OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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Red
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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Red » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:39 am

Curly_07 wrote:Red I agree that management is very important. My point was that I'd exhaust all other avenues positively(positive training, trainers, behaviorist, management) and would never think of using physical corrections such as an e-collar.


I know you get that part, was just trying to make it a bit more clear for other people who might be reading and maybe think that there is a permanent solution for everything involving behavior.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby 1lila1 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:10 pm

arlene2010 wrote:i get what your saying, i guess all scientist have spent parts of their lives trying to understand what it means to be the "top dog" with a group of dogs. scientists also say there is no god, and religion is fake. but well over half the world believe and are blessed by god, and their prayers are answered. so yea if your going off of that, its not alpha. but more of a "pecking order" that i also found to include for others. it ALL means the same thing. just how there are different words in the dictionary that mean the same thing.


The ignorance in this statement is astounding! If you swallow hook line and sinker such ridiculous notions there's no way you will respect or agree with the scientific studies that conclude that shock collars can do damage to dogs. You should attempt to educate and inform yourself before making any further statements about science.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Brianna&Bubba. » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:19 pm

1lila1 wrote:
arlene2010 wrote:i get what your saying, i guess all scientist have spent parts of their lives trying to understand what it means to be the "top dog" with a group of dogs. scientists also say there is no god, and religion is fake. but well over half the world believe and are blessed by god, and their prayers are answered. so yea if your going off of that, its not alpha. but more of a "pecking order" that i also found to include for others. it ALL means the same thing. just how there are different words in the dictionary that mean the same thing.


The ignorance in this statement is astounding! If you swallow hook line and sinker such ridiculous notions there's no way you will respect or agree with the scientific studies that conclude that shock collars can do damage to dogs. You should attempt to educate and inform yourself before making any further statements about science.


x2!

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Leslie H
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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Leslie H » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:17 pm

A rule reminder;
[18] No religion; no non-dog politics
Please leave discussions about politics and religions at the door. We’ve found these topics to be divisive and the source of hurt feelings, anger, and negativity here. For a number of years now, PBF has been a religion-and-politics free zone. And we like it that way.

E-collars are a hot enough topic by themselves, can you all please leave religion out of it.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby lilangel » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:15 am

Red wrote:I'd like to add that some behaviors do not completely disappear with either positive training/behavior modification, nor with punishment. What is wise to do, regardless the issue, is management.People who electrically stimulate dogs to make them sleep close to the other get a good wake up call when things happen and they do not have an electric collar on the dog. A highly trained GSD that belong to someone I know in the training world just killed the household cat last week. Dog has a lot on obedience on him and the owner did not want to work in other ways (e-collar fancier and user) so the collar was used for cat issues as well, from the moment the dog got into the house. The dog has a strong prey drive, which sure helps when he trains for Sch. Cat is dead, owner is acting like she is not to be blamed for anything and the dog will probably have a hell of a life since there still is another cat around.


Jeez, that sounds like a freakin mess.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby willyg44 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:26 am

We were just advised to try the ecollar by our dog trainer after a few classes of trying other things. Our dog is dog aggressive/nervous/anxious around other dogs, and we originally started the class to get him around other dogs more and for some positive reinforcement training. We also started the training to curtail his jumping on people whenever someone would enter the house, because our grandparents would get knocked over if they entered. We do NILIF at home, taught him all the basic commands, etc, but we thought we wanted to try to nip a few other things in the butt that we couldn't sort out with just positive training. This is NOT to say, it would be impossible. We wanted some guidance on what to do, and this place had a "Totally Pitbull" course, and the classes were all about positive reinforcement.

Well, the first 2 classes, he was barking like crazy, his eyes were bloodshot, he was a wreck. We ended up having to exit and re-enter the place a bunch of times, exiting each time he would bark, praising if he did not bark. This was 45 minutes of the 2nd class, missed pretty much all of it! Believe me, the trainers tried to calm him down, stuffed kongs and treats wouldn't help. We were hopeful that after time and with practice at home, things would get better.

A classmate actually came up to us and spoke with us about the e-collar. She said she went through the same thing, and when she finally tried the e-collar, change came almost instantly. I'm sure they work better on some dogs, worse on others, and I'm also very sure that some people abuse the e-collar and do not use it properly, which is disappointing. We spoke to one of the trainers about the e-collar who said she has received a lot of criticism in the dog training community for adopting the e-collar as a training tool. I was very skeptical at first, mainly because of this thread lol.

First of all, I must say I'm taken back a bit by all of the negative responses about the stim or shock, whatever you choose to call it. We have the Dogtra IQ, and there are 100 settings. We have not had to go above 40, and that was 1 time, and I have not used it on 40 again. The highest I go is 30, normal range is 20-22. When we felt the shock at first when trying to figure out if we wanted to use this, I was like really? That's all? I was under the impression it was a continuous electrical shock similar to a stun gun that paralyzed the poor dog's body for that time. Well, it was just about the vibrate setting on my phone around 20, and a little stronger of course when you went higher. But by no means was it painful. If anyone has had electric muscle therapy, it's just like that really. UNLESS of course you use it at a very high setting.

