I get questions all the time about the collars I use in my dog training, mostly:
“Do you use a shock collar?”
“Do you use a choke chain?”
I’m glad I am asked that, and I am glad to answer. More recently I had a woman ask about the shock collar because she had visited with a trainer who boasted about using a shock collar no less than 8 times in a minute, which she, and I, don’t agree with.
I typically use a Martingale collar, which you can learn more about in an earlier blog.
Dog Training Collar
I also use a training collar, commonly known as a choke chain. Before you start making a judgement, hang on a second. There is a reason these collars are called training collars by professional dog trainers, and choke chains by those who are not.
When used appropriately, the collar never chokes. Many times, people put the collar on incorrectly which will definitely choke the dog. The collar is designed to be loose at all times, unless the handler uses a tug-release method on the leash. Typically, people use this collar to try to keep their dogs from pulling, but that doesn’t stop the dog. Dogs pull forward, which makes people want to pull back, which then makes the dog pull that much harder. It’s a nasty cycle and it causes the dog to make the choking noise. It can also damage the trachea.
Training collars need to be used properly and are not inherently bad. To me it is like saying a pencil is bad because it contains lead and can be used as a weapon. Clearly, misuse causes problems and proper use creates masterpieces. I will teach you how to properly use a training collar so you get results without hurting your dog.
Dog Training with Remote Collars
Do I use a remote collar? That depends. I have used a shock collar on dogs who like to chase cars. If your dog takes off after a car and you can’t get to him, the correction the dog gets is enough to redirect his focus back to the handler and prevent being more seriously injured. Some dogs will ignore the pain and chase a car, squirrel, or other dog anyway, and then other methods would need to be employed. (Some clients must put up a wooden fence rather than trust an invisible fence, for example).
However, using a shock collar eight times in a minute for teaching a simple sit command? No. Not now, not ever. You ONLY use this type of collar to keep the dog safe, NEVER to hurt them or to push them into submission.
The other time I use remote collars is for the vibration function. This feature feels like a cell phone going off on your arm. In fact, I never place this on a dog without allowing their owner to feel the sensation. I want them to be clear it is not a painful technique as there really isn’t a reason for it. It does not hurt the dog, rather distracts her from the item of interest, for example, a cyclist zooming by.
The dog has no idea you’re pushing a button that sets off the vibration. In fact, they believe the vibration is coming from the object of interest and creates a natural correction. This is an effective technique for dogs that get fixated on an object and are unresponsive to verbal correction.
The type of collar I use depends on your specific needs. We will always discuss any and all methods I use so you are comfortable and informed. If you are looking for a professional, ethical, experienced, and effective dog trainer in Colorado Springs or the surrounding area, let’s talk and see if we are a good fit for working together.