Training collars

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by summitbc, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. summitbc New Member

    Hello! I have a question that really requires some heavy input. My husband is in favor of using a training collar for our border collie, Summit. He's convinced we get one to prevent him from running into the street after cars and other dogs, not to mention at the parks we frequently visit. He tunes us out many times now, so his recall isn't 100% effective. I have some doubts, yet I met another border owner at a park who swore by his and was convinced it was the best thing for his safety. Any thoughts? :dogunsure:

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    Well a shocking collar isn't 100% effective either. Your dog could be out of range before you are able to hit the button, or the prong might not be tightly put on his neck , or the battery might die.

    The best way to prevent your dog from running into the street is to avoid these situations altogether. Have a leash on your dog and do not let him off leash where there are streets around.

    You can train your dog to come to you because he receives so much pleasure and reinforcement by chasing you or getting treats, etc once he gets to you. Or you can shock him for leaving you. I'd personally rather spend time training the first one.
  3. ella Well-Known Member

    I agree 100% to Jean. In germany the use of the shocking collars are forbidden anyways. There is a law against it. Some do it anyways....

    I often hear of problems with BC. A breed which is so specialized is often not really happy being "just" a family member.... especially if he is herding objects like cars, special training is needed.

    Maybe you find someone who knows about Border?

    Greetings ella
  4. zcoonhound Well-Known Member

    I am an avid equestrian trail rider and my dog goes with me each time, and wears her ECollar proudly. We have used it on her each time she goes trail riding with us and she gets so excited when she sees the collar. We have never used it for obedience training. The main purpose is as an extension of the leash. Can't you just imagine riding a horse and leading a dog on a leash???? We took the time to educate ouselves on the proper use and technique and to also acclimate her to the collar. This is a deeply personal choice in training equipment. Do your research. Decide before the purchase exactly why you are using the ECollar and HOW you will use it. ECollars are NOT punishment devices, they should only be used for reinforcement of prior concrete training.

    I know this is not a popular opinon. There are alot of reasons not to use an ECollar, but for my purpose and for the safety and security of my canine friend, I use one.
  5. fickla Experienced Member

    If you decide that you need an e-collar for the safety of your dog, please just do your homework first. You need to learn how to properly use it as well as teaching your dog how to effectively avoid the punishment. I would recommend that you find a trainer who is well versed the ecollar to help you.

    But either way, you are going to have to training with your dog, so I personally prefer trying more training without the use of one before looking at e-collars more.
  6. brihanna New Member

    40ft nylon training leash. (Trust, safety, learned limits.)

    Lots of "training time".

    My 2cents worth.
  7. storm22 Experienced Member

    yeah until you have your dog with a good recall have him on a leash we use a lunge lead for horses its about 8metres long for koda, but i used it on storm when he was younger, and know he can run next to the horses where ever we are and i dont worry about him
  8. dr2little New Member

    If an ecollar isn't punishment, how is it effective?
  9. blisandt New Member

    Oh boy.. This is a hot button topic!

    The remote training collar is not a punishment if used properly. It is a "reminder" send by the hand of god (not the trainer, in the eyes of the dog)... I have put one on to feel the level of signal which my dog responds to and it is not pain, it is like getting a "spark" after scuffing along a rung in socked feet.. it startles you out of your activity.. enough to realize that your
    boss (owner) is calling you or asking you to perform a command which you (the dog) ALREADY KNOW.

    I took a 12 week course with my dog to learn how to use it. The trainer could see he was training ME more than my dog - who had excellent foundational skills (knew commands) already from a year of lure training.

    It took three signals to stop my dog from eating poop. Properly timed, properly volumed (strength not too high). He doesn't look at it any more - nor sneak it, nor eat it. Period.

    That is an example of behavior modification.

