The Remote Collar Debate, or e-collar debate, has made national news recently. The trainers at Dogwoods Lodge would like to put in our two cents on the subject to help educate the public on their legitimate uses.
Remote collars or e-collars have been used for decades, primarily by hunting dog trainers. As of late, many other types of trainers have learned how to properly train dogs with these devices and have experienced their many advantages. The difference between how they were used in the past and how they are used now is significant. Hunting dog trainers used to use the collars at high punishment levels when the dog did something incorrectly. Now, modern trainers use them at very low levels — that humans can often barely feel — primarily as a communication tool. When taught properly, the dog is prompted by the low-level stimulation to do something or to stop doing something.
The advantages of remote collars when taught by educated, experienced trainers or owners are many:
- An e-collar gives many owners the peace of mind to let their dogs go off leash, which allows the dog and human a much happier existence.
- Owners who use e-collars for teaching the “come” command know that any level of stimulation is better than their dog putting themselves in danger of being hit by a car or running away.
- Dogs who may have had to be rehomed because their owners couldn’t handle them due to their craziness, strength or size can now be taught to be controlled in a very calm manner — and without popping their owner’s shoulder out of his/her socket.
- Ever had a deaf dog? It can be frustrating. But thankfully, they do really well with remote collars. The stimulation acts as a light tap on the shoulder, so they know you want their attention, and then you can give them a hand signal for what you want them to do.
- Many dogs who don’t respond well to other types of training do very well on the remote collar because they have to make decisions for themselves. The owner isn’t constantly tugging on them, screaming at them, shoving treats down their face… There is simply an annoying light stimulation that the dog has to figure out how to turn off. And by doing what their owner requests, it magically stops! Thus, making the command the dog’s decision to complete. It works wonders for stubborn dogs who seemed previously untrainable. (Huskies anyone??)
Those are just a few of the pros. See how they can be put into practice with this video!
The only cons to the remote collars are:
- The dog (in most cases) has to be wearing the collar for commands to be successful.
- There are many not-so-awesome brands on the market.
- They are available to the general public. Our feeling is if you haven’t taken a course on how to teach your dog on the e-collar, don’t do it. It’s very easy to confuse your dog and do it incorrectly.
So, the next time someone starts into a debate about remote collars, please try to enlighten them to the many pros of modern-day e-collars.