Dealing with Opposition
October 14, 2022 Category: Trainer Tips
There are many opinions that float around training tools. Everything from a front clip harness to a martingale collar to a remote training collar will come under scrutiny at some point in time. Here are some things to keep in mind if you find yourself in a conversation about your tool of choice:
1.) Be knowledgeable about why you utilize that specific tool.
Take the time to discuss your dog’s behaviors with a trainer and form a clear plan of action. Each tool can be used in many different ways and get many different outcomes. By understanding what your end goal is you can better map out what tool might work best for your dog.
2.) Have an understanding of how the tool works.
Let’s use the e-collar as an example. Take the time to learn about the unit you are using and how it works. Understand that the static stimulation that is produced is most similar to a tens unit used on humans. That it does not carry any electrical current through your dog’s body. By placing the unit/e-collar on your arm and making sure that both contact points make a good connection to your skin you will be able to get a sense of what the stimulation feels like so that you can better describe it others. Always start at a low level and work your way up.
3.) Understand how your dog should respond and why.
Take the time to condition your dog to the tool and teach them how to respond when negative reinforcement is applied. Make sure that you are always working in a manner that is most fair to your dog. Once your dog is proficient at the skill being asked then the addition of negative reinforcement from the tool should be a smoother transition. If your dog shows confusion when negative reinforcement is applied take the time to assist them by using the leash to guide/show them the command that you are teaching.
By taking the time to learn more about the tool you are using you can better advocate for yourself and your dog. Although these conversations can be uncomfortable, being able to educate those around you about utilizing tools in a responsible manner is a valuable skill! People that are against negative reinforcement tools are typically the ones that have never taken the time to understand the benefit of them. These training tools are crucial part of creating a better, more fulfilling, and rewarding life for your dog.