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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone, I have a 4-year old Female German Shepherd. I got her 6 months ago and have been working with her on her training for 4 months now. When I got her from the Rescue she already knew a lot as in Sit, Down, Come, Stay, Shake, Go To Your Crate, Place, and a few others. Her former owner(s) spent a lot of time (and probably money) on her and then one day just up and surrendered her saying they "no longer had time for her". She is high energy and strong and here one drawback is she is a leash puller. She wears a flat collar mostly for her Rabies Tag and I have a slip lead and she pulls with that on. 2 months ago I started using a prong collar and it has made a huge difference and that difference has also carried over to the times when I just put her slip lead on (she tugs but does not freight train).

I generally walk my Dog three times a day. At 9:00AM after breakfast. At 1:00PM and this is her long walk and we do training on this walk. Her third walk is at 6:00PM after dinner. She also gets a very short last walk at 9:00PM just before bed. For the first three walks I put her prong collar on. For her last walk since it is short I put her slip lead on. Within the last 2 to 2 1/2 weeks she has started to balk at me putting her prong collar on. She will run around the living room or go into the bedroom. When I only had the slip lead she would always sit for me to put it on and in the beginning she would sit for the prong collar but now I just have to get her to stand still and I go ahead and put her prong collar on (along with the safety clip) then attach the leash to the prong collar and we go for our walks. My Dog doesn't seem to be stressed by the prong collar and she walks fine when we are out and is happy and alert. I know that she knows when the prong collar goes on it is time for business and she is good when we are out but her balking in the house over the collar puzzles and concerns me and I want to address and correct this but am not sure how. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks all.
 

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My thought is..... Prong collars hurt. She doesn't want to have an instrument of pain put on her body & she now knows there is an option for walks that don't include painful corrections.

Personally, I don't blame her (although, I'd also be protesting the slip lead, because it's not much more fun being 'choked' than it is 'pronged')

My best recommendation to you is this: Learn how to train without pain. Consult with a modern, science-based trainer to guide you in converting over to a positive reinforcement based training protocol. Trust me. You & (most importantly) your dogs will never regret it.
 

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Most pulling is created because we pull back. Your job is to keep the leash slack! I know that sounds funny but it's true. Try less control, a slack leash and a little tug as she gets near the end of the leash. Get her focus back on you.

As to barking and hiding.. that's not good. I have a dog that practically puts his E Collar on himself because he knows we are going to train or take a hike. He will vocalize but he WANTS the collar.

Prong collars have their place. I would try walking her with two collars and two leashes. Try keeping the leashes slack with a reminder as she gets close to the leash end. The prong is there if you need it but your job is to eventually fade the prong collar.

Do you have a picture of your dog?
 

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Couple questions. How did you introduce your dog to the prong collar? Is it only used on walks? Did the dog ever vocalize or help as a result of using the prong collar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@BigBlackDog when I first got the prong collar I got her to Sit and then I put the prong collar on her and have been doing it this way ever sense. Yes, the prong collar is only used for walks. A lot of times when I walk her we also do training so it is a combination walk and train especially at her 1:00PM walk. My Dog has not yelped or vocalized in any way about the prong collar. I don't use it that way. I do not just haul off and jerk on her leash. When I have to make a correction with her leash it is the minimum correction I can make to address what she is doing at the time. The corrections I make with her leash are low, at the height of her back and to the side not up. I know better than that.

I will add that I also do indoor training with her, in my living room and these sessions are Marker Training sessions with food rewards as are many of the outdoor sessions I do with her. I have over the last 2 or 3 days started to reward her with food when she interacts with the prong collar. I will have her Sit and reward her. Then I will let her sniff the prong collar and reward her. Next, I will rub the prong collar on her neck and reward her. Finally, I will put the prong collar around her neck and hold it with my hand and reward her.

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@3GSD4IPO there is a photo of my Dog as my avatar here.

I understand what you are saying about keeping her leash slack but with her that is a challenge. I got her 6 months ago and she is 4 years old. She was not socialized when she was young and she is fearful and reactive and has ever since I adopted her been a serious leash puller (can you say freight train?). Even with a slip lead on her she still pulled. I got the prong collar at the suggestion of a Trainer and it has helped. Since I started using the prong collar the times when I do use the slip lead are better with less pulling so we are making progress. I notice that she pulls less when we are going away from my house and more when we are heading back to my house almost as if she just wants to get inside and out of the world.

