e-collar conditioning and training

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e-collar conditioning and training

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:38 am

I took this from the sticky on acronyms for Betty so it will get some traction.

aunt betty wrote:Collar Conditioning - A process by which the dawg is taught how to turn off the collar stimulation.

Why would you teach a retriever how to turn off the collar?

I think I misunderstood something here. Explain in more detail.

I'm an amateur trainer and have figured out a lot of that stuff on my own such as "de-bolting" and Baseball but I thought collar conditioning was teaching the dog that YOU are the one shocking him. I felt terrible the first time I shocked my dog and how confused he was.

For "collar conditioning: I put my shock-collar on setting 3 which barely stimulates and spent some of time (a little every day) showing him "me pushing the button". He figured out "I" was doing it, not the bumpers or grass but ME. After that the training went much, much smoother with less need for stimulations. The minute he figured out I could reach out and touch his little butt, things got a whole lot easier. This description is my "guess" at what it means. Corrections requested. Train me.
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:12 am

HNTFSH wrote:I took this from the sticky on acronyms for Betty so it will get some traction.

aunt betty wrote:Collar Conditioning - A process by which the dawg is taught how to turn off the collar stimulation.

Why would you teach a retriever how to turn off the collar?

I think I misunderstood something here. Explain in more detail.

I'm an amateur trainer and have figured out a lot of that stuff on my own such as "de-bolting" He figured out "I" was doing it, not the bumpers or grass but ME. After that the training went much, much smoother with less need for stimulations.


Guess it depends on how you'd slice it, but ideally FF' would train the dog "how to turn off the collar", or pressure if done first..
But folks do CC' first, and are successful..depending on the pup/or dog.
Why would you want to teach a retriever how to turn the collar off?...
You'd teach it how in order for the dog to be successful, and obey given commands, particularly from any distance..You want to teach him how in order to push, pull and stop the dog..I view a collar same as a HEELING stick..it's just an extension of your arm to me..

It's good that you've got the connection with the dog between anything else that could be causing the collar pressure, particularly bumpers..Know when I CC'd mine it was just me..the dog..and the bumpers were in the bag in the shed :yes:
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby copterdoc » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:44 am

You first need to understand what "conditioning" means, as it applies to dog training.

Conditioning, is teaching the dog to associate a trained action, with a command, and perform that action in response to outside stimulation.

The stimulation can be neutral, pleasant (rewarding), or it can be aversive (unpleasant). The dog's reaction to it, can be "natural" (classical conditioning), or shaped (operant conditioning).

An invisible fence, is an example of classical conditioning. The dog will naturally learn to avoid the flagged perimeter of the yard, because it gets shocked when it approaches.

Force Fetch, is an example of operant conditioning. The dog learns a specific response to ear, toe, or e-collar pressure, and reaches for the bumper, in order to stop the pressure.

Operant conditioning, is used to shape far more complex behaviors, than classical conditioning possibly could. However, a behavioral response to aversive stimulous is not complete, until a classically conditioned association is established.

When the dog doesn't understand pressure, it will find other things to blame it on. It is just "stupid pressure", and you can't use it very many times, without creating "ghosts" and "boogymen" in the dog's head.
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby copterdoc » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:24 am

So, the most significant difference between classical and operant conditioning, is that operant conditioning is behavior modification, using punishment and reward to perform a specific action, while a classical response, is about establishing an association.

You can use an e-collar, for classical conditioning. But, only for one command and it can't be used in very many situations.
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby copterdoc » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:47 am

I think most new trainers believe that a dog should move "faster" in response to continuous e-collar stim, because the dog is seeking to "turn it off".

That is seldom what happens though. Especially when the dog is in the middle of, or has recently completed collar conditioning.

It is far easier for the dog to learn the meaning of collar pressure, if it is first taught that it "beats" it, by "winning a race" and quickly complying with the command before receiving a "nick". That is still an operant response. It's just one that the dog can more easily understand, and yields a response that the trainer can easily read.

From there, the transition to continuous stim, is more likely to be successful, but probably unnecessary.
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby copterdoc » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:48 am

There is either some non-conventional word usage here, or a misunderstanding of how the e-collar is used at the line.
swampbilly 1980 wrote:.....You want to teach him how in order to push, pull and stop the dog....

The terms push and pull, are conventionally used to describe lining the dog, either for a blind, or before sending on a memory bird of a multiple. They are rotary movements, not linear. If the dog is at heel on the left, you would pull the dog to the right, and push to the left. This is not done with the e-collar, by anybody that I know.

I also need to respond to this.
swampbilly 1980 wrote:....I view a collar same as a HEELING stick..it's just an extension of your arm to me....

While the heeling stick is used as an aversive, as is the e-collar, they are vastly different in application.

There is also a major difference in the dog's ability to fully understand a collar correction, vs a stick correction. The stick is much more "tangible" to the dog.
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:16 am

I think Swamp was referring to an earlier thread about whether a dog feels pushed to an object or an object pulls the dog - relative to pressure. Could be wrong though. :yes:
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby aunt betty » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:27 am

I guess being an amateur dog-trainer is just plain dumb. I'll just let this one hunt his days out and quit using dogs. I'm really good at getting a dog to do what I want... but get lost in all the abbreviations and don't really care to hunt with a master grand champion anyway. The dog would be smarter than me.

