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We have a 1.5yr old gsd female who is often off leash in wooded areas and she loves to run. She is very good usually yet has the disturbing habit of chasing the occasional jogger. She's usually not aggressive but every once in a while she'll see a jogger across the way and begin to chase. Once or twice she has tried to grab their sleeve. She doesn't growl or bark, just chases. I usually try to keep an eye out for joggers and I usually bring some tasty treats so I know I can get her back to me if we do come across one, but obviously this is difficult. We have been in several training classes and are currently taking one now and trying to work on our recall but once she gets it in her head to chase, it is sometimes impossible to stop her. Now, obviously most of you will say she shouldn't be off leash, and yes, there is a leash law, but we live in a wooded area w lots of trails and she gets her best exercise racing through the woods and running hard. Our instructor is anti choke collars, so I imagine she must be REALLY anti electronic collars so I thought I'd post here and ask if anyone thinks an electronic collar might work in this situation. It would only be for when she is off leash and if she starts to go after a jogger. I just cant seem to get thru to her once she has fixated on the jogger and from what I've read the electronic collar where I would have a remote seems like it might break the fixation. Thoughts??
 

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That would be exactly the age I would use an e-collar BUT you have to do it right or you really can mess up your dog. All my friends who just buy them, put them on the dog and refuse to really read up on the directions and proper useage really screw up their dogs either long or short term. Or end up with a collar-wise dog that only listens pretty much ever when they have the 'heavy' collar on.

Point being, if you do choose to go the e-collar route, I'd be locating a good e-collar trainer in your area you have confidence in. And arrange for a few privates with them for when the collar comes in.

For many, the e-collar seems like a quick and easy fix, and (short term) may appear to be working out. But the fact is, they are just like everything else we train our dogs, the human component is the weak link when we are lazy, inconsistant, or just don't bother to bone up on the method (directions? who needs directions?). Added to the fact we have to continue for months (years) with the consistancy and training so our dogs understand in a calm and clear way.
 

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It's just my 2 cents, but that is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I work for a defense firm as a paralegal. It is a nightmare for a homeowner if their dog bites. Your insurance company may offer you a defense but will most likely not insure you again and then it's hard to find insurance that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Sorry, but it's aways the dog's fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know this is a serious problem and we are in training but I am just trying to think of a way where she can still be off leash and she, as well as others, can still be safe. Somebody mentioned the e collar to me and it sounded like a possibility... I'd love to hear more thoughts...of course I'd be learning more about it and how to work with it before I put it on her.
 

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Originally Posted By: gretta06I know this is a serious problem and we are in training but I am just trying to think of a way where she can still be off leash and she, as well as others, can still be safe. Somebody mentioned the e collar to me and it sounded like a possibility... I'd love to hear more thoughts...of course I'd be learning more about it and how to work with it before I put it on her.
http://www.loucastle.com/articles.htm has some really good articles as a background. But I can't stress enough, the only people/dogs that I have seen this work our well with (including my dogs) is when we do it inconjunction with a good trainer who knows our goals and uses it to train NOT to correct. So while I also read up on everything and talked to everyone, I knew (for my dog's sake) to 'bite the bullet' and also use a trainer.
 

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This may be a dumb question, but why is it bad to use as a correction? Wouldn't she catch on quickly, and know not to chase, once she started after a jogger and got the zap? This is the only time we plan on using it.
 

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I used to think the e-collar was terrible. But used correctly it is a good training tool. I have one. It's a whole lot cheaper than going through a law suit. I had a trainer who is extremely knowledgable in the use of e-collars to show me how and when to use it. I bought a Dogtra but there are others out there that are good.
 

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Ahh those poor joggers!!!! I can't believe she has gone after their sleave.

Ask your trainer. My trainer is totally against choke collars but for prong collars and the e collar.

There is a great dvd on the Leerburg site that explains step by step how to use the e collar correctly.

I bought the dvd and e collar but have not watched the dvd yet.

I definately would get a trainer to help or invest in the dvd. Until this is fixed at least try to go out at odd hours when you are least likely to see joggers. It is only fair to the joggers and other dog owners.
 

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Hey, you're in Beantown? I grew up there, and just recently moved to Germany. Try giving Terry Haskins a call. He is an electronic collar specialist. He trains people to use these collars motivationally, not as some heavy-handed punishment, but as a method of training. Ironicly, for some sensitive dogs, they finally can relax and learn better without anything restricting face, head, body, or neck.. no constriction, just a soft reminder from the collar cues them to pay attention, a command (chance to earn praise!) is coming up. I do not use an e-collar on my dog currently, unless for offlead recall practice, but reccomend getting a trained specialist to guide you. A few lessons may cost you, but it is worth it if it is for the dog's safety, and learning how to correctly use these collars is best by a qualified professional.

