German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
:help:Texas, 6 month old German shepherd, is a classified puller. I can never walk her with a loose leash; the leash and my arm (especially my wrists) are always tensed. Our walks are never calm. I have had a few incidents already that she yanks the leash all of a sudden that my whole body snaps with it as well. Because of that, I have been having some back issues. :(Also, in a recent incident that occurred two days ago, she got loose from my grip while I stopped to tie my shoelace; I was not able to get her to recall.:cry: I freaked out because I live right next to a very busy main road, and I feared she would find her way out of the gated apartment and get hurt.

I spoke with our trainer earlier today, and she recommended possibly incorporating an e collar for training. She has already seen Texas drag me along, even with a bite collar. We also are going to try a head collar next week during training to see if any results appear (we will be working on heeling for our next session). Before I make a decision, I want to try this first but I also want to gain information regarding e collars and their methods.

My questions are::help:

Are e collars effective for training heel, reducing pulling, and recall?

How does it differ from other training methods?

If effective:

What are your experiences?

What collar do you recommend?


Thank you for your time and suggestions. I greatly appreciate it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I use the 'SportDog' e-collar for my dogs (2 collars, one controller with variable intensity), and it works great for heel, stopping pulling, and recall. With my Irish Setter, he's mature enough that I can even do a 'no-leash' heel while we're off leash and I need him to stay near me. The first thing you want to teach with your e-collar is recall, so that even when the dog can't see or hear you yelling for her, feeling that buzz will get her to try to find you to make that irritating buzzing feeling stop.
I live in Northern Va and let the dogs go running in the woods without me, and if I want to move on to somewhere else or want the dogs to check in, I hit the clicker and yell 'Come!', increasing the intensity each time until I hear them crashing back my way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
I do have and use an e-collar but only for when I have the dog off leash and I am in the woods (Recall, get off a deer or rabbit, etc). IMO, I think the dog should be or know all his basics first such as sit, come, stay,down and a solid recall.
I have a hard time thinking you can't get the dog to walk in a "heel" with a prong collar? I think you just need to keep working on the basics and build a solid foundation....make it fun or make the dog WANT to walk with you, make the dog WANT to come to you, just my IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
An e-collar definitely has it's training purposes, but not for pulling IMO ever!! Get a prong and have your trainer show you how to use it, work on recall, and work on loose leash walking. It's not an automatic skill your going to have to invest a great deal of time to teach her no pull and there are some great threads here already. When she pulls stop immediately, turn around, and walk a few steps backwards. Do this every time she pulls and eventually they realize they can get nowhere when pulling. Yes you look silly at first and it takes days to sink in, but slowly the pulling gets less and less. With a prong you can give a correction, stop, turn around, and walk backwards which is also effective, but an e-collar on a 6 month old puppy is too much for something as simple as pulling:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,116 Posts
An e-collar was non effective for Victor so I use a prong collar on him.

Jamie was pulling so I used a martingale collar for her. She pulled a couple times and it tightened enough around her neck that she stopped. I taught her an "easy" command and eventually she did not pull anymore because she did not like the tightening of the martingale. The martingale incorporated with the "easy" command got her under control. If she was pulling me so hard and the martingale was not working I would definately use a prong on her then.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,687 Posts
I would recommend trying a prong/pinch collar first (it must be fit correctly, high and snug) before going to the e-collar. The e-collar can be used for this, but make sure the person helping you knows what they are doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
The prong collar does it mark their fur or skin?

How painful is it when it pinches the neck?

Do you leave it on all the time or only have it on for walks?

Brewski pulls me and I can barely move my arm for hours after a walk. The vet suggested a "Gentle Leader" so I had Brew fitted for one and began using it on every walk. the "Gentle Leader" did nothing but create more problems as Brew scratched and scraped his nose causing bleeding and and a terrible wear on his nose. Needless to say no more "Gentle Leader" use here.... Was also thinking the e collar would help with leash control. I will be using one for prey control and thought I could incorporate it into walking nice on leash.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,360 Posts
Are e collars effective for training heel, reducing pulling, and recall? I have found E-collars extremley effective for recall, and not so much for pulling or training to heel. No matter how good of recall my dogs have, there are always times when something they see or smell could become of more interest which could be a risk to them. I have an e-collar on them about 90% of the time when they are off leash just for that added comfort of knowing I have better control of them even at a distance where I can't physically stop them. HOWEVER, each dog responds different to an e-collar. I have a cheap brand, PetSafe, don't buy this brand- doesn't work nearly as well as others, and for Jackson to "feel" it I have to have it cranked between 8-10, the highest settings, or he won't respond. Arlo only needs about 3 or above. I even make sure it is always on contact with his skin and he still requires this high of a setting. For working on "heel" get a prong collar.

How does it differ from other training methods? I have found that toys and treats work well for training, but a dog will sometimes make a decision that what they are after is worth more than a treat. Using an e-Collar, I have never had this problem.

If effective:

What are your experiences? I have used an e-Collar on 3 dogs, and each dog has responded well with recall and I could depend on my dogs to come to me with the collar on even if distracted with other dogs or animals, and none of them responded well to "heel" with an e-collar, but all have respoded to "heel" with a prong. Dogs were: GSD/Husky mix, Lab, and GSD.

What collar do you recommend? Innotek is the other brand I have used, and it worked great, long range and waterproof. But only lasted about 3 years with almost daily use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,451 Posts
The prong collar does it mark their fur or skin?

How painful is it when it pinches the neck?

Do you leave it on all the time or only have it on for walks?
No, when fitted and used correctly it does not leave marks. Make sure to get a good quality collar that has smooth, rounded tips. The cheaper ones have tips that are cut flat so the edges are sharp. Also make sure it is fitted correctly.

How painful it is or if it is painful at all depends on the dog, the fit, and the use. I have one dog that is very sensitive, another who actually gets more aroused in drive with prong corrections.

I never leave mine on the dog, it is only put on for training or walking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for all your suggestions; I greatly appreciate it.

I would recommend trying a prong/pinch collar first (it must be fit correctly, high and snug) before going to the e-collar.
Though Ihczth, you do have a point. Maybe the collar is not snug enough. I have the collar placed around the neck, but today a fellow dog owner told me as well that I probably need to move the prong collar higher. I have done this before, but the collar does tend to slip down. I just don't want to cause her any discomfort.

The only reason we, the trainer and I, started discussing about using an e collar is because Texas tends to still pull even though she is wearing a prong collar. I can even place the collar a bit higher on her neck and she still pulls. I probably am doing something wrong.

Though, unfortunately, we are not allowed to use any prong or choke collars at class; the dogs must be wearing a traditional dog fabric or leather collar, no exceptions. This is when she goes more berserk and I lose even more control. =-/ How can I reduce/eliminate her pulling without a prong or choke collar, while trying to train her to heel?

Brewski pulls me and I can barely move my arm for hours after a walk. The vet suggested a "Gentle Leader" so I had Brew fitted for one and began using it on every walk. the "Gentle Leader" did nothing but create more problems as Brew scratched and scraped his nose causing bleeding and and a terrible wear on his nose.
Lora this disturbs me. My trainer plans on fitting her in one for our next training session. The last thing I would want is for her to get hurt. I will keep my eye out during our next session if she shows any discomfort. Thank you for sharing your experience with this lead.


With all the reviews, research, and opinions I have read. I am really considering trying the e collar to at least work on recall, which is quite important. I will also continue to enforce obedience and repetition of the commands, even though she is acting like a rowdy teenager who refuses to listen to my commands. Wish me luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
Quote "Though, unfortunately, we are not allowed to use any prong or choke collars at class; the dogs must be wearing a traditional dog fabric or leather collar, no exceptions. This is when she goes more berserk and I lose even more control. =-/ How can I reduce/eliminate her pulling without a prong or choke collar, while trying to train her to heel?"


Is the trainer that suggested the e-collar the same one that teaches the class, I have nothing against e-collars if needed, I'm just wondering if you're not able to use the prong collar in class maybe the trainer hasnt' observed you working enough with the prong collar and all you need is some help in using it right.
Frank is 8 months old he would pull on his prong collar at first but after a couple of corrections he stopped pulling. It would be very hard to take him to a class right now, and keep his attention while only using a regular flat collar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
I wonder why the trainer says no prong collars in class? All the training classes I have ever went to or taught, they let you use what you feel comfortable with and we go over every or almost every collar out there so the owner has choises.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,834 Posts
If you watch Victoria Stillwell (It's me or the dog) she advises to never use either an eCollar or a Prong because they cause psychological harm. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I use a dogtra e collar on my dog. I use it to teach recall and also "out"/drop it. I use a setting of 20, but the thing goes all the way up to 127! It works so well. its not going to to a **** thing to stop the dog from pulling other than freak him out. I have a prong collar on my dog all the time, maybe take it off once a month to brush her and give her a break for a day. It does not hurt her at all, it is great for corrections, and to teach no pulling. I have one that has rounded edges and a cheaper one with the flat pointed ends. Neither seemed to bother her but I use the rounded one because it makes more sense to me... not trying to hurt her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
I can teach a heel much better than I can teach loose lead walking to a dog but either way I use luring, marking (not peeing on them ;) ) and talking to them a lot to let them know what they are doing right and not right.

I usually start with a flat collar or a Volhard collar (aka dominant dog collar) not on the choke.

If I was having trouble, I'd try a no pull harness like the Sense-sation or Ez Walk.

With that I would teach them what I wanted and then wean to a regular collar again.

I have used prongs, but like to try to get the learning down before I go to them and rarely need to by doing it that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
My trainer recommended a harness where you clip the leash in the front near the dogs chest. I looked on Amazon and it has really good reviews. People say when the dog pulls, the harness begins to tighten on the legs and because where the leash is clipped as the dog pulls it actually causes the dog to turn and face you. Seems like a great idea for dogs who pull. I'm thinking of getting one as my 70 yr old mother in law would love to take my puppy for a walk but he does pull sometimes and he is quite strong already.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,226 Posts
How painful is it when it pinches the neck?
Try it on :D ...I did... it's actually more comfortable than you'd expect.
I don't put anything on the dogs without trying them on myself first... It kind of offers more satisfaction that way when you're sending the stim, they don't react so you crank it up some more ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
My trainer recommends the "Gentle Leader" and that is what I have used on London since he was about 10 weeks old. It does not hurt the dog but instead it is like a horse halter. I have complete control with him when I am using it. I don't use it all the time anymore because he has gotten pretty good with the "healing" biz.

Although, on some occassions (i.e. PetCo, checking into a hotel, shopping in a store with him) I will put it on him just so he does not get distracted and pull me around.

London is about 90 pounds and he is STRONG so I highly recommend the "Gentle Leader." I will note that he is not fond of it, but once we get going he starts to focus on the surroundings and not the halter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
Try a SENSE-ation Harnesses.

Stops the pulling, without the use of aversives via the prong.
The prong has its uses, but IMO, stopping pulling is not one of them.

Really love everything that Jean recommended.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
If you watch Victoria Stillwell (It's me or the dog) she advises to never use either an eCollar or a Prong because they cause psychological harm. ;)
She also recommends strongly that you never put your dog in a crate either - same reason i would guess.

Hope that my Baron never watches that show!
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top