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Bladerator
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Hello everyone!

We have had such an amazing experience with this website and we are here for some more help! We started training Blade with a Command Collar (yank & crank method) and when we posted some videos here, agreed (because of you) that it was not the way to go. :thanx:

Now, Blade is 8 months old. He does many commands. Our only problems are when we go walking with him, he pulls, there is tension on the leash. He tries to be the leader like it's HIS walk. We have done several training techniques- changing directions, stopping, giving him bites (Ceasar Milan), treats, clicker training, etc. Nothing is working. We are now debating on using an e-collar for when we go on walks.

Also another problem, is when we let him be out of the car for a ride, he bolts to see other dogs a half a block away and does not come when called.

He has plenty of exercise, he has a big back yard, we give him lots of attention and love. We really love our dog and want to do what is best. Most of all we want him to be safe and know we can trust him.

Please leave your feedback regarding the e-collar or what might be a better method. We value your opinion greatly!

Aly, Jon & Blade
:help_up_2bigmove:
 

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Get the bunnies!
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The bolting can be fixed with a "wait" command and impulse control training. As for the pulling on walks, I feel like an electric/shock collar is a bit... harsh? Have you tried an easy-walk harness or maybe even a prong collar?
I agree. Timing is very important with E-collars and I'm sure juggling a lead and the shock remote wouldn't be easy. Lots of people on here use prong collars for walking. I recommend the easy-walk harnesses for my obedience clients.

Clean Run: Easy Walk Harness
Clean Run: SENSE-ible Harness
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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I prefer a prong collar for walking because you can really adjust the severity of the correction by getting a feel for how your dog is reacting to it through the leash. It feels much more detached with the e-collar, and if you want to fiddle with dials, press buttons, hold leash, and pay attention to your dog, it's a bit much for one person. Also, I like that the prong is self correcting. If my dog lunges suddenly, the e-collar cannot react as quickly as the natural self correction that would stem from from the prong collar.

Your dog is young, so unless you've been doing a lot of impulse control training, it's kind of expected. Give a down/stay command before you open the door, and make sure that you have enough people blocking the path out of the car before you open it and attach a leash.

I used an e-collar for a few years for off leash, but as my boy got older and especially after we started training agility together on a regular basis, I no longer had any need for it. It is a very useful tool if you train with it correctly, though. Not all corrections have to be painful and the vibrate function is very useful as well. Some people use it as a warning, I used it as a recall command.
 

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I don't think an E collar will solve your problems. If used incorrectly, it could even exacerbate your problems.

I second the "WAIT." command. Start small- impulse control is a command that will take a lot of work. I taught wait as "woah!" It means STOP, now. I taught it using a tennis ball, which for my dog, is the greatest reward and her most prized possession. I'd say wait, then toss the ball, then use the leash to physically restrain her. Good woah! then treat (released her to get the ball), and repeat. It'll take lots of proofing, but if you are diligent, it will happen.

I also second the easy walk harness. It's pretty wonderful- I've seen it in action on some pretty wild child dogs, and I was impressed. Its the first thing I show to customers when they ask how to get their dog to walk nicely.

Clean Run: Easy Walk Harness

You clip the leash to the front of the harness, and when the dog pulls, it pivots him right back towards you- exactly the opposite of what he was going for. I'd reinforce it with training. The harness is just a to use in the mean time.

Good luck with your boy! He's in the doberteens- just like human kids, they're defiant and testing boundaries. You'll get through it.
 

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Alpha SheepDog
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PUT a leash on him, before you even get out of the vehicle.
I told Nubis to sit/stay, before i opened the door. He realized quickly with practice, that the door didnt open before he stayed.
If you go the prong route, ensure you get a hands on with someone experienced in its usage.
Get him nice and tired before going for the walk, and then take a short perfect walk, before getting tired, quit.... as they get stressed, they will pull harder.. so you have to find the median point.
So an example, if you take him out and 15 mins later he starts getting tired, and pulling, now you know, that it is best not to go beyond 15 mins, so quit at 13 on a happy note.
 

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Dedicated DoberFan
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First off, I must say that I really dislike the term "Shock Collar." I much prefer the term "e collar" or "remote collar" or "remote training device," because I feel these more appropriately describe the intended function and use of this valuable training tool. An e-collar allows a handler/trainer to deliver a correction (by means of a vibration, or an electric pulse, nick, stimulation... whatever you want to call it), when the dog is working at a distance from the handler, where a voice, collar or touch correction is not possible. The term "shock collar" just sounds so harsh, because the intended use of the collar is not to painfully electrocute or zap/shock your dog when he doesn't listen or he misbehaves, or gets a training exercise wrong. That would make most dogs shut right down fast. In the wrong hands (or even just untrained hands), these collars can do a lot of harm.

