starting e-collar training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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starting e-collar training

I have an almost 5 year old german shepherd. She is my fiance's dog that has had lots of issues. I'm starting from scratch basically. I'm learning clicker training only works for as long as she's interested. Her focus on me is very poor at best. She knows basic commands but carries them out if and when she feels like it. I'll be retraining her with an e-collar once it comes in the mail. My question is..how easy is this method? when do you know when theyve reached a working level for the dog, and how to adjust it as needed for distractions? I ordered the Aetertek AT-216S which has the shock with a turn dial, the vibrate function, and a beep button.

any suggestions before i get started?

oh..and whats the difference between the vibrate and shock sensation? what do you use the vibrate for?

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 04:12 AM
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Basically you'll use the ecollar to get her attention. Dogs are very one dimensional. Start with zero. Give her a command. If she listens praise her abundantly. If she doesnt dial up. Give her the command again but this time use the ecollar. If she doesnt repeat the process.

Make sure she knows the command already or youre able to guide her with the leash.

Work level changes based upon enviroment.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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thanks! I was told to look for like an ear twitch, or for them to kinda freeze for a second to show they feel it? She knows sit,down and stay. Sometimes she'll look right at me then look away and ignore. Im really hoping this helps. She atleast listens to me more then my fiance..and its his dog. She hasn't really had direction or training in her life till now..
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by reploidphoenix View Post
thanks! I was told to look for like an ear twitch, or for them to kinda freeze for a second to show they feel it? She knows sit,down and stay. Sometimes she'll look right at me then look away and ignore. Im really hoping this helps. She atleast listens to me more then my fiance..and its his dog. She hasn't really had direction or training in her life till now..
I heard about the ear twitch too, but dailing up is what I learned from my personal trainer.

Something that helped me refine recall, place, sit, etc. Is when they listen, make it seem like they won a gold metal in the olympics. Praise them by saying "sit good boy" over and over again. Reenforce it. Scratch their head or back.

Also when they hold their sit or place, release them by saying "break" and give the time to play. That will be there reward.

The great thing now is playtime or praise is the reward not treats. My dog is not treat driven so this method was helpful. Check out my instagram in my signature. There is couple short clips of me training my dog.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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I heard about the ear twitch too, but dailing up is what I learned from my personal trainer.

Something that helped me refine recall, place, sit, etc. Is when they listen, make it seem like they won a gold metal in the olympics. Praise them by saying "sit good boy" over and over again. Reenforce it. Scratch their head or back.

Also when they hold their sit or place, release them by saying "break" and give the time to play. That will be there reward.

The great thing now is playtime or praise is the reward not treats. My dog is not treat driven so this method was helpful. Check out my instagram in my signature. There is couple short clips of me training my dog.

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I've been doing this as much as possible with her. With playing, she used to grab things out of my hand and bite me. Now i have her sitting...her reward is i say good girl when she sits and i throw the bone/ball. When she gets tired and she doesn't feel like playing anymore is when she starts to ignore. Clicker training with treats she gets impatient and just goes for the bag i have. I have her sitting at every doorway and walking out before i let her go out. I posted in the new welcome section on some of her other behaviors im working on. It hasn't been easy. She's very confused and her stubborn streak doesn't help. I needed something more with her. She gets too intense or focused on something and i can't break her of it. Clapping, yelling..ive even tried pinning her..she goes right back. I don't like doing it to her(the pinning) But it atleast seems to de-escalate whatever she is doing.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 05:23 AM
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Throwing an e-collar on a dog and just dialing it up is pretty one dimensional. What you'll wind up with is a collar literate dog with limited training. Yes you need to find the dogs working level. Working level is not pain just a slight stimulation. Some dogs will be sensitive enough that the vibrate mode is enough to train with an e-collar. The dog has to not associate the stimulus with the collar. And the dog needs to learn that it controls or shuts off the stimulus by doing what you request. There are plenty of web based training methods for free that explain all of this a lot better than I can. I used thishttp://www.loucastle.com/articles/how-to. This method is a step by step that works. Take time while waiting for the collar to come in and read this stuff.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 07:59 AM
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My suggestion: return this collar when you get it. It has 7 levels of stim which means the jump between levels is huge, giving you way less ability to tailor your training for your dog appropriately, and the lowest level is still going to be pretty high.

How long have you known and worked with this dog? If the dog is not responding reliably there are LOTS of other explanations other than "it only does commands when it wants to"

What CD woodcox said is good info but you cant train that way with a collar like this. Return it, work on your foundation, possiblywith a trainer, and then if e collar training is really the answer but a dogtra.

