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My roommate recently brought home a 10 week old female half blue heeled, half lab puppy. I have never lived with a dog before, but to me she seems extremely intelligent. She picked up sit and come before we had her 2 days. She seems very happy, and her training is productive and fun, but because of our inexperience, we have thought about attending professional training. The issue is that when i looked at the credentials of the trainers at the obedience school closest to us, he first thing mentioned is "remote collar training certified". This has left me with a lot of questions. Is shock collar training humane? Will attending a class with shock collar trainers help me if I will not use the same techniques at home? Are there places out there with trainers that will help us with purely positive training? Ignoring Arya is the only "punishment" she has ever received, and with how well it has curbed her nipping, I'm fairly certain neither my roommate or I could bring ourselves to use a shock collar at home. Is this common practice at obedience schools?
 

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Might be tough but if possible try another training facility without the e-collar work. You're not gonna be much help to pup if you're nervous. No reason to jump into 1st school.
 

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Schock collar training is humane and useful tool in the right hands. I do wonder where one gets "certified" to use one though. Just because he is certified does not mean that he will use it first time on your dog.

Shock collars are awesome tools in used correctly in the right situation.
 

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Schock collar training is humane and useful tool in the right hands. I do wonder where one gets "certified" to use one though. Just because he is certified does not mean that he will use it first time on your dog.

Shock collars are awesome tools in used correctly in the right situation.
I doubt if it will be awesome on her 10 week old puppy. One can find someone to "certify" in almost anything. If you are not comfortable with the method (I would not be) keep hunting. There are plenty of trainers who work mostly with positive reinforcement.
 

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Psst...read the whole post you quoted. Let me say it again (third time the charm maybe?) Just because he is certified does not mean that he will use it first time on your dog. Shock collars are not useful on ever dog and if the trainer was stupid enough to use it on the wrong dog then he truly is not worth your time. A good trainer will know when and when not to use one.
 

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Psst...read the whole post you quoted. Let me say it again (third time the charm maybe?) Just because he is certified does not mean that he will use it first time on your dog. Shock collars are not useful on ever dog and if the trainer was stupid enough to use it on the wrong dog then he truly is not worth your time. A good trainer will know when and when not to use one.

Read the whole post, thanks. And responded to the part that was pertinent
 

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The issue is that when i looked at the credentials of the trainers at the obedience school closest to us, he first thing mentioned is "remote collar training certified".
There are different certifications that range from someone who's gotten a certificate from a e-collar manufacturer to those who train hunting/herding dogs for that line of work to law enforcement type training. So, you would want to get more detail about the certification and determine if that's the kind of training you want for the dog.

Is shock collar training humane?
There's some debate on that topic. My take is that it's borderline. They can be a good training tool for some dogs in some situations. However, there is the potential for abuse.

Back in the "old days" my Grandfather, uncles and cousins used plain old police whistles and mostly positive techniques to training hunting and herding dogs and it worked quite well. It probably took more training time than zapping a dog though.

Will attending a class with shock collar trainers help me if I will not use the same techniques at home?
For the average family pet, shock collars won't be needed. They're mostly of value in quickly training working dogs. I'd be suspect of someone who suggested this kind of training for regular dog obedience.

Are there places out there with trainers that will help us with purely positive training?
There should be some in your area. Just research them. Watch out for ones that are geared toward teaching working dogs (police, hunting, herding) since they aren't geared toward family pets. Some of these may have a good basic obedience plan as well as a working dog plan so ask about their difference classes and the approaches used. Avoid any that talk a lot about dominance and being "pack leader", they're teaching scientifically invalid and potentially dangerous methods.

Is this common practice at obedience schools?
As I mentioned, it's more common with those who teach professional working dogs. It isn't necessary for the average family pet and I'd question the credibility someone who did recommend it on a generalized basis.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the quick and helpful replies. The place is highly rated, and trains both pets and working dogs, so I guess I'll need to call and find out if they use the remote collars in their basic obedience classes. They are about 20 minutes closer than the next closest place (and Arya gets terrible motion sickness in the car) so hopefully they don't use the collar in basic classes. I'm really looking for a place that will focus on teaching me, and help with socialization more than train the dog. I just want an experienced professional to show me how to train her properly.
 

