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How to choose a dog training collar

Dog Collars
How to choose a good dog training collar

Lately people have been asking been asking about which kind of collar is best for training. I get this question a lot so here is my best advise.

I recommend you train your dog well, so you don’t have to use training collars. I like to use psychology as the primary training method. I think it is important to train your dog to have a relationship with you and responding to you. If you don’t win the dog over psychologically all you are left with is force, compulsion and bribing with food to try and get your dog to behave.

Choke chains
Using a choke chain. Choke chains work on certain dogs. A soft dog who doesn’t like the sound of the chain but too often the owner becomes frustrated and begins yanking and jerking too hard. Please think about this before you use one. It can cause Tracheal and esophageal damage, sprained necks, paralysis and hind leg ataxia. I am not talking about the family dog wearing a choke chain around the house. I am talking about compulsion trainers whose only dog training method is based on harsh corrections and no rewards. NOT ALL DOGS ARE FUR BABIES, there is a time and place for compulsion. Like when your trying to save the life of an aggressive or dominant dog. The good news is 75% of dogs do not require you to get real physical with them.

Haltie collars and Gentle leaders
This is a well intentioned but dangerous Fad. Some well intentioned armature behaviorists and part time trainers use them. These dangerous collars come off and can cause cervical and spinal injuries to the dog if he luges because it turns his head. Also they are useless in the house and if your dog misbehaves inside you need to correct the behavior, not the the dog. It really is an inefficient tool. They don’t teach a dog anything, they are not a so much a training tool but a crutch for people who do not understand animal behavior. All they really are is a restraint and you are risking spinal injuries to your dog. Logic and experience tells me that as soon as you take this type of collar off the dog, he will go back to his old ways. I have also seen the dogs noses rubbed raw because of this method.

I know it is not a collar but I thought I would mention clickers because they are the epitome of what does not work in real life and the nonsense people need to look out for. Somehow these people believe that clickers and food work better than your voice and body language. Do you really think your dog is even going to pay attentions to the clicker over the screeching tires of a car and run back to you because to have a treat when he is in full prey dive. Clickers and treats seem logical to some people, and they have their place in some specialized training, like in movies and other special work. But what is sad is that when their dog runs across the street and gets hit by a car because he wasn’t taught to recall without treats.

Prong collars
Prong collars have saved many dogs lives and are used for training. They are now very popular with a lot of trainers, especially military law enforcement and sport trainers. THEY ARE especially effective for kids, seniors , people with disabilities. it only takes 20% or less energy to get the same response from a dog wearing one. Many people with large dogs and people with dominant and aggressive dogs did not have to euthanize their dog because the owner kept and open mind and tried this method. Consult a real trainer, who has experience with aggression. Half of the homes I go too already have them because their dogs were pulling them down the street. Almost always people who are against prong collars have never used one. These are also the first people to tell you to destroy your dog when treat training does not work. How could you be against anything that has saved so many lives.

This collar was developed by a veterinarian as a safe and humane alternative to choke chains. They also work great for small dogs like spaniels and jack Russell terriers that have easily damageable and delicate necks. Prong collars are by far the safest collar. They mimic the mothers bite, that is why for a long time they were called: Mothers Bite Collars.

Shock Collars or E-Collars or Remote Collars
I am not totally against remote collars when used properly in cases of dangerous aggression, they do save lives. They are a good tool when used properly. The problem is many people over use the method. MY experience is that the average person simply turns up the juice when his dog does not comply and more often than not you end up with a nervous, broken spirited , skittish dog and in some cases more aggressive then when you started the dog training. This should be a tool of last resort.

This is very similar to the prong collar only it is made out cloth nylon or leather and is for a very soft or happy go lucky dog. some labs, goldens and very soft dogs do well with this type of collar.

If you have any more questions on collars please let me know, I am always happy to share my experience.

Happy Training,