Why Do We Recommend E-Collar Training?

E-Collars are generally misunderstood, with many large ‘charities’ proclaiming that they are abusive and cause pain.

This rhetoric is now so widespread that most people, understandably, recoil in astonishment when we discuss clients who have opted to train their dogs with a remote collar.

Even individuals who have no idea how an E collar works will not hesitate to publicly criticise them, without verifying their opinions before! The truth is that a quality E collar (we only recommend equipment of high quality) does not shock your dog into ‘submission’. When used correctly, the models we recommend (of which there are only 2 or 3) do not cause pain & they in fact lead to off-lead freedom and enhanced obedience.

Some dogs have genetic drives & traits that cannot be trained away, no matter how many ‘sexier than a squirrel’ courses you may buy online, no matter how high value your treats, no matter how good your engagement. Some dogs have a level of prey drive which will cause them to go from standing placidly by your side to being run over 100 feet away trying to chase a rabbit in less than 10 seconds. 

Some dogs will always lean towards aggression and E collar training is the safest way of giving them freedom on walks. Some dogs are always going to be exceptionally friendly and will always seek interaction from others, no matter how much neutrality work you do!

Or perhaps your spaniel’s obsessive scenting & flushing is simply too much to manage!

All dogs deserve off-lead freedom and you deserve pleasant walks.

So who is suitable for E collar training?

Well, all the dogs I’ve just described above. When you feel your dog’s genetics are overtaking their training, you will need to consider a more advanced level of communication for off-leash time.

But there are other uses for E collar training too! 

Adam uses E collar stimulation to enhance the competitive obedience of our sport dog, Hannya. Additionally, Adam has layered E collar training over a particularly challenging case of resource guarding this year alone, and you can use E collars to create aversion to a stimulus/behaviour.

The most common use for an E collar though is to enhance obedience, notably recall. But it’s not a bad idea for any dog to be E collar trained! It’s never cruel, inappropriate or wrong. It may simply be unnecessary for some dogs because you don’t have any extremely challenging problem behaviour or genetic drives. 

Our Labrador Ava is not E collar trained – she will recall off rabbits, is not aggressive and does not participate in competition sports. Some of the traits I’ve just mentioned may not be strong enough to merit E collar training; you can still use an E collar in this case too!

In summary, the worst case scenario of E collar conditioning is that you have peace of mind when you didn’t need it. And the best case scenario? Your sighthound who has narrowly avoided death in pursuit of a small furry can now go off the lead. Your Golden Retriever who will not ever be able to resist joining someone else’s family picnic can now go off the lead. Your antisocial livestock guardian breed is now under control when visitors come.

Perhaps you simply want to use an E collar to enhance your dog’s functional obedience in the house and on walks. Perhaps you want to use one for your dog who isn’t definitively too friendly, but walks in a heaving country park on a Sunday do require a long lead.

Either way, over the course of a couple of months, you can carefully train your dog to thoroughly understand what the stimulation of a remote training collar means and unlock levels of reliable obedience you never thought you’d see.

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