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Hidden Fence FAQs

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Underground Fences Comparison Chart 
Exercise Pen & Kennel FAQs 
Hidden Fence FAQs 

What exactly is a hidden fence?
Hidden fences are electronic pet containment systems (also called "underground fences"). These effective systems create an electronic boundary around the perimeter of your yard to keep your dog safely within the area you determine.
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How does a hidden fence work?
Hidden fences use either buried wires or radio signals to establish a safe zone for your pet. The receiver on the special containment collar will sound a warning dog as your dog approaches the boundary limits. Should your dog remain near the boundary, or continue moving toward it, the collar receiver delivers a harmless but effective electrical stimulation to the dog via two prongs in the collar. Your dog will soon learn to avoid this stimulation by respecting the boundaries and remaining in the "safe" part of the yard.
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What does the containment collar consist of?
There is a small receiver box on the containment collar that picks up a digitally encoded signal from a transmitter. Containment collars vary in size, and dogs as small as 5 pounds can wear a collar comfortably. Properly fitted, the collar should be snug, allowing enough room for one of your fingers to fit between your dog's neck and the collar. The size and weight of the receiver normally does not cause any distraction or discomfort.
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Will the stimulation harm my dog?
The stimulation your dog feels is totally harmless, but it is unpleasant so your dog avoids it. You can choose the stimulation setting to suit your dog based on his or her personality, breed, disposition and size. After just a few training sessions, most dogs adhere to the warning tone and rarely experience the stimulus.
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Can hidden fences be customized for my yard?
The boundary created by a "buried wire" system can be customized to keep your dog away from areas such as gardens, pools, and driveways. Wireless systems use a radio signal to create a circular safe zone of up to 180 feet in diameter.
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What happens if my dog manages to get outside the boundary of the hidden fence?
This depends on the type of containment system: buried wire or wireless.

Buried wire containment systems create a "signal field" on either side of a boundary wire. Your dog receives stimulation only when he moves into this signal field on either side of the wire. So if your dog manages to get out of his yard, he cannot get back in without receiving stimulation when he re-enters the signal field. (Example: Your dog runs out of the yard and is stimulated while he breaks through the wire's signal field. Once he clears the signal field on the other side of the wire, he no longer receives stimulation.)

Wireless containment systems operate much differently. The entire "safe zone" is a signal field. As long as your dog is inside the signal field, he receives no stimulation. If he ventures out of the signal field, he receives stimulation, and continues to receive stimulation until he re-enters the signal field. (Example: Your dog runs out of the yard and receives stimulation, 30 seconds at a time in 5 minute intervals, until he returns to his yard or until the battery is drained, whichever happens first.)
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What is the difference between water-resistant and waterproof collar receivers?
Water-resistant means the receiver can withstand the effects of rain, snow and other inclement weather. However, it should not be submerged in water, as this may reduce the battery life and cause internal damage to the components.

Waterproof means the component is designed to withstand submersion in water.

NOTE: Always use caution in the rain and inclement weather. Moisture increases the intensity of electrical stimulation.
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Is there training involved? How long will it take for my dog to get the idea?
All hidden fences require thorough training. Training is the most important part. Since no two dogs are alike, your containment system can be tailored to meet your dog's requirements. Using unique, positive training methods, your dog easily learns the new customized boundaries you have designed. Most of our customers have found it takes a surprisingly little amount of time to train their dog to stay in the yard. Expect to provide your dog with 3-4 weeks of consistent, careful training before he is content, safe and secure at home. Remember training time varies with each dog.
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How long do the batteries last?
The life of a collar receiver battery varies depending upon how often your dog "challenges" the containment system. Replaceable collar receiver batteries should last 2-6 months before requiring replacement. Rechargeable collar receiver batteries should last 2-3 weeks before requiring recharging.
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Can I add more collars to my containment system?
Yes, additional collars can be purchased separately. There is no limit as to how many collars can be used with a containment system.
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How old should my dog be before I start him on a containment system?
You can begin flag training a puppy at 4 months or older. Wait to start stimulation training until your puppy is at least 6 months old.
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Can my dog wear his regular collar along with the containment system collar?
Yes, but only if his regular collar contains no metal and his ID tags are plastic. We recommend always keeping a non-metal collar and plastic ID tags on your dog at all times.
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Can my dog wear his containment collar all the time?
No. Make sure your dog does not wear the containment collar for more than 8-12 hours per day. Carefully check his neck everyday for signs of irritation. You can position the collar receiver probes in different positions on his neck to help prevent irritation and soreness.
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Can I change the intensity level of the stimulation?
Yes. Check the owner's manual for detailed directions for your specific containment system.
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How do I install a hidden fence?
Buried wire systems provide more customization and flexibility. Installation consists of cutting a trench with a flat spade, and burying the wire about 3-4 inched below the surface of your lawn. Average sized yards can be installed in one afternoon. Most hidden fence manufacturers include instructional videos and detailed installation manuals. (NOTE: For safety's sake, be sure to contact your local utility companies before digging in your yard.)

Installing wireless containment systems is even easier. Simply plug in the transmitter to establish the signal field. Wireless systems are portable. You can take them with you when moving, or on vacation, etc.
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How do I bury wire underneath my driveway?
If you have an asphalt driveway, you will need to cut a 1/2 inch deep groove across the driveway using a circular saw and masonry blade. Place the wire in the groove and seal with asphalt sealer. If you have a concrete driveway or sidewalk that you need to cross, place the wire in an expansion joint and seal with an outdoors caulk. To cross a gravel driveway, place the wire in an old garden hose or PVC pipe to protect it and bury it at least 3 inches deep.
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How much wire do I need?
All systems come with 500 feet of wire; you may need more, depending upon the size of your yard. Carefully measure the perimeter of the containment area, plus any "pet free" areas inside your yard you wish to wire off, plus the distance to the wall where the transmitter is to be mounted. You need to order this much wire.
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How do I know what range to choose?
Each system lists a range as a guide for you; however, most yards are smaller than the ranges listed. Unless you have a very large yard, choose the best system for the size of your dog first.
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