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post #1 of 332 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Please discuss:

Our breed is loyal to their handler, intelligent, biddible, and bred to work with humans. How come it is considered not only acceptable, but typical to require prong collars or e-collars to control them? Is this a flaw in leadership, training, or genetics?
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post #2 of 332 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 02:16 AM
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As with humans leaning concepts, maybe dogs are similar

Some people learn best when reading/ told. Others, including myself, are visual learners and hands on to learn best

It's possible that some dogs can understand training with just a normal collar while some are a bit harder to control and then need a prong or e-collar to get the point across

However, it could be human error. Not all of us are pros at dog training, and don't have the money for an actual trainer, so we do the best we can from reading and watching videos. Our timing is not perfect, so that can cause some issues that eventually need to be corrected with other methods
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post #3 of 332 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 03:06 AM
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JustI have never used either...and I've been working with GSDs for nearly 50 yrs. But I don't think either tool is a/the problem. Instead a prong or e-collar is a "quicker" solution to many many age old issues that the rest of us have struggled with forever! Don't blame the tool...its always the human in the training that needs to learn the most!

One great thing about both of these tools is how fast dogs/puppies catch on! Used correctly, I think they're awesome training aids. And you're absolutely correct on your thinking about learning styles...always, always work the dog in front of you! You don't need experience to do this, just careful observation! And hey, why not use the latest and greatest tools....i can think of no good reason...except, not knowing how to use a tool correctly....
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post #4 of 332 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 04:35 AM
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There's no flaw in leadership or genetics because you choose to use a training tool. Be it prong, electric, choke, etc. Its not required to use one and lots of people get by just fine without it. A car isn't required either, but it's a **** of a lot easier and faster to get where you're going.
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post #5 of 332 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 06:26 AM
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I think it may quicken the learning process using one of the tools mentioned above. I have an older dog who is almost 13 now that I've had since he was 10 weeks old. He never needed a choke chain, prong, ecollar, etc. He's been on a flat buckle collar his whole life. But he was never a puller and responded very quickly to leash training.

However, my 11 month old GSD needs a stronger approach, and I needed a quicker solution.
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post #6 of 332 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 07:25 AM
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The moment I put a prong on my 7 mo he was instantly a new dog on walks with only a couple of very gentle corrections. I have learned that when walking him with his prong, my touch on the leash has to be super loose and gentle. If he wants to stop and sniff he is able to pull loose slack through my hand without any tension on the leash, and always comes back to heel when I tell him lets go, then I shorten back up that slack. We were able to walk by another dog! Calmly! Something we had never done before without drama. I am proud of him on walks now and he is proud of himself!
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post #7 of 332 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 08:02 AM
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Growing up I never used a prong. We did use Choke Chains. They were common back then, but we didn't really choke the dog with them. As an adult I had a rescue GSD that walked perfectly on a flat collar. His previous owner must have trained him well and it must have broken her heart to let him go.

Fast forward to the pair of dogs I have now. if I had done the stop and start walking routine on a flat collar or martingale with my big-boy as a pup, we would never have left the yard for a long long time. Yes, I was impatient and wanted to go for real walks, so at 6 months we went with a prong. Honestly, it is an illusion of control. The other day my big-boy went way over threshold and even with the prong on he yanked the leash out of my grasp. Most of the time the collar reminds him of his limits. He expects to wear it now. I really dislike using discomfort to get him to pay attention, though. I use encouragement and reward more often.

My female wears one on walks but often I don't even have the leash attached to it. It is just there if I feel the situation requires a bit more, "hey, pay attention to your limits". One day I had her on her martingale and she desperately wanted to go meet and greet our big-boy. She pulled on her collar so hard it started to make her gag. I had to swing around and gather her up to keep her from hurting herself. If it had been the prong collar she would not have pulled that hard.

So in my limited experience, 90% - 99% of the time the prong is not needed. It is there for that tiny percent of times when adrenaline rushed power needs to be controlled...and even then it might not be enough.
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post #8 of 332 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 09:02 AM
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I'm old school--I've always used a choke collar--long before "positive reinforcement" was the new phrase of the day. Ultimately if there's a new tool and it works for you and your dog-- than use it. As far as genetics-- I've had dogs from 100% Schutzhund pedigrees to mainly show lines and they've all turned out to be great family dogs. When people ask out in public --What do you do with your dogs they're so well behaved??--I just smile and thank them----but in my mind I credit it to leadership, training and the "bond" that's developed over time. Day to day it wasn't always a perfect ride--but in the end it was worth it.

It's makes me feel very sad for the breed (based on the many behavioral threads here) that there's that many GSDs out there with BIG issues. There's no magic pill or quick fix. IMO it's about being a leader--training and teaching boundaries.It's very sad that so many of these dogs end up in shelters/rescues with behavioral problems--- simply because the breed was popular at the time the owner got their new puppy---when the problem IMO is that the owner couldn't lead a one man parade on a bet---and there was no "magic" pill to be found online. The dog and the breeds reputation is what really suffers and that's SAD
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post #9 of 332 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 09:18 AM
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Iím an old lady and for the unexpected fox sightings I am comfortable using the prong.
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post #10 of 332 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 09:45 AM
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I think the objection to prongs is that people don't use them as a training tool but as a device they use to walk their dogs forever and ever and ever.

Selzer's point is that most German Shepherds are too easily trained to walk on a leash without pulling so why not train the dog instead?
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