Not My Finest Hour

I’ve been fiddling with a new camera, and fiddling with a new dog. It seemed only right I should film a training session.

Up to this point, I’d been working mainly on leash skills, basic obedience, and socialization, which has all gone pretty swimmingly. But I thought it high time to do some remote collar work.

It’s been awful hot here lately, but I was itching to put this guy on a long line, so seized my opportunity on a day when the heat was less oppressive and the park unusually quiet. He’d done remote collar work in the past with another trainer, but that was a while back, so I figured we’d start from square one.

I often prepare clients for introductory remote collar training by explaining that early sessions may appear chaotic in the beginning, but tend to fall into order soon enough.

This short video is a good illustration of that promise, despite being a poor illustration of my aptitude as a trainer. For the record, we have not had another bolt since this outing (despite encountering various critters), but you can bet I’m always paying attention.

And no, I did not hit the tree, but thanks for your concern.

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  1. Pooch Professor’s avatar

    I tried to view it, but it says it’s a private video and it won’t play.

    Reply

    1. ruthcrisler’s avatar

      I think I fixed it. Try again?

      Reply

  2. SmartDogs’s avatar

    Worked for me and I loved the peanut gallery comments you inserted ;-)

    Reply

    1. ruthcrisler’s avatar

      I neglected to point out that were I the sort of girl to take my new pit bull to the park on a flexi-lead and a prayer, I might now be down a dog or a digit or both.

      Reply

  3. Pooch Professor’s avatar

    Very nice. And it points out why I don’t have any videos of myself doing that; it’s hard to capture it all with a tripod without the viewer needing a magnifying glass to see the action, and having someone tape it for you makes it all “Blair Witch” jerky.

    Such a great exercise. So simple, yet so effective.

    And I agree with Janeen. The comments were excellent.

    Reply

  4. H. Houlahan’s avatar

    I liked your little vertical leap over the line at one point.

    Try setting up your distraction at the camera (another dog works well) and getting face-on video of the turns.

    I’ve done this with burst stills — foster dog on 15′ long-line doing standard Koehler day four or thereabouts. Wish we’d used video.

    Reply

    1. ruthcrisler’s avatar

      Thanks, I’m pretty good at jump rope as it turns out.

      I like your camera angle idea. I’ve got some footage of a couple puppies on six-foot leashes doing similar stuff, but it would be neat to capture the expression of a dog responding to low-level remote collar stimulation. I’m going to try to get that done.

      Reply

  5. Viatecio’s avatar

    The comments were enjoyed on this end too…and thanks for not hitting the tree. To say that it would be adding insult to injury is something of an understatement, albeit a cliched one. I can’t say that what all was going on was that apparent to me at first, but I’m glad that he got the message toward the end. It’s always worth all that effort :)

    (I’ll be ordering a 280 hopefully on Wednesday to replace my dead 175…SO EXCITED to have a working e-collar again, especially one of this quality!)

    Reply

    1. ruthcrisler’s avatar

      I like the 280 a lot. It’s been my first choice for the dogs I train since I started using it, mainly for the number of levels available within the range of very low stim.

      The video was clearly not intended to be so much instructive as merely amusing, and vaguely illustrative of a point I frequently make to clients. But I’m hoping to compile some more instructive footage at some point or other.

      Enjoy your new collar!

      Reply

  6. metisrebel’s avatar

    You know I’d rather see an owner/trainer/handler making honest mistakes or working at less than par in a REAL and distracting environment, than an edited–obviously quiet area that proves precisely *nothing* about real world dog training, IMO.

    Good on you for showing the unvarnished truth, warts and all!

    Reply

    1. ruthcrisler’s avatar

      Haha. Yes, I agree. Unvarnished is always refreshing.

      Reply

  7. Kelly’s avatar

    Just found this blog when I googled ‘cpdt view on ecollar training’. I am a newer CPDT and just bought a Dogtra IQ to use on my own dog ( 6-month old Mini Heeler). I have done all of the usual clicker training but want more tools in my belt. Anyway, I LOVE your blog. You are super funny and I enjoyed reading your correspondence with CCPDT.

    Whose ecollar methods do you use? Have any feedback or books you can direct me to view? It’s a challenge to find other CPDT who use ecollar training. Thank you!

    Cheers,
    Kelly

    Reply

    1. ruthcrisler’s avatar

      Glad you found the blog, and thank you for commenting. I’m currently working on putting together an electronic collar workshop of my own, geared toward R+ based trainers, to be scheduled for spring or summer of next year. My methods aren’t original, of course. I learned from other trainers, most notably Marc Goldberg and Mary Mazzeri. They are both located outside Chicago, but there are many good instructors out there.

      I recommend you contact Janeen McMurtrie of Smartdogs Weblog (link on my blog roll) and ask to join her Ecollar training list. It’s a wonderful resource for Ecollar training advice and information.

      Reply

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