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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
HI ALL,

I've been working off leash with our pup for the last couple weeks and have been looking for tips and tactics used. I tried searching for a thread specifically on off leash training but wasn't too successful so if there is one, please direct me.

My primary tool has been treats and an ecollar to keep his focus but I feel like there's more I can do that I haven't read, seen, watched, etc. So any tips and advice would be appreciated.

Some things I do with the remote and treats in hand:
-Put Ziggy in a down stay when distractions (bikes, runners, dogs) cross our path and reward/praise since I haven't been able to keep walking without him reacting.
-Keep repeating heel when he gets ahead of me in our walks but will buzz him if I feel its gets too repetitive.
-Use a flirt pole at the park and reward/praise when he ignores a passerby
-Recall when he's engaged with other dogs or people and then release to re-engage.

I've used the remote more times than mentioned above so I'm sure there's lots more i'm doing right and wrong but I just wanted the boards input.

TIA
 

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You have made a lot of progress especially with the distractions. I would suggest turning suddenly when Ziggy gets ahead of you, you could say the command at the same time and then use the remote. Also if you are not already doing so when using the remote, be sure that he doesn't connect it with you. So when you use it, and he stops - turns toward you - praise him.
 

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I do have an e collar fail story you may find interesting.As most of us know,timing is crucial when giving corrections and my collar has a couple of seconds of delay.So I set out to train one thing but ended up training another.

Samson decided last winter it was fun chasing cars that would drive by the house.He blew off my Leave It and recall until the car was past our property.So I recruited a neighbor to drive by with the plan of stimming him as soon as his ears perked up at the sound of the car passing by.

By the time he felt the stim he was already in hot pursuit.He'd stop and look confused so I'd yell Leave It! and call him back.Three days and three training sessions and his recall is amazing but he's still too interested in the cars.He obeys a leave it or a stay,but if he hears a car before I do he will still rush to the edge of the yard and stop.And if we are actively playing or training he doesn't show any interest.I have to be super vigilant still,so it was still a fail.But if I call him he stops whatever he's doing and runs to me full out,happy as can be:)

That's all I've used the collar for.When we're out in the woods he checks in with me every couple of minutes,never a problem calling him off of the occasional deer or rabbit.We've met up with an ATV on occasion and he shows no interest.Just the cars in front of the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You have made a lot of progress especially with the distractions. I would suggest turning suddenly when Ziggy gets ahead of you, you could say the command at the same time and then use the remote. Also if you are not already doing so when using the remote, be sure that he doesn't connect it with you. So when you use it, and he stops - turns toward you - praise him.
since i've removed the leash he's been about a short leash length away either to the side or front. now when i use the leash he's definitely pulling. i'll start new routes around a park to keep him guessing. thanks for the reminder.

By the time he felt the stim he was already in hot pursuit.He'd stop and look confused so I'd yell Leave It! and call him back.Three days and three training sessions and his recall is amazing but he's still too interested in the cars.He obeys a leave it or a stay,but if he hears a car before I do he will still rush to the edge of the yard and stop.And if we are actively playing or training he doesn't show any interest.I have to be super vigilant still,so it was still a fail.But if I call him he stops whatever he's doing and runs to me full out,happy as can be:)
we're in the same boat, we'll be in the middle of his favorite game and if a passerby comes he'll face them and still engage with me at the same time. its a lot better now than when he would run to greet them....baby steps i suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
just an update on our off leash training. ziggy has been off leash since early this summer. this weekend he attacked the neighbor's dog who was leashed during a walk, he even went after a very familiar packmate during his rage. fortunately, no one bit each other. were now confined to backyard duty and on-leash training starting back a zero (or minus 100 imo). i'm estimating he will be about 3 years old before he acts like an adult dog. we're in month 19 of 36. oy! trainer scheduled for a home visit this weekend. as always tips / suggestions welcome.
 

