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Choosing an eCollar

If you are going to train with an eCollar please do not run out to the closest "Big Box" store and buy a relatively cheap collar ($100 range is cheap). Years ago I experimented with cheap eCollars. They often offered few levels, had inconsistent stimulation levels, were unreliable and had a small and variable range. Some or all of those issues exist with many of the cheaper brands. To make your job easier, on this site we highly recommend Dogtra eCollars. We can speak for the reliability and quality of these eCollars.

Einstein eCollar

A relatively new product, "Einstein" eCollar.

When you are buying an eCollar you should have following things in mind:

It should have at least 15 levels of stimulation. We would recommend against putting a 10 level eCollar on a dog that has never had one on before – in fact, even a 15 level eCollar may have single jumps that are too large of an increase for some dogs. For this reason we recommend Dogtra eCollars that offer up to 127 levels. Once your dog is trained, you can try one that has 15 levels, if it better fits your needs. For initial training we would suggest a greater range of stimulation levels.

It should have a glowing LCD display. You may think you don’t need it now but sooner or later you will find yourself in a situation where you can’t see stimulation the level. We only suggest display-less remotes to very experienced trainers.

It must have a flash, nick or momentary button. You will need a button that delivers a stimulation which lasts only 250-500 milliseconds (½ a second). This is commonly referred to as a “Nick Button” and stimulation delivered by it is referred to as a “Nick”. Therefore, besides a continuous stimulation button you will want a separate button that delivers a short-lasting stimulation. If you can, test the nick feature on yourself. Some collars enforce a delay between nicks which is generally a useless and limiting feature. In general, higher quality collars have shorter lasting nicks.

You might want a vibrate feature. If you want to go with vibrating stimulations rather than static electricity stims then you will want a a collar with variable vibrations. Note that vibrating stimulation may not work at all on your dog. Reaction among dogs varies massively. Some dogs freak out whereas other dogs completely ignore the stimulation (neither being useful). The only collars that we know of, that offer variable vibrate stimulation are the Unleashed Technology and Num’axes/Canicom collars.