What collar did you use?

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Joined: 2008-12-15

I have been reading a lot about different dog training collars and I think I am going to go with a prong collar.  Of coarse I am not going to start till he is 6 months old.  What have you guys used when training?

Soleil's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-04

I don't remember when it is appropriate to use the prong collar so make sure your do you research before you start, six months seems kinda soon....  If you can train your dog young to walk on the lead you may never need to use it.  I used the prong with my Dobie girl, but only after I tried just about everything else. She had learned to walk nicely on the leash and then as she got older she became a bit rebellious... and the flat collar did not stand a chance, she ignored the choke chain completely, she learned how to escape the head halter in about two minutes.  It was only after she dragged my boyfriend on a walk a few feet because she saw a bunny did I upgrade.  :-[ I enlisted the aid of a trainer for help with the walk and he recommended it. We had about an hour plus lesson on checking the fit and practicing the walk and showing me how to do correction, and general obedience and to help me get comfortable with it.  I think they are great.  No need to pull or jerk the dogs neck.  But as a warning expect people to comment on it and how cruel it is.  My personal favorite criticism comes from fellow dog owners, they tend to be walking a lab (or some other "soft" breed)at the time who yell at me for my barbaric collar for my poor dog and how i should be arrested for animal cruelty, this is while their dog is practically hanging itself on the flat or choke collar.  >:(  and you hear it wheezing from about a mile away.  This is happening while my dog is at my side with a loose lead that I can lightly hold without any effort.  So if you choose to go with the prong it is a great tool...make sure you know how to use it properly and EXPECT criticism, or at least dirty looks for your choice.  GOOD LUCK!

Joined: 2008-12-15

thanks for the awesome explanation
i really appreciate it and yes i am already hearing people's false remarks like "that is a medieval torture device!!!"

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Good advice Soleil. It comes down to your particular dog when determining a collar. Some dogs are very insensitive to physical correction, so would benefit from a prong collar. Some are highly sensitive and shouldn't even have a pinch collar. And some lie in between.

Starting early is a good idea. And I'm glad you have that 6-month rule in mind because puppies react very differently, counter productively, before this time.

And as Soleil humorously put it - a prong collar is much healthier, safer, and more responsible than allowing a dog to strangle its self pulling.  :D

Hey Soleil, ever consider downing your prong collar with pink fur so it looks less scary and thus acceptable to your neighborhood "animal cruelty specialists"?

Soleil's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-04

NO but I should Horse, or wrap it with part of pink feather boa... then I could fun around calling my girl ridiculous names life Fluffy and see what they say then.  If I do I will post a picture for fun.  ;D  Since my girl is such a goof ball i don't think it would damage her self-image. 

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Keith, I would only use the prong collar as an absolute last resort. My late sister used on with her Doberman female (out of one of my litters) after she nearly dragged her into traffic. I have never had the occasion to use one. As a matter of fact, around the house, my dogs have no collars.

Start working with you pup young and reward him when he does good. Make a big deal of him doing right, and give him gentle disapproval when he does wrong. Do not succumb to the temptation to yell at him. Dobes are very sensitive and will do anything to please you. They are very easy to train and very intelligent.

Be prepared for a four legged black shadow, for he will want to be with you all the time. Use that to train him to stay with you. When you put the first collar on him he will not like it, but will become accustomed to it quickly. In fact I would start with a puppy collar quickly. It also would not hurt to use a lightweight leash early on to get him accustomed to it as well. I once had to use a thin (1/4" round braided) lease that my late sister used on her Schnauzer to take my Dobe to the vet. Slight tugs on a flat collar were all that were necessary. The collar and lease are the signaling device, not the controlling device. The controlling device is how you train your dog.

A lot of praise and a few treats go a long way. It's also important to keep a close eye on him and the instant he starts to put his nose down, sniffs and get that "stiff legged walk" pick him up and carry him outside. Very quickly he will get the idea that grass is normal and good, and carpet is bad.

I would also recommend that you watch "It's me or the Dog" on Animal Planet. Victoria is very good and points out a lot of neat training tidbits. She may yell at the humans, but never the dogs, and with a little work the owners have a happier life. Keep in mind the households she starts with are extreme examples of poor training.

lil kali's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-15

I've been wondering about collars too. My puppy is 3 1/2 months old and she doesn't know how to walk.  I have her in puppy classes and we're supose to work on walking with a loose leash.  Ha Ha Everything is go go go for only 19 weeks she very strong and about drags me everywhere we go. HELP

rgreen4's picture
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While watching Animal Planet's Animal Cops about the NY ASPCA, I have noted that they have a choke collar that is unique. Instead of the metal links pulling through a ring (which sometimes pinch or hang up), they have two rings on the top and the lead attached to a third ring on a loop of nylon in between the two rings. The collar tightens upward.

Recently when purchasing new puppy collar and lease for my new puppy, I found similar collars at Pet Smart.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2751399

I also got one of these to use when I start working with Princess, although it's a little early (she's only 9 wks old). You don't put constant pressure on them as they get accustomed to it. You give sharp tugs to get their attention. You do need to get control now before she becomes too big and accustomed to not having control. Be gentle as even though she is over 4 months, she is still fragile and sensitive.

