Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

so, about prong collars

kigndano
July 15th, 2008, 07:38 AM
im going to buy one today. cash and i had another "episode" today after a solid few weeks of minimal reactions to runners and bikers.

it was bonkers time again, and he managed to get the halti half off his head and caught in his teeth which led to a full panic attack.
this for sure i can say was not me at all, i just kept walking and he started up.

so, its time for attempted training tool #4 (gentle leader, halti, choke, and now prong)


what should i know about them aside from obviously not digging into my dogs throat with it.

i will have someone at petco (not sure if they know more than i do about them) fit it properly, but i know basically its supposed to fit snugly.


someone wish me luck with this guy, hes a wacko.

Winston
July 15th, 2008, 07:58 AM
I have been through all of the same as you! I have used a prong collar for years. Please educate yourself on how to use them cause in the wrong hands you can hurt your dog! I have to say its the best thing I ever bought. I bought mine though because of my dogs strength! I dont beleive it fits too snuggly. You will see an amzing difference in your dog! Have you also looked at the illusion color that Cesar Milan shows? I saw one of those recently and how they work! WOW pretty impressive stuff! I wish they were around years ago!

Cindy

bendyfoot
July 15th, 2008, 09:42 AM
Get someone experienced to help you fit it. It should fit high up on the neck, pretty much right behind the base of the skull. It should be snug enough to stay up there and not slip down around the throat, where you DEFINITELY DON'T want it.
The prong does not work like a halti, in which the dog basically corrects itself when it pulls by having its head turned. You must be very vigillant and aware of the dog's behaviour, so that you can correct the behaviour.

Basic: the dog should NEVER be allowed to pull on the lead. Period. Loose leash at all times, except when he's being corrected, in which case you're using a quick, firm "pop" of the leash towards your own body. Picture an older dog who's correcting a pup...it's a quick, brief motion (nip) at the scruff, never a sustained pull or pressure. If the dog tries to pull, use a correction (pop), a verbal correction simultaneously ("NO") and then praise like crazy when the leash is loose ("good boy, good walking!)

In your case, your dog freaks at runners/pedestrians. Ours freaked at other dogs. Know his body language well. Usually you'll see the ears go erect, the neck raise and stiffen, and the tail raise and stiffen. For us, this was the body language that preceeded the freakout (lunging/barking/growling). You don't want it to get to that point. In our case, as soon as Gracie's body language changed from relaxed to this stiffened and "primed" posture, she was corrected. If she glanced at the other dog, fine. If she changed the direction of her movement in a non-agressive and relaxed way, fine. But as soon as she got stiff, pop. Use a verbal correction at the same time (firm "no") . Once she focused back on us, praise like crazy (it's helpful to teach a verbal focus command like "watch" to get the dog's attention back on you). We got to the point where we were able to go to a dog park. We kept her onleash, kept the leash nice a loose, watched closely, and the one time she started to think about doing something foolish, she got a quick correction, and that was the end of it, she went back to socializing and behaving politely.

Seriously, it would maybe be a good idea to work with a trainer one on one for even just one lesson, so you can be shown the proper placement of the collar, and also so you can "set up" the dog in a situation that might require correction, so you can be taught the proper timing, which is crucial to the success of the collar.

Good luck!

kigndano
July 15th, 2008, 09:55 AM
i will ask at petco today.

i hate that we can go weeks without an incident besides a little excitement or "woowooing" at bikers, and then BANG! full fledged psycho attack.

its what makes me try to stay with the halti; but im getting shoulder surgery in september, and wouldbe unable to control him one armed and somethign bad could happen in that case so i need to whip him into shape.

bendyfoot
July 15th, 2008, 10:08 AM
oh, one other thing about putting on the collar, the loop for the leash goes under the chin at the front, not at the back of the neck, and you shouldn't be able to slip it on/off, you should have to pinch open a link of the prong and fasten it back together once it's in place on the neck.

Lissa
July 15th, 2008, 10:10 AM
im going to buy one today. cash and i had another "episode" today after a solid few weeks of minimal reactions to runners and bikers.

it was bonkers time again, and he managed to get the halti half off his head and caught in his teeth which led to a full panic attack.
this for sure i can say was not me at all, i just kept walking and he started up.

so, its time for attempted training tool #4 (gentle leader, halti, choke, and now prong)


what should i know about them aside from obviously not digging into my dogs throat with it.

i will have someone at petco (not sure if they know more than i do about them) fit it properly, but i know basically its supposed to fit snugly.


someone wish me luck with this guy, hes a wacko.