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Well darn it!One step forward two steps back sometimes.
I've realized something interesting about Samson this summer.He's 2.5yrs old now and so much more responsive to what I want him to do.He actually seems comforted by being given commands when he's feeling a little anxious.It calms him when I make decisions for him.
Last week we were walking in town and got rushed by a dog that (thankfully) was tethered in a front yard.Samson jumped in front of me and growled.Eh!heel! and we didn't miss a step.Never touched the leash which was draped over my shoulders.Samson had no way of knowing the dog was tethered,it stopped just a few feet away.But he obeyed,recovered his composure immediately, and trusted me and boy does that feel great!Maturity and practice?I don't know.I'm sure you'll get Ziggy where you want him to be.You are a very patient and determined individual.Looking forward to more updates!
 

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just an update on our off leash training. ziggy has been off leash since early this summer. this weekend he attacked the neighbor's dog who was leashed during a walk, he even went after a very familiar packmate during his rage. fortunately, no one bit each other. were now confined to backyard duty and on-leash training starting back a zero (or minus 100 imo). i'm estimating he will be about 3 years old before he acts like an adult dog. we're in month 19 of 36. oy! trainer scheduled for a home visit this weekend. as always tips / suggestions welcome.
Were you using the e collar around other dogs early on?
 

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yes. i've noticed lately he's been non-responsive to the higher pulse corrections. probably will need to work with him at 70+ on the dogtra when he's excited.
 

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What was your method with the e collar? It's possible he got a superstitious association that stim came from a dog near him if you stimmed him close to another dog and he didn't understand. I have seen dogs look at a tree branch of other object near them suspiciously after being stimmed.

Could be unrelated, too.

Might want to lay off the collar for a little bit and just do foundations with a long line with your trainer, unless your trainer is good at e collars?
 

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hi all just wanted to vent a little and share. its been a few weeks and we still have a long way to go but we've made some progress w ziggy ignoring some stimulations. this morning we were approached by two loose dogs , as soon as i saw them i knew this wasn't going to end well. i tried to treat the situation like a dog park and let them get acquainted but as soon as i recalled Z, he goes on the offensive and draws a reaction from the other dogs. now there's a melee in the middle of the street. fortunately it was nothing more than a pissing match but it wasn't something i needed. back to the drawing board... UGH
 

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I do have an e collar fail story you may find interesting.As most of us know,timing is crucial when giving corrections and my collar has a couple of seconds of delay.So I set out to train one thing but ended up training another.

Samson decided last winter it was fun chasing cars that would drive by the house.He blew off my Leave It and recall until the car was past our property.So I recruited a neighbor to drive by with the plan of stimming him as soon as his ears perked up at the sound of the car passing by.

By the time he felt the stim he was already in hot pursuit.He'd stop and look confused so I'd yell Leave It! and call him back.Three days and three training sessions and his recall is amazing but he's still too interested in the cars.He obeys a leave it or a stay,but if he hears a car before I do he will still rush to the edge of the yard and stop.And if we are actively playing or training he doesn't show any interest.I have to be super vigilant still,so it was still a fail.But if I call him he stops whatever he's doing and runs to me full out,happy as can be:)

That's all I've used the collar for.When we're out in the woods he checks in with me every couple of minutes,never a problem calling him off of the occasional deer or rabbit.We've met up with an ATV on occasion and he shows no interest.Just the cars in front of the house.
Does he ever get to practice chasing cars when you aren't around? Maybe through a fence or something to that effect?

Sounds like you're doing something wrong in your procedure. The timing sounds correct in that you are catching and correcting him and the earliest precursor of behavior but you're not stopping the behavior from progressing. Stopping progression is critical otherwise it's kinda akin to a dog learning to blow through an e collar fence.
 

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Does he ever get to practice chasing cars when you aren't around? Maybe through a fence or something to that effect?

Sounds like you're doing something wrong in your procedure. The timing sounds correct in that you are catching and correcting him and the earliest precursor of behavior but you're not stopping the behavior from progressing. Stopping progression is critical otherwise it's kinda akin to a dog learning to blow through an e collar fence.
We don't have a fence,he took off two or three times after cars when I was out in the yard with him.So I kept him leashed for a few days until the e collar was procured.All three dogs are way too interested in cars and people that pass by our house,they will try to stop and watch even in the middle of a game.We are in the boonies so not much traffic.
He has totally stopped chasing now and if we are outside alone he doesn't show any interest in cars at all.So maybe it's a "me first" pack thing.IDK.
He will get very agitated at the occasional person walking by and even though I can quiet him he's still tense.He has rushed toward walkers a couple of times and I'm super vigilant that it never happens again.People so rarely walk by that I really don't know how how to correct it.This is only at home, not if we're out walking.
 

