When you add a new dog to your household, it’s best to have a plan to start training it as soon as possible. After all, you want to make sure your dog learns to obey you so it will be a welcome addition to your home. Of course, there are many ways to go about puppy training in North London. One of those ways includes the use of a shock collar. You may have some questions about the safety and practicality of using a shock collar to train your new dog. Discover the history of shock collars as well as the pros and cons of using one for your dog’s training program.
A Little Background on Shock Collars
Shock collars were first used for dog training in the 1960s. The high-powered collars were put on dogs to train them for hunting purposes. The dogs were there to find the trail of a deer or retrieve a small animal killed by a hunter. These dogs needed to respond quickly and do exactly as their owners commanded. Shock collars seemed to be the answer in this type of training. Over the years, shock collars have become less powerful and are still used by some organizations and individual dog owners to teach the basics such as heel, stay, sit, lie down, etc.
The Pros and Cons of Shock Collars
As with any training method or tool, there are both pros and cons involved in using a shock collar. Though they’re still used by some trainers today, there is a lot of evidence pointing towards the negative implications of using such a device and is something here at H&H Dog Training that we stay far away from and do not condone.
One of the pros of using a shock collar is you don’t have to be close to your dog throughout a training session. For instance, if you’re training your dog to stay within the perimeter of your yard, you can stand near your home and correct the dog if it tries to wander across the set boundary. You don’t have to be right next to it to get your point across.
Another pro is the training process can be shorter and lessons learned quicker. The shock from the collar is more than enough stimulus to stop the dog from doing something you don’t want it to do.
One of the many documented cons of using a shock collar to train a dog is it can make a dog aggressive and worsen the dogs behavioral problems. Getting shocks at any given time can make a friendly, outgoing dog very fearful. The dog will begin to anticipate a shock and live in fear of it. A dog that’s fearful is likely to lash out unexpectedly.
Another con of using a shock collar during obedience training is it doesn’t involve the essential ingredient of positive reinforcement. When you use a shock collar you are teaching a dog what it shouldn’t do but neglecting to teach it what you want it to do. This is a one-sided lesson that isn’t likely to get you the results you want.
A shock collar can convey more shocks than necessary in the course of obedience training. When shocks are given without true cause, a dog is likely to become confused and not learn the lesson at hand. It’ll be focused on the pain instead of any lesson you’re trying to convey.
Even if a shock collar is giving out low level shocks, it’s still going to be painful to the dog wearing it. This is what it’s designed to do. Many owners are not comfortable with this type of training tool as a result.
Alternative Techniques for Dog Training
When it comes to training your dog properly, there are many alternatives to using a shock collar. One of those alternatives is training with a dog whistle. While a dog whistle emits a frequency that’s too high for a human to hear, it can be heard by dogs. So, you can use a variety of whistle bursts to get your dog to obey. For instance, you may use one short whistle burst to command your dog to sit while one long whistle burst serves as the command for your dog to come to you. Once your dog recognizes what each whistle burst means, you’ve completed the obedience training.
Treats as Rewards
Another alternative training method is to use treats when your dog does what you want it to do. It’s best to find a preferred treat and use it only during training sessions so your dog connects it with its obedience lessons. Some people use small milk bones for treats during obedience training while others use small pieces of lunch meat such as ham or roast beef to make it special. You know what your dog would find extra tasty! Using treats as a reward is great for positive reinforcement and keeping your dog’s full attention during the lessons. In addition, many owners say that they’ve bonded with their dog when using treats during training because it is a more positive experience than training with a shock collar.
The Clicker Method
Training a dog with the help of a clicker is similar to training one with a dog whistle. You press a handheld clicker a certain number of times to get your dog to perform a command. For example, you may press the clicker twice to ask your dog to sit, then click it three times fast to get your dog to stay. Once again, this is an easier, more positive method for training your dog. Clickers are available in pet shops and online.
Lastly, there are many ways to go about training your puppy or dog help you grow closer to your pet while earning its trust and faithfulness. Completing a training program using treats or a clicker is a lot more satisfying and rewarding for both you and your dog.