E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Discussion of useful training and pet care tools.

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Jo_Smith
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by Jo_Smith » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:14 pm

I usually call him back from the end of the long line because a) that's what several behaviourists have advised on the assumption that he will then not realise how long the line is - why I think is a load of crap but did follw this for a bit & b) because when he does get to the end of the line he pulls alot at times.

Sarah83 I have similarly been weighing up the pros & cons. I am not yet convinced that an e collar is the way to go either but for some to state that is is simply painful is not true at some levels, the level my firned used on her dog was not painful, he didn't yelp but it did interrupt his train of thought when chasing a hare. I do realise that our dogs are different & what worked for her may not work for mine. I also recognise that this may trigger fear, it may make him run further if he is scared - I have considered all these as my main concern at the moment is for his safety & happiness.

Sarah83
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by Sarah83 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:30 pm

The problem is that dogs hide pain so well, they're programmed NOT to show it if they can help it. Rupert ripped a nail most of the way off, this became terribly infected (despite prompt vet treatment and antibiotics) and he almost lost his toe. He never once showed ANY pain whatsoever yet the vet said it would be a horribly painful injury. He didn't even limp. I've kicked him really hard while having a seizure, apparently he didn't even flinch yet he had a whopping great bruise there so it must have hurt. I've heard of dogs ripping their pads to shreds and not showing any sign of it while on the chase or herding. Just because they don't yelp doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. If torn pads, torn ears, torn off nails etc don't stop a dog mid chase then just how painful is the shock that stops them? That made me really uncomfortable with the thought of doing it.

ladybug1802
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by ladybug1802 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:09 pm

And as has already been stated......the reason is does stop them is BECAUSE it is painful. You cant tell me that even the smallest electric shock that we get is not a little bit painful. Then multiply that.....and add to the fact they dont know it is coming and are not sure what it is for.

To be honest it sounds like, in a way (and please dont take this the wrong way as it is meant in the way it may sound, if that makes sense!) although you havent made your mind up, you dont seem that open to our opinions on the e-collars, even though that is what you asked?

At the end of the day its up to you, its up to you whether you use one or not, and yes, I am sure lots of people use them with no noticeable side effetcts or behaviour from them, but consider this - there is a reason why they have been banned in Wales. Why they were just banned in Wales and nowhere else I have no idea! There are so many conflicting ideas on these kind of things but at th end of the day, people can give you al their opinions and advice but I guess you need to go with what you feel right to you.

Jo_Smith
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by Jo_Smith » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:05 pm

I am open to comments, opinions & studies. Would be great if someone could point me in the direction of scientific studies that have been carried out regarding this. Apologies if I don't come across as taking everyones comments into consideration - obviously this may be the way I am commenting, I don't mean to come across as such!

MPbandmom
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by MPbandmom » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:11 pm

I don't have any scientific evidence to provide. I notice that no one has mentioned how long of a long line they use. They do come in different lengths. I have a 20' line that I sometimes use with my dog on walks at the local park. I also have a 100' length of sturdy rope that I have turned into a long line with a clip at one end, a loop for a handle at the other end, and knots tied every few feet along the length for stepping on if needed. I use the 100' line to play fetch with my dog at the beach and such. I know one person who puts several 100' lines together in order to play frisbee with her dogs. Where I live there is only one park, a State Forest about a 30 to 45 minute drive away that doesn't have leash laws. This park is popular with mountain bikers, so I don't generally go there. My dogs are always on leash or otherwise attached to something (I also do scootering.) unless they are in a fenced area. Even if it weren't for the leash laws, I don't think I would be comfortable letting either of my dog's off leash based on how they behave when let off leash in large fenced areas.

Maybe you need to combine a longer lead with super duper yummy treats to give your dog when he comes back. I use baby food meat (frozen) and smoked chicken, or dehydrated super mini hamburgers, or liver treats when out and about. My dogs still want to chase furry things, but they can't and they don't seem too upset about it when they refocus on me and get something yummy.
Grammy to Sky and Sirius, who came to live with me, stole my heart, and changed my life forever as I took over their care and learned how to be a dog owner.

