E Collar Contact Points: What You Need to Know
Dog electric collars or e-collars have become an increasingly popular tool for pet owners and trainers. They have been used to address various dog issues, such as excessive barking (no bark collars), boundary-breaking (e-fences), and other unwanted behaviors (remote training collars).
One of the most important factors in the effectiveness of an e collar for dogs is the contact points. This blog will discuss everything you need to know about e collar contact points. Read on.
What Are E Collar Contact Points?
Contact points, also known as e collar prongs or probes, are the metal conductors in a training collar for dogs. They typically consist of two metal prongs that make contact with the dog's neck. When activated, the contact points deliver electrical stimulation to the dog's skin. This stimulation can be used to get your dog's attention or correct undesirable behaviors.
Different Types of Contact Points for Dog Training Collars
There are several types of contact points available for remote dog training collars. These include standard contact points, hypoallergenic prongs, comfort pads, and winged contact points. Let's take a closer look at each:
1. Standard Contact Points
Standard contact points are made of stainless steel and are the most common type of e-collar contact points. They are effective at delivering static stimulation. However, they can be uncomfortable for some dogs, especially those with sensitive skin.
2. Hypoallergenic Contact Points
Hypoallergenic contact points are made of materials that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction in dogs, such as titanium, brass, or plastic. They are a good option for dogs with sensitive skin or allergies to nickel.
3. Comfort Pads
E collar comfort pads offer extra comfort to dogs by providing four points of contact. The four probes distribute static stimulation over a wider neck area to minimize contact pressure. Comfort pads are excellent for dogs with skin sensitivities. These are also ideal for dogs that will be wearing the collar for long periods.
4. Winged Comfort Pads
Winged contacts are specialized comfort pads that have extended wing-like tips on each side. The winged design allows for a larger contact area between the contact points and the dog's skin. This reduces the pressure applied by the contact points, making them gentler on the dog's skin.
Understanding Contact Point Sizes
The size of the contact points on a dog e-collar is important to ensure effectiveness. Contact points that are too short may not make good contact with the dog's skin. Meanwhile, prongs that are too long may move around and rub against your dog's neck, causing discomfort.
Here is a guide to the different contact point sizes and which breeds they are most suited for:
1. Micro Contact Points 3/8"
The micro contacts 3/8" are the smallest size available and are ideal for dogs with extremely short hair. These probes are great for dog breeds, such as Boxers, Dachshunds, Dobermans, Pit Bull Terriers, Pointers, Basenjis, Dalmatians, Great Danes, Jack Russell Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, and Whippets.
2. Short Contact Points 1/2"
The 1/2” contact points are suitable for most dogs, especially those with short, thick fur. Some breeds perfect for this size include Beagles, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Vizslas, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and Siberian Huskies.
3. Short Contact Points 5/8"
The 5/8" contact points are an excellent middle-ground prong size. They are not too small nor too large. These are great for short- to medium-haired breeds, including Australian Terriers, Border Collies, Chihuahuas, Golden Retrievers, Havanese, Mastiffs, Pugs, Rottweilers, Schnauzers, and Wire Fox Terriers.
4. Long Contact Points 3/4"
These long standard contact points 3/4" are perfect for dog breeds with long and thick fur, such as the Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Saint Bernards, and Samoyeds.
5. Extra Long Contact Points 1"
These extra long probes 1” are the largest size available, ideal for long-haired breeds with very thick fur. Dog breeds that would likely be great for 1" contact points include Tibetan Mastiffs, Great Pyrenees, and Newfoundlands.
Please note that these are just general guidelines. The best way to determine your dog's contact point is to try different sizes or consult a dog trainer.
Male vs. Female Contact Points for E-Collars
When looking for e-collar contact points, you may come across terms, such as 5/8" male or 1/2" female. The main differences between male and female contact points are related to their design and intended use:
Size and Design
The size and design of contact points for electronic collars can vary depending on the manufacturer and model.
In general, male contact points are longer and have a threaded end that screws into the receiver collar. On the other hand, female contact points have a threaded hole instead of a threaded end. This allows the receiver collar's male part to be inserted into it.
Male and female contact points are not interchangeable. The required contact point for your receiver collar depends on its design.
E-collars typically come with one pair of prongs that are compatible with the receiver collar. However, if you need to replace the probes, make sure to choose those that match your e collar model.
How to Choose the Right Contact Points for Your Dog
Choosing the right contact points ensures effectiveness as well as your dog’s comfort during training. Here are some factors to consider when selecting contact points:
1. Coat Type
Take note of your dog's fur length and thickness. Longer or thicker fur may require longer contact points, while shorter-haired dogs may do better with shorter ones.
