Whilst many people feel e collars are cruel and pain invoking devices, nothing could be further from the truth.
Most people fail to notice when their dog is being stimulated during training, we use the lowest level perceivable by the dog to gain outstanding results.
Over the years I have heard every horror story imaginable about e collar training, but when push came to shove, most of the story tellers had never even used an e collar let alone seen one, and after feeling the stimulation from my collar, they couldn’t believe any results could be gained from the “tickle” produced.
There are some trainers around who will try and tell you that e collars are a strict aversive, will burn the skin and other loads of garbage. The truth of the matter is, these so called trainers lack the skills required to read dogs, they often fail to produce results and feel threatened by something like the e collar as the results that are gained with it in the right hands make their work look ridiculous.
Often these people will attempt to tell you that dog training is all about morals and purely positive methods, plying you with guilt is their only option when they can’t get results with your dog.
If this sounds like a dog trainer you know, I advise finding a new trainer that is versed in all methods of dog training and not one who tries to take the moral high ground and provide little or no results.
E collars where first designed to stop dogs from chasing stock, and when I tried an old style collar many years ago, I could see where the old “shock collar” reputation came from.
I asked a trainer friend of mine for a demonstration, in which he showed me the collar. I strapped it on my upper arm and he pressed the single momentary button on the remote.
It took several days for the pain to leave my arm, and I vowed never to use such a device on an animal.
Modern collars have come a long way. The collar I use mostly in my training is a Dogtra. Its a digital remote training system that has a range of 800 metres, water proof collar and most importantly, 127 levels of stimulation.
I think out of hundreds of people, including children, I have found one who could perceive the lower levels.
Few could feel two and most people can feel three, but often need to go to level four to make sure they felt three. The universal response is “is that it”? or “thats not strong enough to control my dogs!”.
When they see it work they universally ask “can you put it on the kids/wife/husband”?
I have been known to run dog training seminars from time to time, often, I put the collar on my arm and pass out a few remote’s so that people can give me a stim when they want to ask a question. There is always one joker who turns the collar to level 15 and they are always surprised when I don’t react.
People perceive electricity as a bad thing, electrocution, electric chair etc, few see it for its positive aspects.
When used correctly in dog training, few if any can equal the results gained by using a remote training collar.
Some people have seen modern collars used incorrectly, invoking pain, but that’s not use, its misuse, or more accurately, abuse.
The unfortunate thing is, abuse is not limited to e collars, I don’t know anyone who would spend upwards of $600 on a collar to abuse their dog.
A choke or check chain is one of the most misused pieces of training equipment on the market, unlike an e collar, it doesn’t come with a video, or instructions or any type of training course and they are cheap.
I recommend e collar training to many of my clients, its easier to teach the novice trainer than leash techniques and the results are, on average, outstanding.
The other common problem is that people reach for the e collar as a last resort, when all other methods have failed to produce results. I can’t emphasise enough how big a mistake these people are making.
They think the e collar is a kill or cure method and by the time they are willing to try it, the dog has built up an aversion to whatever behaviour is being asked of it. The dog may have gone through positive training, then a training program that issues leash corrections in which all the dog has learned is to fight off the method long enough and the owner will give up and try something else.
The e collar is a subtle cue to get the dogs attention, if you wait until a dog is chasing stock and press the button, more often than not, a dog in drive will simply ignore the stim, even on its highest setting.
Like I said, collars of old could blast a dog off a chase in high drive, modern collars are not very powerful, they are for training, not blasting.
We start quite a few puppies, 20 weeks and older on e collar training. I remember showing the progress to a friend who is also a trainer.
After 3 lessons I showed him a 21 week old Rottweiler who was sitting, heeling, dropping and had a great fast and straight recall. Each of these lessons were 15 minutes with me.
All of these commands were off leash. His reply was “I have seen a dog like that once, and it was trained with leash and collar.” He was surprised when I told him these results were “typical”, not one I could recall form a life of dog training.
One thing I find amazing is the tunnel vision of some trainers when it comes to e collars. I have come across so many people who have not used an e collar but will be the first to cry how bad they are, I can’t believe that such ignorance still exists.
Here is a couple of facts that surprise most people:
[icon_check]The modern e collars has an output some three thousand times less than the average electric fence.
[icon_check]The modern e collar has an output 6 times less than static electricity you get off the carpet in your home.
[icon_check]E collars have a positive and negative probe, one inch apart. Unlike an electric fence or cattle probe that use the body to travel to earth, the current produced by an e collar only travels from one probe to another. That eliminates the possibility of having any effect on the nervous system.
[icon_check]Modern collars have a time out feature, no stimulation can be delivered past 8 to 10 seconds.
[icon_check]Modern collars have levels so low, most people and dogs can’t feel them on the lowest settings.
[icon_check]Many Police departments, SAR groups, assistance dog groups and so on around the world use modern e collar training.
If you have not heard of e collar training or have heard bad things, I advise you to take another look at my methods.
I believe a good trainer should be versed in more than one method and have tested and evaluated most if not all dog training tools.
I have written a training manual the goes into great detail on how to use a remote training collar and gain outstanding results, you can see it here…