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WHAT IS THIS WEBSITE ABOUT?  Some of this is a personal website containing REBUTTAL, REPLY, and COMMENT to (primarily) public statements and accusations made by various self proclaimed "internet dog training experts".  The majority of the statements and accusations are FALSE, and refer to me, personally.  The nucleus of this website is based on verbatim quotes of public messages, most of which are archived with their respective lists.  Unless noted, nothing has been altered, other than formatting line length to screen width and changing the font style.  Other parts of this site contain OPINIONS, HUMOR, PARODY, COMEDY, and SARCASM which reflect my own personal sense of humor and viewpoints.  The First Amendment of the Constitution adequately, particularly, and specifically provides these rights.  This site is for educational and entertainment purposes.  This is emphatically not a "hate" site.  There is no hate, and never was.  Profanity is kept to a minimum, but it does exist.  If this website seems offensive to you, in any way, please leave now.  Please do not subject yourself to being offended.

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ECOLLAR TRAINING VIDEO REVIEW

This is a review of an Ecollar video, called "Electric collar Training for Pet Owners," put out by Ed Frawley of Leerburg Kennels. To be specific it's Video #318-D.

That's pretty specific!

My critique is pretty long so if you don't want to read the entire thing, just get this part.

Reading the entire thing could put somebody to sleep - even if they were in a coma.  It's hard to understand how Voodoo Louie uses about 4200 words to say nothing.

It's the worst dog training video OF ANY KIND that I've ever seen.

Isn't that amazing?  Years ago, Voodoo Louie and Ed LEERKOPF™ Frawley were super-cyber buddies.

It's worse than a waste of your money; it teaches and endorses abuse of dogs using an Ecollar.

Well, Voodoo Louie - YOU vomit up your "abuse" stories regularly.  Maybe this one is like the rest of your "abuse" fairy tales.

Mr. Frawley is a man who, on his website, brags that he stopped a dog from fence fighting (this is just two dogs running back and forth on opposite sides of a fence exhibiting aggressive behavior) by HITTING THE DOG ON THE HEAD WITH A SHOVEL, THREE TIMES! Neither dog was in any physical danger; and neither was Mr. Frawley.

Was it a plastic shovel, Voodoo?

For those who want specifics, read on.

OK - I suggest that the readers take a lot of LSD, wait 45 minutes, drink a pint of vodka, and get INTO your "review".

"The Expert" and a Warning!

This is a review of a video put out by Leerburg featuring Ed Frawley as the "expert."

Frawley IS an "expert" - just like Voodoo Louie.

The title of this video is "Electric Collar Training for Pets."

Great title.  Isn't that a repeat from the first sentence?

Mr. Frawley intends that this will be used by people who have never used an Ecollar and who have little or no knowledge of how to use the tool.

Did Frawley TELL you what he intends?  Or did you just manufacture that?

A few years back Donn Yarnall (the founder of the LAPD K-9 patrol unit and its head trainer for about 20 years) wrote a warning to police dog handlers, SAR workers and pet owners about letting "just anyone" train your dog with an Ecollar. A few of those warnings need to be kept in mind as you read this review. They apply directly to how the use of the tool is described and advocated in the video.

Now THAT'S a pile of shit.  Yarnell's "warning" was just another public attack on Fred Hassen.  The pages prove it.

1. The “trainer” will never answer a question directly. He or she will stick to their sales training and divert attention away from what you originally asked. Do not let anyone that cannot explain his or her training techniques in plain language put an Ecollar on your dog!

5. If the dogs he shows are nervous, anxious, and or suppressed, or clearly anticipating control commands - do not let this person put an Ecollar on your dog!

9. If you frequently hear vocalization or see overt reactions to the stimulations it is a clear indication that the “trainer” is using high levels of stimulation and strict compulsion. Do not let this person put an Ecollar on your dog!

These warnings could have been written about the video now on the market done by Mr. Frawley. There is so much about this video that is either just plain wrong or so poorly done that I'll only hit the high points.

That's very thoughtful of you, Voodoo, because your mouth runs like the Mississippi River.  It just never ends.

The bad news first; if you've spent money on this, you would have gotten a better deal by flushing that money down the toilet. I didn't buy this video, a dissatisfied purchaser sent it to me so that I could see just how bad it is.

