Electronic Shock Collars and Compulsion - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 79 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Electronic Shock Collars and Compulsion

Ok, Wayne, here you go.


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post #2 of 79 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by W.Oliver View Post

Anne, Can we broaden the compulsion discussion to include E-Stim? Samba and Chris have given me plenty to think about over the past several weeks. Along those lines, I had an opportunity to attend a helper seminar at a regional training event. I was impressed at how many folks employed E-Stim….in my sheltered training, I had not had that kind of exposure, and was struck by how prevalent it is….actually on every dog but two….which came with me. I would like to learn how to employ this tool, and I am considering employing it with my current dog. I know this may read like I am a lemming…but thoughts/comments?
From the other thread. Wayne's question.

Lisa Clark

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post #3 of 79 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 08:53 AM
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What did you see at the seminar that made you want to learn to use the e-collar? Why would you like to employ it with your current dog?

Lisa Clark

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post #4 of 79 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 09:47 AM
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There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to the use of an e-collar for stimulation and/or compulsion.

- E-collar timing can be good without body language and lines "telegraphing" what is about to happen. This can make it very impersonal. Somebody you trust can give a well-timed e-collar correction of the right level from far enough away to be "out of the picture". But if you need the dog to think about the handler then the prong might be better.

- E-collar corrections do not usually provide much in the way of direction, e.g. like pronging a dog to down, or to slow down on a track. Especially if you need to be ready to correct for more than one behavior.

E-collar stim or corrections can be very repeatable, depending on equipment. E.g. "when dog X chews the dumbell give him 1 high on the TT Pro 100 until the hold is calm". It doesn't matter who pushes the button as long as the timing is good (not always true with a prong).

E-collars suck when they don't work due to lack of charge, interference, or putting them on too loose.

A prong and an e-collar can be used as a pair to stimulate and suppress. E.g. on the track e-stim means focus and go forward, prong means slow down or stop. In protection the prong means bark, e-collar means be quiet.
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post #5 of 79 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
What did you see at the seminar that made you want to learn to use the e-collar? Why would you like to employ it with your current dog?
I was there for a Helper seminar and just an observer for the dog training...but like I mentioned, EVERY dog there, except the two that came with me, had E-collars on.

With respect to the trainer/handlers, we're not talking about a knuckle-head like me, we're talking about a who's who of national level competitors. Again, at the risk of appearing like a lemming, if folks of this caliber are applying the tool so commonly, there must be something to it right????

Specifically what I saw was the immediacy of the corrections, and in most cases, if you were not paying close attention, you wouldn't have even noticed the dog received a correction. In some cases it was apparent the dog was in discomfort, but in most, the dogs response was not more that a twitch or tick, immediately follwed my making an adjustment to be correct.

Samba invested time in me several weeks ago, enlightening me on E-Stim and breaking down the myth walls I had erected. Then I started picking Chris Wilds brain about the topic, and he loaded me up with some information to read...so with more information and an improved perspective, comes curiosity regarding the risks & rewards of the tool.

As for employing the tool with my current dog, she isn't my first GSD, nor is she the first dog I have invested a great deal of time training, but she is the first dog I have pursued SchH with. In many respects I am a SchH cliche' in that when I got her, I didn't really know what I did't know! She is a West German Show Line X Czech Working Line cross....and she is exactly what many of you would predict....Softer dog with lower drive, and high defense in protection. I am told by those who know more than I that she is SchH1 caliber on tracking & protection, but her obedience is lacking. Her obedience is very good on leash and in short intervals off leash, but I cannot sustain her...after a period of time, she lag, go ckeck-out a bumble bee on a clover...whatever.

After two years of SchH training...religous SchH training, and the application of motivational techniques...I am moving to compulsion. A few weeks ago a trainer I have a great deal of respect for (Dianna), criticized me saying, "I have never seen you really correct your dog"...which cut me to the bone, because she was right. I spank all five of my children when the need it, no matter where we are...at home, in Kroger..no matter. My kids are very well behaved....if its good enough for the kids, its fine for my GSD.

So with my refreshed approach to compulsion and much supervision from Chris and Dianna, the progress the past couple of weeks has been huge! Vis' a' vis the perfect timing of Anne's thread....and although she is a tough cookie, there is much to be learned from her if you're of solid nerve!

