4 Reasons Why Your Dog is Not Responding to Remote Training Collar Stimulation
A remote training collar is a powerful dog training tool. It allows you to enforce commands even over significant distances. For your dog, this is a great way to be free from the leash while still giving you control over their safety.
It's no surprise you'd be excited to start using it to further your pet's obedience training. So, you eagerly go through the motions of getting your dog e-collar-ready. Now it's time to get them to learn what the stimulation means. Except nothing happens.
You keep clicking and pushing the transmitter buttons and there's no discernable reaction at all. What could be wrong? Is the e-collar broken? Why is your dog not responding to stimulation?
This is a common question among new e-collar users. No, the answer is not to turn the rheostat dial all the way up.
It's certainly a possibility that the e-collar is defective. It is just another piece of equipment after all. However, quality checks are always in place for these products, and malfunctioning devices are not very common.
There could be several reasons why your dog is not responding to the stimulation. Before calling customer service and demanding a replacement, before giving up and deciding this is not the solution for you and your pet, consider the following.
1. The remote training collar may not be charged.
Often, the solution to a perceived problem is straightforward. In this case, most remote training collars would have lost the factory charge while in storage or in transit. Therefore, it could not be working for the simple reason that the battery has no charge.
Check the product manual for charging times. Most models like the Dogtra 1900s or Dogtra 200NCPT PetsTEK Edition, for example, need 2 hours to be fully charged. Same with the SportDog SD-425X and Educator ET-300. Indicator lights usually turn from red to green if a unit is fully charged. Ensure that you check both the collar and transmitter or remote.
2. The collar and remote may not be in sync.
If the collar is not receiving signals from the transmitter, it won't matter if it's fully charged. It just won't work. Test that this is not the case by activating the vibration function. Hold the collar in your hand and push the button. If you can feel the vibration, it's safe to assume that the unit has charge, is on, and is in sync.
Similarly, you can test that the static stimulation is working the same way. Just place the collar tester on the prongs that come with every system. Start at the lowest level and push the remote button. Gradually adjust the stimulation up, and you should see a small red light flash inside the tester. Tap a few more times to check for consistency. In case the light does not come on, check the prongs to see if they are loose.
If there's no issue with the equipment based on the above tests but it's still not working on your dog, it's time to troubleshoot for fit.
3. The receiver collar is not in contact with the dog's skin.
The remote training receiver collar has a couple of prongs that deliver the stimulation. These prongs need to be in contact with the dog's skin for it to work. If your dog has a long and thick coat, you may need to shave the area a bit to ensure that the prongs have consistent contact with their skin. Or, you may need to get longer prongs.
Another possible issue is an improperly fitted collar. A collar that’s too loose will similarly result in prongs not being in contact with the skin. To check if the collar is properly snug, have it sit in the middle of your dog's neck, not too high that it's uncomfortable and not too low that it will get loose and ride up when they move. You should also be able to fit two fingers between their neck and the collar strap without issue.
If you've been using the collar for a few weeks and it suddenly no longer works on your dog or has become inconsistent, you may also want to check that the prongs have not become entangled in too much hair. In this case, cleaning it should do the trick. Regularly grooming your dog should also help.
4. Different dogs react to stimulation differently.
There are approximately 360 officially-recognized dog breeds in the world according to American Kennel Club (AKC). These range from very small toy breeds like chihuahuas to giant breeds like Great Danes. There are hunting dogs, working dogs, hounds, terriers, and various other classifications.
Dogs, much like humans, come in many different sizes, types, and temperaments. Simply put, what would elicit a reaction in one dog won't necessarily do the same for another. When beginning with e-collar training especially, one can never be 100% sure how the dog will react.
This is the reason why good remote training collars have a wide range of stimulation levels so you can find the best level for your dog. Start with the lowest level. If that doesn't get a reaction, do not go straight for the highest or even the midway level. Slowly go one level up and try again. Do this until you get a reaction. This could be a slight twitch or a confused look or they could just pause and stop whatever they're doing. Once you get a reaction, that's the base level you can start on during training sessions.
No reaction does not automatically mean a defective unit or an immune dog. It could just be a simple matter of your dog being more tolerant to the stimulation. However, do watch out for jumps or whining. These are usually indicators that the level is too high.
Whether you're just a beginner in the use of remote training collars or have been working with one for a while, the e-collar is a great help in dog training. It can improve communication between you and your pet while also helping speed up the training process.
As with any training regimen, practice and consistency are critical in the training process. By knowing how to use the e-collar properly, training is easier for both you and your dog.