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Australian Working Dogs Survey

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merijigs   

I included "dogs housed in purpose built above ground slat floored runs" as a positive example of suitable housing for working dogs and as an indication of the enormous variations in the care and maintenance of working dogs from awful to dodgy to excellent. As the first major study of working dogs in the world, I really hope the Australian Working Dog Survey reported on in the Landline program results in clear recommendations for minimum conditions of housing, nutrition, training and overall management for our fantastic Ozzie workmates.

How long it would take for any recommendarions or guidelines to have an impact I'm less confident of because we bushies know just how much farmers love being told what to do by goverment bureaucrats - NOT!

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Erny   
I believe you - pretty terrible isn't it. Doesn't say much for the skills of the trainers IMO
Still sounds pretty dodgy to me.

Are you referring to my post, Merijigs? If so, my response to both of your (above) posts would be "Really? How so?"

Edited by Erny

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cry123   
I included "dogs housed in purpose built above ground slat floored runs" as a positive example of suitable housing for working dogs and as an indication of the enormous variations in the care and maintenance of working dogs from awful to dodgy to excellent. As the first major study of working dogs in the world, I really hope the Australian Working Dog Survey reported on in the Landline program results in clear recommendations for minimum conditions of housing, nutrition, training and overall management for our fantastic Ozzie workmates.

How long it would take for any recommendarions or guidelines to have an impact I'm less confident of because we bushies know just how much farmers love being told what to do by goverment bureaucrats - NOT!

sorry, i thought you had it has a negitive!! (which i couldnt understand why....) :laugh:

Actually i do agree with you that these situations all happen, it is just not restricted to working dogs. I feel that your original post generalised people with working dogs and the way they where treated, hene my defensiveness.

I did take part in the survey and i also do hope that the results do do some good.

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merijigs   
I believe you - pretty terrible isn't it. Doesn't say much for the skills of the trainers IMO
Still sounds pretty dodgy to me.

Are you referring to my post, Merijigs? If so, my response to both of your (above) posts would be "Really? How so?"

My posting skills need improving but yes, I was responding to you Erny. Before you could even begin to convince me that correct use of an electric collar is "often kinder than traditional methods of and other training tools" we would have to have a long discussion about what traditional methods and tools you are referring to.

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Erny   
My posting skills need improving but yes, I was responding to you Erny. Before you could even begin to convince me that correct use of an electric collar is "often kinder than traditional methods of and other training tools" we would have to have a long discussion about what traditional methods and tools you are referring to.

No - it's ok Merijigs. I'm not here to convince you. I'm only questioning your knowledge of and experience in the use of e-collars though, given you were the one to raise the subject of them, implying negativity in the first place (but without revealing why or how) they would be so awful for obedience training.

Edited by Erny

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Erny   
Erny, I'll get the can opener!! :love:

:laugh: .... While you're at it, can you grab a cold tinny :).

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merijigs   

The Landline segment featured Nick Branson from Deakin University who said that 20% of survey respondents used electric collars to train working dogs and that when the use of the collar doesn't correct the unwanted behaviour the inclination for many trainers is to increase the level of physical discomfort for the dog rather than to figure our why the dog didn't learn. His words not mine.

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Erny   
The Landline segment featured Nick Branson from Deakin University who said that 20% of survey respondents used electric collars to train working dogs and that when the use of the collar doesn't correct the unwanted behaviour the inclination for many trainers is to increase the level of physical discomfort for the dog rather than to figure our why the dog didn't learn. His words not mine.
Imagine that in the obedience class or competition - I don't think so!
I believe you - pretty terrible isn't it. Doesn't say much for the skills of the trainers IMO
Still sounds pretty dodgy to me.

Fair enough. But I need to question whether your above seemingly judgemental comments are all born from what you saw and heard on the Landline segment?

BTW .... I disagree about the "many trainers ... increase the level of physical discomfort ... rather than ... figure out why the dog didn't learn".

