Shock. Abuse. Pain. Hurt. Cruel. Burns. Fear.
Chances are if you've researched the electronic training collar, or even if you haven't, these are some words that may come to mind.
Whether you believe in the use of e-collars or not, this article is designed to lay out the facts regarding the electronic training collar and to put to bed the false information that is continuously propagated regarding this device.
First things first, the term "shock-collar" used to reference or describe the electronic training collar is a total misnomer. Besides drumming up a plethora of negative feelings in one's mind, using this term to define the tool does nothing to demonstrate the functionality or true abilities of it.
The electronic training collar does not shock or zap or burn your dog. They do not malfunction and shock, zap or burn your dog. They do not randomly go off and shock, zap or burn your dog. This does not happen and is complete propaganda.
I have been using the electronic training collar to train dogs for the last fifteen years and even in this short amount of time, the evolution that has occurred with this device is nothing short of astounding. Originally, the electronic training collar was designed only as a tool to correct or inhibit unwanted and undesirable behaviors. The collars packed a punch to say the least and were certainly uncomfortable for dogs, by intention, as they were meant to stop behaviors that were harmful, mentally unhealthy and potentially deadly.
Nowadays, e-collars have come leaps and bounds from their 70's ancestors and virtually all quality brands, E-Collar Technologies and Dogtra to name a few have over 100 levels of stimulation and most importantly give the trainer the ability to use incredibly low levels of stimulation. Low-Level e-collar training which was once unheard of is now ubiquitous among credentialed and experienced balanced dog trainers world-wide.
By utilizing low-level e-collar training in partnership with my training programs, we have rehabilitated literally hundreds of aggressive, fearful, reactive and anxious dogs. Without this tool, achieving these type of results and establishing 99.99% reliable obedience in any situation is virtually impossible. The e-collar enables us to achieve results quickly, gently, humanely and without causing stress or harming the relationship you share with your dog. Using low-level e-collar training in conjunction with positive reinforcement is an unsurpassed method for achieving behavioral modification when compared to any other method, period.
At this point, especially depending on the amount of propaganda you've been subject too, you may be wondering:
"If e-collars are so great why are there so many bad things being said about them, like, they will burn my dog?"
Well, this is part-in-parcel to the positive-only training movement that has done an incredible job in spreading false information, propaganda and lies regarding e-collars. The fact is, an e-collar cannot burn a dog. This is absolutely, 100% impossible due to the technology used in e-collars which is essentially a static pulse and a muscle stimulator similar to a Tense unit that humans use on themselves. It is possible for a dog to develop a hot spot or a pressure sore due to collars being left on for prolonged amounts of time, but this is hardly the fault of the e-collar and is instead the result of owner negligence.
"Ok, so it can't burn my dog but won't it cause my dog to be afraid of me?"
Absolutely not! On the contrary, an e-collar can wholly transform the relationship that you have with your dog by helping to eliminate problem behaviors and solidify desirable behaviors and obedience cues. Through low-level e-collar use we can eliminate anxiety which enables dog owners to finally be able to enjoy their true dog at their best and not the mentally unstable dog that they had before.
"If the e-collar won't cause my dog to be afraid of me, will it cause my dog to become afraid of other things?"
No, well that is not unless you're actually trying to create a superstitious association to something which we will discuss a bit later in this article. Low-level e-collar training actually empowers your dog, teaches them how to turn off stimulation and builds confidence through the development of reliable obedience. It will not cause your dog to become afraid of other people, animals or situations unless you have grossly misused the training tool.
A lot has been discussed regarding low-level e-collar training and it's benefits, but it's also important to mention that an e-collar also has the ability to cause discomfort to a dog when using higher levels. When following our training protocols, the need to use high levels on an e-collar are rare, there are times when this has it's benefits and can save the life of your dog. Depending on the dog and the behavioral issue, it can sometimes be beneficial to use high levels to create a superstitious association towards certain objects or towards certain behaviors.
We have saved the lives of countless dogs by doing this and have saved the lives of other animals as well by utilizing an e-collar in this way. It's important to note that even when using the e-collar to inhibit behaviors, it does not cause your dog to become fearful or afraid unless, again, there is gross misuse of the tool.
In our training programs at Mayrich Kennels, our go-to training tool for many dogs is the electronic training collar using low-level stimulation. Whether your dog is aggressive, fearful, anxious, reactive or simply needs a bit better reliability on their obedience, an e-collar can transform your and your dog's life for the better. We recommend that anyone wishing to establish off-leash reliable obedience filter through the misinformation regarding e-collars and seriously consider low-level e-collar training as it will prove invaluable and is potentially life saving for your dog.
**This video shows the consequences that e-collar training can have on your dog. Fearful, supressed, shut down dogs? You can decide for yourself!