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Ecollars : An Intelligent Discussion

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 1:20pm PST 
That's my thought, too, Gus. I think some dogs you do develop to work and you build that desire. Their love fest with work is something they need to be developed to. Whereas others, like Chester, from the first moment I let him loose in the woods, with those scents? His joy was off the charts. It was very intense, but just this pure, unbridled sense of joy. He hurled himself up a railing and over a bridge into a pond that was like 15' down. I mean, I had a freaking heart attack! laugh out loud wink But he plunged in the water and was just in ecstasy. I know in a dog like that, really, if I am to be frank with myself, an ecollar is the best option. It's just far less stressful than any other approach that can be managed with a dog that in love with his work. It just allows him to be forward, which is what he wants.

I know Trigger posted a little while back that her dog, held away from the field due to medical issues, was over the top when she did take him out. A bit too thirsty being held from what he likes to do.

Optimally, work can BE the reward if that is what you are into and have enough dog for it. I think a reinforcer is anything that primes a dog to repeat a behavior. Environmental reinforcers can be a part of that.

Really interesting piece in that video, and only watched the first part, is that the trainer had to ask if he was correcting with the ecollar or not.

Edited by author Mon Dec 3, '12 1:24pm PST

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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 2:40pm PST 
I read the article about drive, but I am more interesting in how it pertains to working in drive with retrivers, specifically Goldens. I am intending to buy an assertive, fieldy Golden in a couple of years. (Have had one like this before.)
I don't mean the metaphysical Behan sort of drive training of course, but increasing as well as harnessing drive.

Another question I have is using the ecollar for boundary training. Is this an appropriate use Are efences better or plain boundary training or just plain fences? Living on a 10 acres, it's hard to fence a substantial amount of area, which I would like to.
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Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 3:03pm PST 
"I don't mean the metaphysical Behan sort of drive training of course, but increasing as well as harnessing drive."

Blahblahblahjibberishgobbledyguk......are you referring to drive training? How to build and control inherent drive in a fieldy Golden?



"Another question I have is using the ecollar for boundary training. Is this an appropriate use Are efences better or plain boundary training or just plain fences? Living on a 10 acres, it's hard to fence a substantial amount of area, which I would like to."

Why fence at all? wink

We live on 48 and the only thing that's fenced is our tomato plants in the summer because licensing claims they're poisonous.


Generally speaking, I personally don't have a need for efences because I've been able to boundary train all my boys. For some who live within city limits where not all distractions can be anticipated and proofed for I can see where it could be an invaluable tool though.

With Goldens I can't imagine you needing anything but a good bond and solid recall established. Even the nutty fieldy ones should have heads enough to stay around. At worst they'd maybe pull a Hoyt, leap up from a dead snooze, bee line out a hundred yards, flush up a bird and promptly return as if it was just a mere scratch they had to itch.
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 3:13pm PST 
"...are you referring to drive training? How to build and control inherent drive in a fieldy Golden?..."

Exactly, Trigger!



I live on 10 acres, part of it pasture fenced with electronet for sheep. This is unfeasible for dogs due to ledge and woods. My dogs have wandered into my neighbor's yard, and my neighbors HATE my dogs, despite the fact that their relative's dog badly mauled two of my sheep. I have had no success boundary training them successfully. Sometimes I like to let them out when I am inside the house, especially when it's below 5 degrees. Watt and Rolo can stay out for more than an hour in such weather. I know it's not recommended to let your dogs out without being outside with them, but I weigh it against their enjoyment. Sonny, one of my other dogs, has a great recall.
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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 4:19pm PST 
Mulder wrote,
"I'm not a pack theorist, I do believe in dominance in dogs though I do not base any of my training around these ideas, as personally I believe dogs are very intelligent animals and know the difference between a human being and another dog, and thus have completely different social dynamics with us than they would have within themselves."


I agree that dogs "know the difference between a human being and another dog." But I don't think that they "have completely different social dynamics with us than they would have within themselves" if we would relate to them properly. But few of us do. Even if we don't they still try to lick our faces, avert their eyes when we're angry and "fawn" when trying to appease us, just as they do with other dogs.

In order to get the purest, most efficient and strongest hunt out of a dog that I'm going to use for search work, I relate to him and communicate with him, as another dog would, as much as I can. I eliminate the conflict as much as possible, and this gets me cooperation.

