Using Electric Dog Collars can and should be a very effective and humane method of training your dog. Here are the pros and cons of using dog training shock collars.
An electronic dog collar or shock collar can be a great dog training tool. Like any tool it is only as effective as the person who holds it.
Shock collars consist of a collar with a battery pack and a remote control unit. The collar is lined with electrodes and small contact points that should touch the skin around the neck when properly fitted. The remote, when triggered, sends a small shock to the electrodes.
The strength of the shock is adjustable on most models and should be set just high enough to get the dog's attention. Ear twitching is a good indicator that the dog feels the shock, whining or yelping indicates that the setting is too high.
Stronger shocks do not translate to faster training, in fact a shock too strong may encourage your dog to try to outrun the stimuli and you may lose your dog if he runs out of range.
Some have a range of a mile and others have a shorter range. Remember that it's difficult to see your dog when he's a mile away and once she's out of range you no longer have control.
If you ever got sucked into buying one of those electronic belts that were touted to build a muscular body through pulsing electric shocks, you'll be familiar with the concept of dog shock collars.
And if, as my husband did, you turn the control to a setting that's too high you'll be familiar with how uncomfortable the shocks can be if improperly used.
"Are electric dog collars cruel"? Is a frequently asked question and the answer is:
In the right hands and with the right dog, the electronic dog training collar can be a very humane and super effective training method.
When properly applied the shocks are no more than an irritant to the dog and cause no physical harm.
As with any training device, there is always the possibility that it can be used improperly whether deliberate or not.
If you approach training with the proper attitude and use the lowest setting that your dog responds to, an electronic dog collar can encourage positive behaviors without causing any harm to your dog.
Consistent and gentle correction leads to a happy, safe, well behaved companion. Whether it's a working dog, hunting dog or a valued pet, training clearly outlines behavioral and geographical boundaries and that makes for a confident canine.
Avoid putting yourself in a position where you can not follow through. The electric dog collar doesn't do the training by itself. It is only useful with a responsible trainer at the other end.
Training must be clear and consistent to be effective. Simply correcting negative behaviors is only half the job of training your dog. Rewarding positive behaviors is a very important half. It's as much about letting your dog know what you do want as what you don't want. Praise, affection and treats let your dog know when his behavior pleases you.
It is our opinion that not training your dog is inhumane. We also believe that a shock collar is a "last resort" behavioral training method and that most dogs will respond very well to positive reinforcement and never require shock correction.
Using a shock collar properly, teaches your dog safe and socially acceptable behavior. Unruly, destructive and aggressive dogs are the result of a lack of training. Through no fault of their own they often need to be euthanized because no one cared enough to provide the training necessary to socialize them.