I have actually pondered an e collar for training off leash at the park. You see, Payton knows the come command, but when he's playing with the other dogs and sees a dog in the distance being walked by their owner, he will bolt after the other dog to say hi! Many people don't like this and I don't blame them, but I thought it might be a way to correct him if he starts running off! Anyone try that for this matter? Payton is 9 months old and we practiced "come" first with a 6 foot lead and then up to 50 feet. He has had it down pat for about two months, but can't seem to get it when off leash!!
Only use an e-collar for correcting a behavior if you have put a solid foundation in first and have a mentor that is qualified to show you the ropes.
And by solid foundation with recall, I mean this: https://www.justlabradors.com/forum/i...c,16182.0.html
To have a solid foundation with recall, you seriously have to have done that many practice recalls. If not, it's not really fair to him because he doesn't have a solid foundation (though you think he does).
<br />U-CD Of Love and Other Demons, CD, RE, CGC (Gabby)<br />Maverick<br />Saint Louis
I would not use an e-collar (or anything but a plain nylon/leather buckle collar) when my dog is playing with other dogs.
Where's the first spot a dog will mouth/chew when wrestling with another dog?
A long line and a consistent reward schedule will have the same result, in my experience.
I wanted to give my 2 cents worth here...
I borrowed an e-collar from my neighbor, but HAVEN'T put it on her yet...just haven't been able to bring myself to it. But, today's experience might be the kicker.
I will admit, I have NOT been persistent enough with the recall training as many would suggest, or as I would like to in an ideal situation. Frankly, I simply don't have the time to work enough -- using positive-only methods -- to develop a 100% recall. Can it be done? CERTAINLY. I have heard many folks here that can attest to it. But, I think it has to be the most time-consuming way of doing things that there is. And I think the reality is that many of us have enough time to bond with/work with/walk/exercise our dogs, but maybe NOT QUITE enough time to teach 100% recall using positive-only techniques. For example, I work rotating shifts, so tiredness/fatigue are big issues at times; we own a large acreage -- great for the pup, but grass mowing/upkeep are very time-consuming; all this combined with other commitments and being a husband/father mean that I don't have as much time as I might like to dedicate 100% attention to training the pup.
I am NOT trying to sound like I'm making excuses; I do work with Misty as much as time permits -- I accepted that it would be a large time commitment before we decided we were willing to take on the responsibility of getting her. I try daily to work with her on retreives with training dummies; I will normally take a 45-minute or so walk with her off-leash each day, and at least 1, sometimes two, on leash walks of 15-30 minutes. I work at every opportunity with obedience training, etc. etc. BUT...it seems that my choices are ONE: to find a way to devote hours and hours, training recall in a "positive-only" fashion, or, take what time I have, and work to strengthen her recall using some "electronic" help to hasten the process.
I can understand how these things could be mis-used. I could see someone who thinks it's fine to "fry" the pup at every opportunity, when the pup doesn't even know what in the world the correction was for. However, I think I can understand how they can be used, properly, as well.
Here is what happened today...
I took Misty on her off-leash walk. An hour, and she behaved GREAT (as usual)!! I can keep her within whatever range I want from me just using voice commands; she knows "leave it" when she wants to pick up a forbidden item; every time a car approaches (we walk on country/very very low traffic roads), I tell her to COME, which she will, and then put her in a sit-stay, which she obeys, until the car has passed. This all works well.
However -- there are 3 occasions where she loses her "recall" -- ONE, we see a dog not on a leash that wants to play with her; TWO, we see a person close-by (which of course, Misty thinks MUST be standing there for the sole purpose of being her playmate : ), and THREE, we get back to our house and it's time for the walk to end (when she proceeds to go into a hyper-insane round of butt-tucking!!)
We have had heavy rain yesterday, and this morning my new neighbor's still relatively grass-less yard has a HUGE muddy swamp in the front -- which, when this "swamp" exists (after any heavy rain), is Misty's FAVORITE thing to play in. I know this, so today, I decided I'd be smart, and about 100 feet before we got home, I called Misty to me, with the intent of putting her in a sit-stay while I clipped her leash on -- thus preventing her muddy romp in the swamp.
I obviously, in hindsight, should have come up with this idea at one hundred and TEN feet away. But, alas, I didn't. > She started to trot away as I called her. She ignored and started to "gallop." I called firmly -- MISTY, COME!! She stopped dead, turned around and looked at me for about 1/2 second, and then turned back around and kept trotting toward the swamp. I tried again, as firmly as I could -- MISTY! COME!! She stopped dead again, turned around, considered my command, and then took off full speed for the swamp. After 5 minutes of butt-tucking through the water/mud and playing "keep away" from me, I finally corraled her, and had to take her home for a thorough bath. : >
Anyway, my point is, she OBVIOUSLY KNOWS the come command. She obeys it frequently; she clearly heard the command and chose not to obey it --TWICE -- in this case. At that moment, I SO MUCH wished I had the e-collar clipped on. I am certain that a nick of the 'zap' button, and she would have turned around and come back. THIS is where I see this tool being useful. Yes, I know many folks will say that this is not fair to the dog; that it is MY fault that she did not come back to me -- I haven't trained her around enough "distractions." This is probably true -- she DOES need more repetition. However, I simply cannot agree that for those who are not able to spend quite enough time reinforcing the "come" command to a very headstrong young pup using positive-only techniques, that the e-collar cannot, when used properly, humanely, and intelligently, be a good tool for hastening the training process.
