Frequently Asked Questions

A hidden fence is an underground pet fencing system that uses a radio signal to keep your dog in a designated containment area, such as a yard; or out of an area, such as a swimming pool, patio, or garden. Hidden fences can also be used to create Indoor Boundaries that work inside your home to keep your pet off a couch, out of a room or away from a kitchen counter.

Hidden fences are often mistakenly referred to generically as “invisible fences”. Invisible Fence® is a brand name and Registered Trademark of the Invisible Fence Company.

Hidden fences are created by burying a ‘boundary wire’ a few inches underground around your property. The buried wire carries a harmless, low level radio signal from a transmitter installed in your house or garage. Your pet wears a lightweight, waterproof receiver collar that recognizes the radio signal. As your pet approaches the buried wire, the receiver collar emits a warning signal (audible or vibration). If your pet travels further, he will receive a mild but safe stimulation (also called a “correction”) from the receiver collar. Through a training program, your pet learns to recognize his fence boundaries and learns to stop at the warning signal. Although there are differences in some of the product features, this is how all hidden fences work (DogWatch®, Invisible Fence® and other radio fence brands.)

With an indoor system, the hidden wire runs around your couch, under the lip of the counter, around the trash or across a doorway or wherever you need to create either a containment area or an “off-limits” area. We also have “wireless” indoor units that do not require placement of a boundary wire. Give us a call to discuss your options.

Training is an important part of the process. After we install the hidden fence, we work with you to train your pet. The training includes teaching your pet to recognize the containment area boundaries through a combination of voice commands, audible warning signals from the receiver collar and visual flags that are set in the yard where the pet hears the warning alert. With training, the dog remembers the placement of the flags and associates the flags with the warning signal. As your pet learns, the flags are slowly taken away. Your pet also learns that if he continues beyond the flags and warning alert, he will receive a mild correction (a stimulation from the collar). After training, most dogs do not cross the hidden boundary; they usually stop before the warning signal to avoid the correction.

We will initiate the training and provide instructions and support so you can complete and reinforce the training. After the initial training, your dog goes through a training session with you for a few minutes each day for about two weeks. We will develop a plan to meet the specific training needs of your pet(s).

No. The “stimulation” from the collar is unpleasant, but it will not “burn” or injure your pet. It is a sensation similar to a strong static shock like you might receive after walking across a carpet in your socks. It is uncomfortable, but it does not harm you.

Although it is not related to the electronic stimulation, ‘pressure sores’ can be caused by a collar that is too tight and/or not removed regularly. Removing the collar when not in use helps prevent irritation of the dog’s skin.

DogWatch® products are used and recommended by many veterinarians. This type of stimulation has been used safely and effectively for over 40 years. Today’s electronic collars are easily adjustable so that your dog receives the appropriate level of stimulation for its sensitivity, size and personality.

The DogWatch® Hidden Fence brand is often confused with the Invisible Fence® brand and may be mistakenly referred to generically as an “invisible fence”. DogWatch is not affiliated with the Invisible Fence® company.

At DogWatch, we utilize exclusive safety and convenience features that make DogWatch the best in the pet containment industry. Some of the differences include:

  • DogWatch is the only hidden dog fence system that uses an FM radio frequency. Other pet containment systems, such as Invisible Fence®, use an AM radio frequency which is more susceptible to unsecure radio signals. This can cause false corrections, even when your pet is not near the underground fence.

    Note: ALL hidden fences use digital modulation (DM). Digital Modulation applies to both FM and AM signals; it is not a separate type of signal.

  • DogWatch has the only hidden fence receiver collar with a two-year battery life— an average of eight times longer than the other brands, including the Invisible Fence® brand. When the battery runs out, guess who else runs out? Our long battery life helps keep your pet safe, costs a fraction of what you pay for other pet containment systems, and our long battery life is better for the environment.
  • In addition to low battery replacement costs compared to Invisible Fence® and other brands, you also save with DogWatch because you do not need a service call from a Dealer to replace the receiver batteries or change the settings.
  • All DogWatch receiver collars have a status light that is easy to view. It lets you know if the receiver is operating properly, indicates what training level you’re using, and when the battery power is low. It will also indicate if your pet has been testing the boundary!
  • DogWatch receiver collars can be set to audible only (or vibration only in some collars) to gently introduce the dog to the system during training.
  • Whether your pet is very timid or highly energetic, DogWatch receiver collars have a training level that is right for your pet. The settings are easy to understand and easy to adjust – – no need for a service call if you need to make an adjustment.

Invisible Fence® is a registered trademark of Radio Systems, Inc.

DogWatch® receiver collars have several exclusive safety features such as FastReact®, a feature that helps ensure your pet responds to the hidden dog fence while still INSIDE the containment area. Our R7 and R9 receivers have our exclusive AutoMemory® feature which automatically adjusts the training level for your dog if he “challenges” his boundary.

