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So just for equal time and maybe so people can say why they use the prong in the other thread, and people can say other things they use in this thread without mixing them together...here we go...

I use my brain first and foremost of any tool. I watch the dog, try to figure out what motivates it, and then try to put myself in front of the dog as interesting and motivating.

Then I use the relationship - fun play, outings, time spent together doing things (or not doing things) and training.

For training a flat buckle collar is nice, and I use the Volhard Motivational Method for a lot of on leash stuff. I find it easier to get a dog to heel, then to not pull in a general walking situation and have to work on that!

I also use martingales - no slips.

I have decided I like the Easy Walk front clip harnesses. I am now working on this with a hound-lab mix puppy that I am fostering. Eeeyikes! Two types of dog fighting inside him!

How about you? :D
 

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When Karlo was young, I trained with no collar or leash. He was so engaged with me that there was no need. His recall was awesome as well. Because he never had a leash on, he has never, ever run off or not come when I call him. I used food and toys to keep his focus on me. Of course off the property we have to use a collar so I've used a flat collar. He is handler sensitive.
I never put a prong on him until he was about 14 months and use it only in protection training. And then I also have a fursaver attached to another line so the prong isn't the only collar being used.
Onyx has had a gentle leader, which she hated, so we went with
a front-clip sensations harness, which rubbed her because she was reactive, so I put a prong on her(attached to a tab leash) along with a flat(with her longer leash).
As she is over 90# and very strong, I do feel better with the prong when I need it. I don't want to use the prong when she is in a reactive mode because it will ramp her up. I use it mostly for correcting her when she continues to pull.

Kacie has done well on a no-slip martingale, she is also handler sensitive but will get reactive now and then with other dogs. The no-slip is all I've needed with her. When I first got her, my DH had re-adjusted her collar thinking it needed to be looser(we never have the collars on the dogs at home) and she slipped out of it on me at the pet store, busy roadway and luckily my son grabbed her scruff to keep her from running off. I learned my lesson to check the tightness that day!
 

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I use martingales. I have adjustable, quick release martingales for the growing puppies, and I have a smooth leather one for shows.

Voice to correct and to praise -- not a clicker fan because I would just drop it. I have them, but never managed to put time into doing it.

I saw a trainer at PetsMart (while I was watching my pup be groomed) with a clicker in one hand and treats, and a can of pennies in the other, confusing the heck out of this little mongrel.

I also like to cater what I do with a dog to that dog's strengths.

For example, Joy is 16 months old. She has been to obedience classes, agility classes, rally classes, and conformation classes. She is strong and athletic, I have not yet decided what I will do with her down the line, but I am getting a good idea of what she likes.

Babs on the other hand is an obedience dog. I have tried her on sheep and she did good with that. But agility would not be her thing at all.

Jenna was trained in agility, she is higher in energy, very athletic, and an escape artist, not afraid of anything.

I think you can pound a square dog into a round hole, but it is so much more fun to match the dog and handler to the activity.
 

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Well, I do use a prong for some things. And very rarely, the electric collar for some things. But also flat collars, martingales, fur savers (usually dead ring). Probably use the dead ring fur saver the most of any other collar. And Easy Walk harness with young dogs just going for walks.

Though probably 80-90% of obedience training is done completely off leash, or maybe with dragging a long line if a young dog in a situation where I want a safety net should the dog get interested in something.

Though the main tools for training are my voice, my attitude and my body language, lots of praise and verbal markers, lots of treats, the occasional toy, and with young dogs especially the clicker.
 

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I use the right tool for the dog and the behavior. I don't "last resort" to certain tools or use something "in place of" something else. If a tool is the right tool for the behavior, then that is what I use. So I don't use something "instead of" a prong. Most of my training is done with a combination of food and toy rewards completely off lead, either by luring or free shaping.
 

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Other than a prong collar for "maintenance" walks, not training, the only collar I can think of that gives control is the front clip harness(not putting e-collar into the mix;)

Too late to edit my other post, but I did use a harness(off property) on Karlo when he was little~ when he outgrew it, went to a flat.
 

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Though the main tools for training are my voice, my attitude and my body language, lots of praise and verbal markers, lots of treats, the occasional toy
110% ditto!!

I own everything - flat nylon, choke chain, fur saver, rolled leather, flat leather (protection type) and prongs - and I've used everything but the prong is always a last resort.

The only time I use it first is when I get a young adult dog that has never had training (mainly fosters). Then I use it just to keep some control while I work with food and toys.

I plan to purchase an electric collar for use with Mauser and Sasha. For Mauser it will be used to keep him from pouncing on Winnie when we take everyone out to the field. If I put him on leash then he waits until he gets into the field and pounces on her. If I put him out first and then bring her out - he lays in wait for her. When he was younger she would easily put him in his place. But now that he is bigger and she's starting to feel her age she just can't intimidate him like she used to. So, for HER safety I will use it to teach him to leave her alone.

For Sasha it will be used to break her of the habit of chasing cars and people that use the service road next to our property and to keep her from jumping the fence.
 

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Majority of training I use voice and food, off leash in the kitchen. In a class, I only have a leash on him because it is the rules. Use a prong in one class and a flat collar in agility.

Other tools include, clicker, ball on a rope, tug, harness, fur saver, and traffic lead.
 

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Hmm, this is interesting...while thinking of my reply to this thread, I realized that I use clickers with toys and food for the tracking and obedience phases (of Schutzhund), and an E-collar or prong collar for protection training.

