The Right Way to Use Electronic Dog Training Collars
As with every training tool used to modify a behavior in your pet, electronic dog training collars need to be used correctly in order to be effective.
Some dog owners buy an electronic dog training collar because their pooch doesn't follow orders consistently, or at all. As soon as they get home, they strap it on, expecting some sort of miracle. And when doggie decides to do something special, like growl at another dog, his owner zaps the animal.
However, with no conditioning, the dog won't know what to do, and will immediately be scared. What he'll learn from this process is not to stop growling, but instead, how to avoid the pain. Quickly he'll figure out one of probably three different methods of avoidance:
? RUN as far and as fast as he can, until the zapping stops;
? FREEZE and do nothing until the zapping stops; or
? FIND his owner.
None of these three responses to the electronic dog training collar, however, teach the dog anything new. If anything, they reinforce more bad behavior: if he RUNS, or FREEZES, he learns an avoidance technique of the pain, but doesn't change the behavior, or he FINDS his owner, and starts to associate safety with the owner's presence, and loses his independence.
This article will detail the proper ways to modify your dog's behavior using an electronic dog training collar, so that you don't encounter these frustrating mishaps.
Learn the Proper Command
Before you start using an electronic dog training collar, your dog must first understand what is being asked of him. There are no shortcuts during this step, and it can take longer or shorter depending on your dog's temperament, breed, and time allotted. Be patient.
At this stage, the only thing that needs to be done is to show the dog what you want them to do, along with constantly repeating the action. So, if you want your dog to kneel, you would show the dog what kneeling is, and say, "Kneel, kneel, kneel."
This stage is NOT a punishment stage, so no disciplinary action should be taken. Just work with your dog a lot until he understands what you are trying to tell him, and associates the word with the action.
Once this has been achieved, now is the time to test your electronic dog training collar. Find out at what level your dog responds to, and do NOT use a level higher than that. Watch your dog carefully during this testing phase; he should not be in pain, yelp or get scared, he should only be mildly uncomfortable.
Now you are ready to try all of what you've learned, together. Before you ask your dog to kneel, push turn on the electronic dog collar. Then, immediately say, "Kneel," until your dog responds. After a couple of tries over an extended period of time, your dog will start responding to the command faster than he does the stimulation. Soon, you'll only be using the electronic dog collar to remind your dog to listen to your "Kneel" command, instead of using it each time.
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