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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2003, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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shock collars?

What do you guys think of shock collars? I am thinking of getting one for Cledus. I has just started chasing cars. But only the ones that leave my driveway, and the ones that leave a little store across the road. I need to stop this before he chases EVERY car. As much as I hate to tie him up, I have too, otherwise...well you know. So I got a 50 foot run for him, and connected to that is a 10 foot lead, so he can run back and forth. We let him off that in the afternoon when the store is closed. But he crosses the road to do his business in the neighbors yard But he is on the run all day. I want to get a shock collar and let him off when we are home and outside, and shock him when he startes to go across the road. You think that will work? You think after a while he will learn not to go near the road cause he doesn't want to get shocked. And I am hoping this will work, to where I do not need to have the run, and he will be afriad of getting shocked even if we are not here. What do you all think?


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2003, 12:21 AM
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Hi! I know this subject will probably spark some controversy, but here is my advice when it comes to "shock collars".

I have trained dogs using them, but before I ever put one on a dog *I* was trained first.
The collars of today have come a very long way. New technology has provided us with many options and when deciding to purchase and use one there are some things to take into serious consideration.

If a dog has a behavior issue that can endanger his life, put others in danger or has proven that other first line behavior modification techniques haven't worked I personally have no problem using a shock collar as a training tool. However, that is what it is, a *training tool*.

Do you use an invisible fence to contain him? If you do, he's already used to the correction from the containment collar and making use of the shock collar would probably be very effective and easy to use as a training tool, as you would have already gone through the training required to teach your dog to respect his invisible boundaries.

I hate calling them "shock collars" because as I mentioned, the collars on the market today offer a variety of very humane stimulations that are meant to get the dog's attention quickly and offer you the instant opportunity to correct the dog and modify the behavior.

A collar that gives a warning tone (beep) before the stimulus is one I would choose. Dogs differ in their tolerance to unpleasant physical stimulus (just like people do) and the collar should be adjustable to fit the dog's need.

When applied, the dog should never yelp out in pain. The correction should be an unpleasant *tingle*, enough to make his ears perk up, turn his head or take a step back. A verbal command should always be used at the exact time you give the correction. "No!" , at which point the dog hears the beep and usually 2 seconds later recieves the correction from the collar.
Just the *beep* alone will have no effect. One or two corrections is usually all it takes for the dog to learn to respond to the *beep* - and the collar can then be set to *beep* only -get his attention, verbally correct him and when he obeys the command, Praise! Praise! Praise!!

I have used the collar on myself just to feel what it's like. It is not pleasant. I liken it to a static electricity shock. You must bear in mind though that a dog's tolerance to pain is *much* greater than ours! They are wired differently and have a thick coat of fur.

An electronic correction collar must never be used on a dog under 6 months of age.

Before you put the collar on the dog you must be very confidant in your ability to understand how to use it.

Also bear in mind that dogs are very smart! They know when the collar is on they will recieve the correction and when it's not on- they won't! - Which is why it is so important for the dog to recieve consistant positive reinforcement and training sessions with you making it crystal clear what it is you expect from him. Teaching the *Come* command in all situations is so important. Even with the most enticing distractions, the dog must learn to stop instantly and "Come" when called.

All that said - Yes, I use them, have used them and in certain situations believe they can be very valuable training aids.

I was going to start a thread about Invisible Fencing and "shock collars" because I just started training my 6 month old Brittany with the Invisible Fencing - and will probably encorporate the shock collar shortly (for reasons I'll explain in a new thread).

The system I have is actually a "Contain and Train". It's the invisible fence that comes with a remote. The system can be set to "Contain" "Contain and Train" or just " Train" meaning I can take him anywhere and use the remote for correction.

I can go into more detail about training methods, the systems I prefer and why, or try to answer any questions you have. Just let me know! I've been doing this for almost 7 years. I feel I have to say this though:

I do not advocate the use of a shock collar for basic training! I do not believe anyone should just buy one, slap it on the dog and start correcting them without knowing exactly what they are doing, what the potential consequences might be and without fully researching the product, manufacturer, and exactly what kind of correction the dog will be recieving when you push that button on the remote! Please do your homework and consult with someone who will teach you how to use it properly.

(I didn't say that because I believe you would be irresponsible in any way shape or form... honest. It's just how I feel about this particular training device. I know you have Cledus's best interest at heart and I totally understand why you would choose to investigate this avenue!)

