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  #21  
Old 10-10-2011, 07:10 PM
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Greenmagick Greenmagick is offline
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I didnt say that I dont expect results...but that I wont ignore how they are getting them. I KNOW you dont need an ecollar to get wonderful results on any dog. I know you dont have to use leash pops to teach a stellar heel. The list goes on.

There are many ways to get results, again, I want to know WHY they are working.
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  #22  
Old 10-10-2011, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmagick View Post
I didnt say that I dont expect results...but that I wont ignore how they are getting them. I KNOW you dont need an ecollar to get wonderful results on any dog. I know you dont have to use leash pops to teach a stellar heel. The list goes on.

There are many ways to get results, again, I want to know WHY they are working.
But if something works with great results, can we really say it should have been done another way? Why, if it worked really well? I am all for looking for a better way to get better results, but at the end of the day there are so many different ways to train a dog (even just using PR methods) that I figure, who am I to say that someone whose methods has great results should have done it x y or z way?

I will probably be flamed for this but in the interest of discussion and sharing different POVs... I didn't need to use an e-collar on my dog but IMO it was the best option to get what I wanted. I hadn't used physical corrections at all in my training, (and I still haven't used them to train obedience or agility etc) my dog was incredibly reliable off leash when I was working her and was probably what I would call 90% reliable off leash when we were just going for a walk, that was trained purely without any physical corrections. However - she is a scent hound with an incredibly high scent drive, in fact I am yet to meet a beagle with as high a scent drive as she has. I had put up to this stage years of work into her to get her to the point in her training she was at, and she works to a relatively high standard. But I wanted that extra 10% of reliability in her recall when she was off leash.

It was only in situations where she got caught on a scent quite a distance from me and literally could not hear me calling her because she was so focused on scenting. She'd come 90% of the time but that 10% of the time where she plain didn't hear me calling her bugged me. I'd done long line training with her and when she could hear me her recall was super fast, but I didn't know how to get that last bit of reliability.

I considered all my options - what was the best way to get her attention when she was that far away from me and focused on a scent? It was a further distance than I could use my long line for. I also wanted to use the gentlest and least aversive method possible as I don't like to use physical corrections in training, as they diminish drive. So I decided to use low stim e-collar training, as the stim isn't painful, it's like a vibration (actually less than a vibration IMO - my dog finds the vibration option on the collar more aversive than the lowest perceivable level of stim), it is irritating at best. I had to first condition her to learn what the sensation of the stim meant as it was so low, had I just put the collar on her and stimmed her, she would ignore it as soon as she started scenting, because it really isn't very aversive. So I taught her what the stim meant outside of any distractions, and then gradually proofed it. This way I could get her attention when she got locked on a scent a distance from me. The e-collar gave me a way to get that last 10% of reliability in our recall while still allowing me to maintain the attitude I get from drive work.

Not for everyone but I honestly believe it was the best option for us in our situation, I don't know of anything else that would have worked as effectively to give me the results I have gotten.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:46 PM
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In some dogs, the stim of the e-collar is actually LESS stressful than not being released to tug the toy (or attack the decoy) but the mechanism of how they both work from a behavioral science point of view is significantly different.

With the e-collar, the dog is motivated to make the stim go away.
With the NRM the dog is motivated to make the rewards happen.
It seems like splitting hairs, but IME the desire to earn a reward creates a more reliable behavior long term.

Variable schedules of reinforcement and NRM do create a certain amount of frustration and yes, stress in the dog that serve to motivate the dog to try harder. This is how marine trainers got higher jumps from the dolphins and how I can get a closer front (I also got a face full of dog nose, but yeah...)
A negative reinforcer (an aversive stimulus that goes away when the desired behavior is performed) can have a cumulative effect and create a negative emotional association with the behavior. While the stress of not getting a reward doesn't accumulate the same way, and doesn't seem to have the same emotional effect.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:58 PM
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Danefied - I am yet to see any negative association with our recall command and I use the same word for our obedience recall too, I also still reward in drive when she responds to a recall and when watching her rocket into me even once a stim has been applied, she is still eager to get a reward, is still eager to work, in obedience the recall is still one of her best exercises.

IME (not with my dog as she certainly doesn't lack confidence LOL but with others I know who have used e-collar training on softer dogs) the dog learning they have the power to turn the stim off can actually increase their confidence. I've never seen a dog trained with low stim e-collar training the way I train it that in the long term develop a negative association with any behaviour trained with the e-collar, I will be sure to let you know if I see anything like that pop up in my training though.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:14 PM
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I don't doubt you haven't seen a negative association. I said it *can* have a cumulative effect. Not that it will

There are plenty of dogs who train very well with an ecollar. I'm not questioning the collar's effectiveness.
All I'm saying is that motivating a dog to earn a reward and motivating a dog to avoid an aversive stimulus is different, and it creates different associations and by default, different behaviors.

Are you familiar with highly reinforced behaviors? Behaviors that are so proofed and so rewarded that they become a conditioned stimulus, they become automatic, and a reward in themselves? I could be wrong, but I don't see how you could create the same effect with a negative reinforcer.
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