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I am trying to break Sugar of chasing and cornering the neighbor's cat. She does reasonably well off-leash for the most part, but she is still very much prone to cat chasing and refuses any and all commands once she sees a cat. Scolding and placing her back on the leash isn't getting the message across, so I'm considering using a remote control shock collar since I'm tired of trying to recapture her when she bolts.

I still prefer positive reenforcement, but this looks like a case where a more explicit reward/punishment combo would be more effective, especially since there's a strong possibility of her injuring the neighbor's cat or finding her way into the street.

Sugar is now 8-1/2 months old and 70lbs.
 

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If you correctly use it it, YES they are wonderful means to train. I used it for Kenzo especially to teach come command. I got it from leerburg , I don't know it is ok to mention this here, also got a dvd showing how to use it properly, I hope it helps. GL
 

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The way I had envisioned using it would be as a "Stop what your doing, Now!" command. As such, it wouldn't be a substitute for regular training, but instead would be used as a last resort for regaining control of a potentially dangerous situation.
 

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It can be good,if you use it right.
I was told by my trainer,that you need to set the collar at the highest setting.
introduce her to the collar and she will learn quick.
Then try to use positive training/commands.
But I got better respond with the prong collar.I guess is because they know that "you" are correcting them.With the shock collar,they don't know where it's comming from.(I could be wrong about this)

Good luck with it.
 

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I would look into an ecollar trainer if that is something you wish to explore - so you can learn to use the ecollar properly. I would also NOT recommend starting the collar out on the highest possible setting at first. You want to use it on the LOWEST possible setting that will (and I know I am not going to word this right) a reaction from your dog. And by reaction, I mean that your dog will respond to the command (just can't think of a good word right now).

check out http://www.loucastle.com
 

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As a properly used tool it is ok. Quite honestly if
Quote: She does reasonably well off-leash for the most part, but she is still very much prone to cat chasing and refuses any and all commands once she sees a cat.
then she is not yet reliable off leash and should not be off leash. She should be RELIABLE on a leash around cats before she is allowed off leash.

Originally Posted By: mspiker03I would look into an ecollar trainer if that is something you wish to explore - so you can learn to use the ecollar properly. I would also NOT recommend starting the collar out on the highest possible setting at first. You want to use it on the LOWEST possible setting that will (and I know I am not going to word this right) a reaction from your dog. And by reaction, I mean that your dog will respond to the command (just can't think of a good word right now).

check out http://www.loucastle.com
I agree especially starting with the lowest setting and working up. Starting on the highest setting on a "soft" dog could create much much worse issues down the road. *IF* you decide to use an ecollar find a reputable trainer that understands how to properly use the ecollar. Lou Castles website would be a very good start. Perhaps even try to contact him for some advice?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The collar I was looking at has 7 or 8 settings and an audio warning sound so that you can correct without having to shock the dog once the collar is 'loaded'.

The goal is that the collar combined with a verbal "Stop" command would be to used to get Sugar to refocus on me instead of the cat or other distraction. Eventually, she would hopefully learn to respond to voice only and forgo the collar completely.

I don't see that cranking the collar to a meltdown level would be beneficial to start. I only want to break her focus on the prey and return her focus on commands.

FYI: I don't take her for walks off-leash. But other family members here sometimes let her out accidentally by leaving a door or gate open. I can recall her all day long away from cats. I just need to break that fixation.
 

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I also recommend Lou Castle's web site. He has a great article on "crittering" that sounds exactly like what you need to work on. I think you may be better served by a collar that has more than 8 settings, this way you can better find the stim level that works for your dog (the lowest possible setting that the dog feels) I personally use a Dogtra collar. Good Luck!!
 

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The Lou Castle site seems to have a good deal of info. I'm going to read thru it tonight. Thanks.
 

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Quote:I was told by my trainer,that you need to set the collar at the highest setting.
UH, Noooooo!

Use the lowest your dog acknowledges.. different threshold for each dog.

Lou's site gives a description of how to do that.

It will work for crittering (teaching your dog not to chase the cat).
 

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Quote: I was told by my trainer,that you need to set the collar at the highest setting.
Just wanted to make sure anyone reading that knew it wasn't correctly stated. At least if you are using the collar properly for training purposes. You always start at the LOWEST setting and only move us as needed.

Though I recommend always starting with positive training methods and then up to using regular training collars/methods way before restorting to an e-collar. It's an expensive 'tool' (specially with the trainer to make sure it works well) that most of our dogs NEVER need when we go to the regular dog classes and socialize our pups properly.
 

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Does your dog have a good reliable leave it, down, or come? I would work on those things first because they are the basis for what you want to do.

You can do those with obedience classes and proofing in control situations as MRL says.

