Remote Trainers

Written by Sarah Provost
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Remote trainers are collars that correct a dog's behavior by emitting an unpleasant "correction," sometimes a spray of citronella or a sonic signal, but most often a mild electrostatic shock. The correction is regulated by a remote control, so the trainer can work without using a leash. When used correctly, remote training collars can be highly effective.

Remote Trainers to Correct Unwanted Behavior

One of the ways that training collars can be used is to correct unwanted behavior when the dog is off the leash, such as chasing cars or other animals, digging up plants, or barking unnecessarily. In such cases, the trainer immediately administers a correction as soon as the dog misbehaves. Most remote trainers allow for several levels of shock, increasing until the unwanted behavior stops. The dog associates cat-chasing, for instance, with the unpleasant feeling.

Remote trainers can also be used to reinforce previously learned behaviors. For example, a hunting dog is trained to fetch. This training is done without the use of the shock collar. Then, in the field, the dog is sent to fetch, but gets distracted and turns away. At that point, the trainer administers the correction.

Again, it is important to use a shock collar for training only to reinforce already learned behavior. You can't teach a dog to fetch, for instance, by "correcting" him until he does what you want. He has no way of knowing what you want! If you administer corrections until he gets it right by chance, the training sessions will be painful and very confusing for him. This is not only an inhumane way to attempt training, but a highly ineffective way as well.


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