dogwatch-article-troubleshooting-tips-2014

DogWatch® Troubleshooting Tips

These troubleshooting tips should help you find answers to commonly asked questions about most DogWatch products. These tips apply primarily to DogWatch Performance Series products with FM operating systems sold after June, 2000.

If you don't find the information you need here, contact your local dealer or Customer Service.

  • Receiver Features

    Adjustable Collar: All R7, R8 and R9 receivers come fitted to an adjustable nylon collar. The collar should be positioned above the dog’s regular collar. The collar should be adjusted to insure that the contact posts touch the skin on the dog’s neck. Check the fit for the first few days of wear to insure that the collar is not too tight or causing irritation to your pet’s neck.

    Safelink® FM Radio Signal: Our patented FM design allows the DogWatch receiver to recognize and activate only to our unique radio signal. This protects your pet from unintentional correction caused by stray radio signals that may be emitted by other electronic devices.

    Automatic Shutdown: The dog containment system is designed to protect your dog from an over-correction in the unlikely event that your dog gets caught in the signal field. If your dog does not exit the signal field, the receiver will automatically stop correcting after 15 seconds – protecting your dog from over-correction. The receiver will automatically reset once the dog leaves the signal field.

    CollarBone™: The DogWatch® CollarBone, metal lock washers and contact posts fasten the receiver to the nylon collar. The plastic “collar bone” is designed to fit two collar thicknesses. For single-ply collars, mount the recessed holes of the CollarBone against the collar strap and for double-ply collars, place the flat side of the CollarBone against the collar strap.

    Contact Posts: The receiver comes with a set of contact posts. Your DogWatch Dealer will determine the correct set based on your dog’s neck shape, coat, and skin sensitivity. The posts must make contact with the skin in order for the dog to feel the correction. In certain cases, your dealer may recommend clipping some of the hair around the contact posts so that they can touch the skin more easily. Use care if you find it necessary to tighten the contact posts with the collar wrench, as over-tightening could cause damage to the receiver.

    Antenna: The receiver’s omni-directional antenna design assures optimal reception from the signal field.

    Status Light: The status light continuously monitors your receiver and provides the following features:

    • Start-Up
      When you first insert the battery into your receiver, the status light will flash red and green. This indicates that the receiver has started properly. Once started, the status light will continue to flash green approximately every 30 seconds indicating normal operation. In the event that the light does not flash, check the battery to be sure that it has been inserted properly.
    • Training Level Indicator
      When programming the training level of your receiver, the status light will flash green in conjunction with audible beeps. The number of flashes will equal the training level you have chosen.
    • Signal Field Indicator
      When testing the receiver in the signal field the status light will flash green when the receiver is in the audible zone and will flash green and red when the receiver is in the correction zone.
    • Correction Alert
      You will be able to tell if your pet has tested the boundary by looking at the status light. The status light will double flash green approximately every 30 seconds during the 24-hour period after the dog has entered the boundary area.
    • Battery Indicator
      This feature monitors the voltage level of the battery. Once the receiver detects that the battery has reached a low voltage level, the status light will change from the normal blinking “green” to blinking “red” every 10 seconds. This indicates that your battery is close to the end of its useful life and you should change the battery within the next 3-4 days.

      If your light flashes double red, this indicates that your battery is low and your pet as challenged the dog containment system.

    FastReact™: The DogWatch R7, R8, and R9 receivers offer the fastest standard reaction time available in a pet containment fence receiver. Whether your dog, strolls, runs or sprints into the Avoidance Zone, the DogWatch receiver will react - and correct - within .125 (1/8) seconds.

    User Programmable Feature: When you combine the transmitter “Rate” and the receiver training levels, you can customize the receiver to one of 20 training settings. For example: If the receiver is on Level 1 and the Transmitter Rate is on Level 1, your dog is receiving the lowest level of correction and the least number of pulses per second.

    Important: When you remove the receiver collar from your dog at night, do not store it near or on a television. Please note battery handling instructions marked on the battery.

  • Use the Proper Battery for your Receiver

    R7 Battery: The R7 receiver (both the full size R7 and the R7mini) is powered by a 3 volt 1/3 N lithium battery. The receiver is designed for a 6 month battery life. The negative (-) end of the battery must be inserted down.

    R8 & R9 Battery: The R8 & R9 receivers are powered by a 3.6 volt lithium battery. The receiver is designed for long battery life of up to two years. The positive (+) end of the battery must be inserted down.

  • Receiver Battery Instructions

    The receiver, worn on a collar around the dogs neck, is set to identify a specific coded FM radio signal from the boundary wire. It creates an audible warning followed by "correction" if the dog comes too close to the boundary wire. It operates on a replaceable battery and is waterproof when the battery cap is securely fastened.

