Do you feel there are some dogs that shouldn't receive e-collar training based on their attitude or temperament?
Dear Cindy and Ed,
Just a quick note to let you know Moeshe's e-collar training is going wonderfully. He's a high prey drive dog who now downs at a distance while chasing ravens or even when someone is approaching on a four-wheeler. (We live in rural Alaska where there are no roads or cars). He also has learned to sit quietly in closer proximity to other dogs. The self-control he is mastering has made exercising him a joy and I know that he too must appreciate all of the extra off-leash freedom it has afforded him. An added plus is strangers feel more reassured by his self-control. None of this would've been possible without your training videos and I can't thank you enough!
I would like to teach him to heel however for certain situations like walking in a crowded place. Do you have a training video for that? He has mastered everything in the Obedience video but I'd like to continue training him to do other things. Unfortunately we have no Schutzhund here in the Bush so what else should I teach him at this point?
My other question is this: Do you feel there are some dogs that shouldn't receive e-collar training based on their attitude or temperament? I'm helping a friend e collar train her husky to perform the recall. According to her he understands "come" but after several low level nicks he refuses a treat reward and will only take it after he's praised or "gets over" the stimulation. He is a dog that has high food motivation normally. Keep in mind he's not vocalizing after the stem, but blinking as he should. He requires several nicks. He's a husky and I know they are independent and quite stubborn. Is this probably a pack structure problem, with the dog not regarding his owner as his pack leader? He appears oblivious to her commands. He's not getting nearly enough exercise on a leash so it would be nice to have control of the dog off leash so he can run.
Thank you so much once again for all of your great work and I look forward to hearing from you! Diana Goodnews Bay, AK
Thanks for writing, it’s great to hear about your success!
You can use the ecollar to reinforce staying next to you in crowded places, for things like this I use a word like “walk” or “with me.” This is not a formal heel command, but a cue for the dog to stay with his shoulder next to my leg. Praise and reward when he’s in position and nick him at a low level and guide with the leash when he gets out of the desired position.
Without seeing your friends dog it could be a variety of things but typically I always look at the relationship between dog and handler first. If she hasn't already done so, I would recommend she does marker training with this dog and build some value into working with her. Have her read the article titled Training With Markers. Some dogs are harder to motivate and I find that backing up the training and using positive methods will make dogs like your friend’s husky more engaged. You can incorporate the ecollar into training after the dog is participating more and showing more interest in training. To continue training when the dog is not actively participating can make dogs reluctant and they tune the handler out and become withdrawn from the whole process. We want dogs that are active and excited about working with us. I realize this isn't always possible but maybe she can step back a few steps and try to rebuild a foundation with her dog and start fresh.