Thoughts on e collars - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on e collars

I would love to hear everyone's opinions on e-collars. My basenji's were trained by a professional dog trainer on e collars. For my hounds it opened up a wonderful world for them, e.g., off leash dog hikes. Once they catch the scent or sight of a rabbit (or anything that runs) recall is very difficult, without the e collar. They understand completely what it means and 98% of the time the vibrate button will snap them out of it and bring them running back to us. Unfortunately, we moved and that dog trainer is to far away.

I wanted to train Rogan (2 year old Doberman) on the collar as well. I have watched videos on Garmin website and Larry Krohn on youtube. However, I have heard/read they can make a dog aggressive, fearful, etc. Since, Rogan is my first Doberman, I wanted to get the experienced opinions on this website before continuing with the training. For the basenji's the collar worked out well but I understand Dobermans are a different breed and it might or might not appropriate.

Thank you,
Erin

https://www.garmin.com/en-US/learnin...ience-training

https://youtu.be/6t2A6D7Dc0I
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:14 PM
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I think they are tools like any other tool and have the capacity to be abused if used incorrectly. That said, I have used them myself, and will continue to use them as needed.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:36 PM
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I have never used one. Yet, my sis who owned Weimaraners and field trained them found them very useful when they were not within sight control. Not for training or field work, simply for recreational use. Her home backs up on acres of state land, with abundant wildlife.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:57 PM
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I used an e-collar years ago, with a fantastic trainer, to proof my rescue Dobe's recall. Not only was he able to hike with me leash free, like your Basenji's, it also seemed to up his confidence.
Fast forward to now, and I have used the Mini-Educator collar on my current Doberman. In her case it was strictly to reinforce the "leave it" command - she was always grabbing, often swallowing, bits of trash on our walks. The e-collar cured her of that perfectly and I rarely use it now.
The most important thing though, is to use it correctly.
I think Larry Krohn is a wonderful trainer, and I also highly recommend Micheal Ellis' training/streaming DVDs. Those two really helped me shape my girl into a super companion who is a joy to live with.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 09:54 PM
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Every collar is a different tool. When used correctly they work!! Truth is most people use e collars wrong. I have used them in the past myself and will use them again
They are not ok with everyone and many think they are cruel. Not all trainers use them correctly either. The ones mentioned are very respected choices. My 1st question to any owner that talks about using an e collar is "what's YOUR level of recognition? No person has any business putting an e collar on their dog until they know what lt feels like themselves. They are not meant to hit it hard and "shock" them silly but that's how many have used them and they earned the bad reputation. Fact is every dog is different, every owner/trainer is different. Use what tools you are comfortable with and works for your dog.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 08:55 AM
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I use an e collar for both my husky and mal/husky mix and like most other training tools, I believe if used properly, you will have amazing results.

And I personally use the garmin ones and love their training tutorials!

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 10:16 AM
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What everyone else said. I would suggest hiring a real trainer who is experienced with TRAINING with ecollars and not just watching videos. A good trainer will spend most of the time training on the vibrate button and only shocking at very low levels when necessary. My first two Dobermans were trained on the e collar. I set my 3rd puppy up with one (meaning they were it for a month before you ever turn it on) but her recall and drive to please has led me to not have to ever use one thus far (knock on wood).

Good luck
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 11:27 AM
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Like others have said, the answer is...it depends. It depends on your skill as a trainer, and your dog's temperament. I use them with my dogs, but both of my dogs have very, very solid, normal temperaments, and I worked with a very skilled trainer so that I really understood how to properly use the collar (we used basically the Nepopo method, which I strongly prefer). I would never use the collar on a puppy, or a dog that didn't fully understand all of the commands prior to use. I wouldn't use it if I wasn't very good at timing. I would not use it on a fearful dog.

I really like the mini-Educator collars because they adjust so meticulously, have a vibrate or tone function (you can choose one or the other), and the stimulation level on the lowest setting is very, very, VERY low. I test them on myself every time I use them.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 02:33 PM
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Like others have said, the answer is...it depends. It depends on your skill as a trainer, and your dog's temperament. I use them with my dogs, but both of my dogs have very, very solid, normal temperaments, and I worked with a very skilled trainer so that I really understood how to properly use the collar (we used basically the Nepopo method, which I strongly prefer). I would never use the collar on a puppy, or a dog that didn't fully understand all of the commands prior to use. I wouldn't use it if I wasn't very good at timing. I would not use it on a fearful dog.