Please feel free to ask me anything - car chasing is a big deal and I would want to nip that behavior ASAP

I also am a firm believer that a dog should be fenced, be it an invisible fence, a physical barrier or a dog run, for his own protection as well as for your peace of mind. Again, please don't think I am being critical, I'm not. I don't know your particular situation and I do know that you love and want to protect Cledus.
I'm just passionate about this subject

A story to make a long post even longer ....
My brother-in-law had a much loved, prized hunting dog who was trained with an e-collar and invisible fence. Norman was one heck of a hunting dog, just awesome. He went to his friend's wedding in Alabama (from Michigan) who had a fenced in backyard. It was a 6 or 7 foot fence which is usually more than adequate. Norman (being a typical Brittany- they can climb like monkeys!) escaped from the fence. When they returned from the wedding, Norman was gone. They shortly found him dead on a nearby highway. This was 2 months ago and he's still so heartbroken over his loss. My point is- a dog can learn to respect that e-collar, not be harmed or hurt by it at all.... but it only takes one escape and one car .....



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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2003, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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I'm sorry if I have upset you in anyway, but I was not going to just go get one and slap it on him.
No, I do not have an invisible fence. My parents just can't afford it right now. But believe me if I could get one I would. I don't want to get a collar for him. But I just don't know what to do. And I feel bad keeping him on the run. I feel he needs to be able to run around, and be a puppy.
If you have any other means of keeping him off the road they will be greatly appreciated.
Your thought in the post are interesting.
I did train CLedus myself, and he knows how to come, but if he sees something that interests him, he will ignore me. And I'm sure that's my fault. But how can I get him to come to me even if he sees something?
Thank you!


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2003, 02:02 PM
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Oh gosh Please do not think that your post upset me in any way, shape or form.... it didn't! As I said up there, I think it's a great avenue to explore when it comes to keeping your dog safe!

When I said the things I did - I was in no way pointing a finger at you- honest! I wrote what I did in the general sense, just putting the information out there.
There are people who will just use an e-collar on a dog without understanding how and when to use it. Please know that I did not mean that you were one of them at all! I know you want the best for Cledus and that you asked the question to gather information. I was just putting my thoughts out there.
I use e-collars in my training! I will be using one with my hunting dog. There are just some commands that out in the field he *must* obey for his safety, and obey them first time, every time. *Come* is one of the major ones - and one of the toughest to get the dog to consistantly obey on your first verbal cue.

I understand what you mean about Cledus knowing *come* but if there are distractions- all bets are off!

I am going through that with Max now. He's 6 months old.
No- it's not your fault that Cledus doesn't obey commands when distractions are present- it's the nature of every dog! It's part of the learning process.

Please know that my post was not meant to imply that anything you are doing, or choose to do with Cledus is wrong- I didn't mean to upset you. I'm so sorry if I did.

I do believe that an e-collar can be a very valuable training tool- especially when you are dealing with an easily distractable, unpredictable dog and his safety is priority.

I am more than happy to give you as much information as I can in order to help you make the right decision - for *you* and for Cledus.

I'm going to post a separate reply with some suggestions on how to work with Cledus using the *come* command around distractions. I'm also going to include how to encorporate hand signals.

Oh gosh, I feel so bad that you thought I was upset and I feel so bad that I might have upset you


And give Cledus a belly scratch for me

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2003, 02:27 PM
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I've never heard of a shock collar before.

Tracey....


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2003, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Deja, I am not upset. I just thought you were. It's ok. Cledus said thanks for the belly rub! I am looking into the collars.
But I was talking with a friend earlier, and what is the difference between invisible fences and shock collars? The way he made it sound was the invisible fences beeps or shocks the dog when they get to close to it. And the collar I would have to shock him. I'm not sure.
But I am working with the "come" command with Cledus. And I am going to keep him on the run for now. Untill I can get either the collar or fence.
But I'm sorry you though your post upset me, because it didn't. Not at all! I just thought my very first post upset you. But thank you for all the information, it was very helpful. And I can't wait to read your other posts on collars, invisible fences, commands, etc. I think you are very informative. Makes me wish you were closer, so you could help me train Cledus.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 12:32 AM
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lyl, I'm sorry I haven't kept up on this thread and responded but I wanted to answer your question and explain Invisible Fencing and Shock Collars. While both tools work off the same principle there are vast differences in their operation. The correction should be a gentle and humane physical sensation that feels like tingling. The dog should never yelp out in pain. Proper stimulation should make the dog take a step back, perk his ears and turn his head (or a combination of any of these reactions). Know your dog and adjust accordingly.

