Started training class. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Started training class.

So Duncan and I started training class this week. I have heard wonderful things about this trainer. Even have friends who have used him. So you can imagine my shock when he TOLD me I HAD to get a pinch collar for my 14 week old puppy. I love my furball but he is a total ninny. If you even yank on his collar too hard he yelps. So you can imagine what kind of trauma a pinch collar would do to him. I put my size 5 down and will be continuing the class because minus the collar he is good at what he does. I guess I am just shocked. It seems like a shortcut to real training. Has anyone else come across this with a trainer? I had to stop my friend who has Duncans sister from buying a pinch collar. I mean for puppies? Come on.

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Duncan Idaho 3-28-2013
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 11:01 PM
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Pinch collar on a puppy?

Okay, first of all, proper prong collars don't hurt (put a Herm Sprenger on your thigh or arm and yank it - you'll see what I mean). Slip collars, choke collars and anything that chokes the dog can really cause tracheal/esophageal damage. Of course, any collar used improperly can cause damage to the dog.

But for a trainer to immediately go to the prong is really silly, IMHO. Of course, there are staunch supporters of "this and that" type of training that will hold on to their concepts to the bitter end as gospel.

I think that a puppy needs to be exercised in a lot of fun, then enticed to learn his commands with positive reward. Negative feedback is reserved for when a young dog knows his commands for certain and is rebelling.

That being said, prong collars (the right ones) are actually better than some others.

Myah started on a regular, soft puppy collar, graduated to a soft martingale (3 mo), then a chain martingale (4 mo). But at 5 mo, she's so mellow and easy (that's her temperament, so I'm lucky), that she does fine with the soft martingale.

I did buy a Herm Sprenger prong collar for use when my elderly mom walks her. Doesn't hurt her AT ALL, and gives the kind of pressure that makes her listen to my mom so she doesn't pull her (my mom has arthritis, so corrections when pulling are hard for her).

Are you sure you want to use this trainer? There are always good things to take away from trainers and their sessions. Eat the hay and spit out the sticks, as my grandfather would say. If the trainer doesn't allow you to modify anything, then I would say that's your cue...
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Its not that it would hurt Duncan but seriously, a sharp tug on his regular collar and he squeaks. Hes been that way since birth. But I still thinks its too much on a puppy. The trainer wasn't happy about me saying no to him but he got over it. And its like you said. Take what I need and forget the rest. I'm using it more for socializing and getting him used to obeying commands with a lot of distractions.

The man is very very well known where I live and I've never heard a bad word about him so it was a shock. But to each their own. When my boy is 90lbs and trying to drag me around I may get something a little sterner. Till then his nylon collar works for us.

Casey & Arayna

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 11:16 PM
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I wouldn't ever consider putting a prong on a puppy until they were at least 6 months old. That's a bare minimum though. No way I'd ever do that to a 14 week old baby.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 11:19 PM
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Well, Myah was a drama queen puppy. Super easy in everything, but give a tug on her puppy collar and she'd wail like you were skinning her alive. Pretty soon, I realized that was her clever little manipulation, very well disguised! I stayed gentle, firm and ever consistent - wailing or not. She soon learned to zip it and learn.

But seriously, I thought in the beginning that I was pushing her too early. HA! Clever little girl...
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 11:44 PM
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My trainer for Dax told me to bring whatever collar I was using on Dax to class and we'd discuss proper usage. When I told him I wouldn't even consider a collar other than his every day collar right now because of his age, he was actually relieved I didn't want to use a prong in class. Dax will be 4 months old on Monday. I won't even consider another collar on him until he's at minimum 6 months! Good for you standing up to the "trainer"

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 12:09 AM
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Would it be appropriate to use the collar with the prongs facing out? It is still better for corrections than a flat collar that way, to my understanding, because of the positioning and even pressure. It seems like any trainer worth their salt should understand that some dogs are softer than others.

On the other hand, don't be talked in to doing something that makes you uncomfortable. I had to walk away from the class when the trainer said only choke chains were allowed and what I witnessed from the class really disappointed me. Six month old puppy being taught how to heel * entirely* through corrections- didn't hear the handler praise the poor thing even once, and no treats of course.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 02:28 AM
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On a 14-week-old puppy, why on earth would you be using any kind of collar corrections? Whichever way the prongs are facing, IMO that's not appropriate.

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