The Humane Contain™ Story
The story of the most advanced dog containment system on Earth is a relative new chapter in our company’s history. Until the year 2001 our training products were based upon sonic and ultrasonic technology. The idea of shocking pets into submission was one which made us a little too nervous. The development of our Humane Contain™ system came entirely as a result of consumer demand. For years pet owners would call us complaining about their electronic dog fences asking if we made something better. Finally, it occurred to our “brilliant” if not a bit thickheaded Engineering group, “Why don’t we make something better.”
High Tech Pet quickly went to work consulting with noted animal behaviorists, trainers, veterinarians and, of course, our staff of world-class electronic and mechanical engineers. We found ourselves in the rather enviable position of being able to analyze the current state of the art in order to address and solve the problems about which so many people were complaining. The electronic issues were easy for an engineering driven company to solve. Problems of inconsistent signal and field width, interference with other radio devices, short battery life, size and weight of the collar were all improved without much difficulty with the development of the first current-controlled radio dog fence using an all digital radio transceiver.
The much harder part came about when taking into account animal behavior. Since dogs have widely differing temperaments and behavioral responses, coming up with a single system that worked well for all dogs was a tall order. We started by taking a fundamental look at the shock stimulus itself. The word from the behaviorists was that it makes no sense to create a stimulus for the purpose of punishing the animal. Dogs naturally roam. There is no way to teach your dog he is doing a “bad” thing by wanting to leave your property in search of a world filled with wonderful open spaces, other doggie friends and, of course, cats and mail carriers for sport! The idea is to create an effective training stimulus to be used as a trigger to change your dog’s behavior.
All the electronic fences on the market were pretty much the same. They all used very low current stimulus at relatively high voltage to generate a nerve response without causing cell damage. We performed extensive research to determine the frequency of a.c. current which best stimulates the nerve endings at low energy levels. Operating at such a frequency would allow us to apply the least amount of current to produce an animal response. In other words, we wished to generate a strong behavioral response without shocking the dog too much. We found that this occurs at very high a.c. frequency. We were surprised to find that the existing pet containment systems were so far off the mark that it was clear this basic research had not been performed before. We then discovered that pulsed current is more effective as training stimulus because it's extremely effective at getting the dog’s attention and is far less painful. Think of it this way. A one-second pinch is just as effective in getting your attention as one that lasts a minute. However, with a long pinch all you think about is the pain. After a short pinch you may likely ask, "Why did you do that?" In much the same way, continuous shock traumatizes. Pulsed shock gets your pet's attention then allows him to think.
The next step was to create a system that applied exactly the right amount of stimulus to invoke a retreat response without over stimulating which generates trauma and confusion. The one clear thing was that this magic stimulus level was different for every one of our millions of potential doggy customers. The idea of increasingly intense shock zones was currently being used by one electronic fence manufacturer. With this system, the dog received a low voltage shock when approaching the boundary and a higher voltage when very close to the boundary. This sounded like a pretty good approach but we found that in practice this system did little to enhance the training process and was often counter productive. Some dogs were traumatized by the “warning” shock itself while most simply ignored the lower voltage and headed straight into the “correction” zone. We quickly abandoned the idea of zones and scratched our heads a little harder to come up with a system that would automatically apply exactly the right amount of stimulus to make the dog stop without over correcting.
What we came up with was a completely unique approach which we now call Pulsed Proportional Stimulus™. In this approach we do not vary shock voltage. We start with a full voltage zap. However, as we had already learned, pulsed stimulus is more effective that continuous shock. So, we start with a very low shock pulse rate. The full voltage zap will get any dog’s attention but, it’s over so quickly that the animal is unlikely to recoil in pain. As more stubborn dogs continue toward the boundary, the rate of shocks per second increases until it becomes unbearable for even the most incorrigible animal. In this way, the dog decides for himself how much stimulus is enough to make him stop and retreat. We found that the Pulsed Proportional Stimulus™ technique was extremely effective and extremely humane for dogs of every size, shape, color and attitude. We adopted this advanced technique as the basis of all our new electronic dog fence products. But, did we stop there? No, we did not.
What about training tones? Now here was an area in which we were already experts. After all, our core product line was built on sonic stimulus training. We knew that dogs naturally respond to auditory stimulus. You have observed this yourself every time you see your dog suddenly perk up his ears at a sound you barely noticed, not to mention the annoying habit of barking at distant sounds of highway trucks and, of course, at a distant neighbor's dog barking. Auditory response comes naturally to dogs and can be readily used to enhance the training techniques in a scientifically developed electronic containment system.
We noticed that competing systems used a very faint “warning” tone. But why was this sound so hard to hear? In order to make the collar waterproof the sonic speaker was enclosed completely within the casing making the sound very difficult to be heard by humans or dogs. Again, a problem easily solved for a company that excels in advanced mechanical engineering. We came up with a collar with an exposed, waterproof speaker that is about ten times louder than the enclosed type. Now we had a system producing true training tones.
Our friendly competitors used their faint “warning” tone just before the shock was applied. This seemed to make sense. One would naturally assume that a well trained dog, if he could hear the tone, would retreat without having to experience the shock. But, again we found that this fails to have any practical value and can even be counter productive. As you may have noticed, when the necessity arises, our canine friends are far more clever than they let on. We found that many, many dogs figured out they could stand in the "warning" zone allowing the speaker to sound until the collar battery ran down. When the tone stopped that meant that it was now safe to escape without getting zapped. This doggy ingenuity must have driven our competition a little crazy because we found that their “warning” tones were timed to stop after a few seconds then reset after a few seconds, resulting in a system that sometimes produces a warning tone and sometimes does not and a thoroughly confused pet.
Our Pulsed Proportional Stimulus™ system does not rely on a “warning” tone to be humane. The system itself puts the animal in control of its own stimulus level resulting in an intrinsically humane system. As your dog first enters the boundary area he receives a stimulus that will get his attention with no mistake as to its meaning. However, since the pulse rate is very slow at first, your pet is not likely to recoil in pain. He has a split second to think and retreat before the next pulse. This may seem a little anti-intuitive but be assured this is the approach proven to work best.
So… Again, what about training tones? Our super loud training tones are not used as an early warning. They are used continuously to enhance the perceived effect of the shock stimulus. As the rate of shock pulses increases so does the rate of sound pulses, allowing your dog’s natural response to sound stimulus to deepen his response to the shock, resulting in quicker training and more consistent retreat behavior.
Combine our superior electronic and mechanical engineering with the innovative training techniques of Pulsed Proportional Stimulus™ and super loud, continuous training tones and our resulting HUMANE CONTAIN™ Electronic Dog Fence is exactly what it says it is. It’s the most humane and the most effective in reliably containing your pet. You and your pet will appreciate the fundamental advances in our new, improved Humane Contain™ line of electronic dog containment systems.