Could you relate to the plight of new dog owners who just wanted a dependable companion, but ended up with an aggressive, difficult-to-control dog? How does your dog react to everything? Does he bark and bite as if it were nothing? It’s understandable that you love your angry pet, but that’s no excuse not to tame it and tone down its anger.
Training an aggressive dog is not a piece of cake but thanks to whoever came up with safe shock collars. You can now train the angriest of your dogs by consistently using a shock collar. However, before you invest in a shock collar or start using it for your pet, I suggest you understand the basics of using it.
Below is a complete guide on how to train an aggressive dog with a shock collar.
So, let us begin and go along step-by-step:
How To Train An Aggressive Dog With A Shock Collar
Step 1: Understand Your Shock Collar
No, there is no doubt about a quality shock collar’s safety. However, you can expect to start using it on your dog the minute you get your hands on it. Rather, you need to first understand the collar itself and its usage.
The collar you get might come with several intensity levels and modes. Take your time and read the collar’s manual to understand which mode is a good choice to use with your dog when it is on different levels of aggression.
You can watch some review videos on your collar’s model or can even check its different simulations on your arm to decide which level you think is the safest for your dog.
Step 2: Introduce Your Dog To The Collar
After securing the collar to your dog, you cannot immediately take the dog out and trigger their intense behavior to control it with the collar. Rather, you first need to make sure your dog notices the shock collar and responds to you whenever you send across a shock or simulation.
This can be done by introducing your dog to the collar with no aggression-stimulating element around them. I suggest taking out your dog in a garden and setting some sort of boundary for them that they should not cross.
Set the dog free and keep an eye on the movements. Give them a bit of shock or vibration using the collar right when they are about to breach the boundary. The dog will surely stop doing whatever it is up to and will rather get alerted to the shock. If this does not happen, you can intensify the simulations.
Repeat this process for some time until you are sure about the dog being aware of the collar. When you notice your dog responding to the collar and shocks, it is time to treat the pet with a reward. You want your dog to perceive the collar as a friend rather than a punishment mechanism and treats or rewards are a sure way to go with collar training, especially if you have an aggressive little animal to tend to.
Step 3: Start the Training
Now that the dog knows about what you expect it to do when teased with a shock or vibration, it is about time you start the proper training with a shock collar. Remember that you cannot teach everything to your dog in a day. Also, using a shock collar for more than 8 hours a day could be too much. So practicing patience is something you must develop in yourself.
Now, take your dog to an environment where their aggression can be triggered at times. It can be a park with kids or other dogs that your dog has expressed anger on in the past. You can even call home a friend who has been badly welcomed by your dog in the past.
Keep the collar on and have your hands on the remote. On the other hand, keep your eyes on the dog and give them a simulated shock right when they are about to show their aggressive behavior.
If you have spent enough time previously introducing the dog to the shock collar, the dog will instantly return to you stopping its show of aggression. However, if the dog does not respond to your shock, it is better that you either go back and practice the previous step for more time or increase the intensity of simulations.
Step 4: Observe Your Dog For Signs Of Aggression
You cannot keep using the collar as an 11th hour rescue, i.e., exactly when the dog loses its control and starts showing aggression. Rather, you need to use it to train the dog to stop showing aggression at all.
Hence, you need to alter the dog on the right when it is about to get aggressive instead of when the aggression takes the form of barks and bites. To do so, you need to observe your dog very keenly.
Make a list of everything your dog does when you bring to front any aggression stimulating entity. Some common aggression signs in your dog could be ears raising, growls, stares, lack of movement, stiffening of body, head and chest raises, etc.
These signs develop a few seconds before the dog is about to bark or bite. Instead of waiting for the dog to start barking, you can trigger them with a shock on the early onset of these expressions. Doing so with treats and rewards, they will ultimately reduce their show or aggression and will be trained for better behavior in the long run.
Step 5: Reduce the Shock’s Intensity And Keep Training
Now that your dog knows it all about shocks and is very much in control of their aggression, you cannot simply stop using the shock collar. However, you can reduce the amount of time you use the collar each day and can tone down the shock’s intensity.
Keep treating the dog whenever it responds to you in a way you expect to. Alongside, use different methods to train the dog for other things and in some months, you will surely see your big boy becoming well-behaved and cheerful.