Top 5 Reasons Why an E-Collar is Safe for Your Dog
Dogs are precious creatures. They’re called man’s best friend for a reason, after all. But even the best dogs have to start somewhere. Unfortunately, training your precious fur baby can sometimes be more challenging than you anticipated. After all, you only have roughly 2 seconds to weigh in on your dog’s actions before they’re up and doing something else.
In practice, that’s like telling your dog to sit and them doing it. Only to get back up before you can even process the action that has been done, let alone give a reward for it. This makes it harder for your dog to identify the behavior that is correct or incorrect.
This is where an e-collar comes in.
What is an e-collar?
First things first, what is an e-collar?
An e-collar is a training aid. It comes in many forms. There are remote training collars, no bark collars, even collars that work with electric fences. An e-collar set typically consists of a wireless remote that a trainer or pet owner carries and a wireless receiver or collar that the dog wears close to his neck. These collars are used as teaching tools to help a dog differentiate between good and bad behaviors.
Sounds good so far, no? Then why is it such a divisive topic in the dog training world?
The reason is simple. The “e” in e-collar stands for electric. Some refer to it as a zap collar, or the even more disturbing “shock collar”.
No one wants to electrocute a beloved pet, no matter how unruly and inattentive they may be. But there lies the problem. The name isn’t exactly a misnomer. But it doesn’t do what many people think it does, either.
Will an e-collar hurt my dog? Will a shock collar burn my dog’s skin? These are just some of the most common questions a responsible pet owner asks. And we’re here to answer them.
Is it safe to use a remote training collar? The short answer is YES. But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s go over the reasons that an e-collar is perfectly safe to use in dog training.
#1 An e-collar is just another communication tool.
E-collars work by sending feedback through the collar. In this way, it’s no different than any other tool used to communicate with your dog. Blake Rodriguez, dog behavior expert and owner of Dream Come True K9, even goes so far as to say e-collars can be treated as an extension to the leash.
Imagine walking your dog and they suddenly pull hard in an attempt to run into the street or after a squirrel. Your immediate reaction is to put more pressure on the leash to stop them. Now replace the leash with an e-collar. Instead of pulling, you press a button on your remote to signal them to stop. It’s easier, quicker, and is less likely to hurt your dog’s neck and throat.
#2 An e-collar helps you get the timing right.
A dog’s attention span can be quite short. In this case, e-collars can help you address and correct the wrong behavior faster. When you’re off-leash training, for example, your dog could have done the action and be far away from you before you even had the chance to say anything.
Effective training entails giving feedback on what is being done NOW. Dogs don’t really have the luxury of contemplating past and future actions like humans do. Reprimanding them over an action that’s already done won’t have much of an effect because they don’t really understand what you’re angry about.
Having a wireless remote lets you react much quicker. That one push of a button can spell the difference between life and death, especially if your dog’s action puts them in danger.
#3 An e-collar often does not have a high enough voltage to hurt the dog.
While e-collars do use electric stimulation. These static pulses are no more a shock than what you’d be exposed to say if you’ve gone to a chiropractor or a physical therapist. Moreover, these remote training collars come in various settings and intensities ranging from very low to high. This means you can easily customize and control what works best for your dog.
But don’t just take our word for it.
German researcher Dieter Klein in his study has found no evidence of organic damage from electronic dog training devices. He has concluded that devices that send single electric impulses between 30-80 milli-amps at a duration of less than a millisecond do not inflict any damage.
Similarly, the Philips Testing Service on their Relative Energy Comparison of Electronic Devices and Common Sources of Static Impulses have proven this to be true: the electric pulses emitted by e-collars cannot possibly hurt your dog.
To compare, a defibrillator emits 360 joules of energy. An abdominal energizer has an output of just 0.0914 joules. A remote training collar at the highest level only produces 0.0003 joules. At low levels, the energy emission can be as little as 0.000005 joules. If you don’t worry about getting burned by an ab energizer, there’s absolutely no reason to fear that an e-collar will burn your dog’s skin.
#4 An e-collar comes with many stimulation options – not just shock.
If the studies still don’t convince you that e-collars are safe, then know this – many e-collars come with stimulation settings that do not involve using electricity or shock. Vibration collars are available, so are tone or beep collars. They do the same job.
#5 An e-collar helps save on training time.
Training can be a fun activity for both you and your dog, especially since dogs love learning new things (limited attention span notwithstanding). But the faster you can train them not to bolt after every distracting small animal, the better for everyone, no?
E-collars are particularly helpful in this case. Traditional training methods can take months to reflect even just the most minor of behavioral changes. Remote training collars greatly reduce the learning process time safely and effectively. The near-instant correction of bad behavior allowed by e-collars means dogs learn quicker. It’s not unheard of to see positive results in a matter of days.
Dog training does not have to be a punishing activity, both for humans and pets. It can be a fun learning process that also fosters better communication between the two.
E-collars get a bad rap for being “shock collars” that hurt and punish dogs. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. They are simply meant to be a deterrent to bad behavior and can be invaluable tools for dog training. Will an e-collar hurt your dog? With proper methods and mindset, they certainly shouldn’t.