Country living, DIY, & a Dash of Fun!

DIY Animal Electric Fence / Hot Wire

 

DIY Animal Electric Fence / Hot Wire

 

Ok I promised some of  you I would post a tutorial about this…

Although this method works for all destructive , escape-driven animals (dogs/horses/cows/etc), I get the most questions from frustrated dog owners on how to control their out-of-control pups….so lets talk about that for a bit.

I know how frustrating it is to have  a dog that no matter how many holes you plug in the fence, they always seem to find another way out.  When nothing else works and you are about to get rid of the dog, try this first!  It’s worked for me 100% on the hundreds of hard-to-contain foster dogs that I’ve cared for.

I was a foster parent for a no-kill shelter for 10 years and was THE ONE they called when they had a fence jumper, fence climber, or just plain ATE through the fence to escape.  I had it figured out how to stop this behavior once and for all and these homeless dogs were able to be rehabilitated from escaping, and were eventually adopted out to wonderful, permanent homes.

It’s called an electric fence, or ‘hot wire’.  Unfortunately where I live, if your dog escapes, it’s legal for anyone to shoot him/her if the dog wanders onto their property…that is if the dog doesn’t get eaten by coyotes or gets hit by a car first.  Needless to say, I had to figure a way to contain my much loved, hard-to-contain dogs.  This method saves dog’s lives by keeping them in the yard, teaching them how to respect the fence that was put up to contain them in the first place.

Before I put up the hot wire, ‘Chilidog’ was escaping daily, causing mischief in the neighborhood.  I was afraid that he would eventually be shot or get hit by a car.  As you can see in the pic above, Chilidog shows no fear of the hot wire.  He has learned to respect it and calmly walks along the fence leaving a respectful distance between him and the wire.

DIY Animal Electric Fence / Hot Wire – Tutorial

Tools: 

  • Gloves
  • Mallet
  • Screw Driver and Bits
  • Insulated Pliers

Supplies:

  • (1) Roll of Hot Wire – I get the poly string because it stretches tight, looks nicer, and seems to hold up better, but you can also purchase some simple aluminum hot wire  and skip all the splicing.  Simply twist the wires together when connecting and you’re good.  Get enough to stretch the perimeter of your fence.
  • (3) 4-5ft Metal Grounding Stakes (also called grounding rods) – These stakes will be pounded into the ground for your “ground” (To save money, I’ve been known to use rebar for grounding stakes). 
  • (3) Hose Clamps – (1 for each metal grounding stake).
  • 4 ft. of Electricity Conducting Wire. (The wire will connect from one grounding stake to the next)
  • Hot Wire Tester
  • Electric Fence Insulators – Insulators are what you use to string up your hot wire with.  I talk about different types of insulators and the best ones to use below in my tutorial.
  • (1) Electric Fence Box-You can purchase one at any hardware store or you can get one HERE.

 

Instructions:

Setting Up the Electric Fence Box: 

First, locate where you want to put your electric fence box.  I bought an electric weather-proof box that can be left out in the elements (You can tell mine has been outside for quite awhile).

Next, to secure it to the fence, I just screwed it onto a piece of wood and wired the wood to my wire fencing (where there was already a sturdy metal post for support).  Easy!

Note: If you have a wooden post, you can drill some screws into it and attach it that way. 

Adding Grounding Stakes (Ground Rods):

You will need to “ground” your wire, for the Fence to work. If you don’t have a good ground, your fence will not work, even if it is plugged in.   

First, pound the 5ft grounding stakes into the ground next to the electric fence box.  Each stake should be at least 1-1/2ft apart from each other and should stick out of the ground a few inches so you can attach the wire to each of them. 

 

A closer view of the grounding stakes. 

Attaching Electric Wire to the Grounding Stakes:

First, start with the farthest grounding stake (3rd stake from post) and wrap a good electricity-conducting wire around the top of the stake a couple of times, and secure it tightly with a hose clamp. 

