Prong collars

Kat09Tails

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#41
I figured we might need an appropriate place to hash out this debate and discuss our thoughts on prong collars.

1. Would you consider yourself against, or for, the use of prong collars in training (by someone who knows how to correctly use this tool)?

2. Have you ever used one on your own dog(s)? Tell us a little bit about why, the methods you used along with it, why you made the choice, and how it worked out.

And if you want, write a little bit about why you think they work/don't work/shouldn't be used etc.

PLEASE KEEP IT RESPECTFUL AND DO NOT ATTACK OTHERS BASED ON THEIR ANSWERS IN THIS THREAD.
Yes, own them and use them. I consider them a tool for training and management and it's a pretty effective one at both.

I haven't used one in about a year. It was an education bridge for my rude labradork who had some impulse control issues surrounding walks and seeing a bird or another dog which would make her lose her mind in excitement. Combining that with my bum shoulder made the danger of hurting me and getting herself killed in traffic a very real possibility.

We used it pretty extensively for about 18 months and now as I write this it is sitting in a box somewhere with my e collar because we just don't need either of them anymore.
 

ACooper

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#42
....My point with the flexi+prong combo is, why? What are you teaching your dog when you attach a flexi to a training collar?
For Orson, (at age 9 now) the prong is about his crazy pulling. I can't say I am using the prong to train him really and that's on me. It's just a deterrent from the pulling and as long as he has it on, his manners are great.

Hence the flexi/prong combo when we are hiking/camping. It allows him more adventures (within range) and also reminds him that 'mom' can't deal with being dragged. Crowley also has a flexi on when camping/hiking but he has a martingale, but he's 30lbs compared to Orson's 80!
 

RD

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#43
I've used them, not on my little dogs, but on my enormous, exuberant foster who had to stay on-leash and would still haul me off my feet (I'm six feet tall and outweighed the dog by about 60lbs)

It's an aversive tool and it can have its place as a management tool for a large or powerful dog. People need to stop sugar coating it, when you apply pressure or a pop to a pinch collar, baby angels don't swoop down from heaven and kiss all over your neck. The world isn't all sunshine and rainbows and sometimes it's safer to manage a dog's potentially unsafe behavior with an aversive tool than it is to risk not having full control over the dog.
 
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#44
Well, Of all these training devices, the prong collar is the most misunderstood. For those trainers who put one on every dog are as misguided as those who refuse to use them. Well, The prong is not suitable for aggressive dogs and is too harsh for extremely shy or fearful dogs. The prong is not for young puppies, although it can be used under the guidance of an experienced trainer for older puppies.
 
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#45
I basically agree with Elrohwen and Linds.

I'm not really "for" them but I'm not "against" them, either. They are a tool that have value in some situations and not in others.

I used one for Squash when he was an unruly adolescent who was too big for me to physically control on walks. Like others, I didn't give corrections but as a management tool he wouldn't pull on it so I could actually walk him.

I haven't used it for quite some time, but I may have to dig it out again as Toast is starting to become very fascinated and overstimulated by other dogs on walks and again, he's too big and strong for me to control physically - plus he can go over threshold in a nanosecond.

Toast and Squash are pretty hard dogs, though. I could never use one with Pip, he'd wilt. So for the right dog in the right circumstances I think it can be useful but I don't think it's necessarily a universal tool (like anything else, really).
 

*blackrose

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#46
It's an aversive tool and it can have its place as a management tool for a large or powerful dog. People need to stop sugar coating it, when you apply pressure or a pop to a pinch collar, baby angels don't swoop down from heaven and kiss all over your neck.
Very true. But at the same time, I find it kind of ridiculous that prongs are labeled as "bad" by John Q Public because they apply a pinching pressure around the neck (I'm not speaking about a correction with a prong right now, but the dog applying pressure while on a leash), but head halters are "humane" and "gentle" per John Q Public while they put a solid band of pressure along the top of the dog's nose, which a lot of dogs find very aversive (including Abrams).

The dog isn't pulling into the device because he doesn't like the feel of it when he does. Whether it is a prong or head halter is kind of a moot point, IMO.
 
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#47
I think we know my opinion on them. :p

One other thing that I think of when I think of these types of tools, is in the areas in which they are banned or used a lesser amount - many people still own all these breeds, and personalities, and dog's with certain behaviors people think the type of collar is needed for - but somehow can do without. Or heck, plenty of people in areas where they are more common a tool, even. Interesting. :rofl1:
 

Elrohwen

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#48
I think we know my opinion on them. :p

One other thing that I think of when I think of these types of tools, is in the areas in which they are banned or used a lesser amount - many people still own all these breeds, and personalities, and dog's with certain behaviors people think the type of collar is needed for - but somehow can do without. Or heck, plenty of people in areas where they are more common a tool, even. Interesting. :rofl1:
So they use a head halter or a choke chain. Both are still aversive.
 
