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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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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 12:28am PST 
Augusta wrote, "I read the article about the rehabbed dog and I'm a bit foggy on exactly how it was used to achieve the goal.

And I'm supposing even if you did use the e-collar training method, say for OB, of course you would have to wean off just like with food rewards before your work would be considered finished, right?"


Augusta it was done by teaching the recall and the sit with the Ecollar. The protocol for the recall can be seen by CLICKING HERE. Quickly, the dog is pulled toward the handler with a leash while, at the same time the button is pressed with the Ecollar set at the level that the dog can first perceive. As soon as the dog starts walking towards the handler, about 1.5 seconds, the button is released.

And for the sit, by CLICKING HERE. In the sit training four things happen at once. The button is pressed (again, at the level that the dog can first perceive), the command is given, the leash is pulled straight up, and pressure is applied down on the dog's hips. As soon as his butt is on the ground (structure permitting) the button is released. The stim is on for about 1.5 seconds.
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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 12:30am PST 
Buster wrote, "But I don't agree with shocking the dog continuously until it sits/lies down/recalls to teach it as the person in that article advocates, I've come across him on other forums. I don't think they're essential though and I can't understand how americans seem incapable of training a gundog without one. Here dogs work without collars and shock collars are rarely if ever used even banned in Wales."

Buster I'm sorry but you have it wrong. The dog is NOT stimmed continuously until he recalls. As soon as the dog starts walking towards the handler, it's shut off. It only lasts for about 1.5 seconds. And the stim is adjusted so it's at the level that the dog can first perceive. It's not painful there, it's only minor discomfort. In the sit or the down, the stim is kept on until the dog sits or downs, but again, that's only for about 1.5 seconds for either command. And again, it's at the level that the dog can first perceive. It seems as if you'd have people thinking that the button is pressed and the dog is left to guess what he has to do to make it stop. Nothing could be further from the truth. In all of my protocols, the dog is clearly shown what makes the minor discomfort of the stim, stop.

You're right that Ecollars are not essential and no one has made such a statement, at least not that I've EVER seen, certainly not in this discussion. We trained dogs for thousands of years before they came along. But they're here now and they're not going to go away. Not too long ago, this form of communication would not have been possible.

It's not that Americans are "incapable of training a gundog without" the tool. It's that dogs trained with them are much faster, much more precise, and more reliable than those trained without it. So if you want to win those competitions, you train with one. In fact, around the world, it's extremely rare to find a dog in any sort of competition where precision, reliability and control−at−a−distance are rewarded, at the top of the podiums in any national level competition who has NOT been trained, at least in part, with an Ecollar.
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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 12:31am PST 
Selli wrote, "Tiller, the story of Simon is interesting, but I find it hard to fully accept an account excerpted on the website of the person attempting to sell his training system. I have had arguments with Lou Castle before when he popped up on the Golden Forum although he does not have Goldens and only posts in support of ecollar usage."

"You know, If I correct my dog I want them to know it is coming from me. I am finding this hard to explain, but I don't like the idea that my dog may not understand what is punishing him/her. That has more of a chance of creating an anxious dog than knowing I am correcting them."

"I agree with this use of ecollars ["snakeproofing or hunters putting on a very sound recall"] and used it myself to create a recall when my dogs were chasing deer (after losing one to a car), but that experience also taught me that some dog can take ecollar training, some can't. My Golden could take it and learn, my Golden mix shut down when he wore the collar and for a week afterward."

Selli, there's a link to the original version of Simon's story as written by Larry Tillack, the fella who did the rehab. You can read his own version BY CLICKING HERE. Then you don't have to worry about whether I've changed anything about the incident. If you're interested, he's given me permission to give people who want to speak to him directly, his contact information. That's also the case with most of the people who have written the testimonials that appear on my site.

I'm sorry Selli but you're quite wrong that I "only post in support of Ecollar usage." In quite a few conversations on that forum I've recommended AGAINST the use of Ecollars when they're not appropriate. I'd appreciate it if you did not make such untrue statements.

And I'm not "sel[ling my] training system." The information is there for people to use if they want it. There's nothing to buy and I make no money from it. In full disclosure, I do sell Ecollars at a price that is quite a bit below retail. But I advocated for them and had these discussions, long before I became a dealer. In truth, I've been a dealer for several years, and only have made a profit one year. That does not include the time I spend on the phone helping people or in these discussions. It's no different than someone who favors other methods, who has a website, and argues for their methods.

