Training Discs part 1
Training disc was a training tool by the late John Fisher, a UK trainer. He also has a book of how he used them to challenge the police dog training.
Sadly years ago it was caught on film how the Leicester Police Dog Training unit Hung their dogs over a goal post to correct them, yes you read that right. John Fisher challenged the police force stating he could train a GSD to pass the Training course for the police force and the only aversive tool he would use was the training disc he "invented". His dog passed with flying colours.

Before we train them in you must understand that we are working with CONDITIONED EMOTIONAL RESPONSE. (CER).
So pavlovs dog demonstrate a physical conditioned response, drooling. A CER is the emotional response that is linked to a sound, or object.
So for example a positive CER happens when you open the dogs cookie jar, he can be in the other room, he will come running to you. He knows it going to work out well for him.
But their is also a positive emotional attached to this, it has been link to the sound. It is conditioned.
We have CERs, positive and negative. Think about your alarm clock, lol. It is not just the thought process of the alarm going off meaning we need to get up, we actually have a negative emotional response to it. My dogs have gone to a new vet but they associate something probably the smell and a negative emotion has been link to that.
I have a positive CER to the sound of closing my blinds at work, because I do this Friday as I am getting ready to leAve for the weekend. This emotional attachment is out of the dogs or our control, it is conditioned.

If you think about it you will be aware of how we and our dogs have many CERs both positive and negative that have been conditioned, linked with certain triggers, sound, sight, smell, etc. You hear a song and it takes you back, you FEEL the emotion that was with that. This is a CER.

I have broke this down into two part because, time and I needed to explain what a CER is, .
I personally would only use Training Disc especially with a Border Collie as a last resort and for very serious problems, chasing inappropriate things.
They are not used to startle the dog, they are not thrown at the dog. They just have a negative, fail, CER.
They are not trained in with any violence or cruelty. There is no physical pain.
So I would use them over an ecollar any day. But they need to be trained in to be affective. This is why I have explained the CER because that is whatwe are working with.
I will do part 2 the training in soon, I have to go to work, lol
Very interesting, thanks for sharing! I am getting super excited for part two.
This is what training disc look like, they are small enough to scoop into your hand.
You could string together some bells.   It needs to be something that makes a noise, not necessarily loud, and sound nothing like anything else he could hear.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the background of this method so thoroughly, it is very important. I am very keen to read part 2. Until I see the rest, I am of course unsure if I can apply it to the rock eating problem but my mind is already ticking over in anticipation of how I can adapt or transfer the method to rocks but I better not get ahead of myself LOL
I would have to say I would be very reluctant to use training Disc on the sensitive Border Collie.
Definitely do NOT use them on Ember.
Once trained in the noise will create an avoidance CER, It will give you the opportunity to suggest and train a different response. Think about what response you want instead, usually something that makes it very difficult to continue with the inappropriate choice.
Here is an example, I used them on my GSD. He would get super wound up in the vehicle, if he saw another dog while in the vehicle, he would explode. Obviously I couldn't work on this with putting distance between our vehicle and a dog walking down the street. So I trained in the Disc, jumped in the vehicle the next day and actively looked for dogs, he spotted one he exploded, I tossed the disc, (not at my dog) instantly he stopped and looked away from the dog. Next dog he saw he gave a half hearted bluster I tossed the disc he not only looked away from the dog he went to the opposite side of the vehicle. Next dog he saw he instantly turned away and sat on the opposite side of the vehicle. Total avoidance.
Ah vehicle rides became bliss, lol.

