German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 77 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This conversation was started in another thread called "Sit Means Sit Training." It can be found HERE.

As often happens the anti Ecollar folks took that thread completely off topic and a moderator requested that the general Ecollar discussion be taken elsewhere. Acceding to that wise request, I've taken it here.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuestLou, I think everyone is probably aware that you have a vested interest in promoting e-collars.
I gave Ecollars the same support for years before I became an Ecollar dealer. You know, or should know this. I've said it several times before. Yet it doesn’t stop you from AGAIN committing this personal attack.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest and it's important for you to push it so that it succeeds (in whatever way success works for you - maybe only by reputation if not financially).
My reputation is based on my problem solving ability.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest Most of the rest of us do NOT have a vested interest in what we promote
You just wrote that "it's important for [me] to push [the Ecollar] so that it succeeds (in whatever way success works for you – maybe only by reputation if not financially)." YOUR reputation is based on YOUR methods. You have more of a vested interest than I do. LOL.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuestWe don't sell training items or get paid for training advice (at least not at this time).
Sorry Melanie you don't get to have it both ways. Either your reputation is important or it's not.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuestAll we can do is continue to promote non-aversive training for dogs as much as possible, saving the aversives for later.
There's ABSOLUTELY no reason to "save the aversives for later." And in fact you don't. You use aversives EVERYWHERE in your training, you just won't admit it. Tell you what, tell us in detail how you teach a sit and I'll show you where the aversives are in your work.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest And I think that when you tell us that you've used shock collars on 3000 dogs, you say it with pride.
Yep. Sure do. That's 3,000 owners of police dogs, SAR dogs and pets who no longer have problems with such things as cat chasing, failing to recall, or disobeying when at a distance. That's 3,000 dogs who are safer because they can easily be controlled when they're headed towards danger. There's no way to count the criminals that the police dogs have found or the lost children or Alzheimer's patients that have been found by the SAR dogs who no longer chase cats or other animals.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest I see it as appalling and sad.
I see your pushing of the so-called "kinder, gentler methods" as sad and appalling. People get great results when their dogs are young or when no distractions are present. But as those puppies get older or distractions come up, especially if they're unexpected, the training falls apart. We see complaints of this regularly on these forums.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest
I just can't imagine strapping an e-collar on a new dog twice a week and thinking "yeah, this is great!".
I can and do! So do many others who know how to use an Ecollar properly.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest Negative reinforcement: removing something when the dog responds "correctly", creating the desire in the dog to try to respond correctly in the future. For example, you can press down a stim button on a shock collar and then let it go when the dog sits. The dog learns to sit to avoid the stimulation. [Emphasis added]
If you're going to try and educate the readers please don't give them WRONG information. The pressing down of the button on an Ecollar is POSITIVE PUNISHMENT NOT negative reinforcement. ONLY RELEASING the button in this situation is the negative reinforcement.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest Anyway I look at it, regardless of the amount of stimulation you use, shock collar training is an aversive.
You're quite wrong. When the button is released, that's a reinforcement. In any case, pretending that you don't use aversives is misleading.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest Since basic behaviors can be shaped and trained quite quickly and nicely without the use of aversives
Sorry, but you're wrong. They can't. It's impossible to train a dog and NOT use punishment.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest applying aversives later to proof if necessary, I see no need to use a shock collar for basic training. That's my belief, and how I've trained *successfully* for many years.
The truth is that there's no good reason not to use aversives as soon as they will have a training effect.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest As far as examples of well-trained, "positive-first" dogs, there are an abundance of them out there. Some are doing quite well in higher levels of obedience, agility, even schutzhund.
If your methods were as good as you'd like us to believe people using them would be DOMINATING ALL phases of ALL competition. But they're not.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest I've talked to a lot of these people on a training list I am subscribed to and it's quite impressive hearing how they train most of the behaviors with a minimum of corrections. And their dogs have enthusiasm to die for!
HERE'S a video of an Ecollar trained dog with "enthusiasm to die for."

