shock collars

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Postby DemoDick » September 10th, 2007, 12:23 am

Your original comment was that once the dog was chasing the squirrel, treats and hugs wouldn't work. Thus, my comment that if the dog is chasing a squirrel *with* the prong on, it won't help either. If the dog has gotten away from you, and is *not* wearing an e-collar, no training equipment will help you at that point


Unless you've used the training equipment to establish that there are consequences for said behavior that are severe enough to stop the dog. That was my point.

A history of reinforcement will work...and yes, a cookie for leaving something alone can work, it works for my dogs and many others. With enough reinforcement, it can work.

(italics added)

That's my point. With enough reinforcement. How long should we allow a potentially life threatening behavior to continue?

Just because it doesn't work for YOU, does not mean it doesn't work.


Where did you get the idea that it doesn't work for me? I use a variety of methods depending on the situation.

I'm not saying that your methods don't work, why do you insist on telling me that mine don't? I'm just not sure why you keep saying that.


There is a place for marker training. I just don't believe that place is in eliminating dangerous, self rewarding behaviors.

Quote:
First, you cannot proof with positive methods. Teach yes, proof no.


Why not? Have you tried it?


Proofing involves creating a situation where the dog can (and does) perform incorrectly so that he can learn the consequences for doing so. I do not believe that this is possible unless the dog recieves a correction.

So bitesports are the only way to learn how to train a dog? My years training experience shows nothing? Sheesh, thanks a lot.


That wasn't meant as a slam. Of course bitesports are not the only way to train a dog. However, bitesports do require the deepest understanding of drives and behavior (especially aggression/combat behaviors) of pretty much all dog sports. That does not mean that you can't call yourself a dog trainer until you do bitework. In fact, if I were going to get serious about competetive agility, weight pull, etc. I would seek out a good trainer, because the day I have it all figured out I'll hang up the leash and move on.

How do you entice the dog to stay with you when every fiber in his being wants to bite the decoy?


The same way I work with a dog that wants to go do anything else, work at a distance at first, until I can work that dog closer to the desired object/person/dog/etc. Maybe I have to walk away to gain the dog's attention, maybe I have to try something else. I haven't done bitesports, so I'm not sure what I would do, honestly. I'll admit that I don't know what I would do in that exact situation. I do know what I would do for dogs that were keyed up in flyball and wanted to chase another dog, I know what I would do for service dogs that flip out at the sight of bicycles, but no, I don't know what I would do in this exact situation.


That was my point in bringing in bitework as an example. The bitework dog has been trained to bite the decoy, and loves to do so. He also knows that he is likely going to get to bite the decoy at some point in the session. So we are asking him to control himself in the face of a pending reward that he wants more than anything, and will load him sky-high. He knows the bite is coming at some point, but he must control himself until the time is right. The flyball dog has not been trained to go after the other dogs. The service dog has not been trained to go after the bicycle. These dogs must control themselves in the face of a stimulus that is never going to be an option anyway.

I do know that if bitesports required a physical correction for my dog, than it is not the sport for me. Simple as that.


I think it's unfortunate that you have closed off this option for yourself. I'll try anything reasonable if it makes sense.

I don't understand the following two statements; they seem to contradict each other:

I have yet to say that yours absolutely don't work. I've stated that it can go wrong in the wrong hands, or that there is the potential for abuse or mis-handling, but never have said that the methods won't work in the right hands.


My guys know I'm not a dog, so while they might take physical corrections from each other, why would they take them from me?


The second statement seems to imply that you feel that dogs do not understand physical corrections from people. This appears to contradict the first statement. Can you clarify what you mean by this? I'm sure I'm missing something.

Please don't take this personally. It's a difference in opinion. I can maintain personal friendships with (shudder) political liberals and my favorite color is camoflauge. This is nothing.

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Postby Wyldmoonwoman » September 10th, 2007, 6:45 am

This conversation is very interesting!

I was at a class on Saturday, and the trainer said something that made so much sense regarding corrections. She used a two year old child and a stove as an example...

The child wants to touch the stove, you tell him in a sweet voice "no johnny, that is hot" or you slap his little hand, but the child continues to reach for the stove and gets burned in the one second that you are not looking or paying attention...this child has learned not to touch the stove because he got burned, the parent did their job and taught the child not to touch the stove...when the child did not listen to what it was taught it was essentially corrected by the stove with a burn. Mom comforts the child but the stove correction is what created a lasting impression for the child.

