Electronic Collar Training

I'm wondering what some of your thoughts are on electronic collar training. I've been reading a lot of pros and cons on this & just wondering if anyone had any experience with this type of training. If so was it positive or negative??

We tried this once with Gypsy when she was younger – I don't like the idea, but when she was young she was veeery difficult and dh was insistent -- and it proved completely ineffective with her. She would just give a small "urp"y little yelp and keep doing what she wanted.

I would never use an electronic collar on a dog w/short hair and no body fat though, to serve as a bit of a cushion there.

I think it depends what you are using it for, and who is doing the training. Punishment/pain is, of course, a very strong motivator. But it can turn a nervous, or fearful animal into a very dangerous animal. I would NEVER EVER use an e-collar for aggression. I might use it for fence/boundary training with SOME dogs…certainly not all dogs. And I might use it for distance correction (think field hunting) ...but again, not for every dog.

Those collars should absolutely not be sold to the general public to do their own training. Successful use of them is so depenant on the skill of the trainer to understand the appropriate time to use them. One wrong bit of timing can make your dog superstitiously fearful of whatever was nearest them when they got the shock...including other dogs, you, kids, bushes...you get the idea.

I've used one on my hunting dog in his training….distance control. They get to a point where they know if they have a special collar on they better listen. Once they get that down, correction is minimal.

I've given some thought to training a basenji to hunt upland game, but I think I would avoid a shock collar with a Basenji for all of the reasons above. I just think it would tweek them out.

Gotta clarify..I was in no way intending for amateur use. I was reading various professional trainers ideas & methods with the e-collar. A place that we were considering boarding actually uses e-collars during their training classes.

According to some of them it's not painful but it's a buzzing feeling to get their attention. One trainer actually does a demonstration where he puts the collar on himself to show it's effect & let's people try it too.

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

I would NEVER use an electric collar/electric fence on a basenji!!! My brother and his wife owned Senji for the first 5 1/2 years before they gave him to me. They installed an electric fence, and I feel that it really messed him up. He became very neurotic and more nippy than ever. If he would see a squirrel or a rabbit, he would chase it and run right through the "fence." Then he would be afraid to go back to the house and someone would have to go out with the car, put him in the car, and drive him back to the house. It's taken me years to "deprogram" him. Basenjis need to be trained with positive reinforcement only.

Noooooooooooo…..
I am with you on this one Elena, we are in the process in the uk of getting these horrible things banned, I could never use one on my dogs no matter what breed they were. Please reconsider about using one!

Jenny

I'm not the one to ask for info about training since I did a horrible job with Nala. I do know of a dog who was so smart that they would look to see if they had the remote in their hand - and if not, would do all the things he wasn't supposed to - and that wasn't even a Basenji! IMO, I would try the other training methods as described before resorting to that.
After having said that, I will point out that I do have an underground fence for Nala and it is on the next to highest setting because she was so stubborn during the training process.
My husband said if we had it on the highest setting, she'd just be a little puff of smoke if she got zapped (LOL)! You'll be happy to know that she can go out even without a collar, as she is conditioned now.

<_>

That is the problem with punishment. Think about speeding tickets. Most of us speed….and most of us have had a speeding ticket. We usually slow down for a very brief time...then we start looking for cops, and speed when we don't see them. Now, if everytime you passed a cop caught you going the speed limit, they gave you a new car, do you think people might be a little compliant? Maybe....maybe only those that really needed a new car!_

@nala121498:

I do know of a dog who was so smart that they would look to see if they had the remote in their hand - and if not, would do all the things he wasn't supposed to - and that wasn't even a Basenji!

That Shorthair I had figured that out, he even knew if I didn't have the antenna out all the way I couldn't get him.:rolleyes:

I can only imagine a basenji would find the remote and either hide it or eat it!

So true!! These dogs are too smart for that stuff!!

Thanks I really value all of your opinions. We've decided to not let our dogs board with the e-collar boarding place in NJ.

AAAHHH well…I guess we have a 4 hour road trip to board our furbies at a nice trusworthy & experienced place in MA.

It's incredible that we can't find a decent place near us that will exercise our dogs, that will NOT throw them in a room w/20 other dogs, that will know how to interact w/our scary child (TOPAZ).

But I would go to all ends to find only the best place for them!!