Continue stringing the wire from one stake to the next, wrapping it twice around each stake and securing it with each of the hose clamps. 

Note: Make sure each wire is wrapped around and secured tightly to each stake using the hose clamps in order to get a good ground.

Here, you can see a closeup of the hose clamp holding the wire securely to the grounding post.

Connecting the Ground Wire to the Electric Fence Box:

Now it is time to connect the remaining wire, from the closest stake, to the electric fence box.

On the fence box, you’ll find two knobs.  The one on the left is usually the grounding knob and the one on the right is usually the hot wire fence knob.  If you are not sure which is which on your electric box, check your manual.

 

Make sure to tighten the wire onto the grounding knob on the left by wrapping it around the knob a couple of times and tightening it down.  

This is what it should all look like.

 

Adding Insulators:

There are a million different types of insulators.  The first two listed below (Metal Round Nail Stakes (18 inch) and the Porcelain ones) are the ones you’ll see that I used in my tutorial.  The rest listed are a few other kinds of insulators that I didn’t include in my tutorial, but I’ve successfully used in the past:

Metal Round Nail Stakes (18 inch) – (Found HERE )- This is what I used in the tutorial because they were just laying around, and so I wrapped a couple pieces of an old garden hose around the tops to insulate them.

Pros:

    • You can place the stake any distance you want from the fence.  I prefer a 5-6 inch distance from fence.
    • Good for all fences except T-post fences
    • Great to use for dogs

Cons:

    • You have to insulate each one with a couple pieces of garden hose. 
    • Can’t be used up high on the fence, as you would want to do for horses and livestock

Porcelain – (Found HERE) – (I also used these in the tutorial)

Pros:

    • You don’t have to wrap the wire around each insulator like you do a stake, you simply run the wire through the holes of each until you tie it off at the last insulator. Fast and easy to string the wire.
    • They easily screw into wood fencing.
    • They look clean and crisp and there are no posts in the ground holding wire.
    • Perfect for wooden fences and gates
    • You can use them up high or down low on your fence.

Cons:

    • I prefer my wire to be strung 5-6 inches from the fence, and porcelain holds the wire about 3 inches out from the fence. This makes it easier for an animal to bump the wire and short it out.

T-Post Fence (5 inch) Insulator – (Found HERE)

    • You can get them in my preferred 5-6 inch length
    • They look clean and crisp and there are no posts in the ground holding wire except the T-post
    • You can use them up high or down low on your fence.

Chain Link and No-climb Wire Insulators –  (Found HERE and HERE)

    • Can purchase in a couple different sizes
    • They look clean and crisp and there are no posts in the ground holding wire.
    • You can use them up high or down low on your fence.

Wooden Post Nail-On Insulator – (Found HERE)

    • They easily nail into wood fencing and gates.
    • They look clean and crisp and there are no posts in the ground holding wire.
    • You can get them in my preferred 5-6 inch length
    • You can use them up high or down low on your fence.

DIY Homemade Insulators:

Here’s a homemade insulator that I made out of a Metal Round Nail Stake (18 inch) and some old garden hose.

To make my own homemade insulators, I just cut off some lengths of old garden hose (split lengthwise) and wrapped the hose around the top of the stake.  Make sure the hose completely covers all the way around the stake.  Use two strips to overlap if needed.  The hot wire will short out if it touches the stake and the hose prevents this by acting as an insulator when the hot wire is wrapped around the stake. Shown below:

 

 

Stringing the Hot wire:

When you string the hot wire for dogs, you will want the wire about 6-10in above the ground so set your insulators accordingly to height.  For larger animals like horses, set the insulators higher up on fence.

Decide where your hot wire will run and place your insulators about 10-20ft apart from each other.

Now it’s time to connect the main line hot wire to the hot wire box. 

 

Splicing the Hot Wire to the Box:

You’ll do this by splicing the wire.

If you bought aluminum hot wire  all you need to do is twist wires together to splice (but don’t twist too much as the wire will break.  If you bought the poly string (which I prefer), find the the end and make sure it’s a clean cut (you can trim it with scissors).

