Reinforcing obedience with E collar

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PoorMansWrangler
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Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by PoorMansWrangler » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:21 pm

Hello everyone,
I have a 9 months old GSP, Boone. Until about a month ago, he had great recall, good manners and was all around a great dog. While he is still a great dog in my book, he seems to be going through a rebellious phase. Ignoring commands, won’t recall at al, does not listen to the “Leave it” commandl. He hears me, and chooses to ignore me. I initially wrote this off as he was not getting enough exercise, so I started taking him on a mile walk before I left in the morning, and 4-6 miles when I got home. Still this behavior occurred. I would like to start introducing a e collar to reinforce some basic commands, mainly recall however. I am looking at the Tronics Sport Pro by Garmin. My plan is to have him wear the collar for a week to get use to it, and then start working on recall. After doing some reading, I believe the best way is to give the “Here” command and if he does not listen, give him a nick with the collar. If he comes, reward him with praise and a treat. If he does not, bump the stimulation up a level and give him a nick until he comes. Does this sound like the correct way? As a first time dog owner I just want some others opinions before I go about. I am also going to purchase a Garmin GS collar as well. Thank you for your help!

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BuckeyeSteve
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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by BuckeyeSteve » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:27 pm

I just got the Sport Pro a couple weeks ago. Get it through Gun Dog Supply and it comes with a long check cord and (way more importantly) a 1 hour dvd that is WORTH IT'S WEIGHT IN GOLD for $0.01. Spend that extra penny and watch the DVD about 5 times -- really, multiple times, you won't get it all on the first pass (or second, or third). It's fantastic, and it's very counter-intuitive, and nicer for the dog if done right. The DVD teaches a method I had read about in 'Training with Mo', but didn't understand at all (and I mean at all....it made no sense to me) until I watched it on this DVD. You're making a good choice with the Sport Pro, btw. Not that I have much to compare it too, but it's simple and easy to use, and loaded with good options.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by BuckeyeSteve » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:28 pm

BTW, where are you in Ohio?

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by averageguy » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:29 pm

Perfect Start DVD provides excellent instruction on introducing the Ecollar and using it to teach the Here command, as well as many other foundational areas of training you will want to pursue with your young dog.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by PoorMansWrangler » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:47 pm

Thank you! I am in Dayton, Ohio. I have the Perfect Statt DVD, I will re watch it as I missed that part, I should probably watch it 4 more times to really soak it in. Does it sound like I am on the right track? Here is the lug but himself
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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by averageguy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:51 am

Jon's approach in the Perfect Start DVD uses low level continuous stimulation. You train the Here Command on a check cord, which it sound like you have done. Then still using a check cord, give the command Here, a tug on the check cord and give continuous stimulation at the same time. When the dog turns and starts toward you the stimulation stops. You are teaching the dog that swift compliance with the command you have already trained turns off the stimulation, and you are using a low level so the dog's attitude remains good. Once this is taught you can use higher levels as necessary for when the dog is distracted (which all dogs are at times). Jon shows you how to determine the proper level to start your dog at and how to raise it when and as needed.
Last edited by averageguy on Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by Timewise65 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:12 am

Great advise given in these posts above! If you do not completely understand how to train a dog on an ecollar, you can actually ruin a dog with an ecollar. The dog has to learn that by following the commands, he already fully understands, he can stop the 'discomfort' (Not pain) that he feels when he choose to disobeys a command! He has to feel empowered to control that discomfort. My trainer starts all of our pups out early on with a pinch collar, claiming that the dog quickly learns to associate discomfort on his neck with disobedience to learned commands. Then when they are old enough to use an e collar, the introduction is fairly simple...


Take the time to learn the methods well and teach the dog well as you transition him/her to an ecollar. They are a great tool to reinforce already learned commands....


Good Luck

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by EAM » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:01 am

George Hickox Great Beginnings and Training Pointing Dogs has a good introduction. First command is Kennel, it teaches the dog to shut the stimulation off by going in the kennel after you have given the command.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by gonehuntin' » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:37 pm

Personally, I rarely use constant. A dog has to be able to beat the correction and they seem to learn faster and stay happier using the nick. So, it's HERE, NICK, HERE. If he comes praise him, if not Nick again. This allows the DOG to make the choice and shut the collar off. Much more effective. I have never been a fan of continuous and I've been doing this a looooong time.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by ezzy333 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:06 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:Personally, I rarely use constant. A dog has to be able to beat the correction and they seem to learn faster and stay happier using the nick. So, it's HERE, NICK, HERE. If he comes praise him, if not Nick again. This allows the DOG to make the choice and shut the collar off. Much more effective. I have never been a fan of continuous and I've been doing this a looooong time.
I agree completely

