OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

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Red
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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Red » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:09 pm

Boss*sMom wrote:I wonder what my PBF friends would have to say about us using the wireless fence set up...


I'll give my opinion, since this is a thread that involves electric stimulation, and I just plain dislike those things.
One of the reasons I don't like them is that an electric fence does not prevent animals from coming into your yard, since a loose dog that is not wearing the collar would have no problem entering the flagged area. That means that if something was to happen your dog is not protected, and might try to escape the boundaries, which would end up with an electric stimulation while the dog is panicking.Not a good combination at all.

There is plenty of stimulation from the outside world that can cause interest or even a reaction in a dog, such as a child running with a skateboard or bike, a group of strangers walking outside the flagged area, people walking dogs etc, you name it. When a dog become curious and want to approach a child passing by (just to use an example) in a friendly manner, the dog receives an electric stimulation, which creates a negative association. For a dog who is already easily aroused, fearful or wary of children, that is recipe for disaster. Even for easy going animals, stimuli that were once okey become associated with an electric stimulation. Never mind the very stupid owners with dogs with aggression issues who use an electric fence, who end up creating the perfect environment for full blown responses, out of frustration.

Like electric collars, these are tools that are easily accessible to everyone, in place like Petsmart, Petco or other pet stores. They beat the price of a fence and they sure take some work away from owners, which is why they are so popular.The companies that build them advertise them to "keep pets safe" but the fact is that they do not. Fences keep pets safe, and owners without a fenced yard who take the time to go out there with their dogs on a long line when the need arise. I had a client who brought me the box with the kit she bought and, apparently, when "done right", this was a super cool thing to confine dogs. Problem is...how many owners know anything about behavior dos and don'ts? How many even know what they own and realize that this is not a reasonable option? How many monitor their dogs each and every time the dog is out, to be aware of what the dog is zapped for and what kind of behaviors follow? Also, it is not unusual for these collars to fail and create nasty burns on a dog's neck, which is certainly not safe nor fair. I am sure I have some pictures saved, of dog's neck that have been burned, if anyone want to see them.

We exhausted all options with them, and this was the only thing we could do,


Exhausting all the options, are you sure it is the case? If the dogs are only out to potty or romp around, as you stated, what prevents you from putting a long line or them and watch them for the time they are out?

Now the collars are on, and set to beep only, they never cross the fence.


That is, in my opinion, even worse. It takes one time for your dogs to cross the boundaries and find no consequences to try it again. In order for positive punishment to have the desired effect, the performance of the behavior has to be followed by the presentation of a stimulus (in this case the electric stimulation), each and every time.One of the reasons why positive punishment can be damaging and it is so hard to execute, is that it requires perfection, both in timing and magnitude of the punishing stimulus. It would not be fair to your dogs to cross the boundaries when the beeper does not work (if it ever happens), and then get electrically stimulated when you turn the collar on for delivery of stimulation. It is confusing and frustrating for the animals.It can also lead to learned helplesness in some cases, when a dog is unsure and afraid of what might cause punishment, due to previous conflicting behavior-consequence sequences.

Here is a video of a golden behind an electric underground system.I don't know the dog, so I can't say whether or not he was already showing those behaviors when other dogs passed the front yard, but it is very common for arousal levels to be increased by a negative stimulus and frustration. If the dog decided to cross the boundaries, he was at the point of high arousal already, and the dog to dog meeting would have not ended up well.The dog that belongs to the client I mentioned before, had his dog to dog reactivity starting from minor (very manageable with positive re direction)to ugly and prolonged behaviors shortly after the dog ended up on an underground system. Bottom line, it is not enough to call it containment or safe containment.


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UnconventionalLove
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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby UnconventionalLove » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:15 am


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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby jomama12341 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:44 pm

There are some realy great debates going on through these last 10 pages.
As far as using them to stop a dog from barking, hold stay ect I would not use them.
Infact personaly there are only a few situations where I would use them if it will save an animal or humans life.

