Lucy the Labradoodle lives on the shores of beautiful Joslin Lake in Unadilla, Michigan, and she loves to swim. Lucy’s parents, David and Kathy Downey, enjoy watching their young dog leap into the water, but they worried that she may swim too far away from their home. They needed a solution that would allow Lucy the freedom to enjoy the water while also giving them the peace of mind that she will stay close to home.

20150528_173818-300x169Luckily for Lucy, David and Kathy are DogWatch Dealers and owners of DogWatch by Laughing Labrador, so they didn’t have to look far! When the Downeys installed a DogWatch Hidden Fence for Lucy on their own property, they simply extended the boundary wire into the water, giving Lucy the ability to swim freely and safely.

DogWatch Hidden Fences can be customized to fit a wide variety of properties, including waterfront homes like the Downeys. For those unfamiliar with underground or “invisible” fence systems, DogWatch hidden dog fences use a radio signal transmitted through an underground boundary wire. Your dog (or cat) wears a special collar with a receiver that detects the radio signal and alerts your pet when he gets too close to the underground fence. Your pet is trained to retreat from the hidden fence at the sound of the alert.

All DogWatch receivers are waterproof. This allows a dog to swim without damaging the receiver or negating the fence system’s radio signal. DogWatch Dealers can extend the boundary wire into water, which carries the signal out a desired distance. If the dog swims close to the boundary, the receiver collar will alert him and he will retreat, just like he would if he approached the boundary in his yard.

Before installing a fence, DogWatch Dealers work with customers to map out the desired boundaries. If the customer requests water access for their dog, the Dealer will provide options and offer their expertise with regard to layout and installation.

Many of our Dealers regularly install fences in water, and have developed time-tested systems to secure boundary wires in water and protect the wires from damage. Here are few waterfront installation stories we received recently from our DogWatch Dealer network.

DogWatch of Greater Kansas City Dealer David Lillis installed a fence two years ago at a family’s lake house, giving their Dachshunds access to the water 20 yards out from their dock. Two years later, the wire holds steady and dogs still love leaping into the lake!

halle-266x300Derrick Woiderski of DogWatch by K9 Keeper Fencing told us about a unique installation he did in Kalamazoo, Michigan recently. A family wanted to give their dog access to their beach, but also wanted to be able to restrict that access during the colder months of the year. The DogWatch Hidden Fence system that Derrick installed included a switch (attached to an oak tree on the property) that the owners could switch on in the summer and off in the icy winter.

Moving from the lakes of the Midwest to the New England coast, Holly Hoyt of DogWatch of Cape Cod often discusses with her customers how and when to include water within their fence boundaries. “Each property is different and each customer has different needs,” says Holly. “Most of our water loops are in fresh water. If a customer lives along the beach which has surf and tides to contend with, the wire could be moved and compromised. So in those situations, we encourage customers to close the loop before the water, and provide the dog with restricted access by teaching them to go over the line with the customer.”

In May 2015, Todd Vande Noord of DogWatch by DogPro Kennels received a call from a current customer from Ellston, Iowa who wanted his English Springer Spaniel Lucy to have access to the water off the dock of his lakeside home. “We needed to bury the wire in the water so she could swim over the wire out in the lake,” says Vande Noord. “Now she will stay at home and still be able to go swimming!” We hope Lucy – and all of our DogWatch dogs – stay cool, have fun and enjoy their summer!

To learn more about DogWatch Hidden Fences for waterfront properties, contact your local DogWatch dealer or call our Customer Service team at 800-793-3436 Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm EST.