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#49
I think we know my opinion on them. :p

One other thing that I think of when I think of these types of tools, is in the areas in which they are banned or used a lesser amount - many people still own all these breeds, and personalities, and dog's with certain behaviors people think the type of collar is needed for - but somehow can do without. Or heck, plenty of people in areas where they are more common a tool, even. Interesting. :rofl1:
I'll again ask my question that you seemed to have ignored following your other passive aggressive post..How much experience do you have when training a large breed, working line or working dog?

I also don't find a dog choking itself out on a flat collar any less aversive. And I really don't have that dog's entire lifetime to spend on +only training to get leash walking or obedience behaviors.

But I do see that you're in Wisconsin. If you'd like to come criticize my dog's training (taught with aversive tools) and maybe show me the better, more effective way, then you're welcome to visit the club anytime.
 
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#50
I honestly wonder if, in countries where they are banned, the dogs just don't get walked. Or people do more off leash walking.

Sure, DOG people in the other countries find a way to train, because they know what they are doing and where there is a will there is a way and I'm sure the harnesses and gentle leaders we have are used by the general public to deal. Doesn't mean it's necessarily better for the dogs or the people, just reality of having to deal.

But I do wonder if it does just result in dogs that are too hard to walk, not being walked. Not sure how that's better really though.

Also, I seriously would not be surprised if they are still used by people who like them. Just, hidden.
 
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#51
I honestly wonder if, in countries where they are banned, the dogs just don't get walked. Or people do more off leash walking.

Sure, DOG people in the other countries find a way to train, because they know what they are doing and where there is a will there is a way and I'm sure the harnesses and gentle leaders we have are used by the general public to deal. Doesn't mean it's necessarily better for the dogs or the people, just reality of having to deal.

But I do wonder if it does just result in dogs that are too hard to walk, not being walked. Not sure how that's better really though.

Also, I seriously would not be surprised if they are still used by people who like them. Just, hidden.
I wouldn't be surprised. There are also breeds banned in these countries. And I do know for a fact that they're used and hidden in sport training in other countries. They make all different types of covers for ecollars and prong collars.

In Sweden, it is illegal to have the dogs crated outside of traveling or veterinary use..
 

Laurelin

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#52
I wouldn't be surprised. There are also breeds banned in these countries. And I do know for a fact that they're used and hidden in sport training in other countries. They make all different types of covers for ecollars and prong collars.

In Sweden, it is illegal to have the dogs crated outside of traveling or veterinary use..
It's also illegal to leave your dog home alone more than X hours a day. Pretty much everyone in the US who worked full time would have a hard time owning dogs there. I would not be allowed to keep my dogs the way I do.
 

milos_mommy

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#53
And I really don't have that dog's entire lifetime to spend on +only training to get leash walking or obedience behaviors.
.
I'm just curious if this is an exaggeration or not?? How long do you think positive training methods (without any positive punishments) take to see results? I'm not criticizing, like I said I've never worked with working/PP sport dogs before so I can't say whether I'd turn to a prong collar in that case, I'm just curious as to what people who DO use prong collars think about positive-only methods??

ETA also, how long has it taken you to achieve reliable on-leash walking (no pulling and a tolerable level of reactivity in public) using a prong collar...I mean to say how long did you train with a prong in order to be able to take it off and use a flat collar and get desired behavior??
 

Torch

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#54
I'm just curious if this is an exaggeration or not?? How long do you think positive training methods (without any positive punishments) take to see results? I'm not criticizing, like I said I've never worked with working/PP sport dogs before so I can't say whether I'd turn to a prong collar in that case, I'm just curious as to what people who DO use prong collars think about positive-only methods??

ETA also, how long has it taken you to achieve reliable on-leash walking (no pulling and a tolerable level of reactivity in public) using a prong collar...I mean to say how long did you train with a prong in order to be able to take it off and use a flat collar and get desired behavior??
Rhys, my Amstaff that needs to be walked on a prong, I started leash training at 9 weeks old. I live in the city so leash walking is a multiple times a day thing. Leash manners are a must. I spent over a year on positive reinforcement and working with a trainer when I was able. I won't say that he can't be trained, because I'm far from a professional, but it was still very difficult and frustrating. I was more concerned about damaging our relationship and his trust in me because of how upset that I was that I really couldn't enjoy walking him.

The prong changed all that. Does he still need management? Absolutely. Does he still pull and react aggressively towards other dogs? He does. But the prong enables me to handle him and train through those situations, rather than just hanging on for dear life. And finally, at two years old, he is starting to really understand the concept of loose leash walking.
 
