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Kajirin

South Australia Legislation Change Re Electronic Collars

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I have another question for those knowledgeable about the use of e collars - do dogs generally "get used to" a certain level of the stimulation and stop responding to it, meaning you need to increase the level to get the response again?

A lady at the dog park near where I'm staying has one her dog and she said today that she's had to up the level of the shock (her term) as the dog had started ignoring the lower level she had been using.

Just bumping this question as I'd really like to know the answer.

I would suggest there are individual differences SG - the research is very sparse.

Thanks TSD, sorry I missed replying to this before. This issue is something I would want to take into consideration if I was going to use an e-collar (and hopefully good trainers do) because it seems to me that if a dog does get used to a level and needs an increasingly high level of shock/stim/whatever to get results then it propably isn't a good tool to use.

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Snook   

NOw I live in an area with lots of snakes so I think - for our snakes at least - I am reasonably qualified to share my observations.

We have a good dozen snakes that occur around my general area, three main venomous ones where I live. These are the Dugite, Western Brown and Tiger Snake.

Generally the browns are trying to actively remove themselves and will only arc up if hurt - stepped on, attacked by something - or cornered - yes even inadvertently such as in the corner of a garage. They will also play possum if you are near them and they can slid under a rock or some solid object, staying their quietly and coming out later one when things are quieter. One day I walked around the corner to be confronted by a 6 foot dugite that our pet Magpie had been trying to drive away. It was pissed and lets say I walked around the corner and it chased me, thankfully there was a corner as those things are bloody fast!

Tiger Snakes are reactive, defensive and aggressive. They do not just move out the way if disturbed. Even if you happen to come across one whilst walking they generally won't move, have a really short temper and strike first ask questions later. If you get to close they regularly will "chase" you off. I have seen many many, many, many different snakes not move when I have been out riding my horses and walking my dogs. How they can not tell 650kgs of Clydesdale is trotting near them I don't know, they either don't care or their snakedar is broken!

I have been actively rushed by snakes while riding and walking my dogs, even from metres away. I ride through farm trees on our property and scan the ground in front all the time. I have often had to suddenly had to get my horse to move quickly sideways to avoid treading on a snake. Within inches - NO THEY DON"T JUST MOVE OUT OF THE WAY!!!!!! They never have and never will. Some types of snakes will, other won't. They will stay and strike and flatten their heads and rush. Our puppy trotted to the side of the driveway to toilet one day and my husband saw a black head come up from around 3 metres away, rush the puppy and strike at him, luckily just as he moved off so it missed. He was no where near it.

These snakes are the reason I will risk training my dogs (those with the temperament I believe will handle it) with a shock collar. We have seen 4 in a day close to our sheds and houses. The work dog runs through tall grass moving stock, he is working in the sheep yards, there is a resident Tiger there. No the sheep in the yards does not drive him off he moves around 5 to 10 metres away and that's it.

They look like this http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3766/9259857353_241491853e.jpg

Stamping your feet and making noise movement is going to do very little unless the snake close by is a shy one.

That's not utterly terrifying at all. *runs away screaming*

I could never live rurally. I'm nervous enough about snakes in inner suburbia.

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OSoSwift   

Sorry I didn't mean to upset you :( but I get so bloody annoyed when I am told just stomp your feet, make noise, they will move out of the way.

Okay so the one moving along the gravel track I was walking along ( the snake was a good couple of metres away and could have easily moved out into the paddock) that kept pace with me whilst I tried to move away on a fenced track and had it's head flattened and turned towards me and made mini rushes at me was just trying too quietly move away from me, silly me thinking anything else!

I find these things are often said by those who rarely come across them or live where there are very, very few. I know they don't want to try and bite me to eat me, I am a tad too chunky, I know they don't want to try and consume my horses or dogs, but some are bad tempered!

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Snook   

You didn't upset me. I think it's important that people who have regular encounters with snakes explain the reality of it all. I just don't know how you cope with it. There are parks less than 5km from the CBD here that I will only use in winter because I think the risk of snakes is too high the rest of the year, as they're next to a river and long reeds and loads of food sources. Justice and I were going up to blinkblink's place out in the country every few weeks during winter and walking around the property bhaven't been since spring started because a lot of it is scrub like and I'm too scared of Justice getting bitten by a snake.

