Training tools – Part 2: The Bad

Training tools – Part 2: The Bad

Now that I’ve gone over some good training tools, let’s talk about some not so good. As with anything, we are learning more and more about how to properly train a dog (or any animal) as we go on. There has been some trial and error which means some of these tools have been marketed as great training tools in the past. We know now that this is NOT the case. These tools can leave lasting impressions on your pet and can very negatively affect them. Please void, even when used by a “trained professional”.

  • Shock Collars
    • Whether remote-controlled, perimeter bound, or bark activated this tool is one which many people had negative feelings about and yet went along with because their trainer said it was the best. Rather than training your dog to ignore stimuli or to not react, the collar reacts and tells them that a thing is dangerous, scary, and aggressive. Instead, use the clicker method to reward good behavior and your dog will learn not to do those things which don’t get them a reward.
  • Spray Collars
    • These are less harsh than a shock collar, but do the same thing to your dog. The collar is a reactive and punitive form of training which we now know is not as reliable and does not cause long-lasting results. This tool as well as shock collars could also cause dogs to become more reactive and aggressive when faced with stimuli which (in their minds) caused the negative effect.
  • Martingale Collars
    • Though these are less harmful than a full choke collar, these have the same negative aspects. Though they have a limit of tug that can be done these collars still choke and use pain to “train” a dog not to do something. When clicker methods can provide safe, reliable results, why use something that intentionally causes pain and discomfort.
  • Retractable Leash
    • A tool that would be wonderful for well-trained dogs on open trails that is used for daily walks with untrained, in training, leash reactive dogs, and many more inappropriate pets. This leash gives your pet the ability to roam and explore which is wonderful, but if your dog is reactive, not trained, or disobedient, this is a problem waiting to happen. The lines are usually thin and easy to break, and even if your pet is too small to do any damage to the leash, them pulling can harm the person holding the leash, or even pull it out of their hand. Please stick with a solid lead when training and with larger dogs.

There are many more bad training tools, some of which you’ll see later in my “Part 3: The Ugly” post but I will say the same thing you’ve ready many a time from me. If something seems or feels wrong, or you feel bad using a tool on your dog, do not feel compelled to use it.

More information on Shock Collars:


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