Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Mountain's New Collar


Mountain's new e-collar came in, and it did not taken her very long to figure out that she can still hunt around, but she cannot barrel for Jesus down the hills to see if *maybe* a deer might be down there in the breaks. 

It was interesting watching her figure it out -- and how quickly she put it together. A little simple consistency, some use of the warning beeper, food treats whenever she did it right, and a few surprisingly low-volt "nicks" from the e-collar, and we seemed to be on a program for change as far as wide hunting was concerned. 

For the record, I started the collar off by putting it on myself, and at "1" I could barely feel it. At "2" I was aware of getting nicked, but it was not very bad and it was no big deal if my son wanted to juice me on the hand. It turned out that "2" was all it took for Mountain to get the idea, though I did turn it up to "4" once when I spotted a feral cat crouching in the grass waiting for Mountain to pass by. Mountain did not see the cat as she was very focused on doing the right thing with me, and so I was able to simply turn around and walk another away and all was well for cat and dog alike. All good! 

The Innotek e-collar I bought appears very well made, comes with a charger, a self-test, and -- most importantly of all -- a CD-Rom video on how to use the collar.  

E-collars are simply a tool for operant conditioning, same as food, a leash, a collar, and the human voice. The only benefit of an e-collar is that it works long distance, which is very useful if you have a strong prey-drive in a very smart hunting dog as I do with Mountain. Mountain is a hard nut, and this looks like a wrench that will work. I don't think I will have to use it on her too long -- dogs generally learn quickly once you get the right communication stream working.

How did I know I had the right collar? Simple -- I carefully researched them, checked all the features, price-shopped ... and then got the one that happened to have a picture of a Jack Russell on the box. Sometimes the purchaser and the marketing department agree!

No comments: