A friend recently asked some interesting questions about advanced dog training and conditioning.
Her questions were about switching off of a training collar to a regular buckle type.
We took her questions to a training expert, since we wanted to be really sure we shared just the right information.
I thought maybe you’d have similar questions, so I’m sharing his answers here!
Advanced Dog Training Points for Conditioning Your Dog
As I said above, my friend wanted to know if/when she could switch over from a training collar to a plain old “buckle” color.
See, her dog’s instructor told her that the dog would get used to the training collar and “would soon forget it’s even there and behave regardless.”
Her very logical question, “Then why can’t I just switch to a regular collar?”
Like I said, rational, right? Well, sort of. Let’s discuss.
Can you switch from a training collar to a regular one?
Yes and no. As our own training expert explains, “Yes, you can take it off. The dog gets conditioned to follow the command, so it doesn’t matter.”
Sounds like a clear “yes,” right? However, there’s more. My friend asked,
“Do you ever in the training go back to the buckle collar after months of what you recommend with a dog that is happy with doing the commands?
This is where conditioning comes in…
As our trainer explained:
“Yes, the dog does the command because he is happy and he likes it.
But eventually, there will be something that tempts him. This is where conditioning comes in.
Think of it like this: You’ve lived in the same house for 10 years, right?
You get up in the middle of the night and you reach for the light switch that is to the LEFT of the door.
Pretty soon, you get conditioned to reach out to the LEFT of the door.
One day you travel and stay in a hotel.
You wake up in the middle of the night and reach out to the LEFT of the door for the switch… even though you cognitively saw that the switch is on the RIGHT.
In fact, you may wake up for several nights– perhaps even weeks or months– and still reach out to the LEFT, even though the switch is now on the right.
Some people will continue reaching to the LEFT for the rest of their lives. Some will begin reaching to the right.
Those people need to be reinforced. Get it?”
I hope that answers your questions about advanced dog training and conditioning!