I do a lot of positive leave it work and when my Schipperke (rodent killers) mix and another dog (wants to kill in general-lol) found a rabbit in the backyard and had already gone into prey mode-were tossing it back and forth, I yelled Leave IT and they did. But they came up to me for the better treat that they knew was coming.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Her basic commands (sit, down, stay, leave it, come) are pretty good. It's just that the cat is proving to be a very strong temptation.
 

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Calipso, I'm guessing you have found a good set of dog classes.

Just ask your instructor to help continue putting pressure on ALL the dogs with upping the distractions during training. I know when I have my dog in a line with the others, in a sit/stay, and one dog/handler is pulled out to play fetch in the room, that is good training for us!!!!
 

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i hate those e-collars.
Originally Posted By: CalipsoI am trying to break Sugar of chasing and cornering the neighbor's cat. She does reasonably well off-leash for the most part, but she is still very much prone to cat chasing and refuses any and all commands once she sees a cat. Scolding and placing her back on the leash isn't getting the message across, so I'm considering using a remote control shock collar since I'm tired of trying to recapture her when she bolts.

I still prefer positive reenforcement, but this looks like a case where a more explicit reward/punishment combo would be more effective, especially since there's a strong possibility of her injuring the neighbor's cat or finding her way into the street.

Sugar is now 8-1/2 months old and 70lbs.
 

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Quite honestly I do not feel an 8 1/2 month old PUPPY has enough training and a shock collar should be used more on proofing than on actual training, especially if you are doing it on your own without an experienced trainer to ensure that you are working it properly.

Are you working DILIGENTLY on leave it, focus, recalls ON leash with positive reinforcements? I would also work on training the family members on the rules and responsibility of dog ownership. Doors and gates should be a focus of the entire family. I know it isnt easy. If doors and gates are being left open by family members perhaps she should be tethered or crated when not 100% supervised by an adult. Have you worked on "STOP" or some emergency command to stop, stay put and dont move because your life depends on it command? Yes, accidents will happen and occasionally a door or gate may be left open but until she is fully trustworthy it is your responsbility to make shure she is safe and sound.


If you make yourself and family members sooooo much more fun than some cat I think you will end up with a better relationship with your dog AND one who looks to you for fun and leadership. I am not trying to quote you out of context but if she is:

"reasonably well off-leash for the most part"

"Her basic commands (sit, down, stay, leave it, come) are pretty good. It's just that the cat is proving to be a very strong temptation."

It sounds to me like she is still very much a puppy and very much still learning some of the basics. She does not sound like she should be off lead. I am REALLY not trying to come down hard on you. I do think you are trying. I am simply trying to provide some other ideas on how to work through this situation for you and your pup.
 

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Originally Posted By: oliver annieIt can be good,if you use it right.
I was told by my trainer,that you need to set the collar at the highest setting.
introduce her to the collar and she will learn quick.
Wow that`s a new one to me. Ask him again just to see if you misheard him.
 

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First, thanks to those who have recommended my protocol for stopping this chasing and my website.

A bit of history. Ecollars were originally invented to stop hunting dogs from chasing undesired game. These were dogs that had been bred (some for hundreds of years, some for just decades) to do just one thing, hunt. If the desired animal was not in the environment, their drives forced them to hunt secondary game, usually deer. This was a distraction and so the hunters devised a tool to stop this. The original Ecollars were a one-button on-off affair with a very high level of stim. They were used (think of dynamite) to blast the dog off the chase in the hopes that the dogs would make the association with the pain that was inflicted with chasing the deer, and this association would make them stop.

Usually it worked very well. But there were some problems and you can have them today if you do it the way it's been done historically. Some dogs will make the association between being away from the handler, instead of with chasing the deer. It's hard to get those dogs to leave the handler's side, sometimes after just one experience with this. Some dogs just powered thorugh the pain, so driven were they to chase deer. They either ran out of range of the Ecollar or the trainer simply gave up, realizing it wasn't going to work.

A few years back I developed this "crittering" protocol to stop police dogs from chasing cats on urban yard-to-yard searches. I needed something that would not interfere with the dog's drives to continue the hunt for the crooks. Simply "blasting" like the old hunters did might have the dogs fearing the cats and they'd simply go into avoidance of them. If the crook was in a back yard where a cat had been or was present, the dog might simply avoid that yard and we'd miss him. I couldn't afford to have the dog fearing the cat, I only needed to stop the chasing.

The protocol also works for SAR dogs to stop them from chasing "critters," hence the name. Accidentally I discovered that it also works to stop dog-to-dog aggression and there's a video at the end of the protocol that shows two dogs playing, one of which used to be aggressive towards the other.

The protocol can be found here. http://loucastle.com/critter.htm

I've never understood people who "hate" inanimate objects. They're completely benign, until a human picks them up and uses, or misuses them. It's not the object but the misuse that should be hated, it seems to me.

Sometimes nothing else works but an Ecollar. And this is one area where it excels.
 
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