Dog training question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by snewman, May 25, 2010.

  1. snewman

    snewman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    I have a question about how best to keep my dog safe. Let me give a little background info first. Five years ago we moved to an 8 acre farm with our two dogs, a doberman and a malamute mix. Both had lived with us in town for three years and were reasonably well trained by the time we moved to the farm. We're on a fairly busy state highway and cars roar past. The dobie and mal mix rarely went near the road, but we got lucky on several occasions when they chased something across the road and there just didn't happen to be a car coming. My mal mix died in January (cancer) and now I have a new pup, a seven week old german shepherd/husky mix. He doesn't know about the road. We're working on basic training; sit, stay, come, down, etc. However, I have not yet trusted him off leash in the yard. He's gotten loose a couple of times and runs either to the pasture (risking horse kicks, llama stomps, etc) or along the front fence line next to the road. I do lots of off-leash walks in safe areas, and he comes when called and doesn't just take off (more shepherd-like, less husky-like...good). I don't think he's just going to disappear, but I need to feel a little more secure about the road. So here is my question. I am considering using a shock collar to teach him a boundary at the front of the property. Due to the set up the use of an invisible fence isn't really practical, but I would like to use the collar in essentially that way. However, when I take the dogs for walks I also leave going across that same boundary. Can I teach him (Titus) that when he is loose in the yard, the boundary is there, but when he is on leash with me he can cross, without totally confusing him? I will also add that I am a fairly skilled trainer with good timing and consistency. I have avoided shock collars for years (I've borrowed them from friends on several occasions but never had the heart to use them). I feel that in a good trainer's hands a shock collar can be an ok thing. On the flip side, in the wrong hands it's a torture device. I like to thing that I'm one of the good ones, so please no attacking on the use of shock collars. I just would like to have advice on keeping my dog safe but still able to leave the property with me when appropriate. Personally I would like to fence the entire perimeter of the 8 acres, but my hubby isn't going for that. Plus way expensive. Thank you for any thoughts.
     
  2. lorieMN

    lorieMN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2008
    montevideo,MN
    I think he is to young to understand what the shock collar is trying to teach him..some pups take many hits off a electric fence before they figure out to stay away from it.. its our (humans) job to keep him safe,,he would probably be in a fenced area when I couldnt be outside with him until he matures some,,4-5 months is a good age to start letting them free in the yard with supervision..that being said mine are usually running loose in the yard around 3 months BUT I live on a boring dirt road except for planting and harvest time,and my closest neighbor is over 1/2 mile away,and I check on them ALOT,I know where they are most of the time.you could try cableing him to the front step and that will help him to realize that is the area to hang out in,even when loose.but dont leave him alone until you are sure he wont fight the cable and make sure he can get into shade and not wrap around stuff and choke himself,I put mesh wire along the bottom rail on the steps so they cannot jump off the side and choke themselves,this way it forces them to use the actual entry,
     
  3. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 12, 2010
    i agree, way too young for an e-collar. Fencing and leashes until he's much older..... keep doing what you're doing though, a little bit of training everyday and you'll have a good dog.
     
  4. snewman

    snewman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    Thank you for your replies. I should have clarified a couple of things. He's almost 8 months old. The dogs are always supervised outside, never out without us. Maybe this is a holdover from living in town, but we just don't let them out unless someone is around to keep an eye on them. I've been cabling him in the yard and we have a fenced area I take him to. It just would be so nice to let him wander the yard with me and the dobie when I'm doing chores, gardening, just hanging out, whatever, without him running toward the road.
     
  5. lorieMN

    lorieMN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2008
    montevideo,MN
    oh well,,that changes things,,yes you can use a E-collar on him,,but try to keep his focus on you and away from other things,,do this by having his favorite treat on hand and just ask for a sit and give him one every now and then while you are doing chores,,at first you may need to do it often,but after a while you can start spreading them out more as he gets more focused on you,,my dogs follow me around from building to building and wait at the door for me to come out,,My husband always knows where I am,actually even the UPS guy knows where I am..lol..but always be aware of where he is,,it only takes a second to get from you to the road..I would let him work his own way up to the point you want him to stop,and then shock him from several feet or yards away,that way he will think it was the road that did it to him..he should figure out in time if he has a leash on its ok to cross,,but this may take months or even years,so be aware of that.
     
  6. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    You can use an E-collar for what you describe. But only after the dog has been through all basic obedience training and he knows the command come and will comply at least 75% of the time. I would say if you started really concentrating on his obedience now and getting it really solid (meaning you can trust him in a new environment to comply just as he does at home). You might start with the e-collar in two to three months. Since you don't allow your dogs off leash without supervision then an ecollar is appropriate.

    However, ecollar training takes more time and effort than regular obedience if done RIGHT. There is the concern that the dog shouldn't associate the correction or cue with you unless you are givng a command. To accomplish this takes several weeks of pre-training session preperation. You wil have to let your dog wear the ecollar or a dummy collar for several weeks prior to you ever turning it on....then work very very slowly from there. You will also have to be careful that the dog doesn't ever see you using the remote during a correction. So that means the remote has to become a normal part of you.....you'll take the remote outside with you every time until the dog doesn't see it as new and just accepts it as a part of the walk. You don't want an association here either.

    Its a lot of work but might be worth it in your case. [​IMG] Good luck.
     
  7. snewman

    snewman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    Thank you, that really helps. It fits exactly with what I had in mind, and it's good to have that reinforced by people who know what they're doing. I appreciate the feedback.
     

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