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Old 11-18-2012, 11:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thoughts on prong collars?

We just came from our first basic obedience class this weekend, and the instructor recommends prong collars. The school specializes in german shepherds and police dog training. He claims that the prong collars don't really hurt the dogs, just gives them a pinch. He advocates "drive training" and says purely "positive reinforcement training" doesn't work all the time. However, Zoey will only turn 8 months old next week and is small for her age (about 30-35lbs). She's not aggressive like some of the other dogs in class (the majority were Germans and other larger breeds). In fact she's quite the opposite... super friendly and wants to play with everyone. However, she's extremely curious and easily distracted. She pulls a lot on her regular nylon collar and doesn't obey many commands. I admit we're guilty of spoiling her. She's our first puppy. But we don't want her to grow up into a spoiled brat either. Thus, the obedience class. What the instructor talked about made a lot of sense, but I just don't know if I'm comfortable with inflicting pain on Zoey, no matter how small and temporary. Don't get me wrong... growing up, we got the occasional spank on the butt for doing something bad. It's not like now, where that would instantly be labeled child abuse. Or puppy abuse in this case. What are everyone's thoughts on this kind of training?
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not comfortable with those collars but that is me. We took Pheona through classes at Petsmart. Our trainer was awesome. I wish you the best.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i would have to agree i'm not comfortable with collars like that. i would look into other options if it were my dog like the head collars if its a pulling issue
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't agree with head collars either. Our trainer doesn't recommend them since it can cause even more damage by snapping the dog's heads back when they pull. He claims that the prongs simulate a dog mother's bite, and that it doesn't hurt them since they have a lot of extra skin there. Still, I'm wondering if we'll get the same results with a regular nylon collar? For example, he was teaching us how to stop our dogs from jumping on people by doing a quick snap down of their leash. With the prong collar, I'm guessing it will give them a pinch. But what about a regular collar?
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I use a prong collar on my Shepherd mix because she is dog aggressive and she responds best when on that collar. I am a firm believer in being trained in how to appropriately use a prong collar beforehand but I don't see anything wrong in them. Most people use them incorrectly and don't understand it is a quick snap and release. If you're walking your dog in a heel, their head should be up anyway so there is not snapping of the head back. I've considered using it on Horatio but we are going to try alternate options as well and determine what he responds to the best.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I use a prong on Rocco. Contrary to what you might think, if used correctly, they shouldn't hurt. They surprise them when given a correction. Really, they don't pinch so much as exert pressure. Try one on! Plus, Boxers have some pretty strong necks and shoulders - which is why they are great pullers. At first, Rocco would give a little yelp of surprise when I corrected him. Now, when I put it on him, he knows better and (mostly) walks like a gentleman. Look on youtube for some really good videos of how to use one correctly. On another note: This obedience class may not be right for you if the trainer is using techniques you are not comfortable with. You won't follow up if you are not and Boxers need consistency in training.

Let us know how things work out!
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Beau just completed his 5th obedience class and halfway through class, the trainer put a prong collar on him and the immediate difference in his attention shocked me. I wouldn't have ever thought of using one but the trainer had mentioned it a few times because of how stubborn Beau has been and how difficult it has been to gain his focus during training. He goes BONKERS when he see other dogs. Not necessarily aggressive, but very hard to control. He asked if he could try one and I agreed. I can say for the remainder of the class training went very, very well. If used properly, they are not harmful or hurtful.....and he still loved me afterwards... It just really gets their attention back to you quickly. He affirmed me that it wouldn't be necessary to use one all the time, but after some time you can phase out the prong collar once he start responding to my commands without correction. I didn't purchase one because I still want to think about it, however after the remainder of the weekend and observing the difference, I am leaning towards purchasing one.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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They can mess up the fur on the neck..I dont like them much,never used one.

I know how difficult it is.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I personally don't like them. Never have, never will. I saw a guy walking a larger dog with one and I swear he had one on the dog just to make it look tougher. I have no idea what breed the dog was, but it was large and looked to be a pit mix (I have nothing against pits). It was much to large to be a purebred pit though. Anyway, the guy kept pulling on it and the dog would keep yelping. The poor dog wasn't even pulling that hard to where it would need to be pulled on so hardly. Granted I know this guy probably didn't know how to use one correctly and when used correctly they can probably serve a good purpose, but my dogs will never come into contact with one. That one encounter just left a really bad taste in my mouth.

My own personal preference when walking/training is to use a harness. I don't like using regular nylon collars while walking mine because it seems as though they can always find a way to slip out of them when they want to. Using a harness they can't slip out of them plus when/if they pull the pressure is going up against their chest and shoulders, not the throat. I just feel more secure when they're wearing a harness.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Keenyah never yelps. I just use it as a tool to redirect her attetion when she is sees another dog. Works like a charm. If you're not leaving it on them, it shouldn't even affect the fur. I've used a prong on Keenyah since she was 2 years old(now 7 yrs) and her fur on her neck is 100% normal. I've used Keenyah's prong a few times on Horatio(who is a HORRENDOUS puller) and as soon as it's on him, Prince Charming comes out and he doesn't even try to act up.
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