Please do an e-collar video! Everything out there is crap. That said, I have a couple questions.
About a year ago, with the help of the training director at the local schutzhund club (I am in Chicago), I introduced my three year old dog to the e-collar using "escape training" in the manner consistent with the Dobbs/Tri Tronics Three Action Introduction -- apply continuous stimulation immediately before a command, and then shut off stimulation when dog complies (or for the here command, turns toward me). Then, once he learned how to turn off the stimulation and was working to quickly comply with commands, I switched to "avoidance training" -- he complies quickly and avoids stimulation altogether. Only if he clearly blows off the command or is slow to comply does the stimulation go back on. Depending on his level of distraction, I would then either give a nick (as an attention getter) or if really distracted, turn on the continuous at a level consistent with his distraction level. My understanding is that this training program is based on the theory of negative reinforcement -- the dog learns how to turn off the low level stimulation from the collar, and is not confused because through training he learns that he is in control of the stimulation and can shot it off by complying.
I have heard that escape training using continuous stimulation is no longer being recommended. I think Dobbs now (at least on their Dogtra tape that comes with some of the collars), is just giving a command and if the dog ignores, hitting the nick button. For example, here command given and dog does not comply, nick him, if he still ignores, nick again. I don't know if for a period of time to introduce the collar you would give automatic nicks after the command, and then phase out the automatic nicks and nick only for non-compliance. In such a program do you have to guide the dog showing it what to do when it feels the nick? Anyway, this method seems to me to just be punishment training, but I certainly could be misunderstanding.
Also, I saw in your article on the Down in Motion that you say to NICK, as opposed to turning on the continuous, if there is the slightest question on speed. Is that for a dog that was introduced to the collar using continuous? Or do you just give command and if slow you nick.
What e-collar method do you recommend for obedience work -- and by that I mean (1) for introducing the collar to the dog and making him "collar literate" (so he knows how to respond to the stimulation when he feels it) and (2) then for using it to correct when commands are ignored or followed too slowly?
Thanks so much Ed. Your videos, products, articles, discussion forum, etc... are unmatched resources.