I specialize in remote collar training. As technology grows, I have found remote collars offer the versatility to communicate better with the dog. As a police canine officer since the early 90’s, I have I used slip collars, fur savers, prong collars, and harnesses. It’s really not about the collar, because I also use praise, touch, food and toys to elicit behavior. Training is all about balance.
Balance is like yen and yang. For those not familiar with the Chinese philosophy of yen and yang, it’s the belief that opposites or contrary forces attract and are interconnected. In life we learn through trial and error. You don’t continue to do things that are uncomfortable and we repeat behavior that is pleasurable.
Balance training is like playing the yes no game. The yes/no game goes like this. Try to get someone to do or touch something and the only information you give them is yes and no. Try the game again by only saying “yes”. You will see that only giving them half of the information, for example “yes” takes them longer to learn or do the behavior you wish. Balance training is all about communication and giving the dog all of the tools to learn.
In our training groups you will see people with tugs, balls, and food as well as leashes attached to some form of training collar. Every dog is different so one training style doesn’t fit all. In our group polishing classes we teach focus as a variety of distractions are occurring. As the dogs become accustom to the distractions our handlers gain more confidence. Soon they are confident to take their dog anywhere. Their dogs will listen even during distractions and isn’t that what we all want?
So even though I prefer the remote collar for training there is a lot more to it than the collar. The remote collar is like always having a leash on the dog. You cannot just stim the dog and expect him to listen. Stimming alone is not training. You have to teach the dog what to do when he/she feels the stim. That’s the trick to training. Giving the dog direction and rewarding wanted behavior.