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What age to introduce E-Collar

What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby surferdave » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:13 pm

I'm basing my training off Tom Dokken's Retriever Training book. Although it shows photos of dogs, I can't really tell how old they are when certain aspects of training begin. My pup is 5 months old and I just purchased a training collar along with a dummy collar. I was thinking about collar conditioning him for a month before starting e-collar training with obedience. He understands and complies to the basics, sit, stay, here, place, and heel. Also in the book, force fetching comes prior to e-collar training, but I've heard on some forums that force fetching shouldn't be done till the dog is older? So should the e-collar wait? I'm just a little confused with timelines right now.
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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby kninebirddog » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:20 pm

for me it is what have i done to prep the dog/pup for the cues and what stimulation will means...new collars of today have less stimulation value at low range then that of tugging on a leash at the dogs regular collar

this is what I do to prep dog and pups I am going to work CLICK HERE
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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby Sharon » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:14 pm

Not possible to give an age. it depends on the maturity and confidence of the dog. Many folks introduce the collar before FF starts.
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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby twofeathers » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:16 am

Just wanted to share with you something I did that I wish I could do over. This was my first time training a bird dog and I was using the tone function on his collar to correct the dog with while training. I saved the shock feature for those times when I really needed to correct him (running on road, chasing, not listening to commands......ect.) I started this when he was very young 3or4 months old. Later when I introduced a beeper collar to him whenever it would go off he would come running back thinking he did something wrong. I could tell it was really confusing him so we stopped with the beeper collar. Even on hawk screetch or twill he thought he was doing something wrong. Some of the cover we hunt is very thick and you cannot see your dog a lot of the time. So instead when hunting thick cover we had to go to a bell wich I like becuase I can hear where he is but don't like becuase so can everything else. So if you intend on using a beeper collar careful on how you use a e-collar with tone function. I think the best solution for me now would be a gps collar but is not in my price range at this time.
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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby kninebirddog » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:07 am

I don't waste my time with tones or vibrates.. Vibrate has more Stimulation value then the low settings on tri tronics and Tones that is what my voice is for....If one uses the collar as cues then the collar becomes a reminder to do what the voice commanded or action which is repeated in training and the dog needs a reminder...shouldn't be about pain..unless you are doing aversion training then yes collar should be set higher

for me yard work generally is a 1 low - 1 high on my tri tronics in the field since you have activity going 1 high to 3 low depending on the dog should a dog need a higher level I will go to what the dog needs and once I get desired results hen I go back to lower levels

The E Collar can be the most valuable in MAINTAINING training and when everything is done where that dog knows its job the E collar should be the least used..>When I go out to train or run dogs except the trials the E collar is always put on so should I need to use it I do not miss a training reminder at the time of an infraction
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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby EvanG » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:25 am

kninebirddog wrote:I don't waste my time with tones or vibrates..
I strongly agree with this advice. Train the dog. Find a solid proven system and follow it so you know what you're doing, rather than experimenting. Most pups of all breeds can easily start e-collar conditioning to "Here" at 4-5 months of age with a good flexible e-collar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BDM78DYARc

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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby ezzy333 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:37 am

EvanG wrote:
kninebirddog wrote:I don't waste my time with tones or vibrates..
Most pups of all breeds can easily start e-collar conditioning to "Here" at 4-5 months of age with a good flexible e-collar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BDM78DYARc

EvanG


I use the vibrate more than the shock function but either way is fine. It is just another way of getting the dogs attention so he responds to what commands you have given. And I do find it less stimulating than the e-collar function. Because someone uses a different signal mode does not translate into experimenting in my book but usually is a different method to accomplish the same desired result. It works and works well. The collar when used properly is just a long check cord that gives you the control necessary when the pup or dog is beyond your reach. And I do agree that minimal use can start at the 5-6 month old stage if used appropriately. But for someone without experience it might be better to wait a little longer.

