If you are having trouble training your dog using conventional positive feedback methods, you may want to consider using an electronic dog training collar. The first electronic dog training collars came out about 20 or 30 years ago. They were too powerful to be used on smaller dogs and didn’t have shock level adjustments. Professionals used them to train hunting dogs, for the most part. But modern electronic collars offer much better control and safety. Provided they are used properly, modern electronic dog training collars can be used effectively on almost any dog. There are two basic varieties of modern electronic dog training collars; the bark collar and the beeper collar.
A bark collar, as the name implies, is used to control your dogs’ barking. The idea is if your dog starts barking, the collar will trigger an electrical shock through the collar to your dogs’ neck. Hopefully this stops the barking. The collar works automatically, whether you are there or not, so you can be confident your dogs barking is being controlled all the time, night or day. Another advantage with this type of collar is the behavior feedback to your dog is immediate. It is not unusual for a dog owner to come home from work and find the neighbors up in arms about the dog’s barking. But without a bark collar it would be too late to teach your dog that what he did is wrong.
Your dog won’t be able to associate your anger with the barking he did 3 or 4 hours ago. For the most part, your dog can wear a bark dog training collar all the time. You still have to take the time to recharge the battery in the shock unit, but you pretty much have total 24-hour-a-day control on your dogs barking. Bark collars are generally the least expensive type of electronic dog training collars. Except for the battery charger, everything is all in one unit. The microphone to pick up barking noises from your dog and the shock box with level adjustment are both attached directly to the collar. The electrical shock is delivered to your dogs’ neck through a pair of metal electrodes that are on the inside of the collar. You can usually get electrodes in several different lengths to best suit the thickness of your dog’s fur.
Beeper collars are manually controlled using a remote transmitter. They are generally more expensive and sophisticated compared to bark collars because they include a separate, hand held radio transmitter that sends a signal to a radio receiver on the dog training collar. They have the advantage of allowing you to control more than just your dog’s barking. If, for example, your dog jumps up on people this type collar may be the perfect solution to let your dog know about his bad behavior. Of course, the disadvantage with this collar is you have to be there with the transmitter in your hand at all times and push the button at the right time.
Of course a big danger when using an electronic dog training collar is setting the shock level too high. You want to get your dogs attention with the shock and control their behavior. But clearly you don’t want your dog in excruciating pain every time the collar is triggered. It is important to use the lowest possible shock setting that gets the job done. If your dog is yelping in pain, or panics when the shock collar triggers, then the setting is obviously too high and needs to be lowered.