Anyone here use remote collars? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone here use remote collars?

If so what methods do you subscribe to and where did you learn? I personally am in the Michael Ellis camp and I also like what I have read from Lou Castle. They actually seem very similar, low stim and escape training and teaching the dog how to turn off pressure versus, a very hard continual stim for breaking position, etc. like Sitmeansit.com's methods?

I'd like to start using it to proof her commands from a distance and to gain reliability. She is trained in english and german, german being formal commands that she must follow when we're out in public, etc. The english words are ruined already given that everyone says "sit sit sit sit" a million times. It has lost the urgency and importance from being said so much by everyone.

She's about 6 months old now and we have a great relationship but there are a lot of downsides to leash corrections. First, you can't correct them unless you have the leash in your hands. And not even that, the leash has to be a certain distance and within popping distance. If you have a leash that's on the floor, by the time your dog does something that requires a correction, you need to walk over there, pick up the leash, make it a little bit taut and then give the correction. It's not instant and oftentimes takes more than 1.5 seconds.
There's so much emphasis on marker training and using the word YES or GOOD or clickers because it allows you to literally mark a specific moment in time and follow with rewards later so it can be even a few seconds later that the reward comes, the dog is conditioned to mark the moment the word YES! was sounded, with the right behavior. But I dont see many people utilizing the same principle for corrections or compulsion, even though it's just as important, if not more important. A lot of people just say "no no no no no no" to the point where it becomes this continual noise that you make to the dog that kind of sounds like "nunununununnun" and the dog learns to ignore it. Also, a lot of people use leash corrections or pressure to "steer" their dogs, much like a horse and don't work on focus and attention and engagement (another ME principle) so the dog learns to only respond when there's pressure on his neck. Those little neck sensations become like white noise to the dog and without it, the dog will not look in your direction.

So corrections have to MEAN something, given strong enough so you dont repeat it and cause the dog to be jaded to it. The timing also has to be right and possibly paired with a positive punishment marker word (such as Nein.) that isn't used daily such as "no".

Leashes have severe limitations in these applications due to its length among other things. You need to be about 3-4 feet away from the dog at most. It's great and works wonders when you are there, leash in hand. but when proofing distance, recalls, its very hard to enforce the correction in a timely manner.
Thats why I want to layer remote collars into certain aspects of training. Proofing more than anything. I dont believe remote collars are good tools for TEACHING, but great for layering distance into commands that are FULLY understood by the dog.

Would love to hear from anyone who has used remote collars and still do. And I hope no one is judging here but I would love to hear if you messed up and how it affected your training, your relationship with your dog, your dog's drive, etc. so others can learn from the mistakes. People make mistakes and if you made one using a remote collar, please let us know about it so we don't make it either!

Last edited by pancake; 02-15-2013 at 03:43 PM.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 03:50 PM
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