How to Maintain Your Electric Dog Fence

Now that you have made the investment in the freedom and safety for your dog – and you are enjoying the peace of mind of knowing he won’t run away, what do you need to do to make sure your electric dog fence continues to work as effectively as it does now?

The good news is there is little to no real maintenance involved in your new underground fence.  Unlike a physical fence that needs to be stained, weed-eated around, fixed when the gate sags, or replaced when it rots or blows over in a storm; an invisible fence has none of those issues.

Of course, there are a few simple things that will make sure you continue to have safety and peace of mind for years to come.

Maintain the Wire

Your electric dog fence has a relatively thin copper wire buried 1 to 4” deep around the perimeter of your dog’s containment area.  That wire will be easily broken by a shovel, trencher, stump grinder, garden plow, etc.  But, short of a break caused by something physical like that, your wire will remain useful indefinitely.  Proper underground electric dog fence wire will have a coating on top of the copper that is rated for direct burial and can even be buried in water.  As long as the wire is kept out of sunlight – it will never break down (much like the plastic in our landfills).  Awareness of the location of your wire may prevent breaks in the future.  In the event the wire does break – you can repair it yourself or hire a professional to do so.  A professional is not necessary if you can find both ends of the broken wire.  If you can’t, a professional has the electronic equipment to find the exact location of the wire and find the break.  

If you do the repair yourself, be sure to properly waterproof your splices.  Failure to do so can cause an expensive problem down the road.  The reason is a poorly waterproofed splice will eventually corrode.  Even professionals may not be able to find a corroded splice and it may then require a complete rewire of the property.  Breaks are easy to find – corroded splices can be difficult or impossible.  Hint – a properly waterproofed splice does NOT include electrical tape, shrink tubing, silicone, or duct tape.  You must use a splice kit designed specifically for this purpose, or for irrigation system wires.  Derby’s sells these kits and even supplies a free kit for all of its new installations.

Maintain the Collar

Your dog’s collar needs power either from a replaceable battery or it must be kept charged if you have a rechargeable collar.  Many collars will have a low battery warning light, but some do not.  I have always suspected the ones that don’t have a low battery light secretly want people to buy more batteries than necessary.  Those are the companies that want to sell you a battery “plan” and they send you a battery every few months whether you need it or not.  If you don’t have a low battery warning light, you must go out and test your collar at the boundary every single day.  That’s why at Derby’s we use collars that are rechargeable AND have a low battery light.  The rechargeable saves our customers lots of money, and the low battery light tells them when to charge it.

With that said, as with any type of electronic device, things can sometimes develop issues.  In rare circumstances, the wire may be broken or the collar may not be functioning properly.  The ultimate test is to occasionally take your collar to the boundary, hold it down as low as your dog’s neck, and make sure it activates.  We suggest doing this monthly.

Maintain the Wall Unit (Transmitter)

Almost nothing is required on the wall unit.  Just make sure it stays plugged in and is turned on.  There are a few adjustments on the wall unit that should always stay in the same position.  Make sure kids etc. never make any adjustments to the controls.  At Derby’s, we will mark all the settings with a permanent marker so it’s easy to verify things are set correctly.

Maintain the Dog

OK – that probably wasn’t the best heading, but it is consistent with the others.  In order for the system to work, the two metal probes need to be in contact with your dog’s skin, not just the fur.  This means you need to be sure to take the collar off your dog every day for at least 8 hours.  This is usually done at bedtime.  Occasionally check your dog’s skin for irritation.  Some dogs are more sensitive than others, so it’s always good to check the skin on the neck.  Also, some dogs have, or develop, an allergy to the nickel in the stainless steel used on most probes.  If you are a Derby’s Pet Fence customer, we can provide titanium probes that will address this issue in those rare circumstances.


If you are in Louisville, Lexington, Southern Indiana, or any of the surrounding areas, Stephen Baralt is the owner of Derby’s Pet Fence and will be happy to help you with your electronic pet fencing.  We are a local and independent company.  We have a real live person answer our phone 7 days a week!  We give free quotes right over the phone.  In addition to the installation of new electric dog fences, we are happy to service and repair any brand of fencing, regardless of who installed it.  Call or text us at 502-314-7398 / 859-327-7760, or visit our site at  Prefer email?

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