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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sami is a large lab who knows what she is supposed to do BUT sometimes chooses not to. Occasionally, and often unpredictably, she will bolt, going next door to visit the neighbor. Our yard is not fenced and does not lend itself to an invisible fence.

A recommended trainer in the area wants $250 an hour - 8 hour minimum - for ecollar training. Not ready for that.

I have the .mini-Educator, and Sami knows to come when I tap the "stimulate" button (level 10). At this stage of training, I only recall her when she is paying attention and there are few distractions.

I've watched a number of YouTube ecollar training videos, but I haven't found one that I felt did a thorough job.

Does anyone know of a YouTube trainer that does a great job explaining ecollar recall?
Thanks -
Dick
 

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Dick. Your dog is a Labrador Retriever. Put a baggie of snacks in your pocket and shake it while calling her. Use an excited puppy voice. You don't need to zap a lab with electricity to teach recall.
 

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Sophisticated e-collar training isn't something you can learn from a video. You really do need a good, in-person trainer for it. It's more than just zapping the dog when they don't obey a cue for whatever reason. And since none of the people I've worked with use e-collars, I wouldn't even begin to try recommending anyone's videos

That said, I agree with parus that Labs are usually very food motivated, and between consistently using treats and maybe a long line, it should be pretty easy to train a recall. And that, I can recommend a video for. Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - LS165: How to Train Your Dog to Come: Reliable Recall Training
 
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What about your yard prevents you from putting up a fence? I get that they are expensive, $28 per foot, for 215 feet of fence is what I did. It does more than keep the dogs in, it provides a nice private backyard...... worth every penny....

I’m sure some exist, but I haven’t seen many dogs that can just go outside unsupervised for hours at a time, with no way to keep them from chasing something off-property
 

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Let me start by saying I use an e collar in training and make no excuses for it. Just because the dog wears it does not mean I always need to stim him. In fact, it is only there for the rare times he blows off a command cue that he absolutely knows and has been proofed everywhere.

I also have this collar on my dog when I hike as there are deer, he has high prey drive and if he did not recall he would likely run himself to death (either exhaustion or hit by a car etc.). FWIW he wears it while we hike but has recalled perfectly around deer... So the stim is there if I need it but I have not needed to in months.

I learned how to use the e collar from people who were experienced. Recall training in a dog that has been trained AND proofed so we all know what "Here!" means has been my experience. This recall training requires a fenced yard or tennis court or ball field. It also requires perfect timing of the stim (so the dog associates the stim with his behavior as opposed to something in the environment) and lots of great food rewards and a ton of positivity.

You should not attempt to train this in your unfenced yard.
 

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$2.50 worth of cut up chicken wieners, along with 8 hours of thoughtful positive reinforcement training, throw in a tad of Premack principle, ... and I bet you'd be able to consistently and reliably call that lab off a family picnic in the park if need be.

Savings : $1997.50, plus whatever you spent on the 'mini-educator' as well. Not to mention you get to retain a happy working, trusting dog. Which in my opinion is priceless.
 

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For the sake of canine safety I will never deter someone from using Ecollars, I know it has saved my own dogs from getting lost or injured.

My go-to for training videos is usually shield K9, but he trains protection dogs for sport, PPDs and police purposes, so obviously they are not soft dogs. My Pit Bull is extremely handler soft so she needs very light correction, unless prey is involved then all bets are off 😅
Upstate canine academy seems to do more pet training, I have watched a couple videos by them and found them useful but don't know a whole lot about the trainer himself.
The biggest error I see people make with Ecollars is using too high of a level and using it solely as punishment. 10 is definitely a reasonable working level, feels like someone is humming against your skin.

A reputable experienced trainer in person is always ideal so they can assess your dog and make sure the training is suitable for your dog specifically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for your responses.

Yes, Sami is food motivated. The marina two doors down is opening a restaurant in 3 months, outdoor seating.

We have two acres on a large creek. Fencing even part of it would mean blocking off access to the water.

We work with Sami every day. While training off leash, she comes in response to a whistle, a silent whistle, my whistle, voice commands, and e-collar sound and vibration. When told to heel, she’ll stay at my knee for half a mile with just an occasional stop to sniff something. BUT if she sees a rabbit, she’s off.

There is no intent to let her out for hours unattended, but I would like to be able to sit outside with her nearby and be able to call her back when she bolts. At that point, she ignores all recall signals until it suits her to return. The problem will be exacerbated once the marina restaurant opens.

I’ll take a look at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy site, Shield K-9, and Upstate canine academy.
 

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Thank you for your responses.

Yes, Sami is food motivated. The marina two doors down is opening a restaurant in 3 months, outdoor seating.

We have two acres on a large creek. Fencing even part of it would mean blocking off access to the water.

We work with Sami every day. While training off leash, she comes in response to a whistle, a silent whistle, my whistle, voice commands, and e-collar sound and vibration. When told to heel, she’ll stay at my knee for half a mile with just an occasional stop to sniff something. BUT if she sees a rabbit, she’s off.

