For a long time, I did not trust E-Collars.
I always thought that they were harmful to dogs and did nothing but scare the dog into submission. Granted, I did not know anything about E-Collars, how they worked, or how to use them in training, but I didn’t care and I didn’t want to know.
I was set on the assumption that they were bad. I know there are a lot of people out there like me who share the same thoughts I once had, and who have the same inexperience with E-Collars as well. When I started my job here at Adams K-9, I was desperate for a job and did not know that they used E-Collars to train. But, I accepted the fact that I would have to work around E-Collars.
Training with Randy and learning about E-Collars changed what I thought about them, to where I even bought one for my own dog so we could go through his training.
A little background history about me – I used to train dogs to hunt before I started working here at Adams K-9. I would mainly work with retrievers, such as goldens and labs, to flush pheasant and to retrieve ducks and geese.
A lot of the time, these dogs had no basic obedience, which is a crucial part of training a hunting dog. Your dog has to have a spot on recall in order to send it out in the field and trust that it will come back with your game. Your dog has to sit and wait at your side or on their place board so when you shoot your gun, they are in the safest position possible.
Your dog has to heal at your side when you’re trudging through thick grass or dense woods so you can keep an eye on them, their safety, and other people’s safety when your dog is off-leash. With this, in addition to all of the hunting drills that needed to be taught, it took months for a dog to master these hunting skills.
With that being said, my coworkers knew how I felt about E-Collars and how I didn’t trust them. I never really understood how harmless they were until they placed a collar in my hand and slowly turned up the stimulation so I can feel what the dog feels. We work most dogs at a level 20 or below on E-Collars, and at a level 20 while held in my hand, I barely felt the stimulation.
That was when I realized just how safe they were, and I was able to distinguish an E-Collar from a shock collar. After that, I saw first-hand how they quickly enforce a dog’s behavior and how effective and efficient they were when used properly for training. I have seen dogs come in that I personally thought were impossible to train, and with positive reinforcement with the E-Collars and our training techniques, those dogs that were so misbehaved had phenomenal obedience.
Looking back now, I’m realizing just how beneficial E-Collars can be when used in the hunting world. My black lab Rooster has a wicked nose so if he’s on the trail of something, it is so difficult to call his mind back to you. Especially when he’s at a distance away and I cannot easily grab him. Using an E-Collar, I’m able to have control of my dog at any distance at any time.
Rooster was neglected as a puppy and had zero training before I rescued him. I was able to train his basic obedience in two weeks and am now starting his hunting drills. Before using an E-Collar, I would have to train a dog all day long for multiple times a week to get the results that I got with an E-Collar.
E-Collars definitely changed my skills as a trainer in a better way, and given the proper training, I would recommend an E-Collar for anyone who wants a dog with spot on obedience.
About the Author –
Hannah is a student at Grand Valley State University and is employed at Adams K-9 LLC.