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e-collar experts - advice requested

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  • #21
    But Salo, I see the same problem (and I don't disagree with you that many people lack the timing to properly use an e-collar and so shouldn't) with any tool with dogs, right down to regular, chain and prong collars. From everything the OP said, she's likely to be the right kind - doing her research, consulting with experts in person, etc.

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    • #22
      E-collar, wireless fence system, prong collar and choke chain/collar (without stopper) is banned in Austria. OP says her dog tends to panic easily so I'd prefer a long leash/drag line.

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      • #23
        Would it really be so difficult to just use a leash in your situation?
        A fearful dog + an electric shock collar seems like a bad combination to me!
        "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Salo View Post
          E-collar, wireless fence system, prong collar and choke chain/collar (without stopper) is banned in Austria. OP says her dog tends to panic easily so I'd prefer a long leash/drag line.
          I think that's a bit of silly legislative overkill. There is nothing inherently bad about prong collars or choke collars either. You can't legislate to prevent "stupidity" or "cruelty". Stupid or cruel people will find new ways to be stupid or cruel.

          Bottom line is there is no perfect solution for all dogs. Even solid fences, as some breeds can jump them and others can tunnel under. A fearful dog dragging a long line might also panic.

          In some cases, the best answer is not to bring the dog. (E.g. when people ask how to control their dogs while they are riding. Answer: leave them home.) This may be one of those solutions. Or, an e-collar might prove to be an amazing tool. But it's really impossible to speculate without knowing the dog or the handler. A GPS collar with stim options could be a worthwhile purchase. If the e-collar feature doesn't work well, the GPS feature is still worth having.

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          • #25
            It avoids that a majority thinks it is fine because it is easy to buy and available for everyone without a (good!) trainer being involved. Dog training is not about short ways and this is the message. Market influences mentality - e.g. chicken battery cages are banned in Austria for a long time now. The consumers awareness totally changed. This has an impact.
            Stupid people will find stupid ways to train a dog - of course. But dog training methods changed within the last decades. What people observe, what people find desirable in dog training changed.
            A fearful dog with a long line might panic - but the dog will not escape and run away blindly and confused, because I hold the end of the leash. A dog in fear often is not reachable/responsive at all, so protection is the most important thing during - months of - training.
            Don't get me wrong, I can handle a chain collar, but for 'my whole life' I saw - I'd say - 90% of people not even able to put it on the dog in the correct way/right way around, so it's not only useless, it can be harmful.So if these 90% now buy a regular collar or harness - fine.
            Last edited by Salo; Jun. 13, 2019, 08:35 AM.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Salo View Post
              A fearful dog with a long line might panic - but the dog will not escape and run away blindly and confused, because I hold the end of the leash.
              Ok, this is different than what I was imagining. Often people let the dog drag a check cord which could cause a dog to try to run away from it.

              As for collars and harnesses - an alternative therapies vet in my area says people do more damage to their dogs with flat collars than any other type of collar. The dog can (and does) lean and pull, causing all kinds of neck and back problems, laryngeal damage, etc. Harnesses have their own issues with shoulder restriction, etc.

              A flat buckle collar may not look as "cruel" or immediately dangerous as a prong collar, but they are every bit as dangerous or more so.

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              • #27
                I am not a fan of harness, not because I find the idea bad at all, but because most of them do not fit correctly. So I am absolutely aware of the cons. My dogs do not pull, I don't get why people are discussing this with their dogs for months or years ;-). So many dog owners are lifeless and without any feeling for timing, it's insane.
                Personally my dogs wear the collar I grab. They know how to walk in a leash without drama and run free wherever it is allowed. But yeah, I put a lot of effort in these hairy beasts, no matter if foster dogs or my own.

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                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  Originally posted by Saskatoonian View Post
                  Agreed with S1969. My little old lady panicked badly during thunderstorms and I'm positive a zap wouldn't have gotten through to her. I'd worry about the opposite. The garmin told me which direction she was headed and how fast, and let me find her. It was a miracle. (Cell service doesn't matter - ours is lousy.)
                  I'm not at all tech savvy - how does a GPS collar work without cell service?

