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Discussion Starter #1
We adopted Gunner (72 lbs, 16 months) last week. He has had little training and is difficult to walk on a leash. I can not stop him using a regular neck collar or a harness, especially if he takes off after something.

He walks very well if he is wearing his gentle leader, but it is rubbing the hair off his nose and will cause a sore if I continue to use it. I have to find another option.

I really don't want to have to use a prong collar, and I understand it is difficult to keep a choke collar up behind the ears where it is most effective.

I've considered Cesar Millan's Illusion Dog Collar, but I really like to know how well it works before purchasing it. Has anyone tried this?

Does anyone use a martingale collar? If so, how well does that work.

I'm really stuck as to what to do! Thanks.

Sara
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should have also said that Gunner has a regular harness to wear when he is on the dog runner. What I needs is something I can use when walking that will give me pack leader control.

Sara
 
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My has a leash that works like a choke collar. I learned that if you fit the choke collar properly it should fit around the head one ear at a time. You then put it up high and have it folded under the neck skin. Bad description I know. My trainer has one that is really skinny so it gives a quick correction and then releases really quick. She calls it a snake choke collar.
 

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I'd read the Gentle Leader instructions again about adjusting the part that goes around his nose. It shouldn't be rubbing his hair off. The nose part isn't supposed to be tight, but the neck part should be. Nicky wears the Gentle Leader when we go for walks. I've had to readjust it as he's grown.
 

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I really like the Halti. It doesn't apply constant pressure like the GL. You can get it at Petsmart (if one's near you), and they have a return policy that allows you to bring it back if it doesn't work for you. The Halti has worked wonders for me!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have seen in other sites outside this forum that some people really like the snake choke collar. I just checked it on Google and I see how it is different from a regular choke collar. I can see why it releases quickly. The description you provided on proper fitting is very helpful.

I will definitely look at the gentle leader instructions again. When I had the nose band set more loosely, Gunner could get it off his nose with one swipe of the paw. Now that it is set tigher it is rubbing of his hair. He has very thin hair on his face to begin with as he looks very much like a lab, so it will not take much to make him bald.

I want to do what is best for him - preferably without purchasing 10 different collars before finding the right one!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Regarding the prong - I looked at it in the pet store and it seemed so harsh. I appreciate knowing that my judgement may be wrong on that.

Also, I asked the pet store person if the halti was the same as the GL and he (young kid) said yes. Perhaps the halti would work better for us than the GL.

It's very confusing!
 

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As for a "choke" type the prong many say are the safest. Lincoln responds really well to it however i want him to be able to walk good with out constantly correcting the bad especially since i dont know what his real life was before. I had heard that he could relate people to pain since he has a problem with some strangers as it is. Anyways, around the neighborhood he works great with a martingale. Of course, a few times i heel him but my thinking is it will all take time and patience. If he was totally out of control then i would use the prong more but he is getting sooo much better. We are having my friends mom come by that is a behavorist that works with total positive reinforcement ( she likes the gentle leader type) however i reallllllllllly am interested in David Baron doganswers.com techniques however he is pretty far away.

Michele
 

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Hey there,

My trainer recommended the plastic pinch collar. I've put this on my arm and pulled very hard and it doesn't hurt it just pinches a bit. My dog's do GREAT on it. You have to be sure that it is snug so that it will work properly.

Here is what I'm talking about:
http://joefarm.be.apache01.hostbasket.com/shopenglish/p152.html

We will eventually move to a martingale (and eventually a plain collar for walking). Again this needs to be fit properly. The two loops that the chain goes through should not be able to touch when you tighten the collar around the neck. The proper way to correct your dog on the martingale (and any collar) is a quick snap and release - not a continuous pull/yank.

I think the main problem people have is their (and pet store's) lack of knowledge about the tools that they buy. Also it's important to note that tools like the pinch and prong collars and even martingales should only be on them when they are training, they are not a dog park or in the house collar.

Good luck!
Sarah
 

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dog collar

Hi---we have the Illusion collar by Cesar's wife. It works pretty well, but before we got it in the mail we bought a prong collar and i think it works better (for now--being that Wally is not well trained). Wally is around 80 pounds and we got him at a rescue and he is such a puller. We have him in obedience now, so really i want to get him trained better so that we won't need the prong collar. At JBpet.com they have a great prong collar that is SO much easier to take on and off than a regular prong collar. It is the Herm-sprenger pinch collar. Because this collar worked better right off the bat, i didn't take a lot of time to get him used to the Illusion collar. But, i would like to use it again once he is better trained. It has much better control than the other collars we tried other than the prong collar. BTW, he was trained in a prison program on the gentle leader, and he was such a puller that it rubbed the fur off of his nose, too, and he was getting sores. He also hated the gentle leader---he was constantly trying to rub it off. I have read things in books (who knows if it is true??) that it is a very unnatural thing for a dog to be led around by the nose and they despise it. I suppose you can train a dog to it, but i personally like the idea of a traditional collar better. More about the Illusion: every time i put it on, i have to get out the directions. But if i would just use it for a few days in a row, i could probably get it down. It is a pretty nice collar, all in all, and probably worth a try.
 

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Sara Davenport said:
Regarding the prong - I looked at it in the pet store and it seemed so harsh. I appreciate knowing that my judgement may be wrong on that.
They're not bad at all, you just need to make sure you get a "good" one. Bailey's trainer got me hers, the prongs are very smooth and rounded at the ends. Some of the cheaper ones are just cut-off metal, so they can actually be kind of sharp.
 

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Re: dog collar

Constancia said:
I have read things in books (who knows if it is true??) that it is a very unnatural thing for a dog to be led around by the nose and they despise it. I suppose you can train a dog to it, but i personally like the idea of a traditional collar better.
My trainer said that the gentle leaders and haltis are like a band-aide. They are more of a temporary fix and don't train the dog to walk properly and it seems to me like most dogs don't love them.

I've also heard that after extended use the head halters can damage the muscles in the dog's neck.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow. You all are a wealth of information!

Constancia - Glad to know that Gunner is not the only one who pulls hard enough in the GL to create sores. Also, he does take every opportunity to try to rub it off if we are not acutally walking at that moment. (ie: if I stop walking to let him sniff a few minutes he tries to rub off the GL - especially if he has already done his business).

Is the Herm-Sprenger collar sharp prongs or rounded prongs?

How do I get the right fit for the prong collar? Do I measure around his neck at the base of the neck or up higher behind the ears?

I am thinking that we may try the prong collar as a training collar in situations where I know he will pull (ie:any time we go somewhere new). I took him to the barn where I keep my horse the other night and he was in sensory overload. Even the GL did not give me enough control.

We may be able to start using a martingale at home as he is doing better walking around his own territory. We live in the country and have a .25 mile walk to the mailbox and no distractions out on the road (no dogs, kids, houses, very few cars). He gets better every day walking his own territory.

How do I measure the right fit for the martingale?


Thanks so much for all your help. You guys are terrific.

Sara
 

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Constancia -

Thanks for both links. They are very helpful!


BTW - Your doodle looks exactly like the first dog I ever bonded with. His name was Sam and he belonged to the neighbors. I met him when I was nine and fell in love.
 

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Wally's name WAS Sammy when we got him in January from a rescue. But he is only 2, and i am assuming you are older than that. :wink:
 
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