I have started e-collar conditioning with Dare this week. This process is not cruel, and it involves no punishment.
What it does involve is her learning that very low static stimulation, which I can barely feel, can be turned off if she comes to my side. This process started on a long lead, and now she is doing it off-leash. Eventually, this low level stimulation will be used to proof other obedience commands.
We are using the Einstein Mini Educator. Her working level, the level where she can feel the stimulation, is at a 6. The stimulation levels go from 1 to 100.
People hate on these collars because they can definitely be used as a harsh aversive, and yes, they can be used to hurt the dog. This way of using lower levels of stimulation to proof obedience, though, really isn’t more aversive than a gentle tug on a leash.
So hate these tools all you want. They are effective and are not abusive if used correctly.