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BUYER'S GUIDE: How to Choose and Install a Pet Containment System

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BUYER'S GUIDE:  How to Choose and Install a Pet Containment SystemHow to Choose and Install a <br>Pet Containment System

How to Choose and Install a
Pet Containment System

Your dog needs exercise. Needs space. You enjoy your dog's freedom in roaming your yard, but you have to protect your dog. Cars pass in the street. Your neighbor doesn't enjoy your dog's freedom at all when your dog wanders into his yard. And you want to keep your dog out of your flowerbeds, or swimming pool, or some other area on your property.

Fences are expensive and make your yard less attractive. Instead, you need a pet containment system. A pet containment system creates an invisible barrier that your dog learns not to pass.

Your pet containment system is a safe, humane way to accustom your dog to boundaries, but it won't work without you.

Wired or wireless? | Choosing features | Installation | Training your dog


Wired or Wireless? Which is the Better Dog Fence?

    Wired Pet Containment Systems

    In a wired pet containment system, you bury a wire antenna around the area of enclosure creating a perimeter. A transmitter in your garage generates the perimeter boundary signal and monitors the continuity of the wire. Your dog wears a receiver collar. If he crosses the boundary created by the wire, he receives corrective stimulation by electric current. By negative reinforcement, your dog learns to stay within the perimeter.

    A wired system has the advantage of flexibility. You lay it out to fit your own individual yard. It can be large or small. It can be any shape. You can enclose your yard, then you can enclose areas within your yard, such as a flowerbed or tool shed.

    Wireless Pet Containment Systems

    In a wireless pet containment system, the transmitter creates a circular field. If your dog travels outside the boundary of that field, he receives that electric stimulation. Again, by repetition and training, he learns to stay inside the field.

    A wireless system is easier to install. But it doesn't adapt to the shape of your yard. Say, for example, that you want to reduce the radius of the field to the edge of your front street. You may also wind up restricting your dog's movement to only a portion of your back yard.

    A wireless system is most effective for a home that's centered on your property. But since most people's homes are not so perfectly symmetrical, a wired system is probably best.


Wired or wireless? | Choosing features | Installation | Training your dog


Choosing Features

    Lightning Protection

    Both wired and wireless pet containment systems operate through the generation of electric fields -- wired systems, from the antenna or ground wire; wireless systems, from the transmitter. Because your system is powered by your home's AC current, it can be vulnerable to power surges.

    A surge protector may protect your system from problems emanating from your power company, but it will not protect it from lightning or even a buildup of static electricity in the atmosphere during a storm.

    If your system fails, your dog is free to wander outside the perimeter. We recommend lightning protection to keep your pet and your investment safe.

    Battery Back-up

    If the power to your system's transmitter fails altogether, you need a back-up power source to keep the system operational. We recommend battery back-up as a precaution.

    Audible Line Break Warning

    A wired system operates in a closed loop. If the loop (or wire) breaks, the system fails.

    An audible line break warning clearly alerts you to a problem. To locate the disruption in the ground wire, we recommend an "RF choke" device available at most electronics stores. Once you've installed this device, you can use a simple AM radio to find the problem and fix it.

    We recommend an audible line break warning so that you don't have to depend on your own monitoring of the transmitter.


Wired or wireless? | Choosing features | Installation | Training your dog


Installing Your Pet Containment System

    Wired systems

    Once you've chosen the layout that's right for your property, you'll want to leave the wire aboveground until you've tested the system for gaps.

    Installing the wire below ground is simple. Use a shovel to "slice" open the soil, then place the wire no more than 1-2 inches below the surface. An electric edger is also effective. After installation, just brush the dirt back over the seam.

    Wired pet containment systems must be installed in a loop. The transmitter is placed in your garage and operates on your home's AC current. It joins the loop together. If the loop is broken, the system will not function. We'll troubleshoot problems later in this document.

    Basic Installation -- Front and Back Yard

      This type of boundary set up is probably the easiest and most common installation. The entire lot including your home is enclosed in the loop.

      Twisted Wire is used for the run from the transmitter (in Garage) to the perimeter. Using 2 pieces of single strand boundary wire twisted together produces no boundary. We recommend you twist this wire using an electric drill or something similar. You want approximately 1 twist per inch. Remember as it twists it will draw up, so allow plenty of extra.

      You may cross a paved or concrete drive way by several methods:
    • Run the wire through an existing seam or crack in the drive.
    • Run the wire through an existing drainage pipe under the drive. Caution: Since the wire will be deeper below ground your field width may be narrowed. We recommend you test the system in this area to be certain the collar is receiving a signal.
    • You may cut a concrete or paved drive using a circular saw with a masonry blade. After inserting the wire in the cut fill the cut with heavy caulk or asphalt patch.


    Basic Installation -- Back Yard Only

      This type of boundary set up is very easy to install. The loop is used to enclose a defined area, such as the front or back yard.

      Twisted Wire is used for the run from the transmitter (in Garage) to the perimeter. Using 2 pieces of single strand boundary wire twisted together produces no boundary. We recommend you twist this wire using an electric drill or something similar. You want approximately 1 twist per inch. Remember as it twists it will draw up, so allow plenty of extra.

