Wow, lots of replies! :]
I'm glad to see that the angry mobs won't hunt me down here! It was a little scary seeing the poor user dogpiled like that... while I enjoyed the clicker work I did with my boy, if I hadn't known anything about it I probably would have been pretty turned off by that kind of reaction. I sort of had the impression they were very, "it's my way or the highway" and I don't know if that kind of behaviour will really get a point across? I much prefer the responses in this thread, for instance - the acknowledgment that it's an individual thing, for instance! That definitely made me feel much better about the choices that I made.
I like to learn but I like to learn from people who want to teach, not make me feel like I'm a bad person for using my spray collar. I would love to learn more about clicker training but I feel like I do it wrong with my execution (I always feel like I click a bit too late) and I don't have a lot of confidence so it's a bit of a bad situation, haha. I do love to read so I've read a lot of the "traditional" material and enjoyed it, but I always find "putting it into practice" is where it gets me. I understand the theory, but I somehow just can't get it right. I still tried though, if only because I always loved to see Tucker's reaction to taking the clicker out (he'd do a little dance).
I never saw any kind of fear of the spray collar itself, though (no shying away, whines, panting, etc.). Every time I popped it on him he was always quite cheerful and ready to go. I liked it for the times when I had class, or was on the phone with a client (he liked to bark when you were on the phone), as it helped him to remember to mind his manners. We did finally work through it, but I really liked that it could interrupt the behaviour when I was unable to, and had he shown any kind of fear I wouldn't have used it. I definitely know not every dog works the same way though! My parents' Chinese Crested is a very anxious thing and I would never have used the spray collar on him, but he's very fearful - he'll fear pee if you look at him the wrong way, poor lad - so I guess it's just as much part of the handler's job to know their own dog and what will possibly trigger their dog?
@sassafras - yes, that's exactly what it felt like! It was very scary to read, actually (though I do have terrible anxiety, so maybe it's just a me thing
). People just refused to accept that this prong collar worked for this person and it was just... scary. o.o I hightailed it out of there! lol
@*blackrose - that's a good point, especially about the strength bit! I've never had big dogs - only small ones - so I've never really had that situation, but I definitely think most can agree it's better to always have control over a dog. Also a good example of what I was looking for - the whole, "different dogs need different approaches" thing. :] Thank you!
@Southpaw - might have been the same forum! People used to get warned/banned for bringing up anything that wasn't considered positive reinforcement and you couldn't even mention other trainers that weren't on an "approved trainer" list. It was a bit rough for me trying to learn different approaches, because while I wanted to clicker train and enjoyed what I could do with it (and it was working with everything except the barking) I just didn't really feel like... confident about it? So I wanted to see what my other options were, and that idea was quickly shut down, haha. It was sort of this, "there are no other ways" mentality and it made me feel pretty bad for wanting to see it done another way, or at least to know what other options existed for me as someone who didn't really know what she was doing.
@release the hounds - I didn't really know how else to name the thread! lol And with most "dog people" it always seems to bring up a "debate like" feeling so I decided to just go with it. lol :]