Dog training collars are must-have tools that assist you in obedience training and behavior modification training with your dog. While there are many types of training collars for dogs available (from chain and pinch collars to no-pull collars and harnesses) some of the most popular, efficient, and easy to use dog training collars are electric collars. Otherwise known as remote training collars, e-collars, or shock collars, these training tools are ideal for a variety of dog training techniques including aversion and obedience training.
What Is A Remote Training Collar?
Remote training collars are safe and effective tools that just about anyone can use to teach a dog some basic obedience like recall, sit, and heel or to address problem behavior like jumping, barking, or raiding the trash. Sporting dog owners almost always use remote trainers in the field to communicate and control their canine hunting partners.
Remote training collars for dogs are comprised of a handheld remote transmitter and an electric receiver collar. Depending on the particular system, the collar may be capable of a few different types of stimulation: vibration, audible tone, and electric impulse. Some of the better systems also allow the user to tailor the correction strength specifically to suit their dog’s temperament and sensitivity to the stimulation. The best systems allow the user to adjust the stimulation level right on the remote so that different levels of stimulation may be used to signal different things to the dog.
What Is A Remote Training Collar Used For?
Remote dog training collars can be used to address many types of problem behaviors as well as to teach basic obedience. This versatility makes them a great choice for those people who want to work on multiple commands or issues with their dog. Once the dog learns the basic principle of the training collar, the same principle can be applied to many situations with fast and efficient success.
While all remote training collars can be used for problem solving, not all training collars can be used for obedience training. An obedience training collar needs to be able to deliver a more continuous stimulation whereas a problem solving collar only needs to be able to deliver single shots of stimulation. The reason is directly related to the technique used for each of these methods. For problem solving you simply want to be able to deliver a correction when the dog begins to engage in the problem behavior – teaching the dog to avoid the object or behavior through consistent repetition. The dog will begin to associate the negative stimulation with the object or behavior and start to avoid it to keep from receiving the negative correction. In obedience training the opposite logic is employed. To teach the dog to come to the owner, a low level of stimulation is applied continuously until the dog moves toward the owner. As soon as he does so the stimulation stops. This teaches the dog through positive reinforcement that if he acts a certain way he avoids an unpleasant feeling.
Remote training is not just for solving problems like going through the trash or pulling on the leash (although it is a great tool for that). The remote trainer can also be effectively used to train your dog in certain positive behaviors like recall, sit, and heel.
Avoidance training, like teaching your dog not to touch the trashcans, is the most popular use for an e-collar. After fitting the dog with the collar and carefully deciding on the appropriate stimulation level for the dog, you’ll watch the dog for the behavior that you want the dog to avoid (going through the trashcans). When the dog begins to engage in the behavior you want him to avoid, you’ll activate the collar stimulation. The dog will associate the unpleasant stimulation with the trashcans and begin to avoid them. The e-collar training leads the dog to believe that the trashcans are the source of the negative stimulation so with or without the handler present the dog will avoid the trashcans.
The e-collar can also be used to teach positive behaviors like recall. The recall command is useful in a variety of situations like when it’s time to leave the dog park or when you want the dog to stop moving toward the busy road. Using an e-collar for this type of training is almost the opposite of avoidance training. With this method, the lowest recognized stimulation level is applied until the dog performs the required task. Rather than learning that a certain behavior elicits an unpleasant feeling and thus avoids that behavior, the dog learns that an unpleasant feeling will cease when he completes the task (in this case he will learn that the stimulation will stop when he returns to his owner.
Dogs are extremely perceptive and with consistency and fairness dogs learn very quickly and easily with e-collar training. Once they grasp the two general premises (negative reinforcement = unpleasant feeling when I do X and positive reinforcement = unpleasant stimulation stops when I do X) the same principles can be applied to nearly anything.
Who Should Use A Remote Trainer?
The answer is simple; any dog owner or trainer and just about any dog.
Despite what many people believe, e-collars are not just for ‘difficult’, ‘hard’, or ‘dominant’ dogs. One of the major benefits of an e-collar is the ability to tailor the correction or stimulation level to suit the personality and temperament of any dog. By starting with the lowest level of stimulation and watching for a sign from the dog that he feels it (a twitch of the ear, a quick scratch, twitching the neck skin, etc.), you can make sure you are working with the lowest level of stimulation the dog recognizes. Just like people, each dog is unique in its sensitivity to any given stimulation. Some dogs are more sensitive some, less. A dog’s sensitivity to a certain stimulus is not necessarily directly related to their temperament.
E-collar training requires consistency and patience for success. As a dog owner, you should be willing to spend time every day working with your dog using the e-collar. If the collar use is inconsistent and the dog figures out that the stimulation is coming from the collar he will learn that he can engage in the undesirable behaviors or ignore commands when he is not wearing the collar.
There are certain situations or dogs that are not considered suitable candidates for remote training. Sick, injured, and pregnant dogs should not be trained used an e-collar until they have made a full recovery and in the case of a pregnant dog, that she is no longer caring for her pups. Additionally, consult with a professional dog trainer before using an e-collar to train an aggressive dog.
How Should I Choose A Remote Trainer?
With hundreds of different dog training collars to choose from selecting the right training collar for you and your dog can seem like a big decision. Flexpetz makes the decision a little easier by offering only the best and most trusted training collar brands. Our dog training professionals have tried and tested the training collars we offer from manufacturers like SportDOG, PetSafe, Innotek, Dogtra, DT Systems, etc. and we stand behind the products we sell.
Although we approve of all the remote training systems we offer, not every system is right for every situation. We've categorized our selection of remote training collars to help you select the right system for you and your dog. Home trainers are remote training systems that are suitable for home and yard use - basic obedience training and curbing problem behavior like digging or jumping on guests. Sporting dog trainers are more advanced systems that offer features designed for working dogs in the field. These trainers are above and beyond what is needed for basic obedience training and are also more complicated to use.
You should also consider your dog's size and temperament when selecting a remote training system. Some training collars are too big or too strong for smaller dogs, others are not strong enough for very large dogs. Thinking about what you hope to acheive with your remote training system will help you to select the right system. If you want to stop a problem behavior, for example, you will only need momentary stimulation, whereas continuous stimulation is needed for obedience training with a remote training collar.
Use the filters in the left column to narrow down the selection to only the collars that apply to your situation. Then use our detailed product information to learn more about each remote training system. If at any time you need help choosing the right e-collar system for you and your dog, contact us using the handy chat feature, by phone at (877) 902-8132, or by e-mail . Our dog training experts are always available to help!
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