Although shock collars are used often for dog training, there’s evidence that they’re harmful to our dogs. In truth, many countries ban their use besides the U.S.
While they might be effective for dog training, this comes as a value, including potentially causing much more problems.
Thankfully, there are alternatives to shock collars which can be humane and just as effective without the negative consequences involved.
On this blog post, I’ll discuss these other options to coach your dog effectively reminiscent of no-shock collars, clicker training, and long line training.
Downsides to Shock Collars
Like other aversive training techniques, shock collars can have many negative consequences on your dog, including causing increased stress and anxiety, making your dog see you more negatively, even if you’re not within the strategy of training, and physical issues like burns and lesions.
With all of those negative results of using a shock collar, you’d hope they no less than work. Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear that shock collars are any more practical than positive reinforcement training.
In truth, using aversive techniques like shock collars may cause your dog to have more problems than not using them.
Thankfully, there are some superb alternatives to shock collars, even when you wish to train your dog remotely or work on behaviors like good recall.
My 3 Best Alternatives to Shock Collars
1. No-Shock Dog Collars
Simply because shock collars aren’t good on your dog or related to higher training outcomes doesn’t mean that every one distant collars are problematic. No-shock collars might be highly effective for training, especially distant training.
By the best way, I wrote a complete blog post on the very best no shock training collar, if interested.
No-shock collars can beep and/or vibrate to be able to communicate together with your dog. This might be a terrific solution to get your dog’s attention at a distance.
Dogs which have a tough time specializing in recall, especially highly focused dogs like scent hounds, can have a better time noticing and responding to a beep or vibration.
These collars are invaluable in relation to training deaf dogs that otherwise could also be unable to listen to you calling to them.
One excellent technique when using no-shock collars is to tie a beep or vibration to a reward like a treat or a favourite toy. Simply “load” the beep or vibration by creating the stimulus after which giving your dog a reward immediately.
By doing this over and another time, you’ll cause your dog to think in regards to the beep or vibration as a sign of excellent things to return.
Then, you should use the beep or vibration to reward something that your dog is doing that you just like, like coming if you call. Your dog will understand that the reward is forthcoming after they hear the beep or feel the vibration.
2. Clicker Training
One other great alternative to shock collars is clicker training. It was pioneered as a method for training marine mammals, nevertheless it’s been found to be highly effective for training all types of animals, including dogs.
It appears to be so effective since it ties a reward to a really clear signal: the clicker. It’s useful for all types of behaviors, including distant behaviors. When dogs are trained at a farther distance, a selected whistle or other loud noise might be used as an alternative of the clicker.
To clicker train your dog effectively, you’ll “load” the clicker by associating it with a reward, typically a treat, but sometimes a toy or praise.
Then, every time your dog hears the clicker, they may associate it with a reward and know that they’ve done what you wish them to do.
Note: a no-shock collar can serve the identical function as a clicker if you happen to tie the vibration or the beep to the reward. Whistles are also very effective.
Although the identical sort of training might be achieved with a verbal cue, it’s often more practical to make use of a mechanical sound like a no-shock collar, a clicker, or a whistle. It’s because these sounds are completely consistent, whereas your voice varies dramatically.
3. Long Line Training
My last alternative to shock collars is long line training. It involves attaching a really long lead, often no less than 20 to 25 feet long, to your dog’s harness or collar and using it to manage and communicate together with your dog at a distance.
For those who would love to coach your dog at a slight distance from you, an extended line might be very useful.
It allows your dog to behave somewhat independently while also protecting them in case they need to determine to disregard your commands.
Being on an extended line teaches a dog that they haven’t any other option than to reply to you.
This might be very useful when training impulsive dogs that attempt to chase something tempting or wander after a smell during training.
Long line training doesn’t mean that it’s best to use leash corrections. As a substitute, you should use a mild tug on the long line to “nudge” your dog to concentrate to you, at which point they will perform the specified behavior and receive a reward.
When using an extended line, it’s extremely vital to not let your dog run to the top of a slack line, as this may end up in a really painful and even serious injury to your dog.
As a substitute, rigorously feed out the road in order that you’ve control over your dog and may prevent them from lunging to the top of the road. Most trainers don’t advise using retractable leashes for this purpose.
It’s because they might be liable to failure and more more likely to cause your dog to get to the top of the road without your realizing it, leading to a painful or dangerous pull.
Moreover, if you happen to should drop the retractable leash, it should bounce along after your dog, likely causing your dog to run from it. By comparison, a handheld long line, if dropped, might be picked up again relatively easily.
Conclusion on Alternatives to Shock Collars
Shock collars may appear to be a fast fix for behavioral problems. Nevertheless, they will do more harm than good and may end up in serious problems on your dog and the connection you’ve with them.
Alternatives to shock collars like no-shock collars, clicker training, or long line training are a significantly better solution to get the specified behavior out of your dog while also developing a robust bond with them.
Let me know if you’ve any comments below.