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I need some help: I have a 3 year old golden and I would like to start formal training with her, we have it narrowed down to two options. First is the company Sit Means Sit, they are really expensive and use "shock" collars (they just buzz, no shock) or a local gal that is much cheaper and does not use a special collar. I can't decide if I want to use a shock collar with my dog Bettie. I can see how you would get immediate response from the dog, but will she always have to wear it? what if I take her to daycare or board her? will she still wear it?

Please help! advice?
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Well, e-collars, especially when used in manners training (which I think is a horribly unnecessary application) are designed to teach your dog to "do it OR ELSE!" It's using punishment to reduce unwanted behaviors.

At the other spectrum is positive reinforcement training, which add something the dog wants (treats, toys, praise, etc.) to reward the dog for doing something correct. It is designed to teach the dog what you WANT.

At its most basic, you could say one uses carrots, the other uses sticks.

I prefer reinforcement training vs. enforcement training. I want to establish a sense of teamwork with my dog.

Wise to learn more of how the non-collar trainer trains. There are plenty of ways to use punishment w/o a remote collar (harsh leash corrections, lots of physical manipulation, etc.) Be sure to watch a couple sessions with any trainer you're considering and you might enjoy reading up a bit on the differences between what is considered "traditional" training (some form of "do it or else!) and "positive reinforcement training.

Best of luck in finding a trainer!
 

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Kate
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What are your goals in training?

I'd start there.

Personally speaking, I would avoid zap collar training for my dog unless we are training for field. And even there I would go with somebody who actually trains and titles their own dogs in field comp and knows how to work with goldens.
 

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Go with the second choice. I can't imagine that you would need to resort to a shock collar for training. Positive training with lots of rewarding the behavior you want is the best way to go and Goldens so want to please that it is not hard. Clicker training is especially effective and shaping a behavior, once you get the hang of it, is easy and fast. It also builds the bond with your dog.

There are videos, books and trainers that can teach clicker training, try that avenue first. Best wishes.
 

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Try to find an obedience show and watch some of the Open B and Utility teams. If there are a few teams out there showing that really look good then go up to them and ask if they teach obedience. If they don't or live too far for you to travel then ask if they know of someone who teaches in your area. That is how I found my instructor and I'm happy with her.
 
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