Cattle Prods and Pain as "Motivation"

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » August 30th, 2008, 4:05 pm

Christine, I hated e-collars as well until I actually worked with a trainer who used them in a very gentle fashion. Mine also has 127 levels, and I used it on Inara on level 9, I think. I couldn't even feel it. She was so happy with it, prancing around with her tail wagging, because it was such gentle training. Sounds strange, but it's true. If I had more money I'd still be training her with it - I just can't afford the monthly trip to MI and the trainer's cost, and I'm not comfortable using it without a lot of guidance. But honestly, any training tool is only as bad as the person on the other end.
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Postby cheekymunkee » August 30th, 2008, 4:09 pm

And I hope you're not mad at us...we're really not trying to start anything...however, we also don't want you to think we're some barbarians that torture our dogs...we don't...we adore our dogs...we use much more positive reinforcement than we do punishment or negative reinforcement - and only use those when needed - which isn't all the time...


No, not at all. I am pissed about something that happened in pms, I dont know who was involved but i will find out. Sorry if I sounded like I was directing my anger towards you guys.
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Postby amazincc » August 30th, 2008, 4:18 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:Christine, I hated e-collars as well until I actually worked with a trainer who used them in a very gentle fashion. Mine also has 127 levels, and I used it on Inara on level 9, I think. I couldn't even feel it. She was so happy with it, prancing around with her tail wagging, because it was such gentle training. Sounds strange, but it's true. If I had more money I'd still be training her with it - I just can't afford the monthly trip to MI and the trainer's cost, and I'm not comfortable using it without a lot of guidance. But honestly, any training tool is only as bad as the person on the other end.


Okay, I should clarify myself... I hate them when used incorrectly and when they're used to inflict/instill pain in a dog who won't "behave" otherwise.
I also think they are counterproductive for fearful dogs and I'm still pissed off at the person who put one on Mick almost five years ago. He, incidentally, was also the one and only person Mick ever attempted to bite... afterwards.
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Postby SisMorphine » August 30th, 2008, 4:24 pm

amazincc wrote:I also think they are counterproductive for fearful dogs

Even more than counterproductive, IMO they are DANGEROUS to use on a fearful dog.
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Postby cheekymunkee » August 30th, 2008, 4:41 pm

SisMorphine wrote:
Even more than counterproductive, IMO they are DANGEROUS to use on a fearful dog.



I agree 100% & I dont know why ANY ONE would think that would be a good idea.
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Postby katiek0417 » August 30th, 2008, 4:46 pm

amazincc wrote:I always praise Mick for obeying, at least verbally. Is that a bad thing??? :?
I do it because he is so extremely fearful and aggressive.. I want him to know when I'm pleased w/him for doing the right thing, each and every time. I thought I was re-enforcing the good behavior that way and not letting him doubt his "good" decisions.
He does know when I'm not happy as well... we finally are at the point where I can (mostly) verbally correct him, and he will stop being an asshat.


I abhor e-collars, personally. :neutral:


I don't think it's a bad thing if it's what works for you and Mick...RESEARCH suggests that you shouldn't do it all the time...but I know plenty of people who do...

The thing the research says is this:

If you reinforce a behavior ALL the time, it's easier to extinguish.

So, let's say you give a treat every time your dog sits...then all of a sudden, you stop rewarding that, then Mick might say "well, screw this, I'm not getting food anymore when I got it all the time before now, so maybe that means I don't have to do this behavior."

On the other hand, when you only reward sometimes, Mick might say "oh, well it's no big deal that I didn't get a treat this time b/c maybe next time I'll get it since I don't always get it all the time, anyway."

Not sure if that makes sense...

I typically reward EVERY time when I first start..then go to every other time, then every 2, then I start to mix it up...

As far as e-collars, I definitely don't like them on fearful dogs...in fact, I am working with a client right now whose dog doesn't have the best nerve, yet her previous trainer put her dog in an e-collar...I keep telling her to take it off...then I have another client with an 8 month old dog in one...ugh, I won't even put my dog in one before they are almost 3...

Liz, you're talking about the 202 you got from me, right? I am so glad you like it! Many people DON'T know how to use them, that's the big problem, IMO. When I first started to train with Sacha, the trainer put one on her, and didn't really show me how to use it...so now I have a dog that is extremely collar-wise, and won't listen to a word I say! After that, I did a lot of research, and asked a lot of questions about how to use an e-collar. It's definitely not my primary training tool, but it is one of the tools in my bag of tricks.
Last edited by katiek0417 on August 30th, 2008, 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby amazincc » August 30th, 2008, 4:52 pm

cheekymunkee wrote:
SisMorphine wrote:
Even more than counterproductive, IMO they are DANGEROUS to use on a fearful dog.



I agree 100% & I dont know why ANY ONE would think that would be a good idea.


