Funniest April Fools’ Day Dog Videos

It’s the first day of April, and you know what that means – watch your back, it’s April Fools’ Day! We love following all of the fun videos and inventive pranks throughout social media, and we thought, why not pull together some of our favorite dog-themed April Fools’ jokes from the past few years? Enjoy, let us know which one is your favorite, and…oh no, Lucy has taken over our blog!

Lucy the dog orders pizza

Just kidding…here are the dog pranks!

Pets Un-Leashed from T-Mobile

Have you ever found yourself sitting at your desk at work wondering, “What is my dog doing right now?” Well, wireless carrier T-Mobile has the solution – with Pets Un-Leashed, you can get your dog his own smartphone and add him to your plan for $5 a month! Just be careful, you may have watch out if your dog spends too much time on “DogTube” or Pet Tinder. Check out the “un-commercial” below, and visit the Pets Un-Leashed website to see how T-Mobile is using this fun video to support the Humane Society of the United States.

Hulu Pets

This April Fools’ Day, video streaming site Hulu launched “Hulu Pets,” a new collection of shows your dog, cat, ferret or parrot will love to binge-watch all weekend. There’s “The Real Pugs of Portland,” a Real Housewives-style show where wrinkles aren’t a menace but a point of pride. Cats will be mesmerized by “Laser Pointer: The Series.” For dog foodies, there’s the cooking competition show “Bone Appetit.” And finally, our favorite new show is “The Bark” (aka “The Voice” for dogs) – see the adorable clip below. If only these shows were real!

Warby Barker

Back in 2012, online eyeglass purveyor Warby Parker built a companion site “Warby Barker” as an April Fools’ Day prank, and it went viral. The new site’s motto? “Friends don’t let friends wear unattractive eyewear — why wouldn’t you extend the same courtesy to your pet?” Hipster dogs everywhere, your dreams have come true! Check out the site (complete with hilarious photos of some very patient dog models), and watch the video below.

Zumba® for Dogs

Does your dog need to shed some winter weight? Why not try Zumba® for Dogs! You pup will love the Latin beats, fast pace and the brightly colored workout wardrobe. Of course, it might be hard to hear the instruction over all the barking. This fun parody video already has the public clamoring for Zumba for Cats. Something tells us they won’t be falling for that joke as easily as the puppies.

Unleashed by Petco’s Dog on a Stick

What’s the only thing more popular than selfies these days? Dog and cat photos, of course. Unleashed by Petco – a division of the pet store chain featuring smaller, neighborhood stores in urban and suburbans markets – capitalized on the “selfie” trend with this new one-day-only “product” that allows your pet to snap his or her own Instagram closeups and Facebook vacation photo albums. (Warning: may cause increased narcissism and permanent “duck face.”)

Did we miss any other great pet April Fools’ Day videos? Post them in the comments, or share them on our Facebook page. Enjoy the merriest, scariest, silliest day of the year!

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Posted in New & Noteworthy

‘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.

Glenn Muske, a small business specialist who has studied coprenuers for 15 years, says that while not every couple is cut out for the demands of running a business together, others are perfectly suited to becoming business partners. These couples are “so in sync with one another that the business becomes an extension of the relationship…Those couples succeed as business partners because they bring trust, communication and commitment to the table.” Muske adds that these successful copreneurs have “clearly defined roles within the company and consider the business a ‘way of life’ that gives them more flexibility as a family.”

Liz and Jack Goetz of DogWatch of Greater Pittsburgh

Liz and Jack Goetz, receiving their “Top Dog” Award at the 2015 DogWatch Dealer Meeting

Jack and Liz Goetz of DogWatch of Greater Pittsburgh didn’t initially set off to become copreneurs. While the decision to enter into the pet containment business 13 years ago was a joint one, Liz kept her job as a CPA while Jack ran the new business. After working on a five-year plan, Jack decided he needed to hire help to run the office and manage customer service while he traveled to customers’ homes for estimates, worked with the dogs and trained his installers. Jack was surprised when Liz told him, “How about me?” While her previous job was more focused on number crunching than answering phones, Liz quickly excelled in the customer service role, and the Goetz team grew to be one of DogWatch’s top-selling Dealers. While they try to keep their work and home life separate, the nature of working with dogs means that “shop talk” can actually be enjoyable. Some of their clients have come back to DogWatch of Greater Pittsburgh for their second or third dogs, and Jack and Liz love seeing these generations of family dogs and knowing that they have helped keep them happy and safe.

