What did you see at the seminar that made you want to learn to use the e-collar? Why would you like to employ it with your current dog?
I was there for a Helper seminar and just an observer for the dog training...but like I mentioned, EVERY dog there, except the two that came with me, had E-collars on.
With respect to the trainer/handlers, we're not talking about a knuckle-head like me, we're talking about a who's who of national level competitors. Again, at the risk of appearing like a lemming, if folks of this caliber are applying the tool so commonly, there must be something to it right????
Specifically what I saw was the immediacy of the corrections, and in most cases, if you were not paying close attention, you wouldn't have even noticed the dog received a correction. In some cases it was apparent the dog was in discomfort, but in most, the dogs response was not more that a twitch or tick, immediately follwed my making an adjustment to be correct.
Samba invested time in me several weeks ago, enlightening me on E-Stim and breaking down the myth walls I had erected. Then I started picking Chris Wilds brain about the topic, and he loaded me up with some information to read...so with more information and an improved perspective, comes curiosity regarding the risks & rewards of the tool.
As for employing the tool with my current dog, she isn't my first GSD, nor is she the first dog I have invested a great deal of time training, but she is the first dog I have pursued SchH with. In many respects I am a SchH cliche' in that when I got her, I didn't really know what I did't know! She is a West German Show Line X Czech Working Line cross....and she is exactly what many of you would predict....Softer dog with lower drive, and high defense in protection. I am told by those who know more than I that she is SchH1 caliber on tracking & protection, but her obedience is lacking. Her obedience is very good on leash and in short intervals off leash, but I cannot sustain her...after a period of time, she lag, go ckeck-out a bumble bee on a clover...whatever.
After two years of SchH training...religous SchH training, and the application of motivational techniques...I am moving to compulsion. A few weeks ago a trainer I have a great deal of respect for (Dianna), criticized me saying, "I have never seen you really correct your dog"...which cut me to the bone, because she was right. I spank all five of my children when the need it, no matter where we are...at home, in Kroger..no matter. My kids are very well behaved....if its good enough for the kids, its fine for my GSD.
So with my refreshed approach to compulsion and much supervision from Chris and Dianna, the progress the past couple of weeks has been huge! Vis' a' vis the perfect timing of Anne's thread....and although she is a tough cookie, there is much to be learned from her if you're of solid nerve!
My thoughts are to work compulsion with leash and collar to wrap-up her BH...which we are close...and my thinking is to start working with E-Stim later this year in a push for SchH1 next year some time. At present, I am of the view that two things could be accomplished. 1.) I could use my current dog as a bit of a guinea pig to perfect my technique(without doing damage), and 2.) In theory, she would benefit to the extent we could bring home the final attributes to accomplish the SchH1, which will be about as far as she could go....and that is fine, because then I would start the process over again with Itzakat vom Wildhaus. I cannot imagine working a dog with solid nerve and real drive...I believe it will be heaven!
Its pretty much true isn't it? I've always been told your first SchH dog is the one you make the most mistakes with?? She is a wonderful dog to learn with because we have to work so hard to get anywhere....but I love her.