Written by Sarah Connor - Pet Nutrition Expert. Updated on 27/07/2023.
E-collar Training: How to Use an E-Collar
There's nothing more fun than training your dog and seeing those results. With e-collar training, you can stay positive and teach your dog to stop unwanted behavior quickly without inflicting pain. However, before we dive into how to use an e-collar for positive training, let's first understand what an e-collar is and how it works.
E-collars allow you to teach your dog the difference between good and bad behaviors via beep, vibration, or shock mode. An e-collar will feature a wireless remote and a wireless receiver. (e-collar) E-collars allow you to signal your dog and inhibit "unwanted behaviors." This is one of the fastest and safest ways of training and, although controversial, does not have to be painful when used with low stimulation modes. The good news is that dogs learn quickly with an e-collar for training. This is a beginner's guide on how to use an e-collar to train your dog.
Written by Sarah Connor, an experienced canine trainer and nutritionist for over a decade. Her positive reinforcement methods and passion for pups make her a go-to for dog owners.
E-Collar Dog Training
When training your dog, you must use the proper training tools and techniques to help you achieve your goals effectively and efficiently so as not to confuse your dog. Eliminating unwanted behaviors early on is much easier than doing so later on.
One Smart AI dog training collar that has recently gained popularity is the e-collar. E-collars can be used to safely and effectively train dogs since the collar allows you to choose your settings for training. E-collars also offer long-range training of up to 1600 feet and sometimes more or less, making it easy to train your dog in all terrains and weather conditions.
Best Anti-Barking Electronic Collar
Bark Beyond Anti-Bark Collar V1
"One day of wearing this collar, and the barking has stopped! Even the Big Wolf Lodge commercial, which usually sends him over the edge, doesn't phase him. The first time he barked wearing the collar, it vibrated and startled our dog. One day of wearing this collar, and the barking has stopped. The first time he barked wearing the collar, it vibrated and startled our dog."
- Callie R., Verified Buyer
This collar features cutting-edge technology and is the most advanced 2023 Smart AI no-bark collar for eliminating your dog's unwanted barking behavior. It features three training modes, eight adjustable sensitivity levels, and Smart AI bark-detecting technology for maximum accuracy, safety, and effectiveness.
Additionally, the collar is IP67 waterproof, so you don't have to worry about your pup in the rain or pool. Bark Beyond's lightweight, stylish, ergonomic design provides shock-free training if needed. The takeaway with this Smart AI technology bark collar is that it's a best-value product for multi-pet families, with the trio pack available at $142.99.
Bark Beyond E3 E-Collar
"The Bark Beyond E3 E-Collar changed my perspective on e-collars. It's customizable, comfortable, and yielded remarkable results for my dog."
- Jennifer B., Verified Buyer
This is another favorite dog training e-collar that pet parents turn to. The Bark Beyond E3 e-collar has an adjustable length of 70 cm and is the premier choice for practical dog training. The E3 offers multiple training modes: vibration, shock, LED, and sound.
Rated number one in 2023, this collar features a waterproof design for all-weather use and adjustable vibration levels, shock, LED, and sound modes. Its 800 m remote control range makes it easy to operate, while its user-friendly features, such as energy-saving mode and adjustable collar, allow for comfortable use.
Its humane approach ensures your dog's comfort and safety during training sessions. The BarkBeyond E3 E-Collar provides a reliable and versatile experience for your dog's training needs. This is why so many people use this for off-leash freedom at the beach, dog park, and on hikes... Short training sessions work best. Modern technology via remote collars helps dogs respond to verbal recalls and allows you to communicate with your dog on a higher level.
Best Selling e-Collar Brands
Delupet Dog Training E-Collar
" Highly recommend, if you have a smart dog who catches on quickly! While I realize these collars can be controversial, and you must use caution, I will attest that this has been a total game changer."
- Steven B., Verified Buyer
Numerous e-collar brands, like the bestselling Delupet e-collar with over 17,000 positive reviews, feature a security keypad lock to prevent accidental pushes while holding the remote. These electronic training collars are also IP67 waterproof, allowing for training in all weather conditions within a 1600-foot range.
