Is the electric collar necessary in dog training?
Scientific knowledge about how dogs treat us and learn has increased so much in recent decades that different dog training disciplines have emerged.
Today we can find friendly, traditional, leash, or positive training. Concepts that have been appearing according to the pet sector has been growing. Fact that is indisputable, because today there are almost more dogs than children in cities.
However, these training concepts do not end up having a clear definition and are used, rather, as marketing labels. Tags aimed at finding a client with values similar to those of the trainer who sells their services.
Dogs learn in a very similar way to us
They can associate events or causes to consequences both voluntarily and involuntarily. These processes are known as classical and instrumental conditioning.
We also know that dogs have amazing cognitive abilities, such as object permanence and problem solving. Using all of their abilities when training them means not only taking advantage of all their intelligence, but also enriching the life of the dog and the work of the trainer.
In dog training, as in human learning, emotions greatly influence. A dog can learn by loving what it is doing or it can learn by fear, just like children. Ignoring this means again wasting the potential of the dog, not only when it comes to learning, but also when doing it together with us. Have you heard of the bond between humans and dogs?
Nature and instinctual basis
To train a dog it is important to attend to its ethology, dogs are dogs and that makes them have an innate instinctive base that we must consider when training them. Not only your dog has primary instincts such as hunger, which allows us to use food to train them. There are other instincts written in your DNA .
For example, his gregarious instinct allows him to gladly collaborate with his guide and live as a family.
His burrowing animal instinct makes it easy for him to adapt to a carrier or kennel, even traveling comfortably in the car.
Their defensive instincts have enormous potential for rescue-focused training.
And his hunting instinct can be very useful and fun to train your dog through play.
your dog understands you
Specialists in reading our gestures and intentions, your dog is capable of collaborating with you in such a precise way that it is surprising. Working as a team, adding human capabilities to those of the dog, is what leads them to excellence. And also what has allowed them to conquer our beds and sofas.
reinforce a behavior
Reinforcing a behavior means increasing the probability that it will appear. Positive reinforcements are clearly what the dog likes. But we could also reinforce a behavior by taking away something the dog does not like when it performs it. For example, squeezing the dog’s neck with a choke collar until it sits would increase the likelihood that it sits to avoid pain and protect its own life.
Punish a behavior
Punishing refers to reducing the probability that a behavior will occur. Delivering an electric collar shock when the dog barks will punish the barking behavior and reduce it. Again based on pain and fear.
But what if my dog barks when he’s alone and the neighbors protest?
If your dog barks when he is alone and even if you leave him food or use a remote dispenser, he does not show interest. Wouldn’t it be good to use a collar that gives him a little shock to stop him from barking?
The answer is next…
If your dog barks when he is alone, it is not because he is disobedient, but rather that he may feel fear, anguish or anxiety when no one is at home and that is the root of the problem that we must tackle so that he stops barking. Even if it is more laborious and takes us more involvement than shocking him to shut up. Well, this remedy, even managing to solve the barking, does not solve the real problem, which is that your dog has a really bad time.
Now, you choose what kind of relationship you want to have with your dog, and if you want the experiences associated with the behaviors you teach and the training itself to be positive or negative. Unfortunately, shock collars, which depending on where you live could be prohibited for not respecting animal welfare, both physical and emotional, are excessively easy to obtain.