National Dog Day!

The DogWatch team celebrates National Dog Day with extra treats and walks for our office dogs. National Dog Day is an unofficial holiday that is celebrating its 10th year. Dog lovers don’t need anything official to celebrate their beloved pups, right? Visit the sponsors of National Dog Day  to find ideas for how you can celebrate. With over 60,000 YouTube dog videos, it’s hard to choose the right one for a day like today. However, this one expresses how most dog owners feel about their dogs, and we’re sure you do, too!

 

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Posted in New & Noteworthy

The Do’s and Don’ts of Potty Training Your Puppy

It is not a particularly pleasant experience to walk into a room to find that your puppy has had “an accident” in the middle of the floor. This is especially true for the first time puppy parents. And let’s face it, losing our temper and being angry is often our first reaction. What do you do? How do you train your dog to do his “business” outside? Before we answer those questions, here is a list of “Do’s” and “Do not’s” on how to help the process go a little smoother:

When accidents happen, please DO NOT:
Yell at your dog or swat your dog’s rear end. The accident may have happened long before you walked into the room and chances are he has already forgotten what he did. Not to mention, you could injure your dog.
Rub their nose in it physically. Not only is this action pretty disgusting and cruel, it will do nothing to teach your dog proper “potty training” etiquette.
When accidents happen, please DO:

  • Stay calm and take a deep breath.
  • Be patient and remember that he is just a baby.
  • Remember, your puppy really needed to “go” and doesn’t know what to do unless you show him what you expect of him.

This video will get you started.

 

Two-Step Learning Process
Not only do you want your puppy to learn to do his “business” outside, but you also want him to let you know when “nature calls”. These are two processes going on simultaneously and you need to work on both of them.

Going outside versus inside. When your puppy has an accident in the house, get a paper towel and either soak up or scoop up the mess. Before you do anything with it, leave it on the floor and bring your puppy to the scene of the crime. Let him or her smell the area and in a firm voice say, “NO.” Next, take the paper towel with its contents outside in an area you want your puppy to “go,” lay it on the ground and let him smell the contents once again. This time praise him and maybe even give a treat. What you are doing is letting him know that inside is a bad place to go “potty” but outside is a good place. Repeat this process until the puppy is consistently going “potty” outside. Be sure to reward with treats when he goes outside on his own.

Teaching your puppy to let you know when it needs to “go.” Head to your local craft store to find a little bell and tie a string to it. Next, tie the string to the handle of the door you are most likely to use when letting your dog out. Make sure it is at nose level to your puppy. Once this is set up you are ready to start. Every time you take your puppy outside hit the bell first or hit the bell with your puppy’s paw. This is creating a conditioned response and showing your puppy that when he needs to “go”, if he rings the bell, the door will open. Be vigilant. If your puppy hits the bell, even if it is just playing, immediately take him outside. The more consistent you are with opening the door upon the bell ringing, the faster your puppy will pick up on this trick and use it consistently.

  • Things to remember
  • Your puppy is just a baby and doesn’t know what to do yet.
  • Take your puppy out as often as possible, especially after eating or drinking.
  • Be consistent and patient.
  • Keep your puppy confined to a limited space inside in the beginning, preferably on tile or linoleum.
  • You have a darling puppy. Enjoy him!  If you get frustrated, head out for a walk to work off your aggravations and soak up the attention you most certainly will get from your adorable bundle of joy.

This process could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but with consistency and patience, your dog will soon be potty trained.  Good luck!

Posted in Uncategorized

How to Identify and Get Rid of Your Dog’s Ticks

Ticks can be an unavoidable part of the summer months for many dogs and their owners. The staff at DogWatch Hidden Fences has a lot of experience with ticks, both from our customers and our own dogs. Here is how to safely identify and remove them.

Does my dog have ticks?

