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Discussion Starter #1
Our new dog, Beau, and I started training classes this morning at the rescue facility where we got him a couple months ago. What a difference to be in a class around other GSD's (and their owners) who aren't immediately intimidated by the temperaments of these big (and often newly aquired) rescues.

One of the things I learned was that (for some dogs) the pinch collar is a better option than the less-threatening looking choke chain because the pinch offers immediate correction, where as the choke sometimes can take correction after correction after correction to get the dogs attention...and each correction can damage the dog's throat.

I've heard some call the prong/pinch collar the "power steering" of the training collars - it offers the same result as the choke chain, but doesn't take nearly the forces to make it work.

Just curious what you use on your dogs? What's your preference? Was there an age at which you said, "OK...we're ready for the pinch"? Or, if you used the pinch and then transitioned to the choke, how did that go?
 

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I strongly prefer the pinch. It was used to redirect Samson and keep him more grounded after dealing with some fear issues. For the most part I kept the leash hooked on both rings - no sliding, just pressure. Worked wonders for him. He is not 100% perfect yet but being so isolated it is very difficult to get in consistent training. I do it where I can though.

The choke I feel takes a lot more force to use, carries far more risk of damage, and in a long-haired dog it backfires anyway because it tends to get caught in the hair and I really don't want him to associate anything with the pain of fur getting ripped out =/.

I would probably never use a choke after the experience I've had with a prong.
 

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I would never use a choke collar. I do use a fursaver, but that is on a dead ring.
Choke collars are very cheap and accessible. The local rescue I use to volunteer for always had chokes on hand. I cringed when dogs with no training would pull on them to the point of hacking. I would much rather use a martingale for those dogs, can't slip them, but they won't choke either. They weren't used for 'training' but taking the dogs out for exercise/potty breaks.
A good prong(herm springer) is much more expensive and sometimes hard to find in a local shop, so thats why so many use a choke collar instead. And some people think a prong is a mid-evil contraption that will hurt a dog.

I didn't put a prong on my dogs til they were about 8 months. My female has fear aggression and the prong ramped her up, so I discontinued it for awhile til I got her managed better. I used a flat or a martingale for her during that time.
My male is on a prong when we do protection work, that may ramp him up, but its ok! It is the only way I have full control of his 90#.
I would much rather use a prong collar than a choke, it is safer for the dog during training.
Once a dog is trained then a choke may not be a problem, as they know better than to pull.
Still, I'd never use one.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So, is there an "easy" way to get the collar on?? I feel like I don't have the strength in my fingers to press the two ends together to get into the prong link. On top of the fact that the dog is vibrating with anticipation...help!
 

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So, is there an "easy" way to get the collar on?? I feel like I don't have the strength in my fingers to press the two ends together to get into the prong link. On top of the fact that the dog is vibrating with anticipation...help!
I have a prong collar with a sort of "quick release" thing on it - there's a little contraption on the end that clips into the small chain part of the collar. Easy-peasy to take on and take off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have a prong collar with a sort of "quick release" thing on it - there's a little contraption on the end that clips into the small chain part of the collar. Easy-peasy to take on and take off.
I just did a Google search on the Herm Sprenger...and found a picture of what you're talking about! Uh - yeah - that will make life much easier! :wild:
 

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I've personally had those break loose on me though, they twist or "hook" and then pop open....leerburg has some good videos on how to properly put a pinch collar on.

I'll pull up the video and see if I can post it here....

I just did a Google search on the Herm Sprenger...and found a picture of what you're talking about! Uh - yeah - that will make life much easier! :wild:
 

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Be aware that the quick release collar(or any pinch) can come apart. So use a nylon slip for back-up if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Today's training DID say to have a choke on (dead ring) as a back up to the pinch. He said it's not a matter of IF the prong will break, it's a matter of WHEN.
 

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i use a prong collar on chobahn and it works well for us. i used to have a quick release and i was so paranoid about it coming undone...and guess what...one day it did and it was so scary. I always keep a flat collar on him as well so I was able to grab him, but still...very frightening for me. I now have one with out a quick release and i feel much better about it. they are not that hard to get on and off, you just have to be careful not to take of the last prong that attaches to the chain part...that is hard to get back together, but if you take it apart in the middle of the collar it's very easy to get on. as for trying to wrangle your dog into it, use this time as a learning opportunity. chobahn gets super excited when he sees me holding it because he knows it means he's going for a walk. he runs around and dances at the door, but it does NOT go on until he sits. i don't care if it takes him 20 minutes to put his butt on the floor, no sit, no collar, no walk, therefore no reward! your dog will learn :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Today's training DID say to have a choke on (dead ring) as a back up to the pinch. He said it's not a matter of IF the prong will break, it's a matter of WHEN.
Also saw that Leerburg will no longer sell the quick release prong collars...but I couldn't get the video explaing "why" to play. I can only imagine it's related to what you all have stated here - they're not as secure as some might believe.
 

