HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post Reply
KansasLab2013
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:54 pm

HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by KansasLab2013 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:36 pm

Ok, as you can probably guess, this has to do with an e-collar. After today, I've sworn off it. After today, I'll just feel lucky if I haven't permanently ruined my dog. I have a 9 month old Lab, Maverick. I've been following "Tom Dokkens - Gun Dog" DVD series, and at about 9 months is when it suggests to introduce the e-collar. I thought today would be a good day to try and do that.

A little background...
We've been training in the back yard. Not a lot of space, but things have been going really good. Maverick knows the basics, sit, stay, kennel, come, heel. He's pretty solid on everything except "heel". He's a little loose on that, but he's coming around. His release command is "OK". He knows it well, because we practice it all the time. I look for any opportunity to make him wait, until I release him with "OK".
We've been doing a lot of drilling in the back yard. I have a bunch of platforms that I made out of plywood, just to show him where to sit. We don't have much room in the back yard, so today I thought we'd go out to a spot where there's a lot more space and we could really work. We went through a few rounds of "come" and "heel" and he did good. He stayed put on his platform until I re-called him. We threw a few bumpers, and he stayed right by my side until I released. Everything was going fine, until I decided to turn on the stupid e-collar. Scared the crap out of him!! I had the setting on 2. And yes, I even put the collar on my OWN neck and buzzed it on 2 to make sure I knew what it felt like. From the time I used it, he wouldn't do anything right. He would NOT stay on his platform, no matter what, and he KNOWS he's supposed to. He was just totally "off". Tail between the legs. I gave it up, and we went home. After a little while, we went out in the back yard and tried to go through it again. Same story.

Now, I'm scared. I'm not using the thing anymore. Have I ruined him??? He's a great dog, and he's been doing really well, and I don't want to chance it anymore.

The only reason I tried it at all was because everyone says, "you have to use the e-collar, blah, blah". I guess I didn't do it right or something, but at any rate, I'm done with it.

User avatar
kninebirddog
GDF Premier Member!
Posts: 7845
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 12:45 am
Location: Coolidge AZ

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by kninebirddog » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:57 pm

What kind of e collar
how high did you have the stimulation level
did you do anything to prep the dog for the cue to the neck that would resemble the what th feeling of the e collar would do
did you have the e collar strapped on snug so that it would make a good contact

did you console the dog feeling bad if you did for future this is not good you should just not respond to the fear or scared dog in a human consoling manner as that will only reward the dog for being scared startled or concerned..if you have done this in the past then when the new sensation came the dog may have resorted to the consoling reward
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid, I figure its a sure sign that the animal has outfoxed them." Tom Dorrance
If you feel like you are banging your head against the wall, try using the door.

User avatar
kninebirddog
GDF Premier Member!
Posts: 7845
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 12:45 am
Location: Coolidge AZ

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by kninebirddog » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:00 pm

here is how I approach the e collar http://www.kninebirddog.com/understandi ... ollar.html
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid, I figure its a sure sign that the animal has outfoxed them." Tom Dorrance
If you feel like you are banging your head against the wall, try using the door.

RichK
Rank: 2X Champion
Posts: 483
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:36 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by RichK » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:45 pm

The e-collar is by far the best investment in training tools I have EVER bought. What an amazing difference it has made, I also strapped mine on before putting it on the dog and I was shocked (pun intended) at how I could barely feel lvl 2 high on the Pro 500 receiver but my 8 month GSP's tolerance is a 2 medium.

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by birddogger » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:16 pm

Did you let him wear it for some time without it turned on? Did you use a cc as a cue first? Also, you should have started at the lowest level. My post is abbreviated and I am not familiar with the program you are using but it sounds like you have taken some short cuts.

Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

KansasLab2013
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:54 pm

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by KansasLab2013 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:59 pm

I'm using a Sport Dog 400. I tried to use it on the lowest level (level 1) at first, but you couldn't even feel it all. I tried it on myself. So, I set it on level 2, the lowest detectable level. If I've taken short-cuts, I certainly didn't mean to. I have put it on him while doing fun things so he would get used to wearing it. Admittedly, I haven't been real good about doing that, and it's been a while since I did it last.