      This type of installation does not give the dog access to the house.



    Double Loop Installation -- Back Yard Only

      This type of boundary set up produces a double wide field and can be fit to most yards. The double loop is used to define 3 sides of the containment area and the house is used to define the fourth boundary. The 2 wires should be separated by 3-8 feet depending on your field width settings.

      Twisted Wire is used for the run from the transmitter (in Garage) to the perimeter. Using 2 pieces of single strand boundary wire twisted together produces no boundary. We recommend you twist this wire using an electric drill or something similar. You want approximately 1 twist per inch. Remember as it twists it will draw up, so allow plenty of extra.

      We recommend this type of installation for most yards.
    • This type of installation gives the dog access to the house.
    • Can be used to produce a double wide field.
    • Can be fit to most yards. This type of installation does require more wire than a single loop installation.

      Caution: Take care to not create a gap between the fields. We recommend you lay the wire on top of the ground and test the system prior to burying the wire.


    Double Loop Installation -- Back Yard with Pool or Shed

      This type of boundary set up is a variation of the Double Loop Installation. This variation is used to define a containment area as well as deny your dog access to smaller areas, like a pool or tool shed, within the yard. Use Double Strand wire to connect the smaller inner loop to the boundary.

      This type of boundary set up produces a double wide field and can be fit to most yards. The double loop is used to define 3 sides of the containment area and the house is used to define the fourth boundary. The 2 wires should be separated by 3-8 feet depending on your field width settings.

      Twisted Wire is used for the run from the transmitter (in Garage) to the perimeter. Using 2 pieces of single strand boundary wire twisted together produces no boundary. We recommend you twist this wire using an electric drill or something similar. You want approximately 1 twist per inch. Remember as it twists it will draw up, so allow plenty of extra.

      This type of installation gives the dog access to the house.

      Caution: Take care to not create a gap between the fields. We reccommend you lay the wire on top of the ground and test the system prior to burying the wire.


    Double Loop Installation with Existing Fencing - Front and Back Yard

      This type of boundary set up is a variation of the Double Loop Installation. This variation is used where existing fencing defines one or more sides of a yard. Works great if your neighbors have fences on one or more sides of your lot.

      Twisted Wire is used for the run from the transmitter (in Garage) to the perimeter. Using 2 pieces of single strand boundary wire twisted together produces no boundary. We recommend you twist this wire using an electric drill or something similar. You want approximately 1 twist per inch. Remember as it twists it will draw up, so allow plenty of extra.

      You may cross a paved or concrete drive way by several methods:
    • Run the wire through an existing seam or crack in the drive.
    • Run the wire through an existing drainage pipe under the drive. Caution: Since the wire will be deeper below ground your field width may be narrowed. We recommend you test the system in this area to be certain the collar is receiving a signal.
    • You may cut a concrete or paved drive using a circular saw with a masonry blade. After inserting the wire in the cut fill the cut with heavy caulk or asphalt patch.

      Caution: You should avoid placing the wire close to metallic objects such as chain link fences. We recommend you lay the wire out and test the system with the collar prior to burial. You should also check to see if the collar is activate near the fence in other parts of the yard. If this is the case move your boundary wire further away from the fence.

      Take care to not create a gap between the fields.


    Double Loop Installation with Existing Fencing - Back Yard Only

      This type of boundary set up is a variation of the Double Loop Installation. This variation is used where existing fencing defines one or more sides of a yard. Works great if your neighbors have fences on one or more sides of your lot. Use Double Strand wire along the boundary where you have fencing.

      Twisted Wire is used for the run from the transmitter (in Garage) to the perimeter. Using 2 pieces of single strand boundary wire twisted together produces no boundary. We recommend you twist this wire using an electric drill or something similar. You want approximately 1 twist per inch. Remember as it twists it will draw up, so allow plenty of extra.

      This type of installation gives the dog access to the house.

      Caution: You should avoid placing the wire close to metallic objects such as chain link fences. We recommend you lay the wire out and test the system with the collar prior to burial. You should also check to see if the collar is activate near the fence in other parts of the yard. If this is the case move your boundary wire further away from the fence.

      Take care to not create a gap between the fields.


    Gate Blocker Installation

      This type of boundary set up is a variation of the Double Loop Installation. This variation is used to block the dogs access to a gate or other opening in a fence or other boundary. Use Double Strand wire to connect the smaller inner loop to the boundary.

      Twisted Wire is used for the run from the transmitter (in Garage) to the perimeter. Using 2 pieces of single strand boundary wire twisted together produces no boundary. We recommend you twist this wire using an electric drill or something similar. You want approximately 1 twist per inch. Remember as it twists it will draw up, so allow plenty of extra.

      This type of installation gives the dog access to the house.

      Caution: You should avoid placing the wire close to metallic objects such as chain link fences. We recommend you lay the wire out and test the system with the collar prior to burial. You should also check to see if the collar is activate near the fence in other parts of the yard. If this is the case move your boundary wire further away from the fence.

