Is the E collar right for me and my dog?
It's important to describe how the collar is effective and how it compares to other forms of training such as a positive based approaches. When using the E collar what you're going to do is first build a line of communication. You have to first teach your dog four main pillars. One of these pillars is: where the stimulation is coming from. The second: how to shut the stimulation off, the third: how to turn the stimulation on. And then the fourth: how to avoid the stimulation period. Once your dog understands those four main pillars with the collar, then you can very quickly and very effectively solve any problem behaviors your dog is having.
Using the collar is pretty simple once the four pillars are understood by your dog. An example would be treating your dogs problem of jumping up on guests. Typically when your door opens and your guests walk in you repeatedly have to yell your dog's name and no over and over. And usually your dog does not listen to you. Your dog doesn’t care because these people just walked through the door and they're way more interesting and exciting than you as their owner.
When you use the E collar, you the owner, become relevant. Now, when you are working on teaching your dog not to jump you don't even have to say a word. The goal is to bring the front feet down to the ground instead of up towards your guests. All you have to do is activate the stimulation on a level that is uncomfortable for your dog. Then seeking to shut the stimulation off, your dog will put his two front feet back on the ground and as soon as this happens, you let off of the color stimulation
By doing this repeatedly over and over again, your dog will quickly learn that jumping up is going to turn the collar on. And that by not jumping up, he avoids the color stimulation. This is a much faster way to solve the problem because it's a way to communicate to your dog regardless of what type of learning disabilities he has. The E collar is a physical stimulation which is easily understood for any dog.
Now, if you are using an only positive based approach, oftentimes you’re only using the conscious mind with a clicker based training. Clicker based training is what dog trainers in the industry call treats and rewards. You mark the good behaviors by a click of the clicker. This form of training in my experience is much, much, much slower. But you can still get good results.
Using clicker based training to stop a behavior like jumping would looks something like this. Your dog jumps up on you or your guest and tell them to not look the dog in the eye. You're going to ignore the behavior. In theory the dog sees that he's not getting attention when he jumps up. So what the dog's going to do is he's going to stop choosing that behavior because his whole goal is to get attention from you and when he sees that he is not getting attention, he will then seek a new way to get attention.
When the dog seeks a new way that you find desirable sits, stays, stands that's when you click. That's when you reward and that's when you start to love on him. Now this way is much, much slower because it involves the dog coming to the conclusion himself and you waiting on the dog to do so. The way I view it is you can fly to Orlando in 2 of hours or you can drive a car to Orlando which will take 24 hours.
The choice is yours. If you are searching for the fastest way to train your dog, the easiest way for your dog to understand, a way that is non-emotional, and a form in which you can maintain discipline, correction, and obedience for the long term and have anybody use your methods. Another plus is that this method is easily learned by anyone. Whether it's a neighborhood boy coming to let your dog out or your grandma staying the night to dog sit.. Anybody can pick up the collar and communicate effectively with the dog without any long term training.
So, is the collar right for me and my dog?
Well, if you’re looking for the best and fastest way to train your dog, most consistent results, and real world training and scenarios the E collar is definitely the choice for you.
If you have a lot of time on your hands and you have a very sensitive conscience, one that does not allow you to use the collar or any form of discomfort on your dog, then yes, there is still an option for you. Then the clicker training is probably more up your alley.
For my clients we use a balanced approach. Pairing the clicker positive reinforcement training with the E collar training is how we cover so much ground so quickly. And because we are communicating in a way, shape and form using the collar that the dog understands we see lasting results too!