View Full Version : E-collar disaster
03-23-2004, 11:43 AM
Nitro is now almost 9 months old, so I decided to introduce him to the e-collar last week.
I started out on the first setting to try and reinforce the sit command because he was getting sloppy with it. That went fine. The second day, I used it on the come command and it was a disaster. I followed the book's instructions and gave him the come command at the same time I applied stimulation. He looked completely confused. Then, I made the mistake of thinking that maybe it wasn't enough stimulation to motivate him, so I moved it to 2 and he ended up yiping and running away to hide in the bushes. Obviously, 2 is too high. I felt so bad that I didn't use the collar for an entire week.
I put it on him today and he acted completely different than yesterday. Yesterday, I worked with him without the collar on and he did pretty well. He was fetching, bringing the bumper back to heel, sitting, and then releasing on command to my hand. Today, when I put that collar on, his tail was between his legs immediately and he wouldn't budge from where I sat him next to me. He didn't fetch the bumper and wouldn't come to the come command. So, I used the collar on 1 and he yiped and ran for the bushes and wouldn't come out. I had to go into the bushes and get him and when I did that he ran out the other side and under my truck. Is 1 too high for him. I tried it out myself and it doesn't bother me. My dad can go all the way to 4 before it bothers him and my brothers can go to 3. I will admit that 2 is a little uncomfortable for me. I also understand that dogs react differently to different levels. One of the goldens would respond just fine on level 1 and the other needed level 3 before he even noticed anything. Granted, those were different collars than the Tri-Tronics one I am using now. How do I solve this problem? Should I try a different collar or should I just give up on using the collar? However, I had such a good experience using the collar on the goldens that I would prefer to use it, but obviously I don't want to ruin my dog.
03-23-2004, 12:55 PM
Was he obeying your command? If so why would you hit him while obeying. I never use mine, unless it is to correct. At this point in time I would put the collar away for awhile, although it may already be to late.
03-23-2004, 01:27 PM
Fabs, I let my pup wear the collar for a month before I applied any pressure. If you use it too soon your dog will associate stimulation with the collar, he will become collar wise. You should have used a check cord and not allowed the dog to escape. The object is to teach the dog the only way to turn off the pressure is to comply with your command. I would recommend you put the collar away for a month or two, and read 10 minute retriever by John and Amy Dahl.
This also, is a good source of information.
03-23-2004, 01:31 PM
I'd like to see the responses you get here.
03-23-2004, 06:00 PM
Having used an e-collar previously doesn't mean having learned HOW to use one properly.
Its not a "disaster" that cannot be repaired, but you are well on that path.
Suggestion - join a hunting retriever club and get some hands on help or hire a good pro to train you and dog. Reading can only do so much. Observation helps a ton.
03-24-2004, 03:04 AM
Okay, for those of you that don't think I am reading anything, here is a picture of the books that I have bought. Now, I will admit that I haven't read them from cover to cover, but I think that some of you that are posting on this have actually recommended them to me.
03-24-2004, 03:25 AM
Now with that said, I will readily admit that I am not a professional dog trainer, and I have said that in the past.
I am trying to read each book as it pertains to what I am trying to teach the dog because I don't have the time during tax season to read these books from cover to cover. After April 15, I will sit down and read them all. So please, no more book suggestions. In fact, if any of you guys think I should avoid any of the books listed above, let me know. I will be more than happy to cross it off my reading list. So, which book is right. Maybe I should post a poll for each, and then some others.
Probably won't be able to join a retriever club right now either because of the time factor. This summer it might be a possiblity though. Does anyone have any information of clubs in the Washington, DC area?
The Smartfetch books says to use continuous stimulus until the dog actually reaches me. Then, the Top Dog book says that I should apply continuous stimulus from the time I say sit until the time Nitro's butt hits the ground. "That gets him used to sitting quick." I think my biggest problem is the number of books. I think I need to pick one and just go with that. Heck, people have even recommended more than one book to me. Why should I read more than one? Does each one have something right in it and something wrong and I have to sift through and figure out which one to follow. I followed the Top Dog book for the goldens and they turned out pretty good. Now, I have book upon book and it is actually a little overwhelming.
I wish I had known that beforehand. I don't plan on using the collar for a month or two. When he had the collar on this morning, he wouldn't move from my side no matter what command I gave him. I knew I was in trouble when I put it on him and he put his tail between his legs. I learned a lesson at the expense of my dog. That makes me sad.
I am a pretty patient man. So, I think I will be able to work through this. I just need a little help on what to do. You are right that books don't cover everything. I was trying to read them to see what I should do in this situation, and guess what, they really don't have this exact situation in them. So, I figured I would ask you guys.
Between this board and the books, hopefully I will figure out what I should do. What I do know is that the collar will not be on Nitro for quite some time now.
Lastly, I went out with Nitro this afternoon and worked on some retrieving, remote sits, and sits while walking in the heel command. He did pretty well. In fact, I was actually enthusiastic about it.
Anyway, tomorrow is another day.
03-24-2004, 06:03 AM
I'd put the collar on him and just let him wear it for at least a few weeks. Let him forget about it.
My last hunting GSP was collar smart when I got her... but that was not so bad. If she had the collar on she NEVER misbehaved.
Good luck dude.
03-24-2004, 07:21 AM
Fabs, I think that Jabba has a good Idea. Make him wear the collar and get him use to it. If not the e-collar at least a collar of some sort. I also agree with you, I would pick one book and stick with that book. If you pick six books you're going to come up with six differents ways of doing it, and that's a fact. I'm not saying don't read all the books, I'm saying pick the one you think is best and go for it. Personally I believe if your dog is obeying your commands, don't use the stimulation on him and let him work, only use it when he is not paying attention to you. Good luck with your training.
03-24-2004, 08:33 AM
I don't think you've done any irreparable damage. You got the response you needed you just didn't have the check cord to show Nitro where to go to escape the pressure.
Review pages 116 to 119 of 10 Minute Retriever you'll see what I mean. I had a problem with the contact points, on the collar, making contact. So I clipped the area where the contacts ride on Gus's neck. After that I could get a good response with a lower setting.
03-24-2004, 09:26 AM
Originally posted by Nevada Jim
You need to add these to your library. MUCH better than the "Dobbs/TriTronics book".
03-24-2004, 10:27 AM
This will likely be my last post on HuntChat because whenever I've tried to help you in the past, particularly including admonishing you for practices that are ill advised for your young Lab pup, you became offended and upset to the point that it's just not worth it to me to waste my energy typing suggestions.
I won't bother to go back through the litany of things you've done with Nitro in direct contravention of advice from long term amateur dawg trainers like me, or professional ones like Yellardawg, but you seem determined to take risks in the upbringing of your Lab that are clearly unsound practices. Shooting a gun next to a pup to see if he's gun shy is just one such an example. Hunting him at 4-5 months of age without adequate field training is another. Allowing him to retrieve crows is but one more. Using an e-collar on him because his sit had gotten a little sloppy, and without proper collar conditioning ... well, that's just over the top for me. It borders on abuse in my view.
I'm sure that you love that pup with all of your heart but you just don't seem to get it. You have a DUTY to teach and train him in a manner and by means that does not subject him to becoming gun shy forever, losing and eye to a crow or now become petrified and paranoid about the e-c because you miserably screwed up it's introduction. Be a responsible retriever owner is not unlike raising a child. You have a clear obligation to nourish, teach and protect them and not follow unsafe or unwise practices with either's upbringing.
If I provided a digital pic of all the law books in my library would that make me a competent attorney? What about my collection of books about Brownings and high quality engraving and stock making. Do they make me a skillful gunsmith? Having a library of books on retriever training doesn't mean squat if you don't thoroughly read, learn and apply the principals of one or more before you do something new in Nitro's training.
Despite my having almost 45 years of gun dawg training experience at the time, and having a number of training books in my library, I nonetheless hired Fred Hasson, a Tri-Tronics Certified Trainer, to teach me the proper use of the e-c before it was even placed on Cappy.
Before I started Cappy's initial field training, we joined a Hunting Retriever Club to talk with and listen to several experienced trainer/handlers and get hands on advice from each on how to train a retriever correctly before I jumped the gun, started on my own and screwed Cappy's future up because of my arrogance and ignorance that I could do it on my own.
As Cappy evolved from an 8 week old addition to our household to a competent adult hunting retriever, I sought the counsel and advice of many retriever trainers on websites all over this country and even into the UK. There was barely a day that went by that I didn't ask questions and learn as much as I could from many folks who were experienced Lab trainers. The fact that I had trained pointers for more years than many of those advice givers were old, didn't mean a thing.
I wish you and Nitro well. I can only urge you to get professional retriever training help before the past bad practices and newly created paranoia of the e-c ruins an otherwise worthwhile prospect forever. Being that you are a lawyer, you of all people should know that someone who represents themselves in court has a fool for an attorney.
03-24-2004, 12:35 PM
Dog Yeller was right when he said to condition the dog to the collar by making him wear it for a time before you even turn the thing on. (Waiting a while before you try this again is the correct thing.) I put it on my dogs and then went out and did some fun things (ie. running in the field, bird introduction with pigeons, etc.). They also wore the collar just around the house. A word of caution though, don't just leave it on Nitro all the time as the contacts may irritate the skin.
As far as actual training, leave the e-collar off until the dog is rock solid on the check chord. For instance, when teaching the here command, teach it with the check chord and the e-collar on at the same time, but with the e-collar powered off. When you say "here' and tug on the collar, the dog could come. the tug being the correction. as you know, you don't pull the dog in just tug and if he doesn't come, use a series of tugs to get him to comply. When Nitro is solid on here on the check chord start with the e-collar. Have the dog in sit and command "here". Tug on the checkchord and at the same time "nick" the e-collar. Timing is crucial. The dog should come. As you did with the check chord, start with very short distances first and then build to longer and longer distances. Keep the e-collar on the lighest possible setting that the dog reacts to (what I mean is when you "nick" the dog with the e-collar, his ears raise or he slightly turns his head.) The principle here is that the dog associates the "here" command with the tug of the check chord, your voice command and the "nick" of the e-collar. You are overlaying stimuli with the command. When the dog is rock solid on this from a considerable distance, you can put the check chord away and go with just the e-collar, starting at short distances. Through the whole thing, timing is crucial; the command and the correction must be given at the same time. Again, when Nitro is rock solid at a considerable distance, start over just giving the command. Nitro should comply. If Nitro doesn't comply, "nick" him. The nick should come immediately after the command if Nitro doesn't get his butt moving. Chances are he will comply with the command at short distances, but he might want to test you at longer distances. The goal is for the dog to comply with the command without a correction. My goal is to never give e-simulation, but I don't hesitate if a well known command is not adheared to.
Sorry this is so long and if any of you pros want to chime in you certainly are welcome to.
Good luck with Nitro!
03-24-2004, 02:15 PM
To those of you that have given me concrete advice, thank you very much. I am going to try the check cord in a month or two and I am going to let Nitro wear the e-collar around the house for about 5 to 8 hours a day until then. The day after the incident, I let him wear the collar around the house and he seemed fine. Probably should have left it on him during the day for the entire week instead of taking it off.
I looked those pages over and they seem to be pretty much on point with what happened, especially page 118. I will try to use them in a month or two when the e-collar is back on Nitro. Top Dog has a different way of dealing with it, but I like the Dahl's way a lot better.
The reason I get offended with your posts is because you always admonish me for what I did and you never provide a direct solution, you just refer me to a book. Well, you referred me to Amy Dahl's book and now you are referring me to another book. So, if you are the accomplished dog trainer, you should be able to pick the right book, not point me to a library and say the answer is in there somewhere. Going back to one of your several poor analogies (i.e., the legal library), I don't hand my clients a law book when they ask me for an answer. I give them an answer. I don't say here is my legal library, have at it. If you are as good as you say you are, you would be able to give me a solution other than pointing me to a book, or books, and admonishing me for what I did. I know what I did was a disaster. I even posted that. However, you still need to beat me. Look at your post, what kind of post it that? "Shaking Head"
I admit what I did was not the wisest choice. After reading more about it and reading some of the CONCRETE posts, I should have used a check cord to make sure that Nitro followed through with the command when pressure, and not a treat, was applied. I just thought that he already knew what the come command was so he would follow through with it.
As far as having a "DUTY to teach and train him," I will agree with that. However, we just disagree with the methods and what I will allow him to do. Just as in raising children, there is no one single way that is correct. Some people won't allow their kids to play football or go hunting, and then there are those that will. I am dealing with that issue right now. My girlfriend doesn't want our kids to play football. She also doesn't want them to touch a gun until they are teenagers. Who is right and who is wrong. We had a discussion and we agreed that if the kid wants to play football, the kid will and that if they are mature enough they will be able to handle a pellet gun at 5 and a firearm at age 8 or 9. There is no right answer. Plenty of loving and caring parents give their kid a car only to have them hurt themselves in a wreck. Are they bad parents, probably not.
Your opinion is that Nitro shouldn't retrieve crows. Well, if I were to worry about him hurting himself on a retrieve, I wouldn't throw a bumper ever. He stops so quickly when he gets to the bumper that sometimes he comes back limping and I have to call it a day. Do you have a solution for that one? I killed 100's of crows with the goldens and they never had an eye punched out. When Nitro retrieved the first crow, I never in my wildest imagination thought that he would because he was so young, but he did. He even jumped into a creek to get it. Also, I wasn't too far away from him at any time that day. The reason he probably went for it was because it was hopping away. Anyway, letting him retrieve that crow was my decision and I will let him do it again, just like I would let my child play football. You and I have different views on raising dogs and children, but I am willing to bet that neither of us is wrong. There are just so many places for a dog to get hurt while out hunting, that if you are worried about it you should just limit Cappy to field trials. Should I let Nitro go out on the ice to retrieve birds. He wanted to this winter, but I wouldn't let him. Probably will let him do it next year though when he has his complete winter coat and he is full grown. If the ice breaks, you can bet that I will be the first one in the water to get him and I will look like Mark Spitz (sp.).
Regarding "shooting a gun next to a pup to see if he is gun shy," I think you have it slightly wrong. You should have been an attorney because you have a way of manipulating words to suit your needs. I got out of the truck with the gun to try and shoot 3 doves on a wire. I left my dad and Nitro in the truck; however, my dad decided to get out and Nitro decided to jump out too and run toward me. Obviously, I was walking away from the truck and had no idea that Nitro was coming to me when I pulled the trigger on the birds. When he got to me, I was surprised and my dad said that he hadn't flinched. So, I continued to hunt with him right next to me and I have never had a problem with him being gun shy. I also told you why I thought it was. When he was just 9 or 10 weeks, he was always with me, even when I was working on my car with my dad and we were using the air hammer. For a second he was scared, but then he was fine. I just think he got accustomed to loud noises before I actually took him hunting.
Now, your analogy about a lawyer that represents himself has a fool for a client, is probably right for the most part, but I don't see how that applies in this situation. That deals with the emotion that is involved in the case. Then again, attorneys sue their clients for fees all the time and they represent themselves. It all depends on what the case involves on whether or not your statement applies. If your analogy is meant to say that a dog owner should never train his own dog, I would disagree with you on that.
To finish up this post, I will admit that I screwed up with the use of the e-collar and that I should have used a check cord to ensure that Nitro succeeded. I will not admit that I made a mistake in introducing him to hunting at his age, in letting him retrieve crows, or in shooting around him at his age. Everyone that has seen him hunt thinks that he is first class. It just seems that you like to keep a list of what I have done "wrong" in your eyes. For you to remember those things for about 6 months means that you have something to prove. Maybe you just like giving me hell because I am an attorney and you want to show an attorney up. However, I do know that you hardly ever give me any advice on what to do to correct a problem, you just point me to a book and kick me in the butt.
For your pointing me in the direction of Nitro's breeder, I thank you. For the posts where you refer me to a book after giving me crap, I say NO THANK YOU. I can do a web search myself and find all the books out there on retriever training.
While you were a good student (i.e., you learned from the pros all over the world), it doesn't appear that you are a good teacher.
