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Sara,

In Australia, Europe or the USA. Banning of e-collars or prong collars is usually political or emotional and done by people who have no first hand knowledge of their proper usage :-(
Thanks, Thomas for explaining that! I am not a dog trainer per se, but have spent a lifetime among animals, and there isn't that much difference between training a horse, a border collie, or a malinois. I can go on any dog or horse training venue and hear the same cries of never using a prong or ecollar, never needing to use anything but a snaffle bit on a horse. You don't need to use any of these aids for sure, if you never expect any higher level of performance from your animal.

Most of the banning is emotional, even the banning of slaughtering horses, which at first glance seems good to a lover of fine animals, but in reality it leads to lower prices, and ultimately to even registered horses not being worth the ever-increasing cost of feed and they have been turned loose on public land to fend for themselves and eventually starve to death. With animals, it is normally better to think rather than use emotion, actually it works a hell of a lot better with people as well!
 

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You have to wonder in many cases how it got to the point where you have to use severe equipment. I realise that for some dogs they maybe a good option, but most dogs should be able to be trained in a flat collar if you have had them since pups?

I guess the trick as you say to using the severe gear correctly is to be sensitive to the concept of force right from the outset. Then I can see that in the right hands they could be okay as Gillian has described and I think how the lady I have had conversations with about Khoeler trains.

People often use stuff like that as a last resort and yank or shock away which leads to them be called into question. In fact over here I think in some states the prong is banned. I have never seen one myself and dont know anyone who uses them.
The concept, whether a dog or a horse isn't to use them as a last resort, but to use them with a light hand to teach an animal to respect a light hand, so that they never have to jerk, or snap them to get the desired response. The first time that the dog (or horse) doesn't acknowledge your hand, it is time to get their attention with more something more severe, so they don't get the idea that they can just do whatever the heck they want. If they know what you want them to do and they don't do it, it's time for a correction in my world, not a treat! If the animal doesn't understand what is desired that is another thing entirely, and requires a different approach.

I had a good example tonight. My mali is typical for the breed, and pushes everything to the edge, I was eating, and she threw her paws on the table, still had her ecollar on, I asked once, the second time she got one light buzz. She didn't do it again, she knew the proper response, just didn't feel like obeying at the moment. She was that way with heeling, worked perfect till she went off leash, then did whatever the hell she wanted, till I put an ecollar on her, it was amazing she would heel off leash nicely in 5 minutes. She knew what was being asked, but was just testing me to see if the command was a requirement or just a recommendation.

I have never read the Koehler book by the way, but I have a pretty good idea what it is about, and also bet that a good portion of it works. Just because it is old school doesn't mean you toss it completely, some of it will work.
 

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You don't need to use any of these aids for sure, if you never expect any higher level of performance from your animal.
Well I completely disagree with that statement. We have some world class agility and obedience dogs that have never seen a prong collar. I have heard people make that statement before and it leaves me totally puzzled. When it comes to training an animal to a top level it most certainly doesnt just depend on the equipment. Where I live we dont have any of that equipment available and our top handlers and their dogs are awesome. The depth of their knowledge of training, techniques, reading and handling dogs is key I believe to their success.

Thomas - yes it is emotional but generally fuelled by to many people using this equipment the wrong way I suspect.
 

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The concept, whether a dog or a horse isn't to use them as a last resort, but to use them with a light hand to teach an animal to respect a light hand, so that they never have to jerk, or snap them to get the desired response. The first time that the dog (or horse) doesn't acknowledge your hand, it is time to get their attention with more something more severe, so they don't get the idea that they can just do whatever the heck they want. If they know what you want them to do and they don't do it, it's time for a correction in my world, not a treat! If the animal doesn't understand what is desired that is another thing entirely, and requires a different approach.

I had a good example tonight. My mali is typical for the breed, and pushes everything to the edge, I was eating, and she threw her paws on the table, still had her ecollar on, I asked once, the second time she got one light buzz. She didn't do it again, she knew the proper response, just didn't feel like obeying at the moment. She was that way with heeling, worked perfect till she went off leash, then did whatever the hell she wanted, till I put an ecollar on her, it was amazing she would heel off leash nicely in 5 minutes. She knew what was being asked, but was just testing me to see if the command was a requirement or just a recommendation.

I have never read the Koehler book by the way, but I have a pretty good idea what it is about, and also bet that a good portion of it works. Just because it is old school doesn't mean you toss it completely, some of it will work.
Yes I understand that and why that approach would work and I am not anti training that way.

