Dog Shock Training Collars or E Collars
Who should use an e collar? I would not like to see this collar in the wrong hands for sure. I do not see a need for dog shock training collars, unless you work with your dog from a distance. For close training, as in in teaching your dog not to jump up on you, basic obedience, coming when called, a leash is best.
There have been many articles written on the pros and cons of using an electronic collar. Some call them shock collars, ecollars or whatever. Some of those ecollars have no shock to them, only a vibrate and or sound (like a sharp beep). Most have all three, with varying degrees of static shock, vibration and sound (beep).
As with all things, there are different brands, some better than others.
I can speak from experience, that it’s better to buy a well known brand for consistant performance. My first device was an inexpensive set- remote and two collars with transmitters. The shock function seemed to take a lot of battery power. After using that function a couple of times, to teach my headstrong dog to stay home, it would stop working. I had to recharge the device after every training session to be sure it was going to work.
I did not have 100% surety, that the device was going to work when I pushed the button.
Training our dogs to stay within our boundaries is crucial to their safety. Our neighbours to the one side of our ranch, have a barbed wire fence paddock for their cattle. Other neighbours have horses and dogs of their own. We do not want our dogs bothering our neighbours or getting into trouble.
I have recently purchased a better model and brand, SportDog 425 Field Trainer. This set comes with the remote, one collar/transmitter, DVD, manual, tester and charger. Instead of the $65 I paid for the first set (which doesn’t work half the time), the SportDog 425 has a price tag of aprox. $165. So $100 more with one collar instead of two.
You get what you pay for, is an old but often true saying, right?
The SportDog 425 is well packaged, with clear instructions, easy to read. I made sure to read the manual first, then made myself familiar with the operation of the unit. I shocked myself, without meaning to, on a rather high setting! I don’t recommend doing that to yourself but now I know what it would feel like to the dog! Yowza!
I had the setting on eight, the highest setting is 10. I decided never to have it set as high as that for my dog. My dog is a gentle Retriever X, who is very sensitive to the shock stimulius.
Most trainers seem to be in agreement that shock collars should not be used with aggressive dogs. That receiving a shock could make the dog more aggressive. Yes and No. I suspect most of those trainers have never used one.
I have used a shock collar to teach a dog not to bite the faces of other dogs.
A little dog that I used to know, would bite the nose of any dog that stopped to say hello. This would happen during playtime at my Pet Hotel. After reporting this to the little dog’s owner, she informed me that I could use her shock collar. The owner had been using one to discourage barking while at home. We had two choices, take her dog out of all play sessions or teach her dog to be nice. It only took 2 lessons with the shock collar, to convince the little dog that biting other dogs was bad.
The shock has to be at the right time so the dog does not connect the shock discipline with you. That is important! This little dog was convinced that when she tried to bite other dogs, bad things happened. She did not associate the shock with me. Our relationship was secure and the little dog got to mingle with other dogs with no problems.
Stop chasing cars, trucks and tractors!
I could see the e collar/shock collar being used to train a dog not to chase vehicles. The training must be done in such a way that the dog does not associate the shock with you. The dog should associate the shock with the action or in this case, the vehicle.
The shock should be stern enough that it stops your dog in his tracks when chasing a vehicle. Teaching your dog not to chase a vehicle, will save your dogs life.
Those of you who live in towns or cities will not likely need this kind of training. City dogs are not likely to need training to stay out of a neighbour’s cattle paddock or not to chase cars. Rural dogs who have the run of the farm or ranch, DO often need this training.
Farm dogs are often expected to be watchdogs of the property or guardians of livestock.
I have seen Cesar Milan teach a cattle dog not to chase after the farm trucks and tractors with an e collar. That training no doubt saved that dogs life! A dog is no match for tires bigger than he is!
Teaching property boundaries
That is the main use I have for my e collar, to teach my younger dog that leaving the ranch has consequences. I started his training to stay within our boundaries at a young age. Not with the e collar. I began his training on leash, Ciro had to go wherever I did on the ranch, attached to my waist. At other times, I leashed him to a cable close to the barn when I was handling the horses.
Gradually, I began allowing him to explore and follow along, with a leash dragging behind. I soon realized that Ciro’s 50% Great Pyrenees ancestry , was not content to follow my rules. I would turn my back and he’d be at the neighbours, attracted to the little kids there. At other times, Ciro would go and dig in the neighbours garden, completely ignoring my calls.
Ciro would be well behaved for days or even weeks
and then one day he would choose to ignore my calls again. It was pretty frustrating to see him on the fields or neighbour’s cattle paddock, knowing that I had no way of correcting his behaviour from far off.
The shock collar has made a huge difference, using the vibration mode first, then the shock, depending on how he responded. Imagine this scene, Ciro, my golden beauty, casually wandering around the cattle paddock in complete indifference to my calls. His collar suddenly emits a sharp shock, Ciro yelps in surprise, looks around to see what could have caused it. I give him another ‘surprise’, making sure he does not see me with the remote. With another yelp, Ciro is heading for home at a fast gallop, thinking the paddock is a dangerous place to be!
Lesson learned for awhile. Ciro being Ciro, will try again another day, to test his boundaries. I am prepared. Dog shock training collars or e collars, are a must have training tool, when you need to train at a distance. Just make sure you get a good one
For the Page What is the Best Dog for Me, Part One
For the Page Symptoms of Dog Worms