JudyN
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by JudyN » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:40 pm

Have you read the Wikipedia page on shock collars? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_collar There's quite a few studies referenced there, plus sections on 'Criticisms' and 'Praise'.

Good luck, with however you decide to proceed. I'm sure it doesn't need to be said, but if you try the shock collar and it doesn't work on low settings, ditch the idea rather than turning it up, and up.... It's like shouting, if it doesn't work, it's so tempting to shout louder, but it never makes things better!

However, I would also try out the different suggestions for convincing your dog that being on a long line (or even a standard lead) can be fun - and more importantly, convince yourself that he's still leading a happy life, too.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Suzette
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by Suzette » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:58 pm

Honestly, if this collar is set to just give a mild little tingle, how could it possibly work? If your voice and your verbal commands don't interrupt your dogs running off, why would a mild tingle? Most people end up putting it at a higher setting thinking this will get the desired response (to stop), but even if it does, more harm than good is done in the end (in my opinion).

Many of us have or have had dogs that simply cannot do all that we might have wanted for them, despite our best efforts. I've also had dogs in the past that simply were not reliable off a long line. So be it. Would they have been happier had they been able to run free? Maybe. But they wouldn't have been safe. They lived happy lives anyway on their long lines and I got over my own expecations to do what was in the best and safest interest of my dog.

Hey, I would be happier if I lived at the beach and sat with my toes in the sand drinking marguarita's all day long, but that ain't gonna happen! That doesn't mean I'm not happy or that I don't live a fulfilling life. In other words, we (and our dogs) don't always get what we want, but we can still be happy anyway. :mrgreen:

However, having said all that, I'm getting the feeling as this thread rolls on that you're looking for someone to agree with you that giving this collar a try is a good idea. You're very unlikely to find that here. Ultimately you will do what you will do. But most of us here have done the homework on this device and have dismissed it as being a harmful, useless tool and would never use or recommend it.
My avatar is Piper, my sweet Pembroke Corgi. b. 5/11/11

doggiedad
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by doggiedad » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:11 pm

an e-collar when used correctly can be a good aide.
"when your dog isn't doing what you want you to
stop and ask yourself what am i doing wrong".
i read that on some forum. how about finding a trainer??
do you train and socialize everyday??? i find training
in sessions works best for my dogs. each session
last 5 min to 10 min. during the course of a day
i have many sessions. i also start training when the dog
is a young pup. when it comes to training and socializing
a dog you have to "think ahead to stay ahead".

dontpugme
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by dontpugme » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:35 pm

I say work of the devil. I wrote my school persuasive essay on why they should be banned. :D
--dontpugme

Sarah83
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by Sarah83 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:37 pm

When you've got a dog whose desire to hunt and kill things over rides EVERYTHING else it's not as simple as "what am I doing wrong". I've followed recall advice to the letter yet still have a dog who'll take off if he spots prey despite him having an excellent recall at all other times. I've spent 7 years working with Rupert on a pretty much daily basis, I don't believe I will EVER get a recall off prey. I can walk him within a few feet of prey on leash and him not go after it but off leash? Oh hell yes he'll go. As for training the dog from a puppy, well that's pretty useless advice for anyone having issues with an adult dog since we can't turn the clock back. I didn't get mine as a pup, he came to me having already learned the joys of sheep worrying, rabbit hunting etc.

Sorry if that sounds snarky, your post just came across as extremely condescending to anyone who's dealing with this sort of problem. A dogs issues are NOT always down to the owner not training the dog properly.

Jo_Smith
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by Jo_Smith » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:43 am

Sarah83, you have taken the words right out of my mouth!! Doggiedad, if you read my posts you will see that my dog does attend training classes (he recently recived his gold Good Citizen award), we regularly socialise, we have training sessions at home & during our walk, I have read numerous books on dog training & behaviour, attended various seminars or training days so I am putting the effort in. Unfortunately I was not able to have any influence over his eary years as he is from a rescue shelter so I can only hope to modify his behaviour.

