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Hi everyone! I have a 15 month old male golden. I do lots of training with him and he knows lots of tricks. I have been focusing a lot on recalls lately and while he does come to me almost every time I call him, I really need to make sure it’s 100% of the time. When we are at an open park playing fetch (not a dog park) I’ll have him on a long 50 foot lead that way I have the most control of him if I need to. He loves to run up to other dogs if he sees them close by. I don’t allow it because I never know for sure if the other dogs are friendly, or the owner wants to be bothered with my dog saying hi. There has been times where he has slipped past me with a 6 foot leash at the park to run and say hi to other dogs (luckily no problems - but when I say “come” which he clearly knows what it means; he ignores me in excitement of going to say hi to another dog.)

I have trained this A LOT and he clearly knows what it means, but is choosing to ignore me which has led me to believe I should start doing some e-collar training to get the most obedience out of him and having him fully listening to me. While he is really doing amazing for his training I want to really master and perfect the off leash training. I love playing fetch with him off leash and also love hiking off leash. But the most important thing is that I need to ensure the safety of my dog. I look at the E collar as a tool in my back pocket. I don’t want to use it on him, but I want to make sure he is 100% safe, and if it is on him and I NEED to use it, then I am able to have that tool readily available.

Would love to hear peoples thoughts about E collars, E collar training, do you think they are cruel for dogs or? And also which ones you recommend! Thanks!
 

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Kate
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Posting a random comment here to draw the attention of all the ecollar fans so they come over here to help. :)

My opinion is there needs to be a strong consequence to your dog taking off running to visit. You could have the dog on a long line, set him up with somebody dancing around with their dogs a distance away - and pounce on the long line the instant your dog starts running to go visit and shout, "NO GET BACK HERE". You dog will get a very strong pop correction and learn to listen when you call him back.

Or go ahead, put an electric collar on your dog and shock his neck when you need to correct him.

Either way, you need to have a consequence if your dog chooses to ignore you when he's been "trained" to listen.

Cheers. :)
 

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Answering quickly because my pup is waiting for some more exercise, so idk if this makes sense but here goes.

I look at the E collar as a tool in my back pocket. I don’t want to use it on him, but I want to make sure he is 100% safe, and if it is on him and I NEED to use it, then I am able to have that tool readily available.
I would encourage you to think of the e collar a little bit differently — not so much as an “in case” tool but simply as a training tool. In reality it’s great as both, but the latter is critical for addressing your concern, which is solidifying his recall. E collar conditioning to a recall is very simple and there are a few slightly different methodologies which I won’t get into right now, but ultimately you are just looking to enforce what he already knows. Which means you’re providing stimulation with the e collar to enforce behavior more so than using it to provide corrections for bad behavior. The more you train recall with the e collar, the sharper his response will get, and your “almost every time” will become every time.

As far as brand, I have a Dogtra, but I think most people seem to use the Garmin ones.


Posting a random comment here to draw the attention of all the ecollar fans so they come over here to help. :)

My opinion is there needs to be a strong consequence to your dog taking off running to visit. You could have the dog on a long line, set him up with somebody dancing around with their dogs a distance away - and pounce on the long line the instant your dog starts running to go visit and shout, "NO GET BACK HERE". You dog will get a very strong pop correction and learn to listen when you call him back.

Or go ahead, put an electric collar on your dog and shock his neck when you need to correct him.

Either way, you need to have a consequence if your dog chooses to ignore you when he's been "trained" to listen.

Cheers. :)
Both methods would work well, but I’d rather provide some harmless stimulation (to enforce a trained response - recall) than jump on a long line and jerk his neck while he’s running. Have definitely done both many times though, so no right or wrong.

It’s 2022 — everything is wireless, why isn’t your leash?:cool:
 

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Kate
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Both methods would work well, but I’d rather provide some harmless stimulation (to enforce a trained response - recall) than jump on a long line and jerk his neck while he’s running. Have definitely done both many times though, so no right or wrong.

It’s 2022 — everything is wireless, why isn’t your leash?:cool:
Obedience training and conditioning from early age (baby puppies following their pack) replaces the need for a leash. <= Which is my case. My Jacks (boy in profile pic) was the last dog to be trained with a long line and I promise that if your timing is spot on, you never have to do another correction with your dog after the first one. Those that followed were conditioned to stay close from early age while off leash.

Somebody else whose dog is over a year old and has run off to visit other dogs, you need a correction to get through to the dog. My opinion.
 

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Obedience training and conditioning from early age (baby puppies following their pack) replaces the need for a leash.
100% agree with this. People always ask my how I got my dog to behave so well off leash — my answer always consists of something like starting from puppyhood (we started at 3 months, I’ll start earlier next time) and training consistently/daily. Didn’t have the benefit of having another dog or a pack this time, but hopefully next time.

Somebody else whose dog is over a year old and has run off to visit other dogs, you need a correction to get through to the dog. My opinion.
For dogs where this is a big issue, yeah I wouldn’t disagree. I was originally thinking just generally. This is where I would slowly turn up the intensity on the e collar (constant mode) for every split second where he did not respond to the stimulation from the original recall, to the point where the stimulation overcomes the desire to meet the other dog. Basically fading enforcement into a correction smoothly.

