Advanced E-Collar Training Method

Imagine constantly catching your dog underneath your deck, having squeezed through a hole in the fencing. Do you have any dangerous areas of your yard you want your pup to avoid? What about dangerous animals, like snakes? Do you live near a road you don’t want your dog venturing too close to?

Advanced E-Collar Training Method

This training method incorporates the aversive stimulus offered by your E-Collar as a deterrent, encouraging your dog to avoid certain areas. The principle behind this idea is essentially the same as any ‘underground fence’ today, administering first an audible beep then a semi-uncomfortable or startling jolt as your dog nears too close to an undesirable location.

If done correctly, your dog will associate the ‘jolt’ to the location, area or animal you chose, and from then after avoid that location. This does involve what is called ‘positive punishment’, and should only ever be used as a safety measure.

The Training

For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume you have a hole underneath your porch. Your dog has been using this access to crawl underneath your house, which you think is incredibly dangerous! You have no idea what else is down there.

Step One: You would adjust the collar so the prongs are just contacting your pet’s skin. You can still fit two fingers underneath if need be. This is to ensure it isn’t too tight or loose.

Set your vibration or stimulation level appropriately on the electric dog collar for the size of your dog. You don’t want to harm your pet or cause actual pain, but you do want to startle your dog.

Step Two: Watch your dog as he/she walks around outside. The second your pup ventures too close to this undesirable area, administer a startling jolt from the electric dog collar. It won’t take long before your dog associates the aversive stimulation from your electric dog collar to the area you want to be avoided.

It’s important to be consistent. You’ll need to watch your pup closely, correcting every mistake. If you don’t correct one and your dog is allowed to venture ‘underneath the house’ without any sort of correction, the training may become confusing.

Using Visual Markers

This is essentially the exact same idea many invisible fences employ  administering a jolt as your dog ventures too close. Many invisible fence manufacturers will also include ‘flag training’ with their instructions, to set boundaries. We can use flag training too!

Set up a series of small flags to mark the area you want your dog to avoid. Your dog will learn he receives a jolt if venturing beyond these flags.

 You can purchase these small flags at any hardware store. If you want to use specific colours that wouldn’t appear grey to your dog, use blue or yellow!

Start with an Audible Beep

Begin with an audible beep or lighter vibration as an alert. The dog will learn this means a shock is coming if he doesn’t back off, but still offer him/her an opportunity to avoid the discomfort of the shock and back away from the flags you set up.

In most cases, it will only take one or two shocks before your dog learns to avoid the area with the flags. After all, your goal is to keep your dog safe and protected in the long run!

Importance of a Low Setting

You just want to use enough stimulation to startle your dog. You want your pup to think ‘Hey, I that doesn’t feel good. I need to avoid this area of the yard.’ Using too high a setting can frighten your pet, even leading to a general fear of the outdoors.

You absolutely do not want your dog to fear you or the outdoors in general! For this reason, professional trainers warn against associating and discomfort from your electric dog collar to you as the owner.

You don’t want your dog thinking you are the cause of the shock. You want your dog to think crossing the flag barrier is what caused the shock.

Never Use your Electric Collar to Punish Bad Behavior!

The very first shock collars were used in the 1960s to train hunting dogs and were high powered. They didn’t offer the extensive settings that today’s collars do. They were uncomfortable tools meant to inflict discomfort in order to force a dog to comply.  

This is a bad training technique for many reasons! You never want to cause your dog to become fearful of his training unless you are trying to protect him, such as the sole example in the first half of this article.

Fearful dogs can become aggressive, which is the last thing you want. The above reason is why shock collars for dogs have such a poor reputation. If used correctly, your electric shock collar can become a powerful tool for dog training!