A remote training collar is a unique, electronic collar designed to apply a stimulus to your dog when required. Using stimuli, such as a mild, safe shock, sound or vibration, can be an effective way to train your furry friend, through positive and negative reinforcement methods. When used correctly, remote training collars can be extremely effective at improving your pet's behaviour, safely and sustainably. Dog training collars that are 'remote' feature just that, a remote. This additional feature allows you to administer training stimuli only when you believe it is appropriate for your training method. They are fit for many purposes, with some featuring a practical remote control range of over one kilometre. As such, remote training collars have are being used extensively to train dogs all around the world. Let's take a look at how to use a remote dog training collar correctly.
Treat the Collar as a Communication Tool
First and foremost, the correct way to think of a remote dog training collar is as a communication tool with your loved one. It's not too dissimilar to calling your dog's name at a distance or having a very long leash to tug. Just as you would get your dog used to their name, or wearing a lead when leaving the house, you should do the same with a remote dog training collar. The collar is an 'invisible leash,' once your pet has associated the collar with a reward and a meaning, just like calling their name, you can begin to utilise the collar at longer distances effectively using the handy remote. Fortunately, this allows you, the owner or trainer, more freedom as pressing a button is far more convenient (and effective) than shouting commands.
Ensure the Fit is Correct
Firstly, make sure the dog training collar fits your pet's neck correctly. It doesn't matter how great or intense the collar is if it doesn't fit right. It may cause more harm than good - that's the last thing we want. Here are a few steps you should always take to make sure the fit is correct:
- Making sure the collar is turned OFF, have your dog standing comfortably. Try using a treat to help them get in position and relax.
- Put the collar on, making sure the fit is firm. As a guide, you want to be able to fit one or two fingers adequately between the collar and your dog's neck.
- Make sure the stimuli detection pads are making contact in the right area. The contact points need to be touching skin. Always consult (and follow) the manufacturers' instructions as each dog training collar might be slightly different.
- Allow your dog to wear the collar for twenty minutes or so, observe how they move around and if they are comfortable.
- RECHECK the collar to make sure the fit remains snug and appropriate.
Repeat this process for a few days. It's better for your dog if they are conditioned to wearing the training collar before actually turning it on and using it.
Always Start at a Low Level and Work UP
One common misconception or mistake dog owners make when first using a dog training collar is to start with too much intensity. It's not necessary!
After fitting the training collar and conditioning your dog to wear it, it's time to test the stimulation. Always start at the LOWEST level. Observe your dog's reaction when you use the remote. Do they react?
Keep increasing the level of stimulation until your pet 'notices' something, akin to their name being called or their leash being tugged. Typically, this level is where you want to be - remember that the remote dog training collar is a communication tool, not a punishment device.
Positively Reinforce Learned Commands with the Training Collar
One of the best ways to train your furry friend using a remote dog training collar is to reinforce learned commands. It's not particularly efficient to use a training collar to teach a dog new obedience commands. Instead, it's preferable to enforce and improve existing behaviours.
When reinforcing a behaviour, you want to apply stimulation and only remove it when your dog responds to the command OR if too long has passed. If you find this method requires stimulation beyond the recommended time limit, please stop immediately and work on training your dog without any stimulus before trying again. The idea here is to remove the annoyance when the command gets obeyed, causing your pet to associate the removal of a minor annoyance to good behaviour. Again, this method is very effective at improving adherence to already learned commands.
How NOT to Use a Remote Dog Training Collar
A remote training collar is such an excellent tool due to its ability to improve adherence at a distance. Furthermore, the fact that you have complete control and discretion is a massive benefit, when not abused. It's never acceptable or effective to increase the stimulation beyond what is mildly uncomfortable for your pet. Please do not do it. In addition to the level of stimulation, never use the collar for longer than advised by the manufacturer, not only may this be harmful to your dog, but it will reduce the effectiveness if your dog becomes accustomed to the excessive stimulation.
If the training collar is not adequate, you need to immediately examine your training methods and techniques, instead of putting the blame on the remote training collar. The better you are at training your loved dog without the collar, the more impactful the dog training collar will be.
Are you looking to buy a high-quality remote dog training collar for your furry friend? Dog Gear has a vast range of products designed to suit you and your dog's needs. Our products are top-rated on Amazon and are incredibly affordable and effective. Any questions? Contact our customer support team or follow us on Facebook for the latest advice and dog training tips!