Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
If you don't want to use one, don't. Honestly I don't get to a point where I make a decision "now I'm going to train with a PRONG." It completely depends on the dog, what we're trying to accomplish, and even the day (I might use a prong for something one day and then not use it the next for the same dog, same skill). The prong is simply a tool just like a flat collar, a leash, a clicker, a ball, a treat pouch... I try not to make firm decisions about training before I'm to that point with my dog. I'll use whatever method or tool is appropriate at the time. You will not be looked at crazy if you don't want to use one but you'll probably be asked why you're making the decision ahead of time.
I don't understand the statement "any correction collar you are going to use in the future, you want to start on your dog BEFORE ever getting to the point of corrections, so the dog doesn't make the connection between the two." If I correct my dog I want him to understand the correction as a correction. They aren't dumb, they know where it comes from. If I have to give a dog a firm correction he often looks at me and complies, he doesn't try to scratch the collar off. And likewise if I pick up a prong collar ALL my dogs come running because they want to go out and jog/bike or train! The only connection they've made is that prong collar = going away from home and doing something fun. I don't condition dogs to prongs, either it's an appropriate tool or not. If it shuts the dog down, it's not appropriate and I would not be "conditioning" the dog to accept it (JMHO).