Sadly, there is too much controversy about e-collars, remote collars, shock collars….what ever you want to call them in the dog training world.
E collar haters say they are inhumane and abusive and that they send a jolt through the whole body of the dog. Some say the dogs only work because they are scared to be shocked. There are a few blogs and websites that bash e collars and make them scary to others but the fact is most of these people have never felt one and don’t have any idea what they are really talking about. Then there are some of the videos of idiots turning collars wide open like something you would see on the movie Jackass and stimulating themselves wide open? There are too many people who view an e collar as the last resort to any training IF they were to use one.
Because of the lack of education and knowledge about e collars, I feel this ignorant way of thinking comes from way back in the days of e- collar use when the technology was poor and the use was quite harsh. Many years ago in the beginning days of e collars there was only one level possibly 2 or 3. They were meant for 1 thing. STOP the dog. ZAP!!
People need to wake up and realize that technological advances have made leaps and bounds since those days and things are different now.
When you go to physiotherapy and they put a tens machine on you or a muscle stimulator, are they brutally shocking you? NO! Are you scared and in pain? NO! In fact its just the opposite and there are medical benefits and pain relief in the application. The thing is, the therapist is using the tool properly. Can the Tens machine be unpleasant? Sure! If the person using it does not know what they are doing?
It is time to stop being so narrow minded in the thinking that a remote collar can ONLY be used as a tool of punishment or correction, this is simply not the case
The problem I see today, with an e collar is that to many people can buy one with absolutely no idea how to use or apply it. This becomes a problem created by the uneducated handler and does not mean the tool is bad or inhumane.
With today’s modern e collars there are many different levels of stimulation that gives us many options when training just like a tens only not as strong.
Do you realize now we can use a the remote collar gently as a prompt or a cue for attention? Its true!! Just like tapping someone gently on the shoulder. The physical touch of the collar tap is very effective to break through distraction and re direct attention when the dog has focused his attention somewhere else, and yes of course when the dog redirects the attention back to the handler you can give positive reinforcement with a treat. The collar tap does not have to be a high level stimulation in order to work.
The only thing I see that makes this so hard to understand amongst trainers is personal emotional feelings and narrow mindedness. This is very Sad!!
I have trained all over North America training with many different dog trainers and have gone to many professional training schools that teach the complete opposite theory and I see dog trainers disagree and argue on topics way to often. It gets very hard on the head after a while.
Take a Clicker trainer, a traditional leash trainer and a e collar trainer that are set in their ways and put them in a room together. Ive been in this position before and it is stressful to say the least. They do not agree on very much at all and what they fail to see is that they all have pros and cons to their methods if used narrow-mindedly. They are not wrong they are just limiting their ability. In today’s society, IN THE REAL WORLD, trainers need to open up their minds to understand each other and to learn to use a balance of both positive and negative motivation. We seem to fear what we don’t understand so to better ourselves open the mind and get educated.
Here are some links to a couple of videos in relation to this blog post
All comments welcome
Duke Ferguson, ABCDT, CMT. Owner of Unleashed Potential K9 Academy.
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