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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to training with an eCollar but have been using it successfully with Dasha, my 4 year old female. I use it so that she can be off leash during play times without fear of her running off after squirrels/bunnies. It has worked great so far. I also have a 7 month old male. He is very well behaved but his recall isn't the best so I want to use the eCollar with him as well. I have a large yard, surrounded by woods but my yard is not fenced. If the dog goes after a squirrel or rabbit, he can disappear from sight very quickly. Natty (the 7 mo old) is growing more independent so I tried him out with eCollar this past week. He is much more sensitive to it that Dasha, so I dialed it way down. However when I use it with him, he just seems confused. I think it frightens him to some degree and he tends to just run in a circle. This is obviously NOT the desired effect. Do I have it turned up too high or is he just too young to get the concept? When this happened I just stopped using it for fear of doing more harm than good. Are there any suggestions as to how to acclimate the dog to the collar? (BTW, Natty's reaction to a nose halter was similar. He vigorously fights against it and never caught on to the fact that if he walked in position the pressure would stop. I stopped using that too, especially since giving him treats produces a good loose leash walk.)

I know some people are very against this form of training so let me ward off some of the arguments to say that for all of my training, I use positive rewards, even when using the eCollar. I hesitated using an eCollar for a long time but so safety reasons I felt like I needed it to ensure that the dogs didn't run off. I have also used long leashes when they run and find that they are also hazardous. Yes, it would be ideal to have a huge fenced area but that is not feasible at this time.
 

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Doesn't sound like you taught him how to turn it off. Did you just put it on him and zap him without teaching him what the stim meant?

No, he's not to young. He just doesn't understand. Perhaps you should find trainer to help you.
 

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I'm not very experienced. I do live an an area much like you described. I tried the ecollar at 7 months as well. After a few weeks hung it up. Spent the next 1 year plus with a long line and motivational training. I hate the long line so much LOL. Tried the ecollar again with maturity and training the ecollar was much more effective for me. I've hung up the ecollar again because while it fixed a couple things it didn't fix what I wanted. Crittering and recall off other dogs. Going back to the motivational drawing board and trying teaching some more.
I'd stay away from high levels without a qualified trainer. Which I have not been able to find.
Your dog does sound confused. Look up maybe Larry Khron if you want to understand conditioning the dog to the collar. You will know when your dog is well conditioned. Hth some.
 

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I'll dive into this more later, but stop using the e-collar. Without proper understanding, the dog is going to be confused which is a problem. Starting at too high a level is a problem. You not understanding how to be clear and fair with the dog is a problem.

There are many here who can help you train a motivational recall. Hold off on the e-collar for now. Use a long line. It won't kill ya.
 

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Watch Larry Krohn you tube videos. Get his book from Amazon. He is great at explaining how to use the ecollar. You should have you pup conditioned to it first. Then work the recall on lead.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the tips. I will definitely watch the Larry Krohn videos and check out his book. I agree the problem is that the pup isn't conditioned to the stimulus and is therefore confused. I want to found out how to do that and it sounds like Larry Krohn may be that resource. I did stop using the collar when I saw that Natty was confused and will not use it again until I've learned how to condition him properly. Thank you for your help.
 

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Larry krohn is good I have the book. Since he is confused with the ecollar it is good to find a trainer to show you how to use it it may give you more confidence in using it.


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I just finished watching a couple of Krohn's videos and have ordered his book. I am embarrassed that I didn't seek out this resource before using the collar at all. I haven't been using it correctly with either dog. That will change! I know that I need to do some more work with Natty on recall before I use it at all. With Dasha, I intend to change my strategies. I hope that others will find this thread and seek out his instruction as well. Thank you again for your help.
 

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A little tip that I use with some clients is to put the collar on them so they can understand what the increase in level feels like, and so they can work on their mechanics before putting the collar on the dog.

You didn't say what type of collar you are using, but it needs to have a very small increase between levels. Cheaper collars have 7-9 levels. These just won't work. You need something with 100+ levels. I use Dogtra 1900 collars.
 

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Sorry could not finish earlier. If your pup is not proficient with the recall how can u throw an ecollar on him. He must know the command before you can correct him. Once he knows the command and disobeys then a correction is warranted but even then I would use verbal, collar or prong correction before an ecollar.
Sorry for being blunt but so many just throw on the ecollar without knowing how to use and when to use. I feel sorry for him he dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A little tip that I use with some clients is to put the collar on them so they can understand what the increase in level feels like, and so they can work on their mechanics before putting the collar on the dog.

You didn't say what type of collar you are using, but it needs to have a very small increase between levels. Cheaper collars have 7-9 levels. These just won't work. You need something with 100+ levels. I use Dogtra 1900 collars.

I have a Dogtra IQ Plus. It has 100 levels. I can't feel anything on myself until about level 20 and that is minimal. I realize that dogs can be far more sensitive. The first thing I did was try it out on myself. I periodically zap myself with it just to keep in mind what it feels like.
 

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Sorry could not finish earlier. If your pup is not proficient with the recall how can u throw an ecollar on him. He must know the command before you can correct him. Once he knows the command and disobeys then a correction is warranted but even then I would use verbal, collar or prong correction before an ecollar.
Sorry for being blunt but so many just throw on the ecollar without knowing how to use and when to use. I feel sorry for him he dog.

Ok... I'm guilty. I admitted my error. Actually when I decided to use the collar, I thinking more in terms of how people use eCollars and invisible fences to keep their dogs within a defined space. I too hope there are no lasting ill effects; so far I can't tell of any. He is a pretty laid back pup.

