Just a quick video from this afternoon's walk. If there is something I love about Vizslas it's the happiness in their eyes when a) they can run free outdoors and b) do something to please you.
Incidentally, while it won't be turned on for a couple of weeks, Jozsi is wearing his disco-red e-collar for the first time to get him used to it. I think he's actually got the self-confidence and strength of personality now at 16wks to understand it as a reminder tool and not get freaked out by either the tone signal or the lightest stimulation setting. But there's no need to rush things.
With two dogs now, we had to get a 2-dog unit. The nice thing that Tritronics did in the last two years was make their G2 system expandable, so you could add additional dogs as needed (generally up to three dogs, total). So we were able to use the collar from our previous TT unit and also decided to upgrade range and sensitivity of stimulation options. I'll keep folks posted on the particulars of this unit as we get used to it.
I won't beat around the bush: it is a shock collar -- 'stimulation' = shock -- but the lightest shock option feels like a very mild ripple when I shocked myself to test the unit. It's a tool -- and like any tool, it can be used properly or it can be used improperly. It's the difference between allowing Momo and Jozsi to run free virtually the entire time and only allowing them to run in enclosed spaces -- which seems to defeat part of the pleasure of having any dog. I use one to extend their range and reliability and to jog their memories if they get mesmerised by a flushing bird (or a pile of poop).
The Wikipedia article I linked to presents itself as balanced science -- and for the most part it is. The only thing I would take issue with is the closing statement: "Regardless of the disputes about the quality of some of the research into the effects of shock collars, the conclusion has to be that they do have the potential to do harm, especially when used incorrectly, and that there is no scientific evidence to support the proponents of these devices." My only skepticism about this statement would lie in the question as to why there are only scientific studies exploring the potentially negative effects of e-collars in training -- presumably because the proof of its positive training benefits can be found in many dogs.