New Diagnostic Station for EcoLight!

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Diagnostic Station for EcoLight.

   Posted on November 1   |   by Rich

Tagged with: fence transmitters

The tiny Pet Stop EcoLight receiver is one of our top selling Hidden Fence receivers. With a wide range of correction levels, as needed for careful training and long term maintenance, we have trained hearty Labradors and sensitive King Charles Spaniels, and everything in between.

Features like rechargeable batteries will save owners over $1000 from our best known competitor’s offerings…on this one expense alone!!

The yard light can be convenient if your dog ‘ducks’ you at night and the tiny size allows Chihuahuas the comfort they deserve!

But the new Diagnostic station sets this product apart from the industry.

Each time an EcoLight is placed in the charging station, the diagnostics program tests the EcoLight fully, including shock output. Many times, we find ourselves trying to help a client save service fees by phone troubleshooting. This new device allows homeowners to fully evaluate their receiver without a service technician!

If you own any version of EcoLight, we will upgrade your EcoLight collar to the latest version including the Diagnostic station. Call for details!

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Winter Hidden Fence Installation

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Winter Hidden Fence Installation

   Posted on January 3   |   by Rich

Tagged with: fence transmitters

Every winter, hopeful pet owners wait until the last minute to get their fence installed.

Puppy owners want to open the door for potty trips, but not to stand in the cold and wait. And of course, dogs need exercise all winter long anyway.

So we find ourselves racing to install fences before the ground freezes every year. Often, a blanket of snow will insulate the earth from freezing and prolong our installation season.

But we are there, between the amount of snow and the already frozen earth, is our installation season is over?

Or is it? In 1995, Hidden Fence Company became the first local pet containment team to provide ‘temporary’ winter installations, providing the basic needs for a fence to function with top laid wire. This approach has been very successful, each spring, we return to bury between 30-60 winter installations. Our approach has improved, as we had to solve issues with plows, and occasional other winter work in yards.

What have we learned? Since the company sees very little revenue through winter months, we perform the temporary installation at no added costs to consumers. There is more work on our side, but, winter revenue in this industry is worth it for us!

If you have been wondering about giving your pet the freedom of a Hidden Dog Fence, but the weather appears to be an obstacle, call Hidden Fence Company.

We will get a Hidden Fence installed for you, and help to get your dog trained using our wide range of winter training tricks!

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Training Tips by Rich : Choosing a Training Program

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Training Tips by Rich: Choosing a Training Program

   Posted on May 20   |   by Rich

Keep in mind that dog training has evolved enormously in the last 20 years, but there remain 2 primary schools of thought. They often appear to be at odds, although it is not uncommon for two trainers with extremely different ways of describing behavior to actually follow similar procedures for behavior modification.

On the other hand, the theory a trainer operates under tends to predict the solutions they will offer. Pack leadership-focused trainers often suggest establishing leadership through more assertive training techniques, while “reward based” trainers tend to look for solutions that focus on acknowledging behaviors that are increments towards, or favorable to their goals.

Both programs, when taught by experienced handlers, can help owners.

While we believe all training should begin with positive, teaching/coaching and help to assure the dog understands the desired behavior, there remain cases where a firm consequence can then be used to strengthen the reliability of that behavior. On the other hand, many pet owners find that once the foundation work is done, the behavior is sufficiently in place that reliability is acceptable and repeated rewards can maintain the behavior while avoiding more assertive techniques.

This is largely a personal decision. And there are many excellent training programs in the Hidden Fence Company’s service area. Many of these programs are noted on our NJ Dog Professionals link on the lower left side of this page.

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Training Tips by Rich: Puppy Tips

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Training Tips by Rich: Puppy Tips

   Posted on May 27   |   by Rich

The number one thing I recommend with puppies is to take advantage of this learning period by attending puppy classes before 16 weeks.

Hopefully, you will learn how to manage common puppy behaviors to avoid mistakes, to acknowledge behaviors of value and your puppy will have a chance to meet and greet other pups.

Puppy classes are inexpensive and well worth your time.

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Training Tips by Rich: Jumping Up

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Training Tips by Rich: Jumping Up

   Posted on June 3   |   by Rich

I remember in the 70s watching a trainer teach “no jump” in 1 minute. This wild, happy Golden Retriever came bounding up to him and he placed a knee in that dog’s chest like a brick. The dog squeeled, jumped back and was “cured” of jumping up on strangers.

Looking back, it is not hard to understand

1) why it worked so well (pretty obvious the dog wanted to avoid another knee)

2) why this dog had fear issues, trust issues and generally lost that excited happy greeting, trading it for a sort of low crawl approach to greet people.

That was some bad training, but in the 70s, I taught what I had been taught. It breaks my heart now when I think of techniques like that.