I do love my dog and work with him regularly. I got impatient and worried about the dangers involved when they run off. Actually this pup has been off leash under supervision daily and he has NEVER gone after anything, but my older dog has. She has a much different personality and I may be worried about Natty for nothing. The David Krohn videos helped me to understand how the collar is to be used. So for now I am working on recall with the long leash, but I'm still taking a chance when I exercise him with no leash. I have had dogs run with a long leash but they can so easily get injured. I don't think eliminating exercise is an option.
 

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I don't know how your training recall, but when I started using the ecollar and it was suggested to me to put it away. I was told about two ball recall by a forum member. If your pup likes to play fetch this got me a super fast motivated recall. I have gotten some great advice here but I have to say this is my favorite. There are ways to also use food if fetch isn't the dogs thing or to mix things up. Not trying to tell you what to do or criticize. Just trying to be helpful. I'd be happy to share if your interested. My dog failing to recall is about me fumbling around trying to get where I am going.
 

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As others have said, it sounds like he is simply confused. First off be sure you have his working level. You can teach him quite easily how to turn it off by putting a long leash on him, then letting him wander around until he is distracted and a short distance away from you. As soon as you hit the stim button, pull him gently towards you, and as soon as he makes a move in your direction, turn it off and tell him what a good boy he is. You can repeat this a few times until he begins to understand what the stim means and how he can turn it off. This method worked extremely well with my dog.
 

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A little tip that I use with some clients is to put the collar on them so they can understand what the increase in level feels like, and so they can work on their mechanics before putting the collar on the dog.

You didn't say what type of collar you are using, but it needs to have a very small increase between levels. Cheaper collars have 7-9 levels. These just won't work. You need something with 100+ levels. I use Dogtra 1900 collars.

I have a Dogtra IQ Plus. It has 100 levels. I can't feel anything on myself until about level 20 and that is minimal. I realize that dogs can be far more sensitive. The first thing I did was try it out on myself. I periodically zap myself with it just to keep in mind what it feels like.
I have the Dogtra 1900s also. I use between levels 20-25 with desired results. Lately I've found myself just using the pager instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't know how your training recall, but when I started using the ecollar and it was suggested to me to put it away. I was told about two ball recall by a forum member. If your pup likes to play fetch this got me a super fast motivated recall. I have gotten some great advice here but I have to say this is my favorite. There are ways to also use food if fetch isn't the dogs thing or to mix things up. Not trying to tell you what to do or criticize. Just trying to be helpful. I'd be happy to share if your interested. My dog failing to recall is about me fumbling around trying to get where I am going.

Sure I'd love to learn a new strategy for recall. I do play fetch with both dogs, but I use Kong Goodie Bones instead of balls. They like the bones and I like them because my yard is hilly and the bones are less likely to continue rolling into the woods. Natty plays fetch with two bones. It took a while to get him to the point where he would drop one to go and get the other, but now he's great at it. He also brings it back 100% of the time. I'm always eager to learn new strategies and anything that can be done to make training more fun will make it more effective IMHO.
 

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I use kongs I purchased these(see photo) they float which make them great for water retrieves, heavy duty, I can launch them far or not far, they bounce great for catches mid air and they hold up to tugging between tosses. My dog isn't a real aggressive tugger tho.

It's super simple you throw the toy as the dog is running back to you to you say "Come". I try to keep my tone and volume the same. The dog after some reps will associate the word with running super fast towards you. If you want to speed it up take a step backwards. It did not take him long to learn that word. Awesome really.

With food. You can toss a treat out away from you. I have a word I use prior to the toss. You can pick get it, yup...whatever. Let the dog eat it say "Come" as the dog is running up to you say the word again you used for the toss and toss a treat behind you. My dog then will come back up to my side I treat that as well. Rinse and repeat. I usually do just a few reps using a high value treat that I only use for this.

A few things i experienced. I used the kong for a long time (still practice it) for come. Well Apex would hear come and look for toy to bring with him. As time went on he realized he didn't always need a toy lol.

He always comes racing when he hears come but that doesn't mean to him to stay with me. That would be another command. Still it's a great way to get started. You can certainly start working on some thoughtfulness between throws if he is excited for the toy. Simple sit, working your way up to a stay then release to fetch.

One thing I didn't do and later much later did do...was make these toys mine. He does not have access to these toys unless he is with me playing and training. They hold their value better that way.

Just somethings I've fumbled my way through. HTH and more so hope it ts fun!

Any questions I'm happy to share just ask.
 

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It's super simple you throw the toy as the dog is running back to you to you say "Come". I try to keep my tone and volume the same. The dog after some reps will associate the word with running super fast towards you. If you want to speed it up take a step backwards. It did not take him long to learn that word. Awesome really.

With food. You can toss a treat out away from you. I have a word I use prior to the toss. You can pick get it, yup...whatever. Let the dog eat it say "Come" as the dog is running up to you say the word again you used for the toss and toss a treat behind you. My dog then will come back up to my side I treat that as well. Rinse and repeat. I usually do just a few reps using a high value treat that I only use for this.

Love it! I'll try this with both dogs. Dasha's recall is 100% unless there is a squirrel or a bunny around and then she needs some reminders (the eCollar has worked great for that), so she can benefit from this too. For Natty, this will go far in transferring value to the word, "come." It always amazes me how simple these types of games are and how effective they can be. Sometimes I am able to think them up but more often than not, I rely on others to share so I thank you much. I may have questions later after I try this out. Thanks again.
 
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