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                  • #29
                    Because it "talks" to satellites, not cell towers. http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=55

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                    • #30
                      S1969 with the best response.

                      Ive used ecollars for years on all of my dogs. My working dogs go bonkers when they see me grab a collar. Used correctly they know that means something fun is going to happen.

                      That said an abundance of factors can influence success. Training has to be there. Has to be consistent. Dog needs to understand the rules. Don’t cheap out you need good quality equipment. Try it on yourself first.

                      Best case work with a trainer that can help you. Timing and reading your dog is crucial.
                      "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by ynl063w View Post
                        I'm looking for information regarding when an e-collar is a good idea and when it's a bad idea, and what type of personality in a dog it works for, and what type it might not work so well for. I will not base my decision to get one or not based solely on the responses here; if it sounds as though it might be an option for me I will pursue additional information from local experts. I'm just interested in hearing from dog owners who chose to use these, or chose not to use them, and why that is. Thanks in advance.


                        I've used the Dogtra 1900s on five of my six dogs. They are Anatolian Shepherds, Kangal and Turkish Boz Shepherd working livestock guardian dogs. Of the five, three do very well with the collar and two do not do well AT ALL. A good quality electronic collar is a great teaching tool if the dog make the connection between the vibration (rarely ever have to use shock only if the dog is killing a chicken and won't release or lunging at a human on the other side of the fence) and the requested behavior. The collar made a great dog out of a wild, unmanageable young dog that took me to the edge of insanity and probably saved him from being sold at one point, two years ago. He is such an excellent LGD now. So, like with everything, it depends. A quality collar, consistency, a realistic understanding of the situation and a dog with the right understanding of the correction it is receiving and the behavior it is engaging in. Ironically, the collar does better with my more high strung,non-listening, hard- to- train dogs. The two that do not respond to it are more aloof and more responsive to my voice (half the time).
                        Caring for Clifford, my big red dog and assorted monkeys, I mean goats. Protected by a few loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Kangals.

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                        • #32
                          Bumping this up to thank all of the participants of this thread for their responses. Reading this discussion solidified my decision to try an e-collar (a Dogtra 1900) on my super high-energy, super prey-drivey island dog. This is a dog who has broken out of prong collars, who has chewed through every front-clip harness I tried, and who, up till now, could only be walked on a chain leash as she would bite through any non-metal lead if I was distracted for 2 seconds.

                          And wow, best decision I have made. Within 2 weeks of consistent use I can get solid recall off leash in 90% of distracting situations. The the other 10% involve loose goats, and I'm not sure we'll ever get past that. It works best as a "tap, tap, tap - hey lady I am still here and you have to pay attention" when she's blowing through my verbal commands because something distracted her. I usually don't even have to go past the vibrate setting to change her mind about ignoring me, but its nice to have a higher emergency jolt to use (if she's caught a goat, which, unfortunately has happened a couple of times)

                          Currently we are working on a better heel when approaching strange dogs or potential furry snacks and I use the vibrate command as a reminder that her eyes are on me, and not on the crazy dog barking across the street. Like everyone here said, timing is everything, but boy is this collar useful!

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                          • #33
                            We adopted a dog from a rescue where the founder trained field trial dogs. Every rescue dog is trained to an e collar. IT.IS.WONDERFUL! MY dog is hardly ever on a leash and comes within seconds of being called. I usually use the vibrate setting if he is not paying attention. I have shocked him probably less then five times in three years. He is perfectly happy with his collar and when I use the vibrate feature, he happily comes running. When we adopted him, we had to attend several training classes before we took him home so we knew how to use the collar correctly. They stressed it was never to be used as punishment and never on a high setting unless he was heading toward a busy road. I would not hesitate to have another dog trained with one.

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