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Old 11-26-2012, 05:58 AM   #21 (permalink)
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As (I might have said this earlier) do I.

I think we have to understand that this is an area where we will not have consensus. The most important things are that when people choose to use certain tools or techniques with their dogs: 1. they need to understand the correct use of the tool; 2 they apply its use fairly (meaning well timed so the dog understands why what is happening is happening). I also think that variable reinforcements can work with tools like pinch collars. I sometimes put pinch collars on but don't attach them to the leashes. Since they can open unexpectedly I always have a second collar on the dogs. They don't always know whether the pinch is in effect. Varying it makes them more thoughtful about taking those lunges.

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Originally Posted by Jdcollins View Post
Same exact with my two. And I do exactly as u do



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Old 11-26-2012, 07:47 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm not criticizing anything besides the fact that it's not about egos, it's about improving life for dogs.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:01 AM   #23 (permalink)
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[removed my own post since I forgot I posted it earlier in the thread. Too much turkey I guess.]
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:37 PM   #24 (permalink)
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msminnamouse, I wasn't being critical of your ideas. On the contrary, I find what you have to say to be very thoughtful, articulate and constructive. I think we are all clear that the best interest of our dogs is our most important shared interest. It is really just that I know lots of people have very visceral reactions to things like unlimited slip chains and pinch collars. It is good to be objective. But it is also good to have a diversity of opinions expressed, so that people can sort out their options about all of the things we discuss in the interest of our dogs' well being.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:33 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Oh, I know. And I do agree with you that we should be educated on the use of all the different tools out there. Even if it's just to knock something, you should at least know what you're knocking.

I just didn't want the misconception out there that when people may disagree with a tool, it's most likely due to ego. I can't speak for others but when I perceive something as detrimental for dogs, it really has to do completely with the dogs and nothing to do with myself, besides my perception of it.

I don't have much of an ego and if I do, I try to squash it. No one person can know everything and that's okay. I've done a lot of research and have had a lot of experience but I'm not above referring out cases or consulting with others on cases that are above my skill-set and this includes my own dogs.

I see a pattern, however, with some of what I call the "backyard dog trainers". There are a lot in my area. People offering professional training when their education and experience is comprised of having dogs all their lives and then one difficult dog that they've mastered through an undue amount of corporal punishment and intimidation. That seems to be all they needed to know in order to go pro. The less they know how to handle a difficult dog, the more force they use to suppress the dog. They consider this a battle of wills and the dog giving in is what wins the battle.

Using force is a lot easier than applying less force. To be good at applying force, you just need to apply it quick enough and hard enough to get the dog to mind you. It doesn't really matter why a dog is misbehaving, what their body language says, what different method you could try for this particular dog, etc. So I do see the appeal.

These people train dogs and only dogs. Some cats with spray bottles for everything. They don't appear to know how to train an animal that won't accept force due to size constraints or nature. You can't give collar corrections to a parrot. You can't force a hermit crab to willingly come to your hand. You can't force a goldfish to swim through an obstacle course. And good luck using corrections on an orca! I do NOT want to see how that might turn out.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:27 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention my favorite game for loose leash walking and you can also use it as a warm up when leash walking is good or to re-establish leash manners when something makes the dog reactive.

Follow The Leader. Start this is in the house, when mastered, move to the yard, then move to the sidewalk, and onwards. With a leash on a harness, quickly dart to the left and stop abruptly. Reward the dog when they catch up. Dart several feet in another direction and stop. Reward the dog when they catch up again. Keep doing this, the dog has to be paying attention to keep up with you. Each time they catch up with you, reward them. You're not supposed to go so fast that you drag the dog. You want them to stay with you as much as they can. The more they focus and pay attention, the better they will become at this game. The game builds this.

The only stimulus here is the game and the reward when they "win" each time.

While on walks, reward auto check ins and manual check ins. Which is the dog holding your eye contact. Auto is when the dog does it without being prompted, manual is when you ask for it. This will ensure that the dog stays aware of you and is ready to focus on you at any time, no matter what may be going on. It's good practice for when you need to ask them to focus when something may otherwise bother them.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:18 PM   #27 (permalink)
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No ego here either, and I do agree that there are lots of "trainers" (I like the term back yard trainers) who think they have really great techniques for helping people with their dogs, but who don't really know what they are doing and have no certifications to show their clients. How many dogs and people and family relationships do you think have been further damaged by having the wrong person come to train dogs in people's homes. We also have lots of those trainers around her. That sort of training could be the basis of another thread.

