Need advice on introducing my dog to the e-collar.
I've bred, trained and worked GSDs for many, many years. I've never used an e-collar for training (although I used them for invisible fencing with limited results). I've have a rescue GSD for about 9 mos and while we've made a lot of progress, there are issues I want to address with an e-collar. One issue is fence-fighting, the other is bothering (not respecting) our two old cats.
Ella is 18 mos old. I got her at 11 mos from a family of 5 young boys and 3 adults (all living in a tiny duplex), who in turn, got her at 5 mos from a couple living in an apartment. The dog didn't even walk on a leash when I got her! They let her drag them with a harness because she'd chew through a leash if attached to her collar. She's very independent, sees people as entertainment and not necessarily as something to be obeyed. (If she had been temperament-tested as a 7 week old puppy she'd be the one to grab the balled up piece of paper and kept on going.
) She's demanding and pushy (yeah, a real charmer) who !BARKS! at you for attention or in protest. She's not particularly ball or toy oriented- loses interest after about 10 mins - and is only turned on by games of keep-away, a game I refuse to play for obvious reasons.
She submissively urinates, but only when she's happy, not when she's corrected. She'll take a correction like it's no big deal.
Regarding the e-collar, I'm not sure if I should start her out with warnings and vibrations? Should I go with a low shock? With her history she's a dog who's learned to ignore what or who is preventing her from what she wants. I don't want to teach her inadvertently to tolerate and thus ignore the collar by starting too low. I also don't want to over-correct her
She does have some good qualities... they're just hard to find.