I didn't do a lot consoling him after he reacted the way he did. I just kept trying it, thinking to myself, "he's got to get used to this, and if I stop he's not going to ever get used to it". I figured after a while, he'd figure it out. But, everytime I knicked him, he'd jump and get startled and look over his shoulder like something was after him. After a few times, he wouldn't stay on his "place". He kept getting off of his platform. Everytime I'd walk away, he'd get off his platform and start following me. After a few times of that, I'd say "no" and knick him for getting off his place. He just freaked out and bolted for the truck.

Question: How do you prepare him for what the collar feels like?? What feels like an e-collar except an e-collar????

Does anyone have any recommendations about what to do next? Should I try it again, or not. I've heard stories about people ruining dogs, and I'm scared to death of doing that. Admittedly, I'm not a dog training expert. I'm definitely a novice with a lot to learn, but I dang sure don't want to ruin my dog in the process. He's been a joy and has done well thus far despite me.

User avatar
CDN_Cocker
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1383
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:59 pm
Location: ON, Canada

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by CDN_Cocker » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:33 pm

Did you keep him on a leash? He needs to "know" where the pressure is coming from or he'll just run wild trying to get away from the new stimulus
Cass
"If you train a young dog for momentum, precision will arrive. If you train for precision, demanding perfection, momentum will depart." - Rex Carr

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by Neil » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:44 pm

I do not think you followed Tom's program very closely, if at all, watch the video a few more times, the problem is not the e-collar, it is just a tool. Sorry, the problem is the user.

User avatar
kninebirddog
GDF Premier Member!
Posts: 7845
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 12:45 am
Location: Coolidge AZ

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by kninebirddog » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:00 pm

I'm using a Sport Dog 400. I tried to use it on the lowest level (level 1) at first, but you couldn't even feel it all. I tried it on myself. So, I set it on level 2, the lowest detectable level. If I've taken short-cuts, I certainly didn't mean to. I have put it on him while doing fun things so he would get used to wearing it. Admittedly, I haven't been real good about doing that, and it's been a while since I did it last.

Short cuts are short cuts and will always lead to issues


I didn't do a lot consoling him after he reacted the way he did. I just kept trying it, thinking to myself, "he's got to get used to this, and if I stop he's not going to ever get used to it". I figured after a while, he'd figure it out. But, everytime I knicked him, he'd jump and get startled and look over his shoulder like something was after him. After a few times, he wouldn't stay on his "place". He kept getting off of his platform. Everytime I'd walk away, he'd get off his platform and start following me. After a few times of that, I'd say "no" and knick him for getting off his place. He just freaked out and bolted for the truck.

You still consoled ..IE he still was rewarded for the behavior good bad or indifferent it is how the dog perceives it...If he jumped the first time why did you keep continuing to do the same thing ? What were you trying to establish ...I am only going by how you are posting but to me this sounds like the dog thinks it was being punished for staying on the board so there fore left it and next thing was go run and hide as it was left no other option in its mind..again I am only trying to observe this from the dogs point of view and how you are relaying the information...So in order for anyone to be able to help we need to figure out what needs to be done next to help You and Your dog


Question: How do you prepare him for what the collar feels like?? What feels like an e-collar except an e-collar???

there are things you can do that sets you can do that sets up the point of contact and even a regular leash and collar can have more stimulation value then that of the e collar when properly introduced as I try to go over in the link I posted for you earlier that is via the Rick and Ronnie Smith method using the command lead and they have taught not only pointing breeds but also retrieving breeds with success :wink:

Does anyone have any recommendations about what to do next? Should I try it again, or not. I've heard stories about people ruining dogs, and I'm scared to death of doing that. Admittedly, I'm not a dog training expert. I'm definitely a novice with a lot to learn, but I dang sure don't want to ruin my dog in the process. He's been a joy and has done well thus far despite me.