However the way you describe the use of a treat is totally incorrect. You dont just give a dog a treat. You teach the dog to work for something it values and you transfer that value to the point where the work becomes enjoyable and the reward. I have a very stubborn cattle dog and she is a brilliant heeling dog. I trained her using treats and she works her butt off for me. She knows she puts on her A game when she heels or she will go unrewarded. She doesnt bother testing me because she knows the answer. I actually trained her to heel off leash in the first place, she will heel anywhere now with or without a treat.

There are a few situations I have used correction with my dogs but rarely in training for dog sport.
 

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Yes I understand that and why that approach would work and I am not anti training that way.

However the way you describe the use of a treat is totally incorrect. You dont just give a dog a treat. You teach the dog to work for something it values and you transfer that value to the point where the work becomes enjoyable and the reward. I have a very stubborn cattle dog and she is a brilliant heeling dog. I trained her using treats and she works her butt off for me. She knows she puts on her A game when she heels or she will go unrewarded. She doesnt bother testing me because she knows the answer. I actually trained her to heel off leash in the first place.
Sometimes you have an epiphany that all animals don't respond to the same methods. I believe you understand that! I am in the country and honestly, mine would rather chase rabbits than any positive thing I can give her and sometimes she honestly enjoys seeing how far she can push me. They obviously have different personalities. You can't use the same training methods for all of them, that is why some trainers, whether training horses or dogs, prefer dogs of different bloodlines. The ones they prefer respond well to their method of training. I am convinced if you train enough animals, you will never use the exact same program on any of them and I would bet a good amount that the very best ones are better at reading the animal early on and knowing what type of training they will respond to and that is the secret to their success. I have messed with border collies quite a bit and they aren't much different to train than a mali. A cattle dog may be a little softer type dog, and respond better to positives, not that familiar with them.

My dog is a biting fool, and will work for a bite, but I can only take so much of that.
 

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Well I completely disagree with that statement. We have some world class agility and obedience dogs that have never seen a prong collar. I have heard people make that statement before and it leaves me totally puzzled. When it comes to training an animal to a top level it most certainly doesnt just depend on the equipment. Where I live we dont have any of that equipment available and our top handlers and their dogs are awesome. The depth of their knowledge of training, techniques, reading and handling dogs is key I believe to their success.

Thomas - yes it is emotional but generally fuelled by to many people using this equipment the wrong way I suspect.
Realize that I know absolutely nothing about training an agility dog, and different breeds have different characteristics. I spent a good portion of my life riding high performance cutting horses, not training dogs. The concept of using more severe equipment to negate the reason to ever pull hard is absolutely the norm for me.
 

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Sometimes you have an epiphany that all animals don't respond to the same methods. I believe you understand that! I am in the country and honestly, mine would rather chase rabbits than any positive thing I can give her and sometimes she honestly enjoys seeing how far she can push me. They obviously have different personalities. You can't use the same training methods for all of them, that is why some trainers, whether training horses or dogs, prefer dogs of different bloodlines. The ones they prefer respond well to their method of training. I am convinced if you train enough animals, you will never use the exact same program on any of them and I would bet a good amount that the very best ones are better at reading the animal early on and knowing what type of training they will respond to and that is the secret to their success. I have messed with border collies quite a bit and they aren't much different to train than a mali. A cattle dog may be a little softer type dog, and respond better to positives, not that familiar with them.

My dog is a biting fool, and will work for a bite, but I can only take so much of that.
LOL Cattle dogs are hard arsed littled monkeys born to control feral station cattle. They are stubborn, wilfull, mouthy and lateral thinkers to the extreme, which is why so many are dumped. I have Border collies and kelpies as well and the cattle dog is my favourite because they like to test your boundaries and they will work their butts off for you if you do it right.

I also,live on a farm and my cattle dog would try and bring down roos, and because that is a very dangerous past time, it is the only time I have ever used a hard correction on her. My other dogs didnt need that, they came when called. But training for obedience and agility I have never needed a correction.

I have used mild correction on my Border collie with the long line when working sheep as sometimes he likes to do things his way. My kelpie has never needed a physical correction when working sheep.

So yes it depends on many factors and our job as trainers is to figure out how to bring the best out in each individual dog and there are probably several ways to do it. Same with horses of which I have had a few in my time. Although not cutting horses, mine were showjumpers.
 

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LOL Cattle dogs are hard arsed littled monkeys born to control feral station cattle. They are stubborn, wilfull, mouthy and lateral thinkers to the extreme, which is why so many are dumped. I have Border collies and kelpies as well and the cattle dog is my favourite because they like to test your boundaries and they will work their butts off for you if you do it right.

