Most colorful dog collars are a way to fix a leash and are also used to train dogs. However, general/decorative collars differ from training collars. The former are available in bright colors and designs, to which name tags are fastened. Most can also be clipped to a lead to walk the dog. On the other hand, the latter are used to train dogs. A training collar supposedly helps to stop the dog from displaying bad behavior like yanking on the leash, digging around, woofing or displaying undue aggression. Training collars are also used to walk dogs– either on their own or hooked to a decorative collar, as most dog owners leave a decorative collar on their dog at all times. Although these are fashionable, unfortunately many people are doubtful about dog training collars, as these as are not the most compassionate training approach.
There are various types of training collars-the ideal one should lie comfortably on the dog’s neck and must provide control without hurting it.
The following collars are NOT recommended as appropriate training aids as they are prone to misuse and end up abusing the dog.
Choke collar— A common type of collar, made of heavy steel chain links that lie loose around the dog’s neck, that tightens when it pulls on the leash. This discourages the dog from disobeying commands. For example, if the owner wants the dog to heel but tries to run, the choke collar tightens up and cuts off its air supply. This brings the dog up short. These collars should be used carefully as dogs can end up coughing or gasping if they are tightly choked. The more the dog strains, the tighter the collar gets. Probably due to a backlash from dog owners at such obvious meanness, the more humane limited and snap around choke collars are now available.
Pinch or prong collars— are a variation of choke collars. The difference being instead of choking the dog, these pinch or poke it around the neck. Some say that pinch collars are actually gentler than choke collars, as dogs are less likely to sustain serious injuries from poking as compared to choking however, they are more prone to abuse
Electronic collars— are rarer than the rest as these deliver shocks of varying degrees to a dog’s neck. The shock can be administered automatically or manually at the push of a remote button. These collars should not be used on dogs under any circumstances. These are unpopular among professional dog trainers as they damage the dog’s self-confidence and are only resorted to in difficult cases where dogs have not responded to other methods of training.
Regardless of the training method utilized, patience and commitment are required. Proper knowledge on the use of training collars and a generous dose of common sense are important as well.
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