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I have a standard poodle that’s 15 month’s old. I got him 3 weeks ago from a person who had 3 other poodles. She did not socialize him well with other people, but kept him at home all the time with other dogs. He is a wonderful, smart boy that is getting used to our household. I have one big issue. He is extremely possessive of me. When he is around me, and my husband and son approach me, he growls and then charges them, before stopping right at them and smelling them. I hired a trainer that we utilize via electronic means and have started to condition my poodle to be more confident and independent. The trainer is reputable with a lot of positive reviews. We started with a prong collar for minor corrections and transitioned to the ecollar, utilizing everything with leash control techniques. We heard mixed reviews about the ecollar and were hesitant at first, but the trainer insists that it does work. We started using it a few days ago. I wanted to reach out and ask whether anybody else has had positive experiences using the ecollar, and how long it normally takes?

Best Regards,
 

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What chain of events is the trainer trying to end using an e-collar? I can't think of any scenario involving resource guarding or socialization issues that will improve when an e-collar is added to the mix.

If your dog is poorly socialized, he is probably nervous and somewhat fearful. He might be hiding that fear behind a show of bravado, but resource guarding is rooted in insecurity. Using aversives, like an e-collar, doesn't make a dog more confident. Quite the opposite; you run the risk of triggering fear aggression.

I have seen an e-collar used to correct life-threatening bad habits, such as chasing cars or running livestock. When the zap is timed correctly, the dog associates approaching the car or pasture critter with getting shocked. This can help discourage the dog from continuing a habit which might, ultimately, prove lethal to the dog. However, it doesn't sound like you are dealing with a dog chasing the neighbor's pet goats.
 

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I would add to what cowpony said that the risk you run with controlling this via compulsion/pain is stopping the dog from showing warning signs of discomfort (such as growling, bluff charging). Dogs who learn showing warning signs of fear results in punishment often stop showing warning signs before a bite. This, in the case of aggression directed towards humans, can be serious.

Mine! By Jean Donaldson is classic for resource guarding, I am not sure if it covers guarding humans.
Patricia Mcconnell also has some good resources on her blog.

As for increasing confidence - you want your dog to learn that the world is a safe, predictable and boring place where surprises are usually good things.

 

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Another thought. You said this dog was poorly socialized and lived with a woman. Is it perhaps possible that your dog has rarely interacted with men and is scared of them? If so, what you really want to do is show him that your menfolk are safe and fun. Poodles enjoy attention and enjoy working. I would, quite honestly, get another trainer, one who uses positive methods, and get the guys involved in training. Your boy will be much more friendly to the guys if he sees them as a source of treats and entertainment.
 

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I have a standard poodle that’s 15 month’s old. I got him 3 weeks ago from a person who had 3 other poodles. She did not socialize him well with other people, but kept him at home all the time with other dogs. He is a wonderful, smart boy that is getting used to our household. I have one big issue. He is extremely possessive of me. When he is around me, and my husband and son approach me, he growls and then charges them, before stopping right at them and smelling them. I hired a trainer that we utilize via electronic means and have started to condition my poodle to be more confident and independent. The trainer is reputable with a lot of positive reviews. We started with a prong collar for minor corrections and transitioned to the ecollar, utilizing everything with leash control techniques. We heard mixed reviews about the ecollar and were hesitant at first, but the trainer insists that it does work. We started using it a few days ago. I wanted to reach out and ask whether anybody else has had positive experiences using the ecollar, and how long it normally takes?

Best Regards,
I have a spoo that I got at 6months old that like yours had never left the home until I got her she was terrified of everything especially people, she bonded to me right away but no one else could even look at her with out her freaking out. I did a lot of work training her and building her confidence inside and outside the house, while she made great progress it wasn't until I started using an ecollar with her that she really started to turn a corner. She will never be a dog that loves other people but I don't have to worry about her hurting herself when we are out and about, it also has the benefit of giving me the security to let her run free off leash.

Ecollars are not meant to cause pain yes they can if used incorrectly just like any other tool but that is not the point. if you put a proper ecollar on yourself you will see it is just a small TENS machine meaning it stimulates muscle. instead of collar pops that can also do harm there is a small amount of muscle stim on your dogs neck. A good ecollar will have many levels and you need to find the lowest level where your dog feels it. for example Zoey my girl doesn't feel anything until leave 8 but outside she doesn't feel it till level 10.

The ecollar just works like a tap on the shoulder for her to say hey stop that or hey look at me. you will not need to use an ecollar forever if used correctly, I only every use my ecollar for Zoey when we are going someplace where she can be off leash so no matter what is going on I have something that can get her attention if she ever doesn't listen to my Come . I haven't had to use my ecollar for that for over three months now.

