Dog Correction Collars – How to Tell if You Need One 


Dog correction collars can be a helpful training tool when you need to curb unwanted behavior in an adult dog. However, not all dogs need correction collars to learn new tricks. 

This article will explain how dog correction collars work and the most effective way to use them. Soon, you’ll have a well-trained dog, and a healthy relationship with them, too. 


What Are Dog Correction Collars? 

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Before you can decide if your dog needs a correction collar, first, you need to know what they are. 

The origin of the dog correction collar dates back to the 1960s when people were trying to find a way to effectively and efficiently train hunting dogs. These days they’re less popular, partly because people hunt less, partly because more dog owners rely on positive reinforcement techniques to train their pets

But there’s still a place for the dog correction collar, especially if you are dealing with a stubborn dog or a dog exhibiting nuisance behavior.  

Dog correction collars allow you to send signals to your dog through their collar. Typically, you do this if you want to discourage destructive behavior like:

  • Excessive barking 
  • Aggression 


How Dog Correction Collars Work 

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Dog correction collars work by sending a message to your dog through their collar. This relies either on a remote you control or on an external stimulus calibrated to respond to:

  • Barking 
  • Proximity of your dog to property perimeter

This type of training relies on negative reinforcement to discourage a stubborn dog or persistent habit. As the behavior you want to discourage decreases, you can similarly decrease the messages you send to the dog correction collar

This is an integral part of training using a correction collar because otherwise, you risk over-correcting your dog. 

Note that how long training takes when using a dog correction collar depends on various factors. These include:

  • Dog personality 
  • Breed type 
  • How ingrained your dog’s habits are 
  • Age of the dog 


Are Dog Correction Collars Cruel? 

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Many people worry that using dog correction collars is cruel. However, technology has come a long way since the e-collar first emerged on the market. And while it’s still possible to find dog correction collars that use shocks to trigger a corrective response from your dog, that is no longer exclusively the case. 

You can also find dog correction collars that communicate with your dog via:

  • Vibrations 
  • Static pulses 
  • Beeping 

In most cases, while your dog feels or hears the message from the dog correction collar, it doesn’t hurt them. The signal catches your dog’s attention and stops them in the middle of their unwanted behavior. 

The other thing to remember about dog correction collars is that they have different levels of severity. This means that you don’t need to immediately resort to a static pulse when your dog acts up. 

Instead, a good dog correction collar comes with several settings. That allows you to send a warning, like a beep or other audible cue, the first time your dog commits the offense. 

If they persist, the level of collar correction escalates. Even collars that continue to use electricity typically only do so as a last resort. 


What Are Dog Correction Collars Used For? 

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Historically, the dog correction collar trained hunting dogs. But there are many more mundane reasons for using one. 


Discourage Unwanted Barking 

One of the primary reasons people use dog correction collars is to discourage excessive barking

Some breeds naturally bark more than others. This is especially true of small dogs. It can be sweet when the barking is because they’re excited to see you after a day at work, but when your dog starts barking at four in the morning because a car drives past, the charm quickly fades.


Curb Aggression 

Another reason for using a dog correction collar is to curb aggression. Dogs develop aggression for different reasons. Sometimes it’s born out of misguided loyalty to a pack member. Other times it’s brought on by trauma

Either way, unchecked aggression can be dangerous for you and other people. And while you can train aggression out of your dog through other techniques, they take longer and may put you at risk. 


Stop Dog Leaving Property Bounds 

The other popular reason for using dog correction collars is to help dogs understand where they can and can’t go. For many people, this is a safety consideration, especially in rural areas. Sometimes the other side of the fence isn’t safe for dogs.

Typically, when you want to use a correction collar to correct wandering, there are corresponding communicators you embed in your garden or lawn. When your dog gets too close, they trigger the dog correction collar

As with other collars, the intensity is proportionate to how frequently your dog disregards the injunction to go no further. Used responsibly, this type of dog correction collar can be an effective way of keeping your dog safe. 


Why Use a Correction Collar?  

One of the primary benefits of correction collars is that they can act autonomously. We’ve emphasized collars that rely on a remote to trigger communication, but that’s not always the case. 

Often correction collars are type-specific and target a particular behavior like barking or straying. Consequently, they can be set to discourage the behavior even if you aren’t around to see it. 

So, if you are at work when your dog starts barking, there’s still an opportunity to correct the misdemeanor. A dog correction collar that de-emphasizes barking will autonomously kick into action and address the issue for you. 

This autonomous corrective ability is one of the reasons why dog correction collars have a demonstrably faster outcome than other techniques. 


When Not to Use Dog Training Collars


Because of their quick result, it’s tempting to stick a dog correction collar on a puppy. But for the collar to be effective, your dog needs to understand basic commands like ‘stay’ and ‘sit.’ 

That simply isn’t true of a puppy. Put a dog correction collar on a dog that’s too young or untrained, and they may react adversely because they don’t understand what they’re doing wrong. 

A dog that doesn’t understand why it’s being beeped at or jolted may react in fear to your and their surroundings. If they do, it’s time to take the collar off. Dog correction collars have their advantages, but a frightened dog can quickly become dangerous, and you want to avoid that.  


Does Your Dog Need a Correction Collar? 

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Undeniably, some canine behaviors need correcting. And positive reinforcement may not always work. If your dog isn’t responding to reward-based training, it may be time to switch to a dog correction collar. 

However, the decision to use a dog correction factor should be based on:

  • Age 
  • Stubbornness 
  • Type of behavior 

And keep in mind that these collars are at their most effective when your dog understands commands. Used correctly, dog correction collars shouldn’t frighten your dog, they should promote healthy, sustainable habits. 

Ultimately, you know your dog best. If you have exhausted other training techniques and think a dog correction collar is the best way to keep your dog safe and healthy, then it may be the solution you need. With luck, you’ll soon have a dog that respects the boundaries you set and enjoys a safer, healthier life because of it. 

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