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Old 12-22-2012, 09:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question To prong or not to prong?

As Rouleaux gets older, his tendancy to pull becomes greater and greater. Also, the obvious change in size and weight.

I have tried using treats and commands. I think it is time for a prong collar.

It was used on him once in a training class and it worked after he came to terms with it (I was a distraught mommy at that point... did I want to subject my baby to the dreaded prong??!). When he had it on him, he didn't yelp or cry, but he kept fighting it which I know didn't feel good at all.

When he was 3 months old he wore and Easy Walk Harness. It seemed to help with the pulling, and I swear by them personally, but as he got closer to growing out of his puppy harness, the pulling got worse and worse. When we are alone he is the perfect gentleman... in public and extra excited, he wants to get where he wants to get to and fast.

I understand that these actions should not be on his terms, but mine.

SO I consult the great DT forum elders with experience on the matter.

To prong, or not to prong?!
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I walk my three, including the 23 pound Rattie with a prong. I got one for Leo the day she pulled me down.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My first guess is that you need a better or an additional class, and you need to actually pay attention to walking skills all the time you are walking... every time. I don't know anyone who actually does this, and this is why dogs pull... if it works sometimes, it's always worth trying.

It also works well to exercise BEFORE you walk. Energy-boy has less ability to find a measure of self-control than slightly-tired-boy. Throw the ball, run around, play some tug... then, go for a walk.

I teach walking as an active attention exercise. When a dog forges, I don't talk about where they are but about the fact that they no longer have attention on me. This presupposes that you have actually taught attention, which is the foundation skill of EVERYTHING. From walking forward briskly, I immediately begin to walk backwards as briskly... I say the dog's name (which is the dog's attention command)... once I have eye contact, I either turn and continue the way I have been going (only now forward-facing instead of backward) or walk forward past the dog which turns the dog around into walking position. Whichever thing I do, I reward (tiny excellent treat) the dog when it attains proper position with attention. I refer to this in class as "The Arthur Murray School of Dog Walking." It is awkward until one gets the hang of it and you really have to pay attention to the environment (otherwise you will crash into stuff or trip over stuff... someone will die!), but it works better than either an abrupt about-turn or the be-a-tree thing. I also will find anything in the environment (tree, parked car, telephone pole... whatever) and make counter-clockwise circles around it when a dog is forging... you will run into the dog the first few times, but that is the point... if he wasn't in the way, you wouldn't run into him! The only way he can keep from being run over by the now-clumsy you is to get and stay back.

That said, I like pinch collars, used properly. Most people do not use them properly. The leash attachment is on the right side of the neck (if your dog is walking on the left), and corrections are sideways twitches to the right (never straight back). A pinch with a smaller link delivers a harsher correction, so pay attention to link size. The whole point is to have ZERO tension on the leash, except for the very fast small corrections which are over almost as soon as they are begun... as close to instantanious as is possible.

Last edited by mmctaq; 12-22-2012 at 11:14 PM..
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmctaq View Post
My first guess is that you need a better or an additional class, and you need to actually pay attention to walking skills all the time you are walking... every time. I don't know anyone who actually does this, and this is why dogs pull... if it works sometimes, it's always worth trying.

It also works well to exercise BEFORE you walk. Energy-boy has less ability to find a measure of self-control than slightly-tired-boy. Throw the ball, run around, play some tug... then, go for a walk.

That said, I like pinch collars, used properly. Most people do not use them properly. The leash attachment is on the right side of the neck (if your dog is walking on the left), and corrections are sideways twitches to the right (never straight back). A pinch with a smaller link delivers a harsher correction, so pay attention to link size. The whole point is to have ZERO tension on the leash, except for the very fast small corrections which are over almost as soon as they are begun... as close to instantaneous as is possible.
And it is for this reason I posted this thread. I am continuing in classes, and they start back up after the holidays.

This is why I asked if prong collars vs Easy Walk Harnesses were preferred or if there were any other methods that someone can suggest.

Now, we have recently had to walk to the exercise point (an open field for instance). I have a yard, but sometimes I bring my boy to work and go right from work to the site, which involves walking to from the parking area. I don't know about anyone else, but once I punch out, I would rather leave immediately than stick around to play tug with my dog. How does that look to your boss?