NEVER use a prong on a reactive dog. A dog that lunges should NEVER be on a prong - aside from causing a lot of pain, it will also cause temperment problems... The dog will start associating the pain with whatever it lunged at, making reactivity worse and setting you back about 100 steps because not only have you not fixed the issue, your dog now has negative associations that need to be undone... Trust me, you do not want your dog to lunge at a child on a bike, have the prongs dig in and cause a huge amount of pain... the next time your dog sees a bike or possibly even a child his reactivity will be worse. It is not WORTH it.
If you buy the prong, have a harness on your dog as well and have 2 leashes so you can ensure that when he does lunge, the full force of the prong is not digging into his neck... OR you need to introduce his triggers in vacuum environment at the lowest level he can handle (this should be done anyway without a training tool but its an ABSOLUTE MUST if you are going to use a prong because you cannot have a dog lunging with a prong).
Remember you also NEVER correct a dog on a prong (no leash jerking) - prongs are self-correcting- you don't add to the correction.
I doubt very much that the people at petco can give you all the guidance you need when it comes to prongs, pulling and reacting - you need a trainer who can help you 1-1.

bendyfoot
July 15th, 2008, 10:20 AM
Lissa, I have to respectfully disagree with some of what you've said. Our dog WAS a lunging, reactive dog. The prong helped us correct the behaviour BEFORE it escalated to the point of lunging. Gracie never had her full body weight pulling on the prong, because we corrected her before she was allowed to pull.

Also, what you've said is kind of contradictory regarding the self-correcting nature of the collar. If the dog should not pull/lunge while wearing the collar (and therefore self-correct because the leash would be tight), then how does correction happen? It doesn't make sense. If my dog is pulling (self-correcting), then her behaviour has escalated to a point that is unacceptable. If I correct her when she's just starting the unacceptable behaviour, then there's no sustained pressure from the collar.

Lissa
July 15th, 2008, 11:19 AM
Lissa, I have to respectfully disagree with some of what you've said. Our dog WAS a lunging, reactive dog. The prong helped us correct the behaviour BEFORE it escalated to the point of lunging. Gracie never had her full body weight pulling on the prong, because we corrected her before she was allowed to pull.

:confused: If she never lunged when on the prong then I don't have an issue...
A dog that lunges on a prong is experiencing a severe amount of pain (not condusive to good handling or learning)... Add that to fear based reactions and you have huge issues - possibly one's that you can't undo.

Also, what you've said is kind of contradictory regarding the self-correcting nature of the collar. If the dog should not pull/lunge while wearing the collar (and therefore self-correct because the leash would be tight), then how does correction happen? It doesn't make sense. If my dog is pulling (self-correcting), then her behaviour has escalated to a point that is unacceptable. If I correct her when she's just starting the unacceptable behaviour, then there's no sustained pressure from the collar.

There is a HUGE difference between pulling and lunging. A dog that is pulling on leash will be properly corrected by the collar - the pressure will be slow and will only subside once the dog has stopped pulling. Prong collars do the correcting automatically anytime their is pressure - most dogs do NOT need additional pressure added to that...
A dog that lunges with a prong isn't getting a warning in the slow increase in pressure/pain, they are getting a sudden severe amount of pain... That kind of pain is not a way to train and is a misuse of the prong collar - especially if there is fear or aggression driving these reactions.

bendyfoot
July 15th, 2008, 12:01 PM
Interesting. I see what you're saying, but I still disagree. My dog would pull on her prong (not lunge) if allowed to, and I've seen many other dogs do the same. It wouldn't be effective at all. Also, if a dog is allowed to pull until it reaches the point of discomfort, is the dog not being allowed to perform an inappropriate behaviour for some time prior to the self-correction? Is that not a mixed message? (ie. Ok, so I CAN pull on my leash, just not THIS hard). Do you not want to teach them that ANY pulling is not ok? I would equate it to clicker training, you get immediate feedback as soon as the good behaviour is there, in this case you get immediate feedback the moment the bad behaviour is there.

And, no, she did not lunge on her prong, because we didn't allow her to do that either. She was corrected BEFORE she lunged.

ETA: I dont think the prong is a good tool for all dogs, we havent felt the need to use it with Jaida. But it was a life-saver, a sanity-saver for Gracie, and everyone is happier for having used it. We mostly use her regular nylon collar now because she has learned what is ok and what is not, it was only used as a training tool. We still use it if we will be in a potentially difficult situation (ie dog park).

