How to Troubleshoot an Invisible Fence? Step-By-Step Guide

Last Updated on July, 2024

Do you suspect your invisible fence is not working correctly? Not sure what went wrong? Here’s how to troubleshoot and fix it (the cost-free way).

Quick Summary

Troubleshooting an invisible fence can be done at home with a step-by-step guide. Read the article.

Before troubleshooting, it is important to check the collar batteries and increase the correction levels if necessary.

If all troubleshooting methods fail, it is recommended to contact customer service for professional help or consider investing in a more reliable invisible fence.

Quick Summary

First, check your dog’s collar. Your dog may be escaping because the collar batteries are dead.

Secondly, increase the static correction level.

If all tests passed, there might be a break in the boundary wire. You’ll need to carefully dig up the invisible fence wires to locate the wire break.

Do These Before You Troubleshoot Your Invisible Fence 

a dog lying on the ground

Try Replacing the Batteries

First, check your dog’s collar. Your dog may be escaping because the collar batteries are dead. 

Replace, if needed, with the invisible fence backup battery or purchase new collar batteries.

Increase Correction Levels

Your dog might not even notice the current static correction. First, install the most suitable contact probes and properly fit the collar.

Let the probes touch your dog’s coat. Secondly, increase the static correction level.

Transmitter Troubleshoots

Preparation: Connect a 15-Foot Test Wire to the Transmitter 

You’ll need to unplug the current fence wires and connect a temporary 15-foot loop of fence wire to the transmitter to carry out some tests to see if the transmitter needs replacement.


Test 01 

  • Once the test wire loop is connected, the transmitter light should light up. If not, the fence control panel is not working.
    • Move on to the next test if the indicator does light up.

Test 02

  • Next, disconnect one end of the test wire from the transmitter. If the light DOES NOT TURN OFF, the fence transmitter is malfunctioning. It needs some repairs.
    • If the lights TURN OFF when you disconnect one end, your transmitter is working perfectly.

Receiver Collar Troubleshoot

a human checking invisible fence Receiver Collar

Test Invisible Fence Collar Battery

  • Set the transmitter to half power. Hold the receiver collar next to the test wire. It should beep when you get about a foot in length from the wire.

Checkout this guide if you want to know how to test an invisible fence battery.

Check the Electric Shock

  • Hold the test light contacts from the contact posts to check whether the collar beeping but not shocking.
  • You should replace the batteries if it doesn’t beep and the test light doesn’t flash. If the problem remains, call customer service for a new collar.

Boundary Wire Breakage

Boundary Wire Breakage

If all tests passed, there might be a break in the boundary wire. You’ll need to carefully dig up the invisible fence wires to locate the wire break.

Method 01: For Smaller Yards 

How to Locate the Underground Wire Break: 

Hold the receiver collar close to the ground. Walk towards the invisible fence perimeter from the starting point. You should locate the underground wire a few feet away from the collar beep.

Turn off your invisible fence system & carefully dig up the soil to find the underground dog fence wire. You must carefully pull out all of the underground wire in your yard to inspect for any breakage. 

Inspect the boundary wire for breaks. Remember, use this method only if you have a smaller yard.

Method 02: Bigger Yards

It can be hard to find the breakage in a bigger yard. That’s when you need a specialized tool to locate the wire breakage/s. You can find it by using a wire break locator tool.

Method 03: Diy Method (Spark Plug & Frequency Method)

You can try the below DIY method by using 03 equipment you already have at home. (A lawnmower, a few inches of test wire, AM portable radio)

Turn off and disconnect the main fence line from the transmitter.

Connect one end of the test wire to the lawnmower’s spark plug cable—the other end to the disconnected fence line.

Start the lawnmower and AM radio (tune to 530 kHz). This frequency is ideal for hearing the low-frequency static generated by the lawnmower via the buried wire.

Walk along the boundary of the wire. As you get closer to the wire, the static will increase. Look for signal drops. That’s where you find the wire breaks.

How to Fix the Wire Break?

  • Clean and remove any dirt.
  • Twist the strayed ends to connect the wire again. Use silicone glue or insulin tape to cover the twisted wire.
  • Bury the wire in the exact location.

Voila! Your transmitter alarm beeping is now stopped, and the invisible fence should work perfectly.

What if None of the Above Worked?

Then it’s time to contact customer service to do a professional inspection.



Refer to the user manual given by the manufacturer. If not, try the good Ol’ way of turning the transmitter off, unplug it, and plug it back after 30 seconds.

If your Invisible Fence is constantly beeping, the most likely problem is that your existing boundary wire has broken somewhere along your perimeter.

Fence wires may break due to digging the soil where the wire is buried, animals biting the wire, or weather conditions.

The recommendation is to change the battery every three months. If you have a rechargeable model, please refer to your manual to check the battery life.

Your system is entirely healthy, but your dog is not safe if the collar batteries are dead or corrupted. It is recommended to have backup batteries. Remove the batteries after each use.

Invisible fence collars can also malfunction, giving no shocks or continuous shocks. Cleaning contact posts regularly and ongoing maintenance will lower the risk. Adjust the collar strength accordingly.

An underground dog fence collar can stop giving the correction shock to your dog. You can check whether the contact posts are correctly fixed and change the contact posts given by the manufacturer if necessary. It should touch your dog’s coat.

Continuous static shock can cause psychological distress for your dog and unhealthy increases in heart rate and can create skin sores in your dog. Reset your dog’s collar, and change the batteries. Still the same? Immediately contact customer service to have a new collar.

Check your dog’s health if he was exposed to nonstop shocks for some time, and seek medical help if necessary.

Final Thoughts 

Like any other electronic item, your invisible fence setup will wear and tear over time. Having an excellent invisible fence and proper maintenance will make your life easier.

If your fence is causing you trouble after all the troubleshooting, Here’s a list of the most long-lasting invisible dog fences you can rely on.

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Stefano Giachetti
Stefano Giachetti is always excited to share his knowledge and love of animals with you through our blog, IPetGuides. And he has always loved animals and has been blessed to have many pets throughout his life. Currently has a Pomeranian Dog Breed.

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