I do understand the importance of exercising. My boy is far from stir crazy, but does need to exert his energy quite frequently just like any other dobie and dobie puppy. But there are times when we go to places that require leash walking or you prefer to leash walk until you get to the desired spot, usually secluded.

Thank you for you input

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Old 12-22-2012, 11:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmctaq View Post
I teach walking as an active attention exercise. When a dog forges, I don't talk about where they are but about the fact that they no longer have attention on me. This presupposes that you have actually taught attention, which is the foundation skill of EVERYTHING. From walking forward briskly, I immediately begin to walk backwards as briskly... I say the dog's name (which is the dog's attention command)... once I have eye contact, I either turn and continue the way I have been going (only now forward-facing instead of backward) or walk forward past the dog which turns the dog around into walking position. Whichever thing I do, I reward (tiny excellent treat) the dog when it attains proper position with attention. I refer to this in class as "The Arthur Murray School of Dog Walking." It is awkward until one gets the hang of it and you really have to pay attention to the environment (otherwise you will crash into stuff or trip over stuff... someone will die!), but it works better than either an abrupt about-turn or the be-a-tree thing. I also will find anything in the environment (tree, parked car, telephone pole... whatever) and make counter-clockwise circles around it when a dog is forging... you will run into the dog the first few times, but that is the point... if he wasn't in the way, you wouldn't run into him! The only way he can keep from being run over by the now-clumsy you is to get and stay back.
We learned this the second to last class. We have been working on it, and it is a work in progress.

Don't get me wrong, he isn't dragging me along. The leash is just taut. Of course that doesn't rule out that he is pulling to some extent.

Is a prong used as a temporary tool in some situations? or is it more of a constant tool to use. Doberman as we all know, are not stupid. When he wore his Easy Walk, he knew it was time to work. Now that he has grown out of it, I am debating on sticking it out and using the method taught in class solely, or to incorporate a tool like to prong.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have always used a prong collar, even from small puppies so that they never think pulling is acceptable. I prefer the prong for several reasons- the main reason is that unlike choke chains it has a stop to limit the amount of correction you can give where as a choke chain you could crush their windpipe. I have actually put one on myself and yanked as hard as I could, it Wasn't that bad it really issues a pinch and releases, you can also do a small correction if they go to tug just to remind them- one of the best features of the prong is that it teaches them that THEY do it to themselves. When I pull my collar hurts, I don't want to pull. A prong when not issuing correction is as comfortable as any other collar as long as they are fitted correctly just make sure you have the right gauge and amount of links


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Old 12-22-2012, 11:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGranger Ph.D View Post
I have always used a prong collar, even from small puppies so that they never think pulling is acceptable. I prefer the prong for several reasons- the main reason is that unlike choke chains it has a stop to limit the amount of correction you can give where as a choke chain you could crush their windpipe. I have actually put one on myself and yanked as hard as I could, it Wasn't that bad it really issues a pinch and releases, you can also do a small correction if they go to tug just to remind them- one of the best features of the prong is that it teaches them that THEY do it to themselves. When I pull my collar hurts, I don't want to pull. A prong when not issuing correction is as comfortable as any other collar as long as they are fitted correctly just make sure you have the right gauge and amount of links


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I agree. I have used it once on him, and he did well, after the fussing and fighting it. It crushed me, but he walked much better. We couldn't keep that one and he seemed to walk well on his easy walk as a little guy so we held off on the purchase.

At this point I figure I might as well get one to have it, and start him on it.

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Old 12-23-2012, 12:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rouleaux View Post
We learned this the second to last class. We have been working on it, and it is a work in progress.

Don't get me wrong, he isn't dragging me along. The leash is just taut. Of course that doesn't rule out that he is pulling to some extent.

Is a prong used as a temporary tool in some situations? or is it more of a constant tool to use. Doberman as we all know, are not stupid. When he wore his Easy Walk, he knew it was time to work. Now that he has grown out of it, I am debating on sticking it out and using the method taught in class solely, or to incorporate a tool like to prong.
If the leash is loose, the clasp is hanging straight down. If the leash is taut, this is not loose leash walking. Probably ninety-five percent of the time, when people describe walking they way you just did, the PERSON is pulling and the dog is responding to being pulled. How have you been taught to hold the leash in class?

