Our dog training philosophy? Traditional methods, featuring positive reinforcement. We don’t use electric collars on our dogs. Our ultimate goal is to produce high-performance, biddable dogs that perform out of a desire to please, not to avoid pain. As pack animals dogs learn by physical contact, both pleasant and not-so-pleasant. By using positive reinforcement training techniques coupled with thoughtful correction and firm but fair discipline as happens in a pack, a dog becomes centered around his ‘leader’ naturally and happily. This makes for a well-adjusted dog who has ‘learned to learn’ and loves to please.
No Electronic Collars at Absolute.
At Absolute, we pride ourselves in not using electronic-collars to train at any stage in the process. Our position doesn’t have to do with the common sentiment that e-collars are inherently inhumane. Abuse is where you find it and it’s not limited to collar users. No, our issue is two-fold: Given enough time traditional training methods will succeed even in the toughest cases. Two: pain-avoidance is a powerful training technique and genetic deficiencies in a dog’s make-up can be too easily overcome. We believe this masks the true nature and natural ability of the dog. While the dog may perform admirably in the field or at a trial, the inherent genetic make-up remains unknown. Breeding these dogs then becomes the issue. Given that most serious owners want a pup from champion bloodlines they will have little or no idea what the true nature of a dog will be when they buy a pup out of collar-trained champions. As well, the genetic deficiencies as they exist are passed along to another generation.
If breeding is meant to improve the breed and promote it’s best attributes, then the question becomes should we breed a dog that succeeds only because it’s been conditioned by a collar? Some will disagree but we think not.
Is there a place for e-collars in training? Not for us, but perhaps for others. Intelligent and well-intentioned collar trainers make the claim that the ultimate goal for any pro is to provide a dog that the owner can successfully hunt over. I agree whole-heartedly with this statement. So if this particular animal has to be trained and handled with an E- collar then fine, take it hunting with the collar and get the most possible from the dog. But when it comes to breeding-take it out of the gun dog gene pool. As breeders it’s our responsibility to try to produce dogs with superior natural abilities along with other genetic qualities like a soft mouth and good hips-while being highly biddable and centered around their master; a dog that hunts well and makes a great companion. In this way we better the breed and in the long term provide dogs that are a pleasure to be with on every count. We all love our dogs, and yes, we should want the best from them, and at the same time we should want the best for them and for the breed. At Absolute we believe this means positive reinforcement.