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Behavior & Training > Ecollars : An Intelligent Discussion

Member Since
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 8:35am PST 
Tyler said:
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I was hoping to hear a balanced view on both sides of the fence here, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I tried to remain open as possible during this discussion but i'll sit this out from now on because i'm not into biased discussion.
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I don't really understand this. Lou is giving you his side, which is how effective the ecollar can be when used correctly and explaining how to use it appropriately. The other side of that fence says that the ecollar is inhumane. How is Lou supposed to argue both sides? He can't. If a balanced discussion is what you want, can't you contribute to the discussion in a balanced way without getting personal with someone who has an opposing viewpoint?

I'd also like to add that for a long time now it has been nearly impossible to have a balanced discussion on this method because of the bloodbath that ensues when anyone dares to bring it up publicly in a positive light. I'm a member of several wonderful dog forums. When I went looking for information on the appropriate use of ecollars, I quickly realized that I was pretty much on my own. Searches for "proper use of electronic collar" would inevitably bring up what was supposed to be comical youtube videos showing an annoying human being zapped, or numerous threads on forums like this where the asker was drawn, quartered, tarred, and feathered. I imagine that such a reaction time and time again is rather frustrating for both ecollar trainers and the pet owners who want to use them properly.

You (general you) don't have to like the method. You don't have to use the method. BUT, there needs to be room for more calm, factual, and yes, balanced discussions on this method because people WILL use this method. And they need to know HOW to do that. Frankly, shouting/shutting down one of the few good trainers who publicly talks about the proper ways to use the ecollar is a very bad idea. People need to be educated on how to use this method correctly. We need good trainers for that.

My brother's dog is a classic example of what happens to a dog when information on the proper use of an ecollar is scarce. This happened around 5 years ago, and I didn't know about it until recently when he tried to "teach me" how to use an ecollar. His method, and what he thought you were supposed to do, was to wait until the dog did something wrong, crank up the dial a bit, and zap them hard. That's what happened to this beautiful collie when he went into the trash. frown When I explained to him that that was NOT how you used them, and explained how you were supposed to use them, he was horrified at what mental damage (not to mention pain) he must have done to that dog. That is what happens to DOGS when people don't have the knowledge to use this tool correctly.
» There has since been 70 posts. Last posting by , Dec 7 10:55 pm

Behavior & Training > Ecollars : An Intelligent Discussion

Member Since
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 11:53am PST 
I'm glad to see an intelligent discussion on Ecollars. All the negativity and misinformation surrounding this tool only serves to *increase* the misuse of it. There's hardly anywhere you can go to discuss it without getting shouted down and labeled as an animal abuser, which means many owners are left to figure it out themselves. And THAT is when misuse happens.

I have a beautiful one-year-old Redbone Coonhound/GSP mix. She is a runner, a chaser, and she loves to hunt critters. Her recall was atrocious, and one day she came within inches of being hit by a car because she escaped out the door. That was it for me. I started researching electronic collars. I also started researching the proper way to use one. I did not want to screw this up, and I didn't want to hurt her; I wanted to get her attention. I settled on a collar, and I figured out her working level. She now has a pretty darn good recall on or OFF the collar. My relationship with her is even better than it was, and part of the reason is that I'm not so tense and fearful when out and about with her anymore. I rarely have to tap the button with her anymore (and when I do it's because she's found a squirrel or something), but I consider the collar to be an insurance policy of sorts.

I did not use the collar as punishment; I taught her how to turn it off by doing what was asked of her. I was also careful not to point the remote at her when tapping the button. I did not want her to associate ME with any discomfort or annoyance. I hid the remote behind my back. She was initially a little puzzled, but eventually it "clicked" for her. I read lots of material on Lou Castle's website, and I also talked to Robin MacFarlane of That's My Dog! and ordered her DVD's. I am so thankful for the material put out by both of these excellent trainers.
» There has since been 107 posts. Last posting by , Dec 7 10:55 pm

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