[Lou] Puts Invisible Fence Inside And Outside His Home


Leave it to [Lou Wozniak] to go beyond ordinary when installing invisible fencing. Invisible fence is an electronic system that contains your dog by triggering a shock collar. The install requires a loop of wire to generate a field detected by the collar.

[Lou] starts off by buying a do it yourself kit. He has previous experience with this (check out his battery hack for the collars) and found that the cheap solid core wire didn’t hold up to animals and shovel accidents. He headed down to the hardware store and came back with a spool of stranded wire with extra thick insulation which should hold up much better.

The image above shows the model he built to plan for the installation. He’s not just making a single area in the yard. Look closely and you’ll see he’s going to use it to keep the dogs out of the dining room as well. This loop will be installed just below the floor from the basement.

With planning behind him he doesn’t fail to innovate with the installation technique. He recommends an angle grinder with a diamond blade to cut the slot for the wire in your yard. The one caveat being that you need to wait until the yard is super dry or it will muck up the blade. Dry dirt creates a lot of dust, but he uses a leaf blower or floor fan to blow it away from him as it works. To help minimize the amount of shocks the dogs receive while learning their new area he placed some white rope above the wire run as a visual cue.

55 thoughts on “[Lou] Puts Invisible Fence Inside And Outside His Home

    1. I cannot comment on the color but I can tell you that dogs do respond to visual cues. If my dog sees a leash; It freaks out and runs to the door because she is excited to go for a walk. If she sees someone wearing a hat; She cowers in a corner. Also, if the electric fence is like every other one on the market then the collar will emit an audible beep before the dog gets shocked. The shock is a last resort and does not even hurt all that badly.

      1. Nicholas has it right. My dogs did the initial training, and were basically taught “If you go past this area, you will hear a beep and then get shocked”.

        They haven’t gotten shocked since.

  1. An angle grinder with a blade? No. Use a lawn edger. It’s much faster and safer way. That’s how I buried some of the radials for my antenna. The others I just stapled tot he ground and let nature take over.

    1. Using a shovel to pry up a line works well too without the need to backfill. Just need to poke in the cable as you go and then walk it back down when you’re finished. This works for semi-permanent power cords for fountains or string lights.

  2. Don’t mark the wire, mark the fence! This stuff isn’t magic. To make sure the dog understands what’s going on you need to take a collar and douse out the inner edge of the signal where the collar beeps instead of shocks. The kits the manufacturer sells include wire flags to label this. After that it’s about 15 minutes a day of leash training for a few weeks with the collar set up not to shock the dog. Once the dog’s been trained that it’s a good dog for staying inside the flags and for not chasing things across the flags the collar can be turned all the way on and the system works. Without proper training most dogs never understand what’s going on and the system seldom works.

    On the technical side: there are some quirks that make building inner loops like this practical. If you run the wire back on itself and it’s less than about a foot apart you’ll form a cancelled section. The transmitters also can handle a pretty large area, even the cheapest can go out to 5-10 acres if you keep adding wire and labeling flags to the loop, high end is more like 25 acres. The easy way to figure out a design is to call the manufacturer help line, send them a picture of the layout you want and have them send you back a plan that makes it work.

  3. I was once discussing the values of an anti-bark shock collar with a friend of mine. These collars have a tiny microphone and try to detect when the dog is barking and proceed to give them a “little shock.”

    I expressed concerns that this collar was harsh and cruel and that it wasn’t a good substitute for proper training and an appropriate home for the animal. After all, they are not robots.

    After a bit of drinking and drunken discussion {read: Argument}, the fellow said that he would demonstrate that the collar really didn’t hurt that much by putting it on and yelling so as to receive a shock himself. Being a drunken idiot, instead of merely holding the collar up to his neck, he proceeded to actually buckle it rather tightly in place.

    Next he lets out a little WOOP WOOP to set the collar off, and proceeds to fall to the ground flailing about wildly and screaming like a madman because this collar is shocking the piss out of him —- literally. He had a difficult time trying to stop screaming long enough to get the collar to stop shocking him so that he could try and get his composure together enough to remove it. He then proceeded to throw the collar in the trashcan and try to train the dog by more appropriate and less senselessly violent means.

    This coolstorybro is really just another way to say that if you haven’t put the collar on and tried it yourself, then you have no business even considering putting it on your dog. Also, would you feel that a shock collar would be appropriate for your wife and children so as to help “train” them when they aren’t behaving as you would like??? Don’t think that there is any difference between this collar and just kicking the shit out of your dog whenever it does something that you don’t like.

