today, Manu and i went down to the "Sirius about Dogs" festival in Seattle. this is the festival where i met him last year, leading to my adopting him a month later.
we wandered around and took pix (not all bully breeds this time, i promise!), then we saw the CGC testing area. ok, i had planned on taking a class, or at least practicing at home, but what the heck. i switched the lead from the prong to his buckle collar and signed up.

well, considering we went in cold, and considering i've never walked him without a prong collar... i think we did pretty well. we passed every exercise, except for one. walking on a loose leash. part of the problem was the girl outside the ring who called him over so she could pet him (um, hello? that pink tape is there for a reason!). but part of the problem was just that he's not very good at walking on a loose leash without his prong collar. so i guess i'll work on that and retake the test sometime in the near future.
i'm sad he didn't get his cert, but am very proud of him for how well he did, considering we went in totally unprepared. he even held a down stay for the entire 10 minute separation.
so congrats Manu, and better luck next time.
any tips on switching from a prong to a flat buckle collar? :-)

pix are here:
http://groups.msn.com/culprit/sirius.msnw
-kelly
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When my trainer had us switch from a buckle collar to a prong collar, it took us about 6 weeks. First, we just put the prong collar on all the time when he wasn't sleeping but when we had a leash on him, it only went on his buckle collar. 2 weeks after that, we started hooking up both collars at the same time - buckle and prong. 2 weeks after that we just hooked him up to the prong but left the buckle on. I would imagine that doing things the other way would work just as well.
Hope this helps!
Shelley & Rusty
http://rusty.bump.us
Why? That progression sounds incredibly tedious , not to mention unnecessary.
Janet Boss
http://bestfriendsdogobedience.com /
any tips on switching from a prong to a flat buckle collar? :-) pix are here: http://groups.msn.com/culprit/sirius.msnw -kelly

I think that's too big a leap. Try moving down to a slip collar. I've found a lightweight chain slip is the next step down from a prong, but for some dogs, a nylon slip will work well.
Janet Boss
http://bestfriendsdogobedience.com /
Why? That progression sounds incredibly tedious , not to mention unnecessary.

this is the first time i've ever heard of someone
transitioning to a prong collar. my experience has been that the dog immediately "gets" the idea without it being at all traumatic, so i don't see the point of a slow transition.

shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
this is the first time i've ever heard of someone transitioning to a prong collar. my experience has been that the dog immediately "gets" the idea without it being at all traumatic, so i don't see the point of a slow transition. shelly

Yup. You put it on, the dog "says" "hey - why didn't you just explain it like this in the first place" and off you go. No weaning to the collar at all.
Janet Boss
http://bestfriendsdogobedience.com /
When we were told to do this, the whole point of the 6 weeks of transition was to ensure that the dog did not associate having to walk better on a leash with wearing the prong collar so that when we switched back 6 months later, he just kept walking as he was supposed to.

We did the same thing when we used a bark collar on Rusty for a while. First we put it on him for a couple of weeks without the batteries in it so that he'd just have the feel of a new collar. Then we put it in with the batteries in but with the little red caps on over the bits that shock (so he'd hear the beep when it was going to go off for barking but it didn't shock him) and the finally we took the caps off. Our dog barks a good deal less now even without his collar on - the times he barks now is when someone comes to the door or the meter readers come through the back yard to check the meters. Much much better than before.
Shelley
Interesting. Not sure I buy it though. He felt the prong collar after all. Still, even if one wanted to do a transition to attempt this, 6 weeks seems like a very long time.
Janet Boss
http://bestfriendsdogobedience.com /
When my trainer had us switch from a buckle collar to a prong collar, it took us about 6 weeks.


Erm... did you miss the fact that Kelly was asking about switching the other way around? She's already using a prong collar, and is looking for advice on getting the dog to walk on a loose leash WITHOUT the prong.

Kelly- I don't mean this at all in a snarky way, but IMO what you need to do is TRAIN him.
If he won't walk on a loose leash without the prong, odds are good you're using the prong for management, not training. There's nothing wrong with that, but if your eventual goal is to have him walk loose-leash without the prong, I think you need to start actively teaching him where and how you want him to walk.
If I were in your position, I'd think I'd start training him to a "heel", "easy", or "with me". "Heel", as I'm sure you know, means to walk closely at your side; "easy" means "slow down and/or ease tension on the leash"; "with me" is similar to "heel", but without the requirement for staying rigidly by your side- just sticking within a couple of feet and not yanking on the leash.
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