Some people feel that using a shock collar is a form of physical abuse, but many experts disagree. You’ve probably seen videos online of people putting shock collars on themselves and turning it up to full blast. That’s not how a shock collar is actually used. The intensity can be adjusted and will only feel like the static electricity shock we are all familiar with.
The first thing to understand is that shock collars are designed to be used as training devices. They need to be used at the correct time for the dog to learn from its behavior. It’s true that shock collars carry enough charge to cause pain, but when used properly, the settings will not be set anywhere near that high.
Tip #1: Use other methods before shocking
Shock collars should not be the first training method you use. Try leash training, clickers and treat, and so on first. Also, if your collar has a sound or vibrate feature, try that before using the shock feature.
Tip #2: Do not use on them on puppies
Shock collars are usually a last resort, after other training methods have failed. Puppies would not have had enough training yet to benefit from shock collars and they are also too small.
Tip #3: Buy the right size of collar
Make sure the collar you are using is designed for the size of your dog. The minimum level of a large shock collar can be too much for little dogs.
Tip #4: Fit the collar correctly
A general recommendation would be to place it slightly offset from center on their lower neck. You should be able to fit two fingers under the collar. Also make sure the contact points are touching the skin. If you are not getting a reaction from your dog after reaching 20% of max, double check that the collar is turned on, it’s a snug fit, and that the contact points have made it through the fur.
Tip #5: Set levels when the dog is not distracted
Don’t set your initial levels in a distracting environment, such as outdoors in a park. You will end up setting it at levels appropriate for that environment but then find that the shock is too strong when the dog is not being distracted.
Tip #6: Watch for subtle responses
You want to start at the lowest level possible and work your way up. The sensation your dog will feel will be similar to the static shock you get when touching a piece of metal. Take your time and watch for subtle responses. Responses vary with different dogs. Some examples would be sitting, standing up, an ear flick, scratching at the collar, eyes blinking, or looking at the ground, or looking around for something.
Tip #7: Don’t turn it all the way up
None of us want to see our dogs in pain. The first step to using a shock collar is by finding the appropriate level. Start with the lowest level they notice and work up. If your dog yelps, it’s too high. A dog in pain will not learn from it’s mistakes.
Tip #8: Don’t leave the collar on all the time
The probes on the collar will rub against the skin which can cause skin irritation. This is why it’s recommended to use the collar for no more than eight hour a day.
Tip #9: Shock collars do not work for all dogs
A shock collar is a form of positive punishment. A negative punishment means to apply correction while the dog is being told what action to take, for example pulling on the dog’s collar while telling him to sit, then releasing after the dog has obeyed. Positive punishment is when the dog is lectured only after an incorrect response. Some dogs do not respond well to positive punishment, and vice versa. If the shock collar isn’t working, try a different method.
Tip #10: Poorly timed shocks can increase stress levels
If you are not using the shock collar at appropriate times, the dog will not understand what they did wrong and will instead only worry about receiving another shock. This will increase their cortisol levels, which is a major cause of behavioral problems in the first place. Shocks must only be used with undes
Tip #11: Sometimes they might need a stronger shock
If a dog is extremely excited or distracted by it’s environment, the normal shock might not get his attention. In this case you may need to turn it up a bit, one notch at a time. An example of this would be if the dog is running towards a busy road.
Tip #12: Reduce usage of the collar over time
When training a dog’s a specific behavior, they will eventually start to learn compliance. As the behavior becomes instilled in the dog, the use of rewards or punishments becomes less necessary and can be faded out. The same goes with the dog collar.
A Review of the TrainPro Elite 330 Yard Dog Training Collar System
* Note: I paid for this collar, but I received a discount from the seller in exchange for writing an honest review.
The TrainPro Elite 330 has three settings; sound, vibrate, and shock.
Here are the specs:
- Costs $32.99
- Range goes up to 330 yards
- Rechargeable collar receiver and remote transmitter
- 100 levels of adjustable vibration and static shock
- Four modes: static shock, vibration, beep and light
- Fully waterproof up to 30 feet
I have a mastiff named Max, and anyone who knows mastiffs knows that they are stubborn.
We’ve taken Max to obedience schools several times and he has always done great. He behaves well most of the time, but he acts up at night when we can’t see him in the back yard. He’s a super smart dog and knows that we can’t see him, so he eats things he shouldn’t or tears up the fence when the neighbors dogs are out. Our hope is that the shock collar can be a training method that we can use from a distance where a leash can’t.
The collar is really easy to set up. You have to charge both the remote and the receiver for six hours before using it.
After it’s charged, you just need to slide the collar through the slots on the receiver and put it on the dog. I wiggled it around a bit to make sure the contacts were touching his skin and then gave it a test.
I started at the very lowest setting of 1 (out of 100) and worked my way up in increments of 1. He noticed it at level 4, so that’s where I left it. He reacted as if there was a fly in his ear. It didn’t hurt him, but it startled him. He’s a big dog at about 90-100 lbs., so be careful about using this on small dogs. The product description on Amazon says that this collar works for small, medium and large dogs, but personally, I think there is too much power in this collar for small dogs.
I’ve also tried the noise and vibrate feature. Neither of those features really do anything when Max is super-distracted, but he definitely notices it otherwise and I think it’s a good warning to give him before using the shock feature.
Another neat feature is being able to add another collar to the system. You can switch between collars easily by pressing the 1/2 button on the remote. Unfortunately, I can’t find anyone selling a second receiver without purchasing the entire kit again.
I’m very happy with the collar so far. If I could find a second receiver, I’d love to get another collar for my other dog.
You can get the TrainPro Elite 330 here for $32.99 (at the time of this writing).
I paid for this shock collar system but received it at a discounted price in exchange for writing an honest review.