German Shepherds Forum banner

21 - 38 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Bandit
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
E collars (or shock collars) can be wonderful tools if used properly. I learned from a trainer, and I am glad that I did because it's not an easy thing of master. And there is a lot of misinformation about them. My neighbours were quite surprised when I explained how they work, because they did not realize that it was this complicated. They thought you just put them on and are good to go. This is not the case.

I have one and I use it. I have a reactive ACD/beagle who fixates on other dogs. But I do not use the e collar to correct him because he may think the pain is coming from the other dog. This could lead to dog fight and/or reactivity in my dog. While some individuals I am sure use them to "snap the dog out of it", that is not their best use esp in the situation you describe.

At 8 months, your puppy has a lot of growing to do and may at some point soon (8 - 12 months) enter a second fear period. You may make this issue worse.

Have you tried rewarding with a ball during walks? Or making the dog carry a ball while he's walking? These are things that have helped me and are better solutions IMHO.
No I have not tried this how would you do that? What do you do when he drops the ball
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,777 Posts
I tell him to sit, I tap my leg twice and say heel and then would start giving weak tugs on the leash to guide him were he should be. I did this for a while and then eventually when he knew what he would supposed to do I would start giving him corrections when he would walk too fast or too slow. I then would do sharp turns and zig zags making sure he stayed by my side.
So all those weak tugs on the leash have conditioned your dog to ignore them. Now you are doing the same with a prong and will eventually reach a point where you will need to be issuing corrections that are abusive. You win the fight but lose the war.
When I teach heel I start in a quiet, familiar area, preferably off leash. Basement, kitchen, backyard. We start with just a few feet. Use a favorite toy or treat to lure him into position, take a few steps forward and release him. I use soft treats and as long as the dog is in position he can take bites of it. If he leaves the position he gets the treat removed.
I used a frisbee for my current dog, and we worked in the back yard. Frisbee went under my arm, I used a negative marker if she moved out of position and kept duration short. Walk 20 feet in correct position, I release and throw the frisbee. She had to stay in position for a time to get the reward. We increased distance, added turns and distractions slowly.
There are no shortcuts. If you build a house on a crappy foundation then the house eventually falls down.
If I were you I would go much further back then heel. I would start with sit, come and look at me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
So then what should I do? I correct him the second his attention goes to something during heel. And I correct him right when he starts acting crazy, giving slack on the leash right after the correction. I do them pretty hard when I see it’s necessary. I also adjust the prong whenever I see a dog coming so that it’s right below his ears. What else can I do?
I would suggest you look at some of the old threads here on dog reactivity. You don’t really need corrections to fix it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,154 Posts
Ok I’ll do that next time. However I still think it would be good for him to use the shock collar for his obedience training in general because he is very high drive and once something really gets him going it’s hard to snap him out of it.
The higher in drive he is, the easier it is to rein in a motivational manner. Your statements are conflicting. I understand that he is reactive, but if he's got drive, you can overcome it with rewards combined with corrections.

I think you would be better off working with the prong and a toy reward than an e-collar unless you do some sessions with a good trainer.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,154 Posts
I tell him to sit, I tap my leg twice and say heel and then would start giving weak tugs on the leash to guide him were he should be. I did this for a while and then eventually when he knew what he would supposed to do I would start giving him corrections when he would walk too fast or too slow. I then would do sharp turns and zig zags making sure he stayed by my side.
This is old school Koehler stuff, which works, but there is fall out and you need to work under threshold.

Will your dog tug?

I suggest you get involved in an online training program, work with a trainer, or get some videos.

You want a reward to correction ratio at least 10:1. You can maybe make him behave by crushing him, or you can build good habits.
 

·
Registered
Bandit
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
This is old school Koehler stuff, which works, but there is fall out and you need to work under threshold.

Will your dog tug?

I suggest you get involved in an online training program, work with a trainer, or get some videos.