Take care and you can rest assured that I will not miss posts such as:
Having used an e-collar previously doesn't mean having learned HOW to use one properly.
03-24-2004, 04:27 PM
Well Mr. Moderator ... your immature reaction was about what I've come to expect from you.
You don't pay me for suggestions unlike the clients who come to you. In fact, you never even offered to reimburse my long distance phone calls or the time and effort I took to assist you with your pup. Being disrespectful to someone like me who's twice your age, gone out of his way to listen to and try to help, and who does have more years of dawg training experience than you've been alive, is just about your par.
I'm sure that you won't miss me or my suggestions. It's pretty hard to for me to offer advance warnings or challenges when you post what it is that you've already screwed up on.
Maybe you ought to solicit an honest evaluation of your posts and your behavior here from other forum visitors and Moderators just to see if I'm the only person who thinks what you say and do with your pup is plain wrong. Too bad for Nitro's sake that he'll have to endure your mistakes as well as his own as he matures. I hope to God he doesn't suffer injuries or loose an eye because of your subjecting him to dangers for absolutely no useful or beneficial purpose. That is plain stupidity.
You just won't take advice from people like Yellardawg and me who both frequently went well beyond the call of duty in phone calls, IMs and e-mails trying to help you. And now you criticize me for providing you links where you can get professional help.
*Shaking head even more*
03-24-2004, 05:50 PM
Call me whatever you want if it makes you feel better. I know what I am and am not.
As far as offering to pay the long distance bill, maybe I would if we had ever spoken to one another. We haven't. If you can show me a legitimate phone bill with my phone number on it, I will gladly send you a check for double the amount. I know we haven't spoken because I have always wondered what you would sound like on the phone. I recall that you wanted to fax me a copy of some legal document once and I think you did. However, I cannot recall actually reading the document. It had something to do with your lending business. All of our "conversations" have been via e-mail, IM, or this board, that is it.
I thought my eyes might be deceiving me regarding that webpage, so I went back to look at it again. It is indeed that of a book.
What I need to know is how to address the situation I have, not what new book to read.
As far as being disrespectful, I am a firm believer in treating people exactly the way they treat me. If they want to treat a 32 year old like a child, then what do I care if they are 60+ years old? Should I treat 70 year old people as incompetents because of their age? I don't think so. I treat every person with the respect they deserve. Nobody deserves respect just because of their age or whatever. If a 70 year old man were to commit a heinous crime, should I respect him because he is my elder, I think not. At the same time, a 18 year old might deserve the same respect as a 55 year old. Age is just a number Jim that you throw around because you happened to have been born before me.
As I said earlier, subjecting a dog to hunting is subjecting him to dangers for absolutely no useful or beneficial purpose. What benefit does the dog get out of hunting that he wouldn't get from retriever trials or just plain retrieving bumpers? Since dogs cannot speak, we don't know what they really think. Plus, what use or benefit is hunting other than for our human pleasure. If you really want to be safe with Cappy, stop taking him hunting. Otherwise, come to the reality that a dog will possibly hurt himself while hunting. I have. As a result, I bought a medical bag just for Nitro for when we are out in the field.
Lastly, I can seriously do without the derogatory head shaking in the form of a public post. If you were indeed a friend of mine, I would expect that behind closed doors. However, I am guessing that you either have an inferiority complex or a God complex. Most of the time I have called you out on this (e.g., the crow incident), I have done so behind closed doors (i.e., a PM). However, you continue to do this in a public forum. So, how does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot and have it done to you? I will refrain from using gestures in the form of words, but my final point is that I have never cussed on this board, while I believe you have dropped the "F" bomb and then gotten mad at me for editing your post "because the edited post wasn't your words and should have been deleted instead." That got blown out of proportion too. You need to look in the mirror and ask yourself how old YOU really act and how mature YOU really are before you start throwing that word around. You will probably respond with "I am too old for this stuff" and so be it.
03-25-2004, 08:33 AM
In my limited experience in training dogs, most mistakes can be fixed. When we have a dog snakebroke what is done is basically what you did with Nitro. The big difference is the dog relates it to the snake. With that said every year I have this done to my dog and almost every time he ran in on the snake.
I've also used the collar on my pup and had it a little to hot a couple of times, accidents happen. You'll learn along with your pup. Everyone started with a first pup and everyone made some mistakes. I've made a ton, and will probably make more. My dogs see the e-collar and run......directly at me because they know it's training time, and fun time.
With all that said you have some great advice on letting Nitro wear the collar around off for a bit, my only suggestion is try not to over do it. Let Nitro get comfortable with it around the house, and then only put it on every time you take him outside and interact with him. He'll learn that no matter what happens it's still a fun thing. After some fun time outside, and time with the e-collar and checkcord you'll both be ready.
I may not have all the correct answers, but I have learned how to fix my mistakes and I'm sure you'll do the same. Good Luck
P.S. for the record I'm only 30 and have only worked with 4 hunting dogs if anyone was wondering.
03-25-2004, 08:57 AM
When I was using the e-collar on Cooper (before he lost it in the woodes) he was that way too. When I got the collar out... he was excited because he associated it with going out to train and run and have FUN.
03-25-2004, 10:46 AM
The goldens were like that too. That is why I felt so bad about what happened with Nitro. I guess I just wasn't ready for his initial reaction to the collar.
I am hoping that in a couple of months that I will be able to turn the collar back on, use the check cord, and show him that he can still have fun with the collar on.
I appreciate everyone's advice on this.
