How And Why To Train Your Dog With An Electronic Collar
Uninitiated people of remote training collars may believe them to be cruel. When used appropriately, nothing could be further from the truth.
There have been remote and electrical training collars for a very long time. Owners of working dogs who carried out commands at a distance embraced the original versions. Early collars featured limited stimulation settings and were uncomfortable for the dog wearing them. But there was no doubting their usefulness as a training tool.
About 20 years ago, a revolution in the training community led to a friendlier approach to training. Leading producers of remote training collars responded by creating the collars we see today.
Do training collars count as “Shock Collars”?
People give me this time rather frequently. By asking the other person to hold my BFF’s collar in their hand and depressing a continuous stimulation button in person, it is simple to push the device. Level 1, where most of my canines live, is where the sensation is hardly ever felt. The nerve tissue in a human hand is also probably much more sensitive than that in a dog’s neck.
The stimulation irritates the dog but causes no physical harm when set up correctly. I am aware of this because I always test collars before I put them on my canines by pressing the stimulation button while holding the contact points in the palm of my hand. You may compare the sensation to an insect crawling across your skin.
To put things in perspective, I’d say that the level 1 annoyance on any of my remote training collars annoys me more than the vibration function on my Garmin ForeRunner HRM watch. My watch starts buzzing as I engage in physical training and stray from my designated training area. It annoys me. I change my pace to reduce annoyance, much like remote training collars do.
Professional trainer Bill Grimmer compared a remote training collar to the seat belt beeper in your car. Once inside and the ignition is turned on, the beeper will turn if you don’t buckle up. It is a pain, so you buckle your seatbelt to turn it off. Most of us buckle up automatically these days. From that beeper, we’ve trained.
It is possible to employ a remote training collar.
The same concepts that guide canine training may be used to influence and change the behaviour of anyone, from young children to senior company leaders. You must understand clear your expectations and communicate that the subject is aware of them. It’s also essential to have the ability to alter behaviour.
Let’s say your animal friend responds virtually always when they are on a lead. Off-lead, the reaction is less predictable. If you don’t have a way to make the command stick, your dog will learn that it’s acceptable to defy you when they’re not on a lead. If you have to ask more than once, you’re training them that they can obey this command whenever it’s convenient for them. To enforce the order in that ability, you have zero control.
Some people might think that using a remote collar is dictatorial and that ego is at work. There is nothing more untrue than it. Everything comes down to safety. Consider the scenario where your dog notices a deer while you are out strolling. It moves out in the direction of the deer. A busy highway could be a few hundred yards away, loose talus could be a few hundred feet away and have a person exposed, or someone else could be there with a dangerous and ferocious canine. It has become more critical than ever to have a command always obeyed.
Martin Deeley, a professional trainer and the head of the International Association of Canine Professionals, gave us some obvious advice on this subject. He did an excellent job of summarizing off-lead situations.
“E-collars allow you to direct and communicate with your dog in avoiding potentially dangerous situations in off-leash locations,” Deeley said.
“Dogs in training are usually over-talked to, over-touched, and over-excited by a trainer,” Deeley stated. Using e-collar results in a less invasive method of helping the dog learn and make the right decisions, which makes the dog and us more at ease.
You may consistently and firmly enforce a command using a remote training collar. The work to that point is laborious. There is a process that takes months of work and rigorous execution to achieve ultimately. The phrase used is collar conditioning.
Implement remote-controlled dog training collars.
Before you start collar conditioning, your pup has to be comfortable with its basic obedience cues. I cannot stress enough how important this is.
“Sit,” “Come,” and “Heel” are commands my dog is familiar with. Stay is not a thing. The canine is trained to “sit,” for example, until told otherwise. The dog’s response to these commands cannot be negotiated. When I issue orders, I give through and enforce them if they are not carried out. Not precisely three times.
They are so obedient that I can take them anywhere, even on a hike through the Weminuchee Wilderness in Colorado or remote sites in Alaska, where I frequently encounter giant bears. It will be a sad day for everyone if my dog chases a bear in Alaska.
Please allow me to reiterate: If your canine cannot understand fundamental orders, they are not ready for a remote training collar. Suppose you do not know how to train those basic commands. In that case, you should enlist a professional dog trainer specializing in training working dogs for search and rescue, explosives detection, and hunting.
The collar’s state
Long before the collar is used, conditioning is started. Get your dog to understand that the collar is put on at the beginning of each day as the first step. It’s just a part of their glitter. They ought to associate playing, going outside, and taking walks wearing the collar. They should become used to wearing the collar on a daily part.
A remote training collar is a go-to collar for our BFF. We’ve placed our contact information on their collars, and they have name tags. I prefer redundancy for every critical system. The collar’s power is off except while we are training or if I might need to enforce a command.