Well, I know that this subject was controversial when I last posted on the subject, but I wanted to update, just to let you know that the collar training has worked very well for Callie! She hasn't really worn it much at all, for the last two months, and she knows the boundaries of our property, and comes back when called. Maybe not the first time, 🙂 but she comes, even when chasing a rabbit or squirrel! She doesn't go onto the road anymore, but stops at the front of the property, (If you tell her, no) even when a squirrel is on the road! When she obeys, we tell her what a good girl she is! She is very sweet, and loving, and isn't as insistent to have her own way anymore! She is much calmer and relaxed than she used to be! We most always used only the beep sound on the collar, and if we used the shock, it was on 2, which is 230 milliamps, which is about like a big static shock, which doesn't hurt, but startles the dog! We now can go for walks in the field, without the dog running away, even though she runs and runs around us, and she comes when called, maybe not the first time or two, but she comes! I guess it depends on the dog, and the person using the collar, you can't use it as a punishment, only as a training tool, but if you have a very difficult dog, that won't listen no matter how hard you try, I believe the collar was what did the trick for us! Callie is our third dog. The first two dogs, trained beautifully without a collar, but Callie was very headstrong! She still is, but she is much more obedient now! 🙂

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Actually, the only way to use it IS a punishment...and that is okay. The dog should only receive the shock after you have given her a command, and she has failed to obey.
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Yes, absolutely! You would never want to startle a dog that was already nervous, or fearful. Unfortunately way too many people try to solve aggression problems with shock collars, and only make the problem worse.
Glad it worked for you.

Let me reclarify! You don't get angry, and push the button, just because the dog isn't listening! You use the beep tone first, and if the dog still doesn't want to respond, you use the shock! It only takes a couple of times, for the dog to understand that they need to listen to the beep! After using the beep for a while, they learn to listen to your voice command! You never use it to zap a dog for being bad! Callie only ever got the number 3 twice, because she took off after a bunch of deer! That was all it took! Now, she watches them run, but listens to me, when I tell her no! Without the collar on!
My husband and son and I, all used the collar on 3 on each other! It didn't hurt, only startled you! The rest of the time, we only used the 2 setting, and that wasn't very often. Like I said before, I love my dog, and didn't want her to run off, and get killed! She seems to be much more relaxed now, and knows that she is a part of the family, but that we are in charge! We spent the early morning, with her laying on my chest, with her head under my chin! Such a sweetie! 🙂 If you are someone that can't control your temper, I wouldn't advise you using a training collar! If you can, and are very patient, and loving, it will work!

Right…I understand. You don't use the shock in anger. The shock is still a punishment for not listening to the beep,or the command.

Some dogs do great with shock collars....some do not. I can not, as a professional dog trainer, stand by as someone advocates it as the solution to dog training problems as long as you are someone who can control your temper. That is dangerous, and irresponsible advice...

I am sorry if you think I am being argumentative. But as long as you advise hundreds of people here that it is the perfect solution, I will argue that it is not. I am honestly glad it helped you...I don't say that with sarcasm; and I absolutely believe that your dog is more relaxed, loving and trained. But I think it is a really dangerous thing to suggest to people when you haven't seen their dogs, or know their problems.

That's the nice thing about positive reinforcement training, you can make suggestions to anyone and not worry about doing more damage than has already been done.

@Quercus:

That's the nice thing about positive reinforcement training, you can make suggestions to anyone and not worry about doing more damage than has already been done.

I totally agree, Andrea. There is a really good article in the Whole Dog Journal this month on training. You have to subscribe to read it. It is a great journal, lots of good information. Subscribers can search the archives and find great articles on Food, Separation Anxiety, and so many other topics that have come up on here.

http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/10_5/features/Positive_Dog_Training_15931-1.html

I know you aren't arguing; just want what is best for the dogs as I do.

I never said it was a perfect solution, or advised everyone to try it. As I said in my first post, it would depend on the dog, and the person, if you used it or not! If you have a bad temper, I'd advise you to never use it. If you have the patience of Job, and the dog doesn't want to listen any other way, you could try it! Just use the training video they give you, and learn to do it right first!

@Kate:

I I never said it was a perfect solution, or advised everyone to try it. As I said in my first post, it would depend on the dog, and the person, if you used it or not! If you have a bad temper, I'd advise you to never use it. If you have the patience of Job, and the dog doesn't want to listen any other way, you could try it! Just use the training video they give you, and learn to do it right first!

These two sentences are a contradiction. If you are not advising people to try it then you would not have written the last 2 sentences. This advice could be utterly disasterous because it does not take into account the temperament of the dog at all. I do not think it is a good thing to recommend or advise people to try shock collars or other coercive methods.

1. Some dogs will escalate when coercive techniques are used. This means that if you have an aggressive dog it will become more aggressive. Even a dog that is not aggressive can escalate to aggression when it does not understand why it is being punished. I have seen this happen and it happens quickly.

2. Some dogs are very sensitive. Giving even the mildest of shocks or correction could permanently damage any hope of gaining the dog's trust and destroy its confidence. I have seen this happen also.

I whole heartedly support what Andrea said about positive reinforcement. Positive training methods are all about building a positive relationship between you and your dog. Positive reinforcement helps to build trust and confidence in a dog. I personally have seen the difference in the attitude and outlook of a dog that positive training vs. coercive training makes and it is huge.

All I'm saying, is that even though a lot of people don't approve, it worked wonderfully for us, because we didn't abuse it! We use positive reinforcement as much as we can also! I totally agree with you, that it is the best method! I used it with our first two dogs! Both came when called, did many tricks, and were very loving! We lost the first dog at 14 years, and the second at sixteen! They were both very well behaved! It didn't work with this dog, and the collar, plus positive reinforcement, did!

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