Electronic dog training collars; facts and fanciful fiction

Not a Tool for Fools

Wales moves to ban electronic dog training collars in a swift albeit short-sighted move last week; making their use punishable by fine of  up to 20 thousand pounds or 6 months in prison.

I would make the ‘pound’ symbol, but I am a computer dolt and I can’t.

But anyway…

In one perversely broad stroke, Wales has transcended the absurd and banned the tool itself. All thirty thousand of the units currently speculated to be in circulation in that country at this time are now illegal to own and/or use.

And where are the collar manufacturers?  Too askeer’t to defend themselves, or are they mounting an appeal?

It appears that the Assembly committed to a ban as far back as 2006 despite the call for research by an overview committee prior to any final decision.

Germany had already enacted ecollar legislation limiting their sale and use, based on the findings of research conducted between 2003 and 2007.

Additional information on related legislation throughout Europe is found here.

Of the two studies conducted in 2003 and 2007 which peremptorily facilitated the ban, they are humorously broken down here by Ruth Crisler over at SpotCheck.

Anyone with any degree of comprehension would soon discover that these two ‘studies’ are not science.

By 2008 however, it appears that Wales had already made a decision and simply waited for enough ground support to pass it through their parliamentary procedures, even as another study was underway in Muenster and Hannover Germany, which revealed strikingly different results.

In an acerbic analysis of the UK’s Kennel Club involvement in the Wales ban, K9 Magazine’s Ryan O’Meara takes the bull by the horns and calls for the KC to get it’s own house in order, as far back as 2008, on the heels of the Pedigree Dogs debacle.

I guess this all encourages me to create two posts soon.  One on the evolution of contemporary dog training tools (in progress) and one on how to use them (coming soon).

Timing is Everything.


11 Responses to “Electronic dog training collars; facts and fanciful fiction”

  1. ruthcrisler March 31, 2010 7:46 pm #

    Hey, thanks for the shout-out. And I’m glad you linked to the recent Hannover study. It’s really in a whole different league in terms of credibility. And it’s more than ten times the length of either of the studies I was having fun dissecting. I read it last year and have been thinking about writing a review.

    And I’ll be sure to watch for those other pieces you’re cooking up!

    • stone soup diaries April 1, 2010 7:01 am #

      I was impressed with it’s length also, and it’s findings; which the Schalke study alluded to but never fleshed out, since it was contraindicated in their ultimate goal. Howevah… I can’t WAIT to finish the first piece about the genesis of tools. I have been working on it (it seems like) forEVER and it’s time to let that puppy fly. I was particularly fond of the discovery from the UK’s K9 Magazine taking the KC to task. Either way, I think blog land is gonna get real interesting pretty soon.

      • ruthcrisler April 1, 2010 10:06 pm #

        I would love to read an overview of training tools. I’ve got a number of irons in the fire, one of which will address current attitudes toward tools.

        I enjoyed the K9 Magazine piece as well.

        • stone soup diaries April 2, 2010 6:59 am #

          It’s almost done. It will appear probably by the beginning of the next week. providing of course, I can extricate myself from the training of real live dogs and focus on the theoretical ones.

  2. Catherine Nelson April 1, 2010 10:52 am #

    I’m sure that those who’ve already made up their minds will look at that thesis and say that the “quitting signal” wasn’t taught well enough. But at least they’ll be introduced to what experimental design is.

    All I can say is that I don’t want to be an innocent citizen in a municipality where police dogs are taught to “Out” by a “quitting signal”.

    • ruthcrisler April 1, 2010 10:12 pm #

      Good point. Neither do I. But those that argue against balanced training don’t seem especially interested in training police dog stock. As I recall, part of the conclusion of the Schilder study was the recommendation that these dogs be bred for less drive, because that would allow for gentler methods.

      It’s all about serving the methodology, very little more in my opinion.

      • Catherine Nelson April 2, 2010 12:53 am #

        Karen Overall has a screed in which she talks about working a police dog on a “Scruffy-Collar”, whatever that is. Scary that these guys hold forth on things they know very little about.

        • stone soup diaries April 2, 2010 6:49 am #

          Catherine, Here is a link to one.

          Looks vaguely familiar to the Illusion Collar that Millan came up with a few years ago.

          • Viatecio April 4, 2010 5:40 pm

            Oh wow, I saw one of those years ago on a Great Dane while I was working at a pet supply store. Didn’t have any idea of what to even call the thing. I was not impressed with the design…it’s basically a glorified Alaskan-style limited slip collar with a HANDLE on it.

            Thanks for linking to that!

      • stone soup diaries April 2, 2010 6:55 am #

        Indeed, it’s all about the methodology. And about the serious competition to be the “next best thing”.
        I find it rather disturbing that they try so desperately to pound every animal on the planet into the same mold. That wonderful paradigm that it’s good for dogs because “I SAID so”!


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