To prevent a dog from pulling I personally always use pinch collars. The dog understands it as it mimics how the dogs own mother corrected him/her. Even though it does look like a medieval torture device, it is actually not bad. The dog pulls and corrects himself. When the dog isn't pulling into the leash or you are not giving a proper correction, then the collar just sits on the dog's neck and doesn't bother him. You also don't need to worry about nylon getting into the dogs eyes and bacteria forming under the gentle leader/ halti, or hair being rubbed off the muzzle. Also, if you misuse a head collar by jerking on the lead, it is possible to jerk the dogs neck out of wack.
Number one point, a training tool is only as evil as the person controlling it.
I am a dog trainer....and being such I would actually train the dog not to pull, instead of relying on a collar to do it.
Now I know most people this would suffice, that is just using a collar to correct the problem. But it's not really training, you are not creating obedience. That would be like putting the garbage can up out of the dogs reach, and saying that you taught the dog to stay out of the trash.
Also, The myth that a pinch is mimicing the mother...and there for somehow more effective because it's mimicing mama is simply false. The dog is simply avoiding the discomfort the collar makes. If you took a pinch long enough and put it around thier waist, the same effect would happen. And full grown dogs, are no longer looking for mama's guidance.
I believe a dog's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment he holds dear, is when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-with a ball in his mouth."
Gunny the tool is only as good as the person using it, IMO. I used a pinch for Gage he was 80ish lbs when I got him, and I needed him to listen. I started with the prong, now he is almost as good with his leather collar as he is with the prong, because I trained him with it, I did not rely on it to stop him I used it as a tool. I will never use a choke collar again IMO they are more damaging than a pinch.
Now with my male Shiba I am a total failure, and will freely admit it, he is a PITA and will not stop pulling. With a choke he will pull until he can not breath and not think twice. No amount of stopping when he pulls or changing direction when he pulls, popping the leash any other method I have read about or seen would stop him. He has no interest in pleasing me, or food, all he cares about is what moved over to the left. So he is walked on a prong, anything else is too hard on his neck.
Gunny, I am surprised that with your experience that you wouldn't realize that most people aren't wanting to train their dog to heal. Their version of healing usually consists of not pulling. Instead of suggesting a person try to train their own dog and possibly end up causing behavior issues, it would be easier to just put a well fitted pinch collar on the dog, problem solved.
Gunny, I do not agree with you that pinch collars don't mimic the mother dog. I learned that from Howie Rodriguez who represented the United States in Schutzhund and was the team captain for many years.
Honestly if you are a dog trainer and that is your attitude then I feel sorry for those who pay you for your services. A pinch collar should be used as a tool nothing more, a stepping stone to getting your dog to listen to a flat collar, IMO. Way too many people put them on and leave them on because of bad advise like what you jsut said.
Never met a trainer that didn't try to work with people to transition them off training tools except for the donkeys that work at petsmart. Unless that's the explanation. Mediocre vet tech, mediocre trainer..
Houdini's Apple Cider RAMCL AGDC ADC MSDC ~ AAC's Top Dog List 2007 - 11 Q's ~ 2008 - 11 Q's Stanton Acres Out Of The Ashes SGDC
Wow.... you have no idea who I am or what my experiences are. Sorry, you have no right to judge me or my skills!
Obviously, you missed the point that I was talking about people who are NOT dog trainers who are NOT paying for the services of a dog trainer. For those people who don't understand how to train dogs shouldn't be trying to as like I said before, they could cause behavioral problems. Frequently, people don't care if their dogs heal perfectly. All they want is that their dog walks nicely beside them. They don't care to deal with all of the hassles of training. If everyone did care, then we wouldn't have all of these gimmics to prevent pulling. Most people just want to take their dog for a nice walk without them pulling. For those people, obviously my previous post applies. For those that want a well trained dog, then obviously a dog trainer is in need.
I train people's dogs to what they desire. Just because I like dogs that would be able to compete doesn't mean your average dog owner wants the same thing. It is called custom dog training.
I don't know who those people are and have met and was able to train with top trainers. Not everyone is going to agree with each other and I have plenty of experience with your average dog owner. Most would be satisfied with a Petsmart class to teach their dog to sit and lay down and then put a gentle leader on them to prevent them from pulling.
My comments come from many years of experience.
My own personal opinions on how to train a dog agree with what has been said here. Evidently, I have more experience with helping the average dog owner. However, I am not talking about training dogs, I am talking about an average dog owner that just wants Fluffy to not pull them down the street when they go for a walk. End of story.
If this is directed at my suggestion of a Halti or Gentle Leader, rather than a harness sorry, but even with all of your expertise you miss the point.
I would never suggest or encourage anyone to use any implement; Halti, pinch collar, gentle leader, harness...exclusive of patience, praise, consistent training and reward (treat, belly rub or praise, whatever works).
I had a shelter Lab/Dane mix who pulled like he was towing a Mac truck while racing flat out for the Idirod. In every way, this giant was a total sweetheart. Until he saw a leash then he would morph into one of the hounds of Baskerville. Put a Halti on him and within 30 minutes I was able to walk him without having an arm ripped out of the socket. Since I am particularly attached to both of my arms and find frequent need of both, I was delighted to be able to give this boy a nice walk, take him places and return with both arms intact.
The Halti and positive reinforcement did the trick and in less than 2 weeks time, he was an absolute dream to walk on lead. Halti had served it's purpose and was not longer needed.
***Edited By: pyrmom on 8/10/2009 9:13:37 PM*** Reason: *
"Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant". author unknown
Again, I am not talking about training dogs. I am talking about an average dog owner that doesn't want to take obedience lessons and just wants to have a quick fix and make Fluffy stop pulling on the leash. Which in today's society, is very common for someone to want a quick fix.
So, positive reinforcement (and all the concepts applied) and corrective or a combination of both is NOT what I am talking about!