Some people want their dog to know that a correction is coming from them and some don't. I'm in the latter group. I'm not always around my dog. But that doesn't mean it's OK for him to chase cats, dig holes in the yard or eat poop. I'd prefer that he thought that the corrections come from the environment in response to his actions, rather than from me. That way, he's going to be reliable, whether I'm present or not.

My methods are devised, and have the result that, the dog clearly understands what is punishing him. Dogs trained with these methods are not "anxious." That only happens if the dog has not made the proper association between the correction and the behavior. This was the finding of one scientific study.

I said earlier that I've put Ecollars on well over 3,000 dogs. I'm sure that somewhere out there is a dog for whom the tool is not suited, but I've yet to come across him. The way that you used an Ecollar to stop your dog from chasing was probably to let him start the chase and then hit the button with it set at a fairly high level. Many dogs are not suited to that method of training. It just so happens that I advocate specifically AGAINST using the tool in that manner. I've NEVER had a dog "shut down" as you describe. That is likely to happen when the tool is used as you did. It DOES NOT HAPPEN when the tool is used with my methods. You are doing what many people do in discussions on the Ecollar, comparing how you, or someone else has used it and what I'm talking about. Another case of "apples and oranges." I'm ONLY talking about my method of using the Ecollar, not how anyone else uses it. Usually I advise people against using the tool with other methods than mine. Fallout is a common result.
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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 12:34am PST 
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie" wrote,
"The problem is when you get any joe shmoe buying them, not learning or caring HOW to use them properly and putting it at the highest setting and just zapping away at their dog for every little thing without TEACHING the dog anything to begin with. Or the idiot so-called-trainer who doesn't know how to use such correction tools properly either, and starts using them on dogs that CANNOT handle such corrections. There's dogs that can and dogs that can't.

Now, personally, I don't typically condone them for just anyone, nor do I particularly LIKE their use myself - but I do understand their use and when used properly, in the right circumstances, don't have too much of an issue with them. Will I ever use them on my own dogs? Probably never."


I agree Shiver Me Timbers "Charlie" that "joe shmoe" using Ecollars without knowledge or training is a problem. So is "joe" doing the same thing with any tool, particularly pinch collars, choke chains, head halters or the like. One main difference is that those tools can cause physical injuries and the Ecollar can't. But rarely do I see people getting into highly charged arguments as they do against the Ecollar.

I'm happy to see that you do allow that they have some use. Perhaps as we progress in this thread, you'll see more use for them.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 1:21am PST 
I will note that I also don't use pinch collars, prong collars, choke chains or the like. I do have a martingale only because my dog is an escape artist, but as I've learned how to thwart his escapes, I've turned to a regular flat collar. I also have a Halti, however, learned how to properly use it before purchasing one. That said, I DO agree that any of those CAN do physical harm.

But I also believe that ANY of those, including ecollars, can do mental damage dependent on the individual dog as well. I know for a fact that my Rottweiler, who was extremely soft in temperament, who was terrified of her own shadow, would have shut down or hit the floor had she had an ecollar used on her - she couldn't even handle sudden movements or raised voices until I built her confidence up.

Again, I do agree they have their use, and I won't deny that, nor will I bash anyone that does or say they're training 'wrong'. I just won't ever use one myself. I am very interested, however, in learning more about them.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 1:45am PST 
Ah, interesting discussion! E collars are actually banned in my state here in Australia stemming, I suppose, from serious misuse, but I was always very interested in the snake aversion training, as we have sooo many poisonous snakes and I know people who have lost dogs just on summer walks. JT has a pretty good leave it but in summer he doesn't get a whole lot of off leash time because of this issue, sometimes I wish I could do the training.
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Kado

Couch Potato
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 3:23am PST 
Guest, Kado is an Australian Cattle Dog mix. I own the sheep in question, and she does not kill them -- she is occasionally used to help round them up, but always on a long line. She needs herding training, but I haven't gotten around to it. I don't want her to generalize to sheep. Deer chasing is actually not a problem.