I see the e-collar as a way to proof a learned behavior in kind of the same manner as the child and the stove...those with experience please correct me if I am wrong...you teach your dog using a positive method and set it up for success but use the e-collar when the dog (like the child and the stove) decides not to listen to you. The e-collar is a remote correction and is probably not associated with the handler and I think this builds a relationship with the handler, the handler is not the bad guy that administered the e-collar correction as perceived by the dogs simple mind.

I am a big fan of corrections that do not appear to come from me, I like to be the safe place for my dog. I think the e-collar used appropriately can be another tool for my training style of being the good guy.
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Postby SisMorphine » September 10th, 2007, 7:36 am

The child wants to touch the stove, you tell him in a sweet voice "no johnny, that is hot" or you slap his little hand, but the child continues to reach for the stove and gets burned in the one second that you are not looking or paying attention...this child has learned not to touch the stove because he got burned, the parent did their job and taught the child not to touch the stove...when the child did not listen to what it was taught it was essentially corrected by the stove with a burn. Mom comforts the child but the stove correction is what created a lasting impression for the child.


That is a similar analogy to the one that I use when describing why cookie cutter training methods don't work.

The child should not touch the stove. For some children all you have to say is "Don't touch the stove, it's hot" and they will take it as truth and never touch the stove. For others they will continue to touch the stove no matter how many times you tell them not to, until the day that they touch the stove and it's turned on and they burn themselves. Only then have they learned their lesson.

Not every method works for every dog. Not all dogs need a prong or an e-collar to be properly trained. I have met dogs trained on positive reinforcement alone, never a negative word said, who are some of the most intensely obedient dogs I have ever met in my life. But at the same time, I have met some dogs who get away with MURDER because their owners refuse to correct them. Cookie cutter training doesn't work.
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Postby mnp13 » September 10th, 2007, 9:01 am

We were actually talking about the stove example on the way home last night. There is one more example for the senario...

The kid who refuses to listen even after getting a little burn, or who has managed to avoid the burn so far but only because he's biding his time. The stuff on the stove is still just too interesting to them. That is the kid who just might need a foot up his butt before he flips a boiling pot of spagetti over onto himself.

This:
I do know that if bitesports required a physical correction for my dog, than it is not the sport for me. Simple as that

Is a comment I find troublesome, and you are far from the first person to have made a statement like this especially on a topic like this one. When you completely close off any avenue of training you limit yourself as a trainer, this goes for any type of training with any type of dog in any type of activity.
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Postby amazincc » September 10th, 2007, 9:33 am

Soooo... the thing I'm getting from this thread is that the right tools, in the right hands, used as they are intended to be used, can and will work. But that those same training tools in the wrong hands can cause damage... and do more harm than good.

Mickey, my unfortunate subject of various "training methods", will respond to food/treats/praise any time at home... he is extremely "obedient" as long as we don't leave his comfort zone. That behavior/level of obedience was accomplished w/LOTS of treats/praise/etc. - I am not one for harsh/severe corrections, obviously... :oops:

However - after reading a lot of topics on this forum, as well as having gotten some valuable insights from Katrina and other members, I am now coming around to the "other side", so to speak. I think that Mick would've benefited from "corrective training" had I known how to apply it, and had I not been so hesitant to "hurt his feelings"... I swear to God that is how I looked at it...

Mick is very, very sensitive and usually just me raising my voice a little bit will make him snap right into "oh-oh... she means business, and I better get w/the program"-mode... I would call that the "clicker/positive re-enforcement" part of his training (I don't use a clicker, but I'm all about rewards and praise...).
That same dog will not respond to anything once he gets into "the zone"... at the vet, outside, wherever and whenever he perceives danger to himself or me - at least in his mind. A cookie will not make him snap out of the frenzy he works himself into, and forget giving a verbal command - he simply doesn't/can't hear me when he gets like that...

And - I am now open to the possibility of "harsh" corrections. I honestly believe that giving one or two very strong corrections would leave a long-lasting impression on my furry friend, if they were delivered in a correctly timed manner... I just haven't been able to bring myself to apply it yet, since I don't want to go about it the wrong way.

