Breeding and training German Shepherds since 2010. I craft a regiment to help dogs reach their genetic potential.
Remote or Electric Training Collars for Dogs
Over the years, remote training collars have received a negative connotation. This has resulted from human beings using the collars incorrectly. When I am explaining the use of the remote collar to a new user, I compare the collar to a car.
Our cars are a tool. The car gets us to work and to errands and other life events. Some people incorrectly use this tool. Some people speed or text while driving, which is an incorrect use of driving or the car. Do you stop driving your car because people incorrectly drive their car? Probably not! So my recommendation is to learn how to use the remote training collar correctly.
Electric training collars or remote training collars are a humane and successful training tool when used correctly. These training collars have been around for many years. Early collars had limited settings and did not have the training capacity they have today.
With modern technology, training techniques also evolved. Remote training collars became a more gentle and more effective training tool. Today's collars offer stimulation and sound instead of punishment. There are many different features today with the training collars, such as GPS, sound, vibration, and pulsation. The idea that this collar is a shock mechanism is so antiquated.
Today's collars, when used properly and adjusted correctly, annoy or stimulate the dog and do not hurt. How do I know this? I test the collars on my hand and arm areas before using them on my dogs. The sensation can be described as an insect crawling on the skin.
Why Use a Remote Training Collar?
The basis of canine training is motivating and changing behavior. The expectation must be clearly communicated so the dog understands. Many owners and handlers have initial training success on a leash. Heeling or other commands such as sit or down are correct and, more importantly, reliable. This is reliable because the leash is on, and the dog understands the desired behavior as the communication is clear.
Once the leash comes off, the commands and behavior are no longer reliable. This can be not only frustrating for the handler but also dangerous for the dog. For example, one of the most important commands or behaviors to teach your dog is a down/stay. This is what I would call a safety command.
Hopefully, your dog will never have to use it, but there are emergency moments where a dog needs to be put on a down immediately. This could be to prevent your dog from running into traffic or being hit by a car. This is a training behavior that must be reliable and cannot be trained or tested on a leash. This can be accomplished with a Remote Training Collar.
Questions to Uncover Your Remote Collar Training Needs
- Why are you considering a remote training collar? Obedience, tracking, or hunting?
- Where will you be using this collar? Home or traveling?
- What is your plan to implement and then fade the collar away? Many rely on the collar instead of actually training your dog. The collar is a tool to train your dog, it does not replace you.
How Not to Use a Remote Training Collar
Don't use the collar on a setting too high or incorrectly set. Again, you can test this on your own hand. There are also instructions included in all remote training packaging as well as on the vendor websites.
Also, consult a personal trainer who can help you set and use the collar correctly. Any device can be used in a cruel manner; it is up to the handler and owner to learn how to use it correctly. Remote training collars are a very safe and effective tool when used correctly.
The incorrect use of the training collar is where the social stigma began. Many view the collar as a means of punishment. This is the incorrect use; the collar is a training tool. This type of collar should be a tool to train your dog, not a form of punishment.
Remote Collar Best Practices
- Partner with an experienced trainer.
- Partner with the collar vendor.
- Research and ask questions. What features do you really need? How does the collar actually work?
- Test the collar on your arm to check usage levels.
- Do not keep the collar on your dog for extended periods of time.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Kelly Ward