“The idea of an E-collar for training my dog freaked me out”

….well, that is what the lady in this interview had to say when the idea of using an e-collar to train her dog was initially proposed.

It is not an uncommon reaction to be a bit startled by the concept of what some refer to as a “shock collar”

But I encourage you to tune in and watch this video to the end. You will not be disappointed. Hearing information from other pet owners, aka “the horses mouth” so to speak, rather than from a dog behaviorist or dog trainer with an opinion but little to no actual experience with an e-collar, will help you decide if it is the right course of action for your beloved pet or not.

After all, it is your dog and when you are making decisions don’t you want to gather information from sources that have been there, done that. Personally that is the way I operate rather than seeking opinion based on theory. What supposedly works in a contained (ie; not real life) laboratory setting doesn’t do me much good if my dog wants to chase the rabbit across the highway. Instinctual behavior is not so easily modified as some would like to lead us to believe when animals are presented with an opportunity and a choice.

Is an e-collar the right choice for you and your dog?

I am not hear to answer that, it is your decision and I encourage you to research it, but I do think it is time for more dog professionals to get out of the fish tank and back to reality with training dogs.

Thanks to my good friends and extraordinary dog trainers down in Austin, TX for sharing this.


  • Robin … you shouldn’t worry about Elizabeth’s comments. She’s a scammer who took an online course and thinks she knows everything so now she takes advantage of people who are absolutlely clueless about the true business of dog behaviour. Oh yes … and she’s a moron. She said it best … Just another example of pet-owners having to rely on morons for advice about their dogs.

    • Hi “OBSERVER” – Is that your first name or last name? I suppose it takes a lot of courage to post under your real name! Congrats on that!

      You happen to be completely incorrect about my having taken an “online course”. Not that I will lose any sleep over your opinion.

      And, for your information – the issue was with SPELLING not the word use. And there has been some EDITING going on above. But that really isn’t important, because this is really about shock collars.

      It was a mistake to say anything about this person’s use of language. I sincerely apologize to the readers – it was a distraction from the much more important main issue. Frankly, I was just exasperated.

      I don’t really care if people think I’m a moron (and I especially don’t care if you or Robin cares). Think whatever you want about me. All I care about is that people read the reasons shock collars are NOT beneficial.

      • Elizabeth, I noticed you questioning the lack of understanding learning theory and canine behavior in reference to the pro remote collar sentiment. You mentioned the quadrant punishment. I assume you mean positive punishment, which would mean that the collar is only used when the dog does something wrong. This is simply not true of the method that is discussed by most people on this blog (though there are some who do.) If we apply stimulation at the beginning of a command, not after or during failure to commit to it, Positive punishment would not be a proper description of the use of the remote collar as described in the theory of operant conditioning. This fact, to me, would suggest that maybe you make assumption based off one of many methods using a remote collar. IMO, this would also suggest that only knowing one use of a tool doesn’t seem to give you a wide enough knowledge base of the uses of said tool to truly make a clear or irrevocable argument against it. For example:
        “Stabbing people in eyes with pencils creates fear so teaching people with the use of pencils is inhumane” What if then I suggested poking the person with the eraser side of a pencil (that for this argument is also unsharpened) as a cue to get their attention for a reward. IS that inhumane? Does it create fear? I suppose it could if someone was trying to create that reaction. However this is the same way people teach silky leash techniques with martingales, gentle leaders, ez walk harnesses, or plain buckle collars. There is an initial element of resistance, the end of resistance, and then immediately coupled, the reward of lack of pressure and reward. IS this also inhumane? I’m not so much trying to egg you on, but it sounds like the pot calling the kettle black here. I suggest if you want to continue your crusade, you make yourself more familiar with methods surrounding such tools beyond just positive punishment, for it will only strengthen or destroy your argument. You also seem to reference a CER. The CER or conditioned emotional reaction, must have the perception of scary or painful to condition to unconditioned stimuli like another dog (thus causing potential aggression towards dogs.) If the dog originally perceives stimulation (as noted above) as a cue succeeded by a reward, wouldn’t the CER be a good one? And if the collar was associated to the reward, it would then be completely pointless to use it as pressure at an uncomfortable level, because it would counter-condition the original CER the handler was trying to make. I believe all this goes in conjunction with current science and learning theory.

  • Here’s what is truly “shocking”. It is always encouraging to see how well educated a dog trainer is! I have news for the author of this article: “INSTINCTUAL” is not a word in the English language.

    It isn’t that literacy is a prerequisite for being a trainer, but if you had been exposed to any science related to dogs, you would know this. Your whole premise is based on your knowledge of science and dog behavior, yet you don’t even know this absurdly basic fact. You might as well be spelling “paws” “pawz”.

    Just another example of pet-owners having to rely on morons for advice about their dogs.

