This week, DogWatch Dealers Kathy and David Downey of DogWatch by Laughing Labrador donated 12 SideWalker® Leash Trainers to a unique public school therapy dog program in Brighton, Michigan to help improve the dogs’ leash walking behavior. The Downeys and DogWatch by Laughing Labrador installer Daniel Perez also hosted a hands-on training session with the therapy dogs and their handlers.

The Brighton Area Schools (BAS) Pack of Dogs program is the first program in the nation to have a dog at every school that the district owns. 10 of these therapy dogs are Labrador Retrievers. The other two dogs are a large Saint Bernedoodle (Saint Bernard and Poodle mix) and an Australian Shepherd. The program is completely funded by the local community, and the therapy dogs live with local families when they are not working in schools.

The 12 therapy dogs in the BAS Pack of Dogs program assist teachers working with students with a variety of mental health needs, behavior problems and other challenges. “Therapy Dogs help without saying any words,” says BAS Pack of Dogs founder and educator Karen Storey. “They help children feel better if they are having a bad day and to also feel safe.”

“All of our therapy dogs are well trained thanks to donations from the community,” says Storey. “But sometimes they struggle with walking on our left side or pulling when they see other dogs.” When she saw how much the SideWalker Leash Trainer from DogWatch improved one of the therapy dog’s leash walking behavior, she reached out to DogWatch by Laughing Labrador for help with training the other dogs in the program.

Brighton Schools Pack of Dogs Program DogWatch SideWalker Leash Trainer training session

DogWatch by Laughing Labrador is an authorized DogWatch® Hidden Fence Dealer based near Ann Arbor, MI and serving Oakland, Washtenaw, Livingston, Genesee, Jackson, Shiawassee, and western Wayne counties in Southeast Central Michigan. In addition to DogWatch Hidden Fences, DogWatch by Laughing Labrador also sells Indoor Boundaries and Dog Training Products for pet parents in need a solution to keep their pets safe and control problem behaviors.

The SideWalker Leash Trainer is one such product. Its “self-teaching” design assists in reinforcing appropriate leash training and eliminating excessive pulling.

“DogWatch created the SideWalker to solve one of the main behavioral issues people have when walking their dog – pulling on the leash,” says David Downey. “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 immediately 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.

To learn more about DogWatch by Laughing Labrador, visit their website:

To learn more about the Brighton Area Schools Pack of Dogs Program, visit their website: