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Regardless of what type of collar you used to train your dog - choke, prong, E - can you put your dog on a slip lead and get the same level of obedience from them?

Or better yet - what if your dog has NO collar (or lead) - then what happens?

If you take the (insert type here) collar off your dog and they suddenly have no idea what Heel means – their obedience is collar-dependent.

Mauser is the first puppy I've had that I’m able to really work on obedience without using a leash or collar. In our basic obedience class he does wear them but I can let the leash drag along the ground behind him and the trainer is ok with that. In Schutzhund I don’t use a leash at all (not yet, anyway). At home he trains in the buff – no leash OR collar.

I find it much too easy to rely on the leash/collar as a training aid. I’ve realized that I did this with Kaynya. Instead of teaching her not to jump on people I use the leash to hold her back. Not hard to do when she only weighs about 10 pounds but NOT good training on my part. Now I have to completely retrain her.
 

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I kinda trained Grimm with hand signals.. and so he sorta hasta watch me. A Mean-n-Cruel Momma Depth Charge Voice is a good back-correction should "Epp-epp" fail me as a usual correction. I think we have used food lure, toy reward, so often when training for wacky fun in the livingroom, I can manage okay without a lead.. but NOT outdoors in public with distractions. Too risky, Grimm is impulsive and overenthusiastic.
 

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Kenya - yes. She has off-lead titles. Usually when we're walking in our neighborhood I let her drag her leash so I can focus on Nikon. She has also been off-lead in the last 3-4 training classes (obedience, rally, skills) we have been doing.

Coke - no, only at home or with little distraction.

Nikon - no, he's just a pup and we're not doing a lot of formal obedience until he matures. He is off lead in our yard (we have no fence) and he recalls, but he doesn't really have a "heel" or anything like that yet, even on a lead.
 

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I've always relied on leash & collar, but since yesterday's incident, no collars on in the house, and now they both have to be retrained! I've also found it hard to just control them without the collar on. Time for some new training techniques for me I guess.
 

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I never looked at it that way but yes I guess at this time we are collar dependant.My obedience trainers goal and mine is for the heel,sit ,stay and so on the be able to be done off lead.I honestly haven't tried the heel w/o a device because I haven't felt the need.Just because I am curious I will be trying it when she comes in.My goal for Athena is to not have to have her tied,leashed or e collared for her whole life.I want a dog like many people can accomplish that can know her boundries and live with in them but if need be, can be on a leash.I love her too much to not train her.
 

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Originally Posted By: Lauri & The Gang
Mauser is the first puppy I've had that I’m able to really work on obedience without using a leash or collar. In our basic obedience class he does wear them but I can let the leash drag along the ground behind him and the trainer is ok with that. In Schutzhund I don’t use a leash at all (not yet, anyway). At home he trains in the buff – no leash OR collar.
Can't wait to see if this holds up when he becomes a "teenager"!
 

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Lauri, what I meant to say is-- an easily-motivated workingline boy in the house working without a distraction? PERFECT without collar or lead! That same workingline boy being an adolesent out in public? Thank God for the collar and lead. Teenagerhood means high distractability, and "teenaged intensity" with these lines is "through the roof." Even with proofing, these are strong dogs, and going through teenagerhood is a challenge!
 

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Quote:Regardless of what type of collar you used to train your dog - choke, prong, E - can you put your dog on a slip lead and get the same level of obedience from them?
Yes or with no collar at all. Collars are a TRAINING aid, a means to an end, especially for those of us who compete.
 

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Originally Posted By: Lauri & The Gang

I find it much too easy to rely on the leash/collar as a training aid.
I have come to realize this with my guys too, to an extent. If I am going to a "doggie event" at the local park where I know there will be LOTS of people and dogs, mine will wear a prong collar but not necessarily have the leash connected to it. So we are still semi dependant on it.

What I am "hoping" to accomplish with my next dog is for him/her to be trained primarily leash free. I know I WILL need to teach with a leash but my game plan is to work as much as possible with the leash on the ground instead of in my hand. It will be an undertaking but my goal is to do as much "basic" training as possible without a leash and slowly up the distractions. Essentially I will be challenging myself to become a better doggie communicator/leader/trainer by not being so dependant on the leash.
 

