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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we left Ernie with my in laws for the past couple of days while I attended a conference in Boston. This was the first time we left the puppy overnight with them and wrote out a list of what our daily routine is and asked that they follow as much as possible. Well everything seemed to go well but I am a little upset at one thing. My mother in law suggested that we buy Ernie a choke chain. I said "no, not right now". He just started puppy class and about 90% of the time he is very well behaved. He is still very mouthy and lately as he is starting to get bigger he is entering a new phase of being jumpy. He is very strong but right now we use a retractable leash to walk him on and he does really well with that.

Well the part that I am a little upset with is that my in laws actually said oh we used one (choke collar) on him but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. I really am not a fan of the choke or prong collars. They used on their Bouvier Des Flanders who was 150 pounds and not well socialized. I really want to get thru obedience classes and have Ernie a bit older and then assess the need if any for this use of collar. I am grateful that we have them to look after Ernie and don't need to put in him in the kennel but I am not happy that they used this type of collar on him without asking us first.

Sorry, I know it's not a really big deal but I just need to vent a little....Thanks!
 

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I can understand your being upset about this. I would be too. I think you are right that he is a bit young for either. I thought about using one on Tal when he was younger and was advised to wait until he was older. I waited until we were in training class and I am glad I did.

They recommended the prong collar because it mimicks the bite they get as pups from their mother or other older dogs to correct undesirable behavior. Used correctly it is a great tool, IMHO. But you have to know how to use one. Before the obed class I would not have known how to use the prong collar.

I did some research on both collar types and I would never ever use a choke collar. I wish I had bookmarked it, but I cam across one study where dogs were checked for long term neck trauma from the choke and prong collars. I don't remember the exact statistics, but with the choke collar, almost all subjects had neck trauma. Only one dog experienced it with the prong collar. That settled it for me.

But I digress. I would be upset too. They are the sitter and it is not their place to train Ernie. You are doing great with him and they should respect your wishes. Under no uncertain terms would I allow them to use a choke collar on him. The trick is to do it in such a way that it is tactful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
myfavoritedog said:
I did some research on both collar types and I would never ever use a choke collar. I wish I had bookmarked it, but I cam across one study where dogs were checked for long term neck trauma from the choke and prong collars. I don't remember the exact statistics, but with the choke collar, almost all subjects had neck trauma. Only one dog experienced it with the prong collar. That settled it for me.

But I digress. I would be upset too. They are the sitter and it is not their place to train Ernie. You are doing great with him and they should respect your wishes. Under no uncertain terms would I allow them to use a choke collar on him. The trick is to do it in such a way that it is tactful.
I think I just found this study (right before I read your response :)) http://www.8pawsup.com/articles/training/prongcollars.html

It recommends not using them on pups less than 6 months. I am certainly open to the idea if nothing else work but I just felt that should be our decision. Thankfully I just shut my mouth and than explained my feelings to my husband after we left. When his Mom brought it back up on the phone he explained how we felt about it and she backed off. I do get along with her very well but after a long couple of days it's best to let the hubby deal with it ;)
 

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blacklab1973 said:
myfavoritedog said:
I did some research on both collar types and I would never ever use a choke collar. I wish I had bookmarked it, but I cam across one study where dogs were checked for long term neck trauma from the choke and prong collars. I don't remember the exact statistics, but with the choke collar, almost all subjects had neck trauma. Only one dog experienced it with the prong collar. That settled it for me.

But I digress. I would be upset too. They are the sitter and it is not their place to train Ernie. You are doing great with him and they should respect your wishes. Under no uncertain terms would I allow them to use a choke collar on him. The trick is to do it in such a way that it is tactful.
I think I just found this study (right before I read your response :)) http://www.8pawsup.com/articles/training/prongcollars.html

It recommends not using them on pups less than 6 months. I am certainly open to the idea if nothing else work but I just felt that should be our decision. Thankfully I just shut my mouth and than explained my feelings to my husband after we left. When his Mom brought it back up on the phone he explained how we felt about it and she backed off. I do get along with her very well but after a long couple of days it's best to let the hubby deal with it ;)
Yup...that's the article I saw. I think I will bookmark it this time!

Tal was almost 7 months when we were in obed class and I started to use th prong collar. And you are correct..should be your decision.

Sounds like it all worked out ok tho andthat's the important thing. I'm sure their motives were good and they thought they were doing something constructive. I guess we all get over zealous at times.
 

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I would be upset too. I hate leaving Kaycie anywhere when I'm away, I think if this would have happened to me, I would have voiced my concern and made it clear that it's not acceptable. (Which you've done) However, I have a tend to over react about anything my Inlaws do that ticks me off. To me it's like having your kid stay the night somewhere, and the other "parents" grounding or spanking your kid. At least that's how I would have seen it. It defenitely is YOUR decision, and I think it's great that you are enjoying obedience classes. I had so much fun. all the best. amber and kaycie
 

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I know, it's really hard to say anything when someone has done you a really big favour like looking after your dog for you. My mother used to go over to my house while I was at work and take Kira to the park, which was wonderful - but she never put the seatbelt harness on when she put Kira in the car and it bugged me no end. She would always say "Well I tried, but she gets so excited...". She just didn't think it mattered. :( She's going to get a shock if she ever wants to take her grandchild anywhere, because I'm going to refuse on the grounds that I don't trust her to put the baby in a car seat, it might be "too hard".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
lubmylabs said:
"Well I tried, but she gets so excited...". She just didn't think it mattered. :( She's going to get a shock if she ever wants to take her grandchild anywhere, because I'm going to refuse on the grounds that I don't trust her to put the baby in a car seat, it might be "too hard".
LOL....that's exactly what I was feeling :D

Thanks...like I said I just needed to talk to someone who could relate to what I was feeling. I know she meant well but my husband and I want to raise Ernie the way we believe is best. I told him just the other day "just wait until we have kids!!"
 

