My Electronic Dog Training Collar Experience

dog wearing backpack

Chips the wonder dog with his backpack. The electronic collar rarely stopped him from running off.

The brightest dog I ever owned was also the least obedient. He absolutely had a mind of his own. I tried several kinds of collars and harnesses, and eventually looked into electronic dog training devices. He could slip out of any collar or harness I ever used (including all of the kind designed to prevent just that sort of thing). He pulled against all the fancy anti-pull collars. He was perfectly obedient in staying by me until he saw something more interesting.

I hated to keep him leashed all the time, but he just would not mind me if there was something that he preferred to chase or explore.

Although I don’t really like using electric shock to train a dog, I finally bought a dog training collar, and spent a lot of time working with the dog, following all the instructions for proper training. I have to say that the results were mixed.

Electronic dog training devices depend on the operator being able to deliver a shock to the collar at the correct time so that the dog understands which behavior is creating the pain, and that he can make it stop with the correct behavior. I purchased a very good one, so that I could choose the level of shock that was delivered. Too low and the dog doesn’t perceive anything negative, too high and the pain level is too great to really result in training. The shock cannot be sustained for more than a few seconds or injury could result. Mine had an automatic cut-off, so that you could not accidentally sustain the current.

Well, the end result of my experiment with the electronic dog training collar was that I think it saved the dog’s life once. He was headed for a road to chase a car and I got him to turn around with the use of the collar. But for the most part, this particular dog simply was so focused on whatever it was that he wanted to do that he simply ran through the pain, knowing that it would end in a few seconds.

He would also run through an electronic fence, making that expensive project completely useless.

I have observed hunting dogs being trained remotely with an electronic dog training collar, and they seemed to be doing the job well. So, I have to conclude that for some dogs, these can be a useful part of a training regimen.

For particularly stubborn dogs, however, I would suggest trying other methods of training first. I wouldn’t exactly call it cruel, but it is pretty extreme, and it is probably better to give other options a try.

Photo by the author: J.H. Young


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  1. TheBrit

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