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#55
I'm just curious if this is an exaggeration or not?? How long do you think positive training methods (without any positive punishments) take to see results? I'm not criticizing, like I said I've never worked with working/PP sport dogs before so I can't say whether I'd turn to a prong collar in that case, I'm just curious as to what people who DO use prong collars think about positive-only methods??

ETA also, how long has it taken you to achieve reliable on-leash walking (no pulling and a tolerable level of reactivity in public) using a prong collar...I mean to say how long did you train with a prong in order to be able to take it off and use a flat collar and get desired behavior??
"Lifetime" is an exaggeration, yes. But I can get immediate results on a prong collar that take months of consistent positive only training. Especially with high drive, high energy working line breeds. Id say I can make the transition to a flat collar within a few weeks to a few months.

I train all of my sport foundation with positive only. For up to a year or more. But once I establish that a dog knows a command 90% of the time and 10% of the time chooses to blow it off, then correction comes into play. Once there's some accountability on the part of the dog, you get reliability IME.
 
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xpaeanx

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#56
I train all of my sport foundation with positive only. For up to a year or more. But once I establish that a dog knows a command 90% of the time and 10% of the time chooses to blow it off, then correction comes into play. Once there's some accountability on the part of the dog, you get reliability IME.
I'm pretty much a positive trainer, but my dog had suddenly decided it was fun to run off course and visit the dog we split privates with. I'd call him back and give him a reward for re-engaging with me. At the 3rd time, I'd had enough. I ran after him, grabbed him without saying a word, put him in his crate and walked away from him. I haven't had a problem with him running off course since.

I'm just posting this because of the accountability part. I do completely agree that you have to hold the dog accountable for their actions to get reliability with a command. Different people have different approaches for it. My crating my dog is technically a punishment, which takes me out of the +R quadrant. That said I needed to communicate with my dog that running off course wasn't an acceptable action and this did the job. The extreme +R trainer would probably writhe in pain at the thought of giving a dog a time out, but I don't and it worked perfectly for me.

A lot of training aids fall in this same category. They're aids and you have to decide where you stand on them. If you're not comfortable with them(as a lot aren't with prongs) that's totally 100% fine, that said just because you aren't comfortable with them doesn't mean that everyone else has to also be not ok with them.

As I said before, regardless of where I stand on my training views, as long as someone isn't actually hurting their dog I don't feel it's my place to tell them what to do. If they come to me and ask for my advice that's different. But even then, if they want to use a certain tool(like are deadset on a prong), I like knowing how to employ those things so at least instead of chasing them away I can give them better training advice on them and make sure the dog is staying safe vs going to a trainer who might not advise the person properly.
 

Southpaw

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#57
I guess I just don't see why people get up in arms about them. If you don't like them then don't use them. But if you saw my dogs out and about with their prongs on you would still see happy and excited dogs, just able to stay under control... I dont see what is so terrible. THEY are not upset about it so I don't think other people need to be.

Yes it's possible to achieve good results with positive reinforcement only. Am I that good of a trainer to teach it reliably? Nope. I'm not consistent and I'm not that patient and I'm not creative enough. And I don't want every walk to be a big deal. Sometimes I just wanna walk my dogs, listen to music or chat with friends and not focus 100% om what my dog is doing. So I use a prong and pop a cookie at them every now and then. Works for us.
 
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#58
I guess I just don't see why people get up in arms about them. If you don't like them then don't use them. But if you saw my dogs out and about with their prongs on you would still see happy and excited dogs, just able to stay under control... I dont see what is so terrible. THEY are not upset about it so I don't think other people need to be.

Yes it's possible to achieve good results with positive reinforcement only. Am I that good of a trainer to teach it reliably? Nope. I'm not consistent and I'm not that patient and I'm not creative enough. And I don't want every walk to be a big deal. Sometimes I just wanna walk my dogs, listen to music or chat with friends and not focus 100% om what my dog is doing. So I use a prong and pop a cookie at them every now and then. Works for us.
Horrible, cruel, lazy person you are. ;)
 

Laurelin

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#59
I feel like sometimes positive only could work in theory but not so much in real life? And I don't think there's a sin to having a timeline. Sometimes it's a safety issue for the dog or people around the dog.
 
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#60
The dog isn't pulling into the device because he doesn't like the feel of it when he does. Whether it is a prong or head halter is kind of a moot point, IMO.
Right. Head halters and no-pull harnesses don't give off a magical aura that prevents pulling, they're uncomfortable/aversive. If we don't want to sugar coat prongs, let's not sugar coat the alternatives, either.

I think what people do in other countries with vastly different cultures and conditions of all sorts is pretty irrelevant, also. Here is here, there is there. I'm sure people with big strong breeds have management tools there, too. Or as Linds said, dogs maybe just don't get walked or are off leash a lot, which is more of an option for countries with a relatively low population density.
 

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