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E-Collar for the out?

4093 Views 18 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Dohhhhh
I have always had great success with teaching the out when starting with a young dog. I am currently working a 2 year old GSD male that has a very high drive and when he is tugging on the tug, retrieving the ball, aggression work on the sleeve he takes his time to out, usually after 7 or so commands. Another local handler advised that his Mal. was the same way, and he corrected it within a week with an e-collar...Whats the good and bad of doing it with the E.? My dog is a harder dog that doesnt cower or get scared of anything. He has tremendous drive with aggression and play, but need to certify in a few weeks, and want a long term fix.
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An e-collar can work, but to be fair to the dog he will need to go through an introduction that can take a couple of weeks. I like how Lou Castle introduces the collar.

Just remember that if done wrong the e-collar may fix the problem short term, but it could also make a huge mess and make the problem worse. You might also email Lou and see if he can give you some help. He does or use to work PSD.

I would also work on teaching the dog that outing brings good things by waiting him out and then rewarding him for outing with a quick rebite or game.
An e-collar is certainly a useful tool. Particularly in a high drive dog during such a self reinforcing behavior such as bite work. I second the suggestion of visiting Lou Castle's website. He, in my opinion, has a unique way of using the e-collar that can be very beneficial. More importantly, having been a trainer of police dogs, for a large police department, Mr. Castle understands the high level of drive a dog such as you describe, can attain.

I am very new to the whole dog training thing but just wanted to throw this out there. I spend time with our Police K9 unit and the trainer was having the same problem with his dog. He was very hard to out on the sleeve. His dog was trained using the Kong so he would take two Kongs, give one to the dog. He would give the out command and throw second Kong to the ground. The dog would out his Kong and retrieve the second one. He would retrieve the first and repeat the excercise several times. I believe it is along the same lines as Lisa mentioned. That the dog learns when he outs, he still gets a reward. He would play this game a few times a day for a few minutes. He did say that he was starting to notice a difference, however, shortly after the dog died suddenly so I can't tell you how it turned out in the long run.
He has started training a new dog and used this from the beginning. He has had no problems whatsoever with the new dog.
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There certainly are different philosophies in dog training. Mine however is; when the I tell the dog to out, he outs. I'm not going to trade him. I wouldn't use a ball or a tug toy as a reinforcement for a patrol "bite" dog. I'm not going to throw a ball for him in actual situations and I don't want the possibility of someone else throwning a ball and the dog releasing.

i understand what you are saying. It is not used during bitework.

Like I said I am new to this. He explained the game to me but I certainly cannot fully explain his training methods. I am in no position to make arguments for or against any training methods. Just a suggestion.
I think what novarobin is referring to is outing the dog when playing two-ball or two-tug at home. Not throwing a ball to try to get the dog off the man.

We use tugs and balls for obedience training and do use the out/reward method there. Lock up the toy, out the dog, dog lets go, toy comes alive again. The dog quickly learns that letting go is the way to restart the fun and this helps get the dog into the habit of happily outing on command.

While this habit forming can help in bitework it certainly doesn't transfer directly. The drives and levels of drive a dog is in during bitework are on a whole different level than when playing ball. A strong dog who is working in fight/aggression when on the man isn't going to let go for a ball, and just because he'll out his ball when in prey drive playing doesn't mean he's going to out right away when fighting a person. It's just apples and oranges. And likely a degree of compulsion is going to be needed when it comes to the out in the bitework.
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I understand what you are saying. When we train single purpose drug or explosives detectors or for that matter, dual trained, patrol/detector, the principle is still the same. Out means out. While using a second ball can work, it really hasn't taught the dog to out.

