Is E Collar Training Bad? (Solved & Explained!)

No. When done properly e-collar training is not bad and can be a useful tool in controlling your dog. Electronic collars or e-collars are training devices used to limit unwanted barking or other behaviors, or contain your pet inside an invisible fence.  

Continue reading on to learn more about the history of e-collars, how to properly fit them to your dog, and how to safely use them to effectively train your dog.

What is an E-Collar?

An electronic training collar, sometimes known as an e-collar, is a beneficial training device that allows a trainer or owner to impose consistency in a dog’s compliance to cues. A hand-held transmitter is used by the dog handler to administer stimulation, such as a pulse, to the dog via a receiver collar that the dog wears.

Older collars simply had one setting: High, hence the term “shock collar.” Fortunately, current e-collars can be programmed to provide a variety of levels of stimulation. Electronic collar training should be done at the lowest intensity of stimulation that the dog can tolerate in order to be an effective and humane training solution.

At the lowest level, the pulse is frequently perceived as nothing more than an annoyance to the dog. This is usually sufficient to generate compliance from a dog at a distance. Ideal for when your dog has discovered something dead and stinking 300 yards away and chooses to ignore you.

Can My Dog Use an Electronic Collar?

Electric training collars are frequently useful when dealing with sporting breeds, such as hounds, retrievers, or setters that have a wide natural range and a strong level of prey drive. An electronic collar can be used, however, on any dog over the age of one year who is well-adjusted, confident, and already understands basic obedience cues. Never use an electronic collar on a dog who is timid, shy, scared, or displays signs of aggression.

Do I Have to Collar Condition My Dog?

Yes. Before using an e-collar on a dog, it is necessary to condition the dog to wear the collar. Collar conditioning involves guiding the dog through a set of exercises that will teach him what is expected of him when he feels the stimulation.

A dog who has been collar trained will understand how to “switch off the stimulation.” Without proper collar conditioning, your dog can and most likely will become confused. The dog’s training will be more difficult, and the owner runs the danger of adding more behavioral issues than the ones addressed.

Will I Need to Use Positive Reinforcement?

Yes! This is because positive reinforcement is not replaced by electronic collars. While you are training your dog on an e-collar, you should also use treats and other types of positive reinforcement.  As a result, your dog will be happier, healthier, and receive more exercise. This is because you will have control over lengthy walks and off-leash treks with a well behaved dog.

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Pros of Using an Electronic Collar

There are many benefits to using an electronic collar for your dog. One of the biggest benefits of e-collar training is that you can give commands and receive instantaneous feedback from your dog, even from a long distance away. Your dog does not need to be directly beside you to receive redirection of unwanted behavior.

E-Collars are also a great tool to use for dogs that either do not respond to verbal commands or dogs that cannot hear. By using an e-collar you are providing non-verbal cues and commands that even the oldest of dogs can learn to respond to.

Cons of Using E-Collars

While there are several benefits to using e-collars, there are also some drawbacks. Over correction of your dog is the biggest cause for concern when using remote e-collars. This is because over-correcting your dog can lead to serious unwanted behaviors and even aggression. While the collar itself does not cause aggression, it is the owner’s actions that tend to do so.

Avoiding over correction when e-collar training is crucial to having a well adjusted dog. If you have small children around it is imperative that you never leave the remote in a place where they can get it and cause great harm to your pet.

On their own, electronic collars do not give any positive reinforcement. This means that the correction comes from the collar but the positivity must come from the dog owner or trainer. If you choose to use the e-collar for a training device, be sure to always keep your pet’s favorite treats to reinforce the positive outcomes they give.

How to Properly Fit an Electronic Collar

Most electronic collars that are available on the market today are relatively the same size and shape. E-Collars look like regular collars, except they include a box attached to the collar. This box is the receiver and usually has 2 prongs, or contact points, that lie gently on the dog’s neck.

To properly fit an electronic collar, you will first need to measure the circumference of the dog’s neck. The easiest way to do this is to get a fabric measuring tape and measure the widest part of the dog’s neck. From there you’ll want to add 1” for small dogs weighing less than 10 pounds, 2” for dogs 10 to 70 pounds, and 3 inches for very large dogs over 80 pounds.

This measurement will be the band size that you need. Most e-collar companies provide standard sized collars that you can cut to length yourself. The prongs that are located on the inside of the collar should rest gently on the hollow of the dogs next to where the neck meets the shoulders.

The e-collar prongs should lightly graze the fur and skin of the dog. Ensure that the unit is not too tight by placing two fingers between the prongs and the dog’s skin. If you cannot get two fingers under the unit, the collar is far too tight and could injure your dog.

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