How to train dogs with an e-collar
How to introduce a shock collar to a dog
Dog owners can have a lot of challenges to overcome with their furry friends. From excessive barking to jumping up on visitors, to digging in the yard, it can be frustrating and difficult to train your dog.
e-collars are a popular solution to lots of different training issues. They can discourage bad behaviors but also be used to train your dog to respond to common commands. They’re simple to use, known to be highly effective and perfectly safe when used correctly.
What is an e-collar for dogs?
An E-collar, sometimes known as a shock collar, is an electric collar that uses small shocks or vibrations to correct unwanted behavior in dogs. The device comes as a collar with an attachment that emits signals such as a tone, vibration, or shock when the dog displays unwanted behavior.
Types of E-collars for dogs
With this type of e-collar, the dog handler uses a remote control to trigger the shocks or vibration through the collar during training or when the dog is misbehaving.
Boundary shock collars are used to make sure your dog does not go beyond the limits of your yard or stays within certain boundaries of your property. If they try to go beyond the invisible boundary provided by the e-collar, it corrects them automatically with a shock.
Excessive barking is a common issue with dogs and one that can be tricky to fix. Bark-correction collars are designed to emit a shock when your dog’s vocal cords vibrate — and attempt to start to bark — to prevent them from barking.
Steps for training your dog with an e-collar
For beginners, a remote-controlled e-collar is ideal. It can be used for all manners of training and correction, including barking. Here are some steps to using an e-collar to train your dog on specific commands.
Step 1: Start with e-collar conditioning
Select a remote-controlled e-collar that is recommended for the breed and size of your dog. The fit should be snug, but not overly restrictive. Like a standard dog collar, you should be able to place a finger under the e-collar strap while your dog is in a standing position.
For the first few days, do not turn the collar on at all. Simply allow your dog to get used to wearing it.
Step 2: Introduce the e-collar shock sensation
Training takes time and consistency. To begin with, spend 10-15 minutes at least once a day training your dog with the e-collar.
When training positive behaviors such as the “sit” command, use the tone function on the e-collar rather than the shock function. Play the tone and reward your dog with training treats, their favorite dog toy, or praise so they begin to associate the tone with positive consequences.
At this point, it’s important to establish your dog’s recognition barrier. Some dogs will need a louder tone for correction than others. Start at the lowest tone and work your way up if necessary. Once you see your dog start to react to the tone, you’ve reached the right volume and pitch for them to reinforce good behavior.
Step 3: Teach commands using the e-collar
Your dog should have some grasp of positive behaviors before reinforcing that training with an e-collar. The purpose of the e-collar is to ensure those commands are done quickly and under all levels of distraction, so you can rely on your dog to perform them when told.
For example, you can use the e-collar to teach your dog the “sit” command. Once your dog is wearing the collar, hold the remote controller in one hand and gently guide your dog into a sitting position with the other.
At the same time, press on the stimulus button and say the command “sit” out loud while holding down the button. The moment your dog is in the correct sitting position, release the button. It’s a good idea to extend your control with a training leash, like the Good2Go Dog Multifunction Training Lead, during your e-collar training.
Give your dog lots of praise and play for a few seconds before repeating the process until your dog sits as soon as he hears the command.
Step 4: Extend your e-collar training
The same process can be applied to other commands. You can also use the e-collar to deter your dog from unwanted behaviors.
For example, it’s common for young dogs to jump up on their owners and visitors. Discouraging this behavior is as simple as finding your dog’s recognition barrier using the shock function. Whenever they begin to jump up, press the stimulus button. As soon as all four paws are back on the ground, give your dog lots of praise.
Tips for effective e-collar dog training
When to begin e-collar training
Most trainers and experts recommend waiting until your puppy is about six months old before beginning e-collar training.
Recommended e-collar training duration
Your dog should not wear the e-collar at all times, as this can irritate the skin. Most manufacturers recommend the e-collar be worn no longer than 10 hours per day.
E-collar stimulation levels
The E-collar should never hurt your dog. Its purpose is to irritate them into paying attention. However, you may need to increase the stimulation level when there are more distractions around.
Best e-collars on the market
Best e-collar for beginners: PetSafe Lite Remote Trainer
This e-collar provides flexible and gentle corrections and tones. It is also simple to use, making it a great choice for beginners to e-collar training.
Best e-collar for large dog breeds: SportDOG FieldTrainer 425X Remote Training Dog Collar
If you’re training large dogs or working breeds outdoors for commands such as recall, this e-collar provides a range of 500 yards and is waterproof.
Best e-collar for excessive barking: NBJU Bark Collar for Dogs
Created for dogs of all sizes, this bark prevention e-collar comes with seven different sensitivity levels. Since it’s waterproof, it can be used to discourage both indoor and outdoor barking.
Lauren Farrell is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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