I'm not sure if this topic has been made, but what do you think about shock collars? Are they cruel or effective? I was looking through a pet catalog and saw two full pages of them. They had collars that shock dogs when they bark, shock them when they go out of the yard, and shock them when you press a remote. Personally, I think this is a form of turture, especially for barking. That's what dogs do...they bark. Someone who doesn't want to hear any barking should get a cat.
Personally I would never use one, because I think they are cruel. But at the same time, I use prong collars for 2 of my Great Danes, and some people think prong collars are cruel. I guess it just depends on why people are using them. Does the dog REALLY need to be shocked to listen, or is the owner too lazy to train the dog correctly? Fin
used properly they can be very effective. i tried the citronella anti bark collar on my dog thunder. he was an excessive barker. that collar did not work for anything. he barked, then got the spray, sniffed the air around him, and continued barking. it didn't phase him 1 bit. mostly these collars are used for remote training, like for hunting dogs who are far out in a field and there needs to be communication between dog and owner.
ANYTHING can be abused. Even a flat, buckle collar can be used improperly! Shock collars are effective for some dogs- and when used by a trained individual for *specific* applications, are a perfectly safe. But the problem IS- most people don't BOTHER learning how to properly use them. Choke collars and prong collars are two of the most widely misused training tools- people MUST be shown how to properly fit them, put them on, and use them for them to be safe or effective. :(
I agree with everything Scout has said. I use shock collars on my dogs, and am in the process of training the new pup with one (she is a bird dog, will be used for hunting). The work "shock" makes people think the dog is practically electocuted. They are not. Shock collars are not cruel when used properly. Personally, I do not think they should be used on "pet" dogs unless as a last resort. The hunting dogs though may run too far for them to hear their owners call, so they must have a shock collar for long distance "communication", like Scout said. Shock collars should not hurt a dog excessively, just a quick sting, more like a warning. There are different settings too. My pup is almost on the lowest setting, she doesn't even yelp or jump when shocked. Some people use high settings, which do hurt, but the lower settings are what is mostly used. It feels more like a small bee sting or even lighter, depending on the model (what setting you use also depends on the individual dog). In fact, the collar I have now has a "vibrate" option that warns the dog if it does not obey soon, it will get shocked. This is very effective and once the dog learns what the vibrating mean, you rarely have to shock them ever again. Bark collars should be used as a last resort on any dog, and it is for EXCESSIVE, unnesasary barking, like non-stop barking for hours for no reason-THAT kind of barking. E-fences are probably the least "cruel" of all. Once the dog learns it will get shocked going over the fence, (which usualy only takes a few tries) they rarely try to cross ever again. Also remember that with ALL shock methods, most of the "shocking" occurs when the training tool is first used on the dog. It's not like they are getting shocked every day of their lives. They learn quickly what they aren't supposed to do and after that they will rarely have to get shocked again. (On bird dogs the shock is used at first as a training tool. Later in life when the dog begins field work, it is used almost entirely to let the dog know it is supposed to come back, if it is too far away to hear its owner call. When used purely for communication reasons on a working dog, the shock is usually set very low, so as not to hurt the dog at all, since it is not the dog's fault for not being able to hear the owner). ~Seij
I used a barking collar on Koda and it worked great. He learned after just a couple times. I am currently training Kenai(my pomeranian) on one too and he learned really fast. He is not scared or acts like he is in pain, it is just uncomfortable. For whoever it was that said it was cruel to use a barking collar because that is what dog do...bark. I am not going to lose my dog because my NEIGHBORS don't like my dog barking, I will do what I can to stop my dog from barking, I also don't let my kids freak out and scream in the yard or anywhere else for that matter. Kids scream. But that doesn't mean they should. My kids know better then to scream non stop and my dogs are learning not to bark excessively. They are allowed to bark IF THERE IS A REASON, however, my dogs think it is fun to just hear themselves. I have already had to give up one of my dogs due to my neighbors complaining, I WILL NOT do it again. If you know of a better way to have my dogs be quiet, I am all ears. They have been and are currently in obedience.
