Painful dog training products have been on the market for years as a quick fix for people who want fast results for problem dogs. This includes shock collars, choke chains, pinch and prong collars. The trainers here at DogBoy’s Dog Ranch, and many other trainers across the country, advise against these practices as they can harm the welfare of your dog and destroy his relationship with you.
Training your dog involves a mutual understanding and trust; for this reason more people are making the move toward reward-based methods. While “old school” methods like shock collars may appear to work at first, they are in fact only suppressing the behavior that you are trying to avoid rather than teaching your dog to act in a desirable way. This means when the shock collar is taken off, your dog will often revert to misbehaving, and/or learn not to trust you. I sure wouldn’t trust you if you put that around my neck!
- Owners cannot be aware of how much pain they are subjecting their dog to through a shock collar or similar tool, and it is likely to cause the dog to become fearful. A dog who is afraid often becomes aggressive; when this punishment is used because of aggression, the situation is only aggravated.
- Another problem with using painful techniques is that your dog may misunderstand why he is being punished and associate the pain with the wrong behavior or situation. This can result in the mistrust of certain people, locations or events. Furthermore, the dog may not relate the pain to anything in particular and generally become more stressed and anxious.
There are numerous better alternatives to painful collars and chains when trying to correct your dog’s behavior. For example, when walking on a leash, the Premier Easy Walk Harness controls pulling in a humane manner. For dogs who like to back out of their collars, the use of a martingale style collar which closes up to an appropriate size without ever becoming smaller than your dog’s neck can often be helpful. To help train other behaviors, your best option is to take your dog to a positive training class where you will learn to gain more control without punishment.
Being a dog owner comes with the responsibility to love and care for your dog and not ordering him to behave as you would wish. Dogs can be the most loyal of friends who will trust and respect you when they are treated with the same trust and respect in return. Your dog is not a play thing or a possession to do with as you wish; your dog is a sensitive creature who requires constant attention and care as he truly is a member of your family.
The bottom line is this: Dogs deserve better. The new school of dog training teaches us that animals deserve the same kind of unconditional love that they give us each and every day. Rather than bending them to our will, it is our job to better understand THEM, so we can live happier, healthier lives together. They can’t tell you those old school methods hurt, so we’re here to advocate on their behalf. We’re also not here to judge you, but to help you understand so that you can make the best decision for you and your dog.
If you need help with this or other training issues, contact our training team. We love making dogs and their owners happy – it’s what we do best!