Nowadays, dog fence or invisible dog fence is not a strange term to many dog owners. Since the invention of invisible dog fence, which is used to keep dogs within desired boundary lines without building a physical fence, the idea has quickly wide-spreaded among dog owners’ community. In order to function, this invisible dog fence system pairs with a training collar which receives signals from the transmitter. The transmitter is able to tell if the dog is crossing the boundary lines, and then accordingly sends a signal to the collar to alarm the dog, using a buzzing sound or a mild electric shock. With such mechanism, the collar is extremely important for this system to work. Without the collar, the system is useless.
The dog fence is not the only application of such collar. Training collars appeared a long time ago in the 1960s and were mostly used on military and hunting dogs. Training collars are helpful in training dogs, and they have various applications. In this article, we will learn more about training collars.
Dog fence system
One of the most notorious applications of the training collar is the dog fence system. In areas that the government prohibits physical fences’ constructions, this system is extremely helpful. There are various ways that a transmitter can be installed: wired or wireless. For wired, it can be installed either underground for aesthetic purposes, or on the ground for easier setups. Wireless dog fences are not only used outdoor but also used indoor. The training collar in this system works as a receiver, and is worn on the dog’s neck. As the dog comes closer to the boundary lines marked by the transmitter, the transmitter will send a radio signal to the receiver, the training collar. Then, the training collar will create various types of alarms to warn your dog not to cross the borders. System users can choose and adjust the types and levels of the alarms based on their preference.
Another application of training collars is in bark control. Bark control collars are used for dogs with excessive barking. When the dog starts barking, a mild shock is given to the dog through the collar to help shape his behavior. Eventually, the dog is conditioned to stop barking whenever he receives the signal. In this type of bark control, dog owners can remotely monitor the collars using sound or vibration. More advanced collars nowadays are usually activated by both sound and vibration in order to avoid unintended activation by noises.
Training collars can be used in various settings, mostly in dog trainings. Most training collars are controlled by a handheld device that allows users to fully utilize all available features to train their dogs. The collars are useful in a way that they help to get the dog’s attention. In addition to sounds and vibrations, new training collars nowadays are capable of emitting various different signals.
Training collars, in fact, should be used simultaneously with other positive reinforcements, because the way that training collars transmit signals to the dogs ceasing their undesired behaviors is a type of punishment, and thus it is a negative reinforcement. Without pairing with any positive reinforcement to balance, dog owners can misuse these training collars and cause negative fallout.
How to use training collars appropriately
As discussed above, using training collars is utilizing a negative reinforcement. Hence, dog owners must be careful when using training collars in dog training so as not to misuse them. It is highly recommended that dog owners consult a dog training professional for advices before using training collars. Dog training professionals are able to provide instructions on how to use a training collar appropriately, as well as on how to choose appropriate training methods for specific types of dogs.
At the beginning, dog owners must be sure that their dogs have been familiar with common and simple commands such as sit, stand, and so on. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult for them to use training collars on the dogs. To teach a new command, it is suggested that we start as similarly as we normally do. If the dog does not respond appropriately, now start using the training collar to give him a signal. After a few times, your dog will understand the conditions and start to behave as desired.
Keep in mind that not all dogs behave or react similarly to the signals from training collars. In reality, training dogs can be more challenging, and it takes lots of time and effort. It is important that you go step by step, and go slowly so that your dog has time to adapt and learn the new system. Although the shock or the sound emitted by the training collar does not harm your dog, starting from high level can cause anxiety for your dogs. It is always better to start from the lowest level and then move up when your dog has got used to the signals.
Don’t forget the treats!
Giving a reward is always a must in dog training. No matter how well you train your dog, a nice treat after each short period of training is always a great encouragement for your dog to keep up the good work and repeat the conditional behaviors next time. Moreover, giving a reward is also a great way of positive reinforcement. It helps to reduce anxiety and cheer your dog up. Overall, how your dog feels is the only thing we, as dog owners, should be concerned about. Dog training should be a fun experience for both you and your dog, instead of a burden.
In summary, the training collar is a great invention, and it has successfully assisted dog owners in dog trainings. It also has various useful applications, such as invisible dog fence system and bark control. However, training collars should be used with caution and preferably with advices from professionals. Training your dog is a long process, and it requires patience. Therefore, be patient with your dog and go slowly, and you will see the results eventually.