Talk to me about Shock collars

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Charleen, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

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    Pros & cons. Has it worked for you? Has it not worked for you? Situations where it shouldn't be used? Etc...

    We have a 1 yr old lab/weim mix. We adopted her 7 weeks ago. Her energy level is HUGE. She's constantly jumping on us and other people visiting. Not just jumping but using her mouth to greet you also. Any thoughts about using a shock collar to train her?

    Thanks.
     
  2. ericjeeper

    ericjeeper Well-Known Member

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    we have a boxer full of ---- and vinegar., I buried enough wire to enclose almost 4 acres of ground.. Used a tractor and a home made deal on the three point.I feel it is the best money ever spent. He can circle the house entirely. But not get in the gravel part of the driveway.(Our apporach slab is 25 feet deep and 50 feet wide. so he can run on all of it except the last 2-4 feet) so that gives him a circle of the house. Plus I ran the loop out into the woods near our fire pit so he can still be with us while we sit around the fire or cook outs.
    The collar also has a remote. I hardly ever have to shock him just beep him with the tone and he quickly straightens up.
     

  3. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    I've never used a shock collar but I do have a mouthy energetic Lab pup. I keep a selection of toys on hand for him to put in his mouth when visitors come and instruct them to keep their hands up until he settles down (only takes a few minutes). There have been some good threads on training a dog not to jump. Ours has outgrown that but we used to have him sit for visitors. If you can change her focus onto better behaviors, it may help. A treat jar near the door and have her sit might help.
     
  4. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    An obedience class- or a scheduled 'once a day' workout where you actively train her- will be MUCH more effective, much more quickly than a shock collar. First of all, if you just start shocking, you'll make her collar-wise, she needs to wear the collar for several days to several weeks to get used to it (so she DOESN'T associate it with the shock and therefore behave only when it's on her) wheras you can start obedience training tonight. :)

    ABOTC.com has an outline of their classes. They're very traditional and not as positive as I like (I'm lobbying to re-write them :p- as a lot of the people who train with the club are considerably more positive) but they work if applied fairly and consistantly.

    Short term solutions?

    Keep a tab (12-15" long piece of leash with a handle) on her when she's indoors or you expect visitors. You can, if you need to, attach that to a training collar (I'd recommend a pinch rather than a choke as I think they're more humane if scarier looking) and correct her every single time she jumps and praise/reward her for NOT jumping (I'd recommend food rewards at this point, since she's got a reinforcement history of getting attention- even if it's negative- for this behavior and you need something really GOOD to overcome that) and crack down on the behavior.

    Is she mouthing ONLY when she jumps? Chances are pretty good that someone in her past thought this was 'cute' and praised her for it. If that's the only time she's mouthing, you're doing pretty well- retrievers are mouthy by definition.

    "How to raise a dog you can live with" and "Mother knows best" and "The second hand dog" all might be helpful for you, as might "Dogs are from Neptune" and "the culture clash". "Family Dog" (ancient, ancient title) talks a little bit about proper use of a shock collar, but frankly, I'd recommend against one unless you've got someone with really, erally good timing who can show you how to use it CORRECTLY in person- incorrectly used, it's a fantastic way to make a normal, rambunctious dog a fearful, neurotic one.

    Cait
     
  5. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Training will solve your problems, and really, quicker than you think!

    Shock collar has its place, and is effective there but it is *SO* easy to screw up the dog!

    Mon...pS..at a year old, she's still a pup.
     
  6. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    I am not at all against shock collars (I own 2 plus have an invisible fence). But until pup TOTALLY understands what you are commanding, shock collars have no place in training. Once a behavior is understood, a shock collar (on the lowest possible setting for that dog) is used to reinforce the behavior. Maybe to get a quicker sit or remind that dog that come means come even if there's something interesting around.

    And if you start shocking pup everytime new people are around, pretty sure he is going to start thinking the new people are what causes the shock (not the jumping up/mouthing part) and may be come very shy or possibly even aggressive when people come to the house.

    Please proceed with caution.
     
