Legitimate use of Shock Collars? My experience.. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Legitimate use of Shock Collars? My experience..

Hello Friends, this comes from Oz (Australia). This is a bit of help, either for you or correction for me, but based on personal experience. I don't even know if they are legal in America, there is a lot of backlash on their use, but I have found them legitimate in a few areas. NOTE, before you fire up at me I am against them but have found them a life saver for a few areas. I want to trend toward a confident well socialized but somewhat personal protection dog. I am afraid it might harm the confidence using it on a 1-2 year old puppy, so I am not likely to use it. Please tell me the alternatives to what I describe..

Starting with horses, I had to paddock four together a long time ago not on my own property, and one was fat and a bully. He would go through electric fence tape. I could not isolate him. He would go to his own hay, stretch waaay out and pee all over it, then go beat up on someone else to steal their hay. Afterward, he would go (disgusting) and eat is pi$$ed on hay. Solution was my first experiment with shock collars. After he wore it for a few days and forgot about it: When he would go to bully others, he got a blast, (remote viewing shock collar), and it soon ended his aggression. It only took a few reminders once or twice a year and he was cured, a great trail horse, just cured of being a bully for food. It was as if he learned that other horses packed a punch and when he wheeled around to kick them something BIT THE HECK OUT OF HIM.. I also have had limited success with cribbing and wind sucking, but it takes too much patience watching. They soon learn that activity comes with an uncomfortable JOLT and they will change their behavior. Again, limited, very limited use and application.

Now with Dogs, I am too far away for you to throw rocks at me.. heh he.. It is not a training tool, not to be used very often, except to save the dogs life. One legitimate use I have found IMO is at work, truck and transport and forklifts, when they are laying down in the way and a vehicle comes within about a Metre, if they get a JOLT they soon learn cars BITE. I even baited them up stepping off a curb and when a car came within about a meter, something BIT THE HECK OUT OF THEM.. Now I have not had much success in getting them to look for cars any other way. Maybe I lacked skill or patience, OK... This worked right away, they simply learned vehicles could BITE THE HECK OUT OF THEM.. Maybe only six sessions over a week and a reminder once a month for a couple of months, and their behavior was changed as it was a hazard to them Laying around, they soon learned to get up and out of the way if ANY vehicle was moving in their direction.

And the same for stepping off a curb, right away when they learned cars BITE, they would look both directions before crossing the road, and not step out in front of traffic.

Please tell me a better way to train them to stay out of the way of vehicle??? I lost a dog as a kid, only an instant off a lead, he was distracted and ran out in front of a truck without looking before I could react.

The other application was against poison bait. I would put a variety of burger, sausage, bacon at different times. Dog out, go for it, get a mild jolt, and would actually drop it out of his mouth. It only took a few times and his reaction to bait was to alert bark at it, at about a metre, until I came out to collect it and praise him, take him in the house and give him another type of treat. Again this could take a reminder once or twice a year...

Tell me a better way? I do not want to use the shock collar any more, as I am convinced it could have harmful side effects. These are two areas I feel the shock collar could SAVE the dogs life.

I wait for your answers with an open mind.... Car training, and bait training, I have not had much success without the shock collar. Maybe I am just not patient or expecting too much too soon.. I have a new GSD pup coming in mid January and want to get it right...

lone Ranger, out on the "Last Frontier" with GSDs (2) and horses (many)... Living "Dances With Wolves" as much as I can...

Last edited by lone Ranger; 12-05-2012 at 10:51 PM. Reason: boo-boo
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 11:04 PM
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you can train your dog not to step off the curb without an
e-collar. you can train your dog not to eat off the ground
or out of a strangers hand without an e-collar.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 11:08 PM
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This is a follow-up on your training question concerning your last PPD post?
Or for just training in general?

Perfecting your dog's recall with a good trainer ( for you and the dog) is the best option.
In addition to other obedience commands, of course.

JMO. Kat
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
you can train your dog not to step off the curb without an
e-collar. you can train your dog not to eat off the ground
or out of a strangers hand without an e-collar.
Best GSD I saw as a kid, had bait thrown in the yard (we think).. What a terrible tragedy. I am not sure how to train a dog left alone in a yard, maybe bored, not to eventually eat nice tasty treat when you are not around, except by e-collar.. If he learns it will BITE THE HECK out of him, he instinctively will ignore it..

Secondly, maybe stepping off a curb with me, that is ok, but again not sure how you would get them watching out in a transport type situation for moving vehicles or forklifts headed their direction. When they are alone, off a lead, it is easy for them to just not be wary unless they have been BITTEN by vehicles..

Yes I am guilty, but the e-collar was short and effective for both. Not meaning to argue here, just looking for an effective alternative to both... If it exists, I do not know it, hence why I have posted...
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 11:26 PM
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This reminds me of the way they train dogs to avoid snakes. Isn't it to also get the dog to not want to be near it through some pain, though I'm not sure of the training details. I think for your purpose, I understand why you'd use it the way you do. Would be interested too of others feedback on your post.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Wow Bear, this is shaping up to be a cool Thread. I never thought of snakes, but that is only because on the few times in ten years my GSDs baled one up, (Australian for rounding up, holding/containing one up) they just danced all around barking at it instinctively staying out of range. Snakes here in Oz are about the worst in the world, but both my GSDs just danced around out range barking. Maybe that is because of the way I reacted as they do not "go Bush" without me.. I was Yelling / Screaming in terror BACK, BACK that means get back out of the way. Maybe it was instinctive on their part or just my extreme reaction. On foot or on a horse, I would go bezerk if they baled up a snake.. So they stayed out of range..

