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From the very beginning I knew that Griff would be a tough but awesome one. I allowed him to be a pup first but did teach him respect and impulse control along with the recall and sit only (no stays or waits). And of course play time. Some leash walking on socializing trips and some at home (off and on leash) but pretty informal by using the clicker.
At 5 months old, it was time for more serious leash work. He already didn't pull but I knew what he was up to and I wanted to be just one step ahead of him. So, before he ever tried to pull, I walked him on a prong and used it when needed.
You may think that this was cruel as there wasn't a problem to start with. But....undoing is much harder than preventing. So now at almost 7 months old and in full blown adolescence, I can walk him on any collar and he walks as if he wears the prong. He never knew the alternative.
Will post some amazing progress in the next thread to stay on topic.
 

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Nice. We have to train each dog according to their personality. There is no hard set rule that we have to wait until 6 months old. It is just a good average rule of thumb.
My gal-dog went from harness to prong at 6 months. Now at 2 years old she sometimes pulls but often I can hook the leash to just her martingale and she walks just fine. I may have her wear a prong without hooking it up to the leash. It is there if we get into a situation that requires extra diligence. Then I can swap the leash to include the prong collar. Most days she does fine without connecting to the prong.

What exercises did you do to help teach impulse control and patience?
 

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What exercises did you do to help teach impulse control and patience?
Waiting for food, out the door, car, toys etc. Kinda like NILIF 101. Very simple things actually. If he wanted something , he had to show patience to get it. Waiting to get out of his crate was the biggest challenge until rodeo day came and now he does well.
 

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Seeing as you've had past experience with prongs and how your pup may begin acting once adolescence hits, you used your best judgement. Stopping behavior before it begins is going to make Griff so much better, he won't get a chance to be rude. He'll only know his manners. I love it. We practice impulse control and patience A LOT. The worst for us was waiting to be released from the car. He still fights me a bit on that one.
Had I known the prong collar was going to change my confidence and Sitka's in me, I would have began using it earlier. To be honest, they terrified me. I was so afraid it would hurt my dog, and he'd not look at me the same again. I spent weeks watching videos, and reading on how to use them, and fit them. Man, was I right...Sitka looks at me totally different after the prong...He thinks I'm the best person on earth when that prong comes out. He get so excited, he tried to leap (nicely) into it. ?
 

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Had I known the prong collar was going to change my confidence and Sitka's in me, I would have began using it earlier. To be honest, they terrified me. I was so afraid it would hurt my dog, and he'd not look at me the same again. I spent weeks watching videos, and reading on how to use them, and fit them. Man, was I right...Sitka looks at me totally different after the prong...He thinks I'm the best person on earth when that prong comes out. He get so excited, he tried to leap (nicely) into it. ?
Good to hear! Yep, same here. As a pet dog trainer I even mentioned on my (past website) that prongs and e collars were not allowed. Until I got my WL guys. They taught me to be open minded.
 

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Yup Rollo wasn’t as good with Griff but I could tell I was getting lazy and bad habits would really be rehearsed so I started working with a prong on Rollo around 6 or 7 months! I spent time before teaching him about leash pressure so it’s bewn a great and gently tool for us as well
 

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Good to hear! Yep, same here. As a pet dog trainer I even mentioned on my (past website) that prongs and e collars were not allowed. Until I got my WL guys. They taught me to be open minded.
Good thing we learned to be more open minded. I bet our dogs are glad for it too. ?

Yup Rollo wasn’t as good with Griff but I could tell I was getting lazy and bad habits would really be rehearsed so I started working with a prong on Rollo around 6 or 7 months! I spent time before teaching him about leash pressure so it’s bewn a great and gently tool for us as well
Sitka was about the same age, 7 months when I convinced myself to try a prong. This was after he dang drug me on my face after a kid on a bike. That was a done deal. We spent a good deal of time on leash pressure, then we went for a walk. I don't think I've ever had to correct him for anytime, pressure is enough to remind him he needs to fall back or pay attention. It's been a real awesome tool.
 

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Sitting here, sipping my coffee and reveling in the wisdom of this thread. Here are the highlights for me:

From @car2ner: Nice. We have to train each dog according to their personality.

I just love this! It's the same principle that I was taught from childhood: Deal with the dog in front of you. Convoluted hypotheses about the dog's breed, sex or even history are often unhelpful. What matters is what the dog in front of you is doing and how to best address it — with the least effort.

