How To Use A Training Collar On A Puppy: Why Use An Electronic Collar To Train Your Dog?

Some people who aren’t familiar with remote training collars think they’re cruel. Nothing could be further from the truth when used correctly.
Remote training collars, also known as electronic training collars, have been around for a long time. The earliest models were embraced by working dog trainers, enforcing commands from afar. The stimulation settings on those early collars were limited, and they were not very friendly for the dog wearing them. However, their value as a training tool could not be denied.
A shift in the training community occurred about 20 years ago, ushering in a gentler approach to training. Manufacturers of remote training collars responded, and the result is the collars we use today.

Shock Collars or Training Collars?

This is a question I am frequently asked. In person, it’s simple to remove my BFF’s collar, have them hold it in their hand, and press a continuous stimulation button. The sensation is barely perceptible at level 1, where the majority of my canines are. Furthermore, nerve tissue in a human hand is likely to be much more sensitive than nerve tissue in a dog’s neck.
The truth is that, when properly adjusted, the stimulation annoys the dog but does not harm it. I know this because I test the collars every day before putting them on my canines by pressing the stimulation button while holding the contact points in the palm of my hand. It might feel like an insect is crawling across your skin.
To put things in perspective, the vibrate feature on my Garmin ForeRunner HRM watch irritates me more than any of my remote training collars at level 1. My watch starts buzzing when I’m doing physical training and go outside of my target training zone. It irritates me. To turn off the annoyance, I adjust my pace, which is similar to how remote training collars work.
A remote training collar, as pro trainer Bill Grimmer pointed out, is similar to the seat belt beeper in your car. You get in, turn on the ignition, and the beeper goes off if you don’t buckle up. It irritates you, so you buckle your seatbelt and turn it off. For the most part, we now buckle up without even thinking about it. We’ve been trained by that beeper.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Remote Training Collar?

The same principles that underpin canine training apply to motivating and changing human behavior, from toddlers to CEOs. You must establish expectations and communicate them to the subject in a way that he or she can understand. You must also be able to correct bad behavior.
Assume that when your dog is on a leash, he or she responds nearly 100% of the time. The response isn’t as consistent when you’re not in the lead. You’re training them to ignore you when they’re off-lead if you don’t have a way to reinforce the command. If you have to ask them multiple times, you’re training them that this is a request that they can obey at their leisure. In that case, you have no way of enforcing the command.
Some may believe that wearing a remote collar is an authoritarian approach involving ego. The opposite could not be further from the truth. It all boils down to safety. Let’s say you’re out on a walk and your dog detects and sees a deer. It flees in pursuit of the deer. A busy highway may be a few hundred yards away, there may be a few hundred feet of loose talus with significant exposure, or another person nearby may have an aggressive and dangerous canine. Suddenly, the time for a command that is always followed becomes very real.
Martin Deeley, a professional trainer and executive director of the International Association of Canine Professionals, gave us a wealth of information on this subject. He summed up off-lead situations very well.
According to Deeley, “In off-leash situations, e-collars allow you to communicate with your dog, guiding and assisting them in avoiding potentially dangerous situations.”
Deeley continued, “Dogs in training are frequently over-talked, over-touched, and over-excited by a trainer.” “The e-collar allows us and the dog to be more relaxed, and it creates a less intrusive way for the dog to learn and make good decisions.”
You’ll always be able to gently enforce a command with a remote training collar. It is not a simple process to get to that point. To fully realize this, there is a process that takes months of work and must be carefully followed. “Collar conditioning” is the term for it.

Get Started with Remote Dog Training Collars

Before you begin collar conditioning, make sure your pup understands the basics of obedience. I cannot emphasize how important this is.
“Sit,” “come,” and “heel” are all words in my dog’s vocabulary. There is no such thing as “staying.” The canine is trained to do things like “sit” until told otherwise. The canine’s response to these commands is not negotiable. I give commands only once, and if they aren’t followed, I enforce them. You don’t make the same request three times.
This level of obedience allows me to take them wherever I want, from hikes in Colorado’s Weminuchee Wilderness to remote camps in Alaska, where I encounter really big bears on a daily basis. It will be a terrible day for everyone if my dog chases down a bear in Alaska.
Your canine companion is not ready for a remote training collar if it does not understand basic commands. If you don’t know how to enlist those basic commands, you should train with a professional trainer who specializes in working dogs for search and rescue, explosive detection, and hunting.