  7. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Ive had good luck with them on a couple of dogs. I agree training is a better method but some situations dont allow that. The first dog I used one on was a Maremma who thought lambs were chew toys. She wouldnt do it if I was there, so there was no real way to correct her. Also it would often happen when she was 1/4 mile away in the pasture. I got a collar strong enough to reach that far and that was adjustable. When I saw her put her mouth on one, Id push the button and turn up the power until I saw a reaction. That way it was enough to get her attenton but not be painful. Then Id "shock" her every time she put her mouth on one. It only took a few times before she learned mouthing a sheep was NOT a good idea LOL

    I did the same thing with my Coonhound when he started chasing the chickens and he seemed to learn with just one session.

    I guess what Im saying is shock collars have a place in many situations where you cant always be right there to correct them. Im sure some misuse them and THAT is totally wrong. If the dog "yelps" TURN IT DOWN!!!
     
  8. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

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    Obviously, I need to give more background about this dog. Forgive me for not doing so earlier.

    Ola is approx 1 yr old, we've had her for 7 weeks, adopted from a shelter (which will NOT take her back, but that's another story).
    She's in obedience class and does well there. She's very food-oriented which helps. She's quite focused on me in class, good eye contact and almost anticipates commands. But as soon as we leave class and get back into the environment that she's familiar with, she loses all focus and just wants to run.

    And I mean run and not look back. In the 7 weeks that we've had her, Ola has slipped her collar and/or harness 3 times and taken off. Straight into the road every time. She's praised when we get her back, not reprimanded. Ola's a houdini. When walking on the leash, I literally cannot hold onto her. She pulls and lunges against the leash, does not walk well at all. But she walks very nicely in class. We practice walking inside the house, the length of the barn, out into the yard for potty stops. We fenced in a 30x30 area to practice and she's just too distracted to concentrate out there.

    Indoors, she's housebroken (which I greatly appreciate) and will bring you her leash when it's time to go outside. Ola loves squeaky toys and will retrieve them for you endlessly. This helps a lot to expel all that energy. But she's constantly jumping on us and everyone that comes to the door. Our obedience trainer has helped us with this, but she has not learned 1 thing about not jumping. She's very mouthy when she's playing, not vicious but we've got puncture wounds, scratches from her nails, I've had a bloody nose.

    She really has some great hunting insticts (pointing our poultry) but we really don't need that here on a farm. Obviously, this mix of breeds was incorrect for us. We know that now, but we'd like to work with her to make our life together happier than it is now.

    I was hoping that perhaps a shock collar would assist us in training her in the more troublesome areas. Thank you all for sharing your experiences.
     
  9. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When you and Ola go to the training class, she is in somebody else's territory. Second, since dogs do not generalize, everything she learns at class must be relearned at home (and in the yard, and in the pasture, etc.)

    There are a number of things you could be doing to make the situation worse. For instance, allowed the dog on the bed or on the furniture. Petting her when she wants you to, free feeding.

    You need to train Ola before it is needed. Train her to go to the door and sit in a spot that is behind you and gives room to open the door and let someone in. Go to the door, point to her spot, praise and treat. End. Repeat every few minutes. Repeat twenty times after you think she understands, extending the time she sit/stays on that spot. Next step is to open the door, then close it, with her maintaining her sit. If she moves, reprimand with a verbal "Ahh!". when she sits again, praise. Close door. Release dog. Do it twenty times before adding a family member, who you say hello to, then close the door. When the person enters the house, the dog maintains the sit. The people should stay calm and ignore Ola. Remind her to sit while the "visitor" enters the house and finds a piece of furniture to sit down on. Praise and treat. You get the picture. This may take longer than you'd like, but she will be much more solid with her door manners. Once she has the discipline to sit nicely at the door, she will become more focused for other training.

    As for outdoor work, you could use an old fashioned method. With dog on harness (if you really can't control you big hound, get a harness with a ring in the front- marvelous leveradge). Use a long lead, like twenty feet. Say nothing to the dog, just start walking in the field (park, pasture). After 50 feet, change directions. After another 50 feet, change directions. You can go in a square, a triangle, a pentagon, whatever works for you. You never call to the dog, and when you feel that pull on the leash, just drag her after you (this is where the special harness with the leash ring on the front comes in handy). Take this type of walk every day if possible, or at least a few times a week. You dog gets more exercise than she would if she was on a normal walk, and she learns to pay attention to you and respect you as the leader of the hunt. She eventually will learn to stay within the length of the lead. Use the twenty mark, and after twenty sessions of her keeping an eye on you and not dragging you about, try using her buckle collar instead of the harness. You can also work her on sit, come, heel, etcetera once she is reliably respecting you.