Remote collar training is really not that scary

Diva and I wanted to wish you a Happy Howl-O-Ween, we didn’t plan a big photo shoot like previous years since she is still in her orthodic for the achilles tendon injury back in March. But we will share a bit of video we shot a couple weeks ago when she finally got the green light to run off leash again. Her doctors at UW. Madison are pleased with her progress from such a serious injury and credit her remarkable good manners and behavior as a major contributor in the healing process.

We still have a way to go before we are cleared to be “nakked” again but at least she can move and run without being attached to a leash. That ability to be safely off leash is one of the major reasons I pursued an interest in remote collar training so many years ago. Being able to provide people with the security of knowing they could let their dog run and still get their attention when needed is enticing. That lure of freedom and security draws many people to learn more about adding an e-collar to the training bag o’ tricks.

Of course there are many other reasons that we’ve covered here over the years, but the main message that this blog intends to spread is to not be afraid to seek information about training your dog with this tool. If it is not for you, no problem, but don’t let others use dread and doom tactics to deter you from simply inquiring about alternative opinions.

Becoming the subject of an inquisition just because you’re talking to someone about a remote training collar is a witch hunt you don’t deserve…so at least here on TASC know you are among ghouls who will do you no harm! 🙂

Here is Diva back to work. A bit sloppy and we’re going to have to do a lot of clean up to precision once this orthodic comes off, but not too bad after 7 months on injured reserve. And certainly no worse for wear after a few years of having remote collar use as part of her learning repertoire.


  • Had a disastrous episode using e collar for the first time on my 5 month old Border Collie. I only had it set at 2 and she freaked out like a bronco horse, then laid on her side and would not get up. I was only testing to see what number to set her collar. I removed collar and she was still scared of me. What should I have done? She does not come to me when called but otherwise she is very good.

    • Hi Susie,

      I’m not certain without seeing things in person, but a couple thoughts come to mind.

      1. Start out on the lowest level the collar has to offer. Tap multiple times to see if the dog notices. Sometimes one single tap is so quick they don’t notice and people automatically turn up thinking they don’t feel that level, when in fact they will if you give a tap-tap-tap reps.

      2 Make Certain the collar is fit snug. If it is too loose and not touching skin it may be that she turned her head just right and then felt stim and the level 2 then felt too high (where as she didn’t feel 1 because it was not touching skin)

      3. If the lowest level is actually too strong for her (and depending on the collar it may be) you will need to find another brand that has more levels to the stimulation profile. For instance many collars have between 1 and 12 levels or so, but other brands (Dogtra) has 1 – 127. The profile is pretty much the same, meaning the 12 on one manufacturer may be about the same intensity as the 127 on the other, but because one company slits it into more options there is more finesse as you go up when you have more options (ie. less of a jump between levels)

      4. Don’t add to a dog’s startle reaction by making a big deal of it. It may be that the level was too strong for training with her and thus she startled. If the collar level can be turned lower, you go lower (if not you get a better collar with more options) and you move on with training at the Just Right level. Don’t draw attention the startle by making a big fuss in any way. The same startle can happen when we drop something loud or step on the dog accidently. It is an accident, move on, keep training and make it fun. Making a big fuss only creates a more traumatic event/paranoid response in the dog’s mind. Kind of like when a child falls down, we can fuss and create a trauma and get tears or we can pick em up, giggle and move on.

      hope that helps some,

    • Hi Jamie,

      I’m guessing your comment is a bit of a threat? Or perhaps implying that you would “hurt” me with the e-collar? That simply demonstrates either your lack of knowledge of how to utilize the tool properly or a side of your personality that makes you not a suitable candidate for training a dog regardless of the tool chosen.

      Fwiw, I have worn an e-collar, on my neck, in front of an audience who was given the transmitter and allowed to use it to gain my attention when they wanted to ask questions (rather than raise their hands) It was quite an eye opening experience for much of the audience when they were given the chance to actually learn about how subtle and gentle the e-collar could be. No one used the tool to “crank it up” and “shock” me and I felt confident going into the presentation that they would not, just as I feel confident people don’t purchase a tool to harm their dogs. It is my personal belief that people want to do the right thing. We simply have to present them the tools and education on how to do so.
      best regards, Robin

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