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Latest Research On Prong & Check Collars

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corvus   

Right. Arguments based on a single dog are meaningless. Arguments based on what's "best", what "works", what is "effective", what was "necessary" are empty. There's no way to prove any of those things. It's all very subjective. At some point we have to make a decision, but definitive terms like those above are traps. Some hate method pushers? I hate claims that can't be supported. If you need reasons, find better ones than these. More defensible ones. Methods work. It's the application that fails if something fails. Taking 2 years to get a decent result is a failure of application. That may mean that it was a poor choice of method given the circumstances. It may mean a lack of trainer skill. It may mean a lack of handler consistency, or a deeper underlying problem that has not been treated. We all make decisions based on cost and benefit analysis. I think when making those decisions about another being who can't tell us how they feel, we have a responsibility to make sure we have a good defence for those decisions. One that will stand up to critical scrutiny. It's not good enough to me to say I did what I thought was best. That goes without saying. But did I adequately take into account the impact of my decision on my animal? How can I assess that objectively? What if it could have been done with a smaller impact on my animal? I will never know, but how would I feel if it were true? If I would feel crap about it, I should probably think twice before choosing something that does not represent the path of least impact on my animal. Fooling myself doesn't help anyone but me. I owe it to the animals in my care to be brutally honest.

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huski   
Their "reward" for obeying those commands is me not growling at them any more... *grin*

If that works for you great, but rewarding my dogs is something I actually enjoy doing and to be honest, I find it a bit odd when others see it as a chore or something unnecessary or as if it's some kind of burden. There are also many dogs that would fail to be motivated enough to do something purely to avoid you "growling" at them.

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Weasels   

rewarding my dogs is something I actually enjoy doing and to be honest, I find it a bit odd when others see it as a chore or something unnecessary or as if it's some kind of burden.

Agree! I don't find it any more burdensome to grab a handful of treats and a ball along with poo bags when I go out -- and I don't take treats because I have to, I take them so I can grab any training opportunity to provide mental stimulation for the dogs and so we can both have a fun training session :)

Edited by Weasels

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Weasels   
.

ETA. Working dogs aren't given treats as it distracts them from their job. So positive reward based training through treats or toys cannot be done. I however employ these techniques with my other doggies and with Maybe and Torque for general obedience :D

I've used food in herding training. I had to improve Weez's heeling near stock so we could approach the set sheep before an outrun without him pushing them out of position. We just did a few sessions walking back and forth past the sheep teaching him that we're paying attention to ME now and all fixed :) I've used a ball to teach Chess when it's not her turn to work stock to focus on something else too. I can't imagine any working kelpie being genuinely distracted by food when they're in work mode! But as pointed out, the opportunity to work is generally the reward in itself.

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m-sass   
I have never corrected my dog

withholding a treat is a correction.

m-sass

Anecdote - I saw an owner trying to catch his dog a couple of weeks ago. The dog was clearly terrified of him. I stupidly helped him catch the dog, and before I handed it over - I told him not to punish it. But he immediately shoved a choke collar over its head and yanked it around - told the dog "not to play games", and then he pushed the dog on the ground and hit it.

In my best growly voice - I said "I will NEVER help you catch that dog again". And he grovelled - smiled and waved at me and left. Next time I see that dog - I will get its id info off its collar and report him for abuse. Some people should not be allowed to own dogs. But this is classic fallout. Ie the punishment is getting the opposite of what the owner intended in a way that treats never would used in the same situation.

I accidentally trained my dog to go off big time at the lawnmower man. But so many (badly timed) treats were involved that she is always really pleased to see him and licks him to death if she gets close enough. I've stopped using treats and started using blocking with more success. Sigh. But at least I didn't use a technique that would likely cause her to blame the lawnmower man for her pain and lead to her attacking him.

So the science - it's already been proven somewhere that reward based training is more effective, faster and lasts longer than aversive based... I think it would be straight forward to split new comers in dog clubs into two streams - old school yank and crank and new school reward based, and see which group graduates more dogs faster - with the same criteria and assessors who don't know which group is which or even that there is a split in the training techniques - though it might be obvious to them if they're doing an assessment.

