E collar experiences, and versus a leash or verbal correction - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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E collar experiences, and versus a leash or verbal correction

Hello guys,

I have been reading a lot on E collars. Most of the threads here that contain the word, Lou Castle stuff, Larry Krohn and I purchased the E Collar Michael Ellis videos.

I did order a mini Educator and would like to educate myself as much as possible before any use. I understand very well why using it wrongly is bad and I want to make sure that I use it conservatively and only when I feel I am totally ready and Rex is "ready".

My main goals for the collar are:

1. Proof off leash walk with distractions and have him walk next to me even if we are in busy areas etc...

2. Proof recall with distractions.

3. Training "quiet" has not been working. When someone is just passing 30 feet from our door he goes on a super loud barking spree, so this happens 6-7 times in the evening while watching TV while he barks and rushes to the door and continues barking - I can make him quite but it is a process. I like that he has that guard dog posture, but I would like him to quiet when I ask it.

I would appreciate feedback on two matters:

1. Any feedback on how best to address 1,2 and3 above as per your experience. I will be doing all the research but I would like to hear experiences and successful experiences.

2. Any other material you recommend, videos to purchase or watch from a specific trainer

3. Opinion on the following: people correct dogs all the time with leashes, prongs and what have you to different degrees of course. If done properly, wouldn't a lowest level stim correction be same or maybe even less aversive than a leash pop?

Thanks for your feedback

Mozi

Last edited by Mozi; 03-06-2019 at 12:10 PM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 12:44 PM
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I would continue with focusing on setting up situations/distractions while on leash walking and correcting the dog if he breaks heel. Why do you want your dog to be heeling off leash, especially in buy areas? I would do the same with recalls using a long line, a toy or food, and a prong collar for if the dog doesn't come. You said you can get your dog to be quiet, but it is a process. All training is a process and proficiency takes a great deal of repetition and the right approach. If you know about when your dog is going to bark in the evenings, have him drag a leash attached to a prong collar. You could teach him the place command by having a throw rug that is several feet from the door and when you say place, he is to either sit or down on the rug. You would have to work on that first and separately and it takes a lot of repetition and good food drive. You also need to have done a lot of sits and downs reinforced with food. Once you have gotten some very good reliability on the sits, downs and place, go to the leash attached to the collar when you think he is likely to bark at a passerby. Tell him place, which can be taught as a direct sit or down in place, then quiet. Reinforce with food for correct behavior and correct for incorrect behavior. But only start to correct after you have done a ton of the other behaviors so that you know he understands them. Once he gets that, you can release him and even let he charge to the door and bark. Then after a bit of barking, go back to place and quiet until the person is gone. This way, the dogs learns to discriminate while still being able to display protectiveness. It is a lot of work, but that is how training goes. Once he becomes proficient, you can go to an e-collar and add distractions.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 01:10 PM
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I have only used the E collar to break her from chasing wild life. All what you hope to achieve can be done without the E collar. Just find a good trainer. MHO.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Wolfy and Chip for the valuable feedback.

Chip, that would be my plan. I will be focusing on what you said for the next 4-6 months.

A clarification on the heel in "busy areas". We go to a nice beach where dogs are allowed off leash. There are not many (3-8 I would say) on an open beach. We also go to a park next to my house. Those are the ones I am referring to. They are actually not busy but I meant there are distractions. I would like to have him walk on the beach next to me on a relaxed heel position off leash, the same in the park. We are there, but sometimes he veers off a few maybe 8 feet away, I correct verbally and he redirects to me. I am adding food now with a leash to train this and testing again and we are progressing well. I like to achieve it with high consistency and be able to correct in case he bolts. That would be after polishing the recall too. So a back up.

We also go to the desert. It is empty but sometimes camels appear far away. He ran to them. I recalled. He stopped still looking at them. After a few seconds he came while I ran away. So it worked. But I would like to have a back up in case he runs after them and blows me off.

Just to be clear, I want to train more with the methods you suggested which I am using but ultimately proof them with the collar and have it as a back up.

Last edited by Mozi; 03-06-2019 at 01:49 PM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 02:08 PM
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I have a 1-1/2 yo male. He is a great dog and has never really needed an e-collar, but i bought one and use it just to be safe.. Mine has the vibrate function.. It is great.. Anytime i need to get his attention or reinforce a command, the vibrate will do it immediately.. I see no downside to this.. My pup has learned what is and isnt acceptable very quick with a little vibration every now and then..
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Chip, a question. When you have a prong on a leash and you correct, why would this be more desirable than the lowest stim level or vibrate in your opinion?
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 08:29 PM
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How old is your dog? I use an e collar for several things but won't use one again on a pup under 16 months. I find it a more effective correction or attention getter than a prong pop, and it works great as a bark collar too.

Yana

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozi View Post
Opinion on the following: people correct dogs all the time with leashes, prongs and what have you to different degrees of course. If done properly, wouldn't a lowest level stim correction be same or maybe even less aversive than a leash pop?
Maybe it's less aversive. There are usually fewer emotions involved for the owner. Pressing a button generates less emotional stress for most humans than popping a leash. For most people, the action of popping a leash mimics some of the motions you make when you're frustrated (like a yank), which generates a...reflection of that frustration. Makes it exist when there's no reason for it to. But we're probably talking minuscule differences in heart rate and cortisol levels.

The biggest benefit of an e-collar that I've experienced and witnessed with other dog owners is that the e-collar works at a long distance. It is therefore most often employed when folks want to let their dog run off a leash, but correct their dog when they ignore a recall command. Given the amount of prey animals and density of the surrounding trees on trails here, it's critical to reinforce a command at any reasonable distance as quickly as possible.

So, people use it to break their dogs of chasing wildlife. It doesn't take long. Maybe 3-5 mistakes chasing deer before the dog learns it shouldn't be doing that.


I have to say, I'm tickled imagining my dog chasing a camel!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 09:20 PM
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Nothing wrong with using an ecollar to proof known commands. To get started I would work with someone well versed in their use and not rely solely on research. They're effective tools, but can create problems that weren't there before when used incorrectly. Bringing in a trainer can help you with the nuances that you may not pick up on with books or video.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 09:42 PM
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An e-collar is one of my favorite tools. I use them everyday, specifically the mini-educator. They are great tools for proofing behaviors, adding in distractions and working off leash. Timing is key with them. As already mentioned, watching videos is one thing, but having someone right there watching you and helping you is crucial. Introducing it correctly is the key to its success. The trainers you’ve mentioned, all use very different methods. So make sure whatever method you choose, stick to it to keep it clear to the dog.
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