Start by unraveling the three main twisted nylon parts of the wire

You will notice tiny wires running through each of the three main nylon parts of the hot wire.  Separate these tiny wires from each nylon part and twist them together to keep them tidy and out of the way

Clip the nylon part away with scissors

Now twist all three clumps of wires together

Remember, there are two knobs on the electric box.  One is the ground wire and one is the hot wire knob.  Wrap the wires around the hot wire knob.

Twist securely.

Now that your hot wire is attached to the box, it’s time to string it all up!  I started by putting an insulator right by the box. 

I wrapped the hot wire around the top of the insulator a couple of times and then strung it along to the right (out of the pic) to the next insulator. 

Continue stretching the wire from one insulator to the next

 

Wherever your hot wire ends, cut your wire an extra foot longer so you can wrap the end of the hot wire around the insulator a few times and just tie it off!  It’s ok to end it on the same insulator as the one you started with (as mine did).  It’s also ok if the beginning wire and ending wire touch each other.

Splicing Wires Together:

There will be times when you’ll need to connect two pieces of hot wire together.  Splicing two or more ends of hot wire together is VERY similar as to when we spliced the hot wire to the box.  Separate the tiny wires and cut away the nylon just like before (the pics only show two hot wires being spliced together but this can be done the same way with three or more also)

Twist the two groups of wires together for a good connection

Tie itself into a knot

Wrap the metal wires around one end of the string to keep it tidy

Fill in any holes along the fence that your dog or other animal has been digging or pushing through to escape.

It’s time to plug er’ in and see how it works!  Make sure to use the electric fence tester to make sure hot wire is working.

Note: Make sure to keep grass and weeds trimmed so they don’t touch the wire and short it out

Horses usually learn quickly and only need to be reprimanded by the hot wire once or twice before learning to respect it.  Dogs that are used to escaping may take 1-4 times of trying to go under or scrambling over the fence and letting the fence reprimand them before they finally get the idea to respect it.

Installation of Electric Fence on Gates:

If you’ve put up your hot wire around the main yard it won’t take long for your ‘determined to find a way out’ pup to figure out that although the surrounding fence may be inescapable, but the gate is not!  Since the gate has no hot wire on it, soon your dog will be climbing over, digging under, or chewing through the gate and getting out again, but we are one step ahead of them!

This also goes for horses, or any other animal that could destroy your gate. Remember to raise the height of the hot wire on fence and gate for taller animals!  

This is how it works.  The main hot wire runs underground while the gate hot wire stays with the gate.

Note: When planning on hot wiring your gate, make sure gate will swing open TOWARDS the same side as the hot wire, not away.

 

Here is what it looks like when the gate opens.  The gate hot wire ends at the gate, but the main line hot wire continues underground to the other side of the gate.

 

Since I have a wood gate I used these porcelain insulators that screw nicely into wood.

 

Run your hot wire along the fence until you come to the gate.  Attach an insulator on each lower corner of the gate, and also each outer post of the gate.

 

Dig a trench 6-12 inches deep) right underneath where the gate hangs.  With an old garden hose , cut a piece the same width as the gate plus another 3 feet extra.  Place the hose in the open trench that has been dug.

 

String the end of the hot wire through one end of the hose and out the other end. 

 

 

Fill the trench in with dirt, covering the hose and leaving both ends of the hose sticking out of the ground.

 

To attach a gate hot wire, measure a new piece of hot wire the same length of distance from the insulator that is on the post that the gate is hung on, all the way to the insulator on the lower far corner of the gate.  Now ad 4 inches to that measurement and cut.

 

Splice the gate hot wire to the main line hot wire that was threaded through the hose (You’ll have to cut the main line hot wire where you’ll be splicing it to the gate hot wire). 

 

After splicing, string the gate hot wire through the insulator on the gate post that the gate is mounted on, and then through the next two insulators on the gate.

