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hunter1103

Spring Spaniel Problem

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Its definatley an interesting read, and yes a lot of points are viable and worth stating, however like everything else that's had surveys and tests done with peoples opinions don't always make it correct. I WILL KEEP SAYING,,, IF USED CORRECTLY AND AS A TOOL FOR CORRECTION ITS A VALUABLE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT.. I don't believe it should be used for all levels of training, for the basics and advanced sessions, Its all about how and when to use, i feel I can use it correctly and I have never had a nervous dog or a dog look at me waiting for a shock or even peeing itself, you make it sound like we don't care about the welfare of our dogs, well I never miss a worming or flea programme I update jabs and booster every year religously do you? mine live in heated kennels and all are fully insured. if you don't well that's bloody cruelty. these tests have been done under what conditions and with what dogs in particular, look I'm not personally going to ever change my opinion i think they work and work well in the right circumstances, and to be honest I don't really adhere to the tests,

I know this is going of at a tangent but do you remember the RSPCA saying foxes get stressed being chased by hounds, love to know how they tested and found that out hey. anyway they got it banned and look at the s*** its causing now. It'll come back, These collars have saved plenty of dogs lives and kept them with one home rather than being banded around.

I just don't want something banning because people don't understand it, if they gave it a open vote tomorrow of course they would ban it because the non understanders and dozy fart do gooders don't like the thought of a sweet little thing getting a telling off, electrically or a boot.

"Oh look at that beautiful little fox on the photo"!!!!

Grez

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Interesting read that philuk, and good job for finding the relevant studies and posting it too strengthen your side of the debate.

 

Just to keep it ticking along

 

Would you say that a dog which has to be kept on a lead is happier than a dog which has been trained with a collar and can now run about under the control of the handler(not being shocked)?

 

I'm not taking into account whether the dog could have been trained without the use of a collar, just if the dog is happier.

 

I would say with personal experience that my dog is much happier running about after being trained not to clear off by using a shock collar,loves me just as much if not more, does not flinch when handled and is now safe to take rough shooting. He is happy to put on his collar and does not resist in any way shape or form. He no longer or very rarely needs to be shocked and his life is much more enjoyable as is my enjoyment of him and taking him out.

I'm not dis-regarding the studies, although having read a million studies (could be a slight over exaggeration on my part) on childcare and psychology at degree level, there's always one to counter the studies of others and they change their views like the wind, all I'm stating is that my personal experience with this particular dog a shock collar has done the job, I have had various dogs over the years and have not had occasion to use a collar before and if in the future I get another dog it will not mean that I will automatically start training with a shock collar.

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I've only ever used one on one terrier: it took two shocks as she ignored the recall: at around 10 months of age. She is now nearly 4 years old and still comes back instantly to the call or whistle, never had to shock her since. Happy dog, hunts like a demon, but comes out of cover when I call (unless she is tight on something or course).

That quick shock saved me and her a total breakdown in our relationship, and avoided me getting stroppy with her, but more to the point, she never associated the shock with me. She's not a particularly intelligent dog either, with a typical terrier attitude: act first, think later.

 

I let her run to around 80 yards from me, called her, she carried on running, I zapped her, she carried on running. I called her again, she carried on running, I zapped her again, she spun straight round and came back as fast as her legs would carry her. Lots of praise from me at that point.

 

I let her go again, let her get around 100 yards this time, called her, and she came straight back. Job sorted. I will say that timing is everything when using a shock collar, and I've seen them badly abused as well. Like anything that causes pain, it should only be used by people who understand a dog's mentality, and have the self control to use it correctly, which is why, before I ever got a collar, I went to a couple of trainers who showed me how to get the right results with a minimum of zapping.

 

In this terrier's case, she knew what the recall was, but was choosing to ignore my call as it was more fun to piss off and hunt whenever she wanted to. I also made sure that she wasn't actually hunting when I zapped her, but just running in a straight line away from me on a big open flood plain where there is no game of any sort. She learned the lesson in a non-hunting situation, but the lesson remained in place even in a hunting situation afterwards.

 

That's just my experience of the collar, though I did see a dog who knew when he was wearing the collar or not, and consequently had to wear it at all times when out or he'd revert back to his old ways if he wasn't wearing it.

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Just a quick example of an occasion i used the collar, When my GWP was a pup around 8/9mth things were going really well hunting up at a good safe distance and recalling perfectly, now hes a big strong bold dog and nothing really phased him. right one morning we was out on the fell all of a sudden he started to get a spurt on I thought he'd winded something, I kept up best I could, as I reached the brow I saw he was worrying sheep, after shouting a few times he eventually looked and stood and stared, I caught up with him, obviously to late to punish, he'd stopped. but as we walked away he was looking back i thought this could be a problem with him hunting so far away.

