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Thread: E-Collars

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    #1

    E-Collars

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    Talk to me about 'shock collars'.

    We PCS'd in June and our new home on base does not allow privacy fences, only chain fences. To make it worse, our backyard is against a road with a sidewalk where people are constantly walking/riding bikes/etc. Our dog Murphy literally loses his shit all day long. By that, I mean he begs to go outside (it's his favorite thing). I let him go outside. Eight minutes later a stroller comes by and he barks. I go outside and correct him, but as soon as I'm back in the house he barks again. I bring him in. Que repeat.

    It's awful and I absolutely hate how our home is positioned, but there isn't much we can do about it. I ordered this collar from Amazon tonight https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 after doing a ton of review and article reading. I'm super hoping I only need the vibration or beep mode and never need to use the shock function.

    Does anyone have any advice on aversional dog training? I've done a ton of independent research on it myself, but I've never actually done it. We've tried positive reinforcement, but it has not curtailed the barking at all. I do plan to positively enforce his listening from the e-collar.

    ETA: And I'm totally open to criticism of this method, but please be gentle. We've really tried several different training methods, including getting help from a friend who trains bird hunting dogs. Honestly, we've let the behavior go in the past because we never lived anywhere that his barking was an issue and/or we had a privacy fence so he had nothing to bark at. I feel awful that we've let it get to this point.

    UPDATE: Ya'll. This collar is amazing. I paired it with the 'quiet' command and I've never had to use the shock function at all. I put it on him every time I let him go outside and I stand by the back door and wait for him to bark. If he starts I walk outside and push the 'beep' button and say quiet. Then I do it again and if he barks I do the same thing but with the vibrate function. I'm very happy with it and he has not shown any aggression or unhappiness with the collar. I've noticed a huge decrease in barking and I think starting it during winter break (less kids outside walking to and from the bus stop) was a good introduction.

    Just wanted to give you guys an update and thank you again for all of your advice!
    Last edited by missinghim; 12-28-2016 at 11:13 AM.
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    #2
    I would try not letting him outside for anything more than a quick potty trip. As you said, you let the behavior go for a long time, so it is going to be difficult to change it. The only solution for that is consistency, patience, and time. Every single time he barks, he needs to know that it isn't acceptable. Every time. If going outside is his currency, then that what you use to help modify this. What are you doing to "correct"? It could be making things worse.n. When he's outside, having you out there with him to soothe him when these anxiety-provoking things happen will help. You cant' just dump him outside and expect him to know not to protect his territory and not alert you to the dangers he senses. So you hang out with him, and when you hear a person coming, have him come to you and sit, or do any other commands he knows. Keep him focused on you and your commands (and maybe some treats). Again, this is going to take a lot of time and patience on your part. Also, as with most things dog-related, more exercise, to the point he's exhausted, is almost always helpful. How much exercise is he getting? What breed and how old?

    Also, around here people put up bamboo blinds sort of things over the base fences. It's those thin reeds, bunched together into a flat panel, if that makes sense. They just lash them to the fences with twine or cable ties or whatever, to make it into a sort of privacy fence. If you think that seeing things is part of the problem (as opposed to hearing them), that might help.
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    #3
    My grandparents shitty barky dog has been wearing a shock collar for at least 8 or 9 years now and she still barks a ton. Every little noise makes her bark. She learned to just position her head a certain way so she doesn't feel the shock so they got her a new collar recently with a remote and it has different functions, they never shock her anymore but they do use the vibrate setting. Idk it only kinda works. They've also put approximately zero effort into ever training her though.

    The shitty dog taught Finn to bark the first time we lived here and when we moved to Louisiana he was still barking at everything all by himself. What I started doing, that sort of worked, was when he would bark at certain things (like a doorbell or if someone walked behind our gate) is I would tell him good boy or whatever, like ok I know they're there thanks for the warning dude. That doesn't work anymore because the shitty dog is here so now when he's barking I call him inside and tell him to go to my room. Hopefully you have better luck with yours since it's only one problem without a constant bad influence around
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    #4
    a friend of my parents fully trained their very large Catahoula mix with an e-collar because the wife was having a hard time controlling her and it worked very well. They are both experience dog trainers though and used it as a training mechanism more than a punishment or constant correction. Now the dog has it on but I have never once seem them use the button to make the collar do anything.
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    #5
    I know it's convenient to just let him out in the yard, but it's going to be really hard to train him if he's out there unsupervised. If you have to run out and deal with the behavior, you don't have the opportunity to address it directly and you also don't have the opportunity to redirect his attention. I don't think it's necessarily making things worse, I just think the way the situation is set up now is not ideal for training. He's getting to practice the unwanted behavior on a regular basis.

    When I was working on my dogs being reactive, I used to sit out with a lawn chair and the dog on a leash and just ... let things happen. Cars go by, people go by, dogs go by. Redirect dog's attention if dog is reactive. Otherwise I had a phone or a book or something. I did this in my front lawn too because we were having issues on walks and people probably thought I was nuts lol.
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    #6
    I feel your pain. I have two asshole beagles and have read many books. Some dogs do not respond well to the positive training and you have to use harsher methods. We haven't gotten a shock collar, but have thought about it. I would honestly try and get one that you can control with a remote, that way you can give the command 'No bark' and then correct as needed. Because not all barking is bad, but when you give the command 'No bark' that should mean no barking. Don't forget the positive reinforcement when the dog is quiet.

    But my dogs are angels when I am out there, so I try and use that time to praise them for not barking. I spend a lot of time just hanging out near the door waiting for them to misbehave so I can correct them. I do think seeing you and understanding why they are being punished is important, so I would never have a shock collar that just went off when they barked.

    Good luck.
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    #7
    We had a friend in Germany who used one on their dog, and it worked for them on the lowest setting. Out of curiosity, I put it on Dixie once and even at the highest setting it did nothing to her. She cocked her head, and looked at me, that was about it.

    Dixie barks at a lot of stuff, and the best way we found to curtail that was we taught her to speak on command, and once we had done that we taught her "quiet". It took some time, but she's very responsive to those commands now. She still barks, at like the mailman, or the armadillo that just wont learn to stay away from our fence, but she'll respond to the 'quiet' command pretty quickly. That's might not be helpful for you guys, but that's what worked for us.


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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I would try not letting him outside for anything more than a quick potty trip. As you said, you let the behavior go for a long time, so it is going to be difficult to change it. The only solution for that is consistency, patience, and time. Every single time he barks, he needs to know that it isn't acceptable. Every time. If going outside is his currency, then that what you use to help modify this. What are you doing to "correct"? It could be making things worse.n. When he's outside, having you out there with him to soothe him when these anxiety-provoking things happen will help. You cant' just dump him outside and expect him to know not to protect his territory and not alert you to the dangers he senses. So you hang out with him, and when you hear a person coming, have him come to you and sit, or do any other commands he knows. Keep him focused on you and your commands (and maybe some treats). Again, this is going to take a lot of time and patience on your part. Also, as with most things dog-related, more exercise, to the point he's exhausted, is almost always helpful. How much exercise is he getting? What breed and how old?

    Also, around here people put up bamboo blinds sort of things over the base fences. It's those thin reeds, bunched together into a flat panel, if that makes sense. They just lash them to the fences with twine or cable ties or whatever, to make it into a sort of privacy fence. If you think that seeing things is part of the problem (as opposed to hearing them), that might help.
    Murphy is six and is a mixed breed, but he's a huge 110lbs. He looks like a Great Dane mixed with another giant dog. We live right next door to the dog park on base, like I can see it from my kitchen window, so we make it over there most days of the week to throw the ball. I can't take him on regular long walks anymore because despite working with him a ton of leashes, he's never been the best. He's made wonderful progress, but he still makes me nervous because if he sees a loose dog or rabbit he'll pull and I'm wearing my four month old in a baby carrier and have my three year old walking with me. So the dog park is great for us because no one is ever there and he can run out his energy.

    The two kid thing is another reason I'm not able to stop every single bark. I know that's a problem on my part, not his, but if I'm changing a diaper, in the bathroom with my son etc I can't always make it outside in time, but I do always bring him in as soon as it starts because, well, neighbors.

    The bamboo threading idea is wonderful, I'm going to call housing and ask if that's something we can do here. If nothing else it will curtail him from seeing people a mile down the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    My grandparents shitty barky dog has been wearing a shock collar for at least 8 or 9 years now and she still barks a ton. Every little noise makes her bark. She learned to just position her head a certain way so she doesn't feel the shock so they got her a new collar recently with a remote and it has different functions, they never shock her anymore but they do use the vibrate setting. Idk it only kinda works. They've also put approximately zero effort into ever training her though.