We have made progress with her fearfulness and also her reactivity, but we still have work to do and honestly I think that they will be with her to one extent or another all of her life. I have noticed that she is giving me some loose lead walks and more and more each day so we are making progress. Hope this makes sense. :)
 

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I notice that she pulls less when we are going away from my house and more when we are heading back to my house almost as if she just wants to get inside and out of the world.
This is actually quite common and usual. It's true even with people - we tend to go faster going home than we do going somewhere else. I suspect it is a "now that all the fun/chore/whatever is done, I just want to get home and relax" type of conditioning. With anxious, fearful, reactive dogs it is more forceful because it is more work for them to be outside in general.

My Cat-dog does it. She has dog fear after having been attacked. Any time we are out on a leash, she will pull to get back home or to the car. Only exception is if we are on a trail with no one around (she loves people, but people often mean dogs and that anticipation stresses her). I have gotten her to the point that she will walk faster than my preferred stride, but not dislocate my shoulder. However, she will happily run out the house to get in the car to go for a ride - but if we don't get in the car, she wants back in the house.
 

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I understand what you are saying about keeping her leash slack but with her that is a challenge. I got her 6 months ago and she is 4 years old. She was not socialized when she was young and she is fearful and reactive and has ever since I adopted her been a serious leash puller (can you say freight train?).
This is why I asked about how you introduced the prong! If the leash is tight, the prong collar is inactive and mostly ineffective. But it can tend to just amp a dog up.

It's the popping action that gets their attention, and the second they refocus on you the leash needs to go slack again, clearly showing the dog how to turn off that sensation.

I suggest doing more leash work at home, before walking around the neighborhood with her. Clearly teach the dog the heel position by heeling around inside your house, then out in your yard or driveway, and only when that is good and dependable start walking in other places. In the meantime, use the slip lead or her flat collar on walks for exercise (though honestly, walking a dog doesn't really give them exercise, they need space to run frequently!).
 

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I have over the last 2 or 3 days started to reward her with food when she interacts with the prong collar. I will have her Sit and reward her. Then I will let her sniff the prong collar and reward her. Next, I will rub the prong collar on her neck and reward her. Finally, I will put the prong collar around her neck and hold it with my hand and reward her.

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.
This is a good approach.

In terms of loose-leash waling, this is the trainer and the video that I recommend. Try this out and you may very likely find you have no need for the prong collar.


 

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If she's balking at the prong collar only, why not try continuing the training without it? She may surprise you and calm down more without it and be more responsive without it.
 

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Really can't apply other terms for shock and prong colors other than cruel, torture and counterproductive. The only ones I would consider using are ones that produce sound or vibration.

I'm not a fan of most dog training videos, never really got anything out of or was completey on the same page as them .... until someone sent me a link to using the subject line "This Tiny British Lady is the Bomb".

Take your pick ... I'd at least watch the 1st one and the next 4 if ya have time

In the 1st one entitled "Owners Taste Their Own Medicine as They Receive Their Dogs' Punishments"

Watch the dog owner from 2:15 to 2:35 ...watch the whole thing for the medical problems they cause. I'd echo her recommation of a head collar (06:45 of same video) ...as she thoroughly decribes, the head collar is the solution to both problems
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@Toedtoes thank you for your suggestion. After I read it I took my Dog out for her 1 PM walk and got mixed results but she was reasonably calm. I looked at the video posted here by @Khecha Wacipi titled "Stop Pulling" and saw a couple of things that I think have real potential. When I took my Dog out for her 6 PM walk I tried a couple of them and was pleased with the results.

I will say that my Dog is calmer now by mature than she was 6 months ago when I first brought her home but I would expect that. I have been working hard with her. I work with her for 15 minutes in the morning 2 or 3 times a week and every walk I enforce discipline making her sit at intersections and cross walks. This evening on her walk she was quite relaxed and we had some loose lead action going on. When we got to the end of our walk and turned to head back to my house she was pulling but I tried a couple of things I saw in the video and to my amazement that got the message across to her. I have also been training her to heel by putting treats in my hand and holding my hand in front of her nose as I walk her through the house at my side and I am seeing potential in this as well.