A pinch is for what you need it for. You can be done with it, or not... totally up to you. A pinch is NOT EVER for the Arthur Murray style of backward walking correction... you want a Premier martingale for that.

I had some folks in class years ago whose little cute Corgi puppy was pulling them into the building for class. I had them come to class two hours early, and we learned how to walk into the store on a loose leash. A few steps forward, a bunch of steps backward... lather, rinse, repeat. At one point, we were all the way across the parking lot, maybe 150' from where we had started. She finally got that dogs cannot pull their way into the store. Sometimes, you just gotta take the time to make the point... every time you don't, you are teaching the opposite of what you want.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I haven't put the prong on him yet...

I was just asking other person's opinions and experience with this training tool vs the harness...

I know how to use the collar for the most part

And I have been using the 1 step forward 2 steps back method you have brought up.

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Old 12-23-2012, 09:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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While there is nothing wrong with a prong collar, it is seldom necessary. We have had obedience dog, utility, and show dogs and we have never used one. If you have a martingale, think this is what it is called......part chain and mostly cloth......it MUST fit high on the neck and is tight...so that the chain is tight and there is no slack, not choking though. It Must fit properly. You only keep it on during training. We prefer that. A light correction and the dog knows. If they are pulling we turn directions. We train before feeding and use treats. We work hard on focus and having the dogs watch us in different places. Dobermans learn fast and they will get it. I would never put a prong on my puppy but it is done. I think that over correct breaks their spirit. We all like to work harder with positive, including our dogs.

Having said this I am in my 60's and about 120 lbs so it's not that they couldn't pull me around easily. Good for you for taking the dog to obedience. It is necessary in this breed and I learn something every time I go and my dogs learns too. It's not just about the basics either. It is about social interactions, leaving it, and learning to read me while I learn how to read my dog.

Last edited by millerdobes; 12-23-2012 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have a martingale, and I will try using that before turning to a prong.

Thank you everyone!
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I love the prong collar, if as previously stated it is fitted properly and used the correct way. Judah wore hers during obedience training and now walks well with or without it. I think it is a great training tool. I hate to admit it, but without it, she probably would be pulling me all over creation today. Much better than constantly jerking on a choke collar which puts tremendous stress on the trachea like I have seen others do and therefore in my opinion can be damaging. I spent months attempting to teach her to heel and was pulled all over the place until one day our instructor introduced us to the Leerburg prong collar and in one lesson she was heeling and walking correctly- no pulling. The corrections have always been mild and minimal with the leash loose and the prong collar causing absolutely no discomfort while worn. Judah loves hers and gets all excited to walk and have it put on but she does well now with or without it. If you do not like the looks of it get a Secret Power Training Collar which is a prong collar with an attractive covering concealing it. Someone on DT had a link and I looked them up. Good Luck.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think it depends on the dog, I have had success with prongs on 2 and not needed them on the other 2. A bold and confident dog, one who is more assertive, a prong is a great tool. A less confident dog, or a fear reactive dog, it can make bad situations worse.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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A prong collar doesn't actually teach your dog how to walk on a loose leash, so I'd vote no. There are some great methods to teach loose leash walking (Martha gave you one, above). You might check out Kikopup's channel on Youtube - she has some good videos on loose leash walking: Dog Training - YouTube
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hi there, thought I would throw in my 2 cents. I had a GSD we started training (ob) with him right away (as a puppy at 8weeks). However any time I took him out in public he was always super excited, lack of attention on me plus it didn't take him long to out weight and out power me (about 1 year and 1/2). Positive methods even with the best treats just didn't over come everything else out there! So I went to a prong with him and hand full of corrections later and lots of ''weren't you watching'' fast switch direction training (not in the prong!) at home. He had to only wear it... I never had to give another correction on it and he got it. I could take that dog any where. My dobe is really soft and responds in a flat collar or martingale so I don't use the prong with her. I do recommend having someone show you how to properly use it if your not sure. Your pup sounds like he is being a bit more forward with you? Good luck hopefully you 2 can get it!
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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we worked on some loose leash walking on the trail this afternoon. He did pretty good. I am going to hold off on the prong for now, and check out that youtube channel. Thank you.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Good luck in whatever method you decide on. I use a prong with Coco and have had great success. I initially did not like how it looked but once I saw how effective it was I got over that! Coco gets excited when I get the prong out of the closet and stands in her "place" for me to put it on her because she knows we are going out walking.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I use a prong on Bronson. He has an extremely soft temperament and when I take the prong out he goes bonkers with excitement. If they were really that horrible, he would not care for it at all.
He hates car rides and if and he thinks hes going in the car, he runs away, or lays there and shakes. Prong = walk ALWAYS. So he goes crazy when he even hears it
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It's a training issue not a collar issue usually. I don't use prongs myself. If I have a dog who is pulling and I want to go for a walk without training I use a sensation harness. Then I use a flat collar for training.

