Conflicting Advice on Harness/Collars - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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  1. I'd rather have a prong collar on my dogs while walking them and not have to use it then need one and not have it on. Used properly, it's an invaluable training tool as long as your dog is taught proper heeling, on loose lead while he is wearing one.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I second the front-clip harness advice. Mine is very effective. I am a 5'8" woman of average strength, and I can restrain an excited 90 lb Heinz with one hand if I absolutely have to. I even accidentally pulled him off his feet once - he unexpectedly lunged at a dog barking behind a fence and I strongly corrected with a big yank on the lead. He completely lost his footing and went down on his side and I felt terrible about it. But he hasn't tried that again.

Oddly enough, it's great for a quick, sharp correction (and it releases as soon as the dog does), but a slow lean (a wriggle towards another dog in the waiting room, for instance) is harder to stop once it gets going. So it's not a substitute for good leash manners, but it certainly helps instill them!
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Use whatever crutch/tool that is effective for you and your dog. Ideally, work toward control through your handling *alone*. A perfect trainer/handler can have absolute obedience off lead with no tools. We all use these various tools to help us make up for our all imperfect handling
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the helpful responses. Here's an update. On my trainer's recommendation I switched from the harness to a slip collar and then a week later to a prong collar which I am still using. I still use the harness to secure my dog in the back of the wagon for trips. But with the harness he was impervious to correction. His head was free to turn where ever he wanted. Using the front clip just made his constant circling around worse and caused him to end up walking into me. The slip collar was effective in some ways but not in others. I tried it two ways - attaching to the stationary ring and to the slip ring. Without question it stops my dog. But it has the potential to hurt - in one instance while walking down stairs my dog bounded down ahead of me a few steps and momentarily hung himself. He never tried that again, but it was a miserable moment. I also found it difficult to give corrections with it - you have to pull upwards (not jerk) and hold for a correction and I found that difficult to do on a walk when the dog keeps putting forward tension on the lead. I found the prong easier for me to work consistently and the amount of correction can be controlled. But absolutely do not leave it on unless you are directly training the dog - it can easily get hung up on fences, wire cages and the like. Most importantly, my dog STOPS the behavior when corrected with it. He knows when its on and respects it and with it he is learning how to walk nicely beside me and to pay attention to me when there are distractions. Our walks have quickly gotten much better after months of exasperating walks with a harness. Do I like using the prong? No. But I will until I can phase it out for a normal leather collar.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenV View Post
Thanks for all the helpful responses. Here's an update. On my trainer's recommendation I switched from the harness to a slip collar and then a week later to a prong collar which I am still using. I still use the harness to secure my dog in the back of the wagon for trips. But with the harness he was impervious to correction. His head was free to turn where ever he wanted. Using the front clip just made his constant circling around worse and caused him to end up walking into me. The slip collar was effective in some ways but not in others. I tried it two ways - attaching to the stationary ring and to the slip ring. Without question it stops my dog. But it has the potential to hurt - in one instance while walking down stairs my dog bounded down ahead of me a few steps and momentarily hung himself. He never tried that again, but it was a miserable moment. I also found it difficult to give corrections with it - you have to pull upwards (not jerk) and hold for a correction and I found that difficult to do on a walk when the dog keeps putting forward tension on the lead. I found the prong easier for me to work consistently and the amount of correction can be controlled. But absolutely do not leave it on unless you are directly training the dog - it can easily get hung up on fences, wire cages and the like. Most importantly, my dog STOPS the behavior when corrected with it. He knows when its on and respects it and with it he is learning how to walk nicely beside me and to pay attention to me when there are distractions. Our walks have quickly gotten much better after months of exasperating walks with a harness. Do I like using the prong? No. But I will until I can phase it out for a normal leather collar.
You should put it on ever so often when you're together but never use it, and not put it on/take it off so close to the start/end of training. He *will* learn he doesn't need to listen when the prong is not on.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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good tip, thank you!
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