E-collar recalls - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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E-collar recalls

I'm just starting to introduce the e-collar to my dog, so I know this might be a little premature, but I have a few questions for down the road.

One is regarding when I reach the stage where my dog understands the recall and the e-collar correction for failing the recall in a backyard type setting. If my dog is highly distracted and fails the recall even with me pushing the constant on the e-collar (which from what I understand means that it might need to be turned up just a little), would I continue keeping the constant correction on as I go to the dog and then let go once I get ahold of the dog (and then turn up the level of stim for the next time)?

Then the second question would be similar, but in a police trial bitework setting. If my dog runs after the decoy and fails to recall, should I hold the constant button down, even while my dog is on the sleeve and until I can get to him? Wondering how that works with his bite. The only other option I guess I see is to let go of the constant button once he's on the bite (which could also be confusing) and go get him and turn up the level a little and try again. I don't want to give him a negative while he's on the bite, but at the same time, don't want him to get away with failing a recall and think he's safe once he gets to the decoy.

I guess that raises a third question for me. When my dog is doing well on recalls in the backyard setting, even under intense distractions, and I move to using it in a trial bitework setting......should I have him on a long line to start with all over again? I don't think his level of distraction will be higher than it is in the backyard when a neighbor's dog is out, but it will be a different setting.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 06:42 PM
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Re: E-collar recalls

My advice is; first read Lou Castles website re; use of e-collar. Then, I'd engage in conversation with him. Just a suggestion.

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 11:20 AM
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Re: E-collar recalls

My first recommendation would be to actually train with a trainer proficient in the use of e-collars. There is much to be learned besides strapping on the collar and pushing the button. One needs to know WHICH collar is right for their dog. They are not all the same. One needs to learn proper fitting of the collar. A collar too loose will not work as it should. A collar too tight can cause sores. Where to put the contact points on the dog is also important. I was trained never ever to put the stimulation box on the back of the neck. Next is correct stimulation level. If the stimulation is too low, you will not get the results you seek. If it is too high, the collar itself can become the distraction or you could actually cause the dog real pain.

If you cannot find a remote collar trainer, or just for additional information on e-collar training, do read the articles on Lou Castle’s website. He is a wealth of information. I enjoyed reading them and learned from them.

I was taught to use the nick button (and verbal command) for every command that I gave the dog, not just the command that the dog failed to perform. My instructor said that the whole point was to teach the dog to be voice conscious. I wanted the dog to listen to the command and perform it each and every time, not just when the collar was on or the dog was afraid of a correction. Next, I needed to make sure that the dog fully understood the command. Commands were taught in baby steps and if it appeared the dog was confused, I took a step backward. I was also taught not to give a command that I could not enforce. In the beginning, everything was taught on leash or long line so that I could “help” the dog until the command was performed each and every time without the “help”.

My instructor believed that obedience was the key to a great working dog. My two shepherd’s obedience had to be impeccable before I could move on to bite work. A couple of exercises I did with them was during play sessions. In the beginning, each was on a 100 ft long line. I would throw a ball and then have them return to me or sit in midst of the chase for the ball. When we first started, I needed to use the long line to stop them. They were also taught to spit the toy or article out on command.

With my dogs and our client’s dogs, I have found that if the e-collar training has been done correctly and the obedience is there, the distraction(s) matters not. The dog will perform the commands given because they have learned to be voice conscious not collar conscious.

GSGSR & GSR-SP
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Proudly owned by Reno CGC, Lance CGC, Carlie CGC & Sniper CGC (GSD's)& Rylee CGC Yorkie(all rescues)
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: E-collar recalls

Thanks for the input.

I actually already have a collar and have been getting him used to wearing it. I'm just starting the beginning steps of training with it now. And I've read the articles on Lou Castle's website. It's great info and that's exactly what I'm going off of. Maybe I missed something that would answer these questions, but I didn't think so, since they're kind of specific.