Pretty bad, isn't it Voodoo?  It's like a nightmare, isn't it?  It just keeps getting worse and worse.

Consistency is the Key to Successful Training

The narrator and main player, Ed Frawley (who is known as a breeder but not a dog trainer and certainly not an Ecollar user) a few times discusses the need for consistency in dog training and says never to give a command that you aren't going to enforce.

That's a damn good idea!

But it's a "do as I say, not as I do" show. A couple of times in the video he tells a dog to stay and the dog breaks the stay a few moments later. No correction comes.

That's a damn bad idea!

At one point he gives a dog a sit command and the dog downs. He actually rewards the dog for this and says, "It's OK, you're not my competition dog." There's no correction for the dog doing what he wants to do, instead of what he's been told to do.

That's a damn bad idea, too!

Introduction

In the Introduction he says, "Electric collars have been around for 25 or more years." Actually Ecollars have been around (in the US) since about 1968; that's nearly 40 years, not 25.

Well, 25 OR MORE could be 40.  But it could also be 70 or 100.

He says, "Electric Collar training is not the beginning of dog training." Actually for many it is.

And for most, it isn't.

Mr. Frawley does not use the Ecollar to teach new behaviors with and in fact has said that to do so is "abusive." Instead he teaches new behaviors with conventional tools and techniques and only uses the Ecollar to correct the dog when he doesn't comply.

Imagine that!

He says that the Ecollar is used just like a long line and repeats this a couple of times.

How many?

I don't recommend that pet owners use the tool this way. If you do, you first have to learn how to use a leash and collar to give corrections and teach with them or you have to use some other method, such as anti-aversive techniques to first teach the behaviors and then you enforce them with the Ecollar.

I recommend a leash and collar for everybody - even people with gerbils or goldfish.  They're always nice to have around.

This is quite time consuming and requires that you learn (at least) two theories and how to operate two tools, instead of just one.

What a pity nobody has the time - there must be a deadline to meet.

It also only gives the dog a rudimentary knowledge of what the Ecollar stim means. To Mr. Frawley it's just another way of causing discomfort to the dog, like a leash correction, to get his compliance to a command.

That's crazy!  But I have a question for you, Voodoo.  IS ELECTRICAL STIM - AT ANY GODDAMN LEVEL - PLEASANT FOR ANY DOG?

IS IT COMFORTABLE FOR THE DOG, VOODOO?

In our discussions on his web board Mr. Frawley discussed using "low level stim" to get the job accomplished. It's quite apparent that we have different definitions of what "low level stim" is.

What IS "low level stim"?

When I talk about it, it's the level of stim where the dog first feels it. This is shown by such things as an ear flick, a furrowing of the brow, a blink, or a scratching as if the dog is being bitten by a flea.

Thousands of people learned that the moment Tri-Tronics started selling the A-80 with variable levels.  I think that was in 1979. 

In the section on finding the dog's working level of stim Mr. Frawley finds this same level but then says that "we're looking for a jerk of the head like maybe you would get with a pop of the leash." He uses the nick mode only and several times implies that using continuous is abusive. At the level of stim that Mr. Frawley uses continuous might be considered abusive. Heck, at the nick level that he uses, some might consider it to be abusive. He says several times that if a dog vocalizes frequently when the button is pressed that the stim level is too high. But then he works at a level that makes the dog vocalize continually, not lowering it as common sense and his own words dictate. In one segment a caption reads "Stimulation is too high" and he says "That is the level we'd work this dog on."

OK, Voodoo.  You had your big chance.  Since you're more verbose than Irving Kanarek, (Charles Manson's spewing mouth lawyer), I'm holding you in contempt of the WFFCW.  You're being held in contempt, and your non-stop babbling insanity is now going into TINY print.  Nobody wants to read it anyway, and the jury fell asleep after your first paragraph.       

"Stem"

Incidentally, throughout the video Mr. Frawley's captions read "stem" when he means "stim." The word "stim" derives from the word "stimulation" a euphemism used in place of the word "shock." I asked Mr. Frawley about his use of the word "stem" instead of "stim" and he got quite offended. His response was to the effect that "as long as everyone knows what I mean, that's OK." Truth is this is one of Mr. Frawley's many misspellings in his captions. But he was too embarrassed when I brought it up to simply admit that this was the case.