    Using the collar for training requires CAREFUL planning. First lure the dog to complete the command. I often use a clicker during this phase. About 30 times of perfect completion - no matter how boring (and not all at once necessarily)... then phase in the command word(s)... get another 30 successes... Then, unless distractions increase, say the command (and here the schools separate) once then signal from the collar and repeat the command. Some schools say - send a signal with the first command else you are teaching your dog to wait for it... the first school feels you will not send a signal unless necessary.. the second feels you are upping the speed of response time on the command an increasing the likelihood of compliance every time...

    BTW - when distractions increase, training -not necessarily "volume" (signal strength) needs to flex back a step or two...

    After 3 months of wearing the collar every waking moment (not only when we go to the park), my dog no longer needs it on unless we are going to a new place or there are going to be LOTS of distractions at a place he knows... Then it's on just in case. He has rarely needed a reminder... he no longer has "park bark" and he comes when called EVERY time.

    My battery has NEVER failed, the collar has NEVER not signaled (I always have it turned on, and on him properly).

    For the dog I use it on, it has made the world make sense. The world now works for him... he knows he is safe and he knows he does not have to pre-empt any other dogs (I do not allow that behavior), and he knows that in a down next to me, NOTHING will happen to him - no signal, no dog attack (I would put myself between him and anyone).

    BTW - his weaves sped up considerably when I began signaling (low volume) ON all commands: he has made the "transition" to "I (As the dog) can stop the signal by complying quickly."
  10. ella Well-Known Member

    Well I guess, it is a question of character, which type of human beeing I am: I rather like the dog to follow every command and that very quickly, no matter what... or I would like my dog to follow because I trained him well and positive, he longs to be at my side, because he likes my company... I think it is more desirable that my dogs follow because they want to, because they know it is fun with me, rather than they would follow out of fear of beeing punished otherwise..

    The end does not justifies the means.
  11. Jean Cote Administrator

    Hi Blisantd,

    Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts on electronic dog collars, it is a really controversial topic and I find it great that you had the courage to say that you use it, especially in an environment where it usually is not liked.

    It is great that you took a twelve week training course on how to use it. I'm definitely not against people using these collars, a girl I knew had to hire a trainer for their dog because he was killing their chickens. So the only way they had to stop him was with an electronic collar.

    So they are great for stopping those kind of behaviors, but the thing that bothers me the most about the collars is that anybody can buy them. A new owner who's never trained a dog in his life might have been told that an electronic collar is the best way to train a dog, and so they get one without knowing how to use it. The next thing you know the poor dog is getting shocked way too often than necessary. (not to mention the lack of positive reinforcements)

    I personally believe that for behaviors like sit, down, etc (anything on this website really) that it is better to train with positive reinforcements. :dogsmile:
  12. dr2little New Member

    While I'm very familiar with shock collars, I would never resort to using one except in the extreme cases where non-aversive methods may fail such as snake safety training.

    This kind of aversive is far too often abused and usually minimized in both it's effects and what it is actually doing, sending a shock from out of nowhere to a dogs neck.

    In order for behavior to change, the consequence (positive or negative) must be strong enough to be effective. Dog will work FOR something and they will work to AVOID something. There is no way that a slight tingle would be more effective than reward in shaping behavior, certainly if the person training took the time to find what that particular dog finds rewarding.

    In my many years of training, I've seen only one example of justification for shocking a dog. Snake safety is that only example.

    For recall, copraphagia, or any other behavior for which my dog will work FOR something...I would never resort to shocking them. There is a reason that they are banned in some countries. One only has to see a few cases of the serious complications of using this aversive to know that it's simply not worth the risk.

    I have to add that I find the schools cropping up lately capitolizing on the use of shock collar as training devices are beyond disgusting. How have we humans lost the ability to feel beyond sad.:dogangry:
  13. w0lf New Member

    edited 14 aug
  14. Jean Cote Administrator

    Hey dr2little! :dogsmile: nice post. Most new training places I know of train using positive reinforcements... What part of Canada are you at? (I'm in Ontario)
  15. dr2little New Member

    Hi Jean,

    I'm in Calgary. The only "trainers" who use aversives to any degree are the same ones who are always absent from any of the seminars/workshops.

