proper e-collar use
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Thread: proper e-collar use

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    pross1492 is offline Member
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    Defaultproper e-collar use

    i know, i know, there are plenty of e-collar threads on this site. but i have a very specific question for those of you who have a good understanding of their proper use. i have put in the work and trained my 9 month old lab/german pointer mix. she knows her basic commands well and she is generally a well-behaved dog, aside from the general rowdiness that comes with puppyhood. as you can imagine, she needs alot of exercise (GSPs can be even more hype than labs). she especially likes to run. as a result, we spend alot of time in the woods and at the beach, off leash. this is where my two major problems arise. she will come when called UNLESS she has better things to do. if she gets distracted by passers by, or she is finds something on the ground to eat (usually sticks). she will eat anything in her path, chewing and swallowing sticks, bark, shells, and even jellyfish. anything and everything. when she hears me call her when she is into something she shouldnt be into, she picks it up and runs around trying to get me to chase her. it worries me because she eats ALOT of sticks. its a problem we've always had. she obeys "drop it", as long as she is on the leash. but off leash, she knows i cannot control her and she takes full advantage. also, when we get back around the car, she will not come when called. she's a pretty smart dog and she seems to take full advantage when she knows i can not correct her. she is not all that interested in treats either. for the sole purpose of giving her a correction when she doesnt obey the "come" command, is it ok to use an e-collar (of course after learning about and following though on a proper introduction process, etc.)? i consider myself a very conscienious and attentive dog owner and i ont want use anything that may cause more harm than good. but lately i have been feeling like the more time that passes, the more she is learn how to train ME, and i would like to nip it in the bud.
    any advice would be appreciated.

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    DefaultRe: proper e-collar use

    What i have learned from using a e-collar with haylee is to train her manually first off! Then use the collar as a reminder afterwords. You HAVE to leash train her first to do atleast heel, sit, stay, down, come before you can use the collar. I made the mistake at first just using the collar, and it made her fearful whenever i put it on her afterwords, And I had it turned to a low setting ( 2 of 8 ). After a couple months of leash training with the collar on she learned it was ok to have on her and not be affraid. The collar is only supposed to simply serve as a reminder, almost a light pressure like a leash tug, to obey.I hope this helps
    Dave

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    Dani is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: proper e-collar use

    You have to train her without the collar first. She obviously doesn't have any sort of solid recall...so don't let her off leash. Sorry. If you want to build her recall, then get a check chord and work on it that way. But to use it for recall when she doesn't have a good understanding of it or to curb eating sticks...well, the use seems pretty lazy to me. I had a rescue litter of lab/gsp mixes, so I know the level...however, you can train anything...and unless the dog can be trusted off leash, it shouldn't be let off leash. JMO.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
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    DefaultRe: proper e-collar use

    Quote Originally Posted by Dani
    You have to train her without the collar first. She obviously doesn't have any sort of solid recall...so don't let her off leash. Sorry. If you want to build her recall, then get a check chord and work on it that way. But to use it for recall when she doesn't have a good understanding of it or to curb eating sticks...well, the use seems pretty lazy to me. I had a rescue litter of lab/gsp mixes, so I know the level...however, you can train anything...and unless the dog can be trusted off leash, it shouldn't be let off leash. JMO.
    +1

    If she is not coming to you when there are basic distractions (sticks, jellyfish), she doesn't know the recall. Go back to square one.

    Sunjin or Dana (fallriver) has a thread somewhere about how to teach a good recall. I think it had that over 800-1000 GOOD repetitions are needed- not just you calling the dog and the dog not coming. I agree with Dani that a 50ft check cord is the answer. If she gets too far, step on it. If you want to call her and she isn't listening, step on it, then tug- then praise/treat.

    And a lab (even mix) that isnt interested in treats? What are you using? Try sausage. Hot dogs. String cheese. You get the picture.

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    pross1492 is offline Member
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    DefaultRe: proper e-collar use

    i probably didnt explain myself well enough in my original post (i have a tendency to do that). she is trained. she has the come command down cold. she will come when called for great distances. she will come when called when she is playing with other dogs. she will come when called indoor with distractions. at times, when we've been in the woods and she wanders a little too far, she will come when called without even being able to see where the command is coming from. also, she is trained in all the basic commands. sit stay down heel. she heels off leash. she knows sit and down at a distance. BUT, its those times when she is after eating something on the ground, or when we are getting close to the car/house (and she knows its time to finish playing), that she ignores the command to come.
    i will certainly put more time into all these things in the hopes that she will "snap out of it" and come under every single circumstance. its just a gut feeling thats telling me she understands certain situations i will not be able to break her of her urge to do her own thing at those times. but i defer to your advice and i will go back to the drawing board with recall and see if i can work through it before i ever put an ecollar on her. thanks.

