Hi folks, I have a question that I can't seem to wrap my head around. I am getting ready to train a 9month old Bernese. This is not a question of training, it's more of a , I don't know, off the wall question.
I know you condition the dog pretty much with the come command, AFTER, the dog knows it. I understand that fully. But if after the end of the training, the dog knows perfectly one tap means turn,look at me, and get your butt back here, and then how do they separate a tap saying to sit when she stubbornly takes forever to get around to your command. Yet the one tap is also good for her to come back in a instance when you use it as a backup for your come command that is out of hearing distancing. Does all that make sense.?
I did not read a single response as most here are so anti-e collar they cannot think of how to work with one. I use one to train to a fairly high level.
First, before using any punishment for any disobedience the handler must teach the dog HOW to respond to a command cue and the must give the dog reason to WANT to respond to the command cue and then must repeat both HOW to and WANT to in many different locations. Positive reinforcement and food work good to TEACH a command cue and balls/toys serve to build speed and drive and WANT to once the dog learns HOW to. Dogs do not generalize behavior well so whatever cue you are teaching needs to be retaught in many locations so the dog can generalize it. IOW's Sit is the house is great. Take the dog to the yard, and the dog does not sit. Re-teach it in the yard. Go out front on the sidewalk. Reteach it there. Now go to the park. Reteach it there.. It takes about 20 different locations to teach a dog to generalize a command. Once you have that you add distractions and you may have to reteach under distraction. In TEACHING HOW TO and WANT TO there is NO PUNISHMENT AT ALL.
Using the e collar for recall is what most pet dog owners use an e collar for. After training this correctly in an enclosed area so the dog understands NEVER to ignore a recall command, the e collar allows dogs to have hikes with their owners off leash. Most pet dog owners that is as far as it goes. And, for most pet dog owners that is as far as it should EVER go. Just remember that you may need to start this in the house, in the enclosed and fenced yard and then in another enclosed area so the dog "gets it." When the dog gets to you make being with your SAFE and FUN and have lots of REALLY GOOD FOOD like Roast Beef. IOW's being next to you is the best place to be ever.
I use the e collar in other training but not a whole lot because we already have "want to." I NEVER use an e collar for sit. It can make the dog aversive to sitting. In fact, in what I do I have to walk down the field with the dog focused on me, head up looking at me and walking next to me and then I say "sit" and I do not hesitate or stop and the dog sits (called the sit out of motion and it looks like this after training it by stopping). I have seen the use of the e collar trying to get a faster sit. The result is a dog that either just keeps walking or a dog that stands and you can lose the sit out of motion altogether. There is insufficient DRIVE to overcome the negative (before e collars there was often a collar jerk to get the sit faster). All this makes the sit slower. This is NOT a place for an e collar stim. Just walk a little slower and then when the dog sits walk back to the dog and pay it with a ball either straight up over the dog's head or tossed behind the dog. NO E COLLAR as it is inappropriate for the sit. In fact, for pet dogs other than recall I would not use an e collar for basic commands such as down, off, go to bed, leave it and so forth.
I WOULD use an e collar on a pet dog to create aversions to doing some behaviors. Killing snakes in country with poisonous snakes? E collar is appropriate.. Chasing livestock? If the dog will not call off (recall) E collar is appropriate. Chasing people on Bikes or children? If the dog won't call off immediately, E collar is appropriate. In the snake situation you are creating fear of snakes. In the other two situations you are correcting for not recalling. It is unlikely you can create an aversion to livestock/children/bikes that will work without you being there so, instead, you are reinforcing the recall. And even in this you must be careful because an e collar can create a situation where the dog is so afraid of kids or bikes that the dog will attack out of fear (this is why you need to understand dogs and most pet dog owners do not.. so get help from someone who REALLY knows what they are doing.. and in my experience there are about 10 people in the entire US that know what they are doing so good luck with that).
I HAVE used an e collar on a dog that is in HIGH drive working in bite/protection work. I HAVE used it for various issues in secondary obedience of for not "outing" (letting go) as appropriate (also in Protection work). Pet dog owners are not doing this sort of work and pet dogs are not in high drive like the dogs that do this work. I have used an e collar for inattentiveness when I have asked for competition level heeling but, again, this is not a useful exercise for most pet dog owners.
I will put it this way. If you are using an e collar to keep your dog out of the garbage or from jumping on the counter or jumping on people then you are doing it wrong.