Why You Should Never Purchase an E-Collar on Your Own

At Off-Leash K9 Training Colorado, we get asked why we don’t sell our e-collars on their own without a training package? Purchasing an e-collar without receiving training on how to properly use it, and how to train your dog with it, is much like learning to drive a manual car without proper instructions. Sure, you can figure it out, but you will likely be frustrated and you can ruin your car.

Here are the five most important reasons why you should always pair your e-collar purchase with a great training program:

1. Nothing Like a First Impression

Training should not only be fun for you and your dog but purposeful. The first time your dog is introduced to an e-collar should be in a controlled environment where success is easily attainable. This needs to be a positive experience for your dog and while progress may not seem like much to you as the owner, your dog has to leave the session feeling empowered and probably a little tired. E-collar training demands much more thinking from your dog than your typical reward-based training. A trainer can show you the proper steps to introducing the e-collar to your dog.

2. But Where Does It Go?

E-collar placement is extremely important to the overall success of the training. If the strap is too tight, it will be uncomfortable for your dog and if it’s too loose it will give your dog hot spots (like chaffing on your heels when your shoes are too big). If your dog has long hair, it should be parted just the right way. If your dog has thick fur, it may require different prongs. How high on the neck should it be? Does it go below or above the flat collar? So many questions! An experienced trainer knows where and how to properly place an e-collar system on all breeds to get the best connection and the best training experience for your dog.

Trainers Gustavo, Victoria & Moriah guide dogs and their owners through proper e-collar training

3. Leash Combo

Once your dog is fully e-collar trained, the e-collar will become an extension of the leash but in the meantime, the leash and the e-collar are a combo deal! The leash is the guiding tool that allows us to show your dogs what we want from them and the e-collar keeps their attention on us. At Off-Leash K9 Training, we use a 15-ft leash, but your trainer will start by giving them only 4-ft of that leash and then 6-ft, and so on and so forth, until eventually FREEDOM! However, not all dogs progress the same, and some dogs will stay at 4-ft for longer and others will be at 15-ft right away. Your trainer will adjust this for you.

4. Timing is Everything

When training your dog with an e-collar, timing really is everything. When giving your dog a command there is a window when you have to decide if your dog is understanding the command or ignoring you. This is when a trainer can help you decide if you go up in levels or give your dog more time or stay at the same level. You never want to be unfair to your dog and go up on the levels too high too fast or allow your dog to ignore the commands by not following through. This is where having a professional in your corner pays off for you because they will guide you and show you the signs to get the most out of your training tool.

5. Dogs are Sensitive Too

E-collars are manufactured tools. They have parts made of different materials. In some cases, dogs can have allergic reactions to the materials the e-collars are made of, like the strap or the metal in the prongs. When you have the support of an experienced trainer who can identify these reactions, they can help you find the best hypoallergenic replacement part that will alleviate your dog’s reaction and also not hinder your dog’s training. Additionally, some dogs are more sensitive to stimulation, a trainer can help your dog by adding reducers or changing the contact points altogether. This is the type of support you get from a trainer that you will not get from purchasing an e-collar on your own.


Many dog owners purchase e-collars and train their dogs on their own but ultimately do not get the results they expect. For the most part, they don’t introduce the e-collar correctly nor place it right. Their timing is wrong and so they overcorrect their dog, allow their dog to ignore commands, or they don’t have the right contact points for their dog’s fur. These owners will eventually call a professional; however now the trainer has to correct what has been done and while not impossible, it is a lot on your dog and more work for you as the owner.

And so, for all the reasons above and so much more, we do not sell our e-collar systems separately and do not recommend that you buy a system without enlisting the assistance of a professional to guide you and your dog to what proper e-collar training is and the results you can accomplish.


To learn more about e-collar training, check out these resources:

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