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Thread: When to Start Collar Conditioning

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    Default When to Start Collar Conditioning

    Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

    I was just watching Evan's Puppy DVD and he starts with the "here" command at about the age of 4 months, which is exactly the age of my pup (YLM) as of tomorrow. I was thinking of buying Lardy's collar conditioning DVD since this will be my first experience with an electronic collar and 90 min of just that information would probably be good for me. My ultimate question I wanted to ask on this post -- when do you begin the process? When do you start putting the collar on your dog and just having him wear it? In regards to Lardy's DVD, does anyone know what age he begins doing collar conditioning? I am probably going to buy the DVD regardless, but wanted to hear some opinions first.

    Thanks -- Justin

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    What don't you think the Puppy Program is telling you? The pup used to demonstrate was 4 months old the day we shot that footage. Is something unclear?

    Evan
    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw


    The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
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    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mix and match the Lardy CC with the Smart Works. They are different.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

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    Lardy CCs after FF(force fetch) which he generally begins after formal obedience and hold at around 6 months (if the dog has all his adult teeth)

    Smartwork has only 1 difference, CC to the here command early (around 4months). All other commands are CC after FF just like Lardy.
    Bert Rodgers

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    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    I follow Lardy. While Lardy doesn't include an early ecollar here session in his program, he will tell you that this may be necessary. For me it is about 50/50 on whether I do an early ecollar here or not. It depends on the dog.

    Some milestones from Rowdy (born 3/30/12):
    Started wearing turned off ecollar about 9/10/12
    First ecollar session to here 9/24/12 (about 2-3 days)
    Started ecollar conditioning 11/5/12

    Every dog is different and yours may not be on the same schedule as Rowdy. I agree with Howard, it is not a good idea to mix programs.
    Hope this helps.
    Wayne Nutt
    Go Nutts with dog training

    HRCH Patton's Parker Co. Shadow "Shadow"
    HRCH Clineline Hijacker "Jack"
    HRCH Marks a Lot Midnight Hudson, SH "Hudson"-retired
    Castile Creek's Rawhide, SH "Rowdy"

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    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    LabGuy - all good comments above. I don't have any hard data but seems to me most 1st time retriever/collar trainers don't have a pup ready at 4 months despite what books they've read or programs they've followed.

    You want to thoroughly understand collar pressure in both CC and after-use before embarking. And be confident about it. In addition have learned timing through other methods like stick and chain.

    Some are there at 4 months (generally because of experience) and some at 6 or 8 months. Also depends on the dog as an individual.

    You can't learn enough about the e-collar before you begin. Take your time, there are always a dozen other (or imperative) things you can be doing at 4 months old.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

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    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbr View Post
    Lardy CCs after FF(force fetch) which he generally begins after formal obedience and hold at around 6 months (if the dog has all his adult teeth)

    Smartwork has only 1 difference, CC to the here command early (around 4months). All other commands are CC after FF just like Lardy.
    The methods they use are very different.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

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    Senior Member PennyRetrievers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard N View Post
    I wouldn't mix and match the Lardy CC with the Smart Works. They are different.
    I hear you, and you're right. But I don't see the harm in watching both systems, for the sake of understanding the way that the dog percieves them. Knowledge is power.

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    Senior Member J_Brown's Avatar
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    LabGuy:

    I'm a newbie trainer as well. My BLF is almost 6 months old now. I had her wearing her e-collar (turned off and me carrying the transmitter) when she was about 3 or 3.5 months old. Since bringing her home at 7 wks, we have been going on "walks" in hunting-type atmospheres. Since that first day of her wearing the collar, she has always worn it EVERY time we've gone on a "walk" or during any training sessions. When she sees me grab the collar, she gets excited because she knows that fun (work) is coming.

    I have been following the Smartwork program, and we CC'd to the "here" command right around the 4 month mark as Evan suggests. Honestly, I think it was a great thing to do. Obviously it has made my pup safer and more responsive, but I think it's also helped her with her retrieving... more specifically her speed on the return (I don't nick her while retrieving... She just understands the "here" command that much better). For the past month or so we've been focusing on formal OB with the choke collar and heeling stick. All of her adult teeth have been in for a couple weeks now, so I'll be starting FF with her within the next week or two. Per Evan's program, I'll be CC'ing to other commands after FF.

    I'm obviously by no means an expert, so I could be completely wrong about this, but I don't see any disadvantage to having the dog wear the e-collar as early as possible. Seems to me like the earlier it's worn, the less likely the dog will become "collar-wise." Turning the collar on and using it, though... Yes, that should definitely be done with a high level of discretion involved.

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