We are in the 21st century, we are in the era of technology, of robotics. Our homes are full of complicated devices but very simple to use, almost all devices have remote control, everything works with buttons and everything is easy, just press a button. That same facility that we have access to is the one that sometimes complicates our lives, because we make the button the center of the world and we forget to THINK. Through this article I will try to learn how to handle the device that interests us, the collar of electrical impulses, when we can use it, how and above all that you think before giving the button.
The collar of electrical impulses has been “wrong-calling” training collar. I say badly-called precisely because a collar of impulses does not train, its mission is to reinforce, to correct, to avoid behavior, but for that you need previously an understanding on the part of the dog. The dog must know what we asked him before punishing him. Yes, the necklace punishes and also reinforces negatively, everything depends on the moment and for what it is used.
I will give a simple example that I think will be easy to understand. We are going to imagine a child who comes to school and they begin to teach him toys, they explain what a sum is and that by joining two toys from here and two from there they add 4 toys, well, the child already knows what a sum is, now it should only be applied and if it does not, it can be punished in the corner. Let’s suppose now that the same child arrives at school and they directly tell him how much these toys add up? And before the wrong answer of the child, they send him directly to the corner, or he receives a capon as they did to us before, will that child learn? DO NOT. So how do some people pretend that a dog with a degree of intelligence incomparable with human LEARN BASED ON SQUEEZE?
We are going to make this clear, that nobody uses the collar without having previously educated the dog, and without knowing in what way the dogs learn.
The first thing I recommend when opening the container where the necklace comes, is that we put it on our arm, connect it and give the button testing each of the intensities that we are able to support, that will facilitate an approach to what that the dog will feel. I do not speak in jest, I mean it totally, in fact, I consider it absolutely essential.
I say approach because it is not the same, the skin of dogs is thicker but the degree of sensitivity is different from ours and is different in each dog, there are already psychological factors that we must take into account through observation and through the practice.
After the “self-test” we will place the collar, without turning it on and we will leave it on for a period of time that we will call “adaptation”. This time can be 15 days, during which we will take the dog for a walk or we will continue training. The purpose of the adaptation period is for the dog to get used to wearing a collar that weighs more and that has two electrodes that rub against its neck.
The purpose is not to associate wearing the necklace with the fact of receiving a correction in the form of a shock, because if this happens, we condemn him to wear the collar for life if we want him to obey. It does not always happen, luck plays a role in life and there are people who accompany him. Do not play with luck and apply the adaptation period, this is not a game, there is no reason to risk more than necessary.
Instead of the necklace we can also use a “simulator” in this period. It is a necklace of identical characteristics and weight that the real necklace of impulses but without mechanism, that is to say, it does not work, it does not do anything.
After the adaptation period comes the period of use. The most typical thing is to use the collar because the dog does not attend well to the call, let’s see this exercise with the collar. We light the necklace and put it on a low level, that is to say at a level that we support but that we notice well, normally level 1 produces a tingling, 2 pricks, 3 strong puncture and 4 human endures it badly, of the rest of the levels I have only tried once on 9 and by mistake, I do not think I’m wrong again. The 2 to start is fine, always from my point of view, I know there are manuals that recommend starting at a high level and then going down, I personally do not share that criterion and I act in a completely reverse way, I start at the bottom and I go up if necessary .
With the collar on, we pull the dog with a flexi. What for? This is going to be only the first time, since we do not know what will be the reaction of the dog to the shock, normally there are 3 types of reaction; that comes to our side, that remains in the site without moving or lying fearful (blocked) or it may give you to flee in the opposite direction to ours.
If we blow the whistle, the dog does not come, we press the button on the collar and the dog comes, we quickly release the button and reward their response verbally or with food or both, in a few sessions we will have it.
If your attitude to the shock is to block or flee, we have control of the flexi and act by pulling the strap towards us, the button of the collar is still tight and we only release it at the moment when the dog is heading towards us, either if responding to the first belt pull, or because we drive it through the belt or flexi.
We are using operant conditioning with negative reinforcement; call, continual punishment, response (go), cessation of punishment, in this way the dog obeys to avoid punishment (instinct to avoid pain). You have to know how to evaluate the dog’s answers very well, since there are some specimens that do not accept the collar well, its blockage is total and there is no way. These are the typical dogs that are usually “spoiled” by an inappropriate use of the pulse collar, observe a lot and be patient, maybe that dog is not old enough, is immature or is very sensitive, we must wait, look for sufficient motivations or finally discard the use of the collar.
After the period of use itself, that is, there comes a time when the dog obeys any order well without having to be reinforced through the collar. At this time we must not remove the necklace yet, we must keep the collar on for a period of another 15 days or a month counting from the last time we press the button. The reason we do this is because of the same thing that we did during the adaptation period, since after a time without receiving any reinforcement there are dogs that have a bad memory, or are very dominant and try to play us. If he no longer wears the necklace and manages to disobey without receiving the reinforcement, all that has been achieved has not been of any use to us, because when he puts the collar back on he will immediately notice that the correction comes from what he wears on his neck and we would have to start from the beginning.
Modern collars usually have a “call” function, which means that pressing the button instead of producing a shock produces a high-pitched sound. I do not recommend the use of this function since for that we already have the whistle, and there are dogs very sensitive to the sounds and they distinguish them very fast, if we use the sound of the necklace we can condemn for life to use the necklace, remember that always I say “can”, not that it will be, I repeat that I do not like to risk the least.
There is another type of pulse collars that have a “vibration” function, for me that is a great advance, because it allows us to use the collar with very sensitive dogs, very submissive and fearful without the need to punish constantly, the vibration reminds them fast that can become a shock.
I will not talk about brands or about which is better or worse, but I will talk about the REACH. In the market we have necklaces with ranges of around 200 meters minimum and up to 2000 meters maximum (maybe there is one of greater scope, but I do not know). Before embarking on the purchase of an electric pulse collar, you should take into account the area where you are going to train, train or hunt, and that is not the same as the plain, the forest or the forest. To greater irregularities of the land and with a lot of shrubby vegetation, the collar loses its reach, thus a collar with 200 meters of reach in plain without vegetation, in a wooded land we are left in a third of that distance. Also, the wear of the batteries, whether they are rechargeable or used, will affect the efficiency we seek.