Critical points to consider before fitting the e-collar
Due to the thickness of the coat of some dogs, the contact points of the electronic collar may be blocked by the coat from making contact with the dog’s skin. The two contact points must touch the dog’s skin before it can be able to send a signal to the dog because the circuit will never be closed if the skin of the dog is not touching the two contact
points. The dog can push the probe further away from the contact which usually leads to unstable sensation. This happens mainly during play, and in some cases, the dog owner/trainer would increase the level of the signal to a point that might be harmful to that particular dog.
Thus, do everything possible to avoid these things from happening. But please get it right. Don’t make the probe to be too tight for the dog to breathe properly. Ensure that the dog doesn’t beg for air. Remember to adjust the position of the probe once in a while to avoid sore. Due to friction, allowing the probe to stay in one particular spot can lead to sore.
Do not confuse sore with skin born as many dog owners do. If it happens in that spot you always fit the probe then know that it’s most likely to be sore. Hence, it’s vital to rotate the probe a bit to change the position of the two contact points.
At What Working Level Should I Set It?
« Please start from zero levels » – That’s what almost all dog trainers will tell you. From report gathered so far, most new users get this wrong while some also do it the right way. How about you Sir/Ma? I hope you got it right when you tried it.
We discussed earlier that fitting the collar is the most difficult part of training a dog with an electronic collar. This stage is also difficult because the working level is relative to the dog’s stimuli. The working-level for your dogs is likely going to vary because of their stimuli. That means that every dog has a unique working level. This working level is simply the level of signal safe enough for the dog to feel – not too high and not too low. Thus, it’s advisable not to predict the working level of your dogs when you don’t understand the strength of their stimuli.
That dog you think is weak may have a very high working level while the tough one ends up with very low working level. This means that you need to be highly focused when adjusting the level of the signal.
Another thing to note is that the level of sensation or signal released by different e-collars can vary. So, don’t assume that working level for e-collar A is the same as the working level for e-collar B. Thus, adjust the working level of every new e-collar you buy before using it on your dog. Other things to consider when adjusting the working level are; the environment and the context of the training.
If there is a lot of noise or distraction within the vicinity, then the working level would be a bit higher than in a place with less distraction and noise. When looking at the context of the training, our focus is on whether the training is for negative reinforcement or positive punishment.
Positive punishment usually has a higher working level than negative reinforcement because in positive punishment the level required is a bit irritating to the dog even though it is safe. So we need a higher signal that the dog would want to avoid by recalling the correct behavior or action. So, a single nick is all you need to avoid hurting the dog. But for negative reinforcement, we are looking at that working-level that can vibrate constantly without hurting the dog.