What is an E-Collar?
An e-collar is a device that is used to condition a dog's behaviors through the use of stimulation. The pet parent uses the collar's remote control to signal the collar, sending a mild current to the dog through the collar's prongs. Before using an e-collar, pet parents must ensure that the collar fits comfortably around the dog's neck and is not too tight or too loose. It's essential always to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Can Shock Collars Hurt Dogs?
Shock collars for dog training have to be used correctly to be safe. E-collars are not supposed to stay on 24/7 or to be used on puppies younger than six months of age.
These collars work well for training dogs and help to discourage dogs from doing the wrong behaviors like jumping up on you, excessive barking, and so forth. They are not meant to be used as a form of punishment but to train dogs.
How Does an E-collar Work on a Dog?
The e-collar delivers a low-level stimulation or "tap" to your dog's neck, which stimulates their nerve endings and, in turn, causes them to feel a sensation, like a mild tickle or vibration. This sensation is not painful and is designed to get your dog's attention.
Reddit E-Collar Training Tips
If you need to know more about how an e-collar would work for obedience training, we honed in on some Redditor's comments on dog training with e-collars.
"We use it to build the implied stay on those commands. Down and place are permanent until release. We train them with treats and verbally correct them if they break the command. Eventually, it turns into e-collar corrections when they understand the command enough. Sometimes we need our girls to down and not react to someone's ball, bicycle, frisbee, dog, etc. Enforcing the implied stays helps a lot with obedience training," says pet parents on Reddit.
Another Reddit user added, "If the dog is e-collar conditioned, yes. You can use an e-collar for anything you’d use a leash for, as far as enforcing things. You should still have a leash to fall back on to make your dog follow through in case they disregard the e-collar or show confusion. I would also teach the dog every command on a leash and add in the collar after they know the command."
One Redditor dog trainer explained, "E-collar conditioning is about conditioning an attention response from your dog, which is enforced by varying levels on the e-collar dependent on circumstance. It is used as a correction/pressure and a signal that “I need your attention now (attention to the handler keeps stimuli off, which can also be motivationally trained with treats/luring). If you’re not familiar with the e-collar condition, I would recommend spending a lengthy time researching it; Leerburg has videos that are great resources. You may also consider hiring a professional trainer for private lessons on e-collar conditioning."
E-Collars for Excessive Barking
AI Smart e-collars using the latest technology, like the Bark Beyond dog bark collar, is an effective training tool that helps end nuisance barking. Working with a professional trainer before using a bark collar is crucial. A trainer can assess the dog's barking behavior, determine the suitability of using a bark collar, and provide instructions on proper usage and training techniques.
Benefits of E-Collar Training
Using an e-collar (electronic collar or remote training collar) for dog training can offer several advantages when used responsibly and under the guidance of a professional trainer. Here are some key benefits of using an e-collar:
- Precise Communication: E-collars provide clear communication between the trainer and their dog. The remote control allows instant delivery of commands, corrections, or signals, even at a distance. This enhances the clarity of communication, helping the dog understand expectations more effectively.
- Versatility: E-collars can be used for various training purposes, including obedience training, recall training, behavior modification, and addressing specific behavioral issues. They can cater to individual dogs' needs and sensitivities with adjustable stimulation levels.
- Safety: Modern e-collars are designed with safety features to prevent overstimulation or harm to the dog. Many e-collars have built-in mechanisms, such as automatic shut-off or gradual increase in stimulation levels, ensuring that the training remains humane and safe.
- Off-Leash Control: E-collars are particularly useful in off-leash training scenarios. They give pet parents reliable control over their dogs, allowing them to reinforce commands and maintain focus even when the dog is off-leash, in distracting environments, or at a distance.
- Addressing Unwanted Behaviors: E-collars can effectively correct unwanted behaviors such as excessive barking, jumping, chasing, or aggression. By delivering timely and appropriate corrections, dogs can learn to associate these behaviors with negative consequences, helping to modify their behavior over time.