There is no intent to let her out for hours unattended, but I would like to be able to sit outside with her nearby and be able to call her back when she bolts. At that point, she ignores all recall signals until it suits her to return. The problem will be exacerbated once the marina restaurant opens.

I’ll take a look at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy site, Shield K-9, and Upstate canine academy.
So... when you're just sitting outside relaxing, put her on a long line. Problem solved. In my experience, a dog that is determined to bolt can & will do so right through any sort of e-collar 'sound, vibration, or stim'. It's no different than dogs trained on invisible fences - it works until it doesn't. Something more rewarding than your e-collar correction is punishing gets her going & she's off to the races (or the restaurant, whatever)
 

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It is imperative that IF you stim her when she heads out the INSTANT she responds you start to have a party. LOTS of HIGH VALUE FOOD and dancing around like a nut no matter what the neighbor's think.

Most owners desensitize their dogs to responding to a recall because they REPEAT the call back while the dog blows them off. This teaches the dog that responding is optional.

I also recommend you get this little book called "Really Reliable Recall" and work through those steps. This creates a NEW recall word and what you would use in an emergency. The book is only a few pages and you can get it on line. It is very simple and should, after a few weeks, get the dog to come to that word.

I want to say the dog will come "no matter what" but if you have a high prey drive dog there may be situations where it does not work. Drives are genetic and some times you cannot over ride those drives in a spot situation.. such as a deer popping up practically under the dog's feet on a hike. It may work "no matter what" on your dog. I try this sort of thing before using an e collar for recall work.
 

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Sami is a large lab who knows what she is supposed to do BUT sometimes chooses not to. Occasionally, and often unpredictably, she will bolt, going next door to visit the neighbor. Our yard is not fenced and does not lend itself to an invisible fence.
A recommended trainer in the area wants $250 an hour - 8 hour minimum - for ecollar training. Not ready for that.
I have the .mini-Educator, and Sami knows to come when I tap the "stimulate" button (level 10). At this stage of training, I only recall her when she is paying attention and there are few distractions.
I've watched a number of YouTube ecollar training videos, but I haven't found one that I felt did a thorough job.
Does anyone know of a YouTube trainer that does a great job explaining ecollar recall?
Thanks -
Dick
I'm old school, not crazy about these highfalutin collars. I prefer the KISS principle. I've been using a 30' leash. When it comes time to recall the dog and he plays possum with me, no problem, just like reeling in a fish. I also have a fifty footer on standby once i perfect the art of using the 30 footer...



The ultimate goal, to go leash less...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm old school, not crazy about these highfalutin collars. I prefer the KISS principle. I've been using a 30' leash. When it comes time to recall the dog and he plays possum with me, no problem, just like reeling in a fish. I also have a fifty footer on standby once i perfect the art of using the 30 footer...



The ultimate goal, to go leash less...
Thanks - I'm with you, but what happens when a deer or another dog appears?
 

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Thanks - I'm with you, but what happens when a deer or another dog appears?
Deers are lightning fast and well camouflaged, by the time my dog decided whether or not to lay chase, the deer be long gone. As for running into another dog, that there is an everyday risk regardless of leashed or not, mostly comes down to the owner being in control of their own dog. We do have backup plans for these situations, hopefully will never have to put them to use...
 

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While an ecollar may be helpful, I'd recommend you try long-lead training first. Work with varied, high value rewards- letting him chase you, playing tug/fetch, wrestling, chicken/meat, treats, acting like a total wackjob, etc. If he doesn't respond, you can guide him back with the long-lead. Until you are confident, don't let him off the long lead. You can let it drag, but don't take it off yet.
If you use a command that you also use for other times, without reward, (such as calling him for a bath, or only calling him to bring him inside, or saying "come" instead of "lets go" when you want him to move on while walking) switch the command. My dog's command is "check". We only use it when we are sure of response and can reward heavily, and we use it to call her for meals. We use it for nothing else. Now, she is as close to perfectly reliable as is possible. (We use "come" for all other situations)

There is so much room for error with ecollar that it's probably not wise to do it without in-person help from a professional.

Try teaching your dog to just watch prey animals, (gives him a behavior that is safe and fulfilling) and train a "look at me" command. You will probably also want to teach a "Stop" command.
If you teach him to watch (my dog also sits, to make it a more secure position) animals, you should be able to be more confident around deer, because he will watch, not chase. Be sure to praise him when the deer go out of sight. And if he's on a long lead, you have a safety net. (get a bungee attatchment for the end of it to protect him and you, and make sure he's on a harness.)
If you teach the "look at me", you'll have a better chance of keeping him focused around other dogs, Reward him for any time that he voluntarily looks at you, as well. Practice focus and obedience in areas where he can see dogs, such as outside a dog park or on a walking trail.


