Dog trainers, especially those who are not professionals in the field, usually confuse dog training with control. In any dog-man pair, the human always has the need to gain control. This is not awful except that sometimes, the man abuses the privilege of control.
Dog training collars provide that control. While the intention is normally good- to remove unwanted (but instinctual) behaviors of the dogs for example- the process of training is sometimes incorrect and abusive of the dog’s weaknesses and the tools used for training are not well-adapted to the needs of the dog.
We, humans, often forget that dogs are individuals too. Some dogs are very aggressive and hard to control, some are funny and gives us much comfort and joy, others are just laid back and refuse to undergo training and some are naturally fast learners while others are slow learners.
Training collars were invented to gain enough control over the canines, however, some people fail to adhere to the basic principles of these tools. Choke or chain collars, for example, are one of the very first tools invented to help lessen the tension between man and dog.
But there are people who overuse and misuse the choke collars. Some handlers are so harsh that many dogs experience neck damages and some even choke to death. In short, the use of this type of collars is very dangerous, if not counter-productive.
Some handlers, on the other hand, lack sufficient knowledge of the specific collars that would work well with their dogs. For example, the popular choice of collar these days is the electronic dog collar due to its remote access to dogs which provides continuous “training” even when the owner is not around. While this may be a popular alternative to old-fashioned dog training collars, many people just don’t completely understand its disadvantages.
There are some very mundane reasons as to why collars could be, at times, counterproductive. For one, there are people who just don’t take the extra time to check if the collar is fit or not. With improper fitting, the collar could pinch the skin (especially the Martingale collar) and scratch it causing burning spots.
These are very uncomfortable for dogs as much as having skin lesions would make someone feel irritated. The rule of thumb for getting the right fit of collar for your dog is to allow two to three inches gap between the attached collar and the neck.
Another reason why dog collars could be potentially counterproductive is that they work on the principle of pain and fear and not really on discipline. Electronic training collars work by sending electronic shocks to the dog wearing it or unpleasant sounds that will discourage the dog from barking.
Even when it proves to be efficient in delivering its purpose- to distract the dog from barking- the results are not as good. Why? Because the dog starts to lose its confidence.
Quick fixes for behavior control are more often than not tempting to use and leads to overdependence to control devices. While doing it, the long way usually proves to be more valuable.
Therefore, before one chooses a dog training collar, it is recommended to do your research first so your dog’s comfort would not be compromised.