There’s more to being a dog parent than just buying or adopting a dog. In fact, being a dog parent is kinda the same as being a human parent. You are responsible for their well being, you worry and fuss over them and feel proud when they make any kind of achievement. That is probably why you’re here looking for the perfect dog training collar.
You will agree with us that for anybody to really qualify as parent of the year, he/she must have invested a good deal in his/her offspring. You invest yourself: your time, your emotions, your money and even your hair color.
One of those things that you are sure to spend money and time on is education; for your child or your dog. Dog training is not just necessary, it is absolutely mandatory. Your dog needs to be well versed in the fine art of communication and that can only happen if he is trained.
However, that’s not all there is to training but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look at what dog training entails.
What is Dog Training About?
Dog training is concerned with getting a dog to be conformed to a particular behavioral pattern. It also involves getting a dog to learn certain skills and respond in certain ways to certain prompts. In whatever case, dog trainers usually rely on consequences and antecedents to enforce appropriate behavior and prevent the dog from repeating wrong behavior.
Dog Training Examples
Dogs are trained for a myriad of reasons. Some of them you can do yourself and others you need professional training for. It’s kind of like educating a human child. A good portion of this education you can do yourself.
For example, you will be the person to teach your child the very basics of communication even before he or she has to go to school. They learn to call your name and even communicate their feelings of joy, sadness, anger and hunger.
Same goes for dogs; you do some of the training, a professional trainer does some. Here are some things a dog is usually trained in.
A dog is made to learn proper behavior in the house and around other humans and animals. They are taught how to control their reactions to visitors and contain their excitement. Some of the behaviors that will be controlled are excessive barking, jumping on visitors, chewing on household items and the like. It is best you start out quite early on so your dog doesn’t end up constituting a nuisance.
A dog is conditioned to be obedient to and follow promptings. This is basically for easy communication between man and dog. Unless you believe in magic, it is safe to say that dogs don’t talk and also cannot understand human communication in its intricacies.
Hence, the need for an easier way to communicate. Dogs are then taught to associate certain sounds or simple commands to certain actions. For instance, you could associate a clap to calling your dog or you could just use his name. The point is for him to know what to do when you do what you do.
If you are at this training stage, it means that your dog already understands how to behave in polite company and can respond to simple commands. This kind of training is specifically for dogs who are going to engage in sports. Unlike the previous training examples, here, the trainer isn’t allowed to use reward as a form of motivation. All the dog has to rely on for motivation is his strong connection with his owner.
Dogs can also be taught special skills and we are not just talking party tricks here. There are a number of things dogs are used for. Some of them include hunting, herding, following trails, rescuing, working with the law and even assisting the disabled.
Dogs, like human beings, need to be taught to do these things. Dogs are taught to sharpen their senses and work under pressure. Of course there is a lot of rigorous training because most of the time, your ‘working’ dog is going to be working hard.
In some of these training examples, reward is used to ensure that your dog repeats appropriate behavior and responses. Correction and discipline are also used to ensure that your dog does not repeat an inappropriate response or behavior. This second part is where training collars come in.
What is a Dog Training Collar?
Dog training collars are collars worn on a dog to corroborate the training process. The idea is for the dog to wear a collar that can input a sort of pressure or light buzz when he shows an inappropriate behavior or response. The dog learns to associate the consequence (the pressure or light buzz) with his actions.
There are different types of dog training collars. Some of them are for specialized use while some others are just for training in general. See the list below.
This is typically made out of metal. It is an intertwining of blunt prongs that come together to form a collar. The idea of the prong collar is not to inflict pain on your dog.
With the structure of a regular prong collar, you (or the trainer) don’t have to apply as much pressure as you would have had to if you were using a regular dog training collar. What your dog will feel when the leash is pulled is just a sight pressure around his neck which is actually evenly distributed (the pressure that is) around the neck.
A prong collar is used for such training as instructing your dog on avoiding distractions, to not pick dirty stuff off the ground and also to heel.
What the choke collar does is that it tightens around your dog’s neck when pressure is applied (by a trainer or the dog himself).
The problem with this is that you can’t set the degree of tightness. If a trainer is the one applying the pressure, probably due to an act of disobedience on the part of your dog, that can be controlled. This is because he (the trainer) should know when to stop.
However if the collar is tightening, probably because your dog is trying to slip it off, things could get pretty ugly. A choke collar is used to train a dog to leave his collar on. They could also be used on dogs that have aggressive tendencies. They are not ideal for small dogs.
