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ClaireandDaisy
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28-03-2010, 09:17 AM
STARTLE FACTOR
OMG
there speaks a bloke who knows sweet fanny adams about real prey drive.
I thought you were a dog trainer? I suspect your experience is all on paper.

eta - Did you mean the B.Sc (Hons) at Plymouth? (strange way you write it BTW - I never had a problem spelling my Degree) Did you miss the Year 4 module in animal welfare and ethics?
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Adam P
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28-03-2010, 07:44 PM
Hi again re the shep.

The owner had her from 8 weeks did a good puppy class and had problems wuith pulling from 12 weeks, tried a method consitently for months at a time. She was well exercised, an hour or two off lead in the park with alot of other dogs who she knew and got on with twice a day. The pulling to the park was the problem. Owner had no car or means of transport and wouldn't trust the dogs recall to let it walk to the park off lead.
TYUes she could have been rehomed and found a lovely home in a matter of days.OR she coulkd hve sat in rescue for weeks or months (like 100s of gsds across the country do) possible develop problems with barrier frustration kennel stress tail chasing self mutilation ect. Maybe got pts because of it. Or gone to a knew home that wasn't as good as the old one. Rescues don't always get it right.

Prey drive. Absolute core of my approach (with a dog with sufficient drive) with a predatory dog I use the collar (or whatever technique) to stop the chasing then utilise the drive satisfaction void that creates to get the dog hooked on a ball or tuggy. I've tried it the other way round of course but often times the dogs obsession with sheep or rabbits over hauls it's interest in the ball, and if you live in the country you can't spend weeks keeping away from, prey items.

Wysiwyg

E collar work by negative reinforcement, yes you can punish with them but their real value is in very clearly showing the dog what behaviour is correct, they also place a dog in a long term state of getting it right, as the dog knows he's doing the right thing as long as he's not experiencing the sensation. Seeing as good training involves showing the dog (via the lead or a really well pre trained command) what gets rid of the collar sensation the dog experiences success very quickly and learns very fast.

The springers traner didn't show via the lead what she wanted, I'd also suggest she used it above the dogs first level. If she can't use e collar I bet she'd just change her approach to shouting and throwing something at the dog.
Her handling of the dog was also poor.
I wouldn't be surprised if the springers anxiety and collar fear were created by the trainers aggressive behaviour as opposed to the sensation of the collar.

The collies trainer didn't show the owners how to redirect the dog onto a ball or tug. Once again I bet without e collars he would have fixed the dog by letting a ram beat it up or shouting at and intimidating the dog around sheep. He still wouldn't have shown the dog's owners how to get the dog hooked on something else.


In the collies case I would suggest a beating by a sheep or bollocking by a trainer would be far more damaging to the dog than some mild discomfort by the e collar.

Emma

My experience is e collars improve the dog handler relationship. Why?
Because the dog doesn't percieve the sensation coming from the handler. It percieves it as coming from it's own behaviour. The dog's response to a command and especially the esponse of moving towards the handler (recall ect) make the sensation stop so the dog believes that the handler stops the sensation or at least tells him how to stop it. In recall or heel training you would use the collar when the dogs away and when the dog moves towards stop using it, the dog learns being near you or coming towards you stops the sensation.
Even in training were the dog is required to leave you, your instruction tell the dog how to avoid the sensation so you remain the good guy.
This princlple (especially the recall approach) can be used to make a fearful dog more comfortable around people by way of classical conditioning closeness to people and comfort.

I don't have a dealership, I just buy collars when I need them.

