Results of a shock collar on my chihuahua

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Squishy22, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Umm I clicker train thank you very much.

    But you are trolling this thread. A rose by any other name still smells as sweet. A troll by any other name is still trolling.
     
  2. IliamnasQuest

    IliamnasQuest Loves off-leash training!

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    This is always such a volatile subject - on this forum it's "never use a shock collar" and you get yelled at if you've every used one, and on the GSD forum it's "go buy a shock collar" and you get yelled at if you say "nooo, don't use shock!".

    After much soul searching, I did buy a shock collar for one of my dogs a couple of years ago. I wanted a collar that gave me a wide range of control options so that I could pinpoint the lowest possible shock that gave me a reaction, and so I bought an expensive collar with 100 levels and a vibrating paging mode too. I wasn't going to use something that I couldn't adjust in tiny levels (and any collar that has less than, say, 50 levels is not that adjustable).

    And I used the collar after months of research, and after more than a year of recall training on my dog. She was developing a problem where she would suddenly (sporadically) take off during off-leash play time. She'd been taught a proper recall starting at eight weeks of age (she was now 16+ months) and she knew what "come" meant, but just was so excited to explore the great unknown. Nothing I could offer her at that time was better than her urge to explore and chase moose and caribou and wascally wabbits. I put her back on a long line for months and worked on the recall, but could NOT get sufficient exercise into her when she was restricted by the long line, and she started acting out in other ways due to lack of strenuous exercise (which she normally got during off-leash race and tumble times with the other dogs).

    So, after agonizing over it, I went with a shock collar because I felt she had more need for the exercise then I had need to avoid an aversive method. I didn't LIKE using it. And I studied it extensively to understand the concept of a low level stimulation that was used as a negative reinforcment (meaning that the dog responds and the stimulation stops as soon as they respond). It's still an aversive and still carries some of the punishment lable even when used as a -R, but the concept in training is a tad bit different.

    You have to study your dog, understand their pain tolerances, and find the level of collar shock that makes them react in the tiniest of ways (in her case, she merely twitched one ear). And that's the level you use. The collar is irritating, I'm absolutely sure, and felt anything but good - but it wasn't the "screaming, cowering dog" level that you see some people use it with. It was an irritation bad enough that the dog wanted it to stop, but not bad enough for the dog to react in any sort of verbal or physically avoidant manner.

    And yes, it worked. It allowed Khana to run and play and have a good time with her buddies, and allowed me to breathe again instead of always being fearful that she was going to take off and find a moose and get herself killed. I don't use the collar for any other training - not for heeling, sit, down, stay, competition recalls, retrieving, jumps, etc. I only used it for something that I felt was important to HER life, not to my life.

    And when used in this way, I think there's some validity to the method. It isn't something that people should rush into willy-nilly without really researching and understanding the proper way to use a low level stimulation training method. If you're just planning on zapping the dog to try to stop a behavior, keep in mind that dogs easily transfer that shock to other things and it may make them fearful of things that you didn't intend them to be fearful of (like when my GSD Trick hit an electric fence while coming to me - I was on a horse at the time - and she associated that shock with me being on a horse and it took months before she'd come near me on horseback after that. WE may think we know what we're zapping them for, but they don't and they're going to associate in whatever way works in their minds at that very time. I just can't recommend any sort of punishment level shock collar training because you run such a high risk of creating worse problems.

    And for whoever called e-collar training "lazy" .. well, I'll agree that the typical method of shock collar training IS lazy. Putting a collar on and then zapping the dog every time it doesn't do what you want is the epitime of laziness, to me. And just think what it does to the relationship you have with your dog. The low level stimulation was minimal enough that I maintained a high level of trust with my dog, but I've seen people who use the high zap method and those dogs do NOT trust them, regardless of what they think. They respond out of fear and not out of any sort of trust.

    But - minimal use of a aversive method, thought out carefully in advance to create the least amount of stress and discomfort to the dog, and paired with high levels of positive reinforcement for when the dog does offer the behaviors you want - can be very effective as a last resort. It's not for lazy people, though, because lazy people aren't going to make the proper effort to do it carefully. And lazy people are going to use the collar for all sorts of things, instead of having it gather dust in the box 99% of the time (which is what mine does).

    Over 30 performance titles on my dogs, including two UD's, three CDX's, 12 CD's, schutzhund BH, six rally titles (two RE's), and eight agility titles on my chows and GSD's, without the use of shock to train any of the behaviors, doesn't point toward laziness in training even if a shock collar is used minimally for outside behaviors.

