Working Dog Forums banner
1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been letting my dog wear the prong collar pretty much 24/7 except for the times I take him to the dog park (as I was recently told there is a risk in leaving a prong collar on dogs when they are playing). I do let him wear it at night. Anybody see any issues with this?

I am pretty much doing this prevent collar/equipment awareness so he doesn't associate using the prong with training. I hear some people put a prong on and take it off immediately before and after training. This to me seems like a bad idea because the dog would then be aware of the prong and this would run the risk of him only performing certain behaviors with the prong on.

This begs the question of at what point in training can you wean the dog off the prong. Ideally, I would like to loose leash walk my dog with just a flat collar without him pulling as well as heeling at some point. I am wondering if anyone here has experience with this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,728 Posts
Prong collars are not meant to be worn 24/7. I would be concerned about pressure points on the dog's neck. especially in a correctly fitted prong collar. And yes, it is dangerous for your dog to be playing with another dog while wearing a prong collar - very easy to get teeth hung up and damaged when dogs are wrestling.

Why is your dog wearing a prong collar for training? What kind of training are doing? What do you think will happen if you take the prong collar off and train? What do you think will happen when you trial and your dog has nothing but a flat or fur saver collar? If you train correctly, your dog will perform regardless of what collar he is or is not wearing. Are you aware of marker training?

Who is guiding you in this training venture? If you want to do a protection sport with this dog, now is the ideal time to start building a correct foundation for the sport you choose. This is not something you can do on your own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had a long response typed out, but for some reason I was logged off and lost it. I will make this shorter.

I have been properly implementing marker training for at least 4-5 months. I just finished reading Excel-Erated learning by Pamela Reid. I am diligently watching the Michael Ellis videos and have plans to take a seminar from him at his training center in Santa Rosa later this year.

I am using the prong as a communication tool to guide my dog into position. I am not using it for harsh corrections. It has helped me break his opposition reflex for the most part. I am currently working on focused heeling.

With regards to pressure points on the dog's neck, it is my understanding that a properly fit prong collar should be snug, but not too tight so the dog is feeling pressure constantly otherwise that would defeat the purpose. I can easily fit two fingers underneath my dog's prong. So if it is not fit too tight, how could it be an issue if he wears it at night unless I am missing something.

In addition to the prong, I always keep his flat collar on. I have on occasion attached the leash to the flat collar and although the pulling has been reduced there is a noticeable difference in the control I have with the flat collar compared to when the leash is attached to the prong. He is less than 1 year old so hopefully, with time and continuous training, the prong won't be necessary, at least for loose-leash walking.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,868 Posts
I agree with Leslie on the prong collar NEVER should be worn 24/7.

Fact is if the dog is out of your sight it probably shouldn't be worn.

If your "properly implementing marker training" why are you even using the prong at this point in the game?

There is a time and place for corrections but that doesn't come in the Ellis system until the dog truly understands what is expected.

If you need it to "guide the dog" into position that means the dog doesn't yet understand.

You mentioned that it's on snug but where on the neck is it?

It should be right up behind the dogs ears and feeling enough pressure that it doesn't slide down from there.

The prong can be an excellent tool "if used correctly" and I think that requires guidance from someone that can actually watch you training.

Do you belong to a club?

Is this the first dog you've trained?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bob,

I am not using it for corrections so much as for leash pressure to communicate information. Negative reinforcement is not the same thing as a correction, which is positive punishment. Have you watched the Ellis leash pressure videos where he discusses breaking the opposition reflex? This is done on older puppies. He actually states that you should not wait too long to do leash pressure work because you want the dog to be exposed to controlled amounts of stress when they are younger. If they are well over a year old, this could either break the dog or the dog could become aggressive and snap at you. An adult dog bite is much more of a pain to deal with than a puppy bite.

Yes, I have some experienced balanced trainers that I train with. One, I work with now has competed in French Ring. I also meet with people who have worked with Michael Ellis.

Yes, I grew up with labs and personally owned a non-sporting breed until I got my Husky last year. I had him trained in very basic obedience, but nothing like the foundational obedience work I am working with on my Husky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bob,

I just wanted to add that I still don't understand what you mean that there needs to pressure in order for the prong to fit high on the neck. I don't see snugness as being equivalent to pressure. If there was constant pressure then there would be no way to turn off the pressure making the prong collar useless as training device.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,868 Posts
I may have worded that wrong about "pressure".

There needs to be enough "pressure" to keep it from sliding down from behind the ears.

