Proper Dog Training With Shock Collar
Edward R. Forte
November 25, 2021
Training & Behavior
In person, it’s easy to take the collar off of my BFF, ask the person to hold it in their hand and depress a continuous stimulation button.I know this because I test the collars before they go on my canines every day by holding the contact points in the palm of my hand and hitting the stimulation button.For perspective, the vibrate feature on my Garmin ForeRunner HRM watch is more of an annoyance to me than level 1 on any of my remote training collars.You get in, turn on the ignition, and if you don’t buckle up, the beeper goes off.If you don’t have a way to reinforce the command, you are training them that it’s okay to ignore you when off-lead.If you have to ask more than once, you’re training them that this is a request that they may obey at their convenience.“Dogs in training are often over-talked, over-touched and over-excited by a trainer,” Deeley added.With a remote training collar, you are always in the position to gently enforce a command.In my canine’s vocabulary, there is “sit,” “come,” and “heel.” There is no “stay.” The canine is trained to “sit,” for example, until told to do otherwise.I issue commands once, and if not obeyed, I enforce them.Allow me to state, again: If your canine does not know its basic commands, it is not ready for a remote training collar.If you do not know how to train those basic commands, you should enlist the services of a professional trainer – one who trains working dogs for things like search and rescue, explosives detection, and hunting.Remote training collars are our BFF’s everyday collar.The collar’s power stays off unless we are training, or if we are in a situation where I might need to enforce a command.The most important part of using a remote training collar is selecting the stimulation level.For the collar to work, the contact points need to be touching skin.If your canine has a long coat, your collar brand of choice will come with longer contact points that will help.It will be like a fly buzzing around your BFF’s head, an annoyance – nothing more.As far as nerve tissue, Dr.The basis of collar conditioning is that the annoyance goes away when your dog obeys you. The best way to do this is to reinforce the “come” command.You don’t want to attach it to the remote collar.This is on you, not your dog.After you’ve done it in your yard, take them to a place with more distractions (like a playground) and repeat.Those situations are not a pain in the butt; they are awesome training opportunities.This is why you work with a check cord until the only way that your dog knows to turn the annoyance off is by obeying – not bolting.You have the ability to enforce a command at any distance.As it is a powerful tool for good, it can also be abused.Take a step or two back in that progression.From this point, I highly recommend that you work with a trainer in your area who trains working dogs, and who trains your breed. .
A flat collar should fit comfortably on your dog's neck; it should not be so tight as to choke your dog nor so loose that they can slip out of it.It is also useful for a dog of any breed who is adept at slipping out of their collar or for fearful dogs who may try to retreat while out on a walk.The leash attaches to a ring on this loop.When your dog tries to back out of the martingale, the collar tightens around their neck.Head collar.Because the halter is around your dog's muzzle, instead of their neck, your dog loses a great deal of leverage and they are unable to pull on the leash with the full weight of their body.Don't leave the head collar on your dog all the time; eventually they will manage to pull off the muzzle loop and use it as their chew toy! .
How To Use An Electronic Dog Training Collar
This electric stimulation is triggered by a remote control unit that can be set to a wide range of levels depending on your dog’s temperament and sensitivity level.When used carelessly they can be ineffective and even confuse or frighten your dog.This article is only a summary, however, K9 Electronics offers a free, step-by-step, e-collar training guide with every purchase that will show you exactly how to introduce the collar to your dog and its correct use in much greater detail.The best training collars are going to have at least 100 levels of correction.One of hallmark benefits of electric collars is the ability to communicate at a distance, which is why e-collars are so popular for hunting and other advanced dog sports.Training with a remote collar can be divided into two general categories: stopping unwanted behaviors and reinforcing learned commands.Stopping unwanted behaviors is the number one reason people purchase electric dog collars.Whether it is jumping up, eating garbage, chasing cats, or some other irritating or dangerous behavior, a shock collar will cease the behavior in a short time.You should be able to just slip two fingers under the collar.K9 Electronics promotes the “Tapping” method at very low levels of static stimulation.If possible be out of sight or at a discreet distance from your pet.If your dog does not respond continue tapping and increase the level until he stops.Repeat this three or four times with play breaks in between and plenty of praise when he performs correctly.Try to work on this in short sessions a couple of times per day.Together, these two methods, adding stimulation when your dog engages in unwanted behavior, and removing stimulation to reinforce learned behaviors, can be applied to nearly every training scenario. .
How to Use a Shock Collar Correctly
Should You Use A Shock Collar?If you are considering using a dog training collar such as a shock collar (euphemistically referred to as a vibration collar, static collar, pager collar, tingle collar, tickle collar, E collar, recall collar, electric collar, positive reinforcement collar, stimulation collar, remote “training” collar, prong collar or choke chain, etc.) this dog training guide is for you.Here are all of the dog aggression equipment, collars, harnesses, and pet products that we recommend.The relationship with your dog is no different.Not in pain.I’ll cover that and more, but first, let’s talk about how to use an E-collar, remote collar, shock collar, or bark collar.How To Use A Dog Shock Collar Or Bark Collar.The first thing you should know is that there are no regulations in dog training and behavior.Right off the bat, you should understand that anyone recommending or using a shock collar, choke chain, or prong collar is not a certified dog trainer or behaviorist.“Should I use a shock collar for dog training?” This is a common question I get from parents because I get such fast results when a dog stays with me for my dog training boot camp.Do Shock Collars ‘Work’?When a dog (cat or any animal) gets shocked or punished, it doesn’t teach them anything new.To determine if shock collars work, we must first look closely at what we are trying to accomplish when using an e-collar.What Are The Best Shock Collars?Let’s investigate what happens here, to see why it doesn’t work, might have the opposite behavioral effect, and why it’s faulty advice.Here’s the thing, regardless of the reason/s your dog is lunging towards another dog, if you shock a dog when they lunge (or perform any problem behavior), your dog now has associated pain with whatever your dog happened to be looking at/perceiving at the exact moment when they got punished/shocked.In other words, if your dog was lunging to meet a friend or loved one, now your dog has associated them with the fear and pain they just experienced with the shock.If on the other hand your dog was fearful and trying to create distance to the stimulus or it was an aggressive lunge, and your dog gets shocked for lunging, now your dog will be justified that the stimulus (the other dog or person) is scary and your dog will likely become more fearful or aggressive the next time they lunge.The biggest problem with punishment is that it doesn’t consider the dog’s feelings, quality of life, welfare, or emotional fallout of the animal and how that causes a dog to behave in the future.All of these are now potential and likely triggers/stimuli that will now elicit fear anxiety and stress in your dog and also make your dog more reactive and aggressive towards these stimuli.Dogs are associative learners which means that the delivery of an eclectic shock (aversive/pain) to a dog is associated with whatever the DOG associates it with and was sensing (looking at, smelling, hearing, feeling, etc.) at the time of the pain and not what we want them to associate the pain with.This is an oversimplification of a much more complex behavioral process and training problem however it illustrates some of the many reasons why not to use a shock collar if you want your dog to be well trained, healthy, happy and to listen to you.What Does A Shock Collar Teach?It’s important to remember when we use a shock collar (or any aversive/punishment) we are not teaching the dog a new behavior.However, besides shock collar training being inhumane, there are many more reasons why you cannot use a shock collar to train a dog if you want your dog to learn to behave and listen to you. As previously mentioned, using a shock collar will have the opposite training results that you want.Here’s are more evidence-based scientific reasons why it is impossible to use a shock collar effectively or humanely.Shock Collar Training For Dogs: Does It Work?If this does not occur, it doesn’t fall under the definition of punishment and is abuse.In order for an e-collar to work (or any aversive stimulus), ALL of the following three conditions would have to be present and occur simultaneously in order for the shock collar to be an effective punisher.Hence, in that brief second when you stumble for the remote control to shock the dog, reach into your pocket, look at your phone, read this blog post, go to work, the bathroom, to sleep, etc., and you can’t punish/shock your dog immediately during (not after) the problem behavior, a dog will not associate the behavior with the pain.The same three PIE conditions must be met for all punitive dog training equipment such as choke chains, prong collars, bark collars, citronella collars, etc.