"ANY ONE" was an asshat who wanted to show my dog "who's boss" when I was in the hospital. >(
A few weeks later Mick got scared while he was on-leash and lunged at "ANY ONE", pinching him through the shirt, but not breaking the skin or drawing blood. "ANY ONE" ended up w/a really nasty bruise and subsequent infection, which required a tetanus shot, antibiotics, and all sorts of other crap.
Mick was always okay w/"ANY ONE" unless he was leashed and had "no place to go".

I reported the "bite", and Mick was quaranteened at my house for ten days. We then had an ACO come out to observe him and he wasn't deemed "dangerous"... but after that incident I kept him away from people in general. :oops:

Then I found PBT. :)
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Postby amazincc » August 30th, 2008, 4:57 pm

katiek0417 wrote:
I don't think it's a bad thing if it's what works for you and Mick...RESEARCH suggests that you shouldn't do it all the time...but I know plenty of people who do...

The thing the research says is this:

If you reinforce a behavior ALL the time, it's easier to extinguish.

So, let's say you give a treat every time your dog sits...then all of a sudden, you stop rewarding that, then Mick might say "well, screw this, I'm not getting food anymore when I got it all the time before now, so maybe that means I don't have to do this behavior."

On the other hand, when you only reward sometimes, Mick might say "oh, well it's no big deal that I didn't get a treat this time b/c maybe next time I'll get it since I don't always get it all the time, anyway."

Not sure if that makes sense...

I typically reward EVERY time when I first start..then go to every other time, then every 2, then I start to mix it up...

As far as e-collars, I definitely don't like them on fearful dogs...in fact, I am working with a client right now whose dog doesn't have the best nerve, yet her previous trainer put her dog in an e-collar...I keep telling her to take it off...then I have another client with an 8 month old dog in one...ugh, I won't even put my dog in one before they are almost 3...

Liz, you're talking about the 202 you got from me, right? I am so glad you like it! Many people DON'T know how to use them, that's the big problem, IMO. When I first started to train with Sacha, the trainer put one on her, and didn't really show me how to use it...so now I have a dog that is extremely collar-wise, and won't listen to a word I say! After that, I did a lot of research, and asked a lot of questions about how to use an e-collar. It's definitely not my primary training tool, but it is one of the tools in my bag of tricks.


Hmmm... it makes sense, in a way.
But isn't an extremely fear-aggressive dog a very "confused" dog? Zero confidence? A little (or a lot) mistrustful of the world and people in general?
Since I want him to look to me for directions every time he's unsure, how would I then let him know that that is what I want him to do???
There has to be at least verbal praise to re-enforce that... no? :?

Not being argumentative - I'm really curious about that.
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Postby airwalk » August 30th, 2008, 5:09 pm

Well Scoots isn't fearful, but I do want him to ALWAYS look to me for direction but I tend to mix up my reinforcement. Sometimes it's a hot dog treat, sometimes just a quick pat, sometimes just verbal atta boy - once behavior is learned I slowly move the reinforcement down to maybe every fourth of fifth time. Just enough to keep him looking, but not enough so that is the reason he does the behavior...does that make any sense.
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Postby amazincc » August 30th, 2008, 5:16 pm

Yup, that makes sense too... sheesh, you guys. :rolleyes2: lol

I guess I prefer that Micks checks w/me every time he's not sure of someone/something instead of taking matters into his own teeth. I usually tell him "good boy" or "good walk" (when he can ignore a pedestrian), just to let him know he did the right thing.
He usually brightens considerably and swaggers for a few steps. :giggle:

It doesn't seem to be a "bad" thing, or seem to create a lax attitude in our case. I also think a fearful dog has to be approached a little different. :oops:
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Postby katiek0417 » August 30th, 2008, 5:17 pm

airwalk wrote:Well Scoots isn't fearful, but I do want him to ALWAYS look to me for direction but I tend to mix up my reinforcement. Sometimes it's a hot dog treat, sometimes just a quick pat, sometimes just verbal atta boy - once behavior is learned I slowly move the reinforcement down to maybe every fourth of fifth time. Just enough to keep him looking, but not enough so that is the reason he does the behavior...does that make any sense.


Absolutely...I like my dogs to look for me for direction and they do...and sometimes I use something as simple as a yes, good boy (I use good as a marker)

Christine, even with a very fearful Rocky, I wouldn't reinforce every time. When we first started to do obedience, he got rewarded every time...but then I cut it down...

but I was always aware of his environment...so if something happened that I knew would frighten him, I'd give him something to do really fast, then reward him for that...

