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Old February 1st, 2009, 05:23 PM
MindysMom MindysMom is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 58
Training Collar or harness

I know there are some dog trainers on this forum and I have a question.

Max, my 4 month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has just started puppy class. I am guilty of choosing a class that was convenient for me rather than checking into the training philosophy used. Today's class the trainer was fitting dogs with appropriate training collars. The problem is that since the CKCS breed is susceptible to Syringomyelia many neurologists suggest that these dogs never use a collar for training, and use a harness instead as the collar could do damage to an otherwise asymptomatic and undiagnosed dog with any amount of pressure to the neck or skull. The trainer encouraged me to try a martingdale and nylon training collar on Max. He co-operatively faked (and I know he was faking as there was 0 pressure) choking each time so she reluctantly allowed us to use the harness.

Do you believe it's not possible to train a dog on a harness? He really isn't a puller anyway and requires (so far) direction rather than correction. Truthfully in a serious situation if he didn't obey a command I could always scoop him up as he won't weigh more than 20 lbs full grown. Of course I want him to obey and I'd only do that if there was danger.

I don't want to appear stubborn (even though I am I suppose) and I'm willing to work harder with him if that's what it takes but I'm really not going to put him in a collar. Now I'm afraid that I'm setting a bad example for the class since some of the other pups don't like their collars very much either (The yorkie threw a full out tantrum - she was used to a harness as well) but for Max it's a health issue.

I'm going to forward some info to my trainer regarding SM so she'll know I'm not just a spoiled brat that thinks I know better than her.

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