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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby RayGubernat » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:15 pm

Surferdave -

You are asking the wrong question. Don't worry about it...everybody does. Everybody wants to know when and nobody wants to hear: "When the dog is ready"...but that is the right answer.

It is not about the dog's age. When discussing training, it is almost NEVER about the dog's age.


If the right question is.."How do I know when the dog is ready for the e-collar?" then the answer might be...

When the dog has demonstrated that it understands the command, when it understands the necessity for instant compliance and when it has demonstrated that understanding by executing the command reliably and repeatedly in the yard when on a checkcord.


It is, or should be, about the level of training the dog has attained. If a dog is 10 months old heeling and whoaing and coming reliably in the yard on a checkcord, then it is probably time to overlay the e-collar and phase out the checkcord for those commands.

Conversely, if the dog is three years old and does not heel or whoa or come reliably in the yard, an e-collar will probably do more harm than good in the hands of most amateur trainers.

It helps if you think of the e-collar as nothing more than a very long checkcord. If the dog does not know what the commands are and does not know what you want him to do, the stimulation from the e-collar will probably only confuse him, or make him shut down.

Think what...not when and you will be on the right track. Training is, or should be generally task oriented and additive in nature and is not particularly time sensitive for most things.


RayG


PS - If you focus on getting the dog to perform the requred behaviors with precision and quick response, you will be pleaantly surprised at just how quickly you and the dog can often progress through the steps. Focus on getting the what in place and the when will take care of itself.
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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby shags » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:53 am

I start using the ecollar when the pup starts blowing me off. For my dogs that's around 5-7 months old. At that time the collar is used only for handling/coming in and they never have the option of ignoring me again. I try to be careful about getting them into situations where correction may be needed. It's way too easy to overdo it.
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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby EvanG » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:59 am

Don't wait for a bad habit to start, and then simply react by trying to solve a problem with an e-collar. Training techniques, as well as tools, have evolved much further than that. While I strongly agree with individually reading each dog, there are simple age appropriate guidelines for advancement. They are not hard/fast; etched in stone time tables - they're guidelines. The variable in all training is the trainer's read of the individual dog.

Unless you think your dog is unusually sensitive, slow, or inept, those guidelines can safely be applied. Training methods have existed, and have been progressing over many decades. Because of that, so have the tools for doing the work. Wisdom should be the impetus for applying both method and tool.

NOTE: While I'm a detail oriented, methodical trainer, I've also been doing this long enough to know it isn't brain surgery.

"Just train the dog." ~ Hall of Fame trainer Rex Carr

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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby surferdave » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:21 pm

Thanks for the overwhelming advice regarding this. Yes, I definitely would not think about starting him with an e-collar if he didn't have a solid understanding of the command I'm saying. Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I'll condition him to the collar for another week or so, just doing fun stuff with it on. From what I've read, I want to look for a response, not a reaction when checking stimulation levels, like a muscle twitch or blink. I'm excited add this tool to the training program.

David.
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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby JKP » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:00 am

I put the collar on at 5 months...every day right before the daily run...sign that good things are going to happen. I don't use it til I have to...some dogs have never needed it except for aversion training (porcupines/skunks/deer are a given). If I do the yard work well, rarely does the collar come into play...then only as enforcement at the right level for the particular dog. I do like the pager and overlay that in my "here" training...allows me later to handle quietly in the field if needed...."pager"---come around/to the front/going this way...without the whistle/voice and brace mates can't hear it.

+1...on the comment that collars aren't about punishment, they are about persuasion, repetition and consistency...and at the level that is appropriate to the dog...and timing is everything.
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Re: What age to introduce E-Collar

Postby Sprig » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:59 pm

e-collar training is an extension of obedience training and should not be started until after the dog is sound on his commands. you can start anytime on having him wear a dummy collar to start conditioning him on wearing it but no stimulus until after his obedience is done and i usually start that about 5-6 months of age.
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