Note: Secure the gate wire to each insulator by tying a double knot

 

The gate wire ends and is tied off at the ‘swinging side’ of the gate.  The main hot wire that was strung through the hose comes out on the other side of the gate.  Make sure to also tie it off to the insulator (that’s on the post on the other side of the gate), before continuing along the fence.

 

Note: To keep water out of the hose, you can add silicone calking to seal the opening of each hose end.  OR just leave as is and after a good storm, just blow into one end and water shoots out the other!….but first turn OFF THE HOT WIRE!!!

Your gate should open nicely now with the hot wire attached!

 

Adding Hot Wire to Chicken Coop

Ok so how about Fido trying to get at your chickens?…or rabbits?…or anything else they shouldn’t be sticking their nose into?  No problem!  Here is what I did for our chicken coop:

On the left side of the pic you can see a red electric fence handle that can easily be spliced to the hot wire so you can have access to the chicken coop

 

Here’s a closer look of the red handle, the insulator, and the hot wire. 

 

I twisted some electricity-conducting wire around the insulator and made two loops on both sides of the insulator.  One loop is used to hook the red handle to, and the other loop is used to splice your continuing hot wire to.

 

You’re handle should be easily unhooked to gain access to the chicken coop.

And that’s it!


Animal Electric Fence / Hot Wire

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67 Comments

  1. Mark

    Awesome Tutorial. Thank you for taking the time to put it together with all the pics.

    • Tee

      I’m glad it was useful for you Mark! Life is SOOO much easier once you get the fence up and working and your pets are finally under control! LOL 😉

  2. Kaylynn

    Hello! Will this work if the dog’s feet are not “grounded” while they touch the wire? We have a 6+ ft cinder block fence that our neighbor’s dog is trying to jump, but she is completely off of the ground when she could come into contact with the wire on top of the cinder block wall.

    • Tee

      Hi Kaylynn,

      Good question! I’m assuming the dog probably jumps up, grabs the top of the fence with it’s front feet, then pulls itself up the rest of the way with it’s back feet. As long as the dog touches the wire while it’s touching the wall, it will shock him. So you might put the wire as close to his side of the wall as possible so when he pulls himself up, he runs right into the wire.

  3. Danielle

    We live in Nevada and get some pretty good gusts of wind and it is rather common to have fences blow over, which happened to us last night. Our dog got out last night, fence blew down while I was at work. Fortunately he stayed close (surprised me, he is a 9mo puppy). I don’t want to put electric wire on the fence because if it blows down, there goes my electric fence too. I purchased 24″ wood stakes and am planning on pounding those into the ground and attaching fence post insulators to hold the hot wire. Funds are tight seeing as how we have to replace a good 25ft of fencing. Do you see any problems arising with that method? I have had a bad experience with using the wireless pet containment system in the past so that would be a last resort for us.

    • Tee

      Hi Danielle!
      I think your method would work just fine with wooden stakes! So glad to hear your pup stuck around after the fence blew down, SCARY!

  4. David

    What about for diggers? We have a fence up with a gap of maybe 8″ from the ground to the electric fence, keeps the bigger dog out but a neighbors dog is smaller and goes under. Need a fix.

    • Tee

      Hi David,
      You could run a second string of hot wire lower to the ground to keep the smaller dog from going under.

      • David

        Well we have a 3 hot wire fence and some places have a clearing of up to 11″! We might just rock it or brick. Or maybe even chicken wire it.

        • Tee

          LOL…Yeah, if the hot wire is too far away from were the dogs slip through the fence then it won’t shock them. Good idea…Rock, brick, or chicken wire works well because they cant’ dig into the ground to make larger holes to slip through.

  5. Susan

    Would something like this work for the top of a block wall to keep squirrels from getting into our fruit trees? They knock all the fruit down before its ripe so we end up with none. So frustrating!!

    • Tee

      That’s a good question Susan! I haven’t personally ever tried it with squirrels, but I’d think it would be worth a try! Let me know what happens!

