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Hi all,

I have been looking to collar condition to "here", as I take my 7month old V puppy off-leash hiking in quite rugged areas, so I need the reliability just in case.

I kept his e-collar on without using it for 3 weeks to prevent his becoming "collar-wise", and then tried to use it a couple of days ago using the vibrate function and a check cord. However, the vibrate function was actually quite strong and he reacted quite badly to it, so now when I call "here", he runs and hides. Seems this brief experience left him quite traumatized as he's still running away a few days after (but only at home - outside, he is fine).

Wondering what you would do in this case? My plan was to stop using the e-collar again for a couple of weeks or so, and then maybe try again? Or start using the stim instead at extremely low levels and hope he'll react differently?

Thanks!
 

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I am a big fan of e-collars, and never hind from the use on dogs if used properly, and both my V's are trained with them. With that said, I am also a huge proponent of having them professionally trained. Unless you have extensive use with them. Actually my now 1-year old female is being trained as we speak. Eight 1-hour sessions onsite at my place of work which is located on 160-acres. We got really lucky two years ago and found a trainer who is super knowledgeable with e-collars and has extensive training on their proper use, etc.

At this point, before you create negative association with the e-collar, especially during this fear period with a 7-month old, I would highly recommend bringing in a professional training if you've never trained and/or work with them before. And it's just my opinion, but I waited until 11-12 months of age to work with both my V's with the e-collar.

Just a quick note, our training works with our V's when training with the e-collar in a very natural and informal way. He'll spend the first couple of 1-hour sessions only using it 4, 5 or 6 times on recall. Gradually working his way up after each session. It's not like session one or two he recalls them dozens of times. FWIW

Best of luck. Used correctly IMHO can be an invaluable tool.
 

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"Extinguishing" behavior, IOW de-conditioning, is much harder than conditioning. Because of that I would put the collar away ... trying the "stim" (I assume it's a shock) would make things even worse, probably much, much worse.

However, if the collar is really important to you, does it have an audible alert? If so, try associating that with positive experiences. And start with the collar off Riley. Maybe play with him on the floor, with the collar laying there and have it beep occasionally. He should be curious or indifferent to it. If it scares him, put it away ... far away.

Let me qualify: I am not an expert on collar use but I'm speaking from 25 years of V experience.
 

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I would go back to having the ecollar turned off. Take him out to run, and play on a checkcord. Every 10 minutes or so (make sure you have a hand, or foot on the check cord), call him to you. Praise him heavily, and release him to play.
If he is doing well, after a couple of weeks try to condition him to the ecollar. You use the lowest number he notices. A ear twitch, or tiny head ****, or even a look from him is all you need to see, to know he felt the stim.
You go for run just as you did before.
The only difference is the recall command is given at the same time as stim. If you run into any problems stop, and consult with a good pro trainer.
 

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In addition to all the great advice you've been given. I would seriously consider another manufacturers ecollar line.
Something just doesn't seem right if the vibrate only mode set off that severe of a reaction in an otherwise normal dog.
 

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I had a similar problem occur with my boy. Following advice I was given on this forum, we went back to basics just like texasred suggested. Make the "here" a positive experience again for him. Use lots of treats! When i felt he was ready to try again, i used Larry Krohn's videos on YouTube. They are very informative and will helped me tremendously.
 

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In addition to all the great advice you've been given. I would seriously consider another manufacturers ecollar line.
Something just doesn't seem right if the vibrate only mode set off that severe of a reaction in an otherwise normal dog.
I agree!!! Garmin or the Educator collars are wonderful and mild.
 

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I use a Dogtra RT EDGE.
I really like the simplicity of the collar, but would not recommend it for someone new to ecollars.
It's a hot collar compared to most other brands. I run dogs on a number 1, and have never needed over a 2 on a dog. In fact if I used a 2. I can turn it back down to 1 after the correction.

Inexperience, or a soft dog, you could easily make a mistake with this collar.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for the advice. I've been using a Dogtra 1900, but I think the vibrate feature is a little too aversive for my V, so I'll be using low level stim when we're ready to try it again..

