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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey,
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
 

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I use the Sportdog Field Trainer. Its a wonderful communication tool at 500 yards with it's buzzes and tones. I have heard that lots of those collars do not go up to as high as the settings say. Of course they are only used for corrections when the dog definitely KNOWS the command and is blowing you off. The strength of the stim needed to get their attention is based on how excited and in drive they are. You want them to veer off of crittering while they are just started, such as trotting or walking toward in a hyped up fashion, even better, when just looking, with a verbal NO. If they have started off running hard right toward the road then higher voltage is needed because they are mind blowing excited. Don't let them go there. Still, in my opinion since there are wild boars here, it better to have and not need than need and not have. Your trainer will teach you. Its all about timing. You'll get used to it. Your dog impresses me as a soft GSD, you won't need higher settings I bet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I use the Sportdog Field Trainer. Its a wonderful communication tool at 500 yards with it's buzzes and tones. I have heard that lots of those collars do not go up to as high as the settings say. Of course they are only used for corrections when the dog definitely KNOWS the command and is blowing you off. The strength of the stim needed to get their attention is based on how excited and in drive they are. You want them to veer off of crittering while they are just started, such as trotting or walking toward in a hyped up fashion, even better, when just looking, with a verbal NO. If they have started off running hard right toward the road then higher voltage is needed because they are mind blowing excited. Don't let them go there. Still, in my opinion since there are wild boars here, it better to have and not need than need and not have. Your trainer will teach you. Its all about timing. You'll get used to it. Your dog impresses me as a soft GSD, you won't need higher settings I bet.
Thank you Nurse, that makes a lot of sense very similar to how I train with the leash. Whenever I see the ears prick forward on the trail I watch carefully and react if need be. I'm just wondering if there's a standard practice trainers use when first introducing the e collar of cranking it up all the way to make an impression or something crazy like that... I wish the dogtra I got had tones, I was very disappointed to find out it didn't but my trainer must have felt it wasn't necessary. This is all so new to me. He really is a "soft" dog, the tone of my voice is usually enough of a correction for him an very rarely and actual leash correction.
 

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First of all, have him wear it for 2 weeks before you even use it. This way he may not associate the stim with the collar. Only have him wear it when you are out and about with him as continuous wear can cause sores from the pressure of the poles. Lou Castle has a good handout on how to use it. There is plenty of info here on this forum about it.
The only reason I use the Ecollar is to prevent her from chasing wild life.
 

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Hey,
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?
 

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" I'm just wondering if there's a standard practice trainers use when first introducing the e collar of cranking it up all the way to make an impression or something crazy like that... "

No. If your trainer thought this was a good idea I'd pack my dog up real quick and go find another trainer.

I do use the vibe on dogtra but I think it is pretty unpopular with most people.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
First of all, have him wear it for 2 weeks before you even use it. This way he may not associate the stim with the collar. Only have him wear it when you are out and about with him as continuous wear can cause sores from the pressure of the poles. Lou Castle has a good handout on how to use it. There is plenty of info here on this forum about it.
The only reason I use the Ecollar is to prevent her from chasing wild life.
Ah jeez that's such a good point I didn't even think about... same thing we did with the prong collar :headbang: Do you think 4 days wearing it without stimuli would be sufficient? Our appointment with the trainer is Wednesday and he's very busy it seems so I'm not keen on rescheduling. That's exactly my reason for using it too, I don't plan on using a e collar for any other reasons he has no bad habits.
 

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Thank you Nurse, that makes a lot of sense very similar to how I train with the leash. Whenever I see the ears prick forward on the trail I watch carefully and react if need be. I'm just wondering if there's a standard practice trainers use when first introducing the e collar of cranking it up all the way to make an impression or something crazy like that... I wish the dogtra I got had tones, I was very disappointed to find out it didn't but my trainer must have felt it wasn't necessary. This is all so new to me. He really is a "soft" dog, the tone of my voice is usually enough of a correction for him an very rarely and actual leash correction.
Oh no, no 'cranking it up' to start with. Could you send it back and get the one with tones? For your very soft dog probably the just vibration as a warning. If that doesn't work a size 1 correction. After that a vibration will feel like a size 1 correction. I think 4 days of wearing will be OK. But still, he has to wear it all day and you move the box on the collar around every 2 hours.
 