Another anecdote - watched a GSD club training. Watched tonnes of aversives - scoldings yanking, shaking, alpha rolls!!! being dished out, and no rewards, no pats, no praise, no fun, no treats. All the dogs looked sad. Heads were low, they were making calming signals at their owners and the instructor. The instructor stopped during class to punish his dog for failing to hold a down stay. My dog holds down stays for longer than his could, and my dog wags her tail the entire time.

Mrs Rusty Bucket, these are not "methods" you have described, just people abusing dogs which is not even close to using an aversive where required in a balanced training system??

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tdierikx   

Clarifying my earlier statements - my dogs ARE rewarded for good behaviour - just not with food. They are not "punished" for inappropriate behaviour, but they are aware of my disapproval by a growly tone (read "uh uh") when being corrected. It is actually amazing how much a dog will do just for the praise or positive attention (pat/scratch and happy tone of voice) of their human.

That said, my dogs aren't "perfect", and neither am I - but I truly value the bond that I have with each of them. They are all different and want different types of attention when they do what I've asked of them - so I accommodate that for each individual dog.

Training is MUCH more than just having a dog do things on command reliably - it is also an amazing opportunity to form a stronger bond with each individual dog.

I love the fact that I can take my dogs out in public and know that no matter what, their desire to please me is still paramount, regardless of external stimuli. (and I don't need to stuff my pockets with treats to enforce that desire)

I won't say that I've never used treats during training, but I work towards not needing to...

T.

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Kavik   

Glad it works for you tdierikx :)

I have no problem stating that I bring treats with me anytime I take my dog out :)

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Aidan3   

None of my food trained dogs have needed me to have food in order for them to work for me. I wouldn't say they were "trained" if that were the case.

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tdierikx   

Glad it works for you tdierikx :)

I have no problem stating that I bring treats with me anytime I take my dog out :)

And I have no problem with you having treats for your dogs Kavik... it's really about each of us and our own dogs and what we all prefer, right?

What works for me may not work for others, and vice versa - but that doesn't mean that the different methods aren't equally as valid in their own context.

What I don't like is "trainers" who push ONE method ONLY for ALL dogs and their owners...

T.

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m-sass   

None of my food trained dogs have needed me to have food in order for them to work for me. I wouldn't say they were "trained" if that were the case.

A lot of motivationally trained by either food or toy reward are not actually "trained" and are still at training in progress stage. Worse case I have ever seen was a Belgain Malinois trained in toy rewards, balls and tugs, great dog, super drive with excellent rountines however, the dog couldn't be walked without either a ball in his mouth or a short obedience routine for the ball or tug reward. Dog drops ball down a drain 5km from home leaving owner/handler without a reward. Dog went over drive threshhold taking it's own reward, leg of the handler's pants voilent shaking and crazy behaviour and handler lost control of the dog in anger gave the dog it's "first" hard leash correction, dog came back up the leash in protest and bit the handler on the wrist causing a nasty gash. Handler ended up taking off a shoe to use as a bite reward to get the dog back home and attend to her injured wrist :eek:

That was the "worse" case I have seen with dogs purely trained by motivation and reward only, but I know of plenty that are difficult to handle without food and toy reward as a behaviour controller and without that reward system in place their behaviour isn't good at all and far from what you would call "trained". The reward system was never weaned off to achieve a "trained dog"??

Edited by m-sass

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Aidan3   

I'm not surprised, sounds like there are plenty of dogs in training out there, whether it be with reward or correction. I laugh when a certain ecollar guru brags about how reliable his dogs are, yet he always seems to have a finger hovering over the button.

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huski   

I think it's really important to teach dogs how to behave outside of structured training times.

On another note, I don't generally understand the argument that incorrectly using positive reinforcement isn't as dangerous as incorrectly using corrections. Rewards can be SO powerful and valuable to a dog, dogs learn so much through which behaaviours they gain success from.

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espinay2   

It is important to remember that a big part of reward based training is randomising the reward once a behavior is learnt. Failing to do this means the training is incomplete. There is no need, once the dog has learnt behaviors using food rewards, to take them with you every or even most times the dog goes out. The reward may only need to be given VERY randomly as a 'jackpot' for very good performance of the behavior once the behavior is established. It is a very basic principle of operant conditioning that continuing to reward a dog each time will weaken/make erratitic the required behaviour just as never rewarding will eventually eliminate it, and random rewards will strengthen it. Just like a poker machine. Same principle. IMO that a 'treat trained' dog will need an owner to always carry treats with them is one of the biggest 'myths' perpetuated about reward based training, usually by those who don't understand the underlying principles on which the training is based.

