Stuck with the negative connotations garnered from static collars from over 3 decades ago, some still consider modern remote trainers a taboo. However, with numerous innovations and proven training techniques, these trainers can be extremely beneficial to you and your dog. In some cases, teaching or un-teaching one behavior can take thousands of repetitions, leading some pet owners to believe their pet is “un-trainable.” However, leaving your dog untrained will probably lead to even more behavioral issues.
These issues are the number one reason why pets are abandoned or brought to shelters. Only about a fourth of these pets are adopted, while most of the others are eventually euthanized. Since training takes time and consistency, using remote training alongside positive reinforcement or other techniques can help your pal to learn necessary, potentially life-saving commands faster. For those still uncertain about electronic collars, we’ve dispelled some of the most popular myths about them.
Myth #1: Static collars will hurt my pet.
Modern electronic collars are much different than the ones offered 30 years ago. Today’s collars come with multiple levels of safe stimulation as well as tone and other options. You are given the power to set your pet’s collar on the lowest level he can feel to get his attention and not harm him. Today’s collars are even set so that no matter how long a person holds down the remote’s button, stimulation will not last more than a few seconds, ensuring a dog is not harmed. Some people also think it will hurt their dog because they have improperly tested it on themselves. Testing a collar on your hand is not a true-to-life representation of what your pet will feel. A tight grip on the collar, moisture on your hand and sensitive nerve endings all increase the intensity of the stimulation beyond what a pet wearing a properly-fit collar would feel.
Myth #2: The collar might burn my dog’s neck!
Although concerning, thankfully this is not possible. People attribute battery acid, heat or other factors for what appear to be “burn” marks on their dog’s neck. Stimulation does not last long enough, nor is it powerful enough to burn. These marks that look like burns are actually pressure ulcers that resemble bed sores or burns. Pressure Necrosis is caused by improper wear of a collar. If the pet’s collar is on too tight or left on for too long (no collar should be left on for more than 12 hours), sores may form on your dog’s neck from irritation. Check out these sites for information on collar safety and how to properly fit an electronic collar.
Myth #3: You can’t use a collar alongside positive reinforcement.
By using treats, clickers or other training techniques, you can minimize use of an electronic collar and get great results. It can take thousands of repetitions for your dog to have a complete understanding of even the most basic commands. With consistency and positive motivation, training may come easier for you and your dog.
Myth #4: It is hard to do.
Many people say that they simply cannot push the button. As many of us think of our pets as a member of the family, possibly even as a child, it’s reasonable to never want to do anything you believe may hurt your pet. But, it is important to remember a few key things. First, static stimulation should only be used at low levels to get your pet’s attention. Second, in an emergency situation—for instance, a dog bolting towards a busy road—interrupting a pet’s impulse with a static stimulation could save their life. Even the best trained pets can get loose and put themselves in harms way.
Myth #5: Static is my only option for remote training.
Remote trainers come in a variety correction types. Spray remote trainers are gentle, yet effective. Once the correction button is pushed a burst of citronella is released toward your dog’s snout. Static can work for smaller dogs that may be more averse to spray and bigger dogs that are not fazed by spray.
Ultrasonic trainers take advantage of your dog’s sensitive hearing. They offer a positive tone to reward good behaviors as well as a negative tone to counter undesirable ones. Vibration remote trainers distract your dog and are an indispensable aid for deaf or hearing-impaired dogs. For more information about remote training collars, check out our FAQ site here.