Anyway the next morning did exactly the same again only this time collar fitted, one thing I will say here is that i alternate collars with him all the time so he never gets accustomed to any. Ok back to the subject in question. as he set of up the hill i watched closely for the turn of speed as soon as he speeded up with is head in the air i was ready, I shouted him no response I shouted again this time with a short low zap, he hesitated but carried on, the next time I used an entirely different command and gave another more intense zap, he stopped instantly and returned immediatley, now he understands fully the new command word which relates to the correction, he as never done it since, he doesn't even look at another animal.

The dog wasn't even phased by it, in fact its made his life better and mine,

There's hundreds of reasons to use a collar,

Ok back at you,, please can you tell me how you would have handled that situation when you was a hundred yards away and your dog was attacking a sheep, I know the easy answers but tell me how you could have done it quicker and more efficiently with your dog of the lead.

Oh and honest answers please no text book comments.

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Ok back at you,, please can you tell me how you would have handled that situation when you was a hundred yards away and your dog was attacking a sheep, I know the easy answers but tell me how you could have done it quicker and more efficiently with your dog of the lead.

Oh and honest answers please no text book comments.

surely its a classic answer an error in the handlers training that is often left out, you have done what many people do and part of growing up as a puppy he should see all these things, if you are going to work them they will see deer, sheep, birds, cats etc, so take them and show them. When I was a huntsman I took over a pack that had a few hounds who chased sheep, when I spoke to the whip on exercise as I went into a field of sheep he said "don't go in this field there is sheep in there" and there lies the issue, so every day I went into the same field and walked at them not away from them, in the end they hated sheep, then I got 3 sheep and put them in the field at the kennels. so had you started at an early age taking the dog in a field of sheep he would have got used to them. in training you have a word for wrong I use "no" if my dog picks up a bit of wood to chew it or he does something wrong, if he chases a rabbit and I blow the stop whistle when he used to ignores its a "no", if I shoot and he runs in its "no" its the same word, used in a deep voice. so as you walk near the sheep on a lead if he looks at them you use the word.

 

Its a classic issue which I have said many times on here start training young so you don't let bad habits kick in because then you have to stop them.

no pain, no zap. if you got your dog at 2 months or 2 yrs the same rules apply.

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Point taken Phil, however the pup was stock broken with me from 3 mths old on the farm. never bothered them or even looked at them when I was around never, even when I was away at times he never bothered, this was a case of a young dog feeling is feet and hunting up for the first time out of sight, the temptation got the better of him, Oh and please don't tell me these things don't happen because they do and more often then we care to mention, I'm sure your aware or not that dogs are queer things and can be unpredictable at any time, with respect my friend your living in an ideal world, and bad habits can appear at anytime of a dogs ageing process. as I've said before I've trained dogs all my adult life and yes with some great results and yes with no collars, but now I know they are there they can save me a hell of a lot of time and correct an issue quickly and smoothly.

Can you just correct me this is a genuine question, isn't working with hounds a totally different scenario to what were saying they are as near to pack animals and copy each other you don't train them as individuals, after they have been brought on as pups by outsiders as pups I mean, I've walked with pack hounds in Cumbria with my terriers hundreds of times and seen some startling things. as a huntsman you don't train an individual dog they train themselves right or wrong, The whipper in is the mainstay with the bloody great whip right?

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To the Original Poster

 

Very interesting thread.

Im a specialist search dog trainer/assessor and handler, my working field of expertise is irrelevant as canine behavior training is training, whether thats gun dogs, all arms/explosives, money, dvd, drugs, animal scats etc etc etc

There is not a month goes by when we don't get springer spaniels in the kennels for rehoming, mostly around 9 months to 13 months age range.

 

The reason why is because of their extreme interest and prey drive, they just switch right on and want to have fun mooching about a full speed in the undergrowth and hedges etc and if their handler has no idea about training, has no patience, does not understand their dogs breed and thinks the dog is at fault, they get frustrated with the dog, they beat the dog, put shock collars on the dog, then rehome the dog.

 

Its never the dogs fault, always trainer/handler error. I have seen some top pedigree dogs trained by some very knowledgeable trainers, then the handler brings the dog back and says its shit, wont work, wont listen, the trainers then explain that they now need to spend £2k on training the dog owner!