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At first you want to see what level stim your dog acknowledges that he felt it. They will usually show this by ducking their head a little and licking their lips. Or like Cowgirl said an ear twitch. You don't want to make them yelp. That is too high for the situation and not a good learning zone. Gosh he's a pretty dog :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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?
Thank you so much for that explanation cowboys, always appreciate your input! That's incredible your dogs felt a #4, my husband and I couldn't lol! We bought the Dogtra 1900 I believe too, can you buy the longer probes separately and install them on the standard collar or will we need to buy a different collar?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
" I'm just wondering if there's a standard practice trainers use when first introducing the e collar of cranking it up all the way to make an impression or something crazy like that... "

No. If your trainer thought this was a good idea I'd pack my dog up real quick and go find another trainer.

I do use the vibe on dogtra but I think it is pretty unpopular with most people.
My trainer has never mentioned doing anything like that and I do trust him, I was just worried and wondering what to expect. He's a very soft gentle dog, the last thing I want to do is hurt him. This is all new to me and I've only ever seen E collars used the wrong way :frown2: . How come you think the vibrate is so unpopular? It felt like a pretty good option to us.
 

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We changed to the long contact points and Inga is not a long coat. The points are 5/8th " I measured them. One thing, when you are going out into the fields or on the trails, tighten the collar so you know they have good contact. Loosen them when you come in. Didn't the longer points come with your collar?
 

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There's a way to introduce electric, because dogs don't understand what it is. A leash and collar always have a direct connection to you, so in general where you get into trouble with e is making incorrect associations in the dogs head, or in my opinion, nagging the snot out of them with the "low stim conversation" stuff. Here's some reading from the place they developed the newer models of TriTronics collars.

https://www.dobbsdogs.com/library/index.html

It was in Marysville, not Culver City.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
No we didn't get longer points with our collar oddly enough... thank you all for your input, I feel a lot better about this and now I know a bit of what to expect. Do you think I should bring with treats and his ball to the lesson?
 

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The dog has to be introduced to the collar so they first understand how to turn off the stim. How this is done depends on the methodology of the trainer. I tend to follow Lou's program for the most part. The level used depends on the dog and should be no more than what they feel as irritating in most situations with the option to increase the stim when the dog is in a higher level of drive (like when a rabbit pops out of the grass).

There is no need for the dog to wear the collar for several weeks before introducing it, but if you plan on needing it, the dog should wear it the entire time you are out and about. No grabbing it and putting it on because the dog has started to ignore you. That is how dogs become collar wise.
 

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Ah jeez that's such a good point I didn't even think about... same thing we did with the prong collar :headbang: Do you think 4 days wearing it without stimuli would be sufficient? Our appointment with the trainer is Wednesday and he's very busy it seems so I'm not keen on rescheduling. That's exactly my reason for using it too, I don't plan on using a e collar for any other reasons he has no bad habits.
Taking your time pays off. If you use it too soon the dog my get collar-smart. They are so clever. i suspect Deja to be collar smart unfortunately. Talk to your trainer and see if the advice makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Taking your time pays off. If you use it too soon the dog my get collar-smart. They are so clever. i suspect Deja to be collar smart unfortunately. Talk to your trainer and see if the advice makes sense.
I'm curious why does it actually matter if the dog becomes "collar smart"? I only ever plan on using it when he is off leash in the woods and i'm never going to hike in the woods with him without it. He doesn't seem like the type to blow me off at home since he isn't used to wearing one at home anyways and he's very biddable. Do they become more of a butt head after wearing an e collar?
I put it on him to let him get used to it and he didn't mind at all, it probably feels a lot like his regular flat collar to him. On a side note is there supposed to be so much extra strap material once it's buckled?
 

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Collar wise generally means won't obey without it, there's plenty of ways to avoid that. They aren't dumb, they know whats on their neck and what it does. For the most part, its like anything else you use. Focus on the behavior and when it becomes solid and willing.
I understand what collar wise means, I am just asking if he is always wearing it 100% of the time while hiking off leash in the woods why does it even matter if he won't obey without it? Because he would never be without it. He has had extensive training to fall back on at home, on leash, in public etc. no bad habits so i'm not worried about that and that is not what his e collar will be used for.
 
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