Do E-collars have to be on at all training sessions?

I am taking obedience classes, and we don't use them their. I just got mine and I am going to be conditioning my dog to it. The class is 1 hour long.

I have tried a prong (properly) and it didn't work, he is stubborn

Clear it with your instructor, but yes if you are going to collar train the collar should be on the dog anytime you train. This is a part of “collar conditioning”. At this point in time you can use a “dummy collar” or just not turn the collar on. If you want to make your own dummy collar just duct tape a D-cell battery to the bottom side of a normal flat buckle collar.

The reason for this is because with collar training, the act of putting the collar on means “OH-boy, we get to go train now” to the dog. Same as the dogs reaction to you getting out it's lead when you are going to take it for a walk. You actually want the leash and the e-collar to have the exact same meaning to the dog.

Anytime I'm going to use a lead, I just clip it onto the e-collar. It is, after all, just a flat buckle collar unless you turn it on. The collar should then come off the dog as soon as the training session is over.


for the person with the TD, this is just for you;

“there is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

Herbert Spencer


“I honestly don't understand why people use them at all. Hasn't anyone heard of positive training as opposed to negative?”

That is simply a sign of not knowing what the terms “positive” and “negative” actually mean.

Positive means to add something, and nothing more. Well a kick in the butt is certainly adding something!

Negative means to subtract something, and nothing more. When you do not give the dog a cookie, or say “good dog” because it has not completed a command properly, that is not only negative, it is also punishment.

Done properly an e-collar correction feels the same and has the exact same meaning as a leash correction.

So my simple question for anyone making a statement like ” Hasn't anyone heard of positive training as opposed to negative?” is “have you ever taken your dog for a walk on a leash?” Because if you have, you have used BOTH positive and negative, AND reinforcement and punishment. It would be absolutely impossible to do otherwise.

” and wouldn't dream of using a prong collar on him. He wears a flat collar and is trained in that”

The only difference between the two is that you can just wiggle your fingers or wrist to do with a prong collar what you need to jerk your shoulder out of it's socket to do with a flat buckle collar.

Someday people will figure out that ALL collars do exactly the same thing, the only thing that changes is how they do it. To prove this point, when I'm teaching classes, I will take out one of my shoelaces to use as a collar & lead. It is not the kind of collar that you use that makes you a good or bad dog trainer, it is how you use that collar that does.