Shock collar keeps dog and owner safe and healthy

Sonic and Michael Bike/Run together

Unfortunately, there is still much misinformation in the public domain about the use of shock collars (or as more properly called remote training collars) in the training of pet dogs.  I find many clients have already bought a shock collar before our training appointment. However, it is usually a sub standard type of collar – meaning a collar with only a few levels like 7 versus 100+ that offers more versatility and smaller increases between the levels. With more levels, one can truly use the lowest level to get their dog’s attention without causing pain.

Clients who had bought the collars without instruction were desperate and didn’t know what else to do to train their dog by themselves.  Because the collars don’t come with adequate training instruction, many folks train their dog incorrectly using it at a too high of level, thus, as a punishment tool or give up and put it in their kitchen drawer not wanting to hurt their dog.

With proper instruction, a high quality remote training collar such as a Dogtra brand, is an excellent training tool for pet dogs. Used at a “just right level” (felt by the dog but not cause pain), it acts as a communication tool between you and your dog. When your dog has learned basic commands such as sit, down, come, stay and place using motivational rewards (such as praise, food and/or toys), your dog is ready for remote collar training. Adding this final dimension to your training program will improve reliability in performance.

Many owners want off leash control of their dog. Praise/food/toys may not be rewarding enough to your dog to persuade him/her to come away from other more stimulating rewards the environment has to offer such as chasing birds, squirrels and cars to name a few. With a tap of a button, an owner is able to virtually reach out and get their dog’s attention without causing pain or being the “bad guy”.

Sonic happily running along Michael’s bike

Case in point, recently, I was biking my adopted dog Sonic, a high drive Belgian Malinois for the first time.  He knows his basic commands and is remote collar literate as well. I initially didn’t place the remote collar on him. He heels very nicely and does not chase moving objects during walks. However, very soon, I learned he thought chasing moving cars was a new Olympic sport. He never did that during slower walks. With his strength and determination, he was able to drag me and the bike toward moving cars. What should had been a fun bike ride had quickly turned into a potentially life threatening situation for him and I.

So since I had already trained him on a remote collar system, I placed the Dogtra unit back on him.  With a couple of taps paired with the heel command, he immediately stopped trying to chase cars and happily ran along my side for a very enjoyable hour bike run. There was no pain for him, just a simple tap as a reminder to “heel” instead of chase. Now this “Sonic Boom” (hence his name Sonic) Malinois can safely go on long endurance runs which will help to exhaust his over-the-top energy level.

For more information about remote collar training visit: and The Truth About Shock Collars.

About Michael Burkey

Michael Burkey is a professional dog trainer, behaviorist and owner of, a highly successful dog training company whose aim is to promote peaceful relationships between pets and families. Additionally, he is an expert trial witness, certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator for the American Kennel Club (AKC), former Police K9 Handler, Search and Rescue (SAR) K9 Training Director and SAR K9 Handler, obedience and rally competitor and social worker. Dog training is a complex science and art requiring knowledge of behavioral science and learning. You can rely on Michael's experience, teaching methods, and integrity. He can be contacted at or 734-634-4152.
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2 Responses to Shock collar keeps dog and owner safe and healthy

  1. Marcela says:

    Hi Michael. I wished they have a Loved button because I would have pressed that one instead of Liked. I enjoyed your post. I, just like a lot of other pet parents, was not crazy about these remote training collars, but a couple of weeks ago, a dog trainer, Ann Greene showed me and explained to me how a remote training collar works and right now I do believe and think that many of us pet parents can benefit using such a tool with our dogs. Ann told me that once while hanging with her dogs at the beach, Diesel, a male Doberman Pinscher, run so fast while off leash that even though she called him he was not able to hear her. She used the remote collar to redirect his attention to her and Diesel came back to her as fast as he had left before. Ok., after that I was sold on it, but she did tell me that it needs to be used properly and a lot of people that do not go to a trainer to learn how to use it apply unnecessary stress on the dog. Thank you for this informative and educational post:)

  2. Thanks Marcela for your comments and I’m glad you found a good trainer to help you with your dog. You’re right, using it the right way, just like with any training tool, is very important.

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