MMCTAQ makes very good points about looking at the leash and clasp. It's something I never explained to my husband. So every time we got anew dog, I hande dhim the older dog and said don't let them pull you. He heard don't let them pull him over - he didn't hear make them walk with a loose leash clasp hanging down (because I didn't elaborate). If your dog gets used to walking with a tight leash, it is very very very hard to change the pattern. That is normal to them.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rouleaux View Post
As Rouleaux gets older, his tendancy to pull becomes greater and greater. Also, the obvious change in size and weight.

To prong, or not to prong?!
The best advice I could offer is to learn how to walk the dog 'Cesars Way.' I am convinced your problems will be solved. It solved Koda's want to lead when I walked him. Now he remains at my side until I give him permission to walk ahead on the command, "Free!" If he walks ahead of me I stop and I now just wait. More often then not, I say, 'BACK!' but tend to rather use the word, 'HEEL' like most dog trainers do.He knows where he should be. Rather have a quality, structured walk than a distance based walk. In other words a 30 minute walk where he walks in position rather than him taking you for the walk. Google Cesar Milan and check out his DVD's. I hope this helps. I don't klnow what tp Prong is, but it sounds awful!
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Had to just add something. I read all the comments and really think Cesar Milan has a wonderful solution to the problem you are having.

Get up-close and personal with Cesar as he shares his thoughts on everything from the basics of dog behavior, the pack, energy and body language, the importance of the walk, and more in this commonsense guide to understanding the basics of dog behavior.

Read more: DOG TRAINING DVDS | Cesar Millan

Good luck!
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JAGABAGS View Post
Had to just add something. I read all the comments and really think Cesar Milan has a wonderful solution to the problem you are having.

Get up-close and personal with Cesar as he shares his thoughts on everything from the basics of dog behavior, the pack, energy and body language, the importance of the walk, and more in this commonsense guide to understanding the basics of dog behavior.

Read more: DOG TRAINING DVDS | Cesar Millan

Good luck!
Hate to burst your bubble, but Cesear Milan is a joke and not respected among actual behaviorists and trainers. His theory has been scientifically disproven and his methods are often times overly harsh and just plain stupid.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:01 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:05 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I use a prong collar when I have Lexi on her regular leash, which I use when I'm walking around busy streets. She walks good with it when it's in the right spot. However she has figured out that if she shakes it down her neck that she can pull more (but still not a lot). I cannot remove another link or it will become too tight. So either I will re-adjust it back up or change the clip to impliment the choke feature.

She knows the heel posistion very well but she tests me on a consistant basis. If I ask her to heel she will, but often I get about 10 steps before she starts gradually walking ahead, if I stop suddenly she will quickly go back to the heel posistion, so....she knows where I want her to be she just doesn't stay there for long and needs constant reminders, it's actually quite frustrating and I'm debating on getting an e-collar.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:10 AM   #25 (permalink)
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She knows the heel posistion very well but she tests me on a consistant basis. If I ask her to heel she will, but often I get about 10 steps before she starts gradually walking ahead, if I stop suddenly she will quickly go back to the heel posistion, so....she knows where I want her to be she just doesn't stay there for long and needs constant reminders, it's actually quite frustrating and I'm debating on getting an e-collar.
Just my two cents, she may know what heel position is but it sounds like she doesn't know she has to stay in heel position. If she needs constant reminders, I'd go back to training, rewarding for heel position, etc. and see if you can get her to "hear" that you want her to stay in heel position.

This is a bit hard to see since I'm videotaping and walking 2 dogs. But if Envy can figure it out at 4 months any dog can I"m only request her leash not be tight right now. I do a lot of rewarding and slowly increase the time between rewards.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j2PeslzY_E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljxlu_R-bSM
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