"The New Training Trend" - Page 1

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by GSDguy08 on 14 September 2018 - 21:09

I am curious, have you guys noticed a new training trend among trainers today? I'm not talking about sport or police related training, but behavioral modification. Countless people are coming out as dog trainers now, and they all have something in common. They use a prong collar for basically every dog and an e-collar; Bear in mind it's not just slapping an e-collar on and pushing the button, there are proper ways to teach it (I believe Michael Ellis has videos and has done demonstrations how to properly teach it; He's not one of the trainers I'm referring to). But every video is the same; It's having a dog put in a place command to wind them down (which is a good thing); And then videos of them with an e-collar and prong collar on; Some of these dogs in their work almost look lifeless to me, and there's an odd way that they are in a down position, where their head is just barely off the ground (If you want a picture or video of what I mean I can put it on here), and it just looks odd to say the least.

It seems effective for what they're doing, but many of these dogs seem to continually be dependent on the e-collar and prong to actually continue to do right properly. It's becoming the new "training trend." One of the trainers made the statement concerning any dog who may be "reactive" towards other dogs, that any use of treats will actually make those dogs more reactive. (I have not always seen that to be the case in training)

Are any of you guys familiar with what I'm talking about though? Some of it comes across to me as taking major short cuts in training. Thoughts on those methods?

by susie on 14 September 2018 - 21:09

Because of those "trends" e-collars and prongs are officially forbidden in Germany.
Absolutely no "new" trend - for anybody trying to get fast success without care of humanity those tools, which can and still are very useful for handlers who know what they are doing, are choice no1...

by GSDguy08 on 14 September 2018 - 21:09

I'm not certain all of these trainers are misusing the tools. Some are, sure. I didn't realize they are forbidden in Germany; Aren't they also in the UK?

And maybe not "new trend," but more so the current "popular" trend it seems.

by susie on 14 September 2018 - 22:09

I don't know about the rules of the UK, but Hundmutter will.
For me it's like using a weapon-
in case it's used for defense only it's a great tool, whereas in the hands of a potential murderer it becomes terrible.

Today people want to see fast success, willing to pay for it. So called "trainers" make use of this ..


by Prager on 14 September 2018 - 23:09

I am totally against forbidding any legitimate training like e collar or prong since that smacks with feel-good, groupthink, group punishment, and other fascistic tendencies, where government permits and forbids whatever they consider correct with disregard to reason but because it FEELS good, and whack you over your pee pee when you step out of the line and stop goosestepping. I also believe that some may like to train dogs that way and I respect that if done humanely because I am for freedom of choice. But that is all. On the other hand, while I will defend your right to use an e collar, I PERSONALLY, am dead set against using e collars but not because they are cruel - they are not if used correctly - but because I do know that even when use correctly and in a non-cruel way, they are damaging to my relationship with my dog. To me having a dog is all about my relationship with it. That is where I am coming from regardless of what I train the dog for or to do or not to do. I believe that due to their unnatural way they function, their use brings into the relationship a baggage of problems. More stuff between you and the dog during training, bigger the baggage of potential problems. That is my golden rule. These problems may not be always obvious when the dog goes from a kennel to a training sports field and back, but the baggage will come to the surface like a oil on a water when your dog is fulfilling working task and/or companion task or enters the sport field without the e-collar.
Personally, I am training minimalist which means that I tend to put the least amount of sh1t between me and the dog. I want the dog to clearly see where the impulses of positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishment are coming from and that way I build a relationship with the dog and leadership position so that the dog works for me and with me and not because of some e-device on his neck. Those + and - impulses ( mentioned above)  are coming from ME and I want the dog to know that. Many defenders of e collars disagree but I firmly believe that an e collar will remove the dog's emotions towards me farther then I care hem to be.
Use of pinch collar IMO is not as damaging as long as it is not used in the teaching phase of the training. The pinch collar is effective when used with some dogs and some owners during conditioning and practicing and working fazes. Its use depends on the skill of the handler and the pain threshold of the dog. Usually, dogs with low pain threshold do not need pinch collar.
I would also like to say that IMO and experience the pinch collar is less dangerous or damaging then chocker.


by Hundmutter on 15 September 2018 - 07:09

E collars already off limits in Wales, officially cannot be sold or used there; England 'in the process' of banning them as we speak. Not sure where Scotland and Northern Ireland are at, currently. Nothing has been done or said recently about prongs (but we were more or less not using these in the UK already, I have learned to use / had access to a prong collar but the general view has been they are 'barbaric' for a  l o n time.)

