I was recommended to try a small pinch prong collar at Muttley's first obedience class, and it seemed to work better than just the choker chain collar, but it was still an effort to control him and keep him focused on me and the commands he was given. Also, he managed to make it pop open and it had to be refastened.
This evening I bought a larger pinch prong collar, which is made of heavier gauge metal, and also the prongs are very smoothly rounded, which I think should pose less chance of damage than the more roughly cut ends of the smaller collar. I plan to try it on him when I pick him up from a friend who has been keeping him while I've been out of town.

The clerk at the store did not like the prong type collars, and thought they really should be outlawed. She recommended a "Halti" headcollar, which appears to be a combination collar and muzzle made of thin nylon straps. It looks like a pull on the strap constricts a band around the nose. It is labeled as an "improved design" by Dr. Roger Mugford.

I plan to try each of these for a brief time to see how they work on Muttley. Then I can take them to the training class on Tuesday to have the instructors evaluate them as well, and I can choose what may have the best chance for success.
If anyone has any experience with these collars, please let me know. My decision will be based on any input from here, as well as how Muttley seems to react, and finally also the thoughts of the instructors. I would like to do what is best for the dog, and provide him the best possible training for future adoption.
Thanks,
Paul
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
I was recommended to try a small pinch prong collar at Muttley's first obedience class, and it seemed to work better than just the choker chain collar,

Yup. And they don't construct their airway in the unlikely event they try to strain at the chain.
but it was still an effort to control him and keep him focused on me and the commands he was given.

Have they taught you sneak aways on a long line? Has someone with experience evaluated the fit of that collar to make sure it's sized correctly? It's exceedingly common to have these mis-sized.
Also, he managed to make it pop open and it had to be refastened.

Getting one that isn't quick release, where you take a link out of the middle of the collar will fix that.
This evening I bought a larger pinch prong collar, which is made of heavier gauge metal, and also the prongs ... town. The clerk at the store did not like the prong type collars, and thought they really should be outlawed.

Let me guess, teenage or early 20 something female? Got the same look from one at Petsmart here. Probably has never trained a dog.

Has your dog ever whelped from a correction on the pinch collar? I know my 10lb poodle hasn't, yet learned his obedience very well. For bigger breeds with a higher threshhold of getting their attention, the pinch seems to be more helpful still. For instnace, how many Labs do you see able to ignore a standard training collar in the hands of a new handler?
She recommended a "Halti" headcollar, which appears to be a combination collar and muzzle made of thin nylon straps. It looks like a pull on the strap constricts a band around the nose. It is labeled as an "improved design" by Dr. Roger Mugford.

I didn't see any of these at my dog club's obedience class. That's not to say they don't work, but it's not a terribly proven design yet I'd say.
I plan to try each of these for a brief time to see how they work on Muttley. Then I ... would like to do what is best for the dog, and provide him the best possible training for future adoption.

The pinch collars work wonderfully, easier to learn to use correctly and are what our club leans towards. Just make sure you've got it sized correctly.
Good luck with the training!
Best Regards,

Todd H.
http://www.toddh.net /
I was recommended to try a small pinch prong collar ... seemed to work better than just the choker chain collar,

Yup. And they don't construct their airway in the unlikely event they try to strain at the chain.

With Muttley, this was a very predictable event. He would strain mightily until he was gasping. I would then try to kneel next to him, settle him down, loosen the chain, look him in the eye, and try to get him to focus on me. Two seconds later he would strain eagerly again trying to follow his nose somewhere.
but it was still an effort to control him and keep him focused on me and the commands he was given.

Have they taught you sneak aways on a long line? Has someone with experience evaluated the fit of that collar to make sure it's sized correctly? It's exceedingly common to have these mis-sized.

The trainer added extra links to size it properly. She connected the leash also to the choke chain as a backup, fortunately.
Also, he managed to make it pop open and it had to be refastened.

Getting one that isn't quick release, where you take a link out of the middle of the collar will fix that.

Each of the links could be fairly easily squeezed and removed. It may have become tangled with the choke chain to make it pop open. It opened between a pair of links, not at the clip.
This evening I bought a larger pinch prong collar, which ... prong type collars, and thought they really should be outlawed.

