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choke collars

I had a family emergency and had to leave town for a couple of weeks. Bella stayed behind with "daddy", who didn't have time to work with her during my leave of absence.

My second day back, I took her out for her 15 min. daily training session, and all she wanted to do was pull on her leash and not pay attention to me. I use the treat method, along with keeping her attention the whole time, and she was doing great both on and off the lead before I left.

I panicked, and went out and bought a choke collar for training time. Bella is just about 5 months old now, and getting quite strong. Yesterday was her second day of resumed training, and I kept her out long enough to circle the block. By the second half of the training session with the choke collar, her attention span was back, and she was listening, reacting, and paying attention on command - as if the day before had never happened.

Should I keep the choke collar, or go back to her regular collar for training times? I'd say half the time during her training yesterday she was on a loose leash, and the other half I had to use the collar to remind her where she's supposed to be walking beside me. She's usually a very good dog and a quick learner. Back in the day, I always used a choke collar for training, but is it still acceptable now? I don't want to abuse my baby girl in any way.

Thanks guys!!
 

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Re: choke collars

I don't use choke collars, but for some dogs I find them acceptable as long as they are being used to give quick, efficient corrections. The dog should never actually be "choked", as in, the collar should never be tight. Otherwise the dog just resists b/c of their oppositional reflex. The choke should just be used for corrections, a quick pop. Likewise, the dog should be consistently rewarded for the correct behavior. In my experience, it's easier to teach them what is right than what is wrong. The choke should just be a temporary tool. Honestly if you are going to use corrections, I like a prong better than a plain choker.

I use slip leads on my dogs, but they are leash trained and I use them simply because they are easy.
 

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Re: choke collars

I don't like choker collars at all. I use gentle lead which can be used at 8 weeks old. It is very humane and I have gotten great results using it. No more pulling
 

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Re: choke collars

If something other than just a flat buckle collar is needed, of the 3 choices listed here (choker, prong, halter) my first choice would be the prong every time. It is less likely to cause injury, and is a more effective tool than either a halter or a choker when it comes to issuing a proper, well timed correction.

Some info on prongs vs chokers vs halters:

http://www.flyingdogpress.com/prong.html

http://www.flyingdogpress.com/headhalters.html

Another excellent option would be a martingale "limited slip" collar.
 

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Re: choke collars

Wow! Not what I expected, as I thought the prong collars were more cruel. I've only done two training sessions with the choke collar, and will see how she does again on her regular collar tomorrow.

I will have to do some more reading up on the best way to handle her "testing", which now is more intermediate than constant.

I am learning....thank you all!!
 

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Re: choke collars

I use prong collars on Tonga since he was 5 months during training around other dogs and on walks where other dogs / people are prone to be in the area.

And with that, I use both the prong collar AND chain collar, incase the prong disconnects itself, which has happened to me once (How did THAT happen?) .

During training, I only have to use it a few times, and he calms down.

We still need more training to do, he still gets real HYPER when he sees humans, which can scare the **** out of anyone. And he is now 14 months old and a little over 100 lbs this furbaby wants to "play", this is a suitable way for me that works at an instant for him to keep focused.

Please, if you decide to use any corrective collar, make sure the prong collar is positioned properly.
 
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Re: choke collars

Don't confuse a choke collar with an adjustable slip or Martingale collar. They aren't the same although they may appear to be. The old fashioned choke collar chokes as much as you pull on it and can cause the dog's throat damage. Both the adjustable slip and Martingale collars have a set limit on how far they can "choke". In actuality they do not choke at all but provide a quick bit of pressure that reminds the dog in training of a correction. This is what I have used about 90% of the time in training hundreds of dogs quite successfully. I do use prongs, halters, and even Gentle Leaders, but I find the adjustable slip to be the most universal answer.
 

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Re: choke collars

Funny that you bring this up. A trainer of 40 years saw that I had a prong on Kacie at the dog walk-a -thon. She was anti prong, pro choker. Said she never has seen a dog that was injured from a choke collar in all her years of training, and she is still the old school type trainer, but no alpha roll, just not as positive correcting as I normally see . One good pop for correction, and the dog is not a puller, according to her. Of course, I didn't argue, held my tongue, but have seen dogs in more distress with choke chain than prongs at every training session I've been in. I guess it boils down to the handler. I do use a gentle leader w/ Onyx as she is reactive to the prong. Halter always seems to twist around on her. I should try an adjustable slip!
 

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Re: choke collars

I use the prong collar on Ivy when needed and get great results. I never have used the choke collar before. I usually just have a regular martingale on her but like I said when needed I use the prong.
 

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Re: choke collars

prong collars are safer than chock collars.i got 100% better result with the prong collar than e collar,chock,and gentle lead,combine together. and my gsd's still love me
 

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Re: choke collars

Bella is so young, but from personal experience the prong collar would be my first choice.

My GSD was a puller and also wanted to chase bikers, walkers, etc. My breeder suggestion a prong collar, fitted high and tight. She also said give him a tight fairly hard jerk so he yelps. I know that sounds cruel, but two jerks and the problem was resolved.

My dog, Timber, was probably older then Bella, but the training took place over a year ago, so I do not remember Timber's exact age. My best guess 8 to 10 months.
 

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Re: choke collars

Bella is so young, but from personal experience the prong collar would be my first choice.

My GSD was a puller and also wanted to chase bikers, walkers, etc. My breeder suggestion a prong collar, fitted high and tight. She also said give him a tight fairly hard jerk so he yelps. I know that sounds cruel, but two jerks and the problem was resolved.

My dog, Timber, was probably older then Bella, but the training took place over a year ago, so I do not remember Timber's exact age. My best guess 8 to 10 months.
 
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Re: choke collars

A good trainer, as many of have pointed out before, is willing to try different things on different dogs to achieve the best results. One dog may work best with a prong, and another better with an adjustable slip, and still another with a halter or Gentle Leader. What is important is that training is started. Whatever means you use to initiate the process is is okay so long as no harm is done to the dog (or the owner). Many dogs start with one method and move on to another. Many others stay with what they started. The best match is what's sought after. I just mentioned that in my own experiences of training many dogs that most of the time an adjustable slip is both what I start and end with. I did state that I use other methods and even since being in my fourth decade training dogs I still seek to learn and improve my methods. For example, this past year I added the Gentle Leader to my bag of tricks. My own dog, Frigga, was not handling anything I had used before be it adjustable slip, prong, or halter to enable her to start training. In desperation really I tried the Gentle Leader. It worked for her and it got us started. I then was able to move her along to the adjustable slip which is still the collar she wears when we're out, but she's progressed now to the point where I am training her off leash. She has an excellent recall already and what we're working on now is refinements such as ignoring distractions and knowing boundaries. With Odin I only have ever used the adjustable slip and he is, of course, fully trained off leash long since. Finally, all training is what you put into it. If you remember the three "P"s you're unlikely to go wrong; practice, patience, and persistence. All too often the single greatest mistake in training I see (and have upon occasion committed myself) is the desire to be "done" with training. Training is ongoing. Just like experienced people, experienced dogs still need to be run through their paces in order to stay sharp on what they've learned.
 
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