Those are the actual words MacKenzie spoke about 15 minutes into our first lesson with her Labrador Retriever pup, Jasper, early Friday morning. In the discussion that followed I explained how we try to use the words remote collar or e-collar nowadays, after all the static pulse is not shocking to the dog in the way that we use it. If it were, we would not have a 7 month old pup wagging his tail profusely and enjoying the learning process.
Most of us are well aware that the words shock collar can evoke great emotion. Those who don’t know better conjure up ideas of barbaric training practices through the use of punishment and pain. Electronics and digital technologies are a huge part of our modern society but few people truly understand how they work.
I found it interesting that a young child did not have any of those “scary” preconceived notions She simply witnessed her dog change from nipping and jumping at her constantly to standing or sitting politely accepting petting and treats. A little girl who came in getting drug all over the place could enjoy walking her dog 15 minutes later. And that is when the words ” I love this shock collar” came out along with a great big smile on her face. Simple fact is, MacKenzie could now enjoy her dog and play with him without getting clobbered by a 50 pound, over exuberant pup.
And the same thing happened for her younger brother, Bradley. A boy who maybe weighed as much as the dog could take the leash and without any stress or tension go for a walk while Jasper followed along wagging contently. The shock collar wasn’t shocking to anyone in the room except maybe dad, Nils, who kept saying things like “This is amazing”, “This is awesome” and I replied, “Yeah, the only thing shocking is how fast this works and how happy the dog is while learning.”
Dad and kids were going to be able to go home and show mom (who had injured her shoulder trying to walk Jasper) how the “shock collar” helped communicate with him. How the tap, tap use of just the right level taught him that paying attention got him all the love, affection and treats he’d been seeking through his previously wild and naughty jumping, biting behavior.
I’m grateful that Nils made the 90 minute drive to my place to get some instruction on how to use the e-collar. He had purchased the Dogtra 2300 through a friends recommendation, but when the collar arrived he was a bit surprised to find no instruction included on how to use the product. So he visited the Dogtra website which lead him to That’s My Dog!
I’m happy the family found us and we have them on the way to a better relationship, but I do believe it is a necessity that manufacturers assist the training community and do a better job educating their consumers on the proper way to use this equipment. I also encourage trainers to continue to come out of the closet on their use of remote training collars. I certainly understand that it can be intimidating and that the name calling and disparaging remarks some of the “all positive ” professionals engage in is disheartening. 🙁
It is only through education that the words shock collar will fade away. Words like e-collar and remote collar will become the norm and become synonymous with fairness and humane dog training.
When that day arrives I’ll stop writing this blog and pop the cork on a bottle of Champange! For now, I’ll celebrate that Nil’s and his kids had made an early morning drive to arrive for a day of training and went home with a dog they could enjoy more thoroughly all thanks to a shock collar and a some education on how to use it.
GREAT article and information!!! Unfortunately the old stigma still travels with the name “shock” collar and people just “assume”. Like you said, some day, the name will evolve to just e-collar or remote collar – but until then, we just need to keep educating people like you have done above!! Thanks for a great read!!
I have a very good friend visiting with me. I invited her to join me while I worked with one of my clients and their young Golden Retriever. I was showing the client how to utilize the e-collar while instructing her 5 year old granddaughter how to teach the dog to sit and wait at the door, so he wouldn’t knock her down the stairs. It was wonderful to see the 5 year old gain confidence in not only the tone of her voice, but her interaction with the dog as she experienced the dog obeying her commands. I love that aspect of an e-collar, being able to make the dog pay attention and work with the little trainers.
What was equally delightful was to hear my friend’s comments once we left the client. She was amazed at how happy the dog was and how quickly he caught on. She said it was nothing what she expected. She was fascinated to learn more. She shared the story and her change of mind, later that night as we had dinner with some other friends. As the evening drew to a close, the other friends asked if I would be interested in working with their dog! Wonderful, another small group open to the idea of an e-collar. That keeps me motivated to continue to educate the positive results working with an e-collar.
Excellent article, Robin! I just wish the people that don’t understand the enormous help this collar has given me will read it. I am on my fourth dog with you and I am continually amazed at how much my dogs love to come to class.
Yes, I was a doubter for a time. So to make myself feel better about my dog training, I decided to try Cayenne at a “regular” dog class because people were so against the remote collar. We walked in the class and some of the other dogs started to bark at her. She spent the entire class hiding behind me and under the chair. We learned nothing other than Cayenne did not like this method of training. So it was back to TMD. Cayenne loved class. She would literally shiver and talk in excitement when we would drive up to your place. She couldn’t wait to get out of the car. She was so easy to train and we had a bond that I will never forget.
Now with my lab pup, Murphy, he sees me pick up the collar and sits to have me put it on with a wagging tail. PEOPLE, PLEASE, listen to your dogs!!!! I finally did!
Yep, That IS my Dog!!! Robin and her staff totally “shocked” us with her system. That morning has made all of us happier and we will back again this week. Using the remote collar after just one training session with Robin, Jasper and I can walk through the neighborhood of barking dogs, lawn mowers, weed whackers, and BUNNIES, without even a tug on the leash. AWESOME and AMAZING are understatements!!! See ya soon!
Nils, Mackenzie, Bradley, Michelle and JASPER too
Robin, I believe that day will come some day as remote collar trainers continue to speak out and show the proof of their effective and humane training procedures.
One of my clients today told me how angry she was with her veterinarian. During a routine check up for her dog, she told her vet of how unruly her dog had been and difficult to live with until she had her first lesson with me and learned how to use a remote collar correctly. Now her dog could walk on a loose leash, sit instead of jump up and come when called. In response her vet retrieved an anti-remote collar article and tried to convince her that she should clicker train her dog. Well she had tried that before she met me and it didn’t work. She has a very strong breed that was yanking her arm off her during walks and they wanted to be able to take their dog up north with them during trips and go canoeing with their dog. But they couldn’t do this with his energy level and non compliance with obedience commands. Now they will be able to. Despite telling the vet this, her vet still tried to persuade her not to use the tool that had given her the results she wanted without hurting her dog, even though the vet couldn’t give her specific reasons why not to use a tool that didn’t hurt her dog and got the results.
So all the vet accomplished was to lose a client as my client has now decided to take her dog to a veterinarian that has not only the same breed but also has been trained by me as to how to use a remote collar properly with her own dog with lots of success.
So the day will come when “positive only” trainers and vets realize that we are training the dog with a humane and effective training tool, even if that day comes only because they lose clients to remote trainers who get quick, effective and humane results.
EXCELLENT!! And when that time comes, I’ll join you with that bottle of champagne!