    Melanie and the gang in Alaska
     
  3. DanL

    DanL Active Member

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    Mel, your titles and training experience are null and void since you used an e collar. If Labra would read, they'd know that the people in this thread are not TRAINING with an e collar, but MODIFYING BEHAVIOR. And my genius comment wasn't "holier than thou", it was a reaction to an insult.
     
  4. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    Melanie, once again :hail:
     
  5. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Catch that?? MONTHS of research, over a YEAR of training with other methods. That's the key. Shock collars should not be something you get because you've been trying to work with your dog for a few weeks and it's not working. Or because once a week when you do obedience training she doesn't seem to be learning anything. I think you should have to have a prescription from a behaviorist to get a shock collar, just like you have to have to get mood pills. But, I do think that if you REALLY, ACTUALLY know what you're doing, they do work well.

    I've been training a dog who barks.... A lot. He barks out of excitement and generally (not just with barking) has very little impulse control. That's just his personality. We can "ignore the barking" all we want, but I really believe it will take years before that makes any difference. If he were my dog, I'd use a bark collar. But this is one dog, out of probably over a thousand that I've personally trained over the past few years, that I'd recommend a shock collar for. If only one dog out of over a thousand ever used a shock collar, I really think they'd go out of business. So yeah, I'm sure that a lot of people are using them when they shouldn't.
     
  6. Squishy22

    Squishy22 Guest

    Anyone who would use a shock collar on a setting high enough to cause their dog to scream in pain falls under dog abuse, in my opinion. A lot of things in life can be misused and abused.
     
  7. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Kaiden screamed on 1. He found it very scary.
     
  8. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    The Monks of New Skeete (sp?) say in their book that if the dog does not vocalize, your correction wasn't strong enough.
     
  9. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Thats the thing if you are using it as a correction or P+. IQ was using is R-. That should not be used at such a high level. Most of the e collar trainers I know use it as R-. I do see a lot of stress and appeasment behaviours in their dogs. But then they use it to teach EVERY thing to their dogs.

    A punishment or correction if used properly and as a last resort should end the behaviour with one maybe two applications. Therefore it must be strong. Karen Pryor, Jean Donaldson, Ian Dunbar and others mention this in their books, and they are positive trainers.
     
  10. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    EXactly, an update on Harry. His barking has dropped massivley, he's learned to LOOK before he barks, even if the collar isn't on. If it is on, it has just generally slipped around the side of his neck most of the time so it doesn't even do anything.
    This morning we've had dogs, people and the mailman go past and not a sound. So ofcourse he gets much praise after each one passes.
     
  11. Squishy22

    Squishy22 Guest

    Thats GREAT!
     
  12. Squishy22

    Squishy22 Guest

    Woah, my chihuahua has a higher pain tolerance than a jack russell terrier. Interesting... lol.
     
  13. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

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    When driving my sister's SUV, a single window opened causes a strange vibration in my ears. Two windows somehow evens out the wind flow and the effect disappears. If someone puts a single window down, I literally start to freak out. There is nothing painful about the vibration, nor am I scared, but I absolutely can't stand that feeling in my ears.

    Now, I am not going to say that the bark collar hurts or doesn't hurt a dog. But, I think there are aversives that are not painful. The citronella collars are a great example. They do work for some dogs (til they break), but I'm pretty sure they don't cause pain to any dogs.

    FYI- I recommended the citronella collars to clients for a few months many years back, but almost every single one broke within a few months, they weren't particularly effective for bigger, tougher dogs and they were much more expensive than bark collars.

    I agree with the poster who warns against bark collars that go off when dogs put their heads down or bump the collar against something. Or, even worse, collars that are noise activated and go off when a different dog barks :yikes: - totally abusive and not effective.

    I have never had problems with my tri-tronics bark collar. I kept it on my old dog religiously when he was young and riding around in my truck with me as a youngster (at a very low level). Even now he is quiet and well-behaved in the car but will bark if someone comes close enough. The bark collar did not eliminate the barking at the very low level, but it discouraged nuisance barking, which was my goal.

    If you are going to buy any collar that shocks, don't buy the cheapest one- buy a good quality collar that is reliable, trustworthy and comes with very low settings that you do not find painful on your hand. Better to start off with too low a level than to scare the heck out of your dog with a collar that is too strong for him.
     
  14. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I have nothing to add except for the fact that my ears do the same thing in my mothers car, and friends truck. Its really annoying, and can be painful if someone else doesn't open a window. Mostly in my mothers car its the sun roof though...
     
  15. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I said he found it very scary. He can handle pain very well, just not getting scared. (the big baby)
     

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