I've heard stories of snakes either not moving out of the way or attacking people in suburban areas too but obviously we don't actually see anywhere near as many snakes as people living rurally would.

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OSoSwift   

Yep, some days I think I might pick everything up and move to NZ!

After coming extremely close to stepping on 4 snakes in one week, one only avoiding it as it pulled it's head back and then flicked its tongue out which I am sure touched my heel - or was so close that I actually had a full on Donald duck tantrum with stamping feet - in the shed after the door slammed shut!

The kids were riding their push bikes down to our first gate, I was walking the dogs, there were a little ahead, but not much. I was walking towards them and said "boys, snake, here, now! there was a snake coming out of the trees across open gravel straight towards them, it had 50 acres or paddock to disappear into, nope it was meandering straight towards them even though they had ridden there minutes before, dropped their bikes and were happily jumping/walking around. It wasn't being aggressive or defensive just didn't care about the noise and movement it apparently does care about.

You never stop being on alert and you never stop scanning. You rarely see the trees, the sky the clouds the birds unless yous top walking and look up. Whilst you are walking around your eyes are scanning where you are going. They slow up in winter but it only takes one 20 odd degree day and they are out and active but even more grumpy.

Edited by OSoSwift

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make noise, they will move out of the way.

ALL land snakes are deaf!

That said, i never realized before now venomous snakes were so common out there.

.

Edited by Denis Carthy

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Willem   

The GSD jumped about 6 ft in the air when it was shocked!

???...6 ft...that's 1.83 m...I saw the video now several times, but never saw a dog jumping 1.8 m through the air.

Jumping 6 feet in the air is a expression. Is English not your first language?

...ups, I gave it away...learned something new.

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Willem   

....Stamping your feet and making noise movement is going to do very little unless the snake close by is a shy one.

...than it must be my body odor that the browns and red belly don't like .... :D ...wrt tigers I'm not so sure as the ones I saw were dead...

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Willem   
make noise, they will move out of the way.

ALL land snakes are deaf!

That said, i never realized before now venomous snakes were so common out there.

.

snakes are not deaf!...they just have a different hearing system and hear via their jaws!

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Kavik   

I see about 1 snake a year in my backyard.

When I worked for WIRES in the summer there were so many calls about snakes.

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I have another question for those knowledgeable about the use of e collars - do dogs generally "get used to" a certain level of the stimulation and stop responding to it, meaning you need to increase the level to get the response again?

A lady at the dog park near where I'm staying has one her dog and she said today that she's had to up the level of the shock (her term) as the dog had started ignoring the lower level she had been using.

Just bumping this question as I'd really like to know the answer.

I would suggest there are individual differences SG - the research is very sparse.

Thanks TSD, sorry I missed replying to this before. This issue is something I would want to take into consideration if I was going to use an e-collar (and hopefully good trainers do) because it seems to me that if a dog does get used to a level and needs an increasingly high level of shock/stim/whatever to get results then it propably isn't a good tool to use.

I used e-collars in the states, they can be a great tool. You want to be working on the lowest level possible. So I have tried an e-collar myself, and it isn't a shock, or horrific at all. As others who have tried it will tell you (if they are working on their lowest level) it's just like a quick tingle that gets your attention. I used Dogtra collars as that's what the company I was interning for used - so the levels from 0-120 were constantly changing. In a quiet environment the dog could be on 8, but then outside with other dogs and cats, the lowest level that would get their attention would be 70. But it all depends on the individual dog. So I don't know what brand of collar she is using, but she may need to change the level at the dog park as that is a much more stimulating environment than a walk down the street, for example.

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corvus   

OSo, your local snakes are WEIRD. I have never been rushed by a snake in all my years doing field work and actively looking for them. Bar messing with them or approaching a snake that's under attack from the local birds, they always escape if given the opportunity. They don't always leave, because sometimes they need to warm themselves and would REALLY rather not leave the sun. They are slow and vulnerable. So you go around. I was speaking to a snake catcher recently who deals with a lot of irritated snakes, and they said the same thing, which has also been echoed by several herpetologists and snake enthusiasts I have spoken to over the years that spend A LOT of time actively looking for and catching wild snakes. Sometimes they come towards you. They don't have great vision and if you are still, they may not be aware of you. Make a little noise and they go around. I would (and do) approach a startled snake for a closer look and have never considered it particularly dangerous. I've never had one mock strike at me or arc up. Sometimes they puff a little. Only time I've heard them hiss is if the local birds are attacking them or a dog is playing with them (yes, I have seen the latter, and the dog somehow did not get bitten - it was a very annoyed Tiger).