Our Pet Friendly™ audible-only setting allows you to train your dog using an audible “beep” tone before you introduce him to the correction setting. (Also available as a vibration alert.) After training, most dogs respond to the warning alert and do not test the boundary.

Your DogWatch transmitter has a wire-break alert so you will know if your boundary wire has been compromised.

Your DogWatch Hidden Fence System equipment includes a 30-day money back guarantee and a lifetime equipment warranty when installed by an authorized DogWatch Dealer.

All authorized DogWatch Dealers provide you with superior technology and products to keep your pet safe and contained.

Additionally, we are a locally owned independent business. Because we own the business, we have a vested interest in making sure our customers are happy.

The cost for a DogWatch® Hidden Fence is almost always much less than traditional fencing. The cost varies based on which system is right for you, the number of pets, the size of the property, how many sidewalk and driveway cuts, if you want internal “garden loops”, etc. Contact us for a free consultation and an estimate for your property.

In addition to costing less than traditional fences, hidden fences provide more flexibility and more secure containment than traditional fences. For example, you can contain your dog in your yard, but keep him out of a pool area, garden or driveway gate. Plus, your dog cannot jump over, chew through or dig under a hidden fence. And hidden fences don’t need to be painted and don’t deteriorate like traditional fences.

There usually isn’t much difference in the cost of a DogWatch® fence and other Dealer installed brands (such as Invisible Fence®.) Retail brands may seem to cost less than the Dealer installed brands, but they do not include installation (which can be challenging), training (which is very important), ongoing support or a good Warranty program. Also, Dealer installed products tend to be better quality than retail brands

DogWatch® offers hidden fence models that can cover properties up to 200 acres. The outdoor systems can be installed in all kinds of terrains, including across streams or to create containment areas in lakes, etc. You can contain your dog in or out of most anywhere, including interior features of your home such as couches, dining rooms, and countertops. Contact us for a free consultation and estimate.

Yes. There is no limit to the number of dogs (or cats) our hidden pet fencing can protect at one time.
Yes! Both the Outdoor Hidden Fences and Indoor Boundaries work very well for cats. We have also trained pigs, goats and other animals on the DogWatch system.

If the initial training was done properly, this will rarely happen. If your dog does get out, check to make sure the collar is on securely. Check the status light to make sure the receiver battery is working. You may need to increase the signal range (on the transmitter) to keep the dog further from the boundary wire, or increase the correction level on the receiver collar. Perhaps due to recent landscaping, there is a break in your underground wire. We are available to help with any issues or concerns you may have. Please contact us if you need help.

Hidden fence systems are designed to keep your dog at home and out of trouble. They will not keep other dogs or animals out . . . unless the other animal is wearing a compatible receiver collar.

Our hidden fence systems work with all breeds, ages, and sizes of dogs. However, this type of product is not intended for dogs that have a history of aggressive behavior.

All dogs are different. Even within the same breed some dogs may mature earlier than others. When we meet with you and your pet, we will evaluate your dog and make a recommendation as to when training should begin.

We have you covered!  Included in your price is a DogWatch® PowerPak®. This auxiliary power supply provides hours of power to your electronic fence until your household electrical service can be restored.

All DogWatch hidden fence systems include both an internal lightning surge protector in the transmitter as well as an external surge protector. This is standard with all DogWatch Hidden Fences.

We offer a lifetime equipment warranty on our outdoor systems installed by an authorized Dealer. There is also a limited 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the system.

You can take the your DogWatch system with you! You may need to have new wire installed at your new house, but we can use your existing equipment to create your new hidden fence.

We’ve been surrounding pets with freedom since 1990. We are a privately-owned, people and pet-oriented company that takes pride in the quality of our products and our customer service. Our engineers constantly research and develop new ways to make our products the safest for your pet and the easiest for you to use in your home. Our products are all designed, fully assembled and tested in our office in Massachusetts. We strive to create the best pet containment products in the industry. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have. Contact us.

All terrain is different.  Rocks, roots and other obstructions can hinder how deep the wire can be installed sometimes.  Generally, 3 to 6 inches is where most fences are installed.  Below is a sample wire installation.



5 Adjustable Settings

The 5 adjustable settings include a vibration setting, 3 stimulation settings and a Progressive setting that begins with Vibration and gradually progresses from Low to High if the dog continues to pull.

Progressive Levels

When the dog pulls, the level of the vibration or stimulation (for that setting) gradually increases. When the dog stops pulling, the SideWalker resets to the lowest level for that setting.

Long-lasting Battery

The long-lasting, easy-to-recharge battery typically stays charged for several days.

Low battery indicator

Lets you know when it is time to recharge.

Lightweight, waterproof

Because dogs will be dogs.