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

For more information on Co-Branding with DogWatch, contact Dennis Manitsas at 800-793-3436 x 618 or

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Posted in DogWatch Dealer Chat, New & Noteworthy

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


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…


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

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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 or go to

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

The Scoop on Poop!

Dogs are very entertaining; they are cute, loving, and loveable. Dog owners get more exercise, are less stressed, and are healthier than non-dog owners. What’s not to love about having a dog?

Ahem, well…there is one little thing….

Nobody looks forward to cleaning up after their pet. It’s a distasteful not a particularly pleasant job, and so it’s not surprising to learn that many some pet owners simply don’t bother. They open the back door and let Fido run down the street to the neighbor’s yard to do his business, or they pause It’s not uncommon to head out for a walk with Fido and “not notice” when he pauses for a moment while the dog relieves himself to deposit a malodorous pile at the curb (or in a neighbor’s yard!), and then to walk on as though it is of no concern. (Who wants to carry a sack of poop on the rest of the walk – right?) the malodorous pile left behind is none of their concern. We’ve probably all done it at one time or another.

The American Pet Products Association estimates that there are 83.3 million dogs owned in the United States. DoodyCalls, a professional pet waste removal company, estimates that dogs deposit 30,000 tons of waste every day in yards, on sidewalks, and in parks all across the country.

All that poop, considered as a whole, has some very negative consequences. Pet waste carries bacteria, viruses, and parasites, many of which can survive and infect you, your children, and other pets for years after the waste has seemingly disappeared. When left in yards, on trails or at the curbside, storm water runoff transports it to rivers and streams,. where its decomposition As poop decomposes, it consumes oxygen, which damages fish and other wildlife. Studies done by the Environment Protection Agency in the Seattle watershed found that nearly 20 per cent of the harmful bacteria found in water samples was attributable to canine waste.

The concentration of pet waste in highly populated areas has spurred cities and states to take action. Ithaca, New York launched an experimental pet waste composting project in 2009. They distributed biodegradable waste disposal bags free of charge in a selected dog park and collected the waste weekly for composting. They successfully produced pathogen-free compost that is returned to the dog park to fertilize the lawn and other plants.

Boston, San Francisco, and Baltimore are among the many cities that distribute free pet waste disposal bags and collection stations in parks and other pubic areas to encourage the public to pick up after their pet and to assure that the waste is disposed of properly.

There are many ways to see that your dog’s poop doesn’t become part of the problem.

First, pick it up. It isn’t going to magically disappear. A pooper-scooper that you can buy at any pet supply store, can make the job easier. Some pet owners, who are unwilling or for some reason unable to do the job, hire it done. There are many pet waste removal companies to chose from who will come to your home on a regular schedule and pick up the waste. An internet search for pet waste removal services will help you find one near you.

Second, dispose of the dog waste properly. There is a bit of debate about the proper disposal of waste, but tossing it directly into the trash is definitely not the answer. Any waste deposited into trash should be in a sealed bag, plastic or, better yet, biodegradable.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends composting dog waste or flushing it. There are many commercial products on the market to aid in composting. You can purchase one of these doggie septic stations at your local pet store. Bury it in your yard and turn your dog’s waste into compost that can be used on your lawn or flowers by following the instructions that come with it. Pet compost should not be used on vegetable gardens.

If you choose to flush the waste, first check to see that your town’s wastewater treatment plant is able to handle dog waste. Cat waste, which can transmit pathogens that cannot be neutralized by sewage treatment, so it should never be flushed.

Managing your dog’s waste isn’t the most pleasant part of having a pet, but once you choose a method, it will simply become another routine. So, in the interests of clean water and clean shoes everywhere, pick up after your pet and dispose of the waste properly.

Thanks for reading the Scoop on Poop.

Posted in Uncategorized

Get Your Dog (and Yourself) out of Hibernation!

Although Mother Nature apparently hasn’t gotten the memo, spring is technically here.  After the exceptionally long winter we’ve had, we thought you might enjoy a list of activities to do with your pooch and/or your entire family.

Frisbee – Some dogs have a knack for it, some dogs don’t. Does yours?  Go out and toss one and find out!

Hiking – Hiking is a fun family activity that gets everyone moving and enjoying the great outdoors. Make sure that the park or trail you choose is dog friendly. And please leave your retractable leashes at home. Hiking (especially trails with any type of drop offs or steps) requires complete control of your dog 100% of the time. And idf you are going “off-leash”, it is a good idea to have a remote training collar, such as The BigLeash by DogWatch, to help you communicate with your dog.

Swimming – Did you know that not all dogs can swim? Start shallow to see what your dog does in the water. They may love it or they may hate it, but either way finding out will be fun.

Long walks - With this winter being one of the longest on record in many parts of the country, it’s probably been quite awhile since you and your dog were able to enjoy a nice long leisurely walk. Get out there and go. It will be good for both of you.

