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Re: Any ideas for an Ultrasonic pulse generator?


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3/4/2004 10:32 AM
PeteR
Re: Any ideas for an Ultrasonic pulse generator?
Good points Bob and a lot of sense. However I'm not in the position to do training of any kind with the dog. As for the owner...it's a simple case of "what can I do? It's the wallaby's fault". I've lived here for nearly 20 years and there's always been abundant wildlife. The dog is fairly new so hopefully it will get better with time.  
 
As for the Ultrasonic generator - it was not meant to torture the dog, just a kind of electronic command/warning.....it barks - the device momentarily squawks. That's it. It would only be at night time and only when the dog is in a particular area (outside my bedroom).  
I've always loved animals (hence the area I live in) and until a few years ago have always had a dog. The real problem is that some people who own animals have no concept of their responsibilities - to their pet and the environment. Cats left out at night are a real problem (they hunt and kill the wildlife) so now I catch 'em and take them into the animal shelter. The owner has to pay to get his microchipped murderous moggy back and then normally keeps it in at night ;)  
 
Pete :)
 
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3/4/2004 7:20 PM
Doug H

I don't think a warning sound is necessarily cruel or "torture", ear-bleeding jokes aside. I took my dog to a basic dog-training class. The instructor asked about special problems and I mentioned that, at the time, he was jumping on visitors (and the picture window in the living room every time someone walked by on the sidewalk). She suggested hiding a soda can 1/3 full of pennies, then shaking it behind your back and saying "No jump" when he exhibited this behavior. The sound of the pennies in the can would be unpleasant to him, esp since he didn't know where it came from. He would associate this and the verbal command with the jumping and would eventually stop. He has matured and settled down quite a bit since then, so it is not as big of a problem as it once was- but I'll keep the idea in my "back pocket" just in case I need it someday.  
 
In any case, I think an unpleasant sound *could* be useful for modifying behavior. Intentionally inflicting pain or suffering is a different matter entirely.  
 
Now that we're on the subject however, I could really use an ultrasonic remote-control way of destroying subwoofers and/or car stereos.;-) Any ideas?;-)  
 
Doug
 
3/4/2004 11:28 PM
bob p
i don't claim to have all the answers, so its not like i'm the reference authority on dog training. i have read about 22 books on the subject though, and i've found that if you spend enough time working with a dog, you'll get results. imho most of the people who own dogs never spend enough time with them to train them beyond the most basic things like housebreaking.  
 
i understand your problem with the owner. "what can I do" is a very common response. i'd bet that this is one of the most common responses -- the other being the "shut up and fuck off" type of response that Enzo alluded to earlier.  
 
this helps to illustrate one of the major points of friction between dog owners and their neighbors: many people take offense at having someone else critique their dog training skills, even when they don't seem to have any concept of how to train a dog. lots of people will also have the reflex response of becoming defensive when you tell them that their dog is causing a problem. dog people don't tend to get as annoyed by dog barks as non-dog owners, so sometimes its hard for them to appreciate the severity of the problem.  
quote:
"The real problem is that some people who own animals have no concept of their responsibilities - to their pet and the environment. "
we're on the same page. owning a pet is a huge responsibility -- its both a responsibility to your pet on your part, and to the environment/neighbors. for some reason alot of people don't take adequate responsibility for their pet.  
 
personally, i've always been of the opinion that you owe it to your pet not to let it out by itself unsupervised. all sorts of bad things can happen: your pet could get into trouble with the neighbors (antagonizing other pets or wildlife, leaving "presents" in the yard, etc.). your pet could get hit by a car. your pet could be stolen for use as a pet, for use in a dogfight, or as John noted, for use as an entree. :o if your beloved fido is going to end up along side a bed of rice, microchipping it won't help. you have to be there with your pet at all times and have it under control at all times in order to keep it safe. its like having a child that never grows up. if you're going to have a pet, as a responsible owner you owe it to yourself, to the pet, and to your neighbors to ensure that nothing bad happens to it.  
 
as an example, i take my Mom's assistance dog Buddy across the street to the neighbors house every day to play with another dog. (he is trained not to cross the street unless he is heeling beside me. when he sees his friends across the street, he sits at the edge of the driveway and cries for me to take him across the street. if i don't take him, he won't go.) when we arrive across the street, i let the dogs run loose in an unfenced yard. the dogs are trained well enough that they won't run off and annoy the nighbors. most importantly, even though the dogs are well behaved, i don't leave Buddy unsupervised. there's a lake across the street, and i don't like him running out on the ice.  
 
i warned another neighbor, who lets his dog run at large, that he was going to run into trouble with his dog who liked to chase snowmobiles on the lake. if nothing else, i warned him that he was going to run into a problem when the spring thaw came along and the dog was running on thin ice. we had a huge thunderstorm a few days ago, which resulted in alot of ice melting in the lake. much to my neighbor's dismay, he found two drowned dogs in the lake as the ice melted -- a golden retriever and a labrador retriever. both of them were swollen and bloated, and appeared to have been in the water for some time. the sad truth is that these pets would be alive today if their owners had only bothered to supervise them instead of letting them run at large. i was very surprised by the fact that even after my neighbor pulled two dead dogs out of his beachfront, the need for him to keep his dog under control just didn't seem to register. oh well, here is another horse that won't drink water.  
 
with regard to the penny can that Doug mentioned -- the penny can is a good training tool. dogs don't like the harsh sound of the penny can, and it definitely annoys them. the good thing about the penny can is that its not an automated electronic device that can fire itself. i could envision situations where an ultrasonic generator could operate in a loop and provide unattended automated signals, which could be a real problem. i'm glad to hear that the "bleeding ear" jokes weren't serious. i was a bit worried about them.  
 
one limitation of the penny can and other forms of negative reinforcement as a behavior modification tool: its an accepted fact in the animal training community and in the psychological community that positive punishment is one of the least effective tools in achieving lasting/permanent behavior modification. with positive punishment, it is possible to extinguish an undesirable behavior, but a high rate of recidivism ensues once the punishment is discontinued. for this reason, its much more effective to use positive punishment as a bridging tool to initially shape the behavior away from one particular activity, and then use positive reinforcement in order to make the new/substitute behavior become permanent. unlike punishment, behaviors that are shaped via positive reinforcement tend to remain permanent, even after the reinforcement is no longer applied. in layman's terms, this means that if you don't train the dog to enjoy the new/substitute behavior, you'll have to carry that penny can with you whereever you go.  
 
i'll stop now, before i hijack this thread into a longer monologue on operant conditioning. otherwise, i'd start babbling about the differences between positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment...
 

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