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The Big Bad Ecollar Trainers

Okay so I know this is a very sensitive subject for most dog owners and trainers, but I feel that there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to the use of ecollars, so I would like to clear some things up. Yes, we use ecollars for some dogs if it fits their needs and training goals, and yes, ecollars are not for all dogs. If you noticed none of the above statements made involve my personal comfort or feelings with the use of an ecollar. Injecting personal feelings and human emotion into dog training seems to be something that most people are not willing to forgo. It's always, "I do not support the use of ecollars" or "I do not feel comfortable with using an ecollar on my dog". The reality is that this is not about you- it is about your dog! What you might not feel comfortable with might not be the best for your dog, and only training with tools that you are comfortable with may be affecting your dog in negative ways. Forcing your personal beliefs on the training of your dog without proper education or the lack of will to use methods outside of your belief system will only cause more problems and most likely cause miscommunication between of you and your dog.

 

The reason we use ecollars is to give your dog more freedom off leash and to take out the human side of corrections. As people we are very inconsistent with the amount of power we use and when connected to your dog by leash, whether by collar or harness, we pull or if the dog pulls our level is very inconsistent, especially if we get frustrated. This creates miscommunication between you and your dog, as well as decreases the amount of walks you and your dogs go on because they become unenjoyable. When you use a ecollar and it is introduced properly you use a minimal amount of force and depending on the dog, low level stimulation which provides a enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. With proper training, you and your dog will be able to communicate off leash and with the ecollar you can trust your dog will come when called- no matter the distractions or environment because they know without or without a leash-come means come, heal means heal, etc. These collars can also help drastically reduce your dogs aggression because now we have the ability to correct it with out redirecting (which is done wrong all the time and never really confronts the issue itself) or yanking on your dog which if overdone or done incorrectly, can cause insecurities in your relationship.

 

Now let's visit the bad side of ecollar training. Not all dogs should be on ecollars, also not all ecollars are good and most people misuse them and are not trained properly on how to use them. Some dogs become more reactive with the use of these collars and can redirect and attack the handler searching for the source of the correction. It can also cause environmental stress if not introduced properly. For example; just strapping an ecollar on a dog and using it without leash or transition training, your dog associates the correction to the enviorment, not the actual action or behavior you are wishing to correct. Then you have people who don't put the collar on tight enough and the contact points do not lay evenly which will create inconsistent stimulation, so if your collar is set at a 20 it won't always be 20 depending on collar placement.

 

The reality is if you use this tool properly you can communicate corrections with minimal stress and no physical force with your dog and transition to a purely verbal way of communication. I am sure I have some positive reinforcement people and trainers clenching their fist and thinking  am a horrible person right now, but I don't really care because I am not in this business to please everyone ,  I am in this to save dogs lives, I have never turned a dog away, I have never advised a dog be put to sleep and I have never said a dog is untrainable and that is because I do not pigeon hole our method to one specific way of training. We work with what is best for the dog and I challenge people and trainers alike to work with that idea, go beyond your comfort zones and ego and save some dogs lives.

 

There is no one way to train a dog and we are not saying ecollars are the best way to train, we are saying as hard as it may be for you, it's not about you it's about your dog. So do the research and seek professional help from trainers who are not stuck in their ways and do what's best for your dog.