Remote Training Collars (e-collars)

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Postby mnp13 » March 26th, 2006, 10:14 pm

There is a lot of debate concerning the use of RTC's or e-collars in training. For the sake of keeping this discussion civil, I ask that no one refer to them as 'shock collars'. Yes, RTC's use an electric shock to deliver a correction, but in my opinion the term 'shock collar' is inflamitory and unnessary to the discussion.

Anyway...

I do use an e-collar with Ruby, but only for proofing commands and for allowing her to run off leash. When correctly used I do not feel they are dangerous or abusive.

Ruby's collar has levels from 0-100 and has both a nick and a stim mode. Almost without exception I have only used nick on her. Nick delivers a 1/400th of a second shock to the dog.

Like all compulsion training, I don't think e-collars have any business being used to teach behaviors. After a dog has learned using motivation, compulsion can be used for proofing and an RTC can be used for proofing without a leash attached.

There are a number of e-collar 'experts' out there. When they describe their training methods I cringe.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » March 26th, 2006, 10:17 pm

Thank you for starting this thread - I'd never heard experiences with RTC's before. This thread kinda started because I'm searching for a dog trainer and I found one who seems too good to be true, but then mentioned using RTC's. As my girl is only 5 1/2 months old, and I have no knowledge of these, I came here looking for help/comments.
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Postby mnp13 » March 26th, 2006, 10:22 pm

I wouldn't go to any trainer who teaches behaviors with compulsion.

Would you please PM me the name of the trainer?
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » March 26th, 2006, 10:28 pm

Done.
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Postby SisMorphine » March 26th, 2006, 11:19 pm

The most recent experience I had with e-collars was with a trainer using one to "correct" barrier and dog aggression in my old boss's dog. Have you ever seen a dog with a broken spirit? It is the saddest, most heart wrenching thing I have ever seen. To watch a dog who used to be so proud become a shaking mess of fear in a matter of days?

When my coworker and I questioned this method (as the owner brought her dogs to work with her) she had the trainer come in and explain himself. Did he give a good explanation with reasoning to back himself up? He sure did. He firmly believes in this method of training. But what I saw in front of me was a broken dog because an owner wanted a quick fix and the ways that another trainer had offered were not fast enough for her. So instead she had a dog who was absolutely terrified of anyone who came near her, even humans who she used to love, she now shied away from. The most heartbreaking thing ever. Though I have some friends who use it for recall with their dogs, I do not, and will not, ever agree with them. Especially not after seeing her . . .
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Postby mnp13 » March 26th, 2006, 11:24 pm

I know someone who uses one to keep his dogs quiet in their crates. They make a noise, he corrects them. In my opinion this is misuse. It teaches the dog to be afraid to move.
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Postby Malli » March 27th, 2006, 12:31 am

I think they would be a great tool for Remote corrections in a dog that understands the command and chooses to disobey. For example when working with Hunting dogs in the field, proofing the recall, or for proofing some parts of Schutzhund exercises where the dog might be apt to "cut to the chase" so to speak and shorten the exercise to his liking (serching the blinds, the down and the sit in motion)

I have considered using one with Oscar so I might be able to have him offleash.

I think the key is to first make it clear to the dog the behavior is incorrect. If the dog continues to disobey and ignore commands, then the collar could be useful.

:|

of course, these are just my thoughts, and I have no personal experience

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Postby odnarb » March 27th, 2006, 12:31 am

I just wanted to say, I :heartbeat: Dogtra!
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Postby Malli » March 27th, 2006, 12:36 am

I saw those at a booth they had at the trial I went to the other day, they had them for $75 cdn! Wich I think is good, I'd heard about $200 american for a price on one I think?

I almost bought it, but thats a little over the edge considering I'm still not sure I'll ever use one! :lol: those booths are hard not to resist. I bought about $35 worth of stuff and I came out well I think!