Edited by espinay2

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huski   

There are some things I would always produce a food or toy reward for, for example training obedience I will always work the dog in drive so they will always receive a food or prey reward depending on what the dog works best for.

Outside of that there are times I expect my dogs to work for life rewards or praise once a behavior has been learnt. I don't carry food treats all the time.

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Erny   

Yeah.. there are so many holes in this it's not even funny. As Aidan said, it's scaremongering and exaggeration.

Brad from K9 Services International posted a few questions on this on their facebook page, highlighting the inaccuracies and inconsistencies throughout it. He wasn't rude or insulting. All his questions were deleted rather than answered, and when I questioned them as to why they had deleted his posts rather than just answering the questions my posts were deleted and I was banned from the page. They know it's all crap and they can't defend what they've written so they just ban anyone who might highlight how ridiculous it is.

My membership with a certain 'group' was refused because I supported the good use of the PPCollar and E-Collar and I guess because I was fairly public about it. :shrug:

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m-sass   

I'm not surprised, sounds like there are plenty of dogs in training out there, whether it be with reward or correction. I laugh when a certain ecollar guru brags about how reliable his dogs are, yet he always seems to have a finger hovering over the button.

Yes, I have seen a few of the Ecollar demos.........now the real result is to take the Ecollar off and repeat the demo........I think we can all imagine the result :rofl: I have also seen some rather good sport dogs put out a nice routine on field then to watch the handler take 10 minutes to put the same dog into the car......dog had no general obedience and off field, handler had marginal control outside of learned behavoir of a specific routine??

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corvus   

t is a very basic principle of operant conditioning that continuing to reward a dog each time will weaken/make erratitic the required behaviour just as never rewarding will eventually eliminate it, and random rewards will strengthen it.

Really? Says who? I just keep hitting that channel button on my television remote control, regardless of the fact it seems to result in the channel changing every time.

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m-sass   

Yeah.. there are so many holes in this it's not even funny. As Aidan said, it's scaremongering and exaggeration.

Brad from K9 Services International posted a few questions on this on their facebook page, highlighting the inaccuracies and inconsistencies throughout it. He wasn't rude or insulting. All his questions were deleted rather than answered, and when I questioned them as to why they had deleted his posts rather than just answering the questions my posts were deleted and I was banned from the page. They know it's all crap and they can't defend what they've written so they just ban anyone who might highlight how ridiculous it is.

My membership with a certain 'group' was refused because I supported the good use of the PPCollar and E-Collar and I guess because I was fairly public about it. :shrug:

There are plenty of dogs out there if trained with a prong or Ecollar are of the temperament type it would work like magic in a rehabilitation process where other methods won't come close, and personally, I think it's absolute stupid blindedness to be so brainwashed into supporting particular methods a and tools above all else to deprive these dogs and the owners the opportunity to use the tools and methods that will work the best for their particular circumstances :mad

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corvus   

Sorry espinay2, I was just trying to get you thinking, not pick on you. I am less worried about continuous reinforcement than I am about continuous reinforcement with the same reinforcer every time. Expectation can be a pain.

There are plenty of dogs out there if trained with a prong or Ecollar are of the temperament type it would work like magic in a rehabilitation process where other methods won't come close

There you go again! How do you know?

Edited by corvus

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m-sass   

Sorry espinay2, I was just trying to get you thinking, not pick on you. I am less worried about continuous reinforcement than I am about continuous reinforcement with the same reinforcer every time. Expectation can be a pain.

There are plenty of dogs out there if trained with a prong or Ecollar are of the temperament type it would work like magic in a rehabilitation process where other methods won't come close

There you go again! How do you know?

Because I have trained with both prongs and Ecollars with dogs that have been under motivational trainers getting nowhere with behaviour rehabilitation, in fact Corvus, I have replaced harnesses and head collars with a prong on the right dogs and transformed a behaviour 10 fold in 20 minutes after the dog been under motivational training for 6 months with little improvement. Should try a prong and Ecollar Corvus seriously, then you could give us a first hand report on the fallout or something??

Edited by m-sass

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