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Old 01-02-2014, 02:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'd keep it at 7 links (what I do for good fit is measure with a SNUG fabric tape measure and lay the collar flat and measure it off) when your finger is gone the prong should be just about right in terms of tension/pressure.

The vomiting, likely bile, but this is why I don't "pop" correct and why I prefer a prong to a "choke chain" style training collar or a flat buckle collar - much MUCH less pressure on the trachea and esophagus.
Ditto to this!
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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No, the collar would not have made him throw up. I think it was just a coincidence.

If the collar just slips down a little bit, that is not too bad. Better than too tight, but what you might think is too tight might be just fine. Just use your judgement, you've been doing fine so far.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Any chance you can have a professional look at it? A vet who is pro-prong collar? Or an obedience trainer or someone?
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I would strongly recommend not to use a prong collar on dogs who exhibit skittishness or agressiveness in any way. It will make them nervous and hypo reactive. I'd change it for The Canny Collar 13.95 Colours Black, Red, Blue Collar. Enjoy Walking Your Dog again if you need it for walks.
Whats the progression to making them nervous and hypo reactive? Just looking to understand. And would you maintain this if he very rarely exhibits this behavior? It is mostly when something new or out of place is on a walk (happened maybe 3 times in the 8 months since we got him)
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Any chance you can have a professional look at it? A vet who is pro-prong collar? Or an obedience trainer or someone?
Eh maybe our vet who is amazing. But I am thinking I will just ease into it and observe him to make sure he is doing fine.

We just had a short trip to the dumpster and back with it at 7 links and he was really good, never pulled down the stairs to go potty (which he is notorious for) and did not react to all the people re-roofing the apartment complex.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You may want to go back and read a few more posts from David, might shed some light on the issue.

Though David is right that using a prong to give corrections to stop a fear reaction is only going to make things worse. They can associate the correction with what makes them scared, and give them even more reason to be scared.

But you are using the prong to control pulling, and are careful not to give corrections when he is reacting with nervousness to something. Instead taking your time to work him through the rough spot with patience and positive association. Unless your boy is always acting fearful of everything (and he doesn't sound like he is), then he should be fine.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Whats the progression to making them nervous and hypo reactive? Just looking to understand. And would you maintain this if he very rarely exhibits this behavior? It is mostly when something new or out of place is on a walk (happened maybe 3 times in the 8 months since we got him)
IMO it doesn't sound at all like he's got a problem, just an alert GSD. And using the prong is not a problem unless a person does it wrong, so relax and continue on. There are some video clips on youtube of Michael Ellis training with a prong (google Michael Ellis leash pressure and you should be able to find them) for some tips.

I much prefer prongs to headcollars for a multitude of reasons. Personal preference.

Oh, and I do have a reactive dog and proper use of the prong has actually had a calming effect. The combination of self correction for unwanted behavior and marker and reward for wanted behavior has been very effective. *edited to add I strive mightily to work Huxley under threshold - I do not just go out and push him up against the things he fears and then let the prong engage! But when he does react, the prong engaging makes him sit at my side and look to me and then I can react accordingly myself. After being taken down and dragged a few feet I appreciate the gentle assist toward control the collar affords me.

I also use a dog back pack (this one - Palisades Pack? - Ultimate Backcountry Dog Pack) because I have found it helps Huxley settle - this is for walks and hiking, not, obviously, when we are training or competing.

Last edited by GrammaD; 01-02-2014 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My girl has a history of acting fearful or "skittish" as you put it to new things. Usually inanimate objects like trash cans, traffic cones, wet floor signs. What I have done is to walk slowly to the object and touch it myself. I never force my girl to it, I just casually bring her with me to the offending object. Once I touch it she sniffs it and we move on. Next time we come across the same/similar object she seems not to care about it.
If it is something or someone where this can't be done, then we do as you have done, focus on a command such as sit, heel and move past it.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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IMO it doesn't sound at all like he's got a problem, just an alert GSD. And using the prong is not a problem unless a person does it wrong, so relax and continue on. There are some video clips on youtube of Michael Ellis training with a prong (google Michael Ellis leash pressure and you should be able to find them) for some tips.

I much prefer prongs to headcollars for a multitude of reasons. Personal preference.

Oh, and I do have a reactive dog and proper use of the prong has actually had a calming effect. The combination of self correction for unwanted behavior and marker and reward for wanted behavior has been very effective. *edited to add I strive mightily to work Huxley under threshold - I do not just go out and push him up against the things he fears and then let the prong engage! But when he does react, the prong engaging makes him sit at my side and look to me and then I can react accordingly myself. After being taken down and dragged a few feet I appreciate the gentle assist toward control the collar affords me.

I also use a dog back pack (this one - Palisades Pack? - Ultimate Backcountry Dog Pack) because I have found it helps Huxley settle - this is for walks and hiking, not, obviously, when we are training or competing.

I will definitely look into Michael Eliss' prong video, surprised I have not seen it yet he has been one of my main go to sources on dogs!

I know what you mean about the combination of self correction and marker training. Using this new tool seems to really have helped open up a line of communication between the two of us. I can quickly convey the behavior I dislike, and with the marker training we had been doing since day one, he acts completely different. He seems to have more of a sense of working and actively thinking as apposed to just walking.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:49 AM   #20 (permalink)
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You may want to go back and read a few more posts from David, might shed some light on the issue.

Though David is right that using a prong to give corrections to stop a fear reaction is only going to make things worse. They can associate the correction with what makes them scared, and give them even more reason to be scared.

But you are using the prong to control pulling, and are careful not to give corrections when he is reacting with nervousness to something. Instead taking your time to work him through the rough spot with patience and positive association. Unless your boy is always acting fearful of everything (and he doesn't sound like he is), then he should be fine.

Thank you for your reply. I figured everything was fine but would hate to accidentally be doing damaging things to my little guy.
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