To understand the difference, a dogtra has 127 levels of stim, so you have some finesse in application and the ability not to blast your dog at such a high level that you cause unintended side effects
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 10:20 AM
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boy oh boy... i think you need to do WAY more research before you even open the box. Like Thecowboysgirl stated, return that collar. You get what you pay for. I would recommend a collar from ecollar technologies (the mini educator works for most dogs, Remote Dog Training Collars by E-Collar Technologies | Dog and Hunting Dog Electronic Training Collars) or a dogtra model. I personally use and recommend ecollar technologies.

I'm sure there are many different methods to ecollar training. Please realize that the ecollar is not going to train the dog. Please dont put the collar on the dog and start pushing buttons and saying commands. The dog must be SOLID on its obedience commands and it understands 100% what you are asking of it before putting the ecollar on. You then layer the stim of the collar pairing in with your verbal commands, essentially teaching the dog how to turn the pressure on. Like I said, there is many different ways to train with the ecollar. Research and find out what method you feel comfortable with. There are also many different stages to ecollar training. If you are unsure what to do, either do plenty of research on your own or hire a professional trainer.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 10:29 AM
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Please use the wait to brush up on dog training and learning theory.

Review, or learn and understand the four quadrants of operant conditioning.

Positive Reinforcement (dog does thing to gain something it wants, rewards, clicker/marker training, treats)
Negative Reinforcement (dog does things to avoid, or lessen something it doesn't want, leash pressure, low level stim (an unpleasant sensation).
Negative Punishment (dog learns not to do something because it looses an expected privilege, dog jumps up and scratches door, you don't let the dog out)
Positive Punishment (dog learns not to do something because something unpleasant happens, dog lunges at squirrel, dog hits the end of his training collar, etc.)

above is not a primer, just a quick idea, many websites cover this (along with lots of animal rights politics-fun).

Management (using physical but (supposedly) non-aversive barriers to avoid unwanted behaviour (crates, gates, leashes, long lines, etc)

Extinction (dog stops doing something because he gets nothing out of the behaviour. Dog jumps up on human, human ignores dog)

You'er doing the clicker training wrong (judging by the results-confused dog). Your dog will be equally confused by an e-collar, and less happy. Often a 'stubborn' dog is actually a confused dog (not always, sometimes it's just a dog that likes squirrels better) and then you need to figure out how to be less confusing.

Get a better ecollar, I have the Einstein mini-educator. Has a very good range of LOW LEVEL stim; this is important. It cost what for me is a small fortune, but seeing him run and jump joyfully off-lead in the woods, worth it.

I only use the e-collar for off-lead in the woods. Others train everything with e-collars. Then there is everything in between. It's important to know all of those things before you decide what to do with your dog. Even if you hire a professional trainer, it's important to know as much as possible. Not all trainers are created equal. You might not share their ethics, etc...

I highly recommend Lou Castle's site to get you up to speed on how these things work.
Dobbs training, I think, also has some outlines.

I clicker train my dog to 'do' things, lots of treats, toys if he's into that, I give him choices when it's safe to do so.
I use negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement to train safety behaviours when management would be worse for the dog (ie, offleash is important, so he wears an ecollar for that). Those are my ethics. It's your dog and your choice but if you don't know how things work, and how dogs learn, you can't actually choose.

I hope that helps. Be happy to answer questions to how I train, but it's a very personal choice.

...but I am a just dog nerd, train my own dogs, read up on everything, try things, dabble in dog sports--it's good to know where folks are coming from when you're reading their advice (that's why I'm saying that) .
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by randyhernz View Post
boy oh boy... i think you need to do WAY more research before you even open the box. Like Thecowboysgirl stated, return that collar. You get what you pay for. I would recommend a collar from ecollar technologies (the mini educator works for most dogs, Remote Dog Training Collars by E-Collar Technologies | Dog and Hunting Dog Electronic Training Collars) or a dogtra model. I personally use and recommend ecollar technologies.

I'm sure there are many different methods to ecollar training. Please realize that the ecollar is not going to train the dog. Please dont put the collar on the dog and start pushing buttons and saying commands. The dog must be SOLID on its obedience commands and it understands 100% what you are asking of it before putting the ecollar on. You then layer the stim of the collar pairing in with your verbal commands, essentially teaching the dog how to turn the pressure on. Like I said, there is many different ways to train with the ecollar. Research and find out what method you feel comfortable with. There are also many different stages to ecollar training. If you are unsure what to do, either do plenty of research on your own or hire a professional trainer.
You beat me to it in a lot less words.
Yep, agree.
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All of my other dogs were GSD's, sadly missed, moving forward

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