There are 2 steps to training them in
step 1
Have a lot top value treats, I mean the best. You will feed them to your dog, at quite a pace. Say take it or whatever way gives your dog permission each time you feed.
Take it, give the dog the treat, your hands remain full of treats and close to the dogs head. ,it is about speed.
Take it, feed , take it feed.
Keep repeating this. You are on the next one before the dog has barely finished the last one.
This will go on for a while. I am looking for my dog to be in an almost euphoric state. OMG this is just the best. This is state of mind is really important give it time.
you then will suddenly without giving permission to take it drop one of the treats on the floor as you do quickly drop the disc close to the treat. Pick them both up.
Your dog is going to go for the treat he is in heaven. Suddenly this noise has interrupted this pleasure and he didn't get what he wanted. He was rudely startled out of his euphoria. Your dog may leave.
After a few minutes repeat. Your dog will more than likely leave this time, when the disc drop. Repeat
When the does not want to return anymore step 1 is complete. My GSD did not return for a third round.

After 15 mins or so. Go to the back door excitedly have the disc with you, as you open the door drop the disc right in front of the dog as he is trying to go out. Shut the door. Your dog will leave possibly slinking. repeat. Until the dog doesn't even try to move to the door in fact he will more than likely leave the situation completely.

The disc are trained in. the dog associates the noise with failure and avoidance. You can see why they would be a last resort for me, it's not a pleasant experience for the dog. Also you can see why I would be extra concerned with the sensitive BC.

You should not over use them, in fact if you train them in it would be for use for a specific situation.
So Trifan I don't know if it would work on the rocks, as your dog is not consistent in eating them, but you could set a situation up where you make a very inticing rock pile. Get your dog and have the disc and I would probably take a ball with me.
Hopefully the rock pile is irresistible and your dog, be close by,as he heads to the rocks, toss the disc close to the dog. He should instantly want to leave the situation, even if initially it literally stops him in his tracts. It has given you an envelope of time to suggest an alternative, hence the ball. Have a game of ball away from the rocks. You may need to set a few situations possibly over a few days, shake it up a bit. Hopefully you will see that when your dog spots rocks he wants to get away from them.
Again I need to state at no time are the disc thrown at the dog, just close by.
Wow, very interesting. Sounds like a bit of a last resort method. Probably best to only use in situations that are urgent and have already tried practically everything else. And the alarm clock analogy is great! /Lmao All makes sense now.
You are so right LB I would use as a last resort or in a desperate situation
Thank you so much Quirky. You are right, in respect to the rocks it will have to be a carefully thought out strategy whereby I set him up. I think the rock situation is such a situation that requires more extreme methods. I feel the idea of creating a negative association to the rocks is the way to go and the very thing I have not been able to find a pathway into. If this is an OCD behaviour there is likely some kind of payoff that causes him to find it irresistible even when he knows it is not permitted. Changing this payoff to an aversion might be the key. I can see how this could negatively effect a sensitive BC and in any event should not be over used. I think Max's situation is serious enough to warrant giving it a go as his issue really is quite dangerous. Might take me a bit to find the right discs but then I'll be onto it. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Yes, I had heard of this method. And the way I learned it was actually used in training as a "that was wrong" method - something I did not agree with. But the way you lay it out and remind us to use it in a very specific way makes perfect sense.

Definitely NOT an Ember thing! All I have to do is shift my weight for that LOL!

However, Kairo is becoming increasingly obsessive with my cat. We have not 1 but 2 gates up to separate them, but if she so much as hears the cat, she charges the first gate. She figured out how to nock it open (walk through baby gate), so we had to turn it around. While that has stopped all access, it has ramped up her anxiety at not getting to what she wants.

We've started boundary training but her prey drive is stronger than her smarts.

I may have to use this in this situation - for Kairo's sanity. Also, her dad has a cat that he wants them all to coexists - Sly stays in a constant state of anxiety because of Kairo. If I can train this on all cats, it may be the answer DJ was looking for. Kairo broke a lead on me the other day taking off after a cat. Thankfully it went straight up a tree so catching her after wasn't difficult. But this may be the last resort for sure.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
Trifan, I think the rock situation is serious enough to consider this method.
You could get a piece of string or ribbon and loop a few small bells through ant tie it up. Bells like a cat would have on its collar.

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