Seijun, I would be interested in what methodes you are using to train your bird dog and what kind of dofg it is. several things in your post made me wonder what methods you are using. do you have a pointing dog or a retriever? ice
I went out and bought a shock collar. I was having a very difficult time with my dog jumping on people and bolting out the door to the neighbors....I bought one that has 10 different levels of shocking. It also has a sound with out shocking. I have used it a few times and now all I have to do is to beep it to get her to stop jumping and she will now stop when told to come after getting out of the house when the neighbor kids come over. The highest level of shock I used was a 3. Which is very light. I don't use it for other training...just for the worst behavior. I cannot use the tugs on the collar, as she has a collasping treacha problem. It has been a life saver...in more than one way...when she gets out the door...it is straight for the road she goes. So it has saved her life. I think they can be use if done properly. Like everything else...to each his own.
hoosgow: they are pointers. Two adult German-Shorthairs and one 7 month old English pointer. We spend a day or two giving the pup a "beginners" course for stay and heel using positive reinforcement, then we put the shock collars on for the main training to come and heel (this all starts at about 6-6 1/2 months old for a pup). It is a combo negative and positive reinforcement. For not coming or not heeling, the pup gets zapped, not hard of course, but they listen. They are then rewarded with hugs, treats, etc for doing the right thing. Sit and "down" are taught on positive reinforcement only. For the pup we have right now we have the shock set pretty low because she has very low pain tolerance (the collar is set almost as low as it will go). She hasn't been on the collar very long but we mostly use the "vibrate" option now rather than shock her. Once the dog has learned all the basic commands we start training for the actual hunting. The dogs are born knowing how to point, we just have to teach them that it is not acceptable to chase the bird. For this the shock collar is again used. At a year old most of the serious training is done, and the shock collar is used almost entirely to let the dog know we want it to come back if the dog has run too far away. ~Seij
I use a schock collar one of my dogs. it is a remote training collar. I do believe this should only be done once the trainer has been properly trained on how to use it effectivly and decisivly. a lot of people wield a schock collar like a reomte for thier t.v. shocking at every infraction. my displince policy is "use the least amount necassary to gain comlpiance" the humaneness of a shock collar depends a lot upon the temperment of the dog. I would never put it on my other dogs. because they are much more senstive than my mal. gunny actually got calmer and more atttentive when i employed the collar. He does very well under a more structured and stricit regiminne of obedience. my other dogs do better under a more moderate rule. knowing your dog is the most important part of any training. also when emploting the collar i opted not to use the beep but my voice. i preceed each shock with a stern ahh. now every time he hears ahh. he knows i mean buisness. the point of the collar was to get gunny to listen to me ,,not the collar.
Seijun, I would like to suggest that you purchase "the perfect start" and the "perfect finish" from perfectionkennel.com. I think that you would like what they do and I think that it would help you out. I am very surprised that you even teach sit at all, especially when they are that young. that is something that we stay away from. just some idea's. I am currently working 8 shorthairs and one vizsla. what bloodline do your shorthairs come from?
The English pointer is from the Elhew line. I don't remember what line the shorthairs are from, it has been so long since I looked at their papers. I can go look it up if you want me to (I know, I sound like a moron because I can't remember the line my own dogs came from-I am very forgetful with names though, I forget the names of my own friends). I do not understand what the problem with the "sit" command is...? Our dogs have always been taught sit before they were a year old. The pup is smart, she learns fast and already knows it.. Somewhat, lol. "sit" always takes a while, these dogs are so high energy it is hard to catch their attention. It's not something we press on as hard as "come" and "heel", but we do work on it *gradually*. ~Seij
seij- i heard a good technique for attention traing at the schutzhund club i attend. when the pups are young. the first thing they learn is the "ready" postion. this used for high energy dogs. you take a treat and put it in your lips. I know it is not a shining moment in life. then put bring the dog to the treat not the treat to the dog. and put it in smelling distance once the pup looks at it tell them "ready". gradually you can put the pupp on the ground and do it. and evertime the dog "ready's" you tell them ready and they get a treat.
Gunny, cool trick. It's one I haven't heard of before. Heh, wonder what the neighbors will think of me out there carying dogfood around in my mouth... Oh well, they already think I'm a bit "strange". ~Seij
Here's my post from the link GinaH posted: "I have used a shock collar many times. I did a short writeup about my experience with them that I posted here before, but now I can't find the old post, so here it is again: http://www.pounderpits.com/information/Owners/Shock.htm I would also like to add that shock collars are much easier on the trachea... And sometimes for fun I chase my kids around with it and shock them (on a low level , of course!) They laugh and giggle as if I were chasing them around tickling them. On low levels, it is NOT painful or in any way damaging. " In addition to that, I know SHOCK COLLAR sounds cruel, but REALLY, I dare you to go to your local pet store and try one out on yourself. You will see right away why your use of the word "torture" is actually quite funny to me! I respectfully extend my dare to anyone who thinks shock collars are cruel LOL! Fin-- I have nothing against prong collars, either. I am using one only for the purpose of learning to walk on-leash without pulling---but shock collars are actually less likely to cause any injury than they are. Unless the owner is a mean crazy person who wants to repeatedly shock their dog on a high level... If that is the case, shock collars are probably the least of the poor dog's problem!