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E-Collar for Dog Training: What You Should Know About Them

Updated on January 31, 2018

E-collar for dogs training was first developed in the early 60s and its original purpose was to train hunting dogs for them to be disciplined while working. After quite a while, these collars became one of the common items in pet stores and have been used on domestic pets since then.

Pros of E-Collar

-It Will Protect Your Dog from Potential Hazards :The good thing about e-collars is that it employs distance warnings that could be quite helpful when a dog has gotten out of reach and in possible danger. This is very important especially for hunters who instruct their dogs to race off into the bushes after the prey-- there might be some briars, holes, traps, or other animals that could potentially harm or put the dog in danger. So, instead of having to chase your dog, the shock collar would buzz once your dog has gone too far.

-Teaches the Dogs that We Are in Control:This is useful when training dominant alpha dogs, because an e-collar would teach them who the boss is and that they should be keeping their behavior in check-- even when they are beyond their master's reach.

-Less Aggressive Than Other Training Methods: Truth be told, as compared to other methods of corrective training, we highly believe that the use of e-collars is the least aggressive of all-- as compared to chain leashes and choke collars that hurt our pets. Both of these discourage the dog from pulling away from his owner's lead. Likewise, such constraints could automatically turn a pleasant walk into a dreadful experience. This would trigger a dog to dislike exercising with his owner, because he would associate this with pain.

-It Is For Attentive Owners: Although the majority of settings in a shock collar don't really hurt the dog, it still emits an uncomfortable/itchy buzz that could make the dog's ears perk up and this would also make him realize that he had overstepped his bounds. Despite the fact that a lot of shock collars have ridiculously high shock settings, rest assured that there are also options that are instructive, but not as painful. Basically, the control fully relies on the dog trainer.

-Vibration and Tone Feature:There are some electronic dog collars that have a vibration tone feature. This serves as a warning to the dog that an electric impulse will follow if his behavior is unpleasant. Furthermore, the vibration can also be used for dogs with hearing problems. However, in most cases we highly advise that you stay away from using the shock features of e-collars, as it's not necessary at all.

Cons of E-Collar

- Based on a study conducted last 2014, it has been discovered that shock collars could be stressful for dogs. The behaviorists at the University of Lincoln measured the cortisol levels in the saliva and they discovered the negative effects of e-collars for dogs. Wherein, the dogs under analysis exhibited signs of tension and fear.

Not just that, there are some dogs that have become accustomed to shocking-- that means it doesn't correct their behavior anymore. That means, we, as dog owners would think of increasing the voltage just so our pets would reach to it. Little did we know that this would just lead to more problems in the long run.

- Some trainers claim that shock collars don't really work better than other training methods. In fact, according to one study, shock collars are actually less effective that other training tactics, such as positive reinforcement.

- There are e-collars that could cause skin irritation to your pet. Likewise, some manuals do encourage the owners to modify the monitor level once the dog vocalizes after shock. However, we believe that these aren't specific instructions at all. That means, it can also be a little difficult to ensure the dog's safety when using shock collars. What the owners believe to be a “normal” reaction can be something dangerous for the dog.


Important Things to Remember: E-collar Training Tips

1. These Shouldn't Be Used as Your Only Training Tool
First on the e-collar training tips is that we shouldn't be completely relying on e-collars alone when training our dogs. In fact, there's a lot of evidences supporting that positive stimuli are better and more effective than negative stimuli. That means we should be rewarding our pets whenever they exhibit good behavior. Likewise, teach your dog the meaning of “no” and verbal commands should be used when punishing their negative behaviors.

2. An E-Collar Is Not Ideal for Aggressive Dogs
If you're training your dog without a collar and he gets aggressive when scolded, then we highly suggest that you stay away from using an e-collar, because there's a possibility that he won't respond well to a shock.

3. Pick a Collar That Best Suits Your Needs
There are various types of e-collars such as barking collars, containment systems, and obedience collars. Choose one that you think is ideal for your dog.

Overall, if you have finally decided to use an electronic collar, we strongly suggest that you opt for one that has a tone or vibration feature. This would warn your dog about impulses due to misbehaving, and he will be able to prepare himself.

The key to using an e-collar is to determine the level of stimulus that would encourage your dog to pay attention, but not too extreme that it would cause him pain. Check the setting by pressing the button, and this should make your dog's ear perk up, or turn his head. On the other hand, if your dog ends up yelping, then that means that the shock is too strong for him.


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