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In my opinion, shock collars are not humane no matter whose hands their in. I feel like if the people who used them would wear them for just a short time they'd surely think twice about doing that to their dog.
Shock collars can also cause more problems, like a shy, fearful dog. On dogs with aggression problems they can make them worse.
I'm not exactly sure how they're considered useful at all.

They surely wouldn't help a 10 week old puppy, especially not one who has thus far been doing great in her training.
I agree with you calling first to see if they actually use them basic training -or better yet, see if they use them in general. Why would you need a shock collar for basic obedience?
 

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Well, shock collars are meant to enforce known cues, usually off-lead. If you're aiming for a good dog at home and in your community, you won't need a shock collar. If you're aiming for obedience with a greater demand on behavior, some training circles rely on shock collars. Again, if you don't plan on participating in that culture, you won't need to question if they are humane...you simply won't need it. And, any trainer who insists that you do, well, their insistence is related to their personal bias - walk away.

Other than that, a certification is a selling point. The question is up to you whether you find value in it or not.
 

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I am going to hijack this thread for just a moment. I have a Catahoula mix that is a very soft dog. I have had him since he was a puppy he is 5 now. You raise your voice for any reason and he is cowering. I don't mean at him I mean in general, you yell to somebody in a bedroom or at the TV. I have been working with a trainer for another situation involving my 2 other dogs. Anyway he is clicker trained and is mostly obedient and that is all on me for not following through. My neighbor (who is a vet) does gun dog training and has an amazing GSP. We were talking the other day about my training and my dogs and told me a shock collar would be a good training method for the Houla. His reasoning was he wouldn't associate the correction with me.

For those that are way more experienced than I am with dog training, I would like you opinions on this. I have always shied away from them, and I honestly think it would shut him down, but I could be really wrong. Oh and this would be used to fine tune some of his training. He has started fence guarding and I want to correct that and some other stuff that is not as urgent.
 

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In my opinion, shock collars are not humane no matter whose hands their in. I feel like if the people who used them would wear them for just a short time they'd surely think twice about doing that to their dog.
Shock collars can also cause more problems, like a shy, fearful dog. On dogs with aggression problems they can make them worse.
I'm not exactly sure how they're considered useful at all.

They surely wouldn't help a 10 week old puppy, especially not one who has thus far been doing great in her training.
I agree with you calling first to see if they actually use them basic training -or better yet, see if they use them in general. Why would you need a shock collar for basic obedience?
What I would do before asking any questions (because they may tell you what they think you want to hear) I'd ask to drop in and watch a puppy class or two. When you go to the class observe if the dogs are on special (choke, prong, shock) collars. Do the dogs look happy and motivated? Do the people look happy and motivated? Is the instructor humane and clear in directions? If the answer to question one is not no, and the answers to the rest, not yes, I'd find someplace else, even if it is less convenient.
 

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I am going to hijack this thread for just a moment. I have a Catahoula mix that is a very soft dog. I have had him since he was a puppy he is 5 now. You raise your voice for any reason and he is cowering. I don't mean at him I mean in general, you yell to somebody in a bedroom or at the TV. I have been working with a trainer for another situation involving my 2 other dogs. Anyway he is clicker trained and is mostly obedient and that is all on me for not following through. My neighbor (who is a vet) does gun dog training and has an amazing GSP. We were talking the other day about my training and my dogs and told me a shock collar would be a good training method for the Houla. His reasoning was he wouldn't associate the correction with me.

For those that are way more experienced than I am with dog training, I would like you opinions on this. I have always shied away from them, and I honestly think it would shut him down, but I could be really wrong. Oh and this would be used to fine tune some of his training. He has started fence guarding and I want to correct that and some other stuff that is not as urgent.
Yeah. like it is better for the pup to think the pain is coming randomly, out of the blue. There is a fair amount of brutality in the gundog world (not saying all are). Because he is a vet doesn't mean he knows the best way to train dogs. If he is a good vet, he may know the best way to treat them medically. There's a great video on fence guarding and positive reinforcement. Anybody have a link to that?
 