ETA x2: I dont think the prong causes severe pain. I have tried it on my own upper arm and thigh, and while it is uncomfortable it does not cause severe pain.

bendyfoot
July 15th, 2008, 12:09 PM
Have you ever considered an Easy Walk harness ? Much more effective than a prong collar, which is IMHO counterproductive and negative.

*****click**** (http://www.sitstay.com/wcsstore/SitStay/images/large/EQPWH.lg.jpg)
It is a 100% effective and a wonderful training tool. I am an evaluator for therapy dog/handler teams and I always recommend the use of those for dogs with pulling issues. It works more on a psychological basis.(Barrier) ;)

I would definitely use something like this with Jaida, who is a nonreactive puller (just wants to get places quickly) (although if she can hold part of her leash or part of Gracies leash in her mouth she does not pull...weird). I dont think it would help with dog-reactive, aggressive Gracie. I think you have to find the right tool for each dog, not all tools, no matter how great, are going to work for every dog or be appropriate for managing their specific behaviours.

szelynn
July 15th, 2008, 12:19 PM
oh, one other thing about putting on the collar, the loop for the leash goes under the chin at the front, not at the back of the neck, and you shouldn't be able to slip it on/off, you should have to pinch open a link of the prong and fasten it back together once it's in place on the neck.

I've been using a prong collar on Kali and it's been working great...
I was taught how to use it by a trainer when she was a puppy, but the trainer put it on with the loop at the back of the neck...and that's how I've been using it - maybe I was taught wrong?

How does it work with the loop at the front? Are you saying the leash should connect to the collar under her chin?

bendyfoot
July 15th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Yes, that's what I'm saying. You don't want the prongs applying pressure at the throat, which is how your setup will do it. Putting the clasp for the leash under the chin directs the correction at the back of the neck, on the scruff.

kigndano
July 15th, 2008, 02:38 PM
i mean i have tried other things lissa.

i have tried everything i mentioned and then some, ive tried stepping to the side, ive tried waiting out the hissy fit (but it never ends until hes out of his harness/collar/whatever else i have on), i tried treats but they dont distract him, ive tried giving OB commands like sit or lay down (which he definitely knows), ive tried turning and walking away but he just gets more riled up.

i have avoided the prong collar until now, but i dont think i have other options really. i can definitely see the behavior starting with the ears perking up, a change in breathing and in a little stutter step of excitement in his walk, he starts to hop a little, even chew on his leash and tug on me when we walk. ive just had it with all of the behavior issues.



**or the illusion collar**
if a prong collar will save me from getting tugged towards traffic or falling on my shoulder in september then i am going to use it.

i have to end up being very physical with him after his hissy fit starts anyways otherwise it doesnt end. i cant touch him after he gets riled up i cant grab him by the collar to put his halti back on hes completely gone. so i have to plop him down; there is no other option at that point.

and say whatever you want about treats and positive reinforcement but they have not worked. and i simply do not have 5 or 6 hours a day to train a dog. thats the bottom line. i dont have the money to hire a trainer, the last one wanted like 300 bucks a lesson. i cant do that. period.

i have to do this myself, i have to figure it out by reading and unfortunately, by trial and error it looks like.

if you dont understand that then i am sorry. but i AM trying to do whats right by my dog. but i refuse to be held hostage by him and his antics and hissy fits and scaring people walking by. i have had it. if this doesnt work i may just have to give him to a rescue or to a sled team or something.

mollywog
July 15th, 2008, 02:59 PM
Have you ever heard of the StarMark Collar (http://aboutdogtraining.sitestreet.com/186/StarMark_Collar.htm)?
Its design is similar to a prong collar, but it claims to be a more humane one. I have never used it, but I know they are a reputable company and all their gear comes with instruction manuals as well as online training guides. Might be worth a try for your guy. :pawprint:

allymack
July 15th, 2008, 03:07 PM
I'm not sure of his reaction completely, but just somethign to try...

http://www.cappdt.ca/public/jpage/1/p/Article2RewardSystem/content.do


I know this says it is for dogs who are aggressive with otehr dogs, but i mean it is worth a try... Once i find a dog that enzo hasnt had off leash play time with ( he is ok with them afetr he has) I plan on trying this, so i will let you know how it goes

Just a thoguht to try, but i was also looking at a prong collar for Enzo..if you do decide to go that way.. can you let us know how it is working..

