The words we choose to describe things matter.
We’ve talked in the past about how much words matter, and the way they frame our subjective interpretation of events, interactions, and behaviors.
Words such as “dominant”, “stubborn”, and “command”, don’t foster a mutually respectful relationship with our pets.
In fact, these words more often lead to very adversarial interactions that can make our pets’ behaviors worse instead of better.
Frequently, clients have come to us after working with certain trainers; trainers who have told the clients that the electronic collars they use don’t produce a shock, but instead just a “stim,” “static”, “zap”, “tickle”, or “tap.”
Regardless of what we call them, these collars work by directing an electric current between the electrodes, which then passes through the skin. In other words, a shock. This shock is aversive to the animal- this means that the sensation is painful, intimidating, and fear-inducing enough to cause the animal to alter its behavior in order to avoid the sensation. This is how these devices work. This is not opinion- it is fact. They work to alter behavior via the principles of punishment.
Zap = static = tap = tickle = stim = shock.
Know the terms that are being used and what they mean.
There are other (and much better!) ways to change a dog’s behavior.
Speak to your fear free veterinarian, a veterinary behaviorist, or a force-free trainer to find other options to help your pet and their behavior.
Or reach out to us at Synergy- we can help.