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Prong Collars?

4831 Views 38 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Codysmom
I went to Petsmart over the weekend, and I was supposed to be on a mission. But once I went down the leash/collar aisle, the hesitation began. I wanted to get Apollo a prong collar because he has developed this new habit where about 45 minutes through our walks (on bad days sometimes as soon as 15 minutes) he gets very dificult to manage. He pulls, he jumps all around me, he goes all up on people's's just not fun, and very dangerous since he could pull loose and run across the street!

We started working on heel, and what I do is, I'll give the heel command and work on keeping him in position for two blocks, and then I'll say, "Ok, it's time to play!" and I'll let him walk infront of me, and let him sniff for two blocks. I'm working on increasing the amount of time he's in the heel position, and decreasing sniffing time gradually because he doesn't have the patience (probably my fault because I've let him walk infront of me, and I haven't been too strict with the sniffing since the day I first put his leash on). I don't think he's lacking time to actually run around because he gets two scampers through the park/day, and a fun game of "Chase Mommy" every night before bed. And that's not including his regular walks. So I'm wondering what his problem is...Am I just expecting too much from his puppy attention span?

I really think a prong collar might help, but they just look so scary! Someone convince me that they're not actually some Medieval torture device...or if anyone has some other suggestions for correcting this problem that would be great!
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I know you guys are probably getting sick of me singing the praises of clicker training <g> but here I go again :)
I can only relate though what I've done with Chi and how it has worked for us. If I'm not mistaken Apollo is about the same age as Chi, (bout 5 months) right?
Her heel is a work in progress but walking on a loose lead is down to almost a fine science. Since we don't have a fenced yard and very few safe places to allow her off lead, the vast majority of her excersize is on the end of the leash. Because of that, I don't like to keep her at a heel unless I have to have her under complete control and her utmost attention. For the most part she is free to sniff and walk ahead of me as long as the leash is kept loose. How did I do this, you may ask? With the clicker and lots and lots of dried liver. As soon as we started our walk, before she had the opportunity to pull I would click and treat (that really gets her attention) and then would click and treat sporatically throughout the walk. When she pulled I stopped dead and did not move, as soon as the leash was loose and we were able to get at least a few steps she got another c/t. In a matter of just a few walks she realized that she only got the yummy when the leash was loose. I have found though that about half way through our walks she, like Apollo :) gets a bit full of herself and wants to act out. It was hard initially for me not to pull her back or give her a correction. But now when she does that and gets silly I put her in heel until she calms down a bit and then we try again with the "let's go" walk. I also tend to really slow my pace while she's in heel if she's excited. She's young and we're both still learning so I really try to set her up for success. It seems to be working wonderfully for us. I use only a flat collar but am thinking about switching her over to a harness soon.

Good luck and keep us posted :) How are his ears doing? Would love to see pics :)
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As I see it, the key to no pulling is making a loose leash more appealing than a tight one. In my case I use liver, cheerios and tiny pieces of hotdogs, those are infinately more appealing to Chi than a tight leash. The prong collar works the same way, not feeling the tightness and the pinch is more appealing than feeling it.
Hey Twink :)
I am looking at the canny collar now and it is interesting. I can see how it would work very well to correct pulling without discomfort or risk of injury to the dog. My question is, do you have a problem with the nose loop slipping off if his lead is loose and he's sniffing around?
I did watch the videos and I love that Rottie :) I've been waffling between a gentle leader and the sensation harness. I've read reports about spinal and neck injuries due to the gentle leader, but I take those with a grain of salt because ANY training device can be a liability in the wrong hands. But I remember how hard it was to get Storm used to hers... The Sensation Harness seems really great but am hesitant because I'm still concerned about possible aggression and it offers little control. (although she has made AMAZING progress on the whole agression/fear thing). However, this collar doesn't seem as though it would be nearly as objectionable as the gentle leader and I like how it hooks at the back of the neck rather than under the chin. Just seems that it would allow the dog more natural movement and there is less chance of injury due to handler error. But then again she's doing great with learning how to walk on a loose lead. Kind of scared to screw up the good thing that we've got going by introducing a new collar. Sorry I'm rambling with random thoughts now :)
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I've got to say that for the longest time I strongly opposed prong collars. I mean I was under the impression that death was better than a prong. After MUCH thought, discussion here and research I bought one. I've yet to have to correct Chi with it, I attach the leash to both rings but the improvement is amazing! Walks are so much less stressful now. We can jog without her getting so super excited that she's bouncing everywhere. I can concentrate on her social skills rather than keeping my arm in socket. Best part is that she doesn't run from it! She's fine with it. She sees it and knows it's time to go for a walk and out the door she wants to go. The real test was the other day when I walked her to the tennis court. I took it off of her while we played and worked with some off leash training but when I picked it up to put it back on her to leave she practically put it on herself.
I don't think that it is a collar for every dog and I'm sure if Chi had a more competent trainer she wouldn't need one. But I do know that the prong collar has made our life soooooo much easier and more fun!
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Personally, I think that training with treats is great but I understand that not all share my phylosophy :)
He's still young and learning. Just keep practicing these commands with what works for you and gradually work away from the prong.
I would imagine that if you were to offer treats as reward for heeling well with the prong, he would quickly realize he has to do the same thing for the same reward without it.
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