A dog jumping up is trying to lick mouths, to greet in a most friendly and happy dog way.

Nowadays, there are many preferable paths to end this behavior…here are a few:


That sounds easy, but it is not. You can’t “say” no jump, because the dog wants your attention and your voice may be received as a reward, even if you do not intend it. (Yelling is not a way to develop a positive relationship!)

You cannot push the dog away, because hand contact may be seen by the dog as rewarding.

LOOKING at your pet is granting attention, whoops! More reward.

So folding arms, turning away and waiting for four on the floor before acknowledging, petting and praising your pet is a preferred modern technique.

Better still, a frequently practiced and rewarded sit command can provide your dog with an alternate, rewardable behavior.

I have found since the 80s that a regularly practiced sit command creates a sit “default.” It should be your pet’s way of saying please. Practice sit at doorways, before feeding, before greeting, at curbs (during walks) and randomly all over the house and anywhere you visit.

Treats are great but you won’t always have them. A 45 second backscratch, belly rub, ear, neck, shoulders and butt scratch will usually provide a sufficient reinforcement to replace the treat when they are not handy.

Always try to make it worth your pet’s while to sit. Do not take it for granted – many handlers fail to acknowledge simple good behaviors.

The more clearly you mark and reward the behaviors you value, the more frequently your pet will deliver these behaviors.

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Training Tips by Rich: Easily Stressed Dogs

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Training Tips by Rich: Easily Stressed Dogs

   Posted on June 10   |   by Rich

Dogs share many human attributes and you probably know some people who do not handle stress as well as others.

If you have an easily stressed dog, or if your dog does not “bounce back” from stressful events as quickly as most dogs, all is not lost. You have more tools nowadays to explore, reduce or mediate stress than ever before.

First off, we believe that easily stressed dogs are the perfect candidates for clicker training. Click and treat training includes trust and confidence building exercises, intellectual challenges, bonding and cooperation by example. Just Google “click and treat training” to read up on this approach. YouTube videos are everywhere and the approach is not limited to dogs – watch a YouTube video of a horse, cat, bird or other species…the information is very similar.

Keep in mind that stress is cumulative, so cleaning up stress as it occurs, bringing the pet back to baseline following a stressful event may help reduce the accumulated stress if/when a second stressful event occurs in a short amount of time.

As an example, a recent client (husband and wife) that works in NYC 4-5 days a week has been taking “Max” to work, but trucks going by on the street, loud noises, etc. were throwing Max into a highly stressed state which then affected the day.

One aspect of our solution included teaching a lengthy eye contact duration, and, following a truck/loud noise, the owners would stop, and pull Max off into a nook or cranny, and spend 60+ seconds practicing loving / gentle / soft / adoring 🙂 eye contact. By bringing Max’s stress level down following this model, they have been able to get to their office with a less stressed dog. Now, Max spends most days meeting, greeting and relaxing at work instead of arriving stressed and spending the first hour + overcoming the stress from travel.

Again, since stress is cumulative, it is helpful to address stressful moments, reduce that stress before the next stressful event occurs, so that each event stands alone.

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Training Tips by Rich: House Training Checklist

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Training Tips by Rich: House Training Checklist

   Posted on July 17   |   by Rich

House training a new dog or puppy?
Here’s a simple checklist that can make the process a little easier on you and your pet.

  • Are you feeding a dry, high grade dog food?
  • Are you skipping supplements and most types of treats (dairy, common store bought)?
  • Are you feeding on a schedule? (After 14 weeks, 2x per day, 7am & 4pm for example)
  • Are you giving ample outside potty opportunities? (Every hour for youngsters!)
  • Are you marking the good behavior with super-treats? (Use roast beef as potty finishes for a fast track to puppy-potty-awareness)
  • Are you restricting freedoms inside? This protects you from valued items being chewed also.
  • Are you using a crate? (I prefer plastic / airline type, or cover the metal type with a dark blanket.)
  • Are you giving puppy naps? Pups need to sleep almost half of the day, plus all night. You can use the sleep time for crate time opportunities.
  • Do you know disciplining after the fact is not helpful and is actually harmful?
  • Are you setting your puppy up to succeed and be rewarded for good choices?
Further suggestions and comments are always appreciated!

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Training Tips by Rich: Chewing

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Training Tips by Rich: Chewing

   Posted on June 24   |   by Rich

Puppies chew – let’s not be surprised that puppies want something interesting in their mouth frequently, and since puppies sleep about half of our waking hours plus all night, we have a limited window of time where it is our responsibility to get good things, the right things, into that mouth.

With a younger puppy, it starts with a round of shopping to establish good choices and taking your dog’s preferences into account. From Nyla Bones and Kong rubber toys to real cow bones, hooves, etc, you want an array of chew opportunities to identify what your dog likes.

