With so many options in electric dog fences out there, you may be wondering where to begin. There are wired electric dog fences and wireless fences. Other than the obvious, you may be wondering the differences between the two. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of them both.

Pros of a Wireless Dog Fence

  • With a wireless dog fence, installation is a breeze. All that you need to do is plug in your transmitter, set the size of your containment circle, plant your flags, put the collar on your dog and train him or her.
  • Portability is another appreciated feature. If you are going camping, you can take your fence with you. The same goes if you are moving to a new residence. Simply take it to your new house and plug it in.

Cons of a Wireless Dog Fence

There are many different things that can cause a wireless dog fence to fail. These factors include:

  • Any hills or sloping in your yard
  • A metal roof
  • Stucco siding
  • Too many trees
  • A metal object within your containment area

If you have any of these situations, a wireless dog fence is not recommended. Your dog will either be able to get out, or the collar will shock the dog when it shouldn’t.

Another issue with a wireless dog fence is that your containment area must exist in the form of a circle. This means you cannot customize your perimeter. Wherever you have your transmitter, becomes the center of your containment circle. This means you cannot contain your front yard or backyard only, for example.

In addition to this, a wireless dog fence can only contain one acre of land or less. In contrast, a wired fence can contain several acres of land, depending on the brand of transmitter that you have.

Now, let’s take a look at how wired fences compare to this.

Pros of a Wired Dog Fence

  • Your border is 100% customizable. Wherever you lay your dog fence wire, becomes the perimeter of your electric dog fence.
  • Nothing beats the reliability of a wired electric dog fence. All of the things that will throw off a wireless fence will not have any effect on a wired fence.


As you might expect, the one thing that is more difficult about a wired fence is the installation process. Here is a quick rundown of how to install an electric dog fence.

Keep in mind that there are many different ways to layout your wire. But no matter how you do it, you must have a complete circuit. This means that your dog fence wire must begin and end in the same place.

Now that you have laid out your wire, you will need a way to connect your loop to the transmitter located inside of your home. That is what twisted wire is used for. Simply splice the twisted wire to the two ends of your boundary loop and carry it into your home, where you have your transmitter located.

Next you hook the wire up to your transmitter. Program your settings on the collar. Take the dog fence collar outside to test it on the boundary. As soon as you know it is working, it is time to bury your dog fence wire.

Your wire should be buried about 3-6 inches deep. The easiest way to do this would be to rent a wire trencher. It digs the groove, plants the wire and then covers it up with dirt too. Another option is to use an edger to cut a groove in the soil. Then you can just insert the wire in the groove and cover it up.

In general, you should expect to spend about 1 day of work installing your wired electric dog fence.


A wireless dog fence is easier to install, but it is not as reliable of a solution. In addition to this, if you need to contain more than ¾ of an acre of land, you will need to choose a wired system.

24 Replies to “Wired Vs. Wireless Electric Dog Fences: What are the Differences?”

  1. Does metal interfere. We have wrought iron fence that it will be installed near or touching? Also, does it in shock dog when you leave the area or both ways?

    1. Hello Trevor. You can actually install your dog fence wire right along your wrought iron fence, if you like. Near or touching it will be fine as well. Ungalvanized metal would be the only issue, (something like barbed wire for example).
      In regards to your 2nd question, your dog receives a correction as soon as the beep happens, when they approach the wire. If the dog crosses over the wire and leaves, yes the dog will get corrected again when he comes back into the yard. Feel free to call us if you have any more questions or concerns. Thank you!

  2. What about a snowy environment? We live in Alaska and few sites touch on snow.
    Also, what about dogs who dig? What happens if they dig under the wire?

    1. Hello Micheala, if you have a lot of snow, it would be best to go with our Max grade system, which is our 14 gauge wire with a 60 ml polyethylene jacket on the outside of it. This will make sure your wire has the most protection from the elements.
      In regards to dogs who dig, your dog won’t be able to dig underneath the wire, because he or she will receive a static correction before they reach the wire. This would make digging under the wire quite difficult.
      Feel free to call or message us anytime with any more questions you might have!

    1. I’m sorry but the electrical field could potentially create problems with your dog fence wire. As such, we highly recommend a minimum of 4′ of separation between the horse fence and your dog fence wire. I hope this helps your planning a bit. Thank you kindly for your question.

  3. I had a wireless system and the dog kept going through the electric fence. It was working great for the first month but then I think he got used to the correction. He’s a big bernadoodle (80 lbs). We used the long prongs on the collar and had the correction set to high. Would a wired system have better results?

    1. Frank, thanks for reaching out to us. It is possible that your dog may need a stubborn dog collar. Some dogs are stronger-willed and are more tolerant of the sensation that they feel coming from the collar. To answer your question about wired vs. wireless, I would say that our wired Extreme dog fence would be stronger than a wireless fence would be. Pairing it with our stubborn dog collar is recommended. Feel free to give us a call at 800-305-6116 if we can answer any more questions for you!

    1. Jon,
      Thanks for reaching out to us. All you would need to do is cut a groove in your driveway with a circular saw that has a masonry blade. Then insert the wire, and caulk over it with a sealant that matches your driveway.
      Feel free to call or message us with any more questions you might have. You can reach us at 800-305-6116. Thanks!

