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Old 09-07-2016, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Suggestions for E-collar training

I've decided to start training my 1 year old (few months shy of 2) APBT with an e-collar. I've been training him in classes since he was 10 weeks old. I will be using the E-collar to proof behaviors he already knows and particularly working on recall.

I will be doing a lot of research and watching videos the next month or so before actually starting any e-collar training.

So I had a few questions for those experienced with e-collars:

1. Any recommendations for trainers online and/or videos?
2. What behaviors do you use the e-collar for?
3. What model do you use?
4. Besides not using an e-collar on a soft or fearful dog are there any other personalities that might bot be suited for e-collar use?

Here's the deal with my dog and why I think he would benefit incorporating some e-collar training. He sometimes has a "I'm going to do what I want to" personality. His personality in a nutshell is determined, headstrong, rough in play and affection, sometimes easily over aroused, basically a lot of dog for someone inexperienced in the breed but on the other hand he's handler focused, and can be a total sweetheart (when he wants lol). I've used mostly positive training with him (clicker training, praise w/reinforcement of treats/toys). He's been through various levels of obedience in classes and also different sport classes. While he does well, he's always struggled with consistent focus and over arousal. If he sees sometimes of interest he is pretty darn persistent about getting to that subject of interest. The only corrections I've used with him so far is some verbal along with maybe something like taking him by the collar and placing him into a sit. However with that he usually gets more amped up, thrusting his head around, just acting up like "I don't have to do what you are telling me" that's the best way I can explain it lol.

So I thought the e-collar might be good as that reminder of certain things you must do, no ifs and or buts about it like RECALL or LEAVING something alone. Another important one is STAY - having a solid stay I think can be just as important sometimes as much as a good recall.

Lastly, this dog LOVES the living crap out of everyone. Which isn't a bad thing, but after months of consistent training and some progress he still can go overboard with people. He's titled in basic sport levels so our next step is some off-leash work. This kinda worries me though as sometimes he can be unpredictable with zoomies when free like that and in the action jump or knock someone over. His jumping is an issue still at his age, I always have him on leash at all times to control/correct when necessary. But he still does not get it and that's sometimes I hoped maybe using the e-collar would help with. Don't really want to concentrate to much on using that for this but hoping, he only needed one or two reminders with the e-collar and I wouldn't really need to use it for this no more.

Sorry if this got into a long post. I know the e-collar can be a great tool when used properly but can also backfire when not. So wanted to give you as much information as possible so I can get some feedback! Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I use one with my male. Don't have time to write a lot about it now but I will definitely chime in after work today.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
 

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I would really appreciate that, thanks!
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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1. Any recommendations for trainers online and/or videos?

In order to condition my dog to the collar, I followed these tips: https://www.dobbsdogs.com/library/ob.../rffintro.html
There should be several good videos online, try a search on Youtube. I don't know any I can personally recommend, though there are many good Facebook groups that could probably point you in the direction of some reading material.

2. What behaviors do you use the e-collar for?

Mainly recall. My dog has good recall but is very distractible. And because he is very dog aggressive, I need him to listen to me no matter what else is going on, because recall could be the difference between life and death. Of course, I try extremely hard to prevent a situation like that from ever even occurring, and keep him contained at all time when other animals are around, but I wanted that back up just in case of an "oh shit" situation. We're human, it happens. I feel way more comfortable now that he would come back to me regardless of what else is going on.

I also use it for "leave it". Like if we're hiking and he finds a dead animal, or whatever, I can call him off of it.

3. What model do you use?

The Dogtra Element 300M.

4. Besides not using an e-collar on a soft or fearful dog are there any other personalities that might bot be suited for e-collar use?

I wouldn't use it with a dog that can be taught easily with just positive reinforcement. My male is very food motivated, so I try to incorporate that into our training as much as possible, but he's also incredibly stubborn and intense, so he just needed that extra little kick. Food and praise alone will never be more valuable to him than chasing a deer, or getting into a scuffle, etc. What I've done is condition him to understand that the stimulation = food. So I gave very low level stim over and over and immediately praised and treated each time. Then I conditioned him to the vibrate option being a correction. So every time he presented an undesirable behaviour, I'd vibrate it under he stopped. The second he stopped, I gave the stim and treated.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCdogs View Post
My male is very food motivated, so I try to incorporate that into our training as much as possible, but he's also incredibly stubborn and intense, so he just needed that extra little kick.
Ha, yes sounds like my guy!

Thanks for the website, that was definitely a good read! I found one from Lou Castle as well that seems to be good.

I really like the Dogtra Element 300M and that it has a wide range of stimulation levels. I didn't notice it having a tone option? Are you familiar with the SportDog models? I found this one, it also includes the tone...just thinking that might be a good option to have? It comes with a dvd too which is nice. The stim levels don't have as much of a wide range, but I'm guessing the intensity between a lot of them is very very slim? It only goes up to 500 yards too but I don't need it for more than that anyway, even when hiking I use a long line...