Adam
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Krusewalker
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28-03-2010, 08:28 PM
Originally Posted by ClaireandDaisy View Post
STARTLE FACTOR
OMG
there speaks a bloke who knows sweet fanny adams about real prey drive.
I thought you were a dog trainer? I suspect your experience is all on paper.

eta - Did you mean the B.Sc (Hons) at Plymouth? (strange way you write it BTW - I never had a problem spelling my Degree) Did you miss the Year 4 module in animal welfare and ethics?
i dont like ecollars either

but techniques aside, and to be objectively fair,
the tone, style, and content of adam's posts come across as quite measured, mannered, and professional.
and in no way inspires one to such conclusions above.
AP has a refreshing change to the manner we have experienced from forum ecollar posters.
btw, i would have typed bsc that same way (just have).
its got nothing to do with anything except lazy fingers.

whereas, ironically, if you were a newbie, the style, tone and content of your own post above would inspire within me the same such conclusions, doubts, and questions about your credentials.

you did take a similar approach to another new member, also a dog trainer, last week, even though her advice was much more apt and knowledgeable on that occassion than your own.

you could choose to take this as an attempt to be confrontational, or the intent twas posted, which is:
fairs fair....wys does it well



i hope the latter.

cheers
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Emma
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29-03-2010, 06:30 AM
Originally Posted by Adam Palmer View Post

Emma

My experience is e collars improve the dog handler relationship. Why?
Because the dog doesn't percieve the sensation coming from the handler. It percieves it as coming from it's own behaviour. The dog's response to a command and especially the esponse of moving towards the handler (recall ect) make the sensation stop so the dog believes that the handler stops the sensation or at least tells him how to stop it. In recall or heel training you would use the collar when the dogs away and when the dog moves towards stop using it, the dog learns being near you or coming towards you stops the sensation.
Even in training were the dog is required to leave you, your instruction tell the dog how to avoid the sensation so you remain the good guy.
This princlple (especially the recall approach) can be used to make a fearful dog more comfortable around people by way of classical conditioning closeness to people and comfort.

I don't have a dealership, I just buy collars when I need them.

Adam
If you read the link given it is a study done on the dogs responses when e-collars are used and one of the outcomes is that the dogs linked the pain to the handler

When the handlers were interviewed 75% stated the dog did not link the two, even though the physical response of the dog was indicating they did. The dogs also learnt, the presence of the handler expect painful stimuli.
http://www.ust.is/media/ljosmyndir/d...hockcollar.pdf

So the notion that the dog doesn't associate the shock with the handler and effect that bond is a very sad mistake and it is more a case of the handler not recognising that e-collars effects bond of dogs and humans and the 'good guy' thought is incorrect and misguided belief on your part.

Again in your own thoughts on recall and the use of e-collars. Why couldn't you recall, said dog, and the pain to start, you continue to recall and cause pain on the dog and instead of them seeing it as "oh he called me I will run to him to avoid pain", and instead think "every time he recalls me I start feeling pain I will try to get away from him" Which has been proven to happen, as humans are thinking dog think like humans not like dogs who don't necessarily know why the pain is being caused.

As for a "fearful dog" there are again many studies that discount that belief and would find you short sighted again and the actual outcome of using e-collars on fearful dogs is to increase fear and can turn into the fear aggression of people or animals with very bad outcomes. An e-collar should never be used on any dog let alone one with fear issues.

I do think you have blinkers on with the e-collar issue and if open to it you would find the bad out weighs the good and not only on a training level but a long term outcome for the dogs behaviour that you use these methods on.

You seem to use positive methods as well and fail to see why you can't use these methods in training more often than not as there is little (if any) difference in causing pain by an electrified collar than physically hurting the dogs you train and know if I employed someone to help me with my dogs, I would be more than angry if they used them on my dogs.

If you use them as your clients want quick results I would be sitting them down and explaining their chosen breed of dog and their tendencies and that you can not always train a dog to not have instincts that has been breed into them for 100's if not thousands of years.

As for my own witnessing of these being used I have seen a bright intelligent dog eager to please turn into a quivering wreck and fearful of the handler, these days I would happily kick him where it hurts if I was to witness it again. It is not always the dogs fault of not obeying commands or not learning , it can quite often be a case of the handler/owner's that is the cause of the problem not the dogs.

