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Does the electronic collar training hurt the dog?

I have clients hold the collar on their hand and I stimulate the collar with the level that we start their dog off with. I have only had a couple of clients that can even feel the stimulation on that level.

Once the dog is acclimated to the collar, he dictates what level of stimulation is needed to match the distraction at hand. I love to watch clients go through this training because of the freedom that they have (more importantly the freedom that the dog has). Usually, the dogs are totally off leash by the third session.

The dogs are 50 yards away and come back when called. Everyone we train comments on how easy it is on the dog. It’s cool stuff!

 
How long will my dog need to wear the collar?

I suggest putting the collar on the dog in the morning and taking it off at night while in training.

This collar is no different than a choke or pinch collar and it is not uncomfortable. It is a tool used to train and re-enforce commands.

 
Won’t the collar use a ton of batteries?

The batteries in the Dogtra collars that we use will last you for years.

They are rechargeable and come with a charging adapter. They also do not develop a “memory” like some older versions.

 
How long will the collar hold a charge?

The collar will last for several days under normal use. We recommend that the collar and transmitter be charged overnight 2-3 times a week.

 
How is this training different from the “shock collar” training from 15 or 20 years ago?

This is the one area of misconception that I run into with new clients. When the early ancestors of these collars were developed, they were misused by many “trainers” that did not have a system to train the dog. They would strap the collar on the dog and give it a command. If the dog did not respond they would hit the dog with the highest stimulation they could.

This resulted in the dog suffering and being totally confused. This was fairly common in police dog training to get the dog to release a piece of bite equipment. We start with the lowest level possible. This is the level that I know the dog is feeling (usually a tilt of the head or a scratching of the collar) but not so high as to cause the dog to yelp or show other signs of discomfort. You should never hear your dog yelp while we are training him.

 
What type of commands can I use the collar to re-enforce?

Once the collar is properly introduced, you can use it to re-enforce all commands. 

We stress that the dog must know how to complete the command before you can re-enforce it.

This is no different than sitting me down at a piano and telling me to play you a song. You can use all sorts of motivational techniques but that won’t help me play the piano. I don’t know how. It is only after I’m taught that I can complete that task and be motivated or compelled to do it.

 
Can’t I use the choke collar or pinch/prong collar to get the same results as the e-collar?

Yes, however, your training time is increased by weeks if not months.

Once the leash comes off, the dog senses your lack of “control”. Not to mention, when you begin training under distractions.

I include basic obedience that covers the basic commands and works on timing and consistency with corrections. I use a chain collar (this is commonly referred to as a “choker” but I don’t “choke” dogs) to administer corrections.

Once the dog learns all of the basic commands and the e-collar is properly introduced, it can be used to take the place of the chain collar.

 
Can’t you use positive re-enforcement to get the dog to listen and obey?

To teach new commands we use praise and treats to get the dog to sit, down, stay, heel and come. Once the dog knows what is expected, and is at least six months old, we begin to introduce the dog to corrections.

This is where the dog does the command because you told him to and not because there is something in it for him.

The praise and treat method works up to a certain point for training.  As a dog matures they have prey drives that are instinctive for them. These prey drives make it difficult, if not counter intuitive, for them to respond to you vs the prey.