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5 Key Factors to Evaluate Before Buying a Shock Collar

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Home » Blog » 5 Key Factors to Evaluate Before Buying a Shock Collar

Assess Your Dog’s Size and Breed

Electric shock dog collars can be as risky as they are effective. Before choosing such a collar, the size and breed of the dog should be duly considered. Generally, smaller breeds or puppies are considerably more prone to the shock applied by such a collar. For example, a German Shepherd’s collar would be much too strong for a Chihuahua. It is essential to select a product with an adjustable intensity level. According to research, the threshold of discomfort varies not only among sizes but breeds as well. A study found in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior reports that smaller dogs are less tolerant to electronic stimuli than larger breeds.

Choose a Purpose

One of the primary ethical and effectiveness concerns raised by the use of an electric shock collar was apparent in the purpose for which it was used. Select the goal you seek to achieve with the shock collar. If you would like to eliminate barking, choose a bark control collar. In case the collar will be used to train a dog to stay within a property line, opt for a boundary training collar. The latter type of collar will not work regarding excessive barking since it must have microphone sensitivity. The former type of collar will not provide proper training regarding the limited area in which a dog may stay, so it must have GPS and automatism features.

Choose a High Level of Customization

The availability of adjustable equipment pieces in a collar and a broad range of adjustments offered are preferable. The aim is to get your dog used to it as much as to avoid any adverse effects inherent in one-size-fits-all settings. Those often feature adjustable shock, vibration, and tone levels which may be fine-tuned according to a dog’s response to training. High levels of customization are pivotal as no one-size-fits-all solution is appropriate.

Choose a High Quality and Safe Product

A product’s quality is manifest in its safe operation. Choose a product that is already positively tried and tested, if not by you then by your veterinarian or other dog owners. It is best to choose an item with automatic shut-offs or sleep modes. These prevent any accidental excessive activity. Look for indoor and outdoor use features and select waterproof and durable straps. Comfort and longevity features of the chosen product are extremely important.

Follow a Training and Use Protocol

Training using such a collar will ensure the dog displays no more than desired behavior and is not in distress. Thus, with the aim to limit the extent of such distress, one must start with the lowest setting. In case of a further necessity, it may be increased but only after the lowest level was not capable of getting the animals’ response. If possible, enlist the help of a professional trainer proficient in the use of shock collars. Following a certain, humane protocol created by professionals is important. For example, the American Kennel Club’s guidelines include increasing such stimulus over a period of time.

Consider the Specific Training Goals

When selecting an electronic shock collar, it is necessary to identify your specific training goals. Different training needs will require distinguishable features. If you want your pet to stay within your yard area, select a shock collar with a GPS-based fence. If the goal is to have your dog stop excessive barking, a better choice would be a collar that detects the vocal cords’ vibrations. Match the collar’s features with your training objectives. If your commands are complex or you typically engage in off-leash activities, a long-range remote will be a suitable choice.

The training is more effective when it takes place in open, large areas and with a collar that has a range of 400 yards or more. In such conditions, the dog has a lot of space to move around but is still under control.

The choice of a collar that supports progressive training techniques can also be beneficial. The settings that allow for incremental shock levels will enable you to gently guide your dog toward the appropriate behavior without causing it any undue stress. Similarly, with the delay feature, you can allow your dog to react to a softer prompt, such as a sound or a vibration, before a shock is administered.

You are not going to use the shock feature just fine and instead rely on other settings. However, as it is essential to understand that your dog is in no danger of experiencing excessive stress, the collar’s effect is more likely to be gentle. Practice monitoring your dog’s response and adjusting the settings accordingly in real-time. Doing so will improve the learning process for both of you by allowing you to see the dog’s responses and adjust your behavior accordingly.

Consider integrating the training process into your daily life. Take your collar with you on your daily walks with the dog or into the park. Doing so will allow your pet to grow accustomed to the collar’s use at irregular intervals and outside of the “training mode.” It will also help reinforce good habits continuously. Note that, even if the dog is not wearing its collar, it is still learning in these circumstances, so it is beneficial to utilize such opportunities.

