SFE- Today... *dun dun dun*

Roxy's CD

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
3,016
Likes
0
Points
36
Location
Ontario, Canada
#1
So, first off, the e-collar was on Roxy today. But no stimulation.

RD, my trainer actually suggested a method quite similar to yours. So that's how we did the SFE today. Not soo much stress on the "watch me" today, to make her more nervous, but she could glance over at my trainer.

THERE WERE *NO* LIP CURLS TODAY! NONE AT ALL!

Me, or my trainer couldn't believe it. The lip curl has now descended down to a lip lick. Which is similar to a yawn, a sign of nervousness.

My trainer stood off to the side. I said "watch me" once. If she looked away than looked back on her own, she got a "YES!", "GOOD GIRL!". And my trainer would step a little closer. Same thing, she only looked in her direction, than would look back at me, followed by verbal praise. When she was aware that my trainer was at her side, but keeping eye contact with me, she would lightly stroke, just the middle part of her back, feed her a treat, and without returning back to her side, release her with a handful of weiners. NOT ONE LIP CURL! NOT ONE! I am so amazed! I didn't even have to USE the e-collar! It appears the one session with it last week got the message through to her.

And the last SFE we did, was like one in a real trial! She licked her lips/nose when she "examined" her, but didn't look back at her or anything else. I returned back to heel position as normal and she got a few large chunks of hot dog.

My trainer appeared to be in shock! LOL. I kind of still am! In one week, we've gone from a dog that would snarl as soon as my trainer approached, to a dog that licks her nose!!! LICKS HER NOSE!! We've got a long way to go before she's super comfortable but hey, this is soo much more than I could've ever expected in A WEEK! ONE DA*N WEEK!

She has two lessons next week a group and a private, so we're going to practice as much as we can with this new technique, so she can be rewarded and praised HEAVILY.

After the reaction from a few respected members on my decision to use the collar, I didn't feel guilty, but pondered if perhaps I had made the right decision. I surely felt that it would've had to have been used much longer than this, but from her reaction today, I think I've used it for it's worth already!

It just took that one session... Three five minute sessions of the SFE...

I'm going to try and get a video of it next week to show all of you! I AM SOOO HAPPY!

Perhaps the decision to use the e-collar wasn't the best, but it's worked! And, as of today, both my trainer and I feel that she probably won't be needing it anymore. I mean, it's been months and months and she always snarled. And today, even without stimulation, she just didn't. As soon as she went into the position, she seemed to remember to keep eye contact, and unlike last week, I didn't correct her for a quick glance at my trainer. And by herself, she glanced, than looked right back at me, where she got verbal praise.

ACK DARN! I'm just so happy! Firstly that, it's unbelievable to me, and secondly that it appears I won't have to be using the collar on her anymore! That one session with it, really sent her the message!

So be looking next week for a vid of Roxy's new and SUPER improved stand for examination. And for all of you positive trainers out there, don't worry, there will be no zapping involved! WAHOOO!
 

RD

Are you dead yet?
Joined
Aug 1, 2004
Messages
15,572
Likes
0
Points
0
Age
32
Location
Ohio
#2
Way to go, both of you! :D :D What a huge step forward. I'm so glad you found something that works. I hope she continues to improve!
 

Zoom

Twin 2.0
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
40,739
Likes
3
Points
38
Age
40
Location
Denver, CO
#3
Huzzah! I truely hope this continues to improve for you!

Hey, now I know where all of Sawyer's good behavior went to..he sent it through those canine ethereal connections to Roxy! He was being such a twit for his sit/stays and greetings tonight; kept getting up!
 

IliamnasQuest

Loves off-leash training!
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
Messages
1,083
Likes
0
Points
0
#4
Yippee. You've now taught your dog not to SHOW her insecurity. That's really great.

Sorry, but I can't be thrilled for you. I am absolutely saddened that you can't realize what you're doing, and how wrong it is. You didn't need a shock today because your dog has already figured out that curling the lip is going to result in something she really doesn't like. By not curling the lip, she's learned to avoid that feeling. I have no doubt that she's not any more comfortable. She's just learned not to show it. You can't take a dog with issues like that and use a strong aversive and have the dog get "better" like you've described. You're looking at this as a cure and all it is is a band-aid.