2. Skin Sensitivity
Look for any signs of irritation or redness where the contact probes touch your dog's skin. If your dog has sensitive skin, consider hypoallergenic probes or comfort pads to prevent discomfort.
3. Contact Point Material
Most contact points are made of metal, but some have coatings to reduce skin irritation or improve conductivity. Consider using plastic or titanium contact points if you notice any irritation.
4. E-Collar Brand and Model
E collar manufacturers offer contact point options designed to be compatible with their collars. Always check the product specifications to ensure you get the right contact points for your e collar model.
5. Trial and Observation
Some electronic collar brands provide multiple sets of contact points with different lengths in their packages. If possible, try different contact points on your dog during training and observe their response to find the most suitable ones.
How to Change the Contact Points on an E-Collar
If you need to replace the contact points or switch to longer probes, here are the steps you can follow:
1. Make sure the e-collar is turned off.
Turn off your e-collar or disconnect it from any power source to prevent accidental stimulation.
2. Remove the existing contact points.
Use the contact point tool to gently turn the existing contact points counterclockwise. This action will loosen the contact points from the receiver collar, so you can remove them with your hand.
3. Place the contact point washers.
If your e-collar comes with contact point washers, insert them into the threaded holes in the receiver collar. This can help extend the length of the prong. For example, using a contact point washer, your 5/8" contact points can be extended to 3/4".
4. Attach the new contact points.
Insert the new contact points into the threaded holes. Gently turn them clockwise using your hand. Then, use the contact point tool to make a quarter turn to tighten the probes.
5. Check the fit.
Make sure the new contact points are securely attached to the receiver collar. They should be straight and not tilted to prevent discomfort or uneven stimulation.
6. Perform a function test.
Before putting the e-collar back on your dog, use the test light tool (usually included in the package) to perform a quick function test. Ensure that it's delivering stimulation when activated.
Note: Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for changing contact points on your e-collar model.
Tips on How to Ensure Reliable Contact When Using an E-Collar
Reliable contact is important when using an e collar for dogs. This ensures that the static stimulation is delivered consistently, allowing your dog to understand and respond to the cues.
Consider these tips below:
Choose the right contact points for your dog.
The contact points should be the right size and design for your dog's neck and fur. Choose the appropriate contact point size based on your dog's coat type and length to ensure adequate penetration through the fur.
Make sure the collar is fitted properly.
The collar should be snug enough to prevent the contact points from moving around, but not so tight that it restricts your dog's breathing. The contact probes must have direct contact with the skin.
Keep the contact points clean and free of debris.
Dirt, hair, and other debris can build up on the contact points and affect reliability. Use a soft cloth or cotton swab to remove dirt, debris, or moisture.
The Best Contact Points for Your Dog Training E-Collar
When using an e-collar, it is crucial to have reliable contact and excellent conductivity. To achieve this, you need to have the appropriate contact points. Don't worry, we have a few recommendations to help you out:
If you own an Educator collar, you may want to upgrade your prongs to these PetsTEK 3/4" Stainless Steel Contact Points. These probes are compatible with many E-Collar Technologies trainers, including the Mini Educator ET-300, Micro Educator ME-300, and The Boss Educator ET-800.
Made of durable 316 surgical-grade stainless steel, the probes are corrosion-resistant and can last for many years. Unlike other contact points, their rounded ends have a larger surface area, which allows for better contact with your dog's skin.
If you have a dog with a thick double coat, consider the PetsTEK 1" Stainless Steel Contact Points for Educator Collars.
Designed to last for over 50 years, the prongs are made of corrosion-resistant 316 surgical grade stainless steel. They're also engineered for maximum comfort, with rounded ends that improve contact with your dog's neck without overtightening the collar.
For dogs with thick double coats, you may want to consider the PetsTEK 1" Stainless Steel Contact Points for Dogtra Collars.
If your dog has sensitive skin, consider these comfort pads. These are made of titanium, which is hypoallergenic and gentle on your dog's skin. These pads have a unique design that distributes pressure over a wide area, thereby minimizing localized contact.
These special contact points are designed to provide enhanced comfort for your dog. The comfort wingtips create a larger contact area, which reduces the pressure applied to your dog's neck. This can help prevent skin irritation and make the e-collar more comfortable for your dog.
Contact points are an essential component of electronic collars used for dog training. Hence, selecting the appropriate contact points is crucial based on your dog's skin sensitivity and coat type. Remember that an e-collar should always be used responsibly and with your dog's well-being in mind.
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