      1. This. You must speak dog. Dogs speak in bites and nips. They are not like weak humans that think all levels of pain are intolerable. Small pain is just another input for dogs, and a part of their communication stack.

        And by the way, Wut?, If your not at least vegetarian or vegan you fund worse atrocities every time you out food in your mouth.

    1. Your friend must have got a shitty collar.
      The one I tried on myself started out with a mild shock which didn’t hurt in the slightest. It would elevate the shock to higher levels progressively after each trigger, but nowhere near the ‘stun-gun’ effect that you’re claiming.

      There was also several seconds of delay between each shock, plenty of time for the yelps/whimper to subside.

      In short, I believe you’re full of bull. (Also, it sounds like you’re suggesting that you just kick the dog instead. That’s far more painful than a mild shock.)

    2. Ever notice how all the people who say this is inhumane and to “talk to your dog” or “put it in timeout” (or whatever else makes them feel warm and fuzzy) don’t actually own a dog and have never actually used one of these things they proclaim so loudly to be inhumane? Kind of like telling a parent how to change diapers when you’ve never had to do it yourself.

      FYI – my dog doesn’t even wear his wireless version of this half the time anymore (a hack to extend the range of that would freakin’ awesome since we are buying a big plot of land btw). He only needs to hear the beep to know that he has gone too far. Which, is exactly how it is supposed to work.

    3. Maybe you should not base your judgements on the reactions of drunken idiots.

      I do believe in testing any electroshock device on myself before possibly using it on another living being. This includes shock collars, many of which are quite weak; but even including stun guns, none have ever made me piss myself.

      I’ve also heard it said dogs have a higher pain threshold than us. While there’s no way to know for sure, the bite force they use when simply playing with each other is certainly more than we are comfortable with.

    4. “He had a difficult time trying to stop screaming long enough to … remove it.”
      And you were doing what? I’d assume “having a difficult time trying to stop laughing long enough to help him”.

  4. I share the objections that “Wut” express above. But a collar that simply gives me a notification or alarm if the animal endeavours outside the perimeter could be useful. Is it possible to set up the collar that way?

    I also wonder if the device could be hacked to use wireless positioning of the collar (triangulation) and skip the need for wiring the perimeter altogether.

    1. Usually the electrodes are replaceable, so you can get a normal shock collar and just remove the electrodes. Fill the holes with silicone, so they can’t shock when wet. Or, better yet, leave them on for the training, and later once the pup figures out the system, remove them so he only gets the warning as a reminder.

  5. They aren’t that bad. But, they do need some training. Some dogs will run over the fence the first time, get shocked, and then they’re stuck outside the fence, because now they’re too scared to get back across. As for being inhumane…. That’s not inhumane. Inhumane is when you string someone/thing up by it’s toes, and skin it alive, while playing Bon Jovi in the back ground. (Bon Jovi is what puts it over the line)

  6. Not only are shock collars inhumane, they cause stress in dogs and result in a lot of deaths through misadventure. Reward-based training is demonstrably more effective; it’s not a subject that hasn’t been researched in detail. There’s no good reason to use shock collars, besides being a lazy, sadistic sonofabitch. There are efforts to ban them in several countries. I certainly think it’s pretty shameful for Hackaday to be featuring such an ethically and morally questionable ‘project’.

    1. At a previous address, I installed one of those electric fence wires around the bottom of my fence to keep the dog from digging under. Do you consider those just as ethically and morally questionable?

    1. Yes – I agree. Staples in drywall aren’t very permanent. His electrical connections make me recoil in horror at how impermanent they are. If I ever run across another twist-and-electrical-tape nightmare, I think I might have to teach someone a lesson in using the proper mechanical means of making electrical connections.Wire nuts and crimp connections aren’t done just for the hell of it…

  7. What ever happened to just putting up a fence? Shocking your animal is just crual and if you have to shock your animal in order to get it to do what you want then you shouldnt own one, spend some time with it and teach it instead of just shocking it…

    1. Fences can be difficult (read expensive) to put up in areas that are rocky. And can be unsightly.
      To each his own, I don’t see it as inhumane, and infinitely better than having the dog roam free. My dog caught on after just 2 or three days of working with him (and yes, I’ve felt the shock myself). He’s normally fine with it, but he’ll still get a good running start and cross it on purpose to chase deer. I may have to get a more powerful collar made for stubborn dogs.

        1. I have one – an invisible fence. Most of the time it’s not even turned on. He can’t jump over it nor dig under it, like with a traditional fence. It keeps him safe in the backyard until it’s time for a walk or to go to the lake..