Conditioning of the Collar

Collar conditioning begins long before the collar is ever worn. The first step is for your four-legged friend to understand that the collar goes on first thing in the morning. It’s just a part of the bling for them. You want them to associate wearing the collar with going for walks, going out, and having fun. They should be accustomed to wearing the collar on a daily basis.
Our BFF’s everyday collar is the remote training collar. We’ve put our contact information on the collars and given them a name tag. In any critical system, I prefer redundancy. Unless we’re training or in a situation where I might need to enforce a command, the collar’s power is turned off.
The selection of the stimulation level is the most important part of using a remote training collar. Every collar will have a number of different levels. They begin at a size that is barely perceptible to the human hand and gradually increase in size. “The feeling made should be changed so that the dog can understand and accept it as part of the training,” says Deeley.
When I’m training, I adjust my dog’s collar a little more than usual. The contact points on the collar must be in contact with the skin in order for it to work. If your canine has a long coat, your preferred collar brand will have longer contact points that will help. For short-and medium-haired dogs, I use the number of fingers I can fit under their collar as a guideline. Two is a good number. If you can fit three fingers underneath the collar, it means it’s probably too big and the contact points aren’t touching the skin. It’s important not to overtighten because this can lead to muscular strain.
Sit your poodle companion in front of you. Reduce the stimulation level to the bare minimum. Then, on your transmitter, depress the continuous stimulation button. Start with the lowest level of stimulation and work your way up until your pet seems upset by something.
A yelp or pain is not the response you’re looking for. There will be a sense of befuddlement. It’ll be like a fly buzzing around your BFF’s head, just an annoyance. That’s your starting point.
If your BFF vocalizes, droops their ears, or tucks their tail beneath their body, the stimulation level is too high. Canines have more muscles in their necks than humans, according to DVM Katie Barrowclough. “[Canines] feel pain, but their reactions to it are much different than humans,” Dr. Barrowclough said of nerve tissue. To protect themselves from vulnerability, dogs’ evolutionary tool for survival is to hide pain and act stoic, which can make it difficult for us to identify their pain. “
Dr. Barrowclough’s final statement is crucial to remember when using a remote training collar or suspecting that your best friend has been injured. If you see a visible reaction, it’s probably a level of discomfort that humans would find unacceptable. That makes it unacceptably unacceptable for a man’s best friend.

When You’re Called

The basic premise of collar conditioning is that when your dog obeys you, the annoyance goes away. The best way to do this is to reinforce the command “come.” As previously stated, your companion must already be familiar with this command.
Take a 20-to 30-foot piece of cord or rope and tie it around your waist. Half-inch climbing webbing is my personal favorite. Form a noose collar at one end by tying a small loop at one end with a figure-eight knot. A check cord is the name for this device. It’s not a good idea to attach it to the remote collar. This may jeopardize the contact points’ ability to perform their duties.
Give your BFF the command to “sit.” Fidgeting will come natural to your BFF. Take a big step back in your training if they won’t sit when told. Your canine has not been fully trained to sit by you, the intelligent trainer. It’s your fault, not your dog’s.
Back off 10 to 20 feet once the animal has sat. Stimulate them with the continuous button set to their baseline setting while giving them the “come” command with zeal. Then, using the check cord, gently guide them toward you. Release the button when they are within arm’s reach. It’s time to give big kudos. Tell them what a fantastic canine they have. Make it clear to them that this is exactly the type of behavior you desire. Canine training is a lot of theatrics, as I always tell people.
The entire principle behind obedience training with a remote collar is that the canine learns to turn off the annoyance by obeying.
This process must be repeated in various settings by the trainer. Repeat in a place with more distractions (such as a playground) after you’ve done it in your yard. If they do not obey the “come” command, be prepared to use stimulation. Additionally, treat every time you say “come” to your dog as a command opportunity. As the more intelligent party, you must be on the lookout for and anticipate these situations. Those situations aren’t a pain in the neck; they’re fantastic training opportunities.
It’s important to keep in mind that some dogs will bolt if they are stimulated. This is the result of the trainer teaching their dog that he or she can outrun the signal’s distance. This is why you use a check cord until your dog knows how to turn off the annoyance by obeying rather than bolting.

How to Use a Training Collar (and How Not to Use One)

A remote training collar is a very powerful tool because it allows you to enforce commands from a distance. This gives your BFF the freedom to be off-leash, knowing that you have complete control over any deer, skunk, other human, or fast-moving dump truck that enters your space. You have the ability to carry out a command from a great distance.
“The e-collar is a training tool that enhances communication, provides consistent and reliable feedback even at increasing distances, and it creates a positive relationship between the dog and handler with reduced stress to help accomplish training goals,” Deeley said.
It can be abused as it is a powerful tool for good. I’ve seen too many handlers and owners push stimulation past the point where it becomes an annoyance. Don’t be that dog-murdering jerk. If your canine isn’t responding, it’s likely that you’ve hit a snag in your training. Take a step or two back in that sequence. Don’t even turn on your dog’s collar if you’re having a bad day. Allowing your problems to tempt you to vent your frustrations on the living, breathing being who adores you is a bad idea.
This is where you should begin. It’s just a basic demonstration of how to use a remote training collar.
From here, I strongly advise you to work with a local dog trainer who specializes in working dogs and your breed. The nuances and timing for a retriever bred to work with the handler can be vastly different from those for canines bred to work independently of the handler (like a pointer). A remote training collar will set you back a few hundred dollars, so add another $100 to enlist a trainer to help you fully understand the process.