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Old 01-10-2011, 02:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question E Collar Questions

Texas, 6 month old German shepherd, is a classified puller. I can never walk her with a loose leash; the leash and my arm (especially my wrists) are always tensed. Our walks are never calm. I have had a few incidents already that she yanks the leash all of a sudden that my whole body snaps with it as well. Because of that, I have been having some back issues. Also, in a recent incident that occurred two days ago, she got loose from my grip while I stopped to tie my shoelace; I was not able to get her to recall. I freaked out because I live right next to a very busy main road, and I feared she would find her way out of the gated apartment and get hurt.

I spoke with our trainer earlier today, and she recommended possibly incorporating an e collar for training. She has already seen Texas drag me along, even with a bite collar. We also are going to try a head collar next week during training to see if any results appear (we will be working on heeling for our next session). Before I make a decision, I want to try this first but I also want to gain information regarding e collars and their methods.

My questions are:

Are e collars effective for training heel, reducing pulling, and recall?

How does it differ from other training methods?

If effective:

What are your experiences?

What collar do you recommend?


Thank you for your time and suggestions. I greatly appreciate it.

Last edited by RogueRed26; 01-10-2011 at 02:28 AM. Reason: misspell
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I use the 'SportDog' e-collar for my dogs (2 collars, one controller with variable intensity), and it works great for heel, stopping pulling, and recall. With my Irish Setter, he's mature enough that I can even do a 'no-leash' heel while we're off leash and I need him to stay near me. The first thing you want to teach with your e-collar is recall, so that even when the dog can't see or hear you yelling for her, feeling that buzz will get her to try to find you to make that irritating buzzing feeling stop.
I live in Northern Va and let the dogs go running in the woods without me, and if I want to move on to somewhere else or want the dogs to check in, I hit the clicker and yell 'Come!', increasing the intensity each time until I hear them crashing back my way.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I do have and use an e-collar but only for when I have the dog off leash and I am in the woods (Recall, get off a deer or rabbit, etc). IMO, I think the dog should be or know all his basics first such as sit, come, stay,down and a solid recall.
I have a hard time thinking you can't get the dog to walk in a "heel" with a prong collar? I think you just need to keep working on the basics and build a solid foundation....make it fun or make the dog WANT to walk with you, make the dog WANT to come to you, just my IMO.

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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An e-collar definitely has it's training purposes, but not for pulling IMO ever!! Get a prong and have your trainer show you how to use it, work on recall, and work on loose leash walking. It's not an automatic skill your going to have to invest a great deal of time to teach her no pull and there are some great threads here already. When she pulls stop immediately, turn around, and walk a few steps backwards. Do this every time she pulls and eventually they realize they can get nowhere when pulling. Yes you look silly at first and it takes days to sink in, but slowly the pulling gets less and less. With a prong you can give a correction, stop, turn around, and walk backwards which is also effective, but an e-collar on a 6 month old puppy is too much for something as simple as pulling
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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An e-collar was non effective for Victor so I use a prong collar on him.

Jamie was pulling so I used a martingale collar for her. She pulled a couple times and it tightened enough around her neck that she stopped. I taught her an "easy" command and eventually she did not pull anymore because she did not like the tightening of the martingale. The martingale incorporated with the "easy" command got her under control. If she was pulling me so hard and the martingale was not working I would definately use a prong on her then.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would recommend trying a prong/pinch collar first (it must be fit correctly, high and snug) before going to the e-collar. The e-collar can be used for this, but make sure the person helping you knows what they are doing.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The prong collar does it mark their fur or skin?

How painful is it when it pinches the neck?

Do you leave it on all the time or only have it on for walks?

