Don’t Tickle the Wrong Dog!

Way back in the ancient times of E-collar use, we were very fortunate and high tech if we had one E-collar and one transmitter. Back then in the ’60s and early ’70s, there was no such thing as a multi-dog outfit, but I do remember some of us fantasized that someday a perfect deal like that may become available. To the amazement of many users, Garmin/Tri-Tronics eventually made our dreams come true. Two dog units gradually became pretty standard, though almost every buyer started out with a one dog system. Later, we were able to purchase three dog units. As the years rolled on, many more helpful features were added and the ability to add more collars became standard. Now several units can handle up to 20 different collars, and for many trainers, that lets them work more dogs and get more training done in a shorter time.

Multi-dog units proved to be very popular, but they do present one noteworthy and common problem. Unless the human half of the training partnership is really on their toes, it’s quite easy to momentarily forget which collar is on which dog. It is surprisingly easy to make that mistake, and many of us can talk from unhappy experience about this rather major bump in the dog training road.

Any time any of us are using multiple collars on multiple dogs, we must be extremely careful and vigilant to know FOR SURE which dog is wearing which collar. If Rip is wearing green, Rex is wearing red, and Rock is wearing orange, it’s fairly easy to remember when we first turn them loose. However, after a few hours of walking, talking, and diminishing caffeine in our blood, we can all fall asleep at the transmitter wheel and make a harmful and inexcusable mistake. Thinking we’re zapping a misbehaving dog, we may accidentally press the wrong button and correct another dog that is doing the right thing. This mistake is easy to make; therefore, we have to bear the responsibility of doing whatever we must do to avoid it and the very negative consequences that could be caused.

Most people have only two or three dogs and an E-collar for each of them. By putting the same collar on the same dog EVERY time out, it will be much easier to keep accurate track of which dog is wearing what. You know Rip always wears green, so it’s very unlikely that you’ll push the red button by mistake. But if you have more collars and more dogs, things can easily become more difficult and confusing. In that case, it’s probably best to carry a small tablet and a pen. Every time collars are switched, indicate on your little cheat sheet what dog is wearing what color. Quickly glance at it every time before you press a button.

By putting some thought and effort to it, I’m sure you can easily figure out some other ways to help back up your memory. Try a few helpful possibilities and see what works best for you. Always keep this potential problem in mind and be aware of the strong possibility of it. Be very careful, no matter what kind of dog owns you!

Guest blog written by: John Wick