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Categories: Protection Training - Pups 8 Weeks to 1 Year

Q. I would like to understand what are the differences in the way an e-collar is used for pet owners as opposed to owners training their dog for protection work?
Cindy, I recently purchased the E-Collar for Pet Owners video. My plan had been to use an e-collar at about the one-year mark, after achieving a firm foundation in basic obedience. However, when reading the Discussion Forums a user alluded to a difference in the way an e-collar is used for a pet and protection work. I plan on training my dog in protection work and would like to understand what (if any) are the differences in the way an e-collar is used for pet owners as opposed to owners training their dog for protection work. Thanks in advance for taking the time.

Regards,
Al

A. I think an ecollar is an exceptionally versatile tool and for some reason, people get all confused on whether to use it on working dogs or pets, etc...I use a prong collar or a leash on my dogs the same way whether I am doing obedience or protection. Same with an ecollar. You want the dog to understand what it means when you use it and then use it fairly and consistently. Most people use it as a punisher, instead of as a tool to help guide the dog into the proper behaviors. My leash and collar are there for guidance as well as restraint and correction, same as the ecollar. I think if you follow the dvd, and always use the lowest level stim possible to get the desired results (no matter what the results are) then you will do fine. I start my dogs on the ecollar at around 4 or 5 months old, to reinforce basic everyday things. By the time I would ever be using an ecollar to incorporate corrections in protection work my dog would have a very clear understanding of what the collar means and how to follow my voice commands so it should be a very easy and clear way for my dog to learn. It's really nothing more than an invisible leash. My intent is not to inflict pain, but to give the dog information as we work together. I don't believe in waiting until the dog is already trained or a certain age to start using the collar. I feel that if the dog gets used to wearing the collar from a very early age and you remain consistent in it's use it will accelerate your training tremendously. (at least that's been my experience with my last 3 dogs I have raised from puppies) My current pup (now 8 months old) wears an ecollar every day and his working level is around 14-16 with low to medium distractions. Most people can't even feel level 14 (on a Dogtra 200 which has 127 levels) if they put the collar on their hand. This is a super high drive puppy with a pronounced lack of body sensitivity, but he understands the collar so I can use a very low level to communicate with him. I've noticed as his understanding has increased, I can use a lower level on him. (working level used to be consistently around 19, which is still pretty low) I hope this helps, I kind of got off on a tangent. :)

Cindy
  
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