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by porochi » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:08 pm

My 2 yr. old GSP does the same thing the OP described. I was hesitant to use the E-collar to reinforce basic obedience but am now. Off season like now we're working to reinforce heel, stay and other basic obedience commands but when out and about he loses his head and just goes wherever his nose takes him. I'm using the nick setting to rein him in, even on leash, because when he gets a whiff of whatever he goes lunging like mad into the bushes about separating my shoulder in the process. I don't think I have a choice really. I don't want to use a pinch or choke collar and wrestle with him when he tries to take off when on leash. He gets overwhelmed by his hunting instincts and it takes a zap to bring him to heel. He doesn't really seem to mind it. I thought he'd start to fear the E-collar but now when he sees me take it out he goes crazy with excitement because he knows it means we're going on a walk or to the dog park. But I've never once used constant and only would if he was running onto a road and about to get hit by a car or something else that could seriously hurt him and I've got to stop him, period. Nick gets his attention and he'll mind. Sometimes I have to crank it up a bit and if I don't have the E-collar on him he reverts to his ornery ways and just follows his nose.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by averageguy » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:54 am

Jon Hann has trained dogs professionally for decades and had a great deal of success. While I have used the method successfully for decades, it does not rest on my experience training my dogs.

When I am training recall while still on a check cord, I give the Here Command and use low level continuous stimulation until the dog turns and heads towards me. When the dog is at a distance and I am still working on training the Here command I start the stimulation when I give the command and end it when the dog wheels and starts running hard back towards me as the dog is complying with the command. If he veers off vs coming all the way to me, I stimulate immediately when it happens. I give the dog opportunities to comply without stimulation along the way so we can wean off the stimulation. I do this after the dog has shown swift compliance with stimulation for several times in a row over several days of training. The dogs make a very clear connection in how swift compliance with an already understood command turns off the stimulation. The level used is the lowest necessary to get swift compliance and dogs remain happy and confident while working and training. The degree of distraction in the moment determines if a higher level of stimulation is needed for that situation, vs a lower level which is effective under lesser distractions.

Then I train the dog to recall to the tone on the ecollar so I do not have to give an audible command and we can hunt in silence. The method has worked well for me and my dogs and they have all had excellent recall in short order.

I start training recall when my puppies are very young (no ecollar involved until months later) and do not issue the command when I am not in a position to enforce it as doing so just trains the dog to ignore the command.

The OP has the Perfect Start DVD which trains the trainer in this area and others. I see no benefit to encouraging an ad hoc different method with nothing but internet comments to guide the trainer at this time vs a proven one that has worked for thousands of dogs and amateur trainers. Beginning trainers benefit from a clear road map of what they are working on, start to finish. The DVD the OP already owns gives that. Brief internet comments do not. Dogs are trained with great success using both continuous and momentary stimulation. I think it is far better to not cloud the issue with that debate vs encouraging the OP to study the proven method they have already purchased and follow it. It works well.
Last edited by averageguy on Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by gonehuntin' » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:15 am

I don't really care how long Hahn has trained dog's, he's wrong on the collar. He got that continuous crap from Dobbs. He started it in the 80's as a TT gimmick. A dog trains faster, easier, happier and with better understanding by using a series of nicks. It is also far safer for the person inexperienced with the ecollar.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by birddogger2 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:17 am

PMW -

It is entirely expected and common that a young dog will try to assert its independence and engage in several bouts of "selective deafness". I've never had one that didn't at a certain age.

The key is not to tolerate it, as a trainer. Correct for it...each and every time. If that means taking the dog back into the yard and putting the checkcord back on and doing the drills...so be it.

There are two schools of thought on e-collar usage and you have been advised both ways. Using a low level of continuous all the way back is one way...and it works. Using a nick a command, another nick...also works.

I am a proponent of the command, nick methodology because, to me failure to recall is an obedience failure and I will correct for it...whenever and wherever. I feel it is easier for me to do, in the field on the fly, but that might be just my personality.

I also do not believe in bumping up the stim level one level on a refusal. I believe that the dog has to understand that disobedience has a price, so the level gets advanced to about 2/3 of maximum. I WANT to get the dog's attention and make him understand that obedience is NOT optional. I don't believe in nagging a dog with repeated commands or nicks. I will do a couple and be nice...but, if not... then the hammer comes down and, depending on the dog, I might just switch from nick to continuous.