    Resetting The Battery Status Light
    1. Remove the old battery.
    2. Wait 5 minutes before inserting the new battery.

    Waiting 5 minutes after removing the old battery will reset the Battery Status Light. If you forget to wait before inserting the new battery, the Battery Status Light will continue to blink red for 24 hours. After 24 hours, it will automatically reset.

    Inserting a New Battery
    * R7/R7mini batteries: the negative (-) end of the battery must be inserted down.
    * R8 & R9 batteries: the positive (+) end of the battery must be inserted down.

    R7 Battery: The R7 receiver (both the full size R7 and the R7mini) is powered by a 3 volt 1/3 N lithium battery. The receiver is designed for a 6 month battery life. The negative (-) end of the battery must be inserted down.

    R8 & R9 Battery: The R8 & R9 receiver is powered by a 3.6 volt lithium battery. The receiver is designed for long battery life of up to two years. The positive (+) end of the battery must be inserted down.

    Battery Plans: Ask your DogWatch Dealer about a battery plan.

    If your DogWatch Dealer does not offer a battery plan, you can join the Battery Program offered by DogWatch, Inc., and a new receiver battery will be mailed to you every 6 or 24 months. Call DogWatch, Inc., at 800-793-3436 or join through the DogWatch, Inc., website on the Battery Plan page.

    Important: When you remove the receiver collar from your dog at night, do not store it near or on a television. Please note battery handling instructions marked on the battery.

  • Status Light Indicators

    The status light in the R7/R7mini, R8 and R9 receivers provides the following features:

    Start-Up
    When you first insert the battery into your receiver, the status light will flash green. This indicates that the receiver has started properly. In the event that the lights do not flash, check the battery to be sure that it has been inserted properly.

    Correction Level Indicator
    When programming the correction level of your receiver, the status light will flash green (in conjunction with the audible beeps) the number of flashes will equal the correction level you have chosen.

    Signal Field Indicator
    When testing the receiver in the signal field the status light will flash green when the receiver is in the audible zone and will flash green and red when the receiver is in the correction zone.

    Battery Replacement Reminder
    The status light will flash red approximately every 10 seconds prior to the end of the battery life to remind you to change the battery. Be sure to change your battery every 6 months (R7 models) or two years (R8 and R9 models).

    Important: When you change your battery, remember to wait 5 minutes after removing the old battery before inserting the new battery. This will reset the status light. If you forget to wait, the battery status light will continue to blink red for 24 hours after the new battery is inserted.

  • Testing the Receiver Battery

    Setting the Training Level on the Receiver:
    The R7/R7mini, R8 and R9 receivers* provide seven training levels plus audible only that allow you to customize the training setting to your dog’s individual needs: Audible only, Level 1(extra low), Level 2 (low), Level 3 (low medium), Level 4 (medium), Level 5 (medium high), Level 6 (high), Level 7 (extra high). When the receiver is first turned on (from the manufacturer) it will automatically be set to Training Level 2 (low).

    *Applies to FM receivers. Models prior to 2007 have five (5) training levels and audible only.

    Changing the Training Level Setting:
    Your Dogwatch Dealer will start the training on the appropriate level according to your dog’s personality and traits. If you need to change the training level on the receiver, hold your test light magnet to the training level adjustment location on the side of the receiver. Hold the magnet steady and you will hear a series of beeps that indicate the current training level.

    The Training Level will continue to advance as long as the magnet is held in position. For example, Level 1 is one beep, Level 2 is two beeps, etc. The beeps indicate the training level.

    When you reach the desired training level, pull the magnet away from the receiver. The receiver is now set.

    Any time the magnet activates the receiver, it indicates the current training level. If you continue to hold the magnet in place, it will advance the receiver to the next training level. Caution: any magnet held next to the training level adjustment location will activate this function.

    AutoMemory™ Correction:
    Levels 4, 5 and 6 contain the AutoMemory™ feature*. When the receiver is set to one of the AutoMemory levels and the dog enters the signal field, the dog will receive the correction of the initial setting. When the dog leaves the signal field, the receiver will automatically advance one level. (Note: the receiver will only advance one level above the original setting regardless of the number of times the dog enters the signal field.) The receiver will remain at the higher level for 24 hours from the last time the dog entered the signal field.

    *Receivers prior to 2007, the AutoMemory feature applies to levels 2,3 and 4.

