There are organizations out there that seek to ban various forms of dog training equipment. These organizations are Truly Dog Friendly (TDF), No Shock Collar Coalition (NSCC-also a website under baddogsinc), and the International Association of Positive Dog Trainers (IAPDT). Just to name a few, I am sure. These people want to limit dog training to clickers, treats, and haltis. The real art of dog training is being lost in the translation. Here are some of their arguments against both e-collars and traditional training collars (prongs and chokes et).
Argument 1) There must be pain in order for it to work.
a) Not true, in a training situation. It works because you train them or teach them what the response is. It’s a collar that you can signal to them without a leash. Treats, for instance, don’t “work” because there is pain associated with them.
b) A loud voice doest “work” because there is pain associated with them.
c) This is a tool that is correctly used in an overall training plan to develop a partnership of respect and trust.
Argument 2) Opposition wants to try it on then on high not the low levels they.
a) Well, it hurts on high levels. We all know this already; nothing is being proved by this. Except that it starts of the circular argument that these groups use when sensible points are made in regard to training. When they acknowledge that low levels do not work, then they will insist on the high levels.
b) There are higher levels due to distraction level and adrenaline level increases during highly excited moments (i.e. a dog fight). To test this properly and in the right context, you should be in a fistfight at a bar brawl LOL. Something that is more than likely if you get enough dog trainers in the same bar, but still…
c) Why do members of Truly Dog Friendly, No Shock Collar Coalition, or International Association of Positive Trainers members not want to try it at low levels? Because most are honest enough to admit that it does not hurt on proper working levels, and that answer does not serve their purpose.
Argument 3) They are inhumane and cruel.
a) The human in charge would need to have the intent to be inhumane and cruel to do so.
b) Any piece of equipment can become inhumane and cruel in abusive hands.
c) Good training with appropriate tools is something that opens up the whole world for your dog. This is positive and dog-friendly.
Argument 4) They cause aggression.
a) Any equipment used either incorrectly or is not right for that particular dog can cause aggression.
b) Treat training has caused aggression in some dogs that just can’t handle the responsibility of it.
c) Lack of training can cause aggression.
Argument 5) They are too complicated for the general public.
a) Someone inexperienced with the modern uses of this equipment should have an experienced trainer show them how to use it in the context of obedience training.
b) Properly introduced, this equipment is far easier to get correct timing down without the distractions of a long line, or needing to properly work the collar attached to the long line.
Argument 6) They burn the neck.
a) Most collars operate on two AA batteries. Think about that, while I look up an article on the possibility of that happening LOL.
b) All dogs coats and skin would burn and/or catch on fire if this was a possibility. You would also smell the hair actually burning (think about your hair curler or iron). It does not happen.
c) Due to the metal rubbing up against the skin if it’s on loosely, can cause skin sores to develop. The collar needs to be on tightly in order to work correctly and not rub up against the skin.
d) Tri-tronic’s collars metal prongs have been known to trigger an allergic skin reaction in some dogs. It becomes an itchy and bumpy rash, not a burn.
e) Since these collars go into the water, a wet dog’s coat compresses making the collar looser until it’s dried. Loose and damp, not a good combination to be against the skin.
Argument 7) They are used as punishment.
a) They are used as a way to communicate timely with a dog sans a leash on low levels, and so the dog knows they should be paying attention. This is not punishment any more than a tap on your shoulder would be a punishment.
b) They are used as a great way to get your dog off leash and enjoying the great outdoors. This is considered a huge reward to a dog.
8) They are only used for stopping problem behaviors in an aversive way.
a) They are used to train a language of communication and partnership between a dog and their owner.
b) They can be used this way, but many trainers personally recommend that obedience training under a proper training plan is the way to go, except in extreme life threatening circumstances.
Argument 9) They are used as positive PUNISHMENT only (see definitions of punishment in this article.).
Argument 10) Your dog can not be rewarded using this.
a) Freedom is a huge reward. Playing in the woods, not needing to be called back immediately when galloping after friends, and running those long legs all over the place. This is huge to most dogs.
b) Being able to be out and about with the family in different places and environments that allow dogs is a huge reward.
