Is an Electric Collar Something You Might Want to Consider?
Most owners shudder at the thought of strapping up their four-legged friend with an electric collar. Images of your dog yelping in pain as they experience a shock flood your mind.
However, the reality is not consistent with this horrific thought. Electric collars are not intended to hurt or punish your dog. They’re a training tool with tremendous benefits. Electronic collars emit a low-level current to your dog that stops them in their tracks, disturbing their current train of thought and behavior.
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This shock to their system doesn’t hurt them at all. However, it helps your dog learn set patterns of behavior and what actions trigger the electric collar. Dogs with problem barking issues can find themselves and their owners in violation of city bylaws for disturbing the peace.
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Apart from run-ins with the law, your neighbors most likely can’t stand the persistent barking of your furry friend either. An e-collar can help quickly solve this issue and prevent your dog from being their own worst enemy.
Despite the overwhelming evidence that e-collars work effectively and efficiently, many people still avoid using them on their four-legged friends. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using an e-collar on your pooch.
PROS OF E-COLLARS
1. Adjustable Charge Intensity
Modern e-collars have a variety of functions. You can expect to find a vibration mode as well as a warning signal mode that administers a beeping noise. The electric discharge comes with an adjustable feature that allows you to adjust the intensity of the shock that the collar delivers to your pet.
This adjustable feature is especially useful for owners who want to customize the current level to their dog. For instance, a Rottweiler may need a stronger shock than a Poodle.
2. Speed Up Training Time
Most pet owners state that it takes only a few shocks for their dog to correct any misbehavior. Your pet needs to make the initial association between the unwanted behavior and the administration of a shock. After that, they identify the vibration or beeping mode with the electrical discharge, and that becomes enough to stop them in their tracks and correct their behavior, without administering a shock.
Different breeds take different time frames in learning to associate the shock with their behavior. It’s best to make sure your pet is supervised during the first day or two to ensure they receive confirmation on their behavior and associate it with the shock from the collar.
3. Low-cost Solution
Hiring a dog trainer to teach your pooch no to bark or dig up the flower beds can run into the hundreds of dollars in fees. A high-quality e-collar can cost as little as $30, and up to or more than $250, depending on the features.
Good quality e-collars have extensive ranges and can link with perimeter sensors that enable you to train your dog to stay in your yard.
CONS OF E-COLLARS
1. The Shock
Even with the adjustable current feature, you’re still using a negative behavior modification strategy. Most pet owners can’t take the thought of causing their pet any harm. However, the shock from the collar isn’t as severe as you think.
For instance, if the collar is set up to shock on barking, when the dog barks, the collar emits a current that disrupts vibrations in the dog’s vocal cords. This current feels like a tickle in their throat. It’s similar to when you need to cough to clear your voice when you’re speaking.
If the idea of a shock collar is still worrisome for you, perhaps consider looking into Citronella collars. They are another type of training collar that emit a foul smell instead of an electric current.
Some dogs can’t handle the current from e-collars, especially if it’s turned up too high. A sharp shock from a collar can freak your dog out and prevent them from doing anything. For instance; shocking your dog as they violate the perimeter to your property may force them to associate going outside with getting shocked.
In such a case they may associate going outside with being shocked, and refuse to leave the house, even to go to the toilet. It’s advisable to speak to a professional trainer about the best strategies for using the collar to correct bad behavior.
IN CLOSING – BE SPECIFIC WITH YOUR E-COLLAR USE
Dog trainers use positive reinforcement to train dogs. An example of this strategy is feeding your dog a dog treat as a reward after they complete a trick or listen to a command. Therefore, using a shock collar is the exact opposite of this strategy.
While e-collars may be viable for correcting undesirable behavior, such as excessive barking, you may want to use positive reinforcement strategies for teaching them to sit, roll-over, or other similar commands in their training.