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Discussion Starter #1
I am starting a training program with Camo, my show boy. He is a bit on the spoiled side, but has manners in public. He has an issue with the ball, not knowing when to stop. I do realize, all of this is my fault and I am now trying to start him in Herding and want to gain more control and learn more about training.
The guy that I will be working with sometimes uses a tool called an E collar. I had never even seen one before going to his kennel. I tested it on my hand and it wasnt very harsh, but my question is, do alot of you use this tool when training?
My dogs ball is kind of like a babys pacifier. I use it to keep him under control. I understand that this is ass backwards. He is supposed to get the ball as a reward for being under control and that is why I am asking this guy for help.
The center and this trainer are highly reccomeneded and the Humane society for our county even uses them to help dogs they are trying to adopt out, with phobias and different behavior problems. I do trust these people, I just wanted to hear about others experiences.
 

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I don't have any inherent issues with an e-collar, but I don't see the point in using one straight off. Generally, I think they are used for very specific behaviors, when other methods have failed. What exactly are you trying to teach him and what methods have already been tried?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have trained him to sit, stay, down, walk on loose lead and stuff like that. The problem is, I have to have collateral, if you will, in order to get the response I want (in most cases). He is overly obsessed with the ball. He drops it at anyones feet and stands there until
A. they throw it
B. I chunck it in the trash
C. I put him up.
Its the first thing he does when anyone comes over. Its driving my husband nuts. (my dog is 3, this is not new)

So, I walk him on a fur saver and when he gets a little frisky, I crank it up so that he knows its there. Thats how we walk on a loose lead until he settles down after a few min.

I dont know that I have tried anything except praise and treats. He does not care. He wants the ball.

The traine said he my try the prong collar first because the dog *knows* the commands, he just dosnt *want* to do them.

You know the saying, in order to train the dog, you must first be smarter than the dog. Well thats about how I feel right now. I have never met a brick wall like the one I feel like is in front of me right now. Its justa lack of knowledge and experience.

Everyday I learn something new, and everyday before, I thought I knew it all.... ya know.
 

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An e-collar is just simply a tool that provides stimulation as a method of communicating to a dog just like a prong or certain types of harnesses do. The uses are virtually endless depending upon the type of issue or training that you're doing. I train with an e-collar with my male especially because he is a very hard dog, and it is virtually impossible for me to give him a well timed hard enough to be effective correction while healing in drive. I would have to wind up and I am by no means a petite flower. I use the e-collar in conjunction with a prong (which will not always need to be done) so that he knows without a doubt that the stimulation is coming from me. This is just one small example of a use.

When introduced and used properly an e-collar is an extremely effective method of communication to a dog, but the tool will not correct anything by itself, it is just part of a training program.
 

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I love my Dog Tra, but let me add I used marker/clicker training positive re enforcement only until Erika was six months old and did the same with Roxie(got her as an adult dog) until we got to know each other. IMHO you should have a basic understanding of training dogs before using an ecollar. It is a great tool for teaching recall.
 

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I would not use the ball. It sounds like he is too obsessed with that reward. There are certain treats I cannot use with my Coke, because he is so obsessed with getting that treat he never learns what we are actually training for. In my experience, the best rewards are JUST valuable enough. Also, you want a reward that can be given within a second of the behavior. Throwing a ball or letting him play with it takes too long and interrupts trying to train a string of behaviors or rewarding a behavior without it stopping (like heeling). It makes sense he brings the ball to everyone, b/c it sounds like up until this point, he has been rewarded with the ball, or enough people have picked it up and thrown it that it has been reinforced. I would use a different reward for training, and the reward the entire training session with a game of ball at the end. He ONLY gets that ball when the 5-10 minute session is complete.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally Posted By: MaxGunnar IMHO you should have a basic understanding of training dogs before using an ecollar.
I agree, my trainer is going to be using it.

Liesje, thanks for the tips, good info.

John, the last statement sounds like something my trainer would say.

Thank you all for the input!
 

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I trained all 5 of my dogs (4 German Shepherds and 1 Yorkie) with an e-collar. I find it to be a great tool. It is also one that can be easily abused. It is good that you would be learning how to use the e-collar under the watchful eye of a professional.

Do you mind my asking who the trainer is that you will be using?

Good Luck!
Tracie
 

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I've used an ecollar with one of my dogs, but only for recalls. Others who I train with have also used them for the same thing, as well as for obedience during protection work in Schutzhund. I haven't seen much of a need to use them for basic obedience, however.

I think the trainer has a good idea of trying out the prong/pinch collar first for that stuff. It sounds like the dog has just gotten his way too much in the past. Shouldn't be too tough of a fix for an experienced trainer.

