An interested reader wrote:
“Dude, why are you so down on prong and choke collars? There are so many trainers that recommend them and I have been using one on my five month old GSD and am getting great results. I think you are missing the point about these collars and should be a little more open to using them.”
Maybe it's me.
Maybe I should be using them and recommending them.
Maybe I should follow the herd of dog trainers that swear by them and have the results to show.
That’s it! From this point forward I am going to toss my years of training and OBSERVATION and go back to using them.
I used all caps with the word Observation because that is what I have done for years. My advice on dog training comes from YEARS OF OBSERVATION - not just following along with the crowd.
And here is what happens with choke and prong collars.
FIRST: They are overused. A correction becomes the answer for everything from pulling to puppy biting. I just read some advice that a prong collar should be put on a four month old puppy and used every time the puppy bites - TRAGIC!
SECOND: Cross associations. Using a prong collar in a group class can be a disaster. It can lead your dog to developing extremely negative feelings about other dogs. Correct a dog enough times on a prong collar in the presence of other dogs and you have the ingredients for dog aggression.
THIRD: You’re inflicting PAIN on your dog for your reasons. Come on man, I know we want our dogs to walk with us. I know that it is a major inconvenience having a dog that yanks your arm out of the socket everytime you go for a walk but do you have to inflict pain in order to have your dog walk by your side?
I know that even after my brilliant and extremely astute advice, some will snicker, others will dismiss, some will get outright mad that I suggest that I am some kind of mamby, pamby, do gooder that thinks hugs and holding hands will save the world.
That would be wrong because I teach that in order to train a dog you have to understand and use positive AND negative consequences.
There is no way around it but you can do it without prong or strangle collars.
BTW - if you’re interested and want to see how leash walking can be taught with just a flat collar and leash check out any of our dog training classes.