Electric collar for dogs: usability and operation

The electric dog collar is a training accessory that belongs to the category of training collars, such as the vibration collar, the bip collar or even the citronella jet collar. If it is praised by certain traditional dog trainers and recommended by them to dog masters, it will be much criticized by others and especially by adherents of positive training methods. If the owners of animals who use it are happy that their little companion does much less or no longer strays too far from the planned perimeter, we must not forget that the electric collar can have significant physical and mental consequences. . Not to mention that its effectiveness in learning needs to be put into perspective.

What is the electric dog collar? How does it work ? What is its use? We will take stock of this file, but we will also take this opportunity to inform you of the precautions you must take in using it because of the risks involved.

Electric dog collar: what is it? How does it work ? What is its use?

The electric dog collar is an accessory that belongs to the category of dog training collars. There are actually several types:

  • jet collar, which emits a jet of citronella or another essence that is unpleasant but not dangerous to the dog;
  • vibration or buzzer collars which trigger a vibration and / or a beep;
  • electric collars which emit a mild electric shock or electrostatic stimulation.

These collars, which are used to train the animal, are triggered depending on the target. For anti-barking collars, they are activated when the dog barks to get him to stop this behavior. For anti-distance collars, they are triggered when the animal crosses a predefined perimeter or when it pulls too hard on the leash, for example during a walk.

As soon as the animal barks or moves away, the collar detects the behavior to be stopped by the vibrations from the vocal cords or by the location of the GPS chip, and it sends the signal to stop the dog, in this case an electric shock associated with electric collars. Surprised, the dog stops barking or moves away, which is why some master users are happy with the effectiveness of this training accessory.

As you probably understand, electric collars detect the behavior to be stopped and they emit an electric shock so that the dog stops by itself.

Electric collar for dogs: beware of the risks to the animal!

So surely the dog wearing the electric collar will stop barking or move away from his master or home when he receives the shock. Some masters congratulate themselves on having found an effective solution that some traditional dog trainers highly recommend. However, it should not be overlooked that electric collars also have a negative and potentially dangerous setback for the dog.

An efficiency to qualify

The electric collar sends a gentle electric shock to the dog when it barks or when it walks too far away, depending on the intended use. In response, the dog stops its behavior, surprised by the effect of the shock. The master of the beast quickly notices that his little companion is more obedient, and he is glad to have invested in the purchase of this powerful accessory.

One must know, however, that the animal actually associates the immediate barking or the remoteness of the moment with the electric shock and with the pain it causes. It is only for fear that he will not start again, for fear of suffering again. In this process, the dog is “obedient” to the fear that his behavior evokes, but he does not learn not to bark all the time or not to move away. He does not learn not to reproduce this “bad” behavior or what is the right action to take, he responds only to the electric shock and his willingness to avoid it.

There is therefore no real learning, but a simple avoidance of the behavior to be avoided in order not to suffer under the sanction. Moreover, it is not without consequence to continue with fear of such teaching. The dog, stressed and scared, loses confidence in his master, who is unable to ensure his well-being.

Finally, this process is largely lacking in consistency for the animal, which does not allow it to take aim at any learning. There is no reason for him to say to himself “I must not bark constantly” or “I must not move away from my master”, because the electric collar is an accessory that can not be worn permanently. Therefore, when you are absent and your poch does when he sees one of his congeners or someone pass through the window, he does not wear the collar and is therefore not punished. This means he can bark freely without feeling an electric shock. It is therefore inconceivable to imagine that he will systematically connect the barking with the discharge and that he will understand that this behavior must stop. Why ? Simply because sometimes he can bark freely and other times not. Illogical, right?

Significant risks for physical and mental sequelae

Many dog ​​experts and behavioral researchers are against the use of electric dog collars for training. In addition to the lack of respect for the animal, they point out that this accessory is likely to cause significant physical and psychological consequences in the doggie.

On the one hand, it is impossible to say today that these collars, which the dog has worn for several hours, have no bearing on his health. The risk of failure has been proven and some models can cause burns or lesions in the animal’s throat. Some owners even go so far as to shave their dog’s hair around the neck to amplify the effect of the discharge, which is particularly dangerous.

On the other hand, the stress generated by electric shocks can be difficult for the dog to live with. We have seen that this type of dressage is not a real apprenticeship. Based on fear above all else, it lacks consistency. The dog, lost, becomes frightened and loses confidence in his master, who is not there to help and reassure him.

The importance of positive dog training

The methods of positive and charitable education have clearly proven themselves for several years. If the use of the electric collar is based on the principle of punishment for training the dog, positive education is more respectful of the dog and is based on the principles of encouragement, motivation, congratulation and reward.

Instead of punishing mistakes, positive education values ​​success. The animal is rewarded and praised for all its good deeds, which encourages it to reproduce and repeat them until it integrates them in a completely natural way. Here the dog learns how to act, and not just what not to do. The same goes for the toddler who has to learn a math class. Telling him that an addition is not performed in such a way does not teach him the method he must follow to perform a correct one. More consistently and more logically, the positive method ignores bad behavior, which pushes the dog to stop it on its own.

Each apprenticeship is taught with kindness and firmness. The principle of benevolence means that the master is an actor, he encourages, appreciates, congratulates and rewards his dog for his good deeds. The dog is also an actor in his learning, as he rejoices in satisfying his master, first to receive his reward, then simply to be congratulated. The order acquired is integrated and it becomes logical. By the benevolent method, the master and dog are real actors in learning, while they play no role in training by sanction, as the master does not intervene and the dog is content to “undergo” the punishment.

The principle of firmness is also essential. By firmness we mean coherence and the establishment of a healthy framework. The dog, like the toddler, needs boundaries to develop and grow with balance and security. Establishing logical, coherent and adapted rules allows the dog to know where to go and what not to do with clarity. The trust is tenfold between the animal and its master, the latter appearing as a guarantor of its little companion’s safety in the eyes of the latter.

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