Your electric collar training methods worked great for me!
Hi Cindy and Ed. I have approximately 6 or 7 of your DVDs and two of them are on remote collar training. I couldn't be happier with the knowledge and information you have given me via your DVDs. I have 3 rescue dogs that had some serious "barrier frustration" issues with fences. First and foremost: my dogs are exercised daily, have good obedience and live with in routine. However, they would get so worked up w/ various dogs on the opposite side of the fence that they would often demonstrate redirected aggression and turn on each other. I tried positive reinforcement for recall. I tried positive punishment with banging metal bowls together w/ the verbal command of "No!" followed by recall. Both methods worked approximately 80% of the time when I was present. However... they would simply go back to "fence fighting" 10 minutes later.
I decided to try the remote collar. I am a firm believer that a correction, redirection attempt, or reward must be GREATER than the current state the dog is in to make it worth it for the dog to change its behavior. I was also very aware that stimulation by a remote collar (or any correction) could go either way: the dog could learn that what it is doing is wrong or the dog could associate the stimulation with whatever they are distracted by with the shock and hate the object or being even more. My results:
100% positive! It took about 2 or 3 uses of stimulation for my dogs to get the point. True, at first, one dog was simply cautious of the fence. She wouldn't get closer than 7ft of the fence. However, I lured the dogs closer to the fence with treats and rewarded them when they demonstrated good behavior around the fence. Very quickly, my dogs realized it was their fence fighting that was punished, not their proximity to the fence. Their behavior is excellent along the fence now! And the biggest difference is the lasting impact of using stimulation. I don't have to "remind them" every 10 minutes like I did w/ other methods.
I have a new neighbor that moved in with 3 dogs. One is HIGHLY aggressive at the fence (chain link fence). I can actually walk my dogs over to the fence, put them in a down/stay one foot from the fence (w/ the dog on the other side going nuts) and they will not even look at the other dog. If their head starts to turn, I can simply snap my fingers and they redirect their attention towards me. I rarely have to use stimulation anymore. The other day, I was in the kitchen (with a view of the backyard) and I saw my one male start to stalk the neighbor's dog with raised hackles. I gave him one low level stimulation hit from inside the house and his drive was stopped immediately! His hackles went down, ears relaxed, body relaxed, and tail started wagging. He went back to the back porch and went into a down position. I didn't have to say a word. Awesome!
Please keep in mind that I am also a HUGE believer in food reward and positive reinforcement. I use random reinforcement on a regular basis (if that makes sense-ha) and my dogs receive treats at random when they respond to simple verbal commands.
The only negative: the neighbor's dog stops barking when my dogs walk away which reinforces their dog's aggressive behavior (it gets other dogs to go away when it acts aggressively). I'd like to help them and they've commented on how well behaved my dogs are; however, I've learned in the past to not get involved with neighbor affairs.