Did you recently adopt a puppy or adult dog? Your job as a pet parent just started, given that you have a responsibility to make your new best friend be a responsible family member and a sociable member of society.
This process starts with housebreaking your dog to make him responsible at home. Similarly, there are several behaviors that you’ll need to cut off from his habits and some that you’ll have to introduce to help him be sociable. This can be the most challenging part of your dog’s training since some canines are generally stubborn and may not grasp the concept faster. Again, there are no bounds, and you have to find a way to do it, despite your dog’s physical orientation, like training deaf canines.
Dog trainers and behaviorists sometimes suggest using a shock collar to hasten the learning process. This article gives a comprehensive view of the tools and if they’re efficient for use on your dog.
What are Shock Collars, and Do They Hurt Dogs?
Shock collars are devices that use electrical current applied to the dog’s neck to send shock signals . They’re wireless, come with a separate transmitter that triggers the collar, and are typically powered with batteries. They allow you to train your dog using positive punishments, and even when you’re at a distance from your pup.
A dog shock collar gives your pup a mild stimulus, like what you would feel in case of a static shock, prompting him to behave or change his actions as per your directions. They come in different kinds for different functions and work quite differently.
For instance, a dog shock collar, also known as an electronic remote trainer, uses a remote control to allow you to instill or discourage behaviors in your dog even when he’s a few meters away from you. Similarly, there are bark collars, which use electrocution to stop your dog from barking aimlessly automatically, and fence e collar, which automatically shock your canine if he attempts to cross the fence. Some wireless dog fences, though, utilize other types of collars that do not have the shock function. Other pet containment systems are paired GPS dog fences for tracking and training purposes.
Whether a remote training collar hurts your dog or not is a question clouded with many controversies. For instance, some professional trainers associate it with positive reinforcement and mild punishments, which, according to them, are only painful enough to make your dog act according to the stimulus but not to hurt him.
However, some specialists see it as a cruel way of dog training, citing that it doesn’t offer dogs the will to choose the correct behavior but prompts them to choose between the command and pain. As such, some jurisdictions prohibit their use, while other countries regard them as one of the most effective ways of dog training, especially for specialty job canines.
Given the contradictions, you may want to work with a professional and consider both sides of the argument before settling on the tools. That way, you’ll act from an informed mindset.
When to Use a Shock Collar for Dog Training
While remote training collars are effective, they can’t replace traditional dog training techniques. As a result, only use a remote training collar after training your dog the basics and when he already understands simple commands, such as “sit,” “stand,” “stay,” “come” when called, and others.
Remember that no dog comes into your life understanding English and the commands fluently. As a result, starting on a shock collar directly will feel like torture if the dog doesn’t know what to do. Your aim of using a shock collar is to train your canine, not as a punishment.
How to Use a Remote training collar for Dog Training
Shock collars can be safe and effective tools for dog training, especially if you understand how to use them well. However, the process can be painful and frightening for your dog if you don’t use them correctly. That’s why it’s essential to consult with a professional to help you pull it out perfectly. Similarly, you can decide and leave the whole process to a professional dog trainer to train your pooch. Here are some hacks to help you pull it out.
1. Go for High-Quality Products
The quality of your shock collar is an essential step to success in your dog training endeavor. The markets are booming with a wide range of these gadgets in varying options and prices. However, not all picks will meet your specifications. As a result, do quality market research to find the ideal tool for your dog.
2. Begin Training with the Basics
A shock collar is effective at reinforcing and correcting behavior problems. However, these tools aren’t ideal for off-the-bat puppy training. As a result, ensure your dog understands all the basic commands before embarking on electronic remote training. You may want to use traditional techniques to instill potty and crate training disciplines, as well as other basic commands first.
Teaching your dog the primary disciplines in easy-to-understand and straightforward techniques will help build and strengthen the relationship between you and your furry friend. Similarly, the collar training becomes easier and more comfortable if your dog understands the basic commands like “come,” “sit,” “stay,” and “go.”
3. Read Instruction Manual Before Using
Shock collars come in varying styles, and each brand may have different functionalities and directions of use. Considering the extremity of shock collar mistakes, you may want to read and understand all the user instructions provided by the specific manufacturer, so you don’t injure your dog.
4. Let Dog Accustom to the Collar First
Once your dog is ready to use the collar, put it on, then let him stay with it for at least a week before commencing the training. Dogs are associative learners and will most likely connect the pain/shock to the collar. However, your main aim at using a shock collar is to make the dog associate the pain of electrocution with negative behavior.
As a result, you should let your dog familiarize with the collar and associate it with fun and good times rather than pain and punishments. Similarly, the shock collar may feel different from the typical ones he often put on, so give him time to adjust to its presence on his neck.
5. Incorporate Other Training Techniques
While shock collars are effective, you don’t want your dog only to know how to respond to the remote exclusively. But, if you don’t use other training techniques, your pup won’t be able to respond to any other commands from you, except when you use the stimulus.
