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Hello guys,

We did the first session today. It went well but I have a few questions:

I have this E Collar https://www.educatorcollars.com/educator-et-300-plus.html with the double boxes and a bungee.

I am using the longer probes that came with it. Fitted high on the neck and the boxes right under the chin.

I tried it on the palm of my hand and I felt it at 15. Using Lou's recall protocol.

We went out with the long leash. Wandered around. Started the process of finding the working level. Till 15 nothing. I am 100% that the contact was good, because at 15, the muscle was moving behind his shoulder from the back. But zero reaction, zero. Until 21 when he turned his head but I am talking about a very slight turn with zero nervousness. No startling, no ear twitch, looking down.

I kept at that level and walked around. When he moved away and I was stationary, I pressed continuous stim, he turned his head to my direction (not right away, after stimming for 1-2 seconds), I pulled on the leash slightly and as he started walking the first steps towards me, I released the button. Did that maybe 10 times. The last couple of times I added "come". When he got to me I gave him a treat.

It was remarkably smooth, he had zero nervousness. Just was being himself. We went to play a bit after and done.

I was surprised that he did not react till 21 while I slightly felt it at 15....Does anyone use this model with the small two boxes?

Any feedback on above much appreciated.

Thank you
 

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There can be a great amount of variation between dogs as to what their working level is and it doesn't necessarily have to do with a dog's nerves or toughness. Some dogs reactive at the slightest stim and some have to have a significantly higher working level. I can't tell you why.
 

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E collars can work but you really have to know what you are doing. Understanding how to use it, well I guess you should start there. Why do you feel the need for an E collar. How old is your dog and what are the issues you are trying to correct.
 

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I think the thickness of the fur has a lot to do with the level of stim needed to make contact with the e-collar. Even with longer contacts for one of my pups, he usually needs a higher level of stim than the other. This really keeps me on my toes with making sure of the settings before sending the stim. Also the level of distraction can make a huge difference in the level needed for the dog to make notice. It sounds like you are doing things right by using a long leash and teaching the dog how to turn off the stim in a controlled situation. Move slowly so that the dog understands and don't forget to reward the dog for getting it right in addition to stopping the stim. Used correctly, the e-collar is a valuable tool. It has allowed me to give my pups the freedom to run and play in the woods.

BTW, I use a Dogtra and which has a stim range of 0-100. I can only feel it at about 20-21 on my own hand.
 

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You don't want to use the first time you put it on so the dog doesn't become 'collar-smart'. Have him wear it for two weeks first.
 

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Hello guys,

We did the first session today. It went well but I have a few questions:

I have this E Collar https://www.educatorcollars.com/educator-et-300-plus.html with the double boxes and a bungee.

I am using the longer probes that came with it. Fitted high on the neck and the boxes right under the chin.

I tried it on the palm of my hand and I felt it at 15. Using Lou's recall protocol.

We went out with the long leash. Wandered around. Started the process of finding the working level. Till 15 nothing. I am 100% that the contact was good, because at 15, the muscle was moving behind his shoulder from the back. But zero reaction, zero. Until 21 when he turned his head but I am talking about a very slight turn with zero nervousness. No startling, no ear twitch, looking down.

I kept at that level and walked around. When he moved away and I was stationary, I pressed continuous stim, he turned his head to my direction (not right away, after stimming for 1-2 seconds), I pulled on the leash slightly and as he started walking the first steps towards me, I released the button. Did that maybe 10 times. The last couple of times I added "come". When he got to me I gave him a treat.

It was remarkably smooth, he had zero nervousness. Just was being himself. We went to play a bit after and done.

I was surprised that he did not react till 21 while I slightly felt it at 15....Does anyone use this model with the small two boxes?

Any feedback on above much appreciated.

Thank you
All dogs are different with the stimulations levels . Sounds like a successful session overall. Good work ! As you add more distractions its likely you will need to dial up further .
 