(my dog has a 20-ft and a 100-ft leash, but we started on a regular 6-ft
 

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For the sake of canine safety I will never deter someone from using Ecollars, I know it has saved my own dogs from getting lost or injured.
If your primary concern is actually safety, your safest option is a line. Shock collars give a false sense of control, ESPECIALLY in the hands of someone whose dog training expertise comes from youtube rather than practical experience under the guidance of a skilled handler. Dogs can and do blow off "corrections" (electric shocks) just as much as they blow off commands or lures. Meanwhile, the unintended negative consequences from bad timing or bad luck with a shock collar can be serious.
 

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Try teaching your dog to just watch prey animals, (gives him a behavior that is safe and fulfilling) and train a "look at me" command. You will probably also want to teach a "Stop" command.
If you teach him to watch (my dog also sits, to make it a more secure position) animals, you should be able to be more confident around deer, because he will watch, not chase. Be sure to praise him when the deer go out of sight. And if he's on a long lead, you have a safety net. (get a bungee attatchment for the end of it to protect him and you, and make sure he's on a harness.)
If you teach the "look at me", you'll have a better chance of keeping him focused around other dogs, Reward him for any time that he voluntarily looks at you, as well. Practice focus and obedience in areas where he can see dogs, such as outside a dog park or on a walking trail.
Related story: I inadvertently taught my dog to stealthily alert me to wild animals. I live in rural Alaska so there's wildlife all around, much of it dangerous to a dog, even a sizable dog. I adopted my Giant Schnauzer when he was about 5, and he came with very poor recall, which I worked to re-train. He had a high prey drive and lacked a healthy caution about moose (which will readily kill a dog). Trying to amp down his response to critters, I actually started off in the truck, driving around until spotting a moose or caribou, then rewarding him for paying attention to me rather than paying attention to the animal. It took a lot of high-value treats and attention at first, because he'd be noisily trying to go through the window at the moose, but eventually we got to the point that he could focus on commands rather than his "prey" in the truck, so we transitioned to working on it on a leash, etc. Well, one of his easiest and favorite commands was "touch" (tapping his nose to my palm) so I used that one a lot when redirecting him...eventually we got to the point that if he saw an animal, he'd frantically silently nudge my hand, haha. He got so good about it that he was actually useful for wildlife photography as he'd often spot critters I hadn't noticed, giving me opportunities to get shots I'd otherwise have missed.
 

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Thanks - I'm with you, but what happens when a deer or another dog appears?
If you're not paying attention so you can brace yourself in time and your dog is good sized, what happens is you get pulled off your feet, and depending on whether you're good at holding on to the long line in spite of pain from the fall or having your arm jerked half off or getting a hellacious burn from the line whipping through your hand, your dog is loose and running with a 30' line attached.

So if you choose to use the long line method, you need to stay aware and need to be strong enough to hold your dog no matter what. I'd still prefer that to an e-collar, which I bet wouldn't stop some high prey drive dogs in some instances regardless of training, but my own cowardly preference is a 6' leash and paying attention to my dog. My dogs get to be free in their own yard, and I have one girl I've started trusting in limited circumstances on the part of my own property fenced only with 3 strands of wire for horses, but she's 8, has had a lot of obedience training, and has competed successfully in trying circumstances.
 

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I've started wearing bicycle gloves when using my long line. I use a rubber coated, smooth tracking line and usually rope burn isn't an issue (and I do have smaller dogs - strong, mind you, but smaller). But my youngest has started really liking wading any chance he gets, and even if it dries fast, the line gets way harder to hold and way more likely to cause a nasty friction burn when wet so, protective gloves if I know we'll be going to/by a beach.

Working a lot with the dog on giving into leash pressure can help as well. It might not save you from that first jolt when they hit the end of the line, but if they automatically default to giving you slack when they feel leash pressure, that can help them disengage and give you time to reel them in. I always recommend harnesses for long lines personally, because dogs can get some serious momentum over a relatively short distance and having all that force go into their necks when they hit the end of the line can be a serious risk.
 

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If you're not paying attention so you can brace yourself in time and your dog is good sized, what happens is you get pulled off your feet, and depending on whether you're good at holding on to the long line in spite of pain from the fall or having your arm jerked half off or getting a hellacious burn from the line whipping through your hand, your dog is loose and running with a 30' line attached.
i often use a 30' leash, if the dog is at out at anything less than 30' i constantly coil the remaining amount of leash up. If the dog does do the dash, as the remaining leash uncoils, i apply the brakes, all part of the process. Have gotten some rope burns more than once, nothing serious though. And of course theres always gloves for those with girly hands....
 

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No girly hands here and I'm a big guy, but I was pulled completely off my feet when my 116 pound lab spotted a few squirrels while on an extension leash. I was acutely aware of the cop parked across the street and the No Dogs Allowed sign in the park where the squirrels were hanging out, so I would not let go.
 
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