DogWatch Dealer Conference

Where did the conference take place? Florida, Cleawater Beach
How many dealers attended? 160 people, representing 80 dealers (out of 200 dealers) – including UK
Did any dealers give presentations? Chris Burns, Fort Point Design – website optimization, website marketing
DogWatch staff and Shawn Bader from Mount Kisco, NY about remote trainer product BigLeash – upgraded with new features, released in March
Closest dealers/farthest away dealers? UK, California, Alaska, Florida
Where can I find the photos?
Dealer Fair – dealers shared information about their business with each other – learn from each other’s experience
Sat. Evening – Annual Awards Dinner for 2010 – Demie will e-mail key winners
Super Bowl party – Green Bay and Pittsburgh dealer

In addition to Super Bowl XLV, last weekend also marked the annual DogWatch Hidden Fences Dealer Conference. 180 people, representing 75 Dealerships, traveled to Clearwater Beach, Florida for the two-day conference. The group included DogWatch Dealers from as far away as California, Alaska, and even the United Kingdom. This week in Dog Tails, we wanted to share with you a few of the highlights of our biggest annual gathering, and celebrate the accomplishments of some of our amazing Dealers.

R7MiniThe conference kicked off on Saturday, with a number of exciting presentations. DogWatch Dealer Shawn Bader of Mount Kisco, NY discussed the BigLeash, DogWatch’s remote trainer product. He highlighted some of the exciting new features that will be available starting this March.

DogWatch staff also introduced our newest, smallest receiver collar – The R7mini. (See image at right.) A perfect solution for small dogs and cats, the R7mini has all the same great features you have come to expect from DogWatch. Weighing in at only 1.1 ounces (including the battery!), it is the smallest receiver collar available for hidden fences. To find out more about these new products and features, contact your local DogWatch Dealer.

Other presenters included Chris Burns of Fort Point Design, who discussed website optimization, and Catherine Weber of Weber Media Partners, who discussed social media marketing. That evening, we held our annual awards dinner, honoring the achievements of our Dealers in 2010. A complete list of award winners is included after the jump.

On Sunday afternoon, we held a Dealer Fair where Dealers shared information with each other about their businesses and learned from each other’s varied experiences. Of course, the Dealers also shared a lot of their own dog stories and training advice – after all, it’s all about the pets!  At the end of this productive day, everyone gathered together for a Super Bowl viewing party. Our Green Bay and Pittsburgh dealers were there to cheer on their home teams along with the DogWatch team.

All in all, it was fantastic weekend. Congrats to all of the awards winners, and a big thanks to the all of the dealers who attended. To see photos of the event, check our Facebook page next week. We hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into our event, and we encourage you to contact your local Dealer to learn more about our new products. We can’t wait to tell you about them!

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Dogs and Gardens: Not an Either-Or Situation

DogWatch Dog in YardContrary to many people’s fears, dogs and gardens can coexist quite nicely. They don’t have to be an either or situation. Dog-loving gardeners can take a few precautions around ground rules, containment and training, plant selections, and lawn and garden treatments.

Ground Rules: avid gardener Yvonne Cunnington suggests setting ground rules first. She says dog owners should be clear about how they want their dog to behave in the garden, decide where the dog is allowed to go, and be consistent.

Containment and Training: As a dog-loving gardener, there is an easy way you can keep your dog away from plants without building an expensive fence that hides the beauty of your garden.  Hidden underground electronic fences can be used in a variety of ways to keep your pet safe in your yard as well as to keep your dog out of specific areas such as your garden, the children’s sandbox or the swimming pool.  With a Hidden Fence, your dog wears a special collar that warns him when he is approaching an area that is off-limits.  The dog is trained to understand that when he hears the warning beeps he shouldn’t go any further.  Learn more about DogWatch Hidden Fences and products.

Plant Selections: Take care in choosing non-toxic plants. An excellent resource to help in your selections is the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants.

Lawn & Garden Treatments:
Non-Toxic—
 Robin Tierney author of “Dog Tip: Warm Weather, Lawn Care and Outdoor Safety Guide” suggests seeking  non-toxic ways to maintain your yard and garden by finding alternatives. To control:  1) slugs—caffeinated coffee, products containing iron phosphate, 2) insects—canola oil, 
3) critters—castor oil, 4) weeds—white vinegar.  You can learn more useful tips by visiting her post here.

Chemicals—If you decide to use a chemical treatment, insecticide or fertilizer be sure to keep your dog off the lawn for the recommended amount of time (usually 24 hours). Read all information carefully.

**Additional Resources worth exploring are:
Dog Friendly Gardens, Garden Friendly Dogs by Cheryl S. Smith
Dogscaping: Creating the Perfect Backyard and Garden for You and Your Dog by Thoma Barthel

Create the perfect garden and yard for you and your dog. Everyone will have a much happier spring and summer!

Do you have any dog-friendly garden suggestions or resources to share?

Good Fences Make Safe Dogs

Robert Frost ended his poem Mending Wall with a line which continues to be quoted decades later—“Good fences make good neighbors.” While Frost’s line has proven to be sound advice for neighbors of all kinds, it can also be said that good fences make safe dogs.

Dogs not only like to be outside—it’s good for them! Dogs need to commune with nature, sniff the great outdoors, and have a safe place to play.  Dogs that have the opportunity to play outside are happier and healthier.  And, does anything warm the heart more than seeing a happy dog?

Even the most devout dog walkers can attest to the advantages of opening the door to a protected yard so Fido can go out to play or do his business—even when it is not convenient for you to be there with him.  If you can keep your dog safely contained in your yard, he’ll be free to explore and play; and you’ll be happy knowing he is safe.

Veterinarian, Dr. Jeffrey S. Kordell, tells us that clients often ask his opinion about the best way to contain their pet in a yard.  He recommends hidden underground fences to his clients for several reasons.  Dr. Kordell says “Homeowners quickly realize that (a hidden fence) not only looks better and is more affordable, but it also has the benefit of adding a training tool for their dog. They end up spending much more time with their pet and good training leads to good habits.”

Raymond J. McSoley, an internationally renowned Animal Behaviorist, believes training is key to successful dog containment. McSoley who is well acquainted with the DogWatch Hidden Fences system says, “DogWatch dealers follow the same behavioral and conditioning principles professional trainers use…A DogWatch Hidden Fence is in itself a 24-hour trainer for your dog. The system reinforces what the dog has already been trained to do by your DogWatch Dealer – respect the boundaries you have set.”

McSoley also speaks about the effectiveness and safety of DogWatch products. “By keeping your dog contained in your yard, the DogWatch system protects your dog from harm. The fact is that a slight correction is much better for your dog than risking a potentially fatal run-in with a car on a busy street.”

So, if you’re still on the fence (so to speak!) about an underground dog fence, tell us what you need to know!  We’d be happy to answer your questions!

P.S.,  Hidden Fences work well for cats, too—inside or outside!