  4. Can u ” insulate” an area where the wired comes across the house (maybe over the house(on roof)) to connect circuit?

    1. Hello Linda,
      When you say “insulate” an area, are you trying to cancel out part of your loop? If so, there isn’t a way to do that. There isn’t any type of material that you can run the wire through to “cancel out” the signal. Is that what you mean? We are here 6 days a week. Please give us a call to chat! You can reach us at 800-305-6116. Thanks!

  5. I am building a new house and want to run the wire under my driveway 3 1/2” deep with concrete would that interfere or be too deep?

    1. Hello Kyle, thanks for reaching out to us. Yes, you can definitely run your wire underneath your concrete driveway, 3 1/2 inches deep with no issue. The signal will not be lost until you take it down 18 inches or deeper.
      Feel free to call us if you need further clarification! 800-305-6116. Have a great day!

  6. I have an old style mini home, probably 40 years old and was wondering if all the metal in it would cause issues with the wireless fence or wired fence. I have a cocker spaniel and chocolate lab that I wish to keep in the yard and am considering a wireless/wired fence. If you have any information that you could give me it would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hello Dora, thanks for your inquiry. In regards to your question about metal causing issues with a wired or wireless fence, here is the answer. If you were to go with a 100% wireless dog fence, yes the signal would be thrown off by all the metal in your home. Wireless fences do not work well with any type of metal. With that being said, you could go with a quality wired dog fence, such as our Extreme Dog Fence. Our only recommendation is that you place your dog fence transmitter on an interior wall where no metal is located. We would be more than happy to speak with you by phone and clarify any questions you may have about this situation. Feel free to call one of our representatives at 800-305-6116.

  7. I currently have a wireless electric fence. My dog is digging underneath the existing 6’ fence. Can I put wire down to deter him from getting too close to the fence? If I make the radius smaller he won’t have as much space to the back yard. I keep the collar on him just in case he would get out of the fence.

    1. Hello Sami. Thanks for reaching out to us. You mentioned that you have a wireless electric fence in place, but your dogs are still getting out of your physical fence? You could certainly install our Extreme Dog fence, which is a wired dog fence, to achieve better results. You are able to control on the transmitter how close your dog gets to the wire before the collar activates. After a week or two of training, your dog will learn to respect the boundaries you have set for him. And yes, you would need to keep the electric dog fence collar on him when he is outside. Feel free to give us a call to chat about it! We are at 800-305-6116.

  8. I want my backyard and front yard both fenced underground. There is no way to logically connect the two yards for my dog to get from one to the other without going through the house. Can I place wire underground separately for each yard but to one transmitter? Also I know that next year I’ll need to move one small line of the backyard underground wire is I it possible to put that section through something protective thereby leaving that portion of the wire above ground temporarily? Feeding that small section of wire through pvc or an old garden hose maybe?

    1. Hello Kelly. Thanks for reaching out to us. First of all, I want to address your question of leaving the wire above ground, temporarily. Yes, you can certainly do that, and run it through some PVC or a garden hose as you mentioned, with no disruption at all in the signal. However, I will tell you that if you choose a kit that comes with our 14-gauge wire, such as our Prograde or Max Grade kit, you can keep it above ground with no need for any further protection. Our 14-gauge cable is strong and sturdy and designed to be either buried or left above ground. In regards to your question about a layout that might work for your situation, I would like for you to please look at our dog fence planning page here: https://www.extremedogfence.com/planning-your-layout/ Without speaking with you by phone for more details, the layout I believe that would work for you is number 6, called the Hourglass layout. And yes, only one transmitter would be required to contain both the front yard and the back yard. Please have a look at all of these possible layouts on this page and feel free to give us a call so that we can discuss them with you. We can be reached at 800-305-6116. Hope to hear from you soon!

  9. I just installed a 6 ft wooden fence to keep the dog contained. Now she just digs under and escapes anyway. Can I install a wire fence by just attaching it to the wooden fence or must it be buried? Also, on the other side of one side, the neighbor has chain link and I have a metal roof on the garden shed. Will these interfere with the effectiveness of the wired fence?

    1. Hello Karen, thanks for reaching out to us. An electric dog fence is a perfect solution to keep your dog from digging underneath your existing wooden fence. Yes, you can certainly attach the dog fence wire to your existing wooden fence, providing that you choose a kit that comes with 14 gauge dog fence wire. Regarding your question about interference, neither of those situations will cause an issue with your wired dog fence. Feel free to give us a call and chat if you have any more questions! 800-305-6116.

  10. I have a gated wooden covered RV storage area with cement flooring. One wall is stucco, the other is block wall with a double gate on one end. The other end is open which is causing my issues. I need to have the wired dog fence on the open end to keep our dog out of that area. Currently there are 2 pick up trucks parked under this awning. I don’t want to saw into my concrete. Can this be placed up top along the roof line? And will the trucks below interfere with the transmission?

    1. Hello Ann,

      When it comes to the wire, if this a place that the dog is needing to receive a correction we would recommend having it on the ground or underground. If you put it above the roof you would have to make your boundary number pretty high so that the dog could get the correction, which in return could make the dog get a correction further out into the yard then you would like. If you went the route of putting it on the roof, we would recommend walking around with the collar to make sure it is going off where you would like it to prior to putting the collar on the dog. If you have any further questions please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-305-6116, and any of our customer service representatives would be able to further assist you on your set up.

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