One trick that Victoria on "It's me or the Dog" is once the dog get out in front is to turn around and go the other way. They have a tendency to want to lead and this puts them back behind, and disrupts their timing.

lil kali's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-15

Thanks, I do have one of these collars. I'll give it a try with the going the other direction. She is very strong and everything is a distraction, the birds, other dogs, the wild rabbits, a leaf blowing, the snow, she is so curious and (ha)  NOSEY.  She's such a good girl though she loves being with us. Going for rides in the van and loves to play. Very watchful of my two girls, she has to know where they are and what their doing. Thanks again

I've found with training my Doberman puppies that most of them we have started under the prong collar. You have to know the PROPER way to use this collar before even putting it on the dog. With puppies as well as my adult dogs I use the BABY pinch links not the large ones you see in most stores. Do be prepared for dirty looks when using this. The point is it is far more humane to use this type of collar IN THE CORRECT MANNER than a choke or buckle collar. You can do more damage letting your young or adult dogs pull and pull on other collars such as the choke or buckle than using a prong in an appropriate way. I'm including a wonderful Utube video that I ran across demonstrating an fantstic way of teaching your dog not to pull regardless of what collar you use. A friend of mine actually first brought this type of training to my attention and it does work wonders when done just like this video demonstrates. Here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC3hK887I8E I've personally watched several of this particular persons training methods and highly recommend watching any utube videos she puts out. http://www.rnddobwermans.net

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Rather than use a prong collar for a dog that is difficult to control, I would think that the new head collar would be a better choice, because if the dog pulls, the dog's nose is pulled around. No choking, no prongs pushing into the dogs neck.

eileennellie's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-21

I tried a prong collar on my female dobie, Paris, after we tried a regular choke collar, 3 different harnesses and a head collar. She was DRAGGING me on walks, despite being well behaved in every other aspect. The prong collar worked the first time we tried it, and even now, over a year later, I still get tugged around quite a bit if we don't use it even one time. She does not seem to mind it at all, which is a major point for us. The Halti Head Collar drove her nuts, as it made some areas on her face sore and irritated, even when she only wore it for short periods of time. I made sure it was fitted on her properly, but that thing was just awful for her no matter what. I love how the prong collar has worked, and she gets excited to go out the second she hears me pick it up. Much nicer than the game of hide-and-seek we played when I would pick up the head collar!

Again the pinch collar is a tool and while my dogs were started on these I expect my dogs to take walks in public without them and not pull me down the road. If using the methods that are taught in the utube video that is listed in my last post you will not need the prong collar. My dogs are frequently walked through extremely busy show grounds with dogs everywhere and when properly trained should not pull you. Like anything the Doberman is so smart that they know when the prong is on or off and will take advantage of it that is why the basics are so important to instill in your dog. If anyone wants to know the best method of training a young dog to not pull please see the video below. This particular trainer uses a clicker but I have had success with the same method without a clicker.

Dabbles's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-20

I might have more time than y'all so take this with a grain of salt.  I've started taking Brinks into the yard (back or front - I have him on a 30' training lead) & let him "get the kinks" out before we go for a walk.  At 3-1/2 months old he gets distracted by everything[u][/u]

rmarc71's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-02

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Just bought a "Halt" collar (one of the nose collars) for my dobie last night.  Had put it on her this evening in prep for taking her for a walk.  In the time it took for my wife to tell me how her day went, Taína had managed to get a piece of it in her mount and chewed through it.

Sigh.

R. Marc

BlueNemo's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-22

For leash breaking, a flat 1" buckle collar. Fo puppy training, a choke chain. I only use a prong as a last resort, and the gentle leader/halti headcollars, while its true they work, the dogs hate them.

For dogs of ANY age that are pulling you everywhere, I used the Koeheler method and it WORKS!!!

Get a 15' nylon training leash and put it on your dog with a choke chain. Go into a big space, hold the HANDLE (no other part of the leash) in your right hand with your thumb through the hand loop and the loop running down through your closed fist, held against your stomach or chest. Set your eyes on a marker (i.e., tree, rock, etc.) at least 100 ft away, and start walking. DONT look at your dog, DONT talk to your dog, DONT give any little tugs. By doing this you're asking their permission to walk. Dont ask, just WALK. If your dog runs ahead of you, immediately turn and walk the opposite direction briskly, with NO signal to your dog that you are going to do it. He will hit the end of the leash, and depending on his size, get flipped end over end, yelping in surprise.
*Keep in mind here, you did not give him a leash correction, he corrected himself by not watching you*
If he runs ahead again, repeat your performance, turn sharply and walk the other way, letting him hit the end of the leash again. Keep doing this until your dog is keeping an eye on you. Do this every day for one week, after a few days at home or in a big feild, move into a more active area, more distractions. Keep doing what I've told you, in more and more distracting areas, until your dog sees every temptation (squirrel, cat, dog on leash, kids running, etc) as a cue to watch you, if he doesn't, there will be one of those unexpected about turns resulting in him getting jerked or flipped around.  When you can't get his attention off you no matter what the distraction, graduate to a 6 ft leash, but keep the same principles. Hold only the handle, treat it like your lunge line. If he runs ahead, quickly about-turn and walk the other way, flipping your dog around. It will only take a couple lessons for him to figure out that the regular leash is not a cue to go back to his old habits of pulling you around like he's qualifying for the iditerod. If you do this, and it works for you (if it doesn't, you're doing something wrong) let me know and I'd be happy to take you to the next step of teaching the heel, the right way.

Good luck!

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Ouch. It does not take a Dobie long to destroy a lead or a collar if they get it in their mouth. Obviously, allowing one self to be distracted will allow the the dog to wreck havoc in any circumstances, especially when trying to get a young one settled down. She probably used a paw to move it off her nose while it was slack.

AlphaAdmin's picture
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:) I had that happen before with a puppy in the car. Leash was fine when we left. Two minutes later....

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Yeah, earlier this evening Princess came running into the living room (3 minutes after she had run out) proudly brandishing her leash which had been sitting on her crate. Then she laid down and I managed to get to it before she went to work on it. She losing puppy teeth and getting her permanent teeth now. She has a nice set of front ones and her canines are coming in. She loves to chew on almost anything I don't get away from her.