Argument 11) Science is against shock collars.
a) The “science” they used are based on flawed studies with dogs being shocked (not stimmed) at random instead of with a purpose of communication. Yes, that will make a dog neurotic and scared.
b) Note, there is no real big source that is funding studies on dog collars LOL. The biggest and best aren’t out there outlining the perfect scientific study for this. When they are called upon for their expertise, it’s normally at the request of the AR movements or these fanatics that are against training their dogs.
Argument 12) Traditional and electronic collars are designed to work through application of pain.
a) No that’s absolutely not true with the exception of invisible electronic fence systems. Traditional collars are designed to not slip off the dog, to hold them in place, and give them a correction that need not be painful for not performing the command or for bolting et
b) Much the same way, but with benefits, the electronic collar is designed to be used at low levels in a training program. The low levels can be worked so they are barely felt, and the reward is the increased freedom.
Argument 13) Affective kinder and gentler methods exist than traditional training collars or electronic collars.
a) Here is a listing of what Truly Dog Friendly, No Shock Collar Coalition, and International Association of Positive Trainers find kinder and gentler, along with why some results based balanced trainers do not use these exclusively:
i) Treats-These can cause some dogs to be neurotic, while other rewards are more beneficial for them. I have personally owned dogs with heart conditions that can not eat a lot of treats. These same dogs reacted better to the benefits of a partnership, soft praise, and a pat on the head than to a treat.
ii) Haltis-Not good for training your dog off leash due to injury. Off leash training provides more control, socialization, and overall enjoyment for your dog. The halti also never stops correcting your dog. Not considered dog-friendly in those circles.
iii) Clickers-Good for initial training, but not well for distraction off leash training. Great for trick training and agility.
b) Another solution that these members have come up with is they would rather euthanize the dog if the above methods do not work. There are, after all, so many “good” dogs out there.
i) Just because a dog does not respond well to treats, clickers or halti type “training”, does not mean the dog is a bad dog.
ii) Other equipment and training works more due to the control over stronger and bigger animals than we are used to managing in our more sedentary domesticated lives. They mimic the kind of correction another dog would give them, without the injury or long term consequences! Also without the pain that an actual dog bite would inflict.
iii) Dogs are not disposable (or should not be), though for safety reasons of the owner, family, and other humans and animals; I would possibly recommend that this solution be looked into. However, many dogs that are out there simply respond to a good training plan with a responsible owner.
iv) A dog already in a home with a loving owner should definitely have a chance to continue their life there. Their lives are not devalued just because they have not been taught how to respond appropriately in our environment.
Argument 14) Kinder and gentler equipment exists (head haltis and other haltis or citronella collars).
a) Haltis of the head or under the arms and citronella collars are all tools where the dog can not get away from the negative stimulus.
b) As someone who gets headaches from strong smells, I would think the citronella collar would be torture for a dog.
c) Not only is the stimulation for a traditional collar or electronic collar completely controlled by the owner/handler, it is not used much at all if the dog is trained. Not only can it be used lightly, but the sensation can be as light as a tap on the shoulder. That tap goes away once the dog is again focused on you.
Argument 15) They must always continue to wear the traditional collar or electronic collar to behave.
a) If you have not done your training work, that would be true. However, even so, the traditional and electronic collar are off more client’s dogs much sooner than is comfortable for me, so I can’t see how that can be true.
b) All my dogs have been trained on traditional and electronic collar tools, and this has provided them with the ability to be off equipment most of the time. We run a daycare here without fences, and during those times the dogs on the property have their e-collars on in case of an emergency, because I am not going to risk health and safety to anything to make a point.
Argument 16) People do not have the timing skills to use the traditional collars or electronic collars.
a) You do need to learn skills to do anything well. I would not have learned to do calligraphy even horribly without lessons. Thank goodness though that there are teachers out there willing to give you their knowledge.
b) Balanced results-orientated trainers call this the “dumb down” of the general public. More and more people do not know how to train dogs, as the better trainers creating less homes for dogs with simply solved problems.
c) It is not brain surgery or rocket science, and it is helpful to have a professional there to show you an efficient and effective way to train a dog for the inexperienced.
