When we start training a dog we’ll sometimes train a dog with food or toys or another motivator.
The question we get is, “If you can get a dog to do everything with food why would you ever use something like an electric collar (shock collar)?”
The answer is fairly simple.
There are two stages of training, essentially:
Teaching is communicating vocabulary. It’s helping the dog understand what the words mean. This is easy and fun to do with treats, toys, or other motivating factors.
But treats are pretty lousy at getting a dog to be reliable with their obedience. When the option is to listen to you for a treat or pay attention to something else that is far more distracting than the treat is desirable you’ve got a problem.
That’s why we like electric collars.
Not for creating a huge correction.
But for being able to create a correction that is meaningful without being harsh and having the advantage of being able to occur with great timing. Done right, we can use such low levels that it’s very humane for the dog but also allows us to do step 2- proofing.
Try to proof with treats and you’ll more than likely be out of luck.
A lot of dog owners think that e-collars (electric collars or shock collars) are just for really tough or aggressive dogs.
That’s simply not the case.
Done right, you can even learn how to train a puppy with an electric collar in a humane way. And the e-collar isn’t for overcoming a bad puppy. It’s simply a communication tool that helps with the proofing process allowing for off leash obedience and more.
As you can see in the dog training video we pair treats or praise with the e-collar training in order to make it all fun and positive. Here you can see the Golden Retriever puppy being happily obedient even with the training collar.