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I am currently training Riley. He has been conditioned to a collar for an invisible fence. He is now at my house and I would like to condition him to a training collar. He is now five years old, four and a half years with an invisible fence. I have not started collar conditioning him yet. I must say that the invisible fence training has been quite effective.

Anybody have experience with this? My concern is any confusion that might arise. This dog has been abused and I want to be careful with my training.
 

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I should have been clearer. Riley is used to an invisible fence at his owner's house, I am not his owner yet. This is Riley from my behavior modification thread. The invisible fence makes use of a special electronic collar. He is now at my house and I want to condition him to an electronic remote training collar for field work. I am quite comfortable e collar conditioning any dog that I have owned. In Riley's case I want to prevent confusion. It seems to me what he has learned from the invisible fence collar may not be compatible with modern electronic collar training methods. He has four and a half years of what I suspect is "hot spotting" with his invisible fence collar but I must admit I don't really know how it works.
 

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So years and years ago we had an invisible fence and then started hunt training our golden. It was quite a process. For an invisible fence they learn that when they hear the tone or get shocked they should run back toward the house and away from the fence line. That's if they were trained correctly by being walked on a leash around the parameter and teaching them to avoid being shocked by jumping away at the tone, or visible orange flags you leave up at the tone line at first. If he wasn't trained properly he may have been shocked a lot in the beginning.

For Remington it did cause a lot of confusion. They just don't understand what you are asking of them. Every time we would do anything with Remington (our golden 25 years ago) his instinct was to run toward the house. E-collars have come a long way since then and I understand the new invisible fences are wireless and shock at different levels according to the distance from the barrier. If I remember correctly we managed to cc Remington but he could not be in our yard when training. We stopped using the invisible fence on him completely. He didn't need it anyway. You definitely can not continue with both. You have to stop using the invisible fence and very slowly start the cc. It did work for us eventually. It's a slow process. I would also not ever expect to put him back in an invisible fence situation.

For what it's worth we still have all the underground wire and the box in our garage. I'm not sure if we still have the collars, but we put the fence in when they were the new latest and greatest thing out and have never trained another dog to it.

I should also add that Remington was trained to the invisible fence for only a couple of months before we decided to try hunt training. It may be much harder since he's been on it longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
DblTrbl

Thank you. This is exactly what I suspected. I believe that I may have to resort to old school "tennis shoe training". I need a knee replacement, not really looking forward to it. However, old school training may be the answer. Glad that I know it.

For the record---I don't like the invisible fence.
 

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gdgli,
It will be an interesting experiment for you. As you know, dogs are situational learners, so because Riley will be out of The Yard when field training, the transition to stimuli related to field training efforts may not be particularly difficult ... but then there's no telling how the abusive experiences will affect everything..
FTGoldens
 

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Lots of people swear by these fences :) I had some clients with invisible fence but the wire was mounted at the top of the fence to keep the dog from climbing/jumping the fence. They put flags up around the edge of the yard and can see how a visual parimatar could simplify your issue.
You all know I am not versed in field work but from a training POV start slow with simple retrieves and positive reinforcements but wearing the collar? Do long range runs in a different location with a helper and a ton of rewards. Like FTG says, situational and one positive run without a shock could be enough to break the pattern. At least enough to get your started. Kudos to you both for attempting this training! I've followed your life of Riley and positive you guys can do this! Looking forward to the next chapter :)
 

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I used an invisible fence many years ago for my second golden. The most significant problem I experienced was this: When he was highly motivated to cross the fence after spotting a deer, another dog, squirrel, etc. no warning buzzer or shock would stop him. Conversely, once the chase was done he did not exhibit the same motivation to recross the fence line and come home. This resulted in frantic searches to track him down. I have also moved away from any sort of aversive conditioning to train my dogs. I am in no way implying a judgement just sharing my own personal experience and feelings about the use of Invisible fences.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
FT
I thought about that. I still am not sure how he will interpret stimulation considering his learning history with the invisible fence. The abusive experiences have made me very careful. I am continually working on trust issues.

Puddles
Working very hard to pick the best pathway for training. My obedience trainer calls me a crossover trainer. I have been very patient with Riley.and have planned his training experiences in order to gain the most from operant conditioning. I don't have an easy task. BTW I am ready for an update on his thread.

OscarsDad
Thank you for sharing your experience. Let me tell you mine. While walking Riley and Thor I have seen three different dogs run off their properties right through the invisible fence just to come at us. Seems like the invisible fence is popular in this area.
 

