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I am considering using a trainer from Sit Means Sit for private lessons for my GSD. I have done a good amount of online research about them, met with the trainer, seen dogs face to face, etc. Just wondering if anybody here has used them.

Note: I know about the training collar used and am not opposed to this based on what saw in training - unless somebody knows something that I should. Thanks!
 

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Originally Posted By: doggiedadwhat kind of collar are they usuing
They are using a remote collar for focus - it uses a tiny jolt of electricity. Some think it's controversial, but after reading more about how it's used and talking to the trainer, I see the benefits. The E-collar (as they call it) has been around for nearly 50 years. However the original models were unsophisticated, single-level units. The collars have gone through transition much like that which has been seen in common products like the computer or microwave oven. Today's models are much more effective and are completely humane according to the trainer.

I got this off a website: "The staff at the KC Conservative allowed the unit to be tested directly on the skin and were able to hold the unit even at the highest level without significant discomfort. The Sit Means Sit method is so effective and gentle that it is fully endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States. Use of this method will reduce the number of dogs being put down or placed in shelters every year for behavior problems. Owner Tom Mancuso reminds clients that this method is much gentler than tugging on a leash. With the Sit Means Sit method, you can control your pet without yelling, raising your voice, fighting or yanking on the dog."
 

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There are much better e-collar methods than Sit Means Sit. Lou Castle http://www.loucastle.com/ is one I would recommend over Fred Hassen, hopefully Lou will see this and chime in. I'd recommend sitting in on a session with a dog that is just starting out; that is when you will see how much stress a method imparts on an animal. I've seen e-collar work done to teach agility to a beginner dog and it was not pretty. I felt awful for the dog. Please note that I am not at all against the e-collar; when used correctly, they're fantastic and I think I'll be owning one sometime for proofing as well as "off leash insurance."
 

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For a BABY dog I would not use an e-collar regardless of how good the trainer is at their job. I think E-collars have a place for proofing and off lead but there are better methods, especially positive ones for babies.
 

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Originally Posted By: AmaruqFor a BABY dog I would not use an e-collar regardless of how good the trainer is at their job. I think E-collars have a place for proofing and off lead but there are better methods, especially positive ones for babies.
I agree,positive training for commands.
E-collar is more for correcting bad/wrong behavior.
I don't think it's really needed for a puppy.

Unless,you have a monster
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally Posted By: oliver annieUnless,you have a monster
No monster here - at all.


I sat in on a lesson this week and the 24 wk old pup *had been using for 2 weeks* didn't seem hurt by the collar. It seemed more humane than the jerk with the leash as I have seen.

For my pup, the e-collar wouldn't be used until 20 wks at the earliest. Plus the trainer made it known he would make me practice on him and visa versa, calibrating appropriately to avoid "shock" training her. He explained it as more of a tickl to get her focused as needed. I would never hurt my dog to train her. Ever.

Any specific examples/comments of anybody using Sit Means Sit appreciated. I will definitely be using their services, just looking for personal experiences. Thanks!
 

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Since you want specific information than I have nothing to offer. I never used them but it sounds like I never would either.


Glad to hear she wont be using the e-collar until she is a BIG girl at 20 weeks. But I guess that is your own choice and you are happy with it.
 

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Without elaborating I agree with you. I am not as opposed to the E Collar as I used to be, but in this situation if was the OP, I would find a new trainer.

Teaching a pup basic commands can be done easily without using and E Collar, or for that matter a pronged collar. In this case, the use of an E Collar sounds like an easily out for the trainer.

As you mentioned, the more positive training methods are much better with a pup.
 

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While I do feel there are times when a shock collar is helpful and even appropriate, using it for basic training on a young dog (and 20 weeks is VERY young yet) is not a "gentle" way to train.