I do own one, but my dog was over 2 years old and had been through 4 rounds of obedience classes before I used it with him for the first time. I use it for one exercise only - to reinforce the recall command during off-leash exercise. It's my opinion that an e-collar is not appropriate for use on an 8 month old puppy. At this age, they're just beginning their basic obedience training. I'd probably look into a private session with a professional trainer first, before stepping up to an e-collar. The dog needs to understand the command first, and what is expected of him before introducing an e-collar correction, and it is very important that you, the trainer understand how to use the collar correctly.

If you do invest in an e-collar, please choose carefully; I use a Tritronics Sport Basic G3. It has a 1/2 mile range and is expandable for up to 3 dogs. It's plenty sufficient for the level of training I do with my dog. Other brands that come recommended are Dogtra and SportDog. I would stick with any of these brands.

For the time being, as others have mentioned, I think your young boy would benefit from more focus work and impulse control training with you. If he is continuously allowed to bolt out of the car to freedom (reward), he will always do so. I crate my dog in the car, but even when I open the crate, he is still not allowed out until I tell him it's ok, and then I put a leash on him. We do it the same way every time. Always remember YOU are in control of his life, so be assertive in your leadership role. Make him sit and wait before opening a door, then release him when he is calm. Practice "leave it," using treats on the floor; he only takes them when you say it's ok. Better yet, when he "leaves it" (whatever is on the floor), treat him with something yummy from your hand. He learns to leave whatever you may have just dropped on the floor (medication, chicken wing, whatever) when you tell him to leave it, and gets a tasty reward from your hand instead. Yum yum! Teach him, "Watch me!" and when he looks at you in the eyes, treat him. Keep it simple and fun! Positive reinforcement goes a long way! Happy Training! :)

 

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I dont think he is trying to be the leader, I just think he wants to get going on his walk! He's excited, and when he pulls he gets to the park quicker.

I use a front clipping harness similar to what the_discowhore has shown you and it works excellently, without the need for corrections. I use two methods and my dog walks perfectly to heal without any shock collars, prongs, choking or biting (what?!) even in busy environments at big events.

I clip a lead onto the front clip of Rupert's harness and wait until he is completely calm and relaxed to to step forward. When we start walking, I keep a fairly short lead and when I feel any tension on the lead, I immediately turn the other way and start walking the other way. When I feel tension going that way, I immediately turn the other way and start walking again. When he is walking nicely with his shoulder by my leg, I treat him and say 'good boy!'. This teaches him that being close to me is a good place to be, and you dont get anywhere unless you're walking nicely.

When we first go out of the house he is desperate to get going, so sometimes we can be outside the house going back and forth for 5-10 minutes or so, but he eventually gets it and we can get on with our walk. I expect this to stop eventually, but he's only 12 months old so with more practise he'll get there. Sometimes if he's been cooped up all day, I take him to the field and let him have a nice big run around before starting our walk, so he can get rid of that initial energy which has been pent up.

You say he jumps out and runs off, do you have a lead on him when he's in the car, how is he secured in the car? If he's on the backseat, I'd really have a car harness on and clipped into the seatbelt clipper (I'm not sure if you call this the same thing?) or if he's in the back I would seriously consider crates or at least a dog guard for the back. Much safer in an accident.

To teach a dog not to jump out of the car, I would make sure you have the 'Wait' command solid out of the car, then begin to implement it in the car. I wind the window down just a little so he can hear me, then say 'SIT. WAIT' in a firm but calm voice with a hand signal and go to open the door. If he gets up from his sit, I dont open the door until he sits back down again. I then open the door a little, and again if he gets up I shut the door and put him back into a sit. The door ONLY opens when he is sat down waiting.
 

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Training the dog at a very early age is fun and engaging, which becomes a stepping stone for more future learning...and maybe Blade has missed the fun & engaging & focus training part (I don't really know).
- if I had to use electronics to solve command training problems, I am afraid that the team of dog & handler, would be decreased...as well as the growth of our bond building, communication and respect

NewDobieParents
I remember your puppy YouTube training video, back in Dec....and your boy Blade, was just going through the motions then, for fear of the early collar.
A shock collar now, may yield similar results, in your hands.
Training can be ineffective, if the critical timing is off...and that is a real problem many dog owners face, and harder to master...as they don't even realize it.
Perfect timing and a strong bond & partnership with ones dog is needed.

I would be taking OB classes through to the off-leash level and/or get private lessons, to the same advanced level...if I where you.
- I would not recomment an e-collar, on your 8 month old puppy Blade
You have already done some non-fun training on a 3 month old pup and now you want to try another non-fun training method / suggest you seek out a good experienced trainer, that can guide you through the more conventional & basic process.
 