Ticks, the tiny, eight-legged menace to your dog, have the potential to transmit Lyme and other diseases to both humans and animals. Here’s how to know if your dog has them.  Check for ticks should be part of your daily routine especially if you live near wooded areas or are camping.  Simply rub your hands along your dog’s body feeling for bumps and separate the fur to look for the tiny bugs.  Be sure to check not only the torso, but also inside and behind your dog’s ears, face, neck, behind the legs and between their toes.

How do I remove a tick if I find one?

We hope your dog is delightfully tick-free this summer, but if he’s not, here’s what to do:

  • Find a helper who can gently hold your dog while you do the extraction.
  • With tweezers (not your fingers), grasp the tick as closely to your dog’s skin as possible, to ensure that you’re grasping the tick’s head as well as its body.
  • Pull out the tick in a straight motion. Do not try to twist it out!
  • If you missed any larger pieces, try to get those with the tweezers.  Do not dig for smaller pieces as those should work themselves out naturally.
  • Place the removed tick in a small baggie or jar with a bit of rubbing alcohol.  This will kill the tick. Save the tick in case your dog shows signs of sickness later; the tick may help the vet identify the problem later.
  • Clean the area with antiseptic spray or cream.
  • Clean your tweezers with rubbing alcohol or an open flame.
  • Wash your hands even if gloves were used.
  • Reward your pup with a treat for being a brave and cooperative patient.

Tick Myths and Important Do NOT’s
There are many myths associated with ticks that need to be ignored.  Once you find a tick, remove it as quickly as possible.
According to the Center for Disease Control, using petroleum jelly, a hot match, liquid soap or alcohol will NOT cause the tick to back out. In fact, those methods may cause the tick to burrow deeper.DogWatch Hidden Fences Tick Advice

  • Flushing ticks down the toilet will not kill them and just introduces them into our water supply.  Submersion in alcohol is the best way to kill a tick.
  • Using your fingers to remove  ticks will increase the chance the head may remain and risks spreading disease to you. This goes for trying to crush the tick with your fingers as well. Tweezers are always your best option.

Tick Facts

  • Ticks may be as small as the head of a pin, so check pets carefully.
  • Tick heads rarely stay in.
  • The wound caused by the tick may last for up to a week.
  • Hydrocortisone spray can help to soothe any discomfort.
  • The wound may scar, making a small bald spot on your pup.

Tick Prevention

  • Use vet-recommended flea and tick treatments on your dog regularly.
  • Keep your grass cut and weeds to a minimum.
  • Stay on paths (if possible) when hiking or walking in a wooded area with your dog.
  • If ticks are found on a human family member, be sure to check your dog and any other people in the house.

Signs of Illness

If you do find and successfully remove a tick from your dog, unfortunately you’re not quite yet out of danger.  Watch your dog over the next few weeks, for possible joint soreness, rashes, lameness, fever and loss of appetite. If you notice any of these symptoms, grab that tick you retrieved and head to your vet.  Ticks are an unavoidable nuisance that shouldn’t keep you and your dog from enjoying the great outdoors!  DogWatch Hidden Fences wishes you lots of great outdoor adventures with your dog!

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Posted in Dog Care, Dog Grooming, Summer

The DogWatch Hidden Fence Earns a 2014 Consumers Digest ‘Best Buy’

The Best Buy Seal and other licensed materials are registered certification marks and trademarks of Consumers Digest Communications, LLC, used under license. For award information, visit ConsumersDigest.com.

We are pleased to announce that in the 2014 Consumers Digest review of Pet-Containment products, the DogWatch Hidden Fence earned the prestigious Best Buy (CDBB) designation. Consumers Digest conducts product reviews in the Pet-Containment category every 2 to 3 years, and the DogWatch Hidden Fence has consistently received the ‘Best Buy’ designation in each review since 1998.  In the 2014 review, the DogWatch Hidden Fence is the only Pet-Containment brand recognized in the Premium category!

