Nervous to let off-leash - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Nervous to let off-leash

Hello all!! So I am having some issues with feeling comfortable letting Harper run off-leash. He clearly knows and understands the command "Here" but seems to go nose deaf or ignores me if he knows he doesn't have to obey such as in a field, etc... basically anywhere he isn't in the backyard. If there's an animal forget it lol! Not sure if I want to use the ecollar or whistle train. He was trained on the ecollar but unfortunately my husband misused it when I wasn't home and now Harper just freezes (they have a bad relationship). I feel like he is "ruined" with the ecollar now. I have since given a break from ecollar use except when in our yard with the invisible fence. I am hoping to be able to reintroduce the collar at some point but I am afraid to break his spirit. I am almost leaning towards whistle training. He is my baby and I am overly paranoid!! Any thoughts or suggestions?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:08 AM
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For most of us that use ecollars, it's not a either or. A whistle carries farther than our voice, so we train to both.
As far as going back to the ecollar. You would need to do it very slowly, due to past experience. In fact I would not even turn it on for the first 2-3 weeks he wore it. Vizslas have a mind like a elephant, and he may, or may not be able to overcome it.
In the mean time you can still use a check cord, and a whistle to work on recall.
If, and when you try to reintroduce the ecollar, he will already know the whistle command.

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 #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you texasred! Makes sense to use the whistle. I know there are different ones....Any recommendations on which whistle?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 11:55 AM
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I'm not one of those that favors e collars for a lot of reasons, the one you mentioned being one of them. They really are more for us (and managing our anxiety) then them, traditional training approaches that "get into their head" really work much better and are more reliable long term. You want the dog to listen to you, not to listen to avoid getting zapped.

I'd go back to those traditional methods, the chances are you both just need a refresher anyways, so he gets the message he must return and you get the message he will. he is, after all a Vizsla, and nothing nor anything is more important that you.

Take him into a safe, open field, with lead on, and work on basic recall.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 11:57 AM
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I was using a lifeguard whistle in the past, till I misplaced them.
My only advise is to buy more than one, and keep atleast one in each car.
This is what I have been using for the past year. Cheap, and gets the job done.

https://www.gundogsupply.com/dualton...BoCqxEQAvD_BwE

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 #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:48 AM
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I don't know if this helps or not, but I didn't want to use a whistle that other humans could hear so as not to make a nuisance of myself in otherwise quiet areas so I bought an adjustable silent dog whistle. The dog can hear its high tones, but not humans however I adjusted the length of the whistle so that my dog Rafa could hear it and so could I just but very quietly for my ears, that reassured me that it was working lol

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SmarterPaws...3-f594b725215a
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all!! Great tips! I will keep you posted on his progress 😊
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 08:20 PM
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My dog is similarly afraid of the e-collar due to hubby using the shock setting once. I have very successfully whistle trained my dog and recommend it for anyone. She has 100% recall (unless she’s after a rabbit, deer, etc then it takes a few minutes longer to get her attention). I used fresh,y cooked bacon to train her and she loves the whistle “game” and work now.

Since the areas where I hike were filled with deer and other game I also invested in a Garmin tracking collar which we used for several months until I had complete confidence in her recall. Those are great for making sure that you are at least on their trail when they run off and helped me in several situations when she got half mile or so away from me in pursuit of deer.

As she is older now (3yrs) I don’t worry as much about her running off, however, I am NEVER out with her off leash (sometimes even in my yard!) without my whistle and a treat in my pocket. We hiked for 90 min yesterday and I needed to whistle her back 6-7 times after she flushed something.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 11:15 AM
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Everyone is going to have an opinion on this one and I'll give my 2-cents.

We are located on 160-acres, which also borders two very busy roads. Our V is off leash 90% of the time most all day. We choose the e-collar, choose a very reputable brand that has settings 1-100 so it has great adjustability, and of great importance, located a highly trained professional dog trainer that works with many of the police departments for k-9 training, etc. We had (8) one-hour onsite sessions and "properly" trained our V with the e-collar. And obviously I was trained as well. This was critical to our V being able to roam freely (supervised) while off leash.

It's been well over 1-1/2 years now and he NEVER goes outside without the e-collar, whether I choose to use it for commands, or simply have it for peace of mind. When he sees me pick it up and immediately sits and gets excited to go outside. We only use the boost button in extreme situations and definitely keeps him from chasing deer near the roads, etc.

I'm in the camp that e-collars do work, BUT they MUST be a reputable highly adjustable collar and MUST be used/trained from an experienced trainer. I would have never been able to figure it out myself and/or watched YouTube or training videos to train our V. All in, with cost of collar and training, was approximately $1k. And well worth every penny now that our 20-month old V can be safely off leash.

YMMV
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