03-25-2004, 11:39 AM
IMHO, "Shock Collars" are an extremely poor substitute for
not spending enough time with your dog. I think collars turn dogs into robots. Personally I don't want a robot, I want a friend.
No kennels either! My home raised chocolate lab blows the paws
off all my buddies "collared" dogs. That's no BS either. 30 yrs of
experience with labs has proven to me. JMHO!
P.S. I think that those collars are just plain mean!:mad:
03-25-2004, 01:08 PM
My dog stays in the house with me almost all the time and now that the weather is nice I am spending about an hour a day with him outside working with him. However, I am pretty busy since it is tax season, so that hour varies some days.
Yeah, there are different views on shock collars. I think they are a good way to correct a dog when he is far away from me. I usually don't use one when the dog is right next to me and he needs to be corrected. I used it on Nitro for the sit command because I thought it would be a good way to introduce him to it. That pretty much back fired on the come command. If you get the results from your dog that you want without using a shock collar, then I agree that you shouldn't use one. If Nitro listens to me all the time when he is away from me, then I won't be using mine either. Something tells me that won't be the case.
03-25-2004, 06:19 PM
Well 'yote' , everyone is entitled to there own opinion. You can call it anything you want. Me I call the e-collar my security blanket. I can stop my dog dead in his tracks at 500 yards with a stiff wind blowing in his face. I don't use the collar unless I really have to, but if he runs across a snake, coyote, mt lion, porkypine or whatever. I know he will stop.
The collar is on him from the time he leaves the truck until he gets back in the truck and it's lit the whole time. If thats mean then chalk me up for one of the bad guys, but I know that he will be going home with me, and I wouldn't have it any other way and if you could talk to my dog, I truly think he would tell you he perfers it that way.
03-25-2004, 07:35 PM
To make a long story short..
E fer effort Fabs, but he figgered ya out. Now, there's 2 ways to look at it.."Oh dern, their went my trainin tool" or..you can say" Dern, he's a smart dog, he figgered me out mighty quick!"...so..at least ya got that. It is fer from the end of the werld tho..he's smart as a tack, so, just modify yerself, and yer ecollar.
First thing, it is my OPINION that ecollars aint the end of the trainin werld, however, i dont condone em..if that makes sense. Point is, it all depends on who got that transmitter. YES, a dog can turn into a robot real quick-like with a transmitter-happy trainer/owner. BUT, on the flip side, in the right hands, they can be a good tool. I've never personally used em on any of the dogs i've had..The 64,000 que is "who has the "right" hands?"
Well I'll let ya in on a secret...and you wont find it in no book, tv show, er in anybody else in this werld. It all boils down to the owner, and how much attention that owner pays to that dog. Knowin yer dog and understandin him, is the key to all trainin. Yea, so ya goofed just a lil fabs, but not really, cause ya learned "ok, this dog got me figgered out", so, you adjust. And trust me, so will the dog. The dog trusts you..that in itself is the werld when it comes to "gun-broke" dogs, and dogs that accept any form of "punishment" from its owner. (That was proven when you said the dog wouldnt leave yer side when he got scarit. it also suggests that he aint have nary idear where that shock came from, but he was runnin to you fer protection. Which can also mean, that while he figgered out the collar hurt, but he aint assocaite with with you callin him and him not comin..see how it werks? lol) Plain and simple, if the dog dont trust you, you can do everythin under the sun..but the dog will do 1 of 2 things. 1) You would have to shock him to the point where his entire life is lived in fear of the zap he knows he'll git if the goofs 2) he'd never hunt WITH nor FOR you.
Big diff when a dog is happy as all git out to hunt with/for you, and a dog who feels he has to.
With that said..now..you gotta learn from it. Did the dog see you with the transmitter? Did he associate it/you w/ the collar? When you told him to "come" was it hateful the first time? How many times did ya call? Could it be that maybe he was afraid of the pain more than the fact that if he aint "come" he was gonna git zapped? Did he associate bein zapped with the fact that he aint come when i told him too? (Coulda been he aint figger out WHY he got zapped, just that.."dern i got a pain in my neck") Those are questions you can ask yerself..to understand what exactly is goin on, and which areas should you adjust to where the collar will be put to good use, instead of somethin that the dog is scarit of.
Wanna touch a lil on trainers/books/info in general..they are great resources, however, you caint set their werds in stone. They are simply a sugestion box. "If yer dog does "this", you can try "this"" But they caint answer why he does "this". If you learn why he does "this", then 9 times outta 10, you can easily come up with a way to fix "this" on yer own, er possibly turn to other folks er books fer suggestions. Use resources as suggestions only. Every dog is different, and should be treated as such.
My suggestions would be: learn, learn, learn. From the dog, not anything else. Yer already doin that, er you wouldnt've made this thread..a step in the right direction. Good idea on keepin the collar on fer a while with no zaps. I would also git my "voices" made up now. A regular "come here", a firmer "come here" and a..."better git yer butt back here er else!" come here. That way, the dog knows yer on yer last straw, and iffin he still dont listen..then you can use the lowest settin to start, er however much you know yer dog can/caint handle. I would think of ways that yer dog would learn to associate a simple shock to "i got shocked fer bad behavior" From what i read here, seems he aint got that figgered out yet.
The other thing Fabs, i will say is..dont let this discourage you. Just take yer time, and think/ask yerself about YOUR dog, how YOUR dog reacts to certain things..you'll figger him out in no time. It aint rocket science..just a understandin. Then, when you do fall offa the trainin horse, it's alot easier to hop back on and narrow down the possibilites.