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Tell your Vet that you've done some marvelous work through the years applying band-aids to miscellaneous cuts and would he allow you to spay/neuter his GSP.

Sorry for vent but I have had it with Vets giving dog training advice, it's the blind leading the dumb.
 

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Shock collars on fearful dogs is about the worst possible combination. The risk of totally ruining the dog is sky high. Please do not consider putting a shock collar on a fearful or shy dog.

Factor in that we are talking to a person who hasn't used a shock collar. When we are new to tools, we make mistakes. It's part of the learning curve.

The shock collar on a fearful dog in inexperienced hands has a high likelihood of resulting in unfixable damage, even if the intentions are good.
 

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Thanks for the comments. He is not my vet, but he is my neighbor and we share a fence. I guess I threw the Vet part in just to give an understanding he wasn't some random dog person giving me advice. I really don't want to do it nor plan on it. It just surprised me coming from him. I have friends who use them and swear by them. Also just for the record and no one mentioned it but I do want to be clear. The trainer I have been working with for my other dogs does not do shock collar training or dominance theory. I am going to bring the fence guarding issue to his attention at our next training session.

This conversation about the collar happened this weekend and it was timely with this thread. I was interested in what others thought. He is a great dog and more of a cuddler couch potato than anything else and i would like to keep him that way.

One last note, I don't know his training methods, so I can't comment on them, but she is a very well trained and behaved dog. I am not saying anything right or wrong about his methods but I wish I had a dog who would just turn their back and lie down when the dog on the other side of the fence is going crazy. And as I type that I realize I can with work, but still I am envious.
 

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One last note, I don't know his training methods, so I can't comment on them, but she is a very well trained and behaved dog. I am not saying anything right or wrong about his methods but I wish I had a dog who would just turn their back and lie down when the dog on the other side of the fence is going crazy. And as I type that I realize I can with work, but still I am envious.
Sometimes dogs are "well behaved" because they are shut down.
 

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One last note, I don't know his training methods, so I can't comment on them, but she is a very well trained and behaved dog. I am not saying anything right or wrong about his methods but I wish I had a dog who would just turn their back and lie down when the dog on the other side of the fence is going crazy. And as I type that I realize I can with work, but still I am envious.
I get where you're coming from. I'd love to have one of those off leash dogs, you know, the ones who don't go running off never to return? Yeah, that'd be sweet.

However, training a dog with pain and fear will produce a dog that "behaves" beautifully. I don't deny this. It also produces a dog who's afraid to twitch without owner direction and seriously damages the owner/dog bond. So no matter how nice it might be to walk Kabota without a leash, I'll just stick with my happy, confident, totally untrustworthy offleash dog, thankyouverymuch.
 

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I get where you're coming from. I'd love to have one of those off leash dogs, you know, the ones who don't go running off never to return? Yeah, that'd be sweet.

However, training a dog with pain and fear will produce a dog that "behaves" beautifully. I don't deny this. It also produces a dog who's afraid to twitch without owner direction and seriously damages the owner/dog bond. So no matter how nice it might be to walk Kabota without a leash, I'll just stick with my happy, confident, totally untrustworthy offleash dog, thankyouverymuch.
Yeah, we live on a pretty busy two lane road and his dog just chill's with him in the front yard with no problems. My dogs don't bolt out a door when it's open but if I walked them out front and took them off their leash they would be playing in traffic eventually.

There is no possible way I could shock this dog I would be like the mother crying as they are spanking their kid it would hurt me so much more than him. Now my female dog, there are days. Actually, I always knew she was a smart dog, but she is stubborn and domineering and likes to challenge me and since we have been working with a trainer she has surprised me with how much she looks to me now for what to do and we accomplished that without be yanked, shocked or pinched.
 
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