which is why no contemporary behaviorist or trainer recommends using any of those punitive devices.And, they all work the same way in that the principles and laws of learning and how a dog learns do not change based on the piece of dog training equipment used by a trainer.Also, it is not true that you only need to punish a dog once in order for a problem behavior to stop.If there is not a reduction in the dog’s frequency/rate of response to the punishment, by definition it is not punishment, it’s abuse.Therefore if a parent continues to use the shock collar it is abuse not the cessation of a behavior.Now, there is a void and you need to teach your dog an appropriate behavior.Although the definition of punishment is to reduce or stop a behavior the reality is that’s NOT what parents want.Slowing down or reducing a behavior is not enough and I have never met a parent in 30 years of dog training that just wants their dog to reduce the amount of time their dog pees or poops in the house, destroys the rug, pulls on the leash, growls at a child, etc. We don’t want to reduce our dog from, counter-surfing, or eating our shoes, we want those behaviors to stop in addition to learning a new appropriate behavior!If a police officer, military or the Navy Seals want their working dogs to be more obedient and to listen more attentively, perform skills with greater precision, accuracy, speed, and improved latency, the training used should be only positive reinforcement dog training and not some other methods of dog training.No dogs should be trained with shock collars because they are ineffective, inhumane, and will have the reverse dog training effects that you want.Shock Collar Dog Training And A Dog’s Emotion.If you are considering using a dog training collar such as a shock collar, prong collar, or choke chain, please consider the emotional, behavioral, and psychological fallout.Stress is as debilitating for the dog-parent relationship as it is damaging to the dog’s behavior, emotional, and psychological state.or.So if you want your dog to be obedient and listen to you, vibration collars and all forms of punition will have the opposite effect and not the desired outcome of a well-trained dog.Here are all of the dog aggression equipment, collars, harnesses and pet products that we recommend.Also, consider that it’s illegal to use and sell pain-inflicting devices such as shock collars in many cities and countries.We teach dogs behaviors and cues we want them to learn with rewards, engagement, fun, and interest, by their own choice, not by shocking them or causing fear and pain when they do something that we don’t want them to do.There is a reason we don’t do this.Do you smack your 2-3-year-old toddler in the head or squirt them in the face with a water bottle when they are scared or are not listening to you?On your dog’s time.For an expert certified dog behaviorist and trainer to help you with your dog’s behavior and training today.Here are all of the dog aggression equipment, collars, harnesses and pet products that we recommend.