In the section on "Stem Levels" (sic) Mr. Frawley sets himself a hard road to go. I have no idea why he does this but he uses a dog that has worn a bark collar (which he uses with very high levels of stim) and tries to find the stim level that he wants to use for training that dog. The problem here is that such a dog may make a psychological connection between the high level of stim that was used with the bark collar and the lower level of stim that's used in training and he'll overreact. The discomfort level of the "new" stim is nowhere near that of the bark collar but the dog's brain may make the connection and you'll have a hard time finding that dog's working level. Perhaps Mr. Frawley plans on using a similar level of stim for training as he does for stopping barking. Mr. Frawley tells the photographer to "zoom in on (the dog's) eyes" intending to show us that the dog will do nothing but blink when she feels the stim. Instead we see the typical nervous reaction of a dog that's getting too high a level of stim and has no idea of what it means. Seconds after he tells the dog to "stay;" the dog stands up, sniffs the ground and moves around quite nervously. The dog's tail is tucked between her legs and she's very nervous. The dog is put into an extremely shy mode by too high a level of stim. Mr. Frawley tries to bring her back with some praise, but it's too late, she doesn't recover. He refers to dogs being stimmed throughout the video as finding "land mines!" Indeed, at the level of stim he uses, the analogy is appropriate!

Use of Low Level Stim

At one point, he describes that the setting is on the "lowest level of low." What he means is that he's using an older Dogtra 1100 or 1200 Ecollar that were marked with "low - medium - high" on their dial. The newest ones are marked 0 - 100. When he makes this statement he's on the "L" of "low." That translates to about a "20" which is where most dogs (and most humans) first feel the stim. That's his STARTING POINT to find the dog's stim level! He should be starting from the "0" setting, not the 20 setting. Quite a few dogs feel a level 8 or 10 stim and starting at 20 will just cause them needless pain. He says that he's going to give us a "close-up" so "we'll know exactly where we are" on the dial. The close-up that follows shows three Ecollar transmitters but does NOT show the stim level that he has set on any of them! A moment later he presses the button, the caption "stimulation here" appears, the dog sniffs the ground in a classic display that shows he's felt the stim. and Mr. Frawley says, "There's nothing there." A moment later he says, "She felt it but she didn't know what it was." Of course she doesn't know what it is Mr. Frawley; there's nothing in a dog's life that prepares him for stim. A dog doesn't know what stim is until the trainer teaches the dog what it is. Even the rankest beginner should know this.

Classic Newbie Mistake

In any case that's the level that I work at. You can clearly see that at that level the dog is not stressed, not in pain, and not afraid of the stim. He repeats this level several times demonstrating this. But after a few stims the dog isn't reacting at all. Mr. Frawley has made the classic "newbie" mistake, the collar strap is too loose and when the dog sniffs the ground it slipped up towards her head and the necessary contact between the dog's skin and the Ecollar's contact point was lost! This isn't done for the purpose of illustrating the point that the strap needs to be snug, he discusses this in another section, it's just a mistake on Mr. Frawley's part. The magic of video is that such mistakes can easily be edited out. Why Mr. Frawley chooses NOT to do so is anyone's guess. He makes no mention of how to determine how snug the strap should be. This is probably the most common mistake made by novices with the tool and results in erratic performance, one of the major problems with Ecollars, yet he doesn't say a word about it.

After he's tightened up the strap he presses the button again at the same level (the "L" of "low") the dog displays the overt signs of a "too high" stim level. Her head jerks, she runs behind his leg, her tail is tucked. The caption "stimulation here" comes on. Mr. Frawley says, "in the beginning that would be the level that we would want to start to work this dog on when she wasn't faced with a lot of distraction." He adds when discussing the stim level when distractions are present, "But not a level that sends the dog into yelping and avoidance." It's too late to steer away from "avoidance" with this dog, she's already well into it. She has no idea of what the stim means, he's just hurting her so we can watch. This isn't dog training, it's abuse.

Is There A Difference in How to Work With Young or Soft Dogs?

