All of my dogs learn obedience using a combination of compulsion and motivation. I will use choke chains on a short lead before graduating to a long line and eventually off-lead. If they are prone to chasing rabbits and acting independently off-lead, I will introduce the electronic training collar in tandem with the choke chain until the e-collar is understood. If a dog is fearful and of low spirit, I will use only motivational methods and would never use any other types of training collars.
It is my goal to shed some light on traditional training techniques and tools that have been used when training dogs, and to persuade everyone to have an open mind and realize there is no one way to adequately train every dog. There are as many personalities and behavior problems in dogs as there are in people. Some dogs will require varying degrees of guidance, or positive reinforcement, depending on the problems encountered. One of the things that has bothered me most about dog training and training theory is that a lot of people are more apt to utilize compulsive methods with their children than they are with their dog. Compulsive methods are not a bad thing. They have a positive outcome and if done properly, the dog will respect you more and realize there are rules that must be followed. The hardest thing to teach some dog owners is that dog training needs to be positive. Our goal should always be to make obedience training fun and positive. Maintaining a mutual respect and being a good leader for your dog is paramount to the success of the training. Coaxing and motivating is every bit as important for the dog owner as it is the dog learning the commands. When I say compulsive training methods I am referring to nothing more than a guiding maneuver. No different than somebody escorting you by the arm and saying, “I need you to stand here”. Training should never be perceived as punishment. Whether you are using a choke chain, pinch collar, or an electronic training collar, the key is knowing when one of these collars is necessary, and to use it properly. Any one of these training tools can be misused and become abusive very quickly if not used the way they are intended. I cannot emphasize enough the need to weigh and justify the necessity of a specialized collar in addition to the need to seek professional help and educating yourself on the proper use.