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sadder but wiser girl
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You've gotten lots of good advice. The most important teaching tool in your training arsenal is YOU. You must be patient, focused, set your pup up for success rather than failure, and above all, don't expect miracles. Hard work, repetition and baby steps where he can clearly understand what you expect...just like a child! No shock collars (and we even hats prong collars). Spend at least 10-15 minutes twice every day working on and or two or three basic lessons, and proceed when he knows those perfectly. If he messes up, it's your fault, not his... so shock yourself but give him love and encouragement!!
 

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First off, I must say that I really dislike the term "Shock Collar." I much prefer the term "e collar" or "remote collar" or "remote training device," because I feel these more appropriately describe the intended function and use of this valuable training tool. An e-collar allows a handler/trainer to deliver a correction (by means of a vibration, or an electric pulse, nick, stimulation... whatever you want to call it), when the dog is working at a distance from the handler, where a voice, collar or touch correction is not possible. The term "shock collar" just sounds so harsh, because the intended use of the collar is not to painfully electrocute or zap/shock your dog when he doesn't listen or he misbehaves, or gets a training exercise wrong. That would make most dogs shut right down fast. In the wrong hands (or even just untrained hands), these collars can do a lot of harm.

[RANT]
First off, you really shouldn't promote "political correctness". A shock collar is a shock collar. Not all e-collars are shock collars. There are vibration collars, sound collars and shock collars. Some are remote training collars, some are automatic. It is not a matter of "whatever you want to call it" when correction is issued. It is either a shock, or vibration, or sound, or combination. Call a thing what it is.
When someone is new to this and asking for information generalizing can do more harm than good.
[/RANT]

Second, back to the OP's inquiry.
I agree with most of what Megs and others have said. Properly used an e-collar can be a valuable tool, improperly used it can make things much worse.
I do own one, but my dog was over 2 years old and had been through 4 rounds of obedience classes before I used it with him for the first time. I use it for one exercise only - to reinforce the recall command during off-leash exercise. It's my opinion that an e-collar is not appropriate for use on an 8 month old puppy. At this age, they're just beginning their basic obedience training. I'd probably look into a private session with a professional trainer first, before stepping up to an e-collar. The dog needs to understand the command first, and what is expected of him before introducing an e-collar correction, and it is very important that you, the trainer understand how to use the collar correctly.
I think this is good info.

OP, didn't mean to hijack the thread with my disdain for political correct BS. There is some really good info here and I think you are being "pointed" in a good direction.
I am REALLY not a fan of shock collars, but have found sound and vibration collars to work very well. This will all depend on the individual (both dog and human) as to what works well for them.
Magnum's previous owners had tried a shocking bark collar instead of working with the dog properly. One of the e-collars that shocks in response to the dogs barking. No trainer input, dog barks, gets shocked automatically. Magnum came to me with 2 sets of burns on his neck from the electrodes of his shock collar. The burns were bad enough it took 6 weeks for his burns to heal. Magnum's previous owners went about the e-collar thing the wrong way, and it did more harm than good.
All of that said, you may find shock works better for you. I am not as experienced as many here (and probably should not have "called out" Megs), and I am not a professional trainer. I would still listen to most of the others advice and try a different approach first.
 

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Good advice already given....I second the vote for a properly fitted prong collar for your walks. You will be amazed at the power steering you will have on casual walks with a big, strong male. Whoever said he isn't trying to be alpha by pulling was 100% correct; he's just excited to get on with the the walk and sniff, explore new things. Every behavior is not the dog trying to take over....

I use an e-collar only for free running on dogs over 1 yr old, after they know recalls very well. Then it is on for extra insurance in case we come across deer or something and prey drive really kicks in out in the middle of nowhere.

Car issue- why does he not wait for you to clip a leash on to get out of the car. He needs to learn what "wait" means. Although frustrated with his behavior, you have inadvertently let him get self rewards by allowing him to run down the block more than once. I start with their dinner bowl- they have to wait as I place the bowl down, then sit there drooling for a few seconds until I release them to eat with "okay". Same getting out of the car for my dogs; they don't jump out even with an open car door until I say "okay."

(The first time you try the wait for the food, be prepared to pick up the food bowl several times and reposition him until he learns he has to sit until you release him. At first- release him after about 3-5 seconds and then build time.)

Good luck! He's just entering the stage where they are huge in size but still have baby brains.
 

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I- have had dobermans for many years and never had to use an e-collar to train. It can increase the problem if used incorrectly and why do that for pulling?? Try a prong and work the dog. Might be also good to go to training classses so that you can get ideas of what YOU can do to correct this. It is a common problem and can be correct with enough time and practice.
 

