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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.

The End!
 

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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?
 

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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. :(
 

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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.

 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.

Peg
 

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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.
Wow. Just wow.
 

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I would like to some day get e-collars for the boys, as their recall totally sucks. It would be wonderful to be able to let both of them out together. Fencing is not an option as we rent, and we are out in the country so an invisible fence would not be much good (I am pretty sure that Champ would blow right through one if he saw something he wanted to chase). People fly down these dirt roads much too fast and never watch for animals or people, and several dogs have been killed already. :(

Even in the yard on the tie-out, Champ will not respond if he sees another dog, person, squirrel, rabbit, horse, you name it. His senses of hearing and obedience are completely turned off at that point, and we have to go after him and physically haul him into the house.

Buddy has run off a couple of times when I stupidly thought it would be safe to let him out without the tie-out because he always stays so close to me. After several heart-in-mouth moments, we were able to catch him both times, only because he stopped to visit the neighbor's dog.
 

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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 HAVE CHILLS!!! That is an AMAZING story. I love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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.

Wow! What is it with dogs and dolphins? This dog obviously was compelled to go to them. And Sally was completely mesmerized.

I wasn't as worried about the dolphins as I was about her getting out in the big waves and the under tow. That's what was scaring the bejezus out of me.
 

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E-collars are kinda like seat belts, you never know when you will "Need" them. The phrase "I was only going down to the corner store so I did not put on my seatbelt" is often heard, yet 75% of accidents happen within 5 miles of home. There is no reason to not put the e-collar on the dog everytime you go outside, and no reason not to put a seatbelt on every time you get in a car. Having an E-collar on the dog but not turned on is like having a seat belt on but not fastened, it gives you a bit more confidence to be reckless and offers no protection. Everytime I go out the collar is on because I do not want to miss a chance to train my dog. The unexpected training situations are sometimes the best training your dog will get. I mean when else in life are you going to be able to proof your dog from swimming out to sea with dolphins..lol you could not ever set that training situation up they just happen.
Glad this turned out well.

Kelly
 

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For e-collars, I prefer the Dogtra 175 NCP (1/4 mile range) or the 200 NCP (no longer made, replaced by the 300 Element) which has up to a 1/2 mile range. (Also, they do have others with longer ranges as well as units/collars for multiple dogs; the ones I noted are single dog units.)

The 175 is about $175 from www.gundogsupply.com The 300 Element (as was the 200 NCP) is about $200.

The Dogtras have an infinitely adjustable level of intensity of stimulation -- 0 (none) to 100 (highest) rather than the discrete steps that many have.

Unlike others, they also allow you to send a non-shocking vibrating buzz (Pager), a momentary single stim (Nick), as well as a 5" long stim (Continuous).

In my work with Bess, I use the "P" 99.99% of the time, the "N" maybe once or twice a month, and the "C" never. I adjust the level of electrical stimulation to the point I just begin to feel a tingle through my bare fingertips (but since the skin of Puff's neck is probably more sensitive, she probably feels it a bit more intensely). The stim is almost always used as cue, NOT as a punishment.

I cannot stress too strongly how important it is that anyone who uses one of these get thoroughly educated or trained in how to appropriately use one.

I read the Dobbs' book, "TriTronics Retriever Training," since there wasn't anything on Dogtra units at the time (I'm sure that's no longer true and the Dobbs have, IIRC, since switched to the Dogtra units from TriTronics). In grad school I had more courses in the psychology of various learnings than anything else so I should be familiar with principles and needed steps.

Some oldtimers of JL forums may recall past posters charging them and using them straight out of the box and hurting their dogs, or having their dogs wear the collar so continuously that their dogs' necks were scraped raw plus other horror stories by people who did not bother to first learn how to use them.

IF you do decide to get one, PLEASE get yourself trained before using one to train your dog.

 
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