E-Collar Training - Need Advice - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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E-Collar Training - Need Advice

Hello all,
Posting today to elicit some advice on E-collar training. I want to start using the E-collar to proof the behaviors that my boy already knows as well as fine tuning his off-leash behavior. I teach behaviors with reward-only methods in the beginning. Then I will use leash corrections to instill obedience and now I am at the point where I want to proof certain behaviors that I am sure he knows cold.

All things considered, he is pretty darn obedient. This is my first GSD and I can't really say that I've had to deal with any substantial behavioral issues. At least ones that I haven't been able to handle. I can honestly say that mostly stems from all of the great advice I've found on this forum.

I am leaning towards the e-collar for a few reasons:

1.) It will allow me to issue a correction at a moments notice, essentially I want him to learn that I am always in control. IMO, people sometimes look to the GSD to be in control, whereas my experience has been that they do much better when they know that you are the one making the decisions.

2.) I think it will allow me to very effectively put things in black & white for my dog. I've struggled with this as a newbie dog trainer. Desired behavior = treats/toys/praise. Undesired behavior = correction. (talking about behavior that he knows cold) My boy does well with black and white and I think that an e-collar will allow me to turn that corner with consistency.

3.) My dog is a pet first and foremost. However, I want a high level of training and obedience in my pet.

My boy is medium-high drive with A- nerves (he is still only 10months) and an A+ temperament. I am confident he will be able to handle an e-collar correction though he is not a "hard" dog.

Leash corrections just seem to be annoying to him in that I feel that I am only effectively correcting him about 60% of the time. Most of the time he is just like WTF?


Thoughts? I would love to hear from both the E-collar lovers and the haters. I know you guys are out there. Tell me why I am an idiot or why I am spot on! I would love for someone to tell me to go back to the drawing board before I venture into the E-collar world without the proper knowledge.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 11:04 AM
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timing is everything in the world of correction.

i'd work on getting the timing down with the prong collar, so if/when you transfer to an e-collar, you'll be ahead of the game.

i can't remember where i read it (forgot to bookmark it), but there's an excellent write up on how to properly introduce your dog to an e-collar, and also how to properly use one. From the writeup, the e-collar is an annoyance that your dog has the ability to turn off. it was a really good writeup, i hope someone can direct you to it, and apologize for not being able too.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 11:06 AM
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Look up Lou Castle's website




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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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I have Ed Frawley's E-collar video and I have read a good amount of Lou Castle's stuff. They seem to have diverging theories that have made a bit more confused. Both sound logical and I am sure they both work but I lean towards Ed's Frawley's because it seems to be more "precise" in that Lou Castle's method of engaging stimulation before the command might confuse my dog and create a higher probability of associating the stim with environmental factors and not me. Whereas, using a "nick" as a correction is much more analogous to a leash pop and would play better into creating a nice black & white world for my dog.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 11:16 AM
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that's it !!

thanks Michelle

Fit An Ecollar

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 01:44 PM
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One way uses the E as a form of guidance and the other purely as a correction. I prefer Lou's methods.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmscott View Post
Hello all,
Posting today to elicit some advice on E-collar training. I want to start using the E-collar to proof the behaviors that my boy already knows as well as fine tuning his off-leash behavior. I teach behaviors with reward-only methods in the beginning. Then I will use leash corrections to instill obedience and now I am at the point where I want to proof certain behaviors that I am sure he knows cold.

All things considered, he is pretty darn obedient. This is my first GSD and I can't really say that I've had to deal with any substantial behavioral issues. At least ones that I haven't been able to handle. I can honestly say that mostly stems from all of the great advice I've found on this forum.

I am leaning towards the e-collar for a few reasons:

1.) It will allow me to issue a correction at a moments notice, essentially I want him to learn that I am always in control. IMO, people sometimes look to the GSD to be in control, whereas my experience has been that they do much better when they know that you are the one making the decisions.

2.) I think it will allow me to very effectively put things in black & white for my dog. I've struggled with this as a newbie dog trainer. Desired behavior = treats/toys/praise. Undesired behavior = correction. (talking about behavior that he knows cold) My boy does well with black and white and I think that an e-collar will allow me to turn that corner with consistency.

3.) My dog is a pet first and foremost. However, I want a high level of training and obedience in my pet.

My boy is medium-high drive with A- nerves (he is still only 10months) and an A+ temperament. I am confident he will be able to handle an e-collar correction though he is not a "hard" dog.

Leash corrections just seem to be annoying to him in that I feel that I am only effectively correcting him about 60% of the time. Most of the time he is just like WTF?


Thoughts? I would love to hear from both the E-collar lovers and the haters. I know you guys are out there. Tell me why I am an idiot or why I am spot on! I would love for someone to tell me to go back to the drawing board before I venture into the E-collar world without the proper knowledge.

