E-Collar Transmitter Conditioning
By Tom Antion
You hear a lot about e-collar or remote collar conditioning. This is where you are supposed to put the e-collar on well ahead of time so the dog forgets about it. You’re also supposed to leave the collar on after you’re done training so the dog doesn’t figure out that he only has to listen when the collar is on.
What I haven’t heard anything about is “transmitter” conditioning. The transmitter is the walkie talkie looking thing you hold in your hand to give corrections or send tones or vibrations to the e-collar.
You would think an e-collar is a pretty simple device. You push a button and wherever the dog is, it gets corrected. Yes, that’s true. It is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to operate it correctly. I actually studied for over a month before I even put the receiver collar on my dog.
I bought courses and I have an entire three inch thick three ring binder full of printouts of what I could find online about how to use it without ruining your dog. Yes, it’s possible to ruin your dog if you don’t know what you are doing so I highly recommend you get training or buy courses before you use one.
This article is about transmitter conditioning and the trouble I had with that.
I have a really nice e-collar made by Dogtra. It has double receivers if I need them for specialized bitework training and a really nice transmitter that looks like a mini walkie talkie. It also has a really nice lanyard on it to put around your wrist so you don’t drop it.
What I found out was that the dog learned quickly that if I had the transmitter in my hand, he had to mind. If he didn’t see the transmitter, he didn’t have to mind. When I really looked at the situation it was pretty obvious. The lanyard was flopping around all over the place as we trained. Of course, that attracted the dog’s eye. It didn’t take long for the dog to figure out that when the lanyard and transmitter were present, that’s the only time he would get corrected. . . . No transmitter. . . . No need to mind.
I removed the lanyard from the transmitter and kept the transmitter in my pocket as much as possible. That seemed to take care of the problem.
This is just another example from a new personal protection dog owner, that there’s a lot to learn and getting help from professionals either online or in person (especially in person) really speeds your learning curve.