Martingale is much like choke collar in that it constricts when pressure is applied. However, unlike the choke collar, this dog training collar allows you set the limits of constriction. It is a better option than the choke collar seeing as your dog is not as likely to get strangled wearing the martingale.
It is also desirable because it can be adjusted. Making it usable by a sizable range of dogs. This is probably what you want to get if you are training a small dog.
No Bark Collar
This dog training collar could detect the barking through the vibrations in his vocal chords or by recording the bark sounds. It basically depends on the mechanism used; some collars use a special chip that can detect the vibrations from the throat while others use a mic that pick up the bark sounds.
In response, the collar gives your dog a form of correction to remind him that that particular behavior is unfavorable to him.
There are a number of no bark collars that you can try out:
This collar corrects your dog using static shock. The shock usually starts out at a very low intensity. It graduates in intensity if your dog keeps barking. You want to test out the shock on your skin to ascertain the highest shock intensity you feel your dog can endure. It is a bit inhumane, though. and we don’t readily recommend it.
While shock collars use a combination of warning sounds, vibrations and static shocks as correction modes, no-shock collars do without the shock mode. They are generally consider the more humane option.
Citronella Bark Collar
This one sprays citronella liquid if your doggie insists on barking his head off. The reason this is effective is because the smell of citronella is not very pleasant to dogs. So if they smell it, they’ll most likely desist from barking (at least for the time). Thankfully, the citronella fluid isn’t harmful for dogs.
This dog training collar stops your dog in his tracks by emitting a high pitched annoying sound. If he keeps barking, he’ll keep hearing the sound. Eventually, he’ll get the message.
You can check out this site to learn more about no-bark collars.
Hidden Fence Collar
So, this is more about fencing but it involves training too. You use it if you want to restrict your dog to certain boundaries or keep him away from certain areas. The fence (which is wire) is placed underground to mark off boundary. Your dog wears a collar that is connected to this underground wire.
Whenever he comes too close, he gets a warning sound from the collar. And when he tries to breach the boundary, he gets a correction buzz. It can be used to teach your dog boundaries and also to prevent him from running away.
Remote Training Collar
This is similar to the invisible fence collar. However, this particular dog training collar is wireless. The collar is connected to a wireless transmitter. The transmitter is then set to send vibrations or shock to correct certain behaviors. This can also be used to teach boundaries.
Factors to Consider before Picking a Dog Training Collar
- Be sure that the brand you are going for is safe. You don’t want accidents to occur when training your dog now, do you?
- The purpose for the dog training collar should be a huge part of your decision making.
- Your dog’s size is an important factor. Small dogs should never use choke collars, they could get strangled. If your dog is small or fragile, you could try a martingale.
- Too much fur might restrict the effectiveness of the dog training collar. Your dog’s fur might end up serving as protection against the buzz and/or shock.
- You will want to be careful with your pups. They are still fragile and their bones tender. Martingale is probably the best for them because you can manipulate the constriction so they can’t mistakenly strangle themselves.
- If your dog is already showing signs of aggression, seek professional help.
A Few Things to Note in Using a Training Collar
The most important thing you need to know (which you probably already know) is that you do not introduce anything to your dog without seeking professional help. So, before you decide on the best training collar for your dog, why not see your vet first or at least a professional trainer? They should know the right fit for your dog.
Also, you have to be patient. Bear in mind that a dog training collar is not a magic wand and you or the trainer are not a fairy. Calm down and refuse to get frustrated. It may not seem like he is learning anything but he is. Take care not to project any uncertainties unto your dog.
One thing that might cause you to fret is when you begin to compare his progress with that of another dog. Every dog is unique and you need to keep reminding yourself of that. You’ll be fine.
Now for a quick look over the fine points of this article
- Dog training typically makes use of the reward system in reinforcing positive behavior and discipline. And, also in correcting and doing away with undesirable ones.
- A dog is typically trained in behavior, obedience, agility and skills.
- The use of dog training collar is usually incorporated into the training of a dog to make for a more effective education.
- There are a number of training collars that are used for dogs.
- Dog training collars are typically used for correction and make use of buzzes, shocks, scents and sounds to deter dogs from continuing an undesirable behavior. We do not readily advise the use of these, though.
- Consider all factors (see section on factors to consider before picking a dog training collar) before deciding.
- Get professional advice before considering factors.
- Do not get frustrated or disappointed. Your dog is learning and in time you will see.