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I visited a dog obedience class this evening and was quite surprised to see that all the dogs were wearing prong collars. I was able to talk with the instructor and told her my puppy was only 6 months old and weighed 6 pounds and didn't think he would need one. She still recommended one for him in training. I was not really impressed with her style of training nor with most of the information she was giving out. Is this a common practice when training puppies (or adult dogs) to use this type of collar? I could maybe see using one if you had a large breed, stubborn dog, but for a small puppy I'm not too sure. Unfortunatley I live in a small town and she is the only dog trainer in town. She also charges $75.00 for 6 classes which I thought was kinda high. I would try and train on my own but am afraid I'd do something wrong. Training him is very important to me since I take him into the Nursing Home where my mother lives and would like to make it a regular visit for him with the other residents. Any help or advise you could give me with be so appreciated. Thank you so much!!
 

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What is a prong collar?
If it's a collar that is hurtful for your dog I would never ever go to that sort of class. Dograising is so far past that. I'm all for positive training and sure, even correcting when needed with a noise, finger to the side(ala Ceasar) or so on, but not hurting a puppy or dog, no matter what there size.
Then you have what we call directly translated half-chokers(typical choker collar but only half way around and not hurtful if you buy the right size) but I've never heard that those are good for training at all. I actually put a harness on Gucci when we go to obedience class.

Sorry if I'm just babbling, just don't really know what kind of collar you mean. I'm sure you'll get som great answers here though!
 

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That has got to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard?? First of all the Collapsed Trachea with Chi's would not fair well with a prong collar! Training classes are supposed to be just that..TRAINING. Prong collars are if you ask me the last result or with large dogs that just dont get it. In Great Dane REscue we had to use these for the Dane's that came in that had never been on a leash or never had any training so we could control them. A trainer using a Prong collar seems like a cop out for them not wanting to go through the motions to properly train dogs??

Training yourself is not that difficult, just needs patience and the time to do so several times a day in short intervals so the dog will not get frustrated. You can go online and get training tips or you can go and buy a book for training. If you need help or run into trouble training then you are welcome to pm me and I can walk you through;-)
 

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I wouldn't even use those on my Am Staff, let alone a chi. That lady is crazy. Run away.
 

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We started with a prong collar with my big dog Clifford, we didn't use it very long though, at first he was a bit stuborn, but once he didn't fight so much we switched to regular chain collar. Honestly prong collars are for dogs not use to chain collars, and yes they really are made more for big dogs though any more people are starting to turn to more humane collars, like the one that wraps around the base of the muzzle and when they pull it will pull their head around rather than having to yank the chain, b/c with a chain collar if you have to give it two yanks, you have to relax the chain before you pull again so to not choke them. Honestly hearing about the chi breed your really don't need a prong collar, and this trainer, can not be very good if she suggests it for everyone, some dogs aren't that stubborn and to be honest I really don't think my dog needed it when we started, I was in 4th grade and it was more less trying to prevent Clifford from taking charge since alot of new dogs, new scents he would get carried away. I don't know much about how she trains, so I couldn't tell you what you should do other than don't follow the prong advice, though if she is going to give you bad advice like that I wouldn't really trust her. If you get a book about basic dog training, I'm sure some one would know a good one then I think that would help just as much.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for your replies. When I talked to this lady on the phone she didn't understand why I used a harness instead of a collar. When I mentioned to her about the possibility of injury to chi's when using a regular collar instead of a harness she basically told me that it wasn't a proven fact that that can happen to these little guys. Everything I have read and also see on TV has said it is better to use a harness. Sami does pull alot when on leash so that is why she told me to switch to a collar now and then use a prong collar when training. I feel like he can be taught not to pull when using a harness. I don't know how to teach him that, but I do know he is very smart and can learn just about anything. Sometimes I think he's a little too smart for his own good!! I want to be able to train him to be a therapy dog because I think he is such a loving little thing and loves people so much. He makes such a big difference at the Nursing Home where my mom is and she looks so forward to him coming. He loves to visit the home and prances in there with his head held high and acts like he owns the place!! Any other information you can give me to help sure would be appreciated. Thanks again..you are all so great!!
 

