Actual dog training should never be confused with issues of dog control. Whether a professional dog trainer or novice, this is an important factor that needs to constantly be in the back of your mind. Of course, in any owner/dog relationship, the owner must assume the alpha role, but it’s easy to abuse this control, thus is becomes more of an issue than a privilege.
With a dog training collar the owner/trainer is provided a certain degree of instant control. The intention isn’t meant to cause harm, however the actual act of training becomes more abusive than productive. Incorrectly utilizing a dog’s weakness is not the best way to gain control. As a trainer, the ultimate goal is to remove or alter current behaviors of the dog. For the dog, these behaviors are instinctual and sometimes hard to forget or revamp.
These dog training collars were created for the trainer to initially get a certain degree of control over an animal, but the problem lies with abuse of the basic principals and guidelines when using this type of tool in training. Of the first tools used in this type of training you’ll fine many varieties of chokes and chains, which allow for decreased or increased tension, depending on what the canine needs.
Choke collars especially can be harmful. When used improperly they can leave permanent damage to the neck of the dog, and even lead to death by choking. Of the more popular collar available today is shocking. Literally, a shock collar. This particular method offered a “bonus” in that the dog would constantly be in training. No extra effort required by the owner/trainer in that the dog would receive a bolting shock whenever a certain boundary was crossed. To the average pet owner or trainer, this benefit might sound appealing, but the potential dangers and disadvantages of a shock collar need to be weighed as well.
With any type of dog collar you, as your four-legged friends’ caretaker, need to arm yourself with a proper care and maintenance routine. You’ll want to make sure the collar offers a comfortable fit. You certainly don’t want this new collar to pinch or snag the dog’s neck or fur (most noted, Martingale collar), or cause hot spots because of an abrasion. Not only are you going to make that canine upset and resistant, you’re also inflicting unnecessary pain. You’re dog can’t speak to you and let you know that it hurts, so it’s up to the owner/trainer to make sure comfort and safety measures are undertaken.
A big counterproductive rule in dog training is utilizing pain and fear to get your animal to act in a desired fashion. Electronic training collars (shock collars) operate by zapping your canine with an electric shock or sounding off a shrieking siren to urge the dog not to bark. That’s like slapping a child in the face when they talk. You create an environment of control through fear of receiving physical pain, and the end result could be an unhealthy life, both mentally and physically, for the animal.
Even if you’re lucky enough to get the desired results of limited or no barking at all, your pet will lose confidence in himself and his job as a protector, confidant and family friend.
Utilizing quick fix methods for training are sometimes counterproductive and often an unrewarding alternative to traditional methods. In the long run, you aren’t the dominating alpha figure, and in fact, you rely on control devices. Without the control device, what are you left with? When using a safer, and more time-balanced, traditional method of dog training leaves you ultimately in control and with a happy, healthy animal. Before you choose the type of training method to utilize, please do your research. You will want to find a method that is safe and comfortable for your pet, and allows you the end up with the desired results.