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Putting aside the whole leash discussion, the bottom line is that we are all STRONGLY discouraging you from putting a shock collar on your dog. It's just a really, really bad idea.
 

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Buddy, I've tried to be nice. You need to give your head a shake before someone sees you slapping your dog in the face or yanking him flying in public. Believe me, a lot of people would take huge issue with that and would be more than happy to show you some real positive punishment.

Roughly every other month we have someone who comes here with a dog that refuses to go outside since they have installed an electric fence. My own dog refuses to go into the backyard when he has an electric collar on (my family has used one to curb barking at the neighbours). Apparently for all of these dogs, freedom comes at too high a cost when there is a possibility of getting zapped.

In all honesty, even if you found a trainer who condones the use of an electric collar, I think you would be hard-pressed to find one that condones it for this purpose. Your intent with the device is to set the dog up for failure, and then punish them for that. That's not teaching your kid to swim: that's taking the kid that isn't paying attention in swimming class, throwing them in the deep end and just leaving them to panic because it serves them right.

I've given my thoughts; I've typed quite a bit but I suspect that your mind was made up going into this and you were merely looking for validation before you went ahead and bought one. But when you shock your dog, look into its eyes while you do it. It doesn't have to be high intensity, but something about it just strikes this look of panic into their eyes. Animals may be more sensitive to electricity than we think; it's not theorized that the static is half of what gets dogs so scared about thunderstorms.

I've said my piece, I'm out. This is just getting ridiculous.
 

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When at 3 months I was teaching him to go for walks, I made him stop at every intersection and only cross when I said lets go. When he waited by himself he got praise, or occasionally a treat, when he stepped off the curb by himself I yanked on the leash hard enough to pull him flying backwards through the air and then sternly yelled NO.
I'm no scientist but this is probably why your dog hates being on the leash.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Putting aside the whole leash discussion, the bottom line is that we are all STRONGLY discouraging you from putting a shock collar on your dog. It's just a really, really bad idea.
Yes that seems to be the overwhelming consensus but it's the reasoning behind that which is what has me wondering. I kind of expected it to focus around the collars being too painful but instead it seems like the discouragement has nothing to do with the effect of the collar rather than a rejection of negative reinforcement altogether. The pain issue is a big deal to me since obviously I don't want to be touring our baby but I don't really understand the idea that negative associations don't work since in my experience they clearly have.
 

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I'm no scientist but this is probably why your dog hates being on the leash.
Simba doesn't at all hate being on a leash, he actually walks quite well on one, he doesn't pull nor cross in front of your feat.

He loves going for walks on leash or off but it's pretty clear that between the two he prefers off leash.
 

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We're not saying he has to be on a leash 24/7, of course dogs prefer to be off leash, but they can't always be.

Reading the part about you pulling your dog back until it flies through the air made me physically wince. A firm no should suffice.

I just really hope you decide to go the easy route and not chose to use the shock collar. Your dog is just a baby, why you would want to hurt him when there is other easier options is beyond me
 
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Yes that seems to be the overwhelming consensus but it's the reasoning behind that which is what has me wondering. I kind of expected it to focus around the collars being too painful but instead it seems like the discouragement has nothing to do with the effect of the collar rather than a rejection of negative reinforcement altogether. The pain issue is a big deal to me since obviously I don't want to be touring our baby but I don't really understand the idea that negative associations don't work since in my experience they clearly have.
Philip,

This site, and its members, are dedicated to positive reinforcement training. The use of all aversives is discouraged. It doesn't really matter if the aversive is a shock collar or a hard yank on the leash, an aversive is an aversive. The reason why we discourage aversives is because of the negative effects they have on dogs in terms of fallout and suppression. Please read the link that was provided to you earlier about this.

We've had many, many members who have embraces positive reinforcement training after learning more about and seeing how it benefits their dogs. I hope that you are interested in exploring it. If you are, we'd be glad to assist you.
 

