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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-11-2014 12:47 PM
SummerGSDLover I very much appreciate the comments. He does great loose leash walking with the prong on but with a flat collar or even an easy walk he pulls me everywhere. I tried a martingale and it had no effect on him - although it works wonders on my other dog.
I think I need to get over the "I don't want you to think badly of me" stuff. I want people to be impressed with my well behaved GSD. I took him into Goodwill with the prong on (had my husband with me). I had eight people come up to us in a group. Four of them were very impressed with how well he behaved for a puppy and started telling me stories of their misbehaving dogs. The others just watched from a distance and asked to pet him. I gave them treats to give him when he acted appropriately with him. One little girls mom kinda freaked that Id brought him into the store until I explained I had three boys at home. I had to keep telling her mom to be respectful of his space though because she kept trying to hug him. I explained that wasn't appropriate because while he's friendly with kids, he wasn't used to all that contact. This was all with the prong collar. Two people made.comments about the prong collar and my husband said, "Well, he's a GSD puppy. Very strong willed and eager to please but needs a firm hand." This was the point I was ready to leave because one man made a comment about MY size and how was I supposed to control him when I'm barely bigger than he is. I said, "The point is to have a well trained dog so I don't HAVE to control or restrain him. He'll just do it because it's ingrained in him based on training."

Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to make sure I was doing this ok. This is the second puppy I've ever raised from birth and my first GSD. I am lucky to have gotten such a smart boy who loves to please.

Like one of you said, he has figured out that if there's nothing in it for him, he won't listen. Which is where I was hoping the prong could come in handy. To help me phase out all of the treats slowly. In puppy class, the trainer doesn't want me to use a prong so I haven't been having him wear it around her. I'm starting another 6 week class on Saturday with her and I think I'm going to try to get up the balls to just have him wear it. He is SO much more well behaved and with little to no corrections needed, I doubt she'll see it as a bad thing. I think she just need to get it through her head that some things work for some dogs, others need something different. Stupid petco classes. I'm looking into another trainer but she's a boarding facility and I don't want to drop him off. I want to grow WITH him. I envision us in five years as two pets of an inseparable whole.

03-11-2014 12:42 PM
boomer11 Prong is a training tool. You use it to help control the dog so you can teach it things. If you NEED a prong to walk your dog day after day then you haven't taught it anything. Too many people become reliant on the prong and stop training.
03-11-2014 09:39 AM
Baillif Prong used correctly isnt self correction on the part of the dog when it hits the end of the leash. Its input from you to maintain loose leash walking position to create a behavior that would then happen even if you dropped the leash. If this isnt what you were doing you are doing it wrong.
03-11-2014 09:34 AM
Michele Maxcy OK,
Didn't explain all the details. I'm using it correctly. I understand your need to comment. Prong collar must be used correctly.
03-11-2014 09:28 AM
Originally Posted by Michele Maxcy View Post
I just started using a prong collar on Willow. She is 11 months old. She does well with out it in class, in our yard but when going for a walk she acts like a brat. She was even trying to take the leash away from me. Very first walk using the prong worked like a charm. Didn't have to correct her she corrected herself.
Not how you use a prong correctly
03-11-2014 09:27 AM
Baillif The other thing is if you reward with food, toy, or are using negative reinforcement with a tool like a prong you need to do a better job of fading those things out. What youre discovering unintentionally is something any dog trainer worth his weight in salt knows. A dog carries out a behavior not because they like you or have respect for your alphaness. Its because there is an advantage for them to do so or disadvantage for them to disobey.

You can hide rewards in training and with an eventual randomized reward schedule (worked up to gradually) you can get a lot done. Its hard to hide food rewards because the dogs know by smell if theyre on you or not. If thats the only thing giving him incentive to behave and he knows he cant win them guess what? All bets are off. Toys are easier to hide but youd need the dog to be so into playing the game you play with it under distraction and to return it to you when you ask or the dog just wins the toy and runs off with it in his mouth.

Thats why i use negative reinforcement and punishment because i can always do that even with no tools. If i dont have a prong on the dog or an e collar i can use my hand or my leg or my car keys. The dog knows if i carry out behavior something good might happen but if i dont something unpleasant will definitely happen.
03-11-2014 09:26 AM
Michele Maxcy I just started using a prong collar on Willow. She is 11 months old. She does well with out it in class, in our yard but when going for a walk she acts like a brat. She was even trying to take the leash away from me. Very first walk using the prong worked like a charm. Didn't have to correct her she corrected herself.
03-11-2014 08:59 AM
nktigger99 Ignore everyone's negative comments out and about.... your dog your way....I have never used a prong but I have yet to have a high drive breed like a GSD.....I will use one with Abby if it is needed....but only after I am trained to use

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03-11-2014 08:48 AM
Baillif Prongs used properly are very humane you use them to create behaviors and maintain behaviors not to restrain dogs. You don't have to yank and crank to get desired results. There are times you can use them to punish for lack of attention or acting like a hoodlum but that comes after using negative reinforcement to teach. 7 months old already so now its time for the dog to grow up and just get it done.
03-11-2014 08:46 AM
Use what works best

In obedience classes we have used every type collar ever invented. Prong collars are very effective and safe if used correctly. Small corrections usually are all that is needed. Stay the course and use what works best for you and your dog. Just remember to NEVER leave the prong collar on the dog unattended. IMHO, Bob
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