Session 101: E-Collar Training Explored with Eric Letendre

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We have a new conversation with Eric Letendre, a great trainer based in the Massachusetts area. Last time I spoke to Eric (in episode 66) he'd published his first book, The Deadly Dog Training Myth.

There is so much conversation about remote training collars, but specifically a lot of misunderstandings about what they are for and what they can do. And it is important to note that a lot of understanding can be gained with this technology by understanding Skinner's Four Quadrants. I talked about this in podcast sessions 73 (part 1) and session 74 (part 2). Note that these will open in new tabs so you won't lose your place here. I ask Eric about some of the mistakes people make when it comes to choosing a collar. We talk about "lesser"/"cheaper" collar types. I tell a funny story about a client who had a very interesting experience and why he gave up on it. Misuse and misunderstanding are a very big factor when considering this training method.

Eric talks about dog owners basic use methods;

  1. As a low level negative reinforcement (or pressure and release)
  2. Using it as a positive reinforcement (at a comfortable level)

We'll talk about how it can be an incredibly good or bad tool to use depending on the type you use, and your understanding about the psychological approach that you take when training your dog with it. Imagine a dog's response when you get certain things out and the positive response you receive. When you bring out the remote training collar, what association do you imagine the dog having? After listening to this podcast, it won't surprise you to know that dogs (trained properly) have a positive response to an e-collar!

Eric will talk about his philosophy about when the collar is applied during a real life training session and why that is. We talk a bit about each of our philosophies and the importance of that timing.

Eric's YouTube Page

The Deadly Dog Training Myth on Amazon

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