You want a reward to correction ratio at least 10:1. You can maybe make him behave by crushing him, or you can build good habits.
I agree with all of you it’s just my trainer that I hired that would come to my house once a week for 9 weeks taught me to do everything through the prong collar. So I hear what all of you are saying I’m just confused on how I should reteach him everything and when you all tell me I don’t have a relationship with my dog it sounds crazy to me. So, it’s obvious how to teach him sit, down, stay with treats. But how would I do it with things like heel and place? Should I get a clicker and start clicker training as well? I want to do everything the right way I’m just not sure how and I don’t want to spend money on another trainer when I already went through that for 9 weeks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,154 Posts
I recommend Excel-A-Rated learning, 3 Michael Ellis videos, the food video, tug video and recall video.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JunoVonNarnia

·
Registered
Joined
·
508 Posts
No I have not tried this how would you do that? What do you do when he drops the ball
I reward my girl (14 months) with the ball more than with treats. She is really ball-motivated and her favourite thing of all is tug. So I use a ball or a tug to keep her attention on me.

my goal is that her focus always be on me when I ask for it to be on me. So I use the ball to teach her through play and affection that we are a team, and that I am the most fun thing in her life. At this point in her training, I am more interested in her focus than in obedience.

If she drops the ball, sometimes I pick it up and put it in my pocket to reward her later. If we walk past another dog or see another in the distance, I call her name and reward her for her attention with the ball. Sometimes I tell her to pick up the ball and then we continue.


IMO:
Heel and place, sit etc all have their place in training, but those commands do not build engagement by themselves. I am still learning what engagement is, but I see it as a state of flow between you and your dog. Playing fetch with rhythm, just hanging out, Juno looking at me to see what I want and how I'm doing.

of course you have a relationship with your dog, but a better relationship would mean that he would look at you versus the other dogs. You have gotten some good advice here, and although it may appear conflicting to you, folks are basically saying the same thing. If you follow this advice, in a few months from now, you will see a completely different relationship with your puppy.

I started playing with Juno much more intensely and asking for her attention about October last year. She is by no means a perfect dog, but we have a totally different relationship. My neighbours comment on it, my friends as well.

Some things in dog training have to be experienced. I think this is one of those things. You sound like you are really committed to your dog. I am touched to hear that (I love talking to people who love their dogs).

Good luck!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,154 Posts
The book is on Amazon. The videos on Leerburg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Unfortunately I think it’s time I start using a shock collar with my 8 month old working line shepherd. While walking him today in heel I noticed dogs in their backyard by the fence. So I figured it would be good practice for him (as he is not the best at keeping his cool when other dogs walk by when I try to keep him in heel, he jumps and growls and shows his teeth but he usually stops after I do a few pops of the prong collar). So, I began walking by the fence with the dogs and telling my dog heel and I would give him a correction with the prong collar every time I would see his attention go to the dogs and of course when he would start growling and jumping. However around the third pass I did he bit my leg. I don’t know if this was accidental or on purpose but he snapped at the dogs when he was on my left side and the dogs were on the right and my leg was in between. He broke skin and bit me pretty good. This same thing has also happened to my sister were he bit her by accident when snapping at another dog at his socialization classes. I believe its time for him to get a shock collar to end this behavior. I understand you need to really know how to use them correctly so I wanted to get some tips from you guys on how to use them properly were I won’t do more harm then good.Also is this a good shock collar I understand the more levels they have the better. Dogtra 1900S
Shepherds don't mature until they are 2 yes old. They need patience. Teenagers are uncontrollable also.
A shocj collar is too severe at this age. You can do irreversible harm to him. I would use a muzzle instead, and treats.
Please have patience. Make him sit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
This is old school Koehler stuff, which works, but there is fall out and you need to work under threshold.

Will your dog tug?

I suggest you get involved in an online training program, work with a trainer, or get some videos.

