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Swill

How to introduce an electronic collar and e-train

19 posts in this topic

So I have been reading the Training for Retrievers for Marshes and Meadows by James Spence and things have been going really good for my 1.5 year old yellow lab. However, he does not cover electronic collars.

I bought a Dogtra electronic collar last year, but have not used it yet, because she was a pup. How can I start using the e-collar? Do I still use my verbal / hand motion commands and then if she breaks use the e-collar?

Any recommendations would be great. I can't afford to drop 800 to have her trained by a professional, and I want to make sure I introduce the electronic collar the right way.

Thanks

Swill

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I'll bet if you ask the folks who made your collar they can sell you or suggest to you a video or a book on using the collar. I'm surprised your collar did not come with some sort of instructional help.

Please, for the sake of the dog, learn a little about the collar before you use it.

Enjoy your pal-he's the only friend you have who you KNOW won't lie to you, cheat you or steal from you. grin.gif

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Swill,

I'm going to pass along what I learned from going to a half day training day with a professional. He helped me with introducing my pup to the e-collar and I think we have done a nice transition to it.

Always put the collar on a few hours in advance before you train. That way the dog doesn't associate the stimulation to the collar. Then go about things just like you would when training with a check cord (I'm only at the check cord level since my pup is 6 months old, no hand commands).

When I get the pup out there aways, I give her stimulation, jerk the cord lightly and say "COME". At first I gave her the stimulation until she touched me. She had to make the connection, touch me no stimulation. I no longer do that and I just give her stimulation, jerk the cord, say "COME" and when she starts to come I let up on the stimulation. I also take a few steps back as she comes to me so she doesn't stop short. I want her to come to me.

I haven't used the e-collar for anything else yet.

I hope this gives you an idea on how to use the collar and how to associate it with learning. If you just start using the collar and yell commands, the dog won't know what you are trying to do and will more than likely deter the dog.

Good Luck!

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When I went in for e-collar training for my dog they had already been using it. During a training session, the trainer would always start and exercise with the lead or check cord on AND the collar. He would do one run through the exercise using the check cord for corrections. Then he would use the check cord and collar for the corrections and then finally in a 3rd run through the routine disconnect the lead and use the collar only. Now the dog has gotten a pretty good idea of whats expected, but he learns to associate the collar with the corrections.

Also another very important thing is to use the lightest possible level of correction. I have a 1yr old springer. On a normal day he only requires a 1 or occasionally a 2. When he is acting up or being defiant its taken a 4 at most....thats on a scale to 16. If the dog gets to that point I discontinue any sort of training because I don't want him to get disciplined out of my frustration. Take a break and try again later or the next day. ALways start slow with the basics. Even though my dog is now 14months, I still start all sessions with sitting and heeling. It sets a tone of the leader and the student.

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An e-collar is not a tool to teach with. Its a way to correct a known defiance. If your dog does not know what come means then DONT ZAP IT!! if your dog knows full well what come means and does not then its time to give a little zap. My dog knows what it means when we call NO BIRD when someone misses. 95% of the time she will stop and come back and start to hunt again. If she does not and keeps going i will give her a bit of zap to rimind her who is in control.

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I disagree that it cannot be used to teach, but it is a great point that you should not correct the dog for not doing something that he hasn't been trained to do.

That being said, I've used my collar to train my dog the boundaries of our yard. No underground fencing needed.

There was also a recent article in the Outdoor news about "Place" training. It describes using the e-collar for training. If the dog knows what the collar does, then it can be used as a training tool. For a puppy and earlier exposure that would not be the case though.

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A good point of reference when using the collar to know. If you hit the button and your dog yelps you have it on to high. At the highest level for me on my dogtra is 20. usually 10 to 15 is all that is needed.

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Many pros and amatuer trainers use the collar to 'teach' as well as re-inforce commands. It is a tool, and as such, you need to be well versed in the proper use and application of it. once the dog understands the correction of the collar, it is no different than using a check cord. Get the book 'Tri-Tronics Retriever Training', by Jim and Phyllis Dobbs. It will give you step by step instruction on how to condition your dog to e-collar training. It goes into great depth how to use it in a teaching role also.

