As much as we love our dogs sometimes we can be at our wits end with the digging, constant barking or your furniture getting chewed. Worse still, you dog may be putting themselves in danger by eating poison or running on the road.
Training our dogs is our responsibility. A well trained dog will be happier, mentally healthy and will keep your house, treasured possessions and themselves in one piece.
You may have tried your own methods of training, have bought training books or read a million websites on training. There are so many methods that are recommended and suggested it can really become quite mind boggling.
Not only that, every dog is different and won't respond to all methods or may take longer to pick up the concept that you just give up. It's not surprising, Dog time talks about a few different dog training methods available:
1. Alpha dog or dominance training
Dominance training plays off a dogs pack mentality and teaches you to be the alpha dog while your dog becomes a pack member and tows the line around the house. This is the training that teaches your dog to not sit on furniture, not eat until you tell them to and to walk through the door after you. It creates submissive behavior and teaches your dog where they sit in the family hierarchy. It is considered out of date training by some with the thought that it can make your dog frightened and wary. They may also begin to fight weaker family members (young and the elderly) for dominance. Not good!
2. Positive reinforcement training
This method is very popular with many modern day trainers. It rewards good behavior and basically ignores bad behavior, with no reward. Dogs will tend to repeat or continue good behavior to seek reward or recognition. This training need not be food focussed as removing toys or not showing affection can work just as well. You will find what motivates your dog and use that as a reward or punishment. This is a great method, but requires consistency and accurate rewarding. Dogs need to be rewarded immediately otherwise they will not understand what they are being rewarded for.
3. Clicker training
Clicker training is very similar to or a variant of positive reinforcement training. A clicker (a device that emits of clicking noise) is used to reward positive behavior or desired results. This will be a two step process, one is for them to know the click is a positive reward and then to use the clicker to show when the good behavior occurs. Clicker training is often easier to show your dog exactly when the positive behavior occurred as you can click very quickly. Seems a little more complicated, but come trainers find is very effective.
4. Relationship based training
This training is more the touchy feely new age parenting approach. Many of us love our dogs so much, they become an integral part of the family. With relationship training, you will need to know your dog's personality, behavior and body language. It is very individualized to each dog. It works on reading your dog body language, reactions and rewarding their good behavior while understanding their bad behavior and trying to eliminate it. If your dog is naughty, this training tries to understand why they are naughty and work on that behavior.
5. Electric collar training
This training is quite controversial due to the methods of reprimand and the reprimand itself. It is thought to be a negative approach. Rather than reward good behavior, it reprimands negative behavior. An electric collar uses either a small electric shock, citronella spray, vibration or noise to alert your dog when they are being bad or doing something they shouldn't. Some believe that this may also make your dog scared and timid rather than a confident well behaved dog. Training collars are also sometimes called electric collars or e-collars and can also be used for containment and to train working dogs including the military and police force. These trainers are professionals and train their dogs to work in highly dangerous situations.
Electric training collars can be used in responsible ways that train rather than punish your dog. Scroll down to see the video at the end of this article.
What is an electric training dog collar?
Electric dog collars began being used to train hunting dogs in the 1960's. Since then there has been many studies, legislation and court cases involving shock collars. Electric collars, e-collars or shock collars should only be used by responsible dog owners. Shocking your dog unnecessarily will cause harm to your dog both physically and mentally.
An electric training dog collar is a small device or receiver located on their collar that emits either a static shock, vibration or short beeping noise, designed to get a reaction from your dog. It is generally used to negatively alert your dog when they display bad behavior. The transmitter is held by the trainer to send the alert to the dog collar when the dog is not doing as instructed. Other training or e-collars work by the dog's own sound or vibration like barking. Bark collars are popular and your dog can control the shock themselves by stopping the behavior.
Is it used for negative or punishment training rather than positive reward training. There is controversy as to whether punishment training is really that effective in the overall health and wellbeing of your dog. Yes, your dog may cease the behavior, but will it leave your dog timid and frightened.
Why is my dog barking so much?
There may be times or certain behaviors, however, when you may need a training collar. A very common behavior that owners tend to use training collars for being constant barking. This can really annoy not only you, but your neighbors. It is very common that the neighbors call the local ranger to complain about your dog.
Yes, dogs bark! But constant barking needs to be stopped and it is usually our fault, not your dogs fault. Reasons why most dogs barking incessantly are:
Don't leave your dog in the backyard and give it nothing to play with or no attention or games to play with. I would go crazy and so will your dog. Find some fun games, hide and seek, a place to look past the fence or some toys and bones to chew vigorously. Take your dog for a drive to see and smell new things or go walking at different place.s
Dogs need exercise, and taking 30 mins each morning and night is all it takes. It gives your dog time to stretch their legs, explore smells and noises, get their heart rate up a little, get outside their four boring walls and basically be a dog for awhile. If possible, find a dog friendly place to let your dog off their leash to run around and have extra fun.
