"... I had previously had an Invisible Fence® brand fence... My larger dogs would not respect that fence..."
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- Nola Howard
Franklin, GA


Troubleshooting your DogWatch® Hidden Fence

The following are troubleshooting tips that should help you find answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding DogWatch® products. If you don't find the information you need here, we can help! Contact your local dealer.

Receiver-Collar Features

Adjustable Collar-Strap:  All DogWatch® receiver-collar models (R7, R7-mini, R8 and R9), come fitted to an adjustable nylon collar-strap.  The collar-strap should be positioned above the dog’s regular-other strap.  And, the strap should be adjusted to ensure that the contact posts constantly touch the skin on the dog’s neck.  Check the fit each of the first few days of wear to ensure that the strap is snug but not tight.  If it is too tight it can cause irritation to your pet’s neck-skin.
Safelink® FM Radio Signal:  Our patented FM design allows the DogWatch® receiver-collar to recognize and activate only to our unique FM radio signal. This protects your pet from unintentional corrections caused by stray AM radio signals that may be emitted by other electronic devices.
Automatic Shutdown:  The dog containment system is designed to protect your dog from over-correction in the unlikely event that he/she gets caught in the signal field. If your dog does not exit the signal field for any reason, the receiver will automatically stop correcting after 15 seconds – protecting your dog from over-correction.  The receiver will automatically reset once the dog leaves the signal field.
CollarBone™:  The DogWatch® CollarBone, metal lock washers, and contact posts fasten the receiver to the nylon collar-strap. The plastic “collar bone” is designed to fit up to two strap thicknesses. For single-ply collar-straps, mount the recessed holes of the CollarBone against the collar strap.  For double-ply collar-straps, place the flat side of the CollarBone against the collar-strap.
Contact Posts:  The DogWatch® receiver-collar comes with a set of two stainless steel contact posts. Your DogWatch® Dealer will determine the correct post length for your dog based on his/her neck shape, coat thickness and skin sensitivity. The contact posts MUST make constant contact with the skin in order for the receiver to work properly. In certain situations your dealer may recommend trimming down some of the hair around the contact posts so that they will make better contact with the skin. Use care if you find it necessary to tighten the contact posts with the collar wrench, as over-tightening can cause damage to the receiver.
Antenna:  The receiver-collar’s omni-directional antenna design assures optimal reception within the signal field regardless of your dog's head position or height.
Status Light:  The status light continuously monitors your receiver-collar and provides the following features and benefits:
  • Start-Up - When you first insert the battery into your receiver, the status light will flash red AND green. This indicates that the receiver has started properly. After it's initialized, the status light will continue to flash green once every 30 seconds to show that the receiver is ok. In the event that the status light does not flash, check the battery to make certain it's inserted properly.
  • Correction Level Indicator - When programming the correction level of your receiver, the status light will flash green to correspond with the level you've chosen.  In other words, the number of flashes will match the correction level you've selected (Level 1 => 1 Flash, Level 2 => 2 Flashes, etc).
  • Signal Field Indicator - When testing the receiver in the signal field the status light will flash green whenever the receiver is brought into the audible zone, and will flash green AND red when the receiver is in the correction zone.
  • Correction Alert / Tattletale Feature - You will be able to tell if your pet has recently tested the fence boundary by examinig the status light. The status light will double flash green every 30 seconds for a full 24 hours after your dog has entered the hidden fence signal zone.
  • Battery Indicator - This feature continuously monitors the voltage level of the battery. Once the receiver detects that the battery is getting low, the status light will change from blinking green every 30 seconds to blinking red every 10 seconds. This will mean that your battery is very close to the end of its useful life and you should change it out within the next 3-4 days. If your light flashes double red, this indicates that your battery is low AND that your pet has challenged the hidden fence in the past 24 hours.
FastReact™:  All DogWatch® receiver-collar's offer the fastest reaction time available in the pet containment industry.  Whether your dog strolls, runs or sprints into the Hidden Fence Zone the DogWatch® receiver will react - and correct - within 0.125 (1/8) seconds.
User Programmable Feature:  When you combine the 3 different transmitter “Rate” settings with the 8 receiver correction levels you can fine-tune the collar-receiver to one of 24 custom settings for your pet. For example; If the receiver is on Training Level 1 and the Transmitter Rate is set to Level 1, your dog will experience the lowest possible level of correction and the least number of pulses per second.

Status Light Indicators

The "status light" for ALL of our receivers provides the following benefits:
  • Start-Up - When you first insert the battery into your receiver-collar the status light will flash green. This indicates that the receiver has initialized properly. In the event that the lights do not flash, check the battery to be sure that it has been inserted correctly.
  • Correction Level Indicator - When programming the correction level of your receiver-collar, the status light will flash green (in conjunction with the audible beeps). The number of flashes will equal the correction level you have chosen, (i.e. Level 1 = 1 Beep & 1 Flash).
  • Signal Field Indicator - When testing the receiver-collar in the signal field the status light will flash green when the receiver is in the audible-only zone and will flash green AND red when the receiver is in the correction zone.
  • Battery Replacement Reminder - The status light will flash red approximately every 10 seconds prior to the end of the battery life as a reminder to change the battery. Be sure to change your battery every 6 months (R7, R7-mini), or two years (R8, R9). Each time you change your battery it is important to reset the “Battery Reminder” feature.

Using the Test Light Tool

The Test Light Tool (plastic black cylinder with a silver magnet on one end), is what you use to test the receiver-collar to see if it is working properly.  To use it, insert the contact posts into the two holes on the side of the Test Light tool.  While pressing it firmly on to the receiver carry it into the signal field a few feet above the ground. When the receiver picks up the signal from the boundary wire of the hidden fence, the audible warning will sound and the Test Light tool "Light Bulb" will flash orange.  You should see the light flash on and off to coincide with the correction pulses coming from the receiver.

Receiver Battery Instructions

The lightweight receiver-collar worn by the dog identifies the coded FM radio signal coming from the fence boundary wire.  When the receiver comes in contact with the fence zone it will sound an audible warning to your pet, followed by emitting a correction-stimulation if he/she gets too close to the boundary wire.  The receiver operates on a replaceable battery and is waterproof when the battery cap is securely fastened.
Important: You must reset the Battery Indicator Feature whenever you change the battery.
Resetting The Battery Indicator Feature
Remove the old battery from inside the receiver.
Using your Test Light tool hold the magnet in the receiver-collar programming position (withOUT a battery in the receiver), for 15 seconds in order to fully discharge the unit.  If you don't have your Test Light tool handy let the receiver sit for 5 full minutes without a battery in it.  This will produce the same result.
Insert a new battery into the receiver and securely fasten the cap*.  The Battery Indicator feature is now automatically reset for 6 months for the R7 and R7-mini, or 24 months for the R8 and R9 receivers.
R7/R7-mini batteries: the Positive (+) end of the battery must be inserted UP.
R8/R9 batteries: the Positive (+) end of the battery must be inserted DOWN.
R7/R7-mini Battery:  The R7 & R7-mini receiver-collars are powered by a 3 volt 1/3 N lithium battery. The receiver is designed for a 6 month battery life. The positive (+) end of the battery must be inserted UP.
R8/R9 Battery:  The R8 & R9 receiver-collars are powered by a 3.6 volt lithium battery. Both of these receivers are designed for long battery life, up to two years. The positive (+) end of the battery must be inserted DOWN.
Battery Plans:  Contact your local DogWatch® Dealer about purchasing a battery plan. Enjoy the convenience of having your battery(s) automatically mailed to you precisely at the time(s) you need them.
Important:  Whenever you remove the receiver-collar from your dog's neck do not store it near (or on) a television.  Also, please note the battery handling and disposal instructions, marked on the battery itself.