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Your dog is seven months old. He is a baby, he is not trying to be a jerk, and you are being a jerk back to him.

90% of us here have been on the "carrot and stick" side. Would you like to know what yanking, a choke chain, slapping, hitting, and yanking my dog (flying, like yours) through the air got me? A neurotic, terrified animal who now associates people and loud noises with awful things and, rather than cowering, lunges the end of his leash barking because of that anxiety.

Two years solid of behavior modification has made a serious dent and he's happier, but he is by no means "fixed" and this is entirely my fault.

With this sort of method, you will have fallout. You will have bad repercussions, and you will end up with a dog whose behavior isn't perfect. Punishment, even in the most professional traditional trainer's hands, has to be precise, perfect, and accurate. And some dogs just don't care. Your dog wants to take trash. Manage the trash. Lock it away. Keep it somewhere where he can't get to it. It's not that hard to put a latch on a cupboard and latch the cupboard when you throw something away.

The only thing you'll get from punishment is what you have now: a dog who steals when you aren't looking, because the reward of the trash is more reinforcing, and the dog will not connect a delayed punishment with trash thieving.

We've given you as much advice, personal experience, and studies as we can. You, as an owner, need to sit back, read every single link, do some research, and open up a little to the possibility that your method may be wrong.

If you keep on this path, you're likely to end up with serious aggression and resource guarding once your dog hits adulthood. For the safety of yourself, the dog, and everyone the dog will come in contact with, listen to what we are saying.
 

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I have a 7 month old dog too. The thought of sending my dog flying through the air by her neck or smacking her or yelling at her. She's so well behaved and responsive for her age and doesn't even know that positive punishment even exists.

I genuinely hope you learn about the issues with the methods you're using now. The negative consequences will surface eventually and when they do they will take a toll on your dog who doesn't deserve any of this pain and on you when you realize what could have been avoided and I think deep down your intensions are good and you do love your dog. That must make it very hard to hit him and cause him pain and now we've all told you you do not need to do that to have a well trained dog. I hope you keep an open mind :eek:
 

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I was you and your methods for many years. Luckily I was able to take in some science based information that compelled me to change the way I train. I found it became hard to justify causing my dogs pain and to fear the consequences of their actions.

If you're at all open to one more suggestion, read Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor. She started out as a marine mammal trainer.

By the way, I said previously that my dogs much prefer to run free without constraints on their movements or behavior. Every single person here has a dog that feels the same way or most of them. Your comment that you're surprised that other dogs aren't the same way is incorrect. My dogs would happily run down the edge of the highway sniffing away if I let them. My dogs would like to eat any sort of garbage they could. They'd eat rat poison and drink anti freeze just because they can. My responsibility to them is to keep them safe and I choose to accomplish that without pain or fear.
 

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When I used to go to dog parks, there was a lovely little dog who's owner decided that it was easier to 'zap' her than to train her. I watched the dog quickly become more timid and uncertain, and then one day she 'attacked' her playmate, a much smaller dog. "But I was zapping her, I don't know why she did that!" cried her owner. Now, I can't read a dog's mind, but my guess is that she got zapped and associated it with her playmate; in her pain/fear, she attacked the smaller dog and the more she was zapped, the more frantic she became. Fortunately, the smaller dog was not physically hurt, but I found it extremely sad what that guy was doing to his dog. Especially since he was so obviously proud of her, yet had no idea how to read her body language, and no idea how the shock collar was affecting her confidence and behavior.

Esand, your puppy is only a few months old, and yeah, all this "stick" stuff might seem to be effective, but he's going to become an adolescent. Adolescent dogs have a tendency to push boundaries, and all the training you thought you had done is likely to be forgotten. Now, an older dog has a better sense of self, and while the puppy you have now accepts your 'slaps', an older dog might decide he doesn't like that ... and growl at you. If you escalate the violence, so might your dog. Worst case scenario is that your dog decides that humans in general are dangerous, especially when they wave their hands around his face, and take to snapping/biting. If you add more aversives, all of them designed to control through pain/fear, and your dog becomes more aggressive - who's to blame? You. But who will pay the ultimate price? Your dog.

