Really stupid questions - heel? pop?
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Thread: Really stupid questions - heel? pop?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    DefaultReally stupid questions - heel? pop?

    I've been reading threads regarding prong collar training because my Spot is over 90 lbs and a big time puller. I've tried a lot of things including Gentle Leader, but nothing seemed to work. I finally bought a prong collar last week and it has been working like a charm! Spot learned to stop pulling the second I put it on him.

    The reason for this post is, well, I am curious what people mean by "heeling" or "popping" the prong collars. I hope these are not stupid questions. I think it is mainly because English is my 2nd language.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: Really stupid questions - heel? pop?

    The only stupid question is the one not asked.

    Those are terms related to training, not specifically to the prong collar.

    Heeling is a term used to describe the "position of the dog". It can be a movement or a stationary position. Heel is when the dog is on the handler's left side and the dog is positioned so the handler's left leg is centered between the dog's right ear and right shoulder. The dog maintains this position whether moving or sitting/standing/downing. If a dog is heeling properly, they are not lagging (behind the handler) or forging (ahead of the handler), bumping (the handler) or going wide (away from the handler). The average dog owner does not need a formal heel as described which is used in competitive obedience. Most are happy with just loose leash walking.

    Here is a video of the 2007 Crufts winner. Heeling is demonstrated 45 seconds into the video so bear with all the opening talk. You can see on the video that heeling is a very precise position.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEA3RzqItJk

    Popping is a quick snap of the leash to get the dog's attention. I don't want to say yank or jerk because those are overkill. As I'm sure you are aware, you can never out pull a dog so having a constantly tight leash will get you no where. In order to get a correction you have to let the collar/lead loose then give a quick pop.

    Pops are not always negative. They can be motivational as well. A lot of competitive obedience trainers use motivational pops to get the dog revved up.

    Are you taking any obedience classes? Sometimes it's easier to have someone show you what is being described. Also, prong collars require proper fitting and proper use so make sure someone can check to make sure you have it fitted correctly and are using it correctly.

  4. #3
    Dani's Avatar
    Dani is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Really stupid questions - heel? pop?

    Quote Originally Posted by breezesunshine
    Spot learned to stop pulling the second I put it on him.
    Actually, he learned that if he puts pressure against the collar, it will be uncomfortable for him. He hasn't learned to stop pulling, yet. He'll only know that when you transition him back to his flat collar. Did you put both on him at the same time so he's not truly aware of which is giving him the correction? Are you still talking to him and reinforcing a heel command? Those are important tools in addition to the thoughts that Lydia provided. The goal should always be to transition him off of that training tool and onto a regular collar..with enough persistence and training, I think you'll do fine.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
    SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
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  6. #4
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Really stupid questions - heel? pop?

    Excellent advice above. For more info on the prong and its use, see the Our Best Advice sticky.

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: Really stupid questions - heel? pop?

    I know I can count on your guys! Thanks so much for the advice!

  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: Really stupid questions - heel? pop?

    I have always took "heel" as lose leash walking beside you not pulling

  9. #7
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Really stupid questions - heel? pop?

    Quote Originally Posted by clear
    I have always took "heel" as lose leash walking beside you not pulling
    Heel is a position -- dog's shoulders at your left knee -- regardless of the activity: Walking, standing, sitting, lying down....

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