Trouble with proposed legislation for England is that it does not seem to differentiate between the old-style really strong 'shock' collars and today's stim models; nor does it take things like collars for 'hidden fences' into account; not does it differentiate between 'use' and 'misuse'.  Of course, the LAST people the government is taking any notice of are trainers who say these tools should still be available to those who can prove they could use them properly, and that a better thing they could do would be to legislate on the 'fire power' of e collars so they could not deliver a charge above a certain level.  But any legislation that isn't 'knee jerk' needs far more regulatory effort and 'policing' than governments are prepared to put in; just like the Breed Specific Legislation on dangerous dogs.


Guy I don't understand what you are saying, perhaps this 'new' style / the vids haven't imprinted on the UK scene yet (or maybe, like other things American, it will soon catch up over here !) - so yes please, show examples.

by Gertrude Besserwisser on 15 September 2018 - 14:09

Yes, e collars and also prong collars (Zackenhalsbänder) are officially prohibited in Germany at trials and as far as I know everywhere at trials. But for training, all of the big names not to mention many normal club members in Germany use them. Why, because USED PROPERLY, e collars are excellent training devices. Used improperly, they can ruin a dog. Their best use is in helping a dog to master his prey drive and to out. Positive motivation, a toy or food, is far better and more effective for normal obedience.

But it is a joke to say e collars are not used in Germany. They are in wide use and are imported from the States in huge numbers. A few years back, the winner of the Bundesiegerprufung with Gotthilf admitted that not only he, but also most of the other competitors used e collars. Unfortunately, too many people just slap an e collar on their dog and press the button without proper training from a trainer who knows how to use them properly.

And as for prong collars, they too are only forbidden at trials. But everyone uses them for training except in the case of really soft dogs. If prong collars were forbidden in Germany, Herm Sprenger would be out of business.

Over the years, I have heard several SV judges tell club members they need to get an e collar to get their dog to out. To be clear, not every dog, not even most dogs, need an e collar to out. However, there are some very high drive dogs or dogs who were not played with properly as puppies and who cannot give up their prey item, who do need it. In the old days, a long line and a prong collar via Edgar Kaltenbrunner and Bernhard Mannel were the tools of choice. Of course, the dogs knew when the long line was not there. In this respect the e collar is superior, although many dogs can become collar smart if it is used improperly.

by Rik on 15 September 2018 - 15:09

prong collars are not new. poor trainers will use poor methods and good trainers will use whatever methods correctly.

I have used an e-collar on one dog in 40 years. the dog was so high prey that she could not be controlled off leash if anything moved in her vision. cars, other dogs, kids, anything.

I also watched a very good dog get burned into the ground at club for a minor mistake (by the TD, no less) and also a very high level trainer get his arms chewed up for one too many zaps on a very strong dog.

e collars can be banned and probably they should. but the trainers who take their dogs out of sight and kick the sh## out of them for mistakes is probably worse. and anyone who thinks this doesn't happen as often as "equipment" violations is very naive.


edit to add, it cannot be stated any better than what Gertrude Besserwisser said.

by Rik on 15 September 2018 - 16:09

and just a question to ask. before E Colllars. has anyone here ever seen a string tied to a dogs toe to effect out?

I cannot imagine anything more painful. brutal methods came into effect long before prong and e collar. no amount of laws will change what some dogs endure from brutal owners/trainers seeking high points.


by Hundmutter on 15 September 2018 - 16:09

Don't know enough about the German situation to comment on Gertrude's post; but in the UK none of these aids has been permissable in use IN COMPETITION for as long as I know about (since 1940's, 50's ?). And this has led - in the UK at least - to a reluctance to rely on them much in private hands, in regular Training, and Training Clubs.

The LEGAL situation is quite separate from the Rules (of the Kennel Club and others organising Trials / Compettions). However I understand there are some countries, notably in Scandinavia, which have in fact beaten the UK to it and banned e collars some time ago. 'Banned' as in: not just used, but imported, on sale, etc - which is what will soon be the case for the UK, apparently. Again, not sure how well that's going to be actually enforced.

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