By Coastal Pet Products Staff
When it comes to dog training, there is no one size fits all. Every dog is different. What works with one, might not work with another.
“There’s not a universal way to teach everything,” said Steven Appelbaum, president of Animal Behavior College. “Instead, you need to discover what works best and that is not going to do physical or emotional harm to a dog. Pet owners and dog trainers should follow the LIMA (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive) principles of training and always use positive reinforcement first. In most instances, when done correctly and consistently, positive reinforcement methods are highly effective.”
Here are two alternate training tools from Coastal Pet you could recommend to your clients.
If you’ve ever been hissed at, you know the sound immediately grabs your attention. Whether it is from a cat or a snake, hissing is one of nature’s warning systems. Just like humans, dogs also respond to a hiss, which is why Coastal Pet’s Behavior Coach can be effective. A 1.5-ounce cannister of compressed air that makes a loud hissing sound when triggered, Behavior Coach is the perfect complement to any number of training techniques.
How to Use It
If you are working with the owner of a dog that loves to chew on socks and shoes and redirecting her to the correct items (e.g., chew toys) is not working, you could recommend using the Behavior Coach. The loud hiss will distract the dog from her chewing, at which point the owner can remove the wrong item and replace it with a chew toy. The loud hiss functions as a distraction, not a punishment. And it’s most effective when used after you and the owner have already put in time training their dog to perform a desired behavior.
When Not to Use It
Behavior Coach is not recommended for use with puppies or overly anxious or fearful dogs. Remember, the goal is not to scare or startle, but simply to distract so that owners can redirect. It should also never be pointed directly at a dog. Ideally, a dog shouldn’t know where the sound comes from, because you don’t want her to associate the sound with a behavior or a person. What you do want is for the hissing sound to catch his attention enough for him to stop what he’s doing and wonder, “What was that?” At which point, you encourage and reward the behavior you want the dog to engage in.
Natural Control Training Collar
Mother dogs nip at their puppies to correct bad behavior. Because owners do not want a mouth full of fur, Coastal Pet has designed the Natural Control Training Collar to provide similar feedback. It looks a traditional dog collar; however, the underside features oversized, rounded rubber links designed to pinch a dog’s neck when pulled, an indication that you want him to stop doing something.
How to Use It
A survey of some 90,000 dog owners indicated that leash pulling is the No. 1 issue they deal with. The Natural Control Training Collar is a good tool for modifying this behavior. Whenever a dog pulls against the leash, the collar tightens, the rubber links pinch his neck, he stops pulling and the links release.
It’s particularly effective with large, rambunctious dogs that don’t respond to traditional leashes or body and head halters, such as a 130-pound Rottweiler. There’s a good chance most owners will not have the strength to hold a dog of that size back with any other collar or harness. Even a choke collar will not work as well. With the Natural Control Training Collar, owners only need to use half the force to get twice the attention.
When Not to Use It
This collar should not be the first one that owners begin training their dog with. Instead, they should start with a flat collar, body harness (e.g., Walk Right! padded harness) or a head halter (e.g., Walk ‘n Train!). Then if their dog keeps pulling and can’t or won’t wear a head halter, the owners could try the Natural Control Training Collar. NOTE: This collar should not be used on anxious dogs. Punishment can be frightening, even when it’s just a small correction. Confident dogs will accept the correction without any emotional damage.