Seriously what I would do next if I were you as BOTH of you have had a bad experience is find someone locally that can help you both. It is a heavy weight off the shoulders if you get that outside hands on help to get both YOU and Your dog over that hurdle

Where are you located as maybe someone can give you some names of people or places near you that can be of some help

Or one of my serious suggestions is Rick and Ronnie smith seminars as that seminar for 400 bucks can do more to help you to get that hands on direction to go with your dog and is worth every cent

take a breather ..hopefully someone close can reply that will be able to help you
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid, I figure its a sure sign that the animal has outfoxed them." Tom Dorrance
If you feel like you are banging your head against the wall, try using the door.

hafe4825
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:29 pm

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by hafe4825 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:25 am

U need to set collar at lowest setting possible & apply stimulation watch dog carefully for slightest reaction(turn of head, ears perk up, etc). Go no more beyond the slightest level necessary. You're collar conditioning right now, NOT correcting.

User avatar
crackerd
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 6:57 am

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by crackerd » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:33 am

And misguidedness with a Lab to boot, such a shame. Chalk up another one not getting a second chance to make a first impression with the e-collar. Like Neil said, you're not following Dokken, you're not following any program - you're just turning on the e-collar willy-nilly and saying, "Looky here, dog - let's get you under control once and for all. And then you'll be 'collar-trained.'" That ain't how it works. Sorry you had to find out the hard way - especially with the breed that works best with the e-collar. Since you're not following any program, or apparently even collar-conditioning your dog, you can either go back to playing Russian roulette with the e-collar, or get rid of it.

MG

vartz04
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 9:30 am
Location: Kendall County, IL

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by vartz04 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:23 am

Are you pressing the nick or the continuous button?

KansasLab2013
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:54 pm

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by KansasLab2013 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:27 pm

To some of you with actual advice and useful comments, thanks. To the rest of you, well...
Sorry for being the only human being on the forum whose made mistakes. I joined this forum thinking it would be cool to learn from others, not be chastised and condecended to.
First off, I love the dang dog. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't. This is the first bad experience we've had so far. Yes, I messed up. I see now where I went wrong. I have been using a choke chain and he is very conditioned to it. I know now that I failed to transfer the pressure to the collar. I have watched Dokkens videos, several times as a matter of fact, but actually doing it is much harder. Me trying to start using the collar had nothing to do with me trying "show the dog whose boss". I'm trying to train him. I said before I'm not an expert. Geez!

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by Neil » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:49 pm

KansasLab2013 wrote:To some of you with actual advice and useful comments, thanks. To the rest of you, well...
Sorry for being the only human being on the forum whose made mistakes. I joined this forum thinking it would be cool to learn from others, not be chastised and condecended to.
First off, I love the dang dog. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't. This is the first bad experience we've had so far. Yes, I messed up. I see now where I went wrong. I have been using a choke chain and he is very conditioned to it. I know now that I failed to transfer the pressure to the collar. I have watched Dokkens videos, several times as a matter of fact, but actually doing it is much harder. Me trying to start using the collar had nothing to do with me trying "show the dog whose boss". I'm trying to train him. I said before I'm not an expert. Geez!
Sometimes learning is painful, in this case for you and the dog. I don't think anyone was overly harsh, you have to own what you did wrong to learn from it. Swearing off a tool is not the answer, learning to use it properly is.

I can asure you no irreparably harm has been done, not to you nor the dog.

User avatar
Del Lolo
Rank: Champion
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:23 am

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by Del Lolo » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:45 pm

Those of us who follow Smartwork introduce the ecollar at as little as 4 months.
PROPER collar conditioning is very important -- you don't just strap it on and push buttons.
An ecollar is only a tool -- ONLY a tool. Just like a heeling stick etc.
It's not the tool that causes problems it's the person using the tool improperly.

.

User avatar
AZ Brittany Guy
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1413
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:00 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by AZ Brittany Guy » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:32 pm

I suggest that you give him a rest. Try a week or two. Just take him out and have fun with him. Try putting the collar on him and leaving the transmitter locked in your glove compartment and continue to take him out and just have fun (no training). Hopefully he will eventually equate the collar to having fun. After you achieve that then go back a re read Dokens and start over but go slow and easy. I think everything will work out.