"Any" collar that is low on the neck acts more like a pulling harness then when it's high on the neck and any indication to the husky that thinks it should be pulling, it will.l

Good to hear that you working under a trainer that has had experience and with dogs he's actually trained.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,728 Posts
I am using the prong as a communication tool to guide my dog into position. I am not using it for harsh corrections. It has helped me break his opposition reflex for the most part. I am currently working on focused heeling.

With regards to pressure points on the dog's neck, it is my understanding that a properly fit prong collar should be snug, but not too tight so the dog is feeling pressure constantly otherwise that would defeat the purpose. I can easily fit two fingers underneath my dog's prong. So if it is not fit too tight, how could it be an issue if he wears it at night unless I am missing something.
Why not train correct position with markers? If you are "guiding" him into position with your (aversive) prong collar pressure, than you are using negative punishment to train. Perfectly valid method, but why not use positive reward and markers and actually train the behaviour?

If your collar is on, the points are resting on his neck. If he's sleeping in it, it's likely pressing on him. This creates pressure points.

If you want your dog in a prong collar 24/7, that is your call, but I can't think of anybody I know who trains seriously who does that. There is no need, and it does not prevent him from becoming collar smart. If your only means to control your dog is a leash and collar, than you need to improve your training, or give up your desire to do anything more than basic pet obedience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello everyone,

I think people here are making some erroneous assumptions.

1) I have used marker training and will always use marker training to initially train a behavior. Light Pressure can be used for guiding behaviors as well. But most of the pressure is being used for behaviors he already understands like SIT if he is being distracted.

2) Obviously, some folks here don't seem to understand Michael Ellis on leash pressure. I am getting the feeling that this forum may be populated with some positive only folks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,675 Posts
Using a prong and a flat collar only teaches the dog when he can, and can't get away with nonsense. It takes a very short time for a dog to learn when you can give a meaningful correction depending on which collar the lead is attached to. In the old days we tried this. When the dog figured it out we'd try to trick him by just snapping the lead clip when it was on the prong and tug a little on the flat collar to make him think he was on the flat collar. When the dog took advantage of the assumed collar changed he'd get a good correction on the prong. After a couple of times with the "trick" the dog had it figured out and the trick didn't work anymore. Follow Khoi's methods and those of the marker training for foundation work.

We get new prongs every year when we make our equipment purchases. I have half a dozen still in the package. The only time I use a prong is when we are doing some serious fighting training with our dogs that put lots of pressure on them and throws them into hyper drive. Without a prong my dog will require a few verbal commands which is not good enough for me. Throw a prong on him and he outs on the first command without the lead being attached. He knows it's there and complies even though his drive is through the roof. It's all because of his foundation training as well as the regular mind opening training we do to keep handlers in the loop under stressful situations. I can't remember when the last time I gave my dog a correction even on a choke chain and we do aggression training on a regular basis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bob is right man, if you have to use a prong to guide your dog into position then your dog doesn't understand your marker training. Go back to the beginning, watch some of my video here, https://vimeo.com/channels/1244755 Teach with Food. Train with Toy. Proof with E collar/Prong.
Khoi,

My puppy is 10 months old. I have been doing marker training for the last 4-5 months. 10 months is old enough to use a prong collar on established behaviors. We can agree to disagree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Using a prong and a flat collar only teaches the dog when he can, and can't get away with nonsense. It takes a very short time for a dog to learn when you can give a meaningful correction depending on which collar the lead is attached to. In the old days we tried this. When the dog figured it out we'd try to trick him by just snapping the lead clip when it was on the prong and tug a little on the flat collar to make him think he was on the flat collar. When the dog took advantage of the assumed collar changed he'd get a good correction on the prong. After a couple of times with the "trick" the dog had it figured out and the trick didn't work anymore. Follow Khoi's methods and those of the marker training for foundation work.

We get new prongs every year when we make our equipment purchases. I have half a dozen still in the package. The only time I use a prong is when we are doing some serious fighting training with our dogs that put lots of pressure on them and throws them into hyper drive. Without a prong my dog will require a few verbal commands which is not good enough for me. Throw a prong on him and he outs on the first command without the lead being attached. He knows it's there and complies even though his drive is through the roof. It's all because of his foundation training as well as the regular mind opening training we do to keep handlers in the loop under stressful situations. I can't remember when the last time I gave my dog a correction even on a choke chain and we do aggression training on a regular basis.
Howard,

Again there is a difference between negative reinforcement and corrections. I repeat, I am not using the prong for harsh corrections but as a communication tool. I will choose Michael Ellis's methods over Khoi with all due respect to Khoi.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Nobody here is an all positive trainer that I know of, and Michael Ellis luring, marker is great and I do that too, but like I said, if your pup is 10 months old and you still have to guide him into position with a leash then you are doing something not right with your training, that is why I said you should go back to foundation training and I showed you how a 8 weeks old pup turns with me with no leash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If your collar is on, the points are resting on his neck. If he's sleeping in it, it's likely pressing on him. This creates pressure points.

