What it is & How it Works
The remote collar training method immediately establishes a communication-link between you and your dog through the use of a remote electronic collar. These collars have been used for many years, and as technology has progressed, thankfully so have the collars. Present-day remote collars can emit variable levels of stimulation at very short intervals beginning with a sensation that is barely discernable, an effect akin to being tapped on the shoulder. When our clients experience the sensation of the collar for the first time, they are usually amazed at the mildness of the stimulus, since it shatters their misconception that this collar will “electrically shock” and somehow hurt or injure their dog. Ironically, the same client may have already been using an “invisible fence” system, which delivers a stimulus that is not mild: the jolting sensation of those devices should in no way be associated with the more subtle and variable sensation delivered by a remote collar.
Conventional Collars vs. Remote Collars
The most typical collars used in conventional obedience training in combination with a leash would be the choke-chain, prong-collar, and head-halter (or “Gentle Leader”). The choke chain is essentially a metal chain that tightens around the dog’s neck each time it moves away from the handler. During obedience training, a succession of quick jerks is given to correct behavior.
The pinch-or prong-collar also tightens around the dog’s neck, and as it tightens, a series of metal prongs squeeze the neck in a more uniform fashion than the simple choke chain. Basically, both collars work in the same way. The head-halter or “Gentle Leader,” which is similar to the halter worn by a horse, consists of two straps: one that tightens around the dog’s muzzle, and the other behind the ears. When this collar is attached to a leash and the dog moves away from the handler, the halter disallows that movement by pulling the dog’s head back in the direction of the handler.
All of the above corrections can potentially cause harm to both dog and handler, (see article, “A Veterinarian’s Experience”). It is not uncommon for dogs being trained with conventional collars to suffer injuries to the trachea, neck and spine, while many owners have also sustained injuries ranging from minor bruises and abrasions to more serious injuries of the neck, back, and shoulders. Moreover, considerable strength and balance is required in order to be able to make quick, effective, leash corrections, especially when dealing with the larger breeds, making it very difficult or impossible for children and older adults to use these techniques. Conventional training also requires a significant time commitment, even with the most diligent of trainers. To achieve off-leash obedience under all types of distractions requires many months, if not years, of consistent training.
Using a remote-collar, the only equipment required to be worn by the dog is a small receiver, a flat collar, and a leash (which is optional after only a few lessons). The stimulus delivered by the remote-collar can quickly be adjusted, so that it can be adapted to the exact needs of the individual dog. The optimal working level of the remote-collar is that which the dog just barely notices, the only goal being lasts for just a fraction of a second, with no risk of physical injury.
Before participating in our training programs, all of our clients are encouraged to experience the remote-collar for themselves. We generally place the receiver on the palm of the hand where sensitivity is high, but have also had some individuals place it on their own neck as well. We’ve never witnessed anyone allow a choke chain to be fastened around their neck while a correction was being given with a leash.
With regard to requirements for physical strength, if you can push a button, you can use a remote-collar, making it possible for children, older adults, and people with physical disabilities to participate in the training. As a matter of fact, this method is so gentle, that it is used very successfully with puppies, breeds of all sizes, and older dogs. Last, but not least, is the most amazing difference of all; unlike conventional training, the remote collar method requires only 6-8 weeks to achieve reliable off-leash control.
About Our Method
It is clear from discussions with our clients that they regard the use of the remote collar in our training as being positive in nature. The collar is never used as punishment, and its use is never advocated without first receiving proper education and training. The special techniques we employ work rapidly to gain the dog’s attention. As a result, the dog is less distracted, and learns to focus on the owner for guidance. As this focus develops, the dog’s capacity to understand the owner’s communications is further enhanced, thus enabling the training to progress more rapidly. Literally, sometimes within just minutes, a happier, more confident dog begins to emerge.
Now, isn’t this what dog training is all about?
Thank you Terry for use of this article. Visit her website at www.caninemagic.biz