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corvus   

...area fenced with a fence that is higher than 1.5 m; inside the area is the snake (safely in a cage / box) in one corner, the dog is kept confined in a safe distance away from the snake by the invisible fence (wire in the ground) and the e-collar in the area that is left - approaching the wire / snake will trigger the e-collar.

according to the link this would be legal also in NSW and will work pretty similar - the difference is that the shock is not directly triggered by the trainer, but by the threshold for the distance. Obviously the trainer has a much better control if he/she can trigger the e-collar directly - but it is not legal in NSW, while the second best (?) approach seems to be legal.

Yeah, but for the association to be made, the snake has to be the salient stimulus. The more stimuli they are aware of when they get the shock, the weaker the association between snake and pain, and the more likely you will get other associations you don't want (e.g. fences and pain, sniffing the ground and pain, a car heard nearby and pain). What the guy in Perth is doing is probably THE most certain way to make sure the snake scent and the visual snake stimulus are the most salient at the time.

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huski   

I have another question for those knowledgeable about the use of e collars - do dogs generally "get used to" a certain level of the stimulation and stop responding to it, meaning you need to increase the level to get the response again?

A lady at the dog park near where I'm staying has one her dog and she said today that she's had to up the level of the shock (her term) as the dog had started ignoring the lower level she had been using.

Just bumping this question as I'd really like to know the answer.

I would suggest there are individual differences SG - the research is very sparse.

There are too many factors to take into account really. If he dog has a higher level of arousal their working level, that is the lowest perceivable level to the dog, may be higher. That would be the most common reason the dog would ignore the stim just like a dog too invested in distraction will ignore food rewards. the stim is typically used as a cue to the dog, in the teaching phase we would give the stim before the command so it isn't used as a correction for the wrong behavior. If someone is finding the need to amp up the collar to get the dog to comply because it's ignoring the working level that's handler error not a normal part of using the tool.

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OSoSwift   

Then they are weird.

I live with them every day. This os what they do here.

And yes I know it is the vibration. Tell a human to make noise and they stamp their feet and move around lots. I also know if there is too much coming from all directions a snake will sometimes appear to go straight at something when it is actually trying to get away but can't tell where that is.

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OSo, your local snakes are WEIRD. I have never been rushed by a snake in all my years doing field work and actively looking for them. Bar messing with them or approaching a snake that's under attack from the local birds, they always escape if given the opportunity. They don't always leave, because sometimes they need to warm themselves and would REALLY rather not leave the sun. They are slow and vulnerable. So you go around. I was speaking to a snake catcher recently who deals with a lot of irritated snakes, and they said the same thing, which has also been echoed by several herpetologists and snake enthusiasts I have spoken to over the years that spend A LOT of time actively looking for and catching wild snakes. Sometimes they come towards you. They don't have great vision and if you are still, they may not be aware of you. Make a little noise and they go around. I would (and do) approach a startled snake for a closer look and have never considered it particularly dangerous. I've never had one mock strike at me or arc up. Sometimes they puff a little. Only time I've heard them hiss is if the local birds are attacking them or a dog is playing with them (yes, I have seen the latter, and the dog somehow did not get bitten - it was a very annoyed Tiger).

You'd be the only person I know who hasn't had a snake strike at them who works in the field.

I own pythons, and they have struck at me when startled, albeit a display. Just yesterday I had one of mine outside and he was slithering off to a place I didn't want him to go, I walked over to grab him and he turned and put on an impressive display of striking with a mouth wide open. Little shit. :laugh:

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corvus   

Maybe what I think of as a mock strike is not what others consider one. Maybe what OSo considers a rush is not what others consider one. Who knows? I did have a small snake I almost trod on rear up one time, but I think it was just trying to change directions real fast. I look but don't touch! I had a rattlesnake do a lovely display for me in California before making off with a lot of noise. Doesn't seem to count, though. It was displaying before I even got close enough to locate it visually.

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OSoSwift   

When a snake has its head flattened lifted and coming straight at me with increased speed it is rushing me. I don't care for pedantics. I have been around this lot long enough to have a reasonable idea of their behavior

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