German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just thought some here would enjoy this article. It's a review of a study done on ecollars. It was very interesting and informative to me. When I read about training techniques I always look at the success rates that the method has proven, not only that, but the TYPE of success....be it, difficult dogs, especially aggression issues, etc.... I find this to be wonderful....36 dogs treated....36 successes...there is no end-all-be-all training method. Most take a little bit from everything...and I am not saying everyone needs to use an ecollar....it's just another tool....just thought some would like to read this article.

How effective was this work? Well, in the abstract Tortora states that the program:

… resulted in complete and permanent elimination of aggression in all of the 36 dogs tested. In addition, it produced extremely extinction-resistant prosocial avoidance responses, significant increases in the dogs’ emotional stability, an avoidance-learning and safety acquisition response set, and improvements in measures of the dogs’ “carriage.”

Take a few minutes to let that sink in. If a study demonstrated similar results for clicker or food lure training it would be cited on tens of thousands of sites across the internet. The author would be the darling of popular dog magazines and a regular presenter at dog training conferences. Heck, I bet he’d even have his own television show – and (unlike another popular television dog trainer) there wouldn’t be a torch and pitchfork mob out to lynch him.


See no evil. Read no evil. Cite no evil. | Smartdogs' Weblog
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
Very interesting! Shared this with a friend of mine who uses the e-collar and has one of the best trained wolf dogs I have ever seen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I just love it because the author did SO MUCH research and cited EVERYTHING that she could. It's rare to find reviews and research anymore that isn't incredibly biased and hugely based on feelings and emotions. My degree is in Organismal Biology, and I have had to do so many research projects I can't even count (mine were mainly in Zoology/Animal Behavior...mostly in Marine Mammals). So I always appreciate and share well thought out, researched, articles.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
5,627 Posts
Not at all impressed. The main source for this person's blog is over 30 years old. We have learned so much about behavior, ethology and canine cognition in 30 years.

Most of the articles listed at the bottom say that the author of the blog either could only read the abstract or couldn't access the article at all so I'm not sure how they are being used as references.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
im not sure about research behind it, but i do know that the e collar has worked wonders for our dog. His life is much improved with the e collar: he can now be off leash without worries around other dogs (used to be dog reactive) and have more freedom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Not at all impressed. The main source for this person's blog is over 30 years old. We have learned so much about behavior, ethology and canine cognition in 30 years.

Most of the articles listed at the bottom say that the author of the blog either could only read the abstract or couldn't access the article at all so I'm not sure how they are being used as references.
Meh, can't please everyone. I agree we have come a long way in understanding these things....doesn't change the fact that the methods helped save 36 reactive dogs..out of 36 dogs....that's 100% success..I don't care if it was 300 years ago...it's working still, to this day.

Lots of people with reactive/aggressive dogs become exasperated with "positive only" training. Some even put their dogs down because of the guilt others have attached to ecollars/pinch collars, etc...FOR them. It's important for them to see all the options. Just putting this out there for people. Doesn't matter how old a study is to me, bottom line...it worked.

There are so many emotions that go along with "shock," like the article says, that some don't even consider it as an option. I haven't known anyone who goes straight to ecollars, most train as far as they can with treat luring and clickers. And that's great, and some dogs, NEVER need to have more than a verbal correction, and that's wonderful. I just posted this because plenty of people don't have the rin tin tin/lassie, only-needs-verbal-corrections, dog. They have highly reactive, fear aggressive, "problem" dogs, not dogs that just had an unstructured environment and need some guidance.

This article may help some. It is a published scientific study, conducted with controls, variables, and the results are published STILL in psychological journals...it isn't someone spouting off their anecdotal experiences they had with their pet in their backyard. It's purpose was to scientifically test a training theory, on "difficult/problem" dogs, and it did, successfully. Just info for those looking for something outside of what they are trying that isn't working. A lot of the trainers nowadays only share success stories they had with "easy" dogs, and those that have "harder" problem-dogs, are kind of left to their own defenses, feeling guilty if they go to any negative-stigma-based tools.