  6. Paige

    Hi Tee.

    We just installed this wire fence system and apparently my dogs have been shocked. We set it up just before we had to leave out of town because they were constantly digging their way out. The problem we have now is they are terrified to go out in the yard. I really did not realize until I returned from the weekend away. I took them on their daily walk on Monday afternoon (late) and they both made 4-5 poops each. I didn’t think anything of it until the next day I went to scoop the poop and there wasn’t any. (BTW, pet-sitter walked them twice a day whilst we were gone). Then I realized they had been staying in the house all day and only going to the bathroom on their daily walk. Today we had our first ever pee in the house accident.

    Do you have any instruction to de-traumatize them? I have been trying to take them out there on a leash, and they tug and pull against it. And they are just terrified when out there, looking around like something is about to get them. I’ve tried shutting their doggie door so they can’t come inside and my dog is screeching her head off to get back in the house!

    Please let me know what I can do. These two dogs are normally never scared of anything – fireworks, thunder/lightning, nothing. Now I’m so worried about how traumatized they are.

    Any suggestions welcome. Thank you.

    Paige

    • Tee

      Hi Paige!
      No worries, this is normal for lots of dogs. They just haven’t figured out that it’s the actual fence that’s shocking them…right now they think that just being in the yard will shock them. The only way they’ll get used to being in the yard is spending lots of time in it. When I’m working with new dogs that are having a hard time adapting to the new hot wire, I usually plan a day or two of working in the yard to keep an eye on them. Usually the new dog will hide under the porch or by the door all day while I’m out there working and that’s OK. I basically just let them be and don’t force them out as they will start to venture out on their own time. I’ve worked with hundreds of dogs with this and they have ALL adapted to the hot wire. Sometimes it takes a good 3 or 4 days (& sometimes a week) for them to start getting the idea but they won’t get better if they don’t spend lots of time outside. If you don’t have time to be outside with them, that’s OK too…lock them out for at least a couple hours a day (the longer they spend outside, the faster they get the idea) I know it’s hard to see them scared but I promise they will realize the yard is not a scary place…and it’s only the fence line that they have to avoid. Do this and you’ll be so glad you stuck to it. Try giving them treats (if they are interested) when they are outside so they start to associate getting rewarded for going out. Hope that helps!

      • Paige

        Thank you so much for your prompt response. I have been trying that, so I will continue and give them more time. I know my husband was happy I mowed the lawn this week so I could be out there with them! Thanks and I’ll let you know how it goes.

  7. Rebar is a bad choice for ground rod. Steel + moisture= rust. Rust + Electricity= poor conduction.

  8. Mark

    My question is can I put my electric box next to my house (so as to use the outside outlet to plug into) and run the ground wire next to the house and the Hotwire across my property 120 feet away? Perhaps running Hotwire underground in conduit?

    • Tee

      Hi Mark,

      That’s a good question…I’ll bet if you called an electrician they would be able to tell you. If you find out let me know!

  9. Virginia

    I have a chainlink fence and a pit bull.he was going under it.is fixed that but now he’s going over it and been into 3 fights.I was wanting to put a hot wire or 2 along the top. Can it be done and how and what will I need please

    • Tee

      Hi Virginia, Yes this is possible. I would definitely put a hotwire along the bottom and top of the fence. All the tools and equipment that you will need are listed in my post. First I would run the hotwire along the whole bottom perimeter of the fence using hotwire insulators (I explain about these in my post). Once you’ve run the wire all the way around the bottom, continue to run the line up high around the top, securing it with more insulators that I just mentioned about. There is a pic in my post showing examples of the hotwire at the top and bottom of the fence. Once your dog gets reprimanded a couple times by the hotwire, he will definitely respect the fence and keep a safe distance from it 😉

  10. Karla

    Hello, for those of you whose dog(s) are afraid to go into the yard after getting shocked, I’ve always had success walking them near the fence and saying “Owie-Owie”. Then I walk them away and go back and say the same thing several times. Then I let them off the leash and let them go near it by themselves and say the same thing. Of course, they may go out alone and get shocked, but they learn fast. All I have to tell mine now is “Owie-Owie” when they are loose and I’m walking off the property alone. They stay inside the fence even though I open the gates. I have German Shepherds and they used to scoot underneath the 4 board horse fence.

