Controlled Fun With Your Dog: A Remote Collar Seminar

Aug 28, 2010 | Contributors, Pets

by Tara Wilson
K-9 Action Dog Training

This has been a fun summer for dog lovers in the area. There have been plenty of dog events and activities to participate in. One particularly educational and fun event was a Remote Collar Training Seminar held in Reedley on June 12th and 13th at Pioneer Park. K-9 Action Dog Training and Boarding sponsored the seminar, and invited Robin MacFarlane from Wisconsin’s That’s My Dog, Inc. to come teach it.

remote dog collar

Robin MacFarlane and owner

Remote collars have long been used as a tool in dog training. Many people that have worked with hunting dogs or police dogs are familiar with the remote collar. It is sometimes known as a “shock collar” but that term is not correct. The stimulation provided by modern remote collars can range from imperceptible to very attention-getting. If you have ever been to a chiropractor or physical therapy and experienced the “tens unit” then you will know what the stimulation feels like. It is not a shock but rather a tingling feeling that varies in intensity according to what the trainer is trying to accomplish. Modern techniques for using the remote collar are very gentle and focus on communicating to the dog what you want him to do, rather than punishing him for not doing what you ask.

training dogs with remote collars

Training excercises

Approximately 16 dogs and their humans attended the two-day event, as well as several other people that came to watch and take notes. The weekend consisted of lecture type presentations and question and answer periods interspersed with plenty of hands-on training time with the dogs. Many of the dogs came to the seminar with issues ranging from fear to aggression to plain unruliness! By the end of the first day, those same dogs were walking nicely on the leash, coming when called and going to their crates on command. This was all done in close proximity to other dogs and people, with major distractions around. A highlight of the first day was the “follow the leader” game that had the dogs going up in the band shell, across benches, down the slide and other places. There were several dogs that would not have been able to participate in this exercise when they first arrived but — thanks to the remote collar — were happy, willing participants!

dog training

Tara Wilson and owner

The second day consisted of more advanced exercises, such as sitting from a distance, going to a “place board” away from their owner and remaining there, and focusing on their human even with other dogs right in their space. It was amazing to see the difference in every dog that came to the seminar. The owners were also thrilled at the control and precision they were able to achieve in just two days, especially those that had very unruly dogs to start with. Everyone left with a renewed relationship with their dog, and a feeling that they could accomplish anything they wanted to with their dog. It was fun to see the smiles on everyone’s faces and the wagging of all the dog tails!

To learn more about the remote collar and other training tips, check out Robin MacFarlane’s blog.

Tara Wilson is an ongoing contributor to our
Pet Perspective section, providing insight gained from co-owning K-9 Action Dog Training and Boarding.


  1. I was at the seminar and am still amazed at how far along the remote collar has helped my dog with self-control. Just yesterday, I let Maiyah wait off leash briefly as I was getting her leash out, that would never have happened before the seminar. She just sat and waited patiently. She has improved a lot this summer. Great article, Tara! 🙂

    .-= A recent submission from Sheryl: House-Training Your Dog? =-.

  2. I was at the seminar too, and had a great time! It was fun watching all the dogs improve on their skills and work together in close proximity. I love the article, Tara!! Great job. 🙂 Lexie was so tired by the second day and slept so sound that night… she was ready to go back the next day though and wanted more e-collar stimulation! It’s such a great tool.


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