Testing the Receiver Battery

A battery testing tool is included with your dog containment system.  Place the tester onto the contact posts of your receiver and hold it up to the hidden fence transmitter box, or walk out to your driveway where the fence wire crosses it.  If the small light on the battery tester lights up brightly AND you hear the audible tone coming from the receiver-collar this confirms that the receiver is operating properly.
If you hear the audible warning but don't see a light coming from the test tool, replace the battery in the receiver.  After you have replaced it make sure the receiver correction is set to a "shock" level (not audible only), before testing it again.
Contact your DogWatch® Dealer about a battery plan.  Enjoy the convenience of having your battery(s) automatically mailed to you precisely at time you need to change them.

Use the Proper Battery for your Receiver

Please consult the Owner's Guide for your particular hidden fence and receiver-collar model(s) to ensure you are using the correct battery. You can obtain the latest Owner's Guides here.
R7/R7-mini Battery:  The R7 & R7-mini receiver-collars are powered by a 3 volt 1/3 N lithium battery. The receiver is designed for a 6 month battery life. The positive (+) end of the battery must be inserted UP.
R8/R9 Battery:  The R8 & R9 receiver-collars are powered by a 3.6 volt lithium battery. Both of these receivers are designed for long battery life, up to two years. The positive (+) end of the battery must be inserted DOWN.
Battery Plans:  Contact your local DogWatch® Dealer about purchasing a battery plan. Enjoy the convenience of having your battery(s) automatically mailed to you precisely at the time(s) you need them.

Setting the Receiver

Setting the Receiver-Collar Correction Level:  All DogWatch® Receiver-Collars (R7, R7-mini, R8 and R9), provide eight different levels of correction.  This will allow you to customize the collar setting for each individual pet:
Level 0 - Audible Only (NO Correction)
Level 1 - Extra Low
Level 2 - Low
Level 3 - Medium Low
Level 4 - Medium
Level 5 - Medium High
Level 6 - High
Level 7 - Extra High
Note: When the receiver-collar is first turned on (from the manufacturer), it will already be set to correction level 2 (Low).
Your DogWatch® dealer will initiate the training by setting your receiver-collar to the appropriate level according to your dog’s breed and personality. If you need to change the correction  level on the receiver, hold your test tool "magnet end" between the two raised lines (i.e. hash markes), on the side of the receiver. Hold the magnet in place on this spot and you will hear a series of beeps that indicate the current (set) correction level. The correction level will continue to advance serially through all of the settings as long as the magnet is held in this position. For example, Level 1 is one beep, Level 2 is two beeps, etc. The number of beeps (or receiver tones) reflects the correction level the receiver is set to.
When you reach the desired correction level setting, quickly pull the magnet away from the receiver. The receiver-collar is now set and ready to use.
Whenever the magnet activates the receiver, it will first inform you what level it's set to by sounding off the corresponding number of beeps.  By continuing  to press the magnet on to the receiver, it will then advance (i.e. cycle) through each successive correction level until you pull the magnet away.
Please consult your product Owner's Guide for more information on this. If you have misplaced your guide you can obtain a replacement Owner's Guides here.
AutoMemory™ Correction:  Receiver-collar levels 4, 5 and 6 provide the AutoMemory™ feature. When the receiver is set to one of the AutoMemory levels, and your pet enters the signal field, the dog will first receive the correction of the initial-intended setting. When the dog then retreates from the signal field the receiver will automatically advance UP one (and only one) additional correction level setting (eg. Level 4 is bumped UP to Level 5). If your pet doesn't re-enter the signal field again over the next 24 hours the receiver will automatically drop back DOWN to the original setting.