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E collars can work but you really have to know what you are doing. Understanding how to use it, well I guess you should start there. Why do you feel the need for an E collar. How old is your dog and what are the issues you are trying to correct.
I don't think its being used to "correct" any issues but simply to train . Low level stimulations are not corrections. Sounds like they have a good start and LouCastles methods are very effective .
 

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BTW, I use a Dogtra and which has a stim range of 0-100. I can only feel it at about 20-21 on my own hand.
I do as well. It's been great.

Like others have said, all dogs are different. Mei's working level is 18-22. I've caught myself using the buzz feature more lately and it's been effective.
 

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I don't think its being used to "correct" any issues but simply to train . Low level stimulations are not corrections. Sounds like they have a good start and LouCastles methods are very effective .
Hi Rocky, I am sourcing Lou's material from here eCollar | SIRIUS DOG and from his posts from the site as his site is down. Do you happen to know of nay other repository where his methods are all laid out?

Many thanks
 

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You don't want to use the first time you put it on so the dog doesn't become 'collar-smart'. Have him wear it for two weeks first.
I have had it on him for about a week plus Off , on , random etc....now we are going out and will be putting it but not using it etc etc.
 

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Hi Rocky, I am sourcing Lou's material from here eCollar | SIRIUS DOG and from his posts from the site as his site is down. Do you happen to know of nay other repository where his methods are all laid out?

Many thanks
I went to that site and read the "article" on "teaching a dog to sit." It is a ridiculously poor method to teach a dog to sit. That is probably one of the worst methods I have read in over 25 years. The method is antiquated and will become barbaric to the dog. Teaching a dog to sit is the easiest thing to teach a dog. You do not need a leash, e collar, a 20' lead or any other tools. Give me a treat and/or a toy and I will teach any dog to sit very easily in a matter of minutes. Sorry, using an E collar to teach a recall is poor training as well. Funny, how Lou talks about the "velcro dog" syndrome he creates. As if a dog that is afraid to leave your side is a good thing or something that is needed to train your family pet and companion. Lou is careful to advise that you need to "look for signs of stress" and then end the session. Why would any normal dog be stressed from an obedience session? Because the handler is using too much compulsion? Could that be the reason? Lou simply doesn't know the importance of praise and reward and reinforcing the desired behaviors. That is the secret to dog training, which you will not learn as a novice reading Lou's stuff. It's really not a big secret or any mystery. Any decent dog handler learns this very quickly. Dogs learn by repetition and correct training. Force + stim and jerking on a leash creates an unpleasant learning environment causing the dog to shut down and the learning process ends. Hence the need to watch for "signs of stress."

These techniques have a very small place in dog training, none in my dog training. Teaching a dog to sit by using an E collar, pulling up on the leash and pushing down on the hips is the worst technique out there. It is so completely outdated, obsolete, weakens your bond with your dog and takes longer for the dog to learn.

I would strongly recommend this book: "Purely Positive training" by Sheila Booth.

Read the book, understand what it takes for a dog to learn, how to teach behaviors motivationally and put the E collar away until your dog has been taught and trained. Learn how to get your dog to want to work, not just avoid pain and punishment, which is what Lou does. Get a deeper understanding of how dogs learn and how to motivate a dog to want to be obedient. Build a bond so deep and strong that your dog doesn't leave your side because you are the center of his universe, not because he is afraid to wander off. I am to a purely positive trainer, I understand the need for correcting disobedience but I also understand how to properly reward correct behavior. I'm not soft, but I rarely ned to correct my dogs for disobedience and I do not train behaviors with an E collar or jerks on a leash. I use a prong collar every day and I do use an E collar, just not to teach behaviors.
 

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I do not know where you can find all his methods laid out . He used to have a website and I have spoken to Lou a few times in the past. Keep in mind , if you have not seen already , you will get many different opinions on E collar training methods. You will need to use your own discernment and decide for yourself. For me , I have used Lou's methods of low level stim and they are far from barbaric . My dogs love to work , are enthusiastic and we have fun and a strong bond. You will hear otherwise . Like many things opinions are abound. Use your own judgement . For every person that says its a poor way to train you can find just as many that have used these methods with great success. It sounds like you are finding your way . Good for you . Keep us updated .
 

