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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, what is the story behind these electric collars? I have my 2 year old GSD in a class with a great trainer, but I still seem to be having a problem. My dog is fearful of other dogs. I know part of it is me(I need the training as well LOL) At the last class my trainer recommended a electric collar. I know I am going to get alot of mixed feelings on this, but what the heck. I heard they just bandaid the situation, or else the dog knows when it's on and off. I don't know what to do. Please help.
 

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E-collars can be useful but I honestly can't think of any reason a trainer would recommend an e-collar as the first thing to try with a fearful dog....
 

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Originally Posted By: LiesjeE-collars can be useful but I honestly can't think of any reason a trainer would recommend an e-collar as the first thing to try with a fearful dog....
I agree 100%.

Ecollars are useful tools for many things, but there are other methods of dealing with fearful behavior that should be tried long before an ecollar is considered.

I would recommend getting a second opinion from another trainer or behaviorist.
 

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ACK!!!!!


I love e-collars for specific issues and training. Not a fan of using them with a timid and fearful dog though. Don't think that will help the situation and probably make it a whole lot worse.

I'd be much more inclined to try alot of positive training methods (clickers rock) so my pup would gain confidence and feel secure in a happy treat filled world!

Not sure exactly where you live, but I'd recommend going to another set of classes and trainer. Here's some I know are good:

http://www.raspberryridgesheepfarm.com/index.aspx

http://www.morrisk9campus.com/

http://www.greatcompanions.info/AboutTrainer.html

http://www.positivedogs.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In response to everyone so far, we have been in this class for 4 out of 6 weeks now and we also have had some private training from the same trainer. He does only positive. (no treats though) So I am sorry I didn't stress that this wasn't the first thing he recommended. I have talked to some people in class that are using them and they felt the same way I fell about them, but now they are ok with it. Their dogs are so much better now and they said the dog was the same way. I am also concerned that it doesn't hurt my dog.
 

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I would read Emma Parson's Click to Calm before resorting to an e-collar. It's not that we're against them (well, maybe some are), but they just aren't really an appropriate tool for a fearful or fear aggressive dog. You need to reinforce that being around other dogs is a positive experience. I don't see how that can be effectively achieve by issuing physical corrections. My dog is not truly fearful, but sometimes she lacks confidence and can be a bit skittish, in general she is a "soft" sometimes "nervy" dog. Lately I've done a LOT of work on socialization and confidence and every person I know has mentioned that she is a totally different dog than how she was 6 months ago. I don't always click, but I used the Click to Calm concept to help build her confidence in stressful situations and train her to view meeting people and dogs as a very neutral thing. On Thursday, she was running around playing with 5 other dogs, all but one bigger than her and all playing very rough. She was loving it! She also is more outgoing with people.

What does your dog do when she is near other dogs? Maybe if you can describe some situations, some members can give their advice...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Originally Posted By: rainedearWhat does your dog do to demonstrate that he is fearful?
My dog will dog many things first he barks( but that is getting better with the training) he only snapped once, but that was because I wasn't paying attention. Like I said I need the training as well. He also jumps on me for security.(also getting less) I have been going to this class for 4 weeks now and everyone else notices a change, I see some, but I guess because I am the handler I don't see it. I also have to admit that I have the tendency to over correct him, so the trainer only recommended the E-collar to help temporarily and then go back to the regular collar corrections.
 

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As MRL said I cannot imagine why anyone would recommend using an E-Collar with a fearful, timid dog, even as a last resort.

I take in rescues, and some have been abused. They are shy, timid and bond closely to anyone that is nice. However, some have issues, but I would never use an E-Collar on dogs with this type of personality

I just do not think this is the right approach, regardless of what your trainer said and the apparent fact that some people in your class are using them.

There is likely a benefit from using an E-Collar in some situations, but I don't feel this is one of them.
 

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If your trainer uses only positives, why would he be recommending a shock collar? I would really encourage you to find another trainer who can give you a second opinion on working with your dog's problems.

Fearful dogs, for the most part, need to be taught not to fear. Using corrections may teach them not to SHOW fear, but it won't teach them that there's no reason to be afraid (and often increases the fear instead). What you need first of all is someone who understands the concepts of desensitizing a dog to fearful situations using calm, positive reinforcement. That often includes treats if that's what motivates your dog. Leash and collar corrections are not a good idea in this situation.

I've worked with a lot of fearful dogs and owned one myself, and the way we brought them around was to increase their confidence by showing them that the fear wasn't necessary. Corrections do just the opposite - they reinforce the the fear is real, but that the dog is supposed to pretend not to be afraid in order to avoid the correction. Dogs trained in this way may never be trustworthy because the fear is always there.

Please find another trainer with more knowledge and experience with fearful dogs. I'm not against corrections, but correcting a dog because he's afraid is not a good idea.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Thanks for the reply. Seems most of the rescues I get are shy and timid. A few shelters label them as aggressive, but I have yet to see that. They simply need a bit of kindness and positive reinforcement.
 

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I've been watching this thread with interest. While I really like the behavioralist/trainer bandcsmom is using...he has suggested the ecollar for her foster as well...and his issues are different...he is mouthy and anxious. He had said only positive training will work with him..but he is suggesting the ecollar for him. My gut doesn't feel right about it.......

He is nonaggressive, in tune with people...but it seems when he gets worked up (what I take as unsure and anxious)...he has a tendency to get mouthy...I feel it's his way of communicating that anxiousness.....he will jump at you and grab (but not bite)...but it can leave a black/blue mark....again...not done to be aggressive.

