Posted in Bloggies on June 21, 2013 by Emily West
Training is the most important aspect of Hidden Fences. Without it your electric pet fence will be ineffective and possibly do irreversible damage to your dog. Your four legged friend needs to be taught how to react when encountering his boundary and how to mentally deal with it as well.
- While training your pet to a DogWatch Hidden Fence it is important to know that your attitude and feelings play a very important role in how he responds. The reason for this is that dogs and cats can sense your moods and they respond to how you are feeling. If you are afraid, he will be afraid too. If you are happy he will be too. Keeping this in mind, it is important for you to have a positive and upbeat attitude while leading your pet around the yard.
- It is very common to be tentative while walking around the yard because nobody wants to see their dog get shocked. Don’t let this deter you. If your dog does receive a correction praise him immediately and then move on as if nothing happened.
- Do not linger on what just happened and don’t baby him. If you do he will think something bad is happening. Remember, this is supposed to be a positive experience for him.
- It is also important to not drag your dog around the yard if he is acting afraid to walk around. By doing this you are making a scary situation for you dog worse. Let him walk anywhere he wants to in the yard while not going straight for the house. You also don’t need to walk a perfect circle following right next to the flags. He needs to know that it is ok to walk everywhere in your yard with the exception of his boundary.
- If he is showing signs of not wanting to walk anywhere at all don’t panic. Get down on the ground and reassure him by rubbing his belly, praising him, and/or give him a treat. Then, get up, move to another area, and repeat the process.
- If he is afraid to follow you, try holding the leash in your hand while facing your dog and have him walk towards you. While he is walking to you slowly back up still keeping eye contact. Stop at another location get down with him and repeat your reassurance with him.
- This doesn’t happen often but when it does discontinue training for a couple of days while you are getting your dog used to walking around his yard, staying inside his boundary of course
- Training should only be 10 to 15 minutes per session. No more than twice a day. Any longer is overkill and might make your dog afraid to walk around the yard with you.
- Also, don’t go inside immediately after your pet receives a correction. Doing so will make him see the house as the safe area and not your yard. Reassure your dog by going to various safe areas in your yard to let him know it is still safe to be outside. It is also good to praise and do a lot of belly rubbing to put him at ease before going inside.
Just remember to have fun and enjoy your dog. In a little over a week he will be able to come outside without a leash and you will be able to enjoy him even more than you already do. If you have any questions, please contact us or call us at 614-527-3799. In addition, here's a link to our 14 day training schedule if you should need it.
Posted in Bloggies on June 12, 2013 by Emily West
With the approaching storm tonight, we thought it appropriate to repost this article:
It is not unusual for people to be afraid of thunderstorms…so why should it be any surprise that dogs may be afraid of them as well. Signs that your dog may be anxious about an approaching or current thunderstorm include panting, trembling, pacing, cowering, hiding, destructive behavior and “potty” accidents.
And don’t be surprised if your dog senses a storm coming before you do. Dogs can be especially sensitive to the changes in barometric pressure so they may start showing the warning signs of anxiety before you even know the storm is approaching.
Many experts recommend you do not encourage your dogs’ fears by comforting them during a storm. We disagree to a certain extent. If a family member is scared, of course you should comfort them and your dog is absolutely a part of your family. Allowing your dog to rest up against your leg or giving a petting or belly rubbing session could give the dog the comfort he or she needs. However, if your 120 pound dog all of a sudden crawls up in your lap or some other line is crossed, you may need to try some other options.
Here are 10 suggestions that might make a thunderstorm a more pleasant experience for your whole family:
- Dogs, like children, absolutely play off your emotions. If you are scared of the storm, many members (both two and four legged) may join you in your fear.
- While talking to your dog, keep your voice happy and calm. Even if comforting words are being spoken, if there is apprehension there, your dog will not be convinced all is fine.
- See if your dog responds to background noise. Try the television or different types of music. Soothing music may be best, but like people, dogs may enjoy different genres.
- Provide your dog with a safe place. Some dogs like to be under the bed, kitchen table, or other piece of furniture. Others may prefer a dark room, closet, or even the shower or bathtub. It may be as easy as leaving their crate open and allowing them to relax there, but these other suggestions might give you some options.
