Boxer Crazy

Behavior and Training => Problem Behaviors => Topic started by: blynn03 on March 19, 2007, 08:11:24 PM

Title: Another Collar Question
Post by: blynn03 on March 19, 2007, 08:11:24 PM
In the other thread, someone mentioned a prong collar.  What exactly is this (I think I know, but I'm not sure), and have any of you used it successfully?  What other kinds of training collars are there besides the electric ones Heather mentioned (I don't want to go that route).

I have a lot of trouble with Bella pulling on the leash when other people or dogs are around...she tries to hard to get to them that she chokes herself sometimes.

Advice?
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Theresa on March 19, 2007, 08:13:30 PM
I use a choke collar.  It's good for me because Beas goes to conformation classes. 

A prong collar is a collar that pinches his skin if he pulls...it doesnt hurt if properly fitted
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: BoxerPerson on March 19, 2007, 08:15:59 PM
How about a no pull harness?  I use a choke collar too for training, but then I use a regular one after the pup no longer dislocates my arm!
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Little*Man on March 19, 2007, 08:27:59 PM
I use a prong collar, and it works very well for Owen.  He doesn't pull on walks, so I don't use it daily.. But when I know there will be a lot of excitment/dogs around, I put the prong collar on Owen, and he behaves (most of the time lol).  If properly used, and you educate yourself on how/when to use them, they are a great, and they don't hurt your dog.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: steph0808 on March 19, 2007, 08:29:00 PM
What are your guys' feelings on the combo collars from Lupine?

Here's a pic and description:

(http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w205/stephstupic2/combocollar.jpg)

"A wonderful dual-action collar for walking or training and the only design for greyhounds and similar dogs that back out of regular collars. Rated the Top Pick by a national canine publication. Martingale-style with an additional sewn-in D-ring so it can be used either as a limited-slip choker or as a regular flat collar."

Do you think this would be a good collar for training Brody to walk nicely on lead and such?
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Sophia Sadeyes on March 19, 2007, 10:23:16 PM


Do you think this would be a good collar for training Brody to walk nicely on lead and such?

I think that acts pretty much like the chain ones  but not as strong. I think Brody is too young for that, I would be worry it would hurt him. Maybe try the no pull harness (with the d ring in the front)like the halti brand or premier brand ones. They are about 25 bucks and are pretty adjustable so he won't out grow it in a week.

Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: BoxerPerson on March 19, 2007, 10:25:51 PM
I have the lupine, and I am not as impressed with it for training as I thought I would be, that is why I went back to a choker.  But the lupine does work when the pup is trained and you no longer need the choker or prong if you used one.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: steph0808 on March 19, 2007, 10:33:23 PM
Maybe I will pick up a choke collar for Jax.  We really need to work on him walking nicely on a leash - all he does is pull and pull because he's not used to being on a leash. 

What would you guys suggest for Brody? I would like to get him started young so that way walking nicely on lead becomes a habit as he gets older.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: BoxerPerson on March 19, 2007, 10:43:45 PM
If he is used to a colar, get the lupine to start off with, you can always get  a choker if it doesn't work for you, they are pretty cheap, not the lupine, but the choker.  If you don't like the collar idea, a harness works too,  Phoebe uses a harness or the lupine.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Bers on March 20, 2007, 08:44:14 AM
First of all, I wouldn't put a training collar on any puppy under 6 months of age. They are just too easy to control, you don't need a training collar and there are so many great ideas for training loose leash walking that don't include training devices, which I think can become a barrier between the handler and the dog, and also a crutch in place of teaching the proper behavior. But the trick is that you have to work at the behavior you want, because in most cases it isn't going to occur spontaneously.

As far as training collars go, my research leads me to believe that choke chains have the most potential to do harm. They are difficult to use properly and they exert pressure in one small concentrated area in the front of the neck. One study showed that dogs who regularly wore a choke chain had evidence of broken bones in their necks. A prong collar, while it looks worse than a choke chain, is actually the safer and easier choice, as it automatically puts even pressure around the neck when the dog pulls. The lupine collars I am not familiar with, but it seems they work on the same premise as the choke chain, although maybe a better design and safer for the dog, judging by the look of the thing.