‘Best Buys’ in underground Pet-Containment systems are selected based on several criteria, including performance, features, warranty, and the company’s reputation for quality. The Premium Selection designation denotes the DogWatch Hidden Fence is a full-featured product that delivers excellent performance.

The DogWatch Hidden Fence system includes a combination of unique features not found in other containment systems. Some of the features noted in the review include a heavier wire gauge (which provides a more secure boundary), the ability to fine tune correction levels, the AutoMemory® feature, which automatically adjusts correction levels and the TattleTale®  feature which lets you know if your pet challenged the boundary. It is also noted that the DogWatch system is suitable for dogs of all sizes, even as small as 3 pounds! Read the full review at: 2014 DogWatch Hidden Fence Review

What is a ‘Best Buy’ and Why Does It Matter?
“A Consumers Digest Best Buy is a product that delivers exceptional value for a given amount of money. That doesn’t mean that it’s simply the least expensive product in its category. A Consumers Digest Best Buy is one that merits special attention from consumers based on its combination of eight criteria: performance, ease of use, features, quality of construction, warranty, efficiency, styling, and maintenance and service requirements.”  (www.consumersdigest.com/best-buy-process)

The Consumers Digest Best Buy Designation is the result of a rigorous process. The CDBB products merit special attention from consumers based on a combination of: performance, ease of use, features, quality of construction, warranty, efficiency, styling, and maintenance and service requirements. The process of determining the CDBB follows these steps.
Basic Criteria Ensure that the product meets four basic criteria: national availability in retail stores or via an established online retailer; a national dealer network/service organization to support repairs/service; a manufacturer of established reputation (unless it’s part of a genuinely new technology); availability for at least 6 months after the publication date of Consumers Digest’s Best Buy recommendation.

Independent Evaluation Conduct a review of independent evaluation and testing; reports from government agencies and others; interviews of retailers and service technicians; consumer surveys; and evaluations from other entities. Consumers Digest staff sample numerous models to include firsthand experience in the overall evaluation of various models in a category.

Grouping into Categories The select few products that make it through the process are grouped by price range and are typically classified into three categories: [P] Premium selection, which denotes that a product is full-featured and delivers excellent performance and is priced accordingly; [M] Midrange selection, which indicates that a product has many popular features and good performance at a price below the top of the line for the category; and [E] Economy selection, which means that a product delivers satisfactory performance via basic features at an advantageous price for cost-conscious consumers.

Adhering to a Standardized Process Every product-category evaluation is spearheaded by Consumers Digest senior editors. On each product evaluation, at least one expert evaluator or writer is hired to collaborate. The process above is adhered to, and this rigorous process yields the most appropriate products for each category.

Congratulations DogWatch Hidden Fence for being designated a Consumers Digest Best Buy!

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Posted in DogWatch Dealer Chat

Co-Branding: Adding a New Brand to Grow Your Existing Brand

DogWatch DogThe Benefits of Combining DogWatch® and an Outdoor Recreation Business

In an article posted by Entrepreneur magazine, Jeff Elgin notes that the traditional methods of business expansion (e.g., selling more to the same customers, expanding geographically) are being supplanted by what he refers to as Synergistic Expansion. Elgin defines this as leveraging a business’ existing infrastructure, customers and staff to support growth that, “though not directly related to the current business….has some synergies.”

In a 2009 article Grow Your Business by Addition with Co-Branding, published by the US Business Journal, Todd Beckman refers to this type of expansion as Co- Branding. Beckman goes on to say:

“The key to successful brand add-ons is compatibility in both concept and operations. If you currently have a business, adding a new brand with compatible products and services allows you to increase the revenue you are currently receiving from your existing customers even as you increase your customer base through the attraction of the new brand.”

A successful example of co-branding can be found among outdoor recreational retailers. Two such companies, Backyard Playworld in Omaha, Nebraska & Adventures Outback in Austin, Texas actively promote & install DogWatch Hidden Fences in addition to marketing residential playgrounds, basketball hoops & trampolines.

