I am strongly against choke/prong/shock collars, they are inhumane and my vet strongly is against them. When archie does something wrong he gets either a "Ep, ep" "Too bad" (reward withdrawel) me growling or being ignored for a few minutes. We do however use a half check collar, as they are safe. I teach new commands using the clicker and food. In training se4ssions i use a combination of food, toys and praise (lets not forget cuddles!).
I don't think there is any one way or method. With pups I try to be as postive as I can but I have nothing against choke, pinch, or e-collars. They all have their place in training, and not every dog is the same.
The only inhumane thing about the use of them is the person on the end of the lead not being schooled properly on how to use them as training tools.
I use luring, food, toys, praise and gentle corrections (when needed). The correction never really comes from me but instead the dog corrects itself and I use no verbal along with it. Normally that come along when a dog is at the age it knows what I am asking and expecting of it but it is trying to take its own path.
A mix of things. I use a prong when we're out with other dogs, etc, - just a situation where we need a bit more control. I show her and train her in a buckle collar, though.
I also clicker train.
Again, there is nothing wrong with the abovementioned collars- but more the person using them.
Wow, tell us how you really feel...Originally Posted by k9ruby
What types of dogs does your vet own/breed/train?? Do you have just the one dog?
Anywho...to answer your question, I use a combination of methods just like cinderbaylabs. I do all of my training on a flat collar or no collar at all. When competing, my dogs wear a choke in obedience, thin choke or slip in conformation and run agility naked (akc) or in a flat collar (ukc). I use a lot of treats when introducing things in agility, obedience, or conformation. Then I wean to fewer treats or toy/verbal rewards. I don't use food in field training at all. I use verbal corrections ("ahht", "no") and physical corrections (physically moving, scruff grab) when needed. My labs are all e-collar conditioned for fieldwork.
Yes I do only have one dog. My vet trains labs (and wife breeds them, has done for over 4 generations). My family are friendly with the olice: police dog trainer in our area, and he feels exactly the same way. It was actually in the paper that one force had used an e-collar on "light" setting and the dog get severe burns. I wouldn't want to risk that for my best friend...dunno about others though.
Both had said even when used correctly choke/prong collars risk damage to tissue and the windpipe. Plus, if you want to be a acreddited pet dog trainer here, you cannot use any of these methods.
If you really don't believe me i can give you more info.
Choke collars are very different than prong collars. Choke collars when used properly still can cause damage. A large study in Germany was done last year, I think, and showed that a large percentage of dogs that had choke collars used on them had trachea damage.
Each collar has its uses when in the hands of someone who has been properly trained.
Some info about prong collars:
From the Boston Terrier Club of America:
Many people train their dogs on what is called a choke collar – a collar which essentially pops the dog in the throat when tightened. This is a risky kind of collar to use with your Boston, as our lovely breed frequently has problems in the trachea area. Using motivational techniques, treats and toys, will allow you to train your dog using a flat collar or a variation; however, you will reach a stage where a correction is needed to emphasize that doing the exercise is not a choice for your dog to make. I recommend using a prong collar for this correction. One study comparing the use of a prong collar over the use of a choke collar in dog training showed tracheal damage from the use of the prong in only one out of fifty dogs, while over half the dogs using the choke collar suffered permanent tracheal damage.
From Canine Counselors:
The German pinch collar or prong collar works differently from buckle or slip collars in that it can never interfere with a dog’s breathing. It is very safe, therefore, and is the collar of choice for dogs with sensitive throats or prior tracheal damage. It is also favored by many instructors for toy breeds, dogs with a lot of heavy coat, and any dog that pulls his owner on the lead. It is one of the few training tools that when applied, stops the unwanted behavior (pulling) instantly, with very little skill or strength needed on the part of the handler. The prong collar is more expensive than buckle or slip collars, but can be easily sized by adding or deleting links (prongs) so one collar can last the dog’s lifetime. Only one brand of prong collar is ever advised and that is the West German collar manufactured by H. Sprenger. Do not buy the cheap (and sharp or rough) collars sold by the mega-pet stores! As with the choke chain collar, the prong collar has suffered much bad publicity, many times dished out by instructors who have no experience in their use. Despite its somewhat fearsome appearance, the prong collar is the most humane and effective collar available.
Our training club recommends prong collars, as stated above, particularly for dogs who pull on a leash. We use one when training Angus. He is less likely to pull our arms out of socket if wearing one of these. Notice I said "less likely." Properly motivated, he will still run to the end of the leash and strain like a sled dog. I'm thinking it can't be that bad, since he does this of his own free will and does not seem to mind in the least.
I wouldn't use a prong on, say, a Whippet. Or a Boston Terrier.
I think that any collar could be dangerous if used improperly, flat collars included.
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
I've used a prong collar on 3 dogs now and none of them seemed the worse for it. In fact, for me, I'd never have been able to walk or train these large dogs without it. I'm just not as strong as these dogs. One dog I had loved a gentle leader, the others have hated it. My present dog, Bo, was almost a year old when we got him and had been trained for field work by a really nice breeder/trainer of field dogs who uses e-collars on pretty much all his field dogs. Again, as far as I can tell, Bo is absolutely fine. He's the friendliest, least aggressive dog I've ever had. He loves everyone. However, since he didn't have too much experience on a leash, I have had to use a prong collar with him because of his strength and enthusiasm.
I think these methods get a bad rap. I'm sure it would be great if all dogs had owners who had the time, skill and patience to do all training without collars, but most of us do what needs to be done to have our dogs out on the streets with us. I'm sure any of these collars can be mis-used, but the methods themselves are not the problem.
I use/have used a variety of methods. Learning always starts with luring the dog, then we move to constant rewards, then random rewards. Depending on what we are working on, I train using flat buckle, choke, or prong. I'm in the process of e-collar conditioning my dog with help and guidance of a very experienced trainer. In my opinion, it is not the tools, it's the people who use/misuse the tools that are the problem.
The only inhumane thing that I did in training was one time when I lost my temper and spanked my dog and yelled at him. It was damaging to our training and our relationship and no chokes, prongs, e-collar were used. It happened in the early stages of our training and I have learned to control my temper so much better now (in fact, I have not lost my temper since).
I would never suggest that a person who feels strongly against these tools use them. So, if you don't want to use them, that's just fine. There are people who train using positive reinforcement only and achieve great results.
These are tools. Nothing more nothing less. Neither good, nor bad. Any method, if used incorrectly, can damage a dog. Yes even your purely positive stance can be harmful if used incorrectly. For example, there was a PP handler in one of the obedience classes I attend. Her dog was extremely dog aggressive. She decided she didn't want to use corrections on the dog. Instead every time the dog lunged and growled at another dog she clicked and treated. : I asked what she was doing. She said the click gets his attention then she treats him. She was essentially training the dog to attack other dogs. I'm sure you could clicker train a dog to watch you instead of attack other dogs but she clearly didn't know what she was doing. She was finally kicked out of class because someone was going to get hurt and she clearly didn't have a clue about clicker training and couldn't open her mind to becoming informed. The class instructor didn't have any issue using clickers but they needed to be used correctly and not endanger the rest of the class.
To answer your question, I use whatever tool and method works best on that particular dog. Not all methods/tools work on all dogs. That is why there are so many options available.