Did you question the mode of operandum of the survey upon which he supposedly based his statement, and whether he was relying on those to make that statement? Or do you just believe him because he said it?

I'm not purposefully being antagonistic, Merijigs. I'm just trying to work out where you are coming from and what your somewhat pointed opinions are based on.

Edited by Erny

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Janba   
The Landline segment featured Nick Branson from Deakin University who said that 20% of survey respondents used electric collars to train working dogs and that when the use of the collar doesn't correct the unwanted behaviour the inclination for many trainers is to increase the level of physical discomfort for the dog rather than to figure our why the dog didn't learn. His words not mine.

Was he talking about 20% of the respondants with farm dogs and sheep dog trial dogs or 20% of all respondants. The survey covers all aspects of working including security, assistance. armed forces dogs, sniffer and detection dogs, hunting dogs, dogs used in sports like schutzhund and sheep dog trialling etc.

ETA the first section of the survey

Section 1. Type of Work

Please select the relevant industry from Section 1 in which your dog(s) performs their work, and then proceed to Section 2.

1.1 Private Industry

Farm

Hunting

Security/Guard

Detection

1.2 Government

State Federal

Australian Customs Service

Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS)

Correctional Services

Fire Brigade

Australian Defence Force

Police

Royal Australian Engineers

Other (please specify):

1.3 Service

Hearing Assistance

Physical Assistance

Guide/Seeing Eye

Search & Rescue

Therapy (e.g. prison, Delta Society)

1.4 Sport

Greyhound

Sled

Sheep Trial

Cattle Trial

Schutzhund Sport Dog

Page 3 of 8

Edited by Janba

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Tonymc   

Great to see the ol fella working some handy dogs!!!!

I was very dissapointed at many stements from the guy from the Uni!!!He needs to get out with somebody like the ol fella and actually learn something about dogs!!! Tony

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Good use of the e-collar IMO is often kinder than traditional methods of and other training tools dog training - for obedience and for other things. It is a matter of knowing and understanding how the e-collar can be and often is used by those who are experienced at it, before deciding on an opinion of whether it is good or bad :laugh:.

I don't think the segment was necessarily 'pointing the finger' at particular training tools but more at an 'incorrect' application of tools and methods.

One of the points they were raising was that there were some working dog owners who were applying a whole range of 'punishment' techniques for particular behaviours when the dog had not been trained to fully understand what was wanted to begin with. (although the trainer believed they had been) The segment was also highlighting the need for 'train the trainer' type activities and a better understanding of learning theory in some cases.

It was interesting to see the emphasis also being put on more foundation training rather than the 'here's your sheep and off you go' method.

I enjoyed listening to Ivan Solomon and thought he had some really good stuff to contribute. Plus I loved watching him work his dogs and seeing the relationship he obviously has with them. (Even willing to forgive his kelpie comments !)

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Kelpie-i   

I wonder what will actually come of the survey? Would it be used to actually help improve matters, or is it just another way to justify allocated Govt funding that sometimes results in no follow up or action??

Farmers don't need a finger pointed at them, some need training and guidance themselves for they may not know any better.

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I don't think the segment was necessarily 'pointing the finger' at particular training tools but more at an 'incorrect' application of tools and methods.

One of the points they were raising was that there were some working dog owners who were applying a whole range of 'punishment' techniques for particular behaviours when the dog had not been trained to fully understand what was wanted to begin with. (although the trainer believed they had been) The segment was also highlighting the need for 'train the trainer' type activities and a better understanding of learning theory in some cases.

This makes a lot of sense.

Speaking more generally, I think there is a lot of mythology out there about certain kinds of working and hunting dogs. I'd say working dogs used by farmers are some of the most highly idealised of that bunch, and it doesn't do the dogs any favours (nor the owners for that matter). merijigs is not saying anything unreasonable in raising concerns about the way some (not all) dogs are housed and fed.

