Basic Remote Collar Accountability vs “The Cycle”
While we often get the question: “what is a remote collar?”
A remote collar is a training tool that functions as a communication aid, assisting us humans in successfully communicating with our dogs.
Remote collars also provide a level of accountability for dogs to listen because of the little sensation they feel and because we can adjust pressure.
Pressure?? Yes, in order to have reliability with response in training, dogs must know and understand what pressure is.
While this may sound foreign, most dog owners already use pressure...most commonly through the leash and through voice.
Let’s bring some better awareness here. Pressure is anything that a person does to influence the right response from their dog. The right response can vary situation to situation but for the most part the right response is what the person is asking from their dog to do.
So let’s say a person is out walking their dog, and the dog wants to go towards a distraction. But the person does not want to move towards the distraction. So the person walks in the direction that they want to go, they hold the leash firmly and bring the dog along.
That’s pressure! The dog felt stronger than usual guidance from the person through the leash and then had to switch directions from the distraction to where the person wanted the dog to go, and then the dog follows. This is probably the most common form of pressure.
Let’s say a dog is counter surfing with the paws on counter and sniffing around up top. The dog’s owner says to get down. Maybe the dog doesn’t budge. Maybe the dog did not hear the owner.
Maybe the dog just doesn’t care and decides to tune the owner out. So now the owner goes and tells the dog to get down in a much louder and firmer tone.
Whether the dog actually gets down or not is beside the point. The point is, is that pressure is being used verbally in order to try to get the dog to listen to the human.
Of course, there’s different levels of efficacy alongside the various ways of using pressure.
In training, we like to have consistent predictable results. Therefore, the forms of pressure that we use in training are the ones that make the most sense to the dog, get the right result, and help dogs to a mental place of clarity, thus building confidence and improving the dog’s behavior.
If an owner uses some form of pressure to influence their dog(whether it is through use of voice, body language, leash, or some type of training equipment/tool), but does not get the intended result, what’s left is to try again to get the intended result. So the owner tries again, and again, and again.
This my friend, is, the cycle. I see owners get stuck in the cycle blind to the fact that they are in any kind of cycle. This is not a good place to be because the longer an owner is stuck in the cycle(trying to get their dog to listen but not having the right success), the more their underlying frustration can build.
No one has fun here. This is the opposite of enjoyment. This is the opposite of why we get dogs in the first place. We all want to get the most out of and enjoy our relationship with our fury companion.
Walk into any pet store, and you will find a solution to just about every problem that can be fathomed when it comes to dogs and dog problems. Thing is, is that out of the hundreds to solutions, there is no replacement for teaching the dog. When it comes to teaching the dog, we only use a small fraction of the training tools available on the market.
One of which, is the remote collar. This small little electrical device, often misinterpreted, doesn’t really get the positive attention it deserves. For one, a lot of folks are hesitant about it, perhaps even afraid of it. Maybe has no idea how to use it.
If an owner reads the internet, they will likely find that the majority is against the use of the remote collar.
But this small little device is responsible for many a dogs’ lives saved, better training, and better relationships between owners and their dogs.
When used correctly, it’s win-win all the way around.