Curbing bad behavior in your beloved dog can be challenging. It can be difficult to interrupt your pup’s one-track mind when he sets out to chase down a squirrel, hears the mail carrier approaching your front door, or starts frantically digging up your neighbor’s rosebush.
Static correction dog collars, like PetSafe’s Remote Trainer Dog Collar, are designed to interrupt and decrease negative behaviors, including your dog barking, running away, digging or jumping. PetSafe created high-quality collars with remotes to deliver owner- and behavior-initiated correction effectively.
Does a Static Correction Dog Collar Cause Harm?
When pet parents hear the words “shock collar,” they might rule it out immediately as inhumane. But let’s talk about what these collars actually are.
According to PetSafe, “shock collar” is an outdated and misleading term for describing modern electronic training collars. These modern collars do not use an electric shock like sticking a fork in a light socket. Michelle Mullins, CDPT-KA, KPA-CTP, training and behavior education manager of PetSafe, says the feeling is actually a static shock, similar to what happens when you shuffle across the carpet in socks and touch a door handle.
“Training collars are not the ‘one-level’ tool they used to be,” Mullins says, adding that PetSafe collars offer tone, vibration and 15 static settings so pet parents can adjust correction levels appropriately.
“PetSafe collars emit a very mild, harmless electric stimulation,” Mullins says. “For many pets, the tone or vibration setting is enough to remind them of what they’ve learned.”
It is critical to make sure the dog collar fits properly, and PetSafe cautions against leaving the collar on more than 12 hours at a time because it can cause pressure marks and sores from the contact points rubbing against the dog’s fur and skin. They recommend that pet parents read all included directions to ensure they’re using the collar properly.
Interrupting Negative Behavior
PetSafe static stimulation dog collars alter behavior through user-activated correction with a remote. This ergonomic, rechargeable and waterproof digital remote is deisigned to make training simple and consistent for pet parents.
The PetSafe Remote Trainer Dog Collar comes in two models: lite and standard. Both collars offer tone, vibration and 15 levels of static stimulation, and they come with short and long contact points to ensure effectiveness for dogs of all fur length.
The Lite model, specifically designed for sensitive or timid dogs of all sizes, comes in several ranges—100, 300 or 600 yards—for different household needs. The stimulation levels are programmed to be very gentle, even when increasing to higher levels, according to the company.
The Standard remote trainer model offers a wider range of stimulation and may be more effective for larger dogs with bolder personalities. The Standard trainer also comes in 100-, 300- or 600-yard ranges, but pet parents can purchase an extended 900-yard version, which might be more suitable for dogs who live on large properties, who go off-leash hiking or who are working dogs.
Because multi-dog households can encounter extra training challenges, PetSafe’s Add-A-Dog extra receiver collar works with the 300- and 600-yard Lite and Standard remote trainer collars. It allows pet parents to work with two dogs on one remote.
Which Dogs Are Well-Suited for Static Correction?
PetSafe collars are designed for dogs that are at least 8 pounds and 6 months old.
“Before training with an electric collar, your dog should also know some basic behaviors, such as sit, lay down and come,” Mullins says, explaining that it’s important to integrate positive reinforcement training with static correction training. Positive reinforcement involves encouraging the good behavior you want to see more often.
“If using an electronic collar to interrupt undesired behavior such as barking or digging, you can then redirect the dog to do a desirable behavior, like come when called, and reward that behavior,” she says. “Behaviors that are reinforced get repeated, so be sure to look for every opportunity to reward the behaviors you want!
“There’s a misconception that static correction is best-suited for ‘stubborn’ dogs,” she adds. “Those so-called stubborn dogs are just regular dogs who are highly motivated to perform an undesirable behavior.”
The key to working with these personalities is to interrupt the undesirable behavior with static correction and engage in positive, relationship-focused training with a clicker or treats, Mullins says.
Some dogs are less suited for a static correction collar, she says.
“Dogs who exhibit behavior problems that stem from fear, anxiety or aggression might be frightened by the stimulation … which could escalate behavior problems,” she says.
If a dog parent has any concerns about a dog’s temperament, PetSafe advises that the best practice is to work with a certified trainer, she adds.
When you begin training your dog, Mullins recommends that you have a clear plan of when and how you will apply the stimulation.
“What behavior would the dog need to do or not do?” she asks. “Do you understand the timing you will need to apply the stimulation to effectively communicate that the behavior is desirable or inappropriate?”
Obedience training with a collar is ineffective if you delay correction too long, Mullins says. For example, waiting to apply stimulation until your dog’s paws are super muddy from digging up the neighbor’s rosebuds would be ineffective.
Also, avoid correcting your dog haphazardly. An example is allowing your dog to jump on you but not visitors; that can be confusing for your pup.
The first time you put the collar on your dog, PetSafe recommends ensuring that it fits comfortably and the contact points do not put too much pressure on the animal’s neck. They also recommend finding the lowest level of stimulation your dog recognizes.
Signs that your dog perceives the stimulation include seeing him perk his ear, look around or otherwise shuffle his body. If a dog yelps, appears to be in pain or tries to get the collar off, the correction level is likely set too high.
PetSafe cautions against leaving the collar on for more than 12 hours at a time and advises pet parents to move the collar every couple of hours to ensure that the contact points are not putting too much pressure on your dog’s neck. Also, regularly check the contact points for dryness and cleanliness.
By: Caitlin Boyle
Featured Image: via Chewy Studios