What are all those surveyor flags doing around houses all over town? As many of us know, they are a sign that Dave Wingfield, or “DogWatch Dave,” is keeping our dogs safe. How does it work? A wire is buried around the perimeter of the owner’s home and a digital transmitter, installed indoors, transmits a signal to the buried wire. The dog is fitted with a special receiver on its collar and training flags are set up inside the hidden fence to warn the dog when he/she is getting close. The dog is then taught not to go beyond the training flags. As a dog trainer, I did my own teaching after having one of Dave’s fences installed, but this training is a very important service typically provided by Dave.
Dave says he uses “a special technique” that he taught himself over the past 26 years. The trick is teaching the dog to jump back into the safety area when it hears an audible warning rather than running through the fence, getting “corrected,” and ending up on the other side. Most dogs learn this pretty quickly as they are not interested in getting corrected; my dogs have made my life easy by teaching the boundary to the new dogs who have joined our family. Dave says that he has trained over 7,000 dogs to the Dogwatch hidden fence system and only a handful have been unsuccessful.
Dave installed his own system at his house in 1989, while working as a service manager for Toyota. He was so impressed by its effectiveness on his one year old lab, Chance, that he decided to research dealer availability in Ulster County to install and sell these systems. At that time Yellow Pages was the way to advertise. He also took out a small ad in local papers and showed his product at Home and Garden shows. He started getting busy from the start, and by 1995 resigned from Toyota to focus on his business full time.
Dave says, “I love my job! I love dogs in particular! And now I’ve been in business since 1991, keeping dogs safely contained and giving their owners peace of mind—both very important to me.” He adds that he couldn’t have been successful without his dedicated staff—Tippie Flannery, who manages office operations, and Jason Krezminski and David Folina, who install and service the product. Dave does the estimates and trains the dogs.
DogWatch, Inc. is worldwide; dealers are located in every state and overseas. Dave lives in Gardiner but his territory covers Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan Counties, and parts of Connecticut and Massachusettes. “Yes, we do a lot of moving throughout a normal work day. It’s not unusual for me to rack up 200 miles on the odometer!”
DogWatch also sells training products such as a remote trainer, a leash trainer, and a no-bark collar. He and David Folina will soon be releasing an organic tick and mosquito yard spray service.
Hidden fences can be installed to enclose 1/10th acre up to 100 acres. “Cats also do well with it,” Dave says, “and pigs are super smart!” DogWatch Hidden Fences can be reached at 845-255-3126 or at www.dogwatchdave.com.