Suzette, I agree with the points you have made & can assure you that I am not wanting people to agree with me so I can justify my use of one, I think by the name of the forum it would be quite unlikely! I did expect the answers but also hoped that someone may be able to give my some other tips to help control this (although I do think that I have tried nearly everything & that I will never overcome this urge he has to chase) or even provide me with some data regarding the use of collars, how harmful they are, stress levels recorded, etc form a scientific view point rather than just opinions

ladybug1802
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by ladybug1802 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:41 pm

Doogiedad - I have to agree with Sarah that your post sort of misses the point (sorry!). I like Sarah have a dog that loves to chase small furries and run after scents.....if there are none of these things he has a great recall, and i too dont ever think i will get a recall with him where I will be able to stop him chasing things....hence the longline if I am not in a safe secure area a logn way from roads. I KNOW he wont ever catch anything as well so thre isnt that worry for me.

The thread here is about e-collars AS a training aid....theOP did say her friend was using one as recommended by a 'trainer' so I dont think it is a case of her getting a trainer out, as the dog's recall is otherwise pretty good from what I gather.

But Jo, as your dog is a rescue as well, I really would urge you to reconsider the e-collar. I know if I used it on my rescue boy it would have a detrimental effect for sure. There are a tonne of writings on e-collars if you Google it.....there would have to be since it has been banned in Wales. Google it and see what you find....there is a lot of info out there.

Suzette
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by Suzette » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:44 pm

Jo_Smith wrote:Suzette, I agree with the points you have made & can assure you that I am not wanting people to agree with me so I can justify my use of one, I think by the name of the forum it would be quite unlikely! I did expect the answers but also hoped that someone may be able to give my some other tips to help control this (although I do think that I have tried nearly everything & that I will never overcome this urge he has to chase) or even provide me with some data regarding the use of collars, how harmful they are, stress levels recorded, etc form a scientific view point rather than just opinions
Honestly, you do sound like someone who is trying pretty hard to do what you think is best for your dog. I guess this is just such a hot button topic for so many of us. I simply don't like them on every level. Other's are going to be okay with them. But your original post asked for opinions and thoughts on the ecollar and you sure got them! :mrgreen:

I looked back on your posts and I haven't seen where you additionally asked for "tips to help control this". It looked as if you wanted to stay on topic of opinions on the ecollar and weren't looking for any other type of advice. I'm sure folks would offer thoughts and advice if you asked about this specifically.

And I guess I have one last thought on this and that is that while scientific data is all well and good, I would think the experiences and the knowledge of the folks here, especially the more experienced dog owners and trainers and behaviorsts that we are so fortunate to have on this forum, would be more than sufficient for you to make a good decision for your dog. Afterall, life experiences are just as (sometimes even more) valuable in making good decisions.

Good luck to you and your dog. I hope whatever you decide it works well and keeps your dog safe, happy and healthy.
My avatar is Piper, my sweet Pembroke Corgi. b. 5/11/11

Sarah83
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by Sarah83 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:04 pm

Jo, have you tried teaching a "stop" command rather than a recall? It's something I'm working on with Rupert at the moment but my last dog, Shadow, had a terrible recall all his life and wouldn't come back for love nor money. However, he'd stop on a dime if you told him to wait. Then we could just go and get him. Bit less convenient than a dog who comes back to you, especially when the grounds boggy and horrible and you have to wade through knee deep freezing cold water, but a million times better than a dog you have to spend hours looking for and trying to catch.

Jo_Smith
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Re: E Collars - Work of the devil or useful training tool?

Post by Jo_Smith » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:43 am

JudyN - Thanks for the link, I must have missed it the first time. Will have a look at the studies mentioned, will be an interesting read.

Sarah83 - This is also something I have been working on which again is spot-on until an animal appears. Maybe I just have to accept this is him & there is little else I can do.

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