Jon Simons of Backyard Playworld, who also does business as DogWatch of Omaha, reports that his play-set customers routinely inquire about and purchase DogWatch Fences. Conversely, pet-owners with a DogWatch Fence often come back to purchase recreation products.

Tim Carter, owner of Adventures Outback and DogWatch of Austin-San Antonio puts it this way: “I’m already in the customer’s back yard for recreational installations, if a dog comes running out the door I’ve just found another DogWatch customer!” Simons and Carter maintain separate websites for their outdoor recreation and dog fence businesses. Both sites display prominent links to the other complimentary business.

DogWatch has Dealer opportunities available in many markets that would make a great addition to an Outdoor Recreation retailer or other similar business. Boise, Idaho; Evansville, Indiana; Reno-Tahoe, Nevada & Little Rock, Arkansas are a just few of the places where we’re looking. A complete list of available markets can be viewed at http://www.dogwatch.com/become-a-dealer/become-a-dealer-overview

For more information on Co-Branding with DogWatch, contact Dennis Manitsas at 800-793-3436 x 618 or dennis.manitsas@dogwatch.com.

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Posted in DogWatch Dealer Chat, New & Noteworthy

2 Steps to a Great 4th of July For Your Dog

Fireworks

Fireworks and thunderstorms can be stressful for any dog, but did you know that more than 20% of dogs have severe adverse reactions to fireworks? Check out our blog article about dogs and fireworks to learn how you can help prepare your pup for the 4th. Read more…

Food

We all know that chocolate and grapes are bad for dogs… but do you know what else your pup should avoid?  The 4th of July is prime time for picnics, so this would be a good time to review the list. And remember to keep an eye on Fido around the grill and anywhere food is set out. Read more…

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Posted in Holidays, Summer

The Dog Days of Summer Reading List Is Here!

Looking for a summer reading list that will get you a ‘paws-up’ from your pet pal?  Here is our 2014 list of dog-related titles that will make great “summer reads!” From funny dog facts and statistics, to dog vs. cat arguments, to a charming and well-written novel featuring a dog and his vet, to dog trick training, these books are sure to enrich your mind (and maybe your heart) and teach you a thing or two about your four-legged pal.

Dog Gone, Back Soon by Dr. Nick Trout
New York Times bestselling author and double-board certified veterinary surgeon Dr. Nick Trout brings us a lively new novel about a small town vet with big time challenges and a host of eccentric cases to treat (those are just the pet-owners!). This tale of new beginnings gives us a glimpse into the challenges and joys of being a small independent veterinarian. Grab Dog Gone, Back Soon for a typical David vs Goliath tale-except that this David has to cure pot-head puppies, overly sensitive service dogs, and feline obesity.

Planet Dog by Sandra and Harry Choron
Are you one of those people who enjoy endless amounts of useless knowledge?  If so, this book is most definitely for you. This “doglopedia” promises serious and silly knowledge of just about anything you ever wanted to know about dogs. It’s a fun book for browsing, reference, or just fact-collecting next time you need a random piece of information to share with a crowd. Just a quick flip of the pages promises juicy tidbits of knowledge including:
Characteristics of “cat people vs. dog people”
27 songs about dogs
45 dogs who appeared on “The Simpsons”
18 World Trade Center dogs
Life expectancy of 68 popular dog breeds

If Your Dog Could Talk…A Training Guide for Humans by Dr. Bruce Fogle
This book is a wealth of information. It includes a great history of dogs, including topics such as domestication and evolution of dogs, the family habits, and behaviors of mothers and their puppies.
It also addresses physical characteristics of dogs and how they see, smell, taste, hear, and overall experience the world.
If you have ever wondered why a dog marks territory, smells backsides, sleeps in funny positions, or any number of other unusual dog behaviors, you should definitely pick up this book.