Your dog will feel lonely and neglected if they are not dog part of the family. Even if your dog lives outside, they can still be involved in what you are doing. Have a BBQ outside with your dog. Open the curtains so that your dog can see you. Give your dog a nice bed and snuggle toy. Open the door once in a while and say hi and give your dog a pat. If it's stormy or rainy, let your dog sleep near inside the door or wash room.
Choosing the best training dog collar
If you decide that you need to use a training collar, then it is always best to get the most humane, safe and effective collar. Use the collar only when required. Don't leave it on for more than a few hours and check it regularly. Adjust the contact areas in case of rash, redness or pressure. Training collars are used for training, not as a general use collar. Read on to find the best training dog collar for you.
1. Dog Care Training Collar
This Dog Care training collar has been getting excellent reviews lately and is one of the best available for domestic use. Here are some of the features of this one.
This collar is not bulky and is nice and comfortable for your dog. The transmitter is a good size and fits comfortably in any pocket. This one is definitely a good choice for a training collar.
2. SportDOG training collar
The SportDOG 425 is one of the better training collars available. This collar is packed with features and use options. It is waterproof and submersible and has great battery life and charge function.
There is also a higher spec SportDOG 825 if you are longing for a longer range. This one has 880 yard range.
3. Altman Dog training collar
The Altman training collar is another good choice with good reviews. It also comes at a reasonable price. While it may be a little bulky for small dogs, the collar is made of soft nylon and is fairly comfortable.
Overall comfortable transmitter, and effective at a reasonable price.
4. Pet Tech training collar
Pet tech is a good value training collar with great reviews and one of the longest ranges available. It features
This collar is very popular and one of the highest selling training collars.
5. Educator E-collar
The Educator training e-collar uses a unique alert system that is more gentle yet effective on your dog. It is used by many professional trainers. It features in the video at the end of this article. It is much pricier that some other models, but it works well and has great ratings and reviews.
According to Educator, their collar is unlike other shock collars. They use one of the lowest levels of 'blunt' stimulus to improve behavior and reduce the stress of owning a dog. They are the most reliable and advanced dog training collars available in the world. Every Educator dog training collar is built to the highest quality standards and is tested to withstand the most extreme environmental dog training conditions. We fully assemble each Educator dog training collar and test all of our products in the USA.
Safety tips for using training dog collars
Pet Tech have some very good safety and warning information that comes with their product. It is great to see a product that is vested in the safety and wellbeing of the dog rather that just selling the product. Here is a copy of their safety information:
CAUTION! Please read and follow the instructions in manual. Proper fitting of the collar is important. A collar worn for too long or made too tight on the pet's neck may cause skin damage. These collars can cause pressure necrosis if used incorrectly and is often misidentified as burns.
1. Avoid leaving the collar on the dog for more than 12 hours per day.
2. If it's possible, re-position the collar on the pet's neck every 1 to 2 hours.
3. Check the fit of the collar to prevent excessive pressure; follow the instructions in this manual.
4. Never connect a lead to the electronic collar; it will cause excessive pressure on the contacts.
5. When using a separate collar for a lead, don't put pressure on the electronic collar.
6. Wash the dog's neck area and the contacts of the collar weekly with a damp cloth.
7. Examine the contact area daily for signs of a rash or a sore.
8. If a rash or sore is found, discontinue use of the collar until the skin has healed.
9. If the condition persists beyond 48 hours, see your veterinarian.
These steps will help keep your pet safe and comfortable. Millions of pets are comfortable while they wear stainless steel contacts. Some pets are sensitive to contact pressure. You may find after some time that your pet is very tolerant of the collar. If so, you may relax some of these precautions.
It Is important to continue daily checks of the contact area. If redness or sores are found, discontinue use until the skin has fully healed.
The PetTech remote training collar is equipped with 4 training modes - light, beep, vibrate and static shock. Improper use of the static shock mode can cause pain, physical injury and traumatize your dog. The static shock feature should only be used in extreme situations and only after consultation with a professional dog trainer.
If you need to correct bad or dangerous behavior, use the electric collar only when necessary. Using it along with positive reward training will help to develop a happy and healthy puppy.
Demonstration of using the training dog collar
I was looking for a video to show you all how the collar worked, but then I got fascinated by this gorgeous dog. Larry Krohn from Pak Master is Nashville shows how to use a relaxed approach for the e-collar and shows how his dog can follow the same commands happily without the collar. Larry uses the collar for effective training. You will also notice the low level of static shock that he uses. For a device that works from 1 - 100, he only uses 6. Here is the video: