Many years ago, a friend of mine received an email from a distressed owner. The owner claimed that an e-collar malfunctioned and burned two holes into the neck of the owner’s dog. When my friend asked for photos, (which is posted in the second picture below), my friend and I immediately knew that the two holes in the neck were not caused by a malfunctioning e-collar. They were caused by the ignorance and negligence of the owner.
So what exactly went wrong?
From what we learned, the owner left the e-collar on her dog for several days without even taking it off.
What bothers me is that there are some people out there that will actually leave Training e-collars on their dogs for days on end. When pressure necrosis happens, they mistakenly believe they are burns.
First: e-collars are not supposed to be worn for more than 16 hours a day.
Second: when a dog has two prongs worn tightly on it’s neck for a long period of time, it will cause irritation.
In this extreme case, the prongs buried its way into the neck of the dog.
Medically, this is known as “Pressure Necrosis”.
What is Pressure Necrosis?
Pressure necrosis in relation to e-collars happens when a training collar has been worn tight and too long than what is recommended. Period.
It’s called pressure necrosis because pressure restricts the flow of blood causing skin tissue to rot.
In the picture above, pressure necrosis seen on the dog’s neck was caused by two prong of an e-collar that was worn tightly for days.
The two prongs restricted blood flow and the skin began to weaken and possibly rot in those two isolated area. As the skin weakened, the prongs buried its way into the dogs neck.
Pressure Necrosis is Commonly Mistaken for Burns
Unfortunately for amateurs and the ignorant who use e-collars, pressure necrosis is commonly mistaken for burns and they often take their rage and blame e-collar manufacturers for defects.
Again, I need to stress that nothing but your dog’s collar should be left on a dog for an extended period of time.
E-Collars Are Banned in Some Countries
An e-collar is not a simple device to use.
Some countries such as the UK have banned the use of e-collars because people who do not know how to use them can easily commit animal abuse.
In this case, with the picture above, the owner abused her dog by simply leaving the e-collar as if it were a regular flat collar.
Learning How to Use an E-Collar?
If you don’t know how to use an e-collar, learn how to use it properly by simply reading the user manual and following the guidelines stated within.
If you are not confident about using e-collars even by reading the manual, enroll in an e-collar training class around your area or seek professional advice from a professional dog trainer who knows how to use e-collars.
In order to use them correctly and safely, you must properly read the manual provided. If reading does not help, you can use youtube videos on how to use e-collars or you can try attending a dog training class on how to use e-collars.
Below is a screenshot from the 2nd page of an e-collar manual!
Note the first sentence: “To prevent irritation from the contact point…”Garmin Manual (page 2).
If you use an e-collar without fully understanding how to use it, you certainly increase the chances of abusing your dog without even realizing it.
Personally I would advise that these collars be removed when it is not used (e.g. sleeping, when your at work, feeding time, and etc.).
How Long Do I Have My Dog Wear An E-Collar?
Personally, I make it a habit to put on an e-collar when I train my dog and then to take it off immediately when training is done. For my dog, the total wearing time is about 30 minutes to an hour on most typical training days but my dog no longer wears her e-collar everyday. These days, my dog wears it sometimes when we go out fishing or camping, but she’s already trained well enough to not have it on.
I have used a variety of training tools and the e-collar is one of my favorites because it allows me to correct my dog’s behavior and unwanted actions without me using any physical force that can actually harm my dog.
For those who have used e-collars, they all know that e-collars are supposed to be worn tight to a certain point so the device can work properly. If it is not too tight, the device won’t work properly so you have it on snug but not so tight where the dog can no longer drink or eat.
The problem with e-collars is that there are some people that will actually leave e-collars on their dogs for days without taking them off. When pressure necrosis occurs, they mistakenly believe they are burns caused by the e-collars. However the holes that look like burns are caused by pressure necrosis, which is what happens when you leave an e-collar on your dog for several days!