Doing the low level continuous stim all the way back methodology may not afford the trainer the option of "upping the ante" as regards increased stim level.

Dogs are NOT stupid. They will try to get away with just about everything they can. If they ignore you once and get a gentle correction because of it, they will probably ignore you a second time, fairly soon afterwards. If, however, their refusal gets an immediate and significant negative response... they WILL remember that and try to avoid it.

Many years ago, long before electronics were available, I had a pointer that was as tough as they come and just as independent. I am talking pig iron wrapped in boot leather tough. About the only thing that got his attention was for me to run him down, grab him by the ears and stretch them a while. He learned that an ear job was what would happen if he didn't listen and... he really didn't like that. After a while, and for the entire rest of his life, all I had to do was call his name, pick my arm up and bring my thumb and forefinger together. Whatever he was blowing me off about...stopped immediately. Dogs are NOT stupid.

You gotta know your dog and read your dog when you use an e-collar. Some dogs are stubborn, some are soft. Some are soft AND stubborn(that can be a PIA), but lots of dogs are good actors and will feign softness to get away with stuff. You gotta know what kind of dog you are dealing with and adjust your methods and training accordingly.

Also, you need to understand that if you consistently go up one level only and when the dog refuses at that level, you go up another single level, what you are doing is "conditioning" the dog to ignore ever increasing levels of stim. Eventually you will run out of levels , especially if you have a hard charger. I believe this "conditioning" effect is especially possible when using continuous stim, so be careful.

There is more than one way to get from here to there with a dog. Pick a way that YOU are comfortable with, because if you are comfortable with it... you will be effective and consistent with it. Dogs learn through repetition.

Always remember...this is supposed to be fun, both for you and for the dog.

If it ain't fun for you, I guarantee it won't be fun for the dog and he might just learn a lesson that you didn't intend to teach. Sometimes you patience will be tried and sometimes your sense of humor will be put to the test, but puppies and young dogs do require that we have a healthy sense of humor.

RayG

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by averageguy » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:11 pm

PMW, In for lunch just now and popped in my Perfect Start DVD 2 where Ecollar Intro and Here are covered. Very Clear and simple. Give it a view.

Was 82 degrees already on our training run this morning. We worked one land blind in cover and one water blind and then I let my 2 year old dog work out independently to the front as we headed back to the truck. He was not hitting it full tilt in that heat, but he was out aways and searching when I hit the tone on the Alpha once, which I overlayed as recall after training the Here command using the methods in the DVD you own. No Trauma, no Drama, No Ecollar resistance level problems. Just a happy dog doing what he has been trained to do. Best of Luck, If I can be of any help send me a PM.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbpflD2i6l0

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by PoorMansWrangler » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:07 pm

Thank you everyone for the advice! After watching the 2nd half of the Perfect Start video, I am leaning toward the command-nic technique. This could just be me being soft, but if I am wanting my dog to recall from 75-100 yards away, that seems to be unnecessary to use stimulation all the way, in my opinion. However, we will see how he handles it. He is a very tough dog, and a big one that is hard to control when he gets excited. I’m not sure if he is going through his “teenage” years perhaps, but I have noticed him trying to push the boundaries more and more recently. I don’t think it helped that I had to leave for work for 3 weeks, and my girlfriend was watching him. She has a lot more tolerance for misbehaving, needless to say when I got home we drilled obedience hard in the yard to get him into the right frame of mind. I partially blame myself, as I feel I have been soft on him in some aspects, but I want to make it correct. I realize he is a young dog, and I expect a lot from him, but I know he can deliver. Thank you for the advice!

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by averageguy » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:20 pm

PoorMansWrangler wrote:Thank you everyone for the advice! After watching the 2nd half of the Perfect Start video, I am leaning toward the command-nic technique. This could just be me being soft, but if I am wanting my dog to recall from 75-100 yards away, that seems to be unnecessary to use stimulation all the way, in my opinion. However, we will see how he handles it. He is a very tough dog, and a big one that is hard to control when he gets excited. I’m not sure if he is going through his “teenage” years perhaps, but I have noticed him trying to push the boundaries more and more recently. I don’t think it helped that I had to leave for work for 3 weeks, and my girlfriend was watching him. She has a lot more tolerance for misbehaving, needless to say when I got home we drilled obedience hard in the yard to get him into the right frame of mind. I partially blame myself, as I feel I have been soft on him in some aspects, but I want to make it correct. I realize he is a young dog, and I expect a lot from him, but I know he can deliver. Thank you for the advice!
At a distance and after prior work on a check cord is completed, you give the Here command and stimulate at the same time, then you immediately end the stimulation when the dog turns and heads towards you. Which was shown in the DVD. You need to be ready to stimulate again if the dog veers off, but otherwise the dog is allowed to turn off the stimulation by immediately complying with the already trained command and continuing straight back to the handler/you.

