Does your dog lunge at other dogs or people? Perhaps they’ve displayed aggressive behavior that makes you wary of letting them out of the house.
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How to Use a Shock Collar for Training Aggressive Dogs
To break down how to train your dog with a shock collar, here are a few steps.
Step 1 – Understand Your Collar and E collar Training Techniques
The first is to understand the shock collar. How many intensity levels are there and what kind of modes does it provide?
You may find that you just need to use vibration to dissuade your dog from aggressive behavior. You should safely test the collar against your arm to determine what stimulation levels you are comfortable with giving to your dog.
Step 2 – Begin With Boundary Training
Once the collar is secured to your dog, you should begin with boundary training. Using a long leash, you should walk your dog in an area with minimal distractions.
Just before they reach the end of the line, you should give them a pulse of vibration. If they look back at you, which is called checking in with you, you should reward them with a treat.
The goal is to get them used to e collar training techniques. You want to train them to see the vibration as part of the trigger to do a behavior and not a punishment. (Trigger then Command then Praise).
Step 3 – Add Praise and Treats In Combo With the Shock Collar
When they walk back to you of their own accord, you should also give them praise and a treat. As they become used to sticking close to your side, you can add in distractions like other people and dogs and continue boundary training.
With the base training covered, you can then start other forms of training like stopping and sitting. Again, low-level shocks can be used to give them a sharp punishment if they misbehave.
However, any good behavior should be immediately rewarded. The shock collar should be used as part of the training trigger and not a punishment for bad behavior.
E-collars used poorly can increase aggression. It’s important to see the signs of aggressive behavior before they happen and use the shock collar correctly.
Step 4 – Learn Dog Body Language For Aggressive Behaviors
Your dog will always give a tell that they are about to behave aggressively. These are yellow behaviors or the warnings of possible aggression. Beyond that are level orange behaviors followed by level red active aggression.
Common yellow level warning signs include:
- Ears go up
- Hackling – When the hair on the back raises up like a Mohawk
- Body stiffening
- Lip curling
- Get bigger – chest out, head high
- Tail up in the air and stiff (no wagging)
Step 5 – Use the Vibrate Function To Interrupt Aggressive Behavior
Once your dog gives you a cue, like growling, they are about to bark, bite, or be aggressive then use the vibrate function of the collar.
The goal is to interrupt the flow from cue to biting or barking.
Repeat this training during each daily walk. You need to be consistent with this.
Your dog trained you and others to fear them and back off when they are aggressive. That’s what it wanted. Now you need to train your dog that behavior is not OK. That they don’t have anything to fear about other dogs and people.
Step 6 – Bring Back in Treats When The Behavior Improves
After a few rounds of vibration training, they’ll get the idea that aggressive cues (growling, ears back, staring) are not acceptable.
As soon as they do another positive behavior such as not growling when faced with another dog or person then give them a treat and praise.
The best e-collar training is combined with treats and praise.
Step 7 – Continue E-Collar and Praise/Treat Training on Other Commands – Sit, Down, Stay, Heel, Off, Come
Aggressive dog training is difficult. Your dog is aggressive because he’s scared of something or wants to control the situation.
Trying to find scary situations like new people or new dogs will end up stressing your dog out.
Give them a break but continue training on other more common commands like sit, down, stay, heel, off, and come.
Remember to include praise and treats.
Step 8 – Keep Learning
Dealing with an aggressive dog is an immensely frustrating process but it’s highly rewarding when you succeed in turning a mean dog into a happy kind one.
It takes time and learning. Study and read as much as you can on the subject. One quick video or blog post won’t cut it. Watch as many as you can!
For an in-depth look as to how a shock collar can be used to train a dog, you should watch this informative Youtube video:
Step 9 – Work With A Community
Meet with others in your community through dog Facebook groups or local dog trainers. Find others who had aggressive dogs and help train them to be better.
This will not only help with teaching you other successive techniques. It will also give you the support you need when things get tough.
Step 10 – Reward Yourself
When you hit milestones in training be sure to reward yourself as well. Go to your favorite restaurant, go see a movie, or do something else that you really love.
It takes a lot of work to succeed in this and you desire a reward for the kindness you’re showing by doing this training.
Not many are so compassionate. Thanks again for doing this!
Will a Shock Collar Help With an Aggressive Dog?
Shock collars can work on aggressive dogs provided that you use a shock collar with strong enough stimulation. Aggressive dogs can sometimes be so focused on the subject of their aggression that they don’t notice they’re being given a shock.
In this case, you’ll need to use a higher stimulation level. When purchasing a shock collar, you should select a model that offers a large range of stimulation levels.
The range provides you with more flexibility. You may find that your dog only needs a low stimulation level to stop their aggressive behavior.
Others may need higher settings. With a large range, you’re more likely to find a stimulation level that is perfect for your dog.
Besides, shock collars can work on aggressive dogs provided you train them properly. Negative reinforcement, the shock, should be coupled with positive reinforcement like treats or praise to help them distinguish between good and bad behavior.
Without doing so, the aggressive dog may learn to hate the collar rather than be steered away from bad behavior.
Do shock collars cause aggression?
If your dog is already aggressive, then the shock collar did not likely cause it. However, it can make dogs wary of wearing the collar if they associate wearing it with pain.
This is why it’s important to mix positive reinforcement with the shock collar. Dogs typically respond better to positive treatment.
The shock collar should be used minimally and only to initially gain your dog’s attention. It’s the positive reinforcement that will encourage the dog to continue performing good behavior over bad behavior.
Finally, shock collars might make the dog more wary or aggressive towards the trainer if it is used without positive reinforcement. They might associate pain with that person and become fearful or aggressive towards them.
Is shock collar training cruel?
While using stimulation to train may seem cruel, it isn’t inherently. Before using a shock collar on your dog, you should use it against your own skin first.
This can help you determine whether the shock is too intense. If you wouldn’t use that high of a level of stimulation on yourself, then why would you do so on your dog?
Using shock collars requires some form of responsibility. You have to be aware of the pain tolerance of your dog and also have a lot of patience with them.
They’re willing to learn and can be encouraged away from bad behavior. All they need is proper training.
That being said, it can be used cruelly in the wrong hands. A shock collar should never be attached to your dog for longer than 12 hours at a time.
You should also try only shocking them in bursts rather than giving a long and drawn-out shock.
Why is my dog getting more aggressive?
If your dog is becoming more aggressive after the use of a shock collar, then it could be because you’re using the shock collar alone to dissuade bad behavior. All they have to focus on is the shock collar and the pain associated with it.
You should try utilizing positive reinforcement in the form of treats to help encourage them to be less aggressive. The video posted earlier gives excellent examples of when to use the shock collar and when to administer treats.
If your dog continues to display aggressive behavior, then you might want to try only using the vibration setting on the collar for a while. You may also want to give the remote to someone else, so the dog doesn’t become aggressive towards you.
Finally, the shock may be too strong. The sensation may be too uncomfortable for them.
As a result, they’re anxious and angry over wearing that collar. You should try using a smaller level of stimulation to give them a warning rather than to punish them.
Supercharge Your Training Skills – Brain Training for Dogs
Want to supercharge your training skills? We recommend Adrienne Farricelli, a CPDT-KA certified dog trainer and creator of Brain Training for Dogs. Here’s what Adrienne has to say:
No matter what your dog’s problem behavior is…
Be it jumping, peeing inappropriately, aggression, pulling on the leash…or whatever…
There is ONE SOLUTION that can help STOP this problem now
The sad fact is…
Most Dog trainers miss this solution entirely.
They give you cookie cutting training programs.
They use outdated and ‘mean’ dominance techniques.
Or worse yet…
They have no qualifications and are complete phonies.
So what’s the answer to stopping your Dog’s behavior problems?
In 4 simple words…
Discovering your dog’s hidden intelligence.
Let me explain…
In my 10 years as a certified trainer…there’s ONE BIG LESSON I have learned.
More intelligent dogs are better behaved.
A More intelligent dog takes commands easier
…and understands what you need from them.
The good news is…
No matter how clever you think your dog is.
Don’t waste a second longer coping with problem behaviors you don’t need to be dealing with.
PS Check out the brain training for Dogs course now. It’s great for eliminating any bad behaviors by tapping into your dog’s hidden intelligence.