BTW can someone please point out the "robotic performance" a couple of posters have referred to?

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest Our training facility is a "positive first" training facility and we have helped people train their pets and their competition dogs successfully for some 20 years now. And when I used to teach using aversives as a base for training, it wasn't uncommon to have a 50% drop-out rate in classes.
I have a ZERO drop out rate with all of my clients. Perhaps there was something wrong with the way that you were teaching people to train their dogs.

Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuest Then I switched to teaching with positive reinforcement and my classes started having a 100% completion rate, with NO drop-outs. MORE people were willing to stick with the positive training than were willing to stick with the aversive training.
ALMOST ALL of my private clients come from classes like yours. I give a money back guarantee if people, for ANY reason aren't satisfied. I've never had anyone ask. I wonder, did you offer such a guarantee?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Originally Posted By: dogmama Years ago, I showed in Gaines. As a newbie, I watched the training rings constantly. There were crammed together in one area of the building. It was mayhem with dogs and handlers in close quarters. Toys were flying and food was in abundance. Not one e-collar. And without exception, these dogs were completely focused on their handlers & ignoring distractions and having FUN.
Somehow I've missed the relevance of this. What you describe is "mayhem." Google definitions shows these meanings (in this context) HAVOC: violent and needless disturbance; a general physical disturbance; a crowd tussle or fight; a STATE OF DISORDER; CHAOS. Do you think this is preferable to having control?

But since you're here and placing emphasis on having FUN … HERE'S ANOTHER dog having plenty of FUN, trained with an Ecollar.

And HERE'S a dog being trained with the so-called "kinder, gentler methods" who's NOT having much FUN. Just look at how much attention the dog is paying to the professional trainer! Just look at how much FUN the dog is having!

It's not, as some would pretend, "all wonder and light."
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Originally Posted By: lish91883Lou I love reading your posts. Your very diplomatic.
Thanks for the kind words.

Originally Posted By: lish91883I find it very hard not to tell certian know it all's which bridge to jump off of.
You ain't the only one, especially when these folks make the same old REDUNDANT arguments we've heard time and time again.

Originally Posted By: lish91883 As for that "vested interest" guess I have one too since I'm an E-collar trainer in NJ. LOL
It's just an example of these people grasping at straws. Their arguments hold no water so they go for a personal attack.

Originally Posted By: lish91883 On a serious note, used the right way an E-collar is an extremely gentle method.
Yep. Most of these folks have no idea of how gentle it can be. They imagine "shocking" a dog for misbehavior and if that's all that's done it's a very outmoded use of the tool.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Originally Posted By: dogmama
Years ago, I showed in Gaines. As a newbie, I watched the training rings constantly. There were crammed together in one area of the building. It was mayhem with dogs and handlers in close quarters. Toys were flying and food was in abundance. Not one e-collar. And without exception, these dogs were completely focused on their handlers & ignoring distractions and having FUN.
Originally Posted By: lish91883But that doesn't mean one wasn't used to train them. I don't thinkg E-collars, prongs, ect aren't allowed to be used in any AKC event.
Originally Posted By: dogmamaI'd bet my last dog biscuit that those dogs never saw an e-collar. This was 20 years ago. People who trained using compulsion used the Koehler method.
You're probably right. Twenty years ago the only people using Ecollars were bird and gun dog folks, police dog trainers and those who trained the biting sports. But I still question the relevance of your statements.

Twenty years ago people didn't have computers in their homes. Do you think we should go backwards?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Earlier I wrote,
Quote: One DEactivates the Ecollar to reward the dog. And, of course, any other form of rewards that the dogs likes can be used.
Originally Posted By: lawhite ok, are you telling me you keep a dog in "discomfort" until it does what you want it to do?

I am just not sure i am understanding this statement
And you probably won't unless you read one of my articles on teaching with the Ecollar. I'd suggest THIS ONE
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Originally Posted By: dogmamaI didn't say it was better. It sucked. But it was what people did.
That makes it OK? I'm still missing the significance of your comments.