9 E-Collar Training Myths: Busted
As a result, I happened upon balanced training methods, thanks to friends who had faced similar difficulties with their own dogs.This post breaks down those myths and explains the truth behind proper use of an e-collar.You’ve probably heard the terms e-collar and shock collar used interchangeably when referring to such tools.Modern e-collars use TENS technology (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), which delivers a mild pulse that stimulates muscle contraction (the same thing your PT or Chiropractor uses on you when you are in for treatment).Nearly every trainer I have met or follow on social media use the E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator, which has a stimulation level range from 0 to 100.This stimulation interrupts the dog’s thought process through an unpleasant, but not painful sensation.In this instance, your dog learns to associate the unpleasant feeling with its own behavior.When used correctly, a sharp knife can create delicious meals for your family.When an e-collar is used correctly, under the guidance of a professional trainer, then they are incredible tools that make life safer for your dog and give them more freedom.If e-collars are for lazy people, then I’ve been doing this all wrong.Those who oppose e-collars claim that having to use a tool equals laziness.What they don’t proceed to recognize is that the following items are also tools:.E-collars allow me to communicate with my dog in a way that they understand.Does it make me lazy to use an egg beater over a whisk?Here’s a great personal example of a tool used by R+ advocates (positive reinforcement) that I consider lazy: the Halti or Gentle Leader (you can see in the name that it’s all about marketing: This tool is gentle!).She fought and turned her head when we’d put it on.After reading this great Instagram post from @flashdogtraining, I understood why she resisted so much.Larry Krohn, one of the most well known balanced dog trainers explains his method in this Facebook post.It didn’t matter how much I squealed, engaged in play, walked back and forth along the same street, if I wasn’t constantly shoveling food down my dog’s throat, my dog would find something else more enticing.What does cause confusion in dogs is asking for commands before they understand what it means, and then getting mad at them for not doing as they’re told.This is exactly what happened with Laila and I didn’t understand the disconnect in our communication.I was just always frustrated with her and neither of us were in a place to work together successfully.As an example: During a hike, I call for Sitka to come using his base stimulation level (about 6 out of 100).Removing access to your dog’s favorite window spot because they bark at everything that goes by is negative punishment.“Scientific” studies can and do have biased results, depending on the subject.Research shows that punishment can be effective, particularly when paired with positive reinforcement.This Instagram post by @itshenrythebully does a great job of explaining how science-based claims are not always what they seem and require more studies.And here’s another from university professor who focuses on scientific literacy.I’ve seen trainers use e-collars with all kinds of dogs, ranging from chihuahuas and dachshunds to Great Pyrenese.In fact, e-collars are great tools for highly reactive small dogs who can’t handle a leash correction.With proper conditioning, e-collars are wonderful tools that teach dogs how to make decisions and control the stimulation they receive.Here’s a great post with several examples comparing appropriate and inappropriate methods of using the e-collar to curb undesirable behaviors.I’ve since switched to plastic contact points and have had no issues.The e-collar position must be switched every 2-4 hours, otherwise pressure sores will occur (just as humans experience bed sores when they’re stuck in bed for long periods of time).I don’t know about you, but if I learned of a tool that expedited the learning process, bridged the bond between my dog and me, built confidence in my dog, and provided off leash reliability, I wouldn’t wait to try everything else before using this tool. .
Dog Training Aversives: What Are They and Why Should You Avoid
Dog owners never really questioned these methods because they seemed to work – for the most part.We don’t touch a hot stove with our bare hands to avoid the pain of being burned.Studies are exposing the unintended consequences of these methods, including increased aggressive behavior, stress, and fear.For example, you could add a strong prong collar correction when your dog pulls on leash.When considering which techniques or tools to use with your own dog, always ask yourself "Is this necessary?".Let’s look at some reasons why you should avoid using aversive training methods with your dog:.There are even studies done that prove this, such as this one, which states, "Our results demonstrate through direct evidence from real life situations, that the reward-focused training was, indeed, more efficient than methods which included potentially aversive stimuli such as electric stimuli or excessive lead pressure.".Imagine starting a new job and only being told what not to do.You wouldn’t learn how to do your job very quickly, if at all!Imagine starting a new job and only being told what NOT to do.You wouldn’t learn how to do your job very quickly, if at all!There is a variety of collars and harnesses that work just as effectively as aversive collars, without causing discomfort, pain, or injury to the dog, and are more comfortable for the human handler to use.There are many dog trainers who claim they have “fixed” a dog that previously pulled on leash by throwing a prong or choke collar on them and calling it good.But without taking the time to