- What is the purpose of the SideWalker?
The SideWalker is used to train dogs to walk ‘on-leash’ without pulling and to reinforce ‘on-leash’ training.
- How does the SideWalker work?
A sensor under the collar strap on the SideWalker is triggered by pressure when the dog pulls on the leash (or when you pull the leash to direct the dog into the desired position.) When the sensor is activated, the dog receives either a vibration or an electronic stimulation. The SideWalker should be set to a level that is just enough to distract the dog from the pulling behavior. Most dogs learn quickly that the sensation stops when the pulling stops.
- How do I fit the SideWalker to my dog?
The collar strap needs to be placed on the smallest part of the dog’s neck, just below the dog’s ears. It should be snug but must be able to rotate from one side of the neck to the other as the dog moves. If the collar is too tight, the vibration/stimulation may be triggered when the dog is not pulling. If the collar is too loose, the vibration/stimulation may be inconsistent or the dog may not feel the sensation. To ensure consistent pressure when the dog pulls, the SideWalker must be placed on the collar strap so it is opposite the ‘D’ ring (where the leash attaches to the collar strap).
- How long does the battery charge last?
Battery life depends on frequency of use and the pulling behavior of the dog. A collar worn for long periods and activated frequently will need recharging more often than a collar that is worn for shorter periods and activated only occasionally. The charge typically lasts several days for a collar that is worn 1-2 hours per day with low to moderate activation.
- How long does the re-chargeable battery last and is it replaceable?
Yes. The rechargeable battery life is typically several years. The rechargeable battery needs to be replaced when the duration of a re-charge decreases significantly. Replacement batteries are available from DogWatch. The battery is easy to replace.
- Do I need to take the SideWalker off the dog when not in use?
Yes. When not actively using the SideWalker, it should be taken off the dog and turned off. This will prevent accidental activation and will help to preserve the battery charge.
- How do I pick the setting that is best for my dog?
Turn-on the SideWalker and set it to ‘V’ (Vibration). Put the SideWalker on your dog and attach a leash to the ‘D’ ring. Gently pull on the leash and watch carefully for any kind of a reaction, such as a head shake, ear twitch, or any subtle change in behavior. If you do not see a reaction, increase the setting to the next level and repeat the process. When you see a subtle reaction from your dog, that setting is a good place to begin training.
- How long will it take for my dog to stop pulling (or to respond when I pull)?
Several variables affect how quickly your dog’s behavior will change, most notably the personality of your dog and the environment in which you are training the dog. Most dogs begin to understand the relationship between pulling and the vibration/stimulation after several activations of the collar. The pulling behavior diminishes quickly in some dogs and more gradually in others. If there is no noticeable change in pulling behavior after a reasonable trial period, check the collar to make sure the fit is good and the contact posts are the correct size. If collar fit is appropriate and the dog continues to pull, the SideWalker setting should be increased one level.
- How do I know the SideWalker is working?
Turn-on the SideWalker. If the Status Light on the SideWalker blinks green, the battery is charged and the SideWalker should be working. Another indication of that The SideWalker is working properly is that it should vibrate briefly when you turn it on and also after you change the setting.
- How do I test the SideWalker?
Turn-on the SideWalker to the ‘V’ setting (Vibration). Press down on the pressure sensor under the collar strap. (Note: After the SideWaker is turned-on, there is a 10 second delay before it will activate.) To test the stimulation settings, turn the SideWalker dial to one of the stimulation settings (1-5), place the Test Light (provided with the SideWalker) over the contact posts, then press down on the pressure sensor under the collar strap. The light on the Test Light should illuminate as the pressure increases.
- How big does my dog need to be to use the SideWalker?
The SideWalker is safe and effective on dogs as small as 6 pounds.
- How old does my dog need to be to use the SideWalker?
We recommend waiting until the dog is 4-6 months.
- Is the stimulation going to hurt my dog?
No. The electronic stimulation is mild. Imagine a slight tickle or light static, like touching a metal doorknob after walking across carpet. The stimulation is designed to get your pet’s attention, similar to a tap on the shoulder.
- Is the SideWalker waterproof?
- Is there a warranty on the SideWalker?
Yes. The warranty is one year.
- Are there health restrictions?
The dog must be healthy enough to walk on the leash. If you have a concern about your dog using the SideWalker due to a health condition, we suggest you contact your veterinarian.
- Which contact posts should I use?
We recommend using long posts for dogs with long hair or a thick coat. Short posts should be fine for short hair dogs who do not have a thick coat.
- Will weather affect how the SideWalker works? (Cold, hot etc.)
The components in the SideWalker are specified to operate from minus 25 degrees (F) to 125 degrees (F). A significant and rapid change in temperature may temporarily disrupt some of the SideWalker functions until the device adjusts to the new temperature level.