Originally Posted By: dogmama "Cookie trainers" were scorned by Koehler advocates.
With good reason.

Originally Posted By: dogmama I had people tell me that when I didn't take the cookie into the ring I would flunk. Ha - fooled them!! My flunks were due to over exuberance - like when my dog retreived the glove from the adjacent ring.
(But it was a great retrieve and a straight front!)
I'd not call that a "failure due to over exuberance." I'd call it a failure of control.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,162 Posts
Another e-collar discussion. Yay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,867 Posts
Personally, I don't like ecollar training at the moment and don't find it of use to me. But, if someone finds it useful and what they want, more power to them.

You might win more people over by overviewing the benefits of ecollars, training theory, ect - you come off as harsh to those who don't find it beneficial (and to be fair, some of those people are coming off as harsh, but you don't win over those of us on the fence).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
TBH I find Lou to be concise and effective in his argument... without letting personal emotions show.

I do feel that Ecollars can be effective, though I have never used one, my shepherd is still a puppy. I think like Lou mentions that there are right and wrong ways to use an Ecollar.

One situation I can see an Ecollar being useful is on a recall... particularly one that is used to save a dog from potential harm, such as a busy road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,935 Posts
Ok this might sound really dumb, but here goes nothing. I am not a "trainer", but I do have dogs that I have taught what is ok and what is not ok. I am also a mother. So, I am wondering....to all of the people who promote only positive training with no corrections of any kind, how do you teach that something is wrong? A verbal no is still a correction is it not? As a parent, I use several different forms of punishment when a kiddo does something that they have been taught is wrong....from time outs, to grounding, and even occasionally when the situation warrents a gold old fashioned, non abusive spanking on the butt. Of course they get lots of praise and reward when they do the right thing. My children are happy and loved, and they know that they are loved. Does that mean that because I have used a "compulsion" method that I have abused my children? I do not believe so. In fact, I believe that far too many children these days when old enough to be doing stuff off on their own make some really horrible decisions, life altering ones. Is it not better for kids to realize that there are consequences for their actions. Ok, Ok I know you guys are thinking what the heck does this have to do with the topic at hand. Well, I am jsut trying to understand how using only positive reinforcement with no punishment can really work. Understandably there are many forms of what is considered punishment (to a dog, lack of attention is a punishment, time outs, no treat and no praise, verbal correction, e-collar correction, and I am sure many more). So perhaps that even these positive methods do use some form of correction/punishment and I am sure that people who use an e-collar (correctly) also give love and positives. So I really do not understand the big fuss. I have not ever used an e-collar (I have never been taught how to use one correctly, and I have not had a need for it yet) but that doesn't mean that if I saw a need for it that I wouldn't use it to ensure that what needed to be taught is taught (for me, it would greatly depend on the situation...and since this is hypothetical for me right now...its hard to say if I would choose or not). Back to raisig kids.....I have seen alot of parents that say I have never or would never spank my child ( to each his own), some of them though do yell and scream their frustrations out at their kids....I can only speculate how much more damaging this can be to a child. Personally I would rather use other forms of punishment. I think that THIS is really what this discussion boils down to. Different people have different ideas of what is acceptable. Just as spanking (done correctly) to a child is not abuse, neither do I believe that the use of an e-collar (done correctly) is abuse to a dog. Can an e-collar be used in an abusive manner...you betcha...but so can one's own voice and tone. Just my two cents for what its worth. Oh and btw, I do not "spank" my dogs, I jsut want to make sure that is clear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,034 Posts
Quote:So, I am wondering....to all of the people who promote only positive training with no corrections of any kind, how do you teach that something is wrong?
I don't think anyone here belives that you can live with a dog and not use SOME type of correction in the course of their life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,237 Posts
GSDLove212,
Take teaching something like the dumbell retrieve for example.

