Is e-collar training appropriate? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Is e-collar training appropriate?

I posted a while back in the behavior section that we were having problems with Wolfgang and other dogs. Outside of his sister, he just barks and barks at other dogs.

We had him evaluated by a trainer and basically he's exhibiting not fear aggression but more confusion as to how to act. So we have some work cut out for us.

We have the option of traditional training or e-collar training. Now I do think he'd do really well with the traditional training - he's definately looking to us for leadership, and needs to gain more confidence and we both feel like we'll benefit from training with that! But Wolfgang is a really smart boy - unlike his sister who is happy to hang out in the backyard, he's the type who is going to need activity or competition... That being said we are definitely looking at gearing towards obedience competition or some sort of sport.

Opinions on which the best method is - he knows all his commands and he's pretty good unless theres another dog around then all bets are off. He's 15 months old.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 09:17 PM
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Re: Is e-collar training appropriate?

For now avoid the E-Collar. How old is wolfgang???
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 09:19 PM
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Re: Is e-collar training appropriate?

Either one will work and you will receive multiple replies as to which method will work better. In the end it is your decision.

Please folks lets not make this an ongoing debate. Feel free to post your opinions and respect others for having different opinions.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is e-collar training appropriate?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Timber1For now avoid the E-Collar. How old is wolfgang???
15 months -

I am really interested in opinions, I do know ultimately the decision is ours but I respect everyones opinion whether they agree or disagree!

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 09:28 PM
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Re: Is e-collar training appropriate?

I think e-collars are awesome! With that said, you have to first educate the dog as to what the stimulation actually means.

I've seen MANY people, especially those that have been already training their dog with traditional methods, who don't realize this. Then, when they stim the dog, they think the dog already knows what the stim means, but he doesn't, so he doesn't respond the way the owner thinks he should. Think about it, when you teach a dog with traditional methods, he knows what a tug on the collar means. Now, he feels this lite tingling sensation and goes, "What was that?" He doesn't even know he's supposed to do something, let alone know that that thing was, you know what I mean?

So, what do these people do? They raise the stim level thinking it wasn't strong enough. Pretty soon, it HURTS the dog.

But, if you spend the time to teach the dog that the stim is the same as say, a leash tug, then you can use a low level and it really is more humane, in my opinion, than any other standard method that can produce a 99.99% reliable dog. No dog is perfect, which is why I left .001% room for error.

I've been training dogs for more than 25 years now, and I've also seen people that think that an e-collar is a cure-all, or substitute. These types of people end up getting extremely frustrated, and use a high stim level on the dog for everything. The result is what we call a "burned dog", not because of the electrocution or anything, it's just a term. A burned dog will be reliable, for sure, but not in an enthusiatic way. He comes running to you with his head down, instead of bounding to you with joy.

But, do it right, take it slow, like with any other method, and you can train a dog to be reliable with an e-collar much faster than using ONLY standard methods.

Disclaimer: This is ONLY MY opinion and experience. Your mileage may vary. I do not recommend the use of an e-collar without consultation of a professional animal behaviorist. I am not liable for any of your attempts to .... yada, yada.

Now, as Johnny Storm from the Fantastic Four would say, "Flame on!" I'll get the popcorn, now.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 09:35 PM
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Re: Is e-collar training appropriate?

I have no qualms about e-collars but I don't think I'd use one to socialize the dog. Nikon is acting the same way you describe and my plan is simply to take him on walks and if he locks in on another dog, I will turn around and go the other way. He can move close if he stays calm. When he greets dogs he is pretty nice, he sniffs them, licks them, and wants to play. But when he is on a leash he just gets excited really fast, and that becomes frustration because he is being inhibited by the leash. He needs to be socialized more and learn what is appropriate when greeting other dogs. I'm not really sure how an e-collar would help since there is no real command or trick being learned. For us we will just work on more desensitization and rewarding the behavior I want with food and being allowed to move closer. When he acts up, he loses the opportunity to play with that dog and back we go.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 09:49 PM
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Re: Is e-collar training appropriate?

I started using an e-collar on my male about a month ago and have had fantastic results. I traveled 1400 miles round trip to work with an excellent trainer to get started. My dog's working level on the collar is 12 (out of 127). I can't even begin to feel it until 17. I think that using the e-collar as I have been taught clarifies the training for the dog.

There are many different ways to use the e-collar. I would suggest you find a good trainer to work with and to go with your gut feeling on whether this training method is right for you and your dog.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 10:54 PM
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Re: Is e-collar training appropriate?

Which Dogtra model do you have? 200, 280, or 1900? Just curious.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 10:57 PM
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Re: Is e-collar training appropriate?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: LiesjeI have no qualms about e-collars but I don't think I'd use one to socialize the dog....I'm not really sure how an e-collar would help since there is no real command or trick being learned.
I agree. That is, unless you want the dog to do something under command while around other dogs, like sit, stay, etc.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 11:15 PM
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Re: Is e-collar training appropriate?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: MrLeadFootWhich Dogtra model do you have? 200, 280, or 1900? Just curious.
Nice catch on the brand , I have the older 1700. If I were to buy one now, I would get the 280.

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