Off Leash Training - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Ziggy,
what's wrong with the approach? trainer is with working with us and haven't advised us differently. what do you recommend or see that is wrong?


The use of an E collar in the manner that you described. Working on off lead training before on leash training is extremely reliable. Your mention of cranking the Dogtra up to 70 to get a response when the dog is in drive. Those are the things that I disagree with.

I would work on focus, and engagement. I would teach the recall in a way that is fun and lays a foundation for a super fast and reliable recall. I would teach the dog to heal well on leash, not be reactive to other animals or distractions. I would teach a reliable sit / stay and down stay. Then, and only then would I begin off lead training. Once the dog is taught, trained and proofed with a long line and is better than 85% reliable I would consider an Collar for you and your dog.

If you have a trainer that agrees with your approach and wants to start out by cranking up the E collar, do some more research and find a more qualified trainer. The whole approach that you mentioned is taking to many shortcuts to be reliable down the road. It only takes a few months to gain excellent reliable OB on a dog. I just trained a GSD in 11 sessions to do everything that you want your dog to do. The dog is also super happy, super motivated and never wants to leave his handlers side. The dog was dog aggressive and leash reactive when we started. The dog now walks happily on a leash, recalls are super fast even with other dogs present, and no longer reacts or barks at other dogs. This was done primarily motivationally, no E collar and in 3 months. The dog is now 14 months old. There was no need to wait until the dog was 3 years old to expect it to behave, heel or recall reliably. The main the dog has in it's favor is an owner that works with his dog every day and does it in a manner that lays a good foundation and each session builds on the last.

I'm sure the owner of the dog would give me a lot of credit, he already has. But, the fact of the matter is that all I did was show him how to work with his dog, praise his dog, pay his dog for the right behaviors and guide him. Many folks (like you) are hung up on the tools and the corrections and miss out on the power of praise, reward and payment. That does more to train a dog than a Dogtra at 70.

Please don't take my posts personally, I am not trying to offend you. I can only respond to what you posted as I do not know you or your dog. I do know a little about dog training and E collars, though. Planning on getting an E collar and going to 70 is really a bad plan. You also need to properly condition your dog to the E collar for the training to be effective. Just going higher is a really bad idea and really poor training, IMHO.
no offense taken. ziggy was better than 85% reliable at month 8. looking back we probably started to slack on training when the baby came and he progressively gotten less reliable. he was at a point where he would wait for me to release him to greet the neighbors dog. and his playful barks or what i thought was a gesture for play became aggressive/reactive. my comment to jack it up to 70 was probably out of frustration but i agree in using it that high doesn't serve him anything but pain. i'll refrain from using it but can i use it when he's gone full ape-sht like after our incident? also what do you think about finding implementing a shutzhund style of training to refocus his aggression?
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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 11:39 AM
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no offense taken. ziggy was better than 85% reliable at month 8. looking back we probably started to slack on training when the baby came and he progressively gotten less reliable. he was at a point where he would wait for me to release him to greet the neighbors dog. and his playful barks or what i thought was a gesture for play became aggressive/reactive. my comment to jack it up to 70 was probably out of frustration but i agree in using it that high doesn't serve him anything but pain. i'll refrain from using it but can i use it when he's gone full ape-sht like after our incident? also what do you think about finding implementing a shutzhund style of training to refocus his aggression?
Ziggy,
The time to use the correction is while the dog is thinking about going "ape ****" or just before. Once the dog has gone into a full rage you have missed the opportunity to easily correct the behavior. Then it becomes very hard to manage and handle, as you have seen. That is why the focus and engagement is so important.

You must be very careful using an E collar while a dog is in high drive and being aggressive. The pain induced correction could easily escalate the rage and intensify the situation. Some dogs will become even more aggressive and may redirect to the handler. That is why cranking up the collar could actually make the situation worse. If the dog is on lead, you could wind up getting bit. Some dogs gets anxious, out of control and aggressive when approached by another dog. If you stim the dog on an high level you could easily kick that aggression up to a whole new level, especially if the dog is not conditioned to the collar properly.

A Schutzhund club would be an awesome alternative, even if you just go for the obedience portion. Through IPO training your dog would learn self control and also a very positive way to handle your dog when he is in drive. If there is a good club that you could visit it would be very worthwhile.
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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Slamdunc View Post
Ziggy,
The time to use the correction is while the dog is thinking about going "ape ****" or just before. Once the dog has gone into a full rage you have missed the opportunity to easily correct the behavior. Then it becomes very hard to manage and handle, as you have seen. That is why the focus and engagement is so important.

You must be very careful using an E collar while a dog is in high drive and being aggressive. The pain induced correction could easily escalate the rage and intensify the situation. Some dogs will become even more aggressive and may redirect to the handler. That is why cranking up the collar could actually make the situation worse. If the dog is on lead, you could wind up getting bit. Some dogs gets anxious, out of control and aggressive when approached by another dog. If you stim the dog on an high level you could easily kick that aggression up to a whole new level, especially if the dog is not conditioned to the collar properly.