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@RockyK9, I offered my opinion based on many years of training dogs for both competition and real world working dogs. Dogs that have to perform at a high level every day. I have worked with a lot of dogs over the years, actually every day. I have K-9 Handlers from other agencies coming to me to fix problems with their dogs that were caused by training methods similar to what Lou uses. Trained in the yank and crank, Koehler methods or the now seemingly popular "low level stim" methods. Which is actually nothing new or novel. These techniques have been around for years, Lou didn't invent or create them he copied them. I can tell you from first hand experience that they are unnecessary. There are far better ways to train a dog especially for novices. I have no issues with using an E collar, I use one on my dog. I have an issue with the way the E collar is employed. If you think these methods are good and bring out the best results in a dog, then you need to do more training with more experienced people. My goal at work everyday is to produce and maintain the best working K-9's that a handler can have on the street. Dogs that perform consistently at a high level under very stressful conditions. The methods described will never achieve that level of performance, continued compulsion creates avoidance. It's a fact, plain and simple, it is a fact. 10 years ago I went to seminars by individuals way more highly skilled and advanced dog trainers than Lou that have advocated the "low stim method" and I understand the principles. But, after seeing it first hand and the dogs it was used on I would never use it. These pros train bird dogs and compete for large cash prizes, $50,000 for a one day first prize. If the dog can not handle the "low stim" they get another dog, these dogs are also harder than most of the dogs the people on this forum own.

I have neither the desire or luxury to replace dogs after the training screws them up. Trust me, if I thought this method was any good I would use it myself. If you think it is fair, humane or a good way to train a dog to sit by stimming, yanking up on it's leash and pushing down on it's hips, all at the same time ..... Well, you can train your dog anyway you like. We are going to disagree on training methods. I can teach it faster, easier and make it last with 1/3 the effort and my dog will love the training.

I do agree that we all need to use our own discernment and decide for ourselves. For those that like this method of training, post a few videos of your high drive, happy, precise working dog doing a nice obedience routine. I'd love to see some really well trained dogs doing a happy, upbeat, motivated, off lead obedience routine. I'd like to see some super fast recalls, straight fronts and quick to the heel position. Then I may change my mind. The majority of the folks that try this system are hoping to correct poor behaviors they already created or lack the experience to know how to start training a dog. This method looks easy and laid out systematically and on the surface looks good. Those of us with experience know the potential pitfalls and have already avoided creating the behavioral problems the novices are so desperate to fix. It is promoted as being "positive" training but it actually is not. My biggest issue with this method besides being antiquated, is that with out someone watching who has experience, the novice dog owner will not see the signs of stress that occur. To be very clear, Lou's methods of training are not pleasant for a dog. That is the bottom line.

Teaching should be pleasant, corrections for disobedience are not. It is unfair to correct a dog for disobeying before you even train it, IMHO.
 

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@RockyK9, I offered my opinion based on many years of training dogs for both competition and real world working dogs. Dogs that have to perform at a high level every day. I have worked with a lot of dogs over the years, actually every day. I have K-9 Handlers from other agencies coming to me to fix problems with their dogs that were caused by training methods similar to what Lou uses. Trained in the yank and crank, Koehler methods or the now seemingly popular "low level stim" methods. Which is actually nothing new or novel. These techniques have been around for years, Lou didn't invent or create them he copied them. I can tell you from first hand experience that they are unnecessary. There are far better ways to train a dog especially for novices. I have no issues with using an E collar, I use one on my dog. I have an issue with the way the E collar is employed. If you think these methods are good and bring out the best results in a dog, then you need to do more training with more experienced people. My goal at work everyday is to produce and maintain the best working K-9's that a handler can have on the street. Dogs that perform consistently at a high level under very stressful conditions. The methods described will never achieve that level of performance, continued compulsion creates avoidance. It's a fact, plain and simple, it is a fact. 10 years ago I went to seminars by individuals way more highly skilled and advanced dog trainers than Lou that have advocated the "low stim method" and I understand the principles. But, after seeing it first hand and the dogs it was used on I would never use it. These pros train bird dogs and compete for large cash prizes, $50,000 for a one day first prize. If the dog can not handle the "low stim" they get another dog, these dogs are also harder than most of the dogs the people on this forum own.

