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Electric Fence--is the ground wire dangerous?

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  • Electric Fence--is the ground wire dangerous?

    OK, dumb question, but here goes. I want to put a puppy paddock right next to my horse turn out. The horse has 2 X 4 non-climb with an electric top wire. The ground rods are sunk in the space that I am considering for the puppy paddock. Can the puppy hurt himself chewing the ground wires or rods. He won't be unattended for long, but hey, he's a puppy.

    Thanks all!

  • #2
    You *really* don't want him chewing ground wires or rods
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    • Original Poster

      No, I don't WANT him to chew on the wires. The question is would it be a major hazard if he were to chew on them. I cannot see re-sinking the ground rods before summer as the ground has already frozen.


      • #4
        Originally posted by IFG View Post
        No, I don't WANT him to chew on the wires. The question is would it be a major hazard if he were to chew on them. I cannot see re-sinking the ground rods before summer as the ground has already frozen.
        I don't think he would chew for long, I mean one shock and he would get the hint. Still if you are worried could you place the pen close but not near the ground wire?


        • Original Poster

          See I don't get a shock when I touch the ground. Would a dog get a shock from it?


          • #6
            I don't think it is a danger. You only get shocked if you touch the top wire. Touching the ground is no different than sticking your finger in the ground.

            Someone back me up here.
            Yes, I know how to spell. I'm using freespeling!



            • #7
              I was just playing devil's advocate, I don't have wire fence so I don't know. I just figured IF you COULD get shocked the puppy would learn fast, if not then you have nothing to worry about....


              • #8
                Originally posted by wanabe View Post
                I don't think it is a danger. You only get shocked if you touch the top wire. Touching the ground is no different than sticking your finger in the ground.

                Someone back me up here.
                I have always been too chicken to touch the ground rod or wire.


                • #9
                  You can touch the ground rod/wire. If done properly, it shouldn't be carrying any voltage.

                  Doesn't mean I can do it without a MAJOR case of the heebie-jeebies, though--I'm a huge electro-phobe.
                  Click here before you buy.


                  • Original Poster

                    I didn't think that it would be a problem as it is only attached the the negative. I have touched it and tripped over it plenty. Pooch will have lots of other stuff to keep him busy. The easiest place to put the pen though is to run it right next to the horse fence line, and the rods are there. Just wanted to check.


                    • #11
                      Why not hedge your bet and put a chicken wire cage or a plywood box around the rods/wire?
                      Even though danger of electrocution isn't an issue, puppies will be puppies and always seem to find a way to chew up the most unlikely things...
                      Heck, I'd be tempted to run a 'modesty wall' along the no-climb between the two just to alleviate incessant bark bark barking at the horse.
                      To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it. - GK Chesterton


                      • #12
                        Not that you want the puppy chewing on wires and/or ground rods and IMO you shouldn't build a puppy cage so that a pup has access to it but it won't hurt him.

                        A shock only happens when a positive and a negative charge meet. The positive charge is your fences wire and the ground rods job is to send the negative charge out through the ground. When you touch the fence it may seem as though you are only touching the positive charge but the negative charge from the ground wire is running up from the ground through your body. So when you touch the positive fence line you are allowing the negative and positive charge to meet.

                        This is the reason why a bird can land on your fence, or ants can crawl along your fence without getting shocked, they aren't touching the ground so the negative charge isn't coming into contact with the positive fence line.

                        This is also the reason why if you get shocked really bad and/or if your ground is wet (so the negative ground line is stronger then normal) you will feel a shock at the positive wire of your fence and at your feet, where the negative charge is entering your body.

                        So since the pup probably can't touch both the positive charge and the negative charge at the same time he will be fine. But IMO I still wouldn't want the pup to have access to that.


                        • #13
                          Only if your father, while mowing and in spite of being shown this and other hazards, runs over the ground wire with the mower.


                          • #14
                            There would be a problem if the puppy managed to break the ground wire loose from the ground rod. It would not only shock him, but render the fence inoperative and possibly damage the charger.

                            Also, any charge that a nearby lightning strike induces into the fence will be carried to ground through the rod, possibly raising the potential around the rod for a fraction of a second -- long enough to electrocute!

                            Remember that winter storms can be accompanied by lightning.
                            The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                            Winston Churchill


                            • #15
                              Frank, yes, that is where I was going with my comment, I just thought that would be more obvious As long as things are grounded, it's fine. But puppies (and kitties!!) don't necessarily stop when they break through the protective covering of the wire I was re-doing the connection of my fence wire to my first ground rod a week ago and forgot to flip the switch to turn the charger off I HATE that.
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks all. Puppy will be attended for most part when out. Not an outdoor puppy, the puppy paddock is to let off steam, but I will cage the ground lines for now and move them when the ground thaws. How did it go from 70 degrees to 10 degrees in the space of a week? Oh, that's right, I am in New England.