I also,live on a farm and my cattle dog would try and bring down roos, and because that is a very dangerous past time, it is the only time I have ever used a hard correction on her. My other dogs didnt need that, they came when called. But training for obedience and agility I have never needed a correction.

I have used mild correction on my Border collie with the long line when working sheep as sometimes he likes to do things his way. My kelpie has never needed a correction when working sheep.

So yes it depends on many factors and our job as trainers is to figure out how to bring the best out in each individual dog and there are probably several ways to do it. Same with horses of which I have had a few in my time. Although not cutting horses, mine were showjumpers.
Yep, the animals are a lot like handling kids, you can't handle them all the same way, lol!
 

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The concept, whether a dog or a horse isn't to use them as a last resort, but to use them with a light hand to teach an animal to respect a light hand, so that they never have to jerk, or snap them to get the desired response. The first time that the dog (or horse) doesn't acknowledge your hand, it is time to get their attention with more something more severe, so they don't get the idea that they can just do whatever the heck they want. If they know what you want them to do and they don't do it, it's time for a correction in my world, not a treat! If the animal doesn't understand what is desired that is another thing entirely, and requires a different approach.

I had a good example tonight. My mali is typical for the breed, and pushes everything to the edge, I was eating, and she threw her paws on the table, still had her ecollar on, I asked once, the second time she got one light buzz. She didn't do it again, she knew the proper response, just didn't feel like obeying at the moment. She was that way with heeling, worked perfect till she went off leash, then did whatever the hell she wanted, till I put an ecollar on her, it was amazing she would heel off leash nicely in 5 minutes. She knew what was being asked, but was just testing me to see if the command was a requirement or just a recommendation.

I have never read the Koehler book by the way, but I have a pretty good idea what it is about, and also bet that a good portion of it works. Just because it is old school doesn't mean you toss it completely, some of it will work.
Thank you very much for this post. It is exactly how we work in many clubs over here in Europe. Maybe a good description of the training method would be "nipping it in the bud", thereby saving dog and handler a lot of stress.

I also have never read Köhler but guess his methods are bona fide.
 

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Thank you very much for this post. It is exactly how we work in many clubs over here in Europe. Maybe a good description of the training method would be "nipping it in the bud", thereby saving dog and handler a lot of stress.

I also have never read Köhler but guess his methods are bona fide.
I understand the "nipping it in the bud method" of training and can see it would work well, but I would also suggest that not training that way doesnt automatically cause the handler and dog a lot of stress.

I was thinking of teaching my dogs to heel and I definitely dont train with e collars or other collars, I tend to teach heeling without a collar. However I have put in ground work with building value for toys and treats which is genrally not a problem because they are all highly motivated for toys and treats and teaching them how to work for these items is easy enough and they love it.

Once this is done I find things progress quickly and they love coming training with me. They are so eager to get things right, so I find they self nip in the bud very quickly when they dont get the deisired result I am looking for.

Doesnt mean I dont use the occasional correction if I see the need to nip things in the bud so to speak, not in obedience or agility but occassionally in herding and in daily life. My dogs seem to know when not to mess with me with very little physical correction on my part.

I have never trained in the protection venues as they dont exsist here so could be very different.

Certainly some of the top European agility trainers that I have read articles from seem to train primarily with the value sytem of toys, treats etc. and most of out top obedience competitors in this country train that way.
 

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I see both sides of this but i too shape like sara describes and find corrections few and far apart and one of my current dogs is 12mths hasnt had many if any physical corrections in training but i actually find myself correcting or give my dog a bitch slap for house manners etc more then anything else thats where im harder on them
 

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I understand the "nipping it in the bud method" of training and can see it would work well, but I would also suggest that not training that way doesnt automatically cause the handler and dog a lot of stress.

I was thinking of teaching my dogs to heel and I definitely dont train with e collars or other collars, I tend to teach heeling without a collar. However I have put in ground work with building value for toys and treats which is genrally not a problem because they are all highly motivated for toys and treats and teaching them how to work for these items is easy enough and they love it.

Once this is done I find things progress quickly and they love coming training with me. They are so eager to get things right, so I find they self nip in the bud very quickly when they dont get the deisired result I am looking for.

Doesnt mean I dont use the occasional correction if I see the need to nip things in the bud so to speak, not in obedience or agility but occassionally in herding and in daily life. My dogs seem to know when not to mess with me with very little physical correction on my part.

I have never trained in the protection venues as they dont exsist here so could be very different.

Certainly some of the top European agility trainers that I have read articles from seem to train primarily with the value sytem of toys, treats etc. and most of out top obedience competitors in this country train that way.
Most people have trouble with their dogs training with mainly positive reinforcement (food or toy) or negative punishment (witholding the reward) when the dog finds something it likes better.

