10 Things You Need to Know for Electronic Dog Collar (E-Collar) Safety
Your pet’s safety, happiness, and well-being start with you.
E-Collars are an extremely safe and effective way to train your pet. Understanding how to properly use your e-collar is a vital part of being a responsible pet owner. Like any other tool we use, if handled properly, the e-collar can be used humanely and effectively. If not used correctly, it can result in ineffective training, or, in the worst cases, inhumane treatment of the animal. It is up to you to apply the basic training principles and use the e-collar humanely to assist you in achieving your training goals.
With this in mind, we are providing you with this important list of things you need to know before using your training collar.
1. Learn the features of your remote trainer and how to use them properly.
When you commit to purchasing a remote trainer, it's imperative that you familiarize yourself with it. The instruction manual booklet that's provided in the box is there for a reason. make sure to read it carefully so that you understand the unique features of your particular model. If something does not make sense, take the time to ask a professional to explain it, or research it on the web in the FAQ section.
Even if you have used e-trainers before, make sure that you know the layout of the buttons and what they do. Pay special attention yo the activate or deactivate functions, since each remote trainer will be different. It takes time and practice to learn all the functionality, which buttons control what feature, and how to use the training system properly.
Take the time to know how to use it before putting the collar on your dog because it will make training sessions much more fun and effective, and more importantly, reduce the risk of injuring or harming your pet.
2. Do not alter or modify your training collar. Doing so may void your warranty.
People who work at companies that design, engineer, and manufacture remote trainers want you to have the best possible experience with it. They are proud of the products they produce and will stand behind their products. All of the reputable companies that offer you their product on the market will have a warranty for a minimum of one year, and some remote trainers will have a two-year warranty. Do not put your trust into less expensive alternatives that offer you anything under a one-year warranty.
These training devices are made with precision, and should not be tampered with. If you decide to make modifications to the unit, that could alter the reliability of the remote trainer, and that could void the warranty of the remote trainer. And, most importantly, an improper modification could cause an excessive shock or other injury to your pet. If there is a problem with your unit, do not hesitate to contact the manufacturer or the seller. We want you to have a great experience with your remote trainer.
3. Before using any training collar, your dog must be conditioned to an external signal and trained to respond to it.
A remote trainer is not something that will change your dog's behavior in an instant. Your dog must be conditioned and know some basic commands before starting to train with an e-collar. If you're scratching your head right now and thinking, "How can I condition my dog before training with an e-collar,' the answer is that you already condition your pet to some degree and might not realize it. How often do you have a tasty treat in your hand and tell them to come with a happy tone of voice or shake the bag of tasty treats and they come running towards you? Dogs are very intelligent and they can learn to associate external signals with a tasty reward.
Your voice can be a challenging method to use in training because dogs can tell the difference in your tone of voice, and if it's not consistent all of the time when giving commands, it could be confusing them. The most basic and effective way to condition your dog is with the help of a training clicker. It emits the same sound every time, and your dog will quickly learn to associate the click sound with a treat.
Training with a clicker is easy, fun, and anyone can do it. A remote trainer ultimately is a more advanced clicker because it emits the same signal, whether the signal is a tone, vibration, or mild stimulation. Your goal is to communicate with your pet over a distance without shouting at them, and for them to. respond to you.
Keep your pet safe and have fun enjoying the freedom you never had before with your companion.
4. Always start training at the lowest correction level.
E-collars are similar in many ways, but keep in mind that they vary in features and intensity outputs. If you had your dog professionally trained with an e-collar, the trainer would recommend a particular model or brand of e-collar to purchase and let you know which intensity level worked best with your dog during training sessions.
When you make a commitment to buy the remote trainer, you still need to start with the lowest level. This is important because something could have changed between the training with a trainer and the time you start training at home. This is especially important if you are using a different e-collar than your trainer recommended.
Also, your dog might develop more sensitivity to the collar or, in some cases, the opposite effect. If you are considering purchasing an e-collar because you want to take training with your dog to the next level without professional help, and you are doing basic research on it, just keep in mind that no matter what collar you purchase, you have to start on the lowest level of correction.
5. Always check the settings of the e-collar before beginning a training session.
When using an e-collar to train your dog, it is up to you to be a responsible user of this tool. Most e-collars on the market today have some sort of built-in safety system in place. They vary from model to model and how they are activated. It doesn’t take a lot of strength, or even attention, to push a button that activates the collar on your dog. Based on our research, all collars have an eight- to ten-second automatic shut-off timer. If you need to do other things while in the middle of a training session, the best practice is not to have the remote in your hands.
Even something as simple as taking the collar on or off your dog with the remote in your hands could activate the collar by accident. Some remote trainers have the lock and set features. This feature prevents accidental increase or decrease in intensity in the collar.
Having an inappropriate correction level set on your remote can lead to miscommunication with your dog. If the level is too low, your pet will not know that you are trying to signal them and will not obey your command. If the level is too high, you can give the wrong signal to your dog unintentionally. If your e-collar does not have a lock and set feature to prevent giving the wrong intensity, then you must check your remote once in a while to make sure that you are on the correct level when your dog is wearing the collar.