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    pross1492 is offline Member
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    DefaultRe: proper e-collar use

    thanks gabbysmom. well, to say that she isnt interested in treats at all isnt true. like the recall issue, she acts differently in certain situations when she is fixated. for instance, if we are out in the woods or on the beach and there are no distractions, she would run a mile over broken glass for a treat (i use old mother hubbard treats and she seems to love'em). again, theres a BUT....when she is eating a stick or i am trying to teach her a reliable "fetch", she will completely ignore the treat. in the fetch situation, when she bring the ball/dummy back and drops it, even if i ofer her a treat she wont take it. she wont budge. she just stare insanely at the ball until i throw it again.

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    DefaultRe: proper e-collar use

    Quote Originally Posted by pross1492
    BUT, its those times when she is after eating something on the ground, or when we are getting close to the car/house (and she knows its time to finish playing), that she ignores the command to come.
    Then she's not 100% reliable. You answered your own question.
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    DefaultRe: proper e-collar use

    damn! back to work.

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    DefaultRe: proper e-collar use

    Make sure the dog knows the commands before you start using the e collar. Once your dog knows the commands, for reinforcement, an e collar can be used. Also what may help in your situation and that your dog may be thinking he is alpha... ignoring your commands because something else is more interesting... try practicing being alpha. Alpha leads the pack.

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    DefaultRe: proper e-collar use

    She sounds like a pretty normal dog if you ask me. In fact, if her recall is as good as you say it is, her level of training/obedience sounds much better than your average 9 month old dog.

    My dogs go off leash and none of them have a 'perfect' recall. I honestly don't think that a perfect recall exists. Obviously, your dog needs to have a SOLID recall before you let it off leash, but I guess that everyone has a different definition of what 'solid' is. For me, a solid recall is having a dog that will come to me in the face of distractions such as people, other dogs, horses, wild animals, etc. If you can recall a dog against those things AND control it off leash around those things, IMO, you have a reliable recall.

    From my experience, I don't know a single Lab owner that doesn't have trouble with their Lab eating things off the ground, or picking up things they shouldn't while they are on a walk and off leash. It is inevitable. My adult dogs do this and even now if they pick up something that is particularly appealing to them, particularly if its edible, they are often hesitant drop it. Why wouldn't they be? they are Labs. LOL. If it's edible, 99% of the time they have swallowed it before I can utter a 'LEAVE IT!'. In that scenario, I don't make a big deal of it. In fact, I ignore it. You can't control the environment and you take the risk of your dog eating nasties if you let it off leash.

    If they pick up a non-edible item, it is a case of reinforcing the 'LEAVE IT!' command and then giving them a small food reward or a throw of their bumper for compliance. No electric collars or verbal/physical corrections necessary. If you implement reward based training you will be working with them and not against them.

    In regard to her not complying with the recall command when you get close your house and car, this is very easily solved without the use of punishment. Dogs are highly intelligent and they pick up on our routines faster than you would know. To your dog, house/car = end of fun. Playing up is her way of controlling the situation -- she knows that if she continues to goof around and NOT come to you, that leash doesn't get put on and the fun continues. Think about your daily walks with her. Do you take the same routes every day? do you let her off the leash and put the leash back on in the same places every day? most of us do, even without realising it. You can combat this by calling her back to you at random intervals throughout the walk and putting the leash back on, if only for a minute or two. Right now (and this is just a guess...), I can imagine that you only time her leash gets put on is when the walk ends, and after she has defied your recall commands. In both of those situations, the leash is associated with negativity. Get rid of that negativity! when you are recalling at random intervals, PRAISE and reward. If she is not food motivated, use something that DOES motivate her. As a Lab/Pointer mix, I bet she loves to chase? have you tried a Chuck-It ball launcher? if she knew that she would get a throw of the ball from the Chuck-It as a reward for coming when called (and consequently being put back on the leash), I bet she shouldn't ignore your commands very often.

    Anyway, long story short, you have normal young dog and the e collar is not necessary.

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