Meriel Younger from explains in simple terms how an electric fence works.

- How does an electric fence work?

The energiser converts either mains or battery power to create a high voltage pulse (with low amps). The pulse is very short and is repeated about one every second.

This pulse is commonly referred to as a shock and is felt by the animal as it touches the fence. The pulse having travelled through the animal then flows back through the earth to the earth stake hence creating a circuit. The shock is unpleasant so that it provides an effective deterrent when the animal next comes into contact with the fence. The animal remembers the unpleasant experience and avoids touching the fence again.

The diagram shows an electric fencing system works: a pulsed high voltage open loop with the animals being the completing link.

- Does electric fencing have to be set up as a circuit?

Let’s dispel an electric fencing myth!

An electric fence does not have to be set up as a circuit. In theory it could run for hundreds of miles in one direction. The only circuit that is created by electric fencing is when the animal touches the fence and hence creates a loop or circuit by facilitating the pulse to pass through it and into the ground!

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