What is an e-collar and how does it work?

An “e-collar” is basically a collar with a stimulation mechanism (like a tens unit used on humans during physical therapy). The collar is controlled by a remote that the handler holds. The remote allows you to maintain full control of your dog for up to ½ a mile to a full mile depending on the model! Therefore, it gives your dog a lot of freedom and it saves you from worrying about your dog running off! It is not used as a punishment or a “shock” as many people assume, it is simply used as a training device for communicating with your dog. It produces a subtle electrical current between two contact points located on the collar which causes the muscle to contract. In the old days this type of collar was used as “shock collar” and many inexperienced dog owners tried to use this device to scare their dog into submission. In the method we teach, your dog is never “shocked into submission” or abused. Unlike a shocking device, the e-collar is used to get the dog’s attention and keep it focused on listening to the handler. It is the equivalents of someone tapping your shoulder to get your attention or setting your phone on vibrate so it will get your attention when someone is calling you. We teach the dog to acknowledge the stimulation as a way of saying, “Hey…I am trying to get your attention.”

During our first meeting we will put the e-collar on your arm or hand. You will feel how mild the stimulation is. One common misconception is the e-collar will burn their skin. This is false. Other people think that it is like being shocked with a taser, this is also false. We are dog trainers because we LOVE dogs and we would never do anything to harm them in any way!

How long will my dog have to wear the e-collar and will my dog hate it?

Your dog will not always have to wear the e-collar. After your dog completes the training, you will notice that inside your home your dog will listen to your commands without the e-collar on. However, we always recommend putting the e-collar on your dog before you take it outside off-leash. This is because you never know what may get distract your dog once you are outside the safety of your home. The e-collar becomes something like an insurance policy, it is there if you need it.  You always want to maintain complete control of your dog…think of it as an invisible leash. It only takes one time for you dog to see something that really catches their attention and without the collar, you have no way to stop him/her.  Worse case scenario is your dog is injured or injures someone…No one wants this!

Most owners are surprised that their dog sometimes becomes excited when the see the e-collar come out.  This is because they know you are going to take them somewhere, go do something with them…have the interaction they crave from you.  My personal dogs hear the beep of the e-collar turning on and will run and sit in front of me to have it put on.  Another way of thinking about this is what if you had to stay home 24/7 and only left the house to the yard for potty breaks…this is what a dog perceives life is about.  Then they receive the training and know when the collar comes out it means they get to go run, play, interact with their person.  They will be stimulated and come home a happy and tired dog. Remember, if you do not give it a job to do (training), it will become bored.  Bored dogs often become destructive and destructive dogs will cost you MONEY!  It can also cause grief in relationships and who wants that?  Not me!!!

Where do we conduct these private sessions?

I do not like to train dogs inside of their home.  Dogs can become complacent in a familiar environment, it is their home after all and they are comfortable there.  If your dog trains in an unfamiliar environment, with numerous distractions, they will listen to your commands.  So, we will train in parks, at our facility, sometimes in businesses…any where we can to offer your dog and you a better service.

How long will this training take?

Basic Obedience is generally done in FOUR lessons.

Lesson 1: “Come” and “Sit.”

Lesson 2: “Extended Sit” and “Down.” Extended sit meaning your dog will sit until you release it

Lesson 3: “Place” and “Extended Down.” Place meaning your dog will sit on a specific object you point to (chair, bench, etc.)

Lesson 4: “Loose Leash Walking.” Meaning, your dog will walk right beside of you while on a leash.

All of this is done off-leash as long as you have put in the necessary training time in between each lesson.  Now you ask, “What is the necessary training time per day?” You don’t have to set a specific amount of time aside each day, you just need to put in at least 60 minutes per day.  This can be broken down however you want as long as it isn’t in a 60-minute session.  I.E. 5 or 10 minutes here or there throughout the day or during the time you are home.  You are cooking dinner, you have to set the timer for 10 minutes.  During that 10 minutes you can train with your dog.  See how simple this is 😊!

At what age can we start e-collar training?

Generally, we do not start e-collar training on a dog until it is at least 5-6 months old.  What if my dog isn’t old enough? We can still do Foundation training which incorporates the treat method and positive reinforcement! This will give your new pup a good foundation for basic obedience! Additionally, we can teach you how to house train your puppy. He/ she will learn how to let you know they need to go so they don’t continue having accidents in the house.

What is foundation training and when can my puppy start?

Foundation training discusses the 7 resources you control with your dog to encourage proper bonding and respect.  Then we teach you and your dog Come, Sit and Down using “Marker” training, treats and positive reinforcement.  This enables the dog to learn the commands much faster because you are instantly “marking” the correct behavior. In return, the dog knows it has not done what you are asking it to do until it hears you “mark” the behavior, receives a treat and then receives positive reinforcement.  In essence you are learning how to clearly communicate with your dog.  Then on to loose leash walking with the final lesson learning how to work through distractions and distance.  Any puppy at least 12 weeks of age and has had at least 2 sets of vaccinations.

Is there a size restriction for e-collar training?

NO! E-Collar training works on a dog of ANY SIZE, ANY SHAPE, and ANY AGE above 5-6 months.

Do you offer a support after training is completed?

Yes! We offer support for the life of the dog.  We are always just a phone call away!

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