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I use the prong with the quick release on my GSD and my Lab. They also have on a flat collar that is also hooked onto the lead in case the prong would malfunction. They only wear a collar when they go for a walk or a car trip, when home or just in our yard they are naked.:eek:
 

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Hmm...I guess with mine it's not a huge issue because he's not dying to chase something or go after something or run. It's more an issue of just having the pressure there to keep him grounded and not worry about something, or keep his head up so he doesn't get fixated on smells, and then get all anxious and worried. So if it would break it's not a huge deal. He's got excellent recall and he's not inclined to run from me anyway :).
 

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Usually when I use a prong, I have a tab line on it. I have another flat collar that I use the regular leash with. When I need it, I grab the tab to use the prong. It works well for me and I'm not constantly depending on the prong.
 

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I bought the Herm Sprenger quick release tech collar and I love it. I use it for walks. After a few corrections for duck chasing on this collar our walks have become so much easier. She now walks beside me on a loose leash and just last night we got through so many distractions without incident that she got treat after treat because she offered behavior before I even had to ask for it.
 

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Viktor has a martingale on as his 24/7, tags, potty break, ride in the car collar. I have and use the prong for walks. He will pull on the martingale very hard, but on the prong he walks like a dream. I hope at some point, he is trained enough to walk good on the martingale or a flat collar, but after 1.5 months post-rescue... we're not there... yet.
 

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I think it depends on the amount of training the dog needs.

I have been using choker collars on my dogs for the past 2 years or so. They are at the point where a prong collar is not needed, nor is any strong correction needed. For me, I like the chokers because they are easy to put on, they will not come apart, and I can give a quick pop to the side to get the dog's attention. Where we are in training, that tends to be the only type of correction I'll have to give them, perhaps slight backward pressure to remind them to walk in position, but not "jerking" backwards.

There are people that say they are harmful, do damage etc. and if used incorrectly, then it's a possibility. E.g., they are not to be used to choke the dog, or pull upward harshly. A correction should be given to the side, and should not be painfully hard. If the dog needs something more attention getting than a slight pop of the choker collar, I'd go with a prong collar just because it would do less damage and require less severe of a correction.
 

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I use the prong on my dogs.

Stark started wearing the prong when he was about 9-12 months old (can't really remember), but it was about the time we started in schutzhund.

He wore it on walks, and still does often just for the extra security/control. When he was going through his reactive phase (about 8-9 months) I didn't put it on him as much because it just ampt him up. I used the easy walk harness which worked well for that reason.

Zefra is going to be 8 months old on this 15th of December and has yet to wear a prong. She is on a flat collar or martingale. I do use an easy walk if I have both dogs with me in a new place, she is a puller when she is excited so I like to have that control. Zefra, although getting older, is still very immature and puppy-ish, so she probably won't wear a prong for awhile. She is also a tiny female so I don't feel like I need that extra control like I do with my 85-89lbs male.
 

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I don't use either one on my dogs. I don't think choke collars even belong in dog training, when there are other better options out there and definitely not in the hands of the general dog-owning public. I've used a prong collar with a previous dog but I found it didn't really help much in his training so I switched to training on a flat collar with much better results (no leash corrections).
With my current GSD I am pretty sure the prong corrections her previous owners did made her dog reactivity a lot worse, and she does not do well with collar pressure/corrections (it lowers her threshold and makes her more likely to react) so I don't use them with her either.

I would not use any prong collar without some type of back up because they can definitely break apart when you least except it. This happened to me with my previous dog (once in a crowded parking lot on the way to training class) and after that I used a "safety strap". I took a very small thin training tab and hooked one end to the prong and the other to his tag-holding collar. This way if the prong ever comes loose the dog is still attached to the leash.
I actually found the quick release prong to be less likely to come apart because you aren't bending the links to get it on and off so they don't loosen up.
 
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