . . lots of yard to dig through

I think moles do a much better job.

I replaced some connectors

And after digging and splicing and connecting and checking and digging some more and putting on more new connectors . . .

I tried and tried . . . and the fence doesn't work . . . (sigh) . . . (is there an electrician in the house?) . . . and I may just have to buy new metal stakes and run all new wire (this time on TOP of the ground) . . .

When underground dog fence works, it's FABULOUS . . . (sigh) . . .


  1. OMG, as I read your first sentence my heart plummeted, until I read "...a few years ago...". I thought one of the dogs had gotten hit after I left today!!! I'm sorry you can't find the short, how terribly frustrating that must be. :-(

  2. Yep . . . it's frustrating . . . and it wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the HOUND . . . He just follows his nose and doesn't think twice . . . The lab will look up and come back when I call (if I see him heading off) . . . but that darned Hound . . . lol . . . he just wags his tail when he hears my voice and keeps his nose to the ground and keeps on going . . . lol

  3. We just installed an underground fence this year. We have a border collie/lab cross and keeping her tied to a lead line or on a leash wasn't fun for any of us! In fact, our first trip out to start burying the wire, was almost a fiasco. We had the pup out free while we were working. I kept an eye out for her, every few minutes, at one point I couldn't see her until I looked out onto the road and there she was straddling the yellow line. Yikes! I froze, I could barely get any words out at all. Once I did, it was a big game of chase to get her to come and be put back on her line. We were definitely ready for the fence by that time!

    It is an awful chore, I wish I could say I helped with all of it, but a family friend finished it off in my place. I remember driving up to the house and seeing him do a little 'tap' dance to push the turf back down. I've never felt so relieved! Some country girl huh?

    Nice to meet you; I found you by way of Oz Girl!

    Be well ~Andrea~

  4. In fact, our first trip out to start click here button burying the wire, was almost a fiasco. We had the pup out free while we were working.


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