A well-trained dog is a pet nearly everyone can appreciate. Whether you’re out for a walk in the park with Spot, or he’s greeting visitors in your home, a happy, healthy, well-trained dog is a delight.

A poorly-trained dog, however, can both frighten children and adults with dog phobias and can cause damage or injury to himself or others. Ask any professional dog walker about the injuries, scratches, and bites that happen when an untrained dog gets too excited.

We’ve got some dog training hacks and tips with a dog shock collar to help you.

What is a Dog Shock Collar?

A shock collar sends small electrical shocks via electrodes. The shocks can vary in intensity, from very mild, almost imperceptible buzzes, to severe shocks, when used improperly. Different training types will use different levels of shocks, and different collars are equipped with different training capabilities.

There are three basic uses for shock collars for dogs.

  • Training controllers for behavior
  • Bark control
  • Boundary setting

First, Some Warnings

Before we dive in, we want to give a strong precaution against using a dog shock collar without fully understanding directions and warnings.

While a dog shock collar is designed solely for helpful training, it can be abused, either intentionally or accidentally by pet owners. Be sure to understand the voltage levels that your dog’s collar uses, and what the limits are for safe use on your dog’s weight and size.

Also, never use a dog shock collar out of anger towards your dog. Just like with children, if you are upset with a behavior, you should walk away and not use the training as a form of punishment. The purpose behind shock collars is only for reinforcing good behavior and safety. Never use a shock collar for punishing your dog.

Dog Training Hacks and Tips with a Dog Shock Collar

1. Look for the Right Features

Your dog has certain characteristics and needs that differ from your neighbor’s dog. As you shop for dog collars, make sure the ones you’re looking at have all of the functions you need to meet the training you’ll be doing.

2. Get a Collar that Beeps and Buzzes

While the shock may be a helpful signal for some situations, some activities only require a buzz or beep. This function can actually deter your dog better than a shock, in some situations. Because of that, try using the beep instead of the shock for all behaviors to begin with, and only advance to the shock if necessary.

3. Let Him Wear it a While

Before ever using a shock or beep function of the shock collar, let your dog wear it for a while to begin growing accustomed to it. This can actually help the effectiveness of training with the collar because he’s not freaked out by two new sensations at once.

4. Always Reinforce with Commands

As you use your dog’s shock collar in training, be sure to reinforce all commands verbally as you engage the collar. This is true whether you’re still using the beeps and buzzes, or if you’ve graduated into needing the electrical shock functions.

5. Never Let the Controller Become a Fear Factor

Don’t grab the controller every time you see your dog behave poorly. You don’t want him to associate the handheld device with the shocks he receives. This can cause fear and turns the response to the collar from obedience to fear.

And worse, this will cause your dog to fear you, rather than the device. If he associates the device with pain, he will associate you with pain, because you’re the one administering the shock.

Instead of letting your actions be seen, find a way to barricade your dog’s view of your use of the device.

6. Ease up on the Voltage

Your dog is awesome. But sometimes he’s stubborn or doesn’t seem to understand what the shocks are telling him. If you find yourself in this situation, put the handheld device away. Increasing the voltage of the shock won’t solve the problem.

7. Read the Instructions Completely Before Use

This may seem like a no-brainer for some of us, but for those of you who tend to skip on reading the directions, this isn’t the time. Your dog’s safety and training results are on the line. Read every bit of the instructions before ever putting the shock collar on your dog.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve read our dog training hacks and tips with a dog shock collar, go find the right training device for you and your dog. Always remember to keep the voltage in check, and never let the handheld controller be associated with pain. Your dog is your best friend, and the whole reason you’re training him is to keep him safe. Remember that as you work with him every day.