My point on the wireless leash comment - For a single dog, the e collar provides the training and safety of a long line, without the long line. I have no qualms about my dog getting far away when space permits (she knows when I’m allowing that vs. when I want her to stay close vs. when I want her to walk right next to me), but I’ve never seen a 500 foot leash.
 

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I like Connie Cleveland’s e-collar course (not sure if you have to be a member of Obedience Road to purchase that or not) and Robin McFarlane who really encourages the use of continuous low stimulation (feels nothing like a shock - I do it on my own arm) in e-collar training.

I also don’t think any single dog is proof of what may happen with your dog. Train the dog in front of you. I’ve had two Golden Retrievers and their personalities and training style were/are quite different.

I have a Garmin Pro 550 and a Dogtra 200C. I use the Garmin when I’m field training and the Dogtra for off leash time — hiking, running around in meadows, etc. The Pro 550 transmitter is much larger. I prefer the smaller one that came with the Dogtra for most things. I use a flat collar and leash in my neighborhood for walks where there will be cars going by. I prefer to have 100% control over my dog when cars are involved because car vs. dog ends badly. I also really abhor people who have their dogs on e-collars only and allow their dogs to come right up to on leash dogs — both in the neighborhood and when hiking. It’s rude.

Your dog is still in adolescence and they can get defiant or just plain zoned in on what they want at that age. I don’t think anything gives you 100% recall on a dog (you can get real close), but you’re a lot safer with an e-collar on than without one in a highly distracting situation where you have your dog away from you off leash. I played with mine (2.5 years old) in a meadow in the NC mountains just the other day and he got quite a ways away from me. He had on his e-collar and I never touched it once, but it feels better knowing it’s there in case he sees something tempting (bear, wild turkey, fox, coyote, etc.) and doesn’t respond to his recall command. He may. He may not. If he doesn’t, I would stimulate him and if he ignored that, he’d get a bigger stimulation. He’s never had a stimulation I haven’t put on my own arm (4 or 40, depending on the transmitter) and it doesn’t feel like a shock to me. He generally responds to a 2/20 or 3/30. Now, I haven’t tried nearly as high as it goes on my arm, so the tool could be abused. I’m not testing the highest setting on my arm. :) When used correctly, an e-collar is a great tool.
 

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My point on the wireless leash comment - For a single dog, the e collar provides the training and safety of a long line, without the long line. I have no qualms about my dog getting far away when space permits (she knows when I’m allowing that vs. when I want her to stay close vs. when I want her to walk right next to me), but I’ve never seen a 500 foot leash.
I bought a 50ft long line and didn’t keep using it for long. Something about lying flat on my back wondering if something was broken made me decide it was too much line. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Kate
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I bought a 50ft long line and didn’t keep using it for long. Something about lying flat on my back wondering if something was broken made me decide it was too much line. :ROFLMAO:
I use mine as a tie out in the front area when training obedience out front. Lot easier than dragging a crate out there. My dogs are nuts when waiting their turn.
 

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I use mine as a tie out in the front area when training obedience out front. Lot easier than dragging a crate out there. My dogs are nuts when waiting their turn.
That’s a good idea. I haven’t thrown mine away. I can definitely be clumsy or absent-minded at times. When I ended up on my back what I did was totally stupid. First, I forgot he had it on, then I was also standing on it (not on purpose), and Logan hit the end of the line because I had thrown a ball. Doy. Lolol

Not one of my finer dog moments.
 

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I have a Dogtra; would have to go look at the model. Most field trainers use Dogtra or Garmin. Gun Dog Supply has plenty of options.

Since you're going to be spending a few hundred on the ecollar, throw out another $100 or so for Connie Cleveland's intro course on ecollar training. It covers come, sit, stay, and go to a table but, most importantly, includes a lot of stuff about reward markers and how NOT to use an ecollar.

Are they cruel? They can certainly be misused, but having a reliable recall will allow your 15 month-old golden to safely get the off-leash exercise he needs.

I walk my dogs through open farm fields everyday. I don't want them visiting the neighbor dogs or getting on the roads or chasing coyotes. As someone else said, a 500 ft long line is not practical.

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E collars aren't my favorite tool, but they are a good tool. They can be abused, and I've seen first hand people misusing them, making the dog squeal and panic as they attempt to perform every action they can think of to appease the person with the controller. But when used properly it CAN simply be a communication tool that the dog doesn't mind at all.

So no, I don't think they are cruel to dogs, but people can be. If you will learn to use it correctly, then it's just a tool.
 

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Kate
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This is how mine get trained. :)

Have an obedient older dog who teaches the way of the dog to the pups. And beyond that, will say if you put in the work with your 15 month old right now.... down the road he will help you train the next pup.

(2nd pic always makes me smile, It literally looked like my Bertie taking a protective position over his son).

