A new puppy can be a source of peace and happiness for any household. Other than midnight potty breaks, most puppies mostly eat, sleep, play, and gently gnaw on their toys. However, as these fluffy companions grow, they can suddenly develop a mind of their own and begin to misbehave. But, when is a dog old enough for a shock collar to instill good behaviours?
You may feel irritated when your pooch constantly darts into the street to chase after squirrels, chew on sofas, or clamp on your hands with their incisors. Such unpleasant habits can leave you wondering if you can start using dog obedience collars to teach better manners. Read on to learn the best age to use a shock collar on your puppy.
When is a Dog Old Enough for a Shock Collar?
It is common knowledge that you should begin training your puppy as soon as you bring him home. Dogs take in information all the time, and each interaction with them is typically a learning opportunity.
Basic manners such as housebreaking and learning to avoid play biting, nuisance barking and whining, and jumping up should begin at a young age.
But when it comes to the subject of how old is “old enough” to begin using a shock collar to train a puppy, there are several considerations to make. Some puppies are ready to wear e-collars at around 14 or 15 weeks of age, but others should wait until the standard prescribed 6 months.
Besides, if your puppy is large enough to fit the shock collar properly and has a boisterous, outgoing personality, you can likely use a shock collar for training much earlier. On the flip side, a quiet, reserved pup or a more withdrawn puppy should wait until at least six months.
Pay extra attention to such pets to help them explore the world and experience a wide range of positive adventures rather than focus on punishing them too soon and causing potential hesitancy.
Your Knowledge About Using a Shock Collar Matters
Ultimately, the decision about shock collar training should depend more on your dog’s temperament and historical experiences than the age.
As the person operating the shock collar, be sure to gather detailed knowledge of the tool and put in the needed training time.
It requires patience and compassion to safely use a shock collar for training pups. If you’re simply looking for a quick fix to punish the nuisance behaviors of your pet and not take the time to teach your dog what to do, then you should reassess your motivation and the relationship you have with your pooch.
If both you and your pup are ready, then go for it and get down with collar conditioning protocols. Put in enough practice sessions because e-collar conditioning teaches your pet how to respond and take control of the sensation.
That clear understanding will bring a cordial working attitude rather than a deflated or sullen one. You’ll end up strengthening the relationship you have with your dog and enjoy your time together.
Pay attention and honor your dog’s limited attention span. Trade with caution and keep your sessions short. As you practice together, you will build your dog’s mental endurance. More importantly, focus on what your pup is doing right and reward it. Throwing in treats every time your dog shows positive behavior will enhance the training process.
Once your dog understands how to respond and do as you direct, everything else will fall in line. With a well-mannered, happy pooch, you can enjoy more adventures together.
The Best Shock Collars for Puppy Training
There are a few shock collars on the market that are more usable with young puppies around 8-10 weeks. These anti-bark collars are designed to deliver a little shock and vibration whenever your puppy starts barking.
However, you can manually trigger the same collars to stop undesired behaviors such as running away, chewing on your furniture, and anything else you deem undesirable.
The disagreeable sensation your puppy feels will make him stop undesirable behaviors and, after a few training sessions, your puppy will learn to behave right to avoid receiving the same harsh treatment.
If you often leave your puppy at home for long hours and cannot afford to infuriate your neighbors with a constantly whining or barking pup, then a puppy shock collar is an ideal solution for you.
How to Introduce a Shock Collar to a Puppy
An improper introduction of a puppy to the training collar can permanently impact his ability to respond to training. A proper initial introduction is a crucial step in developing a well-mannered, disciplined dog.
Here are the steps to take to effectively and safely nurture positive behaviors using a puppy shock collar:
1: Determine the correct level of stimulation
Once you’ve fitted the collar on your pup’s neck and allowed the right snug to take positive contact, take your dog out on a leash to an open area. Begin testing with the lowest stimulation level. If the dog shows no sign of stimulation, adjust to the next level until you find an appropriate level.
If the dog responds by crying out, barking, or whimpering, the stimulation is obviously too high and should be reduced.
2: Instill the Recall Command
With the dog on a leash and training collar, permit him to wander away and become distracted. Now, give the recall command to get him to come to you. Activate the shock collar in the continuous stimulation mode while gently coaxing him with the leash.
That way, you are simply trying to teach your pup how to shut off the undesirable stimulation. As soon as the dog begins to come to you, turn off the stimulation and praise, and reward the pooch.
Once the dog is responding positively, move the training to a new enclosed location because dogs respond differently in new environments. Ultimately, you should execute the same training process in three or four new sites to ensure that your pooch fully understands the command.
3: Using a Shock Collar for Negative Reinforcement
If your puppy is showing unpleasant behaviors such as jumping up, barking, whining, running away, or putting his paws on the sliding glass door, use a little higher stimulation. However, the amount of negative motivation should be just enough to stop the behavior. Always adjust the punishment to fit the crime!
4: Carry Out Refresher Training!
While initial puppy training is important in the development of any dog, as time goes by, you should be prepared to revisit and reintroduce many of the same training techniques you used during the puppy years. Fortunately, if the initial training was done right, this refresher will run much easier, he said.
Are Shock Collars Dangerous On Puppies?
Just like everything else, if you abuse a shock collar, it will have negative effects on your puppy. It can leave him growing up stressed and anxious, something you certainly don’t want. It is your duty as a dog parent to use it with parsimony, and only when the situation demands it.
You can’t hurt a puppy by misusing positive reinforcement, but you can surely traumatize him by misusing a puppy shock collar. All puppies are unique in their own way and respond differently to different environments, so there is no rule cast in stone. Start slowly and make sure you try softer training methods before using a shock collar on a puppy. More importantly, never allow your pup to jump into a swimming pool with the collar on, particularly if it’s not marked as waterproof.
Shock Collar Side Effects on Puppies
Using aversive training methods based on pain and fear may result in your puppy avoiding you, or even turning aggressive with you. It is always advisable to use humane training methods based on rewards as opposed to punishment to address unwanted behaviors without jeopardizing the social relationship you share with your pup.
Shock collars can also harm your puppy. The electrostatic shock can cause your pet psychological distress, including stress, phobias, unhealthy increases in heart rate, or even painful burns to the skin. Sometimes, using shock collars can habituate your dog to pain and result in increased aggression and other fear-based behaviors.
Proper Training Can Eliminate the Need for a Shock Collar
A puppy, like a little child, has a learning curve. Begin with basic concepts and commands and charge your pup into adopting them. Try different training methods like positive reinforcement, reward-based training, and negative reinforcement before using the harshness of a shock collar.
Very often, dog owners don’t offer consistent and effective training and socialization to their puppies and prefer the easy solution of a shock collar to curb the undesired behaviors. Although a radical solution might sometimes be recommended for an adult dog with a recurrent negative behavior that requires urgent reversal, a still-learning puppy really needs a softer mode of training.
The Bottom Line
Puppies are fragile and continually learn from their environments. You need to be patient with them as they need time to process everything happening around them. Unnecessarily adding stress to their learning process will certainly not help.
But if your puppy is exhibiting aggressive behaviors or any trait that needs to be urgently removed, then, think about an appropriate puppy shock collar or a gentler option such as Citronella Dog Training Collar with Spray Mode.
Dr. Belinda Hawks earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 2006 and has been practicing veterinary medicine since then. Dr. Belinda currently works as a passionate rancher and mixed animal veterinarian in a rural town in South Carolina. When not practicing veterinary medicine or writing, she spends her free time with her lovely husband and three kids (2 boys and a lovely girl) in South Carolina.