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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have an almost 5 year old german shepherd. She is my fiance's dog that has had lots of issues. I'm starting from scratch basically. I'm learning clicker training only works for as long as she's interested. Her focus on me is very poor at best. She knows basic commands but carries them out if and when she feels like it. I'll be retraining her with an e-collar once it comes in the mail. My question is..how easy is this method? when do you know when theyve reached a working level for the dog, and how to adjust it as needed for distractions? I ordered the Aetertek AT-216S which has the shock with a turn dial, the vibrate function, and a beep button.

any suggestions before i get started?

oh..and whats the difference between the vibrate and shock sensation? what do you use the vibrate for?
 

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Basically you'll use the ecollar to get her attention. Dogs are very one dimensional. Start with zero. Give her a command. If she listens praise her abundantly. If she doesnt dial up. Give her the command again but this time use the ecollar. If she doesnt repeat the process.

Make sure she knows the command already or youre able to guide her with the leash.

Work level changes based upon enviroment.

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thanks! I was told to look for like an ear twitch, or for them to kinda freeze for a second to show they feel it? She knows sit,down and stay. Sometimes she'll look right at me then look away and ignore. Im really hoping this helps. She atleast listens to me more then my fiance..and its his dog. She hasn't really had direction or training in her life till now..
 

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thanks! I was told to look for like an ear twitch, or for them to kinda freeze for a second to show they feel it? She knows sit,down and stay. Sometimes she'll look right at me then look away and ignore. Im really hoping this helps. She atleast listens to me more then my fiance..and its his dog. She hasn't really had direction or training in her life till now..
I heard about the ear twitch too, but dailing up is what I learned from my personal trainer.

Something that helped me refine recall, place, sit, etc. Is when they listen, make it seem like they won a gold metal in the olympics. Praise them by saying "sit good boy" over and over again. Reenforce it. Scratch their head or back.

Also when they hold their sit or place, release them by saying "break" and give the time to play. That will be there reward.

The great thing now is playtime or praise is the reward not treats. My dog is not treat driven so this method was helpful. Check out my instagram in my signature. There is couple short clips of me training my dog.

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I heard about the ear twitch too, but dailing up is what I learned from my personal trainer.

Something that helped me refine recall, place, sit, etc. Is when they listen, make it seem like they won a gold metal in the olympics. Praise them by saying "sit good boy" over and over again. Reenforce it. Scratch their head or back.

Also when they hold their sit or place, release them by saying "break" and give the time to play. That will be there reward.

The great thing now is playtime or praise is the reward not treats. My dog is not treat driven so this method was helpful. Check out my instagram in my signature. There is couple short clips of me training my dog.

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I've been doing this as much as possible with her. With playing, she used to grab things out of my hand and bite me. Now i have her sitting...her reward is i say good girl when she sits and i throw the bone/ball. When she gets tired and she doesn't feel like playing anymore is when she starts to ignore. Clicker training with treats she gets impatient and just goes for the bag i have. I have her sitting at every doorway and walking out before i let her go out. I posted in the new welcome section on some of her other behaviors im working on. It hasn't been easy. She's very confused and her stubborn streak doesn't help. I needed something more with her. She gets too intense or focused on something and i can't break her of it. Clapping, yelling..ive even tried pinning her..she goes right back. I don't like doing it to her(the pinning) But it atleast seems to de-escalate whatever she is doing.
 

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Throwing an e-collar on a dog and just dialing it up is pretty one dimensional. What you'll wind up with is a collar literate dog with limited training. Yes you need to find the dogs working level. Working level is not pain just a slight stimulation. Some dogs will be sensitive enough that the vibrate mode is enough to train with an e-collar. The dog has to not associate the stimulus with the collar. And the dog needs to learn that it controls or shuts off the stimulus by doing what you request. There are plenty of web based training methods for free that explain all of this a lot better than I can. I used thishttp://www.loucastle.com/articles/how-to. This method is a step by step that works. Take time while waiting for the collar to come in and read this stuff.
 

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My suggestion: return this collar when you get it. It has 7 levels of stim which means the jump between levels is huge, giving you way less ability to tailor your training for your dog appropriately, and the lowest level is still going to be pretty high.

How long have you known and worked with this dog? If the dog is not responding reliably there are LOTS of other explanations other than "it only does commands when it wants to"

What CD woodcox said is good info but you cant train that way with a collar like this. Return it, work on your foundation, possiblywith a trainer, and then if e collar training is really the answer but a dogtra.