  11. Ellen

    Can I zip tie the charger directly to my chain link fence instead of drilling holes in my house siding to hang it?

    • Tee

      Hi Ellen,

      Yep, zip ties would work just fine ! 🙂

      • Angel

        For some reason our hot wire fence is not working, we’ve had multiple people with experience take a look at it and nobody can figure out what the issue is.
        My dogs dig out everyday. We used the galvanized grounding rod, and the aluminum wire. We have one grounding rod ( is this the reason why we’re not getting the connection we need?)
        Because nothing we do seems to work.

        • Tee

          Hi Angel,
          Hmmm…yes, I would add a couple more grounding rods, as you may not be getting a strong enough ground to run electricity through the wire. Good luck!

  12. Rachel

    I’m considering trying to make a “mini” hotwire. There’s a product called “scatmat” that makes a fabric strip you can lay on your counter and when touched it shocks the offending counter surfer. But they charge about $50 for it. Would you have any tips or ideas on how to make a small hotwire to string across the counter edge? Even if it’s powered by a small battery? My main problem is I’m electrically inept. I have no clue where to start. Thanks

    • Tee

      Hi Rachel,

      Hmm, I’ve never really tried the whole electric fence IN THE HOUSE although I do use the scatmats ALL the time. (you can read my post about my scatmats HERE The reason I chose scatmats over electric fence for in the house is because I can remove them in an instant if I want to use the space that the scatmats were placed on. A hotwire is more permanent and time consuming to set up and take down. But if you did decide to go this route, you would have to somehow secure some insulators to string the hotwire along the countertop or wherever you want your pet deterred. Also, to set up a complete hotwire, you will be spending around $80-$100 so it might just be easier to get a couple of scat mats that equal that price…unless you needed to deter your pet from a very large area…just a thought 😉

  13. RBK

    I appreciate the tutorial and I bought all the stuff you recommended by clicking the links you made to Amazon. But now I’m realizing that although the link you made for electricity conducting wire takes you to a spool of Fi-Shock aluminum wire, you say later in the instructions that aluminum won’t work. Am I correct or is it just a misprint?

    • Tee

      Hey there! It was definitely a typo which I have since fixed…thank you so much for the heads up! The wire you bought will work just fine as I use it myself for my hotwire 😉

  14. Carl kukol

    Our fence shares another property. If I install hot wire on my side of the fence will my neighbors on the other side feel any effects of the hot wire on their side?

    • Tee

      Hi Carl!

      Nope, they shouldn’t feel any effects unless they physically walk over and put their arm on your side of the fence and touch the wire. I’ve always shared a fence with my neighbors and have never had a problem. Hope that helps!

  15. Tee

    Hi Laura,

    There is a link right above that pic of the gate that leads you to Part 2 of the post (How To Put Up Electric Fence/Hot Wire For Dogs, Horses, Animals (Part 2) Gates, rabbit/chicken coops)

  16. Katie

    This has been a wonderful resource… I have a young black and tan coonhound who is incredibly hunting driven and digs out of our fence constantly. I am considering hotwiring the bottom, but my concern is with my smaller dogs, 2 dachshunds and a chihuahua. I am terrified they will be hurt by the shock which they are bound to experience at some point. I plan to place marking flags all along the line so they will learn but I am concerned for the little ones safety. I am looking at the charger designed for dogs, chickens and rabbits. What is your opinion on the smaller dogs and do you think marking flags help them learn faster?

    • Tee

      Hi Katie!

