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Discussion Starter #1
Hello V Forum,

Without getting overly winded with every single nuance of our 11-month old V.....I need some help.

Overall he has been an absolute pleasure and well behaved 95% of the time, especially considering his age. Even been through thee levels of obedience training with very positive results. The 5% is what I need help on.

To that end, I work on a golf course and he's off-leash when he's with me....mostly during my morning activities before golfers are out playing, etc. Here's where the 5% comes in. He follows me around the course running alongside my cart and stays with me within eye sight all the time. However, his recall to come directly to me is non-existent. His general recall in our house or at work, in a closed environment is great, but when he's in an open run/off-leash he will not come to me so I can gather him to go back inside. Lastly, I had a very uncomfortable experience this weekend while vacationing at beachfront area. At 5:30am I thought I was safe to run Milo off-leash on the beach, which is well protected from roads, etc, but he would not come on recall and was VERY disruptive to other dogs and their owners. And it is unacceptable to expose others to that lack of obedience that I experienced and I accepted full responsibility for thinking the outcome would have been better. Who would have thought 5:30am would be a popular time to let a dog play in a beach....lesson learned.

Ok now onto my question. I've used an e-collar very successfully many moons ago with our lab, but I have not used one since. And I simply do not know when is "too early" to introduce one to a V? I feel once I can use one it would help greatly and reduce and/or eliminate this recall issue.

Any help, insight or experience would be GREATLY appreciated.
 

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Its depended on the dogs maturity, and how much training has been done prior.
Mine are normally between 6, and 9 months old.
I do it when they have a full understanding of the commands. Have given the correct response to the commands 100s of times, but now think they don't always need to follow them.
The teenage, I know better, but will do it any way stage.
 

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I think it varies like texasred said. We started a little bit after 1 year old, maybe 14 months? I think the most important thing is to know is ecollars are a reinforcement of a trained behavior and not a replacement. I do love it though, recalls have gotten 100% better and he just generally stays closer on his own. It's definitely a great tool if used correctly!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your replies. And as mentioned, this will be used primarily as a "recall" tool to supplement regular training and reinforcement. I just need him to be more reliable on recall when around distractions, etc. I was told, when he was a puppy, that 2-years was a good age to start. But that is simply too long for me to wait. So hearing that I can do it much early, especially if it is introduced properly, is great news.

To that end, I have it narrowed down to the: Garmin/Tri-Tronics, E-Collar Technologies and the SportDog as the top three contenders. I've had the Tri-Tronics in the past with my lab and was very happy. but they did sellout to Garmin, so I do not know how that complicates things? And guidance on popular e-collars for V's would be greatly appreciated.

Many THANKS again for the assistance.............
 

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You know, there are many ways to successfully train a dog, and "Success" is defined as "Reliable" or consistent. I've found that there's a correlation btwn the methods used and the personality of the owner..and not surprisingly, the relationship with the dog. As they say, everyone gets the dog they deserve.

Recall that e collars use pain..however slight...to "Reinforce" your training, and there's no doubt he'll get the message. If you're OK utilizing discomfort as a teaching tool, that's fine. Personally, I've had success over the years with more intensive yet totally non invasive/non painful methods...they take longer and require more effort than a push of a button (literally), but absent any discomfort for the dog.
 

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After being a big fan of Tritronics for years. I didnt care for them after the buy out. I think they spent more time on adding bells, and whistles. But dropped the ball on the ecollar part

Its been a long time since I've owned a sportdog collar. They may have improved over the years. The problem i had with them, is they would intermittently drop the the dog.
The last collar I bought is a Dogtra RT Edge. I've been using it about a year now, and have no complaints.
 

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I used SportDog in the past with some issues with longevity. I researched several and ended up going with the Dogtra 1900S Black Edition. Its very robust, and user friendly. Features may dictate which direction you go, but all I needed was a good adjustment range and a vibrate function. I train with the minimum stimulation necessary and then rely almost completely on the vibrate function as a reminder. There is no pain to the dog if you set up the stimulation levels correctly, I can barely feel the stimulation on myself at the level Ryker and I are working at. (10 out of 127)
 

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Hey tegee26,

I recently started my boy on his ecollar about 2 months ago (@ 10 months) As mentioned by others, ensure he knows all commands you're correcting for. Also, introduction to the collar is important, dogs have no clue what the sensation means so it's up to us to introduce it correctly. Obviously YouTube is your friend :angel Sounds like you're approaching this with thought and some experience. I won't bore you much more on that, here's my take on ecollar brands as I did copious amounts of research.

I looked at the Dogtra, Sportdog, Mini Educator & Garmin. I tried the Mini Educator since they have a proprietary (patented) stimulation. They use the same stimulation you get when you go to physical therapy that repairs muscles, nerves, etc. It is much more subtle and the transmitter goes from 0-100 which helps you dial it in. Cons - the collar is heavier and the transmitter doesn't feel as well made. Also, their customer service was not as knowledgeable as Sportdog.

Dogtra is popular but wasn't for me based on the reviews.

Garmin was a bit more pricey than what I wanted to spend...BUT the dog trainer I am using uses nothing but Garmin and he swears by them. He has 40 dogs in his kennel every month, so it must be a great device.

I ended up with Sportdog 825. I like the device, it feels well made and Jaxson responds well on the low level #4 (out of 14) I also like the fact it has a belt clip versus using that silly lanyard :wink The customer service is VERY helpful and knowledgeable. Every time i call i get someone who is confident about the product and how to use it correctly. The nice thing about Sportdog is they have sales once a month if you buy from them direct. I got the 825 for the price of the 425, so be sure to check out their website.

