That Electric Collar is NOT a Quick Fix For Your Dog!
I have said it before, and I will say it again (probably over and over again) – we don’t take the time for our dogs that we used to.
And, society is hell-bent on the “Quick Fix”.
We live in a fast-paced world. Food cooks faster. You can do your laundry on 15 to 30 minute cycles. You can buy pre-cut veggies. Actually, you can buy pretty much anything pre-made. You can even have all of your meals prepped and sent to your house. I can literally have all of my groceries and dog food sent to my house. I don’t even go clothes shopping anymore, I use the internet.
Don’t get me wrong, I like things “quick” too!
But, There Are Two Things You Can’t Get Quick:
1. Exercise Results
If you want to get in shape, drop weight, put on muscle, it is going to take time and effort, period. There is no quick fix. This is a multi-billion dollar industry!
Products try and trick you into thinking there is a quick fix, but save your money; don’t buy the thigh master or the shake weight. 😉
Go to a gym, get a good trainer and put in the time.
2. Dog Training
Dog training, too, is a million dollar industry.
Don’t want your dog to pull? Don’t spend time actually teaching him what you want; just buy that prong collar, choke chain, no pull harness and the like…that’s what many have led you to believe.
But, it’s not true! If you want results and a good dog, it takes time!
There is no quick fix! Sorry.
The Newest Craze in Dog Training? Shock Collar, Electric Collar, or E Collar
People like to drop the “shock” and just call it an “E Collar” but that term doesn’t pretty it up.
So many in-home trainers and those who “board and train” are now relying on these collars for all of their training.
It doesn’t matter what the behavior is:
Really, the sky is the limit here, these collars are literally used for EVERYTHING:
- Service Dogs
- Pet Dogs
They are all using them.
Some of these trainers are even recommending you purchase two collars so that one can be charging while the other remains on your dog 24/7 only being switched out when the charge dies.
It disgusts me. It is lazy.
They will tell you to “not worry” and that they have put the collar on themselves and it doesn’t hurt. They say “it tickles”. They will follow that statement with a story about how they have put the collar on and shocked themselves. They may even invite you to put it on and try it.
I say ask them to put it tight around their neck and give you the remote, then use the stimulation where the remote is set on their neck. I mean after all, we are putting it around our dogs’ necks.
And if you want to know how it feels, do the same. But, make sure you are in charge of the remote (so they don’t turn it down, which is an old trick).
Let me tell you, I’ve had them on my arm (not my neck) and they HURT and they scare you, even when you know the shock is coming! I have a high pain tolerance and a liberal mixture of tattoos but I still don’t want a shock collar strapped to myself while someone speaking another language tries to keep me from doing things that come natural to me.
They will tell you that you don’t have to use the shock function for long.
And, many will lie and say they only use the vibrate mode.
Heck many of the shock collars marketed also call themselves “vibration collars”… sneaky!
These are all excuses so that you won’t feel bad about putting these collars on your dog and allowing them to be lazy.
Don’t They Work?
Unfortunately, for some dogs they do…
I mean, I’d kind of like to lie and say they don’t but let’s face it, they are still on the market (but so is the “shake weight”) and people use them.
They just use undue pain and fear to “train” or “control” your dog.
The average person puts the stimulation WAY TOO HIGH, to teach the dog a lesson.
I mean, if they work, and a trainer is telling you to use one, won’t jacking it up to 100 teach the dog even faster and prevent the behavior all together?
Many dogs become aggressive and fearful BECAUSE of this kind of “training”.
It’s not a fair way to train.
Did I mention, it’s lazy?
I mean, heaven forbid you actually teach your dog what you want.
Easier to just shock him into submission.
My biggest issue is that it is DANGEROUS.
A painful shock can cause fight or flight.
I suppose it is great if it causes “flight”, that is what owners and trainers want.
But what happens when you use it on a dog with aggression and it causes “fight”?
The Dog Bites
That’s right. The dog bites, harder and with more intent.
Got two dogs that are fighting?
Just put two collars on and shock them… Just pray that both dogs do into “flight” and neither dog goes into “fight” mode.
Because “fight” mode feels like you are literally fighting for your life so the bite inhibition is gone therefore the likelihood for serious damage is severely increased.
As a professional dog trainer, I am not willing to take that risk with my clients’ dogs’ or other people. Imagine shocking a dog for growling at another person or child and the kind of damage that could ensue.
It is not worth it.
My kind of dog training revolves around teaching, control and positive reinforcement and the worst thing that could go wrong here would be a poorly timed treat.
The Truth About Electric Collars
The truth is that a shock collar, e collar, electric collar, or vibration collar is not a quick fix.
Even if you don’t send your dog into the “fight” response where he could bite you or another person or animal, you are likely to damage him mentally and emotionally by introducing pain.
So often I see a dog that has been critically damaged by these devices and bad, callous training.
Which means, that in the long run, these training tools will actually add more time and need to train.
I have even seen dogs that require euthanasia after this method doesn’t work but has created severe uncontrollable aggression.
Take it From Me
Invest the time to teach your dog.
Work together as a team.
Work diligently on your dog’s aggression issues without adding pain or fracturing your relationship.
I believe that fun, motivational training can overcome just about any problem!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.