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We use a prong and a slip lead. To give an example of how a slip lead could be detrimental: we went to a dog show on a slip, just to walk around. I couldn’t get good control and after the show our dog had blisters around his neck from pulling on the slip. On the prong, with proper placement, he never gets to pull like that and it is much easier to correct him if he starts to get excited.
Our dog looks forward to wearing the prong and the slip, but I use the slip when I’m more confident and then transition to a flat collar.
Our training has been a work in progress so take everything with a grain of salt :)
Just don’t use the prong at a dog show. I’m pretty sure they aren’t allowed on the grounds. I know this is true at trials.
 

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I counted once and I think I have seven different types of collars in my house. LOL
I have flats, show chains, training slip chains, FastCAT collar, electronic, martingale, leather Slip, heck I even have a head collar. The head collar showed up in my stuff and I never found the owner. It ridiculous! 😂
 

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I have a variety of collars. I use a 2.25 Curogan Herm Sprenger in my new obedience class. It inhibits Logan's desire to invite every dog he meets out for a beer. If this is considered thread highjacking, I'll start a new thread -- but what sort of lead do y'all use for obedience? I feel like my 1" regular leashes are too bulky.

I just counted and Logan has seven collars with matching leads. It's like doggie fashion to me. 😅
So many leashes! I have as many leashes as I do collars! Anywhere from 2-20 ft long!
 

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I use 3-ft, 1/2” braided leashes for Obedience/Rally. With the exception of group stays.
My show leash is 3ft long. We may not qualify as much now but we look dang good trying! This is the kind of thing an obedience exhibitor does when everything is shut down! I had money from not showing! We had the dumbbell before everything closed down.
883541
 

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Just don’t use the prong at a dog show. I’m pretty sure they aren’t allowed on the grounds. I know this is true at trials.
They aren’t, but people do it anyway. They typically use hidden prongs or put a bandana over it. It’s rarely the people that are actively showing that have dogs on prongs.
 

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My show leash is 3ft long. We may not qualify as much now but we look dang good trying! This is the kind of thing an obedience exhibitor does when everything is shut down! I had money from not showing! We had the dumbbell before everything closed down.
View attachment 883541
Pretty dog. Your items look fancy. Did you get that pretty lead at a show? All I have so far is a white dumbbell they told me to write Logan’s name on with a Sharpie. I used my favorite color (green) and out a heart by his name. 😍😀
 

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They aren’t, but people do it anyway. They typically use hidden prongs or put a bandana over it. It’s rarely the people that are actively showing that have dogs on prongs.
I knew they weren’t allowed in competitions, but they don’t allow them in our obedience club for training. I just reserve rooms for training occasionally there so it’s fine. I guess everyone has an opinion.
 

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Just don’t use the prong at a dog show. I’m pretty sure they aren’t allowed on the grounds. I know this is true at trials.
They aren’t :( which is why I was using the slip. There were plenty of dogs walking around in a prong though, I was surprised nobody seemed to care.
 

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I knew they weren’t allowed in competitions, but they don’t allow them in our obedience club for training. I just reserve rooms for training occasionally there so it’s fine. I guess everyone has an opinion.
I personally would be finding another place to train - unless there is nowhere else.
 

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I personally would be finding another place to train - unless there is nowhere else.
Oh, I head up to Fountain Inn (ended up being an hour and 40 minutes away) for his weekly classes. Of course, that's a long haul for the in between training so it's nice to have a building some days in our terrible heat. We were training out and about -- and home some outside -- until summer hit. It's pretty darn toasty now. I can do some things indoors and I have a home gym we work in sometimes. We will be heading up to North Carolina (in the mountains) for a lot of July and August, so I can go to the park, etc. because it won't be too hot up there. Also, our weekly training class is about the same amount of time from there (maybe 10 minute longer.)

My agility instructor said Columbia (where I live) is slim pickings for dog training/sports.
 

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Pretty dog. Your items look fancy. Did you get that pretty lead at a show? All I have so far is a white dumbbell they told me to write Logan’s name on with a Sharpie. I used my favorite color (green) and out a heart by his name. 😍😀
Thank you! They are all custom made. The lead is from paws-and-tails.com. Dumbbell is Training Treasures. Articles are Scents A Bell, Gloves are from Just Right Gloves. My mom made the bag. It's all worth the little extra money because it's all very well made and supports small businesses.
 