Mick has worn a prong collar as well as a choke collar and an e-collar over the course of the past six years - but I have never used them appropriately (not on purpose - I was just never shown the correct way...)... the very first picture I ever posted here showed him wearing a choker that was probably meant for a St. Bernard (way too big!), and several members pointed it out to me almost immediately...
Doing a strict NILIF regiment at home has already improved his general "outside" behavior more than I thought possible... so it's obviously not just the way the dog is wired - it's my training method, or lack thereof...
And while I am very open to new methods, I'm also very hesitant to experiment on Mick and possibly make him worse... I haven't been able to find a bully-savy trainer around here, and that's one of the reasons I haven't resorted to Demo Dick's way of teaching/correcting my little beast... :(

But my gut tells me that it would probably work...

I am so glad to have found this forum... it has made a HUGE difference in the way I view/handle my dog and his behavior... we are doing baby steps, but it's the most progress we've made in years... :)
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 10th, 2007, 9:36 am

I fold. I'm too tired today to continue...and it's a long week coming up. ;) The odds are too great against me right now... :o I'm saying this so no one thinks that I've backed off in annoyance/anger/frustration. I don't want to end up saying something I'll regret.

For the record though, I'd like to try a form of bitesports...sounds really fun for the dogs and people, definitely. But...I would try it with my training methods...and if that didn't work, I wouldn't do it anymore. I will not risk my promise to my dogs or to myself (to train in a positive manner) for the sake of a sport. I just don't know that I'll ever get around to it anyways...what with my lack of $$$ and love of flyball (which sucks up time and $$$). lol
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Postby Romanwild » September 10th, 2007, 9:50 am

One thing needs to be made clear that I haven't heard yet. Using punishment or whatever term you want to use does not mean that the dog will coninue the desired behavior or stop the unwanted one 100% of the time. There is no magic method or trainer.

To say that things like recall can not be done with positive means alone is not true. I personally do not choose to do it that way but it can and has been done to a high degree.

To say it's wrong to use positive means to teach something that might save a dogs life is dangerous is not entirely true. If you do not have a reliable recall then you shouldn't be letting your dog off leash in a un-contained enviroment. Like a fenced yard.

I have to go to work so I will chime in tonight.

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Postby amazincc » September 10th, 2007, 9:55 am

On September 10 2007, 8:36 AM, TheRedQueen wrote:I fold. I'm too tired today to continue...and it's a long week coming up. ;) The odds are too great against me right now... :o


Oh, there are no odds... :hug3:
Personally I'm open to any and all suggestions...
And to use the stove analogy (let me put it this way...) - Mickey will not touch the stove at home... ever. He takes my word for it that it's not a good thing to do... and he gets a reward/praise for listening to me.
He will try touching the stove at everyone elses house however... even though I've told him that he will burn his paws... but he wants to test it for himself... rewards/praise are no incentive what-so-ever...
I keep Mick away from those stoves as much as possible, but I haven't been able to teach him how to control himself around other stoves...
THAT is my dilemma... :|
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Postby brooksybrooks1 » September 10th, 2007, 10:31 am

On September 10 2007, 8:01 AM, mnp13 wrote:This:
I do know that if bitesports required a physical correction for my dog, than it is not the sport for me. Simple as that

Is a comment I find troublesome, and you are far from the first person to have made a statement like this especially on a topic like this one. When you completely close off any avenue of training you limit yourself as a trainer, this goes for any type of training with any type of dog in any type of activity.


michelle i don't think she's saying it's a bad thing or that she refuses to do it, she's just saying it's not something she is too interested in or she thinks she would be 100% comfortable with. personally, i think if that's the case she should certainly check it out and learn about, but not necessarily try. i personally (no offense redqueen) could care less about flyball as far as enrolling my dogs in it. no real reason, i just prefer bitesport/ obedience/ tracking/ agility stuff. at least at this point. and i don't have the time or money for it either. does that limit me as a trainer? maybe, however, there is ALREADY so much overwhelming information i have to learn in just the venues i enjoy that i don't think i'm limiting myself in any big way, or in a way that will hurt my students, i just have a preference, and that's okay. i'm sure the same is true of flyball. although i think it's important to have a good grasp of ANY training method before you discredit it or say it doesn't work, it's okay for her to use the methods that work for her, and keep in mind that she's not just talking about her own dogs, she's talking from experience of working with many dogs, AND she's not even saying our methods don't work. do i think that her training program would benefit from adding in consequences and physical corrections? yeah, but she probably thinks mine would benefit from eliminating them, and yours as well. so agree to disagree, and lets not attack her.
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Postby amazincc » September 10th, 2007, 10:36 am

No-one is attacking anyone... I love that this forum welcomes different opinions and view points! Someone like me can learn A LOT from everybody here... :groupHug:
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Postby mnp13 » September 10th, 2007, 10:45 am

so agree to disagree, and lets not attack her.