I'm just anticipating that this specific dog will need to have the level of stim turned up a bit with specific higher distractions. This is mostly based on the levels of correction he takes from me on a pinch collar. If we're in an obedience setting or low distraction, he's very soft with me and too much correction on a pinch (from me) will shut him down. However, in a bitework setting, increase that level of correction about fivefold and you will get to him. With his highest distractions, a very hard correction on a pinch collar will stop the behavior and give me better results that same day.....but try it a different day and those corrections I gave him don't seem to be in his memory. Which is one reason I'm looking forward to the ecollar. I think it will be the best thing for him. More of an instant correction at a decided level; he decides when to make it stop (once he's fully trained using a long line of course); and there should be less conflict between he and I (right now he wants to avoid me when he fails a recall under high distraction and it turns into a game of chase). I feel like I'm just banging my head against the same wall over and over with no positive changes. He does great recalls with positive training and with some low to moderate distractions, but all the corrections in the world on a pinch collar don't seem to be getting me anywhere with higher distractions. Which is unacceptable for a police dog.

I saw that Lou had checked this site and was hoping he might answer too......maybe I'll take the advice of emailing him directly and get his thoughts. I just wanted to address what I see as a potential issue and find out what to do ahead of time, rather than get to that point, have it happen, and then write about whether I messed up or what I should have done different. This is a whole new area for me....lots of learning to go
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 02:59 PM
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Re: E-collar recalls

Quote:
Originally Posted By: mikaK9there should be less conflict between he and I (right now he wants to avoid me when he fails a recall under high distraction and it turns into a game of chase). I feel like I'm just banging my head against the same wall over and over with no positive changes. He does great recalls with positive training and with some low to moderate distractions, but all the corrections in the world on a pinch collar don't seem to be getting me anywhere with higher distractions. Which is unacceptable for a police dog.

I saw that Lou had checked this site and was hoping he might answer too......maybe I'll take the advice of emailing him directly and get his thoughts. I just wanted to address what I see as a potential issue and find out what to do ahead of time, rather than get to that point, have it happen, and then write about whether I messed up or what I should have done different. This is a whole new area for me....lots of learning to go
Yes, emailing Lou is a very good idea.

In the mean time, try to stop chasing him. By chasing him, your playing a game on his terms when he should be obeying on your terms. Try letting him drag a long line or long leash at all times. Call him to you using stim and use of the leash to pull him to you until he comes in readily without use of the leash/long line. As your calling him in, continue use of stim (push the button much like you would as if using a bic lighter) and your recall command (come or whatever) until he is all the way in to you. Once he comes all the way in, stop stimulation and praise heck out of him.

Your right about distractions. During the learning phases, under greater distraction you may find yourself needing to up the stimulation to get his attention. Just remember that once you have his attention, the stimulation can come back down to his normal working level.

<span style="color: #FF6666">He does great recalls with positive training and with some low to moderate distractions, but all the corrections in the world on a pinch collar don't seem to be getting me anywhere with higher distractions.</span>

You should find that once he is totally collar literate and voice conscious, this will change Your already on the correct trail. Your asking questions and you recoginize that there IS more to e-collar training than putting the collar on and pushing the button.

Good luck in your training.

GSGSR & GSR-SP
Trainer @ Obedient K9 Dog Training /Professional Member of I.A.C.P.
Proudly owned by Reno CGC, Lance CGC, Carlie CGC & Sniper CGC (GSD's)& Rylee CGC Yorkie(all rescues)
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: E-collar recalls

Thanks....

and I know there's much more to it than just pushing the button. In fact, I think that's part of why it's taken me so long to adjust to the concept of even using an e-collar. Lou's website helped me make that final adjustment. I was sold after reading the article on finding the working level stim of the dog. Very different from my concept of e-collar training from watching others. Makes a lot of sense.

And I haven't even begun a recall with the collar yet. So the work I've done is on and off lead with and without a pinch collar. And the game of chase....I guess I meant it kinda loosely. I completely agree that it's just a bad idea all around to chase a dog around. Turns into a very big game for them. For us, it's just been me going to him in a steady way, and him trying to avoid me. It doesn't take much for me to get him, but I can see the relationship damage. The long line helps a lot, but at some point it has to be taken off. He always does well with it on. It's when he knows it's off that things get tricky under high distraction. Like you said, I think the e-collar will help with that a lot. We still have a ways til we get to that point too. Today was just finding his working level.
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 04:29 PM
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Re: E-collar recalls

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tracie
My instructor believed that obedience was the key to a great working dog. My two shepherd’s obedience had to be impeccable before I could move on to bite work. A couple of exercises I did with them was during play sessions. In the beginning, each was on a 100 ft long line. I would throw a ball and then have them return to me or sit in midst of the chase for the ball. When we first started, I needed to use the long line to stop them. They were also taught to spit the toy or article out on command.
Tracie,

What type of bitework training did this trainer do with your dogs? I have not heard of that much OB prior to protection work of any kind, but reading your methodology with the e-collar and advice you obviously know training. I'm looking to learn different approaches. Was it all in defense? Was there a foundation in prey? Thanks for any explanation.

