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Non Aversive Remote Collars

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by RobD-BCactive, Apr 15, 2011.


  1. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Appreciating grandad's viewpoint, about possiblitlies for a non-shock remote collar, it seems worth a different thread without the Punishment & Negative-Reinforcement possibilities, particularly electrical shock as a training aid.

    Can we try a different thread, to avoid the offensive and upsetting, shock based training method advocated out of heads? If this suits, I'll find the quotes from posts made in the other thread, that would be relevant.


    One suggested reason for a remote was for use for deaf dogs, with a vibrating collar.

    lfl described the problem with remote collar manufacturer's including shock prongs on their designs, apart from one collar (shown once on Victoria Stillwell's US program), where a remote speaker allowed verbal commands from a distance.

    I have mused theoretically (in Sci Fi way) on the morality, of some implmant that for example positively manipulated the animal, with small release of say dopamine, or oxytocin. I am not sure that causing rewarding good feeling would necessarily be moral and ethical, even if it did not have withdrawal sideffects like Heroine does say. On other hand, conscious training is a form of manipulation.

    I think there are dangers in remote button pushing, it's easy to become thoughtless with apparently simple things, and I must admit I have clicked incorrectly in clicker training at times, but at least there the consequences are minor due to the gradual reinforcement and proofing.
     
    #1 RobD-BCactive, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  2. Irish Setter Gal

    Irish Setter Gal PetForums Senior

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    Now waiting for hopefully a trainer who uses these type of remote collars to tell us how they are used.
     
  3. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    I would like to know, why you would use a remote collar, rather than a whistle; excepting deaf dogs of course.
     
  4. grandad

    grandad PetForums VIP

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    If a dog is 100 yards away and is about to step onto a busy country lane and ignores the whistle. (Stop whistle or recall whistle.) because there is something more appealing on the other side of the lane. Bearing in mind the dog intstincts and how it is hard wired and it's not within catching distance.
    What would you do?

    However, if it has been trained using a collar that reminds it of the command (recall or stop) when it ignores the command it can be reminded by use of technology.

    For example..dog is away from the owner see's a deer, dog stops and is curious and show signs of chasing. Owner see the same deer, see's the body language of the dog and blows the recall whistle, the dog ignores the whistle because instincts/red mist has taken over. Owner then gives the dog a reminder through the collar, dog re-focusses on the owner and the command and obey's the recall whistle. Is this not a scenario in which a remote collar could work.
     
  5. Old Shep

    Old Shep PetForums VIP

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    There is no difference, in training terms, of a dog responding to a whistle, a clicker or a vibration. They are all "instructions". If a dog choses not to respond to a whistle, why on earth would he respond to a viration? It's illogical (Captain)
     
  6. grandad

    grandad PetForums VIP

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    Vibration may break the dog's focus, because it is physical and then the dog re-focusses on command or owner.
     
  7. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    On the hypothetical Situation - I would blame myself for screwing up and pray we got away with my error. 100 yards is not that far, so I would try shouting "Stop!" and hope the urgency of my voice cut through. Then clapping extremely loudly as that often gets a dog's attention and bearing in mind the focus and ability of many dog breeds to half strangle themselves and shrug off accidental phsyical "hits", you are likely to find recourse to mild-aversives failing in the same situation eg) alarm signal in the collar.

    It would be a training & handler error, because you allowed the dog to endanger itself in a situation insufficiently proofed.

    At 100 yards I see no benefit to the current technology, except in deaf dogs. So really this shows the problem with hypothetical questions, you assume that the non-aversive technology can somehow be more distracting than the self rewarding behaviour.

    Vibration might indeed, cause the dog to hesitate, but then the same predatory chase sequence is likely to start over with the "interrupting" vibration now ignored as comparatively "irrelevant".

    The mistake is to get into this situation, it's like suggesting an inflatable gas balloon in a jumbo jet, may say lives if the plane breaks apart in mid flight.
     
    #7 RobD-BCactive, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  8. Old Shep

    Old Shep PetForums VIP

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    I don't think a stimulus like a vibration collar would be any more sucessful than a whistle/voice. I can't think of any reason why it should and I don't follow your reasoning. Can you perhaps re phrase it?

