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Old 12-31-2012, 01:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default E Collar Questions

I have a 10 month old pup that is a bit of a handful at the moment. Before making the splurge to buy an e-collar, I'd like to know if an e-collar could potentially correct some of the behaviors she has.

We've gone through obedience classes and she seems to forget anything she's learned when she sees someone new or when she gets distracted. Alone, she's obedient. We'd like to have her calm down in these situations instead of bouncing off the walls.
She barks at the fence like crazy when she sees another dog walk by. Nothing will stop her from pacing the fence and barking. She wants to play with the dog, it doesn't seem agressive at all.
She also has an obsession with shadows. At a young age someone exposed her to a laser light and I think that's the reason she's hyperaware of shadows and lights. She constantly digs at the kitchen floor when she sees a beam of light, and she'll chase a reflection of light up the wall. A firm no has done nothing to change this. She's been doing this for a couple months.
I also want to work on her recall. We play fetch almost every day but I live near a busy road and I get worried that she'll see something that will make her zoom across that road.

Please don't criticize me: I want to be educated, and I want to have the best relationship with my dog. All these behaviors are driving both of us crazy.
If these behaviors can be fixed with a collar, what brand do you recommend? She's about 75-80 pounds now.
Thank you.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't recommend an ecollar...none of the problems you have scream "I need an ecollar!"

You could find a trainer, that might use an ecollar as a tool of his, and then they can show you how to properly use it to fix some of the issues you're having.

In my opinion...you can correct her with a conventional collar when she's barking at the fence. Is she out in the yard by herself when she is barking? If she is, easy fix, don't let her out in the yard by herself. Of course alone she is obedient, she hasn't had enough practice to learn to ignore the other dogs while she's working. You need to take her back to obedience class and keep working with her around other dogs/distractions.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your dog needs to be stopped BEFORE she gets completely adrenalized by the situation....which means someone has to be with her and watch her, and call her away from the fence or distract her from the shadows BEFORE she gets far into the behavior. That's work. If you're talking about using an e-collar set to stun in order to stop behaviors she is already engaged in, then use of an e-collar is likely to make her more neurotic. Plus she is likely to make the wrong association, and you can create a dog aggression issue if she associates the stim with the approaching dog.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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She also has an obsession with shadows. At a young age someone exposed her to a laser light and I think that's the reason she's hyperaware of shadows and lights. She constantly digs at the kitchen floor when she sees a beam of light, and she'll chase a reflection of light up the wall. A firm no has done nothing to change this. She's been doing this for a couple months.
This is OCD and cannot be addressed with an e-collar, and as martem said, none of your issues are "e-collar material".

Look up "stereotypy in a dog" or "OCD in a dog" and see what you can find.
Often dogs such as this need medication and behavior therapy to get over their ocd.

Take her away from the busy road or erect a solid fence for the danger there.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by marinelle View Post
A firm no has done nothing to change this.
Here's a really important bit of training advice....keep this in your mind, remember it. I'm not being flip here.

"NO" is not a command. Telling the dog "No NO NO" doesn't tell them what TO do. Same with using their name non-stop...."max Max MAX MAAAAX" doesn't give the dog a clue as to what they SHOULD do to make you happy. Dogs learn very quickly to ignore their name, and that's exactly what you DON'T want to happen.

I have a dog who was extremely sensitive to lights and shadows. After a friend saw her reaction to a flashlight (HI Christine!) she said we should be very careful about that. We were....we avoided using a flashlight around her, and if we saw her getting too focused on a shadow or light flash we distracted her right away. Did a recall and rewarded with a treat or toy, gave her something to distract her from the shadow. That dog is now quite elderly (14 years 8 months) and we STILL don't use flashlights right around her, tho we can be a lot closer since she can't see as well
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DunRingill View Post
I have a dog who was extremely sensitive to lights and shadows. After a friend saw her reaction to a flashlight (HI Christine!) she said we should be very careful about that. We were....we avoided using a flashlight around her, and if we saw her getting too focused on a shadow or light flash we distracted her right away. Did a recall and rewarded with a treat or toy, gave her something to distract her from the shadow. That dog is now quite elderly (14 years 8 months) and we STILL don't use flashlights right around her, tho we can be a lot closer since she can't see as well
I find this so very interesting! You found the source of her reactivity and changed (or modified) that. You didn't correct the behavior and expect instant results. To me, that is what a GREAT dog handler is supposed to do.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Please don't think of getting an Ecollar and hitting the button when your dog is doing these things you don't want her to do. You're liable to make some of the problems worse.

You can use it to improve her OB, as it seems that when some distractions are present, she doesn’t obey. Many beginning OB classes don't address distractions.

The shadow thing, as some have mentioned is similar to OCD in humans, and is not a reason to use an Ecollar.

If you decide to work on the dog's OB with the Ecollar, I suggest the Dogtra 1900 or 2300 and MY METHODS
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My dog doesn't have any crazy problem behaviors and he is trained with an e-collar. E-collars are great for basic obedience. Some people, who don't understand the low level stimulation methods, seem to think of e-collars as a "last resort". If that's how you plan to use one, by using high level stim, then I suggest don't and read up on low level stim training methods, like Lou Castle's posted above.
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