To understand the difference, a dogtra has 127 levels of stim, so you have some finesse in application and the ability not to blast your dog at such a high level that you cause unintended side effects
 

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boy oh boy... i think you need to do WAY more research before you even open the box. Like Thecowboysgirl stated, return that collar. You get what you pay for. I would recommend a collar from ecollar technologies (the mini educator works for most dogs, Remote Dog Training Collars by E-Collar Technologies | Dog and Hunting Dog Electronic Training Collars) or a dogtra model. I personally use and recommend ecollar technologies.

I'm sure there are many different methods to ecollar training. Please realize that the ecollar is not going to train the dog. Please dont put the collar on the dog and start pushing buttons and saying commands. The dog must be SOLID on its obedience commands and it understands 100% what you are asking of it before putting the ecollar on. You then layer the stim of the collar pairing in with your verbal commands, essentially teaching the dog how to turn the pressure on. Like I said, there is many different ways to train with the ecollar. Research and find out what method you feel comfortable with. There are also many different stages to ecollar training. If you are unsure what to do, either do plenty of research on your own or hire a professional trainer.
 

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Please use the wait to brush up on dog training and learning theory.

Review, or learn and understand the four quadrants of operant conditioning.

Positive Reinforcement (dog does thing to gain something it wants, rewards, clicker/marker training, treats)
Negative Reinforcement (dog does things to avoid, or lessen something it doesn't want, leash pressure, low level stim (an unpleasant sensation).
Negative Punishment (dog learns not to do something because it looses an expected privilege, dog jumps up and scratches door, you don't let the dog out)
Positive Punishment (dog learns not to do something because something unpleasant happens, dog lunges at squirrel, dog hits the end of his training collar, etc.)

above is not a primer, just a quick idea, many websites cover this (along with lots of animal rights politics-fun).

Management (using physical but (supposedly) non-aversive barriers to avoid unwanted behaviour (crates, gates, leashes, long lines, etc)

Extinction (dog stops doing something because he gets nothing out of the behaviour. Dog jumps up on human, human ignores dog)

You'er doing the clicker training wrong (judging by the results-confused dog). Your dog will be equally confused by an e-collar, and less happy. Often a 'stubborn' dog is actually a confused dog (not always, sometimes it's just a dog that likes squirrels better) and then you need to figure out how to be less confusing.

Get a better ecollar, I have the Einstein mini-educator. Has a very good range of LOW LEVEL stim; this is important. It cost what for me is a small fortune, but seeing him run and jump joyfully off-lead in the woods, worth it.

I only use the e-collar for off-lead in the woods. Others train everything with e-collars. Then there is everything in between. It's important to know all of those things before you decide what to do with your dog. Even if you hire a professional trainer, it's important to know as much as possible. Not all trainers are created equal. You might not share their ethics, etc...

I highly recommend Lou Castle's site to get you up to speed on how these things work.
Dobbs training, I think, also has some outlines.

I clicker train my dog to 'do' things, lots of treats, toys if he's into that, I give him choices when it's safe to do so.
I use negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement to train safety behaviours when management would be worse for the dog (ie, offleash is important, so he wears an ecollar for that). Those are my ethics. It's your dog and your choice but if you don't know how things work, and how dogs learn, you can't actually choose.

I hope that helps. Be happy to answer questions to how I train, but it's a very personal choice.

...but I am a just dog nerd, train my own dogs, read up on everything, try things, dabble in dog sports--it's good to know where folks are coming from when you're reading their advice (that's why I'm saying that) .
 

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boy oh boy... i think you need to do WAY more research before you even open the box. Like Thecowboysgirl stated, return that collar. You get what you pay for. I would recommend a collar from ecollar technologies (the mini educator works for most dogs, Remote Dog Training Collars by E-Collar Technologies | Dog and Hunting Dog Electronic Training Collars) or a dogtra model. I personally use and recommend ecollar technologies.

I'm sure there are many different methods to ecollar training. Please realize that the ecollar is not going to train the dog. Please dont put the collar on the dog and start pushing buttons and saying commands. The dog must be SOLID on its obedience commands and it understands 100% what you are asking of it before putting the ecollar on. You then layer the stim of the collar pairing in with your verbal commands, essentially teaching the dog how to turn the pressure on. Like I said, there is many different ways to train with the ecollar. Research and find out what method you feel comfortable with. There are also many different stages to ecollar training. If you are unsure what to do, either do plenty of research on your own or hire a professional trainer.
You beat me to it in a lot less words.
Yep, agree.
 

