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DogWatch SideWalker®
Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of the SideWalker® is to assist in training dogs to walk on-leash without pulling and to reinforce proper on-leash walking behavior. It serves as a training tool designed to promote controlled and comfortable walks with your dog, helping to reduce the common problem of pulling on the leash during walks. The SideWalker® aids in teaching your dog to walk calmly and obediently by your side, enhancing the overall walking experience for both you and your pet.

The SideWalker® operates through a sensor located under the collar strap, which is activated by pressure when the dog pulls on the leash or when you tug on the leash to guide the dog into the desired walking position. Here’s how it works:

1. When the sensor detects pressure from pulling, it triggers a response in the form of either a gentle vibration or an electronic stimulation.

2. The SideWalker® allows you to adjust the vibration or stimulation level, and it’s crucial to set it at a level that is just sufficient to distract the dog from the pulling behavior without causing discomfort.

3. As your dog pulls and experiences the vibration or stimulation, they begin to associate this sensation with the act of pulling on the leash.

4. Over time, most dogs quickly learn that the sensation stops when they cease pulling, reinforcing the desired behavior of walking calmly and without pulling on the leash.

This gradual training approach encourages your dog to walk obediently by your side and discourages pulling behavior, ultimately making walks more enjoyable and controlled for both you and your pet.

Fitting the SideWalker® to your dog properly is essential for effective training. Here are the steps to ensure the correct fit:

1. Place the collar strap on the smallest part of your dog’s neck, just below their ears. The collar should sit in this position to ensure proper functioning.

2. The collar should be snug but not overly tight. It’s important that the collar can rotate from one side of the neck to the other as your dog moves. This allows for free movement and comfort.

3. If the collar is too tight, it may trigger the vibration or stimulation when your dog is not pulling, which can be confusing for your pet.

4. Conversely, if the collar is too loose, the vibration or stimulation may be inconsistent, or your dog may not feel the sensation when they pull.

5. To maintain consistent pressure when your dog pulls, ensure that the SideWalker® is positioned on the collar strap opposite the ‘D’ ring, where the leash attaches to the collar strap. This placement helps in delivering the correct feedback when your dog pulls on the leash.

Proper fitting is crucial to ensure that the SideWalker® effectively encourages your dog to walk without pulling and reinforces the desired on-leash walking behavior.

The battery life of the SideWalker® collar depends on both the frequency of use and your dog’s pulling behavior. Here’s a general guideline:

1. A collar that is worn for extended periods and activated frequently will require more frequent recharging.

2. Conversely, a collar worn for shorter durations and activated only occasionally will have a longer-lasting charge.

3. Typically, for a collar that is worn for about 1-2 hours per day with low to moderate activation, the charge can last several days.

It’s essential to consider your dog’s walking habits and the intended usage of the collar to gauge when it might need recharging. Regularly checking the battery level and recharging as needed will ensure that the SideWalker® remains effective in training your dog to walk without pulling.

The rechargeable battery in the SideWalker® typically has a lifespan of several years. When you notice a significant decrease in the duration of a single charge, it’s time to consider replacing the battery. Replacement batteries for the SideWalker® are readily available from DogWatch, and the process of replacing the battery is designed to be straightforward and user-friendly. This ensures that you can continue using the collar effectively for many years with the convenience of replacing the battery when needed.

Yes, it’s advisable to remove the SideWalker® from your dog and turn it off when it is not actively in use. This practice serves several purposes:

1. Prevents accidental activation: Removing the collar when not in use ensures that it doesn’t inadvertently activate and deliver vibrations or stimulation when your dog doesn’t require training.

2. Preserves battery charge: Turning off the SideWalker® and removing it from your dog helps conserve the battery charge, ensuring that it’s ready and operational when you need it for training sessions or walks.

By following this recommendation, you can maintain the collar’s functionality and prevent any unintended discomfort for your dog while preserving its battery life.

Selecting the appropriate setting for your dog on the SideWalker® involves a careful observation process. Here’s how to pick the best setting:

1. Turn on the SideWalker® and set it to ‘V’ for Vibration mode.

2. Place the SideWalker® on your dog’s neck and attach a leash to the ‘D’ ring on the collar.

3. Gently pull on the leash to create slight tension while walking your dog.

4. Watch your dog closely for any reaction, such as a head shake, ear twitch, or any subtle change in behavior.

5. If you do not observe any reaction, increase the setting to the next level and repeat the process.

6. Continue this process until you notice a subtle reaction from your dog. When you see this reaction, the setting you’ve reached is a good starting point for your training.

This gradual approach allows you to find the setting that is both effective in discouraging pulling behavior and comfortable for your dog. It’s essential to start at a level that your dog responds to without causing distress, ensuring a positive training experience.

The timeline for your dog to stop pulling or to respond when you pull on the leash can vary based on several factors, including your dog’s personality and the training environment. Here are some considerations:

1. Personality of your dog: Each dog is unique, and their response to training can differ. Some dogs may quickly grasp the relationship between pulling and the vibration/stimulation, leading to a faster reduction in pulling behavior. Others may require more time to adapt.

2. Training environment: The environment in which you conduct the training plays a role. Training in a familiar and low-distraction setting may yield quicker results compared to training in a more challenging or distracting environment.

