Is there a best way of training your dog? Maybe. My family dog, Biggie, has always been a troublemaker, from the day we picked him up from the shelter in Edgewater, NJ, to the present. Immediately following his release from the shelter, Biggie (a 14-pound Mini-Schnauzer) attacked a huge 200-pound Saint Benard, thinking he was a giant dog. Additionally, when we brought him home, he went up to my sister and started (cover your ears, children) humping my sister like it was the first he had ever had sex. Since then, we realized we had to start training that crazy creature. We tried just about everything, including positive reinforcement, but nothing would work. That is until we tried putting an E – collar around him. Fast forward to today, Biggie listens to commands and behaves incredibly well. We leave the collar on him until bed, and he’s the perfect dog. We usually don’t even have to buzz him because the fact that the collar is around him freaks him out enough to keep him in line. Although this doesn’t take away from his overall happiness in any way. 

Now, my experience with training my dog against what science says is the best way to train your dog. In a 2014 scientific study conducted by DERFA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and analyzed by Lucy China, 63 dogs were split into three groups; for clerical purposes, we’ll call them training groups: A, B, and C. Group A dogs were trained by trainers using the E – collar. Group B dogs were trained by the same trainers in Group A; however, no E – collars were used. Group C dogs were trained by trainers who focused on positive reinforcement; however, Group C trainers were not the same trainers used in Group A and B. Data was collected based on the dog’s response to the commands: come and sit. In short, it was revealed that using an E – Collar is neither more efficient nor more effective when compared to training using positive reinforcement. Additionally, it was found that using an E – Collar contributed negatively to the dogs’ welfare, although I never noticed any negative impact on Biggie’s welfare. Additional studies have yielded the same conclusion. 

Given all this information, scientists would say that positive reinforcement is a better way to train your dog than using an E – Collar. However, I feel that my training experience shows that there is no right way to train your little pooch; it all depends on how your dog is. 


China, L., Mills, D. S., & Cooper, J. J. (2020, July 22). Efficacy of dog training with and without remote electronic collars vs. a focus on positive reinforcement. Frontiers in veterinary science. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from