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I knew they weren’t allowed in competitions, but they don’t allow them in our obedience club for training. I just reserve rooms for training occasionally there so it’s fine. I guess everyone has an opinion.
We ask that new trainers come in with a flat collar on their dogs. Then we talk about different collars and offer advice on collars if needed. We actually recommend prong collars in some cases. Where I train, we aren't allowed to use Electronic collars.
 

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Ok! So at least your dog doesn't mind it! I don't know why the tips look scary to me!

Ya. My pup seems to walk fine on a nylon slip lead-seems calm but i guess was concerned when he sees something exciting-it would be nice to rely on some sort of "correction" and was curious about prongs.

By working - what do you mean exactly? Sorry noob question.
Go to the store and pick up a prong collar, but it around your forearm and tighten it up, pull it hard! You will wind that the prongs roll inward and "pinch" the skin, they do not, scratch, stick, puncture or anything like that....that is why they are actually referred to as PINCH COLLARS. Regardless, if not used properly they can damage the tissue around the neck.

Do the same with a choke collar, if tightened they constrict the neck and pinch at one point. Constricting the neck too can be dangerous and actually damage the neck, even if they are high on the neck as the should be...Used properly they work well to assist training also...if used properly

Try them both on your arm so you will fully understand how they work....
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
The tightening action is the same for a prong and a martingale, but the prong does give a harsher correction. What is your goal? What are you wanting to train with a prong/martingale/slip lead/chain?
To not pull/train not to chase. I suppose I need to train heel? He walks nice on a
6 ft lead but pulls at 3-4 ft lead-so heeling feels impossible.
 

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Thank you! They are all custom made. The lead is from paws-and-tails.com. Dumbbell is Training Treasures. Articles are Scents A Bell, Gloves are from Just Right Gloves. My mom made the bag. It's all worth the little extra money because it's all very well made and supports small businesses.
I agree and thanks!
 

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To not pull/train not to chase. I suppose I need to train heel? He walks nice on a
6 ft lead but pulls at 3-4 ft lead-so heeling feels impossible.
TBH, it's less about heeling and more about paying attention to you, imo. Lana knows how to heel but if she isn't paying attention to me, she will fall out of position way more easily than if she's paying attention to me. So far the best way I've trained a dog to not pull is to start early and be CONSISTENT.

My Bear pulled right out of the gate. Looking back, I wish I had gone for a more balanced approach instead of getting suckered into R+ only commercial trainers. We started him on a back attach harness (idk some dollar tree thing), then moved him to a front attach harness (Easy Walk), then moved him to a head harness (Halti). None of these things "fixed" the problem. He still pulled with them on and he was increasingly becoming a nightmare without them on. I finally went to an actual OB club (instead of a commercial trainer) and on a flat buckle collar using the spoon method (you hold it in heel position and it rewards them for staying in that position: here is a video demonstrating it: Training Puppy to Heel with a wooden spoon - YouTube) I got a heel. That STILL didn't solve the pulling though. So when I took him to a different club to work on this and hopefully get his CGC (which we did, yay!), I was told to use a slip collar / choke chain and to utilize a different approach in corrections. We use this one: Herm Sprenger Toggle Dog Collar | Jeffers Pet and we build attention by being unpredictable on walks. And we reward the heck out of attention.

With Lana, I didn't even waste time on a flat collar for training. She has ONLY been in slip leads. She will wear a flat buckle collar as decoration only though if we're training she will be only wearing the training collars. Her leash is just a slip lead. And she responds to it since day one. She doesn't pull unless she is excited to greet her favorite humans but I put her in a sit or down and give her a minute or two to let the brain come back online and then we do some circles and get back into heel position and she's fine. That's another thing, you can't let them "win/get what they want" when they pull b/c then it's self-rewarding. The tension on the leash from the pulling builds frustration and arousal and when the dog finally "gets" what they want that arousals and the bodily reaction to that arousal creates a stronger memory and makes the training stick better. This is why most trainers encourage you to train your dogs in drive. Meaning get their arousal/drive up in a controlled way and train with that activated so that the training sticks better and the dog is better engaged (see here: Animals | Free Full-Text | Conceptualising the Impact of Arousal and Affective State on Training Outcomes of Operant Conditioning | HTML (mdpi.com))

