Shock Collars

Shock Collars

Shock Collars

Are shock collars abusive? Are shock collars mean? Are shock collars painful? 


Let's start with what a shock collar is. At the most basic level, a "shock collar" is a tool. A tool for training. No different than a hammer is a tool for building a house. 


When I hear people call it a "shock collar" it is usually in some sort of derogatory way. People who understand the tool and how it truly works will refer to it as a remote collar, e-collar or electronic collar. 


Just like in any tool, it is how you use them. When a hammer is used properly, you can make amazing things, churches, houses, and orphanages, but they can also be used to murder someone. No where near what it's intended for. An e-collar is like a hammer, it is inted to do great things and communicate with your dog from far away and high distractions, but it can also be used to harm and be abusive. 


First thing to know before getting an e-collar is to understand a quality collar. A quality remote collar will have many strength settings. The brand I like to use has 127 strength settings. This allows us to make very small adjustments as needed. They are also durable. They can be in the rain, lake, or pool. You can drop them and beat them up a bit. They have a half mile radius, minimum. The quality e-collars are not cheap though. If you're going out and buying that is $30, I can already tell you it's no good. The one I recommend to my clients is $235. So no, they aren't cheap, but the quality is well worth it. 


Then you need to learn how to use them within your training. If your dog doesn't understand the commands without the e-collar, you're going to struggle with using it. The remote collar is applied AFTER the dog has been taught what to do. E-collars are not a "cure all" for basic training. If you can ecollar training courses online, you can even find book manuals on how to properly use them. 



The final thing to remember, if your dog is ever yelping, or having a BIG jump and reaction from it, you have turned the collar up too much. If you hire a trainer and they are constantly turning up the collar when first teaching, rethink who you hired, get your money back, and do what you need to do to find a new trainer that actually knows what they're doing. 


At St. Louis Dog School we use treats, toys, and affection to get them started, and then apply low levels of e-collar to reinforce the behaviors. 


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