For the past 15 years, DogWatch Dealers Ward and Samantha Chapman of DogFence UK have been helping keep dogs and cats across the United Kingdom and Ireland stay safe from roads and other dangers. Right now, however, they are facing a big challenge.

Last week, the UK Government announced that it is considering a proposal to ban the use of electronic training collars for pets. These radio collars (often mistakenly referred to as ‘electric shock’ collars) are widely used worldwide for pet training and containment. Before a final decision is made, the government will have a 6 week consultation on the subject. 

Opponents argue that the ban will have a negative effects on a large portion of the dog and cat populations. They point to the animals whose lives have been saved by pet containment systems, and aggressive dogs who benefited from e-collar training and as a result, kept their homes or found new ones.

As a company that specializes in pet containment systems, DogWatch has a clear stake in this debate. Yet we are also pet owners and pet lovers ourselves. We believe that electronic radio collars are a valuable and effective tool to help keep your dog or cat safe, healthy and happy for life. Our hidden fence collars are designed to protect pets from potentially life-threatening injuries caused by automobiles and other dangers when they leave their yards. Hidden fences allow your pet to run and play outdoors as they were born to do. We like nothing better than to see a dog or cat enjoying the freedom of roaming free in their backyard, sniffing and digging and rolling around to their heart’s content. Banning all e-collars, especially those used for pet containment systems, will cause more harm than good.

We are not the only ones who feel this way about this issue. Electronic pet containment systems have been in use for over 40 years, and are recommended by veterinarians, many of whom also use them for their own pets. A 2016 study by researchers at the University of Lincoln in the UK found “no evidence of long-term welfare problems in cats living with these fences, compared to control cats able to roam freely in and out of their owners’ gardens.” DogWatch customers also offer their own praise for hidden fence systems – ask one yourself, visit our Trustpilot page, or check out your local dealers’ websites and Facebook pages for testimonials from existing users and their happy four-legged friends!

Finally, we encourage you to view and share this video from UK charity Feline Friends. The video, produced in 2010 to oppose a similar ban in Wales, highlights how electronic radio collars prevent dogs and cats from straying into the street or other dangerous areas. We think the video is quite forceful and moving, so we’ve included it below.

What can you do to help? UK citizens, if you are like us, and want to voice your support for the right of pet owners to to keep their pets safe with hidden fences, click here to sign a petition to exclude them from the ban.

If you live outside of the UK, you can still help. To voice your support for safe, effective electronic pet containment training, please visit DogFence’s Facebook page and share your story.


The DogWatch team is truly passionate about pets, and we believe in the safety our system provides. We would love the opportunity to answer any questions you might have and respond to any of your concerns. Send us an e-mail, or reach out to us via Facebook and Twitter