shock collars

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CarelessEthiopian
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shock collars

Post by CarelessEthiopian » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:33 am

Clyde Dog has a few bad habits and I got him a shock collar so we could try make him better behaved. Be aware that I am not an experienced dog owner. Clyde is my first dog. Most of training advice I get is from my wife, who has had dogs her whole life. She's a pretty good trainer as far as I can tell. She takes part in training my dog, as well. We have been using the e-collar for about a week now and have noticed improvement.

Some of the things we are trying to fix are bolting out the front door, not minding commands when he knows what we want, barking when guests knock on the door and enter the house, and aggression toward strangers, especially men. The bolting and minding are getting a lot better. He knows "heel", "come", "sit", "down", "stay back", etc. With his collar on he does well and I don't usually have to zap him, even on a low setting. The aggression is not coming along as well. He is protective. It's worse when we are walking at night. Off leash he will charge people and will only be stopped by hitting him with the collar on it's highest setting. Even then, he continues to bark and appear menacing. This makes me look like a pretty big asshole walking down the street and I would like to prevent that. I think he's making a little progress there, but it's tough to test it out without potentially putting a stranger in harm's way.

I have a Sportdog 1225 e-collar. It has 8 settings of continuous or 1/10 second stimulation. We typically use it on 4 or 5, where I can see a reaction from the dog but he doesn't yelp. If he doesn't listen after I zap him, I'll turn it up. On 7 or 8 he yelps, which I understand is not the best way to do things. I've hit him with full power twice. And so you know, I have done it to myself also to see how it feels.

So I'm asking you guys for tips and tricks. Anything I'm doing wrong or could be doing differently? Anything I'm overlooking completely? Criticism is welcome as long as you don't hurt my tender feelers. One specific question I have is how is water going to affect things? While fishing, Clyde will sometimes charge a hooked fish and spook the pool. I can't stop him verbally. If he is wet or standing in the water do I need to dial back on the power?

Also welcome is any advice on how I can use a shock collar on Raffa.

I read most of this thread and a few other snippets, but it wasn't much help. Mildly entertaining, though.

http://www.drakemag.com/message-boards/ ... 8&start=48

Thanks guys.
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RFA
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Re: shock collars

Post by RFA » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:07 pm

The trick is, do not use the collar to hurt, but to train. Put it on the lowest setting(which is an annoying buzz to him, not painful), then have the dog on a short leash. Have constant pressure on the button, and say come, pulling him slowly around. As soon as he starts moving toward you, let off the button. Continue this, and he will naturally start coming in a week of training or so. This is the basis of all your training.

Once he has this down, you can turn up the setting and wait for a situation that he is jacked and not listening. If he is running at something, say come and light him up. He will quickly learn to associate you and the collar with things not to do. In the case of rattlesnakes, skunks, it's best to light the dog up if he is moving towards them. He will associate the pain with that animal, and stay away from them in the future because he doesn't want to feel that again.

In fact, when you take your dog to rattlesnake class, they put a rattlesnake (fangs removed) in the grass, and have you walk your dog towards it. As soon as the snake starts to rattle, they fry the shit out of your dog on a high setting. They then repeat this process with a snake with the rattle removed. As soon as the dog gets the scent of the snake and starts getting interested, they light him up again. That's it. The dog will never go near a rattlesnake again.

The most important thing to remember is that it isn't a tool to hurt the dog. You get people out in the field that are constantly nailing their dogs - this means they are not well trained. A well trained dog should heel to the warning buzzer.
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Re: shock collars

Post by Spudnik » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:28 pm

I'll come out of retirement for this one, as I hate to see a dog get any undue punishment.

First of all, and this may be fucked already, let Clyde dog wear the collar for a month or so without ever shocking him. That way, he won't associate the collar with the pain. If you've already shocked him, let off for a long while. Keep the collar on him, don't use it. If he associates the collar with the pain, he'll only mind you when the collar is on. Bad habits continue. My pup wore a collar for 3 full months before I ever shocked her. When I grab the collar, she knows we're going for a run or fishing or hunting and actually gets excited. The collar is associated with good things, not bad.

The charging people thing is a tough one. He's being aggressive, he perceives the person as a threat, and barks at them. Then BAM, he gets zapped - guess what? You just validated that the person was, in fact, a threat. I'm no expert, but I had a buddy with a real aggressive dog and the only thing that helped was socialization and time. Aggressiveness is a sign of a poorly socialized dog, and I know Clyde was rescued, so it ain't your fault. Just keep on working with Clyde around people.

Don't worry about the water. I've zapped my 40lb. Brittany on a high level while she was soaking wet, chasing a deer and she yelped and ran right through it. I've also flipped her head-over-heels on full strength with a continuous pulse while chasing jack rabbits. Dogs are tougher than they look. 6 is my typical get-a-fucking-response-now level. 10 is used to break habits that are simply unacceptable. Fucking amazing really, cause full strength gets me to blow a load instantly. But that's none of your business.