Dog Carnivore Dog breed Plant Fawn


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Or go ahead, put an electric collar on your dog and shock his neck when you need to correct him.
I do it sometimes just for fun.:rolleyes:
You could have the dog on a long line, set him up with somebody dancing around with their dogs a distance away - and pounce on the long line the instant your dog starts running to go visit and shout, "NO GET BACK HERE". You dog will get a very strong pop correction and learn to listen when you call him back.
Ignore this, it is poor advice and will likely hurt you or your dog, most likely you.

I would recommend one of these collars. I have both, the sport pro has a smaller transmitter. Both transmitters can be paired to the same type of collar receiver.

Dogtra also makes good collars.

You most defiantly need to follow a training program. Connie Cleveland's is popular, I don't have it but I should get it.
Mike Lardy is a good resource, there are many.

Keep in mind, Indirect pressure is almost always the best way to correct. You will have to research what that is.
 

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I am still puzzled at how anyone could injure themselves by stepping on a leash. But I suppose if your barefoot it might hurt? Or perhaps you have it around your ankle? Or you weigh less than your dog? Wet grass? Lol

Regardless, collar people have started to offer help which is why I commented at all on this thread. Whatever you do dog must have a consequence for taking off.
 

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You've gotten good advice on all of the comments above, so I'm not jumping in. I have a Dogtra and a Garmin 550 Pro. I prefer the Garmin simply because it's less complicated. I think for a beginner it is more user friendly. Just my opinion.

Remember that an e-collar only reinforces an already known command. I would recommend teaching a sit whistle and a recall whistle. I live on a farm with lots of open space. It's very comforting in the dark to go out and toot toot toot a whistle and have three dogs come flying to me. It's also nice to blow a single whistle and have all the dogs sit. My 15 week old is starting to put the whistle together with the sit.
 

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I am still puzzled at how anyone could injure themselves by stepping on a leash. But I suppose if your barefoot it might hurt? Or perhaps you have it around your ankle? Or you weigh less than your dog? Wet grass? Lol

Regardless, collar people have started to offer help which is why I commented at all on this thread. Whatever you do dog must have a consequence for taking off.
it was a stupid mistake as I stated. How you can do it is long line, fast strong dog, leverage/force win,ripped my feet out from under me like Charlie Brown:Lucy/football. Bam.
 

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Kate
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it was a stupid mistake as I stated. How you can do it is long line, fast strong dog, leverage/force win,ripped my feet out from under me like Charlie Brown:Lucy/football. Bam.
That's because you were not prepared or planning on stepping on the leash. You very likely did not have your full weight and forget about bracing. It's basically the equivalent of walking your dog while staring at your cell phone and getting thrown down on your face when that dog sees a squirrel and lunges. It happens.

Stepping on the long line is the same thing as the "make like a tree" method, except there is no yank on your shoulder when the pop happens.

I do not believe the OP wants to use a long line, since he was inquiring about ecollars. I was simply commenting on the purpose of using a long line for training purposes - if you are going to use it at all. Also, I knew my post would draw in the usuals.

Dragging a long line and gradually shortening the lead over time is a method people do not have the patience for - because it does take time, absolutely. But the combination of using a long line and actively training your dog means that your dog will become very good off leash at some point.

The last boy I trained with a long line - he was offleash by the time he was 2-3 years old. He was my hiking buddy and my barn buddy. When I went out into the fields to find my horse, my dog was typically running ahead of me. And any moment I wanted him to come back, I called him and he came. This is the whole purpose of obedience training is whatever tools you use - they are temporary and actively used to train the dog.

If I used an ecollar with my dogs, I would use them in the same fashion - my hesitation on that end, is that if I correct my dog, I want to be able to stop him and bring him back. So you may need a long line anyway while training your dog while using an ecollar. My assumption based on how I train my dogs. Any correction needs reinforcement and follow through. Otherwise, the dog will learn to ignore the correction.

It might be good for anyone interested in using an ecollar.... to have people sitting down and walking them through the steps of training their dog to be off leash using an ecollar by providing their personal experience and methods. I would do just that if it were something I use with my dogs. Help people learn to train their dogs with your personal how tos, that you learned and believe in.
 

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Kate
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Because I'm feeling nostalgic this week, here is one more picture. :)

This was my last boy who between puppyhood and about 2 years old... he was on a long line, then 6 foot lead... and then just a collar... and then no collar. Was not in a rush to get him completely off leash, because once they learn to go running and play the keep away game, it's very difficult to break that.

This was the grand-daddy (not actually grandad) of my boys today. He helped raise their dad and was there briefly for one of my babies (who reminds me the most of Jacks) to imprint on him much of his sweetness and smarts. <B



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I knew my post would draw in the usuals.
Played me like a cheap fiddle once again🤨
The last boy I trained with a long line - he was offleash by the time he was 2-3 years old.
Basic obedience should not take two or three years.
It might be good for anyone interested in using an ecollar.... to have people sitting down and walking them through the steps of training their dog to be off leash using an ecollar by providing their personal experience and methods.
Always good to have the help of successful, experienced people.
 
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