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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are several heated discussions on my Dane board about PR training vs. other types of training, (mainly about e-collars to continually reinforce behaviors).

Do any of you advocate e-collars to be worn all the time? Just curious because a member on the other board always has e-collars on her dogs whenever they're out together. She says that the collars remind them what they've been taught. She follows this training:

http://www.sitmeanssit.com/

My cousin used an e-collar to train his field dog, but then after she knew what to do the collar was no longer needed.

I'm really curious to what trainers here think. Thanks! :)
 

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All the time as in 24 hours a day? No. All the time as in every time they are training? Yes.
 

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Let me add to that, if we're talking about using the collar for training basic manners, I really don't see a need for that and what a pain to have to always put on the collar. But yes, I do feel that whatever you train using an ecollar, you're best off having them always wear it in that situation. Not doing so is how dogs become collar-wise.

I'm really surprised that your cousin trained field work with the e-collar and then stopped using it. Most field trainers will have their dogs wear their collars anytime they are ever doing field work for their entire lives, the one exception being hunt tests or field trials where they are not allowed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm really surprised that your cousin trained field work with the e-collar and then stopped using it. Most field trainers will have their dogs wear their collars anytime they are ever doing field work for their entire lives, the one exception being hunt tests or field trials where they are not allowed.
From what I remember, (it's been awhile), he got Molly, (a blk. Lab), at a year old and continued with the same training that the previous owner was using, (he had never used an e-collar with any of his other dogs). But then he just felt she was doing exactly what he wanted without ever utilizing the collar so he tried her without it. She responded in the same way so he never used it again. He was never in competition with her, just weekend outings.
 

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I personally don't get keeping the collar on all the time. If I've truly taught my dog his job, I don't feel I'd need the threat of a collar correction to keep him performing. (I don't train with an e-collar to begin with, but that's another story.) Whenever I see the SitMeansSit people doing demos in public with collars on the dogs, I always feel like it's a cop out. I'm not impressed by a dog working w/ a collar on. JMO.
 

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I don't think it's left on to be seen as a threat, it's to maintain consistency. If you choose to use corrections in training, then you want to always be able to give that correction, not give it only if the dog is wearing the collar. If a dog does something that would have given it a correction in the past, but there is no correction because there is no collar, it is likely to make the dog realize that it only needs to perform when the collar is on. It's a similar situation to a dog that gets ring-wise in obedience because they figure out they are allowed to get away with things in that situation that they can't do in other situations.

In a perfect world there would be a point where the collar would not be needed again, because the dog gets to the point that it does the right thing every time. But of course this isn't a perfect world and no training is 100%.

Like I said in my earlier post, I don't really see the purpose of using an e-collar for basic close-up obedience work; field trainers use a collar as a means to communicate with a dog 100 yards away. But that issue is not for me to judge, and if the e-collar is used in any type of training, I think it looses it's effectiveness if not always used in that situation.
 

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Compulsion training (via a collar, leash pop, hitting, yelling - whatever) is teaching the dog to obey out of fear of being corrected. So to me, leaving the collar on is as much a threat as the person who raises their hand to the dog to get it to stop barking. They don't have to actually make contact with the dog - but the threat of doing so, based on the past experience of being hit - is enough to change the dog's behavior. The presence of the collar - based on the past experience of the correction is has provided - would be the same type of threat.... IMO.

I just don't see the point. Whatever tool you use - there should come a time where you don't rely on it as much. I use food rewards in training, but as my dogs get better, the food rewards are doled out w/ less frequency. I don't want to be dependent on the presence of food go get my dog to work, and I don't want to have to keep the collar on my dog to prevent mistakes. And okay, fine - if consistent use isn't to *prevent* mistakes, but rather to correct them if they happen, then I guess I want to trust my training a bit more than that.

And at the end of the day, I fully accept that my animal is a free-thinking, sentient being who may choose to ignore one of my cues. My job is to make the chance of that happening as small as possible and I'm willing to accept the margin of error w/o worrying that I might not be able to "correct" a mistake here and there.
 

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Even the collar manufacturers don't recommend having the collars on all of the time.

If you Google Fred Hassen, you'll find that a great deal of the dog community (particularly the shutzhund community) finds him to be pretty insufferable.
 

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Even the collar manufacturers don't recommend having the collars on all of the time.

If you Google Fred Hassen, you'll find that a great deal of the dog community (particularly the shutzhund community) finds him to be pretty insufferable.

Bingo! My dogs only have the collar on when we are field training or going for a long walk in the woods off lead-then Ryder and Weezie wear it and everyone else is free. Obedience-I follow Bridget Carlsen's motivational/fun/jack potting training. Weezie's gets a combo of food or her field bumper(she's the russell) and Ryder gets mostly food and his fireplug bite toy when we are obedience training. BTW Ryder is totally obnoxious, the perverbial bull in the china shop-just the way I like him. He is always, up, up, up--but he does listen to me. If you are thinking about training with an e-collar please get professional advice from someone who has happy dogs doing the work, with the collar being only ONE of their training tools.
 

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Personally, I would never use an ecollar. I saw a Cesar Melan demonstration once where he used it to reinforce to his dog that a rattle snake was to be avoided and it worked a treat (I believe he said it was set to vibrate). This is the only time I can see a use for these things, and as we don't have poisonous snakes in abundence here I don't see the need.

As for training, surely the idea is to create a good bond with your dog so that he/she will do as you say. The only reinforcements need to be food/kind words etc.

I totally agree with everything Quiz has said on this... as she has said, they are living thinking creatures who have a mind of their own, and they should choose to want to do as you say, being forced through fear isn't a method I'd want to use.
 
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