Using it to punish the dog is the #1 biggest mistake people without collar knowledge make. As Powerstroke said, instead of upping the juice and losing your temper and 'burning' the dog, regress to something that you know it will do, end on a suceesful note and start again on the training later.

Good Luck!

Ken

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One thing to note for those using a Dogtra. The constant button is a "Hotter" button. Example of this, The 30 setting will get me a neck twitch using a "nick" but using the "constant" I will get a yelp.

Be aware of what button you are pushing.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

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I did not know the costant button was hotter.

My dog says and I say thanks!

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Quote:

One thing to note for those using a Dogtra. The constant button is a "Hotter" button. Example of this, The 30 setting will get me a neck twitch using a "nick" but using the "constant" I will get a yelp.

Be aware of what button you are pushing.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!


This is not correct (if I am understanding you post correctly). Both buttons give the same level of correction (e.g. 30) on newer Dogtra collars, I don't know about the older ones however. I have a 1702 NCP.

You probably get that reaction from your dog because you can't push the button fast enough to mimic the "knick" and the longer duration of 30 affects him more.

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Sorry Hemi but ya you are not understanding what I am saying.

The constant is hotter, trust me.

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Well...help me understand...what do you mean by hotter?

If your saying that constant is delivering more voltage each pulse than nick please show me where you found that info (something from Dogtra?) or how you determined this. Your dogs reaction is not test to determine this IMO. (I apologize in advance if I am still not understanding your post).

Will you get more of a reaction out of your dog on constant...yes! You are getting multiple pulses even with one single push of the button....thats what it's meant for. Maybe this is what you meant by hotter?

Otherwise....most collars that have nick/constant should have this same affect....not just Dogtra. Not considering in any of this the collars that have the different buttons for different levels off correction (I don't know how those work...I have never used one).

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my dogtra reads and acts just as Hemi says. Its not "hotter" if you mean it has more power. If so you might want to send it back to dogtra unless its a older version and it notes that the "constant" button is stronger in power.

Anyways i use my collar for corecction, training, and teaching. I believe if you have trained the dog and it knows when the collar is "hit" that its doing something wrong it can as well be used as a training, teaching, and correction device.

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When using the "constant" button you need to dial down your setting. When using the "nick" button you can dial the setting up. This is the easiest way for me to try an explain it.

I hope that makes sense.

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Quote:

When using the "constant" button you need to dial down your setting. When using the "nick" button you can dial the setting up. This is the easiest way for me to try an explain it.

I hope that makes sense.


I understand what your saying now....and I would agree that you may need a higher number on nick vs constant. But.....the technical reason behind it is because nick only supplies one single pulse of electric so the dog does not feel it as much as the constant mode (which can give multiple pulses evne with the quickest push of the button.)

This will happen on any brand collar that offers both nick and constant.

BTW....I am almost always use constant mode. Both for introduction to the e-collar and for normal use. Thus I don't worry about this very much.

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Well, ya technical reason you bet BUT because of that the "constant" button is hotter.

Most new users think they will get the same correction/response from the same setting whether you push either button. Not true!!!!

I very seldom use the "constant" button. Because of that it took me nearly 2 years to use the constant button correctly.

When in the field training sometime your corrections need to come so quick that you need to be very aware of what your setting is and what button you are going to push.

Different buttons will get you diffent responses when the collar dial is set on the same setting.

When "introducing an e-collar" one needs to make sure of the setting and what button is going to be used.

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OK...I guess overall we are in agreement then! wink.gif

Since I have a two dog collar system I only have one button for each collar, so there is a switch to choose either nick or constant. This is why I started out on the constant and don't switch between the two much (if at all). He was first introduced to constant (quick tap of the button)....so he has never really known anything else.

Quote:

When "introducing an e-collar" one needs to make sure of the setting and what button is going to be used.


I couldn't agree more! This is with any collar!!

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