two dogs run

Preventing a dog from becoming collar wise

If your dog is utterly dependent on using an e-collar before they will acknowledge your command, then they are termed as being collar wise. If your dog is collar wise, they will only focus their attention on your controls while the collar in on them. But the moment they are off the e-collar, they pay no heed to your instructions! This is something that is commonly experienced by many dog owners too.
How are we able to prevent the problem of the dog being collar wise?

At the beginning

Some dogs are more intelligent than others. If your dog is indeed smart, then it is just a matter of time before the dog will get some insights into the manner you manage the obedience training program. The dog will start to recognize the expected implications while you send the correction via the remote at their direction. Also, they will begin to keep a lookout whenever you reach out for the remote too.
To bypass this problem, you should no longer use the remote when the dog is looking at you. As an alternative, you should use it carefully or hide it while you wish to use it. Your dog will, in this example, never be able to correlate the information at all.

External-driving motivation

One of the reasons why dogs are not paying attention to your command while the collar is off is lack of incentives. This can be achieved if you develop an incentive system for the dog. All you need to do is to give him a favorite treat every time he listens to your command. Dogs do love having compliments too! When you combine the incentives with the verbal compliments, your dog will respond to your commands, even when they are not wearing the collar.

Follow up actions

Another reason why some dogs become collar wise is that owners did not follow up with the dog when they stop being responsive to the commands. If this is the case, the dog will no longer be able to register the facts or correction, which will eventually result in the non-compliant of rules, especially when the collar is off. You need to follow up with your process at all times. Do not slack off, as it will drive a very different message to your dog.

Put on the e-collar during the day

To ensure that the dog does not correlate the collar with any correction, you must get the dog to put on the collar even if there's no training to be expected. This means that the dog should be wearing it for a while (about 30-45 minutes) during the day, for example during his regular feeding hours. When done correctly, the dog will not develop negative connotations against the collar too.

No lack of consistency

If you are being inconsistent in the way you train your dog, it might be the reason why your dog is collar wise! If there is a specific method that you adopt to teach your dog, then you need to ensure that you follow the proper procedure and never skip any steps. With lack consistency, the dog will no longer be able to react accordingly, and that itself will prevent the e-collar from having any effectiveness at all. This will also cause the dog to stop responding to your commands too. 

Have measure in using the e-collars

This is one of the top reasons why dogs start to be collar wise. When the dog isn't on the collar, and if the dog misbehaves, it is very instinctive for the owner to put the collar on the dog quickly and to administer the correction. You should never do this as the canine will begin to understand that you are entirely reliant on the collar to control them. While not all dogs might respond in this manner, the intelligent dogs will catch on this cue and will eventually know how to manage you!


In conclusion, there may be certainly many cases of puppies becoming collar wise. You need to remember that if the dog does end up being collar wise, then the responsibility for solving the problem lies with the owner. Be consistent in your training methods, and your dog will undoubtedly respond to all of your commands, whether they are on the collar or not.

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