With Lana I learned that it's much easier to correct a dog that FORAGES (meaning breaks heel position by moving forward which is on the cusp of pulling) than it is to correct a dog that lags. Because a forager is engaged. A lagger is checking out. Anyways, with foraging, I increase my speed and that will usually bring her attention back to me and less to her surroundings and I go back to rewarding. Though I still have problems with breaking heel when we're standing around in class. But I'm not a good trainer so I account any failings I encounter with my dogs on my training. :)

Anyways, with Molly, I took this a step further and started her off on a slip leash from the get go BUT I also taught her leash pressure as a puppy. I didn't do that with any of my other dogs and lo-and-behold, Molly is content to hang out with a loose leash in a heel position and just relax. Idk if it was the leash pressure training or if it's her personality but I like what I see. Ya know?

Re: Chasing things... that is the other half of the arousal coin. You want to be able to build arousal and drive but you have to teach your dog how to moderate their affective state. A dog that is out of their mind in over arousal will be as problematic as a dog under aroused and checked out. Impulse control is how you address this. You work your way up from "this doesn't excite me" to "omg i want this so badly i'll do anything to have it. gimme gimme gimme" but you want that last bit to be moderated by the dog. Which is why I endlessly recommend this book: Leslie McDevitt: Control Unleashed®: Home Page

FWIW - loose leash walking is one of the HARDEST things for most pet owners. And it's OK if it takes you a while to dial it in. Bear didn't get his CGC (which loose leash walking is criteria for) until he was 3 years old. You train and then you keep what works and you discard what doesn't and try new things. :) Training is ever evolving depending on the dog and the situation. Which is a hard part for me to get under my belt b/c what worked for dog 1 might not work for dog 2. Slip collars shut my CeeCee down. ANY corrective measure shuts her down. She was under socialized (she was a street dog) and fearful of humans and while she's come A LONG WAY from where she was when we got her, she is not a confident dog and requires way more encouragement and positive reinforcement than any of my other dogs. She is a lagger and gets over whelmed so easily. She is what really drove home the phrase "train the dog you have not the dog you want."
 

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@Brave has given you some EXCELLENT advice here. I don't think you need to teach a competition heel or anything, but rewarding heel position can't hurt.

Like Lana and Molly, I didn't waste time training Eevee with flat collars. I used a 4-ft slip lead in puppy class at 10 weeks old. I still use just a regular ole slip lead when I take her on normal walks.

I think you are going to have to start from the beginning if you already have a pulling dog. One thing that many, many people do way too soon is give the dog more leash than they can handle. Just because the leash is 4-6 feet long doesn't mean they deserve all 4-6 feet of it. Eevee didn't get any extra leash for a very long time. I kept it at the length I needed to keep her right beside me.

If you decide to go with a prong collar, just make sure you condition it first and only use it when training. Every walk you take for awhile might be training, but that's ok. The whole process might take several months, but that is also OK. Don't give up halfway.
 
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
TBH, it's less about heeling and more about paying attention to you, imo. Lana knows how to heel but if she isn't paying attention to me, she will fall out of position way more easily than if she's paying attention to me. So far the best way I've trained a dog to not pull is to start early and be CONSISTENT.

My Bear pulled right out of the gate. Looking back, I wish I had gone for a more balanced approach instead of getting suckered into R+ only commercial trainers. We started him on a back attach harness (idk some dollar tree thing), then moved him to a front attach harness (Easy Walk), then moved him to a head harness (Halti). None of these things "fixed" the problem. He still pulled with them on and he was increasingly becoming a nightmare without them on. I finally went to an actual OB club (instead of a commercial trainer) and on a flat buckle collar using the spoon method (you hold it in heel position and it rewards them for staying in that position: here is a video demonstrating it: Training Puppy to Heel with a wooden spoon - YouTube) I got a heel. That STILL didn't solve the pulling though. So when I took him to a different club to work on this and hopefully get his CGC (which we did, yay!), I was told to use a slip collar / choke chain and to utilize a different approach in corrections. We use this one: Herm Sprenger Toggle Dog Collar | Jeffers Pet and we build attention by being unpredictable on walks. And we reward the heck out of attention.