A Schutzhund club would be an awesome alternative, even if you just go for the obedience portion. Through IPO training your dog would learn self control and also a very positive way to handle your dog when he is in drive. If there is a good club that you could visit it would be very worthwhile.
i've heard and applied all the same strategies and tips you mentioned, but sometimes i do need a reminder. thanks again for your help. keep in touch as i will continue to update.
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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 05:52 PM
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First, I'm not an expert here so I don't want to come off wrong. I don't ever go off leash away from my yard until I have a completely 100% solid stay. And that stay is from sitting, downing and standing. It's also when given the command as I keep walking. I start with using my kids and then other kids both at my house and then away from my house. I have the kids do everything they can to call my dog to them from calling them to playing with a ball right in front of them.
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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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latest update. training has gone to the ****s. i've slacked off a little (or alot) and ziggy might as well be the worst dog in the neighborhood. (slight exaggeration) but everything has reverted. i'm now raising two defiant toddler who's idea of fun is see how loud i can make my dad yell. on a brighter note, Z did jump in front of the baby when i chased him with a fake snake.
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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-09-2016, 12:46 AM
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Are you working with a trainer??? I won't say one can't figure it out themselves with information available online ... as I am want to say "there is always that guy."

So that say and with more in the way of observations then advise ... I prefer to keep it simple. It seems like your using an E- Collar on your own and having issues?? So asking for help is excellent and you seem to be getting it but .... what happens and I would imagine "especially" with an E-Collar is you tend to lose focus on your dog and concentrate more on the tool??

Recall can be tricky in any case but relying on a tool your working to get the hang off and allowing your dog off leash in the process is kinda tricky. COntinue to use and figure it out if you chose but it would be wise to have a "Plan B."

As has been mentioned train a "Down and Stay!" I always train that first (now) myself before I even think about allowing a dog off leash! Learned that bit from Boxers. Recall takes to much "Processing and Boxers move fast! Recall means ... Stop doing what I'm doing ... Turn ... Around ...and Go Back??? Stay is a lot easier and Down keeps them there!

Then you can recall or go to the dog, and leash them up if required. You could train that a "Down/Stay"and still work on the E-Collar thing. And yes ... on paper it should not be necessary but your kinda sorta allowing your dog to make to many poor choices while you figure the E-Collar thing out. One of those mistakes could cost you your dog.
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
Are you working with a trainer??? I won't say one can't figure it out themselves with information available online ... as I am want to say "there is always that guy."

So that say and with more in the way of observations then advise ... I prefer to keep it simple. It seems like your using an E- Collar on your own and having issues?? So asking for help is excellent and you seem to be getting it but .... what happens and I would imagine "especially" with an E-Collar is you tend to lose focus on your dog and concentrate more on the tool??

Recall can be tricky in any case but relying on a tool your working to get the hang off and allowing your dog off leash in the process is kinda tricky. COntinue to use and figure it out if you chose but it would be wise to have a "Plan B."

As has been mentioned train a "Down and Stay!" I always train that first (now) myself before I even think about allowing a dog off leash! Learned that bit from Boxers. Recall takes to much "Processing and Boxers move fast! Recall means ... Stop doing what I'm doing ... Turn ... Around ...and Go Back??? Stay is a lot easier and Down keeps them there!

Then you can recall or go to the dog, and leash them up if required. You could train that a "Down/Stay"and still work on the E-Collar thing. And yes ... on paper it should not be necessary but your kinda sorta allowing your dog to make to many poor choices while you figure the E-Collar thing out. One of those mistakes could cost you your dog.
Yes we work with a trainer but we get lazy and they're not cheap. So we give him a call every once in awhile. We had another episode of Ziggy getting loose and running after some joggers but they didn't have a dog with them so he came back. OY
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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Out of curiosity, does anyone else have a pup that acts better behaved around trainers or handlers than their own owners


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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 10:01 AM
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Most dogs respond well and quickly to an experienced handler or trainer, far better than their owner. There have been many times that I have taken someone's dog or puppy and quickly had the dog behaving and working well. With pet owners it is really easy to take a dog and show how the dog should work or heel. When running Patrol schools or working with K-9 Handlers I will often take the leash and demonstrate with their own dog how an exercise should be taught or performed. The look on their face is priceless when they have been trying to train a behavior and I can do it with their dog in a minute.

It's all technique and experience.
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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-04-2018, 03:31 AM
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I’m no trainer but I’ve successfully trained my previous dog (a Labrador) and present dog (a GSD) but it could be most due to my picking if dogs based on their temperament.

First I make sure to socialize them first. Get them used to their environment, strangers approaching, kids, cats, other small animals, etc. Make sure he can ignore them and focus more on my voice. Most important is that my dog recognize and is consistent with “heel”, “leave it” and “come”. Take him out on leash first and ensure he is consistent on listening to me. I go from regular leash to long leash. I don’t like prongs or e-collars. Training collars is enough for me. (I just don’t think it is necessary esp if my dog is gentle and easygoing.)

I start off leash at home /yard then I move on to very early morning where there is likely less distractions. If he is consistent then I’m confident he can manage off leash anywhere (where it’s allowed).

If your dog is even slightly aggressive or his drive is too strong best not risk it.

Again I will emphasize that it’s more the pups I picked than my method. I want to make sure it’s a dog that I can handle.

I had a trainer for my first dog who showed me how to teach and handle a dog. And I had tried and failed With smaller and more stubborn dogs. I finally learn to pick a dog that wants to listen.
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