Can We Really Trust Remote Trainers?

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Remote Trainers are our most criticized product, but we see more success stories than any other outcome.

Several people question whether or not our Remote Trainers work and what effect they have on our dogs. We recently hired a new Category Manager for Remote Training and he has brought a fresh set of eyes to the products. Below, he also answered many of the questions customers often have.

Read on to learn what he thinks after just four months on the job.

  • What is your PetSafe story?

I came to PetSafe in October 2011 after a nearly three-year stint as a business development and proposal manager for a nuclear engineering contractor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  During my time in Oak Ridge I was also working toward my master’s degree at the University of Tennessee.  It was through that program that I made a connection to PetSafe.

I chose to join PetSafe for the professional and personal growth opportunities.  Professionally, it was a chance to combine my goal of developing products in a fast-paced, international marketplace with my lifelong love of dogs.  As a devout reader of leadership material, it would also allow me to work with and observe the Level-5 Leadership taking place on our senior staff.  Personally, I recognized the infectious energy of the PetSafe team and couldn’t resist being able to walk into that kind of environment every day.

  • Had you ever used a Remote Trainer before you started working at PetSafe?

I had a fair amount of interaction with remote training systems before arriving at PetSafe, but certainly did not come in as an expert.  Like many of our customers, I had seen the positive effects of remote training in my own household and in those of friends and family members.  In every situation, the pet-owner bond became much stronger and, consequently, the entire household became much happier.  The owner got the appropriate behavior and the pet was no longer being punished for something he or she didn’t understand.

  • What have you learned about remote training since you have been here?

You truly could fill volumes with the knowledge that PetSafe and its network of veterinarians and trainers have on the science of a dog’s psychology during training.  And the more you know the more you understand why remote training is so effective.  For example, I learned from professional trainer Robin MacFarlane that a dog can only connect reward or correction to his behavior if it happens within two seconds of the action.  So when you’re yelling at or praising your dog for something he did five minutes ago, he has no idea what’s going on.

  • What are the first steps a pet owner should take after they purchase a Remote Trainer?

Any training tool you and your dog use is going to be ineffective—possibly harmful—if the trainer does not use it properly.  Remote trainers are no different.  Those that are using a remote trainer for the first time should avoid rushing home and immediately going to work with their dog.  Instead, before going to work, they should take advantage of the many train-the-trainer resources available to them on the Web and in their community.    Yes, remote training is the most efficient and effective way to teach your dog ideal behavior.  But do your homework first to ensure that it is a positive experience for the pet.  Like most things in life, it will pay off if you’re willing to make the investment early.

  • What is the greatest benefit of Remote Trainers?

When behavior issues start to cause a problem for a family, that family can’t wait six or eight months to see a change.  Many owners give up their pets to shelters after one or two major incidents.  Remote training advocates from homemakers to professional trainers have proven over and over that, when used properly, this method gets positive results within days.  And by “positive” I don’t just mean for the human.

For hundreds of years dogs have been bred to be companion animals.  No matter what your priorities are, a relationship with you is #1 to your pet.  Remote training is all about making sure that that relationship is a good one:  that yelling and spanking is replaced by mental workouts that are promptly rewarded. 

  • What commands should the pet parent teach first?

Just as kindergarteners start with the ABCs, so too should your pet start with the basics.  Begin with simple commands that are important in social settings.  These include walking together while distractions occur and coming upon command (you can start with a physical leash attached and work up from there).  After he graduates with these fundamentals, you can move to more challenging exercises like going to a designated spot and staying. 

What has been your experience with Remote Trainers been? Let us know in the comment section below.

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26 Responses to Can We Really Trust Remote Trainers?

  1. Lisa says:

    I couldn’t agree more. The folks that condemn remote collar training (who btw are all trainers an not dog owners) have either never seen or had proper instruction on it’s use or are too closed minded and more interested in their own agenda, not the well being of the dog. Cheers for a great article. Thanks for sharing.

  2. CHARLOTTE MURRAY says:

    When my cat was about 4 months old, he wanted to sit on top of my bird cage. My bird was not happy. I got the Pet Fence, put the collar on the cat and the monitor under the bird cage. Once Pumkin got close to the cage, was shocked once. Being a very smart cat, he will walk toward the cage and back off as soon as the collar starts ticking.

    When I put wire around my backyard fence, top & bottom, and installed a monitor in the garage, Pumkin knew what the ticking meant and stays in the backyard. The crazy man next door can’t harm Pumkin because of my 8″ fence. I LOVE MY PETSAFE FENCE ! :o)Charlotte

    • Natalie Lester says:

      Charlotte, Pumkin does sound like a smart cat. We’re glad he likes our pet barriers and fence. We’re sure your bird appreciates the privacy too. :) Thanks for reading!

  3. rich s says:

    The Remote Trainer works well WHEN it works. Don’t, I repeat..Don’t get it wet. It will not work after that. I have owned two and both died after getting wet.

    • Natalie Lester says:

      Rich, we’re so sorry you’ve had problems with your remote trainers. Do you know what model number you had? Some of them, like the Venture Series, are waterproof. Please email me at social@petsafe.net to see if our Training Specialists can help you. Thanks for reading!