These are just my opinions, of course, but the bottom line is, Bolts21, I think your case sounds like one where use of an e-collar would help. I know others won't agree; just the opinions of a very inexperienced dog owner/trainer, who is struggling with similar issues with my own 5-month old pup!
I'm going to bite the bullet here and say that while you could use an e-collar for this, you could also do it the "old fashioned" way -- by training and hard work. E-collars should be used as a last resort. Your dog is not doing anything wrong here. He simply hasn't been trained to come back when called which is YOUR problem, not his. He is being a normal socialable Labrador. You can't "correct" him for a command he doesn't know. You will only confuse and upset him.
Read the 'Our Best Advice' thread and build up his recall in steps. First in your house and yard with no discrations, then with distractions, then out in a public place with no distractions, then with distractions, and so on. In the mean time, when you take him to the park, pop him back on his leash as soon as you see another person or dog.
Steve, Misty may well be headstrong, but please don't forget how old she is. No way would I expect anything other then an average recall on a puppy. She is what, 20 weeks old? my dogs didn't have what I consider to be a very reliable recall until they were at least 12-18 months old. That would be about 12 months for Joker, 18 months for Murphy, Maisys recall, at 6 years old can STILL be sketchy and Trick my Collie cross has always had a fantastic recall since he was tiny...that is his loyal Collie genes kicking in though and not training.
Even now my dogs still blow off the recall sometimes. They are not the type of dogs to bolt off into the blue (they wouldn't be off leash otherwise) and not return but if they smell something extra special and trot off in a sniffing frenzy I don't think its the end of the world...they are still dogs after all. Its part of the package.
Points very well taken. Yes, she's very young (though I still argue, HEADSTRONG!! )
And yes, like your dogs, I trust that Misty would truly not "bolt" and not return, or she wouldn't be off-leash!
Steve, sorry if this sounds rude...it's not meant to be...but Misty is YOUNG, and really has no business being off leash right now.Why would you punish your dog for your inability to follow through with training? Is it hard? HELL YES. The only thing you are accomplishing by issuing multiple commands with no means to enforce is making your dog savvy...she will learn just exactly how long it takes you to react and how many times you hollar at her before she "REALLY" has to come.I will admit, I have NOT been persistent enough with the recall training as many would suggest, or as I would like to in an ideal situation. Frankly, I simply don't have the time to work enough -- using positive-only methods -- to develop a 100% recall. Can it be done? CERTAINLY.
That is why a long lead (which can be implemented into a walk) and some distractions are essential for recall training. Let the dog go all the way out on the lead and then issue the command, MISTY, COME. *no response* HAUL HER EVER LOVING BUTT in, and say, NO, MISTY COME! You gave command, you follow through with the consequence of not responding. But coming to you has to be better than anything they have in their sites. Make it a party. Sounds like Misty really feels like she rules the roost. Not a good place to be.
We all work and hold down lives outside of our dogs. You made the committment to her, you need to follow through.
And to the OP, I would not recommend the dog park or take him there to train with a long lead to work on recall...until recall is achieved...or at least a little more reliable. I don't really honestly care if the dogs are running around...at a dog park, that is the sole purpose.
Another resource is when you are training heel, teach "watch me". The more you have your dog associate that being next to you is a great thing, the less apt they are to wonder off or take off.
Just my experience. Rider was pretty reliable off leash at about 12 months. He's 100% reliable all of the time now...and I never used an ecollar.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
I agree with you on this all the way.
E collars are not trainers, they are training aids.
In the situation as you mentioned above your dog knew full well what was expected,,, thought about it (twice anyways) and made the definative choice to disobey. IMHO,, definately ZAP time.
At that point in time your dog learned a lesson, you don't have full control. The dog knows it does have a choice when a "command" is made. The ZAP would of made a world of difference right then and there in reguards of that will go through the dog's rationalizing process for a long time.
By not being able to enforce a command I feel you've missed one of them "golden" moments.
I was against e collars for a long, long time through ignorance. Then a guy explained & showed me the proper use.
In field training (hunting) they are worth their weight in gold.
Very important, they are not trainers. They shouldbe used exceedingly sparingly, and only when it is obvious that the dog is willfully disobeying the handler.
I'm also convinced they are not for everyone.
But in your situation, YES, it would of been a perfect justification for use.