How To Introduce A Shock Collar To a Dog
Dog Care Tips · Dog Training Guide

How To Introduce A Shock Collar To a Dog? 8 Easy Steps

Last Updated/Info Checked on October 20, 2023 by Linda Michaels

Whenever I’m hired by novices to train their dogs off-leash, I take the help of a shock collar.

That’s the easiest and fastest way to train a dog. Obviously, there are limits to it as you may read in my blogs on this website.

For example, I do not punish a dog for its natural reactive behaviors.

It’s only the associated or learned behaviors around the owner’s facility that needs to be corrected. So, here’s how to introduce a shock collar to a dog: 

  • Correct placement saves your dog from injury 
  • The correct level of stimulation discourages fear and anxiety 
  • Always choose enclosed areas for training 
  • Listen to your dog after the first zap
  • Associate his behaviors with the stimulation 
  • Change locations 
  • Incorporate treats
  • Know that training is never permanent 
Introduce A Shock Collar With These 8 Steps

Introduce A Shock Collar To A Dog Harmlessly With These Steps 

Here’s the step-by-step method on how to introduce a shock collar to a dog the right way.

1. Place The Collar Right Below The Jaw 

Correct placement is super important for the collar to work just fine.

I usually tie the collar right below the jaw of the job so that it’s not near the voice box or any other vital organs. 

Know that you’re going to send minimal shocks to the skin. I recommend you only do that after trying out vibration and beeping.

Nevertheless, make sure the collar is in the right place first. 

2. Choose The Right Levels 

Before beginning the training, make sure that you’ve chosen a low-level stimulation.

Low enough that your dog doesn’t emit cry sounds. Whining is the key indicator.

You may see that the dog’s discomfort is quite visible because of the high shock levels. 

When this happens, discontinue using the collar and select lower levels.

I select the level in which the dog slightly gets alerted, scratches his head with his paw, or turns his head in confusion because he doesn’t know where the shock is coming from. 

You may have to increase the levels later but for now, do away with smaller ones.

3. Choose An Enclosed Area for Training 

It could be your backyard, a tennis court, or anywhere where your dog doesn’t run away in a frenzy.

My successful training routines included putting the dog on a leash before starting everything in an enclosed area.

The reason for doing this was obvious. A dog learns by associating different cues with his behavior.

There’s a negative stimulus and a positive one. The negative tells him to stop the action and the positive encourages him to do it. 

For example, if you were to tell him to stop eating the garbage, you’ll have to associate the uncomfortable feeling of a shock or a vibration with the act.

Whenever he goes for it, he receives that uncomfortable sensation, and whenever he stops, the sensation stops, too.

In the brain of the dog, there’s a “therefore” moment then.

“Therefore, I shouldn’t eat the garbage to not invite the sensation again.”

4. Listen To Your Dog After The First Zap 

In the enclosed area and on a leash, when you administer the first shock, watch your dog closely.

There should be an apparent confusion on his face and in his demeanor. 

He might run to you for safety or he might just ignore the whole thing. The latter case tells us that the shock may be lower than the dog’s ego. 

Still, do not increase it until you’re sure about it.

On the training field, it’s all about listening to your dog and watching his movements closely before beginning the actual scenes. 

5. Associate His Behaviors With The Stimulations 

Let’s say you want the dog to come over. Here’s how you should associate the stimulations with this behavior. 

Step 1

Take the dog to the enclosed space and put him on a leash long enough for him to get distracted for a moment. 

Step 2

Let him wander around. Then call him with whatever command you wish to use.

See if he responds in any way. He wouldn’t since they don’t speak human. 

Step 3

Now, on a lower level, begin continuous stimulation. There are collars with this option. The continuous stimulation will cause discomfort for the dog. He’ll find ways to stop it. 

Step 4

That’s when you introduce your commands. Call him and at the same time, pull on the leash softly.

If the dog responds, stop the stimulation. If he doesn’t, give it all some rest before starting the session again. 

6. Change Locations 

Dogs behave differently in different locations. I change locations after every few days of using an enclosed area.

That’s how I ensure that the dog understands that the situation will be the same, he will receive the same stimulation even if the locations are changed. 

In other words, I tell him that the correction is not location-dependent. 

You should also look out for signs of your dog becoming collar-wise.

That term means that your dog has learned that whenever he wears the collar, he receives that uncomfortable sensation.

So, he wouldn’t do bad things when the collar is on. 

As soon as you remove it, he will start his usual business.

That’s why training with treats along with a collar is my number 1 strategy to combat this. 

7. Incorporate Treats

You should couple negative plus positive corrections to make sure the dog doesn’t get collar-wise.

I use treats along with the zaps to tell the dog that if he stopped cabinet surfing, for example, not only the sensation will stop but also he’ll receive a yummy treat. 

So, even if he gets collar-wise, he’ll have the treat in his mind and won’t repeat the same thing. 

8. Training Is Not Permanent 

Dogs form memories and they tend to forget them, too. Even the most professional dogs need refreshed training before competing anywhere. 

So, you shouldn’t be hard on your pup because he forgot his training. Refresh what you taught him as soon as you see a difference in his behavior.

However, make sure that you do not edge on cruelty. 

Also, make sure you don’t use it for a prolonged period to discourage its negative aspects. 

How To Introduce A Shock Collar To A Dog – Conclusion 

Introduce a shock collar to your dog on a leash and in an enclosed area.

Make sure that the shock is set to its lowest levels. Associate the discomfort of the shock and the pleasure of the treats with the correction.

Make sure to change locations and repeat this. Lastly, know that dogs are animals and they have their shenanigans. You don’t have to be hard on them.

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