Debunking Common E-Collar Training Myths

Sprenger Prong Collar

If you know me, you know I am a huge proponent of using e-collars. An e-collar, or remote collar is a great tool and the only tool that gives you a direct line of communication with your dog when they’re off-leash. Here we break down exactly what e-collar training is and some common myths that come along with it.

How E-Collar Training Works

In this form of training, you’re getting a dog to associate the low-level stimulation delivered by the collar with a command. You trigger the e-collar stimulation with the remote while you say the command, for example, a command to sit. When the dog obeys the command, you shut off the stimulus. Then you reinforce the good behavior with verbal praise and a treat. Check out our preferred remote collar in action. 

Myths and Realities

Here are three common myths about e-collar training and the realities.

Myth #1 E-collars shock your dog.

Reality #1 E-collars deliver low-level stimulation.

Some mistakenly think an e-collar delivers a zap that’s akin to touching an electric livestock fence. The reality is that an e-collar delivers muscle stimulation that’s like a gentle tap-tap-tapping. This physical sensation is a stimulus dogs respond to more reliably than verbal commands. 

Myth #2 E-collar training is lazy (i.e., bad) because it relies on technology.

Reality #2 E-collar training isn’t lazy. It works! 

Yes, e-collar training relies on wireless technology, but that is exactly what makes it so effective. Using wireless technology allows for remote control of when stimulation is applied. This means there’s more flexibility in training. By using an e-collar, you open up a direct line of communication with your dog that doesn’t rely on them hearing or responding to verbal commands. 

Myth #3 E-collar training ruins your relationship with your dog.

Reality #3 It can strengthen your relationship.

Communication is at the core of a good relationship. Your dog wants to know what you want. E-collar training can make communication between you and your dog clear since it’s based on tactile stimulation rather than only verbal commands.

An e-collar provides a dog owner reliable off-leash control and is the only way to keep a dog accountable when off-leash. However, an untrained dog will just be confused by an e-collar. In order to reap the benefits fully, you’ll need to invest time and energy in training your dog with the e-collar properly.

Need Dog Training or E-Collar Guidance?

When you want to communicate effectively with your dog and ensure training success, Upstate Canine Academy is here to help. Founded by internationally-renowned dog trainer, Tom Davis, the Academy offers in-person, off-leash dog training and online dog training courses designed to help you achieve true off-leash freedom and confidence with your dog.