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Ziggy,
You can not start off leash training until the dog is 100% reliable on leash. I would really caution against some of the websites mentioned and the program that they utilize. The best thing is to get with a good, experienced trainer and work wth them.

I'm sorry, but starting a pup with an collar, off lead and treats is a disaster waiting to happen, IMHO.

Dogma, if your Collar has a couple of seconds of delay, I would recommend sending it back to the manufacturer to be serviced, or to toss it in the garbage. An E collar with more than a fraction of second delay is really worthless. If the correction is not instantaneous the collar is unreliable and needs to be replaced. It is not worth using an E collar with any noticeable delay.
 

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yes. i've noticed lately he's been non-responsive to the higher pulse corrections. probably will need to work with him at 70+ on the dogtra when he's excited.
Please do not do this! Get some help from a good trainer and some guidance on how to use an E collar. There is a lot wrong with your approach and what you are doing with the E collar.

Do your dog a favor, put away the E collar and work with a skilled trainer.
 

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Ziggy,
what's wrong with the approach? trainer is with working with us and haven't advised us differently. what do you recommend or see that is wrong?


The use of an E collar in the manner that you described. Working on off lead training before on leash training is extremely reliable. Your mention of cranking the Dogtra up to 70 to get a response when the dog is in drive. Those are the things that I disagree with.

I would work on focus, and engagement. I would teach the recall in a way that is fun and lays a foundation for a super fast and reliable recall. I would teach the dog to heal well on leash, not be reactive to other animals or distractions. I would teach a reliable sit / stay and down stay. Then, and only then would I begin off lead training. Once the dog is taught, trained and proofed with a long line and is better than 85% reliable I would consider an Collar for you and your dog.

If you have a trainer that agrees with your approach and wants to start out by cranking up the E collar, do some more research and find a more qualified trainer. The whole approach that you mentioned is taking to many shortcuts to be reliable down the road. It only takes a few months to gain excellent reliable OB on a dog. I just trained a GSD in 11 sessions to do everything that you want your dog to do. The dog is also super happy, super motivated and never wants to leave his handlers side. The dog was dog aggressive and leash reactive when we started. The dog now walks happily on a leash, recalls are super fast even with other dogs present, and no longer reacts or barks at other dogs. This was done primarily motivationally, no E collar and in 3 months. The dog is now 14 months old. There was no need to wait until the dog was 3 years old to expect it to behave, heel or recall reliably. The main the dog has in it's favor is an owner that works with his dog every day and does it in a manner that lays a good foundation and each session builds on the last.

I'm sure the owner of the dog would give me a lot of credit, he already has. But, the fact of the matter is that all I did was show him how to work with his dog, praise his dog, pay his dog for the right behaviors and guide him. Many folks (like you) are hung up on the tools and the corrections and miss out on the power of praise, reward and payment. That does more to train a dog than a Dogtra at 70. ;)

Please don't take my posts personally, I am not trying to offend you. I can only respond to what you posted as I do not know you or your dog. I do know a little about dog training and E collars, though. Planning on getting an E collar and going to 70 is really a bad plan. You also need to properly condition your dog to the E collar for the training to be effective. Just going higher is a really bad idea and really poor training, IMHO.
 

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Ziggy,
what's wrong with the approach? trainer is with working with us and haven't advised us differently. what do you recommend or see that is wrong?


The use of an E collar in the manner that you described. Working on off lead training before on leash training is extremely reliable. Your mention of cranking the Dogtra up to 70 to get a response when the dog is in drive. Those are the things that I disagree with.

I would work on focus, and engagement. I would teach the recall in a way that is fun and lays a foundation for a super fast and reliable recall. I would teach the dog to heal well on leash, not be reactive to other animals or distractions. I would teach a reliable sit / stay and down stay. Then, and only then would I begin off lead training. Once the dog is taught, trained and proofed with a long line and is better than 85% reliable I would consider an Collar for you and your dog.
I honestly feel this is solid advice, I know nothing about ecollars, but building the proper foundation before you do off leash work makes a lot of sense to me, and is what I am slowly working toward.
 
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