Mark's Dog Blog

Ecollar, the least invasive training tool available


Standard tools like halters, no-pull harnesses, slip collars, correction chains, prong collars, all use physical pressure/force to apply negative reinforcement and positive punishment. An ecollar on the other hand applies NO physical force on the dog, rather an electronic stimulation that feels more like an uncomfortable tingle, or on higher levels a muscle stimulation, and therefore the least invasive out of all the tools. There is no physical force applied when applying negative reinforcement or positive punishment. So obviously no possibility of physical injury to the dog when the stimulation is applied.

Whereas firm corrections with tools such as, halters, no-pull harnesses, correction chains, have the potential to cause physical injury if the trainer is overly harsh or the dog is overly stimulated or hyper-aroused.

prongcollarProng collars are less likely to cause physical injury due to the way they are designed to distribute pressure evenly around the dogs neck.

slipleadSlip leads I find are also less likely to cause physical injury, due to the placement high on the dogs neck just behind the ears, allowing for a lot less pressure to be used when applying negative reinforcement.

Halters, are one of MY least favourite, due to how they are designed to fit over the dogs snout, and the pressure it places around sensitive areas below the eyes, and also potential for whiplash for lunging dogs, by twisting and pulling on the neck unnaturally and suddenly, due to the pivot point being under the snout, or pulling the dogs neck down unnaturally and suddenly from the snout. Halters also tend to be uncomfortable even when a dog is not pulling, continually rubbing the dogs snout, and in most types, directly under the dogs eyes. I am a firm believer that if a dog is walking calmly on a loose lead, there should be absolutely NO discomfort, not just less discomfort.halter4

nopullharnessNo-pull harnesses are another of my least favourite. The amount of force I have seen so many dogs place on their bodies, and under the armpits, is in my opinion cruel. Also for anxious and hyper-aroused dogs, whereby their threshold of discomfort is so high, they are not even registering the physical pressure they are causing. I have come across dogs with injuries and wounds under the dogs armpits due to this.

Ecollars, apply absolutely NO physical force, and therefore the least likely out of all the tools listed above to cause any physical injuries, even at higher stimulation levels.

Positive-only and force-free trainers will actually recommend halter type collars and no-pull harnesses if their positive-only and force free methods are not working, in other words to use the principles of NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT, by applying physical FORCE! Not much positive only there is there? And certainly force is being utilised!

My videos below show me training a clients dog with an ecollar. Notice NO physical pressure or force is used, and no harsh corrections. I am utilising low level stimulation as negative reinforcement from the ecollar, that is just perceivable as annoying low level discomfort for the dog. If you do a search on youtube, you can find literally thousands of videos of dogs being trained with this tool.

Even when an ecollar is used on higher stimulation levels as positive punishment, there is still NO physical pressure or force applied to the dog. Also the advantage of using an ecollar for positive punishment, is that the uncomfortable stimulation is not associated with the trainer, but with the behaviour in that instant, or the animal or object you want the dog to avoid. Ecollars also have the advantage of overriding a dogs predatory instincts, therefore extinguishing the drive to chase wildlife or stock. They are the only tool that can reliably condition a dog to avoid dangerous animals such as snakes!

Ecollars have several other great uses. When used correctly they can help deal with anxiety and hyper-arousal, and therefore stopping anxiety driven behaviours. They can also help dogs get past fears. The advantages of using an ecollar over other tools are numerous, and should be considered as a viable alternative by any professional dog trainer.

I am not suggesting that ecollars should be used, I am only suggesting that they are a fantastic alternative to other tools, or if other tools you are using are not helping with issues you are trying to deal with in regards to dog behaviour and training. I am sick to death of all the misinformation and lies being spread by those with an emotive agenda to push, that have never even bothered to educate themselves on the advantages of electronic stimulation training and conditioning, and how and why this tool works so well. Also they are probably the only tool that cannot cause injury to a dog, as there is no physical force or pressure applied.

Please, don't demonise a tool you may know little about. First educate yourself by observing and learning from professionals that actually use this tool correctly, and then you will see how great a tool they are in the right hands. And how helpful they can be to help dogs through so many issues.

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