IE in bitework a dog may enjoy fighting with the decoy more than biting the reward you offer. The solution to that is to start further back, keep the dog on leash to with hold the decoy from them until they learn to take the only thing they can get which is the reward with you.

If you could find something that your dogs value more than playing with you, you could compare that to a dog enjoying a decoy. For example let someone else reward your dog 15 times in a row. tug and play. then in the same area try to do obedience around that person, while they make similar gestures while hold the tug. IE trying to bait your dog to play with them. This would approximate what a dog has to do to have control in bitework.

Of course, if you were posed with this unlikely situation, you would train for it before you would do it. Using distance and a passive person first, successively approximate, etc..
 

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Most people have trouble with their dogs training with mainly positive reinforcement (food or toy) or negative punishment (witholding the reward) when the dog finds something it likes better.

IE in bitework a dog may enjoy fighting with the decoy more than biting the reward you offer. The solution to that is to start further back, keep the dog on leash to with hold the decoy from them until they learn to take the only thing they can get which is the reward with you.

If you could find something that your dogs value more than playing with you, you could compare that to a dog enjoying a decoy. For example let someone else reward your dog 15 times in a row. tug and play. then in the same area try to do obedience around that person, while they make similar gestures while hold the tug. IE trying to bait your dog to play with them. This would approximate what a dog has to do to have control in bitework.

Of course, if you were posed with this unlikely situation, you would train for it before you would do it. Using distance and a passive person first, successively approximate, etc..

From my observations of our best agility/obedience dogs and their handlers, the way they are bought up as puppies completely reinforces that their handler and the game is the best thing ever in every environment.

I think you would probably be battling to find something they like more. Their extreme focus and speed on the courses despite 4 or 5 other rings with dogs running full speed and often barking and the general chaos of an agility trial would seem to suggest this. It is actually amazing how few dogs interfere with other dogs in the adjacent rings despite the chaotic temptations.

Certainly it is how we train over here and the majority of people I trial with use it very successfully.

However I know what you mean, when I first moved to the farm one of my dogs was very partial to chasing roos - found them way more interesting than me untill I used physical correction twice for doing it. Her recall was pretty strong already and the problem was quickly overcome.

I know zip about training protection dogs so could be a whole different ball game.

Certainly I dont use toys and treats when training my dog on sheep and tend to use a quick physical correction with a long line if I need to, but I have to be really careful here that I am reading the sheep as well so I dont correct for an innapropriate reading on my part. Nagging is the worst thing you can do when training a sheep dog, it only causes problems further down the track as per Jim and Gillians posts. Here you are working with instinct and the sheep are the reward that the dog wants more than anything. I guess like the dog and the decoy. My sheepdogs have no interest in toys or food when working sheep despite it being a strong motivation for their agility.
 

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From my observations of our best agility/obedience dogs and their handlers, the way they are bought up as puppies completely reinforces that their handler and the game is the best thing ever in every environment.

I think you would probably be battling to find something they like more. Their extreme focus and speed on the courses despite 4 or 5 other rings with dogs running full speed and often barking and the general chaos of an agility trial would seem to suggest this. It is actually amazing how few dogs interfere with other dogs in the adjacent rings despite the chaotic temptations.

Certainly it is how we train over here and the majority of people I trial with use it very successfully.

However I know what you mean, when I first moved to the farm one of my dogs was very partial to chasing roos - found them way more interesting than me untill I used physical correction twice for doing it. Her recall was pretty strong already and the problem was quickly overcome.

I know zip about training protection dogs so could be a whole different ball game.

Certainly I dont use toys and treats when training my dog on sheep and tend to use a quick physical correction with a long line if I need to, but I have to be really careful here that I am reading the sheep as well so I dont correct for an innapropriate reading on my part. Nagging is the worst thing you can do when training a sheep dog, it only causes problems further down the track as per Jim and Gillians posts. Here you are working with instinct and the sheep are the reward that the dog wants more than anything. I guess like the dog and the decoy. My sheepdogs have no interest in toys or food when working sheep despite it being a strong motivation for their agility.
Competing motivations. that is what it's all about. It's a slightly different ballgame when you have your dog biting someone else and your dog likes to bite. It's hard as a handler to get the dog to want to come to you more, so .... I have had more success teaching the dog like it was mentioned in another thread, to do something to get his reward back (decoy), vs. don't bite the decoy.

The not interfering with the dogs in the other rings doesn't surprise me. they never get rewarded for it so why would they. Just another distractor you proof them off of in training.
 