I really like the mini-Educator collars because they adjust so meticulously, have a vibrate or tone function (you can choose one or the other), and the stimulation level on the lowest setting is very, very, VERY low. I test them on myself every time I use them.
I also use the mini-educator and love the abundance of settings. I trained with just the tone once his OB commands were pretty solid. I tested each level (up to 60) on myself before ever putting it on him. He rarely needs more than about a 10 if the tone doesn't work.

Radar is a very calm and laid back Dobie and has a good foundation with all of his obedience. I consulted with trainers to make sure I was using the e collar and prong appropriately and properly before really doing much work with them.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 11:18 AM
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I tested each level (up to 60) on myself before ever putting it on him. He rarely needs more than about a 10 if the tone doesn't work

This reminds of a story Several years ago - A friend of my wife's and her husband put in a new invisible fence - They were sitting at the picnic table talking about what setting to start out with -- They were concerned about setting it to high - THEN --- Brent got one of them brain storm ideas that he would set it real low and test it ! How do I miss all the funny chit ? Anyway - he put it on around his neck and walked real slow to the fence and then it hit him ! Before he could step back it hit him again and he dropped to his knees LMAO - Like I said - I wasn't there but the others that were - were on the ground laughing at him - He never did that stupid trick again - lol
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 12:39 PM
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I have used e-collars (and don't own one but borrow one from an Obedience judge I know occasionally.

I don't use them for training--but for a fully trained dog who simply opts to ignore his training I will use one. And yes--I've worn one and tested various levels of stimulation and don't just use tone or vibration when attempting to correct a problem with a fully trained dog.

A couple of examples--I had a champion male Dobe who had been going along qualifying in Canada and AKC for a CD when at a very loud and crowed Canadian show he somehow blew the recall and ended up sitting in front of the judge--and as he sat and the judge (who was afraid of all the big dogs) clutched his clip board and remained motionl3ess my dogs ears slowly sagged and his head dropped--a dog who knew he was wrong but didn't know how to correct it. Finally the judge said to me--"Call him again..." I did and my poor dog slunk as if I'd been beating him, to me.

So for several shows, even though he'd perform the recall perfectly in class, at home and even at a show--on the ground and in a ring but not in completion he was failing every recall. He'd start out--lift his butt off the ground and look at me and then the judge and plant his butt on the ground and not move.

Ultimate a breeder I knew from the local chapter club said that this was a place where a e-collar could be a miracle worker. And it was. We we both at a set of Canadian shows and she told me to meet her back by the Obedience ring after Obedience was finished. So were there after the judging was over and the ring empty but still a lot of people and dogs around. She put the collar on my dog and adjusted it and stood in the middle of the ring and and signaled me to bring the dog in--I did--sat him and she said "Leave you dog..." I walked across the ring and she said "Call your dog..." I called, he lifted his butt off the ground and she gave him a 5 (on a 0 to 10 scale) It was kind of amazing--he levitated and ran for me--she hollered "Celebrate!!!!" and we did.

After that she got her husband in the ring with us and we did some ordinary fronts and returns to heel and ultimately another couple of complete recalls--FLAWLESS--he got the two legs he needed in the next two shows and never missed a recall after that.

I also had an Australian Shepherd who was fully trained to Utility but was so unreliable on recalls that he remained on long lines (20 or 50 footers) after tracking when all the other dogs were free to run with each other go anywhere in the big cherry orchards or grass fields we practiced in. He was probably 7 or 8 when one of the regulars in the group I tracked with noticed that Henry never was off leash. She asked about it and I explained (about all the times my blankety blank dog wouldn't come back to me until all other dogs were gone). She asked if I'd tried an e-collar--no, I hadn't--my only experience was with the Dobe with the recall in the ring problem.

The next week she had her e-collar, and she watched as I first put Henry on a 20 line and called him--he knew if he was on a leash or not--on leash he came without fail--off leash, I told her he evaporated into the distance or to a bunch of dogs if there were dogs in the vicinity.

We were in a field that was just stubble--there was a path that led to some woods, and one that went through a peppermint field (still growing at that time). The rest of the tracking group had been turned loose and were either headed for the woods or up a rise to a field pond. This hand held control was a 0 to 15--she was goiong to watch Henry a tell me when to use what level of stimulation and when to call him.

She said--"Let him go..." I did--he ran as fast as he could toward the woods and other dogs--she said "Call him! I did--for what it's worth he didn't even look back--he just kept running. We went up the scale from 0 with me raising the stimulation and calling him again and getting no results that I could see.