Why Dogs are Better than Cats by Bradley Trevor Greive
This book was, most obviously, written by a dog lover. The quotes used are witty, thought-provoking, and very well argued. And the pictures are simply incredible. They manage to capture the many emotions of dogs and, well, the far fewer emotions of cats. To put it best, the author feels as if “Dogs see you as a parent, partner, best friend, and soul mate. Cats see you as s source of warmth and food.”
So if you are a dog lover and a cat non-lover, then this is most definitely the book for you. Or if you have a cat lover in your life that you think can take the cat criticism, this one may be for you, too.

101 Dog Tricks: Step-by-Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy
Who doesn’t want their dog to know more tricks? Tricks are cool and very fun to show off! But wouldn’t it be fun to have some unusual tricks to show? For instance, our Schnauzer knows dance and spin and those are far better crowd pleasers than the traditional shake and sit.
One thing to remember when teaching tricks, look for natural abilities that your dog may have that lends itself to certain tricks <insert link to “Teaching Tricks Based on Tendencies>.  An example may include a dog that likes to jump on its hind legs, which would easily morph into dance or touchdown or walk like an Egyptian.
Some fun examples of tricks that you could learn to teach include:

  • Doggy push-ups
  • Pickpocket Pooch
  • Find the Car Keys
  • Take a Bow
  • Chorus Line Kicks
  • My Dog Can Count

We wish you a very enjoyable and relaxing summer, and we hope you have time for some of these great books. Learn more about DogWatch and the products we make for dogs (and cats!) at www.dogwatch.com.

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Posted in Dog Care, Dog Stories, Seasonal, Summer

‘Copreneurs’ Make Great DogWatch Dealers!

With several excellent DogWatch Dealership opportunities currently available, we have been thinking about the attributes of successful DogWatch Dealers.  According to “Married to the Job (And Each Other)” a February 14, 2011 Wall Street Journal article, “about a third of all family businesses are husband and wife teams.”  The article refers to these working spouses as ‘Copreneurs,’ noting that “many couples say the complimentary personalities that brought them together make them logical business partners.”

It’s probably not surprising that Copreneurs have a significant presence in the DogWatch Dealer network and are at the center of many successful Dealerships. Chicago, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio are but a few of the many markets where husband and wife owned DogWatch Dealerships have been recognized for outstanding sales growth and customer service.

According to Glenn Muske, a small business specialist quoted in the article, these couples are “…so in sync with one another that the business becomes an extension of the relationship…couples succeed as business partners because they bring trust, communication and commitment to the table. They have clearly defined roles within the company and consider the business a way of life that gives them more flexibility as a family.”

Would you and your “other half” make good Copreneurs? Do you know someone else who is looking for this kind of opportunity?  Northern New Jersey is one example of an available market that is well suited to a dog-loving ‘Copreneural Couple’ with strong customer service skills. For more information about New Jersey or other opportunities, contact Dennis Manitsas @ 617-306-4060 or dennis.manitsas@dogwatch.com or go to www.dogwatch.com/become-a-dealer.com.

Posted in DogWatch Dealer Chat

Doggy Apps! Tech Toys for You & Your Pooch

If you’re like most dog lovers you like to share your world with your pup. He comes along when you go fishing, lends a paw when you’re gardening, and is always up for a quick trip to the hardware store. You pet him, talk to him, and best of all, play games with him.

It should come as no surprise then to learn that people are happily introducing their canine friends to their digital world. We’ve rounded-up some apps designed to engage and entertain your dog.

A simple game for the iPad or iPhone, Game for Dogs, features critters scurrying across the screen. Some dogs are just intrigued while some try to capture Squirrelly Sam, or others of the cute little creatures, which leaves digital paw prints on the screen. The app itself is free, but it remains to be seen how your screen will hold up to your pet’s spirited attentions.

If your dog loves his squeaky toys, iSqueek will introduce him to the digital version. A virtual squeak toy for the iPhone, it has 18 toys to choose from, each with a distinct squeaky sound, the duration of which is controlled by your touch. Grab your dog’s attention with his favorite squeaky sound.