I have neither the desire or luxury to replace dogs after the training screws them up. Trust me, if I thought this method was any good I would use it myself. If you think it is fair, humane or a good way to train a dog to sit by stimming, yanking up on it's leash and pushing down on it's hips, all at the same time ..... Well, you can train your dog anyway you like. We are going to disagree on training methods. I can teach it faster, easier and make it last with 1/3 the effort and my dog will love the training.

I do agree that we all need to use our own discernment and decide for ourselves. For those that like this method of training, post a few videos of your high drive, happy, precise working dog doing a nice obedience routine. I'd love to see some really well trained dogs doing a happy, upbeat, motivated, off lead obedience routine. I'd like to see some super fast recalls, straight fronts and quick to the heel position. Then I may change my mind. The majority of the folks that try this system are hoping to correct poor behaviors they already created or lack the experience to know how to start training a dog. This method looks easy and laid out systematically and on the surface looks good. Those of us with experience know the potential pitfalls and have already avoided creating the behavioral problems the novices are so desperate to fix. It is promoted as being "positive" training but it actually is not. My biggest issue with this method besides being antiquated, is that with out someone watching who has experience, the novice dog owner will not see the signs of stress that occur. To be very clear, Lou's methods of training are not pleasant for a dog. That is the bottom line.

Teaching should be pleasant, corrections for disobedience are not. It is unfair to correct a dog for disobeying before you even train it, IMHO.
Slamdunc,

I do respect both your opinion and experience. I have no doubt you are very successful in the methods you use . Nobody is trying to change your mind so sending you videos of dogs that have been trained another way is pointless really. Train your dogs the way YOU like.Let others do the same. You can search up many videos I'm sure of happy working dogs that have been trained in other ways other than your own. I think learning can be about trying and failing and thats okay. Old time methods , yank and crank once upon a time we believed to be correct . Over time people learned that there are different ways that can be effective and shifted maybe even you included I don't know. All part of discovery and learning and thats okay too. Purely positive think their way is best , anti e collar crowd . Balanced trainers think their way is best etc etc ....Its like arguing about religion and politics . Using discernment and not being afraid to make mistakes will serve most very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I went to that site and read the "article" on "teaching a dog to sit." It is a ridiculously poor method to teach a dog to sit. That is probably one of the worst methods I have read in over 25 years. The method is antiquated and will become barbaric to the dog. Teaching a dog to sit is the easiest thing to teach a dog. You do not need a leash, e collar, a 20' lead or any other tools. Give me a treat and/or a toy and I will teach any dog to sit very easily in a matter of minutes. Sorry, using an E collar to teach a recall is poor training as well. Funny, how Lou talks about the "velcro dog" syndrome he creates. As if a dog that is afraid to leave your side is a good thing or something that is needed to train your family pet and companion. Lou is careful to advise that you need to "look for signs of stress" and then end the session. Why would any normal dog be stressed from an obedience session? Because the handler is using too much compulsion? Could that be the reason? Lou simply doesn't know the importance of praise and reward and reinforcing the desired behaviors. That is the secret to dog training, which you will not learn as a novice reading Lou's stuff. It's really not a big secret or any mystery. Any decent dog handler learns this very quickly. Dogs learn by repetition and correct training. Force + stim and jerking on a leash creates an unpleasant learning environment causing the dog to shut down and the learning process ends. Hence the need to watch for "signs of stress."

These techniques have a very small place in dog training, none in my dog training. Teaching a dog to sit by using an E collar, pulling up on the leash and pushing down on the hips is the worst technique out there. It is so completely outdated, obsolete, weakens your bond with your dog and takes longer for the dog to learn.

I would strongly recommend this book: "Purely Positive training" by Sheila Booth.

