Only one collar allowed? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Only one collar allowed?

Is it typical for an Obedience school to only allow one type of collar (a nylon "choke") for every dog in attendance?

I know I'm ignorant on the subject, but I thought each dog should get the collar that works best for him/her.

Would you pull your dog out of the class if this were the case?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 04:09 PM
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Re: Only one collar allowed?

it depends where you go and yes it is common it find that, I know our place only wants chokes but with our rescue contract it doesn't allow chokes so we brough the contract up and showed them and they accepted it. Tim and I have discussed finding another place after these lessons are over we were not impressed with the training here.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 04:20 PM
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Re: Only one collar allowed?

I think it is common and some schools are more strict about it than others - especially in the beginning. Over the years, we've been to choke-chain only, snap-around on the dead ring only (they gave us the collars in class) and a disaster for us - flat leather only.

In retrospect, the collar requirement seemed to indicate the type of training. The choke-chain ones (years ago) were "yank and crank" methods - the flat collar was positive with no corrections allowed - and the snap-around (my personal favorite) was positive with minimal correction allowed in level 2.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 04:21 PM
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Re: Only one collar allowed?

The training center we went to did not allow choke collars of any type. You either had to have a buckle or adjustable snap collar.
They did allow prong collars ~ they actually sold, fitted and taught the proper use of Herm Sprenger prong collars in the class if you wanted one.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 05:03 PM
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Re: Only one collar allowed?

When Pandora and Max were in training all we could use were the martingale style collars. If we wanted before or after class they would fit and show us use of a prong collar but when inside the training area the prong collar had to be removed.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 05:11 PM
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Re: Only one collar allowed?

In all the classes that I've attended (I'm on my 10th class in 4 years) it's typical that they do not allow corrective collars of any kind. Flat buckle or snap collars are fine, and front hook harnesses are also usually okay, but since the focus is on rewarding good behavior rather than leash corrections for bad behavior, corrective collars are moot. I do almost all my training at home off leash even though leashes are required once we get past puppy classes. But I do think it depends on the focus of the class. The kinds of classes I take are about molding well behaved family dogs who are reliable anywhere, not competition obedience.

For me, yes, I would pull my dogs out of a class that required corrective collars because it goes against my fundamental training philosophy that at least in the initial stages of learning, corrections are unfair and counterproductive. I don't have a problem with corrections for willfully disobeying a previously learned command, and I do have a prong collar for Keefer, but my ultimate goal is reliability without any special "tools", so I would rather build the sort of working relationship with my dogs where they WANT to obey me, not that they have to, or else.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 05:23 PM
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Re: Only one collar allowed?

My trainer will have us use the least corrective tool we can but she knows that some dogs need Gentle Leaders, prongs, even e-collars. Puppies are always on a harness and a flat collar; she likes to have the puppies on their harnesses when not actively working like when she's explaining things to the class, then when it comes time to work, the pups get moved to their flat collars. She encourages people to use tools they are comfortable with. Positive and motivational methods are highly stressed but corrections have their place and are tailored to suit the dog and the situation.

I would not sign up for a class that required one tool over another. Some dogs don't need some collars whereas for others it can become a life-safety issue if a highly reactive dog is in a class where the only collars allowed are collars that work about as well as tissue paper for said dog.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 05:37 PM
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Re: Only one collar allowed?

I've only been to one trainer who required ALL the dogs to be on choke collars, and IMO she was a very poor trainer... She did not seem to understand that not all dogs need a harsh correction, and as a result created a problem with my soft-temperament Golden... I let her use her to demo a recall and she decided my Golden was too slow, so she gave her a hard jerk when she did not move fast enough to come to her (she hesitated because she didn't know the trainer well). After that exercise my Golden would crab to the side every time I called her, when before she had a perfectly straight recall. I was able to fix it over time but it was very frustrating. I wish I had never taken that class, it was sort of a "refresher" for us and we did not learn anything except that some trainers recommend hitting a dog in the face with a rubber hose if they won't stop barking.
All other trainers I've been to will give advice on different training collars depending on the individual dogs' needs. The obedience club I used to belong to recommended choke collars for all dogs but if they had a dog who did not respond well in the class they would give you other options. For example my terrier would pull through a choke collar so they suggested a prong collar and showed me the proper way to use it.
The more recent classes I've taken the trainers told everyone to bring their dog on a flat buckle collar for the first class, and depending on the dog they sometimes recommended a gentle leader or easy-walk harness instead.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 05:41 PM
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Re: Only one collar allowed?

Originally Posted By: emmyp... but I thought each dog should get the collar that works best for him/her.
Yep, You are absolutely correct.

We have all types of collars at our club and have suggested and lent out different types depending on how a dog is reacting in the class.

I would not work with any trainer/class that had only one method of doing things or a specific type of collar that could be used.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 05:47 PM
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Re: Only one collar allowed?

Yep, I'd pull my dog out. The only times I'm OK with all dogs having the same collar is if it's a regular FLAT collar or a martingale. I DO think those collars should be encouraged more since I see too many people (myself included) using training aids as a crutch.

Any sort of corrective device (prong, choke, GL, easy walk, e-collar), I don't like trainers making blanket requirements.
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