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When I did rescue (of Rottweilers), one of my first lessons was taking a small Rottie bitch from a shelter, and having her pull me off my feet on a martingale collar. After that I always used a prong from shelter to car and car to my own yard or house. It is, in my opinion, one of those keep dog and handler safe situations. However, I have heard a dog yelp when a prong tightens. No one will convince me they don't work via pain, and most Rotties are not particularly sensitive souls. In the years I did rescue, I'd never heard of no-pull harnesses. My experience was that head halters took conditioning, some dogs never accepted them, and I didn't like them myself.

As to my e-collar experience, when I first began tracking with my dogs, my mentor strongly advised snake-aversive training, so off I went and did it with my older girl, Story. After hearing her scream and seeing her huddle and not only not want to go near the snake but anywhere near the whole area, after seeing her jump back and act afraid of anything strange on the ground for months after that experience, I decided never again. If I lived somewhere where poisonous snakes were a looming and large danger, I might have decided differently, but while there are rattlesnakes in my part of Colorado, I've never seen one on my property. I'd rather take the chance and rush my dog (or self) to an emergency clinic if a bite occurs at the location of most tracking trials here, where the chances of snake encounters are higher, but not IMO high enough to put a dog through that again. You have to ask yourself why the snake training people use electric collars to impress upon dogs that snakes are to be avoided at all costs if an e-collar merely tickles?

So some of this is a personal choice, but when anyone starts telling me how these things don't hurt dogs, I roll my eyes.

What level was the e-collar at? The e-collar shouldn't be a punishment.. if I'm reading this right the dog coming across the snake meant a shock??.. thats.. not right... I don't ever use more than a 3 on my mini educator.

if your dog yelps while on a prong you are doing something seriously wrong. It isn't meant to hurt, just cause discomfort
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Well, at least when it comes to LLW (as the thread title indicates), I do all of my training without the use of ANY "tools" (as also seen in the video I posted). Unless, of course, you consider rewards to be a tool. No collar, no leash, no prong, no e-collar, no halti, no harness etc. Just ... naked.

Once the dog learns what is expected of him or her this way, then I add in a flat collar and leash merely as a fail-safe device if my end goal is to walk in public, for example.

I often wonder if "tool-less" is the better or perhaps even the best way to go. I don't think there could be any argument that the way I apply it, it is the 'kindest' technique. Plus, communication is clear and the desirable behaviours become ingrained quite quickly. Keep in mind that a rock-solid reinforcement history is your strongest ally, in my opinion. Overall it seems to work marvelously for me and my dogs anyway. And it sure does eliminate all of the political / moral / ethical / legal BS and controversy of "tools" too.
 

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Today my dog was ignoring me, CHOOSING to ignore me. He knows sit, he's sat in the driveway for me 100's of times. Today, he wanted to test bounderies. So, I used what I had. I just grabbed his collar and pulled on it til he sat, then I released pressure. in 2 mins he was behaving again. He was blowing me off, and I do NOT allow that to happen. Sit isn't a super important, but a recall is? what if he decided he wasn't listening to me and blew off a recall? Being on top of him and letting him know he isn't getting away with nothing keeps him safe.

I don't know what I would do with him without balanced training, and if he where in the hands of an r+ trainer he'd be blowing you off day and night. He's a very independant dog, he needs me to tell him "listen here, I am in charge" every once in awhile.
 

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Today my dog was ignoring me, CHOOSING to ignore me. He knows sit, he's sat in the driveway for me 100's of times. Today, he wanted to test bounderies. So, I used what I had. I just grabbed his collar and pulled on it til he sat, then I released pressure. in 2 mins he was behaving again. He was blowing me off, and I do NOT allow that to happen. Sit isn't a super important, but a recall is? what if he decided he wasn't listening to me and blew off a recall? Being on top of him and letting him know he isn't getting away with nothing keeps him safe.

I don't know what I would do with him without balanced training, and if he where in the hands of an r+ trainer he'd be blowing you off day and night. He's a very independant dog, he needs me to tell him "listen here, I am in charge" every once in awhile.
It sounds like your reinforcement history is weak and insufficient. It's definitely not rock-solid.

And if your dog is "choosing to ignore you" and "testing boundaries", I'd also suggest that your relationship in general likely needs bolstering.
 

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Aversion training is typically done at a higher stim level than most instructive e-collar training is (assuming the handler knows what they're doing, of course, way too many people out there who think that it's fine to crank the power up). The goal is not to punish the dog for going near the trigger, but to deliberately associate the sight, smell, sound of the trigger with an acutely unpleasant, negative experience, so that the dog develops an instinctive avoidance response to said trigger (usually venomous snakes or livestock). Single event learning - like I said, it's powerful stuff. Even experienced correction-based trainers will often go to a specialist to train aversion, it's not something to mess around with. Well, partially because you do need a literal live venomous snake to work with, but also because it's working with more extreme stimulation and emotional responses. Not something I'd do currently, but I know dog people who have venomous snakes show up in their yard or even house often enough that I absolutely see the need for it when you're living in high risk areas.