Hopefully the banning of e-collars will come into place in your country of origin and you will not allowed to use them by law.
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Lizzy23
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29-03-2010, 08:52 AM
Don't agree with them and i have a high prey drive dog, just as another point, other half was smooching the web last night and found the following flaw in this law,

It is illegal to use one in Wales, but not illegal to be in possesion or own one, so how do they police this then, Jo blogs on private land training his dog with no one about, takes it off before leaving said land no one any the wiser, seems to me like another piece of legislation that is just paying lip service without actually doing any good
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wilbar
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29-03-2010, 09:53 AM
Well said Emma. I agree that the dangers & pitfalls of using ecollars are too high to be disregarded, both from a welfare perspective & the efficacy of the intended results.

One of the dangers of using ecollars is how to predict the level of pain & shock for that particular dog. Peoples & dogs pain thresholds & perception of physical pain are very different & can also vary within an individual person or dog depending on their arousal or emotional state at the time the shock is administered. How on earth does anyone judge the appropriate level of pain that is needed in each instance to achieve the intended result? It has been suggested that you start at the lowest level & gradually increase the intensity of the pain until the dog reacts. By the time the dog reacts, how can you be sure that you are punishing the exact behaviour that you want to stop?

For instance a dog that is intent on staring at sheep, & is about to run at the sheep ~ at what stage & at what level do you administer the shock? Too low & it is ignored, a bit higher & the dog may flinch, may be temporarily distracted but continues staring, so a bit higher, may be more of a flinch, plus heart rate increases, stress levels increase, so an even higher shock, & suddenly the dog yelps in pain, spins round & stops staring at the sheep.

Now how on earth is the dog supposed to know what it is being given the electric shock for? For staring at sheep? No, because it had been staring for some time & nothing happened. For staring at sheep for over a minute? How does the dog judge this? For ignoring the owner's recall command? For momentarily shuffling a foot ~ a movement that had gone entirely unnoticed by the person administering the shock? Or perhaps the sheep moved at the time of the painful shock so did the sheep moving cause the shock? Perhaps a loud motorbike went by at the same time? Or someone opened a squeaky gate? These spurious associations are completely outside the dog trainer's control & yes, the sheep staring stopped but how can you tell if the dog has made the correct association between its own behaviour & the pain or cessation of pain? Other than doing it again, & again, & again!!!

So the alternative is to inflict a high level of shock immediately in the hope that you target the behaviour you want to eliminate/punish. That's not kind, that's deliberate cruelty in my book, the same as hitting a dog, jerking at its neck, kicking it etc. The only difference is that, if you're lucky, you will be far enough away from the dog so that it won't associate you with the shock!

Even used by an extremely experienced dog trainer, it is difficult to give the right level of shock, for that particular dog, in those specific circumstances & at the exactly correct time. You only have to look at all the things that could go wrong for the experienced dog trainer to see the disastrous consequences that are likely to occur in the hands of an inexperienced person.

The article for which Emma provided a link, & a later study by Schalke (Uni of Vet Med, Hanover 2005), conclude that the dogs were adversely affected by the shock long after it occurred, heart rate & salivary cortisol (used as measures of stress) rose just at the presence of the handler & that the use of electric shock is not consistent with animal welfare.

I appreciate that some dog owners are at their wits' end & will have tried every other method they can think of (or have been advised to try) before resorting to the use of an ecollar. Sometimes they are on the brink of rehoming the dog, or having it pts because of the behavioural problems. So I can definitely see the attraction of trying them ~ last chance saloon!! But this doesn't make it kind, or right, to use them, either in the short term or long term.

Predatory drive can be very high in some dogs & more prevalent in certain breeds. Maybe owners should be advised of this before they get the lovely little Border Collie pup that they've always promised themselves on retirement! It's all very well saying that the predatory behaviour should be redirected onto a tennis ball or whatever, but I've seen some BCs who have developed OCD in relation to tennis balls ~ not a mentally healthy obsession at all! But even if you choose to go down that route, surely you'd condition the obsession with tennis balls long BEFORE you allow the dog any contact with sheep ~ not after the event when the dog is now fixated on sheep so the tennis ball is completely overshadowed by the sight of sheep ~ so there would be no need to use an ecollar.

