So you've heard about E-collars.
You've seen some other folks using them and are curious how they work but you’re scared you'll be ''shocking” your dog. Lets talk about the myths and misconceptions about this amazingly versatile tool!
The original E-collar was invented in the late 50's by bird-dog hunters. The collars began to be used more widely in the mid to late 60's. These archaic models were indeed ''shock-collars'' and they had three levels of shock that were all incredibly aversive. Picture touching an electric fence that is used to contain cattle or horses. It would jolt you with static shock that you would feel from your head to your toes.
Enter modern E-collar training.
So many inventions have evolved over time thanks to technology. Fortunately for us dog lovers, the E-collar has been along for the ride. The modern E-collar is no longer a unit that produces static shock, but rather blunt stimulation. Today, the E-collar is virtually a tens-unit similar to what is used in acupuncture, massage, and physical therapy. We now have 100 levels of stimulation where we can whisper, talk, or shout to the dog based on the situation. People often ask, "Why so many levels, why would you want to go that high?" With a scale of so many levels, it enables us to go super LOW to communicate commands, while still having a life-saving top end for emergency situations. People are always astounded that their dog can feel levels that are so much lower than what is tangible to them. Many owners can even recall their dogs off of squirrels or rabbits on levels that humans can’t even come close to feeling!
Here at Flash Dog Training, we train dogs on their "working level" or the first level tangible to them based on environmental distractions to prompt behaviors that we DO want the dog to do: sit, come, place, down, and heel. 90% of the time we are using the E-collar for positive communication to prompt behaviors we DO want. 10% of the time we use the collar for urgent or life-saving situations in a corrective manner. Imagine using your E-collar to stop your dog in his tracks when bolting towards a roadway, instead of a car correcting the dog. Or, when your dog is playing with a group of dogs and a scuffle breaks out, you can immediately defuse the situation and recall your dog to your side. Not ever allowing your dog to experience being in the natural world off of a leash sounds like a sad existence for an animal that wants to run free, sniff and explore by its very nature. You CAN have your dog off leash safely.
Our dogs are living in a man-made, confusing world where they don't speak the language. They don't understand our hazards and how dangerous they are to them. When your dog is thoroughly E-collar trained, you can call them off a deer or stop them from chasing bikes or cars. You name it and you can have safe, reliable control using this amazing tool! Imagine being able to finally let your dog off-leash and giving them the ultimate freedom, while ensuring you can keep them safe. Trust us, a split second of a higher level E collar correction will not harm your dog, at all. (No, you cannot “burn” a dog’s neck using blunt stimulation) Let’s compare that to hooves, antlers or a truck correcting your dog. We don’t even want to think about that scenario… that’s why we use E collars!
It's ingrained in so many people to think ''I'm going to push the E-collar button only when I don't want my dog to do a behavior.'' This is absolutely the old-school mindset that modern E-collar trainers are looking to change. Again, the majority of the time we are pushing the button because we WANT the dog to do a behavior. Essentially, with the right foundation of training, you will not have to correct your dog on a higher level when they respond to your lower level prompts. That's what the E-collar is all about; gaining greater reliability and engagement from your dog while having control through obedience. If we miss the opportunity to prompt on a low level, we can still get our dog safely back to us by matching the level of adrenaline in the dog with a comparable level on the remote.
When all dogs leave our program, they have a thorough understanding that they control the level and duration of the stimulation. It is NOT an “Act of God” that’s happening. They know that their behavior and whether they choose to listen to a command or not, is what is controlling the dial. An E collar is an insurance policy. It's a seat belt. You may not need it everyday, but you will be thanking your lucky stars that it was on your dog when the right situation manifests itself. We always use food in our E collar conditioning process. Our E-collar dogs are happy to work and upbeat. It becomes a game: they cant wait for the prompt because they know STIM = FOOD! There will always be a time and a place to stop unwanted behavior with an E-collar on a corrective level, but modern E-collar training is SO MUCH more than that.
You simply cannot compare Henry Ford's first Model-T vehicle to a 2018 Ford Mustang with Wi-Fi. Therefore, it is unfair to judge a modern E-collar against a shock collar. They are two completely different tools, with two completely different outputs. Here at Flash Dog Training we are eternally grateful for this amazing tool, as we have used it to save dogs’ lives in so many different contexts over the years. From behaviorally challenged aggressive dogs, to fearful dogs, there is an application for every dog. This tool enhances your communication with your best friend and will forever change your life with your dog in a positive way.
Contact us today for a phone consultation to see how E-collar training will transform your dog’s behavior, while giving them the ultimate quality of life.
Head over to our success stories page to see how the E-collar has transformed the lives of our clients and their beloved dogs.
Check out this video to see our process of finding the dog’s working level and conditioning the dog to the E-collar using food!