I hope to hell you never put that dog into an obedience trial now. You have set her up to really let loose on some judge. When that happens, you will have the stigma of having caused it to happen - it will be 100% YOUR fault. You've given her more reason to dislike someone approaching her, but you've taken away the signals she gives in order to keep it from happening. You have done a terrible thing, in my opinion as a trainer.

It's sickening that a title is so important to you. When your dog loses it and snaps and maybe even connects with a judge, it will be another bad mark against rottweilers as well as a bad mark against you AND your "trainer" (who is no trainer as far as I'm concerned).

I feel bad for all the people on the forum who spent hours and hours giving you good advice. Instead of taking the time to really work through this, you went for the quick "fix" - the epitome of the lazy trainer - and you have probably ruined an otherwise good dog in the process.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

RD

Are you dead yet?
Joined
Aug 1, 2004
Messages
15,572
Likes
0
Points
0
Age
32
Location
Ohio
#5
Melanie, if I read her post correctly, she tried something different today . . . No e-collar.
 

IliamnasQuest

Loves off-leash training!
Joined
Feb 28, 2006
Messages
1,083
Likes
0
Points
0
#6
Melanie, if I read her post correctly, she tried something different today . . . No e-collar.

Her first line said Roxie wore the e-collar today. She may not have zapped her, but the threat was definitely there, as was the intent.

But regardless - even if she hadn't had the e-collar on that dog - she used it to create a false attitude. The dog isn't stupid. How many zaps DOES it take to teach a dog not to curl a lip? Obviously not that many with this particular dog. But there is NO FIX here. She's merely given the dog a reason to fear curling her lip. Now the dog is afraid to show her lack of security.

It's like sitting on a ticking time bomb. If she had worked through this, taken the time (a year, maybe, or more if NECESSARY) and taught her dog that there was nothing to fear and that the lip curl wasn't needed, then I could see maybe trying the dog in an obedience trial. But instead, she got impatient and used a harsh method just to stop the dog from SHOWING that it's not happy with the situation. It surely hasn't made the dog feel better about people approaching. Heck no - if anything, the dog is even more trepidacious. But now it just isn't showing it.

I've shown a lot of dogs over the years. Never have I put a dog into the ring that I thought would possibly hurt a person or even another dog. That's MY responsibility as a caring person. I've also been a judge - 4-H and matches at this point, but I have been asked several times to be an ASCA judge. As a judge, I expect people to have safe dogs in the ring. So it really bothers me to see someone who is so frantic to get a title on a dog that they are willing to use a method that is not good for the dog and that could very possibly be creating a huge danger for a judge.

Any good trainer knows that what you see on the surface isn't necessarily what's happening underneath. And any trainer worth a d*mn NEVER tries to put a band-aid on a potentially dangerous behavior. That's exactly what I'm seeing here, and it sickens me.

Yes, I'm blunt and yes, it may sound cruel. But she's crowing about how shocking her dog "worked" instantly to stop her dog's aggression, and that's just complete nonsense. I've been training too long to believe that for a minute. You don't change an attitude or habit that quickly, but you CAN change the appearance of it. That's all she's done, and her trainer is too ignorant to even realize it.

Melanie and the gang
 

silverpawz

No Sugar Added
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
587
Likes
0
Points
0
#7
She used the e-collar. It's done. I don't see the need to bash her for this as you cannot turn back time and undo it.

Yes, she's teaching the dog not to show this behavior. But it's also giving her more opprotunities to praise and reward for GOOD behavior. Provided the ecollar is paired with plenty of positives, at least ten rewards for every correction, then yes it can work and no it will not always produce a dog that will attack without warning. Is there a chance that could happen? Of course. But it doesn't ALWAYS happen. Some dogs do learn from the shock that aggression is not acceptable and also learn from the increase in rewards what IS acceptable. That alone can decrease stress as it's made very clear what the handler expects.

I'm not saying using the ecollar is what everyone should do with an aggressive dog. Of course not. But it's been done. The best we can do now is offer suggestions on moving forward and continueing to make progrees. Telling her she's selfish and stupid for using it is not going to help make your point.
 

elegy

overdogged
Joined
Apr 22, 2006
Messages
7,720
Likes
1
Points
0
#8
it's not the actual use of the ecollar that i've found so disturbing through the last thread. it's the lack of understanding being shown by her and by her trainer and the endless excuses being made. i don't think this dog is a ticking timebomb simply because they decided to use an ecollar on her; i think she's a danger because her handler has so many illusions. *that* is what i find truly frightening. and extremely sad. because the dog is not benefiting from any of this.
 