Ecollar training (as I have seen it) would involve applying electrical stimulation to the dog until he takes the dumbbell in his mouth, then turning the stim off. I have seen this done at varying levels, from the dog being just obviously annoyed, to screaming. The dog learns VERY quickly that having the dumbbell in his mouth is a GREAT thing, as it turns the electric off. Often this dog will leap forward and do anything to GET THAT DUMBBELL! Looks very motivated, and he is motivated. To avoid the stim.

Positive trainer may shape the behavior. First associate the click with a treat, then click/treat when mouths dumbbell, then click/treat when picks up dumbbell, then when holds for a moment, then longer, etc. You can train the entire thing motivationally. In my experience, you do need corrections after the dog KNOWS the commands to proof them.

When I rode horses, some horses learned to "blow-up" by holding their breath when the girth was tightened. They let the air out, girth was nice and loose. You could deal with it in 2 ways... knee the horse in the gut-causing explosion of air and tighten girth. Or just walk him forward a few steps and then tighten the girth. Both are effective. The second way just takes a few more steps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,083 Posts
HI LOU!
Happy New Year....fancy seeing you here in an e-collar debate
Glad you are. I too enjoy reading your posts and diplomatic replies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
850 Posts
Great post and gets the point across nicely! Horses are my background, and that is why I am not into compulsion training.

"Breaking" horses as it used to be done by tieing a horses legs together and pinning him on the ground while you got the saddle on, and then held on while his legs were released (or kept hobbled) didn't get you a good horse in the end. It got you just enough to use it. You can't push a horse around, choking, jerking, shocking into what you want.
It takes patience and communication. Real communication where working with the animal is based on understanding and social drive, IMO. I feel that people who are really good with animals, who are real trainers, have a natural ability to read and communicate with animals by building trust.
Ex. You have a high spirted horse loose in a field. You want to take him for a ride. He runs from you in the field. How do you catch him? Chase him into a small pen (if you can) and rope him? Ride another horse and rope him? Take treats in your pocket and use your body language to gain his trust? Could you get a horse to stop facing you, and allow you to approach him and put a halter on?

OR is this too much work and too time consuming? Do you see it as pointless, when you could just rope him and get it over with?

Obviously, this is why we have trainers, to help everyone else that enjoys having a pet learn to communicate what they want.

I have a hard time believing that someone who is an ecollar trainer is aware of the side of communication, or is capable of it.
Again, e-collars represent the NOW NOW NOW attitude, to me.

Ecollars can be used in other ways that are useful such as emergencies, just as hot wire fence can be useful in animals running through a fence otherwise.

MOTIVATION, REINFORCEMENT, PUNISHMENT

MOTIVATION all animals are motivated by different drives and/or needs. You can motivate a dog with a shock or a treat. The reason the dog is motivated is clearly different depending on what is used to motivate the dog.

- REINFORCEMENT - avoid that behavior, the dog works to avoid something unpleasant at the time of the undesired behavior
ex. release the button on the remote when the dog sits

* REINFORCEMENT - something to repeat, the dog works to get something he likes
ex. click when the dog sits and reward with treat/toy etc.

PUNISHMENT can be negative and postive as well

Positive Punishment adds something to the equation, like a jerk on a choke collar or stim/shock when the dog jumps

Negative Punishment takes something away like a treat ball attention when the dog jumps

-------------------
I think we get stuck in the mindset of polars, which is unfortunate because there is SO much more to training than what is being dicussed.

EX.

Ecollar trainers think postive training is all about bribing with food which is not accurate, and I think they are intimated because it is
something different and they are not knowledgable on. Positive Trainers should be able to fade whatever they are using to motivate. Just the way a shock would be faded out after the dog reliably responds, right?