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You know my story with Moe. Injury presented while with the trainer, poisoned cues, completely shut down. We completely gave up hope of him ever being a trained hunt dog. (Original Hope was field)

We contacted several positive only and other trainers and determined with their help we were going to have to do everything ourselves. He didn’t trust anyone else. It’s taken a long time. He will be 2 next month. It’s made us learn so much. We are learning casting now. He is ready for JH tests this spring, but we are going to try a group setting a few times first. I wish I could post a video of him working. You can overcome anything with patience, consistency, and individualizing your training for the dog you have. We’ve used a little bit of everything, but we break it up so he’s always excited.

Take your time. Moe’s favorite thing is once again his retrieving training.
 

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Hi George, this is an interesting situation and you are certainly going about it in a mindful way. I'm thinking of it a little differently. If you got a dog in for training and the owner said, I've used the ecollar on walks to make him come when called you'd say "GREAT so he knows what the collar is." Riley DOES know what the collar is, he knows his behavior dictates stimulation which is the biggest lesson of all with an ecollar. So maybe just approach it in that he has only been trained to do one specific thing when he feels collar pressure (run away/step back). So now you get to teach him that the collar means other things too. I would absolutely train him NOT in the yard of your house, even driving over to a parking lot or park is better. Always have him on a leash so he can't get away. Start with SIT and then FETCH. I would use food to keep his motivation up and also to help you achieve the positions (follow food).
I think the electric fence training is something to be mindful of but no reason to not collar condition him properly.
 
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All of my Golden's over the years have been field trained with the help of a professional trainer (he makes his living by training Golden's)! I have never considered using a e-fence. My primary concern was that the fence may keep my dog in, but will not keep other dogs or animals out! If a dog comes into my yard, my dog is trapped!

Most professional trainers use e collars. Learning to use them properly is very important. Best taught by a trainer as opposed to reading up on it. These collars can ruin a dog very quickly if improperly used.

Most professionals incorporate the e collar conditioning as a final step in the 'Force Fetching' part of Field Training. This FF is also critical to most field training.

I would not recommend anyone use an e collar unless someone who is qualified trained them to use it properly.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Anney---My nature has always been to evaluate all pathways (for everything, not just dog training). I am constantly debating pros and cons. Right now I am reviewing Pat Nolan's E-COLLAR INTRODUCTION that appeared on the Dogtra website, I copied it. I am very familiar with other trainers methods (Lardy, Graham, Hillman, etc.). Probably I want to err on the side of caution. I successfully trained relieving pressure for "Give me the bumper" with a leash and collar hoping to be able to lay the groundwork for collar conditioning. Riley's abuse issues just seem to complicate things. However we are making great progress.

PS I feel I need to test the invisible fence collar on myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
3goldens

I feel fortunate in having experienced different methods of field training. I like to think that I am better than most with the e collar. I do see a lot of misuse.
You bring up real concerns about the invisible fence. What comes to my mind: coyotes in the neighborhood and I believe two weeks ago a mountain lion was seen although NYSDEC denies their existence in NYS. Just Google mountain lion in Westchester.
 

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Riley is lucky to have you! Please keep us updated and I would love to know what you think of the invisible fence collar.

I think I've bought every book and video series from Robert Milner to Lardy and Hillman (the complete sets) in the last year trying to find the right answers. I've also talked to many of the lesser known trainers that I have respect for. My goodness there's a lot of information to try and work through to find the right approach for a dog that's had a bad experience.
 

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George, When I trained gun dogs for a horrible living :) I got a few older dogs in that were collar abused and burnt. I always started from scratch like it was a puppy with a lot of praise with low stimulation when I got to that point. I would let Riley wear the collar for a while without any boundaries wearing it everywhere he goes, It worked best for me starting with very low stimulation on the here command and praise after the stimulation. I have no experience with fences though. We live in the woods with probably 30 acres of woods surrounding us but they always have a collar on and if they get to far way its always low stimulation here. Other than that, good luck buddy!
 
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Just a little update.
I wanted to see what the fence collar felt like. I put it on my arm and crossed the fence line. It beeped and gave a series of nicks. Let's just call it low to low-medium intensity, maybe similar to 25-30 on my Dogtra. I also had taken him to the field while wearing my Dogtra collar but not turned on. He loved doing some longer retrieves. We did some retrieves out to maybe 60 yards. He marked them quite well, straight out, quick pickup, and straight back. And most importantly, he loved every minute of it, showing the love and intensity his siblings show. Very positive experience while wearing the collar.
 
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