Published at Thursday, February 28th, 2019 - 04:59:49 AM. Fence. By Yolanda Robillard.
What is an underground dog fence? An underground dog fence is a system consisting of a radio transmitter, wire that acts as a transmitting antenna and a collar with a receiver that picks up the radio signal from the fence when your dog gets too close. When your dog enters the warning area near the wire the collar beeps warning him to stay back. If he continues to move toward the wire he will receive a static shock or correction. Some systems have progressive corrections so that the closer the dog progresses toward the wire the stronger the static shock he receives. There is some controversy about the humane aspect of delivering a shock to an animal to deter him. Most experts agree however that when an underground dog fence is properly installed and the dog is properly trained to the fence that these systems are very humane and safe. Consider the alternative if your dog runs out into traffic or gets lost. There is some chance of your dog being traumatized by the shock of he is improperly trained and/or the correction levels are too high for your particular dogs size and temperament. Proper training is critical to success with these systems. Yes, it is true that your dog, hopefully, will not like receiving the shock no more than you like touching a door knob and getting a static shock. This is his incentive to avoid the boundary. While the shock is uncomfortable it is not in itself dangerous to the animal. Most systems have automatic shut offs if the animal does not move out of the correction zone to protect him from over correction. Compared to a traditional fence an underground dog fence is fairly easy to install and should take less than a day with most applications. The hardest part of the installation is burying the wire. I offer four methods of burying the wire. The first is to use a straight edge spade shovel and use it to dig down about 3 inches and create a V-shaped trench to lay the wire in. The simply press the sod or dirt back in place. This is the most difficult and time consuming method. The second way is to use a gas powered lawn edger to cut a 3 inch deep trench. Lay the wire in the trench and replace the displaced dirt and press into place. The third method is to rent a trencher with a cable installation attachment. The trencher will cut the trench and lay the wire at the same time. The fourth method is to not bury the wire at all. Instead you can simple lay the wire above ground and use Pet Fence Staples to hold it in place. This method works well for low traffic areas and in grassy areas where the wire will lay deep in the turf. If you have to cross a driveway or sidewalk with the wire you will need to use a masonry blade to cut a groove in the concrete or asphalt and then use caulk to seal the wire into place. There are many factors involved in choosing the right underground dog fence system. Some of these factors are discussed below. Later on Ill make specific recommendations based on these factors. Wireless dog fences are not considered in this discussion.
Fencing-Each type of fencing has its own installation methods. Wood fencing can be cut with a hand or circular saw for both height and length if necessary. Use good quality galvanized nails or screws to affix the wood panels to your posts. Nail at least 12 on center to assure good support for the panels. Wind can cause severe damage to a fence that is not nailed properly. Keep the panel tops level. Nothing looks worse than a fence with sloping or uneven tops. If the ground level changes, make a step in the top of the fence to accommodate the slope, but in all cases keep the top level. Many states have laws regarding who gets to see the good side of the fence. In my area, the rear neighbor sees the bad side; the side neighbors see the good side. The front usually has the good side to the street for appearance. Your locality may have its own local laws governing this and front yard fence heights. Check first before your install your fence. Chain link fencing has a different set of installation rules and different equipment is needed to do the work. Post setting is basically the same except the posts are steel. Ask your retailer for post spacing recommendations for the height fence you purchased. After setting the posts and pouring the concrete, you must unroll the fence alongside the posts. Slide in an end bar which is a flat piece of metal the height of your fencing. Carefully standing the end of the fence up against the first post, place end clamps around the post and the end bar and insert the supplied bolts anchoring the fence to the post. Now when you stretch the fence, you are really pulling on the post and the bar not on the fencing itself. Wire ties come in differing lengths and gauges. A special wire tool is available that will bend the loop around the chain link. Ask your dealer. Pliers can be used but are lot a harder. Invest in the tool. Once you have the chain link fastened to the first post, you must stretch the fencing to obtain a taut condition between the posts. Chain link does stretch and will sag if not pulled tightly. By using another end bar, insert it at the other end of your fence run, at a corner or at least several posts away from your start point. Wrapping the come-a-long around the post and hooking to the end (termination) bar. By cranking the come-a-long up tight, you will pull the fence taut from end to end. Available at hardware or tool stores, Come-A-Long will hook to the post on one end and the hook will connect to the end or termination bar for pulling. By cranking the handle, you reel in the cable pulling the fencing taut. Once you have the fencing pulled tight, you can start installing the wires ties on the intermittent post, tying the fence to the posts. Using a minimum of three ties per post, place one on at the bottom, middle and the top of the post. Once all the posts are tied, you can carefully release the come-a-long and move on to the next section of fence. Corners are a bit tricky to get the fencing tight but after a few posts are done, you will get the hang of it. Remember-Each time you end the fence, you must install an end or termination bar. A four foot fence requires at least three clamps per bar. If your fence is in excess of 4 feet, you may want to install a top rail to keep the fabric from bending or bowing between posts. You may of course use one on a 4 foot fence as well but it is generally not needed. If your fencing is for security or around a pool perhaps, you may also want to install a bottom rail to keep unwanted intruders from bowing the fence and slipping underneath. If your goal is to keep rodents from your garden, you can bury a foot or so of the fence fabric below ground as many rodents burrow only a few inches below grade. Plastic or PVC Fencing- These fences are generally high end (costly) products but due to their long lasting appearance and very low maintenance, are becoming very popular to day. Unless you enjoy staining your wood fence each year, this may be the way to go. Installation is basically the same as wood or chain link as far as post installation goes but extra care must be the rule when handling and screwing the sections together to avoid marring the PVC finish. A goof here in cutting or scratching the finish will be long lasting.
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