Even though Im not fond of them they do have thier use a a dog tool.
Lets say you live in the country with acres and acres of land your dog has a differnt life than a city dog .
Now lets say your dog thinks cars are intruders and challenges them head on bitting the bumper tires ect or just likes to run next to the car barking get out of my teritory. :run:
This is endangering your dogs life and if an e-collar can save his,her life then go for it.

So back to the argument yes im against e-collars for normal dog training such as Sit,Stay ect.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby UnconventionalLove » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:28 pm

jomama12341 wrote:There are some realy great debates going on through these last 10 pages.
As far as using them to stop a dog from barking, hold stay ect I would not use them.
Infact personaly there are only a few situations where I would use them if it will save an animal or humans life.

Even though Im not fond of them they do have thier use a a dog tool.
Lets say you live in the country with acres and acres of land your dog has a differnt life than a city dog .
Now lets say your dog thinks cars are intruders and challenges them head on bitting the bumper tires ect or just likes to run next to the car barking get out of my teritory. :run:
This is endangering your dogs life and if an e-collar can save his,her life then go for it.

So back to the argument yes im against e-collars for normal dog training such as Sit,Stay ect.

A fence or runner system would fix that real fast.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby MissKitty » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:51 am

UnconventionalLove wrote:
jomama12341 wrote:There are some realy great debates going on through these last 10 pages.
As far as using them to stop a dog from barking, hold stay ect I would not use them.
Infact personaly there are only a few situations where I would use them if it will save an animal or humans life.

Even though Im not fond of them they do have thier use a a dog tool.
Lets say you live in the country with acres and acres of land your dog has a differnt life than a city dog .
Now lets say your dog thinks cars are intruders and challenges them head on bitting the bumper tires ect or just likes to run next to the car barking get out of my teritory. :run:
This is endangering your dogs life and if an e-collar can save his,her life then go for it.

So back to the argument yes im against e-collars for normal dog training such as Sit,Stay ect.

A fence or runner system would fix that real fast.


Or some training/impulse control.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby willyg44 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:00 pm

I posted this thread earlier since I started using an E-Collar on Leo a long time ago and explained my thoughts on the E-collar after being talked into it from 2 trainers who were both extremely jolly and positive during the E-collar training sessions. I'm not coming back to say that I think they are totally cruel, because I'm still not convinced they are if they are used in conjunction with positive reinforcement and treats while training. However, I did come back to post that I used the E-collar for a few months and stopped using it and never felt the need to go back, and I don't think I ever will.

I stopped because after a few months, a situation arose which gave me lots of time on my hands. I read through this whole thread and lots of posts by experienced users and thought that with this new time, I could devote even more time to Leo. Well, I did and I continued to see improvement in his reactions to other dogs and his focus on me while other distractions were present. I probably sounded so ridiculous all of the huge positive reinforcement and yelps coming out of my mouth to praise him, but with enough time and enough dedication I must say I do now agree with the posters here who say not to jump right into the E-collar.

And for that reason, I'm hesitant to recommend these trainers who forced these ideas into our heads about the E-collars being a perfectly viable option, and even a FIRST option for extreme nervousness around other dogs and the like. I don't think I would have made an elaborate post like I did previously in this thread if those ideas from the trainers weren't ingrained into my head. They were highly recommended by so many people, and there is no doubt the E-collars do work if used responsibly. However, why resort to them if there are other options? As I said, I don't think they are cruel if used responsible, but again I don't really know what the dog is feeling do I? Leo never had his tail beneath hig legs, and we never turned the voltage up high, but still... I do understand that at least when we introduced the E-collar, or even if 1 or a few buzzes may have stressed him out a bit, I feel horrible. I don't think I'm experienced enough to make a judgment on whether it is cruel or not, but I have learned that it should not be a first option, I'm not even convinced it should be an option at all for 95% of dog cases because I witnessed first hand that I simply needed to do more than I thought to improve my dog's behavior.

