By Joel Monroe &
Please direct any questions or comments
to Joel Monroe firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a list of common dog training
collars and tools. What is most appropriate for your dog should
be based on your personal goals and needs. There is absolutely nothing
inhumane about any of the items listed and it is essential to realize
that a dog's physiology is very different than a human being's.
Nylon, Leather, and Chain
leashes: Nylon and leather leashes are the most suitable
for training. A leash that is fairly thick will be much more comfortable
on your hands than one that is too thin. A 6 foot nylon or leather
leash is an essential tool of any dog owner. Chain leashes often
have a nylon or leather handle, however, they are not as preferable
for training since holding the any other part of the metal chain
is uncomfortable on the hands. However, chain leashes are sometimes
used to teach a dog not to chew on its leash since the metal is
uncomfortable on the teeth.
The retractable leash's main benefit is the ability to hold a very
long line without tangling. However, the handle is mainly designed
to be held with a single hand. The line is very thin and designed
to be pulled in and out, so you cannot grip anywhere else with your
other hand comfortably. As a result, use of the retractable leash
can be very difficult for those who have very strong dogs. The retractable
leash is seldom used in obedience besides for one situation in a
certain method of e-collar training.
Harness: A harness
is designed for one thing- to allow a dog to comfortably pull forwards
as hard as possible. So, for obedience training, the harness is
not a preferred tool. However, for personal protection and protection
sports, the harness is essential.
Halti Head Collar (aka Gentle
Leader): A halti works on principal that that dog does
not like to walk with its head turned to the right or left. As a
dog begins lunge forward, taking all the slack out of the leash,
the halti will turn the dog's head. The dog learns not to forge
ahead in order to avoid having it's head turned. The halti is not
used for anything except prevent the dog from pulling hard on the
leash when walking. It is not used in the teaching of obedience
and dogs will often forge forward when the halti is removed. Many
dogs have also been able to figure out how to remove the halti themselves.
: A choke chain tightens and begins to cut of a dog's air supply
when tension is applied by either the owner pulling on the leash
attached to it or if the dog pulls forward itself. The dog behaves
appropriately to avoid the choking effect. There are 2 main disadvantages
to the choke chain. First and foremost, most dogs seem to be able
to develop a certain tolerance to the choking effect. A dog's neck
is very strong and you will often find that a dog will eventually
ignore the discomfort and pressure on its neck. You will hear a
dog wheezing to get air, but even that does not stop some dogs from
continuing to pull forward and a dog will often ignore corrections
given on a choke chain. Secondly, because of a dog can begin to
build tolerance, owners often pull harder on the leash in an attempt
to increase the choking effect.
A pinch collar contains prongs that clamp down when tension is applied
by the owner pulling on the leash or if dog pulls forward itself.
When tension is not applied, there is no pinching effect. The dog
behaves appropriately to avoid the pinching effecting. Unlike choke
chains, most dogs are unable to develop a tolerance to the pinch
collar. In addition, pinch collars contain a safety ring that prevents
the collar from clamping down past a certain point to ensure that
no damage can be done to the dog's neck or throat.
Electronic Collar (e-collar):
An e-collar consists of a collar that is attached to the electronic
unit and a remote held by the owner. With the remote, the owner
has the ability to control the intensity of the stimulation and
find the suitable working level for their dog. The electrical stimulation
given to a dog in most obedience training situations is often very
mild- so mild that any owner should be able to put the e-collar
on their own wrist and be given the stimulation. Most people describe
the stimulation as a tingling.
Bark Collar: The
bark collar is similar to the e-collar, however, it is not controlled
by the owner. The electronic unit has a sensor that is activated
by a bark and delivers an electric stimulation. The unit has a dial
that allows the owner to find the appropriate level of stimulation
for their dog. The dog learns quickly that barking causes the stimulation
and being quiet allows the dog to avoid any discomfort.