FWIW, my grandpa was raised and worked on farms - too poor to actually own a farm himself. He had an incredible way with dogs, there's a lot pet people can learn from the quietly confident old school working dog man. But there are also an awful lot of arseholes out there in all the different dog owner demographics as well and rural working dog owners are not magically immune. Dogs shouldn't have to pay the price of the image we'd like to have of ourselves.

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Kelpie-i   

I agree SSM.

A few years ago when we were at the Casterton Kelpie Auctions, we met a 'gentleman' with his son who were there to buy dogs for their farm. The son, who was probably about 15 was telling us about the large pit they have at the back of their property that held the carcases (sp) of over 20 dogs that were apparently "no good".

I had to wonder (mind you I was in absolute shock) as to how many of these dogs were actually "no good" and merely fell victim the idiot father who obviously had absolutely no idea how to handle/train dogs. They purchased 2 dogs at the auctions that day, one was worth $2000 and the other (for the son), a started young male for $600. I often wonder if those dogs are still alive today. :thumbsup:

On the other hand, I've met some lovely farmers who cherish the very ground their dog's walk on...these guys understand the value of a good working dog and do the best they can to ensure the dog is properly looked after and training is upheld.

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Farmers don't need a finger pointed at them, some need training and guidance themselves for they may not know any better.

Which is exactly what the report was saying.

Unfortunately not all will want to accept training and guidance, which you can also say about any dog owner, it's certainly not limited to farmers. I don't think anyone's denying there are some awesome trainers out there working dogs on stock, both young and old.

Not really sure what will become of the data collected and how much it will be used to inform teaching, providing services, etc. Would be interesting to see a follow up down the track.

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merijigs   
The Landline segment featured Nick Branson from Deakin University who said that 20% of survey respondents used electric collars to train working dogs and that when the use of the collar doesn't correct the unwanted behaviour the inclination for many trainers is to increase the level of physical discomfort for the dog rather than to figure our why the dog didn't learn. His words not mine.
Imagine that in the obedience class or competition - I don't think so!
I believe you - pretty terrible isn't it. Doesn't say much for the skills of the trainers IMO
Still sounds pretty dodgy to me.

Fair enough. But I need to question whether your above seemingly judgemental comments are all born from what you saw and heard on the Landline segment?

BTW .... I disagree about the "many trainers ... increase the level of physical discomfort ... rather than ... figure out why the dog didn't learn".

Did you question the mode of operandum of the survey upon which he supposedly based his statement, and whether he was relying on those to make that statement? Or do you just believe him because he said it?

I'm not purposefully being antagonistic, Merijigs. I'm just trying to work out where you are coming from and what your somewhat pointed opinions are based on.

My words on the the electric training collars were a re-statement of what was said in the Landline segment, specifically by Nick Branson from Deakin University. BTW last night someone suggested to me that they thought the use of electric collars are illegal in NSW. Is this the case? I'd like to know, that's all.

Re the survey itself, I look forward to personally assessing the validity and reliability of the the research methodology of the study, searching for patterns in the resulting data and forming my own views on the conclusions and recommendations proposed.

My original post stated "I have often felt a vague concern about the enormous variation in the conditions under which working dogs are housed and maintained. I have yet to fully check out the Landline story and all of the topics addressed in the current research project but I hope that it will produce minimum guidelines for the care of working dogs"

I know there are good dog-men and women out here in the bush but I've also seen lots of instances over the years where the care and maintenance of working dogs is wildly out of date or just a bit care-less.

Going off to investigate the survey and it's results now.

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Erny   
My words on the the electric training collars were a re-statement of what was said in the Landline segment, specifically by Nick Branson from Deakin University.

Actually, Merijigs, you made comments that were your own judgement that it seems you formed merely off what you saw and heard by this Nick Branson fellow. A fairly narrow field to base such a judgement or form an opinion on, from what I can gather.

Going off to investigate the survey and it's results now.

Echoing Kelpie-i, I too wonder whether they're to do anything with the results of their survey, or whether it will end up somewhere at the back of a dark room, collecting dust.

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