(I know I've already said that in my previous post - I'm sorry for being so repetitive)

Invisible Fence
An invisible fence is a method of containment for your dogs.
Buried wire and a collar receiver will keep your dog safely inside your yard. The system consists of a wall-mounted transmitter connected to wire that runs one to two inches beneath the ground around the area in which you would like to contain your dog. The transmitter is like a radio and the wire would be its antenna. When the collar worn by the dog gets close to the wire, it picks up the signal put out by the transmitter and administers the correction. Training your dog to understand and respect his boundaries should be a gradual process. When the system is installed, bright orange flags about 24" tall are placed in the ground about three feet apart all around the area the dog is restricted to. Training begins with your dog on his leash and the collar in your hand walking the dog to each flag, swatting the flag with your hand and firmly saying "NO!". Systems with collars that deliver a warning tone and delay before the correction teach the dog to retreat when he hears the tone. Training should be fun and can be made into a game. It shouldn't be scary or make the dog fearful. Positive reinforcement in the form of enthusiastic verbal and physical praise should be consistant. Training will progresses gradually and consistantly and when your dog starts wearing the collar the correction prongs should be covered so that the dog recieves the audio correction tones only, with you reinforcing the verbal "NO!". The transmitter should be adjustable allowing for variable levels of stimulation. There is a lot more to training your dog on this type of containment system, but that's the *very basic* premise. It's not difficult at all but it's not instantaneous like putting up a real fence. Ultimately, the dog learns to respect his boundaries, the flags are gradually removed and your dog is safely contained. It should take roughly four weeks to do the basic training and then the flags can be removed slowly, every other flag every week until the dog doesn't rely on the visual reminder and he's been safely trained and contained.

E-Collar (shock collar)
This system consists of an electronic collar worn by the dog and a remote control unit held in your hand and operated by you. They can be rechargeable or standard battery operated. The remote unit should be able to be set to give a warning tone followed by a delay before the correction, and a setting for warning tone only. The strength of the correction should be adjustable. They are used as training tools only.

I think I covered the basics, and the differences between the two devices. Let me know if I can answer any questions you have or if I confused the heck out of you

I don't know if I am allowed to mention the name of the manufacturer I prefer and why I prefer them. I'd suggest doing a google search on both products (invisible fencing and electronic training collars) and researching them. There is a lot of information out there. There is also a lot of confusing information out there Just let me know if I can clear up any questions you may think of when you start investigating them.

Gads, I'm so long winded...

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 12:54 AM
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-30-2003, 01:57 AM
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Thanks Becki! I'll just blather on some more....

I like Innotek products. Their customer service is outstanding. They offer a huge variety of systems that meet every need.
Their prices are very reasonable.

They also offer top notch field and hunting dog remote devices. Max is being trained for upland game hunting.

I've owned several Innotek training products and I've never been unhappy with them.

When Max joined our family we knew we had to upgrade to a 2 dog system. This company made it so easy for us! Max is now just over 6 months old and was ready to start training on the new invisible fence.
I'm happy to report that Max now has an acre to run around and play with Jack on. He was so easy to train. He learned to avoid the flags in two sessions- without recieving a correction from the collar. Jack just had to learn he had a much larger area to run around on. He was trained on the system when he was 6 months old. He's an old man- old pro now
We've progressed to the point where I can open the door and let both dogs out and know they won't break the barrier. The flags are still up, and I'm going to leave them up for another month before I start removing them.
You have no idea what a relief it is for me to be able to go out and work them on my schedule... but let them in and out at will without me having to walk Max on the leash every single time he wanted out.
Some days I am just too stiff to move! With the brutal cold on it's way I am so happy not to have to endure midnight walks in the freezing cold or rain. I can maybe avoid falling down so often?
Their fence collars come off after the last outing of the night and get put back on before the first outing in the morning. We ran the wire around the entire house so that they are safe wherever they are inside and I don't have to take the collars on and off every time they go out or come in. I never crate them with the collar on - it's just not a good idea, so the collars come of if I leave the house because the dogs get crated.

Max actually made us laugh hysterically when he got his first correction... he was sniffing the ground working the yard in typical zig-zag fashion... he got too close to the wire and was so into whatever he was smelling he didn't retreat fast enough on the beep. His ears perked up - he turned around and stared at us... then lowered his head in the direction of the underground wire, stood there and glared at it! It was as if he was sure some strange magic came out of the ground He's recieved two corrections... that's it!

OK, I'm done foaming at the mouth See how I can prattle on? Can you shut me up please? Thanks!

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