What is Collar Conditioning and Understanding Pressure
What are we referring to when we say “Pressure” and why is it important for dogs to understand and be able to accept it?
Pressure is nothing more than a correction and can be delivered in is several different ways. Generally most forms of pressure come in the form of a correction with the use of a leash and training/pinch collar or stimulation from an electronic collar. However, a dog must understand what the stimulation from the E-collar is and how to turn it off. This is done in a process we call “Collar Conditioning”. Collar conditioning refers to getting the dog use to wearing the collar so they do not associate the collar with the correction. When this happens you end up with a dog that only listens to you when they have the eCollar on and become what we call “Collar Wise”!
Applying pressure start from when the dogs are young and is generally introduced in the obedience training process. Corrections are part of everyday training regimen as well as praise. Your dog needs to know when he is doing a good job and needs to know when he is not. We want the dog to get use to the pressure applied in different situations, so when we have to apply additional pressure or corrections as we advance our training, the dog does not shut down. We see that a lot with clients that have purchased an Electronic Collar and believe that they are a fix-all for their problems. They have just thrown the collar on the dog and not gone through the Collar Conditioning process. This leads to the dog shutting down and then typically will not preform the task requested (if any), because they are not sure what just happened to them or why they just received this new stimulation. Remember that the electronics collar is not a fix for your problems and that the dog needs to know the commands and understand what is expected of him
before it is used.
I recommend letting your dog occasionally wear the ecollar receiver/collar strap from a young age; however do not be tempted to use it! Before the electronics collar is used, the dog needs to fully understand the commands and been introduced to pressure with the leash and training / pinch collar and must understand how to turn off that pressure. Only then should we introduce the use of an ecollar. When we finally introduce the electronic collar or sometine referred to as a shock collar, it is done in conjunction with the leash and training collar. Start with the collar on the lowest setting and work your way up until you get a reaction. The setting should be high enough to get a reaction but you should not be getting a vocalization from the dog when stimulation is applied. The shock collar is not a form of punishment it is meant to be an extension of you leash when the dog is not in the immediate vicinity. You should now start to apply a collar correction at the same time you are applying a leash correction. You should now proceed with the entire obedience process once again using both forms of pressure (Leash and Collar). Once your dog has processed through this process you can start transitioning them off the leash and working on off-leash obedience. However, we recommend that you keep a close eye on the progress and that if you see your dog starting to push the boundaries of what you think is acceptable behavior that you go back to the leash. Taking a step back and using a leash provides you much more of a controlled situation and give you the opportunity to revisit the command and remind the dog what you are trying to achieve.
Remember that it takes time to teach your dog to be the companion that you always wanted and you will have to go back and revisit several things in training process as the dog progresses!
As always, we recommend you consult a professional trainer if you are unsure or are uncomfortable at any stage in the training process.
Joe Scarpy – Owner, Dog Trainer, Hunter
At HuntEmUp.com, we know sporting dogs. From the time they’re a puppy, through their senior years, we’ll keep you informed on the latest news and information. For more information on Training, Preparing and Caring for your Dogs, read our Hunting and Sporting Dog blog.
Join Our HuntEmUp.com Customer Club Today!
Join Our Customer Club and be entered in our Monthly Giveaway and a chance to Win products and more!
Join for FREE Today – Click Below to Get Started!