EX.
Positive trainers often think that any kind of correction is wrong. These are purely positive trainers, and are not the definition of positive trainers in general. They also are in some denial since punishment can be negative (taking something away) like praise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
I would have sworn I was totally against ecollars, prong collars etc, but never say never. Yesterday while walking Ty on a downtown sidewalk a man approached with a lunging aggressive large dog. The man held the handle of a 6 foot leash while saying his dog thinks he owns the sidewalk. My hubby walked in front with Meisha, she raised her hackles but kept heeling.

Then I attempted to follow, Tye did play bow, lunge, leap, pull, etc. Totally out of control. I tried to pull him back but the excitement level was skyrocketing. I went out further off the sidewalk and dragged him away but it took several minutes of extreme playful misbehavior til I calmed him enough to continue the walk. My arms and my carpel tunnel wrist killed.

I wished I had one of these collars for quick control. Yes I have taught other dogs but never such a powerful one. He did not seem aggressive but insistant. I may need some new training techniques before he is 1. I am shocked at the strength a pup could exert. We will continue with our positive but I won't say never to the others. Used correctly I could have gotten him under control faster and I couldn't have had that much uninterupted time in the summer with crowds.

WE have been walking lots and we are in our third set of classes, he has always been polite and passed everyone and everything well until then. I have had lots of comments on his calm well mannered being, but he has never been faced with such an animal out of control with an owner not able to pull back.

I just wanted to share because until then I would have been adament about the negative training devices. Everything has a time adn purpose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,935 Posts
I can understand your points very well MTAussie and Mary. I too was raised around horses, and I have walked many a horses around to get that breath out LOL. In that aspect I agree with you completely....time trying pays off. But, no one particular training method is 100% effective across the board (or so I have been told). Some dogs aren't food motivated, some arent' toy driven, most are looking to please their owners, but there a some that are headstrong and going through the teenage rebelious stage, and others that are just more independant (ok so maybe they aren't GSDs but still LOL). On the same note there are some dogs that are very "soft", these dogs will react adversely to correction even in small amounts. I think my whole opinion on the issue is that all forms of training, whether using an e-collar or clicker and treats, has its value depending on the situation, the dog, and the handler. As with everything in the world today, there are people who misuse and abuse. They misinterpret or are jsut plain misinformed. Sure, I have seen comments like e-collars bring immediate results and that other methods are just as effective and take longer to master. I can see how this is the case, but I do not think it would be fair to say that everyone who uses an e-collar is lazy and doesn't want to put in the time to train with a clicker and treats. While it may be true in some cases, I seriously doubt it to be the case in ALL of them. I do think that using a tool like an e-collar, one must be very comfortable with their trainer and the trainers methods, and I think that the least amount of stim possible to get the results is definately the best. I just have a hard time judging someone who loves their dog jsut because they use a training aid that differs from what I would use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
850 Posts
I totally agree with you. I don't think there are no exceptions and I tried to convey that with the polar opposites example. I think that tools such a prong, martingale, ecollar, head halter, etc. (not choke chains) can have a place and use. I don't think that ANY of these are necessary in training a pup under 6 months in basic commands, and I DO feel that it is an ethics issue in the end....
Which each trainer has to choose for him/herself. When trainers chose to educate others and promote training methods and equipment, they carry responsibility to your clients and their dogs, and their well-being. That I believe includes their mental well-being as well. IMO.
I checked out Lou's website and he does have some good info there. Although, it seems he doesn't support positive training/trainers.
Which I think it unfortunate, and cliche'. And maybe, just maybe, ;)adds to the fire in the positive/negative trainer discussion.


But oh well, there are enough dogs that need training, and everyone has to decide what they feel is best for them and their dogs.
And as much as he recieves positive training drop outs, I have had plenty of compulsion training drops outs contact me. I don't think it is the style of training, because you can get results either way, it is the trainers and their effectiveness, as well as owners philosophy on animal treatment. IMO of course
I just hope that enough information on different training techniques is out there, and not so much spin, so that owners can make informed and intelligent decisions concerning their training style.
 
1 - 20 of 77 Posts
Top