Electronic Training Collars - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 157 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Electronic Training Collars

What is everybody's opinion on Electronic training collars, or e-collars or shock collars, as they're also known? Do you think they're an acceptable training method? In what situation, if any, would you use one on your dog? If you do use one, do you consider it a temporary training tool, or something you will continually use to deal with the problem?

O.K., now for my take. I've never used an electronic collar. I'm really not a fan. I would prefer just about any other training method to deal with a behavioural issue, and would exhaust all other options before ever considering one. Do I think there is ever a time when using one would be acceptable? Yes, in incidences where the behavior of the dog was putting it in potentially life threatening situations, and other training methods had not worked, I could see someone resorting to an e-collar. Personally, I think a lot of times, they are used out of laziness, in order to avoid the time and effort necessary to effectively train the dog with less extreme measures. Me, I'll put my money on consistent NILIF to do the job with just almost any problem almost every time. I think a lot of the problems dogs have aren't because of the dog, but because of either a lack of a responible environnemt or lack of necessary training.

So what do y'all think? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/01_smile.gif[/img]


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post #2 of 157 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 02:12 PM
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Re: Electronic Training Collars

wow first time i'm first in it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/34_rotflmao.gif[/img]

i never used the shoke collar but i know the e-collars
e-collars as long as they coming from a good company and were selected for the dog for spesific use and the dog response good to it i don't see any problem.
the e-collars always sound so horrible, how can me electric our on babeys?
it isn't as bad as people think, isn't hurt nly take attantion as prong collars
anyway i prefer using many other things before the e-collar but i don't clasiffy it as horrible and abusev

Edit because i'm a smart ass
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post #3 of 157 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 02:17 PM
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Re: Electronic Training Collars

I used to believe they were cruel too, but now that I have them and know how they work, it is just like the Prong collar. People just hate them by their looks, but WE (who use them) know they are a GREAT tool if used the right way. I now see the e-collars the same way.
I own a Tritronic 2 dogs e-collars that I use on my 2 males. I only used them for off-leash control while we are hiking. I do not use them for regular obedience.
I was tired of loosing my dogs to deer or other critters and the e-collar has worked miracles in that department. I can now enjoy my hikes without worrying that my dogs are going to take off on me and get hurt. As I mentioned in the other thread, my dogs were properly trained for 2 weeks with the e-collars before I began using them in our hikes. I think the training is EXTREMELY important. You cannot and should not take them off the box and start using them on your dog(s). [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/30_nono.gif[/img] Recently my two boys were within feet from a whole herd of deer and they stayed with me, it was the most satisfactory thing ever! I praised the heck out of them for the rest of our hike. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/08_rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/05_biggrin.gif[/img] Didn't even have to use the e-collars, in fact, I hardly use them on our hikes any more (they do wear them though just in case). As soon as I say HERE, they are with me. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/18_thumb.gif[/img]

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post #4 of 157 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 02:31 PM
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Re: Electronic Training Collars

The e-collar is a tool. In and of itself it is not cruel or abusive or good or bad. Just like all training tools it depends on the person with the transmitter (or at the end of the leash). I have seen them abused, but I have also seen slip collars, pinch collars, leashes, hands, feet, etc abused. I have also seen them be used correctly and be a God-send for some handlers and dogs.

Yes, I use one. I have had dogs that actually responded much better to an e-collar than any type of physical or verbal correction. They are excellent for distance control, crittering, chasing deer, correcting some unwanted behaviors that could be dangerous to the dog. I have also found the collar excellent for some exercises in obedience and can be very helpful when fine tuning in protection.

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post #5 of 157 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 02:40 PM
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Re: Electronic Training Collars

Do I think they are a good tool?


Do I think they sare ometimes over-used by lazy-a**ed people who don't want to take the time to train their dogs?


Do I think there are right and wrong reasons to use them?

You betcha. Keep a dog from chasing animals (and potentially getting lost, hit by a car or injurying another animal, not to mention that running deer is illegal in many states) - that's a perfectly good reason. Keeping a dog from chewing your socks, laying on the couch or barking to come in - not good reasons.

I own one and have used it to try to teach a foster dog not to jump fences. Even on it's highest setting - which produced a very pronounced Yelp from the dog - she went over the fence anyway. The reward of being outside the fence was worth the pain she knew she was going to get.
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post #6 of 157 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 05:53 PM
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Re: Electronic Training Collars

I do NOT like them to cover up for 'lazy' owners/trainers who fail to take the longer/harder road to FIRST properly train their dogs with classes/instructors/time/socialization............................

Bark collars I find, in general, to really tend to piss me off. Because not only is (in my opinion) many owners too LAZY to take the time to be with their dogs when they are barking to teach them to stop. I also feel many of these people join it to the 'too lazy to walk/exercise/train' their dogs and instead expect their dogs to do it on their own in their large fenced in back yard.

These dogs do NOT get socialized and instead just get to fence protective, or bored and bark their heads off. And these dogs do NOT exercise themselves except when they are crazed and misbehaving. And these dogs are NOT learning anything except what they want to do, when they want to do it, and how they want to do it. No guidance or help from the others in their pack.

Not that possibly there aren't some very narrow instances that a bark collar could be resorted to, but the vast majority of times people use them, just spending some time and effort teaching your dog not to bark and not leaving them ALONE to bark would do much better.