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Postby Malli » March 27th, 2006, 12:39 am

SisMorphine wrote:The most recent experience I had with e-collars was with a trainer using one to "correct" barrier and dog aggression in my old boss's dog. Have you ever seen a dog with a broken spirit? It is the saddest, most heart wrenching thing I have ever seen. To watch a dog who used to be so proud become a shaking mess of fear in a matter of days?

When my coworker and I questioned this method (as the owner brought her dogs to work with her) she had the trainer come in and explain himself. Did he give a good explanation with reasoning to back himself up? He sure did. He firmly believes in this method of training. But what I saw in front of me was a broken dog because an owner wanted a quick fix and the ways that another trainer had offered were not fast enough for her. So instead she had a dog who was absolutely terrified of anyone who came near her, even humans who she used to love, she now shied away from. The most heartbreaking thing ever. Though I have some friends who use it for recall with their dogs, I do not, and will not, ever agree with them. Especially not after seeing her . . .


I just wanted to mention, that I totally sympathize. I have seen this with my own dog when I trainer I was trying to learn from mis-judged his character and went in as though Oscar was going to fight him. It was horrible. I just want to say, different tools for different dogs, some need a hardass and some need a soft touch, its a good trainer that can tell the difference :)

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Postby katiek0417 » March 27th, 2006, 12:12 pm

mnp13 wrote:I know someone who uses one to keep his dogs quiet in their crates. They make a noise, he corrects them. In my opinion this is misuse. It teaches the dog to be afraid to move.


Is this simply to keep them quiet as in not moving, or are they whining, barking, etc incessantly?

Sacha barks incessantly, in her crate, when I take Nisha (or Asja or Rusty) outside. I nick her for that (since I can't be there to tell her to be quiet). I have also been using one on Rusty b/c he whines, whimpers, moans incessantly when he's in the kennel (Greg told me to use it on him). I also use it on him if I leave and he starts barking (I live in a townhome, and I DO NOT need to get complaints from having a dog barking so loud that you can, literally, hear it down the street).

I have only used the e-collar with Sacha to "proof" her training, unless other methods have not worked (although I will use the "page" feature for a "come with a lot of distance"). For example, Sacha has a NASTY habit of eating poop (hers and Nisha's). I have nicked her for that.

I will also use it as a lifesaving measure. For example, when I had my doberman, Sammi, I would let him and Sacha outside. I have a glass door that leads to the outside. Well, he would throw himself at the glass to get back to me. I was afraid that he would throw himself through it and really hurt himself (broken glass) and Sacha as well (let's face it, she'd go through right after him). So, yes, I put him out there one day, and I hit him at a high level so that he wouldn't do it anymore. Yes, it worked...he was still himself, he just didn't throw himself at the glass.

pitbullmamaliz wrote:As my girl is only 5 1/2 months old, and I have no knowledge of these, I came here looking for help/comments..


In my opinion, any trainer who even MENTIONS (even if he has no intention of using it) an e-collar to someone with a puppy that young is someone you should not be training with.
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Postby mnp13 » March 27th, 2006, 12:27 pm

katiek0417 wrote:
mnp13 wrote:I know someone who uses one to keep his dogs quiet in their crates. They make a noise, he corrects them. In my opinion this is misuse. It teaches the dog to be afraid to move.


Is this simply to keep them quiet as in not moving, or are they whining, barking, etc incessantly?


No, nothing incessant. Panting, turning around, getting up and banging around for a minute or so - normal dog stuff. Noise in crate = correction.

Riggs barks in his crate, it's annoying but I try to tune it out. If the house is quiet, he's quiet. If I'm moving around he spends a lot of time yelling. It's getting better... slowly.

What's funny is he barks when I first put him in there, no matter what. When he just comes in from running in the yard and is exausted, he barks 3 or 4 times just to make sure I know he's mad and then sleeps like a rock for a fwe hours. It's funny, he just has to show tolken resistance, even though all he really wants to do is sleep.
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Postby katiek0417 » March 27th, 2006, 12:42 pm

mnp13 wrote:No, nothing incessant. Panting, turning around, getting up and banging around for a minute or so - normal dog stuff. Noise in crate = correction.


