Why I Don't Use E-Collars

For those who are pro-e-collar,
Here is my challenge:
Use it on your spouse.
Explain to them what you're up to,
and instead of asking them to do something, use the "tool.”
At the end of the day, ask them how "free" they felt, how much trust they had in their decisions, and what they felt during the stimulus control.

If you don't like my association and comparison between humans and dogs, it's ok.
Just a heads up that all mammals are emotionally intelligent.

Dogs were greatly esteemed in Mesopotamia as protectors, healers, and companions of the gods.

"This relationship is well established in Mesopotamia from as early as 3300 BCE in the southern area known as Sumer"-www.ancient.eu
see plate to the right

According to scientific research, dogs learned more from humans during their synergistic relationship over 35,000 years, than humans did from dogs. Humans would communicate with dogs in a natural way, with body language and emotional expressiveness. Humans bury dogs the last 16,000 years. We’ve gone back 100 years into a dark age of dog training when we rely on positive punishment or negative punishment  reinforcement tools to communicate with our animals.  B.F.Skinner did an extended research which some took it to the extreme.



But the problem started earlier when the war needed dogs to do the job quickly and accurate at any cost. 
"Konrad Most began training dogs for police work in Germany, and was appointed principal of the State Breeding and Training Establishment for police dogs in Berlin, where he carried out original research into training dogs for a broad range of service tasks. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was charged with organising and directing the use of dogs to further the war effort." -Wikipedia

If you don't believe in science, you should not use the e-collar. It's made of hundreds of components designed by electronic scientists who have no scientific background of dog behavior modification. They only understand the economic value of using aversive tools to send a message to the dog.

Today the majority of professional dog training scientists who analyzed data over decades came to the conclusion that there has been more damage done than good.

Ok, I get the point that some dogs need to be reached remotely.

And I also understand that you might work with the toughest dogs in the world.

Bottom line is that I hear the same arguments about e-collars that I hear about guns.

They both come from a fear point of view, and a lack of emotional power and confidence.

So we use tools.

Who I am to talk about collars?
I worked with them for several years when I began my career as a dog trainer because I was told it's ethical.  My first one I made myself ( I'm a retired industrial engineer and reverse prototype specialist- I've worked on many items that you use in your life every day.)
I work with aggressive dogs on euthanasia lists and dogs returned to rescue. I work with deaf and blind dogs. I specialize in giant breeds and so called bully breeds. I have international and local clients. I coach trainers, rescues, and the nation's biggest non-kill shelters.

The strengthening of behavior which results from reinforcement is appropriately called ‘conditioning’. In operant conditioning, we ‘strengthen’ an operant in the sense of making a response more probable or, in actual fact, more frequent.
— B. F. Skinner, (Science and Human Behavior, 1953)

As a trauma behavior specialist and intuitive ( empath) healer,
I feel and communicate with animals in a non-verbal language and I realized that an e-collar is a tool that has no use in my toolbox. I feel it's unethical as a healer to put the dog into an emotional state that creates a fear of failure.

I tested several collars on myself. 

I tested several collars on myself. 

I'm not calling anyone unethical, I’m just explaining my personal ethical standpoint.

It's time for us professionals to raise our vibration and confidence, and be preventive and authoritative in our interaction with dogs.

Understanding emotional energy, trauma, stress, and disabilities will allow us to help dogs better and with long term stability.


Roman Gottfried is an internationally renowned Holistic Dog Training, Intuitive Healer  and Dog/Human Relationship Coach. He works with dog parents worldwide to help their dogs reach their full potential, by teaching them the holistic philosophy of creating a healthy relationship with their dog. He sees clients both online and in-person in Phoenix, Arizona. Visit www.romansk9training.com for more information or to schedule an appointment.



Learned helplessness: Seligman, M. E. P. (1972). "Learned helplessness". Annual Review of Medicine. 23 (1): 407–412. doi:10.1146/annurev.me.23.020172.002203 

Owner Attachment and Problem Behaviors Related to Relinquishment and Training Techniques of Dogs Jennifer Y. Kwan  & Melissa J. Bain

Pages 168-183 | Published online: 01 Apr 2013


Dog-Human Communication

Clare Browne, Nicola Starkey, Mary Foster, James McEwan