Troubleshooting Tips for Common Underground Dog Fence Problems

Are you struggling with common problems related to your underground dog fence? Don't worry; we've got you covered! In this comprehensive guide, we will share valuable troubleshooting tips to help you diagnose common underground dog fence issues to keep your canine companion safe and secure within its designated boundaries.


We will focus on three main components of your dog fencing system: electronics, wiring, and the dog itself. By examining these components and addressing common problems, you can maintain an effective electric dog fence for your pets well into the future.

  1. Electronics—This includes the wall-mounted dog fence transmitter, the dog's receiver collar, the dog training remote, and occasionally a surge protector plugged into an outlet. The dog fence transmitter is connected to the outdoor boundary wiring through the surge protector.
  2. Wiring—The buried wire that surrounds the area designated as your dog's boundary.
  3. The Dog—Though your canine companion is usually not the problem, they may have discovered that the system isn't functioning properly.

Dog Fence Troubleshooting: Dogs Running Through the Boundary

One of the most common problems with underground dog fences, also referred to as “underground electric dog fences” or “electric dog fences,” is when dogs run through the defined boundary. This can usually be traced back to a problem with the receiver collar, such as a loose fit or a dead battery. To address this issue, follow these steps:

Check the Dog Fence Receiver Collar

Ensure the receiver collar is snug and that the battery is charged. If the receiver collar has an integrated LED light and a stimulation level adjustment button, test the receiver collar battery by pressing the stimulation level adjustment button and observing the LED light to see if it illuminates.

Ensure a Snug Receiver Collar Fit

The receiver collar should be snug under the dog's neck, with just enough space for the tips of your fingers between the receiver collar contact tips and their neck. If the receiver collar is too loose, tighten it for a better fit. If you can get your whole hand between the receiver collar contact tips and neck, or you're able to rotate the receiver collar around the neck with little or no friction, it's probably too loose.

Test the Static Stimulation from the Dog Fence Receiver Collar Contact Tips

If your dog fencing system provided you with one, use the provided static stimulation tester on the receiver collar contact tips and check if the tester lights up and if the receiver collar emits a tone when nearing the dog fence line. If it’s confirmed there's a static stimulation coming from the receiver collar, adjust the receiver collar's fit or increase the static stimulation level according to the dog fence system owner's manual.

No Tone, Vibration, or Static Stimulation from Dog Fence Receiver Collar

Examine the dog fence transmitter for power and check if the transmitter is plugged into a working power outlet. If there's no power, check the GFCI outlet or circuit breaker. If there's power, but the dog fence transmitter remains non-operational, replace the transmitter or the plug-in transformer.

Continuous Beeping from Dog Fence Transmitter

This usually indicates a wire break with the dog fence boundary wire. Perform a short loop test to determine if the issue is in the dog fence wiring or the dog fence surge protector. If necessary, call a dog fencing professional or use a wire break locator to repair the break.

Intermittent Beeping from Dog Fence Transmitter

This may be caused by a partial or corroded boundary wire splice. Re-splice the affected boundary wire areas or perform an OHM test to identify the issue. Use underground, waterproof, grease-filled tubes with wire nuts for splicing. If the problem persists, consider consulting with a dog fencing professional.

Dog Fence Transmitter Working, but Receiver Collar Not Working

If the receiver collar still isn't functioning after checking all other components, it may be time to replace the receiver collar, as it may have become damaged or worn out from daily use.

Troubleshooting Steps for Non-Functional Dog Fence Receiver Collars

Check for Damage or Wear

Examine the receiver collar closely for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks or wear on the outer casing. These issues may impact the receiver collar's ability to function correctly as well as negatively impact waterproofing effectiveness.

Test the Battery

Double-check the battery's condition and ensure it’s holding a charge as most modern dog fencing systems offer rechargeable batteries. If the battery is nearing end of service due to age and/or the receiver collar battery is no longer holding a charge, it’s highly recommended to replace it with a new receiver collar.

Clean the Contact Tips

Dirt, debris, grime, etc. on the receiver collar contact tips may interfere with its ability to deliver static stimulation. Clean the contact tips gently with a soft cloth or cotton swab to remove any unwanted buildup.

Consult the Dog Fence Owner's Manual

Refer to the owner's manual for specific electric dog fence troubleshooting advice regarding your dog fence system's brand and model. There may be additional steps or settings to adjust that can help resolve issues with the receiver collar.