But the most important thing to remember in any case is that these are training devices, not long term solutions to problem behaviors. I have used head and chest harnesses for training with my dogs, but for the most part have progressed to walking on flat nylon collars, although I confess that I don't walk my dogs nearly as much as I used to. But I found that the biggest factor was practice and consistency in training, not the device we were using.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Shaeward on March 20, 2007, 09:35:55 AM
In the other thread, someone mentioned a prong collar.  What exactly is this (I think I know, but I'm not sure),

http://www.cobankopegi.com/prong.html

Quote
and have any of you used it successfully?

Yes, on every Boxer I've had. I usually start my puppies' formal, on leash ob training out on a prong (at about 12 wks). If I work as I should, they're off the prong by about 6 months of age. Some go back on it once they hit the teenage stage but it doesn't last for long if I continue to work with them as I should (honestly, if I'm not taking classes with them I tend to slack off on training a lot).

Quote
What other kinds of training collars are there besides the electric ones Heather mentioned (I don't want to go that route).

Chokes are considered training collars as well...but I'd much prefer a prong over a choke (I can't help to cringe when I see someone using a choke collar for training).

Quote
I have a lot of trouble with Bella pulling on the leash when other people or dogs are around...she tries to hard to get to them that she chokes herself sometimes.

I'd recommend getting her in classes. Not only will this be great for Bella but if you're thinking of using any training collar, you want to make sure you have been properly trained on how to use it before attempting to do so. Classes with an experienced trainer are perfect for this. Most do not use training collars correctly unless they've been taught by someone experienced in the proper way to use them before hand. I can't tell you how many times I've see chokes on backwards, prongs dangling around a dog's neck, improper corrections being given when using a training collar, etc. etc. If a training collar is not used properly not only can it cause harm, it's pretty much useless as well.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Newcastle on March 20, 2007, 10:46:39 AM
Just a quick comment on the Lupine combo collars - they are not really 'training' collars like chokes or prongs are, in that you're not meant to give corrections with them.  They're 'non-training training' collars like flat nylon buckle collars are, to be used with positive-reinforcement, non-compulsion training (i.e., no corrections).  I like the Lupine combos, because they tighten enough that the dog can't slip out of them, but not so much that they 'choke' the dog. 

Just remember: collars must be used properly, any collar has the potential to cause serious damage; and collars are tools, not crutches - the goal is to teach the dog the behavior even without the collar.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: LauniBug on March 20, 2007, 10:49:06 AM
We use the prong collar on all 3 dogs and it works very well. None of them pull at all anymore. I love it!
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: linz and ellie on March 20, 2007, 10:59:18 AM
OMG, i just searched the prong collar on google as i didnt know what it was, i was not expecting it to look like that. It looks like some sort of torture device.

I currently use the Halti Dog Harness designed by Dr Roger Mugford. You steer the dog from the chest, it seems to work for me.
(http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q71/lindseyandellie/489.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Bugsys Mom on March 20, 2007, 11:00:17 AM
We used a prong collar on Zeus when we first got him.  It is a wonderful training tool if used correctly.  He got to the point where he just needed to have the collar on with no leash and he would do a perfect heel and 100% reliable recall.  I hesitate to use it on Bugsy though becuase he is so much more sensitive than Zeus.  The training methods do not need to be as hard as they were for Zeus.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Bugsys Mom on March 20, 2007, 11:01:23 AM
OMG, i just searched the prong collar on google as i didnt know what it was, i was not expecting it to look like that. It looks like some sort of torture device.

I currently use the Halti Dog Harness designed by Dr Roger Mugford. You steer the dog from the chest, it seems to work for me.
(http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q71/lindseyandellie/489.jpg)
It doesn't hurt the dog if properly fitted and properly used.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Bers on March 20, 2007, 11:29:18 AM
Quote
We use the prong collar on all 3 dogs and it works very well. None of them pull at all anymore. I love it!

Just wondering - did you use it as a training tool to teach loose leash walking? Or are you still using it?
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: boxer pal on March 20, 2007, 11:33:05 AM
We had a 20 minute lecture on proper training collars and leashes at our class last night.  Our trainer passed around the 'good' and the 'no so good' types.  She really likes prong collars, but recommends not using the largest ones on ANY dog.  She said she'd rather see people put two of the smaller pronged collars together as they are more supple and will allow better points of contact than the ones with the largest prongs. Ann called prong collars 'power steering' for your dog.  She also told us she's not crazy about nylon collars or leashes as they do not transmit energy from the handler to the dog as well.  When they show their German Shepards, they use little skinny 1/8" leather leashes since she feels this shows the dog is working essentially without the use of a leash and yet allows her to 'feel' the dog.  I was surprised and fascinated by all this info!
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: LauniBug on March 20, 2007, 11:34:33 AM
Quote
We use the prong collar on all 3 dogs and it works very well. None of them pull at all anymore. I love it!

