Training Your Dog With a Shock Collar
A shock collar is a device that provides a safe and effective way to control dogs off leash. Dogs are intelligent creatures and they quickly learn that if they are out of your immediate reach, they do not have to respond to you as well as if they were close to you. The collar provides a means of controlling or continually training at a distance. In order to train your dog using a shock collar, there are some rules to observe.
Teach the Behavior without Using the Shock Collar
The collar is intended to reinforce commands that the dog already knows. Therefore, you should train the dog to respond to the commands that you require before you put the collar on. For example, if you are training the dog to respond to the “come” command, be sure that it is understood and only then should you use the collar as reinforcement.
At this point in the training, if you call out the command and the dog does not respond, you can touch the transmitter to deliver a shock so that the dog associates not complying to a verbal command with the shock. It is important that the collar be set on the minimum shock setting as the aim is to get the dog’s attention, not to cause pain. When the dog complies to the verbal command and shock, it is a good practice to either praise or reward the dog with a treat, or both, to further reinforce correct behavior.
Controlling Unwanted Behavior
This kind of conditioning can be done remotely. This is where you observe the dog engaging in unwanted behavior and deliver a shock in order to curb the behavior. The benefit here is that the dog will in no way associate you, the trainer or owner, with the unpleasant sensation of the shock, but will believe that the unpleasant sensation is a result of his own actions.
For example, if the dog is leaving the set boundaries, chasing cars, making a mess in the house – whatever the situation – if you remotely deliver a shock during these activities, the dog will come to understand that if he engages in them, the consequence will be an unpleasant sensation.
Since there will be no voice command that will work in conjunction with the shock collar, it is possible that you will have to set the shock intensity to a slightly higher level in order to get the dog’s attention quickly. As advised before, do not set the collar at too high a level, but try to gauge the minimum level at which the dog responds and use that setting.
Do not Overuse
As with anything else, if the dog is continually exposed to the shock, it will lose its effectiveness. Only use the shock when it’s deemed to be extremely necessary and not for every single infraction. If the collar is used excessively, the dog will become desensitized, and will stop responding in the way that you desire to bring about lasting change in behavior.