The use of e-collars in dog training is gaining meritable recognition among professional dog trainers. With a diverse and growing market, determining what kind of electronic tool to use in training your dog can be pretty challenging. So, if you still can’t make up your mind or are having a hard time with your selection, you’ve come to the right place.
Like in a typical buying process, there’s a lot to consider before the purchase decision. On top of all those considerations, your beloved pet’s safety and well-being are your top priorities. Electronic tools (e-collars) in dog training are designed with your pet dog in mind. They’re very effective in training dogs if used correctly and with the proper training regimen. Moreover, using e-collars speeds things up compared to dog training without an electronic aid.
Here, we’ll talk about the essential steps in buying your first e-collar to attain dog training success.
But first, what do we mean by an e-collar?
An e-collar is an electronic device used for dog training. It consists of a receiver collar worn on the dog and a handheld transmitter to control the stimulation sent to the dog. An e-collar goes by other names, such as a remote training collar, shock collar, electric collar, or remote trainer. Nonetheless, all refer to the same thing.
What to consider before buying your first e-collar?
Before your first purchase, consider these things first:
1. What is your dog training goal?
The first step in the buying process is knowing the problem or your purpose of buying. In this case, you should ask these questions:
- What are your dog training goals in using the e-collar?
- Is it to control your dog from barking too much?
- Are you having problems with containing your dog within your property?
- Does your dog always bolt and risk itself sustaining injuries or getting lost?
When you have settled on your dog training goal (yard boundary training, no bark training), let’s hop on to the next step.
2. What type of e-collar should you buy to meet your dog training goal?
Deciding on your dog training goal will narrow your choices among the variety of e-collars available in the market. There’s no one-size-fits-all tool when it comes to e-collars. Each type serves a unique purpose or two. You should know the distinctions of each kind to match your determined intent of buying.
Electronic tools are categorized according to their uses: anti-barking, pet containment, GPS tracking, hunting, or obedience training. Let’s take a look at these tools below.
Types of E-collars
No Bark Collars
As the name implies, no bark training collars are devices designed to teach your dog to refrain from annoying and incessant barking. This tool utilizes a receiver collar for your dog. Every time your dog barks, the collar automatically sends stimulation to redirect their attention. Depending on your preference, this stimulation may be a light “shock,” vibration, citronella or lemon spray, or tone.
Barking is a common problem for pet owners. Barking for dogs is their means of communication aside from their body language. Sometimes, the barking may become a bit excessive, and your neighbors may not tolerate it.
Of course, you can’t spank or paddle your dog whenever they do that. Hence, anti-bark collars are made for this reason.
E-fence systems keep your dog in a particular area or property. They are otherwise called pet containment systems. There are three types of e-fences: in-ground, wireless, and indoor. The mechanism of an e-fence is that it sets a boundary line to prevent your dog from stepping past the set perimeter.
These are very helpful when you want to keep your dog from running away and runs the risk of road mishaps or injuries. Pet owners get anxious when their dog takes off and enters the busy street unattended. For your peace of mind, go worry-free by using an e-fence. You can choose either wireless, in-ground, or indoor containment systems.
Remote Training Collars
Remote training collars or remote trainers are e-collars for obedience training, especially for hunting or working canines. The beauty about these collars is that you can train your dog even as far as a mile away. If they exhibit unwanted behavior at the park, pressing the transmitter button is all it takes.
A remote trainer can easily reinforce good behavior, curb undesirable habits, and teach new commands. With this, dog training is made easy, convenient, and safe.
GPS collars are specifically created to track your dog’s whereabouts when your dog’s out of sight or during hunting activities. With GPS technology, losing your dog may not be as terrifying as it had been without them wearing the collar. You can quickly locate your dog’s location by looking at your transmitter’s screen.
Understanding the types of e-collars and how they work helps you decide what electronic tool to buy based on your training goal, leading us to the final step.
3. What are the features to look into in evaluating your options?
This step is the tricky part of the buying process because there are a lot of points to inspect. But there’s no worry since all key points are listed to find the right e-collar for your dog.
Your dog’s safety should be your topmost consideration. Remember that e-collars are not meant to punish but only discourage undesirable behaviors. So, a collar that emits high-voltage electric shocks is a no-no.
Modern training collars deliver a static electric pulse rather than a real electric shock. The electric pulse is like a tapping sensation on the shoulder since modern e-collars use similar technology to that of a TENS unit. Also, look for e-collars with a safety switch that automatically stops the stimulation to avoid prolonged correction. If you prefer not to use a static correction on your dog, other e-collars have other training modes like tone or vibration.
Dog Size and Temperament
Dog training collars use metal prongs to deliver the stimulation from the receiver to the dog. Hence, a collar that doesn’t fit well on the dog’s neck won’t work correctly and renders the stimulation useless. Make sure you’re buying a collar recommended for your dog’s size. You don’t want your Pomeranian friend dragging a collar of that size suited for a Saint Bernard. Also, learn how to fit an e-collar properly.
Another thing, different dog breeds have different temperaments. Sensitive and timid dogs may only need a very low stimulation level to get their attention. Likewise, if you have a large, stubborn dog, you should buy an e-collar with a high stimulation output. Remember to always start at the lowest level and work your way up to avoid administering stimulation that’s more than enough for your dog.
Range and Effectivity
One important feature of an e-collar is the range of how far your dog can go off-leash while ensuring that you can send the stimulation in case of misbehavior in that distance. Most e-collars have a standard range of ½ mile, which is already sufficient. However, you can opt for a 1-mile range, especially if you have a wide property or want broad coverage. More is always ideal than a limited connection range.
Pick a device that is durable enough to withstand demanding training conditions. Waterproof and high-impact resistant e-collars are supreme over non-water-resistant and flimsy dog collars. This component can save you additional costs since you won’t buy a new collar for quite some time.
Rechargeable batteries are better than replaceable ones. So, you don’t have to keep buying batteries for your e-collar unit, saving you from the hassle and extra costs. Some dog training collars are powered by rapid-charge batteries, which, in effect, reduce downtime.
If you have two or more dogs, e-collar units that are expandable for dual-dog systems are great. These dog collar models allow you to train your two dogs simultaneously.
Using e-collars is a humane and effective way of teaching dogs good behavior. Understanding how e-collars work and their features should guide you in finding the right tool for your dog. Don’t forget the steps above for your first purchase or whenever you need them.
E-collars are like any other tools. If misused, the device cannot serve its purpose. Likewise, if operated correctly and with the right dog training regimen, dog training can be promising if sustained over time.