Hi cmscott

I really don't understand why you are even considering using a shock collar on your 10 month old, especially as you say he is pretty obedient anyway.

As this is your first dog, it sounds to me like you are doing really well with what you're doing.

What behaviours to you want to proof ?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jakes mom View Post
Hi cmscott

I really don't understand why you are even considering using a shock collar on your 10 month old, especially as you say he is pretty obedient anyway.

As this is your first dog, it sounds to me like you are doing really well with what you're doing.

What behaviours to you want to proof ?
_____________
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Well, eventually I plan on proofing all of them. I tend to have the view regarding E-collars that they are not reserved for problem dogs. I am considering them as a training tool because I feel they allow a trainer to have excellent consistency. I really look at them as a "wireless leash".

And I haven't even bought one yet so he will be closer to a year before I would really begin using one.

Off-leash recall is what I am focused on proofing first. Off-leash training seems to be the best application for the E-collar but it also seems that it would be good all around because I would be able to improve consistency substantially.

Because he is obedient thus far, I just feel that I won't have to use it much once he becomes "collar-literate". I just want him to know that I can reach out and touch him at all times. He is starting to realize that he is much faster and more agile than I am.

Bottom line: Dog training is a breeze if you are consistent. I feel that few other training methods would allow me to reach a level of consistency that matches the E-collar.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmscott View Post
Well, eventually I plan on proofing all of them. I tend to have the view regarding E-collars that they are not reserved for problem dogs. I am considering them as a training tool because I feel they allow a trainer to have excellent consistency. I really look at them as a "wireless leash".

And I haven't even bought one yet so he will be closer to a year before I would really begin using one.

Off-leash recall is what I am focused on proofing first. Off-leash training seems to be the best application for the E-collar but it also seems that it would be good all around because I would be able to improve consistency substantially.

Because he is obedient thus far, I just feel that I won't have to use it much once he becomes "collar-literate". I just want him to know that I can reach out and touch him at all times. He is starting to realize that he is much faster and more agile than I am.

Bottom line: Dog training is a breeze if you are consistent. I feel that few other training methods would allow me to reach a level of consistency that matches the E-collar.
If you think that dog training is a breeze if you are consistent, that's all you really need to be.

It sound like you've already decided what you're going to do - but just incase you're open to suggestions:

I honestly think all you need is kind treatment, consistancy and most of all make yourself the centre of your dogs world. Have fun with him, play tug, ball, hide and seek, chase, football etc. Don't control your dogs walks off road - allow him freedom to explore, by using a long line, or a good quality extended lead (not many people on here like those - but I think they're great if used safely) call him back to you regularly and play with him and really praise him - give him a really tasty treat, if he values treats - mine doesn't.

Keep your leashed walks interesting by changing direction regularly, speeding up and slowing down, so he has to pay attention to you - talk to your dog, don't walk in silence, and praise him when he's doing what you want, such as walking nicely.

Make sure your recall is 100% at home - then 100% on a long line before you let him off leash outside where there are distractions.

Make sure he knows a rock solid leave it, wait, stop and sit, and practice when on a long line. Pay attention to your surroundings, so that you can act before problems arise.

GSD's love their owners so much they don't tend to roam far - you'll find that if you run away from your dog, he'll soon be after you.

Give it your best shot first - and you'll find you won't need a shock collar.

Enroll him in agility or whatever sport you think he'd be good at, if you want to - he'll then get used to having other dogs and distraction around.

Take him to shopping malls, or wherever you can where he will see lots of people, dogs, prams, bikes etc. great places to practice diverting his attention to you.

Do you intend to enter competions or will your dog be first a foremost a family pet?
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmscott View Post
Well, eventually I plan on proofing all of them. I tend to have the view regarding E-collars that they are not reserved for problem dogs. I am considering them as a training tool because I feel they allow a trainer to have excellent consistency. I really look at them as a "wireless leash".

And I haven't even bought one yet so he will be closer to a year before I would really begin using one.

Off-leash recall is what I am focused on proofing first. Off-leash training seems to be the best application for the E-collar but it also seems that it would be good all around because I would be able to improve consistency substantially.

Because he is obedient thus far, I just feel that I won't have to use it much once he becomes "collar-literate". I just want him to know that I can reach out and touch him at all times. He is starting to realize that he is much faster and more agile than I am.

Bottom line: Dog training is a breeze if you are consistent. I feel that few other training methods would allow me to reach a level of consistency that matches the E-collar.

good plan

Mom: russian blue 20yrs
Moose: cat 10 yrs
Del: lab/gsd 4yrs
Biz: Bi color GSD, 6 years
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