3. Frequency and consistency: Consistent training and repeated activations of the SideWalker® collar help reinforce the desired behavior. Regular, structured training sessions can contribute to faster results.

4. Collar fit and settings: Ensure that the collar fits correctly and that you’ve selected an appropriate stimulation level. If there’s no noticeable change in pulling behavior after a reasonable trial period, check the collar’s fit and adjust the setting if necessary.

5. Gradual progress: Be patient and allow your dog time to adapt to the training. It’s normal for some dogs to show gradual improvements rather than immediate changes in behavior.

In summary, the timeline for your dog to stop pulling or respond to leash cues varies. It depends on your dog’s personality, training environment, consistency, and the fit and settings of the SideWalker® collar. It’s essential to be patient and adjust your training approach as needed to achieve the desired results.

To ensure that the SideWalker® is working correctly, follow these steps:

1. Turn on the SideWalker®.

2. Check the Status Light on the SideWalker®. If it blinks green, this indicates that the battery is charged, and the SideWalker® should be in working order.

3. Additionally, when you turn on the SideWalker® and after changing the setting, it should vibrate briefly. This vibration is another indication that the SideWalker® is functioning properly.

These steps and indicators help confirm that the SideWalker® is operational and ready for use in your training sessions with your dog.

To perform a test on the SideWalker® and its settings, you can follow these steps:

**Testing the Vibration Setting (V):**

1. Turn on the SideWalker® and set it to the ‘V’ setting for Vibration.

2. Press down on the pressure sensor located under the collar strap. Please note that there is a 10-second delay after turning on the SideWalker® before it activates.

Testing the Stimulation Settings (1-5):

1. To test the stimulation settings, turn the SideWalker® dial to one of the stimulation settings, ranging from 1 to 5.

2. Place the Test Light, which should be provided with the SideWalker®, over the contact posts on the collar.

3. Press down on the pressure sensor located under the collar strap while the Test Light is in place.

4. As you apply pressure, the Test Light should illuminate, indicating that the stimulation is functioning and the level can be adjusted as needed.

These steps allow you to verify the functionality of both the vibration and stimulation settings on the SideWalker® collar, ensuring that it operates as intended and provides the desired feedback during training sessions with your dog.

The SideWalker® is designed to be safe and effective for use on dogs as small as 6 pounds. This versatility allows for training and behavior modification in dogs of various sizes, making it suitable for a wide range of breeds and small dog companions.

It is recommended to wait until your dog is between 4 to 6 months old before using the SideWalker®. This age range is typically when dogs have developed enough physically and mentally to effectively respond to training techniques like those provided by the SideWalker®. It’s important to consider your dog’s individual development and temperament when deciding on the appropriate timing for introducing training tools like this collar. Always ensure that any training method is safe, humane, and suitable for your dog’s age and needs.

No, the stimulation provided by the SideWalker® collar is not intended to hurt your dog. It is designed to be mild and gentle. You can think of it as a slight tickle or a light static sensation, similar to what you might feel when touching a metal doorknob after walking across carpet. The stimulation’s purpose is to capture your pet’s attention, much like a tap on the shoulder, without causing any harm or distress. It is a humane and effective method for encouraging proper leash behavior and training your dog to walk without pulling.

Yes, the SideWalker® is waterproof. Its design allows it to be worn by your dog in various weather conditions, including rain or when your dog is near water. This waterproof feature ensures that the collar remains effective and functional even in wet environments, providing consistent training and behavior modification for your pet.

Yes, there is a one-year warranty on the BarkCollar™. This warranty provides coverage and support for the product during the specified period, offering peace of mind to pet owners in case of any manufacturing defects or issues with the collar during the warranty duration.

There are no specific health restrictions for using the SideWalker® collar, but it’s important to consider your dog’s overall health and well-being. The dog should be healthy enough to walk on the leash comfortably. If you have any concerns about your dog using the SideWalker® collar due to a specific health condition, it is advisable to consult with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can provide personalized guidance and ensure that using the collar is safe and appropriate for your dog’s specific health needs and circumstances.

When determining which contact posts to use for the SideWalker® collar, consider your dog’s coat type:

– For dogs with long hair or a thick coat, it’s recommended to use the long contact posts. These longer posts ensure that the collar maintains proper contact with the skin, even through the thick or long fur.

– For dogs with short hair who do not have a thick coat, the short contact posts should be suitable. These shorter posts are appropriate when there’s less fur between the collar and the skin.

Selecting the appropriate contact posts based on your dog’s coat helps ensure that the collar functions effectively and provides the necessary feedback during leash training and behavior modification.

Weather conditions, especially extreme cold or hot temperatures, can potentially affect how the SideWalker® operates. Here’s some information on its temperature specifications:

The components in the SideWalker® are designed to function within a temperature range of minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it’s important to note that a significant and rapid change in temperature, especially extreme cold or hot conditions, may temporarily impact some of the SideWalker® functions. The device may require a brief adjustment period to adapt to the new temperature level.

Understanding these temperature limitations can help ensure the reliable operation of the SideWalker® in various weather conditions, providing effective training and behavior modification for your dog.