E-collar to me is CLEARLY being used WRONG here! - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-06-2013, 11:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry E-collar to me is CLEARLY being used WRONG here!

(Apologize for video, i could not find a better youtube of the episode scene!)

Just want to say, I am not trying to put Cesar Millan down, I think, like with all trainers. There are good and bad about his training style. In my own personal training stand point, i believe more bad than good with him. But he in himself-i do not think is a bad person..

I also want to clarify that I believe in using e-collars, if used properly and this video to me is just screaming to me how wrong it is! It seems to me that he just slapped the e-collar on, the dog is super confused as to what is going on and why he is getting those feelings, and who knows what level Cesar is using and its to the point of the dog hiding under something..

My main point is how its scary to think of how many people who watched this are now going to slap collars on their dogs and do the same, and see a similar if not worse response from their dogs and think its okay, because they watched Cesar Millan do it.. (And i feel bad for the dog in the video!)

Anyways, there is my rant. Enjoy and pick apart as you please.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That was difficult to watch.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Is he nuts? Relaxing? More like shock the heck out of your dog and make it scared of your cat. That was hard to watch.
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Actually he is using the collar to make a behavior extinct, so there wasnt anything necessarily incorrect about his approach if he does not want to use the collar for anything else. Ofcourse there are associated risks with getting down and dirty with the collar right away, superstisious associations for one. However, in this case the dogs focus was intent enough on the cat that Id be comfortable saying he associated the stim with the cat.
I see a prey driven dog that wants to eat the cat. End result is the dog will likely associate cat with stim if he does another similar session or two and avoid it. Similar to snake avoidance training but worse since the dog has a lot of intensity for the kitty.

Welcome to the world of dog training not all cases are pretty or easy to handle. Some of them look quite messy during the process due to the severity of the behaviors involved. A classic case of short term pain long term gain.

You cant throw a treat and a clicker at a case like that imo.

If you think that short clip was messy try cleaning up whats left of your pet cat after its been chewed on by a GSD.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You could fix it with a positive method but to get it done in fairly good time you would have to take it to a bit of an extreme. All feeding would be done during desensitization. You'd ask for a behavior from the dog like a long down or something (which of course you'd have to train first.)

Start at threshold ask for the down or whatever and the dog gets paid to ignore the cat. If the dog fixates on the cat you give him a chance or two to correct the behavior and if he insists on fixation on the cat that's fine put him up and don't give him another chance to eat that day. Next day try again. He will be a little more receptive being hungry but if he screwed up then too again no food that day. A stubborn case might take a week or so but eventually hes going to get the point. The need for food will override his cat fixation behavior and he will start treating commands near that cat a ton more seriously if that is the only way he eats. You're essentially giving him a choice. Continue the behavior and go hungry or comply and eat. Won't take long before the dog consistently makes the choice that gets him paid, and then you can move him in closer. Not a super fast process but the process you're seeing isn't as quick as the show implies.

We also don't know how long the e collar had been on and if pressure had been layered over the top before, but who knows.

I don't necessarily have issues with e collar blasting the dog for certain behaviors without layering pressure over it ahead of time. Jumping on counters or digging into the trash or something like that as long as you catch him the second he does it works fine. Especially if you caught the behavior in the first few times the dog tried it you could easily stop it from ever happening again.

Last edited by Baillif; 12-07-2013 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I expected the video to be horrible and the dog being consistently tortured with some of the comments made..
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I dont think the competining motivators method would work well for when the dog runs into the cat and no immidiate supervision is present, or what if he is not hungry? Wheras the E Collar makes it about the cat and the dog (you hope) no third party. Its proven that a strong aversive is more likely to stick in LT memory so for this sort of thing Id prefer it.
I think you can debate how he worked the dog with the collar (if he was actually using one) and set the whole situation up. I think that could have been done better.

Have run into several cat killer GSDs of late..seems to be common with this breed.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The what if he isn't hungry fallacy is the same thing the anti E collar people say about what happens if he isn't wearing the collar? What happens when you aren't around to give the ecollar blast? It is the same thing. A strong reinforced behavior is the same regardless of whether it came from a negative reinforcement or a positive reinforcement. You don't allow no supervision till you have a strong consistent behavior. It has been scientifically proven over and over again +R leads to faster learning and stronger behaviors.

Not judging whether it is better to use one or the other here. Just saying they both work (on most dogs) when done right. Pain is motivating. No doubt about it, but so is hunger.

Last edited by Baillif; 12-07-2013 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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In case you were wondering btw. I would def be using some aversives in that situation. The reward for correct behavior would definitely be there though. Just saying it is possible to go without them.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It would worry me that the behavior he wanting can only be accomplished by making the dog wear the e-collar. What is the owner going to do, leave the collar on all the time. First time the dog goes for the cat without the collar and realizes that he doesn't feel pain it will be the end of the cat's life.
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