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Thread: shock collar ?

  1. #1

    Default shock collar ?

    Hi all,
    We have a 5-month-old puppy with a biting habit.
    She is a Ridgeback/Belgian Shepherd cross. The Belgian has a reputation for being dominant and stubborn, and our puppy is already large and will be around 50kg or more when full-grown.

    She has a habit of biting legs and hands when running and excited. Not full bites, but hard nips that cause bruising and sometimes draw blood.
    As we have a 92-year-old lady living with us, this must stop.
    We have been using vocal commands, smacking with a thong, and ignoring/shunning the dog afterwards for a few minutes, showing that it's not acceptable behaviour in our pack.

    The problem is that she is fast and strong, a lot of the time it's not possible to physically correct her immediately.
    I'm hoping that a shock collar will work, constantly shouting and running after the dog trying to smack her is not working, she thinks it's part of the game.

    Can any experienced persons here give some advice?

  2. #2
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    If you think you need a shock collar ( which are illegal in many places) you need a trainer more. The situation is dangerous and urgent if you have a powerful dog that is not in control of impulses to bite. Maybe if you post your location a forum member could suggest a trainer near you.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by farrview View Post
    If you think you need a shock collar ( which are illegal in many places) you need a trainer more. The situation is dangerous and urgent if you have a powerful dog that is not in control of impulses to bite. Maybe if you post your location a forum member could suggest a trainer near you.
    We are in Airlie Beach Qld.
    There used to be a regular puppy/dog obedience class here, but it seems the trainer left town.

  4. #4
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    Thats a lot of dog for an inexperienced person to these breeds. Belgian shepherds are actually highly trainable and highly intelligent. I know quite a few and they are excellent well behaved animals but like Border collies, cattle dogs, kelpies etc they need a lot of mental and physical stimulation and training particularly when they are young. Dogs usually become mouthy when they are not being exercised and trained appropriately and a Belgian shepherd is a herding breed.

    How much obedience training are you currently giving her. These types of dogs are high maintenence when they are young and learning. Shouting, running and slapping etc is really not the answer. Good structured training and exercise is. You are going to have to put a lot of work in at this age or you are going to be in trouble. Blasting away with a shock collar instead of training is not the best solution. I have never used a shock collar and am unlikely to, but it is a training aid and you need to know how to use it, one should never be used in place of training which is what tends to happen in many cases.

    I would perhaps keep her on a long line or lead at the moment so that you have complete control. I would be teaching her a recall to you and then teach her to sit in front of you when she comes. You can use a treat when she comes or have a game with her. Reward her for coming. Really practice this. I would get her sitting nicely for her dinner as well.

    You could also invest in a crate. I feed my dogs in their crates as pups and they grow to love their crates. Great for getting them to sleep in at night and to chill out in. It also gives you an element of control.

    This type of breed is going to need both physical and mental exercise. For a young growing dog swimming her at the beach might be a nice low impact but energy draining exercise. Keep her on that long line untill she learns to come nicely to you.

    Just be prepared that you have a breed mix that is going to require plenty of work while she grows or you end up with a monster. Part and parcle of your dog choice. I myslef have working breeds and I put a lot of time into them when they are young. Pays off in the end.

  5. #5

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    I'm not inexperienced with dogs. Have had Ridgebacks all my life, have always trained them with voice commands, choke chain and rewards, all standard stuff and effective. This dog was a rescue from an abusive/neglectful environment.

    I have studied all available information on Belgian shepherds, as I have never had one.
    The puppy gets plenty of exercise, we are on 6 acres and I spend a good hour-plus a day walking and playing with her.
    Her basic obedience is good, she has learned to sit for treats, comes to me when called.

    The nipping behaviour only happens when she is running off the lead and excited, and happens mainly with my wife, my sister-in-law and MIL, who also live with us. They are not educated in dog training and tend to shout and excite the dog further.

    Training the dog is going to be a lot easier than training them.

    What I have in mind is simply to use the collar to reinforce verbal/body language when she nips.
    Hopefully I can re-set the thing from mild shock to noise after a few times. She's a quick learner in all other respects, I'm thinking I might only have to use this for a week or so, after which the voice/body language will suffice.

  6. #6
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    I said inexperienced to these breeds. The ridgebacks I have known are very different dogs to Belgian Shepherds. A cross can turn out any combination. A Belgian Shepherd is a high energy, herding breed and is fairly high maintenence in its early training requirements. They need more structured work than just running and playing.

    You have more people in your family who are inexperienced than not. So I would then start with educating them. The behaviour happens when she is running off lead hence I would leash her immediately that behaviour starts. Let her off and leash her again if the nonsense starts so she understands that behaviour is not rewarded.

    I cant help you with the shock collar but this breed is very smart, she will soon figure out that she only gets shocked when you have the collar on and what happens when the other members take her for a walk? She will certainly know the difference and use it to her advantage. I suspect the education of your family and dog is realistically going to take a bit longer than a few weeks but I could well be wrong.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 03-03-2014 at 02:10 PM.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the suggestion of leash on/leash off. Will give that a try for a while. I don't like the concept of using a shock collar and would prefer not to.

    Training the dog will of course be an ongoing routine. I know it will be easier and more rewarding than trying to train the women in my family.

    They are highly resistant to training, as they know it all.

  8. #8
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    You have identified the core problem which is the humans, the dog should be much easier to correct. I know when I took my BC to obedience I was the one who learned the most, she is smart and had taught me some bad habits..lol. Keep us posted you sound like someone who will succeed once the correct path is located.

  9. #9
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    The Belgian, if it is a Malinois that the cross is, is in no way a herding dog. It's work and guarding through and through. As for ridgeback x Belgian, what a mix. It's why you have a biting problem. I have had and trained with Belgians for over 10 years, they're some of the most trainable BUT advanced dogs you can own. THey are nothing even remotely like a ridgeback.

    You do not need a shock collar, sting this dog the wrong way and risk being bitten harder then you can imagine. Find someone that has Malinois near you or a schutzhund club to go visit and get some advice. Dog Matters Dog Training Bundaberg contact Tenille and she can recommend someone as I don't know someone that close but she will. She also owns a Belgian and knows breeders/trainers with experience in them.
    Last edited by Nekhbet; 03-03-2014 at 03:39 PM.
    http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c11/Mali_nut/K9LOGO.jpg

  10. #10
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    The Belgian shepherds I know are are all tervs or groens, I dont know any malinois but the people overseas I know who have malinois defintely herd with them and compete in herding trials as well as protection sports. I know of a few that are used as stock dogs and bred on stock and people with Belgian shepherds on the working dog forums can get quite indignant and shoot you down in flames if you argue that Border collies are better stockdogs. I know a number of american Mals with advanced herding titles. (Dantero kennels working mals)

    So I am now confused. Certainly they are classed as herding dogs for ANKC herding along with German Shepherds
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 03-03-2014 at 04:02 PM.

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