e-collars and other training methods - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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e-collars and other training methods

I was going to research "alpha roll" for the situation I saw over the weekend and this popped up.

I'm finding the hormonal/stress aspect very interesting.

http://www.holisticforpets.com/pdf/E...ng_Borwick.pdf

Pictures - Dog shock collar - Columbia Dog | Examiner.com

Articles - Alpha/Dominance Theory and Other Training Myths - DOG WILLING Positive Dog Training Solutions
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post #2 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 03:00 PM
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I really think some of this depends on the dog and how it is introduced to the collar. If it is by a professional that is using it correctly, it should be no more than a "static" buzz. I've put my e-collar on my arm at the setting Jax has and above. I know what it feels like. I also know that she is not a dog that can use an e-collar for obedience training. Whether that is because I incorrectly introduced it or because she is just a dog that is that sensitive, I don't know. I think it's because of me. My trainer uses an e-collar on her dog and she is a pretty positive, progressive trainer. I'm willing to bet that her dog does not shut down when the collar is used.




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post #3 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 03:07 PM
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If a person has the proper knowledge to operate the collar, then it can be a great tool. Once the dog understands as well, it's like having a long leash and a good reminder to the dog to keep working.

It can also be a very unfair way of getting quickly to a result, and can leave a negative result on the dog.

I would not use an ecollar without training and a clear understanding of why and when to use it.
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post #4 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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The first article states that even when used at lowest setting, can create stress/stress hormones in dogs. There were studies, apparently?

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I also know that she is not a dog that can use an e-collar for obedience training.
10yrs. ago we had two GSDs, and one we could use a bark collar with. The other? No go. At all! Wrong temperament completely.
My Libby's like your dog I'm sure. A frown and she's done. She came naturally well-behaved though, so is a very easy dog to have - other than that she's too sensitive, very smart and one could ruin her easily with anything but a verbal "no" occasionally.

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post #5 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
The first article states that even when used at lowest setting, can create stress/stress hormones in dogs. There were studies, apparently?
Studies are fine but how were they conducted? Was the collar just slapped on a dog and then hit with the stim? Were the dogs taught what the collar meant? Even at the lowest stim, if the dog is not taught what it means then it would stress them out. I would like to see how the study was conducted.




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post #6 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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I too would, but if you read the article, it talks about how just the stress of being 'stimulated', even at the 'tickle' level is causing stress and stress hormones.
I can see that happening, too. The fear of the stimulation - which is startling to a dog - would indeed create stress.
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post #7 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 04:10 PM
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I've read the article before. I don't disagree that it would cause a stress response but I think there are many questions the article leaves up in the air. There was one dog on this board a couple years ago that was terrified of the clicker. The noise sent him into a panic. Mine is terrified of a flyswatter. So many thing can cause a stress response. It could have been the people themselves waiting for a reaction that caused it. YOU know how funny some dogs can be.




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post #8 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 04:25 PM
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Interesting articles. I think a fair reading of them shows the authors' biases against shock collars. However, as someone who uses a SC, I agree that if it is used by someone who doesn't empathize with the dog, or doesn't understand how to train a dog, or doesn't understand how the collar works, it can easily be a cruel and inappropriate tool.

As for the dog's reaction: I take Liesl for off-leash walks in our neighborhood morning and evening. People constantly compliment us on how gorgeous she is, and how well-behaved she is. She prances, head up, tail wagging, and not at all depressed in anticipation of being shocked. She is not perfect, by far--but she heels reasonably well and will ignore yapping ankle biters if I I say "leave it". The shock collar was instrumental in getting her there.

To me, the SC is simply a long, non-tangling leash and choke chain--nothing more, nothing less. I do not put it on a setting that will hurt her, but one that will break her focus/prey drive/distraction when I need for that to happen. And I only use it (push the "nick" button) when that needs to happen. We complete most of our walks without me having to push the button more than one or two times. She always gets a verbal command and an opportunity to obey it before I break her focus on something else by nicking her.

As for the poor dog in that video who was cowed under by abuse of a SC, nothing could be farther from that situation at our house. Liesl jumps and dances like a 5 month old pup when I pull out the collar to take a walk. I truly believe she does not associate the collar with the shock stimulus, and I know that she doesn't have a bad association with it, based on her attempts to get her head into it as quickly as possible for a walk.

My greatest unease with our SC use is the fact that because of her insane prey drive I need to turn it up and use the continuous stim, not the nick, to break her attention from squirrels. It is amazing how her focus on a squirrel will make her oblivious to a stim level that would otherwise bring a yelp. If I can manage to see the squirrel before she gets into stalking mode, I can keep her from chasing it using only a verbal "leave it", even from as close as 10 or 15 feet.

To me, there is clearly a role for using a SC to enhance communication with the dog. There is unfortunately just as clearly the opportunity for misuse of them by people who do not use them properly, just as there is for choke chains, prong collars, etc.

Liesl, b. 1/1/11
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post #9 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 05:16 PM
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i didn't read the articles but i've used shock collars on my pups in the past and this is my 2 cents. they give you results, and they give you results fast. but the results aren't there without the collar and they fade over time. my dogs' results were based on fear. they weren't just fearful as soon as the shock occurred or a few minutes after; they were stressed out and fearful of the shock even prior to it happening. but i felt safe. my dogs could be off leash just about anywhere. they wouldn't run after squirrels into traffic or go up to people walking on the pavement or anything undesirable. and they would RUN. free, happy, crazy RUN. that's what i miss most. is giving them the freedom and at the same time being safe. it was their exercise and they were a lot more fit back then. now no matter how much i walky dog them or walk them, or cut down their food, they still seem pudgy to me

i've put the shock collar around my arm before at the settings i use on my pups. i didn't find it pleasant at all. in fact it down right hurts to the hair...

i guess that was the inexperience in me that did all that. but i don't regret it.
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post #10 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Zeeva View Post
i didn't read the articles but i've used shock collars on my pups in the past and this is my 2 cents. they give you results, and they give you results fast. but the results aren't there without the collar and they fade over time. my dogs' results were based on fear. they weren't just fearful as soon as the shock occurred or a few minutes after; they were stressed out and fearful of the shock even prior to it happening. but i felt safe. my dogs could be off leash just about anywhere. they wouldn't run after squirrels into traffic or go up to people walking on the pavement or anything undesirable. and they would RUN. free, happy, crazy RUN. that's what i miss most. is giving them the freedom and at the same time being safe. it was their exercise and they were a lot more fit back then. now no matter how much i walky dog them or walk them, or cut down their food, they still seem pudgy to me

i've put the shock collar around my arm before at the settings i use on my pups. i didn't find it pleasant at all. in fact it down right hurts to the hair...

i guess that was the inexperience in me that did all that. but i don't regret it.
If it downright hurt you it was probably too strong for your dogs.

Were you shown how to use it by someone who actually knows what to do with one? Did you have one that has a hundred or so levels of stimulation?

I don't doubt you. The problem is for your experience to have meaning you would have to explain the collar used and how you used it in detail for someone who really knows these collars to make an assessment.
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