If your dog or any other dog wearing an ecollar is in pain that is not okay and the level is too high and should be turned down. Ecollars are not just for life threatening behaviour they can be used for anything, they are good because you can give corrections from afar with better timing in many ways it is fairer for the dog.

sorry this was long and ranty
 

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I believe that it doesn't have to be painful to be aversive. It's a negative stimulus and teaches avoidance rather than acceptance for a dog that's already uncomfortable in a situation.

ETA to add

What I mean by avoidance is that the negative stimulus teaches them to avoid doing what you don't want them do. It does nothing to teach them what you do want them to do, that still has to be taught.

This process is about building trust and confidence.
 

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I don't know who this trainer is or what his credentials are but happened on this while googling e collar training. It explains what we're saying about ecollar training from another trainers perspective.



Stop The Shock: Discover Positive Dog Training | Petco

October 6, 2020 Petco stops selling electronic collars operated by a person with a remote in hand.
 

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I'm a certified professional dog trainer. Certified professional trainers follow LIMA: Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive ethical code. For me to reach for an e-collar as my first training tool would be an ethics violation. It's the last tool in the tool box, the one right above euthanasia. As a professional, I have seen dogs trained with shock collars who urinate in fear when their handler picks up a tv remote. I have rehabilitated dogs who were emotionally damaged by shock collars. This is why I do not use them. I train 60 dogs a week. I never use a shock collar on my client's dogs. I train force free.

What I use instead is behavior modification through positive reinforcement of incompatible behavior. It's the tool I reach for when dogs are doing inappropriate things. Lunging, growling, snapping at people is incomparable with lying down on a mat. Desensitization and counter conditioning results in a dog lounging on a mat when people walk past, wagging his tail, looking forward to their approach. I train this systematically, carefully, deliberately. What I do not do is add fear and stress to a freaked out dog.

I have yet to find a dog who's problems can be solved better through pain than kindness. I have yet to find a person who prefers a punch in the teeth to love. But there are plenty of people who use pain as a shortcut when training dogs. I undo this damage at work.

This post made me sad. Because after your trainer is done shocking your dog into learned helplessness, and taken your money, you'll need to find a certified professional trainer like me to undo the damage. Undoing force based training is what I do for a living. Fortunately, I'll never run out of work to do. Unfortunately, I'll be cleaning up after another dog who empties his bowels when I hold up my phone. Another dog who urinates when I touch her collar. Another dog who cowers from my hands. Another dog, another dog, another dog... I don't want your dog to be another dog damaged by a force based trainer. You deserve better. Your dog deserves better. Better is available. You just have to ask.

Send a private message to either me or Catherine (Lily CD RE). We're certified professional dog trainers who subscribe to LIMA. We'll help you find a certified professional dog trainer.

-- Click-N-Treat
 

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I'm a certified professional dog trainer. Certified professional trainers follow LIMA: Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive ethical code. For me to reach for an e-collar as my first training tool would be an ethics violation. It's the last tool in the tool box, the one right above euthanasia. As a professional, I have seen dogs trained with shock collars who urinate in fear when their handler picks up a tv remote. I have rehabilitated dogs who were emotionally damaged by shock collars. This is why I do not use them. I train 60 dogs a week. I never use a shock collar on my client's dogs. I train force free.

What I use instead is behavior modification through positive reinforcement of incompatible behavior. It's the tool I reach for when dogs are doing inappropriate things. Lunging, growling, snapping at people is incomparable with lying down on a mat. Desensitization and counter conditioning results in a dog lounging on a mat when people walk past, wagging his tail, looking forward to their approach. I train this systematically, carefully, deliberately. What I do not do is add fear and stress to a freaked out dog.

I have yet to find a dog who's problems can be solved better through pain than kindness. I have yet to find a person who prefers a punch in the teeth to love. But there are plenty of people who use pain as a shortcut when training dogs. I undo this damage at work.

This post made me sad. Because after your trainer is done shocking your dog into learned helplessness, and taken your money, you'll need to find a certified professional trainer like me to undo the damage. Undoing force based training is what I do for a living. Fortunately, I'll never run out of work to do. Unfortunately, I'll be cleaning up after another dog who empties his bowels when I hold up my phone. Another dog who urinates when I touch her collar. Another dog who cowers from my hands. Another dog, another dog, another dog... I don't want your dog to be another dog damaged by a force based trainer. You deserve better. Your dog deserves better. Better is available. You just have to ask.

Send a private message to either me or Catherine (Lily CD RE). We're certified professional dog trainers who subscribe to LIMA. We'll help you find a certified professional dog trainer.

-- Click-N-Treat
So beautifully, painfully said. Thank you.

@Blackpoody, I applaud you for your hesitation and hope you’ll reach out to Click or Lily. And please do keep us posted on your progress with your new companion. You have the great honour now of introducing him to the world his previous owner denied him. What a gift....for both of you. :)
 

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P.S. Even though you don’t have a puppy, I think you may find this list of resources helpful:


I refer back to it regularly myself.
 
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