Electric fence and deep snow

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Hi I need to install an electric fence to keep my four dogs at home and in all my time of researching this I can find nothing about the effects of deep snow on the fence, will snow covering the lower wires cause it be always draining power, will it cause damage to the system, if so is there a way around this?

I found this group in my many searches, not sure if I can get back here so a reply to my email would be nice.

Our local Farm and Fleet is closing down so I can get some good deals if I move fast. Thanks Frank

-- Frank DuPont (Northern MI) (fdupont@netonecom.net), January 30, 2002


Yep, deep snow will effect the current. So will grass, and sticks. Get the most powerful system you can afford and a larger gauge wire. If it is fluffy snow you might be o.k. But when we have had a good snowy winter I have had to go out and move the snow away from the fence and that was at hip deep. The people at your farm store may be able to help you too. Read the boxes, they give you some good information too. Can you put a woven wire down on the bottom half and electric higher up? Just a thought. Good Luck!


-- Susan in Minnesota (nanaboo@paulbunyan.net), January 30, 2002.

Never heard of a regular livestock electric fence working well with dogs, they would be pretty creative at defeating it I would think.

As to the question, snow will decrease, but not totally short out an electric fence. Ignore the 'miles' rating of a fencer, you want power. :) For a 2 mile fence, I want the 25 mile rating. Don't know a good use for the wimpy 5 mile rating - and so on.

The bigger problem with snow is that it pulls the fence down onto the ground as the snow melts, destroying the fence, or sagging it.

Are you going to build a regular woven fence, with electric as a top (and/or) bottom barrier? A jumping dog won't get shocked by a top wire, no ground...


-- paul (ramblerplm@hotmail.com), January 30, 2002.

I trained my three Rotties using an electic fence to discourage them from digging underneath my field fence. It worked and, although the wire is still there, I'm no longer using it.


-- Rudy (rbakker@wcrtc.net), January 30, 2002.

My electric tape always worked well with my Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky. They were very respectful of it!! In the winter, when the snow piles up, I just turn off the charger. My goats have their own special winter area around the barn and never wade through the snow to get near the fence.

-- Marcia (HrMr@webtv.net), January 30, 2002.

Watch the prices at your Farm and Fleet store, ours jacked the prices to cover any "savings", there were no good deals at ours at all!!!

Snow will cause the fence to short out and ground itself out, won't damage it, but it won't work either.

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (annie@1st.net), January 30, 2002.

Wow! This is really an active forum, I had answers within an hour or less!

Someone mention using a normal type fence but in my case my health is too bad for doing that kind of fence work and I do want to cover a fair piece of land. I was looking at an invisible fence and collars on the dogs but then I figured that a beagle hot on a rabbit track would be past the fence before it knew what happen then it would be trapped outside it.

I did read or someone here told me that you can turn off the lower wires if the snow gets too high and maybe by then the dogs would have learned to start away from the fence.

Now I have bigger problems, my wife hates the idea of the electric fence, she thinks dogs are dogs not human so they should be fine in a small fenced place.

Thanks for all your help Frank

-- Frank DuPont (fdupont@netonecom.net), January 30, 2002.

Frank, we used to raise dalmatians, long before 101, and I liked to be able to walk my dogs out in the big field and part of the woods. We put 3 strands of stock electric fence up and it kept them in. When the snow got too deep, we just unhooked the bottom wires from the charge. The dog I have now wouldn't even cross a string that has the orange plastic tied to it, and he only got zapped once.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), January 30, 2002.

Frank, glad you like this forum, has some cool people on it, yes? I have to say that it seems that the influence that an electric fence has on keeping dogs in does depend on the intelligence of the dogs. Don't want to upset anyone, and no slight intended re any breeds but the more versatile and adaptable the dog, the easier they find it to defeat the fence. Most herding breeds figure it out pretty quick, working breeds come second and the rest with varying degrees of success. Been studying this for a long time and as a person whos job kept me in contact with lots of dogs and owners it has been interesting. A thought about those fences which rely on the dog wearing the collar? They keep nothing OUT either as well as not being all that great at keeping a dog in. Hope you let us know how it goes and what you decide. LQ

-- Little Quacker (carouselxing@juno.com), January 30, 2002.

Set up the system where wire 1 and 3 are active, when it snows change to wire 2 and 4. It can be done with alligator clips.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), January 30, 2002.

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