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At the pet store, the trainer put a prone collar on my Verne and he suddently stopped pulling. He said that gsds should use prone collars starting at 5 months. I wonder if you guys who had gsd puppies before use a prone collar for training.
 

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I use a prong collar on Chloe. She is 7.5 months. I had started her more serious obedience training about a month ago with a trainer that works with mainly GSD's and runs the SchH group here. He is the one who put her on the prong initially and I tell you what....it makes such a difference.

I felt so guilty the first time I gave her a correction on it and in the beginning, she would run to her crate after training and "pout". She has stopped that now. I think it shocked her to realize she could not dominate me any longer, lol.

I highly recommend prong collars. Of course, some dogs may be too "soft" but with a very high drive GSD, like mine, it works wonders. Make sure you learn to use it correctly also.

Just my opinion....

Oh, and all the GSDs at the SchH club are on prongs unless while working in protection.
 

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With my White GSD we did. After the first few times we just had to put it on and it was like a "Hey! We are working now" Kind of thing and he would settle right down and get to business. If it was off he always thought it was time to play.
We just ordered two for our pups but they are not the metal ones. We are going to try these out and see how they work.
 

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Not all GSD's need prong collars. A prong collar is a training TOOL. Like any other tool you want to at some point stop using it.

Some dogs, and I have one, that is totally oblivious to the prong. I had to teach her to walk properly and not depend on the collar do to the work for me.

The prong collar is just one of many tools you can use to TEACH your dog how to walk well on leash.

My suggestion is to find a qualified trainer to show you how to properly use a prong, because the guy in the pet store does not sound like he knows what he is talking about. Anyone who makes a blanket statement such as "All GSD's at 5 months needs a prong" is no expert.
 

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You can use a prong collar, I always suggest using a trainer to show how to properly fit and use a prong.

If you don't use a prong collar or any other collar properly you will not get the full benefits.
 

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I agree with Three Dogs.

A prong collar is just another tool in our training tool box. Some dogs benefit from the type of correction that can be given with a prong collar if it is used correctly. Other dogs benefit from different approaches. You need to find what works best for you and your dog, without hurting the relationship you have with your puppy.

Definitely work with a qualified trainer when it comes to using any tools that you have no prior knowledge of. I have found that most people at pet stores, while they may be well intentioned, may not have the knowledge required to "recommend" a training tool to you. Since this guy made a sweeping generalization that "all GSDs need prong collars", I would think he falls into the category of well-intentioned, but not entirely knowledgeable people.

Was he able to show you how to size the collar correctly, how to put it on, and how to use it? A correctly sized prong collar should fit around the upper part of the dog's neck. It's put on by disconnecting the prongs and then connecting them again around the dog's neck, never by pulling it over the head. The collar should never hang loose around the bottom of the dog's neck, it needs to lie flat around the neck. If he did not explain this to you and show this to you, then he is absolutely clueless.

Personally, I think 5 months is very young to use a prong collar. I would wait until your pup is at least a year old, and stick with a different training tool until then unless there's a very good reason you need a prong - like the dog being stronger than you're able to hold without the prong, for example. A Martingale collar is a good training collar for younger dogs.
 

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Thanks for bringing this up..we used prong collars on our Dalmations(this was years ago) and they worked very well...we have plenty of time to decide to use them on our pup..but it gives me something to think about.
 

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Yes. Prong collars are like power steering.

No to putting one on a 5 month old. Especially without a trainer to show you how to fit it and use it. The petstore guy doesn't count unless he's teaching a class.

Like Historian said, a Martingale (aka limited slip/greyhound collar) is an excellent training collar.

Or try a harness. Harnesses are great to have on hand for other occasions too. We used to have a boat before the kids were born and harnesses were a must to pull them out after swimming. I have never regretted harness training my female as a puppy, although it seems to make her behave like a silly puppy at nearly 7.
 

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Your pup is 4-5 months old? This is way too young to think of a prong. Instead, think motivational training methods, fun methods, and training classes. If your pup is an especially huge booger, a martingale is fine but a prong is best reserved for older. I like them, but it's just too early for this sort of correction.

I would go into a training class that is motivational but NOT "purely positive." A good trainer who can show you motivational methods and who will know when to introduce corrective tools like the prong and at what level is exactly what you need. Yes, slapping on a prong is an easy way to train, but it's not a very good way. Pick up a clicker, learn how to use it, and go to training classes! When it is time for a prong, get a Herm Sprenger brand. Those collars have rounded ends. The ones often seen in pet stores have poorly milled ends that are often sharp. You do not want a sharp prong digging into your young dog! Also, start out on the dead ring and only move to the live ring if it's absolutely necessary.
 

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Originally Posted By: KCandMaceWith my White GSD we did. After the first few times we just had to put it on and it was like a "Hey! We are working now" Kind of thing and he would settle right down and get to business. If it was off he always thought it was time to play.
We just ordered two for our pups but they are not the metal ones. We are going to try these out and see how they work.
I hope you don't mean to use the prongs on your puppies, and are just getting the collars now to use when they are older.

About six months old and older is okay to use a prong. Puppies are babies, and correcting them for being happy, energetic, mischievious, playful and friendly (i.e., all the reasons they would be pulling on the leash), can really inhibit their development.

Make training and interactions fun for them, introduce them to a prong when they are older.
 

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No for when they are older.
It can take a little to get here sometimes. Normally just a week but you never know. We are just stockpiling for when they do get older.
 

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Yes, I do, but not automatically. If your dog is willing and capable of pulling you into traffic, you should have some sort of device to stop that behaviour until your dog is reliable. I'm not sure if a 5 month old puppy is that strong, if not, don't use the prong yet.
Head halters (gentle leader, halti) can be good if they don't upset the dog.
Front hook harnesses (easy-walk) are another really good option, especially for a puppy.
Prongs work, but you really need to know how and when to use it, and should be actively training with far more pleasant and motivational methods. I'll only recommend the prong as a back-up, safety device (ie. as a way to prevent having your dog pull you into traffic or yanking you into a face-plant).
 
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