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What Is The Perfect Level of Correction?
Considered by many hunters to be one of the most important training tools, the training collar is versatile and can help make training and hunting more controlled and enjoyable for you and your dog. When it comes to dog training and most other things in life, it is easier to do it right the first time than to have go back and fix mistakes. One of the most common mistakes made with e-collars is starting with a stimulation that is just too high.
Lower Is Better
No matter the breed OR the type of training you are doing one simple rule of thumb is to start at the lowest possible level. You just want to get your dog’s attention not scare him. How might you tell if your dog is being affected by the stimulation? If he reacts but, doesn’t yelp then that should be the correct level of stimulation. You are not trying to get him to yelp. On shorter haired breeds you might detect a twitch on the neck, or a slight movement of the his neck. Assuming you have already built trust between you and your dog then in most cases when the stimulation is applied, and at the correct level, your dog will come to you and nudge you, because he knows that you are his comforter.
Often dog owners are confused because dogs of the same breed or size might react differently. This is normal and that is why you should always start at the lowest level. Your tough acting thick skinned dog might react to the level 1 where as your skittish, nervous acting dog might only react when you increase the level to 4. It doesn’t have as much to do with his attitude as it does his irritation level or how much he can take before reacting.
What Is The Purpose?
The purpose of an e-collar is not to scare your dog into compliance. Although an e-collar can be used for punishment it’s main purpose is to train. The collar serves as a communicator between you and your dog. Your dog wants to please you and using a training collar can help you get your point across in a manner that speaks to your dog.
If your dog reacts by cowering or crouching then more than likely you aren’t doing something right. Taking the time to properly train your dog to understand what you are communicating is the most important aspect of using any training collar.
Increase ONLY During Controlled Training
After you have the proper correction level and your dog is comfortable with the training collar then you can use the collar to reinforce commands that he already knows or commands that you have not been able to get through to him. For example, during command training the correction level should remain at the lowest concluded setting however, if you want to train him to stay away from the highway you might want to turn it up a notch to let him know that danger lies ahead. Don’t wait until he’s heading to the busy street to apply the intense static or you may cause disaster with an unfamiliar shock. Bring him safely to the area you want him to stay away from and use the correction under your control because if he is trained to stay away from the beginning then more than likely he will understand what the extra shock means.
Understanding what the levels of correction should be used for will help you to be a better trainer and can help you to accomplish much more than just shocking your dog into compliance.