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  • Lisa

Choker chains, shock collars, prong collars...... What's the deal??!!

Dogs primarily learn by association, but an association that appears likely to us may not be likely for the dog. For instance if using a shock collar for bark control and the dog barks at a cat the dog may associate the cat with the shock not the bark. Therefore there is potential for the problem to escalate instead of improve. You may end up with a dog that barks even more at cats, or one who hides from them. If you use a choker chain to aid in training your dog to stop pulling while walking on the lead, you may find that this is ineffective. Most people who use choker chains to train this way find it doesn’t help with the undesired behaviour of pulling as they are most often used incorrectly. The other major concern is that choker chains can cause some major damage to your dog such as tracheal damage or a sprained neck. So for the safety of your dog it really is best not to use one. You can also have a similar problem with the dog associating the tightness around there neck with something else in their environment such as a cat or other dogs. With a prong collar the damage that can physically occur to your dog can be even worse than with a choker chain and they can inflict extreme pain. They are inhumane and are prohibited to import into Australia from there are much better options out there than having to resort to something that can physically hurt your dog. Your dog is always learning, and what he associates with the pain around his neck could be anything in his environment We can use the dog’s way of learning by association to our advantage by pairing something good like a reward with a response. That way the dog learns to associate the two things. So in the future when the dog comes across that same stimulus it will come to associate it with something good. This way of training works so well because the bond between the owner and dog is strengthened. It is a much gentler approach so it works well with dogs that are fearful and you end up with a dog that is happier and more bonded to you. Who wouldn’t want that?

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