Choosing E-collar training method - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Choosing E-collar training method

Finally I decided to order the Dogtra 300 to get her to stop chasing wild life.
First 2 weeks getting used to the E-Collar by just wearing it, no stimulation. Then find out her level of sensitivity.
Next I am wondering what the best plan of action is. Am in doubt about two training views:

1.Trainer/breeder X: As soon as she starts the chase, call her name and if she doesn't look back, immediately stimulate.
My take on this is that she will learn to associate her name (in the event she doesn't respond to her name at the initial chase) by the negative experience, which could very well affect her responses in training and in general life when I call her.
I know that she won't ever respond to her name after the chase has started so trying to see if she will respond to her name is not an option.

2. My way of thinking: expose her and as soon as she starts the chase (first reflex), stimulate. When she responses by ending the chase, call her by her name, recall and reward her for doing so.
My take on this: she will associate the punishment with the object of her chase. To Deja, the shock will be caused by the animal and make staying with me a safer choice for her; making the decision to not chase wildlife.

I am not planning on using this collar for anything else but to stop chasing wildlife so we can enjoy off leash hikes and time outside.
Other than that, she is rock solid on obedience, gets along with anyone and other dogs, is stable and well-socialized.

I would like feedback from people who have used this collar for chasing wild life and your preference for a method, how it worked and if you needed the collar permanently.

(Never thought I would ever purchase an E-collar )
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 01:30 PM
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I would make sure she recalls in response to the stim first and realizes the best way to turn that off is to get to you quickly. Then go with some variation of option 2 but with a long line dragging and you being near it in case she freaks out or responds in an unpredictable way.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 09:12 PM
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When I used the e-collar to train Sting not to chase deer, I was careful that he did not associate me with the shock, but rather that when he took off, ignoring my command, all of sudden, the ground gave him an unpleasant feeling. So, what, I did was when he took off - I called, of course he ignored me, I pressed the pager button, he still kept going, then I used the shock. He kept going - I upped it. He stopped - I called so very nicely - he came running back - I gave him lots of praise and a treat. Next time, of course, he went after them again - that time, he returned with just one shock. After that - he returned when I just pressed the pager . Then after that, he responded to my voice. I did always have him wear the collar when he was off leash in that area as a backup. I also was sure to increase the time playing the 2-tug game and made sure he ended up winning to help satisfy his prey drive. He couldn't chase after the deer, but he could chase after the tugs and bite them.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 11:42 PM
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Don't try to recall the dog off the wildlife. The goal is to stop the dog from going after the animals in the first place. If you try to recall a dog off a chase you're just training a call off but allowing the dog to practice the initial stages of the chase behavior. Your idea of getting the dog the second it shows interest in wanting to go for the wildlife is correct. You never have to recall your dog off a chase if your dog never goes for them in the first place. The proper time to stim is when the dog locks on and the ears go forward. Don't wait for them to launch. If they attempt to reengage stim again. When you catch it at the very beginning of the behavior and then stop the progression, not allowing the dog to practice any part of the behavior you send a very clear message.

Last edited by Baillif; 04-07-2015 at 11:47 PM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
Don't try to recall the dog off the wildlife. The goal is to stop the dog from going after the animals in the first place. If you try to recall a dog off a chase you're just training a call off but allowing the dog to practice the initial stages of the chase behavior. Your idea of getting the dog the second it shows interest in wanting to go for the wildlife is correct. You never have to recall your dog off a chase if your dog never goes for them in the first place. The proper time to stim is when the dog locks on and the ears go forward. Don't wait for them to launch. If they attempt to reengage stim again. When you catch it at the very beginning of the behavior and then stop the progression, not allowing the dog to practice any part of the behavior you send a very clear message.
Makes good sense to me. I initially thought it would be good to add the "Leave It" command but as I am thinking this over more, it shouldn't have anything to do with me but only with the behavior. Just call her after she has given up the chase to get her out of her confusion.

Thanks all for this respectful discussion.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 12:25 AM
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If I were you I'd just mark the very start of the behavior with a no then stim. There is nothing wrong with you marking the wrong behavior. The dog still won't necessarily make the connection between you and what happened. As far as they know you were just trying to warn them. When they do give up you can praise too if you want. Let them know not trying it is the right thing. Avoidance if they turn their heads also the right move.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Update: yesterday when using it for the first time (posted in another thread as well) I had the fortune of the help of a deer buck in the back yard who showed up at just the right time. She looked at him, got aroused and I used it until she looked back at me, so I called her to me, which she did. The buck calmly left and Deja never gave chase and it was the end of the game for her. I am amazed because she didn't show the slightest sign of discomfort.
This morning she didn't hurry in a hunting mode over the trails as usual but hang out with me. Same on a country road. Then, as she was off leash heeling, a squirrel crossed the road some distance from us. Thanks for the test, squirrel! She looked attentively (hooray for her ears to give her intentions away), I asked her to sit and she did. I didn't have to use the collar. Normally she would have raced away from me, totally ignoring everything.
I realize this is just the beginning and I will have the collar ready until (according to my trainer/breeder) she and I have completely forgotten the issue.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 04:44 PM
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Should have stimmed for looking at the squirrel with intention instead of asking for alternative behavior, but sounds like the dog is getting the point anyway. Happens quickly when done the right way.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 05:36 PM
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Quick results...very impressive and to think that some people are horrified at the use of these tools.

I have been looking at improving Remi's recall using the Castle protocol. He recently decided to run into my neighbor's yard and ignored my recall. Baillif had given me some advice on what to do when this happened, so I followed that.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 05:42 PM
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Yup I put more stress on the dog up front than castle im sure but it fades quick and with rewards on the back end they come right back up.
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