Photo Shoot – You do photo shoots with your kids all the time, but when was the last one you did one with your dog?

Dog Parks – Dog parks are always a fun place for your dog to “let his hair down.”  Be sure to check park rules before you enter so that everyone is happy.

Pet Events – Spring/Summer is when many outdoor pet events start. They are great places to meet pet vendors, other pet owners and dogs, and to meet and support local rescue groups, and take part in a variety of other activities. Never been to one?  Give it a try!

Shelter visits – Have you ever been to a shelter? Have your kids?  Shelter visits are a great chance to learn about animal responsibility and care. Warning: You may leave with an additional family member.

Sign up as a trainer at a shelter – Speaking of shelter visits, if you have any talent for dog training, shelters are always looking for people to help train the dogs, which makes them more adoptable. If that isn’t your particular skill, they are always in need of dog walkers, too.

Become a Pet Therapy volunteer – Do you have a pet that is remarkably friendly and loves being around people? You should think about making your pet a pet therapy volunteer. These animals visit nursing homes and hospitals spreading cheer and smiles. Everyone needs a little animal love every now and then.

Become a reading dog – Reading dogs are used throughout schools and local libraries to help kids learn to read. Apparently reading to anyone or anything that will listen helps to increase kids’ confidence when reading out loud. Really, what’s better than spending time with kids AND dogs?

Agility training – Does your dog like a challenge? Is he especially agile or quick?  Agility training may be just what your dog needs to burn off extra energy and keep his skills sharp.

Try something new this spring! Your dog will thank you and we can almost guarantee you’ll have a great time yourself.

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Posted in Dog Care, Summer

Why Chaining Your Dog Is Not the Answer

Dogs need time outdoors. They like to be outside where they can run and do things that dogs do, such as follow scent trails. But unfortunately, scent trails don’t end where your yard ends and a dog won’t automatically stop running at the end of your driveway.

How do you give your pet time outside, but keep him safely within the boundaries of your yard? A standard wood or chain link fence is one option, but that is not much of a barrier for pets who are determined to dig under, jump over or chew through the fence. Many communities do not allow visible fences, and if cost is a factor, physical fencing is the most expensive option. Training your dog to stay in the yard is also an option, but a risky one, especially if he is not closely supervised.

Another option used by some pet owners is chaining or tethering their dog somewhere in the yard. While this may be keep the dog in the yard, there are some significant risks and potential harms of this approach.

Learn about DogWatch Hidden Fences

First, let’s start with the positives.

  • A chained dog will stay within a very specific area of your yard that you define.
  • The equipment that you need to contain your dog is relatively inexpensive.

But now let’s hit some of the limitations, risks and potential harms associated with chaining your dog.

  • While chained, your dog typically has very limited use of the yard, which inhibits their ability to truly run free or explore the many scents that surround them.
  • Dogs often get tangled in a chain or other tether, which can cause serious injuries such as broken bones or the loss of a limb due to lack of circulation.
  • If the chain becomes wrapped around a dog’s neck, he could be strangled or could hang himself. This is especially possible if he is on the upper level of a deck or near a fence or other obstacle that he tries to jump over.
  • The grass in the area in which the dog is chained will die due to the pacing patterns, urine and feces.
  • You need to have a rather large tree or secure post in a convenient place in your yard to ensure the chain will hold. The dog is likely to circle the tree, shortening the tether and further restricting his already limited movements.
  • Cork screws that turn into your yard are not very secure. Dogs often work them out of the ground.
  • With enough determination, a dog may be able to work the collar off his neck.
  • If another animal enters the yard, your dog is effectively trapped to the limits of the chain.
  • Dogs are pack animals that can become neurotic, unhappy, and anxious when isolated by being continually tethered. Studies show that chained dogs are more likely to become aggressive than unchained dogs.

If chains, traditional fences and basic training are not the answer to letting your dog enjoy time outdoors, what is?

A hidden or “invisible” fence is an excellent alternative to a physical fence, is much safer than a chain or tether and less risky than relying on training without the safety-net of the hidden fence. With a hidden fence, your dog is allowed to run free, but is trained to stay inside the specific invisible boundaries set by you and the training is reinforced by signals that let the dog know if he gets too close the boundary. The boundaries are flexible enough to encompass the front and/or back yards, as well as make mulch beds, flower gardens, pools and play areas off limits. And yet, even with this flexibility and security, they are less expensive than traditional physical fencing.

Give your dog the gift of untethered freedom this spring and allow him to safely roam his yard. To learn more about the benefits of hidden fences and how they work, visit our website at or call your local DogWatch® Hidden Fence dealer today.

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Reasons to Go Home and Hug Your Dog

1. Dogs help us appreciate the simple pleasures in life.










2. Have you ever had a more consistent exercise partner?













3. Dogs keep us humble. Who else can get us to clean up after them like this?












4. The most important reason of all? Unconditional love. It makes your dog happy to make you happy.

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Posted in New & Noteworthy