I have not even tried to see what it feels like past 40. If someone is using this thing at 80-100 and constantly pressing the thing when their dog doesn't sit on the first call, or doesn't do whatever they want their dog to do even if the dog doesn't understand... well that's abuse. But, that's not what we're doing with it.

Whenever we use the e-collar we use plenty of praise and give treats. I must say, I have never seen my dogs tail go in between his legs from a shock. His tail is just wagging, and he loves the praise he gets. The first time we used it with the trainer's dog, we were able to walk pretty close to it without him even barking or whining at the end of the session. Our focus was not to have Leo ignore dogs. We just did not want him lunging at them, or barking at them, you know. So we would stim that behavior, tell him to come, treat and praise him when he came, repeat. Kinda doing crazy walking while around other dogs.

At the end of the session, he would be glancing at the dog with no problem at all, and after, he would be checking in with us looking at us after he passed the dog like "LOOK! I didn't bark!". He got it immediately, it was pretty great to me. Could this have happened with 30 minutes of positive reinforcement training on our dog? I don't know. I was by no means looking for a quick fix, but Leo was loving the training, and was a lot LESS stressful because he wasn't going crazy around dogs, barking himself into a stupor, and having bloodshot eyes. He was never this good, ever this close to another dog.

The next session we were able to walk alongside the trainer's dog about 6 feet away, and Leo wasn't whining at all. He would just be sniffing around, minding his own business, just like the other pup. That session, we had to use the e-collar only a few times, as he would stay by our side most of the time, not wander off, and would always check in with us. He got plenty of treats and praise mostly.

The biggest test was the next group session with the other pitbulls, and he did great. We did not have to use the e-collar that must surprisingly, and at this time, we would call his name, and he would check in with us, since we used his name when using the e-collar.

Anyway, I could go on about how the e-collar has been a great training tool for us, and other things that have improved greatly, but I think I wrote enough. I just think that it's not right to judge all e-collar trainers/users and put them into the same category. There are ones who do not use them properly or stim WAY too high, and then there are people like us, who use commands with the stim, as well as treats and huge praise. The e-collar is just a training tool to us that has helped with a lot of issues. Trust me, if my dog was clearly sad and his tail was in between his legs when using this e-collar I would return it in a heartbeat.

To be honest, I find Cesar Milan's prong collar popping methods to be worse than the e-collar if used appropriately, and at a lower setting. That popping of the collar is by no means positive reinforcement, and I personally do not think I am harming my dog in any way by using the e-collar. Furthermore, not being rude here, just saying that I don't think anyone should be able to judge on whether or not my dog enjoys or dislikes the e-collar. To say it stresses a dog out after seeing how stressed my dog was around other dogs, and now seeing him lie down and take belly rubs around other dogs, makes me think otherwise.

The trainers are making a video of our progress, I'll post it once it completes. I'm not going to change minds here I know that, and I don't intend to. I just wanted to post my personal experience after being a long time hater of e-collars because quite frankly I have never encountered one or used one.

So if you have a response, please don't attack me, I'm open to discussing in a civil manner. But I won't respond to attacks saying I'm harming my dog and a horrible human being, because of how little we use the e-collar on a day to day basis, how positive the training is, and how happy Leo is, wagging his tail and eager to do tricks to please. Again, this is my experience, and I did not go fully into everything it has helped with. I'll post more if requested about my experience and the training we do. I love my dog, and I wouldn't dare cause any harm to him.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby willyg44 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:38 am

Oh and I forgot to add, I don't use the e-collar for training tricks or things like that. It's not a substitute for a clicker. He does great with praise and treats for training new things.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Leslie H » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:10 pm

I've never used an e-collar. My timing's pretty mediocre, so I never tried it when I considered it. I did just retire my prong collars, after realizing it had been a year or more since I'd used them. So, while I am not a pure positive trainer, I am getting more experience w/approaching situations from a more positive pov. I expect that issues may take me longer to resolve, but the solution will be longer lasting, and achieved w/less stress on the dog.
Our dog is dog aggressive/nervous/anxious around other dogs

Of my 3 dogs, 1 fits the description of your dog. Her DA behavior is rooted in fear. So, I'm pretty confused by why you'd choose a pain based aversive to resolve an issue. It would seem that you might supress the behavior, but do nothing to calm the dog's nerves. You run the risk of having a dog that will react aggressively towards other dogs, but will not first offer the warning behaviors that typically precede a bite, because not only is he afraid of the other dog, he's afraid to make a threat display.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:18 pm

:goodpost:

You're not helping him feel better about what's making him afraid, you're simply telling him to stop communicating the fact that he's uncomfortable. So while he is less reactive, he probably doesn't feel a whole lot better about the situation, and therefore you have a dog who is possibly less predictable, but no less afraid.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Nichole » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:13 pm

One of my girls is (or maybe used to be) insanely dog reactive - fear based. She was bad enough we couldn't take formal classes for a while because being within visual, no matter how far away, was enough to put her over thresh hold. I did not use punishment based training to get her beyond that. What good would it do to take a freaked out dog and shock her for reacting to what she thinks is scary?