I guess a good example would be about a month after he had learned to come to me (and was doing it reliably), we were outside working, and there was a loud bang (gunfire, backfire, who knows), and he freaked out...I quickly said "Rocky, here." He came to me, and sat in front of me (like he was taught), and I quickly rewarded him and praised him up...so I didn't reward him for the fear, I rewarded him for coming to me, and it kinda made him forget about what just made him scared, and refocused his attention on me. Also, I think it made him realize that I was being vigilant in HIS environment so he could learn to trust me a bit more...ETA (b/c I'm an idiot and forgot an entire sentence) I wasn't rewarding Rocky every time he came to me, but enough that he knew it was still important to come to me...and when it counted it worked...

I made a lot of mistakes with Rocky...but I think that was one thing I did right...

But, like Diana said, if it's not broke, don't fix it!
Last edited by katiek0417 on August 30th, 2008, 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby airwalk » August 30th, 2008, 5:18 pm

I think you gotta do what you gotta do for you and Mick. If it works don't break it.
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Postby amazincc » August 30th, 2008, 5:25 pm

katiek0417 wrote:
...so if something happened that I knew would frighten him, I'd give him something to do really fast, then reward him for that...


Oh... I didn't explain myself very clearly... I DO give him something to do. :doh:
Like when we're out for a walk and we see someone approaching us, he'll look up to me - I then tell him "walk" (means NO lunging or any other asshat behavior), and once we're past the stranger I praise him by saying "good walk".
I don't reward him for just looking at me, but he now does it whenever he's unsure of a situation... and then I give him directions on how to act. That's what I reward afterwards... following directions.
I really think if I stop doing that he'll revert to old behaviors. :?

He's very much a dog who wants to please and I don't see the point in not rewarding that each and every time. I guess it's just me. lol
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Postby katiek0417 » August 30th, 2008, 5:33 pm

amazincc wrote:
katiek0417 wrote:
...so if something happened that I knew would frighten him, I'd give him something to do really fast, then reward him for that...


Oh... I didn't explain myself very clearly... I DO give him something to do. :doh:
Like when we're out for a walk and we see someone approaching us, he'll look up to me - I then tell him "walk" (means NO lunging or any other asshat behavior), and once we're past the stranger I praise him by saying "good walk".
I don't reward him for just looking at me, but he now does it whenever he's unsure of a situation... and then I give him directions on how to act. That's what I reward afterwards... following directions.
I really think if I stop doing that he'll revert to old behaviors. :?

He's very much a dog who wants to please and I don't see the point in not rewarding that each and every time. I guess it's just me. lol


Ohhhh....I gotcha! Sorry...misunderstanding. I was more thinking that if you told him to sit in your house, you'd reward him each time! oops!
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Postby amazincc » August 30th, 2008, 5:36 pm

katiek0417 wrote:
Ohhhh....I gotcha! Sorry...misunderstanding. I was more thinking that if you told him to sit in your house, you'd reward him each time! oops!


Good God, no. The day wouldn't be long enough... LMAO
But in stressful situations I praise away like a maniac. :D
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Postby katiek0417 » August 30th, 2008, 5:40 pm

amazincc wrote:
katiek0417 wrote:
Ohhhh....I gotcha! Sorry...misunderstanding. I was more thinking that if you told him to sit in your house, you'd reward him each time! oops!


Good God, no. The day wouldn't be long enough... LMAO
But in stressful situations I praise away like a maniac. :D


Okay, yeah, we're on the same page now!
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Postby amazincc » August 30th, 2008, 5:56 pm

Ugh... here's a good example:
I just took the dogs out to potty, and when we came back this woman was unloading her car, not paying any attention to her toddler. The little boy came running in our direction when he saw the dogs! :shock:
Mick looked at the baby, then looked at me - I said "walk" in my calmest voice (while my heart was pounding) and he sniffed in the boys general direction, and proceeded to walk right next to me. The baby was close enough by then to almost touch the dogs. Stupid parents. >(

Anywho - there was no lunging, no tensing, and no crazy behavior. You better believe I praised him like a mad woman when we got upstairs. I also gave him a treat.
He seemed quite proud of himself, and very self-satisfied. :lol3:
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Postby katiek0417 » August 30th, 2008, 6:00 pm

Oh yeah...that makes sense...that's what I would do...and not much different than what I do with Cy when we are doing obedience with heavy decoy distraction...
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Postby Hundilein » August 30th, 2008, 6:08 pm

Yup, Hannah gets a huge dose of praise for very stressful situations. And way to go Mick for not eating the small child!
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » August 30th, 2008, 7:31 pm

katiek0417 wrote:Liz, you're talking about the 202 you got from me, right? I am so glad you like it!


That's the one! I do like it very much, and wish I could use it more as she was really responding, but a weekend trip out to my trainer costs about $400 between gas, lodging, tolls, food and her fee. Can't afford that! lol

I'm hanging on to it though because eventually I would like to "learn" to use it. I just don't feel confident on my own though, you know? Too much potential to screw up.
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