Doberluv

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
22,038
Likes
2
Points
38
Location
western Wa
#9
I don't want to spoil your enthusiasm. That is not my intent. I am just concerned. So, what I have to say may sound adamant, but it is because it concerns me, not because I want to attack you. So, here's my opinion since you posted.

I don't know why you are so amazed that she isn't curling her lips or snarling anymore. You've supressed that successfully by punishing her with an aversive which she associated with not only the trainer, but whatever else she was doing, ie: growling. You admitted that yourself when you said she growled and you immediately zapped her. That is punishing the growl. What counter conditioning was done? None. You tackled this without taking baby steps. You tried for the entire behavior all at once. And when she objected, she got zapped. Not amazingy, that behavior stopped, was supressed, as predicted by many of us.

So, what tells you that she is comfortable with the SFE with the trainer? The licking of the lips and yawning? Those are well known calming signals used by dogs to communicate. She got punished for growling so the growling stopped and now she's going to try something else to tell you that she's uncomfortable as he!! (IMO) and is trying to tell the person that she would like to avoid conflict but to please back off. Soon, she is going to run out of communication options if the calming signals don't work and she may well bite. She was never desensatized to this gradually, from a distance, marking baby steps. She was plunged into being forced to tolerate it. There's a huge difference.

She has not been made stable by this quick fix and in fact is very most likely unpredictable at best.... and if you take her in front of a judge whom she doesn't even know in a stressful environment.....well, I wouldn't risk that for the hightest title or ribbons. She may not bite, but I'd never be able to be confident or comfortable that she won't. I feel sorry for the unsuspecting person who may well get his/her face ripped off. And I feel sorry for your dog. It is just not necessary to win titles with this dog if it means making her that uncomfortable. What's the point? She was obviously not conditioned as a young puppy to have these things come naturally to her or to be comfortable. If someone has to put their dog and themselves through this much struggle, even if it weren't the e-collar, IMO that is ridiculous....just so the dog's owner can achieve some kind of self aggrandizement. But I'm glad you're happy with what you see as progress.
 
Last edited:

sam

New Member
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
894
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Western Canada
#10
I agree with Melanie, Elegy and Carrie 110%
Your dog didn't lipcurl *while WEARING a collar that zapped her for doing it in the previous training session* this is not at all surprising - the dog is not stupid -she has learned how to avoid getting shocked -that doesn't make it a victory or a worthy tool.
You are not further ahead, you are further behind.
Do a little research about e collars -the behaviors happen with them ON and with them OFF are often totally different- dogs are VERY aware when they are wearing something that emits shocks.
You are still not making this a pleasant experience for the dog and teaching her that SFE is fun because you are not working at a level BELOW THRESHOLD-- she is still licking and obviously saying "I'm stressed by this/ I don't like this. / I'm uncomfortable with this"
You need to be training at a level that Roxy IS comfortable and building from there- not going past where she is comfortable. If you want to truly change how she feels about SFE and make real progress. You need to break down the SFE into tiny pieces and work on those and all sorts of other things to get her comfortable with touch and with people beofre working on SFE with her in a stay and someone approaching.
The hallmark of a novice trainer/poor trainer is being too pushy and using a quick fix as Melanie explained.

Remember, the dog will be much more uncomfortable in the ring with a judge she doesn't know and with all the stress that comes with being at a trial and she will not be wearing her e-collar. Many dogs who love all people, including strangers and have no trouble with HA or touch freak out about the judge in a trial setting. My aussie ran at and muzzle punched the judge in a rally trial for following behind us with a clipboard and she LOVES everybody and has no issues what so ever. She was high-in-trial with two perfect scores in her previous trial. She was nervous and hadn't slept well and just wasn't herself. My border collie had to be excused from the ring in his first trial because he got so nervous, again it was of the judge following behind, us that he completely lost his ability to focus and work-- his next time in he scored a perfect 210. He loves EVERYBODY but got scared and behaved in a way I couldn't have predicted at a trial.
I hope you will back WAY up and do the work that it takes to REALLY deal with this problem not to mask it. Isn't your dog worth it ? Isn't your relationship with your dog worth it ? Isn't the safety of other poeple worth it?

