Join my list to receive my e-book!

Are E-Collars Humane in Dog Training

Mini Educator


I am a balanced dog trainer in Portland.  I actually used to think e-collars were inhumane, but after getting a dog with serious behavioral issues, I discovered how amazing they were.

Here’s the deal.  Not only do I think e-collars are great, I believe that without e-collars you can get in a lot of trouble.  I think of e-collar training as training that ensures the safety of my dog.  With ecollar training we proof re-call.  Re-call means getting your dog to come back when called.  If my dog is off-leash and a car is coming, all of the e-collar training I have done, gives me leverage to more reliably call my dog back to me so they don’t get hit by a car.  This saves me from an extremely traumatic event, a massive vet bill and possibly a death.  Or if we are off-leash hiking and they see a squirrel that ecollar training might help me out in that moment that my dog wants to take off of me.

There is so much misinformation out there about e-collars.  People say they are inhumane etc. etc.  I have a lot of opinions about this but the facts are this:  if you only have food reward for recall, is that as reliable in that moment to your dog than the squirrel?  For most dogs, they’re going to weigh out what is more valuable to them in the moment and it will have nothing to do with pleasing you.

It’s our job to keep our dogs safe.  Even if e-collars administer a momentary discomfort to my dog for literally a split second of their life, this is the more humane thing than not having this off-leash reliability and risking them getting injured.   That means having a reliable re-call so that if a car comes, they will come back to you and not blow you off.  E-collar training also helps calm dogs down by giving them a set of non-negotiable rules they have to follow to be a member of your pack – thus increasing your rank as pack leader.  This is what really creates psychological balance in dogs – knowing that there are rules and that they don’t have to be in charge.  Navigating the human world I imagine feels impossible and overwhelming for them, thus the anxious behaviors we see when owners are too “soft,” with dogs and share only soft energy.

I truly believe that a strong re-call a huge part of what makes a dog “a good dog.”  E-collars make that possible for the average person that isn’t a dog trainer and doesn’t have hours upon hours of time to try to teach re-call with positive reinforcement only.  A lot of dogs will still blow you off in the moment for the squirrel over the treat.  Even after all of those hours of positive reinforcement training.

E-collars also are a game changer to help in stopping unwanted behavioral issues in dog training.

In my experience as a balanced dog trainer in Portland, Oregon, I find that people really appreciate the freedom that e-collars bring.  There are so many places to hike including beaches and rivers.  Having off-leash training in Portland is where it’s at!

If you are looking for a balanced dog trainer in Portland Oregon, or e-collar training in Portland, Oregon please reach out at


Join my newsletter to receive my e-book on balanced dog training!