Of course, even normal intensity e-collar corrections can result in the dog associating a trigger with unpleasant sensations accidentally, especially with an inexperienced handler or with a sensitive dog. Again. Not an easy tool or one for beginners.

And I'll say it once more. Assuming that every dog experiences the same prong correction on a properly fitted collar as the exact same sensation is just ignorant. Just like with humans, dogs are going to have a wide range of pain tolerance for any given stimulus, whether it's due to thickness of the coat or skin, number of pain sensors in a given area of skin, brain development in areas that process pain or physical sensation, or even underlying pain issues elsewhere that the handler may not be aware of. Then, of course, every dog is going to have a different emotional response to that pain. A border collie bred to be highly sensitive and responsive to input will very likely interpret 'mild discomfort' very differently than, say, a husky who thinks that the same 'mild discomfort' is totally worth being able to pull-pull-pull the way they love doing.
 

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Well, at least when it comes to LLW (as the thread title indicates), I do all of my training without the use of ANY "tools" (as also seen in the video I posted). Unless, of course, you consider rewards to be a tool. No collar, no leash, no prong, no e-collar, no halti, no harness etc. Just ... naked.
petpeeve, was it in this thread that the book When Pigs Fly was recommended? I just read it and was taken with the whole philosophy but won't have a chance to try anything like that for I hope several years as I have all the dogs I need/want/can manage right now. My Rotties are eager to please dogs that probably any decent training would work on, but I remember the very different attitude of my Akitas very well. I didn't really try training them much. They were grand dogs and got along in my horse-centered life at the time without it. However, I do wonder if the naked training of When Pigs Fly wouldn't work with dogs like them, while I suspect corrections and adversives would get you nothing but contempt and reluctant compliance only when you were able to apply them. Of course incorrect treat training gets you a dog that only complies when you have food in your hand.:)
 

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Nope. You don't know my dog, you cant speak on behalf of our relationship.
I was speaking on behalf of the information you've posted. And also my intuition, based on the 1000 or so dogs / handlers I've worked with during the past twelve years. Believe me, I've 'seen -- and heard it all'.

Both of those points should allow me to extrapolate a bit here, in conjunction with my use of terms in my comments to you, such as "sounds like" and "likely". I was not stating that I had you and your dog's relationship all sewn up. I was merely offering advice to you, from my experiences and my 'DF forum perspective'.
 

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He is a stubborn dog. I know people say dogs aren't stubborn but He can be. We have a lovely relationship, we have a bond that I haven't had with any other dog ever. Just sometimes, he wants to try and test what he can get away with, like yesterday. I would like to know how him blowing me off, means our relatonship needs bolstering? We don't need any support, we're fine.

Furthermore, how is my reinforcement wrong, when I'm always on top of the training? Especially with simple commands, its reinforced all the time. So how exactly is it weak? Especially when my reinforment method IS Positive reinforment (good behavior), and Punishent (bad behavior). every session ends with positve reinforment because I won't stop reapeating something until I get what I want. i want my dog to know not sitting is not acceptable. Therefore, not listening/ignoring my command equals leash pressure, and listening equals traits or praise.
 

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To quote a book title, "It's a dog, not a toaster".
 

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I don't think prong collars hurt ( in my opinion ). Uncomfortable, yes.. but so are easy walks and head halters. I have put the prong on myself and did a pop with the force i'd put on my dog, and yanked it as hard as I could, the yank hurt, but not bad. the pop didn't hurt at all, I just felt the pressure of the collar around my wrist. As we know, the prong isn't pointy, the prongs are rounded. And they are even, so the pressure is evenly around the dogs neck, which means the prongs shouldn't be pushed into the neck, it should just tighten and if anything pinch just a little. I do not see the use of a prong any more discomforting than a front clip, a choke chain, a head halter, etc. I see it as #1 Safer than all other options other than a y-front harness, and #2 causes very minimal discomfort and with some dogs (I've noticed in my poodle he HATES the front clip, doesn't mind the prong) and no discomfort at all (i've seen dogs continue to drag their handlers down, disregarding the prong). I don't think we should see prongs as anything different as a flat collar, harness, head halter, ect because ALL of them can cause pain and discomfort. ALL of them. Every single one. So I don't see how a prong, that unlike all of these other tools evenly distributes pressure limiting the pressure on the trachea is picture as barbaric and abusive.
The problem with prong collars often come from the handler, especially novices who will use them to walk around the neighborhood where other dogs, squirrels, cats, deer etc. can pop out unexpectedly. A dog bolting away from the owner who stops the dog abruptly could fine those blunt prongs piercing the skin. The worst are owners using prongs with extend a leashes.
 

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The problem with prong collars often come from the handler, especially novices who will use them to walk around the neighborhood where other dogs, squirrels, cats, deer etc. can pop out unexpectedly. A dog bolting away from the owner who stops the dog abruptly could fine those blunt prongs piercing the skin. The worst are owners using prongs with extend a leashes.
Yes, I do agree. To use a prong, you must get your dog out of the lunging phase. People with flexi's annoy me in general, I only use them when Im hiking because i don't like my long lines dragging on the floor and getting snagged on things.
 
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