Selecting the stimulation level is the most critical part of using a remote training collar. Each collar will have numerous layers. They start at the size the human hand rarely notices and get bigger. According to Deeley, the sensation should be altered to a level the dog can comprehend and accept as a necessary part of the training message.
When we’re training, I slightly adjust my dog’s collar. To function, the collar’s contact points must work in touch with the skin. The longer contact points on your favourite collar brand will benefit if your canine has a long coat. My standard is how many fingers I can fit under the collar of short- to medium-haired dogs. I prefer two. The presence of three fingers beneath the collar means that it is likely too loose and that the contact points are not near the skin. Because the subsequent tightness might create muscular tension, it’s essential to lead to overtightening.
Sit your pup in front of you. Reduce the level of stimulation to the lowest setting. After that, push the button on your transmitter to receive inspiration continuously. Work your way up from the lowest stimulation level until your pet starts to become irritated.
You’re not looking for a pain response or a yell. It will give off a perplexing feeling. It will merely be an annoyance, like a fly buzzing around your best friend’s head. That is where your point begins.
Suppose your closest buddy vocalizes, droops their ears, or tucks their tail under their body. In that case, the stimulation level is too high. Canines have stronger neck muscles than humans, according to DVM Katie Barrowclough. In terms of nerve tissue, “[Canines] perceive pain, but their reactions to it are completely different from humans,” says Dr Barrowclough. Dogs have evolved to conceal their pain and keep a stern demeanour to shield themselves from vulnerability. This might make it difficult for us to notice their distress.
Dr Barrowclough’s final words should always be kept in mind when using a remote training collar or if you suspect your best friend may have been hurt. The discomfort level is unacceptable to humans if there is a visible reaction. For a dog, a man’s best friend, that makes it wholly inappropriate.
Responding to the Call
The basis behind collar conditioning is that the annoyance disappears when your dog obeys you. The most effective way to do this is to reinforce the command “come.” As we just mentioned, your acquaintance needs to be familiar with this command.
Grab a 20–30 foot long rope or cable. My favourite climbing webbing is the half-inch variety. You can make a noose collar by making a tiny loop at one end and tying a figure-eight knot. This device is known as a check cord. The remote collar shouldn’t be used to secure it. The contact points may make it more challenging to perform their jobs.
Give your pal the “sit” command. Unavoidably, your BFF will start to fidget. If they don’t consistently sit when instructed, go back a lot in your training. The more brilliant trainer, you have not fully trained your canine to sit. You are to blame for this, not the dog.
When the animal sits, step 10 to 20 feet back. Command “come” with time while simultaneously stimulating them with the continuous button at their default setting. Then, gently lead them toward you using the check cord. When they come within arm’s reach, let go of the button. The time is now to give enormous praise. Tell them what a fantastic canine they are. Make them in uncertain terms that this is the behaviour you want from them. I often remind people that a lot of theatrics go into dog training.
The remote collar obedience training process is to teach the canine to turn off the annoyance by obeying.
This process needs to be repeated by the trainer in various settings. Repeat what you just performed in your yard in a place with more distractions (like a playground). If they disobey each time, tell them to “come” and be prepared to stimulate them. Whenever you give your dog the “come” command, think of it as a teaching opportunity. As the more intelligent party, you must be alert and ready for these situations. Instead of being a pain in the butt, those situations make for excellent training opportunities.
Remember that some dogs will bolt if they are excited. When a trainer teaches their pet that they can outrun the signal’s distance, that is what happens. For this reason, you train your dog with a check cord until the only way to turn the annoyance is to obey, not to flee.
Use of a Training Collar: Proper and Improper Techniques
A remote training collar is very effective since it enables you to enforce commands while standing at another distance. As a result, your BFF can run free knowing that you are in complete control if a deer, skunk, other animals, or a moving dump truck enters your property. A command can be executed over any distance.
According to Deeley, who stated it plainly, “The e-collar is a training tool that encourages communication, delivers constant, dependable feedback even at increasing distance, and creates a positive relationship with reduced stress between the dog and handler to help meet training goals.”
It has the potential to be abused, yet being a powerful weapon for good. I’ve observed owners and handlers turn stimulation much too much to where it becomes an annoyance. Don’t be that dog-murdering jerk. If your canine isn’t responding, your training development failed somewhere along the point. Go back a step or two in the process. If you’re having a horrible day, turn on your dog’s collar. Refuse to let the living, breathing being who loves you despite your problems become the target of your rage.
You now make your first point. The instructions for using a remote training collar are pretty straightforward.
From this point forward, I suggest working with a trainer in your area who has experience with working dogs of your breed. The intricacies and timing of retrievers, who were bred to work with the handler, may not be present in canines that were bred to work independently of the handler (like a pointer). Since a remote training collar would set you back several hundred dollars, spend an extra $100 to enlist a trainer to help you completely understand the process.