There is a lot of mixed emotions and controversy when using this tool for dog training. Not just with dog owners, but with fellow dog trainers as well. Which, is not surprising, after all, many people refer to this device as a “shock collar”.
However, most dog trainers or dog owner with an understanding of the electric collar refer to this device as an “e-collar or “training collar“. Although the electric collar has been around for nearly 45 years, its popularity for training has become more prominent over the last decade. Originally the electric collar was used to train hunting dogs, the collar was large and the remote resembled something like a late 80’s mobile phone.
Hunters were very pleased with the results. It allowed them to have much more control of their dogs from a greater distance. It was mainly used as a correction when training and out hunting. Other variations of the electric collar came from this when dog owners became more aware of this product and the results. Many of the other variations we are familiar with today are; bark collars, electric fence collars, and pet training collars.
This is where the electric collar has become misconstrued. Many people hear “electric collar” and think of its counterpart(fence and bark collars) that are used for correction. Over the years there has been a lot of change with the electric collar. Ranging from collar functions to training techniques. Most electric collars today do not “shock” the dog. A “shock” is caused by an electrical current passing through the body. It can cause burns and injury.
What is found on an electric collar is a technology used to treat pain in the muscle or nerves(TENS or TNS). It uses a low to high frequency to omit a stimulation. What results is a collar that gives the trainer the ability to use high or low stimulation for attention rather than correction. We can use the collar to gain off-leash control of dogs and it allows better timing with behavioral issues. Overall it will give more control to a dog owner and cause much less stress then what is associated with bark or fence collars.
The electric collar can be a pronominal training tool in the right hands with proper education. The main issue today is that this device can be found just about anywhere and no education is required. It can create unwanted behavior, stress, and poorly trained dogs when misused. I highly recommend getting properly educated before even purchasing an electric collar. Most professional dog trainers will have a list of “e-collars” suited for pet obedience. Understand not all dogs will need to be “e-collar” training, however, many dogs can benefit from this training tool.