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The Modern Remote Electric Training Collar
by Martin Deeley

photos provided by Loretta Baughan

It is now over thirty years since the first commercial electronic collar - or ‘shock’ collar, as it was popularly called, hit the market. This was a true ‘shock collar’ with only one intensity - "Wow!" Because of this, its use was very limited to making behavioral changes that had to be dramatic such as deer chasing and steadiness. It was often limited to dogs that could take - or be conditioned to take - this intensity of stimulation. It was a very crude form of tool by today’s standards. One button and one level – hot, and it earned the name – ‘shock’ collar.

The remote training (electronic) collar has in its development now taken advantage of modern technology. No longer is it the ‘shock’ collar of old but a precise and easily understood piece of equipment. It’s development and design has presented us with a humane device that is of benefit to all dog trainers and owners. It provides trainers with the most comprehensive tool to help us develop, change and modify a dog’s behavior.

"Now you can take away every piece of equipment I own - as long as you leave me with my remote trainer - and a few dummies."

Our own fear of electricity and the word ‘shock’, with all its connotations, created nervousness about the use of the collar. It was related, in the minds of many, to touching a live terminal or a hot wire fence. In the early days, this was the experience. But today, with the ability to control the ‘feel’ of the electronic cycles, we refer to it as a ‘startle’ at high levels and a ‘tickle’ at low levels. Today’s remote trainers bear no resemblance in intensity or feeling to the cattle fences or live electric home wiring that many imagine. In fact, when encouraged to feel the collar, people exhibit surprise at the sensation. "It tickles," or "Oooh, it’s a funny feeing - like a vibration," are the most common comments that I hear. The tickle or vibration, of course, comes from the

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