Posts Tagged ‘shock collar’

Pierson’s Bark Control Collar Experience

December 2, 2013
PetSafe Bark Control Collar

I bought this bark control collar, PetSafe brand, from Petco.

I really don’t like the idea of using “shock” collars in training. I don’t necessarily disagree with the use of a static correction collar so long as they are used responsibly and not exclusively. But I just haven’t been able to bring myself to use one. At least, not until this week. On Black Friday, I gave in and bought a bark control collar for Pierson.

I’ve been trying several techniques, including these tips on how to get your dog to stop barking. But Pierson just doesn’t get it. He wants to bark and when he wants to bark nothing has been working to stop him. Since I have roommates with a three-month old baby, I realized that I’ve got to take more drastic measures. I can’t imagine what it’s like for my roommate to finally get her baby to sleep, only to have Pierson bark at a falling leaf or some other trivial sound.

Another situation where it will be important for Pierson not to bark so much will be when I move. In a year or two after I get my degree, I will likely need to relocate for a new job. And I’ve decided that I do not want to live in a house. I want to live in an apartment where someone else is responsible for maintenance and for mowing the lawn. In order not to annoy neighbors, it will be important to keep Pierson from barking so much.

Pierson Petco Antlers Why

On Black Friday, Petco was giving away free antlers. I got a pair for Pierson along with his bark control collar. Pierson usually likes getting stuff from Petco, but not this time.

So now I have a new bark control collar with six levels of static correction. It is a PetSafe brand and I bought it at Petco. A testimonial printed on the box says it helps to dramatically reduce barking by the second day. Yeah right, I thought. We’ll see about that. But believe it or not, it has really helped.

It was so funny the first time Pierson barked and got a mild static correction. The box says the static correction does not hurt the dog, but may startle them. Startle is right. He jumped straight up in the weirdest fashion. I know I shouldn’t have laughed at him, but I just couldn’t help it.

By the end of the day, Pierson was being more careful about what he barked at. He still barks at certain things, but only once or twice, three times at the most. Or he would whine or give a quiet yip instead. Such wonderful improvement compared to his usual barking fits.

I don’t necessarily recommend a bark control collar except in extreme circumstances or when all other methods fail. In fact, I feel a little guilty about resorting to it. I keep asking myself, Is this method really necessary? Am I taking a shortcut to proper training? But on the other hand, I am really enjoying the peace and quiet. And he doesn’t seem adversely affected by it. He is still his happy go-lucky boy.

Have you ever used a correction collar? Tips? Advice?

Please note, this review was not sponsored in any way. I bought this product with my own money with the only expectation that it would help curb Pierson’s barking. Sorry I don’t have a photo of Pierson wearing the collar. It is difficult to see through all his fluff.

Dog Shock Collars v. Train Humane Day

September 27, 2012

Celebrate Train Humane Day and Learn the Cons of Dog Shock Collars


(No shock collars or negative reinforcement methods were used in training my dog Pierson to jump through this hoop.)

If you’ve been reading my blogs you know that my dogs are very smart, especially Pierson. But I admit, I am terrible at training my dogs to walk properly on a leash. I’ve tried several humane techniques with my exuberant Lab Maya and some have worked to a point. She was doing fairly well until I got my dog Pierson. Pierson goes absolutely nuts when he sees another dog so Maya has taken up barking excitedly whenever she sees another dog. Now I have to walk them separately and train all over again.

I came across a great blog post that mentioned most issues with dogs can be alleviated with proper exercise. The logic is if your dog is getting enough exercise, they tend not do get overly excited. This make sense, but not for my Maya. When I commented as such on the blog, another commenter mentioned that it was because I wasn’t using the right techniques and that Maya’s issue could be resolved within a few days.

Really? I’ve tried several well-known techniques. What possible miracle technique could be out there that would cure my Maya’s issue in just a few days? Come to find out, this commenter was talking about shock collars. Personally, I don’t like this technique one bit. Oh, I can see how it would work in getting Maya to behave in such a short time. But here are the reasons I won’t use one:

1. It is cheating. I think far too many people use a shock collar as a shortcut to training. People who don’t know how to train a dog or who don’t want to take the time to properly train a dog use the shock collar shortcut. Now, I must admit that the person who recommended the shock collar only recommended it as a last resort since I have tried all other methods. If the decision to get a shock collar is because all other methods have failed and it is a danger if you can’t get your dog to walk properly on a leash, then perhaps I can see it. But it is not a danger for Maya. I can live with this issue and would rather continue to try to resolve it the humane way.

2. It takes the joy out of training. Maya is a sweet dog and she loves training time (mostly because she gets treats). I love training time too because I enjoy watching how enthusiastic she is about it. Training time is our bonding time. If I start shocking her in training, she will dread that time.

3. It tends to only work when the dog is wearing the collar. I’m going to admit another fault of mine. I grew up in the old school form of training. Most of my earlier dogs learned this way. It wasn’t until Maya was about a year old that I learned more humane methods. So for a few months in Maya’s early life, I used a pinch collar. It worked great. However, if I walked her without the collar, she was naughty all over again. If I couldn’t get her to walk properly on a leash without the pinch collar, then I wasn’t really training her.

4. It can turn a dog to aggressive or submissive. This does not happen in many cases, but it could happen. I’ve heard stories of dogs suddenly turning aggressive because of the shock collar. Perhaps the person using the collar didn’t use it properly or perhaps it was the dog. Every dog is different. A shock collar can also make a dog overly submissive. I can see this happening with my sweet Labrador. Maya is very sensitive. Yes, I’ve raised my voice at her a time or two. I’ve never raised my hand to her but when I yell she acts like I am going to beat her. Can you imagine how she would react if I shocked her? Poor Maya!

So what are the positive points of using a shock collar? Quicker results, easier, may be able to help if all other methods fail. But when I weigh the pros with the cons, I see a great imbalance. For me, reason #2 alone far outweighs everything else. If you don’t believe me, just check out some of my videos on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/naturebydawn/videos?flow=grid&view=0. I have quite a few videos of my dogs doing tricks and you can see how much they’re enjoying themselves. Do you think Pierson would be having as much fun jumping through that hoop if I had trained him with a shock collar? I think not.

If you’ve considered using a shock collar, please do your research and don’t be tempted with the quicker and easier results. Train Humane Day isn’t just about treating your pet humanely, it’s about learning the overwhelming benefits of not using harsh training methods. For more information on this special day, visit http://trainhumane.unitedcp.org/.