Ecollar with Vizslas? - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Ecollar with Vizslas?

Hi Everyone...

I would like to gather opinions from those who have seen e-collars used.

First off, I do not own an e-collar and have always thought negatively towards them. Before ever getting a dog, it never crossed my mind that I would ever consider using one, however, that said, I have a 9 month old V that started resource-guarding at a very young age (around 5 and a half months) which I addressed right away with the breeder and a professional trainer in-home. After implementing what the trainer taught us, his resource-guarding has gone down significantly, however, it is still an issue. The trainer who came to see me did a free consult hour with me, so it wasn't like we paid her for ongoing training. He has bitten everyone in the family, including my 75 year old mother, who admittedly went to pet him from behind right after he had dropped what he was guarding. It's was definitely a combo of resource guarding and anxiety in that situation because he had just met my mom.

Anyway, our plan has always been to get him into a trainer since the last one we saw for a full boot camp of sorts, but it's been overwhelming trying to pick the right trainer who will be successful with a challenge as big as ours and with the amount of time and money we will have spent on this, we want to pick the right trainer to do the job. I've had dozens of community members recommend trainers who get 5-star reviews who address aggression issues, but many of these trainers do use e-collars. After much research, my view has slightly been altered, although I've never used one nor have I handled one yet. What I do know is that there are different stimulation settings on an e-collar and when used correctly, the e-collar is said to be un-harmful and an extremely effective tool.

Has anyone here used an e-collar with a trainer successfully with their V or know someone with a V with a good/bad experience with an e-collar and trainer?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 08:08 PM
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While I do use ecollars, I've never used one for aggression. You stand a chance of making the problem worse..
I would instead look for a behaviorist.
Contact you local vizsla rescue club, and see if they recommend anyone in your area.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 09:04 PM
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if you read e-collar instructions, they always talk bout first teach the command to your dog and then teach them to accept that the device re-enforces it, if needed. just as stated by TR, resource guarding is more of a behavior issue which u may want to find out first where it was going from. on top of behaviorist i would also go back to the breeder and discuss it.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for responding! To clarify, these trainers I mentioned that use ecollars don’t claim to use them in the moment of aggression or claim to even use them while addressing an issue like mine but when I read their websites they use positive reinforcement/relationship with ecollar so I’m not even sure how that would play into training our dog, but I assume it would be used after gaining that relationship and clear understanding between them and the dog.

I have been leaning towards seeing a behaviorist who has a PhD in dog behavior and just reached out to her today, so I hope to hear from her soon and pray she can help us. Thx again for the suggestions.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 09:39 AM
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While I am a huge proponent of e-collars, I have to agree. We've been using an e-collar on our V since 9-months of age. BUT we use it for recall, sit and stay commands, not for behavior issues. In full transparency, I do nic my V once in a while when his acting up off-leash, but it's a simple nic.

And I must STRESS if you do go the e-collar route I highly recommend a professional training that has extensive use and experience with training on an e-collar. We got incredibly lucky and found a professional training locally who's highly skilled with e-collars. In our case, we have to have our V off-leash most all the time, the e-collar was a game changing.

To that end, seek advice from a known and reputable one-on-one professional trainer and work on the behavior first and gently work in the e-collar as reinforcement.

Lastly, in my case, our first trainer was NOT a believer in e-collars and she was adamant against their use. We had to divorce ourselves from that trainer and moved onto one who embraced it. As mentioned, recall was critically important for us do to the roads that boarder our property and having our V socialize where a lot of people congregate (I work on a golf course full-time). So off-leash training and basic recall skills were a must. Or our V would have spent countless hours cooped up in my office, or worse at home alone, so take my suggestions fwiw.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 08:39 PM
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This isn't so much about e collars as it is about addressing an aggressive dog. And, no e collars aren't the way to do that, if anything, pain will provoke him further.

I've come to see aggression....as in actual puncture wounds that draw blood..in situations as you describe as manifestations of extreme anxiety. Recent study as well as clinical anecdote indicates the treatment of choice is low dose Fluoxetine ("Prozac"). Given his continued aggression, you can try a trainer with specific expertise in aggression, but frankly I would go directly with the meds, otherwise you might need to begin looking for re homing him, which will be difficult given his aggressive history.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 11:01 AM
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@gingerling
Its true, a lot of rescues aren't equiped to handle aggressive dogs. They would need a lot more information, than what was given to even consider one.
They are a big liability, and some can NEVER be adopted. The dog spends its life under the rescues care, normaly with a very experienced rescue foster. If the aggression takes a turn for the worse, they have to be put to sleep, for safety reasons.
I only know 3 vizsla rescues, that MIGHT consider this type of dog.

Not all those who wander are lost.

Life is just a leap of faith.
Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.

Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 01:28 PM
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Some may find the following training video by Kristina Carmody of Indigo Dog Training in Washington, DC, helpful. She discusses the protocols she took over the course of 7 weeks to rehabilitate Annie, a 1-year-old Vizsla, with severe resource guarding of her food, crate, and dog bed. She uses both positive reinforcement methods and an e-collar.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 12:08 AM
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My point is that Jessica's dog isn't so much "Resource guarding", but is now biting. And, he has had a number of trainers and the problem persists. Biting..actual aggression...puts this in another category entirely. It's not just posturing or threatening. And, she describes biting incidents that aren't really "Guarding"" but more anxiety and startle related. That's temperamental, not instinctual or the result of socialization issues and therefore less amenable to training.

Based on all of that, if this were my dog, I'd see this as an anxiety disorder and get him on meds. If the symptoms persist and he continues to bite, she will have the unenviable choice of living with this (perhaps with a muzzle) or putting him down.

Some things cannot be completely trained away, and those with a biological cause are less likely to be eliminated.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 08:53 PM
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Related to gingerling`s comment: that is why i would go back to the breeder and see whether they see anything which could have possibly come from their line. the video and the vizsla on it seems to be a very different case than what the descriptions suggests at the beginning of this thread in my view.

Last edited by Gabica; 01-16-2019 at 09:18 PM.
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