Why does the remote training collar commonly have a bad reputation?
The remote training collar ( E-Collar ) is the best dog training tool available.
As an all breed dog training company, we use the remote training collar all the time on all dogs with greatest success! Especially in cases where behavior needs to be modified, or off leash responses need to be reliably established.
The use of the collar needs to be conditioned properly and behaviors should be established (learned) before they are trained with the remote.
Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why the collar still has a bad reputation.
1) Wearing the collar is not properly conditioned to be a positive (activating) event.
It is not sufficient to just have the dog being used to wearing the collar. We put forth extra effort to condition the collar as a positive event before starting to use it. Any exciting event we can think of to follow the procedure of putting it on the dog! For example, all dogs get excited at feeding time. Use the excitement by putting the collar on and then provide the food. This will get him to be happy to have the collar put on! The more single exciting events you can think of to follow the procedure- the better he will like the mare sight of it. We all know how excited he gets when you grab the leash knowing that he will be taken to the park or goes for a ride. Utilizing the same effect in conjunction with the remote will steer his perception of it in the right direction.
2) Not putting the collar on properly.
The contacts of the unit preferably should be placed on the same contact point at the neck. Let’s say 5 o’clock. As we know that all body part (also different contact points of the dogs’ neck) have different sensitivity levels to electrical stimulation. Just try it out on yourself. Place the prongs in the palm of your hand and stim yourself at lowest level, increase the level in small increments until you start feeling it. Now place the prongs on the top of your hand at the same level of stimulation. You might feel less- or more intensity, even though you are still at the same level.
Also, everybody’s sensitivity is different!
Do not try to feel the stim for yourself, and just assume that your dog on his neck feels the very same.
In addition, the neck of the dog is shaped like a cone with the narrowest spot towards his head. The widest spot is towards his chest. The collar needs to be placed towards the narrowest spot, up by his neck. It has to be fit fairly snug. If a collar is strapped around the neck and you can easily move the box of the receiver around, it does not have contact. The reason to place it at the narrowest spot of the neck simply is that if you place it toward the chest, the dog might lower his head for sniffing, or he is running and the collar will move to the wider place. Thus the prongs will loose contact. Watch video click here
3) The trainer is not blindly familiar with the operational features of the unit
The trainer has to be absolutely certain that he understands the particular settings and functions of the unit he is working with. It is highly recommended that he practices operational features without having the collar on the dog. Every pilot has to be perfect in a simulator before he is actually flying a plane!For beginners it is recommended to train with a collar that is simple, and does not have too many “fancy” features that he might never even use. Hitting the wrong button at the wrong time will definitely have devastating consequences on training.
4) The level of stimulation applied
All novice trainers still have the desire to see an effect immediately.
If trained appropriately, the dog should be trained on a level where he is able to make choices and not being stressed. It is recommended to start at the lowest level available. The stim should always be accompanied by mechanical inducement with the leash at first. Mechanics are necessary to have the dog understand how to react to the unknown sensation. After a few repetitions the level of stim may be increased by small increments. You have to be aware of the fact that a mechanical inducement with the leash is totally different from electrical stimulation. Therefor a seamless transfer from performing a behavior on leash, and then just use the collar going to “off leash” is greatly confusing and scary for the dog.
5) The trainer does not understand the psychology of learning
It is the biggest challenge ever! Most novices do not take the time to educate themselves about how learning really works. The collar is used as a “positive punishment” tool. The human perception of punishment in dog training is to use it for a “none- or incorrect response” on the dog’s part.
As we should know that punishment itself very rarely has the effect intended, we should consider that the dog will never be able to understand being punished for something he did NOT do. Between dogs and humans, the communication via language per say is not available. In his simple mind, all he associates is this:
“I hear the word sit- and I received a shock!”
The effect is definitely that the word “sit”, and possibly “you” as the source of this announcement create a total negative image for him.