      Good question! Luckily I have a good answer for you 😉

      For dogs I prefer to use Fido Shock, which (unlike stronger livestock shockers), only gives out a shock strong enough for dogs. Through the years I’ve fostered and boarded hundreds of dogs in my home (including toy breeds) and have never had any issue with their safety. I’ve also never had a need to use the flags…they learn really quick what ‘bites’ them when they get too close to the fence and after a time or two will usually stay away. Hope that helps!

  17. Ava

    I need to wire just one fence to keep my horses from ruining the fence to get grass on the other side. How do I make a complete circuit back to my solar box when I’m not running the wire full circle on the perimeter of the entire fenced area. I only need it on one side?

    • Tee

      Hi Ava.
      You actually don’t need to run the wire in a full circle when using hot wire. Simply connect the wire to the hot wire box and run the wire as far (or short) as you want. I actually have a section on my fence that I have a hot wire box, and the hot wire that’s connected to it runs in a straight line down to the end of the fence (no circle)

      • Debi Brand

        With respect to the “one side” only needed issue, the side I need to make hot is the west side of our enclosed yard. But how does one get power to it, short of having to run an extension cord to it from the house–not what I would want to do?

        • Tee

          Hi Debi!

          You can use a solar powered hot wire box in which you wouldn’t need an extension cord. Amazon has a good one HERE. Hope that helps!

    • Debi Brand

      Second post attempted here: I also need to run a wire on one side only. What works best for power absent a plug in?

      • Tee

        Hi Debi,

        Sorry for the late response, your comment somehow slipped through and I didn’t see it till now 🙂 They do sell solar powered hot wire boxes that work well. You can purchase one HERE
        Hope that helps!

  18. Hi, I have a jumper that’s clearing 1.4 meters easy. I also have a toddler I don’t want to shock. Do you think a top line will work and do they eventually just stop jumping? My dog is driving me mad! She jumps and chases my chickens and pulls all my washing of the line. Not to mention is she gets past the next fence the farmer may shoot her… I’m almost thinking of rehoming 🙁 I’ve tried a shock collar and she now just ignores it and jumps faster… desperate

    • Tee

      Hi Chery,
      Yes, a line running along the top will work! I used to have a dog that jumped my fence so I ran a line up top, including along the top of the gate(I had to duck under the line every time I went through the gate LOL) It worked though, she never jumped it again!

  19. Debi

    I also need to make hot just one wire (at least for starters…), what is reliable power source short of a plug in?

  20. Laurie

    I’m thinking of adding a “hot fence” onto my picket fence for my golden retriever who knocks boards out easily and runs away. He pushes the fence at a low point, so I would want the wire low. But what happens when we get a foot of snow and the wire is covered? I know nothing about electricity, obviously. Thanks for your tutorial, it’s great.

    • Tee

      Good question! You will have to shovel the snow away from the wire when it gets high enough to touch, otherwise the wire will ground it out and it won’t work. It’s the same thing with weeds.
      When my hotwire starts getting to where it isn’t working like normal, I walk along the line and usually find a large weed touching it somewhere. I simply remove the weed and the wire will work again, hope that helps!

  21. Courtney

    What happens when your dog pees on a low hot wire – pulsated at a level recommended for dogs. I’m worried it’ll kill them. I can’t find reliable information online. Many say it just shocks them. Others say it can kill them. Have you had experience with this?

    I’m thinking about just installing a higher wire for my fence jumper and being done with it.

    • Tee

      Hi Courtney!

      Good question! There are different strengths of hot wire boxes that range anywhere from containing livestock down to containing dogs. I’ve had both types and have been shocked by both myself. I’ll tell ya right now, livestock shockers definitely give you quite a wallop when shocked. My own larger dogs have always been fine after being shocked by them when wandering too close to the horse pasture. I’ve never had a little dog shocked by a livestock shocker but I’ve seen a feral cat or two shocked and they just ran off afterwards. For my dog yard, I’ve always used the smaller dog shockers (I left a link to one in my post). They definitely give off a lower grade shock and would be the one I’d recommend for smaller dogs if you’re concerned about it. When I used to run a dog boarding facility at my place, I had a dog shocker surrounding the large yard that the pups ran and played in. I’ve boarded every sized dog you can imagine (from chihuahuas to mastiffs) and all of them were fine after being shocked by the dog shocker, and they learned to respect the fence at the same time. About the peeing on the hot wire…I’ve never actually seen any of my dogs do this, but it’s not to say that they haven’t done it without my seeing it. With all the dogs I’ve watched through the years (probably hundreds), I’m sure it’s happened but they all survived and lived on to ripe old ages! I hope this helps!