Within that section he has another section called "Determining the stem (sic) level on a young soft dog." Interestingly during the review, a few minutes later, he says that the level "has nothing to do with a dog's age" in exact opposition to the title of the section of the video. If you use the proper technique to find the level at which the dog first feels the stim, the age of the dog makes no difference and the "hardness" or "softness" of the dog makes no difference either; again in exact opposition to the title of this section. I've had "hard" dogs that worked on an 8 and "soft" dogs that worked on a 25.

He moves the dial to the "L" of "low" and presses the button repeatedly, the dog feels nothing. He turns it up a bit, and says, "To the zero (he means the 'O') of 'low.' " the dog feels nothing. He moves it to the "W" of "low" At this point he praises the dog (for doing nothing) and then presses the button again, repeatedly. The dog moves his head from side to side quickly and then sits and scratches. Mr. Frawley completely misses the first sign that the dog is feeling the stim and it's only after she's been scratching for a moment that he announces (and a caption appears) that she's feeling the stim. Then he says, "Now we're going to bump it up to the "M" of "medium." He says "Now, now now now" and the "stimulation now" caption appears indicating that he's pressing the button. The dog does not react at all. "Nothing." Mr. Frawley says. He raises the stim level to the "D" of "medium" and presses the button again. The dog sits and scratches. Next time he presses the button at the same level, the dog's head jerks abruptly. The dog accepts this stim without any overt reaction beyond the head snap. But Mr. Frawley presses the button again and this time the dog goes into a typical fear reaction. Her head darts from side to side, fearfully trying to locate what's hurting her. A caption appears that says, "stimulation is too high." The dog tries to move away from Mr. Frawley and it's easy to tell that she's afraid of him. He calls the dog to him a few times but she doesn't move. Then he hits the button again for no apparent reason. Perhaps he's correcting the dog for not coming, (he doesn't tell us whether or not the dog has been trained to recall or not). He then says, "That's the level that we would use with this dog; or . . . maybe - maybe back off a little." This, in spite of his caption that says that the "stimulation is too high." He then backs it off to the "E" of "medium" and presses the button again. The response from the dog is the same, she jumps, and her eyes dart around trying to find what's hurting her. He backs off to the "M" of "medium" and the response is the same. BTW the "D" of "medium" translates to a 60 on a transmitter that's numbered! And remember, this is how he works a "young, soft dog." Near the completion of this segment is a caption that reads, "This is a soft female puppy that would need the lowest setting on medium." This means that he'd work her on the "M" of medium." That's about a 50! Remember that this is the guy who called my methods "abusive." The highest level of stim that I use when teaching new behaviors is a 25- 35, depending on the needs of the dog! I work where the dog FIRST feels the stim but Mr. Frawley works at a considerably higher level!

Abuse?

Next he bring out a "young hard dog" works to find this dog's working level. He presses the button a few times and then decides that perhaps it's too loose, so he tightens it. A caption appears and Mr. Frawley says that you can "Mark the spot on the collar where it fits your dog." (This works for some dogs but not all, but he doesn't make that distinction. With many dogs their necks expand a bit while working and the strap will soon be too tight.) The "stimulation now" caption appears and the dog sniffs the ground. Mr. Frawley correctly realizes that the dog has felt the stim. He pushes the "continuous" button (remember that he's been using ONLY the "nick" button up until now) and the dog does not respond. He moves the dial to the "W" of "low" and pushes the "continuous" button again. Nothing. He moves the dial to "halfway between 'low' and 'medium.' " The dog's head jerks abruptly. He says, "THAT'S the level that we will use for this dog." (That dial position is about a 35-40).

Now for reasons only Mr. Frawley knows he says, "I'm going to give her 'continuous' right now." Nothing. He moves the collar around on the dog's neck and says, "And I . . . I am not 100% sure that we have contact. Although I think we do" It seems to me that as the "expert" the one supposed to be teaching others how to use the tool, that he should know whether he's got contact or not. But he makes no effort to tighten the strap.