I don't care how many very experienced trainers have successfully stopped unwanted behaviour by using ecollars, the dangers is, that if they are available on the market for any dog owner to buy, they will contnue to be used wrongly & painfully for many poor dogs. And even if unwanted behaviours stop, where are the studies to show that everything else in the dog's life is still happy, that it still feels the same way about its owner/trainer, that it is still the responsive, outgoing dog that is prepared to give anything a go?
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Meg
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29-03-2010, 11:20 AM
Originally Posted by wilbar View Post
One of the dangers of using ecollars is how to predict the level of pain & shock for that particular dog. Peoples & dogs pain thresholds & perception of physical pain are very different & can also vary within an individual person or dog depending on their arousal or emotional state at the time the shock is administered. How on earth does anyone judge the appropriate level of pain that is needed in each instance to achieve the intended result? It has been suggested that you start at the lowest level & gradually increase the intensity of the pain until the dog reacts. By the time the dog reacts, how can you be sure that you are punishing the exact behaviour that you want to stop?

For instance a dog that is intent on staring at sheep, & is about to run at the sheep ~ at what stage & at what level do you administer the shock? Too low & it is ignored, a bit higher & the dog may flinch, may be temporarily distracted but continues staring, so a bit higher, may be more of a flinch, plus heart rate increases, stress levels increase, so an even higher shock, & suddenly the dog yelps in pain, spins round & stops staring at the sheep.

Now how on earth is the dog supposed to know what it is being given the electric shock for? For staring at sheep? No, because it had been staring for some time & nothing happened. For staring at sheep for over a minute? How does the dog judge this? For ignoring the owner's recall command? For momentarily shuffling a foot ~ a movement that had gone entirely unnoticed by the person administering the shock? Or perhaps the sheep moved at the time of the painful shock so did the sheep moving cause the shock? Perhaps a loud motorbike went by at the same time? Or someone opened a squeaky gate? These spurious associations are completely outside the dog trainer's control & yes, the sheep staring stopped but how can you tell if the dog has made the correct association between its own behaviour & the pain or cessation of pain? Other than doing it again, & again, & again!!!

So the alternative is to inflict a high level of shock immediately in the hope that you target the behaviour you want to eliminate/punish. That's not kind, that's deliberate cruelty in my book, the same as hitting a dog, jerking at its neck, kicking it etc. The only difference is that, if you're lucky, you will be far enough away from the dog so that it won't associate you with the shock!

Even used by an extremely experienced dog trainer, it is difficult to give the right level of shock, for that particular dog, in those specific circumstances & at the exactly correct time. You only have to look at all the things that could go wrong for the experienced dog trainer to see the disastrous consequences that are likely to occur in the hands of an inexperienced person.

The article for which Emma provided a link, & a later study by Schalke (Uni of Vet Med, Hanover 2005), conclude that the dogs were adversely affected by the shock long after it occurred, heart rate & salivary cortisol (used as measures of stress) rose just at the presence of the handler & that the use of electric shock is not consistent with animal welfare.

I appreciate that some dog owners are at their wits' end & will have tried every other method they can think of (or have been advised to try) before resorting to the use of an ecollar. Sometimes they are on the brink of rehoming the dog, or having it pts because of the behavioural problems. So I can definitely see the attraction of trying them ~ last chance saloon!! But this doesn't make it kind, or right, to use them, either in the short term or long term.

Predatory drive can be very high in some dogs & more prevalent in certain breeds. Maybe owners should be advised of this before they get the lovely little Border Collie pup that they've always promised themselves on retirement! It's all very well saying that the predatory behaviour should be redirected onto a tennis ball or whatever, but I've seen some BCs who have developed OCD in relation to tennis balls ~ not a mentally healthy obsession at all! But even if you choose to go down that route, surely you'd condition the obsession with tennis balls long BEFORE you allow the dog any contact with sheep ~ not after the event when the dog is now fixated on sheep so the tennis ball is completely overshadowed by the sight of sheep ~ so there would be no need to use an ecollar.