You want a reward to correction ratio at least 10:1. You can maybe make him behave by crushing him, or you can build good habits.
[/QUOTE
Unfortunately I think it’s time I start using a shock collar with my 8 month old working line shepherd. While walking him today in heel I noticed dogs in their backyard by the fence. So I figured it would be good practice for him (as he is not the best at keeping his cool when other dogs walk by when I try to keep him in heel, he jumps and growls and shows his teeth but he usually stops after I do a few pops of the prong collar). So, I began walking by the fence with the dogs and telling my dog heel and I would give him a correction with the prong collar every time I would see his attention go to the dogs and of course when he would start growling and jumping. However around the third pass I did he bit my leg. I don’t know if this was accidental or on purpose but he snapped at the dogs when he was on my left side and the dogs were on the right and my leg was in between. He broke skin and bit me pretty good. This same thing has also happened to my sister were he bit her by accident when snapping at another dog at his socialization classes. I believe its time for him to get a shock collar to end this behavior. I understand you need to really know how to use them correctly so I wanted to get some tips from you guys on how to use them properly were I won’t do more harm then good.Also is this a good shock collar I understand the more levels they have the better. Dogtra 1900S
It sounds like your trainer taught you to dominate your dog? Your “corrections” are producing more aggression. It is clear that what you are doing is not working, and worse, even damaging your dog. You have many suggestions on this thread of other trainers to emulate.

The problem is not the dog. The frustration your dog is feeling is not because you don’t have another tool to use as a weapon as many people do.

The training “method” is harsh, confusing, and the situation way beyond what an 8-month old GSD should be in. Ditch it.

Your job is to create scenarios for success with clear communication to your dog. I don’t know your history with dogs, trainers, training methods, breeds, rewards, dog development? You and your trainer have created a situation that can be fixed, but will take work. (Not with this trainer.) add Monks of Skete to your education.

Training is relationship.
That is the message you are getting from this thread when they say to back up and that you don’t have a relationship with your dog.

I trained my last GSD to be my service dog, which is a whole different level of training. They have to be obedient and at the same time know when to refuse a command. And they must be eager to please.

I was visualizing your experience. How would you evaluate yourself in that situation? Since it ended in a dog bite from a frustrated dog, I would say it was an epic fail. Not because you need another training tool...one that many owners use as a weapon. Your prong collar intended to be a communication tool. Not a way to “pop” your dog into obedience.

Look at your last 8 months of training. It is not working. That’s on you. Not your dog.

This is exactly what I would do:
I start off any dog at any age with “eyes on me.” I use smelly hot dog treats initially to have my dog pay attention to me in any situation.

This is how I would have presented this exact situation to my dog: I would have started happy energy running down the leash before we got to the dogs and speed up a tad. Tell him “eyes on me” before you got to then. He’s going to look at barking dogs. Be ready again with “eyes on me,” maybe a hot dog, praise praise praise. Pat your leg and walk on by. Then immediately praise him again when you’ve passed far enough on by. Throw a party for him if it’s early days. If it’s not, tell him “Good Dog” in a voice that sounds like love and warm honey. Keep walking to the next happy thing to do.

Then he learns to look at you and walk on by. If you can’t get that response, then I would file it away as something he’s not ready for yet. And back up training the way so many others have said.

Dog training isn’t boot camp. He is not a robot. You and your dog are learning the world together. Not master and slave. But partners.

If your dog isn’t learning or even going backwards, evaluate yourself. It is your part, as his trainer, to accurately read your dog. If he’s in a reactive situation, get him out of it until you’ve laid the foundation. If training isn’t fun, change your training.

From what you described, your dog was giving you many many signals that he was frustrated. I’m guessing you didn’t see them or chalked them up as disobedience. The same in his socialization class.

GSDs are noble, loyal, courageous dogs. Training yours can be joy. Yes, you will learn patience. But, joy. You and your dog will become partners.

You are obviously committed. I trained my first dog, a Doberman, from a book my husband gave me, using the methods you are using. It was 40 years ago, long before Internet and YouTube. I did exactly what the book said. It worked, but I regret it.

You have everything to be a success. Read these threads. Learn to read your dog. Wipe away everything the first trainer taught you. He was wrong.

I wish you well going forward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I would use it for all the commands he has down already just to perfect them as well as his heel training. Because he knows all of these commands he just doesn’t want to listen sometimes
My six year carries a ball on her walks to clench when she sees other dogs. Got the idea from a neighbor whose dog like to carry a stick.
 