Kahne9Lover
July 15th, 2008, 03:19 PM
Hello All, As a proud mommy of two overly "pully" labs, I found that using a prong collar was the best choice, the Easy-Walk harness and several others failed terribly against their "Puppy Power". However, I also changed the way I reacted to coming across other people and pets. If space allows, I give more room between us and any oncomers. I also learned that if Maya and Colby make a start towards anyone, I give a small tug and KEEP WALKING, keeping my attention forwards, not at the dogs, not at the oncomers. Much of the time, if they see I am not bothered, they simply let it go and follow me. Now I know my dogs are not "aggressive" but they can be very strong (times 2). Please keep trying and don't give up. Your frustrations can be easily read through doggie eyes, remain calm, and in charge. Best of luck.:fingerscr:fingerscr

(P.S. I was taught to have the loop up high next to the right ear area, since the dog should be kept at your left side, not in front of you, and so the tug would pull the head to your side and into the direction you want to go. Am I incorrect with this?):confused:

luckypenny
July 15th, 2008, 03:29 PM
NEVER use a prong on a reactive dog. A dog that lunges should NEVER be on a prong - aside from causing a lot of pain, it will also cause temperment problems... The dog will start associating the pain with whatever it lunged at, making reactivity worse and setting you back about 100 steps because not only have you not fixed the issue, your dog now has negative associations that need to be undone... Trust me, you do not want your dog to lunge at a child on a bike, have the prongs dig in and cause a huge amount of pain... the next time your dog sees a bike or possibly even a child his reactivity will be worse. It is not WORTH it.


Lissa, I have to agree with you 100% here as this was what we learned the hard way with our Penny. It actually escalated her aggression/attack mode. Fortunately for us, it only happened on three occasions before I realized what a terrible mistake it was to correct her while she was 'reacting' to something she perceived as threatening.

We now use the Newtrix with her and have worked for over a year with desensitizing her to the objects of her aggression. Yes, it's slow going and requires an immense amount of energy and patience, but it's certainly working.

Yes, that's what I'm saying. You don't want the prongs applying pressure at the throat, which is how your setup will do it. Putting the clasp for the leash under the chin directs the correction at the back of the neck, on the scruff.

Thank you for sharing the proper way to use this bendyfoot. Because Lucky is a persistent puller regardless of the training methods and tools we have used, I did use the the prong collar on him at one time as well (without corrections). Now that I've read your post, I can't believe that no one at the store where I had purchased it from had any idea as to how to fit it and use it properly.

Have you ever considered an Easy Walk harness ? Much more effective than a prong collar, which is IMHO counterproductive and negative.

*****click**** (http://www.sitstay.com/wcsstore/SitStay/images/large/EQPWH.lg.jpg)
It is a 100% effective and a wonderful training tool. I am an evaluator for therapy dog/handler teams and I always recommend the use of those for dogs with pulling issues. It works more on a psychological basis.(Barrier) ;)

For a puller, such as Lucky, this is the only thing we have had any success with. Trust me, we've tried it all.

Kigndano, the most important thing I have learned is that every dog is different and what works for some does not work for others. I truly believe that consulting with a qualified behaviorist is the best investment you can ever make, especially when dealing with a problem such as yours. He/she should provide a 'set-up' where your dog can be properly assessed and show you, physically, what it is you are doing wrong and how to correct it. I know, it can be expensive, usually between 100-300$ depending on the duration of the session (however, follow-ups via telephone/email are often included in the price). Think of how much money you have spent on all the collars, harnesses, head halters, etc. not to mention all the stress you have been experiencing. Think of all the energy and love you've already given him. Is it not worth the little extra to finally learn the proper way to deal with your dog? Perhaps there's a behaviorist who's willing to work out a payment plan with you if you explain your financial situation as well as the situation with your dog? If you need help looking for one, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) is an organization that will certainly be able to provide you with some information. http://www.iaabc.org/index.htm You can email them at info@iaabc.org .