Anyway, the good thing is that I learned that you guys and girls were right. I took advice from all of you in the past, and I don't know why I listened to some stupid trainer over all of you experienced, loving dog owners. It's a bit overdue, but I wanted to formally apologize because I feel like a dummy debating what I did in this thread, when I obviously didn't do as much as I could have to improve Leo's life without the use of an E-collar. Unfortunately I also feel like a poor dog owner, even though I shower Leo with love, and love him to death! But hey you live and learn. He's my first dog, and he's still young. I won't ever make this mistake again, and I will always rely on the PBF for my pitty advice!

Now I'm dealing with another issue in being away from my pup because I had a horrible injury which caused me to move back with my parents for a bit while I recover. That's for another thread I'm going to post tonight, because I need some advice! Thanks all for years of advice, I'm continuing to learn how to make my pup's life that much better :cheers:

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Amie » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:05 pm

:bowdown:

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby MissKitty » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:06 pm

Thank you for sharing your story with us :hug:

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Nichole » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:03 pm

Your pup is lucky to have you as an owner. You clearly care a lot and you are willing to educate yourself and admit when you may be in the wrong. That is bigger than many people on this planet. Kudos to you and your pup.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby redmoss » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:33 am

The other day I was killing time talking to a dog groomer while waiting to meet a trainer. I happened to mention my leash reactive dog who was trained with positive reinforcement. She told me I should use an e collar; it's what she used for her aggressive Am. bulldog. I can only imagine how traumatic this would have been for my dog who only takes offense at dogs who get in her space, with proper introductions she's dog tolerant.

Turns out, the whole visit was a waste of time because the trainer can only train a dog to down with one of those horrible polypropylene slip leads because he can't get leverage using a buckle collar and leash. And the trainer's assistant asked him if he should take the e collars off the dogs that he had outside with him.

The poor dogs entrusted to these "professionals" whose first, and maybe only, impulse is to employ aversive conditioning.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby moto1320 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:30 pm

I have a co worker who cannot be swayed. He uses an e-fence with his bully. The dog is well aware of the consequences and you can see him measure them. When he decides it's worth it (the cat or certain dog friends), he braces himself and goes for it. Then, as usual, he has no incentive to go back in and must be retrieved from wherever he has wandered off to. I think they are a terrible idea personally. I know my dog would be gone in a day, she could care less about discomfort. Prey drive always wins.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby loophole » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:31 am

This may be a bit random but I will no longer use an e-collar due to newer information but first and foremost because of...

I've seen 2 dogs get tumors (end up turning to cancer) in their throats after wearing an e-collar on and off for about 6 months and die... not fun.. could be complete coincidence but the pain and suffering for the dog and family was enough for me.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Curly_07 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:11 am

tarosar wrote:What about ecollars on working dogs? Isn't that what the collar was invented for in the first place-to get dogs off of dangerous game?


That's what a good taught recall is for. I know many hunting friends and police officers that don't use e-collars because they take the time to train the dogs. IMO an e-collar (which I'm guilty of using because I didn't know better at the time) is taking the easy way out and it also causes so many issues psychologically with the dog.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Celesteandthebullies » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:42 pm

tarosar wrote:What about ecollars on working dogs? Isn't that what the collar was invented for in the first place-to get dogs off of dangerous game?

People have been hunting with dogs for decades before the e-collar came around. ;)


And with my boy who has retrieved fowl/upland game a few times as well as trying out other stuff. It was about making our target clear, and even desensitizing him to the things I don't want him to chase.(making them boring and unrewarding)

Also Steve White has successfully trained police k9s without e-collars. :) Denise Fenzi has titled in Schutzhund(up to Sch3) and Mondioring without using any form of physical corrections.

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Re: OFFICIAL e-collar debate thread

Postby Red » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:43 am

tarosar wrote:What about ecollars on working dogs? Isn't that what the collar was invented for in the first place-to get dogs off of dangerous game?


On the subject of bird dogs/hunting, here is the point of view of Robert Milner, a trainer who has trained lots of dogs to perform in the field with harsh methods that are the norm for the sport:
http://www.shotgunlife.com/wingshooting/wingshooting/expert-dog-trainer-robert-milner-says-heck-no-to-shock-collars.html

Somewhere down the road he finally decided to use positive reinforcement with his dogs, and found out the benefit of it, including the reliability that is needed.
An interview with him:


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