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Old 07-20-2014, 10:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default E collar for correction use only...thoughts?

Recently I went over a friend's house who had been training their dog with an e collar and using it for correction only. What are your thoughts on this? There are certain situations that arise that seem like we should correct, but at home she won't be wearing a leash/prong. Lately, she has barks and lunges at people who come over, even when we come in with them and it's clear they aren't a threat. I'm thinking if I tell her it's OK and she continues, then she needs a correction in this case, and an e collar may give her a bit more freedom to use vs. holding her on a leash the entire time and trying to correct her.

Most the articles I've read seem to use ecollars for training (stim until dog complies, then stim goes away) but what about just using it as a form of correction? Thoughts?
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nothing wrong with using an Ecollar for corrections but in your case I'd use the prong. It's more personal. The dog knows the correction is coming from you and what it's for.

Last thing you need is you zap the dog when guests come over and the dog associates the stim with guests. Next thing you know the dog freaks out even more when people come over.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you go through teaching the dog how to turn the stim off, and then train and proof your obedience, you can just have the dog down or go to its place, and then stim for noncompliance if necessary.

No leash, no confusion or superstitious learning, and you are giving the dog the right thing to do instead of just trying to correct away a behavior.

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Old 07-20-2014, 11:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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E-collar can be used for rewards also. This way dog never associates it as punishment and gladly complies as he known stim means good things. A very small percentage of trainers/handlers use this technique currently, hopefully it will catch on but a typical user wants overnight results!
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Packen View Post
E-collar can be used for rewards also. This way dog never associates it as punishment and gladly complies as he known stim means good things. A very small percentage of trainers/handlers use this technique currently, hopefully it will catch on but a typical user wants overnight results!
could you expand on this? whats the reasoning behind nicking the dog instead of using a marker word? or is it the same except ecollar has better timing?
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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could you expand on this? whats the reasoning behind nicking the dog instead of using a marker word? or is it the same except ecollar has better timing?
Assumptions are the killer. You do not nick "instead" of marker word (or clicker) but use both in conjunction. To the dog it means the same thing, marker is verbal stim, low level nick is physical stim, both mark reward which off course only happens if dog is in correct position.

Now that assumptions are out of the way, if you use this technique it means dog associates correct behavior with reward marker and stim. It takes several hundred sessions (say a couple of months if you use 2-3 sessions a day) to ingrain reward marker with perfect position and stim.

Now if a dog is out of position in training, a nick brings him back and he expects reward so drive goes up instead of down. There is much more to it but this is the short description.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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interesting but a bridge word like good achieves the same goal of keeping the dogs drive up and anticipating award.

what are the differences you've noticed with using a "physical" marker over a verbal one? if you nick the dog for being out of position but also nick when its in the correct position wouldnt that confuse the dog or take the dog longer to learn?

or do you find the dog learns faster and is in better drive using both methods together?
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
If you go through teaching the dog how to turn the stim off, and then train and proof your obedience, you can just have the dog down or go to its place, and then stim for noncompliance if necessary.

No leash, no confusion or superstitious learning, and you are giving the dog the right thing to do instead of just trying to correct away a behavior.

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I second this approach. It's what I use and is very effective.

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Old 07-21-2014, 12:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Describe more the circumstances and what your dog is doing. Sounds more like an obedience issue to me than a bad dog issue. I don't like to correct a dog for doing something I don't like. I would rather use obedience to show the dog what I want and then use corrections, if needed, for a lack of compliance. For example, dog is asked to lie down on a bed when guests are over. If the dog gets up, it is corrected for not staying down. If it does stay down, it is rewarded for doing so. Putting structure in the dog's life works better than just allowing it to make choices and then correcting it when it makes the wrong choices.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If its being used as punishment for non compliance or maladaptive behavior you dont need to teach the dog how to turn it off especially if its just nicking.

For example I taught my dog to contact heel under heavy distraction using a prong and a toy but once he knew I marked the offense with a no and punished his breaking behavior with prong corrections or a stick or throwing my car keys at him or whatever. When I put an e collar on him for the very first time I turned it up to 127 and marked and nicked and guess what? He flinched pretty hard and immediately came in tight and stopped coming off. No confusion, no real drop in drive, no superstitious association, no suppression.

As long as it is clear and the reason for why a punishing event occurred is purified it doesn't really matter where the punishment comes from.

Last edited by Baillif; 07-21-2014 at 12:56 PM.
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