Read the book, understand what it takes for a dog to learn, how to teach behaviors motivationally and put the E collar away until your dog has been taught and trained. Learn how to get your dog to want to work, not just avoid pain and punishment, which is what Lou does. Get a deeper understanding of how dogs learn and how to motivate a dog to want to be obedient. Build a bond so deep and strong that your dog doesn't leave your side because you are the center of his universe, not because he is afraid to wander off. I am to a purely positive trainer, I understand the need for correcting disobedience but I also understand how to properly reward correct behavior. I'm not soft, but I rarely ned to correct my dogs for disobedience and I do not train behaviors with an E collar or jerks on a leash. I use a prong collar every day and I do use an E collar, just not to teach behaviors.
Hello Slamdunc,

Just to be clear.

I am not intending on using Lou's methods or the ones in the link to train behaviours.

I want to use the E Collar to strengthen recall and proof it. I also want to have it on when on hikes and in places where I might need it for an emergency in case he blows the recall. I am researching Lou's and the links for those specifics things only.

Leash pressure and leash pops are used by reward based trainers like Ellis etc...to refine and correct etc. I used the E on myself on low stim. And if I feel comfortable doing a light leash pop, then a low stim tap does not seem "worse" as long as the dog understands it.

There are many highly regarded members here and trainers who do use the E Collar. So it seems like those use the E despite also training for rewards. So it is another tool in the training program. I am being extremely careful in my approach and hence sharing on the site and listening.

By the way I have and read Sheila Booth on Schutzhund Obedience: Training with Drive. Very nice book and I use it a lot. I will also buy the other you recommend.

From your side, what do you use the E Collar for? I would also very much appreciate your perspective on when you correct and how you correct.

Thanks
 

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Mozi- just some quick thoughts since I was once where you are. I started long ago with Lou's methods, I suppose because they are quick to show up in an internet search? I tried them, honestly to the letter, and found them to be not in line with my relationship with my dogs. Also not suitable for the temperament and "hardness" of my particular dogs.

Where I landed on now is teaching the dog the meaning of yes (agree) and no (disagree) markers right from the start. Give them meaning and importance. Then it is really quite simple to layer in e-collar corrections once the dog knows what you want. I don't generally actually use low-stim, I use the collar as a correction, so it's above the "just discern" level, and more at the "don't want that again" level. I have tested all levels on myself.

The only time I use an e-collar to train something a dog doesn't necessarily know is for porcupines and chasing game. And even there I do my best to pair it with at least a no marker.

So, in short, I teach the dog commands without e-collar, sometimes using rewards, sometimes not it depends on what I'm doing. Then I layer in the e-collar through the proofing process. I personally want the dog to know the correction is coming from me, and that I don't necessarily have to be looking at or even in view to issue said correction. I don't need the dog to think it is "environmental" because that is confusing- was it the wierd bush that corrected me, or that paper blowing in the wind?

If the dog knows it is her handler doing the correcting, it is so much clearer to her, and as long as it is fair and consistent, you won't suffer the environmnetal issues that can haunt e-collar trainers.

I RARELY actually correct my dogs. I train my young dogs to understand the language of yes/no and the e-collar I add in later (if needed- not all dogs need it). I keep e-collars on my dogs all the time we are off leash in the woods because deer/moose/stuff happens, but I depend on my voice the most because it is far easier to shout "hey, here!" than to fumble with the e and correct the dog.

I also really like using the tone on my collar for recall so I don't have to shout. Also, it means the dog can hear me on windy days or if we are near a rushing creek.

So what I do is basic marker training, with the no marker reinforced with e-collar as needed. I train high-level e avoidance for super dangerous situations too. Rarely need many repeats there.

For example, I'm sure camels pack a nasty punch in a kick, and you could train pure avoidance so your dog doesn't end up with a bashed in skull- far better a controlled correction than a dead dog.
 

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Mozi- just some quick thoughts since I was once where you are. I started long ago with Lou's methods, I suppose because they are quick to show up in an internet search? I tried them, honestly to the letter, and found them to be not in line with my relationship with my dogs. Also not suitable for the temperament and "hardness" of my particular dogs.

