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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,
I'm a new member and looking forward to chatting with ya'll. I do have a question. I have a 9 month old 90lb American Bull Dog (Tater). He is very smart but extremely stubborn :eek:. I am thinking about a shock collar but have never had to use one on any of my other pooches. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank ya'll in advance!!!
Mona Jean & Tater:D
 

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Shock collar trainers, the good ones, use this tool for cues the dog already knows. If you're using this collar for a "stubborn" dog, you are not using the tool appropriately.

Stubbornness is usually a symptom of poor training practices, not a trait of the dog.

What exactly are you having problems with? Do you practice NILIF?
 

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E-collars can be great but do your research on their correct use - as said above they only pertain to commands the dog already knows, allowing you to enforce them when the dog is at a distance. Example 1) you can't get Fido to sit when he is beside you, then an e-collar is not going to help. Example 2) Fido generally comes when called ....unless that cute poodle is walking on the other side of the park - the e-collar can be of use there.

Also you have to condition the dog to its use - basically teaching the dog that he can turn off (and eventually avoid) the stimulation by doing what you say. Lastly, keep the intensity as low as possible.

And be prepared for questions like 'What is that on your dog's neck? A GPS?'
 

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I wouldn't use an e-collar on any dog, let alone a 9 m/o puppy. If you joined an obedience club they could show you how to train your puppy properly without aversives.
 

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Hi Everyone,
I have a 9 month old 90lb American Bull Dog (Tater). He is very smart but extremely stubborn :eek:.
Imagine that a stubborn bulldog! :) LOL


My doberman was the same way when younger. I tried 30+ years of experienced training I have with him and he wouldn't listen nor cooperate. We resorted to the collar as well. I felt bad at first, but we needed something. I would use the lowest setting that I could, but enough to get his attention. It worked very well. Just keep in mind when you are doing it to also use voice commands as when you say no and a zap at the same time he will associate your "NO" as a negative experience and thus will eventually start listening to your no and you won't need the collar!
 

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Hi Everyone,
He is very smart but extremely stubborn
Tell us more. What's he being stubborn about? How do you know he's being stubborn, etc? Give some examples. You may want to go ahead and use a shock collar, but if you can get some advice that would work without that, it would be worth a try. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for ya'lls advice. Welp my biggest problem with Tater is he wont come when I call him. He looks up at me then continues on whatever he is doing. He'll take off running toward people when he see them (I don't always walk him on a leash) He's very friendly and he doesn't jump on them but I'm worried he'll run in front of car or something and get hurt. He differently knows the work NO. But as some pooches will do ~ ignore you. He sits on command most times. He evens shakes hands when asked. I've always been against the e-collars but talked to a few friends that have been using them and they are really glad they did. :) Hope this helps explain my situation a little better. Please help. Thank you again very very much.
Mona Jean & Tater:D
 

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If you have your dog off-leash where there are cars, you're taking a huge chance with his life. I don't think e-collars are a good tool for recall. If your dog's not responding to your commands, it's because there's nothing in it for him. Make it worth his while to come to you.

What about training him on a whistle recall? It's easy, fun and effective.

I think e-collars can be effective in situations where the dog may be in danger because of an obsession with an object, like chasing cars, snake avoidance, etc., but for regular obedience commands, they're really overkill and not necessary, not to mention may be ineffective. It's hard to tell what he will associate the shock with...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry I should correct myself. I am in a RV park and it's pretty quite very little traffic. Please believe me I would never have him off-leash around any traffic. Lets see if I can explain myself. I took him to a beach in Northwest Washington (dogs are permitted off-least) but what I was concerned with is if he saw another dog and wanted to go play with. I would like him to stop and come to me when I call him. Instead he get focused on what he want to do. I did use to give him treats when he was little to train him to come but the old he got the more he wanted to do what he wanted. I really do spend alot of time with him and he is really very good. Just wished when I called him he would stop what he is focused on and come to me. Thanks for the advice. I will try anything
Mona Jean
 

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Have you heard of the DVD Really Reliable Recall? I've heard it's the best for this problem. I haven't seen it myself.