While iSqueek might excite your dog Pet Acoustics claims to sooth and calm dogs at times of stress using frequency, volume, and rhythm specifically attuned to a dog’s hearing sensitivities.

Dognition maintains that their system of games and activities are scientifically designed to help owners better communicate and interact with their dogs by classifying the dogs’ learning styles and personality types. Whether it’s important to you to know if your dog is an Ace, an Einstein, a Renaissance Dog, or one of Dognition’s other types, or not, the games and activities look like they’d be fun for both you and your dog.

If you love posting pictures of your adorable pet, you might find Dog Boogie or Pet Snap to be useful. Both of them use sounds to get your dog’s attention as you take a picture. Dog Boogie also includes 5 photo filters, easy sharing, and a puppy profile builder. PetSnap features 32 sounds and 7 photo frames to show off your pics.

Find out if your dog has latent artistic talent with App For Dog. This truly entertaining dog app actually has 3 separate functions, a painting game, Yes/No buttons, and a classic dog-training clicker. The yes/no buttons produce one of three sounds and is activated by the touch of nose or paw. The clicker can also be set to any one of three sounds to be used for training. But our favorite is the painting game. Your dog can create colorful pictures by touching the screen with his nose or paw in this colorful game. Each touch creates a splash of color. You can see it working on this funny video. The final piece of multi-hued art can be saved for sharing or printed and taped to your refrigerator along with the work of the other artists in your family.

Now when your dog brings you his ball or lays his favorite stick at your feet, you can reciprocate by sharing your favorite toy with him. Have fun!

Posted in Uncategorized

BigLeash Wins Family Choice Award

Great news from BigLeash®, a division of DogWatch® Hidden Fences, Inc!

The BigLeash Remote Trainer is a safe and effective training tool to help you train and communicate with your dog. Both models, the Big Leash S-15 Remote Trainer and the Big Leash V-10 Vibration Trainer, recently received a 2014 “Family Choice Award” recognizing each of them as one of the “best in Pet products and resources.”

The Big Leash can be used to help train your dog and to address many behaviors. It is used to reinforce good behavior and can help eliminate bad behavior. The BigLeash is a great way to take off-leash walks (in appropriate areas) with you dog.

The BigLeash S-15, similar to most other remote trainers, has ½ mile range, 15 training levels, brief and continuous modes, vibration and tone signals – everything the dog owner or dog trainer needs for maximum training flexibility. You can easily maintain two dogs on one transmitter.

The BigLeash V-10 has all the same great features except it includes only a vibration signal and an audible tone without the brief and continuous correction modes. There are 10 different levels of vibration so it will work with a wide variety of dogs.

 

“In Touch”® Two-Way Communication with Your Dog

“In-Touch” Two Way Communication is an exclusive BigLeash feature. BigLeash is the only electronic dog training and communication tool in which the dog collar communicates back to the handheld transmitter. “In-Touch” Two Way Communication provides valuable information displayed on the LCD screen, including the status of the receiver, the training level setting, battery status and which collar is receiving the signal (dog 1 or dog 2). There is also a unique signal strength indicator that lets you know the collar and handheld transmitter are communicating and that the dog is within range, even if the dog is out of sight!

FireFly® Night Light 

Another exclusive feature that BigLeash offers is the FireFly night light, 4 LED lights on the dog’s receiver collar that can be activated from the handheld transmitter. This is great for locating the dog in the dark or walking him at night.

Visit the DogWatch website to learn more about how dogs and their owners are enjoying freedom and safety, thanks to the Bigleash Remote Trainer.

Customer Comment:

“Durable, waterproof receiver. Rain or swimming is ok. The LED lights are great at night. Battery life is good. I use the BigLeash training collar 3-5 hours a day for a week before recharging. Nice option of vibration or sound.” Sarah M., Richmond, VA

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Posted in Dog Collars, Products