- Efficient Training: When used correctly, E-collar training can expedite the learning process. It enables clear communication and immediate feedback, making it easier for dogs to understand and respond to commands or cues. This can lead to faster and more efficient training outcomes.
- Customizability: E-collars offer customizable features to suit individual dogs' needs. Training modes, stimulation levels, and additional functions such as vibration or tone options can be tailored to the dog's temperament, sensitivity, and specific training requirements.
It is important to note that e-collars should always be used responsibly, with proper training techniques and guidance from a professional dog trainer. Positive reinforcement and rewards should be incorporated into the training process alongside the e-collar, ensuring a balanced and practical approach to training.
Choose the Right E-Collar
The first step in using an e-collar for positive pet parenting is to choose the right e-collar. Several types of e-collars are available on the market, so it's best to find one suitable for your dog's size, temperament, and training needs.
What are Beep Sounds?
The beep sound should be used as a warning by pressing the beep button. In this way, your dog will become conditioned to hear the beep before the corrective stimulus and will soon see this as a warning with your verbal command.
One Dog at a Time Training
It's recommended to train one dog at a time in a stress-free and distraction-free environment so that your dog can focus on training. Although some dogs will not respond to e-collar training, and some may react with aggression, biting, or growling, most dogs with consistent use of the e-collar respond well to the e-collar when used together with positive training.
How To Use an E-collar for Dog Training
Step 1: Make Sure Your Dog Is Ready for Training with a Remote e-Collar
Before you start e-collar training, ensure you have the correct-sized collar for your furbaby. It should fit snugly around their neck but not too tight. You should also read the manufacturer's instructions and watch video tutorials on how to use the collar. The first thing to consider is your dog's age. Dogs over six months old can undergo training using a remote training e-collar.
Apart from age, you also need to evaluate your dog's temperament. This will help you understand better which stimulation to use and how to organize a training session. Some dogs respond better to a beep stimulation, while others benefit from vibration or static stimulation.
Step 2: Learn How to Fit the E-Collar Correctly
Learning how to fit the receiver on your dog's neck correctly is important. The correct placement of the receiver is on the dog's neck below the ears. The contact points of the receiver must touch the skin for the stimulation to work.
If your dog has long hair or is double-coated, you may need to trim the fur near the probes. This will help improve contact and facilitate the transfer of stimulation.
The receiver's strap must have an appropriate tightness. Ensure you fit two fingers between the collar strap and your dog's neck. This will ensure the receiver is correctly fixed and provide enough stimulation for training.
Step 3: Start Training Your Dog with a Remote E-Collar
Once you have ensured your dog is ready for training and know how to fit the e-collar correctly, you can start the training process.
When using a remote training system, starting with the lowest possible setting is essential, and working your way up gradually. This will help prevent overstimulation or causing harm to your dog.
Starting with Small Steps
The key to using an e-collar for dog training is breaking behaviors into small segments and training in small steps. It starts by identifying a specific behavior you want to change or teach and then breaking it into the most minor components possible. For instance, instead of training your dog to come on command, consider starting with releasing the dog from a down or sit position.
Electronic Collar Training Tips
While the e-collar can be a valuable tool for training your dog, you must use positive training techniques alongside it. This means rewarding your dog for good behavior, using clear and consistent commands, and avoiding punishment. The biggest problem with e-collars is contact, and you need to make sure that the contact points are sitting close to the dog's neck and touching the skin.
Place & Recall Command
Keep a slip collar higher on your dog’s neck than the e-collar if you're using a slip collar. You'll also need food, treats, and a ball. A dog needs to know the place command and the recall cue before using an e-collar.
The objective is to use the stimulation to control your dog and hold your dog accountable while off-leash. Dogs will have optimal off-leash freedom with an e-collar, and you’ll feel in control in every situation. It’s best to use only high-quality e-collars like Bark Beyond products to get optimal safety and training needs met without worrying about product glitches.