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I've been doing this as much as possible with her. With playing, she used to grab things out of my hand and bite me. Now i have her sitting...her reward is i say good girl when she sits and i throw the bone/ball. When she gets tired and she doesn't feel like playing anymore is when she starts to ignore. Clicker training with treats she gets impatient and just goes for the bag i have. I have her sitting at every doorway and walking out before i let her go out. I posted in the new welcome section on some of her other behaviors im working on. It hasn't been easy. She's very confused and her stubborn streak doesn't help. I needed something more with her. She gets too intense or focused on something and i can't break her of it. Clapping, yelling..ive even tried pinning her..she goes right back. I don't like doing it to her(the pinning) But it atleast seems to de-escalate whatever she is doing.
"She is very confused" then don't put an e collar on her. It is going to make things worse.

I really think you should find a good balanced trainer and get a few lessons. I also recommend you stop pinning her, that could get you in a whole mess of trouble. I still don't know how long you have known this dog? Or how long your fiancee has had her? This is important information since I think you said it is a rescue dog?

What is it that she is so intense and focused on? Can you work farther away from that thing?

My female is a grabber/biter when you hold a toy. I put a stop to it non confrontationally. First the dog has to be taught a release that means they can grab the toy now, and if they go for it otherwise, timeout from play. Even if you just cross your arms and turn your back on her for 1 minute. That is one minute that she doesn't have access to the toy because she broke the rules. Teaching her to target the toy properly will help avoid accidental aim problems where you get bit. Michael Ellis has some stuff on this.
 

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I've been doing this as much as possible with her. With playing, she used to grab things out of my hand and bite me. Now i have her sitting...her reward is i say good girl when she sits and i throw the bone/ball. When she gets tired and she doesn't feel like playing anymore is when she starts to ignore. Clicker training with treats she gets impatient and just goes for the bag i have. I have her sitting at every doorway and walking out before i let her go out. I posted in the new welcome section on some of her other behaviors im working on. It hasn't been easy. She's very confused and her stubborn streak doesn't help. I needed something more with her. She gets too intense or focused on something and i can't break her of it. Clapping, yelling..ive even tried pinning her..she goes right back. I don't like doing it to her(the pinning) But it atleast seems to de-escalate whatever she is doing.
Outside of training or telling her what do, does she have boundaries?

Crate trained? Scheduled feeding? How do you feed her?

I would also recommend a trainer. While the internet has a wealth of information sometimes it can get confusing. Its also hard to give solid advice because every dog is diff.

Think of a trainer as an invest. The things you learn from the trainer are valuable tools you can apply for a lifetime.
You beat me to it in a lot less words.
Yep, agree.

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I just found another thread about this dog a d read it. So, somebody has already used an e collar on this dog? You said originally that they had and you did not agree with it. I wonder how the e collar was used before? Because that could be impacting the dog's response to commands now.

You also said the dog would get day long exercise on weekends and still be hyper. Sounds like nothing consistent on weekdays. At one point I believe you said that the dog was under exercised, which I don't doubt. Here is the thing: when a dog it chronically under exercised, does not recieve adequate supervision, guidance, or leadership, they habitually begin ti act in a certain way: usually hyper, hard to control, lots of acting out, because their "normal" consists of way too much energy with nothing constructive go direct it at. One day of exercise does not change habits. You need a consistent change over a span of months so that the dog's new "normal" is that when she is in the house she is satisfied, kind of tired, and ready to nap. Times when she is not ready to nap she can learn to chew quietly on a chew toy a d wait for time to go do her exercise, training, ect.

Here is the flip side: my dogs are properly exercised a d get plenty of training. On the unusual days when I don't get them all of this, they do not turn into raving lunatics who eat my house. I can tell a difference in their energy level but they dont turn into werewolves. Every so often a day of this or a day if that is not what matters. What counts is what happe s most days.

Some dogs get hyper like this because the only exercise they ever get is out of control, adrenaline packed ball play or somethi g like that. They are never taught by a human to do anything in a controlled, structured way (such as a structured leash walk, or a problem solving training session), their brains I think become wired to either be sleeping, or be in full on crazy mode because they have no experience with other states. Teach the other states.

