An electric fence consists of a transmitter, receiver, and wires that transmit energy. These fences are commonly used for two purposes. Either homeowners buy an invisible electric fence to keep their dogs in, or they install a tall electric fence around a large property as a security measure. Electric fences can also be used for keeping large animals, like horses, in on a ranch.
The installation cost will vary greatly depending on which kind of electric fence you are purchasing. The average cost of installing an electric fence is $1,144. However, homeowners can typically expect to pay between $917 and $1,373. There are a few key considerations that all homeowners should factor into their budget.
Average Cost of an Electric Fence
Typical Cost for Installing an Electric Fence
$923 to $1,344
Invisible Fence/Collar Packages (not including installation)
$100 to $400
Wiring (if purchased separately)
Collar (if purchased separately)
$50 to $300
$5 to $30
$60 to $90 annually
Most invisible electric fences and collars come in packages and are available for purchase at pet stores or online for anywhere from $100 to $400, which does not cover installation or additional accessories. The separate parts can also be bought and put together for less or replaced if needed by homeowners. What you pay for the latter depends on how much wiring you need for your backyard or for how many collars you require. Wiring and a collar are an average of $50 each.
Homeowners must typically replace the batteries every 3 to 4 months, which costs between $60 and $90 per year, depending on the type of battery. The system also requires a charger which can cost anywhere from $50 to $300, on average. Lastly, homeowners should invest in a voltage meter to test the charge, which can range from $5 to $30.
Below is a list of the some of the major brands and their latest published prices for electric fences. Keep in mind that these list prices do not include installation or any optional accessories, such as additional fence wiring or collars:
YardMax Rechargeable In-Ground Fence
Humane Contain Electronic Ultra Dog Fence Value System
(Scout Travel 50 Containment System)
AC-Powered Electric Fence Kit for Pets and Small Animals
As is the case with any fencing option, there are a variety of pros and cons associated with electric fences. Here are a few of the most significant benefits and drawbacks that homeowners should consider before installing an invisible fence around their property:
Homeowners do not have to pay for fence repairs or maintenance, which is a common expense for physical fences. It also reduces the risk of injury that can be caused by barbed wire fences or broken chain link fences with sharp edges.
An electric fence is more discreet than physical fences. Thus, it is ideal for homeowners who do not want to blight their landscape by installing a traditional fence. It provides a nearly unobstructed view of the surrounding area.
It gives you the freedom to let your animals roam without having to worry about them wandering into nearby yards or dangerous terrain, such as nearby roads. It also allows you to train your pet to stay within the confines of your yard.
It is an ideal alternative in housing developments that prohibit physical fences. Some housing tracts even have fencing laws that can lead to penalties and fines.
An electric fence is more cost-effective than a physical fence. In fact, an electric fence that includes six high-tensile strands costs 10 to 15% less than a barbed wire fence with five strands.
Homeowners must check the voltage on a regular basis to ensure that the charge is at adequate levels. The batteries must also be switched out periodically.
Those who are inexperienced with electric fence installation may have to hire a professional. This involves a significant investment and may take days to complete, or longer if a wiring issue is detected.
An electric fence may keep your animals inside the boundary, but it does not prevent other animals from entering. Thus, it is not an effective solution for homeowners who wish to keep raccoons, possums, and other wild creatures off their property.
Electric fences do not operate during a power failure. Therefore, your pets can wander out of the yard in the event of a storm or natural disaster that causes an outage.
Here are a few additional considerations that homeowners should factor into their decision-making process:
Physical Fence Strands
One of the primary cost considerations is the number and type of electric fence strands that will be in use. Physical fences commonly have between one and 11 strands that can feature a wide range of materials, such as steel and high-tensile wire. The average cost to enclose an acre of land is between $200 and $2,500.
Size of Your Property
If you decide to build a real electric fence, then a major factor influencing price will be the size of your property. The larger the property's perimeter, the more wiring you will need and the more costly the installation will be. You will need more posts and wires for the more property you have to cover.
Every professional will have a different rate for installation, so get a few estimates before choosing which pro to hire. Installation of an electric fence is reasonably straightforward but may be influenced by the soil quality around your property. Also, if the professional must shape the boundaries of your fence, this can result in higher costs.
If you do not or cannot have power running out to the electric fence, you can use a solar charger to power it. Make sure the charger faces to the southeast to get the most sunlight during the day. Otherwise, you may have to find a way to run underground wires from the electric fence to your house to power the electric fence, which could be a costly investment. Consult your installation professional to see what will work best for your situation.
You may need or want some extra features with your electric fence that could add extra costs to your final price. You may want lightning protection or a higher-quality wire for longer life. You may also feel the need for a backup system in case of power outages. Talk to your installation professional about which extras may be a good choice and how much this will add to the price of your electric fence.
Amount of Shock
Systems that deliver a higher shock typically cost more. These units are also more expensive to operate, as they require more electricity to maintain a greater charge. However, they may be the best choice for households with larger dogs.
In some cases, electric fences may generate radio noise that interferes with other electronics on the premises. A professional may have to be called out to check the frequency and troubleshoot the issue.
Many homeowners choose to hire a professional animal trainer after installing an electric fence. This helps the pet to grow accustomed to the fence and understand that there is now a boundary around the property. The cost of a trainer greatly depends on his expertise, experience level, the disposition of the pet, and the region in which you live.
Electric fences may not be ideal for larger animals, such as cattle or deer, as the voltage level is typically not sufficient. Purchasing a collar for every animal can also be quite costly. Ranch owners may want to opt for a physical electric or barbed wire fence that can contain the livestock.
An electric fence delivers low-voltage shocks that do not harm pets. It is recommended by many veterinarians, trainers, and animal behaviorists, as it prevents pets from running out onto the street or getting into other potentially dangerous situations. In many respects, an electric fence keeps pets out of harm’s way. The primary goal of the fence is to encourage a behavioral change in your pets, not to cause them physical pain.
How does an electric fence work?
An electric fence system converts battery power into an electric pulse. The main power component is known as an “energizer.” This unit releases a charge into the strands or wires one time every second, and lasts roughly 150 microseconds. When the animal wearing the collar comes into contact with the charged fence, he receives a minor shock, which lets him know that he has approached the boundary.
Is it possible to use an electric fence for more than one pet?
In most instances, every pet in the house will need to wear a collar. Otherwise, they will not receive a shock when they reach the electric fence strands or wires. However, the type of animal and their size should determine the amount of shock that is put out by the system.
How should you let others know that your property is protected by an electric fence?
After installing an electric fence, especially one that it is invisible and does not contain strands, you should display a sign on the premises that notifies visitors. This also makes them aware of the fact that your animal is unable to move beyond the barrier. For example, the mail carrier will automatically know that your large dog is not going to interfere with his delivery.
Where can you place an electric fence?
An electric fence can be installed virtually anywhere, as long as it is not in close proximity to water. It can even traverse rocky hillsides or other rough terrain, though the installation costs may be higher due to increased labor expenses and specialty tools.
Installing an electric fence may require an investment, but it is well worth it if you wish to safeguard your pets and ensure that they stay within the confines of your property. Keep this cost guide on hand to create an accurate budget for your electric fencing project and to decide if it is the right option for you and your pets.