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  • Prong Collar

    Hi everyone.
    Well, I have had it with Oliver dragging me around. We are currently working with positive reinforcement training to get him to stop pulling on the leash. We walk, I say his name, and when he turns around I click and feed him. While this works while we are walking, if anything else looks better than the treat I have in my pocket he's off and running! I'm wondering if he is too small to use a prong collar. He's about six months old right now and probably 80-90 pounds (enough to drag me kicking and screaming down the street- very embarassing!). I'd like to use the collar for control while I continue to train using the click/feed method. I'm worried about all of the pressure he's putting on the front of his neck and any damage that could occur if I pull him back or restrain him while he's wearing his regular collar (not a choker). Of course I'll talk to my trainer about it, just want to get some feedback from experienced Dane owners on the board. Thanks.

  • #2
    RE: Prong Collar

    Have you tried the Gentle Leader? I don't know that much about the clicker training, because Moose learned another way. He is in training with Guiding Eyes for the Blind teachers. Two of them are the area coordinators for our area. They teach using training (regular choke)collars. The dog is on the left, leather leash only (the nylon ones tear up your hands!!) and as soon as the dog pulls just the slightest bit, put the dog in a "sit" position. Rub the dogs neck to release endorphins for relaxation slowly. Then say ok or whatever your release word is. It doesn't matter if you only get to take 1 step--if the dog pulls--he sits. Both of my dogs (Moose is only 5 months other 6 years) have learned this way. They learn real quick that if they pull, they aren't going to get anywhere!!! They must stay by your side and not pull to walk. Moose walks terrifically on lead now. If I start having problems with pulling as he gets bigger--I will try the Gentle Leader. That is what they recommend. HOpe this helps!!
    Jennifer and Moose

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    • #3
      RE: Prong Collar

      I forgot to mention that when he has to sit, I give 2 "collar pops" up (with the choke chain)and genly sqeeze the muscle on his back. Squeezing this muscle gently "makes" them sit, they have no choice because it is a reaction. And it is also important to "sandwich" the dog like a hotdog firmly on your left between your hand and left leg. A lot of dogs try to swing out and look at you while sitting. This is what I use and my opinions only--maybe it will help some.


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      • #4
        RE: Prong Collar

        I've listed some sites below that offer general training information & cover various techniques from clicker to collar (including headcollars like the gentle leader) training. The key, however, is NOT in the technique or the equipment & various things work for various teams (i.e. dog & owner) who are training together. It sounds like you pup, like all or at least most, needs to learn better self-control & focus as he easily gets distracted from the job at hand (paying attention to you)--pretty typical at that age & to be expected.
        There are several ways to get the message across that it is *his* job to mind where *you* are going & keep slack in the lead. That is really what you are trying to teach & you can do it with prong collars, choke chains, head collars, flat collars or what have you. But if too much focus is put on the equipment choice & too little on teaching the dog the exercise (keep slack in the lead & mind where I am going) then you can end up using all sorts of equipment to no real long term effect. I usually only use a flat cloth collar & a "with me" (heel I save for competition obedience) commmand, & a squeeze-&-release reminder on the lead that the DOG must release the tension in the leash by moving HIS BODY towards me. For the truly distracted I simply turn on my heel 90-180 degrees away from the distraction & let them hit the end of the leash, then simply say 'silly boy, you weren't paying attention!" I've never had to resort to any tricks or special equipment & I think this is because I focus strongly on teaching the dog he's to be responsive to me & mind where I am going...even<G> if he thinks I'm a crazy woman who walks around in circles & never gets anywhere.
        I think it can be rather hard to sit a dog whose overly excited & wants to run to other dogs or to people: I try to keep them moving...with me. Suzzane Clothier though does have a wonderful article on teaching self-control that I use when I teach classes & it involves using the sit. I personally prefer a tuck sit, with an arm swept behind the dog in the bend of the hocks if physical help is neeeded, rather than pinching or pushing down on the back. (Those techniques will make a dog fail in competition obedience & are a problem in the show ring, as they teach a dog to sit when pressure is applied to their back...also many dogs will resist this sort of pressure & the tough ones will even give you a battle over this dominance gesture.) But as I said it isn't technique or equipment that is really critical to teaching the dog, it's clarity in your, the handler's mind, about EXACTLY what you are trying to teach the dog. If you are clear on that, "make haste slowly" as they say, & keep adding small steps (from the backyard to the front, to the park, to a park full of dogs..) the dog will have a chance to learn & will gain the skills and confidence to be able to obey & be a willing partner. Check out some of these sites & see what makes sense to you! good luck/jp&the chroma-crew
        http://www.GreatPets.com
        http://users.erols.com/mandtj/
        http://www.flyingdogpress.com
        http://www.inch.com/~dogs/
        http://www.uwsp.edu/acad/psych/dog/dog.htm
        http://www.doggiedoor.com/
        http://www.apbc.org.uk/
        http://www.webtrail.com/petbehavior/index.html
        http://ccp.uchicago.edu/~jyin/evolution.html

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        • #5
          RE: Prong Collar

          My wife and I have used prongs to train both of our boys. I think one of the best examples of how to use any collar (this is what is most important) is in a book by Brain Kilcommons. He uses the 90 degree and 180 degree turns technique when the little one loses concentration. The key is the praise and getting the pup to think: "gee, when I wander off or pull in front, I get corrected, but when I turn around mom/dad is happy and prasing me, I think I will stick with him/her".

          The book title is "Good Owners, Great Dogs". I think it is one of the best training books for all breeds that I have read. If you have even a moderate amount of experience training dogs you can do it pretty much with this book alone.

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          • #6
            RE: Prong Collar

            Hi all. I used to raise Samoyeds and Malamutes which most likely makes me an authority on teaching a dog (the pullin'est dogs alive ) how to walk on a leash . Dave Dikeman ( command performance ) uses the technique that many hound and sled dog people have used for years.
            Here goes :Get a 15-20 foot rope for a leash.
            Use a regular buckle collar. Start walking let him have 4 or 5 feet of rope. As soon as he pulls, release the other 10-15 feet.turn and RUN the other way.It will freak him out when he gets the big STOP at the end of the rope and he may may wind up on his ear ! Keep moving....when he passes you do it again and again ! He will see you headed the other way and rush to get back with you. You need to repeat this only a few ( 25 ? ) times....10 or 20 minutes. I absolutely guarantee he will be glued to you and watching you intently to make sure YOU dont pull HIM !I've made the worst pullers into the best heelers in 2 sessions max. You will be amazed how quick this works, on some dogs five times and they never pull again. Do not say anything to him just turn and go, turn and go, turn and go, don't even look at him. Then you can do the "good boy ! Heel"
            Ok don't worry....his neck wont hurt any more than your arm !

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