E-collar training is based on punishment. Yes, good trainers use the minimal amount of shock, but the reality is that the dog has to learn to AVOID something it finds uncomfortable. Instead of creating an atmosphere where the dog wants to obey because it's really thrilled about the training and reward and bonding with the owner, the e-collar creates an atmosphere of avoidance. If you truly mean it when you said "I would never hurt my dog to train her. Ever." then I would strongly encourage you to look into other methods for your pup.

There are great positive training methods out there (and great positive training trainers) that can teach you and your pup most of the basics with little to no correction. You'll build a better relationship with your dog. I know that the e-collar trainers swear by their relationships, but pure logic dictates that a dog that is trained using aversives/punishment is going to be less trusting than a dog trained using properly timed positive reinforcements. And having come from a background where I initially did train using corrections, I can tell you that you DO get a better relationship when you concentrate on the positive instead of the negative (and back in the old days I would have sworn on a Bible that the relationship I had with my dogs couldn't be any stronger).

You can always add corrections later on, but you can never take them back once they're used.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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First of all, are YOU doing the training? Going to the classes and learning to work with your dog?

Or are you sending your puppy away so won't really know what is happening in the training. And though you may get a dog back that has learned from them and will listen to them........unless 'them' are coming to live with your for the rest of the dogs life there will quickly be problems cropping up.

Quote: I sat in on a lesson this week and the 24 wk old pup *had been using for 2 weeks* didn't seem hurt by the collar. It seemed more humane than the jerk with the leash as I have seen.
Those are NOT the only 2 ways to train. SPECIALLY with a puppy there's new and positive methods that not only don't have 'jerking' involved but no leash at all.

Watch this 15 week old puppy. See the attention and focus and NO leash at all. Can you dog do this? All it takes is the OWNER to learn a method using treats, a tug toy and good timing. And when the OWNER learn how to teach/train the puppy becomes a willing partner who may never need an e-collar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWZyL8DoI7I&sdig=1

If you go to this site:

Then click on the right side to read up on how YOU can train your dog and become a team yourself: http://www.clickertraining.com/

About Clicker Training
What is clicker training?
Why train your dog?
Why can't I just use my voice?
Is clicker training right for me?
See what others have to say!

BTW, I feel there are instances that the e-collar is ideal, but not initial puppy training. And NOT by strangers. I first take my puppy to all the positive based training classes (going WITH the dog cause I know I'm usually the reason my pup doesn't learn, cause I'm not teaching properly) and only as they get older do I use other methods. And I'm the one using them and learning along their side.

Relation based dog training (click here)

It takes a pack to raise a puppy (click here)
 

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There was another one yet recently too. Based on the info I've seen - yuck. MANY better ways to train a puppy.

Does anyone have a link to the threads where Brian posted video of Shannon working with Fayanna (Little Raven)? They show a teenage girl doing motivational training with a high energy working lines GSD from a breeder on this board - both dog and girl are doing a great job and having a great time. That's how puppy training (well, all dog training) should look IMO! Many better choices than either shocking or yanking for teaching basic skills.
 

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Sit means sit trains only with the e collar,no positive based training,no reward based only e collar. I wouldnt use them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks all for your info. My dog has a personal trainer now - has been with her for 4 weeks. She can sit, come, stay (10 seconds/15 ft), and walk well on a leash. I am very happy with her progress and feel she is progressing well with lots of attention and training by both the trainer and MYSELF. Currently, I work with the pup during training and after. We work as a TEAM. I will continue the same with her next trainer.

Training will NOT be conduced away. I don't like this option. Again, I want to be actively involved as I will be carrying out continued training throughout the week when the trainer isn't around. Training will be conducted under my guidance, and assistance, at my home and in various areas around my town - to train with/without distractions.

I am very active with the pup and will continue to be throughout all her training and endeavors. I love my pup and if for any reason I feel the training is bordering abuse I will cease it immediately.

Everybody has their own opinion of training, and I THANK YOU all again for your opinions and recommendations. I received a number of positive PMs about the training and am going to give it a try. I will post updates online if anybody is interested.
 