Let me guess, teenage or early 20 something female? Got the same look from one at Petsmart here. Probably has never trained a dog.

This was a middle aged woman at a Tractor Supply Company store, which specializes in rural animal needs. She may have been the same one who warned me to watch my dog when he chewed on rawhide pieces. Muttley is very careful (and efficient) when he eats them.
Has your dog ever whelped from a correction on the pinch collar? I know my 10lb poodle hasn't, yet learned ... how many Labs do you see able to ignore a standard training collar in the hands of a new handler?

Muttley is built with a very large and powerful neck, and he never made a sound when the pinch collar was snapped up. He simply slowed down a bit and then continued to pull. I think I could probably just about lift his 70+ lb off the ground with the smaller pinch coller (and even the choker) without him even flinching. I will see how the larger one works on him in the less distracting environment here at home, and then the final test will probably be at his next class on Tuesday, with evaluation by the trainers.
She recommended a "Halti" headcollar, which appears to be a ... is labeled as an "improved design" by Dr. Roger Mugford.

I didn't see any of these at my dog club's obedience class. That's not to say they don't work, but it's not a terribly proven design yet I'd say.

The woman at the store said, essentially, that if you control the dog's head, you control the dog. Maybe exerting some pull on his nose will bring his attention more to me. When I took Muttley to a horse farm, the woman who ran it seemed to have some success with Muttley in a short time, by forcing him to look her in the eye, and giving very quick, strong corrections at the least sign of his inattention. And that was only with the choker chain.
I plan to try each of these for a brief ... and provide him the best possible training for future adoption.

The pinch collars work wonderfully, easier to learn to use correctly and are what our club leans towards. Just make sure you've got it sized correctly. Good luck with the training! Best Regards,

Thanks. I'll report on my future successes or difficulties. It is probably a combination of my inexperience with dog training and also a very smart, willful, powerful dog who was used to being able to run free for quite a while.
Paul
Yup. And they don't construct their airway in the unlikely event they try to strain at the chain.

With Muttley, this was a very predictable event. He would strain mightily until he was gasping. I would then try ... get him to focus on me. Two seconds later he would strain eagerly again trying to follow his nose somewhere.

I watched a trainer take care of that with a couple similarly strong willed dogs with a few "OUT!" corrections delivered well, and with a quick and simple praise when they stopped the offending behavior.

It's possible that by kneeling down next to him and attempting to settle him that you may be unwittingly encouraging the behavior that led you to comfort it.
The trainer added extra links to size it properly. She connected the leash also to the choke chain as a backup, fortunately.

Both collars simultaneously? This seems extremely unorthodox, and in fact may have led to the release of the clasp.
Each of the links could be fairly easily squeezed and removed. It may have become tangled with the choke chain to make it pop open. It opened between a pair of links, not at the clip.

Oh, yeah... I'm not an expert on these topics, but having 2 collars on at once with any training collar just seems like a recipe for disaster. Do you get the feeling your instructor is competent?
Muttley is built with a very large and powerful neck, and he never made a sound when the pinch collar ... home, and then the final test will probably be at his next class on Tuesday, with evaluation by the trainers.

Sounds reasonable. He sounds like a beast. :-)
Thanks. I'll report on my future successes or difficulties. It is probably a combination of my inexperience with dog training and also a very smart, willful, powerful dog who was used to being able to run free for quite a while.

Yeah you've probably got your work cut out for you, but from what I've seen in the 10wk obedience class recently finished, you should be seeing some impressive results if you put in the daily work with him and learn the handling techniques, timing of corrections, when not to give eye contact, and all that jazz. It sounds like your dog needs to learn that he the lowest number on the totem pole at your house, and that when you're training, he needs to be focused on his new pack leader, and that pulling like that is simply not acceptable behavior.

With enough correction, and well-timed genuine praise immediatley after he breaks off the bad behavior, he will eventually "get" that the place to be is at your heel and that bad things happen when he starts to pull.
Good luck!
Best Regards,

Todd H.
http://www.toddh.net /
The trainer added extra links to size it properly. She connected the leash also to the choke chain as a backup, fortunately.