Emily and Pat West of DogWatch of Columbus

The West Family of DogWatch of Columbus

Like Jack and Liz, Emily and Pat West of DogWatch of Columbus didn’t start off as copreneurs but once they joined forces, they found out that they were a great team at work as well as at home. Describing themselves as outgoing “people people,” the Wests both enjoy interacting with their clients. Pat is often the one going out in the field for estimates and installs, while Emily works in the office, handling customer calls, managing finances (she was also a former CPA!) and maintaining DogWatch of Columbus’ active social media presence (on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, among others). A recent home show gave the couple the opportunity to meet with current and new potential customers together, which they both enjoyed. “We both help each other out all the time, picking up the ball for each other to help keep the business running and growing,” says Emily. “Plus I’m really good at remembering people’s names, while Pat is great at remembering all the names of our clients’ dogs, so together, we’re the perfect team!”

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 at (617) 306-4060 or or go to our website.

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Posted in DogWatch Dealer Chat

Introducing The SideWalker Leash Trainer and The BarkCollar

DogWatch is already having an exciting 25th Anniversary year! First, we saw the largest turnout yet at our annual DogWatch Dealer Meeting in February near Austin, Texas. Now, DogWatch is excited to introduce two new dog training products – the SideWalker™ Leash Trainer and the BarkCollar™! Both products are now available for purchase through your local DogWatch Dealer.

The SideWalker

The SideWalker Leash Trainer is a unique dog training collar that helps create a more enjoyable on-leash walking experience. Its “self-teaching” design assists in reinforcing appropriate leash training and eliminating excessive pulling.

The SideWalker Leash Trainer by DogWatch“We created the SideWalker to solve one of the main behavioral issues people have when walking their dog – pulling on the leash,” says Charlie King, Product Manager at DogWatch. “The SideWalker has made leash training so easy that within minutes most dog owners will see a major difference in their dog’s understanding of how they should walk on a leash.”

The SideWalker is a small unit attached to a collar that attaches to the leash. When the dog pulls on the leash, the pressure of the collar strap on the SideWalker activates either a vibration or a stimulation. This keeps the training message clearly associated with the behavior. The vibration or stimulation gradually increases as the dog pulls and turns off when the pulling stops.

The SideWalker has five easy-to-adjust settings, making it suitable for all types of dog personalities and pulling behaviors. The five adjustable settings include a vibration-only setting, three different stimulation settings and a Progressive setting that begins with vibration and gradually progresses to stimulation if the dog continues to pull. The SideWalker is powered by a long-lasting, rechargeable battery, which depending on use stays charged for several days at a time.

“The Sidewalker is an entirely new concept in Behavior Modification Collars,” says Grant Teeboon, aka “The Paw Man,” a retired Air Force Police Dog Handler, Trainer, Instructor & Assessor and currently a practicing Canine Behavior Specialist in Brisbane, Australia. “Being a Police Dog handler for 33 years means that my leash corrections are somewhat automatic and the great thing about the SideWalker is that you really don’t need to do anything other than hold the leash. You don’t even need to pull the leash because the leash automatically corrects the dog when it pulls on the leash itself. I actually noticed that the dog seemed to understand the leash correction better when it caused the correction itself as opposed to it getting a correction initiated by me pulling back the leash.”

The SideWalker in actionThe SideWalker is designed to help improve the leash walking experience for all types of dogs and their people. Brian C. wanted to bring his dog along with him jogging, but his young, active, 80lb dog Max was “a nightmare” on the leash when he tried to run with him. After only one five-minute training session with the SideWalker, Brian saw improvement with Max. “A few more sessions and he will be a great jogging companion,” says Brian.

The SideWalker is also a great tool to help teach dogs to walk on the leash with all members of the family. A large dog who pulls can be a challenge for walkers relying on their strength to direct the dog properly on the leash. Because the vibration or stimulation is tied directly to the dog’s pulling and is not reliant on the owner’s strength, timing and consistency, it sends the dog a clear message that the stimulation is associated with the pulling behavior. “I am more relaxed,” says Heidi Price, who uses a SideWalker with her dog Milo. “I see many more happy walks in front of me.”

The BarkCollar

Excessive barking is problem many dog parents face. It can cause tension in relationships with your dog, family, neighbors and other pets. DogWatch’s new product, the BarkCollar, can help reduce this tension by teaching your dog to avoid excessive barking.

The BarkCollar from DogWatchThe BarkCollar is designed to teach your dog to reduce and eliminate problem barking behavior. The BarkCollar uses DogWatch’s exclusive technology to differentiate between acceptable and excessive barking and to teach dogs to reduce their barking to a more appropriate level.