Could you at least read some good books because it is obvious from your posts that you just really don't get it and it seems that nothing anyone says here makes any difference.There were many good ones suggested in your previous post. Your dog is worth the $20.
Please keep in mind that we are not trying to hold the two of you back from your goals. We are trying to stop you from falling for the trappings of taking dangerous, counter productive short cuts in training that masquerade as little victories to someone who doesn't understand what's going on. We all have Roxy's best interest at heart.
 

MomOf7

Evil Kitty taco eater
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
3,437
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
WA.
#12
Im not going to steal your happiness. Im glad Roxy is improving!
Congratulations!
 
W

whatszmatter

Guest
#13
I'm really impressed by all the people that have never seen the dog, never seen the dog react, never been apart of the training, have never seen the punishment, the timing, the dog's reaction, etc, can know exactly what the dog was taught, what the dog learned, and what the dog associates with what. Absolutely amazing. You guys should all have a huge pat on the back, atta boy!!
 

Doberluv

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
22,038
Likes
2
Points
38
Location
western Wa
#14
It's all been described whatszmatter. It's been described in enough detail. The dog threatens with a lip curl or snarl. Duh....does it take a rocket scientist to see that something is bothering the dog? Then the e-collar goes on and she gets zapped for her discomfort, fear or objection. Anyone who has even a rudimentary knoweledge of behavior can see that punishing fear, discomfort or objection is not creating a comfortable and acceptable situation for a dog who doesn't understand what it is the humans in the picture are after. The dog doesn't have insight about standing nicely for a judge in a show down the road, doesn't know why she has to be forced to tolerate something she was never conditioned or socialized to as a young puppy in order for it to become 2nd nature to her. All this talk about letting the dog buck up and deal with it is all anthropomorphizing....all projecting human ideals onto a dog. There are ways to make a situation like this at least have a chance. Those ways were discussed here by trainers and people who have studied canine behavior and the science of how domestic dogs operate. The advice was turned down in lieu of a quick fix, instant gratification. That is not the way to train a dog and certainly not the way to counter condition a dog with this severe of an aggression issue.

No, no one was there. But there are systematic, accepted norms to impliment when treating aggression and this is 180 degrees away from any norms or even variations on the theme... set by science, by behaviorists. This is a very risky situation. There is nothing stable about it. There is no foundation, just a few flimsy walls and a leaky roof.

Absolutely amazing. You guys should all have a huge pat on the back, atta boy!!
I don't know where you come from but if you ask any PhD in the science of animal behavior, I can guarantee that they would dismiss this method which was used as careless, dangerous and severely lacking in creating stability for the dog.
 

Doberluv

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
22,038
Likes
2
Points
38
Location
western Wa
#15
And btw...it would be nice to be able to sugar coat it and make Roxy feel good. I'd love to be able to do that because I like Roxy. But I would be insincere if I did that, untruthful. I do hope that nothing happens and that the dog can be given the time to gradually get accustomed to this...a technique that was described....to back up and go through the process the way it should have been done in the first place. I truly hope that the dog can be shown that people can be trusted to work with her and not against her as she may well be perceiving it. I still wouldn't take her in the ring even then. But at least she might come to be safer and the situations which bother her might be shown to her to be safe and not objectionable.
 
W

whatszmatter

Guest
#16
yeah, i've got it, you read some stuff by phd's so do I, except I don't exclude the half I don't like. Have you read anything by anyone other than someone associated with the APDT??

You have the scenerio in your mind how it all went down. No doubt the dog was uncomfortable, and she spent a year I think she said doing it another way, what is she supposed to spend 4 more?? You have no idea if the dog associated the correction with breaking a watch command or what. ANd your description of getting "ZAPPED" when being approached by someone else, shows how much detail you conform to fit your own mental image of what's happening. The dog wasn't zapped, it was at a level 1, . A very very very far cry from a shock. Almost all remote collars on a level one I've seen aren't even perceptible to half the people that have it tried on themselves, so don't try and throw more human emotion into this than need be.
 

