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MinnesotaMongo

How long until I can use the E-Collar?

20 posts in this topic

How long should let my Springer wear the e-collar until I can use it? I have been putting it on him from time to time for about a month - but have increased it now to wearing it for a couple hours every day for a week or so.

I don't want him to associate the collar with the shock. The problem is, my 8th month old Springer has decided to be a little ornery with the "come back" whistle - and won't come in when he's off lead. I know he's having fun and testing his independence, but enough is enough.

Yelling obscenities at him isn't helping.

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I started using mine at 7 months based on a recommendation from a professional trainer. The collar has since really been terrific. For the first two months which was during hunting season I would only use it when she would break after a rabbit, deer, or a fly away bird. At this point in time where she is 11 months old I normally only have to use the page button...I very rarely need to nick her.. The collar has been a terrific training aid.

Will be interesting to hear what others have to say...

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If you have been putting it on him for the past month, and for the past week have been putting it on for hours at a time (preferably during training) I think your getting there. I may give it one more week of it always being on him during any training or outside activities (or even inside) and you should be good to go. Probably would be fine now...but I like to error on the safe side.

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I agree with Hemi, but if you are not 100%, make the dog drag a lead during training. It makes them think they are not in control, and they will listen a little better. Take it off once in a while, and if he does not listen, put it immediately back on.

I prefer to think of a collar as a reinforcement tool, rather then a training device. The dog should be trained before getting buzzed IMHO.

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 Originally Posted By: Farmboy1
I prefer to think of a collar as a reinforcement tool, rather then a training device. The dog should be trained before getting buzzed IMHO.

100% correct!

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Thanks for the input. I agree with what you said Farmboy1 - and he has been great with obedience, up until last week. I was out training with a bunch of Springer guys - we were quartering, when he started to get independent. If he could have ran with three paws, while giving me the finger with the other one, he would have.

Little bugger.

Otherwise, he is doing great - we have him quartering - we've started rolling in clip wings for him to find. I just need to clean this up a bit.

I will wait a bit longer and try putting the long lead on him during training.

Thanks again for the tips!

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The electric collar is never used to teach pup anything, It's used to enforce what pups learned but refuses to do.

Use it to enforce what the dog has forgotten or ignores.

taken from Best Way to Train Your Gun Dog. Delmar Smith Method.

by Bill Tarrant.

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Thanks. I totally agree and that's all it would be used for. He has the "come" command down, but just got a little ornery and wanted to play. I plan on using it if he balks and immediately praise him when he does it right.

Again - the feedback has been great.

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I too tried to slowly introduce my dog to the collar. I did not use it during the first few pheasant hunts when he was about 6 months old. I continued to work with him and started using it occationally for household obediance lessons and then brought it to the field. The collar only gets used for hunting/training. He now knows exactly what it is but gets excited and wants me to put it on him because whatever we are going to do is going to be more fun then the usual. I have noticed dogs that have the collar used regularily listen much worse when the collar is off then dogs that the collar is only used for hunting and occational training.

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 Originally Posted By: SDbowhunter

1)The collar only gets used for hunting/training.

2)He now knows exactly what it is but gets excited and wants me to put it on him because whatever we are going to do is going to be more fun then the usual.

3)I have noticed dogs that have the collar used regularily listen much worse when the collar is off then dogs that the collar is only used for hunting and occational training.

Not to call you out...but just curious,

1) How do you correct him if he disobeys a command (say the "come" command) all other times?

2) I get the same reaction...it's fun to see!!! Usually any collar gets this reaction as it means were going outside for something fun.....he usually has the collars removed when inside.

3) I can't say I have seem that same association. It could be a condition of those dogs in the first group being collar-wise based on their introduction process, and the second groups being in a different mindset at the time because they are aware of whats being asked of them during training/hunting and were properly introduced to the collar from the get go??

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Just my opinion, but i think a guy should learn to train a dog without a e-collar first then possibly use one later for correction? Possibly? If you need it. Anyway i read you nick your pup around birds becareful he does not associate the "nick"

with discomfort from the bird. He could start blinking birds."become bird shy" Ive seen good dogs ruined from inexperienced e-collar use. Just a suggestion here i recommend reading "retriever training back to the basics" by robert milner

And "Labrador shooting dog" by mike gould. Both books have helped me understand how dogs learn. And it works!!! Be the pack leader.? Good Luck and Happy Tails.

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 Originally Posted By: 311Hemi
 Originally Posted By: SDbowhunter

1)The collar only gets used for hunting/training.

2)He now knows exactly what it is but gets excited and wants me to put it on him because whatever we are going to do is going to be more fun then the usual.

3)I have noticed dogs that have the collar used regularily listen much worse when the collar is off then dogs that the collar is only used for hunting and occational training.

Not to call you out...but just curious,

1) How do you correct him if he disobeys a command (say the "come" command) all other times?

2) I get the same reaction...it's fun to see!!! Usually any collar gets this reaction as it means were going outside for something fun.....he usually has the collars removed when inside.

3) I can't say I have seem that same association. It could be a condition of those dogs in the first group being collar-wise based on their introduction process, and the second groups being in a different mindset at the time because they are aware of whats being asked of them during training/hunting and were properly introduced to the collar from the get go??

1) Typically he doesnt disobey... I got really lucky with this dog and is the smartest of the four dogs I've had in my lifetime. But when he does I typically give him a sharp growling NO and that almost allways brings him back. If I have to physically stop him a SINGLE firm slap on the back gets his attention. After the bad action has stopped then I try to be happy and full of praise because he did what I said even though he was being bad.

3) I would probably agree that observation has been on my limited experience. I think what I have seen is that they use the collar as the a punishment for bad behavior rather then using it as a secondary punishment for making the dog understand your expectations.

When using the collar I always try to buzz him or give him a no command before resorting to the shock.

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That sounds good.

I might add dont let others mess with your young dog inbetween your training sessions, like kids and friends because everything is learned positive and negative.Unless they know strict rules on what they can and cant do. To many hands in the pie is not a good thing.You need to establish your control and relationship with your pup.

It's easier to not get negative things started.Then to try and correct them out later. Good Luck and Happy tails.

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Another Point w/ the collar is that if it makes your dog yelp you have it on too high. Really the only time I intentially zap him on higher then normal setting is it was potentially threatening position (ie. dog on the highway) or if he was chasing rabbits. (Thats one I still havent broke him of completely.)

The only way I could get him to stop chasing hens/missed birds was with a collar. I think you need to let a pup try to run down birds its first few times out while you shout and run them down and physically bring them back to where they took off from.

I also think a dog needs to be slightly afraid of its owner. (I am not advocating beating your dog) If you watch dogs play rough eventuatly one bites hard and the other dog will snap, growl, and bar its teath. After that, the fun continues. I try to mimic that behavior with a sharp voice showing teeth and a firm slap on the behind. Followed with usually a sit stay and praise.

I think that every training/hunting session to be 10x+ more praise then reprimands. And even more praise with the collar on.

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I never used my e collar for training with my dog, other than introducing him to the collar. In other words he already knew exactly what we where doing in his training, he need to be introduced to the warning/discipline system that they collar allows you to use while hunting. I use the beep function as a warning and then the nick function and if he still isn't getting the point than the continuous. When I first started to introduce him to the collar I would start at the lowest level and then find the level where he noticed the shock, which is the lowest level that I use for discipline. I would say just give yourself plenty of time before you start hunting to introduce your dog to what the collar means and what is expected of him when he is disciplined. I personally really like having the beep function, it isn't the best the first couple of times out when he is all worked up to go hunting, but later in the season when he calms down a little he starts to respond to the beep and then doesn't need to be shocked as much.

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About the beeping collars... What brands beep automatically before the shock is delivered. I have a Sport Dog 800 and while it has worked great for me, it doesnt beep before or during the shock. A cheapo collar I had in the past used to beep during the shock. I found it difficult to train my self to give a beep before a shock to train my dog that the beep is a warning. I have the dog trained well enough I dont need to worry about it as much now. But I am curious what other people think works the best? I would think a beeb during the shock would quickly associate it as a warning.

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A little update.

My Springer has been wearing an e-collar for about 5 weeks regularly. Every day, from the time he got up, until I put him to bed - he wore the e-collar shut off (or a dummy collar) Last week - I used the e-collar on my 8+ month old Springer - because he was getting very independent and wouldn't come back to the whistle.

One shot is all it took. I called/blew the whistle - he kept running - I whistled again and nailed him when he wouldn't turn - and when he came back - running I praised him profusely.

The next day, I did "page" him for not turning.

That was one week ago. He's a changed dog - for the better. He comes when called - he's happy - and training last night with the guys was great. He minded - was more settle - focused on the work and had his best night out yet. We had him quartering in some really tall cover and they were rolling in clip-wing pigeons for him to find. It probably was too tall for a puppy - but it was great to see him put on the brakes and turn when he caught the scent. He was great all night - and I think that the careful introduction to the e-collar was a BIG part of it. I'm sure you experienced guys have better opinions than mine, but I just wanted to share with the people a "new trainers" experience.

Oh yeah, this afternoon - I let him jump out of my truck - and noticed that I had not put the collar on. He ran after a squirrel - I pipped the whistle and he stopped and came back to me - even with no collar on.

Thanks for all the advice. I don't plan on using it very much at all - he's a very gentle dog that loves to please. I think a "page" vibration might be all he will need. I'm sure I'll find out as I go on.

Again - thanks for all the great advice - it was really appreciated and I heeded it all.

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One thing I would recommend (if you have not been doing it) is to rotate the placement of the collar every few hours throughout the day. If you leave it in one place all day long the dog can develop sores where the prongs contact the skin.

Sound like you got the response you were looking for......did you do any introduction to the collar before you let him off and running and nailed him?

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Thanks for the tip - I did adjust it every so often.

As far as introduction - I held against my 14 year old son's arm and said "How's this feel" after I did it to myself. LOL - just kidding.

The only introduction was getting used to the collar - then when the time came - calling the command/whistle and using the collar. I praised him profusely when he came to me. And that was it.

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Sounds like you guys got it figured out. Congratulations! There aren't many things more rewarding then training and raising a dog, besides raising children that aren't lifers in prison.

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