How static stimulation training works
Most pets, no matter their eventual advanced training or intended purpose, live with people and must behave in a way that makes them pleasant to have around - both for their safety and that of other people and animals. But pets don't figure out basic obedience on their own; it must be trained. Static stimulation is one method of training.
Static stimulation training involves a collar-mounted training device that helps your pet learn the behaviors you want him to learn, whether that includes learning commands or boundaries or eliminating undesirable or dangerous behaviors that could put the pet's life at risk. A receiver on the collar delivers an electronic stimulation to the pet either manually through a trainer-operated remote transmitter or automatically through a pre-installed pet containment unit or a bark collar. The stimulation is actually a humane and gentle electronic stimulation - very similar to the static shock a person might feel when they touch something after walking across a carpet in a room with low relative humidity.
You may have heard the term "shock" used by some people who are critical or uneducated about the benefits of static stimulation training, but that term is a misnomer that does not accurately describe what static stimulation training really entails. Some veterinarians and consumers still have misconceptions about what the use of static stimulation entails, even though today's devices have come a long way in the 50 years since they were introduced. Today's devices are not referred to with the "shock:" label because they deliver lower and adjustable levels of stimulations that do not upset the animal while, at the same time, achieving the desired result.
The Three Types of Static Stimulation
Static stimulation devices can be categorized into the following three basic groups:
Electronic pet containment systems
An electronic pet containment system is an ideal way to define boundaries for a pet both outside and inside - without the necessity of constructing a fence or other type of barrier. The system consists of a boundary established by a wire or wireless technology and a collar worn by the pet that activates when close to the boundary with a warning tone and then a stimulation.
Electronic containment systems are ideal for locations where constructing a fence is not feasible or when it may be too cost prohibitive for the pet owner. When used outside, these pet containment systems may be installed below-ground for aesthetics purposes or above ground to supplement an existing fence or barrier that may not be keeping the pet contained. Indoors, the systems can be scaled to train the pet to remain in very small or very large areas - even out of areas where the owner doesn't want the pet to be.
Since a containment system is not a physical barrier, the training that you provide, as outlined in the system's manual, is extremely important - be sure to follow all training instructions.
Electronic bark control collars
As the name implies, these collars are used to stop excessive and nuisance barking. While some bark control collars use a citronella spray or sonic sound waves to control barking, static stimulation collars deliver a mild electrical stimulation to stop the negative behavior. Many of these devices automatically increase the stimulation the more the dog barks.
These types of static stimulation devices allow the owner to train the dog from nearby or from a distance when it is off the leash or otherwise immediately out of reach. As with the pet containment system and the bark control units, remote trainers utilize a receiver collar that administers the stimulation. However, unlike the other devices, these units come with a hand-held transmitter for the trainer, who can press a button to correct the pet with either a warning tone or an electronic stimulation or vibration.
Advantages of static stimulation training
Using modern electronic training devices offers several benefits over other standalone behavior modification methods such as leash or clicker training. Because today's electronic training devices offer a range of stimulation settings, it is always advised that dog owners begin training on the lowest setting and observe the dog closely to gauge its response.
Speed/timing of stimulation
With a remote trainer, owners can deliver the appropriate signal at the exact instant they want to get the dog's attention. "There is no time delay like there is associated with a treat, or taking up slack on a leash, or catching the dog if it is far away," explains Keith Benson of Triple Crown Dog Training Academy, the largest canine training and behavior center in America.
Effective for any size combination of person and dog
Unlike leash training, which can require significant size and strength to use safely and effectively, electronic training devices may even be used by persons with disabilities. In all human/dog training situations, regardless of size, the goal, Benson explains, is "to remind the dog that it is part of a team, not acting alone."
Consistency - Can be used at all times in all appropriate situations
As many who rely on food treats as rewards will probably attest, it can quickly become difficult to motivate some dogs to work for anything other than food. Still other dogs are model students in obedience classes but seem to forget all they have learned once they are in the "real world." Use of a remote trainer ensures that the owner can consistently correct or reward the dog instantly without having to feed a constant stream of treats, manage an extremely long leash, or chase the dog down to remind it to cooperate. Also, with the bark collars and containment systems, since the are automatic and do not rely on the presence of a human, they deliver a stimulation consistency when the unwanted behavior appears.
Control - Allows the handler to maintain gentle, effective control of the dog even at a distance
In certain situations, such as animal assisted therapy or police dog work, it is of the utmost importance to all involved that a dog be under near-failsafe control at all times. Observations such as the following illustrate the value and flexibility of the electronic training option for almost any kind of situation when used properly.