prong collars

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Roara
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prong collars

Post by Roara » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:00 pm

Just came across one of these the other day and they look absolutely hideous.

What on earth would anyone want to buy and use one for????? :shock:

Paul&Muttley

Post by Paul&Muttley » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:59 pm

They really look much worse than they are. If properly made (with rounded points), and if properly fitted (they are limited by a Martingale type chain), and when properly used (only occasional quick tugs), on a dog with a powerfully constructed neck, they cause less damage than even an ordinary flat collar and certainly less than an unrestricted choker chain collar.

You can test a prong collar by attaching it to your arm or leg (or even your neck), and pulling on it with various degrees of force and timing. Unless you yank hard or otherwise abuse it, you will find that it causes only minimal and temporary discomfort. It is supposed to be used only to get the dog's attention, and some dogs are oblivious to anything less. My own dog Muttley does not even respond to the prong collar, but some dogs are more sensitive and it can be helpful.

However, the philosophy of positive training methods as promoted here generally reject any sort of physical correction, and in most cases I agree with that. If your dog can be conditioned to pay attention to you by becoming accustomed to a reward, then you may only need to issue a verbal command or sound or even a hand signal for the dog to respond.

If the dog is distracted enough that he/she is lunging and needs to be physically restrained, the safest means is probably a harness which does not exert pressure on the neck, or a Martingale which is made from a wide flat material and is limited so as not to constrict too tightly, and only enough to keep the dog from slipping out of the collar.

There have been discussions of this in the past. I think one should consider all the pros and cons of each tool and choose what works best with the minimal chance of injury to the dog as well as the assurance of safe and effective control.

MaiasMom
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Pronged Collars

Post by MaiasMom » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:13 pm

I agree if use properly they can be very effective with a dog that ignores you. quick tug and then go in the other direction. Kai can get a bit to focused on things and a quick gentle tug gets his attention but when it's just his regular collar he sometimes ignores me. I have to use it less these days as he is a smart little thing, got the idea very quickly. Always use with caution however especially on small dogs.
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ckranz
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Post by ckranz » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:49 pm

Prong collars are another punative training device. Punative training focus on causing pair or discomfort until the dog performs the required task. In the case of prong collars for teaching leash walking. If the dog will not walk in the proper position a quick tug or pop is used to cause discomfort and repeated until the dog is walking correctly.

The forum here is oriented towards positive reinforcement which instead of punishing what is wrong is based upon rewarding what is right. If any thing is rewarded it is likely to be repeated, the higher the reward the more likely the behavior will be repeated.

For leash walking marking and rewarding a dog when the pass through the correct walking area serves to create a strong desire to walk where the rewards are given. Walking rewards should always be delivered where you want the dogs head positioned.

In all cases I have found absolutely no need for any punative measures for teaching a dog to walk nicely on a leash. Most problems are because owners advance too quickly in adding distractions when walking (I am guilty of this as well)

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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:14 pm

I agree ckranz.

I'm going to sound like a broken record because I feel like I've said this several times especially in the last week, but I used a prong on my boy about 3-4 weeks after we brought him home from the shelter. A free training class encouraged me to use it, I didn't know from positive training and punishment based training so I did what I was told. My dog walked nicely next to me but once in a while when I did a correction he would jump up and try to claw at me. The trainer took the leash from me and proceeded to wrestle with my dog until he "submitted" - he told me that my dog didn't respect me, "You don't exist to your dog". My dog was just trying to tell me he was in pain is what it was.

Anyway as I didn't know better I continued to use it because it worked and he walked by my side outside of class. But he carried his head and tail very low and looked miserable, not to mention afraid any time he saw me coming with the prong collar.

A few months later I found this forum. I ditched the prong collar by this time but it had taken me weeks to come to my senses. After several more months of trial and error and going from one management tool to another, it finally clicked in my thick skull that I had to show my dog how to walk nicely on leash, not depend on no-pull harnesses to reel him back in when he got to the end of the leash. I used the method described in the "sticky" post in Methods and in less than two weeks my boy was polite on leash. I still have a no-pull harness because he's a lunger at cats and squirrels so the harness is for the occasional emergency. But I bring high-value treats on all our walks until he's 99.9% reliable on leash. It's taken me a long time to get here, but if I can do it without a prong really anyone can.

And I disagree that it's ok to use on a dog that ignores you. I think with the right reward a dog will pay attention, especially when distractions are added at the right rate. Not everyone has the patience and perseverance, goodness knows I am bad at it more often than I am good. That's why it's taken me so long to get my dog to the level where he is. But thanks to finding the positive methods described on this forum I now have a dog walking next to me whose body is relaxed and whose face looks happy and holds his body proudly, not one who looks shut down and depressed.

