What Type of Wire to Use for an Underground Dog Fence

What Type of Wire to Use for an Underground Dog Fence

Many dog owners opt for underground dog fences to keep their dogs safe and out of harm’s way. If you’re planning to install a wired dog fence, read on to find out what type of wire you should use.

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Electronic pet containment systems are a top choice for dog parents looking to keep their pups safe and protected when playing outdoors. Invisible fence systems offer a lot more benefits in comparison to traditional fences. Besides being more adaptable and reliable, electric fence systems also protect your yard’s natural beauty and landscape.

An electronic fence system includes a fence wire that creates a perimeter boundary. Although this wire can be mounted on the ground, burying it a few inches underground is highly recommended. The fence wire is one of the most crucial components of the system as it carries the radio signal picked up by the receiver collar to keep your dog within the boundary. Therefore, it is more than crucial to pay attention to the type of wire to be used for an underground dog fence.

This guide can help you decide what type of wire to use for an underground dog fence.

Types of Underground Fence Wires

Manufacturer Grade Wire

A manufacturer-grade wire is a part of all DIY dog fence kits. Most standard pet containment kits include medium-quality 20-gauge wires that help keep the shipping and initial costs low. This fence wire typically comes with a vinyl wire coating.

Professional Grade Wire

A professional-grade wire is much costlier than a manufacturer-grade wire. Almost every professional pet fence system includes heavy, high-quality 14 or 16 gauge fence wire with a thick coating. A professional-grade wire is also usually waterproof and weatherproof.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Wire for an Underground Dog Fence

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a wire for an underground dog fence.

Signal Transmission

It goes without saying that a fence wire must have a high signal transmitter. The gauge of the wire doesn’t have much of an impact on signal transmission unless the system is at or near its maximum rated capacity. In this case, a thicker wire can increase the range of the signal transmission.


Many dog parents prefer thicker wires, such as 14 or 16 gauge ones, to bury outdoor, mainly because they feel that they are more durable and have a lesser chance of wire breaks. There is a substantial difference between a 20 gauge and a 14 gauge fence wire.

Most pet fence systems include low-quality 20 gauge wire rather than heavier professional grade fence wire to save costs. Although a 20-gauge fence helps you save costs initially, in most cases, you will have to pay for this initial saving in the form of long-term maintenance and time-consuming repairs.

Apart from its gauge, the durability of a fence wire is also measured by its coating thickness and chemical compound. Vinyl and polyethylene plastic are two main types of chemical compound wire coatings. Most professional systems include 14 or 16-gauge wire with a 45 mL thickness coating, which provides the interior copper with a solid, waterproof layer of protection, making it much more durable than a 20-gauge vinyl coating.

What Type of Wire to Use for Underground Dog Fence

A professional-grade wire is the best type of fence wire for your dog fence. Although its initial cost is much higher than a manufacturer-grade wire, it provides a ton of advantages. Manufacturer-grade wire typically has a vinyl coating that is prone to cracking, which exposes the copper over time, leaving the wire highly susceptible to damage.

Pro-grade fence wires, on the other hand, hold up extremely well under all conditions, including freezing temperatures, sun exposure, water exposure, ground contraction and expansion, and even general wear and tear.

Manufacturer-grade fence wires have very high wear and tear, and since finding and repairing wire breaks can be draining, it is best to settle for a professional-grade wire from the start.