    The shitty dog taught Finn to bark the first time we lived here and when we moved to Louisiana he was still barking at everything all by himself. What I started doing, that sort of worked, was when he would bark at certain things (like a doorbell or if someone walked behind our gate) is I would tell him good boy or whatever, like ok I know they're there thanks for the warning dude. That doesn't work anymore because the shitty dog is here so now when he's barking I call him inside and tell him to go to my room. Hopefully you have better luck with yours since it's only one problem without a constant bad influence around
    The one I bought is a remote collar too! I watched some training videos and they basically said bark collars alone aren't that great because they over-correct. Most people seem to only need to use the vibration mode on their dog with this remote one so I'm hoping that is the case!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wild*Rose View Post
    a friend of my parents fully trained their very large Catahoula mix with an e-collar because the wife was having a hard time controlling her and it worked very well. They are both experience dog trainers though and used it as a training mechanism more than a punishment or constant correction. Now the dog has it on but I have never once seem them use the button to make the collar do anything.
    I'm hoping we have a similar experience of only needing the beep or vibration to remind him not to bark, rather than needing to actually use the shock portion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    I know it's convenient to just let him out in the yard, but it's going to be really hard to train him if he's out there unsupervised. If you have to run out and deal with the behavior, you don't have the opportunity to address it directly and you also don't have the opportunity to redirect his attention. I don't think it's necessarily making things worse, I just think the way the situation is set up now is not ideal for training. He's getting to practice the unwanted behavior on a regular basis.

    When I was working on my dogs being reactive, I used to sit out with a lawn chair and the dog on a leash and just ... let things happen. Cars go by, people go by, dogs go by. Redirect dog's attention if dog is reactive. Otherwise I had a phone or a book or something. I did this in my front lawn too because we were having issues on walks and people probably thought I was nuts lol.
    I just wish I was able to do that, but DD is four months and DS is three. When the weather was warmer that might have been an option (and we did spend a lot of time outside with the dogs) but now it's too chilly and windy for them to be out much. I realize that's an issue with me and not him, but I know I need to find a training method that is going to work for our family. DH flies too often to have any sort of consistency with helping (this week he flew 7-7:30 M/Tue and 3-3 wed/thur and leaves for a TDY Sunday) so other than the weekends he's kind of out with helping.

    Murphy is a great dog, he really is. He never barks in the house, only outside. I realize he's doing it out of protection (and sometimes habit because at times he will literally be laying down outside barking ) but it's starting to wear on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amanduh View Post
    I feel your pain. I have two asshole beagles and have read many books. Some dogs do not respond well to the positive training and you have to use harsher methods. We haven't gotten a shock collar, but have thought about it. I would honestly try and get one that you can control with a remote, that way you can give the command 'No bark' and then correct as needed. Because not all barking is bad, but when you give the command 'No bark' that should mean no barking. Don't forget the positive reinforcement when the dog is quiet.

    But my dogs are angels when I am out there, so I try and use that time to praise them for not barking. I spend a lot of time just hanging out near the door waiting for them to misbehave so I can correct them. I do think seeing you and understanding why they are being punished is important, so I would never have a shock collar that just went off when they barked.

    Good luck.
    Thank you! We bought the remote one, not the one that barks when the dog. I did read that 'bark' collars aren't that great for them because they over correct dogs.

    Quote Originally Posted by bdizzle View Post
    We had a friend in Germany who used one on their dog, and it worked for them on the lowest setting. Out of curiosity, I put it on Dixie once and even at the highest setting it did nothing to her. She cocked her head, and looked at me, that was about it.

    Dixie barks at a lot of stuff, and the best way we found to curtail that was we taught her to speak on command, and once we had done that we taught her "quiet". It took some time, but she's very responsive to those commands now. She still barks, at like the mailman, or the armadillo that just wont learn to stay away from our fence, but she'll respond to the 'quiet' command pretty quickly. That's might not be helpful for you guys, but that's what worked for us.
    'Quiet' is the command I plan to use with the collar. I'm really hoping this works. I mean, we would never re-home Murphy, especially not for this, but it would make everything more pleasant if he could be more calm outside. If this doesn't work we're really considering an inter-base move to a home that doesn't butt up against the road.



    And I really want to thank everyone for your responses. I'm going to take every bit of advice and try to incorporate it with this training. I do plan to have a command (quiet) to use with it and I plan to use positive reinforcement (he responds the best to treats rather than just pets) when he listens to the command. We already go to the dog park often for exercise, but I can def start trying to take him twice a day before the weather gets really bad. We just super love Murphy and would really like to let him do his favorite thing which is laying outside in the sun without annoying the entire neighborhood.
    Never do anything halfway unless you want to be half happy.

    Is this a dream? If it is, please don't wake me from this high. I'd become comfortably numb
    until you opened up my eyes to what it's like when everything is right...I can't believe you found me ♥
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    #9
    I just want to say that I know pet threads can get really heated, and I think it's really cool that you are being thoughtful about this and you are open to advice!
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #10
    When I was little, my parents got a bark collar for our lab.
    She learned how many times she could bark with out a shock, and would bark until it was shock time, then stop before. Wait and bark more when it was safe.

    It was useless. She still barked, just in different patterns
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