Laslty, dogs CAN get so overtired that they act like idiots and this may also be happening in your weekend warrior episodes.

You got a lot of good advice on your other thread that also applies here. The more I read, the more strongly I feel that you shouldn't touch that collar you just bought with a ten foot pole.

If you can't or won't get help to learn to handle and train the dog better, then please rehome her before she bites someone as a result of these confrontational techniques you are using.
 

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I have an almost 5 year old german shepherd. She is my fiance's dog that has had lots of issues. I'm starting from scratch basically. I'm learning clicker training only works for as long as she's interested. Her focus on me is very poor at best. She knows basic commands but carries them out if and when she feels like it. I'll be retraining her with an e-collar once it comes in the mail. My question is..how easy is this method? when do you know when theyve reached a working level for the dog, and how to adjust it as needed for distractions? I ordered the Aetertek AT-216S which has the shock with a turn dial, the vibrate function, and a beep button.

any suggestions before i get started?

oh..and whats the difference between the vibrate and shock sensation? what do you use the vibrate for?
There are different ways to train with a remote collar, you need to research them and choose one you agree with and that you can grasp.

I do not get caught up with the numbers and 'working level'. I never look at the numbers as I pay attention to my dog's response, that will tell me if I need to go down or up depending on how distracted are or if I am increasing drive or slowing down energy. This is why I prefer my SMS sport dog collar over other brands I have used because I don't need 100 something numbers. I mean really what is the difference between a 21 or 22 or 46 and 47. I love working with 7 numbers and having different levels and different modes for that, it is plenty enough. Keep it simple.

I never use vibrate to train a dog. I prefer stim. Every dog can feel the vibration but not every dog can feel different levels of the stim. It gives me more flexibility and accuracy when working dogs for different things. I train using stim as attention and use it as a gas pedal, steering wheel, and brake...vibration would limit a lot of what I can do with a remote collar by how I train. Again, different ways to train a dog with this collar so find someone's methods you understand and agree with and like the results.

Right now it sounds like the dog rules the roost and you guys are letting her get away with it. Always train with urgency so they understand what is expected of them if they are ever in a situation where you need to act with urgency. Dogs learn by seeing pictures. The picture they see, get away with, and get rewarded for is what they think is correct and will repeat. We have to show them better pictures.

My suggestion is to research different remote collar trainers and get a mentor or a pro to help you out. There are probably a lot of bad habits that you guys need help breaking.


This is what a typical day 1 of training looks like when I start a dog with the remote collar. This is a husky I started last week.

 

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OP, I'm new to using an e collar and don't feel comfortable using it other than for off leash leave it, fine tuning heel and punitively for barking in the truck. I can turn it up to 100 and my pup will run through it screaming if she's in full drive so I don't use it that way. A couple SAR trainers have told me the best way to use an e collar is to teach the dog it turns off the low level stim by doing what you ask. I've administered moderate-high stim and still didn't get what I wanted; I just created pain and confusion, so I just use it moderately and find it best to get what I want from my pup on a lead.
 

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My suggestion: return this collar when you get it. It has 7 levels of stim which means the jump between levels is huge, giving you way less ability to tailor your training for your dog appropriately, and the lowest level is still going to be pretty high.

How long have you known and worked with this dog? If the dog is not responding reliably there are LOTS of other explanations other than "it only does commands when it wants to"

What CD woodcox said is good info but you cant train that way with a collar like this. Return it, work on your foundation, possiblywith a trainer, and then if e collar training is really the answer but a dogtra.

To understand the difference, a dogtra has 127 levels of stim, so you have some finesse in application and the ability not to blast your dog at such a high level that you cause unintended side effects
This is 100% true. I bought a store brand e-collar and had to return it and order a Dogtra arc. The lowest level of stim was too much for my dog. there is an old thread on here somewhere about it.
 

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Good articles, a discussion board and you may even be able to talk to Lou on the phone about the correct way to introduce and use the e-collar and the type of collar to purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just found another thread about this dog a d read it. So, somebody has already used an e collar on this dog? You said originally that they had and you did not agree with it. I wonder how the e collar was used before? Because that could be impacting the dog's response to commands now.