Fundog
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Post by Fundog » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:42 pm

I was delighted to read on the rules sign at our newly opened dog park that prong collars and choke chains are prohibited, and considered "dangerous" by our local animal control. The park rules require that these items be removed from our dogs before releasing them into the park, for the safety of everyone.

Leigha
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Post by Leigha » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:49 pm

I think they are at our park too--just like food, treats, cigarettes, and alcohol. Unfortunately people at ours don't follow the rules :(

GoofyDog2
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Post by GoofyDog2 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:46 pm

You can't bring treats? :?: :shock:
GoofyDog

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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:07 pm

GoofyDog they're talking about enclosed dog parks. You shouldn't bring treats into those areas because fights can break out over dogs for the food. Also if you have treats in your pocket the dogs can smell it on you and they follow you around like the Pied Piper!

Fundog
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Post by Fundog » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:08 pm

It is very common for some city dog parks to prohibit treats, as it can cause some dogs to start quarrelling. For example, my Dottie is rather insecure about her resources, such as food. If I have treats, and all the other dogs know it (and any dog with a functional nose will!), they will all start crowding around. That's when Dottie will start snarling and even attack the other dogs. That's also when the treats become ineffective as a training tool, since with all the dogs crowding around, nobody is going to listen to instructions from their owners, or even me, with all their attention on my treats and trying to keep the other dogs from getting more than their fair share.

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Mattie
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Re: Pronged Collars

Post by Mattie » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:00 pm

MaiasMom wrote:I agree if use properly they can be very effective with a dog that ignores you. quick tug and then go in the other direction. Kai can get a bit to focused on things and a quick gentle tug gets his attention but when it's just his regular collar he sometimes ignores me. I have to use it less these days as he is a smart little thing, got the idea very quickly. Always use with caution however especially on small dogs.

Don't know how I missed this, if you give a tug on a prong collar, no matter how gentle that tug is, you are not using it right and it is abuse.

To use a prong collar properly you are supposed to stand still and let the go into the prongs, that way the dog just puts as much pressure on the prongs as he can take before backing away. When you tug on a prong collar you don't know how much of the prongs the dog is feeling and with very sensitive dogs it can do a lot of damage.

NEVER TUG ON A PRONG COLLAR

To me these should be in a museum showing how people abuse dogs and are not needed in modern society because they are items of torture.
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wvvdiup1
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Prong Collars

Post by wvvdiup1 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:39 pm

I agree with Mattie. Prong collars should not be used PERIOD!

wvvdiup1

katowaggytail
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Post by katowaggytail » Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:02 am

Not been here for a while, but... I still can't believe we are still having these discussions/comments about prong collars! Are these trainers paid by the companies who sell these horrendous things? Or is it that positive training is just too hard for them because it can take time and isn't a quick fix. Just amazed. :x


Rant over! :wink:

Fundog
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Post by Fundog » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:33 am

Kato, I think it might have a lot to do with attitude, as well as impatience. Another forum I visit has a lot of dog owners who favour punishment/avoidance based training, the e-collar being their favorite. The premise is that they don't want the dog to obey in order to earn a reward, but rather, to obey because he knows the big, gruff human has the power to see that his life is either happy or miserable. For example, they turn on the electric collar before they even start an exercise, and in order to shut off the shock, the dog has to obey-- that's the "reward"-- the shock stops.

The other attitude I run into has been expressed thusly: "A dog should get it within a week. If it takes longer than that, he isn't worth keeping."

One person on that forum stated that he doesn't believe dogs have feelings! He does not believe you can hurt a dog's feelings, because supposedly, a dog doesn't have any.

So yeah, impatience, laziness, and ego/power trip pretty much sums it up. But it isn't surprising really. Here in my state, that is still a common mentality in child-rearing too. Obey Mom and Dad because they are bigger than you and have the power to make your life miserable.

ChillyAndClover
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Post by ChillyAndClover » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:52 pm

I believe prong collars do not have a place in training, especially positive training! The only time I have used such a device is when I had a client with a large, boistrous Lab mix who was fearful of the gentle leader. She had to use the gentle leader on him for safety reasons; she rode the bike alongside him. Anytime the gentle leader was brought out, he ran and hid behind the couch. He even nipped his owner once while she was trying to put it on him. I believe this is because he was never positively introduced to the gentle leader. So for a couple of weeks while I spent time pairing the Gentle Leader with positive reinforcement, he had to wear the prong if I wanted to exercise him. A no pull harness would not work in the situation, he was much too strong for it. So my point is; if you use it, use it as a last ditch effort and only temporarily. NEVER use it for training. Your dog will resent you for it.
Chilly & Clover
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