It ain't a sprint, it's a marathon :)
 

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The crazy thing about dog ownership is that there are no constants ...My 1st dog after leaving parent's home, I was living in Brooklyn and took in an injured mange covered mutt ...she was named "Head" as when I visited another student, she started sniffing around found his stash of weed under his bed and when lifted her head up with a sandwich bag full in her mouth and dropped it at my feet. No lectures please ... had no idea it was there. I do get a memory flashback triggered tho, whenever I hear CBD oil recommended for dogs :)

That dog was never walked on a leash, trained her to sit on a visual /verbal command (pointing finger to ground) ...after a short while the verbal gesture became unnecessary and eventually ... shed stop at street corners on her own and I laughed as she mimicked my gesture of looking both ways before crossing. Next dog was a black lab who also was fine unleashed. Since then, I won't go near a roadway w/o a dog leashed After that I lived on a boat for a dozen or so years and we hat an 8 foot fence around he houseboat area. Never let him out unleashed, but once when a neighbor got a UPS delivery he was out and the driver opened the gate ...it both surprised me that she'd open the gate with a 125 lb dobie with a "bodybuilder" like build and that he didn't run out. Turned out she had dobies and would always spend 2-3 minutes with her. Then one day he as gone ... I was frantic ...was out searching for hours, came back to the boat to see if anyone seen him and the UPS truck pulls in she opens the door and out pops my dog .... seems she had jumped in the truck while she was delivering the package. By the time she discovered the dog she was 20 minutes away and had to wait till shift end to come back.

What I am getting at,no matter how well you seem to be able rely on your dog's typical behaviors, they will always surprise you. Aside from the street corner stops, I'd suggest a physical cue as well and training her to stop when you stop w/o even a verbal command. I do this when walking the dogs in prperation for the instance where passing traffic noise or other noises don't get drowned out. Whenever one of them pulls, I just stop and we don't start again till they sit. I aslo menat to suggest before, mixing in up and avoiding the "walk back" by waking around the block.
 

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I have to apologize a bit for my response above. I had JUST come home after hip replacement.. which is now done on an outpatient basis.. and I read the title as BARKING at the collar not BALKING....

Can we all spell Anesthesia???
 

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@3GSD4IPO I read it as "barking" too the first time. Had to read it a second time to realize it read baLking
 

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@Toedtoes thank you for your suggestion. After I read it I took my Dog out for her 1 PM walk and got mixed results but she was reasonably calm. I looked at the video posted here by @Khecha Wacipi titled "Stop Pulling" and saw a couple of things that I think have real potential. When I took my Dog out for her 6 PM walk I tried a couple of them and was pleased with the results.

I will say that my Dog is calmer now by mature than she was 6 months ago when I first brought her home but I would expect that. I have been working hard with her. I work with her for 15 minutes in the morning 2 or 3 times a week and every walk I enforce discipline making her sit at intersections and cross walks. This evening on her walk she was quite relaxed and we had some loose lead action going on. When we got to the end of our walk and turned to head back to my house she was pulling but I tried a couple of things I saw in the video and to my amazement that got the message across to her. I have also been training her to heel by putting treats in my hand and holding my hand in front of her nose as I walk her through the house at my side and I am seeing potential in this as well.

It ain't a sprint, it's a marathon :)
Below are a couple videos that you may find helpful. I use very similar techniques that are in video with success.


 

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Really can't apply other terms for shock and prong colors other than cruel, torture and counterproductive. The only ones I would consider using are ones that produce sound or vibration.

I'm not a fan of most dog training videos, never really got anything out of or was completey on the same page as them .... until someone sent me a link to using the subject line "This Tiny British Lady is the Bomb".

Take your pick ... I'd at least watch the 1st one and the next 4 if ya have time

In the 1st one entitled "Owners Taste Their Own Medicine as They Receive Their Dogs' Punishments"

Watch the dog owner from 2:15 to 2:35 ...watch the whole thing for the medical problems they cause. I'd echo her recommation of a head collar (06:45 of same video) ...as she thoroughly decribes, the head collar is the solution to both problems
You obviously never used one. Any tool can be abused just like a flat collar. When used properly, prong collar can be one of the most humane tools along with the ability to effectively communicate with the dog.
 

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Below are a couple videos that you may find helpful. I use very similar techniques that are in video with success.


First video. Mal demo dog.

I see a dog who, while being fitted with the prong collar, is ostensibly screaming out "Oh no, not again. PLEASE don't put that thing on me". The calming signals the dog exhibits are blatant and numerous, and the handler seems oblivious or at least indifferent to the dog's pleas.

Also, I see nothing in the outcome that justifies the use of the word 'instant' in the video title. It's false and misleading, in my opinion.
 

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I completely agree with the above. those videos only show how NOT to use a prong collar. And, as also stated, how to disregard what your dog is asking and telling you. This is a good way to destroy what could otherwise be a trusting relationship between the dog and the person.
 
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