You have worked so hard to learn, and have come a long way since you first posted on this forum, I'd hate to see you give up now.

rainbow
July 15th, 2008, 03:41 PM
Here is the information on the Easy Walk Harness:

http://www.premier.com/View.aspx?page=dogs/products/behavior/easywalk/productdescription

I am currently using the Newtrix (http://www.newtrix.ca/docs/ourproducts.php) on our 95lb. lab which is a great help but he hates it so I think I will try the above harness next. Thanks for the recommendations Luckypenny and Sabine. :)

kigndano
July 15th, 2008, 04:58 PM
i have had my dog since he was a pup.

people used to run by and pet him and say how cute he was. that is all that come to mind.

he was never attacked by an off leash dog, never -- period.


i appreciate your advice, but like i said i DO NOT have 4 or 5 hours a day to do this, i simply dont. bottom line.

i also do not have hundreds of dollars to pay someone to help me, period. end of story on my end. the money does not exist at this time. i am living on my own making 35k a year with loans and bills out the rear end.

the occaisonal 40 dollar purchase i can handle, sure it means i eat more mac and cheese, but i am trying to train my dog.

i also dont appreciate the insinuation that i am somehow not trying to train my dog. if you knew how much friggin grief i went through to try and have a perfect little doggy youd probably slap yourself for saying such a thing.

i will try the illusion collar next. i do not want to inflict pain on my dog either. i have been trying to avoid anything like that since it was brought ot my attention that a choke collar can cause damage...i threw mine out.

when i found out his food was made with 4D meat, i threw a 50 dollar bag out. and ran out and bought a new 60 dollar bag.

so please, save your condescending advice. i have explained my situation. its fantastic that you would take the time and money to train your dog with a pro for thousands of dollars.

some of us little folk cant afford to do so, and its a shame that some people on here dont seem to want to grasp that.

so like i said if you want to be an *** and say things like...


"but would maybe TRAINING the dog be a solution ?"

kigndano
July 15th, 2008, 05:05 PM
and if you were as educated as you claim to be you would know that cesar millan says over and over again that dogs are not appliances you can send out to be fixed.

ie. the dog cannot be fixed quickly.

aslan
July 15th, 2008, 05:08 PM
kigndano, don't get stressed, remember everyone has an opinion, take what you can use and throw the rest away.
I have used a pinch/prong collar on 4 of my dogs and never had a problem with any of them once using it. Bendyfoot is absolutely correct about how to position it and use it. Mine has been used on a jack russel mix, 2 goldens and a mentally disturbed ( seriously not kidding) rottie/sheppard, it worked wonders with all of them.

Dingo
July 16th, 2008, 11:31 AM
The StarMark collar is great. Easy to use, discrete (those metal prong collars freak other people out), and not painful to the dog.

Sabine
July 16th, 2008, 12:44 PM
and if you were as educated as you claim to be you would know that cesar millan says over and over again that dogs are not appliances you can send out to be fixed.

ie. the dog cannot be fixed quickly.

Cesar whatshisname is 20 years behind in times........but let's not go there. Be happy ! :lovestruck:

LL1
July 18th, 2008, 01:59 AM
I wouldnt use a prong or choke on any of my dogs,or my rescues,but if the dog is still untrained and pulling I would use a Gentle Leader while i worked on training the dog.

szelynn
July 18th, 2008, 06:45 PM
Some dogs will be so annoyed by a Gentle Leader or Halti that they will paw at their face and mouth. I couldn't use one with Kali...she really hated it.

mollywog
July 18th, 2008, 06:55 PM
There are Gentle Leader harnesses as well if the halter-style doesn't work with your dog. You clip your leash to the chest (front), therefore if the dog pulls, they are directed sideways, much like the halti.

kigndano
July 20th, 2008, 12:30 PM
i bought an illusion collar instead of a prong.

im hoping that will work out.

mona_b
July 21st, 2008, 11:01 AM
Also,a prong is not fitted the same as a normal collar.It MUST be placed under the ear area and not the neck.That is on of the biggest mistakes that are made.Also,every breed is different and reacts in a different way with a prong.Also,it's not that effective with some long haired breeds.

This mal breeder says the same as what lissa stated.
http://www.omalmalamutes.com/omal/collars.htm

Here is the proper way of putting it on.The subject is a Dobie.But you get the drift.:)

http://leerburg.com/fit-prong.htm

kigndano,if you still have issues with him,then I have to agree with talking to a trainer.Just my :2cents:

BenMax
July 22nd, 2008, 12:48 PM
Kigndano - the best advice that I have read so far is to consult at least once with a trainer. This will save you money and aggrevation in the long run. He/she will evaluate the situation and they are equipped with tools that will fit you and your dog's need.

Everyone has an opinion on different collars. These opinions are based on their experiences with their dogs.

Like you I don't have all day. Do what you feel is right along with recommendations from a professional.

Good luck and I am certain that you will find the right collar or method to use that helps your situation. The trainer is your key.

BTW - the prong collar adds pressure and not pain if used properly.

Best to you and let us know what you decided on and how it goes. Every case is different.