The use of electricity in dog training can be a divisive subject. It has been mostly banned in Europe and many efforts in the U.S. are in place to ban people from using an electric collar. It is a device with two contacts which are placed into the neck region of a dog. When a voltage is applied across the two contacts, a current goes through that region of the dog’s neck, stimulating the nerves, which tell the brain there is pain there. Most collars have variable signals so the voltage can be small and so the pain induced is small. And it can go up to be a very uncomfortable situation. It is easy to understand how this can be misused and certainly misunderstood.
Electric collars are used in many, many dog training situations. It has been developed to be able to enforce understood commands when a trainer or handler of the dog is not in physical contact with the animal. That is how the collar will be explained, demonstrated and taught in this video series. Because it is as easy as “pushing a button”, the collar is often used as punishment, to stop unwanted behavior, etc. I do not use it that way and I do not teach anything related to that here. Instead, I have found that being able to enforce a command to come when called, sit when asked is the means I have to save a dog’s life if they are going to run somewhere harmful, chase something they should not chase, etc. Response to a known instruction is taught, enforced and then used to create the response you need, whether the collar is on or off.
If you read the manual that comes with most collars, it has you using this remote training tool to problem solve, stop bad behavior and pretty much control every aspect of your dog’s life, all conveniently from the press of a button. I vehemently disagree with this approach. You should have to work as hard to teach your dog what they should be doing, as you’d like them to work for you.
Use of the collar is based on good obedience taught prior to the use of the collar. The collar, strongly in my opinion, does not belong on puppies or mature dogs which have never had electric collar training in their lives. It is the tool you develop to teach the appropriately aged animal that they responses you teach them count the same far away as they do right next to you. This series will show you the simplicity of doing this training, and then utilizing in all the work you do. I have been able to keep many dogs from harm’s way and doing wonderfully challenging work – without the collar on, just because they clearly understand the expectations. It is the most humane way I know.