Wireless Pet Fences – Reducing Signal Interference

There are many benefits to using a wireless dog fence as opposed to a burried/underground cable fence, some of which include:

    • Very simple, quick installation. You can get a wireless fence up and running in as little as 10 minutes from opening the box. There are no measurements to take or complicated and time-consuming cable installation involved.
    • Wireless fences are much cheaper in the grand scheme of things, especially if you aren’t prepared to install the cables around the yard yourself. Having a specialist burry the cables can cost well over $1,000, and even close to $2,000 if a groove needs to be cut in pavement (such as across a driveway). Wireless dog fences require no cables at all.
    • Servicing is much easier on a wireless system as well. If something were to malfunction with an underground cable fence, you will likely need to remove the entire length of the cable and then install a new one.

With that said, there are also distinct disadvantages to owning a wireless fence, all of which have to do with signal instabilities common for all modern wireless technologies.

Signal Interference

Unless you buy a GPS-based wireless fence (which are very expensive), you must be aware of the possibility of signal interference. The more objects (and particularly metal ones) there are between the transmitter and the containment boundaries, the more likely it is for signal disturbances to appear. Below are a few things to watch out for:

Large Metal Appliances

Refrigerators, stoves, large metal cabinets – all of these can interfere with the wireless signal, resulting in unstable boundaries and an unreliable perimeter, causing your dog to be corrected when unexpected. In extreme cases and if the containment boundaries switch too abruptly, the frequent random corrections could stress out your dog to such an extent that he’ll be unwilling to leave the house with the receiver collar on.

To remedy this, make sure that all metal appliances and large metal objects are kept at a minimum of 3 feet away from the transmitter. If you can keep them even further, even better.

Thick concrete walls

A thick concrete wall can reduce the strength of your fences wireless signal as well. There are two things you can do to remedy this:

      1. Always mount the transmitter to an outer wall of your house so that there are as few walls between the transmitter and the yard as possible.
      2. If an option, place the transmitter right in front of a window, or glue it to the window if mounting stripes are provided (such as with the Havahart Radial 2 Wireless Fence system).

The more walls you avoid, the more consistent the signal will be.

Trees and thick bushes

The more trees and bushes there are between the transmitter and the boundary, the weaker the signal will get. Mind you, a few trees / bushes here or there won’t cause any noticeable problems – things start to get rough only if there are enough of them to actually restrict your visual view of the boundary. Also, the more damp these trees are, the more they will interfere with the signal; keep this in mind on a rainy or snowy day.

Downward Slopes

If there is a significant downward slope between the transmitter location and where the boundary is supposed to be located, heavy signal interferences will occur. Again, the best way to judge if this will be a problem or not is to look from where the transmitter will be installed and towards your intended boundary; if you can see it, then you’ll be just fine. If the boundary location is not visible to the eye, the transmitter will have trouble locating it as well.

Any other obstructions

A big truck, a garage, etc. – any large metal or concrete structure that comes between the transmitter and the boundary will make the part of the perimeter located behind the obstacle less stable.

So What Is The Perfect Set-Up For Minimum Interference?

For an ideal set-up with as close to zero interference and signal instabilities as possible, you want the following:

        • A transmitter that is installed as far away from metal appliances as possible (3 feet minimum).
        • As few concrete walls between the transmitter and containment boundaries as possible.
        • As few trees, bushes, cars, garages, and other metal / concrete structures between the transmitter and perimeter as possible.
        • No significant downward slope in the yard.

You don’t need to live in a desert of course; this would be counterproductive and would make a wireless fence useless. The signal is pretty capable and will provide for a solid boundary even with a few obstructions here or there. Just be careful not to go overboard; do the best you can to provide your system with as close to an idean environment as possible, and it will do its job just fine.

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