I haven't seen an attack on this board in a loooooooooong time. Nothing even close to it on this thread.

What I said was:
Is a comment I find troublesome, and you are far from the first person to have made a statement like this especially on a topic like this one. When you completely close off any avenue of training you limit yourself as a trainer, this goes for any type of training with any type of dog in any type of activity.

She's not the first person to make a statement like that, and probably won't be the last. I find the statement troublesome, because I find the philosophy troublesome. I didn't say "RedQueen you are a moron." I didn't even think it. I just don't agree with the fundamental reasoning behind it. It's not "wrong", it's not "right".
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Postby brooksybrooks1 » September 10th, 2007, 10:50 am

yeah. but i think there's a difference between a comment that attack bitesports or that says "i WON'T do them because i disagree with the philosophy" or that it makes a dog dangerous, or whatever, i don't think she's saying there's anything inherently wrong with the sport, just that it's not for her. flyball isn't for me. that's fine. dockdiving isn't for me. that's fine.
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Postby brooksybrooks1 » September 10th, 2007, 10:54 am

also i read your response a little wrong, like "you are far from the person who is suited to make a comment like this," instead of "you are far from the first person to make a comment like this," sorry- missed a word or two. i don't feel like there is an outward attack yet on this board, but i don't think people should feel like they have to defend themselves and what not. after i was attacked in a (much) previous thread i've learned how NOT fun it is to have to defend yourself on a forum you come to for fun.
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Postby mnp13 » September 10th, 2007, 11:09 am

On September 10 2007, 10:50, brooksybrooks1 wrote:yeah. but i think there's a difference between a comment that attack bitesports or that says "i WON'T do them because i disagree with the philosophy" or that it makes a dog dangerous, or whatever, i don't think she's saying there's anything inherently wrong with the sport, just that it's not for her. flyball isn't for me. that's fine. dockdiving isn't for me. that's fine.


Again, you're missing my point.

What I find troubling is "If I wanted to do xyz activity with my dog, and my current training methods weren't working to do that activity, I'd rather ditch the activity than explore other training options." The activity doesn't matter, nor does the training method in question; it's the underlying philosophy of ditch it instead of adapting to it. And again Erin is by far not the first person that I've heard say it, and I'm sure she won't be the last. At the same time, she is one of the few that I have met that backs herself up, and that is commendable.

I don't think bitework is the be all and end all of activities with high drive dogs. However, there are not many activities that have an active reward at the other end that is not connected to the handler. I can only think of a couple: hunting and some herding come to mind (let me know if you think of more.)

It is the activities with an active reward at the other end that are in question here - whether that reward is a decoy, hog, squrril, person on a bike or car. Is a frisbee a reward? Yes. Is a tennis ball in a flyball box? Yes. However, those rewards don't "play back" with the dog, the dog or the person has to "activate" them. Rewards that bring some "fight" to the dog are the ones that often have the highest value to them - and are often the most dangerous.
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Postby brooksybrooks1 » September 10th, 2007, 12:24 pm

i see. fair enough.
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 10th, 2007, 1:27 pm

What I find troubling is "If I wanted to do xyz activity with my dog, and my current training methods weren't working to do that activity, I'd rather ditch the activity than explore other training options." The activity doesn't matter, nor does the training method in question; it's the underlying philosophy of ditch it instead of adapting to it.


I've got to jump back in here.

I feel that holding to my personal philosophies is what I am doing here. I'm stating that if bitework meant that I'd have to ditch my personal philosophy and training methods, I wouldn't do it. I would try it with my training methods, and if that didn't work, yes, I would "ditch it". Why is that a bad philosophy? I'm staying true to myself and what I promised my dogs. I think a worse philosophy is to stay with something even if you don't believe in the methods used.

I am not closing off any avenue of training, I have used corrections and such in the past, I have used these methods...I have just taken another route. I have made a choice, and will stick with it.

That said, I have many people come into my clicker class, or into my agility and flyball classes with a prong or choke chain on. When told that they have to take them off, many of them leave and never come back. And that's fine, they made a decision to use a type of training equipment that I don't use or condone in my classes. I don't think that it's a bad philosophy that they don't try my methods. :|
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Postby mnp13 » September 10th, 2007, 2:23 pm

On September 10 2007, 13:27, TheRedQueen wrote:
What I find troubling is "If I wanted to do xyz activity with my dog, and my current training methods weren't working to do that activity, I'd rather ditch the activity than explore other training options." The activity doesn't matter, nor does the training method in question; it's the underlying philosophy of ditch it instead of adapting to it.


