The most common and effective type of correction is static correction. This gives the dog an electric shock, that feels a lot like the kind of static shock you sometimes get when you step out of a car or when you walk on carpet. The intensity of the correction can be varied from something you can barely feel, to something that feels like being slapped hard in the face. The correction is painful for an instant and is also startling, but does not have any lingering pain.
Static correction is the best option for most dogs, because you can find a correction level to suit almost any dog. For a timid submissive dog you can choose a very low level, and for a tough dominant dog you can work you way up to a higher level as needed. For this reason static correction is the preferred choice of most professional dog trainers, and we thing the best choice for most of our customers.
The next most common and effective type of correction is spray correction. Spray correction shoots a mist of citronella spray toward the dog’s nose. The sensation of being sprayed and the citronella scent are both unpleasant to the dog. It feels a lot like being overwhelmed by someone's excessive perfume. It comes on very fast, but it also lingers for a while.
Spray correction has a few problems. First, the correction only works on timid and submissive dogs. Many dogs aren't deterred, or learn that the collar only has a limited number of sprays and that if they solider through it will stop. Second, the correction gets less effective over time as the dog gets accustomed to the sensation. Third, the collars require ongoing purchases and refils of the spray aerosol.
The advantage of spray collars is that they are a milder intervention. And for a more timid dog, that may be overwhelmed by a static shock, they can be a useful alternative.
The least common and least effective correction is the ultrasonic correction. This emits a high frequency pitch noise that is irritating to the dog but inaudible to humans (at least in theory). Think of this as like the high pitched squeal of fingernails on a chalkboard.
The ultrasonic correction is less effective because the noise is not unpleasant enough for most dogs to change their behavior, particularly when there is some strong temptation. The dogs also tend to get used to the noise and being to disregard it. Finally, the correction is indiscriminate, so if you have multiple dogs, there is no way to correction just one of them at a time.
The main advantage of the ultrasonic correction is that it does not require your dog to wear a special collar. So it is often used when you are trying to correct a neighbors dog (we do not recommend this!) or in other circumstances where you cannot put a collar on the dog.