J,
Glad you found something that worked for your reactive pup. It makes the world of a difference in your life as well as your dog's, I'm sure. Whatever we need to try, tools, methods, etc...(used appropriately and properly) to make that happen, is worth examining. imho
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
5,627 Posts
doesn't change the fact that the methods helped save 36 reactive dogs..out of 36 dogs....that's 100% success..I don't care if it was 300 years ago...it's working still, to this day.
There are a lot of reasons why what they did worked to help reactive dogs least of which was the use of the e-collar but that's a different discussion.

What I disliked about the blog post was the author citing all of these studies and articles as references when she didn't actually get to read the majority of them and therefore they can't be solid reference to back her opinion.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Not at all impressed. The main source for this person's blog is over 30 years old. We have learned so much about behavior, ethology and canine cognition in 30 years.
This thread is about the first study that was mentioned on the blog, not the opinion of the blogger.

The age of the study has nothing to do with the outcome. It shows that of the 36 dogs in the study, 100% of them responded to the Ecollar training. How does learning that has occurred "in [the last] 30 years" in the fields of "behavior, ethology and canine cognition" affect this outcome?

Most of the articles listed at the bottom say that the author of the blog either could only read the abstract or couldn't access the article at all so I'm not sure how they are being used as references.
This isn't a scientific study, it's a blog. Blogs don't need "references."

There are a lot of reasons why what they did worked to help reactive dogs least of which was the use of the e-collar but that's a different discussion.
Since you've already taken us off topic, I think it's appropriate to discuss it here. Pray tell, what are those "lot of reasons" why the Ecollar worked on the reactive dogs? I'm especially interested in the "least of which was the use of the Ecollar" part. It seems to me that MOST OF WHICH would be the Ecollar since that's what was used in the study.

What I disliked about the blog post was the author citing all of these studies and articles as references when she didn't actually get to read the majority of them and therefore they can't be solid reference to back her opinion.
Most people who form opinions against the Ecollar haven't even read one abstract, much less an entire study. Instead they rely on emotions, their own personal experience of getting a shock, either from static electricity, from the wall socket or a lamp, or they take the word of people who, almost universally, have little or no personal experience with modern Ecollars or how modern versions of the tool can be used. How come it's OK for anti Ecollar opinions to be based on emotions, myth, and sometimes outright lies, but for a pro−Ecollar opinion you require that someone read "entire studies?" Seems like a double standard to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
There are a lot of reasons why what they did worked to help reactive dogs least of which was the use of the e-collar but that's a different discussion.

What I disliked about the blog post was the author citing all of these studies and articles as references when she didn't actually get to read the majority of them and therefore they can't be solid reference to back her opinion.
This is the perfect place to discuss this, that's why I posted the review. Curious others opinions, so instead of the general, obligatory, response, please humor me. You don't like that the author of the blog formed opinions from summaries, but you yourself formed a complete opinion from reading the summary of this study. Not only an opinion but claiming that the success had little to do with ecollars, when the entire study was on ecollars....
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
5,627 Posts
You don't like that the author of the blog formed opinions from summaries
No, the author of the blog is free to form opinions out of thin air if she pleases but don't claim sources you haven't actually read.

but you yourself formed a complete opinion from reading the summary of this study. Not only an opinion but claiming that the success had little to do with ecollars, when the entire study was on ecollars....
I've read more than a summary of the study. I've read up to and including the section on safety training and am making my way through the rest. And I didn't state any opinion on the study except that the safety training could easily have been done without the use of an e-collar and that the training itself and not merely the use of the e-collar is the basis for the behavior modification (which is really what the study was about, not the e-collar).

