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Another dog owners experience with remote collar training. The following note is from Susanne who recently relocated to Singapore and began training with Jeffery Ong. Jeffery owns K9 World and is a graduate of my program for Professional Dog Trainers, That’s My Dog! E-cademy.
To begin with, I am Susanne and my dog’s name is Buddy. We have started our remote collar training with Jeffery Ong from K9 World in December 2013.
Our story is quite simple. Buddy is a 2 ½ year old Golden Retriever from Germany. Before we came to Singapore in April 2012, we had dog training in a group of 10 other dogs, and that only for two months in high winter season with snow and ice. In Germany, remote collar and prong collars are not allowed by law. So what they teach you there is training your dog with pulling the leash at the right time. I found it very exhausting, especially if you have a dog who is really stubborn and strong, even as a puppy. Still I went out with him 2-3 hours per day, always meeting other dogs on a huge nature reserve area. Buddy had fun.
Coming to Singapore things changed. So did Buddy. We took training lessons where the trainer used the prong collar plus clicker. At the beginning it was quite promising. We continued even with agility, but somehow got stuck after a while. Buddy became negligent towards the prong collar, the clicker and me! My back was getting worse. Recall was also a problem, as it was not really on the agenda of the training. And then, one day I was watching one of my friends dog training sessions with Jeffery. I was surprised and impressed, how fast dogs learn with this tool.
I have read a lot about remote collars and at the beginning I was skeptical. Will it hurt my dog, will I be able to use it properly? But then I saw the progress of my friends dogs and was determined to give it a try.
After almost three months dog training (and that also with some interruptions in between) my opinion on remote collar is very positive. Having tried different other tools and methods in dog training, remote collar is the best tool ever! Why? Because you can give the dog instant feedback of his behavior. You don’t have to raise your voice, you don’t have to pull the leash harshly. Remote collar requires only two things from you, which are right timing and setting the right level. For that you have to know your dog of course, his good habits and his bad. When tapping the nick button at the right time at the right level, it makes your dog paying attention to you, so that he learns to take the right decision. This is something which would have taken me otherwise at least 1 ½ to 2 years with Buddy, and that only with tons of treats, if at all.
Another advantage of remote collar I feel is, that you can give your dog more freedom. Off leash running in designated areas is no more a problem, as you can get his attention any time, also from far distance. I feel safer with the remote in my hand, and that is what Buddy feels, too. Even certain fears which dogs sometimes have, can be kept into limits. Buddy for example is very reactive towards German Shepherds. God knows why…I think they look scary to him and we have three (!) in our neighborhood. Meeting these dogs has always been difficult, as holding Buddy tight with all his 34 kg is a challenge, believe me. Plus I was always tensed, as I knew what would happen again.
With the help of the remote and keeping my dog busy, at least one of these dogs we can pass now from some distance without barking. Once even close by. That was not like this before. What a success! It’ll take some time for him to learn, but the stress we had before remote collar is gone, because I have a tool now, which is really reliable. And that makes me more confident, if it comes to situations like that.
Of course there is still quite a bid of work ahead of Buddy and me, but I do think that remote collar under the surveillance of a good trainer is an excellent tool to bring the best out of your dog in a relatively short time. My goal is a well behaved dog in near future and maybe we will be able to pass all three Shepherds one day.
Thank you to Susanne for sharing her story and thoughts on remote collar training.