Now he pushes the button on continuous and the dog jumps a bit. Now he puts the dial on the "M" of "medium" and presses the "continuous" button. Nothing. The caption, "stimulation now" appears. Now he puts the dial on the "D" of "medium" and presses the "continuous" button. The dog yelps and displays a fear reaction. The caption reads "Stimulation is too high." Mr. Frawley says, "The 'D' for 'medium' is too high for this dog." The dog makes some serious attempts to get away from Mr. Frawley. If he'd have dropped the leash she would have been gone! She's well into avoidance behavior. He moves the dial to between the "E" and the "D" of "medium" and presses the "nick" button. Nothing. He fiddles with the box on the strap but makes no adjustments to the tightness of it. Then he says that he's "going to back this up a little bit" so he sets the dial on "D" because he "wants to see that reaction again." By now things are so confused that it's hard to tell what reaction he wants to see. He presses the button (although he doesn't say anything and no caption appears). It's obvious though because the dog jerks her head abruptly. A caption appears, "The reaction that we want." Mr. Frawley praises heavily as the dog simpers around him and offers many submissive behaviors. The dog is obviously badly scared and in pain!

The Review

At the end of this section there's a "Review of stem (sic) levels." Mr. Frawley says that "there are three different basic levels of correction. The first one is as high as you can turn it . . . all the way up. . . When you use it at that level, the dog screams. We use that level in dog aggression. The second level is really low. If you put the collar on and the dog just blinks, or closes his eyes a little bit or looks down at the ground . . . a lot of times that's too low. The correct level for a correction is . . . it jerks just a little bit (he demonstrates this head movement himself) think of it like a leash correction."

The difference is that a leash correction physically moves the dog's head because of the pressure and movement of the leash. When a dog moves his head in response to an Ecollar stim, it's because it hurts and the dog is trying to get away from it, just as you'd recoil from touching a pot of boiling water on the stove.

Instead of using some kind of a "noisemaker" so we know when the button is pressed on the transmitter, Mr. Frawley uses a caption, "Stimulation here" on the screen. But it's not consistent. Sometimes it appears and sometimes it's obvious that a stim has been given but the caption does NOT appear. Since he's using the nick mode and that's on and off in about 1/40 - 1/2000 of a second, depending on brand of Ecollar, (he mistakenly says that the nick lasts for about "1/2 second") there's no way of really knowing just when the button was pressed. But he works at such a high level of stim that even a novice can tell by the jerk of the dog's head, his vocalization, and his jumping in pain that Mr. Frawley has pressed the button.

Most Dangerous Advice Ever Given

But by far the worst AND MOST DANGEROUS advice ever given on a training video of any kind, is the advice on dealing with dog aggressive dogs. He says it's "beyond the scope of this video" to show this work. I think that since it's one of the most common problems that pet owners have that it's vital that they see this work. But using the tool the way he describes, (turned all the way up) it's no wonder that he doesn't want to show it. He uses the same technique for dealing with human-aggressive dogs and dog-aggressive dogs and the results can be disastrous for both kinds of aggression. For this training he uses the highest level of stim that an Ecollar can generate. With the aggressive dog behind a fence or in a kennel or even a crate he has a non aggressive dog brought into the area until the problem dog shows aggression towards it. Then, using continuous you press the button repeatedly until the problem dog stops showing aggression!

This can create a highly dangerous situation in which all you've done is to stop the dog's display of aggression but you haven't done a thing to change the aggression that's in his brain. All you've done is to shut off the display, the lunging, growling, the curled lip, the "showing of hair," the barking, etc. What you can get by doing that is a dog that doesn't show any signs that he's about to become aggressive, the warning signs that you should prepare for a lunge. Instead you get a dog that goes from calm to murder without any warning whatsoever! He'll sit quietly until the other dog is within range and then he'll bite. You can't read such a dog because you've trained him not to show any signs of aggression. I think that you've made the problem worse. Every manufacturer of Ecollars says that this is NOT a good way to treat dog to dog aggression and they warn against it on their websites because of the problems that it may cause. Yet Mr. Frawley says that it's the way it should be done! Such advice is not only wrong, it's DANGEROUS!

Much, much better.  If Judge Older was here, he'd congratulate me for muzzling you.  Now that you've been warned, let's continue with your insanity. 

There's a lot more that's horrible with this video tape but this is already longer than most people will read.

You got THAT right!

Mr. Frawley is a breeder who makes videos and sells training equipment.

LEERKOPF™ Frawley claims to be a retired breeder now.  He claims he's all done with the "puppy mill" business.

He should leave the training to trainers.

That's a damn good idea!  For that matter, so should Voodoo Louie.

An excellent review, Voodoo Louie!  Have you thought of a career in concise writing? 


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