If you want your dog in a prong collar 24/7, that is your call, but I can't think of anybody I know who trains seriously who does that. There is no need, and it does not prevent him from becoming collar smart.
I thought about it some more today and that actually does make some sense that it could cause hot spots from him lying down in a certain way and putting more pressure on some prongs than others. I know this happens with ecollars so it makes sense that it could happen with a prong as well. I will begin taking it off at night. He has only been on a prong for about a month and has adjusted very well. Just to be clear, I like to know why something is done the way it is. I don't like to do something just because somebody says this is good or this is bad. I like to know the reasons why. I hope you can understand that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nobody here is an all positive trainer that I know of, and Michael Ellis luring, marker is great and I do that too, but like I said, if your pup is 10 months old and you still have to guide him into position with a leash then you are doing something not right with your training, that is why I said you should go back to foundation training and I showed you how a 8 weeks old pup turns with me with no leash.
Khoi, you are making generalized assumptions. First, you have not even asked me what behaviors I have trained or I am in the process of training. I have primarily focused on recall as my first command, then moved to sit and down and now I am working on stay and just starting focused heeling. Using the leash as a communication can be used in addition to markers. I am just beginning with focused heeling and certain parts can be taught without a leash and certain parts are very helpful for using a leash as a guide. Focused heeling is hard and I am not going to rush it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,868 Posts
" I am just beginning with focused heeling and certain parts can be taught without a leash and certain parts are very helpful for using a leash as a guide. Focused heeling is hard and I am not going to rush it".

Chris, did you look at Khoi's videos?

I have discussed this with him on the forum and it's pretty much what we both expect by the time a pup is 12-14 wks old.

Distractions, time and distance are all gradually increased as the dog adjusts to them.

I've been a big fan of markers for 12-13 yrs and yes, I have no issue using the leash for corrections when and if needed.

I don't think anyone here is telling you NOT to use early corrections but offering suggestions on how to get by without them UNTIL necessary.

Again, as Khoi mentioned, luring is an excellent option to "guiding".

Both have to be weaned off of if you want the dog to respond when neither are present.

If possible we would love to see some video of your pup working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Again, I am not using corrections. I am using gentle leash pressure. I saw another thread posted in this forum some time ago where people did not understand the way Michael Ellis was defining leash pressure. The old school compulsion trainers associated leash pressure with yank corrections. Michael Ellis is using leash pressure the same way people use leash pressure when they ride horses. Completely different from positive punishment.

Unfortunately, I had not heard of Michael Ellis and the Leerburg site until a month or two after I had my pup already. If I had to do it all over again, things would be done much differently. I actually had to reteach the sit and down since many trainers don't even know how to teach a competition down and sit. I want to get it down as correct as possible before I move on to the next behavior versus rushing through everything and having to undo all the mistakes later, which would take so much longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,728 Posts
I don't know how Michael Ellis uses leash pressure.

Here's the problem, as I see it, with using leash pressure to "guide" your dog into position - it becomes part of the cue. So instead of Sit, the cue is now Sit, leash pop (or pressure) and then the dog complies. Instead of the fast, snappy sit that judges like to see, you have a slow, grudging sit. Still might be correct, but not going to get you top points. Plus, well, what are you going to do, when you've taught your dog he doesn't need to comply until he feels the leash pressure, and you don't have a leash on the dog?

You can lose a lot of points in a trial for sloppy, slow, not quite right elements, like sits and basic position.

I was shown. over the years of owning dogs, a lot of ways to get them to heel. By far, the most effective, for a competition style focused heel, was to teach an absolutely correct basic position first - to have that so solid, before ever taking a step, that when I do start moving, the dog remains correct.

Baby steps. One step forward - return to basic position. One step forward and sideways, quarter turn, one step backwards. This will help your dog solidify what is being asked of him - that he remain focused on you, next to you, with his shoulder at your knee and body parallel to yours. Oh yeah, and make it fun, too.

I've posted this before recently in another thread to show what I mean. Just me and my Dutchie and a handful of kibble doing heel work. It's not brilliant training, she's sloppy, and so am I, but she's happy and trying hard and there's no leash or collar to make her do it.

https://youtu.be/GsTGMV9y4To

Do you have video - even just messing about with your dog? I'd be interested to see what and how you are training.
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top