  • Adjusting the Receiver Collar

    Your DogWatch Dealer has installed your dog containment system, set the transmitter and receiver to the training levels appropriate for your dog’s personality and traits, and has placed boundary flags around the perimeter of your yard. Your Dealer has already begun your dog’s first day of containment training. Now it is your turn to continue the training.

    Before you begin training your dog with the dog containment system, be sure to place the DogWatch receiver collar on your dog’s neck before you go outside.

    1. The collar should be worn snugly on the dog’s neck. This is extremely important!
    2. Place no more than one thumb width between the contact post and dog’s neck.
    3. When checking snugness of collar, the dog’s neck should be facing down (sniffing position) as this is where the dog’s neck is the smallest.
    4. If the collar is too tight, the receiver unit will stick out to the side when the dog shakes his head.
    5. If the collar is too loose, the dog will not receive the intended correction when he or she wanders into the Avoidance Zone.
    6. Remember to periodically check for irritation around the dog’s neck.
    7. DogWatch strongly recommends that the collar be removed daily and when the dog is inside the house.

    Adjust the collar as needed. Remember — collar fit is critical! Make sure the collar is on tightly enough to keep the posts in good contact with the dog's skin. When checking collar snugness, place no more than one finger width between contact posts and the dog's neck. Be sure the dog's neck is down, in the sniffing position, as this is when the dog's neck is the smallest.

    During colder months, you dog's fur may be thicker and you may need to trim the fur under the collar to be sure the dog receives the correction. If your dog has a naturally thick coat, you may need to trim the fur year-round. Longer contact posts are available for especially heavy-coated dogs.

    If your dog was trained with the DogWatch pet containment fence as a puppy, chances are he or she has grown and may need a larger collar.

  • Performance Series™ PT4 Transmitter Features

    The transmitter sends a coded digital FM radio signal through the boundary wire. This signal can be adjusted, allowing you to control the underground dog fencing around your property. It operates on a standard 110 volt outlet.

    • PT4 Transmitter Features
      Never adjust the transmitter while your dog is wearing the receiver collar.
      Power On/Off: This switch gives you easy access to turn the transmitter on or off. The red Power light on the front panel lets you know that it is operating.

    • Power Supply: The transmitter is powered through a power supply that is plugged into a properly grounded 110 volt outlet. The adapter is plugged into the transmitter jack labeled "PWR."

    • PowerPak™: Optional battery back-up system keeps the transmitter operating in the event of a power failure. When transmitter is being powered by battery back-up, the red power light will remain off. PowerPak plugs into the transmitter at "P-PAK".

    • Ground Wire: The green ground wire is plugged into the transmitter at the location labeled “GND.” The round connector on the green ground wire is attached under the screw on the outlet faceplate. It will, however, only be effective if your outlet is properly grounded. If you have any questions about having a properly grounded outlet, consult your local electrician.

    • Loop Plug: Your system comes with zip cord with a plug on one end. This plug fits into the hole marked “Loop” on the bottom of the transmitter. This is the beginning of the boundary wire. Once your boundary wire has been properly installed and plugged into the transmitter, the Loop Monitor Display (LMD) light will turn on. If the underground dog fencing boundary wire is broken or the signal is interrupted, the LMD light will go out and an audible warning will sound. If the LMD light is out, consult your Dealer. You should also check around your property for a visible broken wire.

    • Loop Monitor Display (LMD): The Loop Monitor Display provides a visual indication of the status of your boundary signal. On traditional boundary wire configurations each number on the scale represents the boundary signal distance in feet, that is being broadcast from each side of the wire. (Minimum setting is one [1] foot.) A significant change (drop) in signal range could indicate a partial wire break or other boundary wire problem. If you have a wire break in your underground dog fencing, the blinking green light (or steady green light) will go out and an audible warning will sound. Contact your dealer for troubleshooting tips for any of the DogWatch underground and wireless fences offered or to schedule an appointment.

      Note: For non-traditional wire configuratons where the boundary wires may be close to one another, the LMD may not measure the boundary signal accurately in feet, but is a visual setting reference point. Your DogWatch dealer will explain the LMD setting and your actual signal range.

    • Range: The radio signal is transmitted from the boundary wire in all directions. The signal is adjusted by the digital range control on the transmitter to create a signal field on each side of the wire. The recommended signal field width is 6-10 feet. Your DogWatch Dealer will adjust the radio signal distance according to the personality and traits of your dog. Consult your DogWatch Dealer first before making any adjustments yourself.

    • Signal Field: The signal field has two areas. When your dog first enters the signal field, he will receive an audible warning. If he continues further into the signal field, he will receive a correction. The audible area is approximately the first 10% of the total signal field. To prevent your dog from entering the signal field and remaining in the audible area causing depletion of the battery, the receiver will transition from an audible warning to a short warning correction after a period of 15 seconds. This will activate regardless of the mode switch setting, but will not activate if the receiver is in the “Audible Only” Training Level.

