E-collar Help! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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E-collar Help!

Hey guys. I have an 11 month old male. I read through Lou Castles protocols 4 times. And watched every video I could find before buying a dogtra 2300. I verified that it works on my own arm just fine when it arrived in the mail yesterday. I set out to start using it but I couldn't get passed step 1. He shows no signs whatsoever that a stimulation is occurring until it is well into the 80's (scale of 0 - 127). Once it is in the 80's he yelps like he was hurt, and understandably so. I started over from level 0 and went up again. I adjusted the collar multiple times, tried exercising him so he was more relaxed. Moved him to pavement with no distractions and still no response until it was at a level where it hurt him and he yelped (around 80 again). I got so frustrated because he is tough as nails, which I respect, and here I am just hurting and confusing him. I don't understand why he won't show me SOMETHING that he feels the stim before it is beyond his pain threshold. I'm very tuned into him and am well aware of the subtle signs Lou mentions. He does nothing, just stand or sits and watched the grass blow. I know Lou Castle says that this is a rare occurrence. But how many of you have experienced this? I'm really disappointed by the whole situation. My only alternative is to do as Lou recommends and start working him with the protocols on a lower level and go up from there if he isn't responsive.

My questions for you guys. Has this happened to anyone else? And what level does YOUR dog typically operate at? I know every dog is different. But for you guys who have tougher GSD's what level typically works with low to moderate distractions? I'm going to try again when I get home and am debating how low of a setting to start, since I have no sign that he's outwardly feeling it I will have to go through 15 leash pulls through every setting and would like to start somewhere reasonable.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 09:26 AM
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Have you tried working back down one by one after he first shows signs he feels the stim? I recall Lou saying that once they feel it at a higher level they may be sensitize to it at a lower level. I would try that. Also have you joined Lou's forum? He's very helpful and responds pretty quickly to questions.


My dog works around 20 on the dogtra 1900 without distractions and up into the 30s with some distractions, but I wouldn't call him super tough.

Truman, GSD 3/3/2014
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 09:42 AM
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I would email Lou from his website. He is very responsive and helpful. He has a wealth of information and is probably the best person to get direction from. JMO

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 10:24 AM
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Is the collar tight? Do you have the long probes on? GSD's have a thick coat, so you need to make sure the collar is contacting the skin.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 10:38 AM
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I started Deja on the Dogtra 300 yesterday after she has been wearing it for about 10 days. It should fit pretty snug. On the lowest level, just above 0 while she was relaxed lying down, doing nothing in particular and NOT looking at me. She got up and investigated what that was. So I knew that she felt it. It took level 60 when she left the trail of a newly spotted deer (he was heaven-sent at the best moment when I was ready). So I guess you have to test his starting level when he is 100% relaxed and not looking at you.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I read that too and was hoping after the yelp he would become sensitized at the very least. I tried working back down from 80 and he shows no signs of stimulation as soon as I drop into the 70's or below. I started over at 0 and worked back up to 80 again as well. Both directions up and down. In the 80's he yelps, 70's or less he just ignores it entirely. Thanks for the number info. I'm considering starting at maybe 15 or 20 and taking him through the protocols at that setting and see how he does. I'll stay positive and give it an honest effort but I just can't help but think if he doesn't flinch or show any signs below 80 that it's going to be a pointless training tool for us for extreme distraction work. He already listens well without big distractions. But when he needs it most under severe distraction he has proven he can ignore it. I don't think it will be an influential tool unless I'm willing to crank it high. And I really don't want to shock him to the point that he is hurt. Because that is NOT conducive to training.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycobraracr View Post
Is the collar tight? Do you have the long probes on? GSD's have a thick coat, so you need to make sure the collar is contacting the skin.
The collar is very tight. I tried all different tightness settings to the point that it was definitely too tight. Initially I thought that was the problem and the stimulations were inconsistent due to inconsistent contact. But I definitely ruled that out by tightening the collar and clearing the hair away from the probes. I have the short probes though. Do you guys use long ones?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
I started Deja on the Dogtra 300 yesterday after she has been wearing it for about 10 days. It should fit pretty snug. On the lowest level, just above 0 while she was relaxed lying down, doing nothing in particular and NOT looking at me. She got up and investigated what that was. So I knew that she felt it. It took level 60 when she left the trail of a newly spotted deer (he was heaven-sent at the best moment when I was ready). So I guess you have to test his starting level when he is 100% relaxed and not looking at you.
Are you following Lou's protocols for regular training at a low level, and then out on trails, if she takes chase, turning it up to 60 with the constant stim and recalling her? Or are you just nicking her when she doesn't listen and not doing Lou's method? I've talked to a few people who have had great success just nicking the dog on a high level when they don't listen during recall. I know this limits the scope of the collar and
is not following any training protocols. But I've hear if recall is all that is of concern this approach works.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 10:57 AM
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I use the long prongs. I only use it for chasing wildlife. Last night was the first time when she gave chase after a deer at the right moment when I was ready (as soon as her focus on me stopped and she sped up). I had to turn it up higher during this chase. I have decided not to give a command before the stimulation so she won't associate it with me. As soon as she turned towards me, I stopped the stim and called her and it worked beautifully. Then she stayed around me, was pretty relaxed and I played with her.
For all other training issues I use the positive training techniques. It is tempting to use the E-collar but I won't. My goal is to walk her off leash on the trails without chasing animals.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2015, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
I started Deja on the Dogtra 300 yesterday after she has been wearing it for about 10 days. It should fit pretty snug. On the lowest level, just above 0 while she was relaxed lying down, doing nothing in particular and NOT looking at me. She got up and investigated what that was. So I knew that she felt it. It took level 60 when she left the trail of a newly spotted deer (he was heaven-sent at the best moment when I was ready). So I guess you have to test his starting level when he is 100% relaxed and not looking at you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
I use the long prongs. I only use it for chasing wildlife. Last night was the first time when she gave chase after a deer at the right moment when I was ready (as soon as her focus on me stopped and she sped up). I had to turn it up higher during this chase. I have decided not to give a command before the stimulation so she won't associate it with me. As soon as she turned towards me, I stopped the stim and called her and it worked beautifully. Then she stayed around me, was pretty relaxed and I played with her.
For all other training issues I use the positive training techniques. It is tempting to use the E-collar but I won't. My goal is to walk her off leash on the trails without chasing animals.
Well ironically that is my goal too. So 60 was enough to stop her in her tracks and make her turn toward you? My only fear is he won't know what the stimulation even means if I don't train it on low with recall drills. But you're using it to stop her, and then recall. You're not focused on making the stim necessarily mean recall. Just that the stim means stop. Are you saying a "No" or "stay" when she begins the chase, or saying nothing. Just teaching her that taking off running after something means a whack.
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