As for general training with an OBEDIENCE training e-collar, I also see a use for them and do use them. But, once again, they are NOT a replacement to be used as a quick easy way to train INSTEAD of going to classes/instructor/working with/spending time/training training training/ WITH YOUR DOG. I use the collar in conjunction with a trainer to make sure I do it properly and do NOT mis-use it. It's the very last training tool I go to on my training scale and, frankly, it is for life and death training so my dogs will 'come' to me and NOT continue to chase the deer/cat/racoon across the road. And the point of using the collar properly is, frankly, you rarely if ever have to activate the collar because you DO have such a good base down already for training and the dog ABSOLUTELY 100% understands when and why the collar is activitated and so reacts so fast when you call you don't even get the command out.

Think the problem with the e-collar is the problem with so much training, people want it to be fast, at home, cheap, easy, and take no time. Go to a professional to train my dog? NO WAY, I can do if myself. Learn to use a clicker? Too much to hold and my dog is supposed to be learning new things, not ME!!!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/16_shrug.gif[/img] Use treats! Are you kidding? My dog is going to listen to me CAUSE I TOLD HIM TO!!!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/32_poke.gif[/img]


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post #7 of 157 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 07:47 PM
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Re: Electronic Training Collars

In saving an otherwise unsavable dog e-collar may be only answer.I know of two cases where eventual outcome was euthanasia,three where dog was surrendered outcome unknown and two where dedicated owners where able to continue with dog.I have VERY mixed feelings about using them and believe it is only a TEMPORARY quick fix of a BAD problem that actually needs aggressive follow-up and dedication and especially devotion to solving a problem that requires extensive time.
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post #8 of 157 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 08:11 PM
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Re: Electronic Training Collars

I think the underlying topic here that needs to be addressed is Training Ethics and what it means. A lot of tools are short cuts - they miss building the relationship and they can be totally misused - which is what I would characterize some of what I've been seeing on recebt postings regarding e-collars.
I've used many tools (now I'm much more into positive training) - sometimes I've used them responsibly and sometimes I've used them in a way I don't think I should - as a shortcut.
Frankly, I think we are in a bad position to be advising people on compulsion training via the internet. We don't personally know the trainer or the dogs and we could be doing a lot of harm.
Life threatening behavior needs to be extinguished quickly and may justify zapper collars. That your dog behaves like a dog by barking at passers by or barking because you have ignored his reasonable request doesn't.

What should the first rule of training be?
- Do no harm?
- Build a solid relationship?
- For the good of the dog?
? What should our crede of training be ?
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post #9 of 157 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 08:57 PM
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Re: Electronic Training Collars

I, too had strong negative opinions about e-collars until I used one for crittering - -- -- serious "dog is going to get killed if I don't fix this game chasing type crittering" --- --- by a dog that would take a full hit off a fully charged cattle fence while in pursuit of the game and ignore it.

The technique was low stim and was Lou Castle's which requires attention to detail and technique. TIMING was everything. The stim was EXTREMELY low - not even unpleasant to my own neck - a mere tingle. In these conditions the dog is clear in the head. Can I say this was a dog for whom several months of redirection did not work? A dog for whom running to the end of a line with a prong did not help? 2 sessions with the e-collar and I have a dog who can walk among farm animals, walk right up to them without fear, but quench her own desire to chase them. She still corrects herself and has not worn the collar at the farm for 2 years.

I don't put them in the same class with compulsion - low stim techniques that is. In compulsion you wait for the dog to make a mistake then correct it so they only learn one way and everything else is bad - it creates a dog scared to offer behaviors. I am just not seeing this happen with this technique. I do see that the training sessions need to be much shorter and focused than they do with purely motivational training. But I see a dog who is happy when the collar comes out because she knows we are training, and does not shy from it.

Do I think it is a tool that can be misused - you betcha !!but I have personally seen more abuse with halti's and gentle leaders than with e-collars. The e-collar is simply another tool. You can build a house with a hammer and you can also smash in a skull.

I think most of the advocates are saying that you don't get the how to's from the internet you need to go to someone who really knows what they are doing for help. The articles give insight on how it works (like any other training articles on all sorts of techniques both positive and negative) I would say the SAME thing about diagnosing aggression over the internet or any other training techniques.

The interent is a good place to connect with people and explore ideas. It is not a good place to get the training you can get one on one with a good teacher.


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post #10 of 157 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 01:03 AM
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Re: Electronic Training Collars

There are times and circumstances to use an Ecollar but more times than not for the ole basic pet training I do not feel there is a need for them. As just about everyone here has stated there ARE times to use them, however, keep in mind how many years the people here have been training.

Most of the people who have replied here have trained dogs to do a little more than come when called and to sit and down. Schutzhund, SAR, Agility, OB and Tracking- these people have been through EXTENSIVE training classes (group and private as well). They have put a lot of time and effort into training their dogs and they use the ecollar for proofing what the dog has ALREADY learned and/or in life threatening situations for the dog (escaping fences, crittering....). All of these are good reasons for using an ecollar. Not only to they have extensive training they have the people around them to teach the HUMAN how to use the equipment PROPERLY.

For the person whose dog is in the back yard barking and they are too lazy to get off the internet or turn off the TV and go play or even TRAIN their dog properly; for that person to sit there and zap the crap out of the dog- no I do not think they should be used. I personally wish they were a little harder to buy than the old basic flat buckle collar and a leash. Too many people use them as a cop out, if they would take the same amount of money they spent on the collar and go to a class or two and develop a bond and understanding of their family member they would be a lot further ahead and 99.9% of the time- their dog would be sooooo much happier.

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