"you're scared violet? Here, let me shock you to PUNISH you for TELLING ME you are scared" Does that make sense?

We used positive training. We went from not being able to step foot in a training facility - hell we couldn't even go for a walk around the neighborhood without her turning into a trembling gremlin - to working side by side (within about 3 feet or so) with strange dogs. She is competing in rally, has two legs, one leg short of getting her RN title - all around other dogs.

Is she still dog reactive? Yes. Definitely. But she tells me - and I listen to her - when another dog is too close or she doesn't like their body language or smell or whatever. We continue to work positive reinforcement around other dogs. When she sees another dog she almost always looks up at me and wags her tail - where's my cookie mom? I see another dog. Another dog means I get a COOKIE!!!

To shock a dog that is reacting to another dog (or whatever) is punishing that dog for trying to tell you how uncomfortable that dog is. When you take away your dogs ability to tell you how uncomfortable it is, it is still uncomfortable. Instead of telling you, it is having to suppress it's feelings of discomfort and displeasure. And when you remove the dogs ability to communicate with you, you're more likely to get the "it came out of no where" attacks. The dog would have warned you, but you trained it not to.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby MissKitty » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:31 pm

It sounds like your dog was waaaaay over threshold in that 'PitBull' training class and I would very much question the trainer's knowledge if they allowed a dog to continue to be placed in that situation and expected it to work it self out.

As for the E-Collar not being stressful, it sounds like you may be missing out on some of the points being made in this thread. Tucking the tail and 'acting' stressed are far from the only signs of stress. Sniffing on the ground can be strong avoidance, along with a multitude of other tiny behaviors that people miss.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Boss*sMom » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:31 pm

I wonder what my PBF friends would have to say about us using the wireless fence set up... The dogs wear their collars, but to be honest the only time the collars were acutally set to shock was after the initial training period, it only took one time for them to understand that mommy was serious about not crossing the flags. Now the collars are on, and set to beep only, they never cross the fence.

We exhausted all options with them, and this was the only thing we could do, They are only out long enough to potty, or romp in the yard (besides our male boston who only sleeps inside, he loves it outside-weather permitting). We arent allowed any type of permanent fencing or fencing at all, we do have an outdoor kennel for when we need it.

This works for us, I guess it does the same thing as an e-collar, and I know that is frowned upon, but after alot of debating the decision we finally went for the wireless fence and have had no problems with it or with the dogs using it whatsoever.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby MissKitty » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:52 pm

Boss*sMom wrote:I wonder what my PBF friends would have to say about us using the wireless fence set up...


There is a fancy little button at the top of the page, where you can search for PBF member's opinions on the subject.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Stormi » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:58 pm

Boss*sMom wrote:I wonder what my PBF friends would have to say about us using the wireless fence set up... We exhausted all options with them, and this was the only thing we could do, They are only out long enough to potty, or romp in the yard (besides our male boston who only sleeps inside, he loves it outside-weather permitting). We arent allowed any type of permanent fencing or fencing at all, we do have an outdoor kennel for when we need it.


I would say a leash or zip-line system is a much kinder, safer and cheaper option.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:00 pm

Boss*sMom wrote:I wonder what my PBF friends would have to say about us using the wireless fence set up... The dogs wear their collars, but to be honest the only time the collars were acutally set to shock was after the initial training period, it only took one time for them to understand that mommy was serious about not crossing the flags. Now the collars are on, and set to beep only, they never cross the fence.

We exhausted all options with them, and this was the only thing we could do, They are only out long enough to potty, or romp in the yard (besides our male boston who only sleeps inside, he loves it outside-weather permitting). We arent allowed any type of permanent fencing or fencing at all, we do have an outdoor kennel for when we need it.

This works for us, I guess it does the same thing as an e-collar, and I know that is frowned upon, but after alot of debating the decision we finally went for the wireless fence and have had no problems with it or with the dogs using it whatsoever.


Since you asked...

It's not exactly the same as an e-collar however, I think using one on a bully breed is asking for trouble. I don't have a fenced yard. My solution? My dogs aren't outside without me and they're generally leashed in case a squirrel comes along. If you're counting on a shock to keep a bully breed contained, you don't really understand how focused and intense they can be.


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