If your dog is outing, but just doing it slow...I'd go with the advice of giving a re-bite as soon as the dog outs....then doing a series of outs/re-bites, without much time lapse between. I've seen it work well with both schutzhund and police dogs. They learn that they get a reward if they out the toy/ they don't associate the out with always losing the toy. It has worked well for my dog. Of course, I have to balance it with corrections on a pinch collar also....because he has to know that even if he doesn't believe he will get another bite he still has to out. After my dog was outing consistently on the first command, then I made it more variable.....sometimes he would get a bite right away...sometimes not.
When I am working on out, I will give a random re-bite.(when I am holding the sleeve). When she holds a "suspect" in a bite suit, she gets her kong when she "outs" and returns to the heel position. She occassionally will not release on the first command, maybe she is just too wound up maybe she is ignoring me. The e collar is a fairly good way to grab her attention. My department has a mali that will not recall at least half the time durring training. After the first failed recall, his handler will put on the e collar and the dog is a totally different animal. With consistent training, the dog should "out" on the first command....SHOULD being the key word. The K-9 unit supervisor litterally has to pull his shepherd off of the sleeve/suit/suspect. He says that it leaves the dog wanting more. Personally, I will take a good "out" or recall any day of the week.
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In the early stages of training, I may use the rebite. I don't use a ball as reward for patrol dogs. I also don't like the idea of using multiple rebites with a dog working the street, as a training technique. When you practice rebites, I'll bet you have your decoy remaining motionless, working on the out. In the field on a real bite, you won't have that cooperation. To me, out means out. I don't care if the decoy is fighting or not. The dog releases and returns on command.

I guess that's kind of how I meant it....primarily as an early training tool. I was thinking the out for this dog was still early since it was taking up to 7 commands to get it (I'd correct my dog if he failed the first command). I still use re-bites throughout training, but I should have been more specific....I use them variably and for trial training only. I guess it depends also on what this specific training is for and what kind of out is used on the street. I physically out my dog from a suspect on the street or from a bite suit. So the out with re-bite for me applies only to trial work. And I don't have any problem with an e-collar depending on the dog and the circumstance...but it sounded like this handler needed results faster than it would take for adjustment to an e-collar.
First off thanks to lhczth for the recommendation and to David Frost for the kind words. Second, I know this thread is a couple of months old but I just found this board. I'm wondering if the OP found a solution to his problem?

My specialty these days is problem solving and the most common one facing police dog handlers is getting a clean-verbal out. This is essential not only for the safety of the public but other police officers and the suspects that we bite as well. The law as well as common decency requires that while making an apprehension, we use the minimum for necessary to effect the arrest.

Leaving out the philosophy for the moment. The longest it's ever taken me to get a verbal out is about 45 minutes. That was with a dog that was fighting through an immensely high level of pain that had been applied to him in efforts to get him to out. They hadn't worked and might have even made the problem worse. Usually the solution is achieved in less than 20 minutes and this is done without affecting the rest of the dog's work. In fact, if people can buy into the theory and philosophy, overall, the dog's work improves greatly! Of course this does not fix the problem for the rest of the dog's life, but once the out has been obtained, it's easy to maintain.
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I just wanted to say I feel honored of having you in our forums. I've read almost all your articles and I love your philosophy.
Wow, now I'm blushing. Thanks for the warm welcome.
How much do I LOVE that Lou Castle is posting here!!!!! HEY, you need to hang here more to give a balanced opinion and help!
Welcome Lou, I see that your actually joined on 9/25/06 glad you found us again.

I hope that your time permits you to pop in, read and post a little more often.

Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLeeHow much do I LOVE that Lou Castle is posting here!!!!! HEY, you need to hang here more to give a balanced opinion and help!
All right. You guys need to knock this off now. LOL.

Originally Posted By: Wisc.TigerWelcome Lou, I see that your actually joined on 9/25/06 glad you found us again.
Yes, Val. I joined and then promptly lost the link. Fortunately someone pointed me back here.
Hi Lou,

Another fan here

I am a remote collar trainer in NJ. I worked with a retired K9 officer for 18 months. He had a seminar for NJSP last year. A couple of officers had dogs that would not release without choking them off. They attended the seminar and it was amazing how quickly these dogs learned to release on command with use of the e-collar.

"Usually the solution is achieved in less than 20 minutes and this is done without affecting the rest of the dog's work. In fact, if people can buy into the theory and philosophy, overall, the dog's work improves greatly!"

Could not agree more and have seen it!!!!!!
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