For the record, I also never stated an opinion on e-collars and yet it was assumed that I have some emotional bias against them. Not true. I don't prefer to use them in my training but have no agenda for or against their use.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
No, the author of the blog is free to form opinions out of thin air if she pleases but don't claim sources you haven't actually read.
I've seen dozens of discussions here on the Ecollar. Never have I seen you make such a statement when the opinion of the poster is anti-Ecollar. It still seems as if there a double standard.

And I didn't state any opinion on the study except that the safety training could easily have been done without the use of an e-collar
The study was not a comparison between training that uses the Ecollar and other tools/methods. I don't think that you have any idea what tools/methods would have worked with the dogs in the study.

and that the training itself and not merely the use of the e-collar is the basis for the behavior modification (which is really what the study was about, not the e-collar).
What? The study was done specifically so that the use of the Ecollar for this issue, could be examined.

For the record, I also never stated an opinion on e-collars and yet it was assumed that I have some emotional bias against them. Not true. I don't prefer to use them in my training but have no agenda for or against their use.
Then why the double standard on how people form opinions about them?

It also appears that you missed some of my questions. Earlier I asked this, "How does learning that has occurred 'in [the last] 30 years' in the fields of 'behavior, ethology and canine cognition' affect this outcome?"

And this, "...what are those 'lot of reasons' why the Ecollar worked on the reactive dogs? I'm especially interested in the 'least of which was the use of the Ecollar' part."
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
5,627 Posts
The study was done specifically so that the use of the Ecollar for this issue, could be examined.
Very first line from the study summary:

"This study sought to identify the behavioral characteristics and appropriate treatment of a form of instrumental aggression in companion dogs, herein recognized as avoidance motivated
aggression."

and the last line from the summary

"All in all, the data seem to suggest that safety training may create in dogs a sense of control over environmental stressors. By teaching the dogs a behaviorally balanced
battery of prosocial "coping" responses, they may be developing the canine counterpart of "self-efficacy" or "courage." It is suggested that this cognitive modification mayprovide the antithesis of "learned helplessness" and may be of prime importance to the success and stability of the results."


NO mention of the e-collar. Have you read it? Or even the summary?

It also appears that you missed some of my questions.
Didn't miss a thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
No, the author of the blog is free to form opinions out of thin air if she pleases but don't claim sources you haven't actually read.



I've read more than a summary of the study. I've read up to and including the section on safety training and am making my way through the rest. And I didn't state any opinion on the study except that the safety training could easily have been done without the use of an e-collar and that the training itself and not merely the use of the e-collar is the basis for the behavior modification (which is really what the study was about, not the e-collar).

You can NOT without a doubt say that the training would have worked without the ecollar....if you can, well kudos to you for being able to conduct and conclude a scientific experiment completely in your head...let me know how publishing that goes.... The safety training occurred, was proofed, and then the ecollar used to clarify the command and make it reliable, the whole while building the confidence and "fixing" the dog, through the big picture...you can't pick and choose what YOU think matters in an experiment, and throw out a key component just because YOU think so. Saying that the training could have been done without the ecollar is so ignorant...imo. You have NO proof of that. I have yet to see a study of 30+ REACTIVE dogs taken on positive only training, that were "fixed" and ended up with reliable commands. I HAVE seen lots of reactive/FA/DA dog's owners go to positive only training, spend THOUSANDS of dollars on the training, only to be told, whelp, it's in the genetics...nothing to be done but manage the environment. The dog is left to live out it's life in fear, anxiety, and stress.

