Once an e-collar, always an e-collar? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Once an e-collar, always an e-collar?

If our dog was trained by its former owner with an e-collar for the first six years of his life, should we be continuing that way?

We used the e-collar for a while on Joey, then stopped (we had the attitude that the e-collar shouldn't be the only way to control). Well, that's not working very well.

When his former owner (family member) comes to visit, and shows us how to use the e-collar on Joey, he's an entirely different dog (obedient).

Faust von der Graf ("Joey")
13 year old GSD 11-22-05; SchH3
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 03:11 PM
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Here's the issue with e-collars, as I've mentioned on your other thread, the dog is obedient out of fear not out of impulse. This is why positive reinforcement has gained so much support over the last few years over older techniques like e-collars and corrective techniques because the dog learns to want to please you and that when it acts correctly it gets praise, love, food, or play. When it acts bad, its ignored, so the dog wants to please. With the other techniques you can get dogs that don't listen when the punishment tool isn't on them. Why listen to you when the e-collar is off? There is no downside to not listening so why wouldn't the dog just do whatever it wants?

You can retrain this dog using a different technique, probably not positive reinforcement at this point because he's too big and strong to control and you're having issues which would be hard to ignore, but its possible if you find the ONE THING he will do anything for.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 03:24 PM
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I would go back and start from the very basics with this dog. Find out what this dog has drives for, treats? Tug? Ball? Start marker training with this dog in a zero distraction environment and slowly build it up. If you can, use different commands (or a different language).

I use e-collar mainly to proof my dog's recall and for some exercises that need to be done off leash. What are you using the e-collar on this dog for? How long have you had this dog?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 03:31 PM
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How exactly was he using the collar? What levels (on the collar) was he using? Was it being used as a correction if he didn't immediately listen? How does the dog react when you use it?

An e-collar can be a very helpful tool if used correctly on the right dog. Some dogs react fine and others shut down. It's all about how it's used and the temperament of the dog it's being used on. At least that's my experience with them.

Last edited by Lucy Dog; 06-01-2012 at 03:33 PM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 04:24 PM
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The e-collar is a tool that can be used correctly or incorrectly just like any other training tool. There are many dogs that have been trained using the E that don't require it for life just like there are dogs trained with food and toys that stop working when the lure is no longer readily available.

How a dog responds to training, no matter the tool, depends a lot on how the dog is trained, the temperament of the dog and the skills of the handler.

If the OP's dog MUST wear the collar all the time to comply then he was never actually trained. If you want to use the collar find someone that is knowledgeable about using it as a training tool and not just a correction tool. Or find someone to work with that uses other methods and retrain your dog.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 11:31 PM
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If you don't want to use the e-collar, don't use it. If the dog is only compliant with it on, it doesn't sound like he's really all that trained anyway, so you can start over using whatever method or tool you prefer and he'll probably catch on pretty fast.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 06:33 AM
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Incorrect use of the collar, period. It should be used to help train or polish behaviors, not used forever to get the dog to comply to basic commands.

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- Elsa - "Da Pookins"
- Medo - "The Beast From The East"
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 06:43 AM
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why should an E-Collar be used to help train or polish (reinforce )
training? you can train and reinforce train without an E-Collar.
do some dogs need an E-Collar, i guess they do. i think a lot
of people use an E-Collar for a quick fix.

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Originally Posted by GSDElsa View Post
Incorrect use of the collar, period. It should be used to help train or polish behaviors, not used forever to get the dog to comply to basic commands.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 06:47 AM
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Err, if you're going to use an e-collar, that's what it should be used for. Not much more to say, and not going to get into the merits with your of e-collar vs. non at all.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 07:18 AM
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hey, i'm not going to get into the merits of an e-collar
or no e-collar with you, so there!!

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Originally Posted by GSDElsa View Post
Err, if you're going to use an e-collar, that's what it should be used for. Not much more to say, and not going to get into the merits with your of e-collar vs. non at all.
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