If you’re looking for an underground dog fence to keep your furry friend safely contained in your yard, two top options to consider are Dog Guard and Dog Watch. But with so many models and features to evaluate, how do you choose the right system?
This in-depth guide compares Dog Guard and Dog Watch’s key factors like correction strength, warranty, water protection and more. Read on for a detailed feature breakdown so you can determine the best underground dog fence for your needs and budget.
Overview of Dog Guard and Dog Watch
Dog Guard and DogWatch are both well-established brands that have been manufacturing underground dog fences for over 30+ years. Both offer similar DIY wired systems with in-ground boundary wire that transmits a radio signal to a receiver collar on your dog.
When your dog approaches the boundary, the collar activates to deter them from crossing with an audible tone, vibration and/or static correction. Dog Guard and DogWatch systems allow you to customize adjustable levels of correction to suit your dog’s temperament.
While the two brands share similarities, there are also key differences when it comes to correction strength, water protection, warranty and more. Keep reading for a detailed feature-by-feature comparison.
Dog Guard vs Dog Watch: Key Factors to Compare
One of the most important factors in an underground dog fence system is the range and intensity of correction levels available. Having multiple adjustable levels allows you to find the right deterrent for your dog without over-correcting.
Dog Guard offers up to 32 progressive levels of correction, starting with an audible tone then gradually increasing with vibration and static correction intensity. This wide range helps accommodate everything from timid to hard-headed dogs.
Dog Watch systems have only 1 audible tone plus 6 levels of static correction, for a total of 7 correction levels. The maximum correction strength on Dog Watch systems has been described by customers as too mild for truly stubborn dogs.
Winner: Dog Guard offers a much wider range with 32 levels, providing more flexibility for appropriate corrections.
For motivated escape artists and high pain tolerance dogs, having an option for a stronger corrective stimulation can make all the difference in containment.
The maximum correction intensity on Dog Guard systems has been described by dealers as equivalent to a 10 out of 10 in strength. It is designed to safely contain even the most determined pups.
Dog Watch’s strongest static correction maxes out at a moderate level many owners report is insufficient to deter certain dogs from crossing boundaries. It lacks an extra high level for hard-headed dogs.
Winner: Dog Guard offers a stronger highest correction, making it the better choice for dogs requiring extra deterrence.
Since installation expenses can be significant, choosing a system with strong warranty coverage provides important peace of mind.
Dog Guard offers a limited lifetime warranty covering both parts and labor for the life of the system. Importantly, Dog Guard’s warranty also covers damage from dog chews, protecting you from an expensive mishap.
The Dog Watch warranty provides more limited coverage, with 2 years for parts and 1 year for labor. Their lifetime upgrade option only extends to parts, not labor. Dog chew damage is covered for the first year only.
Winner: Dog Guard stands out with lifetime comprehensive warranty coverage including dog damage, offering superior long term protection.
Active dogs who love splashing in ponds and pools require waterproof containment systems. But not all brands offer the same level of water protection.
Dog Guard receiver collars are designed to IP67 standards, meaning they are immersion-proof in water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes. This provides excellent water and weather resistance.
Dog Watch claims their systems are waterproof, but does not specify to what standard or depth. Based on customer reports of malfunctions after submersion, the water protection appears inferior to Dog Guard’s verifiable IP67 rating. You can learn more about waterproof ratings in our article on whether AirTags are waterproof.
Winner: Dog Guard receivers meet the highest IP67 rating for 1 meter immersion, giving owners confidence during water play.
No one wants their dog’s fence system to run out of juice unexpectedly, so battery life is a key convenience factor.
Dog Guard recommends changing batteries every 6 months for optimal performance. More frequent replacement provides insurance against failure, but increases long-term costs.
Dog Watch claims their proprietary batteries can last up to 2 years. However, customer reviews suggest 1 year is more realistic for reliable containment. Still, less frequent battery changes are more convenient. Check out our review on the best GPS pet trackers without monthly fees for more on battery optimization.
Winner: Dog Watch wins when it comes to battery life, though Dog Guard fans don’t mind changing batteries every 6 months for peace of mind.
The ability to tweak correction zones and intensity levels according to your training needs is important for establishing good containment habits.
Dog Guard systems allow full adjustability by the owner without any special tools or paying dealer fees. All settings can be configured using the company’s proprietary smartphone app.
Dog Watch owners can adjust standard correction levels, but altering frequency or training options requires a dealer to come and manually reprogram the system for an added service charge.
