Country living, DIY, & a Dash of Fun!

DIY Electric Fence / Hot Wire For Animals (Part 2)

How to hot wire gates, rabbit hutches & chicken coops

  • Click HERE to see Part 1 of this tutorial (Setting up, and splicing wire).

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!   

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

Along the fence I prefer the hot wire to be at least 6in away from the fence but for gates I use shorter ones.  Remember, there are insulators for wood, t posts, etc.   Attach an insulator on each outer post and also two on the gate, one on each end.  Dig a 6-12in deep trench right underneath where the gate hangs.  With an old garden hose, cut a piece the same width as the gate plus another foot longer.  Thread the end of the hot wire that has been stretching along the fence through one end of the hose and out the other.  Place the hose in the open trench that has been dug

You can also use PVC pipe in place of the hose.  For heavy traffic like horses or livestock, you will want to bury hose 1 1/2-2ft deep

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 wire, cut a new piece of hot wire the same width as the gate plus about 1in extra and splice it to the main wire that was threaded through the hose.  String the gate wire that has just been spliced, through the insulator on the gate post that the gate is mounted on, and then through the two insulators on the gate.

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

Here is a closer look where the gate wire was spliced to the main wire that was earlier threaded through the hose.  You can see how the gate wire was secured 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 and continues along the fence

Tip: 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 HOTWIRE! 🙂

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

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 is a closer look.  Twist some electricity-conducting wire around the insulator and  make a loop at both ends so that the hot wire can be spliced to one loop to continue on (left side of pic), and handle can be unhooked for easy access

Make sure to check out part 1!

DIY Electric Fence / Hot Wire For Animals (Part 1)

Setting up and splicing wire


DIY Electric Fence / Hot Wire For Animals (Part 1)


DIY Log Fort / Clubhouse in the Woods


  1. Derik

    Well, I have just that problem! I thank you for sharing your wisdom. I’m sure my obsconding pup will learn to respect the fence… at least I hope he does for his oen sake!

  2. Dusti

    Thanks for the help. My Golden Retriever pup is such an escape artist that I’m out $140 the last 2 days in pound fees. Electric fencing is our last hope.

    • Tee

      Just look at that innocent face! LOL Yep, I know the feeling! Get that hotwire up and you won’t have to worry anymore 🙂

  3. butch adams

    can you use copper ground rods with non copper connectors or high tensil wire

    • Tee

      Hi Butch,
      Yes, I’ve used copper both copper and non copper rods and connectors. I’ve also used high tensil wire and it works just fine…I just prefer the look of nylon better.

  4. Pam

    Best tutorial I’ve seen so far—thank you‼️ Perfect timing too!!
    I noticed I forgot to put in the trash a couple of old hoses today for garbage pickup …well I will be recycling & repurposing them for around my 5 gates…

    Again-thank you!!

  5. Marion

    I only need a hot wire on the gate. The gate is automatic open with a solar charger. Is there a way to just wire the gate so he won’t go under?

    • Tee

      Hi Marion,
      Yep, you can hot wire just the gate if you like. You’ll set it all up the same way, except omit running the line around the whole fence. I would mount the hot wire box on the fence next to the gate and simply just hot wire the gate.

  6. sue funkey

    I have a great hot box and totally resting my horses paddock. it’s all in insulators. I take a test wire on the box. good. I attach it to the fence. fence is cold. what did I do wrong?

    • Tee

      Hmm…theoretically it should work. I will say that I have had this happen before. After much frustration, and double, triple, and quadruple checking, I finally found a tiny place that the hot wire was barely touching something that was grounding it out. Good luck!!!

      • Riccardo Pineiro

        Why do I need 3 grounding rods?

        • Tee

          Hi Riccardo,
          Good question! When an animal comes in contact with an electric fence, a pulse travels from the fence, through the animal and into the soil. Via the soil moisture, this pulse is captured by the grounding rods and returned to the energizer. Without proper grounding, the fence’s electrical circuit can not be completed.

  7. Dave

    i use flat white fencing wire, used a lot by horse people but it is really tough to splice 2 lengths together. I end up melting the white plastic insulating the tiny actual wires,then carefully twisting the very small wire together. often breaking some.
    any advice?
    thanks, Dave

    • Tee

      Hi Dave!

      Unfortunately, I’ve never used the flat white fencing wire that you mentioned. However, I do like how it’s very visible to see, so maybe one day I’ll give this type a shot. Sorry I can’t be of more help and good luck!

  8. Valerie

    Thank you! I have been trying to figure out how to do this for my climbing Great Pyrenees. Very, very helpful especially the part on how to do the gate! Thank you! Thank you!

  9. Riccardo

    Where do the three grounding rods go?

    • Tee

      Hi Riccardo,
      This tutorial has two parts and I think that’s why you aren’t seeing the full directions. Click HERE for part 1 🙂

    • Riccardo

      Got it thanks! How much tension is needed or recommended?

      • Tee

        I pull it tight enough with my hands so that it doesn’t sag, but not so tight that it starts to pull out or bend or break any of the insulators. Once you start to stretch it out you’ll get the feel for how tight it needs to be 🙂

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