 

We spend around 4 days solid with so called problem dogs and end up with a perfectly rounded individual canine, thats settled and will work hard and obey all commands - no beating, no slapping, no shock collars ( we in Wales) no clickers, just working with very simple behavior modification techniques.

 

Its dog handlers that need the training.

 

Go back to basics, stop using a short lead and switch to a 6 metre leash, don't let the dog off the leash, let it have its exploring time, but start adding the recall commands and rewarding with a kong toy or ball, small treat (which ever your dog is switched on to, some are just ball mad). The moment the dog ignores you, quietly and softly remove him from his fun play area that he finds so interesting, shorten the leash up, walk him at heel back home, end of session.

The dog will very quickly learn that ignoring a command equals end of fun. Dogs learn in cycles of 3 and reinforcement of this in 25 cycles (max per day) of 3 is all that is needed in training a new command.

 

Old hands will tell you, always keep a springer closer than 20ft when working of the lead, they are right! Even with the best will in the world their breeding makes the red mist come down, and their selective hearing to human barking switches off haha, but once the dog loves you and respects you they will swim through burning water for you.

 

Get some bonding done with your dog, play ball recall games, always have his toy/ball in your pocket as an incentive to come back to you. Learn to pick up on your dogs body language, head, nose and eyes, tail etc, I have a Springer, its well trained, I know just what is going through its mind when its off the lead, I can see when its about to sod right off in to the woods and not come back, as its happened to me too, in the early days, and on rare occasion its still happens today, the defining factor is seeing the change in your dogs behaviour, seeing its body language and movement push the 'open space' boundary of your dominance, and then getting your dog back to you and calmed down before the red mist comes down, the more you spot the behaviour and distract it with a human reward of play/food/love, the quicker your dog will understand you and respect you.

 

Best of luck :)

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To the Original Poster

 

Very interesting thread.

Im a specialist search dog trainer/assessor and handler, my working field of expertise is irrelevant as canine behavior training is training, whether thats gun dogs, all arms/explosives, money, dvd, drugs, animal scats etc etc etc

There is not a month goes by when we don't get springer spaniels in the kennels for rehoming, mostly around 9 months to 13 months age range.

 

The reason why is because of their extreme interest and prey drive, they just switch right on and want to have fun mooching about a full speed in the undergrowth and hedges etc and if their handler has no idea about training, has no patience, does not understand their dogs breed and thinks the dog is at fault, they get frustrated with the dog, they beat the dog, put shock collars on the dog, then rehome the dog.

 

Its never the dogs fault, always trainer/handler error. I have seen some top pedigree dogs trained by some very knowledgeable trainers, then the handler brings the dog back and says its shit, wont work, wont listen, the trainers then explain that they now need to spend £2k on training the dog owner!

 

We spend around 4 days solid with so called problem dogs and end up with a perfectly rounded individual canine, thats settled and will work hard and obey all commands - no beating, no slapping, no shock collars ( we in Wales) no clickers, just working with very simple behavior modification techniques.

 

Its dog handlers that need the training.

 

Go back to basics, stop using a short lead and switch to a 6 metre leash, don't let the dog off the leash, let it have its exploring time, but start adding the recall commands and rewarding with a kong toy or ball, small treat (which ever your dog is switched on to, some are just ball mad). The moment the dog ignores you, quietly and softly remove him from his fun play area that he finds so interesting, shorten the leash up, walk him at heel back home, end of session.

The dog will very quickly learn that ignoring a command equals end of fun. Dogs learn in cycles of 3 and reinforcement of this in 25 cycles (max per day) of 3 is all that is needed in training a new command.

 

Old hands will tell you, always keep a springer closer than 20ft when working of the lead, they are right! Even with the best will in the world their breeding makes the red mist come down, and their selective hearing to human barking switches off haha, but once the dog loves you and respects you they will swim through burning water for you.

 

Get some bonding done with your dog, play ball recall games, always have his toy/ball in your pocket as an incentive to come back to you. Learn to pick up on your dogs body language, head, nose and eyes, tail etc, I have a Springer, its well trained, I know just what is going through its mind when its off the lead, I can see when its about to sod right off in to the woods and not come back, as its happened to me too, in the early days, and on rare occasion its still happens today, the defining factor is seeing the change in your dogs behaviour, seeing its body language and movement push the 'open space' boundary of your dominance, and then getting your dog back to you and calmed down before the red mist comes down, the more you spot the behaviour and distract it with a human reward of play/food/love, the quicker your dog will understand you and respect you.