My last working assistance dog's trainer reccomended Terry to me. Sadly, I moved away before I could meet him! Here's the link.

http://sitmeanssit.com/dog-training-locations/dog-training-boston-massachusetts/
 

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Thanks so much for the referral!! I will def check Terry out.
 

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Quote: This may be a dumb question, but why is it bad to use as a correction? Wouldn't she catch on quickly, and know not to chase, once she started after a jogger and got the zap? This is the only time we plan on using it.
Because what a good trainer/handler/dog owner want to do is have a great bond with their dog and an absolutely 100% joyful and reliable 'come'. So whether a cat tears across your path, or another dog, or a squirrel, or a jogger. What we are actually talking about here is you TRAINING your dog to have a joyful reliable 'come'.

And why shouldn't we train our dog to do something they learn to want to do, rather than deliberately choosing to train by 'punishing' them when they are bad. Rather 'train' them to do something I want (come).

Did you read thru the Lou Castle site I posted? He believes in training with Trust and Respect http://www.loucastle.com/articles.htm
 

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The collar can be used for corrections, but the dog needs to be introduced to the collar. They must understand how to turn the collar off. If you were to just put it on her and start correcting her it is possible she could bolt from confusion. It is also possible it could make her aggressive to the jogger she is chasing. Contact the e-collar trainer mentioned earlier and read Lou's articles.
 

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Before you buy that Leerburg DVD on e-collar training, I would check out Lou Castles website. He does not have a very favorable opinion of it.
 

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PLEASE don't go out and buy an e-collar without proper instruction, from a professional, on how to use one.
 

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Originally Posted By: TracieBefore you buy that Leerburg DVD on e-collar training, I would check out Lou Castles website.

Agree 100%.


Lou provides a wealth of information about ecollars on his site, every bit as much as you can get elsewhere... for free. And he is also willing to answer any questions via email, and even do phone consults if people need additional advice or instruction.
 

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that's a great site, glad you guys posted it!

it's been recommended to me to buy an e-collar, for teagan's prey aggression and her dog aggression, and i've been really unsure of how it would work without making her more aggressive - i'd always read not to use e-collars for dog aggression.
 

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thanks john! i was thinking of buying from there, and since the dvd is 50% when you get the collar.....very good to know, thanks


(good thing i haven't found the measuring tape to measure teagan for her new muzzle, i was going to order them all at the same time)
 

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Good luck, just be consistant......Lou is awesome. I have e-mailed him for advice myself. He is wonderful and wrote back immediately. I definately agree with everyone saying to get a professional to help you. Fitting properly and learning how to find the lowest working level is very important to use this as a tool. I definately recommend putting the collar on yourself to see what it feels like.(By the way, my daughter said she likes the stim from the collar)
 

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I'm not a fan of the Leerburg video as has been mentioned. You can read my review of it here. http://loucastle.com/books.htm

I’m also not a fan of many of the trainers who follow the teaching of sitmeanssit. Some of them were experienced trainers before they learned how to use the Ecollar from the owner of that franchise. But some were not. The school is three weeks long, costs $5,000 and includes marketing advice. You can have absolutely no dog training experience, go to the school and come out as a "Certified Remote Training Collar Specialist." Such certifications, issued by the person who owns the school, are just about worthless.

In any case, those folks often use monstrously high levels of stim to blast the dog into immobility and then they show them the only way to make the pain stop is to dog as required. I've seen them put a dog into learned helplessness, a horrid condition where the dog stops all movement because "everything hurts."

They'll talk abut how use the Ecollar in a "motivational way." But this is their own definition of "motivation" and not one that most other people think of when they think of "motivational training. Every animal is "motivated" to escape pain, and with the levels of stim that they use, it's definitely painful.

BUT some trainers have taken that method and modified it to be humane. I'd say that if someone is billing themselves as a "Remote Trainer Specialist" they've had little experience out side the Ecollar and this school, and I'd avoid them. If they have lots of experience training dogs before going to that school, I'd take a look, but still you need to be careful.

If you train the dog to recall and sit with my methods the dog will learn that when the stim starts he's doing the wrong thing and that when it stops he's doing the right thing. THEN you can use it to stop him from chasing the joggers by simply recalling him when he starts to chase them. You can combine a stim with a "NO" when he shows interest in them and he'll know that you don't want him to show that interest.

BUT if you just put the collar on him and stim him when he chases the joggers, he can become aggressive towards them, making our problem much worse.
 
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