John
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 06:14 PM
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Re: E-collar recalls

"I have not heard of that much OB prior to protection work"

I've trained police working dogs for more years than I care to remember. In my program, OB is always the first step. It lays the foundation for control in every aspect of training.

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 06:20 PM
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Re: E-collar recalls

Quote:
Originally Posted By: mikaK9Thanks....

and I know there's much more to it than just pushing the button. In fact, I think that's part of why it's taken me so long to adjust to the concept of even using an e-collar. Lou's website helped me make that final adjustment. I was sold after reading the article on finding the working level stim of the dog. Very different from my concept of e-collar training from watching others. Makes a lot of sense.

And I haven't even begun a recall with the collar yet. So the work I've done is on and off lead with and without a pinch collar. And the game of chase....I guess I meant it kinda loosely. I completely agree that it's just a bad idea all around to chase a dog around. Turns into a very big game for them. For us, it's just been me going to him in a steady way, and him trying to avoid me. It doesn't take much for me to get him, but I can see the relationship damage. The long line helps a lot, but at some point it has to be taken off. He always does well with it on. It's when he knows it's off that things get tricky under high distraction. Like you said, I think the e-collar will help with that a lot. We still have a ways til we get to that point too. Today was just finding his working level.
I do hope you did not take my post as an insult to your intelligence It certainly was not meant to be. Alot is lost in typing verses face to face or phone conversation. I have been training with the e-collar about 3 years now and it never ceases to amaze me the number of people that think all problems will be instantly solved by strapping on that e-collar. It happens to be those people that make it so difficult for responsible trainers to get many people over the "shock" collar phobia So many people cannot grasp the concept that an e collar can be used in a positive way. The level of stim, if done correctly, is at such a low level the dog really is not in any pain.

Yes the long line does eventually have to go. I cannot imagine a police dog running down a suspect with a 100 ft leash The long line is just one of several stepping stones to acheiving our goal...stop the dog dead in its tracks no matter what. Another little trick of the trade....just put the snap minus the line on his collar. For the moment, trick him into "thinking" he has a long line on. Once you see that works, use smaller and smaller snaps until you do not need one any longer.

GSGSR & GSR-SP
Trainer @ Obedient K9 Dog Training /Professional Member of I.A.C.P.
Proudly owned by Reno CGC, Lance CGC, Carlie CGC & Sniper CGC (GSD's)& Rylee CGC Yorkie(all rescues)
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 06:29 PM
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Re: E-collar recalls

Quote:
Originally Posted By: ZeusGSD
Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tracie
My instructor believed that obedience was the key to a great working dog. My two shepherd’s obedience had to be impeccable before I could move on to bite work. A couple of exercises I did with them was during play sessions. In the beginning, each was on a 100 ft long line. I would throw a ball and then have them return to me or sit in midst of the chase for the ball. When we first started, I needed to use the long line to stop them. They were also taught to spit the toy or article out on command.
Tracie,

What type of bitework training did this trainer do with your dogs? I have not heard of that much OB prior to protection work of any kind, but reading your methodology with the e-collar and advice you obviously know training. I'm looking to learn different approaches. Was it all in defense? Was there a foundation in prey? Thanks for any explanation.
Hi John,

My remote collar mentor was a retired K9 officer. He trains police dogs in New Jersey as well as personal protection dogs. I also was instructed under the watchful eye of another retired police officer who after his retirement went to WI to Robin McFarland's E-Collar School. Yet another mentor attended Fred Hassens E-Collar School.

With my dogs, we did mostly personal protection. I attended the DVG club for a while but really had no interest in competing with my dogs. I also paid close attention when the K9 Officers were training at the facility with their dogs and even closer attention during Police Dog Handling seminars

GSGSR & GSR-SP
Trainer @ Obedient K9 Dog Training /Professional Member of I.A.C.P.
Proudly owned by Reno CGC, Lance CGC, Carlie CGC & Sniper CGC (GSD's)& Rylee CGC Yorkie(all rescues)
RIP my beautiful Cheyenne (GSD)
Dogster Id: 638901


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