E-collars help dogs understand that they must do the behavior, and the stimulation shuts off. You must use verbal commands first and only then add a corrective stimulus when needed.
You should also be consistent with verbal commands and use the exact words every time so your dog understands you and does not get confused. Work on one behavior at a time until your dog gets it right to avoid confusion.
When doing this with your dog in the beginning, reward a lot. Use cue "break" -in between cues. Intervention corrections work well with e-collars. E-Collar is the best way to train a dog off-leash for a reliable recall.
Safe e-Collar Practices for Dogs
Most e-collars have different functions, including tone and vibration or static stimulation functions. When you start using the e-collar for training, it's best to start with the tone function and then gradually move up to the vibration or static stimulation function as needed. Use as little stimulus as possible when using the e-collar and only to reinforce verbal commands. You should never overcorrect your dog.
Low Conditioning Levels
Low conditioning levels do not hurt your dog. But the takeaway is to work slowly towards your dog being fully off-leash trained with an e-collar. This helps prevent dangerous situations and can help get your dog out of difficult situations when hiking, during pet vacays, and in stressful situations. Still, you must do the work initially and teach your dog the basics of obedience training.
But first things first- Before incorporating the e-collar, ensure that your dog has a solid foundation in basic obedience commands, such as "sit," "stay," and "come." This helps establish clear communication and sets the groundwork for effective training with an e-collar.
An e-collar should not be used as the sole training tool. It should be complemented with positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and play, to reinforce desired behaviors.
Do not use an e-collar on dogs with aggression issues. An e-collar is unsuitable for addressing aggression and can potentially escalate the problem.
E-Collar Training Techniques
Train in Short Sessions
Keeping the sessions short and sweet when using the e-collar for training is essential. This will help your dog stay focused and motivated and help you avoid overusing the e-collar, which can lead to desensitization and resistance.
Reinforce Good Behavior
One of the key benefits of using an e-collar for training is that it allows you to reinforce positive behaviors quickly and effectively. When your dog exhibits good behavior, you can use the e-collar to deliver a tone, vibration, or static stimulation as a reward, and this will help your dog learn what behaviors are desirable.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Finally, it's important to remember that, like any training technique, e-collar training takes practice. You will need to be patient, consistent, and persistent if you want to see results. The more you practice, the better your dog will respond to the e-collar and the more confident and effective you will become as a trainer.
Consistency and Timing
Consistency in using the e-collar during training sessions is essential. Timing is also crucial - the correction or stimulation should be applied at the exact moment when the dog exhibits an undesirable behavior or fails to respond to a command. This helps the dog understand the connection between their actions and the consequences.
Tips for Training Your Dog with Rewards
We adore our dogs, and there's nothing nicer than rewarding them for good behavior with their favorite treat. The AKC explains that dogs repeat behaviors that are rewarding to them. “For example, if your dog gets a treat when they sit, they will be more likely to sit again in the future. That’s why positive reinforcement training, or training with rewards, is so effective."
When training your furbaby, rewards can be highly effective and positive. Here are some tips for training your dog with rewards:
- Consider Rewards from Your Dog's Point of View: Understand what motivates and excites your dog. Dogs have different preferences, so determine which rewards, treats, playtime, or physical touch are most enticing to your furry friend.
- Timing the Distribution of Rewards: Timing is crucial when using rewards. Ensure to deliver the treats immediately after your dog exhibits the desired behavior. This helps reinforce the connection between the behavior and the tip, making it easier for your dog to understand what you're asking of them.
- Rate of Reinforcement: Providing rewards consistently in the beginning stages is important during training. Gradually, as your dog becomes more proficient in the desired behavior, you can reduce the frequency of rewards while offering occasional reinforcement to maintain their motivation.
- Stay Positive and Patient: Dogs respond best to positive reinforcement, so always focus on rewarding good behavior rather than punishing unwanted behavior. Be patient with your dog, as learning takes time and consistency. Celebrate their successes and avoid getting frustrated or discouraged.
