How To Introduce a Shock Collar to a Dog
Dogs can get up to all sorts of mischief. It is perfectly normal for your furry friend to chew up a few shoes, dig up your garden, or tread mud all over your freshly cleaned floors. But some unwanted behaviors can be tough to live with.
If your furry friend starts to develop unsafe behaviors like the habit of chasing your car or becoming aggressive toward family members, then you should consider a different approach.
An e-collar is a great training tool to help your dog overcome unwanted behaviors. Shock collar training might seem frightening, but it’s a much more humane solution compared to other alternatives like sending your dog to the pound.
With this handy tool and the right training, your dog will be a well-behaved member of the family in no time at all. If you are interested in learning how to introduce a shock collar to a dog, read on!
Why Electric Collars Are Terrific Training Aids
This training tool is ideal for unruly pets that just refuse to train with positive reinforcement. E-collars are not a necessary tool for most pets, but some dogs are just too wild, energetic, curious, or dominant to train with positive reinforcement.
These collars offer pet owners with problematic dogs lots of benefits, like the following:
- Can communicate with your pet from a distance
- Shock therapy is much better for distraction training because they have warning vibrations to keep your dog focused
- Can teach your dog to walk off-lead without the risk of your dog running off after some squirrel
- Much safer and humane method compared to using physical violence
- Never have to shout or raise your voice at your dog
- Can guide your dog away from potentially dangerous situations like traffic and other animals
- Train dogs to stay in your yard even though you don’t have a fence
- Collars are only temporary, so your dog won’t need it once it is trained
When Should I Start Using Shock Collar Training?
Using a shock collar while your dog is still too young can cause emotional stress. Some trainers feel that you can start using an e-collar when your dog is 8 to 10 weeks old. Most people feel that these collars should only be used in exceptional cases where dogs have particular trouble with obedience training.
Puppies train a lot faster on e-collars compared to full-grown dogs. This is because they are a lot like children and form healthy habits when they are taught commands early on. Be careful not to wait too long to start using an e-collar because older dogs have a tougher time learning new things.
Ideally, you should first give your puppy a chance to train using positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and rewards. If none of these training tools are effective for your resistant puppy, then you can start using the collar in addition to these other training tools.
If your dog is about six months old and still isn’t responding well to normal training, then you should consider an e-collar.
Different Types of E-collars
You don’t want to go barking up the wrong tree when you shop for a good collar. These collars are available in all sorts of sizes and with different features. A lot of shock collars include functions such as:
- Tracking systems
- Beeping warning noises
- No-bark functions
- Rechargeable function
- Boundary training functions that issue a warning when the dog is close to the boundary
- Remote collars to give specific commands or warnings
- Vibrating warning functions
The functions and features a collar has can have a huge impact on the price. Cheaper collars are usually limited in function while the collars used by professional trainers tend to be expensive and include a variety of features.
It’s very important to consider these features before you go shopping for the perfect shock collar for your dog. You need to make sure you find a collar that suits your dog’s training needs.
How to Introduce a Shock Collar to a Dog
Once you have a collar, you can get to work on training your dog. The first step is to add the collar a few days before you start using it for training sessions. Your dog should get used to wearing a collar.
It’s also good to let your dog get used to wearing the collar before you start using it so it won’t associate the collar with shocking sensations. Some dogs are clever enough to realize the collar is to blame for the uncomfortable sensations. They become collar-wise and will only obey when the collar is in place.
It can take a few days for your dog to get used to the collar. Dogs that have never worn a collar before can scratch or fidget for over a week before they get used to it.
Learn to Use the Collar
Once your dog is accustomed to the collar, you should take it off and get familiar with its settings and features. Read the entire user manual so you can find out exactly how to use the collar.
You can also test the collar on yourself to get a good understanding of what your beloved pet is feeling or hearing when the collar functions are applied.
Once you know how to use the collar, you can put it back on your dog. Allow it to wear the collar for another day or so before you start training time. Be careful to fit the collar correctly or it won’t be effective.
Choose Your Verbal Commands
Most people only want to use the collar temporarily to address problem behaviors in their furry friends. The beeping noises on collars are fantastic for training your dog to react when you want it to. But if you want to handle your dog without a collar one day, then you should use verbal commands.
Take some time to write down a list of verbal commands that you want your dog to learn. Your command list shouldn’t be too long or too complex, and the words should be very distinct. Here is a quick look at some common verbal commands that dog trainers love to use:
- Lie down
- Go outside
- Go to your bed
- Come here
- Good boy or girl
It’s important to think your verbal commands through because your dog will rely on these commands for the rest of its life. Changing these commands later will cause a lot of confusion.
How to Determine the Level of Stimulation
Before you can start training your dog, you need to determine the level of stimulation. Some dogs are much more thick-skinned than others. While some might immediately react with the slightest sense of vibration, other dogs might not even feel these sensations.
You will need to identify the lowest stimulation point that will clearly get your dog’s attention.
To do this, allow your dog to explore. Start tapping the button when your dog is engaged and not paying attention to you. Slowly increase the level on the remote. Your dog should eventually start to react when it feels or hears something. It will turn its head, the ears will stand up, or it might look around for signs of danger. This is the correct level to start your training.
If the dog yelps, jumps, or hunches down then the level is much too high.
Time to Train
To keep your dog from becoming collar-wise, you should be very consistent with training. Your dog should wear the collar every time you go for a walk or you should leave the collar on to correct bad habits at home.
Here is a quick look at the right steps for first-time training.
Grab a few of your dog’s favorite snacks and teach him a basic command like “sit.” Hold the treat in front of the dog and slowly push it back over the dog’s nose. Your dog should instinctively sit down when the treat gets too close or when it goes overhead.
When your dog understands the “sit” command well enough, then you can move on to the next step.
Keep practicing with the “sit” command but add more pressure. You can do this by gently yanking on your dog’s chain if it doesn’t respond immediately after you say “sit.” When your dog understands the command and reacts well under pressure, then you can proceed.
It’s very important to enforce the training with manual pressure, a lead, or a heeling stick before you move on to using the electric collar.
Say the “sit” command again but this time give collar correction. The collar should still be set at the lowest point where your dog starts to pay attention. Say “sit” again and make sure your dog understands that it is getting corrected if it isn’t paying attention to your command.
By doing this, your dog will quickly learn that it will get corrective behavior if it isn’t following your command. It will also learn that it isn’t punished for doing something wrong but rather urged to listen to you.
You should keep practicing. Some dogs train within a few weeks, but others can take several months before they are properly trained. Being consistent and following through is the key to e-collar training. You should draw up a training program and practice every day.
We hope this guide helped you understand the right way to use an electric collar and how to introduce a shock collar to a dog. We are quite certain that the right training techniques will help you train your dog to overcome unwanted behaviors.
Let us know what your experience was while training your dog and if you found this guide helpful. You can also have a peek at some of our other helpful guides. Our site is packed with all the latest dog training advice, and we often write new product reviews – so you can find all the best training tools for your beloved furry friend.