How to Know If You Should Use a Dog Training Collar

The use of dog training collars is controversial, but with the help of these tips, you can decide for yourself whether your dog needs one.

You will need

  • Basic commands
  • Proper use considerations
  • Corrected behavior
  • Awareness of injury possibilities
  • Control

Step 1 Recognize limits of use Recognize that young puppies can be taught basic commands — to sit, stay, or stand — without the use of a training collar. They can also be taught to walk on a leash without using one.

Step 2 Know proper uses Consider using a training collar on a dog that has been given too much license as a puppy, that is completely distracted by its surroundings, or that is being handled by someone not physically strong enough to work with it.

Step 3 Teach negative consequences Use the training collar to teach the dog negative consequences associated with undesirable behavior — for example, pulling at its leash. When the dog exhibits the desired behavior, give it a reward.

Step 4 Recognize the risks Recognize that dog training collars can injure a dog if not used properly. Depending on the type of collar, injuries may include soft tissue damage, or disc and spinal damage.

Step 5 Use appropriately Plan to use the training collar to train the dog, not as a tool to manipulate it every time you go for a walk. Use the collar to get the dog under control, and then revert to a more friendly type of collar. Walks should be something that both you and your dog enjoy!