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Old 11-14-2005
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Default Shock collar question

I got this email earlier today:

Quote:
I have a neighbor, three years new to the neighborhood, who continues to abuse his Doberman by training her with a shock collar. She is about two years old, still a digger and chewer which irritates them. I will hear the dog yelp and cry frequently when he uses it. He leaves it on her all of the time in case he needs to zap her for behaviour he doesn't like. I have tried to talk to him about using Tender Loving Care and personnal contact, that his dog wants to please him more than anything in the world. I was in a high school agriculture program, and we used tlc to calm and train our pigs and calves, never a shocking device. I have mentioned to him that his dog does bark when they are gone, but I have never been threatening about it, just trying to let him know that the dog barks. Well, he doesn't speak to me anymore, in fact he has reported ME twice to the County for my dog barking when the mailman comes around, in retaliation for me confronting him. His dog is a small female Doberman, she is really a good dog, but now a little bit more skittish than she was. She does bark at anyone walking down the street or other dogs barking, or any other noise. Because of that, she sleeps in their house at night to prevent her from barking. I don't complain anymore about the daytime or evening barking his dog does, it really isn't such a big deal. I will go to the fence and talk to and pet his dog, but he won't do that for my dog. Some of the neighbors say stuff to me about his dog, but nothing to him. My dog is an 11 year old Lab. He can see and hear and is actually in pretty good shape for his age. He has some back problems, so I don't run him as much anymore. I have kenneled him the last couple of times we have been away for a few days. But he comes home nervous and upset for a couple of days so I don't know if that is the right thing. He will howl when we are gone overnight. I have tried behavioural changes, walking him at night, more new play toys, other routine-breaking things. My other neighbors do not complain about my dog. This has turned into a personality deal with him. Several of us wish they would move away, the way they have disrupted the neighborhood. Any ideas on older dog barking and opinion on shock collars? To me a shock collar on a Doberman is bad news.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2005
Gromlich Gromlich is offline
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Default Shock Collars

If he is using it for a long period of time and not getting anywhere then he is not using it the right way. You cant just put it on the dog and watch it do its magic. There should be rewards and praise given when the k-9 is in the right. I personally have not used one on my own dogs. My friend used one to train her dog to stay in an unfenced yard. 10 Days was the training period. For those 10 days she had to be with the dog every time he was outside to set the warrings off, praise him and let him walk the perimeter. After the 10 days, she left the collar on him but turned it off. Needless to say her dog has never been ou the the yard. Even after rabbits, birds, cats, or other dogs. As for it being a tourturing device. I have not used one my dogs for 1 reason. Before I use something like that I want to try it on myself to see what they are feeling. Granted I understand it would effect me more than them because my neck is not covered in hair. BUT I cant bring myself to do it. Its not the pain its the shock that is not normal to you and scares the crap out of you. I think with your situation it is a case of the owner wanting to buy something magical to train his dog for him. If he has a problem with digging, pour concrete around the fence perimeter, thats what I did. No more digging to try to get out by the fence. What about spay and neuter? Maybe that is why the dog is tring to get out. Is he bored and needs a playmate. I would call your local Animal Control and ask them if they could just go and talk to the owner. I know I would take the call. Maybe he just needs some education.
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Old 11-15-2005
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Sounds like some education would go a long way for this dog and its owner.
I keep in my dog training tool kit: treats, choke chains, snap chokes, prong collars, harnesses(roading, gentle walker, tracking), gentle leaders, shock collar, citronella collar, bark collars, throw chains, check cords, leashes, clickers and more.

My favorite tools are the gentle leaders and a flat buckle collar. I only use the prong collars on a dog that has already had a lot of training and just needs minor fine tuning on "heel" as in....heel means right next to my knee....not two inches in front or in back of it. I rarely use my shock collars but they do have a use. For household issues, I use it for fence jumpers. I'm willing to use them to teach a dog to come IF the dog owner flat out is unwilling to put the time and energy into training the dog to come. That's one command that takes a great deal of time and energy to teach, although its not hard, and most people just fall short. Frankly, I'd rather see the dog shocked than HBC. I use the collars more commonly for modifying behaviors that are instinctive, as in, fine tuning bird work for a bird dog, herding work for a herding breed, etc. I just don't think a shock collar is necessary for most household issues.
Gentle Leaders are great for dealing with misbehavior issues and are a great part of the package in modifying aggression. I've used them for territorial issues, pulling, jumping, chewing, and more.
One of the most important things to training is to not just correct, but to offer replacement behaviors. For instance, a dog that jumps should be rewarded strongly for sitting. Instead of just yelling no no no, off. You can tell the dog to "sit" and reward it when it sits. For a dog that barks or digs, it sounds as if its bored. I'd be freezing some yogurt in a kong and offering the dog its breakfast in a buster cube or crazy ball or kong to keep it busy for a while. Maybe they could take it to an obedience class. If the dog learns some manners it might be more content, and make less noise, get into less trouble and possibly spend more time inside.
Good luck working with this neighbor!

MB
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Old 11-15-2005
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Thanks so much for your great advice!
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Old 11-16-2005
Erin Suggett Erin Suggett is offline
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I have many friends who use electric collars to train their dogs in the sport that I compete in. There are many exercises that the dogs have to do on the field when the handler is NOT present...like refusing food from a stranger...laying down or sitting for a long period of time...guarding and object from someone trying to steal it...etc.

There is also an exercise where the dogs have to do six changes of positions at an 18 meter distance from the handler...this requires a lot of control from the handler and respect from the dog at a very long distance.

Basically..my point is this...I have never used electric on my dog because my trainer does not like electric. However, I have been able to acheive the same results in the end as my fellow competitors...the only difference is that in most cases, it might take me a bit longer to get the end result vs. my fellow competitors who might end up getting a faster result by using the electric.

If electric is going to be used, the user has to be sure they KNOW HOW TO USE IT!! The difference between a "correction" and "punishment" is TIMING!! If you don't know how to time a correction with electric, you are doing no more than punishing the dog...this will have NO EFFECT on the dog's ability to learn. The same can happen with manual corrections, too. Timing is EVERYTHING is training a dog to understand the result that you want...REWARDING is more!

In my opinion, manual corrections mean more. My reasoning for this is based on my ow experience. Electric CAN be an effective tool for training, but dogs are not stupid. they know when the collar is on, ad when it is not. I've seen electric used more as a crutch...or as a "quick fix" more than anythig else in certain training programs. I feel that if you are able to deliver your corrections and rewards to you dogs manually, then you dog will develop more repect for you and also more of a bond. Dogs are very physical creatures.

After all, mother dogs don't use electric on their pups, do they? They shake the fear of God into them to get them to understand! Mother dogs are the "original trainers" of ALL dogs...we should take a moment to earn from THEM sometime.

Erin Suggett
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Old 11-16-2005
Erin Suggett Erin Suggett is offline
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Sorry for some of the typing errors...I should have proof read my post before posting...

Is there any way to edit our posts here in case we make mistakes, etc.?

Anyway, the last part of my post (which I think is probably the most important) should have said this...

"Mother dogs are the "original trainers" of ALL dogs...we should take a moment to learn from THEM sometime."

Erin Suggett
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Old 11-16-2005
Gromlich Gromlich is offline
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Default edit

As long as its your post you can edit it. The top right hand corner of all your posts has a little edit icon for you to click on.
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