Winner: Dog Guard offers superior flexibility for owners to customize settings themselves at any time using the smartphone app.
Dog Guard vs Dog Watch: Models Compared
Now that we’ve compared the key factors, let’s look at how Dog Guard and Dog Watch’s current system models stack up:
Dog Guard Models
DG9XT – Dog Guard’s newest and most advanced model. 32 correction levels, 100 acre max range, IP67 waterproofing. Fully homeowner adjustable via smartphone app.
DG5 – Mid-range model with 32 correction levels and 1 mile range, IP67 rating. Lacks Bluetooth app adjustability of DG9XT.
DGM4 – Basic model with 4 correction levels and 10 acre range. No smartphone compatibility.
Dog Watch Models
DogWatch PROFence – Strongest model has up to 7 progressive correction levels and 10 acre range. Adjustable only by dealer.
DogWatch SmartFence – Similar to PROFence with smartphone app monitoring, but lower max correction strength.
DogWatch 1200 Series – Entry-level model with only 1 level of correction plus a warning beep. Adjustable only by dealer.
When comparing high-end models head-to-head, the Dog Guard DG9XT beats out the DogWatch PROFence with superior correction strength, water protection and homeowner adjustability.
For budget buyers, the DogWatch 1200 competes with Dog Guard’s DGM4 as simpler but more limited systems costing under $1000.
Dog Guard vs Dog Watch: Prices
Based on retail prices listed on their websites, these are the approximate costs for equipment packages from Dog Guard and DogWatch:
|Dog Guard DG9XT
|Dog Guard DG5
|Dog Guard DGM4
Professional installation fees tend to run $800 – $1200 and are the same regardless of brand. When bundled with equipment packages, most installations cost $2000 to $3000 total. Get tips on the cheapest ways to GPS track a car to save on installation.
Key Takeaways: Dog Guard vs Dog Watch
- Dog Guard offers stronger correction levels and lifetime comprehensive warranty coverage. Recommended for stubborn dogs and chewers.
- Dog Watch claims longer battery life up to 2 years and may cost slightly less for entry level systems. Simpler for basic needs.
- Dog Guard allows full owner adjustability by smartphone app vs limited self-adjustability with Dog Watch.
- Both are reputable professional brands that have proven effective for thousands of satisfied containment customers.
- Shop around for best deals on packages. Professional installation will add $800 – $1200 to the cost.
FAQ: Dog Guard vs Dog Watch
Q: What about lightning protection?
A: Both brands offer lightning protection features built into their transmitters as well as grounding rods and surge protectors. This safeguards the system electronics from electrical surges. Check out our review of the best GPS tracker for boats which also covers lightning protection.
Q: Is DogWatch really waterproof?
A: DogWatch claims waterproofing, but does not specify to what depth or standard. Customer reports indicate DogWatch collars can malfunction after submersion, unlike Dog Guard’s IP67-rated water protection.
Q: Which has the shortest battery life?
A: Dog Guard recommends changing batteries every 6 months, while DogWatch claims up to 2 year battery life. However, for strongest containment reliability, 6 month changes are preferable to risking any failure.
Q: What maintenance is required?
A: Both systems require occasional battery changes and testing your dog’s collar. Replacing boundary wires every 3-5 years is also recommended. Dog Guard offers lifetime labor, simplifying long-term maintenance.
Q: Can the collars be removed?
A: Yes, both Dog Guard and DogWatch collars are designed for safe intermittent removal for activities like bathing your dog or veterinary visits. The correction function automatically resumes when placed back on your dog.
The Bottom Line
While both Dog Guard and DogWatch offer reliable underground fence systems, Dog Guard consistently comes out ahead for offering superior correction strength, warranty coverage and water protection.
Dog Guard is the top choice for containing the most stubborn or athletic pups thanks to the wide range of adjustable stimulation paired with the strongest maximum correction. Extras like IP67 waterproof collars and lifetime comprehensive warranty provide additional long-term value.
For those on a stricter budget or with easily contained dogs, DogWatch’s simpler entry level systems can provide capable basic containment for under $1000. However, most owners will benefit from the flexibility and durability of Dog Guard’s advanced models ultimately providing better safety, training and peace of mind.
Whichever brand you choose, make sure to work closely with professional trainers when introducing your dog to a new containment system. Proper introduction paired with an appropriately configured system will have your dog staying safely and happily within their new boundaries.