How to Properly Fit your Dog Fence Collar

The single biggest reason, by far, that dogs escape from their underground fence is that the collar is not properly fitted on the dog.

Whenever Derby’s Pet Fence installs a system, we always fit the collar on the dog and show the owner how to check and make sure it stays that way.  These tips I will share are the same no matter what brand of electric fence you are using.  These tips also apply to any type of e-collar.

The basic concept is this.  There are two metal prongs or posts that must make contact with your dog’s skin.  Notice that they must contact the skin – not just the fur.  A small stimulus will get delivered through the probes when your dog breaches the boundary.  If both of these probes are not touching the skin at the same time, your dog will not receive the correction necessary to keep him safe.

There are many reasons we have run into over the years that have caused the collars not to fit properly after the initial fitting by our technicians.

  • The most common is that a sympathetic family member feels the collar was placed too tightly and is uncomfortable for the dog.  This family member may not have been available when the initial training was done and doesn’t understand the significance of a properly fitting collar.  
  • The dog gains or loses weight.
  • The dog was not groomed when initially fitted for the collar.
  • The dog just has too much fur for the metal prongs to reach the skin.  In this case, you must shave a portion of the neck (at the bottom) to make the contact possible.  There are also different length probes that can be used to accommodate different fur lengths, but there is no substitute for a shaved neck with certain long-haired breeds.  Even shorter haired breeds sometimes benefit from a shave if they tend to get a thick undercoat (Labrador Retrievers for instance).  
  • The excess fabric in the strap is not tucked into the retaining ring. (see picture).  This ring keeps the collar from getting loose.
  • Complacency – perhaps the collar has been too loose for several weeks or months and the dog has been staying in the yard.  This “loose” fitting collar then becomes what is considered normal.  While some dogs will stay in the yard for a while with a collar that doesn’t fit well, eventually all dogs will figure it out at some point and realize they can leave without repercussion.  Some dogs figure it out in minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months.  The problem is, you don’t know which dog you have until it is too late.  It is always our recommendation that your dog have a properly fitted and functioning collar every time they are outside.

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 installation of new 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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