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Doberman Slave
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Magnum's previous owners had tried a shocking bark collar instead of working with the dog properly. One of the e-collars that shocks in response to the dogs barking. No trainer input, dog barks, gets shocked automatically. Magnum came to me with 2 sets of burns on his neck from the electrodes of his shock collar. The burns were bad enough it took 6 weeks for his burns to heal. Magnum's previous owners went about the e-collar thing the wrong way, and it did more harm than good.
Umm, well let's not give mis information either. A bark collar does not cause burns to the neck when it shocks unless there is some new super duper high voltage one out there that I've never heard of. Holes and sores to the neck are caused by idiots leaving the collar on 24/7. Training collars are meant to be on only when needed or being used. The dog should not live in them.
 

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WHatever caused it, the owners had no business using this without knowing enough to keep the dog safe. I hate them myself but I feel sure there are times that they are necessary. Pulling on a lead is not one that I'd say is necessary and many times can cause more harm than good. Just my view on it.
 

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Umm, well let's not give mis information either. A bark collar does not cause burns to the neck when it shocks unless there is some new super duper high voltage one out there that I've never heard of. Holes and sores to the neck are caused by idiots leaving the collar on 24/7. Training collars are meant to be on only when needed or being used. The dog should not live in them.
Fair.
Magnum came with HOLES in his neck that were spaced to align with the electrodes on the bark collar. These holes had some scabbing, some oozing, and some blistering. They were not puncture wounds. Near constant, repeated shocks will do damage.
Yes, the idiots that left the collar on him all the time were wrong. A very good example of improper use of a tool.
 

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Leerburg | The Theory of Corrections in Dog Training

Do not use a "shock collar". While being invaluable, you and your dog are not ready for an e-collar yet. As stated, get a prong and learn how to do it right. Start slow and understand how to use it, and why your using it. The article linked has some great info. Personally I don't do all the "pack behavior" stuff listed. All the harnesses linked do work if used right. Personally I would use them until he's a little older, then switch to a prong.

Long of the short--- For another month or two mix up the harness with walks on a prong. No corrections at all. Put the dog on lead with a properly fitted prong or the harness. When you get some tension, stop wait for tension to release, (pick one) "yes" "click" "good boy", and reward. In your mind start timing a mental "no" when you get the undesired behavior. Later on thats going to be when you layer your correction in. Over a month or so do this 2000-3000 times, literally... Now your dog should know what's expected. Now once your sure he knows that releasing tension means good dog, you layer in a correction. Loose the harness and only use the prong. At the moment there is tension, he gets a "no" timed with a correction. Reward once tension is off. Strength of correction is relative to dogs drive/temperment (see article). Also you are now giving the word "no" meaning. Use this ideology for everything. Teaching down? Make sure he 100% knows down. Failure to comply? "No"- followed by correction. One day he will grab your sock and take off across the yard. You say "drop it". He laughs at you. Then you say "no, drop it". His mouth opens and the sock hits the ground. Thats the day to look forward too.

You always want to be fair with your dog. Correcting them when they don't know why they are getting corrected is unfair. With that being said, jumping on people, running for open doors, getting out of the car and bolting, IMO is time to use an automatic high level correction. For the time being, use the prong when unloading from a car, and let him self correct. Do not open that car door until you are 1000% you can control him. Do not open until lead is in hand. If he doesn't bolt, reward. When he's a little older, and your using only the prong, when you see him get ready to bolt, beat him to the punch. Solid "no" and use a heavy correction. For dangerous behaviors I would rather give one or two heavy corrections, versus a million nagging corrections, or even worse lose my dog.

Also please make sure the prong is on for every walk. I often see owners getting dragged around the parks. Ask me if the prong is why my dog is so well behaved on lead. I say, "yes and no". They then say "well we have a prong too, but we don't use it all the time..." I'm usally glad they don't because I'm sure its being used incorrectly anyway. Consistency with black and white expectations rules the world.

Don't leave prong on dog. If you have common home issues you can leave a 6-7 inch lead on the prong, supervised of course. and have easy access to a correction if need be.
 

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Fair.
Magnum came with HOLES in his neck that were spaced to align with the electrodes on the bark collar. These holes had some scabbing, some oozing, and some blistering. They were not puncture wounds. Near constant, repeated shocks will do damage.
Yes, the idiots that left the collar on him all the time were wrong. A very good example of improper use of a tool.
Are you still saying that the shock caused the damage? It's common knowledge and listed in every manual I have seen that says you need to rotate and remove any type of these collars often. If it's a bark, e-collar whatever. Damage is caused by irritation of the electrodes contacting the skin, not the shock itself.
 

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For my first post I forgot to mention- Please, please do not correct the dog when you ask them to do a command. Example- If I correct when I say "sit", rufus is now going equate a desired behavior to a correction. If I sit I get corrected and a reward? Odd... It is no longer black and white if we train that way. That's why we correct on "no". That's why I said spend a month or so giving mental corrections. Getting the timing is hard and takes practice. Unfair corrections are just that. Unfair.
 
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