    Anyone reading this: not only do these people know very little about canine behavior, but also very little about the realities of using positive punishment in training (shock collars).

    • LOL! PLUS I missed the fact that these people are not “hear” to answer questions…

      Wow, that whole 3rd grade English class was SO overrated!

      • Thanks for the english lesson! You are correct, I do make lots o spellin’ and rightin errors…good thing I make my livin training dawgs. 🙂
        Have a good one!

        • Actually, it may be a “good thing” for you that that’s how you make your living, however it is a very “bad thing” for your clients.

          My original post, which related to your training, never made it here. The previous post was just an afterthought as I was entertained by the general lack of education on all fronts. I’ll try again.

          Your training is as flawed as your ability to write. There is a reason why most legitimate dog training organizations advocate for minimally aversive training (which excludes the use of shock collars).

          Overly aversive training is ineffective for several reasons. First, pain triggers the fight or flight reflex in animals. (And please do not try to fool anyone into thinking that shock collars don’t cause pain). When this occurs, there is a spike in the animal’s level of fear and anxiety.

          A dog that is excessively stressed or fearful is not as receptive to long-term learning as one that is relaxed. So, even if your only interest is skill acquisition, it is a poor choice to use punishment. This makes your use of shock collars an unintelligent training choice.

          I think we can all agree that the main point of having a canine companion is for the bond that develops between owner and dog. When you use a tool that causes fear, pain or even excessive anxiety, the dog will develop an association between the experience and the owner. This is what can be called a negative social side-effect.

          In short, using shock collars is lazy, sloppy dog training employed by impatient trainers who lack skill.

          Correcting problem behaviors and developing good habits is difficult and takes time. There is no shortcut and those who do not have the patience to train their dogs without relying on inhumane methods have no business owning dogs.

          There is no such thing as “Good Dog in a Box”.

          • I appreciate your time to converse Elizabeth. I tire of your accusations and derogatory content however. I allow pretty much all and any posts to go through here, other than vicious name calling or threats. Those get deleted as I feel they are of no consequence to the conversation. If there is any commentary of yours missing, perhaps you need to re-write it and re-submit. If you don’t like the way that I or others here write please feel free not to read this blog. I doubt we will be offended. 🙂

            As to your opinion that “legitimate dog training organizations…. exclude the use of shock collars”… That is opinion. As is the criteria for “legitimate”. I have friends who are k9 handlers all over the world, the Pentagon included who are using collars to help guide their dogs. Most of the worlds top competitors in the k9 sports use e-collars. They’re using e-collars to help communicate with their dog and bring higher levels of performance. Retriever trainers started the process over 50 years ago when the tools came to the market…since that time things have changed considerably in both technique and technology. It keeps getting better and better. I personally believe these ideas of being able to redirect attention and help the dog remain focused through tactile sensation are valuable to the pet dog owner…thus my being an outspoken advocate of the topic.

            If I am a “bad thing” for my clients why do you suppose our training clientele grows every year since 2001 when I switched to this area of specialization? Why do people now seek me out nationally and internationally for advice? Why have I sold more than 10,000 of my DVD’s to interested people wanting more info? Why are more and more trainers learning how to incorporate e-collar training into their protocols and why are e-collars becoming more popular and seen more frequently on dogs at parks, at the beach and on hiking trails? With all this fear, terror and pain you describe why does this field of learning continue to grow? Are ALL these dog owners (including all those who have written testimonials here) just stupid? Or perhaps they are just heartless bastards who don’t give a hoot that they are blasting their dogs into submission and learned helplessness as you and those like you lead people to believe?

            There is no such thing as a “good dog in a box”. I agree with you on that. Pulling ANY tool, toy or treat out of a box does not create a good dog. Dog training is part science and part art form. The science part does include ALL quadrants of operant conditioning and the e-collar can fit comfortably into several of them if a person takes the time to learn how to use it as something other than a Shock Collar. The art part takes time, practice and good guidance. That is my stance, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. While my message on this blog focuses on the e-collar, I do not advocate for anyone to just run out and buy or use one without getting knowledge to go with it. Nor do I dismiss the use of other tools, OR the role that positive reinforcement plays in creating a well balanced dog.

            This is about education of what is possible, rather than hysterics or absolutes. I believe my readers are actually intelligent enough to weigh information and make decisions for themselves and their dogs.

            You can persist in these types of posts, but I will make you aware you are treading on thin ice and likely to get banned. You’ve added little to the conversation other than name-calling and derogatory content.

            I will end this with a bit of advice from Wayne Dryer: “Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for strengthens you.” If you want to be “for” your type of training, go forth and prosper but you’re not really winning anyone over here darlin.


    • hmmm, thanks Elizabeth. I guess Google and Webster’s have it wrong when they list Instinctual as an adjective that means: of, relating to or derived from instinct.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *