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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...the thought crossed my mind today.

Walking was an issue today. There are times when Red will walk right next to me most of the time, and there are times (like today) when he is trying to pull ahead of me the whole entire time, pretty much ignoring the corrections.

Currently, I just use a flat nylon collar, and when he's acting up, I move it up behind his ears and that usually fixes the problem - for a short time. Because then the collar slips back down his neck and he's back into "pulling mode" and trying to pull ahead of me.

I'm ready to just break down a buy a choke chain, but I would only do it if I had no other choice. I'm not saying a choke collar, or anyone that uses one, is bad or mean, but personally, I would prefer not to use one unless I had to.

So my questions to you guys are:

1. Do you think I am wrong in wanting to use it in this situation?

2. Would it be more worthwhile to just get a prong collar and skip the choke chain altogether?

3. Once I start using a choke/prong collar and he stops pulling on the leash, wouldn't he go right back to his old ways once I stopped using the choke/prong collar?
 

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Not sure.....I have the same sort of questions, Petey is still in a nylon collar or a harness too. He can be quite the puller when he is in the mood and he wants to smell something. And now he is so strong....and I think he knows it, and can pull really hard, without a harness it is hard to stop him.

Carol
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm, I don't think I'd ever use a harness with Red because harnesses are meant for pulling, imo. Like sled dogs pulling a sled. They are meant to redistribute the weight over the strongest part of the dog's body, instead of around the neck, making it easier for dog's to lean into it and pull. I think a harness would make pulling behavior worse... but as I say this, I'm sure there are people out there who swear by them.

I'm thinking that maybe Red just had too much pent up energy since we didn't go on a walk yesterday. And we sorta took a different route too, so he was probably just curious... but I want him to learn to walk by my side no matter what environment we are in.
 

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Wonder liked doing the same thing, so I chucked and Easy walk harness on him and using a clicker, would reward him with food whenever he was in heel position. It took a week or so, but now he's looking at me and focusing instead of pulling like a looney. I don't let him pull either, I just let him fall into the right position by turning a lot.
 

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I'd use a pinch collar before a choke. Not as likely to injure the dog.
I'd hate to think I had to stop a full grown Doberman wearing a harness!!
 

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In my opinion 5 months is too young for any type of corrections. To teach a pup not to pull on the lead I like to use the stand still method and mark/click and reward the behavior I am looking for.

When puts any tension in the leash I stop, when the puppy gives me a little slack I say "YES!" and give him a treat. This method can take a lot of practice but that's the fun part. The psychology behind this idea is the dog is pulling because he wants to get some thing that has intrigued it a smell or movement whatever puppies like. By stopping and standing still when the lead grows tight we are taking away what they want to do, thus the puppy learns that by keeping slack in the lead it can do what ever it wants.

The important thing to do when trying this exercise is keep your hands in the same place so the distance from you to the pup is always the same that way the pup can get a good idea on how far is too far. I like to hold the leash right at my belly button.

I hope this helps, I also hope this is clear enough. I am at work and I am continually being interrupted, it is a pain in the ass to write fluently with interruptions.
 

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Java's obedience class trainer put a prong collar on her at the first class -at six months she was pulling like a fiend at the end of the leash, and stopping in my tracks wasn't getting thru to her. She would do well on her sit/stays/downs but walking nicely was beyond her. Of course, she was still a pup so I didn't push the issue. That is, until she caught me off-guard and I nearly fell over - then I realized that in winter weather I could get hurt if she wasn't under control during a walk. After two minor corrections and an indignant yelp, she got the message and was a different girl on the other end of the leash. I have also used the Gentle Leader and find that the 'bridle' works very well with her. The leash is loose from the get-go.

Of course praising like crazy, food rewards and practice go a long way as well....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'd use a pinch collar before a choke. Not as likely to injure the dog.
That was my thought as well. I would think a prong collar would get the point across much faster than a choke anyway.

In my opinion 5 months is too young for any type of corrections. To teach a pup not to pull on the lead I like to use the stand still method and mark/click and reward the behavior I am looking for.
I don't think it's too young to be training him - if I'm not going to accept this behavior from him as an adult, he can't be allowed to do it as a maturing puppy. It' harder to break a bad habit that's been allowed to go on, than to never let him establish a bad habit to begin with.

I have tried the stopping everytime he pulls (which is what they teach in puppy class), but it just wasn't working. And I put A LOT of work into it since walking on a loosh leash is very important to me. I used to use lots of treat rewards during this time too, but the time I didn't use any treats, is the time he walked loosely by my side for about 80% of the walk - way more than he ever did before. As he walked loosely, I allowed him to take his time and sniff things if he wanted - sort of a reward for walking nice.
 

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Was there anything else besides the lack of treats on that magical walk that promoted that? Were you more relaxed because you weren't worried about shoving treats in him at exactly the right time? Timing gets me uptight.

The getting him to focus on me worked well, but I don't demand a heel from him all the time, I think that's too demanding at this age.
 

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2. Would it be more worthwhile to just get a prong collar and skip the choke chain altogether?
In my personal experience, the prong worked much better with less effort. Also, I suggest having a nylon slip collar as a back-up, since prong collars have been known to come apart when you need them most (i.e. when he's going nuts and you need to give him a matching correction). Just imagine if you gave it a tug and it popped apart instead.