But my puppies were the same way. At first, they came every time, but then it slacked off. I just had to find out what their value would be to come to me. Cara and Mia have nearly 100% recall now. Jaia is about 85% and B'asia is at 60%. :rolleyes: Still working on them. I think I'll break out the whistle again. That worked really well.
 

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It is common for pups at around 6-9 months to suddenly seem "stubborn" or to not hear your cues...welcome to adolescence!
Training, training, training. Management is also important. Use a leash, to prevent the run off from happening until you have had a chance to train a proper recall. If you don't train him he cannot be expected to respond. He doesn't "know it" until you have practiced it successfully many many times.

Really Reliable Recall is a great dvd and uses positive methods.

Cracker is very prey driven and I've taught her to recall of prey using all positive reinforcement (it's a matter of training and using GOOD rewards, the better rewards for the really hard stuff!)..no need for aversives like an ecollar (you really don't want to know what I think about them).

The biggest risk, as mentioned above is that you really have little control over what your dog will associate the stim with. If he's off playing with another dog and you buzz him he MAY associate the discomfort with the other dog, not with the fact that he didn't come when you call..this can be a dangerous thing, as he learns that other dogs cause him pain or discomfort and this may cause him to be aggressive towards other dogs through no fault of their own (or his).

Ecollars can be effective training tools as positive punishment/negative reinforcement Do work but they have lots of downside, whereas positive reinforcement has less chance of fallout, IF you decide you want to try one (and I wish you wouldn't) PLEASE go with a high quality one (be prepared to spend several hundred dollars) and use a trainer qualified in using the ecollar as negative reinforcement as opposed to positive punishment. If you don't know what those terms mean, do some research on operant conditioning in dog training, if you don't understand what you are doing and how to apply it you risk ruining your dog, and your relationship with him.

I hope you took from this post that I don't like the tool at all, but if you insist please do it RIGHT.
 

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If your dog 100% knows the come command, but chooses to ignore it when there is a strong distraction then the e-collar can be an ideal training device. It gives you the ability to enforce the command, in a totally consistent manner with perfect timing, while at a distance.

The biggest risk, as mentioned above is that you really have little control over what your dog will associate the stim with. If he's off playing with another dog and you buzz him he MAY associate the discomfort with the other dog, not with the fact that he didn't come when you call..this can be a dangerous thing, as he learns that other dogs cause him pain or discomfort and this may cause him to be aggressive towards other dogs through no fault of their own (or his).
You have to condition him to the collar, which basically means for the first several days you buzz him gently BEFORE you give the command and then stop buzzing the moment he begins to respond. He learns that doing what you say turns off the stimulation. You repeat this process with different commands (e.g. come, down). Later you only use the stimulation when he doesn't respond the first time. Your dog will get it no problem, just be patient and follow the procedure.
IF you decide you want to try one (and I wish you wouldn't) PLEASE go with a high quality one (be prepared to spend several hundred dollars) and use a trainer qualified in using the ecollar
I agree with getting a good one, cost is a little under $200. More expensive models are available for multiple dogs or longer range but likely don't apply to you. You do need to take the time to learn to use it properly, whether that be reading or hiring a trainer. But its not rocket science, its a bit like being able to jerk an invisible 300 yard leash. Just remember, there's no pointing jerking the leash if the dog doesn't understand why it is being jerked.

Also, remember to think of it as a training tool, not something the dog will be wearing all day or for the rest of his life. Use it consistently just during walks for 6 months and then hopefully put away forever.

I'm not putting down other methods, but for some people / dogs the e-collar is ideal.
 

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I agree with those posting above to make sure if you chose to do this get a good qualified trainer. They are not all created equal. Having slapped an e-collar on a dog and zapped it into submission does not make a person qualified. Like others have stated, the dog must know the behavior expected before hand. I am an advocate for an e-collar in certain circumstances but I warn you to use extreme caution. I have seen far too many dogs ruined by improper or excessive use of an e-collar.
 

