Two dog training devices- One I love and one I absolutely abhor

Dog Training is my passion and there are a few devices that are used in dog training that really effect me emotionally both good and bad.

The device that I absolutely love is the clicker.  This simple $3 or $4 device has done more for dog training than just about any other thing. A clicker is used to mark a behavior that the trainer desires. It usually takes the place of “Good Boy!” or “Good Girl!” Marking a behavior simply means a sound is made the split second the dog does the right thing. For instance, the split second a dog sits and his butt touches the ground, the behavior can be marked with a click and the dog will know that a treat or reward is on its way. It works better than “Good Boy” because saying words can change with the handler’s mood or personality. The click never changes.

On the other hand, the device which makes my skin crawl is the shock collar. Also known as Electronic, E-Collar or Remote Training Collar. Electric fences also use shock collars. This statement from Trish King says it all. She is well known in the dog trainer community and director of the Marin SPCA in California.

"There are a few videos on You Tube in which men put shock collars on themselves and then roll around laughing when the shock hits, and they fall sidewise.   Maybe this is funny during the videoing, in a perverse sort of way, but what would happen if the shock collars were always on, and they could not predict when the pain would hit – when they took a swig of beer, drove a car, or took a bite of food?  Eventually, they would be afraid to do anything.  They would be under control.   But we don’t do that to people – we do it to dogs, our pets, because we can and they love us anyway." 

If you truly love your dog, don’t use an E-collar or trust any dog trainer that uses them. It stresses dogs out, raises their cortisol levels and many times backfires causing dogs to become aggressive or extremely fearful. Think about how you would feel to get shocked not knowing when it was going to happen. Use the proven reward based techniques. They are equally as effective and quick and most of all, you aren’t harming your best friend. 

Let me show you how to train your dog in a loving and kind way.