I'm wondering if I could use your protocol with a car. A cat is not available, actually. She will chase our car, and a friend's car, so we could use either, having the car slowly approach. Could the protocol be adapted in this way?thinking
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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 6:20am PST 
Sorry Guest, are you Lou Castle that was mentioned earlier? If not no worries. I know i was scanning through an old post on another UK based forum ( that i was not apart of ) where Lou Castle hasn't gone down well and is banned from the site!

Also, i guess there are some people out there that care more about the sport than the dog having fun etc, like Mulder pointed out. But if all you care about is winning and precision then i feel really sorry for those dogs when they get it wrong or don't win!

Anyway, back on topic. I support the ban on OTC sales of them to the general public because of their potential for misuse. I only ever want to see them in the hands of professionals and IF a client needs such a tool i want that owner fully trained and knowing exactly what they're doing. It's so easy to buy a collar online, have it delivered to your door and you're fit to go. That is a recipe for disaster IMO that the poor dog ends up paying the price for.

Also, i think you need to be more precise when you say "SAR people respect him heavily" Tiller, perhaps in certain countries, but that most certainly wouldn't be the case here.

While i'm at it too, i was always under the impression they was not to be used for DA issues, Guest? But you say they can be effective in this area. What kind of assessment would you do first on the DA dog to determine what kind of underlying issue is causing the behaviour? For example would the ecollar be used on a fear aggressive DA dog?

Edited by author Sat Dec 1, '12 6:22am PST

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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 8:15am PST 
I have a very bright, very sensitive young dog that has some issues stemming from vision and hearing impairments as well as some mental impairment. My concern with using an ecollar is in making these behaviors worse and destroying the bond I have worked to build with her. Can you explain how an ecollar may be useful for her or if you think one might work.
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Member Since
11/27/2012
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 8:59am PST 
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie" wrote,
I will note that I also don't use pinch collars, prong collars, choke chains or the like. I do have a martingale only because my dog is an escape artist, but as I've learned how to thwart his escapes, I've turned to a regular flat collar. I also have a Halti, however, learned how to properly use it before purchasing one. That said, I DO agree that any of those CAN do physical harm.

But I also believe that ANY of those, including ecollars, can do mental damage dependent on the individual dog as well. I know for a fact that my Rottweiler, who was extremely soft in temperament, who was terrified of her own shadow, would have shut down or hit the floor had she had an ecollar used on her - she couldn't even handle sudden movements or raised voices until I built her confidence up.

Again, I do agree they have their use, and I won't deny that, nor will I bash anyone that does or say they're training 'wrong'. I just won't ever use one myself. I am very interested, however, in learning more about them."


I agree that any of those tools "can do mental damage dependent on the individual dog." But I also think that ANY tool/method, including the softer ones, can have the same effect. There's even a scientific study that lends support to this statement.

As to an Ecollar being unsuitable on your fearful dog, I'll have to disagree. I've put Ecollars on dozens of fearful dogs and not one of them had a problem with it. I've got the hands on experience and (I'd bet)you are imagining what it's like, without any experience at all with the tool as used with my methods.

On my site is an anecdote about Roma, the most fearful – aggressive dog that I've ever heard of. To give you an idea, if it was a sunny day, and Roma walked from the shade of a tree into the sunshine, someone was gonna get bit! When I met her, someone nearby closed, not slammed, just closed, a car door. Roma launched up at my face to bite me. This was not a "get−away−from−me−nip." This was an "I have to kill you to survive" response. I worked the recall protocol with the Ecollar and about 25 minutes later, I knelt down and Roma climbed into my lap and started licking my face. A dog that, literally, just a few minutes ago wanted to kill me, was now bonded to me, accepting me as her leader. This is the possibility that exists with low level stim and methods that show the dog that he's in control of when it starts and when it stops. If you'd like to read about Roma you can do so by CLICKING HERE.

As to your comment that "Probably never" would you use an Ecollar ... I'll just say that I've had this same conversation with many people many times. Many of them have later called me and gone to an Ecollar. It was just a matter of them getting the right (wrong for their methods) dog. I'm very glad that you put the conditioner "Probably" in there. It shows that you have an open mind and that if you came across an issue that could not be solved with other methods, at least you'd consider the Ecollar. That's really all that I ask for.
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