reinforce walking politely on leash and not pulling, the dog hasn’t learned anything other than not to pull when they’re wearing that collar.Another example of this would be bark collars, whether shock (e-collars) or citronella spray.What's most disheartening about these tools is that it's punishing a normal dog behavior.And bark collars can also have extremely detrimental effects on dogs who associate the thing they were barking at with the aversive consequence, causing long-term fear, anxiety, reactivity, or aggression issues with those particular stimuli.Your dog’s good behavior shouldn’t rely on whether they’re wearing a specific kind of collar.It’s much more rewarding as a dog owner to see your dog make good decisions because you’ve taught them what behaviors are rewarding and make you happy!For example, if you are using an electric shock collar to stop your dog from barking, the desired association is that a bark equals a shock, therefore we want the dog to learn: don’t bark and you won’t be shocked.But you can do everything possible to prevent negative associations by not using aversives in the first place.When your dog is having fun, they’re willing to work harder and more often.Or one who happily engages with you and offers good behaviors because they are having a great time?Using punitive methods also makes it harder to increase the quality of training responses from your dog.Want to see the difference in body language and motivation levels between dogs trained with aversives versus positive reinforcement?An alpha roll is when the handler uses force to push the dog down into a vulnerable position on their side or on their back while standing or laying over them in a threatening manner until they “submit.”.You might have seen this technique used by popular TV trainers, but they purposefully have their production team edit out the dog bite footage (or keep it in for shock value).Intentionally forcing a dog into a situation where they feel like they have no choice but to bite is incredibly irresponsible and leads directly to euthanasia of dogs for behavioral issues that were directly caused by human actions.Grandma won’t be able to alpha roll the family dog as well as her strong grandson, and neither of them should have to put themselves in such an unsafe position in the first place.This video is a news story showing the fallout of using an alpha roll.David Mech, wolf expert and one of the original researchers behind pack theory, has since denounced it.You can train your dog just as effectively — and have more fun doing so — by using positive reinforcement training methods.But it's a different kind of consequence than the aversives I discussed above.Well, that's more than worth it to me and better for the dog.Dogs that are deemed "high drive" breeds, such as bully breeds, Belgian Malinois, etc., are often used as examples of dogs that require aversive methods or tools to control or train.What's amazing is the success of positive trainers with these breeds, especially in protection dog sports such as Schutzhund, mandioring, or Police K9 training — areas where aversive training has been the mainstay for decades.In an unregulated industry, it can be difficult to connect with a trainer whose training methods and philosophy match your own.There are many different certifications for dog trainers, some that even include the use of aversives in training methods. .
Reasons to Avoid Shock Collars and Punishment
Punishment and shock collars are hot topics for dog owners and trainers.Both methods can be effective, and it is a choice every dog owner has to make.Then I got my own dog and I found clicker training.I have not found a need to use a shock collar with my own dogs or a client’s dog in over 20 years.I am always up for a discussion on the topic of punishment that has a foundation in actual science, but not everyone is up for that.Shock Collars.What is considered punishment is up to the dog.If the food is unpleasant and aversive to you, you will behave in a way to avoid eating more of it.Shock Collars are a form of Punishment.Shock Collars are aversives used in punishment conditioning.No matter what any shock collar trainer tells you, the basic concept of a shock collar is punishment.There is always stress in humans or dogs during punishment conditioning.However, when the shock is delivered, it’s a punisher used to reduce behavior.A great book on the subject of fallout is Coercion and its Fallout, by Murray Sidman.Shock Collar Training.One of the biggest concerns about shock collar training is that the animal does not know when the shock is coming and has no choice or power over it.The problem is that they have control over when the shock happens and at what level.Most dog owners love their dog and think they are making the right choice by using a shock collar.There are a few common reasons why pet owners feel stuck in their training and may resort to shock collars.This owner has not done the proper foundation work in order for the dog to be mentally ready for off-leash behaviors.However, the owner is overwhelmed by emotions and treats are not dependent on good behavior.This type of owner now feels there is no choice but punishment.Many owners are stuck in culture fog when it comes to punishment or shock collars.This type of owner just wants all of the problems to go away instantly without understanding why his or her dog is behaving this way.We don’t feel that punishment is an effective learning tool for the new dog owner or the dog who is just starting to learn.I have also talked thousands of clients out of using shock collars or other punishers with a high risk because they didn’t have a good enough foundation in understanding their dog or how behavior works in general.Dog Owners Have a Choice.Either way, you will have to put in the work to change your dog’s behavior. .