The idea of training your dog can be daunting, especially if you plan to use electronic dog training collars. It’s true that professional dog trainers can spend years learning and perfecting the art and science of animal training. However, by following a simple set of guidelines, it’s possible for almost any pet owner to achieve significant results with their dog. Just keep these fundamental training concepts in mind when planning your training program.
Successful dog training is achieved through forming associations. When your dog does something good, he or she is promptly rewarded. When your dog does something bad, he or she is humanely punished. Eventually, dogs learn that certain behaviors have either a reward or punishment associated with them. This is how they learn to distinguish good behaviors from bad behaviors. The foundation of all training methods rests on this principle of association. Remember this when you are praising or correcting your dog.
Use of citronella electronic dog training collars allows a trainer to accurately ingrain associations in a dog’s mind. This is because of two key features: lack of other associative events, and timing of administration. The lack of other associative events simply means that using a collar for correction means that there are no other events that your dog can confuse the association with. For example, if your dog performs a bad behavior and you discourage him or her by verbal or physical discipline, then your dog will partly associate the punishment with their behavior, and will also partly associate the punishment with you. This is an unfortunate side effect of negative reinforcement in training, but using an electronic dog training collar assists with this because the dog does not realize where the negative reinforcement is coming from. They can only associate the punishment with their behavior.
The other aspect that citronella electronic dog training collars assist with is in the timing of administration. In order for proper associations to be formed, it is critical that a reward or punishment occurs as close to the behavior as possible. By having an electronic dog training collar on your dog, you are able to administer a corrective discouragement almost instantly. There is no delay in having to walk to your dog, or even shout, and this lack of a time delay is a great training enhancement.
Another thing to remember during training is to proceed incrementally. If you are teaching your dog to “stay,” then don’t expect her to sit still for five minutes during her first training session. Start small, and build on the behavior gradually. In this example, first make sure your dog knows the “sit” or “down” commands. Then tell her to stay, and if she stays still for about five seconds, give her a reward. Move her around, and then command her to stay again, but this time reward her after about ten seconds. If she moves during that time period, administer discouragement and try again. Eventually the dog will associate remaining still with the “stay” command, and with the reward, which is what you want.
The last item to remember is to use positive as well as negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement can come in many forms: verbal praise, petting, an edible treat, or even a particular type of sound (a clicking sound is often utilized). Including positive reinforcement in a training regimen has been shown to increase the retention of lessons, and shorten the amount of time needed to learn a behavior. Negative reinforcement can come in many forms, but is essentially anything that your dog perceives as unpleasant. Remember that your dog should never experience any pain, fear, or serious distress during training. This will not increase the level of association, and will be detrimental to training progress.
Citronella electronic dog training collars are particularly effective training tools because of the kind of negative reinforcement they deliver. The citronella spray is not harmful, painful, or lingering. It administers a brief and irritating discouragement that your dog cannot ignore. These sprays are effective because they affect many of your dog’s senses at once: your dog will smell, feel, and hear the spray activate. Thus, deep associations are formed relatively quickly. Keep the above points in mind, work with your dog regularly, and you and your dog will enjoy successful behavior modification before you know it.