4 Common “Shock” Collar Training Mistakes

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Commonly known as “shock” collars, those inexperienced with using such a tool are likely to make mistakes.

Electronic collars are a controversial dog training tool. When you use an electronic collar for dog training, it is crucial to do your research and understand the principles behind using one before starting the training process. This article will go into a few common mistakes people make when they are inexperienced with e-collar training.

1. As a Training Method for Puppies

Because puppies have not undergone full training yet, it’s not a good idea to try e-collar training on puppies.

Your pet should know basic commands like “sit” and “stay” before trying to use an electronic collar — if your dog doesn’t understand the reason for the stim, the training will not work.

Puppies are also still developing. The anxiety of trying to avoid the stim may cause the puppy to grow into a fearful adult.

People usually opt for an electronic collar for their puppy because of unwanted barking, but there are other ways to discourage this behavior. The most important one is to not give your puppy the attention it wants when it barks.

Instead, give a command such as HUSH or QUIET while the puppy is barking. Once the behavior stops, Praise the puppy with good QUIET or good HUSH and give it a treat to reinforce the lesson. Barking is a natural behavior, so you will want to try to curb it gently.

2. As a Quick Fix

Electronic collars generally deal with problem behaviors such as food aggression, unwanted barking, or jumping. Some people might have the expectation that using an e-collar will be a quick and easy fix for these issues, but this is a misconception.

E-collar training is still training, and it will take time, effort, and dedication to do it correctly. Don’t expect that your dog will immediately stop the unwanted behavior after the first few times you use the collar.  Training is a process. Expecting too much out of your dog will just lead to dissatisfaction and frustration.

3. As Punishment

An e-collar should not be a form of punishment for your dog, but rather a deterrent for unwanted behavior.

Electronic collars generally come with different levels, starting with gentler small stims and working up to more noticeable ones.

This device will not hurt your dog, but when misused, it will just confuse your dog and make it fearful. This confusion can cause even more unwanted behaviors if the dog begins to avoid people or situations that it associates with the collar.

When you start using an e-collar, make sure to use the gentlest settings possible to get your dog’s attention. The vibration or beep surprisingly will distract your dog more than a low setting stim.  The stim is meant to distract your dog from its current behavior long enough for you to give a command to redirect its focus.

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4. As a Substitute for Discipline

Training a dog is hard work! It’s all too easy to rely on the e-collar to do your training for you. If you realize that your dog is behaving significantly better when the e-collar is on but not listening and reverting to problem behaviors when it’s off, you may have this issue.  It is important for your dog to have a good understanding of commands in order to communicate what the stim of the e-collar means.

Training is all about consistency. You must make sure to follow through with other training methods when the canine isn’t wearing the e-collar.

Correct your dog every single time it misbehaves to reinforce your training. Consistency in the discipline will work better rather than just teaching your dog to behave only when it’s wearing the collar.

The Bottom Line

When using e-collars for training, make sure to do your research and prepare properly to get started. E-training can be useful and humane when you do it correctly, so make sure you avoid these common mistakes so that your training goes smoothly as possible!

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