- Some dogs may just need a good long hug. The closeness and calmness of you may be enough to calm their nerves and get them through the worst of the storm.
- Do your best to distract your dog with his or her favorite game or toy. Keep their mind off the storm with a long game of fetch or teaching them a new trick.
- Keep “special” treats on hand just for storms. If there are treats your dog normally does not get that he or she is especially fond of, he or she may learn to look forward to a storm rather than fear it.
- Some suggest wrapping your dog up. Similar to the sometimes calming effects of swaddling in an infant, wrapping your dog with a t-shirt or an Ace bandage may help them to remain relaxed during a storm.
- If your dog becomes particularly agitated or destructive during a storm, it may be time to talk to your vet. They may be able to prescribe a mild sedative to keep your dog calm. You could also ask your vet about the use of Melatonin, which is a natural herbal supplement typically used by people experiencing insomnia. However, it is important to get a solid recommendation from your vet about the use, dosage and brand of supplement of Melatonin to give your dog as some pills may be mixed with other vitamins and size of the dog definitely matters when using this supplement.
- If you want to try a proactive approach to prevent further fear of storms, pick up a thunderstorm cd or find a storm soundtrack on YouTube. Play the cd at a very low volume level and see how your dog reacts. Use some of the tricks listed above if your dog becomes agitated during the cd. Continue the process at higher volume levels until your dog seems more comfortable. You’ll know if you’ve made any progress when the next Spring or Summer storm rolls around.
We wish you the best of luck in dealing with thunderstorm anxiety during this storm season. Do your best to remain patient with whatever unusual behavior your four-legged pal may display and keep in mind all the time you dog has been understanding of your fears or high levels of emotion.
Posted in Bloggies on May 20, 2013 by Emily West
Did you know that approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year and children are the most likely victims? May 19 through May 25 is Dog Bite Prevention Week. We, at DogWatch of Columbus, feel it is extremely important to not only train your dog, but train your children as to the do’s and do not’s of dog safety.
We’ve compiled our 21 years of working with dogs into a few tips below that can help keep your children safe. Check out these tips and be sure to share them with your kids. Who knows, it might prevent one of them from being bitten some day. Teach your children:
- To never approach a dog they don’t know. Be especially wary if the dog is behind a physical fence. Never tease a dog that is behind a fence.
- To always ask the owner before they pet a dog. Teach them to then ask how the dog prefers to be petted (behind the ears, on his back, etc).
- To slowly put their hand in front of the dog’s nose before they pet a dog. This way the dog can get their scent and it will help to put the dog at ease.
- To never put their face in the face of an unknown dog. Bites to the face are the most heartbreaking.
- To never attempt to hug or pick up a dog. On the opposite side, never attempt rough play with a dog you don’t know.
- To avoid eye contact with an unknown dog as in dog talk that means a challenge of authority.
- To always approach a dog so they can see you. Never “surprise” a dog from behind as a scared dog is more likely to bite or nip, if only for self defense.
- Signs that a dog may not want to be approached. An unapproachable dog may have his ears back, the hair on his neck may be raised, his teeth may be showing, and he may be growling or skittish.
- The signs of a friendly dog. A wagging tail, tongue lolling out of his mouth, a dog “smile” if you will, eagerness to interact, and ears perked are all signs that a dog is ready to be approached, so long as permission has been granted by the owner.
- To never approach a dog that is off leash without an owner present. This is doubly important if the dog appears skittish, aggressive or confused. Tell them to find an adult immediately so that the adult can call animal control.
- To never to run from a dog even if it is charging them. It is far better (though harder) to stop and stand with your arms in and head down. Avoid eye contact so that the dog does not feel threatened. The child will no longer seem like a threat to a dog if they are still and quiet and the hope is they will not attack. If the child continues to run, the dog will pursue until the “prey” is caught.
- A tip from one of our customers, Bridgett Shoemaker, who is an avid runner. While running, slow to a walk if you are approaching a dog on a run. Dogs get nervous when someone is running towards them and should relent if the runner approaches more slowly and avoids eye contact.
