7 Myths About E-collar Training
“E-collars hurt dogs and scares them into obedience”. You’ve probably read something similar online or heard it from friends. Is it true? Here at Offleash K9 Training Colorado, we employ the same technique’s as police and military working dogs. This style of training encompasses consistency, fairness, and crystal clear communication between dog and handler.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the myths surrounding e-collar training and hear from dog owners who have learned the proper way to employ this training method.
Myth 1: An e-collar will hurt my dog
No. During our first meeting with a new client, we put the e-collar on the owner’s arm to feel how mild the stimulation is. One common misconception is the e-collar will burn their skin. This is false. Other people think that it is like being shocked with a taser, this is also false. We are dog trainers because we LOVE dogs and we would never do anything to harm them in any way! Furthermore; we would never do anything to a dog, that we will not do ourselves.
This training has been so amazing for us! I was really worried that using an e-collar would somehow negatively change my dog’s personality… just the opposite! She has become so much more confident and really loves learn and genuinely loves working! Her unique personality is still intact and now she actually listens! Our biggest concern was her ability to escape and not come back when called; we are so much more confident taking her places now without this concern!
Myth 2: An e-collar is a punishment tool
An “e-collar” is basically a collar with a stimulation mechanism (same technology as a mobile TENS unit used for physical therapy). The collar is controlled by a remote that the handler holds. The remote allows you to maintain full control of your dog for up to 400 yards! Therefore, it gives your dog a lot of freedom and it saves you from worrying about your dog running off. It is not used as a punishment or a “shock” as many people assume, it is simply used as a training device for communicating with your dog.
In past year I have had my black Labs trained by OLK9 in Colorado Springs, both through the 2 week board and train. I can confidently walk my dogs off leash and know they will follow my commands. I carry a leash in case I need it, but have not used it since prior to training. Worth the cost for this training.
Myth 3: E-collars shock the dog into submission
In the old days this type of collar was used as “shock collar” and many inexperienced dog owners tried to use this device to scare their dog into submission. In the proven training method we teach, the dog is never “shocked into submission” or abused. Unlike a shocking device or electric fence collar, the e-collar is used to get the dog’s attention and keep it focused on listening to the handler. It is the equivalents of someone tapping your shoulder to get your attention, or setting your phone on vibrate so it will get your attention when someone is calling you. We teach the dog to listen to those “taps” and that the “taps” mean, “I am trying to get your attention.”
I was skeptical of the techniques that Off Leash Colorado uses but after learning more about the program and the knowledge of the trainers, I opted to give it a try. I knew at the very first lesson that these guys had the key to not only training, but behavior modification, confidence building, focus and truly bonding with your pup. Off leash Colorado is by far the best in the business when it comes to having a happy, confident dog that knows exactly how to respond to its owner.
Myth 4: Dog will fear to wear the e-collar
No! Almost everyone is very surprised that they receive quite the opposite reaction from their dog. When you present the collar, most dogs will come running and sit down in front of you and wait for you to put it on them. Why? Because the dog knows the e-collar means that they are going outside (to run, play ball, be free, etc) AND they know they are going to do training! A bored dog is a destructive dog; a trained/exercised dog is a HAPPY dog. They look forward to their training sessions because it stimulates them and gives them something to do.
I have a 1.5 year old Blue Lacey Mix, she is a rescue pup that came from Texas just after Hurricane Harvey. She is full of energy and one of the fastest pups I have ever dealt with. A few sessions at Off Leash K9 has made a world of difference. She is responding to my commands, holding her positions like a champ, and she is now able to be in the front yard with me safely. I was skeptical about using an E collar, but I am now a fan and will use them as training tools from here out. Thank You.
Myth 5: The e-collar must always be on
Your dog will not have to wear the e-collar for the remainder of his or her life. However, once you’re started e-collar training, our recommendation is that you keep it on when your dog is awake and supervised for the next 6-12 months. With consistent training, your dog will then no longer need the collar inside the house. In fact, after 6 months, most people only use them only outside in high distraction areas or rural areas where the dog can get lost or engage with wildlife.
Our 1 year old rescue Belgian Mal’s a sweetheart when we got her, but when on leash was almost uncontrollable when she saw a another dog or neighbors. Different dog after 3 lessons. The results of the heel lesson, in particular, were amazing. We just finished a 2 hour hike, encountered multiple horses, other dogs, and many hikers. She either sat or heeled, depending on what we wanted. No barking. This training is invaluable!!!!
Myth 6: E-collar training is a quick fix to behavior or obedience issues
Training your dog is not a one-time-and-done task. It’s something dogs require throughout their lives, not only does it provide mental stimulation and maintains basic obedience skills but also strengthens the bond between dog and owner. While we often find that dogs respond quickly to the clear communication that an e-collar provides, it takes many hours to perfect obedience skills. During our two board-and-train, we work with the dogs for about 3-4 hours per day, and we require owners to practice obedience for 30 minutes each day with their pooch. It takes countless hours of consistent practice to obtain flawless obedience skills.
Our dog Red is 10x better now than he was when we first took him for training. Gustavo aka Goose was excellent with not only working with our dog, but training us as well. We highly recommend Off Leash K9 Training to anyone looking for dog training. It was worth all the time, effort and money and the only way you will regret it is if you don’t work with your dog as required.
Myth 7: It’s cheaper to buy an e-collar at a pet-store and do it yourself
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for the dog owner to learn the proper e-collar training methods. Unfortunately, some owners buy an e-collar without any education. If not used properly, the dog can indeed become confused or scared. It is important to work with a dog professional that has proven experience who can teach both dog and owner how to use the e-collar as a training and communications tool.
We got our GSD, Remi, at 8 weeks and after 8 months of youtube videos and my bad training he was completely out of control. Thats when we went to Off Leash B&T. Best Decision Ever! Jonathan is a genius. It took him training Remi AND my family on what it means to give a dog a job, how important consistency and structure is and how vital it is to a dogs mental health. Remi is now amazing! We even get compliments about how well trained he is and you can see he’s also much happier; and so are we!
About Off-Leash K9 Training
Off-Leash K9 Training (OLK9) is an off-leash dog training business with facilities in Denver and Colorado Springs. We specialize in private lessons, dog behavior consultations and puppy consultations; in order to give owners a better understanding of why their dogs, “Do the things they do!” This helps to create a stronger bond between the owner and the dog.
Here is “Archer”, a Bernese Mountain Dog, showing off his new skills and his mom talking about what their training with Offleash K9 Training Colorado
Learn more about our six different obedience training packages here.