New e-collar and nervous about how to move forward.

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by Lives_to_hunt, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Lives_to_hunt

    Lives_to_hunt Elite Refuge Member

    May 30, 2000
    NW Oregon
    I previously (15 years ago) trained a dog and did really well just using the book “game dog”. The current dog is a 1 year old intact male. He’s got good drive but I ended up traveling a lot for business over the last year so the training was not very consistent. He’s doing pretty well but will not always listen when in the field and I feel like we could benefit from an e-collar so I picked up a Dogtra 1900s but now I’m not sure where to go from here. I want to let him know that I can reach out and correct but am unsure how to use it without screwing him up somehow. Can someone describe how and when to use something above the very lowest levels. There are tons of videos that show how to find the dog’s lower threshold but not really how and when to use stronger corrections. Any input is welcome...
  2. teul2

    teul2 Senior Refuge Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Carroll County, MS
    Start with your self.
    There is a video, Bill Hillmann's traffic cop I think, he explains how to know where you should be operating your collar. Set the collar to the lowest setting it has, put your fingers on the contacts, and hit it. You should barely be able to feel it. Then incrementally increase the setting, testing it on yourself. At probably the 3rd setting there should be enough stimulation that your fingers jump off the contacts, but it doesn't really cause pain. That is where you want your correction stimulation to be.

    Of course he explains it much better than I do. And I promise I have been MUCH nicer with the collar since I did this exercise.
    Lives_to_hunt likes this.
  3. Labsforme

    Labsforme Senior Refuge Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Mission Valley,Mt
    Fowl Dawgs, Lardy TRT, and Smartworks are good step by step programs. Get with a local club as well. Oregon Retriever Training Club, Oregon Hunting Retriever Club, Willamette Ret Club, Rose City Ret Club etc.
    Lived there for 28 years before moving 2 years ago to Mt. Don't use the collar until you know what you are doing. Train, train, train first!!!!

    Jeff G
    Lives_to_hunt likes this.
  4. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Senior Refuge Member

    Feb 15, 2011
    What you use a collar for is reinforceing commands already known and then only on lowest setting to gain their attention. As stated earlier test it on your fingers . first couple settings on mine I can,t even feel it but dog can. Setting 2 is all I,ve ever had to use on last 2 I,ve trained while using collar and generally it stays set on setting 1 and sometimes tone.You can introduce dog to collar as simple as lowest setting on sit command as long as dog knows command. Do not get pissed at animal and burn it as ol timers use to say. Hurting dog is not the point of using an e collar.
  5. Doc E

    Doc E Elite Refuge Member

    Sep 6, 2000
    Colville WA USA
    Get on a good, proven, sequential Training Program.
    Personally, I like Smartwork best.
    PLUS, the author (Evan Graham) posts here on this forum.

    Hogleg and Lives_to_hunt like this.
  6. KwickLabs

    KwickLabs Elite Refuge Member

    May 11, 2001
    Roscoe, IL
    Well, to be perfectly "frank", you can't get all the way there from here. :reader Reading a program is not
    necessarily going to teach you how to train. In order to teach/train a retriever one must be taught
    how to "get there". Now there are some that are perfectly capable of being "self-taught", but it is not
    that simple. :h

    Therefore, there are three critical steps/choices to make. 1) Pick a program, 2) find a mentor that
    that can teach you "how to teach/train" using "that" program and 3) avoid advice from those that
    do not know your skill level, the program you are using or the potential of the dog in question. :yes

    To finish on a more positive is not rocket science. :no
  7. EvanG

    EvanG Elite Refuge Member

    Mar 5, 2002
    Kansas City, Mo
    I appreciate that you're trying to do the right thing with your dog. As someone mentioned earlier, an e-collar reinforces commands that were previously taught, so it's best to understand up front that they are tools. They do not train your dog, and are not a substitute for following a process of training that includes the following:
    • Teach
    • Force
    • Reinforce
    You may not understand that clearly at first, but as much as anything that's what a good program should do for you; make the essentials clear. No matter what you plan to do with your dog, you should give him a solid and thorough course in formal Basics. That's not the general term it once was. It is, in fact, very specific.
    1. Formalized Obedience; Here, Sit, Heel, and so on, formalized with the temperate use of pressure.
    2. Force Fetch: All the steps of the modern method through Force to Pile
    3. Basic Handling: 3-handed casting, Mini-T, Single T, and Double T
    4. Water Force & Swim-by
    That is formal Basics. On that foundation you can build the most completely trained retriever you ever dreamed of, and you most certainly can do it yourself. In that process your program should show you, both in text and on video, how to e-collar condition your dog so he understands thoroughly what e-stimulus means, and how it should be reacted to.

    The over arching theme of Basics is conditioning to pressure. The result is not only a dog that has been taught the fundamentals of his life's work, but that is stable and reliable at them. Give him those things and he will give you back a lifetime of the finest memories afield you'll ever have. Best of luck always.

    Mr_Mallard and Doc E like this.

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