  4. Patricia Talambas says:

    The underground fence literally saved my dog’s life. Maggie is a “Houdini” dog and was constantly escaping from the back yard to socialize with everyone in the neighborhood. She knows nothing about watching for traffic, and being completely black, she could not be seen at dusk, at dawn, or at night. I used the collar and underground fence for several months, and she adapted well. Then the yard man cut the wire with the weed-eater. Maggie still stays in the yard. No collar, no fence, and she stays safe.

    • Natalie Lester says:

      We’re glad the fence have helped solve Maggie’s wandering tendancies, Patricia! Have you ever considered using a Remote Trainer to teach her new tricks or correct unwanted behavior? Since the fence worked so well, the Trainer may have the same success with her! Thanks for reading!

  5. Gabrielle Kotke says:

    We have a remote trainer, but opted for the automatic collar since we’re not home all day for our dogs. However, the automatic is supposed to graduate as the dog barks. This hasn’t really deterred her. The collar seems to buzz once, but doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with her barking. We’ve had the unit replaced twice. How is IT supposed to work?

    • Natalie Lester says:

      Gabrielle, it’s good to hear our Bark Control products have worked for you. Some of our products, like the Deluxe Big Dog Bark Control Collar adjust automatically to as your dog continues to bark, but others do not. Do you know which collar you have? Email me at social@petsafe.net, and our Bark Control Specialists should be able to help you. Thanks for reading!

  6. Fernando Colon says:

    As a remote collar trainer. I am still fascinated when people see right in front of their eyes the tranformation in their Dogs. Nothing gives me more joy when I get either an email or text from a client telling me, “it’s like having a new Dog” Also I know first hand that remote collar training has saved a lot of Dogs life. And that is why I Love remote collars.

    • Natalie Lester says:

      Fernando, We completely agree!! It is an absolute blast to watch the light go off in the both the dog’s and owner’s mind! :) Thanks for reading.

  7. Darlene Brush says:

    My dog barks at everything. I purchased the mist collar from petsafe. I run through batteries too much and I do turn it off. My friend got a system that he pushes a button when the dog barks. What do you recommend. I have a 10 lb dachshund. Thank you, Darlene

  8. Paul says:

    We have the 1,000 yard remote trainer for our son’s dog Bella a 60 lb. female Rott/German Shepherd mix. She is a wonderful dog. Very smart and great natured dog. But being a Rott mix and her size can certainly intimidate people. We use thee 1,000 yard trainer at our lake house in Oklahoma. This kept her from wondering off and occasionally barking at people walking by plus chasing deer. Very seldom had to use the mild shock and now just audible. This collar helped correct this quickly and has not affected her personality one bit! She now stays very close to our Lake House and adjoining 5 acres without the collar on. HIGHLY recommend this collar

    • Natalie Lester says:

      Paul, We’re so glad you and Bella love our collars!! We love knowing we are keeping pets safe and protecting the special relationship they have with their owners. It sounds like Bella is very lucky to have you. Thanks for reading!

  9. KERRIE STOUFFER says:

    I HAVE 2 DOGS, BOTH 7 MONTHS OLD WHO HAVE BEEN RAISED TOGEATHER.(ROTTS ADOPTED AT 8 WEEKS). WE PURCHASED THE VENTURE SERIES REMOTE BIG DOG TRAINING & THE ADD A DOG. AFTER READING THE TRAINING GUIDE IT APPEARS TO ME THAT IF I WANT TO TAKE ONE DOG WITH ME AND MY HUSBAND WANTS TO TAKE THE OTHER DOG SOME PLACE DIFFERNT, WE CAN’T BECAUSE OF ONLY 1 TRANSMITTER. SHOULD WE HAVE PURCHASED 2 SEPERATE COLLARS INSTEAD OF THE ADD A DOG? WE BOTH TAKE OUR DOGS WITH US BUT WE ARE NOT ALWAYS AT THE SAME LOCATION. THE OPERATING/TRAINING GUIDE DOES NOT HAVE ANY VERY MUCH INFO ON USING THE 2 DOG SYSTEM.

    • Natalie Lester says:

      Hi Kerrie, thanks for reading!! If you’re wanting to take the dogs to seperate places with the remote trainers, you will need two systems because each parent will need a transmitter with them. Sorry you had trouble!! The Venture Series is one of our favorites because it simplifies having two dogs in the same spot because you only have to keep up with one transmitter instead of juggling or trying to remember which transmitter communicates with each dog’s collar. Let us know if we can help you further! Have a great day!

  10. KERRIE STOUFFER says:

    ONE ADDITIONAL QUESTION; HOW DO I USE THE 2 DOG REMOTE TRAINING SYSTEM ON BOTH DOGS AT ONE TIME. EXAMPLE; WHEN I OPEN THE DOOR TO LET BOTH DOGS IN, THEY BOLT DOWN THE LONG HALLWAY AND WON’T STOP,HOW AM I GOING TO CORRECT BOTH DOGS AT THE SAME TIME.? THE TRAINING GUIDE DOES NOT HAVE ANY INFO ON TRAINING USING THE 2 DOG SYSTEM.

    • Natalie Lester says:

      To correct two dogs at the same time, first make sure each collar is synched to the same transmitter. Then, the first collar is controled by the black buttons on the left and the second collar is controlled by the gray buttons on the right. We hope this helps! Email us at social@petsafe.net if you have anymore questions. Thanks for reading!

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  16. Dan Rose says:

    Education is key, for any pet owner that is investigating the use of a Remote Training Collar.

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