Good thought for an e-collar though, if someone had a dog that wanted to attack the snake.. They are deadlier than Cobras here... Mind you, very few deaths, maybe less than Shark attacks, which is also very rare..

Good Thought there Bear..
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 11:50 PM
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Is it likely that your dog will encounter poisoned bait? Is your dog off leash around moving vehicles? Is it possible to avoid the dog getting into those situations?

There are other ways to use the e-collar, you can study the methods of Lou Castle.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 11:50 PM
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Obviously they train dogs to do or not do these things; look both ways before stepping off a curb; or they'd not be using dogs as seeing eye dogs.
And I KNOW they don't employ e-collars in Seeing eye dog training...
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RebelGSD View Post
Is it likely that your dog will encounter poisoned bait? Is your dog off leash around moving vehicles? Is it possible to avoid the dog getting into those situations?.
Hi Rebel, nice sentiment, but no... There is Dingo Bait and other problems out Bush, Panadol even used (deadly for dogs) for burglaries and such. And I am in the Transport type game with Bushtracker and the dog will be with me 24/7.. Further bait and moving vehicles is only a one shot chance, and outcome is permanent.. so no... But thank you for the sentiment..


msvette, I agree about stepping off the curb, I can see that, thank you... But around big yards like my Factory buildings, vehicles driving in and out, dog with me 24/7, forklifts running, chasing a ball and off the lead it is a little more complex unless the dog learns they can BITE THE HECK out of him with an e-collar, and looks out for them. It is an association thing.

Sadly, I lost a dog about 40 years ago on a construction site innocently in my stupid youth. The second dog of two I have lost to vehicles. He used to trot along side the truck when I was moving. Something fell and startled him jumping to the side and a wheel picked him up. Sorry, one of those tragedies in life.

Msvette, the e-collar training makes them watch out for anything vehicular headed their direction. Even out on my horse property my dogs follow, but do not get in front of mowers, tractors, or quad bikes. They are wary of anything vehicular moving towards them, and will only trot along behind. I do not know how to handle that training without the e-collar association to the moving vehicle can BITE them if allowed to get too close.. So they move out of the way and are watching out.. Again, not arguing, I am looking for an alternative to the e-collar, but not sure of one...

Kind regards from OZ. Thursday here, now 3:30 PM across the International Dateline, late Wednesday night your time... Good night to you..
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 02:38 AM
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If it's a matter of life and death, I think a shock collar can be humanely used as an aversion-only tool.

Rattlesnake (or any snake) training, for example. If the dog is a hunting or stock dog, working off leash and often out of sight of the handler, aversion training is the way to go. I would much rather shock my dogs a few times than have them bitten by a snake.

Chasing deer, harassing livestock, chasing moose, chasing pigs, chasing cars, chasing porcupines- also dangerous, also most easily solved with some e-collar aversion work. Not to say a positive-only trained "leave it" or recall wouldn't work for many dogs- but for some dogs the self-reward of chasing just overcomes all the positive training. Also, a dog can get into trouble with a porcupine or snake or start a chase before you can give a command. An e-collar is a decent alternative to keeping a dog on leash all the time otherwise.

I hadn't thought about using the e-collar to teach the dog that vehicles are dangerous. It seems to be a safe and simple way to get that message across. Especially so that the dogs can enjoy coming to work with you and not be in the way or be in danger. Hey- if it works for you, and you haven't seen any issues with the training, great.

I do wonder how they teach seeing-eye dogs to avoid traffic. My initial thoughts are that seeing-eye dogs are chosen with specific temperaments in mind- that is, low prey drive, low reactivity, easily trainable, willing to please, low thresholds. I could be wrong, but that type of dog may be fairly easy to train to be car savvy. With a lot of repeated road crossings where the dog is trained to look both ways and only go when cars are not coming- the dog must be able to "get" it. I think most of us don't have the proper dog for the job of seeing-eye, nor the expertise to train this. Lots of dogs bred for it also fail out of the program.

I can easily teach my dogs to sit automatically at the curb and wait until I say "go" but I wouldn't trust them to watch for cars. I'd like to try to train this. Interesting discussion.

As a side note, when I was a kid our cats just were allowed to wander. Sadly, we had quite a few get killed by cars crossing the road. But the ones that figured it out, did look both ways before crossing- I saw one of our most savvy cats do this. If the cats made it past 1 year old or so, they lived to die of natural causes. I'm not sure what made these cats different. Whether they had a really close call, were just naturally wary, or were smart enough to see the danger. Regardless, any future cats my parents have will be indoor-only because there is no way to know which cat will get it and which won't. I suppose you could e-collar train a cat to avoid cars... who knows?

I think it's a smart idea to teach our pets that vehicles are dangerous. Done right, it seems like something every dog or cat should know. An e-collar seems like a simple way to do this- for dogs anyway, but I'm really interested in other methods people might use.
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