I've turned off the e-collar but have kept him wearing it whenever he's out of his crate. We've gone back to positive-only training, and he's thankfully gotten much better (was quite worried I'd scarred him for life for a second there). He isn't running away as much anymore when i call him to "here". I think I'll do this for a couple of weeks -> then use long leash corrections to recall -> then start overlaying the e-collar stims with the leash corrections.

This is similar to Larry Krohn's method (I follow Michael Ellis' programs).. But for some reason, I used the method by the Standing Stone Kennels videos to try out the last time, which uses vibrate and continuous stimulation until the dog reaches you. This obviously didn't work for me, so I'll be going back to the others' methods.
 

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"I used the method by the Standing Stone Kennels videos to try out the last time, which uses vibrate and continuous stimulation until the dog reaches you."

Uhmm, something is really wrong with this sentence. I've never done that, or seen that done with a Vizlsa. I would have to watch the video
I personally use the "Ask, Tell, Demand" method. I want the dog to work with me, not for me. It's a subtle distinction in semantics, but hunting a Vizlsa is a two party team. I don't want a "wire guided" dog.
The leash, check cord, or ecollar, are psychologically utilized in the same manner. Each apply "pressure" in a form. What you are striving to achieve is to have the animal respond to that pressure and respond away from it. With a dog, and the "come", or "here" command, the dog moves away from the pressure by coming into you.
The moment the animal, any animal. Dog, horse, goat,llama, etc, responds, or yields, to the pressure, the pressure must come off. On the long leash, or check cord, the pressure is applied by putting pressure on the neck, via the colla,r and the check cord The leash is the same way. Pressure is removed as soon as the animal yields.
The ecollar, in it's basic form, is an extension of the leash, or check cord. This is why it is not introduced until the dog is responding to the command, before pressure is applied.
The "basic scenario" for the "come command", on a check cord, would go like this;
1.) Command "Come". This is the "Ask" portion.
2.) If the dog responds, use positive reinforcement to bring the dog all the way to you.
3.) If the dog does not come, apply pressure to check cord until the dog responds. This is the "tell" portion
At the exact moment the dog yields, and responds, pressure is taken off, and positive reinforcement is used. Call the dog to you in a very "sing songy" happy voice. Sometimes they come half way back and get distracted when they're young, so you restart at step one. This is the "Demand" portion.
Do this again, and again, and again. until you positively know the dog understands exactly what is being asked of, it, and the pressure is being applied to reinforce to the dog, that at any distance, you can, and will enforce the command.

The ecollar is introduced after you have the dog responding. Yes, there are many folks that can successfully integrate the two simultaneously, but right now we are not at that point.
With the dog on the check cord, and an ecollar in use, the picture looks something like this;
1.) Command "Come".
2.) If the dog responds, use positive reinforcement to bring the dog all the way to you.
3.) If the dog does not come, apply pressure to check cord, while applying the tone, or vibrate, to the ecollar, until the dog responds.
4.) At the exact moment the dog yields and responds, Relaxing the check cord, and cease using the ecollar.
5.) Continue to call the dog to you in a very "sing songy" happy voice. Sometimes they come half way back and get distracted when they're young, so you restart at step one. Do this again, and again, and again.

After a few sessions the check cord becomes your safety training wheels. You will use the eCollar in tone, or vibrate, mode to call out the initial command. If the dog responds, bring it all the way to you with positive encouragement. If the dog does not respond, restate the command while simultaneously using stimulation, very short burst, and applying pressure with the check cord.
The electric stimulation of the ecollar, is now being used in conjunction with the check cord, to teach the dog to move away from the pressure of the ecollar.
You are still keeping the dog on the check cord to both teach these lessons, and maintain positive physical control of the dog. This keeping it safe.
Once you have the dog responding to just the ecollar, you can begin to take the check cord off, or let it drag on the ground incase something happens and you need to grab it.