    2. Clearly, many of the people claiming how inhumane this is have never watched animals run out the road and get run over. THAT is inhumane. Assuming your dog is a human and can figure out what is dangerous for themselves without the proper guidance… THAT is inhumane. These things save dogs lives, all the time and most of them VERY seldom reach the point of an actual shock, at least after proper training. I’ve had multiple animals get run over, over the years, every time with an animal that had been trained not to go into the road and would NEVER do so, when I was around. Once everybody had left the house, boom, dead dog. Since installing one of these units when we got our current dog and training her, we’ve gone 10 years without an incident. The only time I ever even hear the thing beep is if I am near the edge and she follows me, but that beep is more than sufficient to turn her around and keep her safe. If maybe 5 or 6 actual shocks over her lifetime can increase that lifespan from 1-3 years to 10+, I consider that win for both me and the dog. Also, some people have laws, regulations, or other rules that prevent a physical fence.

      1. if you live in an area where you cant build a fence you shouldnt own a dog… But lets look at the inhuman of this shall we? I mean this is your main argument as to the use of the device as you claim it isnt inhuman. The RSPCA in australia says “RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of any electronically activated or other devices which deliver electric shocks, high pitched sounds, or any other painful stimulus. Such devices can be used to abuse the animals, involve inflicting pain and are considered inappropriate for dog training or control.” now if these devices are not inhuman why does the RSPCA say they are? Shocking your dog in order to get it to do what you want is just wrong, train the dog or dont own a dog. As for it running out on to the road, simple teach the dog… Dont shock the fucking thing, how do you know it doesnt hurt the animal? I mean can you speak dog? Why dont you place the collar around your own neck for a yr or two and let it shock you every time you want to go outside the “fence”, how would you like it? Which brings me to my other point you say that the beep is enough to keep the dog inside the “fence” so turn the shock part off, or train the dog with just a beep and no shock… Bottom line is i really dont give a fuck what you say about the subject its wrong and shouldnt be done, there are other ways to train your dog and if you cant do that or cant afford to pay someone to train your dog for you then its simple dont own a fucking dog…

          1. so, its the same method, just being used for a different area of disaplain, i think the part that fits here is this “RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of any electronically activated or other devices which deliver electric shocks” in other words they are against the use of electric shock in order to train your animal… maybe you should read this article on the matter then http://www.rspca.org.uk/ImageLocator/LocateAsset?asset=document&assetId=1232713013325&mode=prd ill sum it up for you, positive reinforcment is better for the dog and it reacts better to the training then using pain to reinforce negative behaiver ;)

          2. i think this sum’s it up perfect as well
            “Dogs whose yards are surrounded by electronic fences may develop fear or aggression aimed at what they believe is the source of the shock (kids riding by on bikes, the mail carrier, the dog next door, etc.). Dogs have been known to run through electronic barriers when frightened by fireworks or chasing a squirrel and then be too scared to cross back through the barrier.

            Electronic fences may actually encourage animals to try to escape. Since dogs only suffer painful shocks in the yard, they may associate the shock with the yard itself—once they get out of the yard, the pain goes away. The fact that the pain returns when they try to reenter the yard can cause dogs to believe that they are being punished for returning home.

            Even when animals are confined within certain boundaries of an electronic fence, they are still in danger of attacks by roaming dogs, cruel humans, or other animals, who can freely enter the property. Electronic fences are a dog thief’s dream come true!”

            its funny when you do a little bit of searching on the matter everything points to not using such a device, but yet here you are trying to say its fine…

        1. Every trainer I’ve ever seen that offers “snake-proofing” for dogs uses a shock collar as part of it. Is there a better method? Is snake proofing just too inhumane?

        2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Consumer_Freedom

          “The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), formerly the Guest Choice Network, is an American non-profit firm that lobbies on behalf of the fast food, meat, alcohol and tobacco industries. It describes itself as “dedicated to protecting consumer choices and promoting common sense,”[2] and defending consumer rights.”

          These are the people who run petakillsanimals.com. Nice of paid reps of the meat industry to be so concerned about animal welfare. Now they’ve informed us what a bunch of animal-murderers PETA are, perhaps they can seek out further cases of animal abuse, badly-run slaughterhouses, meat procurement for chain restaurants, etc. Since they obviously care sincerely about the lives of animals.

          Honestly. Does nobody THINK these days? A site that hatchet-jobs PETA, and nobody thinks to ask who might be behind it, and why? That site smelled fishy from the first few seconds of reading it, which was years ago for me.

          1. Another quote –

            “Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has responded “If you are in the business of putting veal or beef on the tables of America, and slaughtering more than a million animals per hour, and making an awful lot of money at it, you are going to try to neutralize PETA or other animal-rights groups”[3]

            “according to the group’s website it is supported by over 100 companies and thousands of individual consumers.[1] Sponsors are reported to include Brinker International, RTM Restaurant Group (the owner of Arby’s), Tyson Foods, HMSHost Corp, and Wendy’s.[2]”

            I thought you people were supposed to be intelligent, agile thinkers.