    Stopping a dog in full flight after prey is possible the most difficult thing to teach a dog -in my opinion. Which isn't saying much as I'm not a trainer and don't know very much:tongue_smilie:

    Sorry. That was in response to GD
     
    #8 Old Shep, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  9. gladass

    gladass Banned

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    Well for me there would never be that situation as any of my dogs would not be off lead if not 100% recall trained No way would I revert to shocking a dog to come back to me
     
  10. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    You'ld use a safe fenced area, without access to roads. Then train with the distractions with a long line, to proof your previous recall training. Is that what you mean?

    I actually did train pup without that safety net, but when you start young, then you're much faster than the pup. Once they're quicker than you, you want a solid recall inplace already.
     
  11. grandad

    grandad PetForums VIP

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    Please let's not use words like "shocking" the dog. This is not the intention in this discusion.
    I agree with all of you that, training of the dog to be 100% bombproof in all situations and with all distractions is the most preferable and indeed is the correct way to train the recall or stop. I would also agree that @ 100 yards a firm OI or NO should suffice and the dog would/should re-focus and return on command.
    However we all know that dog's can become "deaf" when the distraction is more enticing. If you could extend your finger 100 yards and give the dog a nudge to remind it you are there and that you have issued a command, then the use of the technology that may be available, could then be used to bridge the gap of the 100 yards. (if you get my drift) if you have also trained the dog to respond to the nudge, so that the nudge means "look at me" you can then re-iterate the command and get 100% response. Therefore you are using the technology as an extension of yourself to remind the dog that even at 100 yards you are really in close proximity (once again, if you get my drift) Once again to press the point. This is not to "shock" the dog.
     
  12. Irish Setter Gal

    Irish Setter Gal PetForums Senior

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    Was there not a link on another thread to it's use in training dog for the deaf?
     
  13. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    The remote speaking thing might actually work. My sister played a vid I made, which featured me staying "Freddie, stop!" and apparently he froze and was quite startled.

    But again, this is relying on a solid training. The dog needs to associate the nudge with something, and as lfl wrote in a post, why not just work more directly in the first place, so your dog has impulse control and the ability to break it's focus, without the technology.

    It is doable. You just have to try to work on it.
     
  14. grandad

    grandad PetForums VIP

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    Everything is doable Robd, but do people actually put the work in? Our group of doggy owners, spend a lot of time going to different environments to find more distractons in order to make the dogs more bomb proof. That includes farms, small zoo's, forests, high streets, market's, train rides, bus rides, river walks, pub outings, etc etc. And we do find that in each new situation there is a "time" limit as to when the dogs settle and become repsonsive to commands. Even if that is a simple as "sit.
    Why? because the area is new. New smells, new scenary, new noise, It's exciting and the dog's adrenalin level increases as soon as you open the car door. We take our time, letting the dog's settle before they are "invited" out of the car.
    We do take our time and we make sure we allow ourselves the time to do this. However in an everyday pressurised living situation, this "time" limit is not practical. So are dogs really 100% bombproof in all situations? Can technology help the dog owner who doesn't have the time or experience to be able to train the dog as described above and may have trained the dog to say 80% bombproof in all situations.
     
  15. Old Shep

    Old Shep PetForums VIP

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    I'm still not convinced that a dog would respond any different to a "nudge" than to any other command he had been taught. If he is so caught up in the chase and the adrenaline is flowing there won't be any difference between them.

    X-posted, sorry GD.

    If owners don't have the time, they shouldn't have the dog!
    When you refer to "we", who do you mean. I'm a bit confused.
     
    #15 Old Shep, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  16. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Amazing how hard working and wide ranging park rangers duties are!
    I shall be even more sympathetic to their role in future, knowing they care about dogs so much!
     
  17. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    ok...might upset a few of you out there but hey ho! that's what a good debate is all about....opposite opinions!

