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post #41 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 01:50 AM
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If your dog is accustomed to a prong, you aren't going to get the response that I get from a martingale. A martingale is basically a prong without prongs -- not a correction collar. But it is safer than a lot of collars because, if you fit it properly, the dog cannot slip the collar, and it tightens around the neck like a prong, and not putting pressure all in the front or wherever.

Evenso, it works great for me, and I can put them on dogs trained with prongs and in no time they are responding fine with them for me, but then I have a lot of experience training, and I do not use prongs.

Your situation is what I see as a negative for prongs. I have a girl that is a little over 2 years old. She has never had a prong collar on. I know exactly what she will do and could manage this situation with her, with no collar at all. I think too many people have too much success with training early on with a prong collar that the dog is basically where they want it so long as the collar is on the dog. So training basically goes nowhere. But remove the collar from the scenario, and now you have a dog you can't manage.

I took Quinn (my 2 year old) out to PA to play with a dog who will soon be 1. Their trainer was there, and my bitch was the distraction. We let the dogs loose to run around, and then I called, and my girl came right back to me -- HUGE distraction. But she came right back.

Which brings me to the second problem with prongs. When your dog is used to the corrective action of the prong, it isn't necessarily easy to get them to respond to you when you don't have the prong backing you up. People suggest their dog is blowing them off. Well, yes. Perhaps they are. You don't have your I-mean-business-collar on them, and they don't necessarily think they need to listen.

I want to tell you to ditch the prongs and build a training bond with your dog. But that isn't fair either, really. People can build a bond with prongs, if they follow the rest of the training fundamentals: timing -- positive and negative communication, not repeating yourself, following through, consistency, and so forth. I think the prongs let us be sloppy. It's great for beginners because the dog self-corrects when walking, and the negative marker is clear. Unfortunaltely, without the rest of the training, the dog isn't learning to trust you and to obey you without the collar. And then you have a 2 year old dog that isn't coming when called, and doesn't trust you to protect her.

I am not dissing you. Because you are probably doing great for someone who is working their first or second dog, or GSD, whatever. I am kind of dragging on the use of prong collars and perhaps it isn't really helpful in your thread.

I have held the belief (that this forum does not agree with) that if you cannot control the dog without using a prong collar, then you shouldn't own the dog. Part of the reason is what happened here. The prong opens and you have a naked dog that can get run over by a car, or might actually nip or bite a lady, and as you said, it might not be up to you anymore whether your dog lives or dies.

I guess what I would suggest is ditching that quick-release prong, it's dangerous. Use the other one, but don't stop there. Go back to classes, and start really working with some of the other techniques. Work on training new things. Use some treats. Mix it up. Practice. Play a game with your dog without using your recall command word. Just her name, and give her awesome party-praise and a treat when she comes to you fast. Give her matter of fact praise for acceptable response, maybe a treat. Mediocre praise for a slow response. Try to get that response time to be 90-100% lightning fast. But work it up. Take your time and slowly increase the expectation for the type of praise and treat. Recall is a life-skill. It is. You know it. You dodged a bullet. Take this as a wake-up call.

Training should be 95% fun, games, success, praise, and 5% or less corrections. Build a bond where you dog wants to do what you want her to do, where she is happy, and engaged, and just waiting for you to tell her the next thing. Then, you can throw your prong collar in the trash.

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post #42 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 02:09 AM
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Then you have totally misunderstood my posts. My comments focus on controlling and training one's dogs, others post to control the distraction.
Sorry it just seemed very similar to me. The OP is already pretty clear that the incident was on her and her dog. Chip's point is to keep people out of the dog's face by downing them and blocking access to the dog, not the sidewalk. Your point, if I understood it correctly, was that the OP needs to control her dog without impeding access or travel on the sidewalk...not diametrically opposed IMHO.
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post #43 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by selzer View Post
If your dog is accustomed to a prong, you aren't going to get the response that I get from a martingale. A martingale is basically a prong without prongs -- not a correction collar. But it is safer than a lot of collars because, if you fit it properly, the dog cannot slip the collar, and it tightens around the neck like a prong, and not putting pressure all in the front or wherever.

Evenso, it works great for me, and I can put them on dogs trained with prongs and in no time they are responding fine with them for me, but then I have a lot of experience training, and I do not use prongs.

Your situation is what I see as a negative for prongs. I have a girl that is a little over 2 years old. She has never had a prong collar on. I know exactly what she will do and could manage this situation with her, with no collar at all. I think too many people have too much success with training early on with a prong collar that the dog is basically where they want it so long as the collar is on the dog. So training basically goes nowhere. But remove the collar from the scenario, and now you have a dog you can't manage.

I took Quinn (my 2 year old) out to PA to play with a dog who will soon be 1. Their trainer was there, and my bitch was the distraction. We let the dogs loose to run around, and then I called, and my girl came right back to me -- HUGE distraction. But she came right back.

Which brings me to the second problem with prongs. When your dog is used to the corrective action of the prong, it isn't necessarily easy to get them to respond to you when you don't have the prong backing you up. People suggest their dog is blowing them off. Well, yes. Perhaps they are. You don't have your I-mean-business-collar on them, and they don't necessarily think they need to listen.

I want to tell you to ditch the prongs and build a training bond with your dog. But that isn't fair either, really. People can build a bond with prongs, if they follow the rest of the training fundamentals: timing -- positive and negative communication, not repeating yourself, following through, consistency, and so forth. I think the prongs let us be sloppy. It's great for beginners because the dog self-corrects when walking, and the negative marker is clear. Unfortunaltely, without the rest of the training, the dog isn't learning to trust you and to obey you without the collar. And then you have a 2 year old dog that isn't coming when called, and doesn't trust you to protect her.

I am not dissing you. Because you are probably doing great for someone who is working their first or second dog, or GSD, whatever. I am kind of dragging on the use of prong collars and perhaps it isn't really helpful in your thread.

I have held the belief (that this forum does not agree with) that if you cannot control the dog without using a prong collar, then you shouldn't own the dog. Part of the reason is what happened here. The prong opens and you have a naked dog that can get run over by a car, or might actually nip or bite a lady, and as you said, it might not be up to you anymore whether your dog lives or dies.

I guess what I would suggest is ditching that quick-release prong, it's dangerous. Use the other one, but don't stop there. Go back to classes, and start really working with some of the other techniques. Work on training new things. Use some treats. Mix it up. Practice. Play a game with your dog without using your recall command word. Just her name, and give her awesome party-praise and a treat when she comes to you fast. Give her matter of fact praise for acceptable response, maybe a treat. Mediocre praise for a slow response. Try to get that response time to be 90-100% lightning fast. But work it up. Take your time and slowly increase the expectation for the type of praise and treat. Recall is a life-skill. It is. You know it. You dodged a bullet. Take this as a wake-up call.

Training should be 95% fun, games, success, praise, and 5% or less corrections. Build a bond where you dog wants to do what you want her to do, where she is happy, and engaged, and just waiting for you to tell her the next thing. Then, you can throw your prong collar in the trash.


Thank you thank you thank you. This is exactly what I needed. Perfect!!! I totally agree and I know exactly my mistakes now as well. When I train I think I accommodate Ava way too much. Meaning I expect less than I should for example when she is slow to respond I praise way too much. And she is a clever girl with no need to please. I did start a week ago with getting her more excited about training and while we train. Going shopping tomorrow for a martingale. Totally makes sense. Things just snapped back into place in my brain. Thank you again.


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post #44 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 03:19 AM
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And tell said "Stranger to Stay Back!"
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Sorry it just seemed very similar to me. The OP is already pretty clear that the incident was on her and her dog. Chip's point is to keep people out of the dog's face by downing them and blocking access to the dog, not the sidewalk. Your point, if I understood it correctly, was that the OP needs to control her dog without impeding access or travel on the sidewalk...not diametrically opposed IMHO.
Look at it this way. If a dog were dog reactive, you can either train outside of a dog park under threshold gradually decreasing distance or you can go in the dog park and demand that every body keep their dogs away. Diametrically opposed.
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post #45 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Ava&Phoenix View Post
Thank you thank you thank you. This is exactly what I needed. Perfect!!! I totally agree and I know exactly my mistakes now as well. When I train I think I accommodate Ava way too much. Meaning I expect less than I should for example when she is slow to respond I praise way too much. And she is a clever girl with no need to please. I did start a week ago with getting her more excited about training and while we train. Going shopping tomorrow for a martingale. Totally makes sense. Things just snapped back into place in my brain. Thank you again.