Mulder wrote, "I also do not believe my dog sees me as his "alpha", or as you put it more gently, the "#1". At least not for those reasons. If my dogs do see me as #1, its because I do everything in my power to make myself the most interesting thing in their lives, to make them want to seek me out because I am the provider of good things in life"

I don't think that makes you #1, it may make you an equal or perhaps an inferior (meaning below the dog in rank). The dog may follow you around hoping for something interesting to occur, but he won't regard you a part of "his team" and certainly not the leader. That's essential for a good hunting dog. But as you say, "that is a different discussion for a different time."
Mulder wrote, "But I did feel it important to point out that even when bred to have these characteristics that make them good for the work they do... they are still doing highly impractical (in a biological sense) things, often times things we ask more of from them than we do ourselves, and to imply that they somehow need no further reward for that beyond not receiving stem... well, again, I fundamentally disagree with that."

Just as I don't require that anyone stop what they're doing and start using an Ecollar, I don't require that anyone agree with me on how to train or work a working dog. I've proven that this theory works dozens of times now, and that it works better than theories that are providing rewards for behaviors.

Regards, Lou
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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 4:20pm PST 
Dr. Watson wrote, "I read the article about drive, but I am more interesting in how it pertains to working in drive with retrivers, specifically Goldens. I am intending to buy an assertive, fieldy Golden in a couple of years. (Have had one like this before.)
I don't mean the metaphysical Behan sort of drive training of course, but increasing as well as harnessing drive."


I don't believe that you can increase drive. It's either in the dog or it's not. If it's not, you can't put it into the dog. To bring it out, one sets up training that makes the maximum use of it and then the handler gets out of the way. That last part is the hardest.

Dr. Watson wrote, "Another question I have is using the ecollar for boundary training. Is this an appropriate use Are efences better or plain boundary training or just plain fences? Living on a 10 acres, it's hard to fence a substantial amount of area, which I would like to."

You CAN use the Ecollar for this, but chances are that sooner or later you'll make a mistake, the dog will get through the boundary that you've established, without receiving a stim and he'll never forget that lesson.

The Efences are better in that they work all the time (assuming that you do your job).

But I'm not a fan of the invisible fences. As long as the dog is calm and the foundation training has been done properly, they're effective. But if the dog gets excited, goes into drive, or gets very scared, he's liable to run right through the boundary and not even feel the stim. Once he's outside, and the excitement or fear has passed, he won't be able to get back in because when he approaches the wire from "other side" it will shock him. They also do not keep other animals out, so he can be "trapped" by the boundary. They work well if you manage the dog in addition to the fencing. If the dog is left alone, tragedies are not unheard of.

I'd put my money on either a good wall or fence before I'd trust boundary training or the Invisible Fence to contain a dog.

Regards, Lou
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Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 4:50pm PST 
If you're still around Lou, could you tell us how k9's who wouldn't release a bite were handled before the use of the e-collar . . . ..

It does seem like this has to be more humane than having to wrangle a dog from a person physically . . .. .

And do military/police handlers use the collar regularly in the field or for training only?


Now I'm curious about drug detection dogs . . .. we saw a demo with a narcotics dog in our nosework class and his reward was his tennis ball. The handler said they look for dogs who are ball crazy because food motivated/trained dogs among other problems would give a legal defense an opening . . . "your honor, the dog must have been alerting to my client's roast beef sandwich . . ."

I can't picture how a detection dog would be helped with ecollar training . . .there's no inherent drive to seek marijuana or bombs, for that matter . . . doesn't that have to be made meaningful to the dog by being paired with a positive reward for the dog?

Edited by author Mon Dec 3, '12 4:51pm PST

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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 8:32pm PST 
Mulder with Sabi her reward was the work. She lived for it. She would sit vibrating at the door waiting to work. Thats not to say she was never rewarded. I carried a tug with me all the time, I had a clip for it on my duty belt laugh out loud I needed to focus the drive, but not build it. And I know she doesn't regard me as Alpha. Sometimes a partner, sometimes a mentally deficient friend by the looks I get.
And I am trying to give Shadow the ultimate reward, a shot at being a dog. I don't think an ecollar is the answer to everything, but I am of the opinion that for some dogs they may create the reward by opening the gate so to speak. A dog like Shadow is destined for a very restricted, very limited existance.