Where I landed on now is teaching the dog the meaning of yes (agree) and no (disagree) markers right from the start. Give them meaning and importance. Then it is really quite simple to layer in e-collar corrections once the dog knows what you want. I don't generally actually use low-stim, I use the collar as a correction, so it's above the "just discern" level, and more at the "don't want that again" level. I have tested all levels on myself.

The only time I use an e-collar to train something a dog doesn't necessarily know is for porcupines and chasing game. And even there I do my best to pair it with at least a no marker.

So, in short, I teach the dog commands without e-collar, sometimes using rewards, sometimes not it depends on what I'm doing. Then I layer in the e-collar through the proofing process. I personally want the dog to know the correction is coming from me, and that I don't necessarily have to be looking at or even in view to issue said correction. I don't need the dog to think it is "environmental" because that is confusing- was it the wierd bush that corrected me, or that paper blowing in the wind?

If the dog knows it is her handler doing the correcting, it is so much clearer to her, and as long as it is fair and consistent, you won't suffer the environmnetal issues that can haunt e-collar trainers.

I RARELY actually correct my dogs. I train my young dogs to understand the language of yes/no and the e-collar I add in later (if needed- not all dogs need it). I keep e-collars on my dogs all the time we are off leash in the woods because deer/moose/stuff happens, but I depend on my voice the most because it is far easier to shout "hey, here!" than to fumble with the e and correct the dog.

I also really like using the tone on my collar for recall so I don't have to shout. Also, it means the dog can hear me on windy days or if we are near a rushing creek.

So what I do is basic marker training, with the no marker reinforced with e-collar as needed. I train high-level e avoidance for super dangerous situations too. Rarely need many repeats there.

For example, I'm sure camels pack a nasty punch in a kick, and you could train pure avoidance so your dog doesn't end up with a bashed in skull- far better a controlled correction than a dead dog.
Your method is very similar to M. Ellis. I have all his videos. He conditions the dog using the E for recall. Then layers it on top for corrections with a "no" marker. I also have the yes and no markers work well and Rex understands the "no" marker vey well.

Many thanks for your input. It will definitely help in my journey to hear experiences of others. I am being extra careful on monitoring stress levels in the training.
 

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So, in short, I teach the dog commands without e-collar, sometimes using rewards, sometimes not it depends on what I'm doing. Then I layer in the e-collar through the proofing process.

I RARELY actually correct my dogs. I train my young dogs to understand the language of yes/no and the e-collar I add in later (if needed- not all dogs need it). I keep e-collars on my dogs all the time we are off leash in the woods because deer/moose/stuff happens, but I depend on my voice the most because it is far easier to shout "hey, here!" than to fumble with the e and correct the dog.
This is pretty much what I do as well though I always teach with rewards first (sometimes food and sometimes toys or play). I teach the skills first using positive reinforcements and then later use the e-Collar to reinforce when the dog doesn't do what he knows he is supposed to do usually because of distractions. I also give treats for compliance after a stim. In addition to ensuring recalls, the e-collar is helpful with dogs that can be toy possessive and don't want to "drop" or "out." It is also helpful for reinforcing "Leave it" when they find those juicy little tidbits on our walks in the woods. I use low level stims and often just use vibrate to remind them of what they need to do.

It has been a wonderful tool for me. I love positive training, but I don't think I'm good enough or consistent enough at it to get the 100% results I need. I’ve watched enough of Susan Garrett’s training methods to know it’s possible, but I’m not skilled enough yet to achieve her level of results. Maybe one day I won’t need to use an eCollar, but for now it has given me a lot of security and which has allowed me to give my pups a lot of freedom to run and play. I think it is worth it.
 

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There are many roads to Rome, depending on the skill, knowledge, and patience of the handler/owner/trainer. I have seen many people who cannot get the timing and delivery for basic treat/food based obedience, or marker, or toys, or electric, etc. Good luck in your journey, it sounds like you will get to the level that is needed for you and your dog!
 
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