Originally Posted by GandalfTheShepherd
I just recently picked up a dogtra e collar for our dog, he's over a year old now and we've been training with a long biothane line hiking for a while now. He has been perfect for a few months now with recalls under serious distractions like other dogs, people, deer, rabbits, etc. I feel he is ready to be off leash and reliable and I want to give him more freedom, the long line tangles and trips me up a lot and we often travel to places with rocky terrain where I need my hands to climb; which is why I bought the e collar. However, I didn't feel comfortable reading the lou castle pamphlet and training by myself so i'm working with an experienced GSD trainer with the e collar for the first time this week (the trainer will be teaching me how to properly use the e collar) so I do it right. I have never used an e collar before and I want to know what to expect with this first training "lesson". What do they typically do to "train" the dog with the e collar for off leash work? Here is my concern... my husband and I tried the dogtra e collar on ourselves and beyond #39 we thought it was seriously painful... we couldn't tolerate it beyond that point let alone fathom cranking it all the way up to #127! When they are first training the dog with an e collar do they ever crank it up that high?... I don't feel right putting my dog through pain that my husband and I can not even tolerate.... the buzz feature and low intensity stimuli I am all for. My goal is for this collar to effectively act like an invisible leash so he can be safe on our hikes without the hassle of dealing with a leash. I want it to act as an emergency back up system in case if his obedience fails which I feel would be extremely rare as it is with his current maturity level.
Thanks for the help
He is so cute. #1, ask your trainer what to expect, they should be able to explain to you what typically happens during the first few sessions and what their process is with the e collar. They all probably do it slightly differently depending on the application. I think it's probably important to ask your trainer how they use the e collar anyway because they don't all do it the same and you probably want to be sure like everything else, you are choosing a trainer who will use the e collar the way you want to use the e collar.
There is no reason to be doing anything on a 127 to your dog in the first few sessions, maybe ever. My boy's been on E Collar for over a year and I've never dreamed of cranking him to to the top. When I start a dog, and when I have seen other people start a dog, step 1 is to find the level they can feel as evidenced by an ear twitch or a look or scratch. Then get to work explaining what it means. There may be a small amount of stress but sometimes almost none, depending on the dog and the skill of person operating the collar. The trainer should be able to help the dog through any stress.
Be sure the trainer shows you how to put the collar on snug with good contact and scrub the contact points in. You might consider a bungee collar and longer contact points because of the hair. I think one of the biggest issues people have at first is inconsistent contact.
For reference, all dogs are different but my boy could perceive a 4 or 5 on a Dogtra 1900 although one he got over the novelty and when out into the world we did foundation work on a 15, which was not startling or upsetting to him.
My girl also could perceive a 4 and did her foundation work on an 8.
My boy's emergency break oh crap deer number is 35. (1900) My 3 shepherds have pretty much been in that range-- teens for lower intensity stuff and 30s for higher intensity stuff. My old male went higher sometimes when he wanted to kill something.
I know other dogs who have never gone over number 10 on a 280 which is a lower powered unit. It's whatever # the dog says is right reading how they respond
Ask your trainer, they might even have video of starting other dogs so you can see how they do it?