Just wondering - did you use it as a training tool to teach loose leash walking? Or are you still using it?

It is currently used as a training tool for Dex and Mowgli. Dex is getting pretty good without it now.

We still use it on Madden (almost 2 years old), because he is uncontrollable when walking without it, but is a perfect angel with it.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: LauniBug on March 20, 2007, 11:40:30 AM
BTW  We use the smallest size prong collar on all the dogs. I got a larger one for Dex, but ended up returning it because the small one worked very well.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Renee on March 20, 2007, 11:40:49 AM
This Clothier article goes over prongs in great detail:
http://www.flyingdogpress.com/prong.html

Quote
She said she'd rather see people put two of the smaller pronged collars together as they are more supple and will allow better points of contact than the ones with the largest prongs.

That's how I do it.  I ONLY use herm sprengers, but if the ever come out with one for toy breeds (J&J Makes one) I'd use 3-4 strung together.

Quote
When they show their German Shepards, they use little skinny 1/8" leather leashes since she feels this shows the dog is working essentially without the use of a leash and yet allows her to 'feel' the dog.  


I agree 100%...all of my training leashes are shoestring thin.  



Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: linz and ellie on March 20, 2007, 11:42:55 AM
Can you get prong collars in the UK?
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Bugsys Mom on March 20, 2007, 11:54:18 AM
Great article Renee.  of course this means I have to tell Todd he was right again. :embarassed:
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Newcastle on March 20, 2007, 11:58:19 AM
I suspect not; I know they're illegal in Australia, and I'd guess the UK has followed the same line.  (How on earth do they teach dogs to walk on a loose leash in those countries, I wonder!?  :P )

I was told prongs were 'power steering for dogs', as well, and spent quite some time discussing the proper use of one on Linus when he was taking a training class.  It worked not one iota - he pulled just as badly with the prong as without.  (Happily for me, as I had to figure out another way to teach him and learned I didn't need to use corrections at all. :) )  Most dogs generally will work to avoid a correction with a prong, but be aware that for some of them, it's just not unpleasant enough to change their behavior.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Hanna Banana on March 20, 2007, 12:21:35 PM
OMG Renee - love your new avatar of the new little girl! So Cute

Ok done hijacking!
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Carolyn on March 20, 2007, 12:25:44 PM
Couple of additional comments from my own perspective:

1. Amber is correct-> any collar or training device is just a crutch to help the handler get a better handle on the situation until the dog is properly trained. No training device is a "solution" to any bad behaviors. Just a crutch.

2. The "Lupine" collars are what is commonly known as "Greyhound Collars" or "Limited Slip Collars" or "Martingales"   I strongly encourage ANYONE with a dog to use these in place of regular collars. If fitted properly (and most trainers and greyhound rescues will help you with that) They provide a measure of safety for your dog. They will tighten down enough to keep the dog from slipping out of the collar but not enough to choke the dog. And yes they are perfectly acceptable for puppies. Actually since puppies grow in-and-out of their collars so fast, I think martigales are the best. Nothing like seeing a puppy with a collar that is 2in too big get scared and bolt :eek: It is very scary.......martingales will not damage the dog (if fitted properly) but they do not offer the "right" amount of "corrections" if you are using them as a training collar. My trainer though does prefer that the owner use a martingale rather than a flat buckle collar if the person is against prong or training collars.

3. Choke Chains and Training Collars are the same device. I have spent many years seeing how "Choke chains" are applied in training (jerk/pull method) and agree that the risk of damage to the dog is VERY high. But I have also seen them used as a "Training Collar", Where the handler does very little if no corrections but is still able to get the point across. But again they are just tools to help you acheive a goal, no the goal itself.

4. There was a scientific study done in Germany on the prolonged use (again another hit for the "crutch" only theroy ;) ) of choke chains and prong collars. It found that dogs that had used choke chains over a life time suffered from an increase in damage to the neck area, both musculature and bones. Also they found that the damage to the neck from using a prong collar was minimal and about equal to a standard flat buckle collar.   But again both the choke chain and prong collars are crutches and therefore are not designed for long term exposure or use.

