I was at a working dog training workshop one weekend when I realized I was referred to as That E Collar Guy. Now don’t get me wrong. I know people meant it as a compliment. Several people in attendance were talking about the work I do with e collars in a very positive way, it was not a bad thing. The problem is I am not an e collar trainer, I am a dog trainer. Yes I use e collars with just about every dog I work with, but that is a very small piece of the puzzle. Funny thing is out of all the dogs in attendance I don’t think I saw one other dog except for my own Luca that was at this event, no leash, no collar, no tools at all, but yet I was still that e collar guy. I made it a point to work Luca amongst all the distractions with toys, bite sleeves, and at times with just my partnership, but yet I was still that e collar guy. At one point my wife even got a little offended by how many times she heard me referred to as The E Collar guy, and again I know it was in a positive way so for those that put me in high standing with that tool let me say Thank You very much. I do appreciate the accolades.
The problem is that it gives too many trainers and everyday dog owners the illusion that my dogs behave and perform the way they do because of the e collar and that could not be further from the truth. It gives people the illusion that the work I do with aggressive dogs come from the e collar and again that is not even close. The fact is I use e collars to provide off leash freedom for my dogs and my clients dogs. Can and do we use e collars for other things such as stopping bad behaviors or enforcing wanted behaviors, absolutely.
The difference between me and many others when it comes to the use of the e collar is that I take the time to teach it properly. I am not alone here. There are many other trainers that also do great work with the e collar, but just like me they use it as a small piece of the puzzle.
There was a time in my life where for about one full year I became a terrible trainer. The reason being I was putting way too much emphasis on e collar training and not enough into dog training. I am so grateful I realized what I was doing and got back to real dog training.
I have many videos that are free to the public. I have a ton of how to e collar videos also. I put a lot of stuff out there for free because I truly want people to stop misusing and abusing this tool. I see people posting comments everyday about how there dog has developed some type of problem out of the blue and now they are going to get an e collar to fix it. That kind of stuff makes me cringe. That will never work, in fact you will make things worse one way or another. The fact is that your dog does not develop a problem out of the blue. There is usually a relationship problem and a communication problem, but people don’t like to admit that. An e collar can’t and will not fix that.
Let me use my dog, Luca as an example one last time here. He is a pretty well trained dog. He is extremely intense and focused on me. He does a lot of cool things and he has a high level of obedience. I am not sure how many commands and behaviors he knows, but it is many. NOT one single thing was ever taught with an e collar. Not One. Everything he was taught was taught through motivation. Through food, toys, and praise. It was taught by an unbelievably strong bond that we have with each other. It was taught through good dog training not good e collar training.
So to finish let me say this. I love e collars. I will continue to use and perfect the use of this tool with every dog I work with, and I will continue to be a spokesperson for this tool as long as people want me, but it will always remain as a piece of the puzzle not the magic wand.
How you live with your dog dictates how your dog lives with you.
Now if you would like to book me for an e collar seminar hit me up LOL