Obviously, it is important to properly socialize and train your dog as well, but we feel it is just as important to teach your kids about other dogs because you never know how well other dogs have been trained.
We hope this helps educate you and your family and helps to create awareness during National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Please call us at 614-527-3799 or contact us if you have any questions.
Posted in Bloggies on March 30, 2013 by Emily West
The Easter holiday is a great time for reflection and family get together's, Easter dresses and baskets, and bunnies and …dogs? Yes, our pets are part of our Easter celebration and need to be kept in mind during the festivities. We wanted to point out some obvious and some maybe not so obvious potential dangers over the Easter weekend.
1. As most people already know, chocolate is very toxic to dogs. That being said, be sure to keep Easter baskets out of reach of sniffing noses. There are some sweeteners that are also harmful to dogs and ingested candy wrappers are no good for them either. So basically it’s best to just avoid giving or letting a dog reach the Easter candy altogether.
2. Easter grasses in the basket is a long standing tradition and let’s face it, baskets may just not seem complete without them. However, dogs will see grasses much differently than we do. To them it’s an irresistible treat begging to be munched. Once ingested it can cause intestinal problems, choking hazards, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Do your pet a favor and skip the grasses or be sure they stay in the baskets and well out of reach of your pet.
3. Easter eggs (both plastic and real) are an obvious “must” for the Easter celebrations. But dogs might see the plastic eggs as a treat for them and obviously ingested shards of plastic are never good. As for real eggs, a fresh hard boiled egg can be a real and safe treat for your dog. However, if your dog finds that “missing” egg leftover from the Easter egg hunt days later is not such a treat. Eating a rotten egg is just as disgusting for a dog as it would be for a human. Be sure you keep track of all eggs and hiding places to make sure they are all accounted for and back in the fridge when the festivities are done.
4. Although we all love to celebrate with our dogs on Holidays, giving them leftovers are not the way to do it. Some dogs have sensitive stomachs and others are prone to conditions such as Pancreatitis, which can be exacerbated by “people food”. Keep a dog in their regular habits and stick with the foods they typically eat. Although they may beg for more, they’ll thank you for it later.
5. As we shared with our Christmas blog, be sure all company is aware that you have a dog and/or make sure your dog is invited to come with you if you are doing the traveling. Not only is taking the necessary precautions common courtesy, it will also save everyone, including your dog unnecessary stress and anxiety during this already busy weekend.
We hope everyone enjoys their Easter weekend and everyone including the family pup stays safe, healthy and happy.
Posted in Bloggies on February 26, 2013 by Emily West
Each year, DogWatch®, Inc. holds an annual dealer convention and at that gathering they honor dealers with awards. DogWatch Hidden Fences of Columbus is proud to announce that for a second year in a row we were honored to receive the Dealer of the Year Award. Recipients of this award demonstrate excellence in sales, marketing, customer service and installation techniques that are second to none. In addition, award winners have maintained steady sales growth and increased acquisition of market share.
We were also honored to receive a Top Dog Award for being the 8th largest DogWatch dealer in the world. This is obviously a feat achieved by few, so we are proud to be among the coveted top ten dealers.
In order to achieve the Top Dog Award, we have grown substantially over the past few years. Hence, a Sales Achievement Award was given to us as well for growth above and beyond what was expected.
Finally at the meeting, our own Pat West was recognized by the dealer network as a whole for over 20 years of dedicated service to the company and the DogWatch® Brand. Pat could not have accomplished this feat without the superior, top-of-the-line product that DogWatch continues to produce. DogWatch is a brand that we are proud to support and continue to put our name behind year after year.
In addition to the awards received by DogWatch, we were excited to receive the Angie’s List Super Service Award for the 4th consecutive year. This is an honor bestowed upon fewer than 5% of companies on Angie’s List, so again a group that we are proud to be a part of.
DogWatch® Hidden Fences are the most advanced pet containment systems available for the safety of your dog or cat. We know that your pet is an important part of your family, and with our underground fence systems you’ll have the confidence and peace of mind about their safety and well-being. We give free in-yard estimates and are available in the evenings and Saturdays, so please give us a call at 614-527-3799 or check out our website at www.dogwatchofcolumbus.com if you’d like further information.