4 Easy E-Collar Training Tips
May 10, 2022 Category: Trainer Tips
Now that you are the proud owner of a Dogtra e-collar where do you go from here? Getting started with the remote training collar can be a daunting task. Let’s break it down into some simple steps to get you started.
1.) Your dog understands basic commands:
Before adding e-collar to any behavior first make sure your dog knows that behavior 100%.
As an example, when I begin teaching the e collar with the “sit” command. I need to make sure my dog can successfully sit with only the cue. That means no food lures! No cheating here. If your dog doesn’t know the behavior inside and out it is unfair to ask them to do it when stimulation is added.
When you begin using the e-collar, it is extremely important to have your dog on leash. The leash is our safety net, which is used to guide the dog to the command as the e-collar is used for reinforcement. Our goal is to eventually wean the dog off of the leash and give our dog freedom with the e-collar. Remember, the e-collar is used to reinforce commands the dog already knows. Three commands that will be very important to proof are recall, a stationary behavior, and a place behavior.
2.) Understanding how to use your dog training equipment:
In addition to your dog knowing the commands, you need to know the unit!
Be sure to understand:
- How to turn the dial to increase/decrease static stimulation produced.
- Nick Button: By pressing the nick button you give the dog a very brief burst of stimulation that is less than a 1/4 second duration long, regardless of how long you depress the button.
- Continuous Button: The continuous button delivers a constant stimulation for as long as the button is depressed.
- The Continuous and Pager buttons have a safety shut off, if it is pressed for more than 12 seconds.
- How to hold the transmitter comfortably in either hand, but make sure not to touch the antenna or have the transmitter in your pocket, as this will impede the radio signal and give you inconsistent stimulation.
3.) Familiarity and practice:
- Get your hands moving around the transmitter and understanding the buttons long before placing the unit on your dog.
- Practicing our skills with the transmitter and focusing on timing is of utmost importance.
- Set up the following drill in your home: assign one person to role play as your dog, ask that person for a behavior, give them 1-2 seconds to understand the word you said, if they have not performed the behavior in that time frame press and hold the Nick or Continuous button, release the button once the person begins to do the correct behavior.
- Something that can be very helpful with this drill is the use of a sound box! The sound box will be connected to your transmitter and make a beeping noise when the stim is applied. This is a great way to help sharpen our timing!
4.) Proper fit
- The collar should fit snug around the dog’s neck with the two contact points touching your dog’s skin at all times.
- The collar should not be able to move freely around the dog’s neck.
- It may help to clip a portion of hair to ensure proper position of the contact points. For dogs with long/thick coats, you can clip some of the coat in the area where the receiver will be placed.
- The hair will wad up under the contacts and work as an insulator and thus prevent consistent contact with the dog’s skin.
These 4 steps can take some time and this is a process we do not want to rush. Before moving onto actually using the e-collar with your dog, make sure each of these steps have been completed. Your comfort with the collar will have a direct reflection on your dog’s response to it. Remember... practice makes perfect, but perfect practice makes for perfect performance!