A subscriber has to know:
“Eric, My dog weighs 110. She is just over 2 years old she is strong. I’m a small woman and I’m just starting to get some control over her using the prong collar. She almost killed me a few times by running away after dogs and people she wanted to play with (I was still attached to the leash..LOL ). Funny now….but not so funny then. I have 2 hip replacements and I couldn’t walk for 3 weeks. Do you still advocate NO prong collar?” – Lillian
Thanks for your question Lillian.
One of the problems that I have with prong collars is that the overwhelming majority do not use them correctly. The collar is not put on the way it is supposed to be.
Imagine for a second if your dog was 900 pounds. Would a prong collar control a 900 pound dog?
The answer is NO because you would see them on horses.
The average horse is 900 pounds and to control an animal that size, you need to control the head. Control the head, control the body.
The same way a grouchy teacher would would grab your ear to pull you along.
So my advice is to use a gentle leader. Gentle leaders work by controlling the dog’s head. You slip part of the collar around your dog’s snout and if the dog pulls, the head turns. It makes it difficult for even the largest dog to pull and will give you much better control than a prong collar.
NOW – before the “Yeah but” emails start pouring in, let me add a few caveats:
1. Most dogs HATE the gentle leader when you first put it on. There is an adjustment period.
2. It does NOT teach your dog to walk at your side. It helps you control your dog so you can teach your dog to walk with you.
3. People might think your dog is Cujo because the gentle leader looks a little bit like a muzzle.
I personally don’t use a gentle leader when I am working with a dog but I am also a highly skilled, dog training specialist with cat like reflexes and can anticipate the slightest pressure in the leash, even working with a four pound chihuahua.
All kidding aside, a gentle leader is the way to go if you have a big dog that you can’t handle. I know there is a lot of confusion and opinions about this but I have I led you down the wrong path yet?
Once you get control and start teaching your dog to walk at your side, you can start to wean your dog off the gentle leader.
In my dog training classes I show a technique to start practicing with your hands off the leash.
I know it sounds like light years away from many of you but really, within a short time you’ll be walking your dog without having to white knuckle the leash every time you go for a walk with your dog.
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All the best,