And my newest bitch is continuing a trend started by Hunther of blowing the first two phases and getting high scores in protection. Her first attempt at SchH I was 70-65-96. Hunther's last trial scores were 53-77-93.

Any "purely positive" or "traditional" people want to chime in? :)

*Edit - I consider the 70 tracking score to be "blown" because the day before, she did a track that would have gotten her a 98. I should've videotaped it and shown it to the judge.
 

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Well, I do use a prong for some things. And very rarely, the electric collar for some things. But also flat collars, martingales, fur savers (usually dead ring). Probably use the dead ring fur saver the most of any other collar. And Easy Walk harness with young dogs just going for walks.

Though probably 80-90% of obedience training is done completely off leash, or maybe with dragging a long line if a young dog in a situation where I want a safety net should the dog get interested in something.

Though the main tools for training are my voice, my attitude and my body language, lots of praise and verbal markers, lots of treats, the occasional toy, and with young dogs especially the clicker.
This minus the e collar although it has been brought up in training (protection phase mostly).

Most if not all of my obedience training (unless where law mandates a leash is required) is done off leash.

For walks, I use a martingale and when Stark was 1 year old I started using a prong because he goes NUTS when he sees a squirrel. I only use the prong when he reacts to the squirrel though, the other times it is not attached to the leash.

When Stark was reactive to people (went through a phase for a few months where he barked at everyone) I used a head halti and it seemed to really help. I think it was the pressure over his muzzle that calmed and reassured him. I used it for a few weeks to a month and never had any issues since.

I did try a front clip harness but with Stark being so powerful in the chest area, he could easily drag me where he wanted to we vito'd that quickly and just went for the martingale and lots of praise, treats, toys, etc.
 

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We use the prong for heeling & teaching Ziva not to jump up. Everything else is done with her flat nylon collar.

This experience has taught me - the hard way - that (IMO) training pups is easier than a nearly adult rescue because we have absolutely no knowledge of her background & treatment. My Irish Setters were pups - as blank slates, I could teach them ANYthing. Began with a choker & it was flat collars until they died.

This gal is older - all we know is that someone was heavy-handed with her. Little bits of hot dog &/or chicken work best. And she LOVES the puzzles where you hide bits of food! Just don't be anywhere around her tail when she's working on one - had no idea her tail was so strong!:D Haven't tried the clicker yet - but am impressed with the video dogs...
 

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I think the tool I use that may be the most important is emotion. I think the trainer's emotion and the dog's emotion are very important to learning somehow.

I see so many people more concerned about the behaviors and the progress of it all and the emotional side of learning is often overlooked.

Emotion is so important, that bringing a bad feeling in the dog or handler to the training can mess up things long term.
 

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My tools....

Well my tool used to be the prong collar. Strictly the prong collar and strictly compulsion methods. Until I realized that I had a dog that would only obey when I had the prong collar on.

So, off to a new trainer, and my "tools" are now her frisbee, her ruffwear egg, real meat for treats (cookies just aren't high value enough). My next tool is developed patience to know when to withhold the reward instead of saying "oh good enough" And my last new tool is my education in training. :)

I have an e-collar. That I use when we're outside because if a loose dog goes by she suddenly feels the need to get in their face. I don't use that while training commands for a correction. I'm hoping that she isn't so soured on the prong collar that we can't use it in higher level training for tweaking the commands but if not, then I can use the e-collar.
 

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I agree with that Samba. I think many GSD owners feel their dogs are so "powerful and intimidating" that they are a bit fearful of them. This is not the ones doing sport training, but the ones that get a GSD because they like the looks of the breed then don't know how to handle such a smart dog.
Then the other side of that is when handlers get frustrated because they aren't getting thru to the dog, so anger or stress runs down the leash.
When I was training at my last club, I wasn't getting much support with obedience training and my confidence level was really low. It showed in the way my dog engaged with me, he checked out often. After switching clubs it was much better(that and the new field didn't bring the bad vibes that we were getting at my old club)
 

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Dogs read emotion exquisitely. I am hardly ever happier than when training a dog. Almost everything they do makes me smile. I work with them in such a way that often the tail is wagging the entire obedience work. The dogs really do feel what you are sending out of your emotional center. At many classes I see dogs working and they are not in a great place emotionally either. They aren't happy, bounding into the work and pushing for more. Not so effective, that.
 

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Our training group has started training inside recently(doggy daycare/training building). There were pics of them doing obedience and a few of the dogs were caught yawning...releasing stress.
The venue that you train in can also trigger stress(between the scents and sounds it can overwhelm), when we go to new places not too much pressure is put on the dog so they feel comfortable with it.
 

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that checking out, stress yawning, used to be Jax. Now I'm more relaxed, having fun with her and not getting frustrated with her not understanding what I want so she's much happier and more engaged. Which was my whole reason for finding a new way to train.

I absolutely agree with Samba. Jax is very sensitive to my moods. I never realized how much until I was working with her once last week. I've been incredibly stressed from work but didn't realize how much until I noticed Jax was completely shut down that night. So I just stopped, tossed the ball a couple of times for her and went back to work. :)
 

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For training I use what is appropriate for the dog at the time and what I feel will work best for what I am trying to achieve. So, other than a pinch, I also use my voice, a flat buckle collar, fur-saver or e-collar in obedience; my voice, heavy and wide leather agitation color, harness or e-collar for protection; and the fur-saver or my voice in tracking (or harness if I were to do AKC). For trialing the dogs must wear a fur-saver. For every day walking I usually just put a fur-saver on them or the pinch. I also use food and toys in training.
 
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