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Old 06-25-2013, 10:25 AM
Location: North Idaho
30,335 posts, read 41,514,211 times
Reputation: 69317


Wyatt "Crash" McRiot loves his shock collar. If I so much as move it on the counter, he rushes to me, sits at my feet, wagging his tail like a maniac, hoping I will put it on him.

Does he like to be shocked? No, he doesn't. But he learned very quickly how not to get a shock and the collar represents freedom to him. With the collar, he gets to go outside with me, run free, help me do chores, chase a few jack rabbits, walk around in the bird pen and steal chicken feed.

With the collar, he has the opportunity to earn tons of praise. Not that he doesn't get a lot of praise and attention, but he particularly values praise that he has earned by being clever. That's some high value praise.

Crash earned his shock collar with his belief that he didn't have to mind me if I couldn't reach him. His previous owner had very carefully taught him that he could do anything he wanted to do as long as no one was looking. It's taken a full 6 months to convince him that he must behave even when no one is there. He's a high energy, persistent breed, generations bred to keep working through the pain.

If I teach him something new, he learns it in minutes. If he already learned something, he is sure that he has it right and I am wrong. So, since he had learned that he didn't have to come after he got 100 feet away and I couldn't catch him, he wasn't about to change his mind about it.

The important thing to know about a shock collar is that it teaches a dog absolutely nothing. It means nothing to the dog. The dog has to be completely trained so that he understands what is being asked of him.

Crash knows how to come when he is called. But only if I can reach him to enforce the command. So, we started inside the house with the collar set on "tone" which is a beep, not a shock. Call, beep. Call beep. Lots of praise. Associate the recall with the beep from the collar.

Then out to a fenced 2 acres. Collar set on a very low shock. Call, come, praise. Twice, Then, call, igonre me, low shock, come, praise. It took 2 low powered shocks for him to learn that he must come immediately, even when he was all the way across the yard.

Turn the collar up, let him go in the driveway and he was immediately off after a rabbit. Call, ignore, yipe, keep going. Call, ignore, yipe, and he gave up, left the chase and came to me.

Next he goes into the orchard with the poultry. He has spent 6 months on a leash in the orchard with the poultry, learning "leave it". 4 months of daily training and the first time he got loose in the orchard, he broke a gate down and attacked the geese. So, in we go, with the collar set on beep.

He stays with me, giving longing sideways glances at the ducks. Finally, he tiptoes away and steals some chicken food. That seems to be safe, so he charges at a duck. I hit the button, the collar goes "beep" (no shock) and he veers off immediately. No call from Mom, so the duck must have beeped his collar.

No more even looking at the poultry, so now he gets to go out with me every day to feed and water the birds and run around in the orchard.

Next we go out in the open and he takes off after a rabbit. He gets far enough that I can no longer see him and I say "That's far enough". He veers off the hunt immediately and comes back to where I can see him. I had the collar set on beep, but could have dialed it up to shock if he ignored me, but I didn't even have to beep him. My voice alone was enough.

I sold my house and we have moved in with my son. He has fenced areas and safe kennels, but the entire property is not fenced. It is dangerous for a dog who will not mind. Or else he can never be outside without a leash.

Now Crash can go out with me to do chores and hang out with me. The collar does that for him and so he loves to see that collar come out. It means good fun for him.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:39 AM
Location: North Idaho
30,335 posts, read 41,514,211 times
Reputation: 69317
I have to add that he is the most stubborn dog I have ever met. I have never ever given more than one shock to any dog, and I have used a collar on sheep chasers, chicken killers, and runaways. One shock always teaches them to focus on what they are being told.

This dog took 2 low powered shocks and 2 medium powered shocks before he gave in. But it is his breed. Generations behind him bred to take a kick in the head from a cow and keep working, 8-10 hours every day.

Dogs trained correctly from puppyhood generally don't have issues with running away, chasing livestock, or other really bad behaviors. But occasionally a very badly trained rescue needs to understand that his world has changed and he refuses to learn it.

Good dogs have a much better life. They get to go places and do things. Bad dogs sit home alone a lot.

Crash had to sit in the house while I did chores, because it was too difficult to manage a leash and carry buckets of grain and drag water hoses. Now, he gets to go with me and be the partner that he wants to be.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:15 AM
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 17,859,554 times
Reputation: 4063
I would've repped both of your posts, but alas, I must spread it around before doing so for either. A shock collar is just a tool. As you've said, some dogs come to us with baggage and you have to use remote devices to control their behavior. I never thought I'd use a shock collar, but when the alternative is your dog getting injured or killed, it becomes one of a number of useful tools in protecting your dog. Kaiser, our GSD rescue, will never likely be fully reliable off lead, but we've been able to control him better and keep him safe.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:26 PM
3,339 posts, read 8,900,309 times
Reputation: 4287
Two reps from me, too!! I love reading those posts!
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:29 PM
Location: Lake Coeur D’Alene
5,250 posts, read 8,092,309 times
Reputation: 5617
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:31 PM
621 posts, read 1,343,141 times
Reputation: 1246
thumbs up from me too! It is a tool, never to be abused... but much more kind then nagging constantly!
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:52 AM
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 11,938,385 times
Reputation: 6668
Ditto here, I had one for my beloved JRT so he could roam a couple of my acres freely...the funniest thing he ever did is go to the end and bark at the deer who know where his limits were and he looked up at the house like.."OMG I hope no one sees this"...LOL
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