Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Are Electric Collars Effective in Dog Training?

Almost all dog owners wonder if electrical collars are effective in dog training. The answer is definitely yes; this is a very useful tool for training aid. They can no only quickly get the dog to pay attention to you, but you can also easily get rid of the animal’s bad and unwanted behaviors. Of course this innovative device has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will present and discuss the benefits and the possible problems that could appear when using the electrical collar, also referred to as shock collar.

Firstly, let’s try to understand how this accessory works. The electrical collar, that has two probes in contact with the animal’s neck skin, is a receiver that when triggered by a remote transmitter, it remits an electrical shock to the training animal. The remote transmitter’s range differs from one model to another, but it can get to one mile. At first, in the beginning of the training, the charge is approximately low, but efficient, because the animal learns what behaviors can stop the shock stimulation.

However, as the training continues and the animal begins to learn how it should behave, what behavior is correct and what is unwanted, the electrical collar is used less and less, especially to punish incorrect behavior, to transmit a clear message: what is right and what is wrong. Now, that we analyzed how the shock collar works, we should discuss about why to use it, about its benefits and its effectiveness.

Why one should use the electrical collar in dog training? On the first hand, this accessory permits you to control your pet from a fairly long distance. Absolving you from yelling or using other noise-making methods, this method consists in a big advantage when you are in an environment that requires silence, for example hunting lands. Another reason for using this device is excluding other rather violent training methods that would put you in a threatening position. This way you can correct the animal’s behavior without to intimidate it.

But the long distance could be also a disadvantage. How can this be? Simple; there is the risk to lose your dog, if it gets too far and out of the transmitter’s range and the collar would become useless, the animal escaping from the electrical stimulus. So you would not only lose your dog, but an expensive device too.

Also, you can add the price to the list of disadvantages. One of these things costs at least 100$. Further more, you have to consider the risk to lose the dog with the expensive collar at its neck. Some dogs even manage to break it loose.

On the other hand, an important benefit of this method is that the training process takes a lot less time than using other ones; many of those who used it sustain that it takes half training time to teach the animal simple command. This only reason is enough for many dog owners to consider this training system.

Nevertheless, we can find another disadvantage; the electrical shock can cause the animal some pain. This can be a problem for some people. However, the purpose of this device is to break the animal from bad habbits.

In conclusion, the electrical collar is very effective in dog trening, but it has its advantages and disadvantages. Used properly, it can really ease a trainer’s job. But, on the contrary, used incorrectly, it can ruin a dog’s life. These being said, every trainer takes full responsability if he or she choses this traning method, and decides if it fits to his or her dog.

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