Using a E Collar is not difficult. However, it is not entirely intuitive either. Too often people have the misguided notion that you put the collar on the dog, wait for him to “do something wrong” or disobey and then push the button to punish him.
How does the E Collar work?
That isn’t how it works, or at least that isn’t how it works best. Proper use of a E Collar involves a collar conditioning phase that teaches the dog how to respond to stimulation. Once the dog understands how to respond to the sensation, you can use the collar to teach and enforce a wide variety of skills.
The challenge people struggle with most often in this conditioning phase is learning how to adjust the dial to use a level of stimulation appropriate for the dog’s sensitivity. It is a skill that involves learning to watch the dog rather than the dial. The dial provides a reference point, but the level you use will not be the same for every situation. The intensity can go up or down depending on how excited or adrenalized the dog is.
Pay attention to your dog but not the remote
Keeping your eyes on the dog is the key to determining if you should turn the level up or down. The dog will indicate through his body language whether the stimulation is having the proper effect or not.
An appropriate stim level will cause the dog to “do something”. The dog attempting to
“do something” means that the level is just perturbing enough that Fido shows some sort of behavior response to it. There is a wide range of possible responses. The dog may scratch, tilt his head, or freeze. Scenting behavior may be interrupted, the dog might lay down, or simply have a puzzled look on his face. It is important to watch for subtle but noticeable indications that the dog feels something.
If you are not seeing any of these signs and Fido just continues doing whatever he was doing, then the level is too low and you need to turn up the stimulation until you see some behavioral change.
If, however, you are seeing signs of distress or strong reaction like yelping or startled jumping your level is too high and you need to turn it down.
Adjust the collar properly and frequently until you find the best level