Shock collar? Prong Collar? Bark Collar? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Shock collar? Prong Collar? Bark Collar?

I have a 13 week old gsd puppy and I know these things aren't necessary yet, but are these 3 collars (Shock, Prong, Bark) going to be a must at some point? Should I have all 3, or is the shock enough by itself? Also, what brands or models would you all recommend?

Again, I know I don't need these all right now just curious what I'll need down the road and I'm trying to prepare myself. Thank you for any advice.
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Last edited by dhaney81; 12-04-2014 at 09:51 AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 09:57 AM
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All three are for very different things. Why would you need a bark collar?

Don't worry about "tools" yet, or else they'll become crutches. Start with the basics, start obedience on a flat collar. Prongs and e-collars can be helpful for different things, but they really shouldn't be something you necessarily PLAN on using- or else you'll end up with holes in training assuming that the collars will fix them.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 10:05 AM
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none are nesisary. a prong is very helpfu. an ecollar is very helpful after basic obedience training while off leash. i never had a need for a bark colar if i did i woulldve tried every other method first. hopefully you get more info i such at typing on my phone.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 10:09 AM
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None are necessary. In nearly 13 years of GSD ownership the only one I've ever used is the prong. And I fully acknowledge it's a crutch.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 10:12 AM
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They're not all a must and I'd say that some dogs don't need any of those tools at all. It is very dependent on the dog, what you plan to train the dog for (or how you plan to train), and what you are comfortable with. Either way, if you do decide to use these tools, make sure you find an experienced balanced trainer who can show you how to properly fit and use these tools, since it sounds like you're new to those collars.

I used the prong collar on my dog for a couple months, introducing it to him at 4.5 months, going through puppy class and obedience class with it, because I already have experience with the tool and Archer wasn't responding to other, less corrective methods. In my experience so far, he's a bit of a "harder" dog (although not drastically so) and sometimes needs the physical correction to get him back on focus or correct a behavior. (But FWIW I also had a very soft dog who never needed more than a verbal correction and she never needed anything more than a flat collar. Like I said, entirely dependent on the dog)

After 2.5 months of obedience class, puppy class, and my own training with him, I introduced the e-collar to him (when he was 7 months old) because his on-leash obedience was already pretty solid and I wanted to move him on to advanced obedience as well as eventually have him off-leash trained for hikes and such. If you want to have off-leash hikes or distance obedience with your dog, the e-collar is an excellent way to proof that obedience as well as use it as a tap or nudge on the shoulder if the dog isn't paying attention to you, which is how I use the e-collar with my dog.

I use Herm Sprenger prong collars with a loose backup chain collar, and I have the Educator 300 as my e-collar. Both are excellent brands, and I'd only recommend the Herm Sprenger collars if you decide to go with a prong. Educator and Dogtra are two highly-recommended brands if you decide to go with an e-collar, and whatever collar you use, if it's prong or e-collar, I'd highly recommend finding someone experienced with those tools to show you how to use them in conjunction with obedience training. A corrective collar is not a cure-all and if it's not used in combination with appropriate obedience training, it will be useless. Some people say that a dog will always be dependent on a corrective collar, but I haven't found that to be the case with appropriate and consistent obedience training.

And corrective collars, should you decide to use them, should not be skimped on and anything you find from Petsmart or Petco will not be the quality that you want to use. So prepare to spend $30-40 on a prong collar and upwards of $200 on an e-collar but trust me, you do not want to get the cheap prong collars or e-collars.

Again all this is my experience and I'm sure other people will chime in with their experiences of not needing to use any corrective collars at all, and if you already start to work with your puppy when she's younger, you will go far without needing a corrective collar yet. I got my dog at 4 months and he had some fear aggression issues as well as needing to build confidence, and after I introduced the corrective collars in combination with puppy class and giving him a lot of structure in his everyday life, I saw a huge improvement in his overall personality, attention to me, and confidence level. I've almost entirely graduated off of the prong collar and am now using a flat collar or slip lead with the e-collar as the sole corrective collar; we're repeating basic obedience now with just the e-collar and slip lead (to still give a little bit of on-leash pressure to help him continue to condition more to the e-collar) and then we'll progress to advanced off-leash obedience, again with the e-collar.

In the beginning when I was introducing the collar, he did have a prong collar and e-collar at the same time but after conditioning him to the e-collar, I have moved off of the prong collar, although it's still in my arsenal just in case I need more immediate control.

I don't have a need for a bark collar with my dog, although it shouldn't be automatically ruled out if the behavior warrants correction. Again, going through a balanced trainer should always be your first decision if you decide to go with a corrective collar.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 11:18 AM
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None of them are necessary. They can be helpful later on if you are having difficulty even after following every other possible option. But they will always be tools, not solutions. Mine has gone basic through advanced obedience, is off leash trained, does agility, and will be starting competition obedience and tracking soon. Has never seen any of those tools.

But it can also depend on the dog. Right now you have a puppy. Focus on play and engagement. Don't expect perfection, but always reward the good. Start out with some solid positive reinforcement. Teach and reinforce the behavior you want.

I believe many on the forum agree that prong and shock collars are generally brought in AFTER the dog has learned the behavior you want. They are mostly (or in my opinion should mostly be used for) increasing the reliability of LEARNED behaviors as opposed to actually teaching new behaviors from the ground up.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 11:46 AM
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i would also suggest go to a good reccomeded trainer not some hippy schmuck that comes to your house to show a few puppy things. a real trainer experienced in gsds and working type dogs. do the basic clasded and the trainer will show you how to place how tight and proper usage of the prong. in advanced they will teach the same with the ecollar. dont become a youtube hero then go buy an ecollar and starf zapping your dog. some videos are good and some are jokes.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 11:49 AM
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Find a good trainer.

My trainer introduces a prong at an early age but we're training for sport. It's all in how you use it and what you want to accomplish.

And all trainers are different so find your trainer before you worry about collars.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 11:59 AM
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well said michelle. OP you should say where youre from. lots of different places represented here and most can reccomend a good trainer.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 12:26 PM
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If you do the proper training right now, you won't need any of them.

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