Training your dog is essential for many reasons and is something that all dog owners need to focus on, beginning when their dog is a puppy. A properly trained dog will be easier to live with and will help keep him and your family safe. Positive reinforcement training techniques tend to yield the best long-term results, and one of the tools many dog owners rely on is training collars. Training collars can assist in getting your dog comfortable with the feeling of wearing a collar and help gently correct habits and/or improper behavior. The question many dog owners ask is, what type of collar will my dog do best with?
Standard Dog Collar: A standard dog collar, also known as a buckle collar, is one of the most common types of training collars used. These collars are used on dogs of all shapes and sizes and are easy to put on and adjust. Although they are not as corrective as other dog collars, they are easily deployed and will prevent your dog from feeling choked while they are using them to walk with you.
Choke Collar: A choke collar is a very common training collar used to catch your dog’s attention when they are initially learning how to walk on a leash. This type of collar is designed to tighten when your dog pulls on the lead, which will cause a degree of discomfort until they stop pulling. After a few walks with this collar, your pup will learn to walk with you, not away from you.
Martingale Collar: A martingale collar is considered a choke collar; however, much more of a gentle one. These collars are basically a combination of a buckle collar and slip lead, as they have a second loop on the collar that will tighten as a dog pulls. The loop, however, will only allow the collar to tighten slightly, so it will not apply the same pressure on your dog as a routine choke collar or slip lead. The tightness applied to their neck is generally enough to gain their attention and compliance.
Prong Collar: A prong collar is used to control dogs that have a greater physical force and or pull. Generally, this type of collar is used on dogs who continue to pull or run and ignore the effects of a standard or choke collar. A prong collar consists of metal links that face inward on the collar, coming in contact with your dog’s neck. When the dog pulls or runs, pressure is applied by these prongs, which will move close together, creating a pinch around the dog’s neck. The pinch is generally enough to catch your dog’s attention and slow down or stop his excessive pulling. It should be noted that these collars should only be used by those who have experience using them. They are recommended only after other basic collars have proven ineffective.
Shock Collar: A shock collar is a training collar that delivers a light shock or vibration to the dog’s neck when the owner activates it. These collars come with a small wireless remote control that the owner holds, allowing them to send a signal to the collar when the dog is acting inappropriately. The goal behind this type of collar is to teach your dog that a certain behavior will result in an annoying and or uncomfortable sensation. If you are trying to teach your dog not to run after people, and when he does, he feels this uncomfortable sensation, he will correlate the behavior to it. In time the dog will typically stop the undesired behavior without even receiving the sensation.
Dog owners need to remember that a training collar is just a tool they have in helping to train their dogs. Proper dog training takes time and effort. In many instances, we are trying to teach our dogs certain things that are against their own instincts. Dogs naturally like to chase things and run free. Although collars, when utilized correctly, will help to train a dog, consistent positive reinforcement is very important. Some dog breeds tend to train more quickly than others and will require less strenuous training. Being patient, caring, and remembering that this takes time will help make the training process easier for you and your dog.