Any training suggestions for that?
 

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I think there's probably a lot of things you can do.

Some Tellington Touch (WiscTiger is the person to go to about that), some replacement behavior-a sit, a touch command, a stretching exercise if it happens when he is on leash (like he bows, or does a circle) movement really helps to get rid of tension, which is what he is doing, but he can be taught to do it in a good way. Toys might help for him to be able to carry like some of the other doofus boy dogs here.
But teaching him an alternate behavior in a positive way can really do amazing things.

That said, I have my little Mariele (who is kind of stuck at 4-6 months) who gets REALLY nervous and used to go catatonic, or behind me (never to return) when scared and now when she is so brave as to get petted, she gets to jump up and bite me-it is her reward. I am not always very smart in shaping behaviors.*


* ETA-and I don't care-she likes it and does it only to me.

 

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Also thinking for the mouthy dog: http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=153716&page=1#Post153716
Teaching bite inhibition which can be done with adults-using ignore, replacing your body with toys, etc.

And just so I don't sound like a hypocrite (letting my dog bite me)
she really is a baby in an adult body-she had a head injury and kind of got frozen at that age. None of my other dogs correct her for biting either-it's very interesting to watch-and I follow their lead in general. She has toned it down on her own over time (she's 4), but she is still reaping that puppy privelige! But it shows that you can find a reward your dog likes by thinking outside the box-jumping up makes her SO happy and actually encourages her to get petted.

Just find something appropriate (but equally wonderful) for him. Bella likes when I clap my hands and say I SAW YOU! I SAW YOU!

Also wondering for the first dog if the ShyK9 group on Yahoo would be a help?

Ilsa is very afraid of other dogs and we do all sorts of happy stuff around them. I sound like a total wacko (Look at that SCARY Golden puppy, Ilsa-I bet he would eat you-and then I laugh and she relaxes) but she goes from shaking to not shaking really fast now.


Yes, I believe I did call Rafi a doofus. Sorry!

And re-reading this I have weird dogs that seem to reflect on me in some way...
 

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How did I miss this thread? And I think Jean has called my dog a doofus!


I have dealt with the same behaviors/problems with Basu, Kai and Rafi. In all three cases I have very successfully used counter conditioning. I do not correct but instead redirect. I would take a look at Feisty Fido and Click to Calm.

What have you tried so far?
 

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Originally Posted By: myamomHe is nonaggressive, in tune with people...but it seems when he gets worked up (what I take as unsure and anxious)...he has a tendency to get mouthy...I feel it's his way of communicating that anxiousness.....he will jump at you and grab (but not bite)...but it can leave a black/blue mark....again...not done to be aggressive.

Any training suggestions for that?
It's hard to be sure without actually seeing the behavior, but it may not be anxiousness and he may just be excitable and never has spent much real time around people and he has no manners. Compulsion will work, but it may not be necessary. My Diesel was very much this way when I first got him. I spent a lot of time ignoring his antics and making sure I did not even acknowledge him unless he gathered himself and sat calmly in front of me. Looking away and going neutral when he would try and climb on me and then the second his butt hit the floor and he calmed down switching my face to a smile and CALMLY saying good or fine and using long slow strokes to calm him. Also teaching people how to interact properly with a dog like this is key. So many people (even dog people) want to pet a dog using short fast strokes or bang on their sides or pat their head quickly. All of those actions will take a dog like that and amp them up from 0 to 100 in a heartbeat. Then they wonder why the dog is grooming their arm like it's an ear of corn at a picnic. DUH!
 

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This dog is good with people, good with dogs...this is his only quirk...but a serious one...and hinders adoption.....

Bandcsmom - can you elaborate what you've done with him so far?
 

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Rafi was very excitable when I got him. He would leap straight up and snap in my face! And go nuts when he saw other dogs. I posted on Grimm's thread because he was acting very similarly to Grimm. I trained him to focus on me and also to carry a ball with him on walks. He now redirects his attention to the ball when he gets really excited and whenever another dog starts barking at him he looks up at me because he knows he'll get a treat if he is calm.

If I let go of his leash to meet someone (that he knows, obviously) he will run as fast as he can and sit right in front of them and wait to be petted. In the past he would have dragged me over to them and then jumped up on them.

Kai truly was fearful and I had to use a different approach with him and with Basu.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
OK here we go, my dog Cody, I got him as a pup. (B.R.-myamom you should know what I mean) I unfortunately live by a Scranton K-9 cop and as my dog was growing up he would see his dog and pee because the k-9 would always come running and barking to the fence. So I think that's where it started. He had a couple of other incidences I am sure but I didn't realize it until about 4 months ago and I tried the prong and choke collars. I really don't want to use the e collar but I figured people were telling me it worked and I didn't see different. So that's where he is. Now my foster, aka, Alex(the one with ADD lol) He just turns out of nowhere and if he is off leash then he will start runnning around and when he passes me he grabs whatever he can,(arm, leg, pants etc.)He doesn't draw blood but does leave a bruise. I have tried everything from NO!, to OUCH!, AH AH!(might be spelled wrong)Then when he is on leash I have been praising the heck out of him when I walk with him and he walks next to me without pulling, I would talk to him constantly saying he's a good boy. The trainer would tell me to leash correct him when he bites at me and the corrections would get less. They have been, but like I said I don't like this e collar situation.
Now I want to thank you all for posting and responding to me. I really appreciate this. You especially myamom, I guess llike you said, just because I am paying him then automatically I have to listen to everything he says. I know I still have alot to learn.
He might be a good trainer, but not for my dog.
 
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