Contact the Manufacturer or Hire a Professional

If you're still having trouble with the receiver collar, reach out to the manufacturer's customer support team for assistance. They may have further advice or be able to recommend a suitable replacement for your specific dog fencing system. Alternatively, you can consult a local professional who specializes in underground dog fence installations and repairs.

When to Replace Your Receiver Collar

If you've tried all troubleshooting steps and the receiver collar remains unresponsive, it's likely time to invest in a new one. Here are some signs that your dog fence receiver collar needs to be replaced:

  1. Consistent lack of static stimulation, even after adjusting all settings properly and confirming the rechargeable battery is in a healthy state and fully charged.
  2. Visible damage, such as cracks or wear, that may affect the receiver collar’s intended functionality.
  3. Frequent malfunctions or intermittent issues that cannot be resolved through troubleshooting.

Choosing the Right Receiver Collar

When selecting a new receiver collar, consider the following factors to ensure you get the best solution for your dog and your personal needs:

  1. Compatibility: Make sure the new receiver collar is compatible with your existing dog fence system. Check the manufacturer's guidelines or consult with a dog fencing professional if you're unsure.
  2. Size and Adjustability: Choose a receiver collar that can be easily adjusted to fit your dog comfortably and securely. Keep your dog's size, breed, and coat type in mind when making your selection.
  3. Static Stimulation Levels: Opt for a receiver collar with adjustable static stimulation levels to customize the stimulation intensity based on your dog's temperament, size, and training needs. This feature allows you to find the right balance between effective containment and your dog's comfort.
  4. Battery Life: Consider a receiver collar with a long-lasting battery that is also rechargeable, which can save you money and reduce the environmental impact of disposable batteries. Keep in mind that some receiver collars have low-battery indicators, making it easier to know when it's time for a recharge.
  5. Durability and Water Resistance: Look for a receiver collar made from durable materials that can withstand daily wear and tear. A waterproof receiver collar is essential for dogs that enjoy swimming or live in areas with frequent rain or damp conditions.
  6. Additional Features: Some receiver collars offer extra features, such as built-in bark control, remote training capabilities, fitness tracking, GPS capabilities, and even vibration-only modes. Evaluate whether these features would be beneficial for your specific situation and training goals. Also keep in mind that some additional features may require a monthly subscription fee depending on the brand and product.
  7. Warranty and Customer Support: Choose a receiver collar from a reputable manufacturer that offers a warranty and reliable customer support. This will provide peace of mind in case you encounter any issues with the receiver collar in the future.
  8. Price: Consider your budget when selecting a new receiver collar. While it's essential to invest in a quality receiver collar, there are options available at various price points to accommodate different budgets.

Maintaining Your Receiver Collar

It's important to maintain your dog fence receiver collar properly to ensure its longevity and effectiveness:

  1. Regularly inspect the dog fence receiver collar for signs of wear or damage and address any issues promptly.
  2. Clean the receiver collar contact tips and the dog's neck area routinely to prevent irritation or buildup of dirt and debris.
  3. Recharge the receiver collar's battery as needed and keep an eye on any low-battery indicators. This will ensure that the receiver collar remains functional and effective in containing your dog within the designated area.
  4. Test, and if needed, adjust the receiver collar's fit periodically as your dog grows or as its coat changes.
  5. Regularly test the receiver collar's functionality by removing the receiver collar from your dog, and while your dog is inside with the receiver collar removed, go outside with the receiver collar and walk along the boundary of your dog fencing system, checking, and testing for containment features such as static stimulation, vibration, and any audible tones. This will help you identify any potential issues with the dog fencing system before they become a problem.
  6. Consult the dog fence owner's manual and the manufacturer's guidelines for any specific maintenance recommendations or requirements for your receiver collar model.
  7. If you encounter any issues with the receiver collar or the overall dog fencing system, don't hesitate to contact the manufacturer's customer support or a local professional for assistance.


By following these troubleshooting tips and maintenance practices, you can effectively address common problems with your underground dog fence and keep your canine companion safely contained within the designated boundaries. Keep in mind that your dog's safety and well-being are top priorities, so if you are ever unsure about how to resolve an issue or need further assistance, don't hesitate to consult with a dog fencing professional or the manufacturer's customer support team. With the right care and attention, you can keep your electric dog fence functioning effectively and ensure a secure and happy environment for your furry friend.