  8. im honestly kind of suprised this made it in here, being thats its not very different from what our family did years ago and i considered that more of a chore instead of a hack. The thicker wire is something we added after our neighbors cut the line while planting shrubs, without the model of the house and angle grinder+leave blower, we did very little different (we used some spades and a few friends to bury the wire)

  9. If you can’t train your dog to listen and respect boundaries, you’re doing it wrong. Plain and simple. If you can’t handle training a dog to do that, or pay/barter to have someone else who’s experienced do it for you (no, not the goddamn dog whisperer,) you shouldn’t have a dog in your family. You have to enter that relationship with the realization that they’re big, hairy children that never grow up, but will love you forever if you love them back.

    Source: my dog that I’ve had for 11 years

  10. I must be missing something – how by any definition of the word is this a hack? The guy half-assed installed a invisible fence. Was it the inappropriate use of an angle grinder? His droning on for 13 minutes to cover a 2 minute topic? What? Or was the hack that he got suckered into buying two dogs too dumb to train by normal methods?

    No clue how this made it on HaD.

  11. If you can’t bother to train your dog don’t get a dog. It’s like hitting your child for disobedience when the only one you have to thank for that is yourself.

    If your dogs have a problem with boundaries take them out yourself you lazy git. If that’s a problem leash them.

    1. True. Nothing wrong with being lazy and irresponsible. Nothing wrong with having a pet or kids. It’s the two together that’s immoral. Anyone should know how much work it entails, regardless of how adorable and loving they are. Your pet / kid has needs and deserves a good life, which is entirely your job.

      Thus, being responsible with my irresponsibility, I don’t have a pet or kids.

      Perhaps if puppies / babies were less adorable. We could have a law that prohibits selling dogs below a certain age, so people buy what they’re gonna end up with, a big, loving but stupid, bundle of energy. In the case of children that’s perhaps less practical. But then I also think reproduction should be difficult and painful. For both parties, and at the beginning, not the end. Separate it from recreational sex, but make it enough of an ordeal that people would only do it if they *really* wanted children.

    1. Think about how we treat EACH OTHER! The richest nation in the world has huge amounts of poverty, homelessness, people barely able to eat.

      I’m kindof horrified any time I see an American TV show or film, where some character needs an operation, but puts up with a painful malfunctioning body part because they can’t afford the surgery. AFFORD!?!? What sort of civilised country doesn’t have universal free healthcare? Everybody gets ill, and needs the same treatment. You can’t pay more to have your arm heal up quicker, or to survive cancer. Everybody needs it just the same, why have a market where all the products and all the consumers are exactly the same? And of course all the middle-men who make private healthcare around twice as expensive. Yay for the rich man’s idea of “freedom”!

  12. We bought a home with this system installed. Cant have dogs, so I sold the trasmitter/collar. But I still have the wire around the perimeter. Any cool ideas for re-using it? Induction charging LED glowies? Intrusion/car detection (the wire goes across the driveway)

  13. People treat their pets like their children and their children like they are pets… Dogs are very smart creatures and can learn things very well. Spending the time and effort on proper training is the best thing for you and your dog. That said, DOGS ARE NOT HUMAN, they don’t really “understand” things like humans do. Shock collars of any kind are bad. period. A dog needs reinforcement of its “good” behavoir IMEDIATELY after doing something good or it doesn’t ever get why it’s being “good”, the same for bad behavior. Doing something painful to your dog out of the blue for something it does naturally, like running around the wilderness (your yard, or out of your yard) is only going to do more harm than good. It doesn’t know why its being beeped at, it doesn’t know why it’s getting shocked, it only knows there is some magical line it crosses and “ZAP!”. The flags and proper training by someone that knows what they are doing and willing to make an effort is all that a dog needs to learn its boundries. If you can’t muster those things, you do not need a dog anymore than it needs you… But you having all the enjoyment of a dog is all that matters right? Nevermind the proper treatment of the dog. The same goes for kids. Too many people have children for all the wrong reasons, above all, selfishness and then think to themselves “gee, this kid is soooo lucky to be alive and have me…” Is it?

  14. No more articles like this please.
    1. No hacking at all went into this. He bought a kit and installed it (somewhat) per the packaged instructions.
    2. We have youtube, we see plenty of “Poor tool mis-use”
    3. So far the rest of the articles have been pretty entertaining. Keep up the good work.

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