How to Introduce an E-Collar to a Great Dane – Tips & Tricks

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3 mins read

Introducing a new E-Collar to your Great Dane can be a daunting task. It is important that you take the time to properly condition and train your dog with the E-Collar before using it in real-world situations.

In this blog post, we will discuss some tips and tricks for how to introduce an E-Collar to a Great Dane. We will also provide some helpful tips on how to use the E-Collar for training purposes. Let’s get started!

This guide assumes you are using a quality E-Collar, NOT a shock collar from Amazon or the Pet Store! We recommend E-Collar Technologies or Dogtra only.

There is a huge difference between a shock collar and an E-Collar. Please read this article for more information before getting started.

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How to Introduce an E-Collar
A merle Great Dane wearing an E-Collar Technologies E-Collar ET-900

HOW TO INTRODUCE AN E-COLLAR TO A GREAT DANE

Step One: The proper fit is important. Make sure that the E-Collar fits your dog properly. It should be snug, but not too tight. You don’t want it to be so tight that it’s uncomfortable for your dog, but you also need to make sure that the stimulation prongs make consistent contact and don’t rub.

Step Two: Start with basic obedience commands. Before you begin using the E-Collar for training purposes, make sure that your dog understands basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down. These are easy to teach using positive reinforcement and will make the E-Collar training process much easier.

Your dog doesn’t have to be amazing at these basic commands yet, but they should be able to do them when you are indoors at your house.

How to Introduce an E-Collar
A Harlequin Great Dane wearing an Educator E-Collar

HOW TO FIND YOUR DOG’S WORKING LEVEL ON THE E-COLLAR

Once you have the E-Collar fitted properly and your dog knows some basic obedience commands, you can begin E-Collar conditioning. This is a process where you gradually get your dog used to the E-Collar and the language of stimulation.

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Start by putting the E-Collar on your dog and letting them wear it for a short period of time.

  • Start at the lowest level, tap.
  • Increase the level by just one step and ‘tap’ once again.
  • Watch your dog and look for a slight reaction.
  • Repeat this process.
  • Once you have found the level that gets your dog’s attention, you can begin training.

Reactions may include:

  • Turning their head
  • Twitching their ear
  • Looking at their rear end
  • Head tilt
  • Scratching

Most dogs’ working-level falls between 2 and 10 on Educator Collars.

This level is imperceptible to humans and extremely gentle! It will fill like a tactile ‘tapping’ sensation to your dog.

How to Introduce an E-Collar
A Mantle Great Dane wearing a Mini-Educator and a biothane long leash, learning to recall with the E-Collar and Positive Reinforcement.

E-COLLAR CONDITIONING, STEP 2

Once you have found your dog’s working level, you will want to teach them that stimulation means good things.

This can be done by using high-value treats and pairing the sensation with reward, not punishment!

Your dog should be showing enthusiastic and positive body language. If they are bothered by the simulation, turn it down a level or two.

Over the course of several days, and ongoing through the next several weeks, practice the following with your dog:

STIM – TREAT – STIM – TREAT

Remember, muscle stimulation is not the same as a sharp static shock.

This is a foreign sensation to your dog that doesn’t mean good or bad. It is your job to teach your dog what the stimulation means.

How to Introduce an E-Collar
An Easy Educator E-Collar that uses muscle stimulation, not sharp shocks.

THE LANGUAGE OF THE E-COLLAR

Once your dog understands that the stimulation means good things, it’s time to teach your dog how to come when called.

  1. Start by having your dog on a leash. We recommend a long Biothane leash and flat martingale collar.
  2. Give the command to ‘come’ while simultaneously pressing and holding the E-Collar button on ‘Continuous’ mode. (Use your dogs working level).
  3. As soon as your dog starts to come towards you, release the E-Collar button immediately and praise them lavishly! Reward them with a treat and more praise when they come to you.
  4. Repeat this process many ways and in many places. The more you practice, the more confident you can be that your dog understands the stimulation and will respond to it.

Troubleshooting

If your dog doesn’t turn to come to you, they may be too far away, too distracted, or confused. A gentle tug on the leash may help communicate the command.

Think of your E-Collar like a cell phone!

A long leash is a landline.

The stimulation is the phone ringing. When your dog ‘answers the phone’, the ringing goes away and they are rewarded!

How to Introduce an E-Collar
A black Great Dane running off-leash with an Educator E-Collar.

BEST PRACTICES FOR E-COLLARS

Good E-Collar use means relying on the tool as a communication device, not a corrections one.

  • Do not use your E-Collar as a threat or as a correction until you are well past the first several weeks of ‘conditioning’.
  • Spend more time saying yes than no, stay at your dog’s working level and keep it positive.
  • Rotate the collar every 2-3 hours.

An increase in your dog’s working level will likely be required as you move into more distracting areas! This higher level does not hurt or punish, it simply overrides the excitement of the environment.

It’s the difference between hearing your cell phone ring at home, vs. hearing and responding to it while at a noisy party.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. We do our best to present the most up-to-date research, however it is up to the reader to make decisions regarding the health and well-being of their dog. We make no claims here to prevent or treat bloat, Panosteitis, DCM or any other condition related to Great Danes. Find a veterinarian with GIANT breed experience, and chat with them. 

Some of the products we list on our website contain affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, we may receive a small commission for referring you. We only recommend products that we truly believe in. This commission does not affect the price of the product and is used to fund our content and expenses related to operating this website. 

Hello Danes

Dane lover and believer in ethical breeding, training and rescue practices. Positive + Balanced trainer, owner of rescue dogs and dogs from breeders. Love the dog in front of you.

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