3. Once I start using a choke/prong collar and he stops pulling on the leash, wouldn't he go right back to his old ways once I stopped using the choke/prong collar?
Only if you don't train him. I thought the same exact thing and even posted a question here if anyone EVER "graduated" from the prong collar. I was frustrated, but with consistent obedience work, Red will get it. Now I can put my dog in a heel without a lead hiking in the woods with his doggie buddies running around like crazy. Lots of marking with positive reinforcement as well as corrections when he willfully disobeyed commands that I know he knew got me to where I am today with Harley.

You can definitely do it. Harley is my first dog ever, and Dobermans aren't known as a "starter" breed, not to mention a rescue! Just keep an open mind and sort through to all the great advice you'll get on Dobermantalk. It's priceless!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Was there anything else besides the lack of treats on that magical walk that promoted that? Were you more relaxed because you weren't worried about shoving treats in him at exactly the right time? Timing gets me uptight.
Hmm, I dunno, I hadn't really thought about it til just now... I'm not sure what the difference was, except that time we walked down a dirt road first and he didn't pull at all, then we continued down a sidewalk along a paved road again and he just kept it up. Maybe I should walk him down the dirt road every time! LOL

In my personal experience, the prong worked much better with less effort. Also, I suggest having a nylon slip collar as a back-up, since prong collars have been known to come apart when you need them most (i.e. when he's going nuts and you need to give him a matching correction). Just imagine if you gave it a tug and it popped apart instead.
Very true! Good to know.

This is probably a dumb question, but how do you attach both the prong and the nylon collars at the same time? Just put both collar loops in the leash clip?

Just keep an open mind and sort through to all the great advice you'll get on Dobermantalk. It's priceless!
Thanks, I really appreciate all the replies. :) I'm sure Red with catch on, I think I was just a bit frustrated today, that's all.

I think I'll do some research on prong collars and buy one in case I ever need it. I think someone mentioned a good brand in another thread, but I can't remember what it was now.
 

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a quick method my mom uses with the dogs she walks at the shelter is...
she will walk them on a longer leash in a big open area but then turn suddenly in a different direction without saying anything to the dog. The dog then starts catching on that you want them to follow you :)


when we first put a prong collar on duchess she YELP and tried to run away from just a slight adjustment the collar made on its own haha...she doesnt mind the prong now or doesnt care but for awhile she would look sad whenever we got it out to go for a walk or use it for training lol. She is a sensitive girl ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
when we first put a prong collar on duchess she YELP and tried to run away from just a slight adjustment the collar made on its own haha...she doesnt mind the prong now or doesnt care but for awhile she would look sad whenever we got it out to go for a walk or use it for training lol. She is a sensitive girl ;)
This made me LOL

I am afraid of Red looking at me with those puppy dog eyes thinking, "why are you doing this to me, mom?" But I'm sure he'd get used to it... Then we could both enjoy our walks with less corrections, and more treats and happiness :)
 

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I would use a prong with a small show type slip for safety, as I've had a prong come apart. As JDD stated in an earlier post, your are far less likely to injure the neck or spine with a prong.
 

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You might want to look into a martingale collar. Not as harsh as a choke, but more efficient than a flat collar. Using this with your loose leash walking techniques can help.

 

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turn suddenly in a different direction without saying anything to the dog. The dog then starts catching on that you want them to follow you :)
The reversing directions was what I was going to suggest too. Also I think if you played with him first and got rid of some of the excess energy it would help.
Also you should jerk toward yourself when he starts trying to get ahead of you and that will get him off balance and make him pay attention to you.

I like the looks of Krattys' martingale collar. Wonder if it slides down the neck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would use a prong with a small show type slip for safety, as I've had a prong come apart.
Good idea. I have no idea how a prong would come apart - I had a difficult time just taking out a link!

You might want to look into a martingale collar. Not as harsh as a choke, but more efficient than a flat collar. Using this with your loose leash walking techniques can help.

Thanks for the pic and info - I'll have to look into this if I have more issues.

Also I think if you played with him first and got rid of some of the excess energy it would help.
Also you should jerk toward yourself when he starts trying to get ahead of you and that will get him off balance and make him pay attention to you.
Yes, I definitely think playing with him ahead of time is a great idea to burn off excess energy. I try to do this most times, but sometimes I just want to walk! Good idea about pulling him toward me to gain his attention - I'll try that next time I'm out with him.


Here's the prong collar I bought today. I'm not sure where the tag went so I can't remember what brand it is. I took out a link because it's a little too big, but I had to get this size to meet the weight requirement.



I'm going to leave the little black things on for now and see how he does. Hopefully I won't need to take them off.

Quick question, I think I read somewhere about the correct way to fit a prong collar but I can't remember where I saw that now. Should the collar be pretty snug around his neck, or how much room do you leave?
 

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You want them pretty tight, otherwise they can pinch instead of just stimulating or they'll be completely ineffective. Aaaand that's all I know about that. Hopefully someone else will pipe up soon. :)
 
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