Argument 17) They do work, but……see above.
a) This is the argument that is used by members of Truly Dog Friendly, No Shock Collar Coalition, or International Association of Positive Trainers right before the “train with pain” motto is initiated. See point #1.
b) Low levels as used in training plans of knowledgeable trainers do not hurt. Dogs do not learn well in response to real stress or pain as a training method. They do not need to hurt in order to work, anymore than any other training method or tool needs to pain to work.
Argument 18) They don’t work.
a) This is the argument these groups use for euthanizing any dog that can not or is hard to train with treats, clickers, and haltis. The argument is that it’s false to assume that other training methods actually work, especially in order to make a hard to manage dog a safe family member.
b) They do work in training plan, just as any other piece of equipment does and can.
Argument 19) Clicker training is a more perfect and scientific choice.
a) Scientists discovered that it was useful in training Dolphins, Whales and Bears for medical procedures et. However, one does not often live with Dolphins Whales or Bears.
b) Training focuses on how we learn to build a language between ourselves and our dogs for every day living. For many of us, our dogs spend a large amount of time in our lives, where more exotic animals would not.
Argument 20) The traditional training collar or electronic collar is not “dog-friendly” and certainly not “truly dog-friendly”.
a) That depends whether you are defining it using the version of “dog friendly” as used by the political dog training groups of Truly Dog Friendly, No Shock Collar Coalition or International Association of Positive Dog Trainers. Or are you using the more reasonable definition of dog friendly, as in the attached article?
Argument 21) The e-collar works on the “dominance theory” only.
a) No it works based on partnership and communication that is initiated by a successful training plan.
b) Some groups are using “dominance theory” of their definition to define other methods such as the Dog Whisperer’s methods, because their business is threatened by his popularity.
Argument 22) No one can explain exactly how the e-collar works.
a) Actually most results orientated balanced trainers can tell you how ALL of the equipment that they use works.
b) This is meant to be the same argument as “train with pain” on point number one. The implication being that if it can’t be explained, it must be painful no matter what one’s own senses and observation tells them or not.
c) The e-collar works in a training plan, the same as any other piece of equipment in a training plan would work, except that you don’t get bogged down with a leash, and your timing can be much better, when used properly.
Argument 23) Traditionally or e-collar trained dogs are so calm, because they fear doing something wrong
.a) They are calm because they have been trained. Training provides a dog with a sense of safety, because their owner is looking out for them and all their needs. They have nothing to worry about.
b) Play time is still exciting, but a responsible owner always has this happening to challenge and entertain their dog. Dogs who lack this in their daily lives become over excited about the prospect of playing.
Argument 24) Used by people who simply can not be bothered to use patience to train their dog.
a) Haltis are the most often used equipment that such people would use.
b) An e-collar is not going to work well for training purposes for someone who lacks patience. Abusive and irresponsible people can find any number of things to abuse their dogs with.
c) It is used to quickly reward the dog with the freedoms that can be experienced once trained. It’s true, some people do not advance farther than a off leash “let’s go” command with their dog, but on a halti people, generally, advance even less than that.
Need your dog trained? Visit the http://www.mannerlymutts.com services page. Or contact me at 207-809-6300 in York Maine. Ask for Robin Rubin, Dog Trainer.
Say no to HSUS, PETA, No Shock Collar Coalition (NSCC), International Association of Positive Dog Trainers (IAPDT), or Truly Dog Friendly Organization (TDF). Articles and information on why I do not support these organizations is on here and here.
Need your dog trained? Visit the http://www.mannerlymutts.com services page. Or contact me at 207-361-4395 in York Maine. Ask for Robin Rubin, Dog Trainer.
Say no to HSUS, PETA, No Shock Collar Coalition (NSCC) or Truly Dog Friendly Organization (TDF). Articles and information on why I do not support these organizations is on here and here.