Having a dog brings pleasure and comfort to the owners but it comes with responsibilities attached. The animal’s well-being is, of course, a prime concern but so is the need to have a well-trained and well-controlled dog both for the safety of the dog and the general public.

Quite a number of dog owners train their pet themselves but that is not always effective, or even achievable, in some cases. Some breeds of dog such as German Shepherds and Pit Bulls require more intense and specialized training and more and more people are turning to electronic dog training collars to train their animal properly.

Training collars work by delivering a mild electric shock if the dog misbehaves or fails to respond to commands. These devices are frowned upon by some dog-lovers but can be very effective when used correctly and great aids in training a dog to behave as it should.

Three Main Choices

Depending on the difficulties you are having in training your dog, there are basically three kinds of electronic (or “shock”) collars on the market to choose from:

  • Containment System. These shock collars work in conjunction with an underground electric cable. Designed to keep the animal from straying beyond certain limits, such as a backyard, the underground cable is linked to the dog’s collar. When approaching the boundary of the system, the dog is warned with by a signal from the collar and if this is ignored a mild electric shock is delivered. Most dogs learn pretty quickly to respond to the warning signal and to stay within their boundaries but some take longer and the shock delivered can be increased until the lesson is learnt. Containment systems are very popular in congested urban areas and have been shown to be very effective in almost all cases.

  • Barking Collar. Excessive and unnecessary barking is a very common problem with dogs and especially with younger animals. A Barking Collar is, as the name implies, is designed to deter the dog from barking and these devices are extremely effective. A good barking collar has adjustable settings and will only be triggered by prolonged or excessively loud barking. When the collar is triggered, it will deliver either a mild shock or strong vibration and dogs quickly learn to moderate their barking behavior once they make the connection between barking and receiving a mild shock.

  • Obedience Collar. Sometimes called e-collars or remote shock collars, an Obedience Collar is operated by the owner or trainer using a remote control unit. These devices are perfect for training dogs to follow commands and behave properly. The strength of the shock delivered can be moderated dependent upon the dog’s offenses. When used correctly, and not excessively, it won’t take long before a dog is following simple commands and coming to heel when asked instead of running wild.

Responsible and Sensible

When using any of the three electronic systems it is important not to overdo it and punish the dog needlessly. It only takes a few mild shocks for most dogs to amend their behavior and any excessive use is both pointless and cruel and could damage the dog psychologically.

This is particularly true of the handheld remote for the obedience collar. This should always be kept out of sight (in a pocket) as the dog is likely to identify the owner as the source of pain and as a tormentor rather than an owner and friend. Once the bond between dog and owner is broken it is an almost impossible task to try and re-establish the connection and you may just lose your best friend through being irresponsible!