RD

Are you dead yet?
Joined
Aug 1, 2004
Messages
15,572
Likes
0
Points
0
Age
32
Location
Ohio
#17
Not NO e-collar. No shocks delivered. BIG difference-- esp to the one wearing the shock collar.
Is the collar itself enough to make the dog stop? Undoubtedly dogs are smart, but a few shocks a week ago is enough to create the concrete understanding that the collar is the cause of the discomfort? I don't know why it was put on, honestly I don't care if it was on if it was not used. My dog wouldn't know the difference between an ecollar and a regular collar, even if he was shocked in the past. Maybe he's dumb. :rolleyes:

Anyway, I do agree that using the e-collar was a bad way to go, but to me, this week it actually sounds like they improved Roxy's behavior with positive training. She's still showing calming signals, but going from a lip curl to licking her nose and yawning is progress. Licking and yawning are indeed signs of stress, but not as severe as snarling. It's possible that she's fallen back on these as an alternative to snarling. It's also possible that this week's training session helped her, and she's slightly more comfortable and no longer feels the need to snarl.

I wouldn't have done this the same way, personally. It sounds like desensitizing but it isn't, because it's still heaping a lot of stress on the dog all at once instead of building up the contact gradually. This didn't reduce the stress for Roxy, now she views the SFE as a "oh crap, time to grin and bear it" exercise instead of a "oh crap, time to snarl and intimidate the trainer away" exercise. She's still defensive going into it. Had you kept the trainer at a distance with little to no physical contact with Roxy on the first session, and clearly marked the behavior Roxy needed to show in order to get the trainer to GO AWAY (you shouldn't have her feeding the dog yet, especially not while she's so uncomfortable. Why reinforce that state of mind?) I think she'd already be showing more comfort with the SFE.

If she did in fact stop snarling for fear of correction, she will undoubtedly start snarling again. She hasn't been corrected enough to eliminate the behavior that she's been reinforced for, her entire life. I'm curious to see how your next session goes, Cadence, if you don't use the ecollar.

I really do wish both of you the best of luck, with whatever method you choose.
 
Last edited:

Doberluv

Active Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
22,038
Likes
2
Points
38
Location
western Wa
#18
Whatszmatter:
yeah, i've got it, you read some stuff by phd's so do I, except I don't exclude the half I don't like. Have you read anything by anyone other than someone associated with the APDT??

You have the scenerio in your mind how it all went down. No doubt the dog was uncomfortable, and she spent a year I think she said doing it another way, what is she supposed to spend 4 more?? You have no idea if the dog associated the correction with breaking a watch command or what. ANd your description of getting "ZAPPED" when being approached by someone else, shows how much detail you conform to fit your own mental image of what's happening. The dog wasn't zapped, it was at a level 1, . A very very very far cry from a shock. Almost all remote collars on a level one I've seen aren't even perceptible to half the people that have it tried on themselves, so don't try and throw more human emotion into this than need be.

Is the level one on an e-collar a reward? Does the dog like it? What is it suppose to do if it is not a reward and not a punishment? All behavior is contingent on a consequence. A neutral consequence, neither a good thing or a bad thing will not affect the probability of a behavior repeating. So, what is this level one on the e-collar if it is not something for the dog to avoid? Are you saying that it is a reward?

No doubt the dog was uncomfortable, and she spent a year I think she said doing it another way, what is she supposed to spend 4 more??
The "other way" obviously wasn't the right way. The right way wasn't used. In fact, she explained how she did not go about it in the way that was described in a couple of posts....I think RD's an Melanies...(I forget who posted a viable method) A lot of people claim that they've used positive methods and then come to find out after they describe what they've done, it's all a** backwards with big holes in it.

Have you read anything by anyone other than someone associated with the APDT??
Yes, I have a background in the science of animal behavior which includes a little bit more than reading something by someone associated with the APDT. And I have a wee bit more than a rudimentary understanding from a nearly half century of experience with canine behavior.:D And of course, I'm driven to expand my learning as I hope everyone with dogs does.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 17, 2005
Messages
5,634
Likes
0
Points
0
Age
33
Location
Ontario, Canada
#19
RD said:
Is the collar itself enough to make the dog stop? Undoubtedly dogs are smart, but a few shocks a week ago is enough to create the concrete understanding that the collar is the cause of the discomfort? I don't know why it was put on, honestly I don't care if it was on if it was not used. My dog wouldn't know the difference between an ecollar and a regular collar, even if he was shocked in the past. Maybe he's dumb
Most deffinately a dog is able to tell! Especially when it has an experience as memorable as recieving a shock! The shock collar feels different and smells different.
 

MomOf7

Evil Kitty taco eater
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
3,437
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
WA.
#20
Do any of you mind if I ask a pro trainer who knows about e-collars come here and see what he thinks?
 

Members online

No members online now.
Top