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Consistency Without an E-collar



by Robin MacFarlane



"My dog won't listen when the e-collar isn't on!"

The idea that dogs become collar wise and only listen when the e-collar is on has been around as long as the collars themselves.

It certainly doesn't take long to get improved results when you start training your dog with the addition of an electronic collar. So it doesn't take long for collar wise issues to pop up either.

The problem, however, isn't so much that the dog knows to listen when the collar is on and ignore you when the collar is off.

The real problem is you've become a person who enforces expectations only when the e-collar is available. If you were truly following through even when it is less convenient, your dog would not have made the connection that reliability has to do with equipment.

Being consistent with your expectations and making sure your dog follows through is one of the most important things to remember if you want to have a really well trained, reliable dog.

Follow through is easy when we're pushing a button, but not always so convenient when we don't have that e-collar available. That is when you need a variety of other techniques to draw on. Using your body language to influence or your voice, being willing to get off the couch, or walk across the yard and go to the dog to insist on follow through -- these are things we have to be willing to do to have a well trained dog.

It is those learning opportunities when your dog is realizing listening is not optional, nor dependent on equipment. We're then teaching our dogs that we are consistent, regardless of which tool we use or have available.
-- Robin



Robin MacFarlane is a professional dog trainer and owner of Thatís My Dog in Dubuque, Iowa. Her best-selling dog training DVDs, JUST RIGHT and JUST RIGHT 2 have helped thousands of dog owners teach their dogs basic obedience and fix problem behaviors through a system of training that you can easily work into your daily routine.
  • Robin writes for Gun Dog Supply on our E-collars Dog Training blog
  • Follow her on Facebook
  • Read her other posts here on RobinMacFarlane.com




  • Pull-Quote= Strugging with a collar wise dog? Time to check your consistency.



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