My thoughts are to work compulsion with leash and collar to wrap-up her BH...which we are close...and my thinking is to start working with E-Stim later this year in a push for SchH1 next year some time. At present, I am of the view that two things could be accomplished. 1.) I could use my current dog as a bit of a guinea pig to perfect my technique(without doing damage), and 2.) In theory, she would benefit to the extent we could bring home the final attributes to accomplish the SchH1, which will be about as far as she could go....and that is fine, because then I would start the process over again with Itzakat vom Wildhaus. I cannot imagine working a dog with solid nerve and real drive...I believe it will be heaven!

Its pretty much true isn't it? I've always been told your first SchH dog is the one you make the most mistakes with?? She is a wonderful dog to learn with because we have to work so hard to get anywhere....but I love her.


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post #6 of 79 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 12:40 PM
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Wayne, you should choose to use the e-collar because it is the right tool for that dog and for that point in your training. IMO, you should not use it because it makes training easier for you or because "everyone" is using them.

I own one and do use it, but it is because they are such a hands off and impersonal form of correction that they are not my first tool of choice.

Lisa Clark

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post #7 of 79 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
Wayne, you should choose to use the e-collar because it is the right tool for that dog and for that point in your training. IMO, you should not use it because it makes training easier for you or because "everyone" is using them.
I cannot argue that logic at all...and I am not rushing to it because all the cool kids are doing it either. Which is why I worry about appearing like a lemming running off the E-Stim cliff. Did I make it sound like my motivation was to make it easier for me? I hope not, because my efforts are simply about exploring all the options to sort-out what my best course may be.

One of my favorite sayings is that with my high line, we have to work twice as hard to get half as much as those working line teams! I also like to make sure everyone knows my dog is prettier than all the other dogs in my club! (that little statement always gets a response)

Lisa, I think you hit the nail on the head...is there a temperament that is more appropriate for E-Stim? Are there problems sets that are more appropriate for E-Stim? At what point in a training regiment is it reasonable or appropriate to introduce E-Stim?

By the way, tell Sean that if I had a dollar for everytime Nate Harves mentioned him as an example of how to do this or that, I could have bought an airline ticket rather than drive to Ohio!


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post #8 of 79 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
Wayne, you should choose to use the e-collar because it is the right tool for that dog and for that point in your training.
I couldn't agree more. And being quite familiar with this specific situation, I cannot say I think the e-collar or any sort of serious "compulsion" phase is the answer here. A small part of the solution perhaps, but certainly not the bulk of it.

As for everyone's doing it, no not really. Out of the what 17? dogs in our club there is 1 that utilizes the e-collar, and that only fairly recently and because it fit what Lisa described above.. it was the correct tool for that dog at that point in training. Visiting other clubs, I wouldn't say e-collar use is in the majority overall. Popular, yes, but not something "everyone" is doing. It has pros and cons the same way as every other method and tool, which need to be weighed in terms of what is best for any particular dog.

As far as Dayna being SchH1 ready in tracking and protection but not obedience... well, that is 99% due to factors other than the dog. And she has shown that she is perfectly capable of keeping focus and attention and putting on one heck of an obedience performance when handled correctly. Sorry, Wayne, I love ya, but that's the truth.

Now e-collars for handlers I could definitely go along with sometimes....


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post #9 of 79 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 02:21 PM
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Now e-collars for handlers I could definitely go along with sometimes....

At least we can dream..................

Wayne, I will let him know. I wish we could have come down, but with the regionals, the timing was horrible for us.

Lisa Clark

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post #10 of 79 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by W.Oliver View Post
Lisa, I think you hit the nail on the head...is there a temperament that is more appropriate for E-Stim? Are there problems sets that are more appropriate for E-Stim? At what point in a training regiment is it reasonable or appropriate to introduce E-Stim?
There again it depends on the dog and the handler and your goals and, IMO, why you want to use the e-collar. I have used it on 4 different dogs for 4 different reasons. All four had different temperaments and differing needs. I have helped with the introduction on 4 other dogs each for varying reasons and with different types of temperaments.

Lisa Clark

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SG1 Deja IPO3 AWD1 KKL1 B/HOT, SG Elena IPO1 KKL CGC B/HOT, LB (the ugly little sable) IPO2 TR3 KKL B/HOT, Jarka (up and coming) BHOT, and gone but not forgotten,
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