Good luck. The aggressiveness is going to be hard. Some people don't like happy-go-lucky dogs, but all it means is that they are well socialized. Clyde will come around, it'll just take time.
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Re: shock collars

Post by CarelessEthiopian » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:26 pm

I should have made this clear ealier, but I am defintiely not out to hurt my dog and I try to zap him as little as possible and on the lowest setting possible. When I hit him on 4 or 5 he blinks is eyes, shakes his head and listens to commands. Any lower settings get no response.

I did not give him a period to acclimate to wearing the collar, but he is definitely associating it with positive things. He gets excited when I put it on because he knows he's going outside. When I'm around he wears the collar at all times, in or out of the house. My wife is not on the same page, but is coming around. I like to have it on him inside to work on the barking at visitors to our door.

His attitude toward strangers has changed over the last year. When we first got him he was very shy around everyone. Then he became more friendly, eager to meet new people. Now that he has settled in, he's getting protective. I'd consider him pretty well socialized. He meets new people and dogs all the time, be it at the house or when we are out. The agression seems to come out most when we are out for a pee on the street in front of our house. I'm confident things will get better, but as Taternaut said, it will take time. Overall Clyde's a real good boy and pretty smart. These are relatively minor issues but if I can nip them in the bud he can be an ever better dog.
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Re: shock collars

Post by Spudnik » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:28 pm

Weird about the attitude change. He's just getting increasingly more protective of his pack. That's probably something from puppyhood that ain't gonna change quick.

Don't be a pussy about zapping him as little as possible. When he disobeys, zap him. Better than punching him. It's a tool to enforce commands is pretty much what it comes down to. Also, and I should've mentioned this earlier, zapping him will do no good unless he knows exactly why he is getting zapped. You can't teach commands with a shock collar, only enforce them.
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Re: shock collars

Post by SLSS » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:00 pm

I think the other thing to try in the house is to leave a leash on him, so you can grab and correct him easily. Just let him drag it around, when he barks, grab it, give it a quick tug and an NO. The shock collar is more convenient, but I'm not sure better.

The other thing I heard about recently was teaching them to bark on command, with treats, so that then you have an obvious opposite to work towards. A sign for bark, another for quiet. I haven't bothered with it, because one of the benefits of having them is people know there's something big and scary in the house, and it make both my wife and I feel better when I'm on the road.

I've given up for now walking them off leash when we go to town. On a leash they are both really well behaved, but on our daily walks, the reality is they know they have some slack. The one think I try to keep in reserve is NO. If I say it, and they don't respond, they get one more. If that doesn't work, I walk them down. Finn learned a s a puppy there's just no point. But we got Uly when eh was 120 lbs, so it has been this winter that I've really worked on it. He was chewing a coyote rib, I told him to drip it, he looked at me and went back to chewing. I told him, NO, same thing. One more and the walking commenced. About 20 minutes of herding him, across fields, through woods. He doesn't want to run away, he just wants to do his thing. So I keep on him. He isn't tired, you can just see his will begin to collapse. Eventually he sat, dropped on his side, and rolled over as I walked up. I pressed down on his neck and made mean noises. Now he drops things when I tell him. There was no real punishment or physical stuff involved, just will.

Uly is my third dog. My wife grew up with dogs, but my idea of nightmare dogs. Let them out the back door in the morning, two days later the dog is back with a deer leg. Haha, isn't that cute. And her father beat the dogs as well as the kids. So she's not quick to want to discipline, but real quick to defend and/or get int he way of anything she imagines could go physical. It's just hard wired in her. It's taken lots of conversations and her going to dog obedience with them, for her to decide some training is a good idea. We are mostly on the same page now. Mostly. Probably as much as it's possible for a couple to be about dogs.

The aggression towards others folks, I don't know. I would feel like I had to keep him on a leash til I was past positive that it wasn't a problem. Our first dog was very aggressive towards small dogs, and didn't like little kids once ours were bigger. She didn't get the chance to misbehave. Not the dog I had in mind, but that's life.
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Re: shock collars

Post by Average Joe » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:58 pm

Someone once told me that if you want your dog to stop barking every time someone comes to the house you need to get a post office box and cancel your garbage service.

The theory is that every time someone delivers your mail or picks up your garbage, they mess around with your mailbox and garbage cans and make a lot of noise. The dog interprets this as someone trying to break in and barks in response. Once the mailman delivers your mail and the garbage man picks up your trash, they go on their way. The dog thinks, "My barking scared them off. I'm a fucking stud." Mail delivery and garbage service usually happen frequently enough that the dog becomes convinced that his barking is what makes these intruders go away. But who really knows what the fuck they're thinking.

When we first got our rescue dog, he liked to bolt out the front door, so one day I tied one end of a long leash to the sofa leg and the other end to his collar. Then I opened the front door, told him to stay, and walked away. My wife wasn't happy about the broken lamp, and there's still a big crack in the door jamb, but he hasn't bolted since. Even so, I wouldn't recommend this as a training method.
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CarelessEthiopian
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Re: shock collars

Post by CarelessEthiopian » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:21 pm

We don't have mail delivery or garbage pickup, but we plenty of activity outside our door and lots of company coming in. He's getting better with it. He knows that he's supposed to lay down by the fireplace until he is invited to say hi.

