Ecollars are a very effective training tool when used correctly. An ecollar is NOT a teaching tool; it is for reinforcing a KNOWN command. In order for an ecollar correction to be fair to a dog, the dog must know how to make the pressure stop and how to keep it from happening again. To put collar pressure on a dog that has no idea what you want him to do or how to make it stop is not fair.
Before you decide that an ecollar correction is needed and fair, you need to read your dog. Is your dog confused? Are you absolutely sure that your dog knows exactly what you are asking him to do?
Far too many times on a training day, we see dogs who seem to be refusing commands; refusing to get in the water or refusing to drive back once they get in the water and the handler applies collar pressure. If collar pressure is not getting the desired response, you need to ask yourself, does my dog really understand what I am asking him to do? In some cases the answer may be yes. My dog absolutely understands and is distracted or thinks he has a choice and a higher level of correction may be what is needed. A lot of the time, however, it appears that the answer is no. My dog really doesn’t understand this concept and I need to go back and teach.
It is extremely important that all of the steps of the teaching process be followed. There are many programs available that outline a step by step process to teach every concept that a dog needs to know to be successful. Training day and all of its crazy distractions is not the place to try and teach your dog something new. Teach it in the yard and in a local pond. Be absolutely certain that your dog knows what you are asking him to do before applying collar pressure as a correction.