You also said the dog would get day long exercise on weekends and still be hyper. Sounds like nothing consistent on weekdays. At one point I believe you said that the dog was under exercised, which I don't doubt. Here is the thing: when a dog it chronically under exercised, does not recieve adequate supervision, guidance, or leadership, they habitually begin ti act in a certain way: usually hyper, hard to control, lots of acting out, because their "normal" consists of way too much energy with nothing constructive go direct it at. One day of exercise does not change habits. You need a consistent change over a span of months so that the dog's new "normal" is that when she is in the house she is satisfied, kind of tired, and ready to nap. Times when she is not ready to nap she can learn to chew quietly on a chew toy a d wait for time to go do her exercise, training, ect.

Here is the flip side: my dogs are properly exercised a d get plenty of training. On the unusual days when I don't get them all of this, they do not turn into raving lunatics who eat my house. I can tell a difference in their energy level but they dont turn into werewolves. Every so often a day of this or a day if that is not what matters. What counts is what happe s most days.

Some dogs get hyper like this because the only exercise they ever get is out of control, adrenaline packed ball play or somethi g like that. They are never taught by a human to do anything in a controlled, structured way (such as a structured leash walk, or a problem solving training session), their brains I think become wired to either be sleeping, or be in full on crazy mode because they have no experience with other states. Teach the other states.

Laslty, dogs CAN get so overtired that they act like idiots and this may also be happening in your weekend warrior episodes.

You got a lot of good advice on your other thread that also applies here. The more I read, the more strongly I feel that you shouldn't touch that collar you just bought with a ten foot pole.

If you can't or won't get help to learn to handle and train the dog better, then please rehome her before she bites someone as a result of these confrontational techniques you are using.
My fiance's parents had her before. I do exercise her now that she lives with us instead. I take her out and play fetch with her. At some point, usually within half an hour she gets tired and runs back up onto the porch to tell me she's done. I try to do this atleast twice a day. Ive trained other dogs before successfully, just not one that's this old with problems. She no longer eats the house as it was anxiety driven. His parents would tease her whenever they left her..so she would throw a panic attack and eat the house. This has since resolved. I desensitized her by putting shoes on, picking up keys and not leaving. Just the keys jingling was enough to make her pace and whine. He refuses to rehome her, and its not my dog. I took her from his parents hoping to do right by her, or atleast do better by her. She knows basic commands, but will ignore you if she feels like it. I'm trying to do this the right way.. and i did some research into another collar. I'm going to keep the one for break through behavioral issues while we're out of the house. The other im using as a training tool(negative stimulus).

PS. she's not aggressive like most german shepherds..she's overly friendly
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Outside of training or telling her what do, does she have boundaries?

Crate trained? Scheduled feeding? How do you feed her?

I would also recommend a trainer. While the internet has a wealth of information sometimes it can get confusing. Its also hard to give solid advice because every dog is diff.

Think of a trainer as an invest. The things you learn from the trainer are valuable tools you can apply for a lifetime.



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So...ive tried to make her sit and stay..i walk through the door first..then release her from the stay. That's really the only boundry i can establish right now. She still jumps up on guests(she's too heavy for me to hold back) I tell her to leave the cats alone she gets that herding focus and ignores me..even if i try to touch her to get her attention. The collar she had previous at his parents, she only paid attention when she was wearing it. Even then she was threatened multiple times, then shocked. It would slow her down, but not stop her behavior. She did have a crate, it causes her anxiety and she ate it..(literately) I wanted to get a trainer if i don't have success by tax time i was going to use my returns. Unfortunately i'm hearing stories that the dogs break training after so long..and its a waste of money. NO sure if that's when you send they away a couple weeks and get them back type training or what.
 

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Good I am really happy to hear you are looking at other collars. Dogtra is my favorite, lots of people like Tri Tronics, which I guess is Garmin now, e Collar technologies Mini Educator seems pretty popular. Pretty sure that is the top 3 but if I am forgetting one someone will jump in.

There are steps you can take to prevent the dog getting collar wise, I am sure it is covered on Lou Castle's website. Or buy a DVD from Robin Mcfarlane (I havent watched hers...disclaimer...)

Besides that i think structured non adrenaline exercise is important. (In addition to ball)

Lou Castle has a crittering protocol that you may be able to apply to help with this dog chasing the cats.

If she likes the ball make her work for it as a reward, that adds mental stimulation which will calm her down. Ignore the cat? Run outside and throw the ball.
 
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