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I know choke chains can be a great tool, but personally I don't like them. This is just because apollo was abused by one, so i'm biased. It would upset me if someone babysat apollo and used a choke chain on him. I know Ernie doesn't have bad experiences with a choke chain, but I would be worried that another person could "scar" my dog if they used it improperly. I don't like not being in control of what happens to my dog. I totally get where you are coming from.
 

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blacklab1973 said:
Sorry, I know it's not a really big deal but I just need to vent a little....Thanks!
It is a big deal! Choke collars (just about any kind of corrective device) can be dangerous if not used correctly. I would print out the study Tal's dad talked about and just gently explain that you would prefer to try other forms of correction first. I am sure they meant well. :)

Ernie is your "baby" and they should at least respect your decisions regarding his care, even if they don't agree with them.

BTW - Ernie is adorable! I am partial to the black labbies...just love those little black faces! ;D
 

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I think it makes a difference if you asked them to puppysit or if they offered. If they offered and you accepted, you could have set terms, but if you asked for the favor, they have the right to call the shots.
 

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I guess you can kind of relate this to using your own form of punishment.....on a child that is not your's. I would have been upset.

Set some ground rules next time. Before you drop Ernie off, show your inlaws what you and Ernie have learned at school. Show them how you like to correct naughty behavior, and then enlist their assistance by asking them to follow the same formula.

Good luck!
 

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blacklab1973 said:
I told him just the other day "just wait until we have kids!!"
I think this says it all. We have this conversation alot. lol. I am always relating Kaycie to "when we have kids" HA HA. I'll never forget my Inlaws wouldn't let Kaycie sleep inside and I was worried about it being cold. They said, Oh we should probably bring in the oranges, they might freeze. But made the dog sleep outside. I WAS SOOOOOOOOOO P*ss*d. But things like that DO make me think of kids. Because, imho how you treat animals is how you treat everyone else. lol.....including my future kids.

THIS SHOULD DEFENITELY BE ANOTHER POST lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
mitziandjudysmom said:
I think it makes a difference if you asked them to puppysit or if they offered. If they offered and you accepted, you could have set terms, but if you asked for the favor, they have the right to call the shots.
They offered, actually they have been bugging us to let Ernie stay there overnight.
They call up on a daily basis and ask if they can have him overnight! They live with us during the summer so I wanted to get Ernie used to being around them all the time.

However, Ernie is our dog and we did email the study to her so she understands where we are coming from. I expect anyone that I leave in charge to look out for his care would stick to our rules whether it is a kennel worker or a relative. My main concern is that everyone be consistent with him and we showed them how we go about our routines such as walking or feeding.

I don't really agree with "they have the right to call the shots" even if we asked them. If it was a child they wouldn't have the right to hit them just b/c we asked them to babysit would they? Ernie could have been seriously injured due to the improper use of a choke/prong collar so to me that really isn't ok. They had no idea it shouldn't be used on puppies and have done zero reading on the use of them so it really isn't appropriate to be trying it out on my puppy.

Anyway my husband and I have just gentle stressed that we all need to be consistent in our training with Ernie and I think that really is the bottom line
 

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mitziandjudysmom said:
I think it makes a difference if you asked them to puppysit or if they offered. If they offered and you accepted, you could have set terms, but if you asked for the favor, they have the right to call the shots.
I don't agree with this at all. They don't have the right to not walk the dog or feed it beneful or beat it with a 2 by 4 just because you asked them to.

If you called up at the very last minute begging out of desperation because you just had to go out of town and they re-arranged every last plan they had, including their cruise to Tahiti, and Ernie bit them three times, twice requiring stiches, sure, they can use a corrective collar or training method of their choice. Until then, no way in hell.
 

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Yep, I'd be upset. I'm getting increasingly annoyed with a petsitting colleague of mine, who insists on slapping a prong on any dog that pulls, without clearing it with the owner first. Even when the owner insists that they DON'T want a prong, she will use one anyway.

Your dog, your rules, your decisions and like you said, whoever is taking care of the dog MUST abide by them.
 

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By the way, I would consider providing your in laws with a properly fitted prong collar and having a pro show them how to use it on ernie and letting them use it on him when he is there. Remove the choke from them- slip it in their purse (oops). Especially if they are older, they may not be comfortable walking him on a buckle.

My parents watch Gabby when I go out of town. My dad is a big guy- and is the type of guy that is very old school, uses force to impose his will on animals kind of guy. My mom is a kindergarten teacher and Gabby has no respect for her. I made my mom take a lesson with Gabby on a prong collar so Gabby respected her with it and so that my mom knew what to do (any training collar improperly used is dangerous).

Then I hid all the choke collars that my parents had so my dad wouldn't use one on Gabs..
 

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I'd be upset especially as Ernie is still very young. It wouldn't bother me as much with an adult dog but choke chains on a puppy are a major no. I'm surprised common sense doesn't prevail. ::)
 

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I would have been extremely upset. It is a big deal. If a person is not properly trained to use a choke collar, the dog can be seriously hurt.
 

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I actually have no problem with the collar. I have a problem with them just doing what they wanted despite your wishes. Whether you are dog sitting or baby sitting, you abide by the wishes of the parents. Period.

BTW- you should not be using a retractable leash on a dog that young. It teaches that pulling is rewarded by getting more "room". It's something better saved for an adult dog that knows how to heel properly.
 
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