April 1, 2011
This week on Dog Tails, we want to bring to your attention a recent controversial decision concerning electronic radio collars (e-collars) for dogs and cats. These radio collars (often mistakenly referred to as ‘electric’ collars) are widely used worldwide for pet training and containment. None-the-less, all e-collars have been banned for any purpose in Wales (see map), including for use with hidden underground fences. In addition to voicing our objection to such a blanket ban, we want to alert you to the possibility of this ban spreading to England, Wales’ neighbor to the east.
What was a debate between individual dog owners about whether to use electronic collars became political when the Welsh Assembly – supported by several animal rights groups – banned the collars outright. The ban went into effect one week ago (March 24, 2010). Punishments for noncompliance include fines of up to 20,000 pounds (approximately $32,000) and six months in prison. There is now talk of introducing a similar ban in England.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), who support the ban, argue that there is “no place for shock collars in modern animal training and recommended the use of reward-based methods instead.” Opponents argue that the ban will have a negative effects on a large portion of the dog and cat populations. (There were roughly 20,000 e-collars in use in Wales prior to the ban.) 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. In passing the ban in Wales, the legislature seems to have largely ignored the positive aspects of e-collars, the safety features and the lack of evidence that e-collars cause either pain or harm when properly used.
As a company that specializes in pet containment systems, DogWatch Hidden Fences has a clear stake in this debate. Yet in addition to being professionals, we are also pet owners and pet lovers ourselves. We believe that electronic radio collars are a valuable and effective tool to help you keep your dog or cat safe, healthy and happy for life. Our hidden fence collars are designed not to inflict pain, but rather 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 e-collars, especially for pet containment systems, will cause more harm than good.
February 11, 2011
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.
The 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!
January 20, 2010
Welcome to Dog Tails, a fun and informative blog by DogWatch®. Dog Tails is our official launch into the cyber social-sphere where businesses of every industry and size can effectively communicate, network, share and learn from each other and from their customers and fans. We’re convinced that social media is to business in 2010, what a website was in the early 1990s; social media is the new Public Relations and it’s here to stay! As we like to say at DogWatch, “There’s no getting around it.”
Weekly posts will provide opportunities for our readers to get to know all of us here at DogWatch, and for us to get to know you. We will blog about a variety of topics that we hope will enhance your experiences as a dog owner—or a cat owner! At DogWatch, it may be “All about your Dog” (that is one of our tag lines), but cats are more than welcome, too! More about that in future blogs!
Our blog posts will feature ‘tales’ from and about our local Dealers, and the knowledge and experience they bring to training dogs and to pet containment strategies which enable our canine and feline friends to experience both freedom and safety, something which is important to them and to us. We’ll also provide information about interesting and important traits and characteristics of different dog breeds, and will be sharing some of our favorite stories with you. Other topics will include tips on addressing challenging behaviors, issues important to first-time dog owners, rescue dogs, separation, remote training collars (e-collars) and how to send clear messages.
We know passionate dog owners like to keep up on everything dog-related (same with cat owners!) and we’ll be bringing you information about new and noteworthy books, blogs, online publications, apps and the ever-expanding dog culture.
We look forward to your comments and suggestions, and connecting with you on Facebook and Twitter.