Generally, puppyhood includes plenty of freedom restriction, so if you plan naps and quiet time in a crate, chewing can be used to reduce stress and be a pleasant way to drift off or wake up quietly.

If your puppy is now grown up, and/or you’ve acquired an adult that chews, the rules are not that different. If you want a chance at turning the behavior around, you’ll need to manage the behavior better. Keeping a leash on a puppy around the house is common fare, and dogs with problem habits often benefit from the same kind of freedom restriction: Leash on, often tied to belt, you come and go, dog with you.

This way, each mistake can be quickly redirected.

Interrupting your dog anytime something not planned for mouth has entered mouth will diminish the value of such chewing, assuming you are managing carefully in your presence and maybe crating in your absence – interrupting with PREFERED choices so the dog can enjoy the chew but not offend the family, that is win win.

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Training Tips by Rich: Excessive Barking

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Training Tips by Rich: Excessive Barking

   Posted on July 1  |   by Rich

Barking Problems? No Problem!

We offer a wide range of bark reduction or elimination options. Most communities have barking or nuisance ordinances that require you to keep your pet’s behavior within reasonable limits…for your neighbors peace and quiet.

Woof. Woof, WOOF! Woof woof woof. Howl!!!!

As a neighbor walks past the house, Fido barks to let them know to KEEP on walking. You ask Fido to stop, but then raise your voice insisting that Fido knock it off…but Fido keeps barking.

And when the innocent passerby is gone, Fido feels successful, maybe even proud.

What was Fido thinking!?
More importantly, how do we stop it?

At Hidden Fence Company, we’d prefer to review basic remedies to barking before using an electronic bark collar. Bark collars can be a quick solution to your barking problem, but they use an unpleasant sensation (a mild shock) to deter the behavior. Before immediately opting for the shock, let’s determine if you actually need a bark collar first.

Identify the Cause of the Barking

It’s important to start with the cause, which is, unfortunately, not always evident. If you can remove the cause of the barking, a bark collar can be avoided.

Watch Fido when the barking occurs for clues as to the cause. Is a neighbor teasing Fido through a fence? Or just getting in the car? Is a blowing leaf too much for Fido? If, within reason, you can alter Fido’s surroundings to avoid contact with the cause(s) the barking, you may easily resolve your issue.

Not that easy?

Maybe the barking is more likely to occur when you are not home. If so, try leaving Fido with great toys. Whatever toys you have, put them away. Try real cow bones, or Kong® toys stuffed with some cheese whiz. Both of these items are probably more interesting than…well…your current toys. Quality, no quantity, counts! Also, always leaving the radio on when you aren’t home can help.

If Fido is barking at or warning people…

This is the kind of behavior that should be reviewed by an experienced trainer or behaviorist. Using a bark collar to “correct” your dog for “defensive” or fear based barking can easily escalate the problem in the long run, reducing confidence and trust in a sensitive dog. Barking at people is usually stress oriented, and bark collars are not the right response to strong stress oriented barking.

One last thing to try, which should be mentioned first.

Try to simply ignore Fido’s barking. If you respond in any way that Fido might like, the behavior will increase. Just like children, sometimes dogs prefer negative attention to no attention.

Assuming you’ve tried and exhausted the best options, we tend to recommend these brands for Bark collars: TriTronics, DogTra. There is a big difference in quality and consistency in these products, and going back many years, these two brands have performed better in our experience.

We do not usually stock or sell these products, because we believe that they should not be a first line of defense against barking.

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Training Tips by Rich: Counter Surfing

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Training Tips by Rich: Counter Surfing

   Posted on July 8, 2013   |   by Rich

Every rational discussion about counter surfing begins with the suggestion to be careful and to keep edible items, especially anything the dog will love, far out of reach.

If you’ve chosen a dog that is long enough to reach your counters, keeping food off the counters and tables in the kitchen is critical.

Old school training would hold that discipline should be delivered when dog attempts to approach your food, but many of us have found that our body language or demeanor change “echoes” in the dog’s response to us. Point is, rushing the dog, saying “no” firmly, and maybe popping the collar “will” probably reduce the frequency that your dog does these things.

But newer viewpoint might hold that using your body size advantage/strength advantage conveys a bigger picture to dog that you may use force randomly. If you follow an assertive approach, you are likely to use it at times where the dog does not at all understand why you are in your “fast, firm and fair” mode.

Really, there is truth in both sides. If you can honestly cease to leave food out ever, your dog won’t be looking for it the few times you might forget.

What about using a Hidden Fence for counter surfing?

For the most part, the training required with a Hidden Fence makes total sense in comparison to having dogs regularly running across the street. Indoor usage should be limited to urgent issues, but, your counter can be wired…your dog can be trained to avoid your counters using a Hidden Fence.

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