I just recently, saw, first hand, a dog that well-known, positive only, trainers said was hopeless (dog was raised in a pack with little to NO human contact...was TERRIFIED of humans, would growl and urinate on sight of a human approaching...). A different trainer was called by the shelter and asked to help. Using methods/theories/practices with thought processes similar to this study, the dog is a different freaking dog. Approaches humans for attention, wags it's tail like crazy, no longer urinates or growls at the approach of humans....and instead of being put down, which is what the other trainers (against most compulsion of any kind and DID try to train this dog as you claim "would have worked") said needed to be done because, "it wasn't fair for this dog to live in constant fear and anxiety." I wish there were words to convey how screwed up this dog was. He was NEVER out of defense/fear, he NEVER relaxed, he would let people approach him but was cowering, growling, and urinating. No forward aggression(seen), only flight/avoidance and growling/urinating/cowering. The dog was placed last week in an older couple's home. And was proofed, through a CROWD of people, and did amazing. I could not believe my freaking eyes. When I first met the dog I thought FOR SURE he was going to be put down. He is literally the OPPOSITE end of the spectrum now...and it took 2.5-3 weeks. Like crazy-wild-nerve bag-dog to now a cuddle-bug-lap-dog. And he was a mutt...no idea the genetics.

Now, I realize my story is just an anecdotal story, I just tell it to explain why it is so important, imo, to get this information/studies like it, out there. There are OTHER options to helping these stressed out, FA/DA, anxiety-ridden dogs. That's all I think the knowledge of any type of training method is good for. To SHOW people, especially owners of "problem" dogs or "hard" dogs, that there are lots and lots of options. That there are un-necessary guilt/emotions attached to tools, and most of the time they have no knowledge about the tool. Other than some trainer or someone online said it was cruel...but WHY? Because it would hurt around a HUMAN neck, because a HUMAN feels a certain way, because the HUMAN has stigmas? It truly is a shame to me and to dogs, the amount of hypermorphizing we do sometimes.


For the record, I also never stated an opinion on e-collars and yet it was assumed that I have some emotional bias against them. Not true. I don't prefer to use them in my training but have no agenda for or against their use.
Response in bold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
Just throwing this out there, but I like threads like this. I have not read the article but to me there are owners of dogs out there that may benefit from information like this that they would not normally be privy to.

From reading the responses, I sense there are some who just don't believe in ecollar training. I myself would only try this with the help of an experienced trainer for one and my dog would have to be really bad off attitude wise for me to venture into this type of training.

I myself have nothing against ecollar training as long as it is done in a responsable none abusive manor. For now I'll continue with positive training but if it were necessary I wouldn't hesitate ecollar training my dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Just throwing this out there, but I like threads like this. I have not read the article but to me there are owners of dogs out there that may benefit from information like this that they would not normally be privy to.

From reading the responses, I sense there are some who just don't believe in ecollar training. I myself would only try this with the help of an experienced trainer for one and my dog would have to be really bad off attitude wise for me to venture into this type of training.

I myself have nothing against ecollar training as long as it is done in a responsable none abusive manor. For now I'll continue with positive training but if it were necessary I wouldn't hesitate ecollar training my dog.
I think we can all agree with this statement in regards to ANY tool used in training. And thank you for your response, it's exactly the reason I posted the link/article/review. There are options upon options when it comes to training, and every dog is different. Whatever works for you and your dog, that makes you both have a healthy, stable, long-lasting bond/relationship, that's fantastic in my eyes. I am just saddened when I see someone (general someone) in real life or on this forum who is so caught up in using one and only one method, and in turn both the dog AND the owner suffers because of it (be it long lasting anxiety, fear, aggression, etc...), and the owner never tried other options because of silly mis-placed emotions, feelings, stigmas, and "fad" attitudes.

I myself am learning so much from all the trainers, helpers, sports people, etc...that I have been honored to be mentored by. I am by no means an expert, I just love finding research, experiments, and proven methods, and then discussing those methods with others. I don't think anyone can be "done" learning about dog training, I don't think anyone "knows it all," and that's exciting and fun to be a part of.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
5,627 Posts
You can NOT without a doubt say that the training would have worked without the ecollar....if you can, well kudos to you for being able to conduct and conclude a scientific experiment completely in your head...let me know how publishing that goes.... The safety training occurred, was proofed, and then the ecollar used to clarify the command and make it reliable, the whole while building the confidence and "fixing" the dog, through the big picture...you can't pick and choose what YOU think matters in an experiment, and throw out a key component just because YOU think so. Saying that the training could have been done without the ecollar is so ignorant...imo. You have NO proof of that.
I can say without a doubt that you can do the type of training used in the study without the use of an e-collar. I've done it. I've worked with other trainers that have done it. And I've read books, articles, watched videos and attended seminars where it's been done. And I can discuss it without getting emotional or attacking someone personally.