I use a variation of follow the leader to refresh crisp attentive heeling. Old school obedience trainers call it doodling. I do doodling extreme version with lots of rapid direction and pace changes. I include sudden stops near ring gates and very extreme pace changes. I usually do it with the leash balled up in my pants pocket so there is a little tug if Lily doesn't pay attention at the beginning. Good treats are given for nice fast straight sits.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:55 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I hate slip collars being called "choke chains" because if they are being used correctly, they should absolutely not be choking the dog. They are designed to deliver a "harsher" correction than a standard flat collar or a martingale. So thus, they are designed for correction training. That said, when training service and guide dogs, it is an overall rule that puppies younger than 6 months not be put into any sort of collar other than flat because doing so can a) cause them to lose confidence, b) make them leash/handler reactive, and c) since most puppy raisers are not dog trainers, we don't want them damaging a pup's neck by incorrectly using the collar.

I do use a slip collar on Nova on walks when I'm walking more than 2 dogs simply because she is a small pony and IF she lunged, she would take me off my feet on a flat collar. Now that said, she's very well trained and I don't really think that would ever happen, but I always prefer to err on the side of caution. She does have a tendency to push her boundaries and take every inch she can get, and I can get my point across more easily (and with less correction/tension) with the slip than her flat collar. A slip collar should never ever ever ever be allowed to be tight for more than the 1/4 of a second that you are at peak correction when giving a leash correction. It should hang loose like a necklace (and make sure it's on correctly). Of course, there are folks who don't want to use correction at all, and if you are not going to do a leash correction, then you definitely don't need to use a slip collar, because you will end up choking the dog.

All of that aside, if you decide to go with a slip collar, a neck protector, like those from Poodleit, are designed to be used with a slip collar and protect the neck hair. One of my poodle puppy raisers who ended up needing a slip collar made one for her poodle to keep the collar from breaking off his neck hair and it worked well. I havent seen any such collar that would work with a prong, but I wonder if something could be made that would sit between the collar and the hair, or if that would defeat the purpose all together.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Not to harp on the issue but I remembered a link about this: Avoid Choke Chains at all Costs!

And they're called choke collars because they choke. That's what a collar that constricts the airway does. It doesn't stop squeezing due to a buckle or snap. It keeps going until the neck can't give anymore. That's the very definition of choke. That's how you use it. You snap it and it constricts the throat. Or the dog pulls and their throat is constricted. Some oblivious, over stimulated dogs will pull until they gag and pass out.

No dog warrants a harsh correction (or any physical or harsh verbal correction could also be argued but not the topic here). I trained my own service dog and help people to train their own service dogs. Not even a precision working dog needs choke collars. I cringe every time I see a service dog being thanked for their efforts by having their neck yanked. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you... Then you see what are supposed to be fully trained service dogs with full public access wearing prong and choke collars. Hmm. Why would a fully trained service dog need to get collar corrections? Things are very different in the UK. Much better standards. Many service dogs and especially guide dogs are trained brutally in the USA.

I mean, really. Service dogs should be treated like appreciated, valued employees who work for incentives like any employee would work for a pay check. Only slaves work to avoid corporal punishment. Because compliance or else isn't much of a decision when you get right down to it.

Be a good employer. Motivate, reward, teach, demote or promote.

Choke - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

It's hard to argue with the English language.

Did I get emotional in this post? Yes. This is point of contention for me. I have a service dog. She's a sentient creature and works her heart out for me. I appreciate her helping me. I wouldn't repay her by treating her unkindly. And she loves her work. I can see it in each bouncy step, each doggy laugh (yes, dogs do laugh. Google for the CD, it's wonderful to play for your dogs), and each silly face she makes. If she's not performing well then I'VE messed up somewhere or she's not feeling well.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:49 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I think the outcry is that they're called "choke chains". The prong collar, to me, is more inhumane as it inflicts pain instead of pressure. But the word "prong" isn't offensive.

I've seen a choke chain put on a 70-year-old dog trainer's neck and yanked. They don't hurt - it's all pressure.

We fostered a young boxer puppy that nothing worked on. He was a great dog, just hyper and didn't know how to behave when meeting new people. The trainer we took him to suggested the choke collar and it worked. But I didn't put it on him until I had one around my own neck and yanked on it to make sure that it wasn't going to painful or inhumane.
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