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From the original post:

Quote: Note: I know about the training collar used and am not opposed to this based on what saw in training - unless somebody knows something that I should. Thanks!
I've been reading this without comment, but now that you are committed, I will add this.

People gave you what you asked for - "they knew something they thought you should know."

Like me, they read that you wre asking for opinions or insights. As a positive style trainer with many tools in the old training box, I cringe to see an e-collar used on a pup. Especially one already showing itself to be highly trainable and with apparently no need to be fitted with an electric collar.

I am glad I was around to see the shift from traditional to more positive methods. It is a joy to work with bonded, happy, eager teams.

Oops - I forgot - you only want to hear good things about puppies and electonic collars. Guess I can't help with that.
 

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Did you read the links that were posted to some other styles of training? If not, I really encourage you to check them out. Also look at the videos of puppies being trained using these methods. It sounds like you're doing the right thing trying to check out the Sit Means Sit method but you owe it to yourself and your pup to check out the alternatives as well. There are some great ones! Thank goodness training isn't limited to e-collar versus pop and jerk leash training anymore!


ETA: I don't think it was one of the threads Jean linked to but there was a post a few weeks back asking about Sit Means Sit training and several people chimed in to say that it wasn't good - including an e-collar trainer, so it's not just an e-collar versus non-e-collar debate. Not sure if the people who PM'd you were positive about SMS or just e-collar training generally.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Originally Posted By: Skye'sMomFrom the original post:
Oops - I forgot - you only want to hear good things about puppies and electonic collars. Guess I can't help with that.
Please, I have been using this board for quite some time without being negative to people. While I have spent more time reading than writing, I have and do enjoy the boards. I would like to keep this place as cordial as possible for me and all who use it. Let's all try this for 2009. I know I don't want to be scared off, as I am sure there are others like me. This is my last reply to this post. I will update as mentioned above.

Thank you all.
 

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If you saw that as negative, I apologize. I've been here 5 years and it's the first time I've ben called that and it was not intended.

Tongue in cheek? Yes. I just found it curious for someone to ask for their experiences and then be blown off when they were non-ecollar.

Good luck to your pup.
 

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Originally Posted By: NC_PetMomma
Originally Posted By: doggiedadwhat kind of collar are they usuing
They are using a remote collar for focus - it uses a tiny jolt of electricity. Some think it's controversial, but after reading more about how it's used and talking to the trainer, I see the benefits. The E-collar (as they call it) has been around for nearly 50 years. However the original models were unsophisticated, single-level units. The collars have gone through transition much like that which has been seen in common products like the computer or microwave oven. Today's models are much more effective and are completely humane according to the trainer.

I got this off a website: "The staff at the KC Conservative allowed the unit to be tested directly on the skin and were able to hold the unit even at the highest level without significant discomfort. The Sit Means Sit method is so effective and gentle that it is fully endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States. Use of this method will reduce the number of dogs being put down or placed in shelters every year for behavior problems. Owner Tom Mancuso reminds clients that this method is much gentler than tugging on a leash. With the Sit Means Sit method, you can control your pet without yelling, raising your voice, fighting or yanking on the dog."
http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/looking_for_a_dog_trainer_.html

I wonder where the source is for that endorsement, because agree with HSUS about ANYTHING or not, it does not appear to be the case from their site.

Thought this was funny-looks like a press release written by Ami Moore-isn't she that person in Chicago who uses the collars on dogs' packages? Going to go check that...
http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/node/97954

Yes, here is the thread on that: http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=874486&page=2#Post874486

And pupresq, I believe one of those threads has posts from Tracie, the e-collar trainer, who does not support this particular method.

I always loved one of the trainers where I took my dogs-Volhard based-who would say people, relax it's only dog school! And there were people planning to compete, etc. but it was a way to remind us-put it into perspective.
 
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