It was a whirlwind of a weekend and I needed a few days to recover, but today I’m finally back at ye olde keyboard prepping another blog post. Where was I you might be thinking???
Well, a few weeks back I was contacted by PetSafe to take part in their Paw Print Blogger Summit. What the heck is the Paw Print Blogger Summit? I’m glad you asked:
PetSafe® is hosting our first Paw Print Blogger Summit. As a premier pet blogger, you’re invited to spend two days at our headquarters at the foot of the Smoky Mountains in Knoxville, Tennessee. You’ll learn who we are, why we’re passionate about pets, and how our products not only save pets’ lives but enhance their relationship with their owners…[Read More]
Who Are PetSafe?
PetSafe® leads the industry in the development of innovative pet behavior, containment, and lifestyle product solutions. We provide containment systems, bark control solutions, remote trainers, pet doors, treats, toys, and a variety of food, water and waste management systems. We’re headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee but our company spans across the U.S. and 52 international countries – six continents total!
I already knew a little bit about PetSafe when they first contacted me. I recently purchased one of their Patio Door Panels for Stetson and Linus and everyday I walk through my parents house I see the PetSafe logo on the top of their two cat feeders. What I didn’t know was they also owned the Premier brand as well as many other popular pet brands.
Also under the PetSafe umbrella:
- Premier Pet Products
- Drinkwell Pet Fountains
- Innotek Training Products
- SportDog Brand
- Invisible Fence
Out here where I live in Irvine, California you’re lucky if you have a yard bigger than the size of a patio. So, I’m not too sure how relevant an Invisible Fence actually is for us, but I have heard the naysayers and know it’s a controversial product along with the Static Shock Collars.
I don’t know too much about Invisible Fences or Static Shock Collars, but when it comes to dog training it’s my goal to learn all I can about all products and training methods and even though PetSafe does make these controversial products I knew that this was a great opportunity to become better educated on dog training techniques using static shock collars and invisible fences.
Needless to say I was super excited to visit Knoxville, Tennessee, the PetSafe Headquarters, and some of the premier pet bloggers from across the country.
PetSafe Paw Print Blogger Summit
I arrived in Knoxville and ran into a few of our BlogPaws friends who were also participating in the weekends festivities. We took a short ride to the hotel then we were whisked away to one of the 7 dog parks PetSafe has donated to the city.
The dog park was super cool and everything was setup for an awesome dock diving show. I wish we had a dog park like this one complete with a dock built for dogs. I should have brought a better camera because my little Nikkon just wasn’t up to the task. At least you can see the beautiful background…
We got to relax most of the evening taking in the dog park, dock diving, and sitting down for a nice meal as we got to know some of the PetSafe employees and meet with our fellow pet bloggers.
Our second day started off early (super early for me since my brain was still on Pacific Time). We were picked up at our hotels and started our day at the PetSafe headquarters!
A Little Bit More About PetSafe
We had a lot to get through on Day 2. These are some of the hightlights.
I used to love gadgets as a kid. After all who doesn’t want to be an inventor growing up. PetSafe fosters innovation and it was very interesting to hear about how so few ideas actually become products. I didn’t hear the numbers, but I’m sure even less become successful products.
Dog Toys And Gadgets
We got to see tons of dog toys and gadgets. From Drinkwell Fountains to Busy Buddy Toys to Static Shock Collars to almost any dog gadget under the sun. We also got to see some awesome gadgets that aren’t yet on the market! PetSafe has some pretty cool things coming soon to a pet store near you.
CEO Randy Boyd
One of our favorite presentation was hearing Randy Boyd talk about how the company was started. I loved how Mr. Boyd was extremely humble attributing his success to taking a product and basically doing what he already knew how to do which ended up differentiating him from his competitors and ultimately led to his success. Check out this story on Mr Boyd and how he founded PetSafe.
Paw It Forward
Paw It Forward is another awesome way PetSafe gives back to their community. Every week PetSafe has pallets full of returned product. One employee, Joy started the Paw It Forward campaign distributing these products to shelters and rescues in the Knoxville area. Pretty awesome!
Bark For Your Park
Who wouldn’t want an awesome new dog park like the one pictured above? Bark For Your Park is another way PetSafe gives back. To become a finalist for the Bark for Your Park contest, PetSafe encourages communities of pet professionals, owners, shelters, welfare groups, and local civic officials to partner together to help their town win $100,000 to build a PetSafe dog park. Any city can win just get your fellow dog lovers to visit the PetSafe website and vote for your city! Here’s a little more information on last years contest: Bark For Your Park.
Corporate philanthropy was definitely one of my favorite things about PetSafe and their dedicated employees. These were two of my favorite community initiatives out of many going on with the PetSafe team.
Static Shock Collar Training Demonstration
I know very little about static shock collars and was interested in actually seeing the device. I went ahead and tested one on myself. The collar I used was adjustable from level 1-15 and here are my thoughts:
- Level 1-3 – I didn’t feel anything
- Level 4-6 – I barely felt a little pulse
- Level 6-9 – It kind of felt like someone was poking me with their finger
- Level 10-11 – A little bit uncomfortable
- Level 12 – It made my fingers involuntarily twitch and was not comfortable at all
- Level 13-15 – I didn’t even try going this high, but I imagine it would not feel good
The static shock collar demonstration involved a Boxer showing how the collars are used in basic obedience. The collar was set to level 1 which as I mentioned earlier I could not even feel. The dog didn’t show any discomfort and did very well with his obedience during the demonstration.
One thing that was stressed and I myself would stress to people is to make sure you are properly trained on how to use a device such as the static shock collar. They can definitely cause more harm then good if used incorrectly.
What do I think about the static shock collar? I definitely lean towards positive reinforcement dog training. Am I against the static shock collar and invisible fences? No. I think both can be effective training tools if used properly. I plan on talking in more detail about this topic and my own dog training philosophy in another blog post.
University of Tennessee Vet School, Mabel, and Water Treadmill
We also got to have a tour of the University of Tennessee Vet School and met the famous Beagle, Mabel. Mabel was left at the shelter because she got too large for her owners. At the time she was turned in to the shelter she weighed 67 lbs! When we visited Mabel had already lost 34 lbs thanks to some of the PetSafe products including the water treadmill. Check out some of her early pictures on her facebook page.
PetSafe is a pretty cool company. It’s a pet bloggers dream! As we walked through the office dogs were sleeping under desks or sitting nearby their owners. Emma and Buckley had wrestling matches during our presentations. Drinkwell water fountains on every cubicle corner. And can you believe that there are no private offices? Randy Boyd the CEO sits in a cubicle just like everyone else!
Of course there’s also the corporate philanthropy! I can’t believe all the awesome things PetSafe does for the community. I might have to start working on my resume so I can send it off to PetSafe :) You guys looking for a Web Manger, Social Media Marketer, Pet Blogger???
Do you use any PetSafe products? If so, what do you think? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
Disclosure: Our trip to the PetSafe Headquarters was sponsored by PetSafe. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.