I was in Buford yesterday on an initial Home Dog Training lesson with my client and his Rhodesian Ridgeback named Ginger.  Their biggest problem with Ginger was that she liked to run to the front door and jump on anyone coming in or leaving the house.  She also had a problem with listening and liked to challenge them at every turn.  After just about two hours, we had those issues pretty much contained.  My client was amazed at the quick results and very happy at how easy it was to learn and engage our training methods.  As we were finishing up for the day, he asked me about “shock collars”.  He had heard that some trainers use them exclusively in their training methods and asked me why they would do that when we didn’t need it with his big, crazy, and strong Rhodesian Ridgeback.

I first had to correct my client with the term he used for the “training collar”.  Yes, they do give off a shock; but it is a static shock.  This sensation is what you sometimes feel when touching a door knob or the surface of an old TV.  It is more of an annoyance and attention-getter than the painful zap.  Before the use of today’s electronics, those collars couldn’t easily regulate the amount of “shock”.  The use of the older collars often hurt the dogs and made them aggressive and dangerous.  With the use of today’s technology, these devices are often as complicated and advanced as tools our “human doctors” use on us.  We call these “modern shock collars” “E-Collars”. The static charge is used to stimulate the nerves in the dog’s neck to get their non-adrenalized attention.

I continued to explain to my client that the reason we were so successful with Ginger’s training was our ability to calmly and respectfully gain her focus.  We needed to calmly gain her focus to let her know it was not OK to be crazy at the front door.  We needed to calmly gain her focus to let her know it was not OK to jump.  Before we could communicate bad behavior, we needed to gain her focus and then have the ability to teach the correct behavior.

All dogs are different and every dog has a unique attention level.  Some dogs will respond and give you focus with a simple clap of the hands or quick whistle.  Some dogs need you to shake a can of pennies or communicate to them in a loud, stern voice to get their focus.  Whatever may be the case, it is important that you get their calm and respectful focus in order to guide them into being a good dog.

This is where the E-Collar comes into play.  We have found that there are some dogs that are naturally distracted with everything going on around them all the time.  It is very hard to gain these dogs’ focus.  The normal tools that we may use to get their calm and respectful focus just aren’t enough.  We still can’t hurt them.  We just need to ramp it up.  The E-Collar now becomes a viable option.

First of all, we make sure that we only use a quality product with the proper technology to effectively monitor and adjust the stimulus level.  We always recommend the E-Collar product.  We also strongly recommend that you only use this tool with the assistance of an experienced Dog Trainer certified with the product.  Before you ever put it on your dog, set it at the recommended lowest training limit, lay it on your arm with the stimulus probes resting on your arm, and press the training button.  It is important that you feel the stimulus that you will be sending to your dog.  When properly set, you should barely feel a thing.  This is because it takes a very little static shock to stimulate the nerves in your dog’s neck and have him provide you calm and respectful focus.

I told my client that the training method that we use with the E-Collar is the exact same training method that we successfully used with his Rhodesian Ridgeback.  The only difference is that we increase our correction level through the use of the E-Collar.  Our expected result is still the dog’s calm and respectful focus.  The reason that we very rarely use this method is because if improperly applied, it will be detrimental to the training process.

As I mentioned earlier, the purpose of the E-Collar is simply to get our dog’s respectful and calm focus.  It is only used when all other methods can not accomplish that task.  It is never used if the dog shows the slightest indication of pain or fear.

As I have told my dog training clients for years, it is all about the focus.  Whatever it takes to get your dog’s calm and respectful focus without fear or intimidation is key.

Please call Robin or myself at (770) 718-7704 and we will do all we can to help you and answer all your dog training questions.  We have a lot of good dog training articles at Best Dog Trainers Buford Georgia.  Get our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Buford Georgia.