Both collars simultaneously? This seems extremely unorthodox, and in fact may have led to the release of the clasp.

Untrue. Actually, though I rarely use prong collars these days, I would NEVER use one without also using a backup slip collar with it (a nylon slip, to be specific)
A prong collar n its own can fail and open..and enough do to make the use of a backup collar not only prudent, but wise.
Each of the links could be fairly easily squeezed and ... opened between a pair of links, not at the clip.

Oh, yeah... I'm not an expert on these topics, but having 2 collars on at once with any training collar just seems like a recipe for disaster. Do you get the feeling your instructor is competent?

Its definitely NOT a "recipe for disaster". In my opinion, using a prong collar solo without any sort of safety mechanism for if/when the collar opens on its own is a "recipe" of its own.
To the OP (Paul), while I don't go to the prong collar as a first option, I also find that enough dogs have issues with head collars that Muttley might have to tell you which one he a) responds to most quickly and b) prefers (and, yes, this is second in priority). The larger prongs might not be the best idea..and I have yet to see the rounded nubs help anything* besides the owner's conscience. The dog pulls harder, and then ultimately learns to pull *through* the prong with those plugs at the end. Again, you'll find out when its actually *on Muttley, and when your trainer has a chance to see you guys in action in person.
I did have to interject when I saw the above statements from Todd, though.

Tara
With Muttley, this was a very predictable event. He would strain mightily until he was gasping. I would then try ... get him to focus on me. Two seconds later he would strain eagerly again trying to follow his nose somewhere.

This isn't how to use a prong collar. See your trainer.
The woman at the store said, essentially, that if you control the dog's head, you control the dog. Maybe exerting ... giving very quick, strong corrections at the least sign of his inattention. And that was only with the choker chain.

The last time I took a dog through a formal beginner's obedience class was decades ago. We ALL had prong collars on our dogs.

You control the dog through its training. I think a Halti is useful as an emergency control measure, or if you've got a particularly powerful dog, until the dog is trained. To me, a Halti is not a training tool.
Thanks. I'll report on my future successes or difficulties. It is probably a combination of my inexperience with dog training and also a very smart, willful, powerful dog who was used to being able to run free for quite a while.

He doesn't know what you want, yet - he isn't trained, yet. You'll learn how to size and use that prong collar in class, and all will become clear, Grasshopper ;-).
flick 100785
Untrue. Actually, though I rarely use prong collars these days, I would NEVER use one without also using a backup ... own can fail and open..and enough do to make the use of a backup collar not only prudent, but wise.

I've never had a prong collar fail like this. The ones I have, if you want to remove a link you've got to squeeze the prongs together with pliers and pull hard to get it separate.
flick 100785
Untrue. Actually, though I rarely use prong collars these days, ... use of a backup collar not only prudent, but wise.

I've never had a prong collar fail like this. The ones I have, if you want to remove a link you've got to squeeze the prongs together with pliers and pull hard to get it separate.

With pliers? Every time you put it on and take it off? I doubt that. They can be tough, but no company I'm aware of makes them impossible for human hands to use.
It happens maybe one in every hundred or so dogs..but in NYC, that's often enough to warrant the backup system, because that one dog can end up running straight into traffic.
Tara
As a dog trainer and behaviourist I was horrified to read that you are using a prong collar, these things are barbaric and should be banned, if your trainer is recommending a prong collar I would very strongly suggest you find another class to attend where these things are not used or allowed. The headcollar is a very useful piece of equipment and if properly used will stop your dog pulling, your first consideration is get the right size they come is sizes 0 to 5.

When you first put the head collar on the dog will probably not like it so just put on for a few minutes and give him some tasty treats and do this each time you put in on him so that he sees the head collar with nice things. When you start to walk him with it on, have him on your left side and hold the lead in your right hand, when he starts to pull, gently pull his head round towards you, this will bring his whole body round which stops him pulling, practice with this and he will soon stop pulling.
George Anderson
When a dog wags it's tail and barks at the same time, it is the bark you should heed.
Show more