Get More for Your Money! E-collar Training Tips
E-collar training or using theories are common topics anytime dog owners chat. One question often asked of me is, “At what point or age or stage do you feel a dog no longer needs to regularly wear its E-collar?”
HUH? Why does this question even arise? Trying to remain calm and not act surprised, I usually try to find a way to explain that the day I sadly lay ’em in their graves is when mine will no longer wear an E-collar every time I’m working with or hunting them.
Following are some of my reasons:
- Dogs can always be just a tiny bit better, or just a little more fine-tuned. When folks believe or assume that any dog is as good as it could possibly be in every way, they are short-changing themselves and their dogs. They’re giving up on further improvement from man and dog.
- Even if your dog is nearly perfect in every way, it is always wise to be ready for those very occasional opportunities that will arise. Just a little tickle here or there, now and then, even if they are very occasional, will help keep your dog doing and thinking its very best. Without us thinking that way and always being prepared to handle an old or new situation that may arise, our dog may occasionally get away with one, or test a bit of new mischief and find that it paid no penalty. In a short time, one of those very small issues that could have been easily corrected can turn into a bigger problem.
- Anyone who believes their dog knows all it could possibly learn to make it more pleasurable and more productive does not yet realize all that dogs can learn or all a trainer can teach. In my travels and conversations, I see this type of situation on a very regular basis. Many years ago I was one of those short-sighted people too. I thought my E-collar was to break my dogs from running the wrong kinds of critters. It took lots of years and experimenting and continually learning from wiser and more experienced trainers for me to slowly learn that the E-collar has many more desirable and useful functions, and my dogs had much more intelligence and ability to learn than I previously realized. Today I would guess that at least 80 percent of E-collar owners do not get all the good and value from this wonderful gizmo that is there for the getting. Even though I’ve been quite diligent at trying to get all the good from mine that there is to get, I’m still learning and finding more ways to get more use from my E-collar equipment.
- Giving a misbehaving dog a small, medium, or large tickle to correct a problem is only a small part of how my E-collars earn their living. About 15 years ago, I realized that my E-collars had a feature on them that I never used. Some folks called it a buzzer and others a tone. A few people used it to signal an attaboy to their dogs. Others used it as a warning that they’re messing up, and they better straighten up real quick or they’re going to feel something in addition to hearing something. And people being people, there were and are folks who used that tone feature trying to accomplish both of those processes that were the original planned uses for this feature when it first came out. However, using it for multiple functions mixed up and messed up quite a few dogs.
I had never felt much need to give my dogs that type of attaboy or warning so when the rest of my E-collars were finally wearing out, the tone feature was still brand new and unused. Seemed like a waste to me so after stewing on it and trying to come up with something I wanted that sound to do, it popped into my mind late one night when I had a coon dog treed in the middle of a quick-sand bog, that if I taught my dog what it meant, maybe I could press that tone button and teach him that sound meant he needed to stop whatever he was doing and come to me. I reasoned that my long-range Trashbreaker would enable him to hear the tone on the collar much further than he could hear me hollering.
After just a little foundation work and teaching in the backyard with a 50-foot cord, I put my plan into action and was absolutely amazed how easy and great it worked. From that day forward, my tone feature gets used much more than the shocking feature does. To make sure my dogs are never confused, the tone button is used for that one reason only! When they hear the tone buzzing on their collar, it means come to Uncle John right now! Doesn’t matter if they’re hunting, trailing, treeing, heading for a busy highway, wandering onto posted land, getting into any type of dangerous area, heading cross country towards somebody else’s hounds they hear in the distance, turned loose in my yard for a bit of exercise . . . doesn’t matter, nothing matters, my tone button brings them back to me quickly and easily. I never use my voice to order them or beg them to come to me. My one and only signal for “come” is pressing the tone button. I know they’ll hear it easier and more certainly, by far, than me yelling in the wind, rain, or dry fall leaves loudly blowing across the ground.
The “tone” feature is certainly one huge reason my dogs always carry an E-collar with them no matter how mature or finished they seem to be. Using the tone button can save their lives in multiple conditions and situations. And it darn sure makes life much easier and sweeter for me. Shortly after I realized this use and potential for the tone feature, I started talking about it, writing about it, and demonstrating it. It is amazing to me how that use and tactic is now sweeping across the nation and being used by thousands of people working with all types of dogs. Seems that any sensible person that properly prepares their dog and gives this idea a fair try quickly realizes their E-collar is worth having and using on a very regular basis even if they don’t want to give their dogs a little jolt for various mischief. But, oh yes, occasionally we may have to give them a little tickle to clean the wax out of their ears so they can more clearly hear and respond to that tone sound when we want them to come. Smiles.
- My dogs and I are out there in the dark of night on a very regular basis. The lighted features are very helpful, handy, and are another safety device that I value. Anything that may help keep my dog alive and help me see a dog while it’s hunting or hiding is certainly another worthwhile reason to always have the E-collar on their neck.
- Why own an E-collar and leave it home or in the truck? It does you no good there and might be helpful out in the field on your dog. Besides, using and regularly recharging your unit is probably better for its health than just sitting somewhere gathering dust.
In my mind, a quality E-collar is possibly the best invention thus far in the realm of dog related products. Whether alone or part of a GPS dog locating device, mine will be used, enjoyed, and appreciated every time any of my dogs are loose. I’d recommend you do the same, regardless of what kind of dog owns you.
Written by John Wick
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