German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
quick question---

I had our intro dog obedience class last night (no dogs for the 1st class). The trainer recommened a prong collar for training. From what I've read here, prongs are not good for puppies. (Dakota is 6 months old) I've seen recommendations for Martingale collars here. Would that be a better option than a prong? I went to order one and there are 2 kinds, with and without the chain. not sure what kind to order???

FYI--Dakota has 'leash' issues, meaning he doesn't like it and will not come to me when I try to get it on him. We live in the country so he's off leash most of the time. I'm working on it and he's getting better. I'm just afraid if I would go with a prong, I'd never get it on him and he'd really not want to go for a walk. Are there any 'cons' to the martingales?

well, I guess it really wasn't a quick question after all. lol
thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,460 Posts
Hi there - Geez this will probably turn out to be a longgg discussion.


I have never heard of a trainer suggesting that you actually start a dog about to begin basic training (puppy or otherwise) with a pinch/prong collar. I'm older than white dog poo and have been through many iterations when it comes to collars and training methods. Our last three puppies were trained using positive reinforcement and a double loop or Greyhound collar. I have grown to love this type of collar. I've watched a friend of mine that works with shelter dogs bring around some pretty nasty individuals with the Greyhound collar and positive reinforcement.

Was the trainer, by any chance, suggesting the prong only to you because you own a GSD? If this is the case I would be leary - sounds as though there might be some issues there.

Good luck and enjoy your puppy!
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,967 Posts
I'm not sure I would start a prong on a 6 month old puppy. I've seen it done, but I don't think that's the way I would go.

I think we started letting Argos wear one at about 7 months (Of course keep in mind at that point he was 70 pounds) and that was just to get used to the feel of it. The leash was never attached to it for about a month, and then when it was we started out attaching the leash to both rings on the collar so it would tighten. And he wasn't the least bit sensitive to correction, so it didn't damage his confidence or willingness at all.

We always used a flat nylon collar, and you can still pop that for a correction if you need to. A Martingale is nice if you have a puppy that likes to back out of their collar, the way the martingale tightens up prevents that. I know a lot of people with Malinois who use them.

As far as leash issues, I would let Dakota drag a leash to desensitize him to it. In the house or the yard. They make leashes without the handle so that it doesn't catch on anything (Or you can just cut it off)If he wears a leash for a couple hours everyday, without necessarily being "controlled" it should become a more neutral object, like a collar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
Presumably, the trainer must have said something to the effect, "Use whatever kind of collar you want, I recommend a prong collar." I don't have experience with the Martingale's. Used properly, a prong collar can be a very effective tool. Just because the prongs are there doesn't mean you have to bury them a half inch into his neck. The leash issue thing might just be a manifestation of general hardheadedness. A leash, of any kind, represents restraint to a young knothead pup. Obedience training is for the purpose of him obeying you, whether he really wants to or not.
I'd talk to the trainer about your concerns. Ideally, we could train our dogs with a piece of yarn around their necks and I suppose there is something to be said for escalation of force, ie trying the least restrictive methods first. I'm sure the trainer has his reasons. See what he/she has to say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,040 Posts
Our class which starts this Sunday is only a flat collar (no pulling) or a harness (no pulling) for class, it is a positive class and you teach the dog through commands and praise and treats, not with pain and punishment or head jerking - Jesse is 6 months. I have been walking Jesse since he was 8 weeks old, I had him heeling at 14 weeks 2 walks a day were controlled and 1 walk a day was loose leash or loose. For the last month we now use just a harness, and a retractable, he knows he must heel on roads and sit at roadways and once in the park he gets loose leash walking (no pulling). We trained Jesse not to pull by doing the following: If he got out of a heel then I would stop and freeze, once he got back to me we would start again. He soon learned that if he wanted to go forward he must walk beside me. Same thing on retrackable, if he hits the end and pulls, I freeze in place and say nothing he has to walk back to me to continue on - first few days we didn't get far very fast but he caught on. I went to view another obedience class that I was thinking about but they use chockers and I viewed some nasty punishments in class and decided no way I want to be a part of that. I believe that with a GSD if you treat it with kind words encouragement, praise for doing good, ignore the bad or just say "no" and redirect you will get a wonderful trustworthy dog, if you treat it with abuse, nasty words, kick it, hit it, force it, you could end up with a untrustworthy dog. Just my two cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,460 Posts
Quote: I believe that with a GSD if you treat it with kind words encouragement, praise for doing good, ignore the bad or just say "no" and redirect you will get a wonderful trustworthy dog, if you treat it with abuse, nasty words, kick it, hit it, force it, you could end up with a untrustworthy dog. Just my two cents.
Ah - someone after my own heart!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
989 Posts
I have used a prong on a pup a little older than yours that pulled like a freight train. I clipped the leash to both the "O" and "D" rings and he was fine. This of course was done with the supervision of a trainer. There were no ill effects and he grew into a very happy stable dog. Prong collars are just a tool and like any tool they can be very effective or very cruel, it really depends on whose hands they are in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the feedback,
regarding the trainer suggesting a prong just because he's a gsd, that's not the case. She was suggesting a prong for every dog, and it was directed to the entire class.

I think I'll just see how it goes for the 1st class or 2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
Brenda,

I would spend some time working with your pup off leash with high value treats, real chicken or hot dogs to come to you and SIT then go away. Next come, sit and you put the leash on and then take it off and let the dog go away. Play the game of come and sit for food, lots of praise and slowly leave the leash on longer each time. Let him drag the lead around for a while. Could take some time to get your pups trust built up but I know it works. Before you know it the leash is the best thing ever to get a treat for. Then start training.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
we worked with beamer when she was 5-10 months with one of those chain chokers or whatever you call them, which was great for my husband cause he is a lot stronger than me but with me she pulled like crazy, so at 10 months when we started training after a couple classes he reccommeded me trying a prong, & it has worked great. he showed up exactly how to have her wear it & everything, & not to tug just pop quickly, & it has worked miracles. but we wouldn't have used it that early, seems too mean. & the martingale i was under the assumption they aren't for correction, but i could be wrong. beamer wears one as a regular collar because it can't break like snap ones & it's almost impossible for her to get off, but we've never used it as a training tool.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top