    • Training Mode: The Training Mode switch allows you to choose between two pet-friendly training options: Basic (Mode A) and QuickAlert (Mode B). in Mode A, your pet will receive an audible warning followed by a correction. In Mode B, your dog will receive a very quick "alert" correction followed by the normal audible warning and correction. Mode B is typically used for harder to train dogs. If you have multiple dogs on the system, the Training Mode applies to all receivers.

    • Rate: The Rate switch can be set to three levels (1-slow, 2-medium, 3-fast). When your dog experiences a correction, he receives it in a series of pulses. Increasing the Rate means that he will receive a greater number of pulses per second.

      Note: On the back of each transmitter are four small switches. These switches set your transmitter to the correct broadcast frequency. Your dealer will set these switches for your system. Do NOT change these settings. They are for DEALER USE ONLY.

  • Outdoor Dog Containment System Signal Range

    The dial for adjusting the range is located on the right side of transmitter. Depending on the size of your property and needs of your dog, signal range may vary from the boundary wire. Your dealer has adjusted the range that is most suitable for your dog and yard.

    Be aware that the signal range on your dog containment system is very sensitive. Changing the signal field can significantly compromise the effectiveness of the boundary loop, so you should not change this setting unless your dealer recommends it.

    If you increase the signal field, be sure to only turn the dial clockwise in small increments. Remember, increasing the signal range, decreases the underground dog fencing safety zone for the dog.

    If you decrease the signal range, be sure to turn the dial counterclockwise in small increments.

  • Locating the Buried Wire

    Use the training flags to mark your yard before any landscaping is done. You can locate your underground dog fencing wire by using the receiver collar.  Avoiding the contact posts, hold the receiver at the dog's neck height as you walk toward the boundary wire. When you first hear the audible tone, mark the location with a flag. Repeat this coming from the opposite side of the buried wire. The wire should be approximately half way between the two flags.

  • Indoor Wireless Pet Fence Signal Range

    The signal range on the I-50™ and Skedaddle™ indoor wireless fences can be adjusted by turning the dial clockwise to increase the range or counterclockwise to decrease the range. The signal range on the I-50™, when in the wireless fence mode, is from 0 to 8’ in diameter. The signal range on Skedaddle™ wireless fences is from 0 to 10’ in diameter. Remember to turn the dial in small increments and test the range with the receiver. Do not touch the contact points on the receiver.

  • Remove the Collar Periodically

    Remember to remove the collar at night. If your dog stays outside, periodically remove the collar and check for irritation.

  • Safety and DogWatch Hidden Fences

    Important SafeGuards

    • Please read all the literature included with your dog containment system before turning the system on or beginning training.
    • Do not attempt to shortcut the complete training of your dog.
    • The dog containment system is intended for the purpose of containing domestic dogs. Use for any other purpose is at system owner’s risk.
    • In the event your system requires servicing, please contact your local Authorized DogWatch Dealer. Attempting to service the system yourself may invalidate the warranty.
    • The dog containment system is recommended for dogs four to six months or older. Your Dealer will recommend if a puppy under 6 months old is ready.
    • Keep the collar and the transmitter out of the reach of children.
    • Never adjust the transmitter or receiver when your dog is wearing the collar.
    • DogWatch recommends that you unplug your transmitter from the wall outlet and disconnect the loop wire during lightning storms or when it is left unused for extended periods. This will prevent possible damage from lightning and powerline surges.
    • This product is only intended for use with trained domestic dogs. If your dog is aggressive or violent and could cause harm to itself or others outside the fenced premises, you should take other measures to restrain your dog.
  • To Troubleshoot an Older AM Transmitter

    If your system is not working, check contact posts and the battery cap on the receiver and tighten if needed. Also, check the lights on the transmitter.

    The red light on the transmitter shows you have AC power to your dog containment system, the green light shows there are no breaks in the wire.

    The green loop light will blink quickly when the Rate is set on "1". When the Rate is set on "2" the green loop light will blink slowly and when the Rate is on "3" the green loop light will be a steady green light and it will no longer blink.

    If a wire break occurs, the green light will go out and you will hear an audible chirping sound.

    If the power light and the loop light go out on your AM transmitter, you may have experienced a lightning surge.

    If your transmitter is plugged into a GFI outlet, reset it and your transmitter will operate.

    If you still experience problems with any of the underground or wireless fences offered by DogWatch, contact your Dealer for assistance.