And, as Grabby says, leashes are important safety tools: dogs will gobble up anything, they'll suddenly dart to or away from things, and if very excited they literally will not hear their owner's recall. It can be a matter of life and death.
 

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on the whole leash thing I do agree that some sort of off leash play and exercise is very beneficial for dogs but it has to be in a safe environment.

I have lost a family dog when the dog was simply off leash in front of our house which was on a very quiet street, he ran off to a larger busier street where someone was speeding and he got hit.

Using leashes is not a substitute for training recall, its for places where being off leash is either illegal and/or unsafe.

An on leash walk can also be an opportunity for brain exercises. Teaching the dog to focus on you when surronded by exciting stimuli (build this up slowely), its a chance to socialise and desensitise dogs to be in a crowd, particularly if you live in a city.

Dogs need to be trained to behave on leash and off leash.
 

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Yes that seems to be the overwhelming consensus but it's the reasoning behind that which is what has me wondering. I kind of expected it to focus around the collars being too painful but instead it seems like the discouragement has nothing to do with the effect of the collar rather than a rejection of negative reinforcement altogether. The pain issue is a big deal to me since obviously I don't want to be touring our baby but I don't really understand the idea that negative associations don't work since in my experience they clearly have.

I didn't see anyone say that negative reinforcement does not work, in fact we've stated that it does, we've said that the risk of fallout is way to high when you can achieve the same result with positive reinforcement paired with negative punishment. When I taught my dog to wait at corners I never jerked on his leash hard enough to send him flying. I simply tightened up the leash so that he could not get into the street and get hit then we just stood there (negative punishment) until he decided to sit, once he did we started walking again (positive reinforcement). I ended up with a dog that would run up to street corners and sit down without me saying a word.

Your dog is very young, and just entering adolescence. Are you prepared for him to start blowing off what he previously did flawlessly? He's also at the age when he may decide to start fighting back against negative reinforcement and positive punishment. One day you may yell at him and he'll decide enough is enough and growl back. That's one of the delayed fallouts of that type of training. It may never happen, but with some dogs it does.

ALL 4 of the quadrants of training work, it's why people use them, but 2 of them can ruin a dog and are not user friendly. 2 of them the trainers timing has to be perfect, and even then the risk of fallout is high. So why would I want to use them since the other two are just as effective? Besides which I do not like to cause my dog discomfort and pain when I can avoid it.

I've used all 4 of the quadrants, and spent quite a few year beating my head against the wall with the positive punishment and negative reinforcement two. I can tell you that it isn't worth it, when the punishments stop working you need to find a different one to use, and it sounds like you are there since you are looking at shock collars. What are you going to go to if the shock collar doesn't work or stops working? What are you going to do if your dog suddenly blows off training and starts street dashing? I was there, it isn't fun. When I finally started only using positive reinforcement and negative punishment my relationship with my dog improved tremendously, and now with my new dog I've never had any of the old headaches that I did with my previous dogs.

I can't stop you from using a shock collar, and if you decide to not take to heart everything that those of us on DF are saying that's your choice, but you will be going into that type of training with your eyes wide open, and when fallout happens please don't blame your poor dog, but please put that collar on yourself and use it because the way he starts acting won't be his fault, it will be yours.
 

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on the whole leash thing I do agree that some sort of off leash play and exercise is very beneficial for dogs but it has to be in a safe environment.

I have lost a family dog when the dog was simply off leash in front of our house which was on a very quiet street, he ran off to a larger busier street where someone was speeding and he got hit.

Using leashes is not a substitute for training recall, its for places where being off leash is either illegal and/or unsafe.

An on leash walk can also be an opportunity for brain exercises. Teaching the dog to focus on you when surronded by exciting stimuli (build this up slowely), its a chance to socialise and desensitise dogs to be in a crowd, particularly if you live in a city.

