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Thread: How young is too young for e-Collar

  1. #1
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    Default How young is too young for e-Collar

    Just got my first pup that I will train as my gun dog. He seems to be picking things up very quickly, but almost constantly tries to chew on everything. I've had dogs my entire life, but none of them have ever tried to chew on things as much as this one does. I have a couple of questions about trying to be proactive in stopping this behavior.

    1. Should he have a Nylabone in order to have something "correct" for chewing or will that just reinforce his instinct to chew?
    2. What age is appropriate to begin using an e-collar to prevent unwanted behavior? Tri-Tronics discusses using one for this purpose, but doesn't mention at what age.

    He is an 8 week old lab and is doing great. I don't want y'all to think that I don't understand that chewing is a natural thing to do - I definitely understand. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to stop it from becoming a long-term issue.

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jeannie Greenlee's Avatar
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    Get him something he CAN chew on and redirect him to that when you catch him chewing on something he shouldn't.
    Have you used an e-collar before? You need to teach a behavior and when your dog knows it then you use an e-collar to reinforce it. Don't teach with an e-collar. Your dog will likely be very confused!
    Jeannie Greenlee

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    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    FWIW - a collar isn't for chewing issues.

    There are however some pups that have inherent mouth issues beyond the 'norm'. At 8 weeks you couldn't have had the dog long enough (I hope) to know. But if the dog proves to have a serious mouth/chew issues beyond 'normal' - manage it with haste.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

  4. #4

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    Don't even consider using a collar for this.
    Supervise diligently and if you can't, keep him in a crate. Give him something he can chew on like a carrot or wet a piece of washcloth, put it in the freezer and let him chew on it after it is frozen.

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    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    If your pup is to be a gun dog or test/trial hopeful, save that ecollar for his retriever training. That is a very different method than just stopping behaviors. Lab puppies chew. A lot! Their mouth is there world. Be patient and yeah, trade a toy for whatever valuables he's latching on to. That will work for a little while!
    Carol,
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    Thanks for all of the input. We just got him last weekend (10/12), so I don't know if this is an ongoing problem or not. We have been giving him a puppy nylabone or small rope toy to chew on every time he attempts to chew on something/one of us, but I wanted to make sure that was the correct route to go. I had always heard that e-collars should only be used to reinforce known commands, so that's why I was confused when the Tri-Tronics book said to use it to prevent unwanted behavior.

    Sounds like we'll be sticking with toys for now and see if there is any progress. Has anyone else experienced this with a young pup and seen it naturally go away or do you need to constantly tell them "no" every time they try to chew on something? I'm just worried that I'm spending too much time telling him "no" every time he's out of the crate.

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    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txhunterusmc View Post
    I'm just worried that I'm spending too much time telling him "no" every time he's out of the crate.
    Divert and distract with something more acceptable and you won't say no as much. 80% of managing a pup is psychology - good and bad behaviors.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

  8. #8

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    Chewing is natural. it is not a bad habit..
    Give him something to keep him busy. Nyla Bone is good. Rawhide is not. You want him chewing, not injesting. (Very sensitive gut). Busy to him is chewing.
    Keep him on a lead at all times. In & out of house. That way you control what he has access to. Get a pack of Bandaids from the PX and enjoy the pup.

    Ray K
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    You don't want to be telling him no all of the time. He does need to learn the meaning of "no" but more importantly he needs to learn what he should be doing and and everything should be fun at this point. That means setting up the situation so that he doesn't get in trouble and more imporantly so that he is successful in everything he does. Puppy-proof the house - put away things that he shouldn't chew on and make sure there is something acceptable for him to chew. On the retrieving side it's the same thing. Set your pup up for success. You don't have control over what pup decides to do at this point but you do have control over the environment he is in. So minimize the possibility that he is going to mess up.

    As for the ecollar, unless you are using the Bill Hillmann method (which starts very early but used in different way) most programs don't start until obedience is sound and reinforced with a leash (teach positively, reinforce with leash, lay over e collar). Most of the time this seems to be around the 6 month mark but can vary on the pup's maturity and training.
    Last edited by dpate; 10-15-2013 at 03:28 PM.

  10. #10
    Junior Member catfish_joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txhunterusmc View Post
    Thanks for all of the input. We just got him last weekend (10/12), so I don't know if this is an ongoing problem or not. We have been giving him a puppy nylabone or small rope toy to chew on every time he attempts to chew on something/one of us, but I wanted to make sure that was the correct route to go. I had always heard that e-collars should only be used to reinforce known commands, so that's why I was confused when the Tri-Tronics book said to use it to prevent unwanted behavior.

    Sounds like we'll be sticking with toys for now and see if there is any progress. Has anyone else experienced this with a young pup and seen it naturally go away or do you need to constantly tell them "no" every time they try to chew on something? I'm just worried that I'm spending too much time telling him "no" every time he's out of the crate.
    You're not the only one, my pup did the exact same thing. Replace whatever he's not supposed to chew on with something he's allowed to have. It will gradually go away (took mine about 6 months). Be patient and don't get frustrated.

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