5. If using a prong collar, you should have a 2nd leash attached to a slip collar or choke chain on, the "prongs" have been known to snap open, thereby releasing your dog. :eek:

6. Prong collars are not the most ideal though for any type of "sensitive" corrections, They work by appling pressure around the neck at all times. Thereby giving the dog constant signals, for those with a more "subtle" touch on training, they would not work very well due to the constant feedback that they are giviing. You need to keep this in mind (that they give constant feedback) when using them and adjust your training methods to accomodate that issue.

All that being said: I firmly believe that the best solution is to use what ever works best for you and your dog with the least amount of "correction" for your dog. My male can literally handle and sometimes needs more "strength" in his corrections, my female due to her health doesnt need as much "strength" for corrections. There are dogs that are totally devastated with a dirty look and some that make you re-think (just for a moment) that alpha rolls might be helpful ::)  (seems like the later usually end up in my home ::) )
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: steph0808 on March 20, 2007, 12:38:13 PM
Carolyn - thanks for the advice - that was an excellent post. I am definitely going to consider all the collars before deciding what is best for my pups.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Renee on March 20, 2007, 12:55:04 PM
6. Prong collars are not the most ideal though for any type of "sensitive" corrections, They work by appling pressure around the neck at all times. Thereby giving the dog constant signals, for those with a more "subtle" touch on training, they would not work very well due to the constant feedback that they are giviing. You need to keep this in mind (that they give constant feedback) when using them and adjust your training methods to accomodate that issue.

Can you expand on that?  Having such an overall opposite experience, I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean.

Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Carolyn on March 20, 2007, 01:39:15 PM
Can you expand on that?  Having such an overall opposite experience, I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean.

Ok, the premise of the prong collar is to apply even "pressure" around the dogs neck at all times. If you tend to follow the "clothier" method with tiny vibrational taps on the leash for corrections, the prong collar isnt going to work in that case. Also, collar corrections are difficult for the dog to understand when using a prong collar since they are being stimulated all the time by the collar. A properly fitted prong collar will have all the "prongs" touching the neck at all times, The "slip" part in the back is for if you need to apply a correction then the "prongs" tighten a bit more on the neck, evenly over the neck. So in a physical sense, you are distributing the "correction" over a larger surface area, thereby reducing the "strength" of the correction.

Ok, so imagine that a handler isnt too keen on administering a firm corrections, then the dog isnt going to be able to tell the difference between the stimuli it is getting normally and any "corrections", to use a prong collar the stimuli you send (i.e. the corrections) have to be strong enough to be distinctly different than the constant stimuli that the dog is getting from the collar. So if you have a softer touch in training, you will not see an advantage to using a prong collar. Actually if you have a soft touch in training, then a slip collar (either nylon or metal (choke chain)) would work best. But if you tend to be a bit "heavy handed" in the corrections department the prong might work best since it distributes the pressure evenly over the neck.

Point being though, these are crutches for the handler not the dog ;)  You should choose the one that gets the best results, which is very dependent on how you train and how you apply corrections. Another good reason to go to an obedience class and have a qualified professional critique your style and give hints on what training device would work best for your style and the dog's responsivity.
Title: Re: Another Collar Question
Post by: Renee on March 20, 2007, 02:23:31 PM
Quote
Ok, the premise of the prong collar is to apply even "pressure" around the dogs neck at all times. If you tend to follow the "clothier" method with tiny vibrational taps on the leash for corrections, the prong collar isnt going to work in that case.


I'm not sure I understand that, it distributes even pressure, but I would think that it's too tight if it's correcting the dog all the time (?)  I've followed the "clothier method" with prongs for a long time, had great results, so it's just odd for me to read that it doesn't work, when in my experience, it works well.

Quote
A properly fitted prong collar will have all the "prongs" touching the neck at all times,


Don't all collars touch the neck at all times?

That sort of reminds me of using shark lines for off-lead transition, as though I can somehow "fool" my dog into believing they are not on leash.  If *I* can feel the leash, and depend on it to read my dog, I suppose I would have to believe my dog is equally aware of what's going on.

Quote
So if you have a softer touch in training, you will not see an advantage to using a prong collar.

I respect your opinion, but I'm sorry, I believe that a soft touch is necessary to using one effectively, and that often, I can get a dog owner to ease up on the corrections they were previously using with other collars, which is why like using them - I can get more out of a dog using less force, which gets the ball rolling in my direction to help someone train their dog. 

Especially when you point out to someone that the dog is on the dead ring, and the prongs aren't tightening like they thought...then it's easier to flip the collar and go from there...

Different strokes I guess...