I know people in police and schutzhund who would LOVE that kind of drive in a dog. Have you thought about agility or schutzhund....it sounds like it might be just the thing for him. And the training place you're going to could probably introduce you to some options if you're interested. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi MikaK9,

thanks for the post and encouragment. I have thought about Schutzhund, but I have never actually seen it. So I am going to spend some time at this facility learning and seeing all the different venues. I like watching agility, but dont really think I'd be interested in it. But who knows, this time last year, I had no idea that I would be getting ready to jump into herding....
Your right, I would think that his ball drive is a desirable trait for a working dog. His littermate sister is actually a cert. cadaver dog, so these guys should be able to do it all.
 

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Sounds like you two should have fun! And that doesn't surprise me about the littermate.....that kind of ball drive is ideal for a detector dog
 

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Hi Southernbelle,
After extensive research and pros and cons about the e-collar I finally made my mind up to get professional help with it and give it a try, since everything else I did didn't work.
I have just started the e-collar myslef and it has been 2 weeks with tremendous success! Romy has a tendency to lunge at cars and I tried everything to stop and correct it. Treats, prong, sit position...I mean everything. I have recently torn cartiladge in my shoulder in the gym and the pulling when he would lunge would aggravate my injury to the max. I was at my wits end....Sometimes he would mind and then sometimes out of nowhere he would pick a car (the bigger the better) and fiercely lunge at it. My concern was if he were to get loose he would defenitely get hit by a car for he shows no fear. So, with that said...I took him to a professional trainer who uses the e-collar as a training tool for a 2 week boot camp and boy did it help. As someone else posted, it does not cure the problem on the spot but with continuing practice and perseverence it will eventually stop.
He has been home now for the past 2 weeks and I put it on him everytime we go for walks. He sometimes has the urge but with the command "leave it" and the e-collar his urge goes away. Eventually they will learn to just leave it alone.
I forgot to charge the battery on it but I walked him anyways with just the prong and I was amazed at how much better he is doing all together. The extensive training with the e-collar and commands that go along with it were successful for me. No e-collar yesterday, and he was fine. Had some urges but firmly told him to leave it and he did.
With all this said, I turned to the e-collar only because the car lunging is a very frightening situation and that if it got out of hand it could cost my Romy's life. I will continue to use it until he has mastered not to lunge at cars anymore. Needless to say, I would not get an e-collar without a professional trainer showing me the correct way to use it.
I hope you find a way to get rid of his phobia. It's tough, Iv'e been there and am still there at times, but it can be done. Good luck, and just remember to never give up!
regards,
Debbie
 

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Has been great for Sofie for recall.
 

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I'm a bit surprised that a trainer would use a shock collar when working a dog in herding. I can see some huge problems arising, if that's what's going to be done. If you have a dog focused on sheep and you shock at the wrong focus time, you can absolutely ruin the dog for any herding from that point on.

I would highly recommend that you talk to other herding trainers before you make a step into using shock during herding training. The whole concept of herding is to rely on the dog's natural instincts and the concept of shock works against that.

As far as your trainer goes, in my opinion a good trainer starts with the least aversive method and goes from there. You've got a dog with a high level of ball drive - do you really want to destroy that by going directly to a shock collar?

And handing the control to a shock collar to someone else is another huge mistake, I think. Some really bad things have been done in the name of "training" and I've seen the results of that from time to time. I've seen dogs so traumatized that their personalities completely change. I've seen dogs afraid to go near an object because harsh methods were used at a time when they were focused on that object. I just have really strong doubts that using shock is the right option for you and your dog at this point, and highly recommend that you look into some other, more positive trainers before choosing one that so readily goes to an aversive method.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuestAs far as your trainer goes, in my opinion a good trainer starts with the least aversive method and goes from there. You've got a dog with a high level of ball drive - do you really want to destroy that by going directly to a shock collar?

And handing the control to a shock collar to someone else is another huge mistake, I think. Some really bad things have been done in the name of "training" and I've seen the results of that from time to time. I've seen dogs so traumatized that their personalities completely change. I've seen dogs afraid to go near an object because harsh methods were used at a time when they were focused on that object. I just have really strong doubts that using shock is the right option for you and your dog at this point, and highly recommend that you look into some other, more positive trainers before choosing one that so readily goes to an aversive method.
Wow. You must have seen some really abusive training. All I can say is that you can train with an e-collar and retain every bit of ball drive and enthusiasm with a dog. Also, the right trainer can give corrections that are perfectly timed and communicate very effectively with a dog. I'm glad I have never seen anything remotely like what you are describing. No fun for me, and no fun for the dog which is a big problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I completey understand your concern aswell. I have a wonderful mentor who told me long ago to make sure I knew and was comfortable with any trainer I wanted to use.

We are NOT using the e collar while ON the sheep. We are using it to correct behavior and get better ob results BEFORE we go to the sheep.

As a matter of fact, this paticular trainer is fixing* a Shep right now that some idiot screwed up while using an ecollar. He is very experienced or he would not be training MY dog.... and thats the gospel!
 
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