    In the next few months alone we have Kathy Sdao, Nicole Wilde and Pam Dennison presenting here. There's simply no excuse for a lack of education in this industry anymore.....which translates to me to mean a need for aversives like shock collars to solve problems such as what's been described.

    Unfortunately we have the self proclaimed 'expert' Brad Pattison from that GAWD AWFUL tv show 'At the end of my leash' here in Calgary. He's moving soon from what I hear but he's still reside on the idiot box for all of the groupies to mindlessly follow him.
    There are a handful of people that he's "certified" (though he carries no education himself), who have set up shop here. They use tactics such as slapping dog/puppies across the nose for jumping up and nipping, and the infamous alpha roll, or as they refer to it "PINNING" dogs for whatever they consider dominance...which is just about every natural canine behavior. They like to run dogs full speed into park benches, around trees, all with martingale collars on so that the strangle effect is fully felt. This is what they consider training.....they also tell clients that positive reinforcement is bribery and that using food at any time is actually dangerous. It's simply shocking what people will believe and how little this TV trainer actually knows about Canine Learning or any learning theory for that matter.

    WOW..:dogohmy:I wrote a whole lot more than I had intended but with the vibe in my city lately with just these few's gets me going.

    Other than those few horrible individuals, the trainers that I know here are certified, gentle, and non-aversive. Positive reinforcement is the name of the game and shock collars are considered absolutely over the top inhumane.
  16. CollieMan Experienced Member

    I've just started hearing about Brad Pattison here in the UK. From what I've heard he sounds God-awful!

    As for the collars, I accept that they are used and it doesn't cause me any loss of sleep. However, I personally could never use one on a dog. I have seen some very valid uses for them, such as snake-proofing, and I genuinely could see no better way of training the dog in that particular scenario. Especially after I learned how frequently and how easily dogs are bitten and killed in 'the states' by snakes.

    It's easy for us to be overly judgemental here in the UK, as we don't have snakes to the extent that this would be an issue. If I moved to the 'the states' and it was an area where snakes would be an issue, you bet your life I'd sign my dog for collar-training to be snake-proofed. I figure a living dog with a few minutes of discomfort in order to learn a life-saving lesson is way better than a dead dog.

    However, snake-proofing is really the only justifiable reason that I've ever seen for the collars.
  17. ella Well-Known Member

    See, we don't have snakes in germany either (in fact we have, but most people never ever see one in nature), but I'm not sure if I wolud do it anyways. Benda (a Galgo espanol, kind of a greyhound) used to like chasing crows. It was hard hard (positive) training, but today, she "shows" crows to me. Cause she knows, that she will be rewarded for showing me and not hunting...

    I saw broken dogs. Dogs "trained" with such collars. Not even shadows of themselves due to miserable timing. Ho many people are not clicking at the right time? Imaging they do as bad with such a collar...

    Is it allowed to use these in US, Canada and in UK?
  18. CollieMan Experienced Member

    With respect, unlike snakes, crows aren't likely to kill your dog if he picks them up or goes near to them, are they?

    The example I saw was from a woman who had previously lost her very loved dog to a snake bite. After that, she decided that her new dog would never make the same mistake and would learn to avoid snakes at all costs.

    I should also stress that the woman did seek out someone who does snake-proofing of dogs for a living, and not just some guy down the road.

    They are legal in England, though there are efforts to reverse that. I believe they have been banned by our armed-services, police, and prison service. I've only ever actually seen one in England in all my life.
  19. ella Well-Known Member

    well, crows can be dangerous ;)
    No, what I actually wanted to say, is that if you can teach a hunting dog to just "show" that there are crows (which is something very desirable to hunt), it will be also possible to teach a dog to "show" if there is a snake... The Chase insinct is much higher at crows than on snakes, so it sounds like a good alternative.... but my expieriences with snakes are very little...
  20. CollieMan Experienced Member

    That'll explain why a collective of crows is called a "murder" then. :)

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