I'll try really hard to stay off the dog forum. Sorry

Hunting ducks is an expensive hobby and I think that due to the economy I'm going to have to quit. I always thought I'd hunt until I can't shoot anymore and then use a camera. The public spots I use are destroyed by flooding. I'll have to either pay or not hunt. I'm angry about this. Forgive me please.
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:09 pm

aunt betty wrote:I guess being an amateur dog-trainer is just plain dumb. I'll just let this one hunt his days out and quit using dogs. I'm really good at getting a dog to do what I want... but get lost in all the abbreviations and don't really care to hunt with a master grand champion anyway. The dog would be smarter than me.

I'll try really hard to stay off the dog forum. Sorry

Hunting ducks is an expensive hobby and I think that due to the economy I'm going to have to quit. I always thought I'd hunt until I can't shoot anymore and then use a camera. The public spots I use are destroyed by flooding. I'll have to either pay or not hunt. I'm angry about this. Forgive me please.


aunt betty...sorry you're angry. Hard to put down a duck gun.

I will say though that dog training is more knowledge than expense. And it's fun. Go to so far as to say that many retriever club guys enjoy the training enough that it has replaced beating themselves up in the public marshes on the weekends. Age and expense plays a factor for many.

I wouldn't worry too much about training up a master grand champion. Just taking a dog to a new level of fetching birds is pretty fun.
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:51 pm

a great thread
I have owned a dawg...(see Im learning) that was nearly ruined as a pup by an Ecollar and a ....I hesitate to use the term handler who was heavy handed.
we got Rogue at about a year old, a big boof headed black n tan huntaway, when we got him he would head for his kennel and hunt for his food, was timid and lookout if he hit an electric fence, he would bolt and I mean shear terror flat out back to home.
with a lot of patience my Dad brought him around and turned him into a good solid stock dog.lazy and slow but honest. I got rogue when he was about 10 I guess and could get him to work a mob of sheep a huge distance away as long as I kept giving him commands every minute or so he would keep at it till I got sick of yelling or whistling or the stock got in.
I saw him hit an electric fence out mustering at about 12 yrs old and he bolted.I managed to stop him amd calm him down
another time on a hot day Dad had our drink bottle a canteen over 1 ridge from where Iwas and tied it to Rogues collar to send it over to me. rogue took 2 steps felt the weight and went beserk. tearing off through the scrub till he tore it off.
there is a BAD case of its use
another dog wore one out mustering as she had selective hearing while away from her Boss
well we were in the yards and noticed Win sneak off over towards the house where the cat was sitting and give chase, Bunty hit the button and then turned around and acted as if nothing happened..well the dog turned it self nearly inside out running back to the boss no doubt thinking the cat had somehow zapped it. trying to keep a straight face was hard, one very quick zap and lesson learnt. a good case.
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:23 am

Elvis Kiwi wrote:a great thread

Hope you got something out of it!
Glad too, (although a couple yrs. old), you brought it back up.
Looks like I missed a couple posts.

copterdoc wrote:There is either some non-conventional word usage here, or a misunderstanding of how the e-collar is used at the line.
swampbilly 1980 wrote:.....You want to teach him how in order to push, pull and stop the dog....



Doc-
It's not a matter of " non-conventional" use of the English language it's the "conventional",tra-ditional Copterdoc mis-interpretation of it :wink:

And although HNTFSH was absolutely right in his assessment, I'll still at least try to clarify-

HNTFSH wrote:I think Swamp was referring to an earlier thread about whether a dog feels pushed to an object or an object pulls the dog - relative to pressure. Could be wrong though. :yes:


In terms of an E-collar, pressure, and how it applies to training-

I don't view a bumper as something that "pulls" a dog in the direction of where it's at. Perhaps on marks- bumpers being a visual would.
But a blind doesn't "pull" the dog anywhere.

And that's what I'm referring to here. In training and application- I see the collar as a tool that will Push/Pull/and Stop the dog, and THAT'S what it's for. Bumpers don't do any of that.

In FTP it's not bumpers that "Pull" the dog to the pile.
It's Collar Pressure that Pushes him there.

I also need to respond to this.
swampbilly 1980 wrote:....I view a collar same as a HEELING stick..it's just an extension of your arm to me....

While the heeling stick is used as an aversive, as is the e-collar, they are vastly different in application.

There is also a major difference in the dog's ability to fully understand a collar correction, vs a stick correction. The stick is much more "tangible" to the dog.

100% agree there's a difference in application/understanding of a HEELING Stick vs. a Collar-
But when used, (properly), in conjunction with each other the dog should fully understand both!
Lest we not forget-
Both are direct pressure, and both can be indirect pressure as well.

If the dog is having some kind of a "problem" in terms of the "tangibility" of a Collar correction and understanding the differences, then someone might not have done a good job properly CC'ing the dog, and someone doesn't know how to use a HEELING Stick.
And oh-
A dog doesn't need to be FF'd in order to learn concepts of pressure from a HEELING Stick and how to "turn that pressure off" :wink:
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:11 pm

pat your dawg with a heeling stick....if you have been using it too much he will cringe, if not he will wag his tail...a pat from "the Boss" is a pat.
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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:09 pm

Elvis Kiwi wrote:pat your dawg with a heeling stick....if you have been using it too much he will cringe, if not he will wag his tail...a pat from "the Boss" is a pat.

:yes:
And if you've been a "nice" trainer the dog will be out there waitin' for ya' on the front step on mornings you're "late" for training :biggrin:


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Re: e-collar conditioning and training

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:50 pm

nice...very nice.
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