Electric collar for dogs: usefulness and operation

The electric dog collar is a training accessory that belongs to the category of training collars, like the vibration collar, the beep collar or even the citronella jet collar. If it is praised by certain traditionalist canine trainers and recommended by them to masters of doggies, it is widely criticized by others, and in particular by followers of positive education methods. If the owners of animals who use it are pleased that their little companion barks 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 psychological consequences. . Not to mention that its effectiveness in learning is to be put into perspective.

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

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 canine training collars. There are indeed several types:

  • jet collars, which release a jet of lemongrass or another unpleasant essence, but not dangerous for the dog;
  • vibration or buzzer collars, which trigger a vibration and/or a beep sound;
  • electric collars, on the other hand, leave a mild electric shock or electrostatic stimulation.

These collars, used to train the animal, are triggered depending on the target. For anti-bark collars, they activate when the pooch barks in order to make him stop this behavior. For anti-distancing collars, their triggering occurs when the animal crosses a defined perimeter or when it pulls too strongly on its leash during a walk, for example.

When the animal barks or moves away, the collar detects the behavior to be stopped by the vibrations of the vocal cords or by the location of the GPS chip and it sends the signal intended to stop the dog, in this case a discharge electric in the context of electric collars. Surprise, the pooch stops barking or wandering away, which is why some master users are satisfied with the effectiveness of these training accessories.

As you will have understood, electric collars detect the behavior to be stopped and they attempt an electric shock so that the dog stops on its own.

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

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

An efficiency to qualify

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

However, it should be known that in reality, the animal associates the immediate barking or the remoteness of the moment with the electric shock and with the pain which it causes. It’s only for fear that he won’t start again, for fear of suffering again. By this process, the dog is “obedient” by the fear caused by his behavior, but he does not learn not to bark all the time or not to move away. He does not learn not to reproduce these “bad” behaviors or even what is the right action to take, he only reacts to the electric shock and his will to avoid it.

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

Finally, this process is sorely lacking in consistency for the animal, which does not allow it to take the measure of any learning. There is no reason for him to say to himself “I must not bark all the time” or “I must not go away from my master”, because the electric collar is an accessory that cannot be worn permanently. Consequently, when you are absent and your pooch barks when he sees one of his congeners or someone passing through the window, he is not wearing the collar and is therefore not punished. This means he can bark freely without feeling an electric shock. It is therefore unthinkable to imagine that he will systematically associate the fact of 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, isn’t it?

Significant risks of physical and psychological sequelae

Many canine experts and behaviorists oppose 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 worn for several hours by the dog have no impact on his health. The risk of failure is proven and some models can cause burns or lesions in the animal’s neck. Some owners even go so far as to shave their doggie’s hair at 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, takes fright 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 benevolent education have clearly proven themselves for several years. If the use of the electric collar is based on the principle of punishment to train 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 ​​successes. The animal is rewarded and praised for all its good deeds, which encourages it to reproduce and propagate them until incorporating them in a completely natural way. Here the dog learns how he should act, and not just what he should not do. The same is true of the small child who has to learn a math lesson. Telling him that an addition is not done in such a way does not teach him the method to follow to make one correctly. More consistent and more logical, the positive method ignores bad behavior, which pushes the pooch to stop it on his own.

Each apprenticeship is taught with kindness and firmness. The principle of benevolence means that the master is an actor, he encourages, values, congratulates and rewards his dog for his good deeds. The dog is also an actor in his learning, since he takes pleasure in satisfying his master, initially to receive his reward, then quite simply to be congratulated. The order being acquired, it is integrated and it becomes logical. By the benevolent method, master and dog are real players in learning, whereas they play no role in training through punishment since the master does not intervene and the doggie is content to “undergo” the punishment.

The principle of firmness is also essential. By firmness, we mean consistency and the establishment of a sound framework. The dog, like the young child, needs limits to assess and grow with balance and security. Establishing logical, coherent and adapted rules allows the dog to know where he is going and what he must not do with clarity. Trust is increased tenfold between the animal and its master, the latter appearing as the guarantor of the safety of his little companion in the eyes of the latter.

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