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I agree with much of what Selzer mentions just be prepared for what might look like a bit of a set back, it does get better. Two of my dogs were started on prongs at one point and later switched to a flat or martengale as training progressed. Now we often work off leash among other dogs.
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post #46 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 12:24 PM
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Sorry it just seemed very similar to me. The OP is already pretty clear that the incident was on her and her dog. Chip's point is to keep people out of the dog's face by downing them and blocking access to the dog, not the sidewalk. Your point, if I understood it correctly, was that the OP needs to control her dog without impeding access or travel on the sidewalk...not diametrically opposed IMHO.
Just for "clarification" I tend to prefer "Stay" rather then "Down" in most circumstances. I only use "Down" if I have some stand off distance and feel the need. Down would not have been practical in the given situation but "Stay" means "Stay!"
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post #47 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 12:41 PM
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Thank you thank you thank you. This is exactly what I needed. Perfect!!! I totally agree and I know exactly my mistakes now as well. When I train I think I accommodate Ava way too much. Meaning I expect less than I should for example when she is slow to respond I praise way too much. And she is a clever girl with no need to please. I did start a week ago with getting her more excited about training and while we train. Going shopping tomorrow for a martingale. Totally makes sense. Things just snapped back into place in my brain. Thank you again.


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Dogs know exactly whats around their neck. The problem you'll run into is thinking the collar is training the dog. Focus on the behavior and if your dog is understanding. You can make your dog dependent on anything if you lose sight of that. What do think that martingale is going to do for you and your dog?

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post #48 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 05:39 PM
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Look at it this way. If a dog were dog reactive, you can either train outside of a dog park under threshold gradually decreasing distance or you can go in the dog park and demand that every body keep their dogs away. Diametrically opposed.
Sigh ... if I must. First other dogs were not the issue at hand "here???" And second as for your ridiculous analogy???
Who does that??? If people want to subject there dogs to the uncontrolled chaos of a Dog Park, they are free to do so.

Most likely they will get no grief from People like me or our dogs, cause you know ... we aren't there.
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post #49 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 07:48 PM
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I see what MAWL is saying. There is a huge difference between training your dog to be tolerant of humans, and telling humans to stay back. Especially, if we are where humans are allowed to be -- public thoroughfare. One takes responsibility for themselves and their dog's actions, the other shirks responsibility and expects the world to move over to accomodate their dog's "issues."

Not sure how that works here. But responsible dog ownership should be about containment and safety and providing for a dog's physical, mental, veterinary care, and less about the state of their reproductive system. But it is what it is. We have huge drives to alter everything with four legs, and very little encouragement to actually work with and train a dog. It is almost like training and containing a dog is considered cruel or a necessary evil, when nothing is further from the truth. In today's atmostphere, if you have a little dog that runs around under the table and bites people while they are eating, but is altered, then you are an awesome pet owner. If you have a dog that will drop on a dime if you tell him so, even if he is chasing a rabbit or deer, then you are somehow nasty. And if that dog still has testicles, then you are a fiend.

But I think I am digressing here.

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post #50 of 74 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 08:42 PM
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Sigh ... if I must. First other dogs were not the issue at hand "here???" And second as for your ridiculous analogy???
Who does that??? If people want to subject there dogs to the uncontrolled chaos of a Dog Park, they are free to do so.

Most likely they will get no grief from People like me or our dogs, cause you know ... we aren't there.
Think of it this way, some people give ridiculous advice about controlling other people because they can't control their dogs while others offer constructive advice about getting a dog under control before exposing it to distractions that are beyond their and their dog's scope at the present.
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