Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wales Bans Remote Training Collars Over Hysterical Fear

If you want to learn how to effectively train a dog with an electronic dog training collar visit or Contact University Place dog trainer Kate Johansson at (253) 569-0411

Words are so powerful. And I can think of few words dripping with more negative hysterical emotion than the erroneous and wrongly descriptive phrase "Shock Collar." Because of the moniker given to these devices in the 1960s (When they were crude and unreliable--nothing like the smooth exact instruments they are now) they remain controversial today.

Electronic collars use the same technology as a muscle stimulator one might use for (human) physical therapy. The technology is also used for (human) pain management. In fact, it is used in medicine and dentistry routinely. Ever see the TV commercials for belts that will help you obtain the coveted six-pack of abdominals? Same technology. On the low levels we use for training dogs, the stimulation feels like a little flick, similar to static you would get taking clothes out of a dryer. On somewhat higher levels, the stimulation feels like a tingle, similar to your arm or leg starting to fall asleep.

When we are asked as humans to use this technology on ourselves for whatever reason, we are never introduced to it as a "shock" device. We would never allow anyone to shock us. The word "shock" inspires fear. So a person needing to use the technology is introduced to it in a positive, intelligent way.

Electronic dog collars are used not only for high levels of training in dogs, but also for pet containment. With a containment system, the dogs (and cats) are carefully trained using negative reinforcement not to pass certain areas in the yard or house. This allows the pets to have the freedom to roam in the yard, yet keeps them safe from wandering into traffic or chasing a neighboring farm's livestock.

There are a number of different ways of using the electronic collars, also known as remote training collars. At Fast Pup Dog Training we teach people how to use the stimulation of the collar to gently associate the tickle or tingle of the stimulation with a command such as "come," "sit," "stay." Before we ever start training a dog with the collar, we have everyone in the family, including small children, experience what the stimulation feels like so that everyone understands and knows we are not hurting the dog. We use the stimulation on the lowest level to which the dog will respond. It is never about punishment.

We make sure the clients have a good understanding of how to use the equipment and how to stay positive and calm at all times. We never even let a client raise their voice and we teach them that they no longer need to pull on the leash. Usually during the very first session, we drop the leash altogether so that the client learns to use their body language and great attitude and positive tone of voice to facilitate learning in the dog. With most dogs we will be able to take the dog on an off leash walk after just three sessions.

Last week the principality of Wales in the United Kingdom banned the use of electronic dog collars. Anyone caught using an electronic dog collar will be subject to a fine of £20,000 or six months in prison. As I read the reports and watched the videos from the BBC website, I was amazed (shocked-pardon the pun) at the leaning of the reporters towards support of this ban. And there on the video were all the usual "morally superior" people who were so vindicated by the ban talking about how in today's world there is no need for any type of dog training that does not use "positive only" methods.

Duncan McNair, of the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association, estimated that there were at least half a million electronic collars in Wales.

What a shame for the many dog owners who train with the collars. And what a shame for the many dogs who will now need to be imprisoned and kept always on a leash for their safety and the safety of neighbor's livestock. What a shame for the dogs who will be turned over to shelters and will be put to death for behaviors that can't be brought under control with the use of cookies.

And all because of fear and hysteria caused by the use of the word "shock." We need to be careful what words we use.

1 comment:

allen13241 said...

I can attest to the effectiveness of this. I recently purchased Havahart's Radial-Shape Wireless Dog Fence. The default correction is a tone and goes up to 5 levels of gentle static shocks.