I didn't throw anything out of the study. I took the extra step to actually read the full study, think on it and form my own opinion. What my additional knowledge of the full study coupled with my experience tells me is that the e-collar was not the saving grace for those dogs.

The e-collar is ONE tool/method used to "clarify the command and make it reliable". If that's the one you prefer and trust, good for you (general you, not YOU) but you (general you, not YOU) cannot discount other methods that you simply don't like or don't fit the agenda.

Nowhere did I mention positive only methods or suggest that those were the way to go much less the only option. And, I find that the people who scream the loudest about "positive only" training are those that don't actually understand it... much like the people who scream the loudest against the use of chokes/prongs/e-collars.

But, that's the beauty of an internet forum. You get lots of different opinions, experiences and levels of knowledge and get to pick and choose which fits your style best and what to ignore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,180 Posts
I can say without a doubt that you can do the type of training used in the study without the use of an e-collar. I've done it. I've worked with other trainers that have done it. And I've read books, articles, watched videos and attended seminars where it's been done. And I can discuss it without getting emotional or attacking someone personally.

I didn't throw anything out of the study. I took the extra step to actually read the full study, think on it and form my own opinion. What my additional knowledge of the full study coupled with my experience tells me is that the e-collar was not the saving grace for those dogs.

The e-collar is ONE tool/method used to "clarify the command and make it reliable". If that's the one you prefer and trust, good for you (general you, not YOU) but you (general you, not YOU) cannot discount other methods that you simply don't like or don't fit the agenda.

Nowhere did I mention positive only methods or suggest that those were the way to go much less the only option. And, I find that the people who scream the loudest about "positive only" training are those that don't actually understand it... much like the people who scream the loudest against the use of chokes/prongs/e-collars.

But, that's the beauty of an internet forum. You get lots of different opinions, experiences and levels of knowledge and get to pick and choose which fits your style best and what to ignore.

I am an avid ally of what ever training works for a particular dog within acceptable uncruel unabusive reason.

I think you are also missing the whole point of this thread. It's clearly to offer other options to owners who are otherwise overwhelmed with a hard to train dog that they may not realise exists. I don't think this thread is here to champion ecollar training, just offering some data to support it if it's a necessary viable option.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
5,627 Posts
I think you are also missing the whole point of this thread. It's clearly to offer other options to owners who are otherwise overwhelmed with a hard to train dog that they may not realise exists.
I didn't miss it at all. In fact, I've also said there are many options which should be relative to the discussion if it is in fact about what you say it is.

But the author of the blog and others have missed the point of the study that was done. That's fine. The study does not promote the e-collar at all but some people need it to. Again, everyone is free to draw their own conclusions and not be attacked for it.

For me, the conclusion was that training (regardless of tool used) where the dog gained confidence and certain coping skills was needed to modify their aggression (in the study, specifically called avoidance aggression); the e-collar was actually referenced very little and was not a focus. How you go about that training can vary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
Don't really care if the e collar helped 36 reactive dogs or 3600 reactive dogs. It is working for MY dog. I started out with positive only training...it works great with a lot of things I train my dog to do. Did not help with the reactivity at all. Or very little. The e collar is absolutely giving me a reliable recall, better attention, and less reactivity. I also use a prong, which has helped but the e collar is a lot easier on my neck/back issues and the prong limits me to on leash only. Someone else training my dog may have had better success with different methods, but for me, the e collar is a miracle.
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top