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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My question for all of you experts out there, is E-Collars a must in training? I have a 4 month old lab and she seems to be doing pretty good in her trainining so far. If they are a must when should they be introduced? I guess I am a little nervous about useing them on her, I have never used one before. So far, a stern voice and a pat on the rear seems to get the point across to her. Any advice would be great. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did not see the earlier post on E-Collars before I asked my question. Then after reading my question again, I really did not like how I asked the question. I guess what I would like to know is at what point in training does one consider using an E-Collar. I understand that it is to be used to help enforce what the dog already knows, so would it be a last resort to start using one, if all else fails or should it be introduced at the first sign of problems?
 

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I'm going to simply address the question as you originally asked it.

"E-Collars when and why?"

WHEN: As soon as the pup is physically mature enough to wear one without being encumbered by it, mine begin wearing one in training. At around 4 months old we CC-to-"Here". Only that command for now, and we do not pressure condition at that point.

WHY: The same reason any aversive enforcement is used in training. Tools of enforcement are used to apply pressure. We use pressure in dog training to change behvior. The best trainers don't use more pressure than needed, but also don't use less. By that, I mean they get the behavior change without nagging.

The e-collars of today are highly flexible, and all have one universal advantage over all other forms of aversive implements: timing. Timing is a big issue in dog training, either with correction or in the case of praise. Both are more effective when timed accurately.

If you plan to use one, get a sound method of training that includes significant instruction for it, and study it well prior to use. Goosehunterdog can fix you up with a sound course in training, as well as a good e-collar, and at an excellent price. He also offers some of the best service in the business.

Good luck,

EvanG
 

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jpncamo said:
I understand that it is to be used to help enforce what the dog already knows, so would it be a last resort to start using one, if all else fails or should it be introduced at the first sign of problems?
I'm gonna add to what Darin and Evan said cause I hear myself in your question from a few years ago.

Don't think of the e-collar as a tool to 'correct' or manage a problem. The collar, as Evan explained, is a means to deliver stimulation with precise timing to enforce and re-enforce desired behaviour. By correct use of a collar dogs also learn to 'turn-off' and avoid stimulation by completing a known task or command with intensity.

You use the e-collar as a training tool when the command is being done correctly to begin with. It is a mental tool that conditions the dog for a consistent response.

When Darin (goosehunterdog) stated use of a collar 'before' any problems he was correct. Proper collar conditioning resets the dog's thinking to some extent which allows you to control behaviour in a positive way before the dog begins to do things 'their way'. And ALL dogs are born to want to do things their way!

At 4 months your dog is probably an angel. Over the next 8 months the dog will begin to establish independence and commands that seem 'golden' today may not be so golden anymore. Dogs push for their order and are not built to 'please' anyone than themselves (truth be told).

Collar conditioining and collar use can put your training at a much higher level (and you'll have a happier dog) if done correctly. Conditioning the response has huge benefits are you move into more formal OB training and are introducing your dog to hunting situations where full control over their actions can mean life and death.

The choice to use a collar has nothing to do with whether a dog has problems or not with behaviour or obedience but proper use CAN avoid those issues later.
 

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I commend you Al,
That was one of the best explanations of why and why not to use an e-collar I've ever read. :thumbsup:
 

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Great explanations, but I personally think that 4mo is WAY to young. The pup should be learning independence and in my opinion is no where near mature enough for an e-collar----At that age it is really more of a convenience of not having to run after the pup at night when it decides it does not want to come in yet.

I personally do not introduce the collar till at least 8mo. (not that I dont want to but......)
 

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Thanks Bryan - hopefully it made sense. I think collars are still largely misunderstood. I know they are to the general population cause when I have my dog at the park and people see him with a collar on they assume he's a wild man when in reality he's the best trained dog in the park (with or without a collar on). When I strap the collar on he knows it's time to go do something fun. :thumbsup:

I agree with mfetter on age appropriate use. Some good trainers can work a dog into the collar at 4/5 months but we should all be enforcing commands at the 4 month mark as much as possible via leash or checkcord. It's amazing how smart you have to be to think like a dog. :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone who replied. This is some good information. HNTFSH thank you for your explanation, I was one of those people who had that misconception that E-collars were for disobediant dogs, you cleared that right up in your post, thank you.
 
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