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Why e-collars are bad in sheepdog training

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I wanted to share the link to my article on the above topic, since the question keeps popping up.  The questions on e-collars are usually met with a great deal of negative emotions, which I perfectly understand and share, but I wanted to try and actually answer the question "why not" in an organised manner.  I hope that maybe some people will find it useful. 



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I like your article. Good points.

But the question if e collars have a place in stockdog- , or even general dog training is moot here in Iceland; their use is illegal.

And even though I believe in competent hands, and for specific reasons ( again I agree not in stockwork) they can  have their use I still am happy with this ban.

I have seen myself  how a complete idiot abused this tool, and it was not a pretty sight. This person would have been fully capable of screwing up her dog without it, but the e-collar enabled her to do this way quicker and more efficient....

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Thank you, Maja! I've no experience at all in working stock. Watching dogs work sheep, live and on the ground, is very different from watching on film. The 'dance' between 3 very different species is fascinating to me.

I could never articulate it before, but your idea that the handler tells the dog what must be done and the dog conveys that to the stock in a very different form from how the dog gets that information from the handler is the missing piece for me.

I'll be re-reading this. Thanks again.

Ruth & Gibbs

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I am no expert in stock work, but I gave a lot of thought to the topic, and so far nobody has pointed out any serious flaws so, I guess it's not too bad :) .  

In my mind,  the stuff I wrote on e-collars relates to my observations on Bonnie who has lost her hearing at the age of 4-5.  And how long it took me to realize it  and to see how much she had been reading from me without being able to hear the commands.  And how people (who never had a dog going deaf) assumed without a doubt  that she was blowing me off.  It opened my eyes to how little we know sometimes on what is going on.   I mean, they were sure she giving me the middle finger, while all this time she was desperately trying to figure out what I wanted. How much more wrong can you get?  

And the thing that scares me in people who want to use an e-collar for border collies is their brash confidence about being right.   

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