03-25-2004, 08:56 PM
what is your dog doing 500yds away? Mine NEVER
stray futher than 50-75 yds away when I'm not looking. Even then
all it takes is one quick whistle and the hound is back where he
belongs. I spend 4-6 hrs a day with my dog. and that doesn't mean hard field training, but every time that I get into the truck to go to the store or a buddys place, etc... the dog goes with. It comes down to a process of training known as "constant reinforcement". Sit, stay, come, go, do this, don't do that,etc...
Don't take this wrong. I mean this in a positive and constructive
way. I've seen too many fantastic dogs "bullied down" by the
use of collars. Dogs are like little kids; sometimes it takes a fair
amount of bitching and repitition, but after while they come around and end up being your best friend, not just a robot.
(Letting them think for themselves is a good thing once in a while)
In a nutshell...
There are two schools of thought on e-collars (basically anyway). One uses the collar to teach the dog to "turn off the stimulation" -- this is the Dobbs method, Tr-trinocs method, Mike Lardy, etc. Its a good method but...you better know how to read a dog. It works good with guys who know how to use it.
The other method (and the one I prefer), uses the e-collar as a pinch collar. This method is simple. You pinch the dog with the collar and stimulate (ON a VERY LOW SETTING) at exactly the same time. You repeat this over and over, on ONE command at a time(like sit for example), until the dog associates the stimulation to mean the same thing as the pinch collar. Then one day, you remove the pinch collar, use the-collar stand alone, and low and behold, you have a "collar conditioned" dog. Then, you do it for all of the other commands like down, and heel. After than, you can turn up the volume when and only when needed.
Finally, your pup should ALWAYS wear the collar when training. He should come to associate the collar as fun and getting ready to work. This is the first place you goofed, should have been wearing an ecollar just not been using it.
As a side note -- They ALL eventually get "collar wise". Any bird dog worth his salt has just as much between the ears as he does up his nose. I think they all pretty much figure out what the collar around their neck means.
As a side note -- anybody who hunts a pointing dog 50 yards out is wasting the dog's time and their own. My dogs typically range 100 yards for pheasant, and really open up for quail and will get out around 400 yards or so. The biggest running All Age type pointers will range out over a mile -- but they typically must be hunted off of horseback or jeep.
03-26-2004, 05:25 AM
Yote did a good job of summin it up i think, use em when ya gotta, but it really is nice when my beagles do as their told to start with cause they learnt it by a woman's constant bit*** LOL
But they can be some handy-dandy tools when the goin gits rough tho. Caint tell ya how many pups i had to literally run down cause they misbehaved, but i got good excersise w/ all that runnin :rolleyes:
Ds, there's 2 statments i disagreed with.
anybody who hunts a pointing dog 50 yards out is wasting the dog's time and their own.
My pointer comes from mohawk mill dogs, all been field trialin all their life. They aint no "backyard litter" by no means is my point. Ride the horses round all day..etc etc. Well, while i lived in MI fer a bit, my dogs and me spent most my time in the thick woods of va. A pointer runnin 400 yrds out is a waste here. Now in MI, she done real good bout gittin out and turnin them birds, so that we aint have to hunt em that far out. Cause she knows i caint walk that fast i reckon lol..point is, that..any dog that goes out of its way to keep you happy, and'll send the game to ya the best it can, is no waste of time by no means. Not only did she learn in 1 summer what a pheasent was (cause she was a quail dog all her life), but she learnt as fast as she could how to make em sit there, and how to keep em close by, where i could actually git em.
I couldnt ask from no more from that dog iffin i tried, and my Wild Woman is fer from a waste. Bless her heart, I think her only waste was me, as she should be in them field trials and bein recognized fer her hard werk. But, i reckon she'll have to settle with a hug and big ole bone now and then.
The other is " it has nothin to do with bein a smart dog"...
Yessir, they all eventually figger it out, my point was, it's how quick they do figger it out. Leaves less room fer mistakes if they can figger stuff out the very first time ya try to do somethin.
Good idea bout the pinchin collar tho..wonder if that werks on older dogs and hubbies too? LOL :eek:
03-26-2004, 07:49 AM
Wow, I didn't realize this thread would get so heated. Training dogs is like framing houses :rolleyes: everyone thinks they have the right way and the best way. Many of you know I am a far cry from someone worthy of giving dog training advice. I can only speak of my one dog, Tex. Fab- read or re-read my recent post "Tex and Ecollars". Nitro will be just fine. Tex wore that collar about 5 times without a signal before I realized it was broken.
Before I got the collar, though, like Lil Red, I took off and chased Tex down when he wouldn't sit on the whistle. The look on his face said he'd never do that again. In 6 months, he has never refused a sit whistle command except in the water. Since I can't walk on water, I knew it was time for a collar.
I guess I'm saying 2 things - Nitro will be just fine if you make corrections to the way you handle him (which sounds like you are).
Second - there is a time and a place for properly used collars. They are not a fix all and cannot be used to address every issue. Read your dog's body language and learn the right actions to take.
03-26-2004, 11:53 AM
Yote: I never let MY dog hunt 500 yards in front of me, but he could, because he is out of big ranging dogs that do alot of field trialing.
Lilred: I must have missed something on Yote's post because I didn't see anything about "using them if you gotta". His response was don't use them at all, which is fine in certain circumstances but not in all cases. IMO
I do agree with you on the rest of your post though. You have to train your dog for the situation and terrain that you hunt. If you hunt wide open spaces where you can see your dog forever he can hunt a long ways in front, if you hunt closed in areas where you can't see your dogs but ten yards away you have to hunt him close if you want to keep track of him. IMO there is no right or wrong on the distance your dog hunts from you. It's pretty much dictated by circumstance.
Fab: I think you have gotten a lot of good advice off this thread from a lot of different folks and now your job is to sift through it and make use of what you think you can use and discard what you can't. You know your dog better than anyone else here. You also probably have more idea what will work for your dog from these ideas that have been submitted than anyone else. Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
03-26-2004, 12:01 PM
Use you intuition. Every dog is different, and IMO for anyone to say what will work for YOUR dog is conceited. I have only relayed what works for mme and my dogs... and I have used the collar on only a few. They are all different. Just like kids, and people.
You'll work it out.
03-26-2004, 04:29 PM
Thanks for the help everyone. I have been working with Nitro every day with the collar off of him, but I put the collar on in the house. Next week, I might start working with him outside with the collar on and just doing an easy transition from the house to outside without even touching the collar on his neck. In a month or two, I will turn the collar back on and try to introduce him to it with the come command and the check cord. Hopefully, that will work.
I read your post about Tex and the e-collar the day you posted about it and I have read the responses to it too. Just didn't have anything to contribute to it, so I didn't. For the most part, I read every post that comes on this forum. Quite honestly, I hope Nitro is doing as well as Tex in a year or two.
I stand by what I say.
1) The dog's reaction was not because he was "being smart". This dog was confused, which is why Nevada Jim said he was "shaking his head". The dog was being shocked and did not understand why...thus he ran. The proper name for this behavior is "bolting" and is a common way to avoid pressure. Some dogs, particularly golden retrievers and chessies, are notorious for this behavior and many must go through a process known as "de-bolting" where the dog learns that running into its crate, house, etc. will not cause pressure to stop. Only compliance will.
2) Fifty yards is not a pointing dog range, it is a flushing dog range. Teaching a pointing dog to work at 50 yards is a waste of pointing dog flesh. Any good dog should shorten up consideribly in heavy cover, to keep contact with the handler. There is a difference between a good dog that works the cover shortening up when cover is tight vs. a dog that naturally (or was trained) to only work at 50 yards.
The first dog is a good cooperative bird dog doing what bird dogs do, the second dog is a "bootlicker" and is all about aesthetics and will not find many more birds than you would have walked up anyway. My point is...what's the point in having a pointer meant to range and cover lots of ground if you make it work at a flushing dog range?
03-26-2004, 09:28 PM
I'd walk past alot of dirds if my dog didn't point them for me. I let mine work out to 75 to 100 yards... 200 if it's open... but I have never hunted where there was that open of terrain. I like the keep them withing 50 or 60 in the tight cover of the grouse woods.
There is a big difference between hunting a weedy Milo field, and hunting the desert floor I'll tell you that... and I have never hunted the desert.
03-26-2004, 10:11 PM
what's the point in having a pointer meant to range and cover lots of ground if you make it work at a flushing dog range?
I'll tell ya why..cause that dog would rather do her dernest to help me shoot birds than anything. She's pointed at 50, and shes pointed at 150..as long as she knows "mama's gonna shoot that bird" (er at least attempt to anyways lol) then she's gonna do whatever she feels necc. to do, to make that happen. And that is a waste? You dun lost yer ever-luvin mind. How can anyone claim a dog to be worthless just because we dont want it to do what the field trailers do?
Ya know what the point is fer havin my wild woman? I'll tell ya..cause her daddy been dead fer 10 years, (frozen sperm pregnancy..can i say that on here? if not..am sorry) and her mama aint take good care of the litter..so i took wild woman to help the lil runt survive. I took that pointer cause i cared. She coulda went on to doin much better things, but i'll guarentee that nobody on the face of this earth would love and appreciatte that dog more than i do. And the breeder of these dogs knows that..and that's why he gave me that high dollar pup..cause i cared. And he'd give me another iffin i asked. Not all situations when it comes to why the owners have their dogs can be put into the "werthless" catagory.
Teaching a pointing dog to work at 50 yards is a waste of pointing dog flesh.
What iffin you were disabled/and or slow at walkin like me? What iffin you aint have a friggin herd of horses like the field trialers? Then would it be werthless? If that pointer is willin to hold point fer me and keep the bird in it's place, long enough fer me to git to it wether it's 2 seconds er 10 minutes..then by gawd that dog is already doin more than the average pointer. Wild woman does that fer me, cause she knows i caint go that dam fast. If yer pointer can hold point long enough fer a 5 foot girl with stubby legs to walk 100 yrds er even 50 yrds, then bring that dog to va and let's see what it's got. Otherwise, any dog that puts it's best effort into huntin fer ya..is never...EVER a waste. Period.
You dern right, it's a soft spot..and pluckin my cords with her is one of em..iffin you dont like my peaches, then dont shake my tree.
And fer the record..I do see yer points ds, but my situation dont fall into them catagories, and neither does a many of other dog owners out there.
Sonny, maybe i took his post wrong? But yessir, I agree with you wholeheardtly 110%
03-27-2004, 02:50 AM
This is why I dont have a dog.:D :D :D Interesting read though..:rolleyes:
03-27-2004, 02:37 PM
Mazter: You ought to give it a try, you would love it. All fighting aside everyone on here wants only the best for each other's dog. They just have different ways of expressing what is best because there is no way to do that. Every local is different, every dog is different, and every trainer is different. I dare any one to tell me that any one trainer can get the best from every dog,that little something that someone else couldn't get. That's the way it was meant to be. There is alot of ego involved with each and everyone of us and our dogs. We each think that our dog is the greatest dog ever created, although most of us know he or she isn't, that won't keep us from making that claim. And yes if someone says something derogatory about someone elses dog, you'll have a fight at the drop of a hat. That's how much these dogs mean to those of us who have them. As Lilred said you start pluckin at the old heart strings and there is going to be words said at the very least. That doesn't make any of us right or wrong that's just the way we are. DOG PEOPLE.
03-27-2004, 04:11 PM
You took the words right out of my mouth. Everyone has different standards regarding what a good dog and great dog are, and we all take pride in our dogs. I have yet to see anyone on here bad mouth their dog. We would sooner bad mouth a friend than our dog. What is the right dog for someone, is the wrong dog for someone else. Me, I am just trying to do the best job I can with Nitro. So far, I am pretty satisfied with how he is progressing, the bolting aside. Believe it or not, I did know the term was bolting. My problem wasn't figuring out that he bolted, but how to fix the fact that he wouldn't leave my side with that collar on after the fact.
A buddy of mine wanted me to give him Nitro so that he could train him. Yeah right. After I saw what he did to his Chessie, no thanks. On top of that, the poor dog wouldn't listen to a single thing he said and she was 18 months. We had to throw rocks at the geese in the pond to entice her to go and get the birds out. Now, he thinks she is the best dog in the world. Me, I don't think so, but that is my opinion. Somebody else might think that she is the world's greatest dog, who knows.
I do know that Nitro has a lot of potential in him, but it is just a matter of me getting it out of him.
03-28-2004, 10:53 AM
Put the darn thing on him and keep on training as before. Don't use it for a while. Once he forgets he wears it, then start using it and throw most of the books away. Your dog is an indiviual and you are too. Most of the stuff in the books is useless anyways.
Any idiot can call himself a trainer and have one excellent dog that works without much training and write a book. JMO
Use your common sense. You know Nitro and should by now know what he is going to do. Make sure next time you hit the button you have control over him with a checkcord. BTW it works better with two people.
Don't make it overly complicated in the begining. When you know he is going to disobey a simple command as come, make sure you have a hold of the cord and hit him as you pull him in. Zap him only in the begining, don't use any other functions. It's too complicated until he figures it out. Do it one thing after the other, just like you started out with obidience - and at his age he is going to hit the terrrible two and will be trying to get away with lots of thing. For a while you think you are dealing with a maniac and suddenly all falls into place. Overtraining won't do a thing.
And about collarwise. All mine are. No matter how long they wear the collar before. And they love seeing me grab their backpack and stick their heads thro the collars by themselves. They know they are either going hunting or having other fun and only get zapped if they disobey. I very seldom use the collars and mostly the batteries are empty anyways. But it sure makes them remember whos boss. And it gives you a good chance to come home with all your dogs.
03-29-2004, 01:43 AM
I could write a hole bunch bout what I've read so far but I'm gonna keep most of it to myself.:rolleyes:
Fabs...you keep mentioning that your goldens did this or that. First thing you gotta do is forget what they did or didn't do. Nitro is not them and he never will be. Take your time, learn his body language and learn the lessons with him. Sometimes you'll have to adjust what you're doing for him, other times he'll have to adjust for you. He'll soon figure out when you're pleased and when you're not. :)
Believe me I know where you're coming from. My pup and I have some serious learning to do starting very shortly, and it's totally new to both of us. If we don't learn together her training will never do any good, cause we have to work together. :)
03-29-2004, 07:55 AM
WOW = Been busy for awhile and came back to this lol.
I have bred and trained dogs off and on over several years of my life and my method works fine for me but everybody is different.
I am out of the old school but do have and use the collar on some of my dogs. I do not even break it out till they are a year old and then use it very little and not on things that involve sitting staying and other basics.
Anytime a post like this is made you better sit back and be ready for the adverse comments to cover you up. How do they say that " If you can't stand the heat - Stay out of the kitchen".
Anyway good luck with the dog fabs and take what you can use and discard the rest but keep an open mind to the advise of the old "been there done that" folks.
03-29-2004, 08:34 PM
I will agree with you that every dog is different. Heck, there were plenty of differences between the two goldens.
Bunker wanted to please people so bad, while Bogey was a lot less nervous about pleasing people. Bunker readily gave up birds while Bogey had to be coaxed to a certain degree. Bunker was stong on blinds, Bogey wasn't. Bogey could see a bird fall a mile away, Bunker couldn't. Probably because Bunker was more worried about his immediate surroundings than Bogey was. The list goes on and on. I haven't been working long enough with Nitro to figure out how he compares to the goldens, but I also don't think that I need to break it down like that.
Like you said, I have to figure out what works for Nitro and I and go from there.
03-30-2004, 09:19 PM
This was, to say the least an interesting read. I have begun to introduce Raven to the e-c. And have had positive results so far. I use it as a correction, just a quick tap to say hey get with the program. and she so far has responded well. I don't like the fact that you were told to do it even if she was responding to the command. Thats kinda like getting punnished for being good.
I don't know how it will work with Raven, but with Tika I had to use the e-c maybe a dozen times when training her and never used it after that. Now keep in mind this dog will never win a field trial, but if there is a duck in the water you can sit back drink your coffee, caus rest assured she is coming back with it. And that is all i cared about. Well that and to have a well behaved dog, which she is.
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