E-Collar questions –
E-Collar questions –
I have been working with Levi, my 2 1/2yo male GSD with an e-collar for ~ 4-5 months. We use the E-collar because we must have distance recall, we are not allowed to have a fence in our yard which opens up to wide open space (think lots of deer, elk, forest, mountains etc) Separately Levi didn’t really do well with the prong collar, he would listen if you gave him a correction AND he wanted to, which is 90% of the time – but if not, he would just wrestle you through it until he wasn’t interested any more and/or you physically pulled him away from whatever the problem was. At first the E collar was fantastic, (despite the trainer we tried to initially work with – who was horrible and frankly abusive) However, now I am seeing that same trend. I am struggling with 2 concerns – 1) I need him to be fantastic on a loose leash – ie- NOT pulling me at ALL. Winter is coming, and all of our mountain trails will be icy/snowpack. We walk him ~ 2-4 miles everyday, but if he pulls me on one of these rocky icy areas I will absolutely end up seriously hurt. I give him corrections when he gets too far in front of me now but I don’t feel like he is really learning. I have made ENDLESS turns, changes in direction, etc. If we are walking in a parking lot, and I am changing direction every 30-40 feet – he is great. The second we commit to just walking forward he is at the end of the lead, generally not pulling aggressively, just slightly tugging at the limit. If I give him a e-collar correction, he circles back around me and we start again – until another 40 feet and he is at the end of the lead, we do this for miles and miles – sigh. I have a Dogtra 1900S collar (dials between 0-127) and he will respond roughly the same way whether the correction is at 35 or 75. He doesn’t seem bothered at all, and it doesn’t really lessen the behavior. I simply feel much worse when it’s higher, although in my defense I was just hoping he would finally learn when it was higher and then he would not need the corrections as often – that doesn’t seem to be the case, or I need to move up more ? I do give him treats when he is walking next to me for a bit, which generally happens on the way home, when he will briefly be better but even that seems of minimal worth. He will take the treat and go right to end of the lead in front of me. Sigh. Clearly I am failing to show him what I want and convince him, one way or another, to do it <b style=”background-color: var(–bb-content-background-color); font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; color: var(–bb-body-text-color);”>consistently.
Separately there are times when he simply ignores the collar – 19/20 times when I tell him to “leave it” on a walk – he is fine. But that 20th time he crouches down WWF wrestler style to sniff whatever it is he wants and does NOT care what I do, I am literally dragging him bodily away from whatever thing it is, given the mountain wildlife trails we are on – the 20th time is once/twice per walk. I can correct him with the e collar at higher and higher levels, but that continuous correction that used to work at 40 then 50 then 60 no longer seems to matter that much. I feel like I am being a jerk cranking up the intensity and I know he is being a jerk by intentionally ignoring me – Sigh. Obviously – I need a better, different, more serious approach?
He is not fully fixed (he had one undescended testicle that was removed, but not both) and perhaps fully neutering him would be the answer, or would help, or NOT, because it is just who he is?
I want the training to be fair, I want to have a great relationship with him, and I want/need it to work. I want to feel like we are moving forward and that we are both safe and happy on our walks – which I generally enjoy, but… sometimes it just a hot mess.
Thank you in advance. I appreciate any help.
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