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NO!....please don't use one....they're HORRIBLE!:(
 

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Peppy says, quote:

If your dog 100% knows the come command, but chooses to ignore it when there is a strong distraction then the e-collar can be an ideal training device. It gives you the ability to enforce the command, in a totally consistent manner with perfect timing, while at a distance. (bold is mine)


My post:

Good point. Tater...do you have a reliable recall? Trained and proofed in high distraction environments? Oh wait, if you did then he would respond to you! I think you just really havent' trained him and proofed him properly.

I still think you would be better off paying the money for the "Really Reliable Recall" DVD and working with the dog than paying the larger amount for an ecollar that has the POTENTIAL for misuse.

When I see people trying to recall their dogs and then they complain the dog isn't coming it's because they have ruined the cue by not training it properly, punished their dog when it does eventually come or by letting it roam when it shouldn't be, "expecting" it will just come back without any training.
 

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If your dog 100% knows the come command, but chooses to ignore it when there is a strong distraction then the e-collar can be an ideal training device. It gives you the ability to enforce the command, in a totally consistent manner with perfect timing, while at a distance.
How do you tell the difference between a dog 100% knows a command and is choosing to ignore it, and a dog who 70% knows a command?
 

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Good question..nobody is 100 percent of the time on anything, least of all our dogs but I try to get any cue down and proofed so that I get compliance 8 out of ten times in more than one training situation to really feel my dog "knows" something. I think this is where people get lost when training, they think their dog "knows" a cue but if they haven't generalized it well (meaning practicing in many different environments) then the dog really only "knows it" at home, in the kitchen, where they did all their practicing..lol.

In recall training, people poison the cue regularly...calling when the dog is too involved in something else, too far away etc. For learning the cue the dog must ALREADY be headed towards you before you add the " come" or whatever. Each and every time you say the cue and he doesn't come he learns he doesn't have to come until you've said it five times..way to build in an ignore..and this is the trainer's fault..not the dog's. I'm sure we've all seen the owner standing in the middle of the park yelling "Fluffy, come!" over and over and over while the dog completely ignores them. If you are out and about and your recall is not done being proofed..you don't use the word..it has no chance of working yet. You GO and get your dog OR you make as silly crazy jumpy etc that you can to attract his attention and then RUN in the other direction (become a squeaky prey toy essentially..Hi Drive Trainers!) so he comes to you.

The other biggest mistake is people getting angry when the dog is not coming, going and getting the dog or waiting impatiently for it and then punishing it by yelling, yanking at the collar or whatever. The dog needs to think that each and every time he comes to you (even at his own dang time) that you will praise and reward him, not punish...remember dogs are literal...I go to my handler and he yells at me...so now I don't want to go to my handler. You need to be more interesting and more rewarding than the other dogs, the squirrels, the garbage and the dead thing your dog has just decided to roll in. This takes repetition of many many training sessions and starting out with NO distractions and gradually making it difficult.

For good advice for free on how to get a reliable recall..check out Recall Redux at this site. http://www.shirleychong.com/keepers/Lesson6.html

This is what working on a recall positively (including calling off squirrels and cats at the advanced training)got for me:

Cracker and I were coming up from the dog area one day. We stopped to talk to a couple with a pair of little bostons. They began to play, with me watching carefully as they are small and Cracker can get overstimulated (read: prey drive) over time. This proved to be true so I grabbed my leash and went to leash her..at that very moment the owner of the other dogs asked me a question (incidentally about prey drive..lol)and I turned my head (my mistake..sigh) and when I looked back she was gone. She was already about thirty feet away, chasing a young boy (11 or 12) on rollerblades on the sidewalk through the park. Now, she had never done this before and I believe the Boston play stimulated her enough that the rollerblades were simply over the top for her drive. She was within 20 feet of the child and I thought HOLY SH*T!!! Her body was low and her head was down.. I yelled as loudly and as calmly as I could CRACKER! COME!
Well, thank dog...she had to do a huge arc as she was going so fast (no stopping in her tracks) but she turned around and barrelled up the hill back to me. The child never even knew she was there and I rewarded that dog with LOTS of praise and what seemed like a hundred little pieces of rollover dogfood.

That took a lot of work, training, setting Cracker up to succeed by not expecting too much too soon and not making the errors I mentioned earlier but it was SOOOOO worth the work. Imagine what could have happened if she had taken that child down.

I hope this helps.
 
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