People that should NOT use an e-collar

There is an e-collar training post on this website that was originally published in 2011 — At that time, the blog was housed under a URL named, The Truth About Shock Collars.

I was devoting a considerable amount of time to educating the public about remote collars and their proper use. It was important to me (and still is) to spread reliable information on how to use the tool.  My desire to counter the anti-Ecollar sentiment is equally important. Sentiments founded in an animal rights agenda and fueled by emotional rhetoric propagate ignorance, and do not help our dogs have a more fulfilling life.

The good news is that we’ve come a long way since 2011. There are more people than ever, both pet owners and professional trainers, that have embraced the use of remote collars. It is heartwarming to hear e-collar training success stories. And dogs enjoying off leash freedom due to that success. 

That said, when I read commentary like what I am about to share, I realize there is still work to do.

The blog I’m referring to has to-date 183 comments. I have answered each of those to the best of my ability, given the information I had to work with.

Some comments never get approved. Those include venomous posts with name calling over my promotion of responsible use of this tool. Others I email privately so as to not disclose them to potential ridicule by making their comments public.  

But after eleven years of this type of monitoring, I’m growing weary. It seems some people do not even bother to read the original post. 

Here is the most recent comment with no editing to spelling or wording.

I have a 4 month Puppy Thai Ridgeback that I have had since 10 weeks old. My 8 year old MINI DACHSUND has been go after him and trying to right with him since Day 1. I have done EVERY TRAINING request technique you can think of but he us still doing it, and my fear is a starting to happen and that is my Puppy is now defending himself with turns into an all out brawl! Outside of the house they never fight and even ride in the back of my truck and explore together with no issue. It happens at HOME. The crazy thing is both my dogs love other dogs and play with them without any aggression. I know that my dachshund is trying to protect “HIS” house and his positionin the pack,(which he knows clearly I’m the alpha).

But again, I have done submissive training with both of then, scruff the crap out of them when they get into it.

If they were both fighting they both get scruffed. I swear my dachshund has a screw obsession because he fears nothing and would fight to the death if he had too!

So I finally decided I meed shock Collars for Him and possibly my Thai Puppy.

What you recommend would this work? Should I get one for each dog and zap them both when a fight ensues?

Please let me know.


And here is a quote from the original 2011 blog post.

Let me point out right off the bat that I don’t advocate putting a shock collar on the dog, waiting for him/her to display their aggressive behaviors and then push the button to punish for those actions. As in “That’ll teach Fido not to chase after other dogs!” Sorry, but that thought process belongs in the Idiots Guide to Dog Training 101.

– Robin MacFarlane, 2011

Can someone help me understand exactly what the problem is? I’d like to hear thoughts on why someone would write to me to ask if it is okay to do exactly what I’ve stated not to do?

To reiterate, here are the takeaways of my training approach.

Key things to know when considering e-collar training collar for your dog:

A remote collar is not a quick fix. 

You must acquire some knowledge to learn how to use one.

The e-collar should be incorporated into a training approach that also involves significant amounts of positive reinforcement.

You must be willing to spend time training and practicing with your dog.

Your goals should be to build a better relationship with your dog and to allow the dog more freedom.

Do NOT just put a remote collar on your dog and “zap” them. 

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