Brewski pulls me and I can barely move my arm for hours after a walk. The vet suggested a "Gentle Leader" so I had Brew fitted for one and began using it on every walk. the "Gentle Leader" did nothing but create more problems as Brew scratched and scraped his nose causing bleeding and and a terrible wear on his nose. Needless to say no more "Gentle Leader" use here.... Was also thinking the e collar would help with leash control. I will be using one for prey control and thought I could incorporate it into walking nice on leash.....
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Are e collars effective for training heel, reducing pulling, and recall? I have found E-collars extremley effective for recall, and not so much for pulling or training to heel. No matter how good of recall my dogs have, there are always times when something they see or smell could become of more interest which could be a risk to them. I have an e-collar on them about 90% of the time when they are off leash just for that added comfort of knowing I have better control of them even at a distance where I can't physically stop them. HOWEVER, each dog responds different to an e-collar. I have a cheap brand, PetSafe, don't buy this brand- doesn't work nearly as well as others, and for Jackson to "feel" it I have to have it cranked between 8-10, the highest settings, or he won't respond. Arlo only needs about 3 or above. I even make sure it is always on contact with his skin and he still requires this high of a setting. For working on "heel" get a prong collar.

How does it differ from other training methods? I have found that toys and treats work well for training, but a dog will sometimes make a decision that what they are after is worth more than a treat. Using an e-Collar, I have never had this problem.

If effective:

What are your experiences? I have used an e-Collar on 3 dogs, and each dog has responded well with recall and I could depend on my dogs to come to me with the collar on even if distracted with other dogs or animals, and none of them responded well to "heel" with an e-collar, but all have respoded to "heel" with a prong. Dogs were: GSD/Husky mix, Lab, and GSD.

What collar do you recommend? Innotek is the other brand I have used, and it worked great, long range and waterproof. But only lasted about 3 years with almost daily use.
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lora View Post
The prong collar does it mark their fur or skin?

How painful is it when it pinches the neck?

Do you leave it on all the time or only have it on for walks?
No, when fitted and used correctly it does not leave marks. Make sure to get a good quality collar that has smooth, rounded tips. The cheaper ones have tips that are cut flat so the edges are sharp. Also make sure it is fitted correctly.

How painful it is or if it is painful at all depends on the dog, the fit, and the use. I have one dog that is very sensitive, another who actually gets more aroused in drive with prong corrections.

I never leave mine on the dog, it is only put on for training or walking.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you all for all your suggestions; I greatly appreciate it.

Quote:
I would recommend trying a prong/pinch collar first (it must be fit correctly, high and snug) before going to the e-collar.
Though Ihczth, you do have a point. Maybe the collar is not snug enough. I have the collar placed around the neck, but today a fellow dog owner told me as well that I probably need to move the prong collar higher. I have done this before, but the collar does tend to slip down. I just don't want to cause her any discomfort.

The only reason we, the trainer and I, started discussing about using an e collar is because Texas tends to still pull even though she is wearing a prong collar. I can even place the collar a bit higher on her neck and she still pulls. I probably am doing something wrong.

Though, unfortunately, we are not allowed to use any prong or choke collars at class; the dogs must be wearing a traditional dog fabric or leather collar, no exceptions. This is when she goes more berserk and I lose even more control. =-/ How can I reduce/eliminate her pulling without a prong or choke collar, while trying to train her to heel?

Quote:
Brewski pulls me and I can barely move my arm for hours after a walk. The vet suggested a "Gentle Leader" so I had Brew fitted for one and began using it on every walk. the "Gentle Leader" did nothing but create more problems as Brew scratched and scraped his nose causing bleeding and and a terrible wear on his nose.
Lora this disturbs me. My trainer plans on fitting her in one for our next training session. The last thing I would want is for her to get hurt. I will keep my eye out during our next session if she shows any discomfort. Thank you for sharing your experience with this lead.


With all the reviews, research, and opinions I have read. I am really considering trying the e collar to at least work on recall, which is quite important. I will also continue to enforce obedience and repetition of the commands, even though she is acting like a rowdy teenager who refuses to listen to my commands. Wish me luck.
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