·
Registered
Bandit
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
It sounds like your trainer taught you to dominate your dog? Your “corrections” are producing more aggression. It is clear that what you are doing is not working, and worse, even damaging your dog. You have many suggestions on this thread of other trainers to emulate.

The problem is not the dog. The frustration your dog is feeling is not because you don’t have another tool to use as a weapon as many people do.

The training “method” is harsh, confusing, and the situation way beyond what an 8-month old GSD should be in. Ditch it.

Your job is to create scenarios for success with clear communication to your dog. I don’t know your history with dogs, trainers, training methods, breeds, rewards, dog development? You and your trainer have created a situation that can be fixed, but will take work. (Not with this trainer.) add Monks of Skete to your education.

Training is relationship.
That is the message you are getting from this thread when they say to back up and that you don’t have a relationship with your dog.

I trained my last GSD to be my service dog, which is a whole different level of training. They have to be obedient and at the same time know when to refuse a command. And they must be eager to please.

I was visualizing your experience. How would you evaluate yourself in that situation? Since it ended in a dog bite from a frustrated dog, I would say it was an epic fail. Not because you need another training tool...one that many owners use as a weapon. Your prong collar intended to be a communication tool. Not a way to “pop” your dog into obedience.

Look at your last 8 months of training. It is not working. That’s on you. Not your dog.

This is exactly what I would do:
I start off any dog at any age with “eyes on me.” I use smelly hot dog treats initially to have my dog pay attention to me in any situation.

This is how I would have presented this exact situation to my dog: I would have started happy energy running down the leash before we got to the dogs and speed up a tad. Tell him “eyes on me” before you got to then. He’s going to look at barking dogs. Be ready again with “eyes on me,” maybe a hot dog, praise praise praise. Pat your leg and walk on by. Then immediately praise him again when you’ve passed far enough on by. Throw a party for him if it’s early days. If it’s not, tell him “Good Dog” in a voice that sounds like love and warm honey. Keep walking to the next happy thing to do.

Then he learns to look at you and walk on by. If you can’t get that response, then I would file it away as something he’s not ready for yet. And back up training the way so many others have said.

Dog training isn’t boot camp. He is not a robot. You and your dog are learning the world together. Not master and slave. But partners.

If your dog isn’t learning or even going backwards, evaluate yourself. It is your part, as his trainer, to accurately read your dog. If he’s in a reactive situation, get him out of it until you’ve laid the foundation. If training isn’t fun, change your training.

From what you described, your dog was giving you many many signals that he was frustrated. I’m guessing you didn’t see them or chalked them up as disobedience. The same in his socialization class.

GSDs are noble, loyal, courageous dogs. Training yours can be joy. Yes, you will learn patience. But, joy. You and your dog will become partners.

You are obviously committed. I trained my first dog, a Doberman, from a book my husband gave me, using the methods you are using. It was 40 years ago, long before Internet and YouTube. I did exactly what the book said. It worked, but I regret it.

You have everything to be a success. Read these threads. Learn to read your dog. Wipe away everything the first trainer taught you. He was wrong.

I wish you well going forward.
Hey so since using more rewards and no more corrections he has progressed greatly with his obedience commands. However he still goes crazy at other dogs during walks. I tried your hot dog recommendation and he completely disregarded it and went straight to lunging at the dogs we passed. Do you have any tips on what else I could do? Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,977 Posts
How close are the other dogs? Our beagle is reactive so we will walk up driveways, and THEN have him sit or down - if he was just on the verge, he'd react as it's too close. Moving up a driveway removes the stimulus that much more. We'll also cross the street if there's no way to move out of the way on that side of the street.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,261 Posts
It's all about the timing.It takes focus on the owner's part to catch the dog before he reacts. If you can get his attention ahead of time by playing a game with him,tugging, tossing treats in the grass to find,etc.Whatever it takes. Reprogram his brain - dog in his vicinity = fun with you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnthonyA1234
21 - 38 of 38 Posts
Top