  22. R.Van KINS

    GONNa try this as my dogs just killed neigh ours chickens..ELECTRIC YARD MAY JUST SAVE ME ALOT OF MONEY AND WORRY..GONNA DO IT

    • Tee

      You will like this because you won’t ever have to worry again. The dogs learn to respect it and stay where they belong. Good luck!

  23. Samiam

    I have a pulse hot wire fence will that work or do i need one that is continuously

  24. dana owens

    I have a question….I want to make more play area for my dog and his friend. How in the world do you pound ground pole that far in the ground?! Can I use a metal fence post? Like 5′ pounded down to 3?

    • Tee

      Hi Dana!
      You can use tee posts (found HERE) pounded into the ground to hold up the fence, and a post pounder (found HERE) to pound the posts into the ground. Pound the tee post into the ground until the ‘spike’ on the lower part of the post disappears under the surface of the dirt. You can find both the tee posts and the post pounder at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Hope that helps!

  25. Jennifer Judice

    Any advise on split second training? I can’t find any literature on training my 2 big boys to respect the hot wire fence system we just installed. (Neighbors threatened to shoot them next time they saw one of them trying to poke through the fence 😥)

    Husband installed and working great. Have not worked with dogs at all but one of them got zapped earlier. Do we put orange or red flags along the wire? Do we make them get zapped?
    I’m so frazzled over the threat—- I just need to utilize all necessary actions.

    • Tee

      Hi Jennifer,
      Believe it or not, while we can’t hear it, dogs can hear it when it’s on. They’ll learn really fast after the first zap or two what that quiet pulsing noise is. My dogs always know when my hot wire isn’t working or turned off…I know this because they start escaping after a few weeks of it not working. They don’t hear it anymore so they start testing it. I’ve never used flags or anything…just let them figure it out, that’s the best way to do it.

  26. Sarah

    I have pitbulls that keep finding their way under the fence. I also have a yorkie and a chihuahua. Is the electric fence dangerous for the little ones?

    • Tee

      For small dogs you can use an electric fence box made for small animals found HERE. It is a lot safer for them.

  27. Alfred Trolinger

    What is a good idea for a human shocker? I have a shed that is constantly being broken into, a camera won’t do because they shoot it with BB’s or throw rocks at it!

    • Tee

      Hi Alfred!
      Haha! Although I’ve never used this wire as a human deterrent, I’m sure you could! If you were to run a hot wire (one about a foot off the ground and then another one waist-high) around your shed, I’m sure it would keep people out!

  28. Katherine Dodson

    What happens if the dog pees on it?

    • Tee

      You know, that’s a good question. I don know that the fence is not continually on (it pulses every other second), so the dog would have to aim continually perfectly on the wire without moving a muscle when that electric pulse hit. I’ve used the electric fence with literally hundreds of dogs though the years and have not had one issue (that I know of) with that. Hope that helps!

  29. Eric

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I moved into my childhood home 2yrs ago in Los Angeles, and I have a beautiful huge avocado tree that blooms. 2 yrs I’ve been batteling these squirrels. I’ve tried, scents, spikes, metal sheets to cover the tree bark and i’ve even tried spraying water on the squirrel with my garden hose (5 to 10 min of them dodging the hose). This electric fence was my last resort.

    • Tee

      Hi Eric,

      Sounds like you have your hands full with those pesky squirrels! I hope the electric fence does the trick in keeping them away. Good luck!!!

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