Dogs need to be trained to behave on leash and off leash.

EllenandTuva's story still breaks my heart http://www.dogforum.com/dog-memorials/tuva-gone-my-fault-i-still-90289/
 
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Like anything else in life people malign and fear something they do not understand.
When used by someone who know what they are doing it is a very motivational tool. My dogs tails wag a mile a minute when put on. Mild stimulant (vibrate) is paired with a positive reinforcer like play, a tug toy, even high value treat. It is used to fine tune specific behaviors. Kinda like marking moment of perfect performance without a clicker. Unlike a clicker you can mark behavior from any distance or location.

The dog world is full of ignorance and generalizing. Always amused when people see how positive it can be used then it blows all their closed minded paradigms out the water. Don't form opinions by what some idiots do with them. I would hope people here are better than that. Watch/speak to people who use it to bring out the best in their dogs in a positive motivational way.
 

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Like anything else in life people malign and fear something they do not understand.
When used by someone who know what they are doing it is a very motivational tool. My dogs tails wag a mile a minute when put on. Mild stimulant (vibrate) is paired with a positive reinforcer like play, a tug toy, even high value treat. It is used to fine tune specific behaviors. Kinda like marking moment of perfect performance without a clicker. Unlike a clicker you can mark behavior from any distance or location.

The dog world is full of ignorance and generalizing. Always amused when people see how positive it can be used then it blows all their closed minded paradigms out the water. Don't form opinions by what some idiots do with them. I would hope people here are better than that. Watch/speak to people who use it to bring out the best in their dogs in a positive motivational way.
This isn't what the op is considering though...
 

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Like anything else in life people malign and fear something they do not understand.
When used by someone who know what they are doing it is a very motivational tool. My dogs tails wag a mile a minute when put on. Mild stimulant (vibrate) is paired with a positive reinforcer like play, a tug toy, even high value treat. It is used to fine tune specific behaviors. Kinda like marking moment of perfect performance without a clicker. Unlike a clicker you can mark behavior from any distance or location.

The dog world is full of ignorance and generalizing. Always amused when people see how positive it can be used then it blows all their closed minded paradigms out the water. Don't form opinions by what some idiots do with them. I would hope people here are better than that. Watch/speak to people who use it to bring out the best in their dogs in a positive motivational way.

I've seen them used like a clicker by people who are signaling deaf dogs that they've done the cue right. Most people do not use them like that, most trainers who are using them do not use them like that.

Context is everything, how would you use a shock collar on vibrate to stop a dog that's trash raiding? That's what the OP wants to use the collar for.
 

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Depending on what the behavior was you would use a appropriate level of stim to achieve the result you wanted. No digoing in trash, chasing cars, etc.

obviously vibrate has no negative association. Your command with stim them immediate positive such as praise, play, treat etc when dog makes that choice to ignore the trash. Depending on how intense the desire for the unwanted behavior is you have to make your authority that much more powerful. Unwanted behavior is unwanted behavior. Simply make it clear what it is you want from the dog.
No grey area.
 

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Depending on what the behavior was you would use a appropriate level of stim to achieve the result you wanted. No digoing in trash, chasing cars, etc.

obviously vibrate has no negative association. Your command with stim them immediate positive such as praise, play, treat etc when dog makes that choice to ignore the trash. Depending on how intense the desire for the unwanted behavior is you have to make your authority that much more powerful. Unwanted behavior is unwanted behavior. Simply make it clear what it is you want from the dog.
No grey area.
I've seen and own dogs who were so determined to achieve the unwanted behaviour that anything that would counteract it would be abuse, seriously. They learned to wait until we were out of the room to steal and in case of a Beagle there is no amount of punishment and pain that can convince him to stop sniffing the ground on a walk, a smelly sausage however can...

Dogs also dont generalise, if you 'assert your power' by 'training' them to not sniff the trash they won't associate that to not pull on the lead.

Don't get me wrong I do believe in stopping unwanted behaviour just not by asserting power.
 
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