Hopefully this helps you with your product selection. I'm happy with the Sportdog and Jaxson loves to wear it cause he knows when it goes on, adventures are coming! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
THANK YOU all for such great advice and guidance. It was just what I was looking for. As I mentioned, I used a Tri-Tronics (actually still own it) on my 10+ years Lab which he was professionally trained up to two years old back then and help a lot. I actually didn't need it much after he calmed down. Problem is with the Sport Basic G3 is it's heavy and bulky for my 48-lb skinny neck V IMHO. I am looking for something lighter and smaller. The G3 needs a new battery, has very limited functionality/adjustment and they don't make parts for them anymore, so that's why I am moving away for the current one I own.

And yes, given my circumstances and need for immediate correction around golfers etc during certain times of the day, I do feel I need to go this direction. I just don;t want to limit his off-leash time from 5am-8:30am each day. I want him out more so I can exercise and spend time with him in the afternoons. And yes, I am most likely going to get my V professionally trained on the e-collar as well. He's been going to a very reputable training facility since he was 10-weeks old and knows all the basic commands and then some. BUT the "I see golfers" and "I see squirrels, etc, etc." and chasing after them has to stop. Not to mention, the golf course is located next to two roads and I am always forced to stay away from that section of property which limits my daily duties. Plus, V's don't necessarily calm down quickly like my last two labs the past 20-years on the property. So I have given this plenty of thought and consideration and feel this is an appropriate step IF used properly.

Ok, ok, ok......now I do have it narrowed down to two. The Garmin Sport Pro is nothing more than a glorify Sport G3, which I already own. And too much inconsistent reviews and experiences from what I've read on the Sportdogs. That leave it down to the Dogtra 1900s and the Educator ET-400. I need 3/4-mile range just to be safe. The Educator 400 is getting serious consideration for one simple feature....the boost feature, which is also programmable. As mentioned, with the roads, his tremendous prey instincts and constantly around a lot of people; the boost feature may come in very handy??? They only problem (or concern) with the ET-400 is its battery life, which is only 12-hrs compared to the 1900S which is triple that.

So that's my story.....lol. And I am getting closer to pulling the trigger today or tomorrow. Again, I can't thank everyone enough for all their help and advice.

All the best.........
 

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The Dogtra 1900s Black Edition has a 1 mile range, and "boost" on that device is applied in a different way. The 1900 has two buttons on the side, nick for momentary stimulation and constant, which gets their attention just due to the constant. Also it is very east to slide your finger over the adjustment knob to turn the stimulation up quickly. Do you happen to be a veteran? there is a discount site that carries Dogtra.

As far as the use of it? There will always be those for and against the use of e-collars, but used correctly they are not detrimental to the dogs, and can ensure safety. The daily activities you described is a perfect scenario for use of them. Even if there was a moment of pain (under high settings), its better than getting hit by a car.

Best of luck in your search!
 

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I use Garmin Tri-Tronics Sport PRO. I got it because the remote is fairly small and positioning of buttons is convenient and ergonomic. It's worked great so far for us.

Another nice thing about the e collar training of my dog is that once trained...I RARELY actually use the buttons. In the beginning to teach and train him, yes. Now I barely ever use it and only if he runs off after something that's really high distraction (animals). Otherwise his recall is great and sooo much better than before the e collar.

The collar is on as a last resort recall in case of anything dangerous, not as a regularly used 'lets push the button to shock my dog so he comes back'. Just gives me an ease of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I use Garmin Tri-Tronics Sport PRO. I got it because the remote is fairly small and positioning of buttons is convenient and ergonomic. It's worked great so far for us.

Another nice thing about the e collar training of my dog is that once trained...I RARELY actually use the buttons. In the beginning to teach and train him, yes. Now I barely ever use it and only if he runs off after something that's really high distraction (animals). Otherwise his recall is great and sooo much better than before the e collar.

The collar is on as a last resort recall in case of anything dangerous, not as a regularly used 'lets push the button to shock my dog so he comes back'. Just gives me an ease of mind.


As I mentioned, this forum is great and appreciate everyone's feedback.

I ended up getting this one (after quite a bit of vacillating back and forth): https://goo.gl/xxH3in

The decision was made based on several factors including: the type of stimulation that it uses, the boost feature was pretty important for obvious reasons, the receiver is the smallest of the four major companies, it has a beep function which I thought would be helpful b/c my V responses very well to my claps & whistles and the fact they have a great warranty program and 60-day return policy. All factored into the decision.

Plus I got really lucky and they had a list of distributors/trainers that carry their line of e-collars and three were literally right in my backyard. So I have appointments with two of them next week to evaluate my V and I'll make a decision on which professional trainer we will use from there. I think it is critically important (for my application at least) that I invest some $$$ in professional training on the e-collar IMHO. One training quoted $350 for 4-5 1 hour onsite training visit, which I thought was reasonable.

Anyway that's latest and I'll keep everyone posted on my results and experience. I am really hoping this is the last little bit I need to help my V enjoy off leash activities while I work on the property.

Thx again.......
 

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I have whistle trained my dogs for recall... it is miraculous! I started with treats and a dog whistle, and adapted my own personal soft whistle ... they all come running...
HOWEVER... If Zeke is in hunting mode, and has his nose on a Lizard... He is oblivious to ANY thing...
 
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