Like the SideWalker, the BarkCollar is a small unit attached to a collar that the owner places around the dog’s neck. Barking activates the BarkCollar which then delivers a vibration or a stimulation to distract the dog and discourage continued barking. There is a brief delay before the collar activates to help differentiate acceptable from excessive barking.

Zoe the dog wears her new BarkCollarThe BarkCollar has seven easy-to-adjust settings, making it suitable for all types of dog personalities and barking behaviors. All settings include gradual progression (within that setting) if the dog continues to bark. The seven adjustable settings include a vibration-only setting, five stimulation settings and a Progressive setting that begins with vibration and gradually progresses through the stimulation settings if the dog continues to bark. When the barking is over, the collar automatically resets to the lowest level in the chosen setting.

The BarkCollar also has a unique “Bark Counter” feature, which provides information about how often the collar activated. This helps the dog owner learn about their dog’s barking behavior, even if they are not there to observe it. Like the SideWalker, the BarkCollar is powered by a long-lasting, rechargeable battery, which depending on use can stay charged for several months at a time.

“Our dog Remi is part Beagle, so he definitely makes a lot of noise at home,” says Elyse Blanda about her eight year-old Puggle. After using the BarkCollar, Remi’s barking reduced significantly. “He used to bark loudly and consistently when, for example, he spotted a deer in the backyard. With the BarkCollar, he knows the limits and after a few barks he’ll stop. It’s great because Remi can still be himself, but I don’t have to worry that his barking will interfere with work, annoy the neighbors or wake up the baby.”

DogWatch dog Lucy, wearing her BarkCollar

The BarkCollar has already made a difference at DogWatch’s dog-friendly headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts. Jackie, a new member of our Marketing team, wanted to bring her five year-old Chihuahua mix Lucy (see photo at left) to work with her, but Lucy’s frequent barking was a problem. After using the BarkCollar, Lucy’s barking behavior is much improved. “Now I can have her with me all day and get my work done,” says Jackie. “Everyone in the office loves having her here, and she loves going to work every day.” We agree, Lucy is a great addition to the office and we are happy the BarkCollar could help her out. And if you have a barker like her, the BarkCollar can help you, too.

The SideWalker and the BarkCollar are now available for purchase from your local DogWatch Dealer.

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Posted in Dog Products, Dog Training

The Dogs of Ireland

With today being St. Patrick’s Day, plenty of people are embracing their inner Irish, regardless of whether they can actually trace their ancestry back to the Emerald Isle. The dogs in this post, however, are Irish through and through, and many proudly bear names that reveal their Celtic roots. So put on your green, sit back, and read all about the dogs of Ireland. Sláinte!

Irish Wolfhound

Seamus the Irish Wolfhound - a DogWatch Customer!You will never forget the first Irish wolfhound you see; a massive, muscular, somewhat shaggy dog, the Irish wolfhound can reach 7 feet tall when standing on its hind legs! A true gentle giant, these big guys generally have mellow, placid temperaments and can be exceptionally social. They are also quite intelligent, and able to discern family, friend, and potential threat. Bred to hunt wolves, elk, and red deer, Irish wolfhounds have a predatory nature and tend to chase things. They can make great family pets, provided you have a large yard for them to roam in, and a way to contain them. Luckily, Seamus the Irish Wolfhound (pictured) has a DogWatch Hidden Fence to keep him contained while he greets guests and roams the beautiful grounds of Milltown House, a seaside Guesthouse in the town of Dingle, in County Kerry, Ireland. What a perfect job for this friendly, calm and handsome dog!

Irish Setter

Irish Setter photo by frame.fusion via Flickr.Known for its gorgeous, glossy mahogany coat, the Irish Setter was actually one of the first breeds to be recognized by the American Kennel Club® at its inception in 1884. Irish setters have lively (and sometimes pushy) personalities and require a good amount of exercise. They can be loving companion dogs and especially enjoy the company of children, but may not be the best fit for a first-time dog owner. Irish Setters take longer to mature than the average dog – generally about 3 years – so if you’re considering welcoming one into your family, be prepared for a longer-than-usual puppy phase, and make sure you’re ready for this energetic, fun-loving addition.

Irish Terrier

Irish Terrier by smerikal via Flickr.Irish Terriers originated in County Cork and are the oldest of the terrier breeds. They are brave, intrepid animals that possess a deep devotion and commitment to their owners. Used in World War I to carry messages across the front lines, Irish Terriers are tenacious and adapt to any situation with a near reckless abandon, which led them to receive the nickname “Daredevils.” They are generally good-spirited companions, but can be aggressive toward other animals and are not recommended for a house with non-canine pets. Irish Terriers also need and love a lot of daily exercise, so they can make great jogging or hiking companions for active people or families.

Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniels, a screenshot from Animal Planet's "Dogs 101"A rare breed, the Irish Water Spaniel is one of the oldest spaniel breeds that exist today and one of the original 9 breeds recognized by the AKC® in 1884. Called the “clown” of the spaniel family, the Irish Water Spaniel is the tallest of the spaniels and has webbed feet to aid in swimming, which served it well in its original job retrieving ducks from the water. It is known for its smooth face, its curly, poodle-like coat that requires regular brushing, and hairless tail, which acts as a rudder in the water. The Irish Water Spaniel possesses great endurance and agility and is generally intelligent and inquisitive, but can at times be shy and independent.

Glen of Imaal Terrier

Glen of Imaal TerrierThe Glen of Imaal Terrier (named for a valley in the Wicklow mountains, where it originated) is very much your typical terrier: spirited, rowdy, rambunctious, cocky, brave, and stubborn. Low to the ground with bowed legs and a shaggy, wiry coat, the breed originally served as all-around farm dog, using its excellent digging skills to go after all manner of small creatures and rodents. Like Irish Terriers, they are not well-suited to sharing a home with other small animals like cats or rabbits, unless they are well-socialized from a very young age. Unlike other terriers, however, the Glen of Imaal is not a frequent barker. It is one of the newest breeds of dog, recognized by the AKC in 2004, and one of the rarest Irish dog breeds in the US.

Kerry Blue Terrier

Libby the Kerry Blue Terrier by Sam SaundersGreat companions for those with allergies, the Kerry Blue Terriers have a non-shedding curly blue-gray coat. Their fur is black at birth, with the blue-gray color gradually coming in during their first two years. The breed was first spotted in County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland, hence their name. Kerry Blue Terriers are highly intelligent, devoted to their people and often gentle with children. Be forewarned, however; they are exceptionally energetic and need regular play and exercise. They are also happiest when they have a job to do, such as hunting or herding. They are even said to have a great sense of humor! The Kerry Blue (or Irish Blue) is the national terrier of Ireland and has become a symbol of the country.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Wolfgang the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier by jalfredgagnier via Flickr.The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a special connection to St. Patrick’s Day, having first appeared in the Irish Kennel Club Championship show ring on March 17, 1937. The breed’s name comes from its characteristic silky, wheat-colored coat. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier began as a farm dog, performing tasks like herding, protecting livestock and keeping out vermin. Naturally energetic, the Wheaten has a warm, affectionate, outgoing personality and loves meeting and greeting new people. It is an athletic dog that excels in agility tasks and requires regular exercise. Like the Kerry Blue Terrier, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is also hypoallergenic. It gets along well with other dogs, but tends to dislike cats.

Kerry Beagle

Coco the Kerry Beagle by mark hosnyAlthough not recognized by any major kennel club, the Kerry Beagle may be one of the oldest of the Irish dogs (second only to the Irish Wolfhound). It is thought to be descended from the Celtic Hounds of the Middle Ages. The Kerry Beagle is a medium-sized hunting dog that is much taller than the popular modern Beagle (22-24 inches compared to 13-16 inches), and the connection between the two similarly named breeds is unknown. Kerry Beagles are still used by hunters today to hunt foxes and participate in drag hunts. They have also settled into life as family pets. Kerry Beagles often get along well with children and other dogs, and their athletic, energetic nature makes them a good fit for active adults.

For more information on these Irish pups, visit:

American Kennel Club Celebrates Irish Dog Breeds in Spirit of St. Patrick’s Day

PetMD’s Irish Dog Breeds for St. Patrick’s Day

The Native Breeds of Ireland from the Irish Kennel Club

Photo Credits

Irish Wolfhound: DogFence N.I. & Ireland via Facebook

Irish Setter: “Oberhalb der Kletterfels in Schönhofen” by frame.fusion is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Irish Terrier: “Irskikauneutta” by smerikal is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Irish Water Spaniel: Screenshot from a clip from the Animal Planet TV show “Dogs 101

Glen of Imaal Terrier: Pixabay.

Kerry Blue Terrier: “Libby The Kerry Blue Terrier 01” by Sam Saunders is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier: “Wolfgang” by jalbertgagnier is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Kerry Beagle: “Kerry Beagle “Coco”” by mark hosny is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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Posted in Dog Breeds/Traits