Adjusting the Collar-Strap

Your DogWatch® Dealer has installed your pet containment system, having also set the transmitter and receiver-collar to the training-correction levels appropriate for your dog’s personality and traits.  He has also placed boundary flags around the entire perimeter of your yard in preparation for the training process.
Now that you are ready to begin training your dog with the Hidden Fence, be sure to "properly" place the DogWatch® receiver-collar on your dog’s neck before you go outside.
  • The collar-strap should be worn snugly on the dog’s neck, but NOT tight. This is extremely important!  There is a difference between "snug", and "tight".
  • While your pet is wearing the collar-strap, you should be able to slide your thumb between one of the collar-contact post and your dog’s neck.  If you cannot slide your thumb in this space than the collar-strap is too tight.  If you can do this with room to spare, the collar-strap is too loose.
  • When checking for "snugness" of the collar-strap, the dog’s neck should be facing down toward the direcion of the ground (i.e. sniffing position), as this is where the dog’s neck will be its smallest.
  • One indication that the collar-strap may be too tight is if the receiver (black box) ends up sticking out toward the side after the dog shakes his head.
  • If the collar-strap is too loose your dog will not receive the intended correction when he or she wanders into the Signal Zone.
  • Remember to periodically check for irritation around the dog’s neck that can result if the collar-strap is too tight.  It's recommended that you peform this check at least one time per week.
  • DogWatch® recommends that the collar-strap be removed from your dog's neck whenever he/she is inside your home.  This is not a requirement for the proper operation of the Hidden Fence, but is a pet-friendly recommendation.
Adjust the collar-strap as needed. Remember — collar fit is critical! Make sure the collar is on "snugly" enough to keep the posts in constant contact with the dog's skin. When checking for collar-strap snugness, place one finger between a contact post and your dog's neck. Be sure the dog's neck is down, in the sniffing position, as this is when the dog's neck is the smallest.
During colder months, you dog's fur may be thicker and you may need to trim away some of the fur directly underneath the collar-strap to make sure the dog receives the correction when needed. If your dog has a naturally thick coat, you may need to trim this fur (area) year-round. Longer contact posts are also available for especially heavy-coated dogs.
If your dog was trained with the DogWatch® pet containment fence as a puppy, chances are he/she has grown and may now need a larger collar-strap.