With Lana, I didn't even waste time on a flat collar for training. She has ONLY been in slip leads. She will wear a flat buckle collar as decoration only though if we're training she will be only wearing the training collars. Her leash is just a slip lead. And she responds to it since day one. She doesn't pull unless she is excited to greet her favorite humans but I put her in a sit or down and give her a minute or two to let the brain come back online and then we do some circles and get back into heel position and she's fine. That's another thing, you can't let them "win/get what they want" when they pull b/c then it's self-rewarding. The tension on the leash from the pulling builds frustration and arousal and when the dog finally "gets" what they want that arousals and the bodily reaction to that arousal creates a stronger memory and makes the training stick better. This is why most trainers encourage you to train your dogs in drive. Meaning get their arousal/drive up in a controlled way and train with that activated so that the training sticks better and the dog is better engaged (see here: Animals | Free Full-Text | Conceptualising the Impact of Arousal and Affective State on Training Outcomes of Operant Conditioning | HTML (mdpi.com))

With Lana I learned that it's much easier to correct a dog that FORAGES (meaning breaks heel position by moving forward which is on the cusp of pulling) than it is to correct a dog that lags. Because a forager is engaged. A lagger is checking out. Anyways, with foraging, I increase my speed and that will usually bring her attention back to me and less to her surroundings and I go back to rewarding. Though I still have problems with breaking heel when we're standing around in class. But I'm not a good trainer so I account any failings I encounter with my dogs on my training. :)

Anyways, with Molly, I took this a step further and started her off on a slip leash from the get go BUT I also taught her leash pressure as a puppy. I didn't do that with any of my other dogs and lo-and-behold, Molly is content to hang out with a loose leash in a heel position and just relax. Idk if it was the leash pressure training or if it's her personality but I like what I see. Ya know?

Re: Chasing things... that is the other half of the arousal coin. You want to be able to build arousal and drive but you have to teach your dog how to moderate their affective state. A dog that is out of their mind in over arousal will be as problematic as a dog under aroused and checked out. Impulse control is how you address this. You work your way up from "this doesn't excite me" to "omg i want this so badly i'll do anything to have it. gimme gimme gimme" but you want that last bit to be moderated by the dog. Which is why I endlessly recommend this book: Leslie McDevitt: Control Unleashed®: Home Page

FWIW - loose leash walking is one of the HARDEST things for most pet owners. And it's OK if it takes you a while to dial it in. Bear didn't get his CGC (which loose leash walking is criteria for) until he was 3 years old. You train and then you keep what works and you discard what doesn't and try new things. :) Training is ever evolving depending on the dog and the situation. Which is a hard part for me to get under my belt b/c what worked for dog 1 might not work for dog 2. Slip collars shut my CeeCee down. ANY corrective measure shuts her down. She was under socialized (she was a street dog) and fearful of humans and while she's come A LONG WAY from where she was when we got her, she is not a confident dog and requires way more encouragement and positive reinforcement than any of my other dogs. She is a lagger and gets over whelmed so easily. She is what really drove home the phrase "train the dog you have not the dog you want."
Thank you for the resources and detailed response. I was also eyeing the halti but would rather much focus on another approach.
 

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Train the position, more than the equipment. Reward with treats at the outside of mid thigh. While teaching a heel, make FREQUENT unanticipated turns to force attention to you and to render pulling counter-productive (into the street-within reason, towards brick walls, back to where we had just been, etc, sometimes within a second or two of the last turn). We just adopted a very athletic 2.5 year-old Field Lab with very little to no training. For a month I'm sure that our neighbors thought I had been drinking heavily before every walk we took.
 

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I was raised on training a dog via the slip lead/choke collar and I'm only now reading about prong collars.

Back then - I think it was used on pitbulls? - but now they are all the rage.

This looks far more precarious (sharp links). Can someone more knowledgeable educate me?

Thank you.
A prong collar is a communication tool. When used improperly it can cause problems. When used properly it is a very effective way to teach your dog expectations and good behavior vs. bad behavior. Whether you find this tool beneficial will depend on your dog and your use of the tool.
 
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