Lou the collar I borrowed is a Dogtra 1900. Shadow walks around shaking her head, periodically stopping to randomly bark. I have turned it down and then I get no reaction at all. As soon as she can feel it she starts moving again. She isn't afraid or freaking out, she seems confused and a bit annoyed. Not sure what to do with that or if its normal. I will need to save a bit for a collar so I would like to use the borrowed one if I can, at least for a while.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 11:33pm PST 
I've proven that this theory works dozens of times now, and that it works better than theories that are providing rewards for behaviors.

Wow Lou, "better" sure is a heavy word you used there big grin

Anyway to objectively prove that?

Other than your "the dog went for a ball" anecdote?

ETA:
Even if we don't they still try to lick our faces, avert their eyes when we're angry and "fawn" when trying to appease us, just as they do with other dogs.

... what sort of dogs are we talking about here?
Mulder would just as soon die and roll over in his grave than lick my face or prance around trying to appease me.

Maybe that's the sort of relationship you like, or that makes you comfortable. Maybe a dog who will look you dead in the eye in your hottest moment and hold steady in your worst fit of anger, isn't the dog you care to own.

Vastly different expectations way to go

Edited by author Mon Dec 3, '12 11:41pm PST

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G2

Be Scaredy of- Me, Dawg!
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 6:04pm PST 
"Is this part of the trial timed? If so, won't a dog that goes to get a drink be penalized by the clock?"

Well, yes, the dog is penalized by having less time to get the work done. On the other hand, it's not looked down upon by the judges because the feeling is that a dog who knows enough to take care of itself & not get overheated is a dog with good sense.

"While I don't believe that dogs descended from wolves, the latest research is that they had a common ancestor. Stop feeding a dog and he'll become a predator/scavenger. So focusing on the "weakest link" comes natural to them."

Could the "not feeding" be the difference? These dogs know they're going to be fed and when they're with the cows they know it's to work, not hunt. They know they'll get fed in the evening after the work is done, so it's to their advantage to get busy. The folks that have been in this a while say the old timers will shoot a dog that gets "coyote" with a calf - they see that as a character flaw. Wonder if this type of hard core culling has diminished that instinctual predatory response?

"Even if it's secondary to the herding instinct, sometimes a prey animal will do something that shifts the dog's drive from herding to prey. So I wouldn't be surprised when it happens. Drives aren't pure and a dog can shift from one to another in a heartbeat. Of course, if you had "the perfect dog" it would never happen. lol"

With Catahoulas & cur dogs in general, they are headers, as I said before. They don't drive the cattle - they go stop the beasties that want to break from the herd & put them back where they are supposed to be. The person on horseback then calls the dogs back to behind the horse where they stay until another cow gets hinky & tries to take off. Frequently there is a "lead" dog - a dog in front of the cattle - that the cattle follow where they are supposed to go. Wonder if the rider/handler's control helps minimize the predator response as well - since the dogs are sent when needed, and called back to the horse once their job is done until needed again? Then again, there are some pretty great dogs that see a cow take off, and go on their own to bring it back to the herd....

"I get this but also realize that when the prey drive comes out (obviously a good herding dog will have very few of these moments) it's because the prey animal has done something to evoke it. It's beyond the dog's control. He sees a situation and he goes into prey drive. It's not something he thinks about. Many think that herding is another form of prey drive so it's not much of a leap from one to the other."

Sure, I get you on this. Do you think that the fact that Catahoulas/cur dogs in general are headers (i.e., they don't drive or push the cows) could make a difference?

"With such dogs, and in many other situations that make use of the dog's natural drives for the work, the Ecollar is not used to train the behavior, that's inherent in the dog due to genetics. Rather, there the Ecollar is used mostly as "brakes." To interrupt the dog from focusing on distracting stimuli."

Exactly - you can't really teach the things these dogs need to know - you can maximize their potential, but if they don't have it, you're not going to be able to create it.

"Earlier I wrote, "Where are you located?"

G2 wrote, "Texas - where else?"

You may be surprised to learn, some Texans are, that there is more than one state in the Union. Lol. I asked because I'd be interested in seeing your work. But that's a bit of a haul from Los Angeles, the land of fruits and nuts."

Other states??? wink

Edited by author Tue Dec 4, '12 6:20pm PST

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