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How to choose a dog training collar

Dog Collars
How to choose a good dog training collar

Lately people have been asking been asking about which kind of collar is best for training. I get this question a lot so here is my best advise.

I recommend you train your dog well, so you don’t have to use training collars. I like to use psychology as the primary training method. I think it is important to train your dog to have a relationship with you and responding to you. If you don’t win the dog over psychologically all you are left with is force, compulsion and bribing with food to try and get your dog to behave.

Choke chains
Using a choke chain. Choke chains work on certain dogs. A soft dog who doesn’t like the sound of the chain but too often the owner becomes frustrated and begins yanking and jerking too hard. Please think about this before you use one. It can cause Tracheal and esophageal damage, sprained necks, paralysis and hind leg ataxia. I am not talking about the family dog wearing a choke chain around the house. I am talking about compulsion trainers whose only dog training method is based on harsh corrections and no rewards. NOT ALL DOGS ARE FUR BABIES, there is a time and place for compulsion. Like when your trying to save the life of an aggressive or dominant dog. The good news is 75% of dogs do not require you to get real physical with them.

Haltie collars and Gentle leaders
This is a well intentioned but dangerous Fad. Some well intentioned armature behaviorists and part time trainers use them. These dangerous collars come off and can cause cervical and spinal injuries to the dog if he luges because it turns his head. Also they are useless in the house and if your dog misbehaves inside you need to correct the behavior, not the the dog. It really is an inefficient tool. They don’t teach a dog anything, they are not a so much a training tool but a crutch for people who do not understand animal behavior. All they really are is a restraint and you are risking spinal injuries to your dog. Logic and experience tells me that as soon as you take this type of collar off the dog, he will go back to his old ways. I have also seen the dogs noses rubbed raw because of this method.

I know it is not a collar but I thought I would mention clickers because they are the epitome of what does not work in real life and the nonsense people need to look out for. Somehow these people believe that clickers and food work better than your voice and body language. Do you really think your dog is even going to pay attentions to the clicker over the screeching tires of a car and run back to you because to have a treat when he is in full prey dive. Clickers and treats seem logical to some people, and they have their place in some specialized training, like in movies and other special work. But what is sad is that when their dog runs across the street and gets hit by a car because he wasn’t taught to recall without treats.

Prong collars
Prong collars have saved many dogs lives and are used for training. They are now very popular with a lot of trainers, especially military law enforcement and sport trainers. THEY ARE especially effective for kids, seniors , people with disabilities. it only takes 20% or less energy to get the same response from a dog wearing one. Many people with large dogs and people with dominant and aggressive dogs did not have to euthanize their dog because the owner kept and open mind and tried this method. Consult a real trainer, who has experience with aggression. Half of the homes I go too already have them because their dogs were pulling them down the street. Almost always people who are against prong collars have never used one. These are also the first people to tell you to destroy your dog when treat training does not work. How could you be against anything that has saved so many lives.

This collar was developed by a veterinarian as a safe and humane alternative to choke chains. They also work great for small dogs like spaniels and jack Russell terriers that have easily damageable and delicate necks. Prong collars are by far the safest collar. They mimic the mothers bite, that is why for a long time they were called: Mothers Bite Collars.

Shock Collars or E-Collars or Remote Collars
I am not totally against remote collars when used properly in cases of dangerous aggression, they do save lives. They are a good tool when used properly. The problem is many people over use the method. MY experience is that the average person simply turns up the juice when his dog does not comply and more often than not you end up with a nervous, broken spirited , skittish dog and in some cases more aggressive then when you started the dog training. This should be a tool of last resort.

This is very similar to the prong collar only it is made out cloth nylon or leather and is for a very soft or happy go lucky dog. some labs, goldens and very soft dogs do well with this type of collar.

If you have any more questions on collars please let me know, I am always happy to share my experience.