We were at about 11 when he finally turned his head and slowed down when stimulated--but he still didn't stop--she said call him again and raise it to 12 if he doesn't stop. I did--he slowed further and yelped but didn't stop. She said "Again and up to 13" I cringed and did it--he cried (this was horrible, I was making my dog cry) but he turned and miraculously he stopped--he sat. The air was ripe with peppermint.

She said don't call him--go to him--I scrambled up the hill to him he never moved--I told him he was wonderful, I gave him a treat--I positioned myself to heel and said "Henry, Heel..." He did. He didn't run away.

We practiced a few times doing recalls and he came from every distance--with dogs around and with no dogs around.

He never failed to come again when he was called.

The whole process reminded me of a long ago trainer who said "One effective correction will accomplish more that years of nagging at a dog--make sure you can enforce what you want enforced and otherwise don't keep trying stuff that hasn't worked.

I've most not used e-collar much but when I've have used them they have been very effective and I'll say again--I DO NO train dogs with e-collars--the dogs I used e-collar corrections on were fully trained in the first place--in that kind of situation the e-collar correct was very effective.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 06:12 AM
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Excellent DB....I have not used e-collars ...but have studied.....and yep......good for a fully trained dog that is having difficulty in a specific area.
Providing one knows how to use the collar appropriately. Good human training is a must !

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 11:33 AM
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I have experienced both ends. I ruined a dog with an e-collar when I was young, it took a lot to rehab her. I regret every bit of it. She’s amazing now, but it truly takes an experienced trainer to train them the right way.

Our Weimaraner, we put him through hours and hours of training. It all stuck until his hormones came in more and more. Off he went to a trainer with the e-collar. Best thing we could have done!

We experience a lot of people that do not agree with it, but it’s about your comfort level. To us, it’s our responsibility to raise a decent, well mannered pup, whatever that takes. The collar works amazing for him, even when it’s not on. He’s learned what he can and cannot do.

As much as a lot of people don’t agree with it, I don’t agree with a strong dog that we cannot manage. But I don’t voice that.

We don’t regret it at all & would do it all over again if we had to. He has a great trainer and we remain consistent with his training, even when he’s doing well. We never stop training.

He is also a very sensitive dog, the collar hasn’t altered him in that respect. He’s still his amazing self, personality, sensitivity, all of it. Nothing has changed except for his manners and obedience.

If you’re hesitant to train on your own for fear of damaging his demeanor, a trainer is the way to go. Do your research on a good trainer and you won’t regret it, Monet we’ll spent!

Good luck with your pup!!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 04:29 PM
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I love e-collars but it depends on the dog. I used them with both of my Dobermans and it was wonderful because e-collars allowed my girls to enjoy so much freedom on hikes. It also reduced my annoyance because they weren't trying to drag me down trails for the first 2 hours of every hike. hahaha

Personally, I will only use one with a pretty solid, adult dog. By solid I mean, their temperament can handle it and I've already put in the serious work of training them without it. So, for me, its more of a proofing tool and back-up in emergencies - like life-or-death recall situations.

I have friends who breed and hunt with various gun dogs and they do things differently than me. But they have different goals and expectations than I do. And they're working with different breeds than I do. It works for them and their dogs.

My Dobes were very responsive and 99% of the time they never needed anything beyond a tone or vibrate. When they did need a stimulation, the lowest couple of levels worked.

I haven't decided yet if I'll introduce my Rattie to an e-collar. I'd love to give him the freedom on hikes but he's a softy. I'm in no rush to decide. We've only been training for about a year and he came to me only knowing how to free stack and move on lead. haha So...he's not trained enough yet by my standards to really proof anything with him anyway. He's still just figuring out what outdoor adventures and sports are all about. Time will tell.

ETA...I also tried one out on myself before deciding to try it on my dogs. And I worked with an experienced trainer to introduce my girls to e-collars and to learn how to properly use e-collars.



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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 10:59 AM
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Yes that's right, they can make dogs aggressive, I would suggest to hire a trainer instead of doing it yourself.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 07:46 PM
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My input here..."hiring a trainer" means that you are there to work closely with him or her. A lot of training difficulties have an owner component too; sometimes you just need an extra eye to pick up on what is going on. And that extra advice when you're up against some kind of tricky behavior is helpful too.

Don't send your dog off to be boarded or trained when you're not there to see exactly how the trainer is treating him.
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