Tips and Tricks to Make the Most of your E-Collar

dog sitting in canyon made from red rock wearing the atlas pet company lifetime collar and handle

An e-collar, when used properly, can be a fantastic tool for training your dog. Dogs are tactile animals, which means they often communicate with each other by using various forms of physical touch. The e-collar allows you to communicate with your dog in a tactile way, even if they aren’t within reach of your hand. E-collars are most well-known for aiding in off-leash training, particularly establishing a reliable recall which is a necessary skill in order for your dog to earn off-leash freedom. For more information about what an e-collar is and isn’t, check out What Exactly is an E-Collar? Here are some tips for making the most of your e-collar training.

The best way to get the most out of your e-collar is to fully understand the capabilities and functions of your collar.

There are many different brands and types of e-collars out there, with pros and cons to each one. However, an e-collar is a product where you get what you pay for and I highly recommend investing in a high-quality brand that has undergone extensive technology testing and has proven to function reliably and consistently. I also highly recommend working with a professional trainer to initiate the process of e-collar training. While there are many fantastic e-collar training videos online, every dog processes the stimulation of the e-collar differently, especially at first, so it is so helpful to have someone who is experienced to evaluate how your dog is responding. Furthermore, a reputable trainer will have the knowledge of the variety of ways you can utilize an e-collar effectively and adjust the approach based on your individual dog. As you progress in the introductory process you will undoubtedly run into bumps in the road; it will be invaluable to have a trainer to help you troubleshoot and understand how to proceed. Once you learn how your e-collar works and how to use it with your dog, the possibilities for using it in training are endless.

Prevent Unwanted Behaviors

The e-collar can be a fantastic tool for interrupting and correcting unwanted behaviors. Some of the most common problematic behaviors that dog owners struggle with are jumping on people, barking, inappropriate reactions to dogs or people on walks and chasing or pestering other animals in the household. When training your dog the most important factor is clear communication. If your dog doesn’t understand which behaviors are acceptable and which are not, you cannot expect them to make good choices. If you have a solid training and communication foundation, an e-collar can better your communication through providing concise information to your dog even from a distance. Consistently properly timed corrections through the e-collar, in combination with verbal communication, can interrupt unwanted behavior making them less likely to occur in the future.

dog wearing the atlas pet company lifeitme collar while standing in a canyon made from red rock

The Lifetime Collar works great for tags and other accessories while also using an e-collar.  

Give your dog the ultimate freedom of being off-leash

Most dog owners dream of enjoying a relaxing, peaceful, and fulfilling walk with their dog. For many, this includes not having a leash to handle and tangle. However, it is unfortunately not that simple. Before you allow your dog off-leash freedom you should have a reliable recall. I would argue that this command is the most important command for all dogs to know. Even if you don’t plan to regularly recreate with your dog off-leash, there are always situations beyond our control such as your dog bolting out of the gate, that you thought was locked, to chase a rabbit. A rock solid recall could be what saves your dog’s life in an emergency situation.  So what does a reliable recall look like? A reliable recall means you can recall them away from any and all distractions including other hikers, other dogs, wildlife, cars, bikes, enticing scents, dropped food and much more. The e-collar can be a valuable tool in recall training because it gives you tactile control over your dog from a distance. This allows you to give them feedback and avoid self-reinforcing behaviors, such as chasing wildlife or greeting other dogs. It is important to understand that the e-collar is not a magic tool that trains your dog, there is a lot of foundation training that should be done before you introduce an e-collar to make sure your dog understands the expectations of off-leash freedom.