I've got to jump back in here.

I feel that holding to my personal philosophies is what I am doing here. I'm stating that if bitework meant that I'd have to ditch my personal philosophy and training methods, I wouldn't do it. I would try it with my training methods, and if that didn't work, yes, I would "ditch it". Why is that a bad philosophy?

Because, in my opinion, it closes you off to a lot. I'm not referring to bitework necessarily. There are always going to be dogs out there that don't respond to a particular method of training. For some dogs, the earth spins off of it's axis if mom crosses her eyes in the dog's general direction; most likely that dog will never need anything even resembling a physical correction. For other dogs, nothing short of taking their head off at the shoulders gets their attention even when they are not in drive.

For me, the discussion has little to do with a specific sport or activity.

And it's not a "bad" philosophy, just one that I don't really understand; hence the discussion.


That said, I have many people come into my clicker class, or into my agility and flyball classes with a prong or choke chain on. When told that they have to take them off, many of them leave and never come back. And that's fine, they made a decision to use a type of training equipment that I don't use or condone in my classes. I don't think that it's a bad philosophy that they don't try my methods. :|


See, I do think that it's bad to not try your methods. When you close yourself off to somthing you haven't tried (or not tried with that particular dog) you are selling yourself / your dog short.

Personally, I know that my dogs respond best to motivation to teach compulsion to proof. I would probably stay in the class, but if/when a time came that something was not being learned in a reasonable amount of time with reasonable effort then, yes, I would expect to have other options available to me. The key here is reasonable. Do I think it's reasonable for it to take a week or two to teach the average dog to down? Yes. Do I think it's reasonable for it to take a month or longer? No, and if it is taking that long, I would expect to have other options open to me. (just an example)

A few years ago I trained with someone who was unendingly harsh with the dogs. I thought Ruby had no drive of any kind. Why? Because she was pushed so far into avoidance at every training session that prime rib wouldn't have gotten her motivated to do anything. That was the complete wrong training method for her. Now that I have reformed my methods with her, corrections don't phase her because she knows the world is not ending.

With Riggs, marker training is all well and good, but he spends as much time trying to get the reward as trying to earn the reward.

I have a complete different opinion on proofing dogs, but in the realm of training I don't think that any method should be shunned just on principle.
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Postby DemoDick » September 11th, 2007, 1:08 am

To say that things like recall can not be done with positive means alone is not true. I personally do not choose to do it that way but it can and has been done to a high degree.


Show me the dog that has been trained to recall with positive only and give me some time. I bet beans against baseball bats I can get him to come to me or a stimulus of my choosing instead of his handler. Same dog trained with a combination of reinforcement and punishment? I won't make the same bet.

**(edited to add)
This is kind of tangential as TheRedQueen has never claimed to be "positive only" (and good for her for saying so). My original point was that I disagree with marker training as a primary approach to dealing with self-rewarding and dangerous behaviors, even if the trainer plans to implement corrections after the marker foundation is laid. I think the best, and most humane soution to this problem is the fastest one, as it minimizes risk to the animal. I would ultimately prefer the correction come from me and my long line instead of an oncoming car.

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Postby DemoDick » September 11th, 2007, 1:10 am

One other thing...I think this has been a VERY productive thread, and I'm happy to see heated debate without personal mudslinging.

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Postby SisMorphine » September 11th, 2007, 8:27 am

On September 11 2007, 12:08 AM, DemoDick wrote:Show me the dog that has been trained to recall with positive only and give me some time. I bet beans against baseball bats I can get him to come to me or a stimulus of my choosing instead of his handler. Same dog trained with a combination of reinforcement and punishment? I won't make the same bet.

I have seen dogs trained in positive only have recall just as good as dogs who have been trained with an e-collar, prong, or throw chain.

I have met just as many dogs with poor recall on an e-collar or prong as I have on positive methods. It's not the method it is the poor and/or inappropriate training that goes along with said method. Having never put an e-collar or prong on Wally I was able to call him off of a running deer a few months back. Since deer and wild turkeys are two things that he thinks need to die a horrible death I'd say that that right there is a sound example of a dog trained with positive reinforcement methods successfully.

We all know I'm not against prong collars, I've used them in the past and will use them again in the future, but I really don't believe that all dogs need such methods to be able to be successfully trained, nor do I think it is an appropriate tool for training all dogs.
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