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iv just looked up prong collars as i didnt know what they were and found this..



I cant believe these are used, they look like something off a horror movie...!! and on a chihuahua?? gimmi a break!! run as fast as you can from that awful woman, chi's arent too hard to train, save your money and either go some where else or have a go yourself,. good luck with it all :) xxx
 

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I thought that was what you meant and hoped I was wrong. Here they're against the law, period. I'm so happy for that. Back to your question: Never, ever in a million years would I put one of those on any dog! What kind of instructor would tell you to do that? (And I don't mean it to sound angry at you but at the stupid instructor, so called that is)
 

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This instructor says she is a "certified obedience instructor". I'm not sure what that means or what it takes to be certified but she sure is raking in the money doing it. When I observed one of her classes she was teaching the "down" command and was reading what to do off of a piece of paper! I've done enough research reading on training I knew they weren't even doing it right. I just hate to see people like this taking advantage of owners who really only want whats best for their dogs.
 

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I definitely would be getting training elsewhere. The use of prong collars is not something that I would just "jump into". It is definitely not a tool to be used as a first, second, third or even fourth resort. It is a tool that you use when nothing else works and those cases are very rare.

Plus: Toy breed prone to collapsed tracheas + prong collar being used by untrained person = disaster!!

Run away from her as fast as you can. Seek out a trainer that uses positive reinforcement training that is non-physical, non-aggressive. You want treat/praise based training.

A prong collar can be a useful tool in certain training situations when used by a trained professional (IE: not the owner) BUT for basic obedience and puppies it shows a huge lack of ignorance on the trainers part!!
 

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I've heard everything now.:foxes15: As everyone said RUN DON'T WALK away from this nut case as fast as you can. Is she insane? Who in their right mind would use that on a small dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OMG
 
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Run, don't walk, away from that trainer! Never use a prong collar on a small dog. I, personally, would never use one on a big dog either. Training is supposed to be fun and a bonding experience, not hurtful. Find another class!!!!!!!!!
 

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Actually the collar itself isnt too bad for big dogs, although I agree it should be for last results;-) It is called a pinch prong because it pinches, with the rubber nubs that go on the ends it really isnt bad. I have put one on my own neck before to see exactly what it does and it just pinches;-) For a small dog this would result in injuries because of the Collapsing Trachea and I cant imagine where this trainer got her license or certification?? Was it a training class like PetsMart? I have had some past issues with a few trainers at PetsMarts techniques.

As said earlier on we only used these with the worst case Dane's coming in that had not been socialized, kept on chains in back yards with no training and it at the time was the ONLY way to control them. Once they came in they went through training courses and most of them never used a prong again, although there was the extreme cases where they were used much longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I live in a very small town in Oklahoma and she is the only trainer here. She teaches classes at the Vo-tech school. The closest larger town to me is a little over an hour away. I'm just guessing there have been no complaints since she has been doing these classes for awhile. Just the class I sat in on made me feel uncomfortable and probably most people just sign up for the class and never know what to expect. I have to tell you about a funny thing that happened that nite I observed her class tho!! There were 8 dogs in the class and they were working on "stays". On older lady had an older dog that I would say was about 8-10 years old. You could tell it was an older dog. Small in size. The instructor asked her how her dog was doing on "stays". She said real good and said she would show her. She got the dog to sit and then told it to stay, dropped the leash and walked away. The dog was sitting on a pillow (since the floor was cold-concrete) and just looked around at everyone. The woman walked away from the dog and even went around the corner to show everyone that the dog would still stay. The dog stayed sitting for about 30 seconds and then layed down on the pillow and just relaxed. The instructor was amazed how the dog just stayed on the pillow. Whats funny is that the floor was cold, she (dog) was laying on a pillow nice and comfy and the womans husband was right next to the dog. So why would the dog even want to get off the pillow!!! Finally after about 2 minutes the instructor told the lady to return and just raved about how well the dog had done. I had such a hard time not laughing outloud and saying if I were that dog I'd stay on the pillow too!!!
 
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