Always remember, safety ﬁrst!
6. If your dog is not responding to the stimulation, there is a reason why.
Many people automatically assume that the remote trainer is not working correctly when they don’t see any signs that the dog is responding. It’s very easy to jump to incorrect conclusions when something appears to be not going the way it should.
In the rare case where your dog does not give you any response from the stimulation of the remote trainer, whether it’s brand-new or you’ve been using it for some time, there are a few things you try before labeling it defective. If the collar is charged and turned on and can emit other signals such as vibration or sound, one of the ﬁrst things you can try is to test the prong connections.
No, do not assume that we mean to put it on your skin or anyone else and try the stimulation button.
Although between levels 0-10, it should feel like no more than a mosquito sting, not all remote trainers are the same, and a level 10 in some collars could feel like level 50-70 in others.
Instead, when troubleshooting, use the tester that’s included in the box with every remote trainer. Place the tester on both prongs and press the stimulation button; at level 1, the LED light would be very faint, but as you go up the levels, the light should be more intense. If you do not see the light even at higher stimulation levels, check if the prongs are loose on the collar. If they are, tighten them, and that could solve the problem.
If you are getting a good LED light when pressing the stimulation button, the next possible issue in case of under-stimulation could be that the prongs are not making good contact with your dog. You can try to increase the level during the training sessions slowly, and if there is still not a reaction to it, you might need to try different kinds of prongs that work better for your dog.
7. Before using your training collar, be sure it's charged or have spare batteries at hand.
When using a remote trainer with your dog on any occasion, be sure that the remote and the collar are fully charged if they have rechargeable batteries. Some training systems operate on standard batteries, so it would be a good idea to have some spare batteries around. This is crucial; imagine a situation of taking your dog for a walk without a leash, and the remote trainer goes dead.
Most training systems these days have some kind of a warning in place to let you know if the charge is low. It might be as simple as a red LED on the collar, or blinking red light on the remote, all the way to more advanced collars that have small screens with battery charge indicators. To change a battery on a collar takes seconds, and most rechargeable batteries are now responding to rapid, two-hour charge times. There is no excuse to get caught in a situation where you lose control over communication with your dog during training or other activities. These could be crucial moments for your dog and when you need control the most.
8. Make sure you are using the appropriate prongs with your dog.
As we all know, not all dogs are made equal. They vary greatly in sizes, shapes, personalities, and the coats they wear. Before diving into training with your new remote trainer, you need to make sure that the prongs that come with it are the right match for your dog. Prongs are essentially the communication points between you and your dog. If they are not the right ﬁt for your pet, they will be uncomfortable for your dog and may disrupt his attention to training.
Dogs with short coats typically require smaller prongs for the best results. Likewise, dogs with long furs and thick undercoats would require longer and thinner prongs to reach their skin. Without good contacts that are effective for your type of dog, there might be signal interruptions that would result in less effective remote training.
Keep this in mind if you think your dog is ignoring you when you send a signal to get their attention.
9. Do not leave the training collar unsupervised when not in use.
From the time you decide to use an e-collar, you become the trainer of your dog. This is a tool that requires time for you to master, just like any other object that we use daily. Some tools are easier, and some are harder for us to ﬁgure out.
Let’s take an example of using tools to get us from point A to point B. Most of us will think of using a car, but we also were taught how to ride a bicycle when we were kids. We are not born with the ability to operate a vehicle, so we had to take driver’s education classes to learn how to use an auto. Now that you know how to drive a car, do you immediately think you are able to compete on a racetrack with the professionals before learning additional new skills? Yet these are all ways to get from point A to point B.
Once you take the responsibility of using the e-collar as a training tool, you must ﬁrst learn or be taught how to use it properly, and not let other people use it until they are taught how to use it properly. Mishandling it might cause more discomfort than necessary to pets and people alike.
10. Always remove the e-collar from your dog when not in use! Never leave it on your dog's neck for extended periods of time!
To make it easier for your dog to accept the collar, introduce the collar to him gradually for a few days, just a few hours at a time. This way, it will be less stressful when signals are introduced to your pet. Also, check the dog’s neck regularly for any irritations where the prongs contact, because some dogs are allergic to the small amounts of nickel that can be found in standard stainless-steel prongs. In this case, there are options such as titanium prongs that will prevent the reaction.
Once your dog is trained and is able to keep the collar on for extended periods of time, your dog can wear the collar for up to eight hours. As the responsible user of an e-collar, it is your job to keep your dog safe and comfortable. Rotate the collar every two hours on your dog’s neck. This will prevent any extended irritations to the dog’s skin ranging from redness to pressure ulcers, commonly known as bedsores or pressure necrosis. Always be responsible and mindful of your dog and remove the collar when not in use.
E-collars, with proper knowledge and training for the operator, can be a very useful training tool for your dog. We’ve presented several tips and techniques here to make this training enjoyable for each of you, and a way to improve your bond with man’s best friend. As always, seek professional input if you are having difﬁculty attaining your training goals.
E-Collar Info & Guides, Obedience Training, Pet Training, Remote Training Collar, Training Tips