Performance Series PT4 Transmitter Features

The transmitter sends a coded digital FM radio signal through the boundary wire. This signal can be adjusted, allowing you to control the underground dog fencing around your property. It operates on a standard 110 volt outlet.
PT4 Transmitter Features:  Never adjust the transmitter while your dog is wearing the receiver collar.
  • Power On/Off - This switch gives you easy access to turn the transmitter on or off.  The red power light on the front panel lets you know that it is operating.
  • Power Supply - The transmitter is powered through a power supply that is plugged into a properly grounded 110 volt outlet. The adapter is plugged into the transmitter jack labeled "PWR."
  • PowerPak™ - Optional battery back-up system keeps the transmitter operating in the event of a power failure. When transmitter is being powered by battery back-up, the red power light will remain off. The PowerPak plugs into the transmitter at "P-PAK".
  • Ground Wire - The green ground wire is plugged into the transmitter at the location labeled “GND.” The round connector on the green ground wire is attached under the screw on the outlet faceplate. It will, however, only be effective if your outlet is properly grounded. If you have any questions about having a properly grounded outlet, consult your local electrician.
  • Loop Plug - Your system comes with zip cord with a plug (Clip), on one end. This plug fits into the hole marked “Loop” on the bottom of the transmitter. This is the beginning of the boundary wire. Once your boundary wire has been properly installed and plugged into the transmitter, the Loop Monitor Display (LMD) light will turn on. If the underground dog fencing boundary wire is broken or the signal is interrupted, the LMD light will go out and an audible warning will sound. If the LMD light is out, consult your Dealer. You should also check around your property for a visible broken wire.
  • Loop Monitor Display (LMD) - The Loop Monitor Display provides a visual indication of the status of your hidden fence boundary signal. With traditional fence configurations each number on the scale represents the boundary signal distance in feet that is being broadcast from each side of the wire, (Minimum setting is one [1] foot). Experiencing a significant drop in signal range could indicate a partial wire break or other boundary wire problem. If you ever experience a wire break in your hidden fence system, the green light will go out and an loud-audible warning will sound from the transmitter. Contact your local dealer for additional troubleshooting tips with any DogWatch® underground and/or wireless fence product, or to schedule an service call appointment. Note: For non-traditional wire configuratons where the boundary wire may bend/fold back onto itself, the LMD may not measure the boundary signal accurately. Your DogWatch® dealer will explain the LMD setting and how to determine your actual hidden fence signal range.
  • Range - The radio signal is transmitted from the boundary wire in all directions. The signal is adjusted by the digital range control on the transmitter to create a signal field on each side of the wire. The recommended signal field width is 6-10 feet. Your DogWatch® Dealer will adjust the radio signal distance according to the personality and traits of your dog. Consult your DogWatch® Dealer first before making any adjustments yourself.
  • Signal Field - The signal field has two distinct areas.  When your dog first enters the signal field, he will receive an audible warning.  If he continues further into the signal field, he will receive a correction.  The audible area is approximately the first 10% of the total signal field.  To prevent your dog from entering the signal field and remaining in the audible area causing depletion of the battery, the receiver will transition from an audible warning to a short warning correction after a period of 15 seconds.  This will activate regardless of the mode switch setting, but will not activate if the receiver is in the “Audible Only” Training Level.
  • Training Mode - This setting has two modes ("A" or "B").  With the training mode set to "A" (also known as Full Function), your fence operates in the default-normal manner.  If your dog enters the hidden fence signal field he will first hear an audible warning, followed by the receiver-set correction if he continues further into it.  When the training mode is set to "B" (Training Mode), the fence operates differently.  When your pet first enters the signal field he/she will experience the audible warning (as expected), PLUS a quick "warning" correction at the very same time.  This initial correction will be mild and brief, yet significant enough to "Warn" your dog of the presence of the hidden fence.  This will encourage him/her to quickly retreat from the signal zone, thus reinforcing the training.  Eventually, once your pet consistently & correctly responds to the training mode you should change the setting to "A" (Full-Normal Function).  At that point your pet will be fully trained to the hidden fence.  The PT4 Training Mode feature is very effective for certain pets, but not all.  Consult with your local dealer to determine if the Training Mode will work best for training your pet(s).
  • Rate - This adjusts to three levels (1-slow, 2-medium, 3-fast). When your dog experiences a correction, it is applied as a series of pulses. Increasing the Rate means that your pet will receive a greater number of pulses per second.
Note:  On the back of each transmitter are four small switches. These switches set your transmitter to the correct broadcast frequency. Your dealer will set these switches for your system. Do NOT change these settings. They are for DEALER USE ONLY.
Setting The Transmitter:  The Transmitter Rate switch adjusts to three settings: (1 – slow, 2 – medium, 3 – fast). When your dog gets a correction, he receives it in a series of pulses per second.  Increasing the rate means that he will receive a greater number of pulses per second. Rate 1 is the slowest pulse rate per second; 3 is the fastest.

Outdoor Hidden Dog Fence Signal Range

The dial for adjusting the range is located on the right side of transmitter. Depending on the size of your property and needs of your dog, signal range may vary from the boundary wire. Your dealer has adjusted the range that is most suitable for your dog and yard.
Be aware that the signal range on your dog containment system is very sensitive. Changing the signal field can significantly compromise the effectiveness of the boundary loop, so you should not change this setting unless your dealer recommends it.
If you increase the signal field, be sure to only turn the dial clockwise in small increments. Remember, increasing the signal range, decreases the underground dog fencing safety zone for the dog.
If you decrease the signal range, be sure to turn the dial counterclockwise in small increments.

