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Incorrect. They wear them every time I go out.

Rather have and not need than need and not have.
So then, a single correction WASN'T enough, not if the only way you can ensure they don't repeat the negative behaviour is to keep them in corrective gear whenever they go out.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
So then, a single correction WASN'T enough, not if the only way you can ensure they don't repeat the negative behaviour is to keep them in corrective gear whenever they go out.
Again, incorrect.
This sport is complex. Most days, no corrections because the dog has learned "how to" and "want to" and so does what we are doing. Note I said we... dog and I.

However, there are sometimes a bit of sloppiness. RARELY the same thing.. as previously explained. Sometimes a bit of correction adds clarity and clean things up. Remember, this is not some dog walking along next to you on a loose leash looking at everything around them in the neighborhood. This is a dog in drive, eager, pushing the envelope.. a TON of want to. We are seeking perfection.. BUT we also know that some things will be minor points deductions and to beat that minor thing you will lose something much bigger.

But, one day, while heeling down field the dog looks away at a bicycle going by.. correct that (the dog has been heeling for 3 years). No more looking away at that bike.. but another day there is someone going by walking their dog.. yes you correct that. BUT it may not carry forward to a DIFFERENT bike or dog (never underestimate your dog's observation skills). You are not begging the dog to heel. You are rewarding for good heeling but the dog is responsible for doing the job he has been taught. Eventually the dog will generalize to not look away at all dogs and all bikes.

There are different scenarios in protection where the dog is trying to out think the helper/decoy to better physically dominate so comes up with "original thinking" that can cause issues as well. Much higher drive and much more complex than a paragraph here.

I think that because I use aversives in training you believe my dog is out there being zapped constantly and is in pain and screaming. I think a lot of people think that when they hear "e collar on every time we go out." I leave it off for tracking (some train tracking very effectively with an e collar but I do not). It comes off trial day. I think you believe my dog must be heeling and looking like he is whipped.. or something. Or that he cowers.. which is not true either. An E collar is a tool. Rarely used tool but just that.. a tool. He actually puts the collar on himself. He knows it means we are going out to play.. err.. train.

The other day I serviced my tractor. I brought out several wrenches, a pair of water pump pliers (straight jaw) and a few buckets for fluids. I had everything there. I did not use most of it, but it was better to have it and not need it than need it and have to stop and go back to the house for it. That is about the same as dog training tools. A bunch in my truck.. not all on the dog or used.

I invite you to go to a working dog UScA IGP trial. See what the dogs do. See the difference. Listen to the critique after obedience and see how easy it is to lose points. Understand this is not easy.. and also understand that the dogs absolutely love it.. and many of them live full home lives as well. It is a set pattern but the demands on the dog and the drive shown is different than even AKC Obedience.

Better yet, if you have a working dog club near by, ask if you can watch the training. There are bad and good clubs.. so there is that.. I have been in a few that were not the best fit. The one I am in now is small and excellent and we don't allow people we do not personally know spectate (just no time). Ask first. There is a list on the UScA website.

If you do go, out of courtesy, leave your own dog home and do not ask to pet any dogs.
 

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Well, if you haven't noticed, this isn't an IGP - or even a dog sport - forum. When most of us talk about training our dogs, we're talking mostly life skills, house manners, minor behavior modification, etc. Not sure why you seem to expect all of us to need or want to apply the same techniques you happen to use in your dog sport in these circumstances.

That being said, I personally will not use physical corrections to get a few more points in a dog sport. That's my choice. I frankly don't care that you do it with your dogs, but I do take exception to the idea that it's the only way to train IGP or anything else. And if I had to (theoretically) correct my dog multiple times for the same kind of distraction (e.g. different bikes) in your heeling example, I'd really be wondering if the correction was communication my expectations clearly enough to be worth using.

But what are your thoughts on the article you posted, since that's the original point of this thread? You haven't said much about it, and I'm curious.
 

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The article? Not the best. Just something to look at. Training dogs and how dogs learn is always interesting to read. I think he does make a decent case for balanced training and clarity.

I know this is not an IGP forum.. and I will also add that most of the dogs people discuss on this forum are not high drive dogs (the ones that are perplex people about as equally as the ones that are genetically nervy and overly fearful). Most dogs discussed here I would not use either a prong collar or a e collar on because most of the issues are not dog issues, they are handler issues (lack of consistent handling being the # 1 issue followed by lack of clarity as a very close 2nd).

I find a lot of IGP forum people cannot tell the difference between aggression and nerve or what drive the dog is displaying (I see it on this forum as well but not as frequently).
 

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Huh, interesting. I actually found their points on balanced training somewhat confusing. I also like and try to adhere to LIMA principles, but I've never considered it inherently 'balanced' to be willing to consider aversive tools or techniques when the safety of dog, handler, or others are at stake and other methods have failed or are not feasible. To me, a 'balanced' trainer is closer to how you describe yourself, 3GSD, where aversives are used not only in extreme circumstances but also to proof behaviors, with an understanding of what punishment is appropriate for the individual dog and situation. The authors description of their own views and training preferences is so convoluted and confusing that I don't really know where they fall on that spectrum.

I also think they use very poor reasoning. I've already gone into why I feel comparing dog training in the real world to shock punishment in human infants in a highly controlled environment is both misleading and distasteful, but I also come away from the article with the impression that the author's argument for physical punishment is "it works so we should do it." This is... pretty disingenuous, to say the least, and one of the least convincing arguments I've heard for the use of aversives, because the author doesn't even acknowledge any consequences of using punishment. There's a lot of things we can do in life that produce the results we want that would be considered unethical, immoral, illegal, or just plain rude and antisocial, you know? Not saying the author's views are your own, but I thought I'd expand on why I do not find the article convincing in the way you say you do.

I'll reiterate that I really don't care how you train your dogs, and I don't consider the methods you've described using immoral or abusive. But you've had a history here of suggesting aversive techniques for problems with the apparent assumption that the poster (and any lurkers with similar issues) have your degree of experience and understanding of the techniques, which is just not the case on a general pet dog forum. Sometimes I've felt this advice has veered into outright dangerous. Using physical aversives in training is a choice, and I can respect that, but it's just not cool to ignore their potential for abuse and harm (accidental included), or to claim that your way is the only way.
 

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Again, incorrect.
This sport is complex. Most days, no corrections because the dog has learned "how to" and "want to" and so does what we are doing. Note I said we... dog and I.
If you have to have correction collars and/or shock collars on your dog at all times, then, clearly, your corrections are NOT effective. If they were, you would not require the threat of punishment to get your dogs to obey.
 
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