Check for Multiple Stimulation Modes

Multiple stimulation modes are a crucial aspect of any modern electronic shock collar. They provide a great deal of flexibility, allowing the user to determine the best course of action for each specific dog. The most common types of modes include vibration, sound, and shock. Each also serves its own specific purpose and can be applied in a progressive manner to force the animal to comply without experiencing excessive trauma.

The Effectiveness of the Vibration and Sound Modes

The users should begin with the least invasive modes of operation, including sound and vibration. According to a 2017 study, the use of vibration before shock intervention can reduce the frequency of shock intervention in 68% of cases. It is typically enough to curb the behavior in question, such as undesirable barking, in case of the most minor infractions. Devices in this category can also be used for basic training purposes.

Shock Mode and Modern Collar Options

In many cases, the targeted animal will simply ignore the effect of the first two modes. In such a case, the use of the shock mode is warranted. It is important that the device offers an adjustable strength of the shocks, as it is only necessary to apply a certain amount of shock. New collars can offer as much as one hundred different strengths of the shock in an effort to match the tolerance of each individual animal and the severity of the inflicted behavior. It also has to be operated in a progressive manner by automatically raising the intensity of the shock, vibration, or sound.

Such devices ensure that pet dogs are responsive to prior stimuli and that they only experience mild levels of discomfort throughout the training. Multiple stimulation modes are a useful addition to the training practice if they are combined with the consistent application during repeated sessions and rotations between modes, depending on the exact response provided by the animal.

Battery Life and Range

An electronic shock collar’s battery life and range are essential for its performance. Long battery life is important to ensure its effectiveness, reliability, and usability in different training scenarios, such as in large open spaces or over an extended length of time. The device’s range is also critical depending on the environment the dog is trained in, as it needs to be effective and accessible for such usage. These two factors are focused on in assessing the viability and performance of the best shock collars.

Assess the battery life

Make sure the collar’s battery life is appropriate to your needs. The average good device should provide an active training time of 20-30 hours at the very least to ensure that recharging is not needed too frequently, giving you peace of mind when training. For instance, the top brands might offer a lithium-ion battery that charges quickly and can last for a long time, which is perfect for when you are training heavily.

Check the range

The device’s range is essential to assess, depending on the environment you are training the most. If you are training your dog in an open space, the recommended range is between 400 and 800 yards, as you can still use the collar even if your dog is at a significant distance from you. For instance, consider working with a shock collar of 500-600 yard-range when conducting re-call training in parks.

Make sure the connection is strong and there is as little electronic interference as possible

The presence of unique frequency bands or dual-band models for optimal performance can allow you to make sure that the collar would not lose connection with your mastering collar too often because of interference that bad quality collars are very susceptible to. Such issues can be very disruptive to training because of the interruptions to the process that it causes quite frequently, rendering the consistent learning of your dog much harder to achieve. Thus, with the right battery life and range, you can ensure that this consistently is realized seamlessly in your training.

User Reviews and Recommendations

When choosing an electronic shock collar, customer reviews and recommendations are a goldmine. They offer the most valuable and real-world insights regarding how well a given collar works. When making the decision, it is crucial to take into account the relevant reviews regarding the collar’s reliability.

Analyze Customer Feedback on Reliability

Look for reviews mentioning concerns related to the long-term reliability and durability of the collar. Specific issues such as battery failure, the lasting quality of the strap, and inconsistency of the shock delivery can be major concerns. If all different reviews claim that the collar’s battery barely lasts a fraction of the advertised time, it is a very likely widespread issue. When there are detailed reviews on both sides of the decision, lean towards the side that explains why the other side is not accurately representing the issue.

Consider Professional Trainer Recommendations and Insights

Professional dog trainers are excellent resources for collar recommendations. They will all know which models offer the greatest control and most consistent results. They should also understand which brand strategies have succeeded in real applications and which have failed to use. One of those is the SportDog’s Field Trainer 425, reviewed very well by professionals, which is an extremely reliable, effective and precise collar.

Find Out the Prevalence of Positive Effects

An oversee of effectiveness and dangers are safety and comfort. Collars which reach the proportions of 90% positive flags in reviews — while still having, for example, 1000 reviews — are the safest bets. It is relevant to find reviews where the most users have emphasized that the collar is comfortable for their dogs.

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