At this point you have established a few things. First, you have the dog coming to you on command, from any distance. Second, the dog is beginning to understand that you can and will enforce a command at any distance.
This is the ecollar in it's basic use. Those of us that train our dogs to hunt, also use it in other forms, to teach different commands, but that is altogether a different function than what you are trying to achieve.

One facet that I do deviate from, is that I never, ever, have a dog on a check cord, that is not connected to a harness. I never hook one to a collar. A dog can be be severely injured with a safety collar, or choke chain, at the end of a 10m-15m check cord. It's not worth the risk to me.

Go slow with your pup. You have a lifetime to work it out. ;)
 

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responds, or yields, to the pressure, the pressure must come off.

2X
That is why timing is so important with e collars.
 

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Hi all,

I have been looking to collar condition to "here", as I take my 7month old V puppy off-leash hiking in quite rugged areas, so I need the reliability just in case.

I kept his e-collar on without using it for 3 weeks to prevent his becoming "collar-wise", and then tried to use it a couple of days ago using the vibrate function and a check cord. However, the vibrate function was actually quite strong and he reacted quite badly to it, so now when I call "here", he runs and hides. Seems this brief experience left him quite traumatized as he's still running away a few days after (but only at home - outside, he is fine).

Wondering what you would do in this case? My plan was to stop using the e-collar again for a couple of weeks or so, and then maybe try again? Or start using the stim instead at extremely low levels and hope he'll react differently?

Thanks!
Hi! I can share my experience on the topic. We started to use E-collar at the age of 6-7 months, when my V picked up all staff from the ground, and to correct unwanted behavior like approaching other people in the park. Actually I have very good results. I tried the level of shock and vibration on my own hand and started with very low level. Then I added a little bit with time. I actually used shock only a couple of time, just to form a chain, that vibration is followed by shock.
In order to call a pup it is better to use a beep, not a vibration, and to to reward with a treat when he comes back.
Actually rewarding with a treat every time he comes to you is the best solution. Beeper is perfect to call him from the distance.
Good luck!
 

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Guessing I'm different than most on the forum, when it comes to ecollars. I want things clear, and concise when it comes to training. I really don't need anything, other than than the stim on a ecollar.
If I were to vibrate, or beep with the collar, and the dog didnt respond. Then its just a warning. In my mind its a second warning, because you have already called the dog. Its like telling a kid your going to count to 3 before any action is taken.
For a perfect recall, it needs to be clear to the dog. HERE, always means Here. Not on the second or third time. Because I can almost guarantee, your calling the dog every time you beep, or vibe the collar. Then again with the stim.

Another reason I don't care for the beep, is so many things in our world beep. Microwaves, ovens, timers, our cell phones to alert us. Low batteries in fire alarms, and so much more. Some dogs can start to think those are meant as a correction. And they don't understand what they are doing wrong.
I've just found by keeping training simple, works out best for me, and my dogs.

For those on Facebook, go to Perfection Kennels page. Then go to their videos. Not all of them are titled, but some are on recall, and the overall use of ecollars.
 

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No I don't think you're that much different. We arrive at the same point, but sometimes the paths are a little bit different.
Good point about the "beep tone". I'm also going to watch those videos. Always good to learn new things, and have alternative "tools" in the "tool box".
As the lessons progress, we do switch to stimulate with the command, but I've had good success with using the beep tone in the beginning. It mimics the warning tone on their boundary fence, so I use it as part of the training process. You do have a valid point though.
A well trained hunting dog makes the day so much more enjoyable. ;)
 

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First time I tried an e-collar (full vibrate mode) my V jumped 3 feet straight in the air. After that every time I put it on her she’d only stand between my legs. Realizing I’d blown it, and would take enormous effort to desensitize her, I switched over training her to come when I blew a field whistle (fresh chicken or bacon reward initially), eventually just praise.

She LOVES the whistle and her recall is 100% unless she’s after a turkey or deer. In contrast, my German Shepard had zero problems with an e-collar, but he’s also whistle-trained for recall and I find the whistle much easier for both (better range, no batteries etc).
 
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