Know Where Your Hidden Fence Wire is Buried

Use the training pet containment flags to mark your yard before any landscaping is performed. Additionally, you can locate your underground dog fencing wire with your dog's receiver collar.
Hold the receiver at the dog's neck height (at your knees) and hold the receiver with the contact posts up. Walk perpendicular toward the boundary wire. When you first hear the audible tone only, mark the area with pet containment flags. Walk to the opposite side of the boundary and walk back in toward the boundary wire. When you first hear the audible tone, mark the area with a flag. The middle distance between where you placed the pet containment flags should be where the wire for your underground dog fencing is buried, give or take a few inches. If you continue to walk toward the boundary wire, you will hear both the audible tone and correction beeps. Depending how wide the avoidance range is, depends on the distance between the pet containment flags. Be sure your range is set correctly on the transmitter. The range can be set up to 15 feet on either side of the boundary wire. You can also refer to your Instructional DVD, or refer to "Signal Range" (below).

Indoor Wireless Hidden Fence Signal Range

Use the hidden fence training flags to mark your yard before doing any landscaping. Additionally, you can locate your underground fence boundary wire with your dog's receiver -collar.
The signal range on the I-50™ and Skedaddle™ indoor wireless fences can be adjusted by turning the dial clockwise to increase the range, or counterclockwise to decrease the range. The signal range on the I-50™, when in the wireless fence mode, is from 0 to 8’ in diameter. The signal range for the Skedaddle™ wireless fence is from 0 to 10’ in diameter. Remember to turn the dial in small increments and test the range with the receiver. While doing this be sure NOT to touch the contact posts on the receiver.

Pets Need Time Off

It is advised that you remove the receiver-collar from your pet(s) neck each night. This is not a requirement for the hidden fence to operate properly but will ensure your dog's ongoing comfort if you do.  If your dog is an "outside only" pet, periodically remove the collar and check his/her neck for any irritation.

Safety and DogWatch® Hidden Fences

Important Hidden Fence SafeGuards
  • Please read all the literature included with your pet containment system before turning the system on or starting the training.
  • Do not attempt to shortcut the complete-full training of your dog.
  • The hidden fence is intended for the purpose of containing domestic dogs & cats ONLY.  Using this product for any other purpose is done at the owner’s risk.
  • In the event your system requires servicing, please contact your local Authorized DogWatch® Dealer for assistance.  Attempting to service the system yourself may invalidate your warranty.
  • The pet containment system is recommended for dogs aged three to four months, or older.  Your dealer can tell you when your puppy will be ready for the hidden fence.
  • Keep the receiver-collar and the transmitter out of the reach of children.
  • Never adjust the transmitter or receiver when your dog is wearing the collar.
  • DogWatch® recommends that you unplug your transmitter from the wall outlet AND disconnect the loop wire during lightning storms, or when it is left unused for extended periods of time.  Doing this can help prevent damage to the system due to lightning and/or internal powerline surges.
  • This product is intended ONLY for use with fully trained domestic dogs & cats.  If your pet is aggressive or violent and could cause harm to itself or others outside the containment area you should take additional measures to restrain/contain your dog (such as above ground fencing).

Troublehooting an Older DogWatch® "AM" System

If your system is not working, check contact posts and the battery cap on the receiver and tighten if needed. Also, check the lights on the transmitter.
The red light on the transmitter shows you have AC power to your dog containment system, the green light shows there are no breaks in the wire.
The green loop light will blink quickly when the Rate is set on "1". When the Rate is set on "2" the green loop light will blink slowly and when the Rate is on "3" the green loop light will be a steady green light and it will no longer blink.
If a wire break occurs, the green light will go out and you will hear an audible chirping sound.
If the power light and the loop light  go out on your AM transmitter, you may have experienced a lightning surge.
If your transmitter is plugged into a GFI outlet, reset it and your transmitter will operate.
If you still experience problems with any of the underground or wireless fences offered by DogWatch®, contact your Dealer for assistance.
DogWatch® Hidden Fence is a Consumer Digest BEST BUY
Recognizing our commitment to safety, value, and advanced pet fence technology, Consumers Digest has awarded DogWatch® Hidden Fences with a “Best Buy” rating every year since 1998.

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