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Momentary stimulation can be used in training when you need to apply a short, light form of correction. A classic training scenario where we would use momentary stimulation is when utilizing “indirect pressure” during training. With indirect pressure, you want to apply a short, quick correction for not compiling to a command after you have gotten control over him through attrition. For example, if your dog refuses to take a “right-handed angled back” command on a blind retrieve, momentary stimulation can be used after stopping him with a firm “sit” whistle, “nicking” him once he is sitting for refusing to take the “right-handed angle back” command, then re-issuing the “angle back” command. In this case, the momentary stimulation applies a short less intense correction that does not “rock the boat”.

Upon first consideration, you may not think that you would need an electronic collar that has a range of one mile. However, if you are hunting over a big running pointer, in the thick backwoods of New England, you might be better served with a collar that has an effective range of a half-mile or greater than a collar with less range. Most manufacturers quote “line-of-sight” range for their collars. However, the effective range of an electronic collar can vary according to terrain and environmental conditions. For basic obedience and most yard work, a collar that is capable of extending to 150 to 300 yards is more than adequate. However, if you are training in the field or working in any type of cover, more range is needed to produce a reliable signal.

Intensity Levels
Maybe the most important advancements in the electronic collar in the past ten years has been the change in the design of the electronic collar to allow a trainer to change levels of stimulation at the transmitter, rather than at the collar. In days gone past, a trainer could only change the levels of stimulation by physically changing the “intensity plug” and/or contact points on the collar itself.

Today, virtually all quality electronic collars on the market allow the trainer to select the level of stimulation from the transmitter. The old term, “shock collar” is no longer accurate, the term “electronic training collars” has since replaced this term primarily due to this single design change which allows a trainer to select just the right amount of stimulation necessary to correct the dog making the electronic collar a humane approach to training dogs. Now you can select a mild level of stimulation (barely noticeable by human touch) or a severe level of correction that would make even the toughest man take notice. The responsibility is now with the trainer to select the appropriate correction for the dog.

Transmitter Design
Probably the most important factor in regards to usability of an electronic collar rests within the transmitter design. Most transmitters on the market today fit easily into your hand. However, differences exist in the design of the transmitter. Some manufacturers make transmitters that are small, lightweight and can be hung on a lanyard. Other manufacturers make transmitters that are larger but extremely easy to use. Like most things in life, it comes down to personal preference. In order for any collar to be an effective training device it must be easy to use and be able to apply the correction at the exact moment it is needed. The last thing you want to be doing is fumbling for your transmitter, setting an intensity level when you should be delivering a firm correction that the dog will understand.

The last feature to take into consideration when evaluating the design of a transmitter is the resistance of the transmitter to weather. Some transmitters are water resistant while others are waterproof. If using an electronic collar while waterfowling you might want to consider a transmitter that is waterproof and can endure a “fall in the drink”.

Collar Design
The final consideration when choosing an electronic collar is the design of the collar/receiver unit itself. Some earlier models of electronic collars, intended for upland use, had external antennas that extended beyond the body of the collar and often became caught up on or became damaged by heavy brush. This design has since been replaced with antennas that are self-contained within the body of the receiver unit.

Like the transmitter design, collars also come in units that are water resistant and waterproof. If you intend on using your dog in or around water I would highly recommend purchasing a collar that is waterproof. These collars can be fully submerged in water while in the field without harming the internal electronics, a must for most hunters.

Final Note
Used correctly, the electronic collar can be an invaluable tool when training your gundog. There is no other tool that can help you effectively apply a correction to your dog than one of the many electronic collars on the market today. The days of chasing down your dog to apply a traditional correction (only have lost the significance of the) are long gone. Now you can effectively and reliably apply the correction at the moment when it is needed. Do your homework, if you have any questions regarding the selection an electronic collar, please don’t hesitate to call toll free at 1-866-4GUNDOG.
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