No pics with this one. It all happened too fast and I didn't even think about snapping a picture.
Anytime we have the dogs off leash, we always put e-collars on the dogs. Sally gets one because I just don't 100% trust her. She's totally obedient to me and my commands, but I'm always afraid if she sees a deer or whatever, she just might take off. It's never happened, but the e-collar is my security blanket.
Hoppy gets one because he is Sally's constant shadow. I guarantee you if Sally took off, Hoppy would be right behind her.
Badger gets one also because his recall stinks. We're working on it. Around the house, the recall is okay, but out with people and dogs and distractions, the recall is non-existent.
Spud does not get one because he is the perfect dog....total obedience to everything he's told.
Okay, we were down at St. Simon's Island last week. It was late in the afternoon and I had taken Sally by herself over to the beach for one last romp with the chuck-it. Now, Sally is an awesome retriever. No matter what I throw, or what I send her after, she always goes straight for it....gets it...and brings it back to me. 100% of the time....every single time. She never falters or gets distracted. (Well, in the field, she might squat and pee on her way back, but she holds the bird in her mouth!)
Well, I had thrown 3 or 4 balls down the beach and we were having fun with a crowd gathering to watch us. I threw one ball way down the beach, and it went in the shallow water. She had to go in...maybe up to her chest to get the ball. No problem.
She grabbed the ball and started back to me immediately. But all of a sudden she stopped and looked out towards the water. I honestly didn't know what to do. That's never ever happened before. I called her. I gave her recall command, "Sally, here." Nothing. She just stood there staring at the ocean.
I gave her the "here" command again, this time more firmly. She was totally ignoring me. Never happened before.
Then I couldn't believe what happened. She dropped the ball and started out into the water....like she was going to retrieve something. I couldn't have that...the waves were started to get kind of big as the tide was coming in.
I yelled and yelled, but she was hell bent on going out into that water for something. She was approaching the danger point. Then I remembered the e-collar. I hit the "knick" level. Nothing. She ignored it. I hit the full button. Nothing.
I had to turn it almost all the way up to get her attention. When I turned it up, she turned around and swam back. As she did so, I saw what she was going after.......
DOLPHINS!!!!! There were dolphins rather close up. I have no idea why she did that. She must have smelled them, but I have no idea why that was so strong as to make her abandon her retrieve to go after them.
Anyway, that's why I keep an e-collar on the dogs when we are out and about off leash.
Nancy, thanks goodness for the e-collar, that's not a situation I even want to venture to think about, dolphins and dogs.
Question for you, with an e-collar, can you start a dog on one at any age? Lola is a notorious runner, there is NO re-call command if she gets loose, you cannot, under any circumstances, let her loose outside.
She will jump into a car though, so when she has gotten away from us, that is how we catch her.
Anyway, maybe an e-collar would be an option for her?
Daisy, Hayshaker She's Utterly Unforgettable, CGC
Lola, our mellow yellow gal. Gotcha on 1-7-07
Well, I tell you what: I can definitely see the advantage in that instance. Dolphins! I can't believe it.
I take the boys off-leash places sometimes, but I seem to have gotten less confident about this rather than more. I live in fear they are going to see something and take off. As a result, we've been doing less off-leash than we used to.
Thank heavens they were dolphins rather than sharks!!
We also use a Dogtra 200 NCP e-collar.
99.99% of the time we use the "P" (pager) buzz, vibrating stim. 0.01% of the time we reinforce this with a "N" (nick) -- a brief electrical stim; this is adjustable between "0" (no) intensity level and "100" (highest). Typically I set this at "20," that's the level at which I just barely begin to feel a twitch when applied to my bare fingers. That also works effectively for Puff.
NO ONE should begin to use an e-collar WITHOUT carefully going through the training procedures for both Lab and owner.
E-collars are NOT an out of the box, charge the unit, onto the neck, push the button type of thing.
Befoe using one, for the future benefit of your Lab, you should know very well or be trained in how to use an e-collar correctly.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
What Bob said. Specifically about reading as muchas you can about them, and their use. Thenconsider finding someone to actually train you about their use, and maybe a professional with the dog.
I thought HK was 99% proofed on recall. We had used the ecollar for a while and then gained the confidence that I stopped using it. That was fine for several months, and then she saw something and took off. Two of the longest hours in my life, but she came home. She has been wearing the collar since. I have yet to push a button, but she does not leave the house without it on her neck. Somethimes I don't even turn it on, eventually I may find this is a mistake. I hope not. There is an exception to the collar and her being out. That is the dog park. I don't have it on her there, don't need it.
I am trying to figure out a way to ween us off having to put it on her. haven't come up with a good idea for that yet. Theonly option I have is to long lead her when we go out for potty breaks. I don't wnat to do that, the eCollar does the trick even though I don't have to actually use it. It gives both of us more freedom than any kind of lead.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
You'll appreciate this story.
A friend of mine was at the beach with her two yellow labs, and her friend was there with her 2 black labs. They were throwing balls into the surf, letting the dogs play, etc. They live at the beach so this is pretty normal for them.
Anyway, a pod of dolphins swam in close. The older black lab swam out to see them. The dolphins played around a bit, and then turned to swim back out to see, and the older dog went with them.
Of course his owner was panicked, the dog was not coming back. She ran to get someone with a boat. Meanwhile my friend waded out as far as she could, up to her neck, she was slapping the water and crying at this point, yelling at the dolphins to please bring the dog back.
The dolphins circled the dog and slowly came back in toward my friend. They were all around her now and they stayed there until she was able to grab the dog and pull him closer to shore. Then the dolphins all dived under the water and left.
They were absolutely stunned that the dolphins returned the dog.
And yes, that dog too never went out to the beach without an e-collar after that.
Amazing, true story.
I am so glad you were able to bring her back in.
Katie came with an e-collar but I have never used it. It looks rather old and worn out actually so I don't honestly trust it. She was supposedly trained for hunting with it and he said he rarely ever nicked her but yet that button on the remote is as worn as the tone one. The first time she saw it since she has been with us she acted like she was scared that I was going to put it on her so I am assuming that her former idiot owner had no clue in training her.
I don't know if I should ever try and get a new e-collar and retrain her. We have plans of taking her camping and boating this summer but at this point I would have to keep her on a long line at all times. If I would go decide to go this route should I get in touch with an experienced trainer and have them work with Katie and myself? She is 4yo. so maybe she is too old to train in this manner.
I would love to know more.
Wow - that's so scary! Glad everything turned out okay, though!