If your dog is exhibiting undesirable behavior you might be wondering how to stop it efficiently and safely. A dog training collar is a great way to correct undesirable behavior in your dog without compromising his safety. Many types of collars exist to help train dogs, but they all perform the same basic function. Using them, dogs will eventually learn which behaviors are unwanted – for instance, barking excessively or chewing – by receiving a harmless but uncomfortable stimulus provided by the training collar.
Dog training collars were originally created for hunting dogs, and were mainly shock collars. Shock collars release a high level of electricity if a dog misbehaves, and while the system is still approached with caution by some, the collars have been modified several times to become less painful and more humane. However, shock collars are no longer recommended, even though they are still available and can now be programmed to release different levels, because much controversy surrounds them. In fact, many trainers suggest that dog owners try the collar on themselves before using it on their dogs to see what it feels like, just to make sure the dog won’t experience undue pain.
Also, shock collars have been shown in studies to create nervousness and anxiety in dogs, including making them skittish around people, and even attacking people in anticipation of or fear of receiving a shock. Because of these issues training collars have become much safer for dogs and don’t cause pain, using stimuli such as an unpleasant scent or a spray of water to indicate to the dog the behavior they exhibited is inappropriate.
Whether the training collar you choose releases a scent, sensation, water, or makes a noise, the idea is that the stimulus will startle your dog so much that he or she will associate that stimulus with the behavior exhibited and stop engaging in the undesirable behavior to avoid receiving the negative stimulus. Be careful with using these collars too much to deter barking, as barking is a dog’s way of communicating, warding off predators, and alerting you to danger.
You can find dog training collars for every dog size and type, from very small dogs up to larger breeds. These collars can either spray an unpleasant odor, like mustard or lemon, or emitting a jet of cold air onto the dog’s neck to distract it from the undesirable behavior. Recent additions to the marketplace also include collars that make an irritating noise only dogs can hear, called ultrasonic collars, and they are just as effective as the previously used shock collar, but are much safer.
Training collars use sound or vibration input to determine whether a dog is barking or not, and then releases the negative stimulus if a dog is barking. The best collars use both sound and vibration so that the collar doesn’t accidently go off due to noises that are not made by the dog. These collars can be used to train for more than just barking, though, such as to teach a dog not to go to certain areas of the yard. The collars can be programmed as a sort of invisible fence for the dog, so that if he travels beyond a certain radius the stimulus will be released.
Whether you’re trying to stop your dog from barking at every single leaf that falls, or you’re tired of him going over to dig up your garden, and you’ve tried every other option, a gentle training collar that doesn’t inflict pain, but rather surprises your dog into avoiding certain areas or behaviors should do the trick. Always try traditional training methods either instead of or in addition to a training collar to help your dog learn what to do, and make sure to choose the collar that will inflict the minimum amount of negative reinforcement while still getting the job done.