I’ve spoken before of my aversion to e-collars in the presence of birds: there are simply too many things that can go wrong. But recently (as I hope you read), I’ve seen electricity in a different light, so to speak. Once Manny understands that holding a point is an obedience challenge, the usual “enforcers” are all in play: checkcord, verbal, electronic. The key is divorcing a scented bird (and the instinctive pause it incites), from the expectation that he should hold that point once the handler is in the picture.
Okay, so I’ve gotten it off my chest.
That done, I’ve noticed an interesting side benefit: I don’t really need to use the collar much. The mere sight of the transmitter (big, black, ominous) encourages compliance. Dangling around my neck or clutched in my free hand as birds flutter and fly around him, Manny stands solid as a rock. Even other commands (kennel, heel, etc.) come easier when that long black tube is in the picture.
(This is probably yet another manifestation of “collar-wise,” but so what? If a dog is already collar-wise, and it works, what’s the problem?)
Interesting side notes: At times, Manny doesn’t even need to wear his e-collar – seeing the transmitter is enough motivation. Thanks to my poor planning, I’ve also learned that holding the transmitter isn’t necessary. A fisted hand is a worthy substitute, which will certainly come in “handy.”