Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Training Tools - Electronic Collars

One of the many training tools out there are electronic collars (commonly referred to as the "shock collar"). I have seen trainers recommend them for dogs thinking that it will resolve the issues. In my opinion, it may resolve that specific problem, but in using such a device, you are actually creating more problems that you will just have to fix later. It does provide the "quick fix" that some people are looking for.

I know some trainers believe that for certain things, this is the best way to teach your dog. Here is one link from a trainer's site that promotes the use of the collar ... thought I'd include it so we look at both sides of the picture here. I had tried to find a few to post, but turns out ... not many trainers seem to make a good enough case for using them! I found quite a few sites that simply state that they use it, but don't suggest where, when or why.


In my experience, by training with these sorts of devices you aren't teaching your dog to listen to you, pay attention to you or care a smidge what you say - it only teaches them that they shouldn't disobey in certain things. If you want to train recall, why not teach the dog that there is something in it for them and have them WANT to be with you?

Regarding the link above for Dr. P's dog training - I have trained dogs to keep out of the garbage without electronic collars ... among many of the other things listed. If you want to teach your dog not to pull on the leash, why not take the time to teach him how to heel?

There are so many better ways to train your dog. Sure, the electronic collar may seem to work to eliminate an undesired behaviour ... but what are you creating? Why not spend more time with your dog, bond with it some more, and train it fully?

These collars are sometimes used by people to train dogs to do (or not to do) certain things. Some are bark collars that shock the dog each time that the dog barks or makes a loud noise (they can often still whine without a shock). Some are used as training tools and they have a remote control that allows the handler to shock the dog each time the dog does something the handler doesn't want.

So if you're going to put this thing on your dog's neck, why don't you try it out first? So many people I have met that use them have never even tried it, they just buy it and put it around their dog - no adjusting. Here are a few videos of people trying out this collar to see what it feels like.




Make your own decision on whether or not to use this tool, but at least know what you are getting into first! Or know what your are getting your dog into. Personally, I don't use these collars.

It takes years to teach children how to function in the world and to prep them for it, so why do we expect our dogs to learn it in a few days? Training takes time and effort but you will find that the results will be well worth the work!

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