Not working you on your choice. Just that your post indicates you do not yet understand the DVD you purchased and it will be of great value for you to study it more thoroughly whether you use a nick or continuous. Best of Luck.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by EAM » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:06 pm

Once the dog complies with the command stop the stimulation. I am a novice but this has helped me, put the e collar on the dog every time you go outside with the dog. Never call him to you if he doesn't have the collar on him, you have to correct him every time he doesn't comply. Even if all it takes is the lowest level. Practice in the yard, in the house, in a field, then a different field. It may take a long time before he comes EVERY time you call him without any stimulation, that has been my experience.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by cjhills » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:06 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:I don't really care how long Hahn has trained dog's, he's wrong on the collar. He got that continuous crap from Dobbs. He started it in the 80's as a TT gimmick. A dog trains faster, easier, happier and with better understanding by using a series of nicks. It is also far safer for the person inexperienced with the ecollar.
Pretty hard to believe That anyone who has trained as many Fcs and hunting dogs as Jon has is wrong and that continuous is crap Or that Tritronics training is a gimmick from the eighties. Not even sure if anybody was making a nick collar in the eighties.
Personally, I don't use the nick. It just does not make a lot of sense to me. The dog learns a lot quicker that he can turn the collar off with a continuous, which you can release as quick as he responds. If you use a low setting the nick is to short.
The Hickox Dvd I have isall continuos. The DVd producersc haveto come up with a new gimmick every now and again. It helps sell videos. Jon has pretty much stayed with what works.
Not saying the nick people are wrong. Just saying there is no need to insult Jon or Tritronics because they do it different than you. They have both been very successful.............Cj

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by averageguy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:14 pm

Yes I thought it was very unfortunate. The OP has an excellent, extremely clear road map to addressing the problem in the DVD set he already owns, but his confidence in the method was eroded before he even watched the DVDs.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by PoorMansWrangler » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:21 pm

Hi guys, wanted to check in. Boone and I just got done with our first session with the e collar this evening. I ended up with the Garmin Sport. I had him on both the 15 and the 50 ft lead, and he did very well. I decided to let him off the leash and work on recall, since I have a pretty small yard. For the most part it went well! One time however he was about 10 yards away, I called “Here” and he just stood there. I had it on the level 4 nick, I tapped it probably 6 times. I could see he was reacting to it, but he would not recall. I gave him a continuous nick, he gave a small yelp and came and recalled. Not sure if I was in the right or wrong, I didn’t want to continuously up the level with the nick, I’m not sure what level he would have responded to in the end. I chalked it up to him being stubborn, but would like others opinions. He would respon the the nicks while on the lead, but off the lead I had to go to a level 4 continuous. After rewatching the Perfect Start just now, I see my mistakes I believe. Really wish this pup wasn’t so stubborn, darn near broke my heart hearing him yelp that little bit and I feel like he won’t even look at me now haha

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by averageguy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:52 pm

If you understand and follow the DVD you will have your dog recalling well in short order. Good timing is key but Jon is very clear on that point and stresses/demos the timing needed on multiple raw recruits from start to finish.

Jumping between nick and continuous is much more likely to confuse your dog is my input.

The dogs Jon works on camera figure out how to turn off the stimulation with swift compliance, in very short order and yours will too if you are consistent and use good timing. Jon covers how to increase and decrease stimulation levels, when and why and again following his clear instruction is what I advice. My dogs have thrived on the methods shown in the DVD.

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Re: Reinforcing obedience with E collar

Post by cjhills » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:11 pm

You were probably a little premature on trying him off leash. you need to make sure he understands. If you have the Hickox DVD you might want to try starting him on kennel if he knows that command. Remember in George's words "I wonder what if is not a training plan".
Be aware that this takes time and one session is not nearly enough to be trying it out to see what works. I would scrap the nick and start with the lowest setting he feels on continuous. When he is coming toward me I release the pressure. If he stops or wanders I stim. Keep him on a check cord, teach him to give to pressure and make sure you can enforce the command. Get a very good response on a fairly long checkcord before trying him free. Also as somebody else said don't take him out without the collar on. I don't know if you did this but you should let the dog wear the collar for a couple weeks before it is turned on. Dogs get collar wise very easy...……….Cj

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