I don't care how many very experienced trainers have successfully stopped unwanted behaviour by using ecollars, the dangers is, that if they are available on the market for any dog owner to buy, they will contnue to be used wrongly & painfully for many poor dogs. And even if unwanted behaviours stop, where are the studies to show that everything else in the dog's life is still happy, that it still feels the same way about its owner/trainer, that it is still the responsive, outgoing dog that is prepared to give anything a go?
Wilbar, you have stated very clearly in your post some of my concerns about the availability and use of e collars.

Also what is the point of finding a solution to one unwanted behaviour if doing so leads to others.
We know dogs associate sights/sounds/scents and other external stimuli they encounter with previous experiences and can react accordingly sometimes with fearful or aggressive behaviour.
I would think there is a good chance that when an e collar is used any external stimuli around at the time the dog is experiencing the pain/shock/discomfort of the e collar and encountered in the future could result in an adverse reaction from the dog .
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wilbar
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29-03-2010, 02:35 PM
Originally Posted by Minihaha View Post
Wilbar, you have stated very clearly in your post some of my concerns about the availability and use of e collars.

Also what is the point of finding a solution to one unwanted behaviour if doing so leads to others.
We know dogs associate sights/sounds/scents and other external stimuli they encounter with previous experiences and can react accordingly sometimes with fearful or aggressive behaviour.
I would think there is a good chance that when an e collar is used any external stimuli around at the time the dog is experiencing the pain/shock/discomfort of the e collar and encountered in the future could result in an adverse reaction from the dog .
Yes exactly my sentiments. There's too much outside of the control of dog trainers & dog owners to be certain that such severe & painful punishment has the intended effect.

The early experiments on behavioural control via operant conditioning carried out by B F Skinner, the Breelands etc, were carried out in the laboratory, with proper stimulus control in place. These laboratory conditions are far too exacting to be replicated in real life, so we are not in full control over what happens, nor can we exactly predict the outcomes. And we all know the awful effects that such harsh punishment can leave. At least by using positive reinforcement, even if it goes very wrong, the worst that can happen is that the dog doesn't "get it", or learns a slightly wrong behaviour or makes a wrong association. But at least the dog isn't left traumatised, & the relationship with the owner/trainer won't be compromised.
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Adam P
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29-03-2010, 09:14 PM
Wilbar,

You find the level the dog feels BEFORE taking it near the sheep, usually while walking the dog to the sheep area.
If the dog is close enough to the sheep to not feel this level your are too close, can't emphasis this enough.
When you use the collar around the sheep you guide the dog into the right behaviour, moving away with the lead. Its not the sensation of the collar that initially causes the dog to move away from the sheep its the pulling (very gently) of the lead. The repition of this teaches the dog to associate looking at the sheep with the sensation (your timing is press button when dog looks) and the dog learns to turn that sensation off or avoid it all together by moving or looking away.
The sensation of the collar is very mild so the dog won't physically do anything when he first feels it to get rid, you teach him he can get rid by performing a behaviour. The collar is not used to blast the dog out of staring running biting ect. If you didn't show the dog how to get rid of the sensation he would rapidly habituate to it, that's how mild the collar is.
The dog doesn't associate the collar with anything other than what your trying to teach it because you do repitions of the training were the dog learns that its only looking at the sheep that gets the sensation nothing else. That gate won't squeak every time!

Emma.

The study's refer to the use of collars at a high level (above first sensation) and also as punishment not negative reinforcment. Yes this is a bad way of using them. Should we ban them because of that? No because if you ban anything that can be used in a bad way you wouldn't be able to use leads, headcollars, or hands as these can also be used as high intensity aversive punishment.