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Competing motivations. that is what it's all about. It's a slightly different ballgame when you have your dog biting someone else and your dog likes to bite. It's hard as a handler to get the dog to want to come to you more, so .... I have had more success teaching the dog like it was mentioned in another thread, to do something to get his reward back (decoy), vs. don't bite the decoy.

The not interfering with the dogs in the other rings doesn't surprise me. they never get rewarded for it so why would they. Just another distractor you proof them off of in training.

So you dont use corrections in this situation, you use a reward based strategy, the decoy being the reward.

The dogs running in other rings can be very tempting to young dogs but again heavily rewarding rather than correcting can work well.

I actually have one of these types of dogs that is very motivated by other fast moving dogs. My problem is that it is difficult to proof because of where I live, the fact I train on my own, and the limited number of trials I do in a year. I found a combination of correction and reward worked in the limited opportunities that I had to try and proof him quickly. Correct him for even thinking about it and reward him for focusing on me if that makes sense. Kind of a double whammy, probably not ideal but it seemed to work.
 

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You have to wonder in many cases how it got to the point where you have to use severe equipment. I realise that for some dogs they maybe a good option, but most dogs should be able to be trained in a flat collar if you have had them since pups?

I guess the trick as you say to using the severe gear correctly is to be sensitive to the concept of force right from the outset. Then I can see that in the right hands they could be okay as Gillian has described and I think how the lady I have had conversations with about Khoeler trains.

People often use stuff like that as a last resort and yank or shock away which leads to them be called into question. In fact over here I think in some states the prong is banned. I have never seen one myself and dont know anyone who uses them.
equipment is not severe. the methods used by some with certain types of equipment is severe...

I know people that use pinch and ecollars starting on pups as young as 3-4 months of age. not as last resorts or severe methods.



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So you dont use corrections in this situation, you use a reward based strategy, the decoy being the reward.

The dogs running in other rings can be very tempting to young dogs but again heavily rewarding rather than correcting can work well.

I actually have one of these types of dogs that is very motivated by other fast moving dogs. My problem is that it is difficult to proof because of where I live, the fact I train on my own, and the limited number of trials I do in a year. I found a combination of correction and reward worked in the limited opportunities that I had to try and proof him quickly. Correct him for even thinking about it and reward him for focusing on me if that makes sense. Kind of a double whammy, probably not ideal but it seemed to work.
It's not that cut and dried. If the dog is condtioned to not let go, then yes, i'd use physical manipulation to get the dog to let go. Then there would be an immediate rebite to teach the dog what is required to get his reward back. then slowly it would be put on a variable reward schedule always backing up the reward being set up for a correction. the combination of the two will clear up a lot of things. Depending on the dog it would be a choke or pinch collar. Either a pop on a pinch, or trying to incite the gag reflex using the choke chain if the dog pain stimulates and wants to bite/fight the out more.
 

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I think there is a great difference in training obedience or agility opposed to protection without trying to minimise the effort put into the former.

I had a dog for whom the obedience work in IPO was as exciting nearly as the protection work.

I have had dogs for whom obedience work was a necessary evil and protection work was the A + O of IPO although one of these decided at 2 years old, that it might be worth putting in some effort at obedience.

The difference between obedience and protection work is that you are constantly working with a "third party" offering so much more than you can when working the dog just in obedience.

I think there has been a great change over the years in the dogs that have been bred and are being bred.

When I started IPO in the late 90's, there were dogs who won on protection points and were difficult to train to a perfect obedience. Now there are dogs who win on obedience points. I wonder if the dog being bred today in most cases is bred to succeed in obedience, i.e. with less toughness in the protection work. Although when I watch the videos of FCI and WUSV, I see some good dogs, just not all with the hardness of the dogs in the 90's in protection.

Well, we can't roll the clock back but some of the bouncing, high screaming pseudo detainers do leave me to wonder.

At the moment I'm just an onlooker. Heaven knows what I would do now with a toughie from the 90's :roll:
 

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"IE in bitework a dog may enjoy fighting with the decoy more than biting the reward you offer".

Dave, with the club I belonged to the bite WAS the reward. Even a serious hard ass dog can figure that out if it's in any way clear in the head.
From the bite then the out was rewarded with .......another bite.
Obviously these were all built up to with similar to what your saying but I've seen it work with some pretty serious dogs with both control and out issues.
 

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Bob,

I agree I train the same way but it's not only a bite it's the fight that goes with it. Ivan and Michael Ellis have been training this for years. The 1st sleeve or tug goes dead and ALL the excitement is with the new tug/sleeve. Strong dogs figure it out. A psycho dog may not, but it works better then trying to over power with prong or e-collar
 
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