      Take care to not create a gap between the fields. We also recommend that you block the area around the gate and not just the opening.

    • Run the wire through an existing seam or crack in the drive.
    • Run the wire through an existing drainage pipe under the drive. Caution: Since the wire will be deeper below ground your field width may be narrowed. We recommend you test the system in this area to be certain the collar is receiving a signal.
    • You may cut a concrete or paved drive using a circular saw with a masonry blade. After inserting the wire in the cut fill the cut with heavy caulk or asphalt patch.


    Flower Bed Protection

      This type of boundary set up is a variation of the Double Loop Installation. This variation is used to block the dog's access to a particular area in your yard such as flower beds or your garden. This type of installation can be used with existing fencing as well as other containment installations. Use Double Strand wire to connect the smaller inner loop to the boundary. The boundary wire can be buried in front or inside the beds.

      Twisted Wire is used for the run from the transmitter (in Garage) to each bed. Using 2 pieces of single strand boundary wire twisted together produces no boundary. We recommend you twist this wire using an electric drill or something similar. You want approximately 1 twist per inch. Remember as it twists it will draw up, so allow plenty of extra.

      This type of installation gives the dog access to the house.

      Caution: You should avoid placing the wire too close the exterior walls of your home. The field can pass through the wall and your dog could receive a stimulation indoors. We recommend you lay the wire out and test the system with the collar prior to burial. You should also check to see if the collar is activated near interior walls. If this is the case move your boundary wire further away from the wall.

      Take care to not create a gap between the fields. We also recommend that you block the area around the gate and not just the opening.


    Combination Installation

      This installation is based on a real customer's yard. He wanted to enclose his entire piece of property and keep the dogs off of his patio/pool area as well as off his 2 putting greens.

      Twisted Wire is used for the run from the transmitter (in Garage) to the perimeter and to the restricted zones. Using 2 pieces of single strand boundary wire twisted together produces no boundary. We recommend you twist this wire using an electric drill or something similar. You want approximately 1 twist per inch. Remember as it twists it will draw up, so allow plenty of extra.

      Using elements of the single loop as well as the double loop design he was able to define the boundaries exactly as he wanted.



    Wireless Systems

    Wireless System -- Single Transmitter

      Wireless transmitter creates a circular containment zone with adjustable radius to fit your property. The maximum radius varies depending on which wireless system you have. Some systems allow additional transmitters to be added to enlarge the containment area.

      Transmitters must be installed indoors.



    Wireless System -- Multiple Transmitters

      Multiple wireless transmitters create overlapping containment zones. Dog may pass from one zone to another without receiving a correction.

      Wireless transmitter creates a circular containment zone with adjustable radius to fit your property. The maximum radius varies depending on which wireless system you have. Some systems allow additional transmitters to be added to enlarge the containment area.

      Transmitters must be installed indoors.

    Wired or wireless? | Choosing features | Installation | Training your dog


    Training Your Dog to Live in a Pet Containment System

    You can't expect any pet containment system to be effective without training your dog. It's not like a fence. It's invisible. Your dog will be confused. Plus a determined, untrained dog will withstand the stimulation long enough to break free.

    We recommend that your dog be at least six (6) months old and weigh at least ten (10) pounds before you consider a pet containment system. Any younger, and your dog probably will not accept the necessary training. Any smaller, and the receiver collar will not fit snugly.

    If you do not train your dog to live with your pet containment system, he may not go into the yard at all. Or he may find a spot, afraid to move, and sit motionless.

    Your pet containment system is a safe, humane way to discipline your dog, but it won't work without you.


    Learning the containment system's corrective field

    • Let your dog wear the receiver/collar for 3-7 days before activating your pet containment system. He'll get used to the collar. He needs to learn that the perimeter, not the collar, issues corrective stimulation.

    • The receiver collar must be snug against your dog's skin. You may have heard of the "three fingers" rule, where you are able to slip three fingers under your dog's collar to ensure a relaxed fit. A snug collar is safe, comfortable, and necessary for your system to work properly.

    • Do not allow your dog to wear the collar more than 12 hours at a time. Because of the corrective prongs on the underside of the collar, wearing the collar 24 hours a day can lead to skin irritation. When your dog is not wearing the receiver collar, he should be inside your home or kenneled.

    • Use flags to mark the boundaries of the perimeter at first. Your dog will need visual cues to learn. Leave the flags up for 15-30 days.

    • Your dog needs to be on the leash the first time he receives corrective stimulation. Walk your dog on a leash. When he crosses the corrective field, pull him out and issue "sit" and "stay" commands.

    • You direct your dog to appropriate behaviors. He must learn from you.


    Creating the "Invisible Gate"

      You'll need to train your dog to leave the perimeter when you want him to.

    • To do this, pick a spot on the perimeter.
    • Deactivate your pet containment system.
    • Command your dog to "sit" and "stay" in the perimeter at that spot.
    • Cross the perimeter and issue a "come" command. The dog will exit the perimeter without receiving corrective stimulation.
    • Use the same spot every time to let your dog exit the perimeter. This is your "invisible gate."


    Wired or wireless? | Choosing features | Installation | Training your dog