Yeah, see, that's not right. The whole purpose of getting a crate to give the dog enough room to turn around, lay down, etc...well, is so that they CAN move around.

mnp1 wrote:Riggs barks in his crate, it's annoying but I try to tune it out. If the house is quiet, he's quiet. If I'm moving around he spends a lot of time yelling. It's getting better... slowly.

What's funny is he barks when I first put him in there, no matter what. When he just comes in from running in the yard and is exausted, he barks 3 or 4 times just to make sure I know he's mad and then sleeps like a rock for a fwe hours. It's funny, he just has to show tolken resistance, even though all he really wants to do is sleep.


Oh, no. Rusty whines/whimpers with each exhale...for HOURS. If I'm sleeping (which is the only time the house is quiet), he'll sleep (and be quiet). Otherwise, he'll just sit there and whine...oh, it's awful...

And ISN'T it a dog's job to show token resistance, etc, at times?
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Postby dogcrazyjen » March 27th, 2006, 2:19 pm

I never liked the idea of these collars. However, I have seen where they would be useful, and that is when you call them and they look at you, then run to something else (ie compost pile).

My gut instinct is to throw a collar on her and give a correction.

Instead, I started rewarding her with a squeeky toy when she DID come.

She calls off the compost pile now.

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Postby Malli » March 27th, 2006, 10:15 pm

agreed. There are, however, some dogs who simply don't care. If for instance, Oscar saw another animal or dog and I hollered a recall, he would ingnore me, no toy would lure him, and actually, I doubt he'd recall off the compost heap for all the toys in the world, even though he is insanely toy driven. Different dogs, differemt tecniques, everyone is unique...

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Postby dogcrazyjen » March 28th, 2006, 9:01 am

Yup, that is why I never discount a tool altogether, even if I do not like it. I personally do not care for head halters, but I recommended one yesterday to a client, because it fit her needs. I probably will not use a remote collar, but I have had clients whose needs called for it. Depends as much on the owner as the dog. :)
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Postby Romanwild » June 23rd, 2006, 3:42 pm

I was against them at first. Did some reading and became "open" to the thought that they could work withour being cruel. Then I met some people who used them responsibly and saw the dogs in action.

Last weekend I got to try one, on myselfs at first, then put it on Dreyfus while he was off leash in a safe area.

Dreyfus knows all his commands. They were all taught with marker training. Making them 100%, or close to it, reliable wasn't happening with positive means. His recall was of my biggest concern. That could kill him where I live. Accidents do happen and I try very hard to not let them happen but once in great while they do. So...

I put it on him and called him, waited 3 seconds and hit the button on 1 out of 100 I beleive. Called again and tusrned it up gradually until he responded. that was at 60. He was eating grass about 20 ft away and jumped up thinking the grass bit him. lol then he came to me.

A couple more times and his recall was better then it ever was with out even using it. It didn't hurt him and he was as normal as can be. He loved the praise when he came to me.

I will be investing in one soon.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » June 24th, 2006, 11:00 am

I just wanted to say thank you to all participating in this. I was always anti-e-collars as I've always heard them referred to as "shock collars" (and I just finished reading "The Dog Who Spoke to Gods"). However, because both the pro and con people here are being so mature and non-confrontational, this is an excellent post. I'm learning a lot, and both sides are debating so well I'm very on the fence! So keep it coming!

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Postby mnp13 » June 24th, 2006, 11:24 am

pitbullmamaliz wrote:I was always anti-e-collars as I've always heard them referred to as "shock collars".


that is because the term "shock collar" is inflamitory and used to illicet emotions. When you hear "shock" it is intended to bring the picture of electrocuting your dog.

Useing the term e-collar or remote training collar is not inflamitory and allows for discussion that is logically based instead of emotionally charged.

This also appllies to referring to using compulsion training as "pain training", who wants to cause their dog pain or "hurt" them? It gets in the way of discussion.
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