User avatar
birddogger
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3776
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 pm
Location: Bunker Hill, IL.

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by birddogger » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:24 pm

KansasLab, most of us old timers (I am still trying to get used to that phrase) or maybe I should just say people of my generation are straight shooters IMO. By that I mean we pretty much just tell it like it is, without any intent to offend but sometimes may come across that way when typing on a key board. Having said that, you do need to have some tough skin to participate on this forum. But I don't believe you could be on a better site. If you are here long enough, you will learn who really know what they are talking about vs. People who are only here for a debate (which isn't always a bad thing) and some who are just plain offensive and have no clue (those people usually don't last long (not talking about anybody on this thread). Hopefully you have learned a valuable lesson from your mistakes.

Good luck,
Charlie
If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are right either way

User avatar
gonehuntin'
GDF Junkie
Posts: 4565
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:38 pm
Location: NE WI.

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by gonehuntin' » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:28 pm

First, understand that your problem is very minor. Don't sweat it.

2nd. Don't take the collar off him. on the contrary, have him wear it whenever he goes outside for play or training. Try to get him used to pleasurable experiences following the fastening of the collar on him.

3rd. Don't use it on him for one month. That'll let him relax.

4th. When you start introduction, scrap the platforms. Work him on the three command that all collar compliance are founded on:Kennel to move him from you. Here to move him toward you. Sit to immobilize him. Have a 6' leash on him at all times. Use sharp pulls on the leash to guide him through the stimulation of the collar.

5th. If he ever panics, never console him. Ignore the response and pretend nothing happened. Just keep patiently working with him.

6th. Never skip steps no matter how trivial they may seem to you.

7th. Follow YOUR CHOSEN PROGRAM and ignore advice here that may contradict it. Ask for clarification.

8th. Study the program to the most minute detail.

9th. Enforce no command with the collar that he won't perform through pressure with the leash or heeling stick.

10th. Don,t let the dog con you; any dog can work under a "2" setting; MAKE him work through gently but persistently.

Good luck, chin and shoulders up, let us know how it goes. You have done noting that everyone on this board hasn't done at one time or another.
LIFE WITHOUT BIRD DOGS AND FLY RODS REALLY ISN'T LIFE AT ALL.

User avatar
QuailHollow
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:21 am
Location: South Central Penn.

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by QuailHollow » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:02 am

Sounds like you may have a dog with a very low pain tolerance. Usually you want a hard driving dog of the exact opposite for a hunting situation, but not all is lost. I'm sure you have already, but put that ecollar on him (DEAD!) and let him wear it around all over the place. It's not a bad device, and they do work. If it has a tone, start using that for correction instead of shock. .. I hate to say this, but, maybe get a cut up hot dog and start rewarding him for doing things right... and make it super exciting again. Don't give up. I think he is being a bit of a sissy. :wink:

ETA: I've always introduced an ecollar to a dog on a check cord, and I've used it to reinforce the recall command. That's after they've had it on for a while and always starting on stim. level 1. Even when I bring an adult dog to my home and I'm teaching recall, I do it the same way. Ecollar prep work (wearing a dead collar), 40ft check cord, and voice command of 'come' or 'here'. If I am ignored, they get a light stim, .. if they come halfway back and turn to go the opposite way again, another stim.. I bump it up as necessary as each dog has different level. I keep the dog on the check cord as they are not permitted to 'escape', they must listen and obey the command. Maybe try working him on a command he has full complete knowledge of, then add your collar to it. I have found that some of my dogs just can't be shocked, they shut down. A simple hack at them can shut them down as well. They are soft dogs, too soft for my personal preference because it takes me 3 times the work for half of the gain of a dog that's bold from birth.

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by EvanG » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:44 am

KansasLab2013 wrote:Ok, as you can probably guess, this has to do with an e-collar. After today, I've sworn off it. After today, I'll just feel lucky if I haven't permanently ruined my dog. I have a 9 month old Lab, Maverick. I've been following "Tom Dokkens - Gun Dog" DVD series, and at about 9 months is when it suggests to introduce the e-collar. I thought today would be a good day to try and do that....