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Brady is trained with hand signals
but around other dogs Need my prong
 

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Originally Posted By: Amaruq
What I am "hoping" to accomplish with my next dog....
Is this going to be sometime SOON?
 

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I prefer to train with Risa off-leash. We don't have a yard so that's not possible when we're outside. When we took our first training classes, our instructor had us clip the leash to us so that we didn't have our hands on it. So we've almost been working 'off leash' from the beginning.

I actually find that when we're working together and I have to have her on leash, things don't go as smoothly. That da** leash keeps getting in the way!! I will sometimes drop the leash if we're working in a unfenced area to avoid it getting in the way as much. But training in the house and at obedience/agility/freestyle classes, she's off-leash (unless I'm worried about her being reactive in which case I keep the leash on, might stand on it, and watch her like a hawk).
 

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The majority of the obedience training I do is with no leash or collar. With my previous two dogs I first trained them using training collars but then I started using other methods instead.
My terrier mix used to be very collar-savvy, he was a strong puller-- when I got him he was 4 years old and wearing a harness so he was already very ingrained with pulling. I tried various methods and the obedience classes I took with him they recommended a prong collar for training. I worked on training him not to pull in class but as soon as that prong was not attached he'd drag me around. He didn't need the collar for any obedience commands, just pulling... I tried 'be a tree' and other things like that. Finally I was tired of relying on a collar and not being able to teach him and I just stopped using the collar and used another method where you walk backwards any time they pull. Amazingly that worked and after that I was able to walk him with a buckle collar only.
My Golden Ginger used a training collar in her first obedience classes but she was very sensitive and quickly outgrew any need for it. She was trained with voice cues, hand signals and body language (and had picked up many words/visual cues on her own) so at times it seemed like she just knew what I wanted. She was trained off leash as well, the only reason I had her wear a leash at all was because we have a leash law and for some reason a number of people were scared when they saw her on walks even though she would be heeling next to me on leash when we saw people.
I have no idea what devices my GSD was trained with but I have not put a training collar on her since I got her. I have however been using a harness to help control her pulling until I can fully train her in that. So yes she will pull on a regular collar (but according to the old owner IS off-leashed trained.)

I once tried the exercise below at a Dog Scout event, and it showed me just how well Ginger would listen off-leash. We did 20 behaviors before she got too close to me and crossed the line. She was not trained for a "go-out" or "send out" yet at the time so she kept getting closer or we probably would have been able to do more... Normally they only go to 10 behaviors but I wanted to see how many she'd do.

Exercise 3: The "Not-so-straight Recall." This demonstrates that the dog is paying attention to the handlers cues, and is not just repeating a memorized (pattern trained) exercise. The handler leaves his dog on a stay and walks away to a point marked off on the floor or ground, 30 to 60 feet away. When the handler gets behind the line, the time begins. The handler must then instruct the dog to perform as many different cued behaviors as he can elicit from the dog before the dog gets past the "front" line. A maximum of 10 behaviors will be counted. Only behaviors which are performed "on cue" will be counted. Repeated behaviors are not counted, but can be used to control the dog, or to get a secondary behavior. For example, the handler gets the dog to perform a drop on recall, then asks the dog to drop so that he can roll over. The drop is not counted twice, but the handler gets credit for the roll over. The handler is only allowed to use a "go out" or "get back" twice, to prevent the dog from crossing the finish line prior to completing 10 cued behaviors. Hand signals and verbal cues are allowed, as are repeated commands.
Scoring:
Scoring is based on number of cued behaviors executed by the dog before the dog gets over the "front" line, and before the 2 minute time limit has elapsed.
 

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Originally Posted By: BlackGSD
Originally Posted By: Amaruq
What I am "hoping" to accomplish with my next dog....
Is this going to be sometime SOON?
Soon is a relative term.


Lets just say my current "puppy" is nearing 7 years and I will have an ankle biter before his age doubles.