From @wolfy dog: Waiting for food, out the door, car, toys etc. Kinda like NILIF 101. Very simple things actually. If he wanted something , he had to show patience to get it.

Brilliant! I just love this approach: Teaches self-control, in a non-confrontational language that dogs/puppies can easily understand. Bonus is that the reinforcers are built-in and virtually automatic (e.g., show patience and you get dinner).

From @Jpage24.87: Stopping behavior before it begins is going to make Griff so much better, he won't get a chance to be rude. He'll only know his manners. I love it

I love it too; it's the same approach my old trainer taught me. "Make the good things/behavior easy and fun, and the bad things/behavior difficult and unpleasant." Saves time and effort down the road, and you get a joyful partner at the end.

From @Chuck94!: Couldn’t agree more!

I couldn't either.

Thanks all, this thread was a lovely way to start my morning.

Aly
 

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Good to hear! Yep, same here. As a pet dog trainer I even mentioned on my (past website) that prongs and e collars were not allowed. Until I got my WL guys. They taught me to be open minded.
I never need a prong until I got my boy. My sister, who did agility with BC and an Aussie mix, never used prongs and was dead set against them....that was until they day we let her walk our big-boy without the prong. Being the smart GSD that he is, he figured "new walker, no prong. I'm going to let her know I want to walk much faster". My sister's comment, "It's like trying to walk a horse" ! :grin2:
 

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You're doing a sport with griff?
There is a thing as too much control....prepping for future problems could also be squashing.
 

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You're doing a sport with griff?
There is a thing as too much control....prepping for future problems could also be squashing.
No sport assigned yet until he is reliable in his obedience and has shown me what fits him well. I think he will like rally or obedience (seems odd right now :grin2: ) I am not squashing him; just not putting up with his puberty antics. I wish more people would do that instead of having to solve behavior issues later.
 

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I find when I rely on a prong, it’s very difficult to ever remove it. That limits sports and other activities a dog can do when he gets older. I’m glad it worked for you, but my plan with future dogs is to avoid ever using the prong.
 

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I find when I rely on a prong, it’s very difficult to ever remove it. That limits sports and other activities a dog can do when he gets older. I’m glad it worked for you, but my plan with future dogs is to avoid ever using the prong.
The good thing is that he doesn't walk any different no matter on which collar now since he hasn't had the opportunity to pull. I thik you run that risk of being dependent on a prong after you use it to undo pulling.
I am curious to see if any of you with strong WL drive dogs have been able to 'get away' with just the clicker or any other 'positive training' only. I once asked this before and never got a response.
My GSDs are the only ones so far in all my 40 years of having had (well-behaved) various breed or mixed breed dogs that I used a prong with. I go by the dog, not by the method alone anymore.
I had the same plan as you, only to rethink it based on the dogs' drives.
 

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I've never used a prong or a clicker. Just good old balanced training with lots of patience and persistence! To me, positive only training would be exhausting! Even though balanced training IS 97% positive, for me it just makes logical sense to convey when something isn't good, just like it makes sense to reward good behavior! It doesn't involve punishment, just steering. I don't get angry and I don't yell, but I do insist...
 
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Absolutely no prongs here, never, and my dogs don't pull on leashes.

Heavy obedience, use of aversives, too much control and management tends to suppress a puppy and conflicts with confidence, motivation, energy and commitment in a pup.

Oh, and all of my dogs except for the showline are from breeders producing LE style dogs and high end sport dogs.

Most of the high level trainers I know of do NOT use any aversives for basic obedience, including prongs, all positive.
 
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Corrections followed by quick praise is often used.

My large male was a pain on the leash barking at dogs and stuff around 5 or 6 months. I had a bad knee and it was very uncomfortable correcting him. I used the prong the way Leerburg shows, letting them correct themselves then praising. It was an immediate change and walks became WAY easier.
 

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Oh, and being overbearing and having too many rules can create rebellion and frustration issues down the road so one can't say that they are being proactive and setting a dog up for good behavior.
 

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I am curious to see if any of you with strong WL drive dogs have been able to 'get away' with just the clicker or any other 'positive training' only.
You don't look to get away with anything. You focus on the behavior you're training. With a stronger, more determined temperament, you're going to reach a point in some things where the desire for that over rides the desire for this. If its this you're looking for, there's going to have to be a consequence if they choose that. Whatever that consequence is, has to be effective. Part of being effective means not creating conflict with you over it. If saying no works, fine. If a sharp pop on a prong is what works, that's fine too.
 
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