Clyde has made more progress with the bolting out the door than anything else. He bolts to see if the neighbor's cat is sitting on the porch but we are worried about him running into the street. He's getting it, though.

AJ, cute pup. Reminds me of the greatest fishing dog I've ever known.

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If Clyde can be half the dog that Caddis was, I will have succeeded.
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Re: shock collars

Post by RFA » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:48 pm

CE - I didn't think you were out to hurt your dog. Many people just use their dog's collars the wrong way (not saying that is you either).

My advice - get a book on it. I just started training my B&T Coonhound, which is why I piped in. My other two dogs were never trained in the correct manner, and I regret that. They missed out on a lot of opportunities with me because they were too much of a pain in the ass due to a lack of training. That was 100% my fault.

Spud is right though, dogs should be exicited to wear the collar - they associate it with walks, birds, etc. I hope to get it right this time.

A few months of training will give you a decade of good behavior.
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Re: shock collars

Post by Randall Dee » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:18 pm

Shock collar. Shame on you, might as well just beat him with a stick. Alright, I'm joking. I think if used properly that they are a great tool but like spud says they have to know what they're being corrected for or it's a bust.

I was sitting eating my lunch at a public park quite a few years back watching a guy work some dogs in obedience. I could tell that he knew what he was doing. It ended up that he was a college professor and a Harvard grad. Pretty smart guy. Dog training was a serious hobby for the guy and a side business for him so i starting doing sessions with him. I didn't agree with all of the methods but for the most part they were all pretty solid. He followed some German method. I forget the name but still have the guys book. Anyway, the guy was big on setting up situtions for failure so that you could immediately correct and give the dog a chance to get it right and a chance for the dog to understand what you expected.

For instance the scerario you mention about Clyde bolting through doors was the very first thing the guy taught me to correct. Our very first session we met at the park. He told me if i got there before him to not let white dog out of the car or her crate until he arrived. After we chatted for a few minutes we got started. He went to open the door to let Abby out and as soon as the door cracked she made her move to bolt and he was ready and slammed the door in her face. Second time same thing. She'd try to bolt and he'd slam the door before she got a chance. It only took a few times. By about the 4th time he opened the door and she just sat there. When she got it right she was lavished with praise. I've tried and this technique works whether it's a door at home or a fence gate or a car door.

All the technigues were fairly similar. Set up a scenario for failure, correct and give the dog an opportunity to get it right and then lavish praise. Always end on a positive.

As far a Clyde busting out a head of you and terrorizing people, I'm gonna bust your balls a little on that one. It's obviously just my opinion but if he's doing that then he has no business being off the leash in that situation. For the first 2 years after i got white dog lead work is pretty much all we worked. That and the recall.

For beginning lead (leash) work get yourself a 10' lead and a pincher collar. Spend the money on a good pincher collar with the rounded pincher ends. The cheaper ones will have a sharper more abrupt edge at the end of the pinchers. Go to a public park or somewhere where there will be plenty of things to distract Clyde and work him on the 10 foot lead. Everytime he gets distracted you turn and bolt in the opposite direction. He'll get jerked around and after a while he'll learn that he needs to pay attention to you and not the shit that's going on around him. Remember to lavish the praise when he gets its right. With this technique you just keep upping the levels of distraction. The guy I use to work with would bring one of his dogs and make it sit. His dog would just sit there and I would have to heal white dog right next to it. She was just a puppy and would want to stop and play. As soon as she got distracted i abruptly changed directions. They pick it up pretty quick. Eventually you move to a shorter lead and work on all the heal work. To this day white dog does really well off lead but most of the time when i walk her she's on lead. In the city it only takes one little distraction like a cat or squirrel and they're bolting in front of a car and dead. I suspect if you're allowing Clyde to be out in front of you then he may be seeing himself as pack leader and being more protective.

The only other thing I'lll add is to use a corrective word on the negatives. Like on the lead work when you are corrrecting. "No" is a word that ends up getting used too much sometimes and after a while it stops meaning anything. When i got white dog my kids were still pretty young and I figured they might be saying "no Abby" a lot and eventually it would be meaningless so whenever I correct her I use "OUT". But it can be any word you choose.

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Re: shock collars

Post by austrotard » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:20 pm

does clyde still have his bollocks?

I forgot to look the last time I was around those parts.
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Re: shock collars

Post by CarelessEthiopian » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:49 pm

I agree with setting the dog up for failure and lavishing with praise when he gets it right. That's pretty much how we are trying to do things. Right now we are doing some work on a lead and some off. Maybe that's not a good idea. I also agree on not using "no" all the time. We have kind of an "uh-uh" sound that we use instead.

Randall Dee wrote:It's obviously just my opinion but if he's doing that then he has no business being off the leash in that situation.
You are absolutely correct. As his owner, I am being irresponsible.


Shawn. No balls. There's a joke there somewhere but I'm kind of brain dead at the moment.
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