I guess I didn't do it right or something, but at any rate, I'm done with it.
And so out goes the baby with the bath water. You have a program to follow. You clearly didn't. Now, the e-collar gets a black eye, and your dog loses his best chance to be what he could have been. Are you sure this is a formula you want to embrace?

You can fix this. Are you interested?

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

KansasLab2013
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:54 pm

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by KansasLab2013 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:58 am

Thanks very much for all the advice. Sorry if I was a bit sensitive. I just felt pretty bad about the whole thing. I just thought, "man, how could I be that stupid". But, you guys really have helped me see where I went wrong. It's so obvious now. I'll go dig the collar out of the trash...haha
Maverick is a really good dog, and while I'm NOT new to hunting, I AM new to hunting dogs. But, this has been more fun and rewarding than I could have ever imagined. Whenever I do actually get it right, and he responds, and we learn together....it's awesome. He's got a lot of potential (I think). Let's just see if I can get it out of him.
Thanks again!!

User avatar
EvanG
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 712
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by EvanG » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:42 am

How far are you from Kansas City? Perhaps I could help you personally.

EvanG
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa

There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
Official Evan Graham Retriever Training Forum

User avatar
AzDoggin
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1438
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: AZ desert

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by AzDoggin » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:45 am

gonehuntin' wrote:First, understand that your problem is very minor. Don't sweat it.

2nd. Don't take the collar off him. on the contrary, have him wear it whenever he goes outside for play or training. Try to get him used to pleasurable experiences following the fastening of the collar on him.

3rd. Don't use it on him for one month. That'll let him relax.

4th. When you start introduction, scrap the platforms. Work him on the three command that all collar compliance are founded on:Kennel to move him from you. Here to move him toward you. Sit to immobilize him. Have a 6' leash on him at all times. Use sharp pulls on the leash to guide him through the stimulation of the collar.

5th. If he ever panics, never console him. Ignore the response and pretend nothing happened. Just keep patiently working with him.

6th. Never skip steps no matter how trivial they may seem to you.

7th. Follow YOUR CHOSEN PROGRAM and ignore advice here that may contradict it. Ask for clarification.

8th. Study the program to the most minute detail.

9th. Enforce no command with the collar that he won't perform through pressure with the leash or heeling stick.

10th. Don,t let the dog con you; any dog can work under a "2" setting; MAKE him work through gently but persistently.

Good luck, chin and shoulders up, let us know how it goes. You have done noting that everyone on this board hasn't done at one time or another.
Good stuff right there, GH! Nice job talking the OP off the ledge...he already admitted to "screwing up" - he just needed to know what to do about it, and you gave it to him.

benelli
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:13 am
Location: FL Panhandle

Re: HELP! I think I've screwed up.

Post by benelli » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:56 am

There was a while where I made a similar mistake with the e-collar. The dog was whining/yipping in his kennel, and I was trying to use stimulation to get him to be quiet. I let myself get frustrated and kept turning the collar up to "get my point across." Terrible idea. Poor dog went around for about a week with his tail droopy, obviously depressed. That was after he was pretty well collar-conditioned, but still, it was absolutely NOT the way the collar should have been used.

We did what has been recommended by previous posters - give the dog a break and then start using the collar again. We kept putting the collar on the dog, but kept it turned off so I couldn't stim the dog no matter what. After a week or two, the dog started getting lively again, his tail came back up, and he was back to his energetic and happy self, and we picked up where we left off, minus the stim in the kennel to get him to quiet down.

E-collars really are incredible tools, when used properly. I never thought I'd have a dog as well-trained as ours, and even though I know technically those levels of training can be achieved without an e-collar, I don't know that we would have been able to do it. Yes, you have to be careful with an e-collar, but don't give up on it yet - find someone to help you; I think you'll be glad if you do. It's a worthwhile investment.

Post Reply