Wednesday, August 8

Why Prong Collars?

Anyone who knows me and my training style or is a reader of this blog knows how against prong collars I am.  But this morning my mind was blown when I saw one on a new puppy in my building.  First, I know who the puppy belongs to, someone I was hoping would call me to train as he told me he was getting a puppy from the shelter.  This morning I saw the pup for the first time, so cute, he or she looks to be a Shepherd mix of some sort, but then around the pup's neck I see a prong collar. 

So, I understand there are times that prong collars may be the right answer, it is not just that a prong collar is being used that I object to.  What I am objecting to is that this is a little puppy, probably about 5 or so months, is already in this type of aggressive equipment and it is most likely being used because a friend or the shelter told the owner to get it.

What happened to training your pup to walk?  I know it is not easy, but there are other types of equipment that can help and not be so harsh as a prong collar.  Further, when you have a pup, you have such a better chance at shaping their walking behavior through consistent training. 

I feel like we have come to a point with all the television shows and information you can get on the web that everyone thinks they are a trainer, your friends with dogs will give you advice, the clerk in the store, the shelter worker and let's not forget the perfect strangers on the street.  I don't blame the pet store workers, they are doing their job, you ask for something and they point you in the right direction for the product they carry to handle what you are asking.  They are not trainers, so they are not thinking about the things I am, they are simply doing their job.  The manufacturers of the equipment, especially prong collars, should put a warning on them about proper use and to consult a professional before using.

My biggest problem is that I see all these dogs in prongs and their problems are getting worse.  Maybe they don't pull on walks, but they are still aggressive with other dogs, they are still hyper aroused when other dogs come near, they are still jumping on people and you still don't have control of your dog.  How many times have I seen a prong collar break in a moment that the handler needed it to work?  The answer is  a lot!

Training may not be the easy answer or the quickest answer, but it is the answer that will get you the best results, especially my training.  You end up with a better relationship with your dog, a well behaved dog and knowledge on how to handle future problems.

If you have a prong collar and want to change or need some training... please give me a Bark!