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Electric Dog Fence Basics

Although there are many different types of electric dog fence systems, they all work on basically the same principles. Each system is comprised of a transmitter or control box, perimeter wire, and a receiver collar. The transmitter box controls the signal to the perimeter wire and communicates with the collar to issue warnings and corrections when your dog gets too close to the wire.

The transmitter box, wire, and receiver collar are the 3 basic components of any containment system but differences and features like correction level, signal field width, and maximum area vary greatly from system to system. View our handy comparison chart for a quick view of our dog fence systems.

Transmitter Box:

Generally installed within your home or garage, it is the control center for the fence. The transmitter box not only sends the signal out through the perimeter wire but also alerts you when there is a problem such as a wire break. The control box also determines the width of the boundary zone and in some systems the correction level of the collar(s).


boundary wire dog fence


Boundary Wire 

Connected to the transmitter, the boundary wire creates a perimeter or boundary line that your dog will learn not to cross. There are an infinite number of configurations possible with in-ground wire electric dog fencing. 

For more information on possible layouts please see our Planning and Layouts.



dog fence receiver collar


Receiver Collar

Worn by the dog(s), the collar receives the signal transmitted from the wire. Depending on your system, the receiver collar may issue an audible tone, vibration, static shock stimulation, or a combination of the above. When your dog approaches the ‘warning zone’ the collar will beep or vibrate to let the dog know that she needs to back up. If she continues into the boundary zone she’ll receive the static shock correction.

How and Why Electric Dog Fences Work

Electric dog fencing works on the principle of operate conditioning. This form of learning - famously studied by B.F Skinner in the mid 1900’s, centers around the modification of behavior by way of consequences. The most important part of installing your electric dog fence is training your dog. When your dog approaches the perimeter he’ll receive a warning tone or vibration. At first this may not mean much to the dog. If he continues toward the boundary he’ll receive a harmless but startling static correction. As your dog learns the placement of the perimeter he’ll also learn to associate the warning with the correction that will follow. Through this process of action and consequence he will learn to heed the initial warning and remain safely within the boundaries to avoid the unpleasant experience of the correction. The training can be completely quite quickly as long as you are consistent and persistent in the training. Most dog-owners are able to achieve their desired results within two weeks with three 15-minute training sessions each day.


To make sure these systems will work for you check this out!

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