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Old 02-24-2010, 03:23 AM
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Tazwell Tazwell is offline
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Default Use of the Prong collar.

The recent post about Prong collars made me remember that I had a few questions to pose to the trainers here on chaz But I didn't want to try to steal the thread.

In the past I've used the collars, and I know the pros and cons of use. I've worked with two trainers recently who use the prongs religiously. I've always been trained to fit the prong relatively snugly, but not tightly-- so that it will not slide around on the dog's neck. I also fit them higher up on the neck, and with the hook slightly off to the side rather than right on the back of the dog's neck. More or less how Leerburg's website shows to fit them.

The two trainers I've worked with didn't have a care in the world where the prong collar was fitted (high or low), and they always use the smallest sized prongs, even for larger dogs. They also didn't seem to fit them very snug at all. This normally results int he collar falling very low onto the neck, and the hook being at the dog's shoulders.

How do you Chazzers fit and use your prongs? Any pictures to show?


Also, have you ever heard of the prong collars causing Dog-Aggression? I've heard of this in the past, and even though the theories made sense, I sort of brushed it off as something that happens with irresponsible use and lack of experience. However, a few dogs have come to me recently with D-A issues, almost directly timing in with the owners starting to use the prong collars with their dogs. I can't guarantee that the owners were using them correctly, either, but has anybody seen this happen?

One more question-- I've made this observation recently at the Pet Store where I work. A lot of dogs that have been pretty much raised using the Prong collars for walks and being taken out in public, even more hyperactive breeds-- are calmer all around. They come in with a LOT more self control than others that I see, even with inexperienced owners and no formal training. I seem to attribute it to the fact that they don't pull like crazy sending themselves into a fit of anxiety and over stimulation every time they come in. Dogs with owners that aren't working on them, and are being walked on harnesses and flat collars, just work themselves up too much. Of course this doesn't excuse training the dog when working around distraction, But has anybody else noticed a similar connection?
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:10 AM
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yes yes yes prong collars (any kind of physical correction) can exacerbate dog aggression in a dog who is uncomfortable/fearful about other dogs. the dog is popping off saying "i'm uncomfortable!!" and receiving physical punishment, which serves to increase their anxiety about the situation. now they've got bad scary dog + bad physical stimulus- it makes complete sense that this would make them feel even worse about seeing other dogs, and therefore more outwardly aggressive.

it's not true of all dogs- it's not true of my luce, who was reactive to other dogs because she's just plain old DA and her reaction was overstimulation, not fear/anxiety. but a LOT of the reactive/"DA" dogs out there are reacting out of anxiety. "i'm going to make a big aggressive display so you won't even bother to try to hurt me" kind of thing.

i fit luce's prong collar snugly. she wears a fairly large sized prong (not huge, but not tiny) because it's less of a correction. she wears hers as backup for me- in case something were to happen with all the loose dogs around here, it gives me more physical control than a flat collar. she hasn't needed it in years (we hardly walk in my neighborhood where are the problems happen), i'm just reluctant to give up my crutch when it's doing no harm. i don't ever use a prong collar for actual training.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:38 AM
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Yes I have seen it increase reactivity. And I have seen them shut down dogs (make them seem calmer and more self controlled)

THe dogs I have seen them work 'best' on are happy exuberant breeds where reactivity isn't an issue and a little repression isn't going to be noticed, other than a little more calmness. I don't have a huge issue with them used by knowledgeable people as back ups. I don't like how they get used by people who have no intention of ever training the dog to not need it. And I have seen dogs who still pull on a prong.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
And I have seen dogs who still pull on a prong.
You've seen me walking Gunnar? Seriously, if he knows we're going down to the school to play ball, I could have a collar with nails in it and it wouldn't matter. I think he fits your description of a dog that a prong works well for though, he's steady as a rock and focused so the prong is nothing more than a mild distraction for him.

Daisy is good with it too. Usually with her I hook up 2 collars, with a traffic tab on the prong and her regular 3' leash on the flat collar. I don't have to use the prong, just having it on reminds her to stay calm. It's more of a safety valve in case she decides she's going after a cat or something. With a flat collar she'd pull me right where she wanted to go.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:55 AM
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Not a trainer of ANY kind here, but I can tell you how we fit and use Orson's prong. He wears it snug fitting, not tight, just snug. It's higher than his normal flat collar, and I usually end up hooking his leash to BOTH collars.

You can see that just for normal walking, he most generally has a loose lead. If I had pictures of 'town' walking instead of the park, the leash is of course shorter and he is heeling instead of freedom to sniff everywhere, LOL We use the prong as a safety measure for his DA due to loose dogs..........I want/need better control if a loose dog does appear.







And this one, he found an 'exceptional smelling' wood chunk of some kind LOL
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:00 PM
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*thread jack*
Coop, you need to poste more pictures of orson and phoebe!

ok, you can now continue on with the discussion of prong collars. LOL.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Yes I have seen it increase reactivity. And I have seen them shut down dogs (make them seem calmer and more self controlled)

THe dogs I have seen them work 'best' on are happy exuberant breeds where reactivity isn't an issue and a little repression isn't going to be noticed, other than a little more calmness. I don't have a huge issue with them used by knowledgeable people as back ups. I don't like how they get used by people who have no intention of ever training the dog to not need it. And I have seen dogs who still pull on a prong.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:19 PM
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I appreciate the discussion. As for the shut-down discussion, it make such a difference in the demeanor of the dog. I see why many trainers prefer to have their clients use them In Class. I still believe this can be achieved in other ways without shutting the dog down... But each to his own.

Anybody on fitting the prong?
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:50 PM
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If I use one, it's snug and up high on the neck.
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