In a perfect world I will have a new addition by years end.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Originally Posted By: BlackGSD
Originally Posted By: Lauri & The Gang
Mauser is the first puppy I've had that I’m able to really work on obedience without using a leash or collar. In our basic obedience class he does wear them but I can let the leash drag along the ground behind him and the trainer is ok with that. In Schutzhund I don’t use a leash at all (not yet, anyway). At home he trains in the buff – no leash OR collar.
Can't wait to see if this holds up when he becomes a "teenager"!
I'm NOT holding my breath but I will HOPE for that to continue - at least away from the Schutzhund field.
 

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Sudden selective deafness/major distractability. Come? Sit? Heel? Yeah.. right, Ma. Not THIS cool dude. It's like... all that wonderful drive and focus and and and.... just gets scattered at that butterfly flitting over there... that guy getting out of a car across the street.... that intense new scent coming from that fence poston the corner... whoa, there's a bird over there! ...Hey, a DOG the next street over! "Yo, other dog: Who's da man, who's DA MAAAANNNN???" etc.


I just keep practicing as if he weren't being a teenager, upping excersise, and giving a bit more structure.

Please God, let it end... make maturity happen!
 

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I've always done most of my training at home either off leash, or sometimes with a light leash attached to the collar, but dragging on the ground, not attached to me in any way. In class, I drop the leash whenever I feel I can and stay close enough that I can step on it if necessary. All the classes I've taken with Cassidy, Dena, and Keefer over the past 8+ years required flat collars and would also allow harnesses, but did not allow chokes or prongs. Verbal corrections were allowed, but no leash corrections. We start taking puppies on weekly off leash walks in regional parks from about 4 months old, so they get used to paying attention and staying close off leash in distracting circumstances. I've never trained to compete in anything, and don't have any plans to, so I don't require a perfect heel position, just that they stay nearby and come back when I call them off leash, and don't pull on leash. I've never used a long line at the park, we just get a safe distance from parking lots or roads, take off the leash, and keep walking. So none of that is really collar dependent.

I've discovered that I don't spend nearly enough time training with leashed walks, and consequently my dogs have always been better off leash than on. I bought a prong collar for the first time for Keefer because he needs a lot more training on leash and he's too big and strong to rely on his flat collar alone. I should have worked on it more before he got big and strong, but I didn't, and that's something I hope to remedy with my new puppy Halo. I do still plan to do most of my training off leash at home, but to balance that with more work on leash skills.

In one of Keefer's classes we were to practice "wait" with the dog in front of us rather than behind us. I had worked on it at home and on walks where I told him to wait, took several steps forward, and then released him to walk forward with me, and he had been waiting at doors before being released to go through them for a long time, but I hadn't tried it the other way, where the dog gets ahead and waits for me to catch up. (Now we do practice this at the park.) They has us put the dog on a long line to drag on the ground, drop the leash, and start walking around. If the dog got a few steps ahead we gave the wait command, and if they didn't stop we were to step on the leash. Small problem - although Keefer was still pulling ON leash, once I dropped the leash he was walking around right by my side. I had to get one of the trainers to coax him towards them so I could even work on it at all because he wouldn't get far enough away from me to ask for a wait!
 

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I train Balto and Ciana without a leash, so it doesn't matter what the collar is. And I've been using a lot of clicker with Balto and it works great.

I just found out at the Rally and Obedience Show and Goes this weekend that both perform better in the ring without a leash.

Don't say that Belgians are easier than GSDs because they have drive and smarts. My drivey Malinois is the easiest to train. She learns new commands in about 15 minutes. Balto is laid back and takes a couple of days before he "gets it".
 

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Originally Posted By: Amaruq
In a perfect world I will have a new addition by years end.


Have a breeder picked out already?
 

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Originally Posted By: BlackPuppyDon't say that Belgians are easier than GSDs because they have drive and smarts. My drivey Malinois is the easiest to train. She learns new commands in about 15 minutes. Balto is laid back and takes a couple of days before he "gets it".
Thats because Balto is a BOY!
 
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