How to Locate a Break in an Electronic Fence

Electronic fences are used to keep dogs inside set boundaries without use of a physical fence.


A wire is buried along the boundary. The wire, a transmitter and an electronic collar work together to keep the dog within the perimeter, beeping a warning when the dog nears the boundary and giving a shock if the dog attempts to cross it. Finding a break in the buried wire can be challenging, but can be done with an AM radio and RF choke or a boundary-wire break locator, depending on the system you have.

Step 1

Purchase the correct wire locator for the system you are using, if you did not get the locator kit with your fencing system. The Innotek underground fence systems uses an RF choke to locate breaks. The RF choke is a designed to transmit lower signals and block higher frequency signals. The inductor lowers radio frequency interference so you can find a break in a wire.

Step 2

Disconnect the boundary wires from the transmitter. Connect each end wire of the RF choke to the transmitter connectors where you removed the boundary wires.

Step 3

Turn up the transmitter signal to full strength. The transmitter will show you that there is not break in the boundary wire. Wrap one boundary wire around the RF choke wire on the left side and wrap the other wire around the other wire on the right side. The uninsulated wire must be the part wrapped around the RF choke wire.

Step 4

Set the AM radio to channel 600 or very close. When the radio is hearing the signal, you will hear beeping or throbbing sound. Turn up the sound so you can hear it clearly.

Step 5

Walk around the boundary with the AM radio. If you are hearing a throbbing sound or beep, the wire is intact. If the radio goes quiet, there is a possible break in the wire. Mark the area, and continue checking the entire wire boundary. After you have made one round, make another round to make sure you have located all breaks.

PetSafe and SportDog

Step 1

Purchase the SportDog and PetSafe brand fencing systems boundary wire locator kit, if you didn’t get one with your system. The boundary wire break locator comes with a temporary transmitter and AM radio. This system will only find breaks, and not partial breaks.

Step 2

Disconnect the boundary wires from the transmitter. Attach each wire to the terminals on the temporary transmitter. Plug in the temporary transmitter to the power source.

Step 3

Turn on the AM radio that comes with the unit. The radio should be on channel 600 depending on how it was set from the factory. You will hear a tone coming over the radio.

Step 4

Walk around the yard along the boundary wire. When the radio tone changes, mark the spot as a possible break and continue on. After you have made one sweep of the yard, do it one more time to see if there are any more breaks that were missed.

Things You Will Need

  • RF choke for Innotek fences
  • Boundary Wire Break Locator for SportDog and PetSafe fences
  • AM radio

About the Author

Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years experience writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. She studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.