Maintaining an E-collar
An instruction manual is essential for learning how to use and maintain an e-collar or anti-bark collar. Most times, these collars get dirty quickly and need to be cleaned. Other times, you may not need to use it and need a good storage place.
Maintaining an e-collar, an electronic or remote training collar, is essential to ensure proper functioning and longevity. Here are some tips on how to keep an e-collar effectively:
- Read the Manufacturer's Instructions: Start by carefully reading the manufacturer's instructions that come with the e-collar. These guidelines will provide specific information about maintenance requirements and recommended cleaning methods.
- Regular Inspection: Routinely inspect the e-collar for any signs of wear and tear. Check the collar strap, receiver unit, and remote control for any damage, such as frayed wires or cracks. If you notice any issues, contact the manufacturer for guidance or consider replacing the damaged components.
- Cleanliness: Keep the e-collar clean to prevent dirt, debris, or moisture from interfering with its functionality. Use a mild, pet-safe soap or cleaning solution and a soft cloth to wipe down the collar strap, receiver unit, and remote control. Avoid immersing these components in water or using abrasive cleaners.
- Battery Maintenance: If your e-collar uses rechargeable batteries, follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper charging and battery maintenance. Ensure the batteries are fully charged before each training session to prevent interruptions. Regularly check the battery levels for e-collars with replaceable batteries and replace them as needed.
- Storage: When not in use, store the e-collar and its components in a clean, dry, and secure location. Avoid exposing the e-collar to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight for long periods of time, as this will affect its performance and durability.
- Follow Usage Guidelines: Adhere to the recommended usage guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Avoid using the e-collar for extended periods beyond what is advised, as this can cause discomfort to your dog's neck or skin.
- Contact Manufacturer Support: If you encounter any technical issues or have questions regarding maintenance, contact the manufacturer's customer support for assistance. They can provide specific advice and troubleshooting steps to help you maintain your e-collar properly.
Using an e-collar for positive pet parenting can be a safe and effective way to train your dog, as long as you do it properly. Following these steps and using positive training techniques can help your dog learn new behaviors and become a happy and well-behaved family member. Remember, the key to success with e-collar training is to be patient and consistent and always put your dog's well-being first
FAQ's E-Collar Training: How To Use an E-Collar?
Q: How to use an e-collar to correct behavior?
A: E-collar dog training allows for effective communication between the pet parent and their dogs, even at a distance. The remote control enables the pet parent to deliver precise commands and corrections, helping to reinforce obedience and discourage unwanted behaviors.
Q: Can puppies and pregnant dogs use an e-collar?
A: No, puppies younger than six months of age cannot use an e-collar. Pregnant and nursing dogs, easily frightened and aggressive, should also not use an e-collar. Manuals also add that dogs in heat or with health conditions should not use e-collars.
Q: How long does training a dog with an e-collar take?
A: Introducing the e-collar to your dog should be done gradually and with positive reinforcement. Start by associating the collar with positive experiences, such as offering treats or praise when the dog wears it. This helps create a positive association with the collar.
The effectiveness of an e-collar in training a dog can vary depending on several factors, including the individual dog and the specific behavior being addressed.
It is important to note that dog training with an e-collar requires consistency, patience, and proper guidance from a professional dog trainer. Consult with a veterinary behaviorist if you're dealing with behavioral issues.
Q: Do e-collar dog training collars work?
A: Dog training is an essential part of pet parenting. It enhances your bond with your furry friend and keeps them safe and well-behaved. With the rise of technology, e-collars or electronic collars have become a popular tool for dog training.
They can assess your dog's specific needs, provide a customized training plan, and guide you through the training process. Their expertise and experience can help streamline the training timeline.
Q: Should a dog wear an e-collar all day?
A: You should only use an e-collar when working with your dog. When using an e-collar, it is crucial to supervise your dog at all times. This ensures that the collar is used appropriately and that any adjustments or corrections are made when necessary. Leaving the e-collar on without supervision can lead to unintended consequences or discomfort for the dog.