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Thread: What age to start using a collar full time

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    Default What age to start using a collar full time

    My question for everyone is what age should I start to use the e collar full time to re enforce training. My dog is a black male and he is 4 months old. I have been using the Hillman puppy program and in my opinion, he is doing great. To date he is sitting, staying put after I sit him, coming to here, starting to heel off lead, and holding. The heeling and holding are a little sketchy, but I figure it will come with repetition. I have had his collar on him to get used to it, but not used it yet. This is my first time training so I am just trying to read books, watch videos, and read these posts. I cant seem to find a starting age for formal training. All I can seem to find is no force fetching until the adult teeth are in. I have also been using the Hillman fetch video and that seems to be going pretty well also. Any and all help would be great. Thanks, Matt I am also planning on using the Lardy trt when I do start formal training.
    Weasle

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    IMO, a pup should be wearing as early as 12 wks (again that's wearing not stimulation). Stimulation will depend upon the training approach you are using. With Lardy method, you should at least be through e-collar conditioning & only then to reinforce known OB commands.
    David Didier, GA

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    I am planning stating collar conditioning next week. Probally spend about two weeks or so on conditioning. I am trying to take it very slow since I don't know what I am doing. I figure slow aint always bad, just takes longer.
    Weasle

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    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weasle View Post
    I am planning stating collar conditioning next week. Probally spend about two weeks or so on conditioning. I am trying to take it very slow since I don't know what I am doing. I figure slow aint always bad, just takes longer.
    Can you describe how you're going to 'Collar Condition'?
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    Senior Member uplandbird's Avatar
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    I had a friend give me some good advice, when I was chomping at the bit to get my puppy collar condition, force fetched, started on handling and he was only 6 months old at the time.. Slow the hell down! What was my hurry she asked because its difficult to go back if he isn't ready to be able to handle the pressure dished out by my dumbass amateur hands. I got good friends blunt as they are.
    He's a puppy and not a mature puppy at that. He had full understanding of simple obedience and he did wear a dummy collar the whole time I worked on that with him before I cc him.
    I'm also following Lardy but at an amateur pace. He's 9 months old now and he has been through collar conditioning and force fetching, but he was over 7.5 months before I started it all.
    Im just starting simple casting and nowhere close to using collar on any field/handling corrections. If your following Lardy he doesn't cc until after ff and started on simple casting. His ecollar conditioning maybe way to much for your young dog. He's using 4 to 5 on collar setting & I know my puppy would have melted at 4 months doing that. His dogs in DVD were 6-8 months old, again in the hands of Lardy not me. He even says more then once even after cc they are not ready for corrections in the field work.
    Ive only watched 2 outta the 5 DVDs cuz that's all my brain can absorb is only what I'm working currently on with my puppy, so can't tell you when he goes full time with the e collar.
    hope this helps a little. Maria
    Last edited by uplandbird; 05-13-2013 at 10:25 PM.

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    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    If this is your first dog to cc then don't do it at 4 months old. I'd wait another 4 months or so if I was following a TRT method. Most people formalize obedience starting somewhere around 6 months. When does Hillman do it?

    I don't know your dog and I don't know you but you are not in any kind of race.
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    I appreciate all the feedback. For collar conditioning I was planning on taking the collar putting it on the lowest setting, doing the SIT NICK SIT. Figured if I did that for a couple weeks, and gradually stepped the preasure up to like a 3 he would be conditioned. I will hold off until 6-8 months, like I said I aint in now hurry.
    Weasle

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    Senior Member Mountain Duck's Avatar
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    If you are using Hillmann's puppy DVD, then you should have by now probably given hundreds of tiny tugs on the leash while commanding "Sit". Only you know where your pup is, (but by the nature of Bill's light use of the collar), you are probably more than ready to start reinforcing sit with tiny nicks from the collar. It's just a substitution for the leash jerks. Just remember to keep the dog balanced, and wild to retrieve. Get him wild as a buck to chase something, then balance that with extended sit sessions, reinforced with leash/e-collar nicks.

    Also important to note, Bill does not start teaching "Here", until well after he has started CC to "Sit". Sit should be absolutely solid, and ingrained before you start teaching "Here" to keep the pup from anticipating "Here". Act goofy, hoot, holler....whatever you have to do to get the pup to come to you, but I would lay off teaching "Here" in a formal way until you knew "Sit" was rock solid.

    One thing about Hillmann's material, is that there really isn't a beginning of "Formal" training. It's just a continuous flow of information to the dog. It's built upon the concept of every day was like the day before. New concepts are slipped in passively, while previously learned concepts are ingrained deeper and deeper through day to day repetition, and gradual increases in the standard of the work. There really isn't a point where you say "OK, I'm going start cracking down on him next week and get formal". If you truly want to follow Hillmann's material, CC won't be a "2 weeks, and I'm done", but rather a continuous reinforcement of know commands with the collar for a long time. You want it to take a long time. You will reinforce "sit" with the collar hundreds of times over the training of your pup. Every time you pitch a bumper, every time you do the traffic cop routine, every time he watches a mark....sit....nick....sit.

    It's important to try to understand as much about Hillmann and TRT as you can, as you'll notice the advice I am giving is in conflict with the advise given above. Neither is right or wrong, but the perspective is different. Hillmann and Lardy are certainly compatible, BUT there are differences to note, with collar conditioning being a big one. Personally, even though Hillmann starts at a younger age, I feel it is more conservative aproach and much less likely to be done wrong, than a traditional CC program for someone just starting out. It uses a lot of light (low/med 2), and no continuous stimulation.

    Good luck!
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    Great post by Mountain Duck!

    Weasle, there are several things that you have said in your posts that indicate that your training methods and philosophy are being influenced by something other than the Hillmann Puppy program. If you choose to ignore, or modify, or directly contradict the key Hillmann principles, your time and effort will probably not yield the results that Hillmann's program is designed to produce.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by weasle View Post
    Figured if I did that for a couple weeks, and gradually stepped the preasure up to like a 3 he would be conditioned.
    Conditioning a dog the the collar is SO much more than just getting him used to the pain. Conditioning a dog to the collar means that the dog understands why pressure is being exherted on him, and how he can avoid that pressure. Just simply burning him with commands until you can turn the collar up to a certain setting isn't going to do it!
    The purpose of an ecollar isn't to have some sort of way to punish your dog while he's not standing next to you - the purpose of a collar is to be able to make expectations clear, and give instant feedback about behavoir.

    I'd look at a few other methods so that you'll understand how the process works.

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