The E-Collar Debate: Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?

Today I ordered an E-collar for Pritch.

I have nothing against E-collars, but I originally decided I would take Pritch's training as far as possible without one. And those of you who have followed this blog from the start know that I don't make training decisions on the fly.

I've always felt that an E-collar is a training device, no different than a pinch collar or place board, that can improve the performance of a gun dog. I understand the concerns many have with E-collars. I realize that in the hands of a clueless amateur they can ruin a good dog. Or worse, they can be downright cruel in the hands of someone who thinks "heat" is the way to make up for a lackadaisical training regimen.

I've had two pros who worked with Pritch tell me that she would benefit from training with an E-collar--and I trust them. Among other things, we're at a stage where I sometimes need to make a correction from a distance.

I plan to use the collar sparingly and judiciously. And the first shock it delivers will come while the collar is clasped around my leg. (Although this might give my wife a few ideas about training me to move my fishing tackle out of the living room.)

I'll report back after we've had some time to work with the E-collar, but for now I'm curious about your thoughts. Do you think these training devices are God's gift to gun dog trainers or the devil bolted to a collar?