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Old 05-05-2014, 08:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ditching the Gentle Leader, on to a FurSaver & CC

I've had Lita since the 1st of February, when we adopted her from the shelter. She looks a purebred, but I don't know. We thought she was a year, but I'm guessing younger since her head and neck have gained 1" in the past three months.

I started obedience training with a Holt collar. Absolutely crummy response from the dog, and she can't pant to cool herself in the Arizona spring. So I moved to a Gentle Leader. Panting and cooling is better, but she was still making funny sounds and not figuring out what a correction was via the GL.

I had a martingale at the house today, so I thought I'd try it. Panting was fully engaged, that tongue was hanging all the way out in the Az. morning (yey!)! Her weakness is rabbits and birds - loves to hunt them ( talk about a prey drive!). With the martingale, she was able to respond quicker and more intuitively to a stop/sit/heel. I was able to check her out of the lunge to the birds and rabbits also. But ... when she saw our neighbor, who she loves, Lita climbed up her and licked her face. It's a good thing Tammy likes dog slobber from a GSD!

Anyhow, because the martingale obviously won't check her enough to discourage this, I bit the bullet and decided to get a hold of a HS Fur Saver and a choke collar. "Humane" becomes a judgement call - IMHO it's more humane to provide a full cooling capability to the dog during an Az. summer while walking and training, than using a contraption that doesn't cinch around the neck. A choke collar for training doesn't seem so bad when compared to unnecessarily inducing heat exhaustion or heatstroke. So, I know that Petsmart (i.e. training class) doesn't endorse these, but then Petsmart isn't caring for my dog in my house. I'll put the GL on for class. All other training sessions - Lita will have the ability to cool herself fully the way God intended.

Now, if I would only remember to hydrate before we go out for the morning. Welcome to an Az. summer!

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Old 05-05-2014, 08:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did you try a halti? They work better than a gentle leader because they allow the dog to open their mouth unless they are pulling.they are also much nicer than a choke collar.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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fursavers are not correction collars. Why not use a prong?
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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fursavers are not correction collars. Why not use a prong?
Her neck measures 17", while the HS prong is a 23". She's still a puppy and I think that sizing is a little big.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Did you try a halti? They work better than a gentle leader because they allow the dog to open their mouth unless they are pulling.they are also much nicer than a choke collar.
Yes I did. Halti is the same design as the Holt. They DO NOT work better than the Gentle Leader and permitted less mouth opening than the GL did. I think they aren't worth the money. That's my experience, but yours may be different.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Her neck measures 17", while the HS prong is a 23". She's still a puppy and I think that sizing is a little big.
Prong collars are very adjustable.

Please don't give a correction with a head collar. It produces great strain on the dog's neck. IMO, if you are going to be giving corrections, you should use a tool meant for the job.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes I did. Halti is the same design as the Holt. They DO NOT work better than the Gentle Leader and permitted less mouth opening than the GL did. I think they aren't worth the money. That's my experience, but yours may be different.
Haltis are not tight around the muzzle unless the dog (or you, although no reason to do corrections imo) are pulling on it. I believe the holt has a piece that you tighten down, the Haiti does not. This allows the dog to hold a ball, drink, pant,etc, With it interference.there is no reason to put a choke or prong on a puppy.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Prong collars are very adjustable.

Please don't give a correction with a head collar. It produces great strain on the dog's neck. IMO, if you are going to be giving corrections, you should use a tool meant for the job.
Agreed. Which is why I am moving away from a head collar. A paradox arises though. Lita is somewhere between 9 and 18 months, as near as I can figure. You can treat/praise/reinforce for good behavior. How do you train a dog (large puppy) without giving a correction, whether it's a twitch on a head collar or a short tug on a neck collar, to let the dog know that behavior needs to change?

Some of the responses here are counter-intuitive.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Haltis are not tight around the muzzle unless the dog (or you, although no reason to do corrections imo) are pulling on it. I believe the holt has a piece that you tighten down, the Haiti does not. This allows the dog to hold a ball, drink, pant,etc, With it interference.there is no reason to put a choke or prong on a puppy.
No. It does not function this way. Neither the Holt/Halti or Gentle Leader will allow for a full opening of the mouth. I know, because I have used them, and seen how little mine and other dogs can open up. Remember it's 100 degrees here by 10, and in the mid 80's by 6 am. Full ability to pant is incredibly important. The dog needs to be able to open wide.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Give a correction, use a prong collar, not a fursaver. Fursavers do not move in such a way to correct(they don't easily slide loose after they are tightened). I only use a fursaver on the dead ring or hooked to one of the links. I use it for tracking and it is always on for training because it is the collar we trial in. But I also use other collars now and then with the fursaver...never a GL however.
Get your prong fitted correctly, use a meaningful correction. If you are out walking use a flat and a prong, run the line on the flat and a tab on the prong. When you need to use the prong, grab the tab.
Are there other trainers or clubs you can train with instead of going to Petsmart? That would be my absolute last choice for training.
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