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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Training Collar - Prong?

Maggie went to her training session today and there are many things she does really well. She sits, stays, and is doing a fair job with the recall. What we need work on is pulling and leash walking. She is gagging herself constantly and the trainer is worried about damaging her throat. She suggested a prong collar and tried one on Maggie. She really had no adverse reaction to it. She acted like it was her regular collar except she did not pull.
Is this okay to use in training sessions? If we start with this can we graduate to a flat buckle collar? Is 6 months too young?

Appreciate any insight. I don't have a lot of options for trainers and she uses mainly positive reinforcement. She is more of a behaviorist but does basic training also.

Thanks,
Jules
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 08:56 PM
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It is fine to use when used properly. You should use a Sprenger brand pinch collar. It keeps pressure off the trachea. But if you just rely on it to deter your dog from pull and not do the training, you'll always need it.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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It is fine to use when used properly. You should use a Sprenger brand pinch collar. It keeps pressure off the trachea. But if you just rely on it to deter your dog from pull and not do the training, you'll always need it.
Thanks Maggie's Voice. That is what I am hoping. That training with the collar and reinforcing the proper loose leash position will make it so that we can wean off of it. Maggie is very biddable, focused on me and treat motivated for the most part. I think the trainer is just worried about her hurting herself.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 10:04 PM
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Thanks Maggie's Voice. That is what I am hoping. That training with the collar and reinforcing the proper loose leash position will make it so that we can wean off of it. Maggie is very biddable, focused on me and treat motivated for the most part. I think the trainer is just worried about her hurting herself.

It's actually very hard to hurt the dogs with a prong collar. You'd kinda have to be trying to. That said, it's not about force correcting with a prong collar but you use it to explain the desired behavior. It's tiny little corrections to nudge them into what you want. All you need to do is pull to the side when they walk in front of you to redirect. Once they get back in line or a reaction to the correct, it's instant slack in the line. Its like a head collar in that respect, any tension is correction and slack in the leash is expressing good and expected behavior. It's not really about zipping it quickly or with any real force.


I wouldn't worry, It sounds like Maggie is responding perfectly to it the way she should be.

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 07:57 AM
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Just me but would never put a prong collar on a 6 month old golden puppy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against using a prong for training ... large, adult dogs that have had no training yes, puppies? no.

If you start using force to teach now you will need to up the pressure as all you have taught the puppy is to avoid the discomfort. Just me but want my pups to make the choice to do the exercise. If you aren't having fun with your puppy doing any exercise there is room for improvement as a handler. Once the dog knows the exercise or command and doesn't comply then a correction / prong is there to enforce.

As a 6 month old pup he/she clearly doesn't understand your expectations and is choosing to go his own way. Start over and teach not control. Make staying with you the most fun place to be. Lots of treats, small corrections when they walk away from you with positive treats when they stay close. Staying with you is part of learning how to be a team. If you start butting heads at 6 months you are always going to have a test of wills and no one wins.

If you don't establish a partnership at this age ... well as soon as you take that leash off for off leash heel your pup will not stay with you as the thing that is causing the pain has been removed. FWIW I don't even use a leash to train the basics... my pups think training is a game we play together and enjoy how happy it makes me to do them correctly.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:28 AM
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I have had a great experience with the gentle leader (https://www.petsafe.net/gentleleader). It took a week or two for my dog (6.5 months) to get used to it (lots of pawing at his face, lying down in refusal to walk...), but with consistent use, it has really transformed his walking on a leash! I use treats and such as we walk to reinforce the good behavior and am hoping to wean off the gentle leader at some point. The idea of a prong collar made me a bit uncomfortable, and this has been a great alternative for me.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by puddles everywhere View Post
Just me but would never put a prong collar on a 6 month old golden puppy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against using a prong for training ... large, adult dogs that have had no training yes, puppies? no.

If you start using force to teach now you will need to up the pressure as all you have taught the puppy is to avoid the discomfort. Just me but want my pups to make the choice to do the exercise. If you aren't having fun with your puppy doing any exercise there is room for improvement as a handler. Once the dog knows the exercise or command and doesn't comply then a correction / prong is there to enforce.

As a 6 month old pup he/she clearly doesn't understand your expectations and is choosing to go his own way. Start over and teach not control. Make staying with you the most fun place to be. Lots of treats, small corrections when they walk away from you with positive treats when they stay close. Staying with you is part of learning how to be a team. If you start butting heads at 6 months you are always going to have a test of wills and no one wins.

If you don't establish a partnership at this age ... well as soon as you take that leash off for off leash heel your pup will not stay with you as the thing that is causing the pain has been removed. FWIW I don't even use a leash to train the basics... my pups think training is a game we play together and enjoy how happy it makes me to do them correctly.
Thanks for your comments Puddles. Maggie is very easy to work with and wants to please. She does well with treats unless she wants to chase a leaf or wants to go to a person she sees. That is when she pulls with force and starts gagging. Any suggestions for redirecting her back to me at those times? Treats are not enough for her. I change directions and try to distract. I know a lot of it is just training and age and we work every day. I have no doubt she will get there. I just don't want her hurting herself.

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:17 AM
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I prefer the use of a gentle leader then a prong collar but not everyone wants to take the time to get the dog acclimated to it. People also think is it a muzzle for a dog and that the dogs aren't friendly. But if you get your dog acclimated (usually a couple days if fitted properly) then they work wonderfully. The thing is, it's still a correction type thing but because people don't see the prongs they feel better about it. Most people that don't like prong collars don't really understand the point of them (no pun intended lol). They don't poke the skin, they fold away and pinch the skin. This simulates how the mom would pinch the neck and pull down to correct their pups. This allows the pups to realize it's a correction and not punishment. It's never to be used to pop or hit hard on it. The gentle leader just puts pressure on the muzzle area so the dog corrects themselves to release the pressure. The pinch collar basically does the same thing but around the neck not the muzzle. That how a prong or pinch collar (the correct name of the collar) should be used.

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:26 AM
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She does well with treats unless she wants to chase a leaf or wants to go to a person she sees. That is when she pulls with force and starts gagging. Any suggestions for redirecting her back to me at those times? Treats are not enough for her. I change directions and try to distract. I know a lot of it is just training and age and we work every day. I have no doubt she will get there. I just don't want her hurting herself.

Jules

I recommend teaching the "Look" or "Look at Me" command. You work at distance and then get closer and closer to distractions until your dog will look at you with distracts close by. You have to teach your dog to be able to focus on you. The training class you took should have shown you how to teach this and told you to work in it constantly. With either a gentle leader or pinch collar if there are times you can't get the focus on you, it's just a tug tug. Remember, any time you tell them a command you MUST make them do it or you turn commands into suggestions. if they aren't giving you their focus, then walk away until you're at a distance that they will give you you the focus and then reward. There is a very easy training method on YouTube from a guy named Zak George on training the look at me command. He does all positive reinforcement training.

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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I recommend teaching the "Look" or "Look at Me" command. You work at distance and then get closer and closer to distractions until your dog will look at you with distracts close by. You have to teach your dog to be able to focus on you. The training class you took should have shown you how to teach this and told you to work in it constantly. With either a gentle leader or pinch collar if there are times you can't get the focus on you, it's just a tug tug. Remember, any time you tell them a command you MUST make them do it or you turn commands into suggestions. if they aren't giving you their focus, then walk away until you're at a distance that they will give you you the focus and then reward. There is a very easy training method on YouTube from a guy named Zak George on training the look at me command. He does all positive reinforcement training.
Thanks Maggie's Voice. We are on the right track then because that is what we are working on for our homework She is doing great at it. Will have to test it out with distractions after a while. She responds really good even with my other dogs in the mix.

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