    1. however good a trainer you are i don't believe any dog will ever be 100% on anything!!! reason being? there is always the chance that one day the stimulation to make him ignore you will be too great for him to overcome.

    2. i have never used a voice activated remote collar but have seen one in use and my golly do they stop a dog dead in its tracks IF they have been pretrained to "HALT" or "STOP". The theory behind its success is that it is such a shock to the dog to hear its owner's voice at close quarters when it knows it has run a good 100 yards away is enough to break its fixation on whatever it is aiming to reach.

    3. any owner who doesn't put the time and effort into training isn't going to have any success with any method of training/ training aid! a dog is only as good as the person on the end of the lead!!!!

    4. i never use the word "no" when training a dog. it is far too commonly used in every day language between humans and inadvertently we can train our dog out of doing good stuff!! for example....the dog learns that NO means he is doing something wrong. Dog is laying in his basket and mum says to one of the kids "NO" "you cant have a biscuit!!! result - one confused dog who has been used to being told "good boy" when in his basket! much better to have an aversive word like "OI" and a clap of the hands to train out unwanted behaviour.

    5. the key to not getting into potentially dangerous situations is VIGILENCE!
    be aware of your surroundings at all times. focus on your dog's body language and be ready to step in the second he tenses or freezes. if you have any reservations that you cannot get him back in a hurry -have him on a long line so that he can still run free but you have total control of him if you need to bring him to a halt!
     
    RobD-BCactive likes this.
  18. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    One can never be sure 100% of anything, it's a balance of risk.

    For instance yesterday, a dog and couple my dog had played with and accompanied, left the lakeshore beach before me as their dog doesn't swim and mine loves to fetch things from the water. So when we go to catch up, I can just see them, dog's ahead me on cycle. Dog moves over to left of path, and suddenly I see 4 Red Deer, that the others had passed but did not think to warn about. Fortunately they were more surprised by me on the cycle and weren't in an aggro mood. But we were both way closer than is safe, however due to cover, I was in more danger than my dog was.

    Would that stop me doing exactly the same, No! Because it is very unusual and also many (if not most) dog owners warn each other of such hazards. The cost of accounting for this remote possibility is much greater than the benefit of avoiding this risk.

    The same applies to technology. Personally I tend to find electronic gizmos (or even old fashioned wind up watches) fail due active life and damp climate. I think I can shout or whistle far more reliably than are any batteries in a gadget.
     
  19. Irish Setter Gal

    Irish Setter Gal PetForums Senior

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    The group of doggy owners he was talking about in the same post - I'm not confused:rolleyes:
     
  20. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

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    I personally believe that vibrating collars for deaf dogs can be incredibly useful and a great tool for training. As someone already mentioned there is no difference for the dog in terms of it responding to a touch or vibration and a whistle. For a dog who is deaf a vibration collar is a good alternative.
    Many also use their vibration collars as markers (in the place of a clicker or a "yes!" verbal marker). Many trainers of deaf dogs choose to use different types of vibration on the collar for recall cues and a marker. I.e. soft 3 second vibration for recall vs soft 1 second vibration for marker.

    The difficulty, however, is purchasing a vibration collar that dogs not have the "electrocute your dog!" option.
    We all know the difference between using a powerful shock collar as an aversive to decrease the likelihood of a behaviour and using a vibration collar (at low level vibration) as a recall cue or a marker.

    I believe there are vibration collars that are manufactured without the electrocution option but unfortunately they are quite rare and it took someone I know (deaf dog owner) a while to find a decent vibration collar without this.

    I will say however that I don't really like the use of vibration collars on non-deaf dogs or dogs who are perfectly able to be taught to recall to an auditory cue. Alot of people like the concept of what they believe to be zapping a dog. These people will often be the ones who misuse tools such as vibration collars (and move on to shock collars). They never bother to train properly (i.e. charge the vibration as a marker or positively train and then heavily reinforce recall to a soft longer vibration). Instead they just zap, see the dog respond in what they perceive to be a desirable way (doesn't stay like that for long mind) and so they continue and eventually migrate towards the shock option.
     
    #20 lemmsy, Apr 16, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
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