Happy Training,

Dog aggression


Aggression in dogs can become a challenge for an owner. A lot of times it's not even aggression its a matter of dominance. If you have a small dog who acts aggressive people might laugh and say oh my, Happy he thinks he's tough, but if you happen to have a large powerful dog, you not only open yourself to injury but a law suit as well. Almost All the time aggression is caused by the owner. Things that can cause aggression are, isolation, that in turn causes the dog to think that he is in charge of your family pack. Just go for a walk around your neighborhood and watch all the dogs that are out front dragging their owner down the street. THIS IS A RECEPE FOR DISASTER. I have rarely seen a dog that walks behind or bedside the owner who becomes aggressive when he sees other dogs. In a wolf or wild dog pack the alpha dog makes the decision when to become aggressive. If the alpha dog needs help the he/she will ask for it. In other words your dog looks at you and your family as his pack and if you let her/him walk out in front of you, you are telling him that he/she is the pack leader. He/she is just doing watch comes natural. DRIVING OFF NON PACK MEMBERS. Never let your dog walk out in front of you. You can stop, give him a lose leash and let him sniff his favorite tree check if his friends have been by, but while you are walking he/she needs to be at your side. There are various methods to accomplice this and different types of collars and harnesses. If you are having this problem it is best to hire a professional behaviorist who can talk to you about inductive training. Treats and clickers won't stop aggression; dogs don't adhere to the adage. Can't we all just get along". They respond from a position of power and respect. It doesn't matter if you have a Muffin, Lassie or Cujo, all dogs are inherently the same in how they see their world and you. To find out the quickest and easiest way to communicate with your dog and to what level of training he/she needs you would be wise to hire a professional. Most aggression can certainly be controlled and you can have a happy well balanced dog for a lifetime. There are as many different methods of tackling this dilemma as there are dogs. One camp says use shock collars and citronella sprays. Then there is the opposite camp who prefer cookies, treats and clickers. If your dog is only pulling a little, this method of positive training is usually fine, but if your dog is so dangerous that you cannot even walk him down the street without him lunging at every dog or person that passes, you may need something more firm than a cookie or a clicker to stop him. In this case a slip collar, martingale or metal collar should do the trick until he realizes that this dangerous behavior will not be tolerated. The bottom line is that you have to take the position of power with your dog and control the situation. You can't have a dog jumping on your bed, throwing a fit at the door when people come over, counter surfing for your favorite sandwich, incessant barking at sounds outside the house, rushing past you on the stairs, running out the door first, not coming when called. If he is doing these things you can't expect him to act like an Angel on a walk. You have to take control of your dog in all aspects of his life.You don't have to fight for control the way a dog fights for it, you only need to believe in yourself and that you are the leader and act like one. You do it by the way you walk talk and act. By your voice and gestures. Your dog needs to believe that you are the leader. Aggressive dogs need a firm set of consistent rules. Your dog needs to know that you will protect your pack. Something as simple as your dog demanding that you pet him while you are busy could be a sign of dominant behavior and that could potentially escalate. A professional trainer /behaviorist can help you determine how to control the aggression and what would be your best approach to take control back and have a happy well adjusted best friend.

Good Luck and Happy Training,

How to get your dog to stop jumping up on you and your guests

This is a common problem and a lot of people let it go until the dog is full grown and then the problem gets more serious. You can't have people coming over to your house and your dog jumping up on them. A dog can scratch skin, tear clothes and even injure someone if this is not controlled.

People see the jumping up and they laugh oh how cute he is so happy!!! Not really, he is stressed and not in a calm state. He is NOT HAPPY!!!. YOU can cure this in a few different ways:

1. Go outside return and as soon as your dog starts jumping up on you.

2. Turn your back on him or spin in a circle and ignore him for at least five minutes no eye contact no talking, and no petting, once he calms down then praise him.

If he does it again repeat the process.

With most dogs it only takes a few times and they get the picture. With some dogs it takes a little longer, but have patience and be consistent.

Don't praise when he is jumping up on you. And don't pet him while he's wild a then tell everyone "Oh he is just a little high Strung." This will only reinforce the bad behavior.

Also if your dog has been taught to sit, tell him to sit, and make him stay there until he calms down. NO PRAISE OR PETTING UNTIL HE IS IN A CALM SUBMISSIVE STATE.

If the problem persists seek the help of a professional dog trainer, like meHappy