SportDOG FieldTrainer SD-425 Dog Training Collar from GunDogSupply

May I ask how often you use it now and in the beginning of training?

In the beginning did you practice in the house with it or just outside?

How did you condition him to not get collar wise?

Also, my dog is starting to become somewhat dog selective, do you think this would be good to get focus when passing by dogs that get his attention?

Recall, leave it and stay/place are going to be my main focus...but what is your feeling about using it for jumping on guests? See my problem is I'm not just describing your typical jump on you for attention, this is leaping in the air like he has fire up his ass over and over...of course I don't allow it and control using the leash BUT I would like at his age to be able to give him more freedom when around company and teach him to control himself better, and believe me I do plenty of impulse control work, training, management, you name it...but that is one behavior he can flip a switch in a matter of a second so while sometimes he CAN greet nicely, he can also switch very quicky to not which if your not careful can get you a swollen nose!

Thanks for any feedback!
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I really like the Dogtra Element 300M and that it has a wide range of stimulation levels. I didn't notice it having a tone option? Are you familiar with the SportDog models? I found this one, it also includes the tone...just thinking that might be a good option to have? It comes with a dvd too which is nice. The stim levels don't have as much of a wide range, but I'm guessing the intensity between a lot of them is very very slim? It only goes up to 500 yards too but I don't need it for more than that anyway, even when hiking I use a long line...

I'm not really familiar with any models other than the one that I use, sorry. Mine does not have a tone option, just vibrate and stimulation with lots of really gradually increasing levels which I appreciate.

May I ask how often you use it now and in the beginning of training?

I use it every day because I take my dogs for an off-leash run every day. I honestly will not have him off-leash without it, even though his recall is great now, because I just like having that extra measure. Now, even though he wears it every time, I rarely have to actually use it. Only if he's really, really distracted. I can't even explain how amazing it has been as far as improving recall and focus. Invaluable.

In the beginning did you practice in the house with it or just outside?

I started outside on a longline, but you can easily start inside depending what purpose you're using it for and how you plan on using it. I decided to use the stim in the same way you would use a clicker; it's a marker for good behaviour and makes my dog anticipate something good. So in that way, I'm really not using it as an aversive. I started by "loading" it in the same way you would a clicker.

How did you condition him to not get collar wise?

I haven't had to so far. He wears it every time he's off leash. I barely even have to use it anymore, his recall is nearly perfect now, but he's still always wearing the collar just in case.

Also, my dog is starting to become somewhat dog selective, do you think this would be good to get focus when passing by dogs that get his attention?


Yes. I definitely would not test it off-leash though. I use mine as an absolute last-measure when it comes to his DA. Prevention is 100% key so I hope I never have to deal with a situation where I have to use it to call him off a dog. If your dog is on leash I think it would be a great tool to help bring his attention back to you if he's becoming to fixated on other dogs. I also really like using the "watch me" command for this and I highly recommend it for anyone with distractible/reactive dogs.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
 

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Thanks so much, this helps a lot! I can't wait to get started, I think it will be a very useful tool in training
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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No problem, good luck!
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
 

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UPDATE on E-collar training

So I've been training a couple weeks now using the e-collar, things have been going great! I've basically been following the method of using very low stim levels and training recall, and a default stay with sit/down.

My dog is a bit reactive (not aggressive) but very interested which can cause quick lunging, pulling, basically tantrum throwing behaviors is what it looks like without much vocalization, maybe a little whining. I've proofed the behaviors at a distance so far with other dogs and he's done quite well. Here are my questions:

1. When do you know your dogs ready to be proofed in higher distracting environments: pet stores, walking through crowds, etc. (I might dab into some therapy dog training so it's important to me he be bombproof in these areas if he is the right fit). Do you use the stim in these environments initially to ensure you get compliance?

2. I don't plan to take him off leash but I would like to bring him on a 20ft lead to give him a bit more freedom to explore. What rules do you have for this if he's on a long line/off leash...do you call him back periodically? How much freedom do you give him?

3. I've noticed that after just a couple weeks of training, other behaviors that were an issue seem to have gotten better. Did you notice this as well...that the e-collar indirectly helped some other issues you might have had?

4. So far I haven't the need to go up/down much and been mainly using his working level of stim which ranges from about a 6-9 depending on the environment. How often have you had to raise the stim to get the desired behavior?

5. My goal is that the recall and sit/down w/stay become pretty much bombproof behaviors as those can pretty much help with any emergency or distraction. What were your goals and how strict were you/how long did you train in making certain commands bombproof no matter the distraction?

6. After your pretty confident in your dog's recall how do you carry your transmitter? In pocket, on lanyard? Or do you always hold it in your hand?

Thanks!
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