 

Best of luck :)

Absolutely bang on......And i thought for one second i was missing some thing...You have to have such a bond that the dog see`s you as the release mechanism for the task a head and the subsequent commands to be given..One thing you can`t do is train a dog one day and then leave it till the weekend ( that if you want a controlled animal )..

Edited by camokev64

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Hi Hunter. the lad who started the thread,, Listen my friend its quite clear now that you have had all different kinds of advice, I will go against all I've said in this thread try out what the wisest of the wise have said and lets see how you get on, My experience tells me you are going to struggle but I hope not and it works.

Ok here goes try the 3 of 25 or whatever Mark suggests and some of the other advice and hopefully it'll do the job, If not I will personally come to you with a collar and correct it within an hour or so, and promise not to cause the dog any long standing pain or anguish, anyone else here want to offer their advice the same way.

Don't knock what you don't know,, lets go and practice what we preach,

I mean absolutely no hard feelings whatsoever with this but I feel its time someone stands up and be counted, and I know I will solve the problem

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Bunson, Hello :)

 

I was going to post my thoughts on collars and thought better of it as personally didnt want to get involved in that debate. Personally I think they work well if used correctly and are another training aid.

 

However, reading what you have posted on your use, I would put you (and one of the other lads who used a collar) firmly in the box of 'a person who knows how to use correct timing with collar' :) not blowing smoke up you mate. Im thinking that you already have a very concise grasp on canine behavior and body language and as such know how to use a collar to the best effect.

 

Fair play to you for offering your time with the OP, I would think that you would be able to help this lad with other training tips as well. If this chap is close, pop over and pick his brains with your training. Nothing to lose and lots to gain.

 

Some other thoughts of mine in general, on training and issues'

Too many people use a collar in such a way that it becomes a punishment, and we know thats not the right way to do it. All you then end up with is a dog that is forced to do what you want it to do, not a dog that wants to do what you would like it to do.

 

A forced dog is an unhappy one that will be walking behind you with a low tail and a low head, not a happy dog walking beside you with a neutral walking stance.

A forced dog is a submissive dog, and submissiveness leads to another set of problems, usually dog to dog aggression, and when you try and train that incorrectly you get dog to human aggression and thats when it gets dumped on the street, picked up by dog wardens put in the stray kennel and waits on death row for 8 days before being put down, all because the owner didn't bother to find out how to be a friend to their dog. Very sad.

Im not saying that happens with every dog that has forced punished training, but its very well documented.

 

 

There are many easy right ways to train a dog - its learning them thats the hard bit.

There are many easy wrong ways to train a dog - not learning them is the easy bit.

When you have learned to spot the easy wrong ways you will have learned the easy right ways :)

 

 

Final thoughts on Springers - Everyone says they are mad - no they aren't, they are very sensitive, very intelligent and have a lot of energy to burn. All adolescent dogs can be a handful, Springers a little more so, they will bomb around in circles, then come back to you and lick you to death or pee all over the place, then go bombing off again, they will jump loop the loops when they can, and are like a firework on the floor, they are either switched on or they are asleep when they are younger and they don't ever really calm down, but get a little milder when they hit 4yrs.

 

 

Final final thoughts...clicker training anyone :snack:

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Hi Mark,

Thanks for your comments, I've tried in the previous statements to advocate the use of proper training at the correct intervals etc, Also all I have tried to say is use it as a correction method as a one off in situations where the person is obviously stressed with the situation and we all knows what comes next. possibly ending up with somebody like you and your team to put right. well done by the way..

Over 30 years I've come across all types of different scenarios but have always found that understanding the dog and the problem is the way to make the cure. Today I always listen and learn from different techniques and never doubt anybodies opinion, you have to try it to see if it works.

For sure Springers are without a doubt a testing animal in certain stages of their development, but your right watching and looking for the trigger point is key, you learn to read what they want to do next and when to stop or move on.

I will happily help the lad, if I feel its not a problem for the collar then so be it. but his description sounded desperate especially after he was going well with basic training and when you get to that situation I'm not saying he would but its easy to throw in the towel.

I hope the guys on here haven't thought I have deliberately tried to cause an argument for the collar, I haven't my intention was to say, used correctly and efficiently they can do a specific job and save more problems.

Never use them for training they are for correction and particular problems, the way to enjoying your hunting etc is watching your dog doing what you have taught them and yes when there's just you too after half hours training sitting down and talking to him ,I could swear they have answered me, you'll know what I mean lol.

Regards

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