Adam
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Emma
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30-03-2010, 03:27 AM
Originally Posted by Adam Palmer View Post
Wilbar,

You find the level the dog feels BEFORE taking it near the sheep, usually while walking the dog to the sheep area.
If the dog is close enough to the sheep to not feel this level your are too close, can't emphasis this enough.
When you use the collar around the sheep you guide the dog into the right behaviour, moving away with the lead. Its not the sensation of the collar that initially causes the dog to move away from the sheep its the pulling (very gently) of the lead. The repition of this teaches the dog to associate looking at the sheep with the sensation (your timing is press button when dog looks) and the dog learns to turn that sensation off or avoid it all together by moving or looking away.
The sensation of the collar is very mild so the dog won't physically do anything when he first feels it to get rid, you teach him he can get rid by performing a behaviour. The collar is not used to blast the dog out of staring running biting ect. If you didn't show the dog how to get rid of the sensation he would rapidly habituate to it, that's how mild the collar is.
The dog doesn't associate the collar with anything other than what your trying to teach it because you do repitions of the training were the dog learns that its only looking at the sheep that gets the sensation nothing else. That gate won't squeak every time!

Emma.

The study's refer to the use of collars at a high level (above first sensation) and also as punishment not negative reinforcment. Yes this is a bad way of using them. Should we ban them because of that? No because if you ban anything that can be used in a bad way you wouldn't be able to use leads, headcollars, or hands as these can also be used as high intensity aversive punishment.

Adam
Adam,

I have read through it numerous times and find no statement on what levels the e-collars were on?? I could possibly have missed it, but often the first level can be either a noise or a vibration warning. As I have said in a previous post there are no standards for the shocks given my e-collars, one varies from the next, so who is to say which one was used.

Whether it is on the highest shock or not, as another poster said, as with humans pain is felt differently by each human and the same with dogs, why do you think the study got levels of different responses.

The study also shows dogs are not correcting their behaviour they are avoiding behaviour out of fear and submission. So the dogs even if they stop the unwanted behaviour are only doing it out of fear and that can lead to fear aggression.

Again you statement, of claiming e-collar improve the 'human bond' it actually breaks it and the dog can interpret the pain given by the owner/handler and the study shows that the owner/handler in 75% of cases isn't even aware of the dogs physical response to the use of e-collar as negative.

Punishment/negative reinforcement I think you are talking semantics here producers of e-collars call it negative reinforcement, people who don't use them call them a punishment, it uses a painful stimuli to attempt to curb or cease unwanted behaviours, they used e-collar in the study the same way you described how you use it for recall, you claim as the 75% did, even though again the opposite is the truth.

You talk to another member about how mild it is, and the dog only associating it with the action you are trying to correct, I feel the need to say again to you, the dog could associate the pain with the gentle (as you say, quite strange when you feel the need for an e-collar, to do a gentle thing while shocking them) tug on the lead not necessarily looking at the sheep and could make the dog fearful or the collar, lead or tug.

E-collars should not be banned because they can be used in a bad way, they should be banned because they are a bad way to train a dog there is no positive way for them to be used, it is not a knee jerk reaction they have been around for many years and the chances have been given for them to be used and the negative out ways the good, and even in the long term effects.

As for banning collars, leads and hands, collars and leads help maintain a physical connection to the dog when out, I think that is a much better way of controlling a dog with a high prey drive around sheep than a shock collar.

Anything in this world can be misused, so unless we ban life itself then there is a chance anything can be misused and be inhumane. But to take one step forward and to ban an implement that was made to send an electric shock to a dog for unwanted behaviour has only one use and that is painful stimuli and that is unacceptable to me.
Again it is not always the dogs fault of not obeying commands or not learning, it can quite often be a case of the handler/owner's that is the cause of the problem not the dogs.

If it is not inhumane why can we not use them on humans, to curb unwanted behaviours?? Ethics??

Hopefully ethics will come into play with the treatment of animals more and more, I guess it is slower with animals though as they don't have a voice, humans make these things up, and only when other humans (enough of them) do things change.
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