As a result, you may consider backing up the shock collar tool with other methods, including positive reinforcement, negative response training, clicker training, and others. That way, you’ll still be able to get your dog to act according to your commands when you’re out with no remote.
6. Teach your Dog the Behaviors You Want
Your dog needs to understand the reaction you expect from him. Just stimulating the collar and sending shocks to your dog’s neck won’t be effective and can also be cruel if your canine doesn’t understand how to react.
As a result, take time to teach your dog the behavior you expect him to stop or perform. This could be one of the lengthiest processes of shock collar training since you may have to repeat the directions several times for your dog to grasp the concept. But, be patient and let your commands sink into the dog’s mind.
7. Focus on Teaching Your Dog To be Collar-Proof
You should focus on getting your pup into following commands and acting according to your requests without the collar or just with the vibration. Most controversies relate electrocution to being inhumane. Thankfully, most shock collars send vibration signals before electrocuting.
Upon successful training, your dog should be able to tell when he is about to get electrocuted and stop when the collar vibrates. Again, dogs typically feel it’s their responsibility to please their owners. As such, you should aim at making your request and commands stick into your pup’s mind such that he voluntarily does the right thing even without you pressing the remote button.
8. Take Note of Stimulation Levels
Most shock collars come with varying stimulation levels, with each, from the lowest to the highest, have varying altitudes of electrocution. As a result, focus on using the least possible level of electrocution on your dog.
Unless you’re saving your dog’s life, like in a situation where he jumps into a high traffic road, avoid using the high level of stimulation. For a start, set the shock collar to the most miniature transmission and use it on your furry friend. If he doesn’t act according to the command, slowly increase levels till you see him responding to the shock (appear annoyed, twitch neck, or follow the order).
Remember that a higher level of stimulation will most likely send fear into your dog, and he won’t learn anything. As a result, aim at using the lowest level of transmission possible.
When to Use a Shock Collar for Training Dogs
A shock collar is a valuable tool in teaching your dog several skills and correcting numerous behavior problems. For instance, you can use a shock collar to fix behavioral issues such as a dog digging holes in the backyard, barking in his dog crate aimlessly.
Additionally, specialty dog trainers find a shock collar essential in instilling different disciplines and training dogs off-leash. Some of the scenarios where you may consider shock collar training for your dog include:
- Correcting Behavior Problems
- Agility Training
- Reinforcing Basics
- Specialty Jobs
- Off-Leash Walking
Do Shock Collars Work?
A shock collar work, especially if the stimulation meets all the conditions. The tool functions through an electrical vibration that sends a shock to a dog’s neck, making him stop behaving in a certain way. You can summarize the conditions necessary for the success of the process with an acronym, PIE. They include:
- Pain– The electrocution should be painful enough to make him react according to your requests or commands, but not too serious to kill him. That’s why it’s necessary to set the transmitter into the lowest level that causes a reaction from the pup.
- Immediate– Dogs are associative learners and will only connect the punishment you cause by shocking to what’s happening or present in their surroundings at the moment of pain. As a result, you should guarantee that you stimulate the collar almost immediately after you notice the unwanted behavior (in a second or less).
- Every time– There should be consistency in your disciplinary process. As such, you should try as much as possible to stimulate the shock every time your dog behaves in a wrong way until he gets the idea that the pain comes whenever he acts in a given way. Inconsistency will make it hard for your dog to change since he doesn’t understand what causes the stimulus.
Shock collars are often thought of as inhumane and mean dog training methods. Ensure you’re comfortable using a shock collar and you understand how to operate them. If you’re not sure, consider leaving it to experts. Similarly, avoid leaving the collar on your dog for twelve hours straight. For efficiency, you may consider removing the collar of your dog’s neck at night and only wear it during the day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Shock Collars Good for Training Dogs?
Several experts regard shock collars as practical tools for dog training, especially if you know how to use them. However, there are numerous controversies on using a shock collar, and you should consider both sides before you decide to incorporate them in training your pooch.
When Should You Start Shock Collar Training?
There’s no specific time to start shock collar training, as long as you’ve taught your dog all the basic commands. Only make sure that you don’t start your puppy training off the bat with a shock collar.
How do You Train a Dog with a Static Collar?
The first step is to use traditional training techniques to train your dog on the basic commands, such as stand, sit, stay, and so on. After that, you can use a shock collar to reinforce the basics, correct behavioral problems, and train him on specialty jobs. To use the collar, tie it around your dog’s neck tight enough not to fall but comfortable, and stimulate the shock with the remote transmitter every time you notice behavior you want to correct.
Do Shock Collars Make Dogs More Aggressive?
A shock collar as a training tool can’t make dogs aggressive. However, how you use them can cause psychological distress in your dog, resulting in increased stress levels and phobias, to which your dog may react aggressively.