I am getting a Pomeranian puppy in 2 1/2 weeks. The breeder said to NEVER EVER use a collar with a leash attached because Pom’s are prone to collapsed a trachea. She said to use a harness instead. What are your opinions on this?
She did say it was alright to just have a collar on for like identification etc.
- This topic was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Sheltie_Pom. Reason: Added more detail
She is absolutely correct. I have three toy dogs. Maltese, Maltipoo and Yorkipoo. When they are in the house I don’t put anything on them. When I take them out I put collars on them for their tags. To walk them toy breeds should always be walked on a harness. They are prone to trachea collapse. Toy dogs think they are big strong dogs but in truth they are fragile little things.
I don’t have a small breed myself – having a Greyhound, I use a martingale collar which has his tags on it for walks. Since this type of collar is an obvious choking hazard he doesn’t wear it in the house. I highly reccomended an I.D. collar of some type (engraved, breakaway, or flat ID tag) to wear in case the dog gets out of the house unexpectedly.
The reason I don’t keep collar with tags on in the house is, though toys, they certainly do rough house with each other while playing so this avoids any collar pulling on trachea and also ones paw getting caught up under/over the others collars. It was happening often enough that I took all collars off indoors. Of course, it’s just me and my husband so we are super vigilant that they don’t get out of the house through the front door. The back door leads to the yard that is totally fenced in and they can’t get off the property. They are also all microchipped which I advise to all dog owners.
I agree that harnesses are the best thing for small dogs. My Cavaliers wear harnesses when they are walked. I actually keep their tags on their harnesses. In the house they go “naked” lol. I do this because my male Shih-Poo got his collar caught on something in the house one day and if I hadn’t been home he would have choked. I decided after that all my dogs would not wear collars in the house. We, too, are very vigilant with the dogs and make sure they do not go out on their own through any door.
My dogs don’t wear collars, etc. at home either. I’ve know too many dogs that have choked to death because their collars got caught on something. I use a harness for any dog that is prone to collapsing trachea.
I like the step in harnesses for my 8 pound Jack Russell mix. Mainly because he’s pretty stupid and gets tangled in the leash (even the flexi-leash– HOW????) when he’s leashed with a collar. He also chokes himself on collars. Pulling in the step in harness isn’t as comfortable (or maybe easy? I dunno) as pulling in the collar is, and he actually walks like a normal dog and not like an idiot with the harness on, though he does still some how choke himself on it if he gets excited and pulls. But all my dogs are naked at home, and only wear collars and such to leave the house.
Another alternative to ID tags and collars would be microchipping. I’m 50/50 on that, though. I’ve seen some animals be fine with them, and some be in serious pain when touched around where it was put in. They really are a great bit of technology though, and have gotten many lost pets returned home.
Mine don’t wear collars still home either. We’re very lucky, we have a great set up for dogs. You go from the kitchen into the breezeway. They’d only get loose if someone happened to walk in the door at the same time the dogs get let out. Hasn’t happened yet.
If you have kids coming in & out, you’d have to be extra careful or have them wear collars.
I’ve never heard of a dog having pain at the site of their microchip. Something else must be going on there. The microchip itself is inserted with a small syringe just under their skin so you can imagine how tiny it is, maybe 1/4 size of a dry rice grain maybe a tiny bit bigger. There is absolutely no pain involved while it’s being inserted or afterwards. I’ve had my dogs microchipped since it’s inception with no adverse effects. It’s a level of comfort and peace I give myself for me and my dogs.
Some vets here put them in on the side of the shoulder, where all the muscle is, rather than in between the shoulders, where it makes sense, and some of the animals are always tender there, from the chip is constanly rubbing the muscle.
That’s really a shame. I wonder why they would put them there. None of my dogs have their’s around their shoulders. Sorry to hear that. My dogs have never noticed they even have them. There just where they’re suppose to be and have always been in the same spots. Weird. Of course it’s going to be uncomfortable. I hadn’t even realized that a vet would put the chip where your seeing or feeling them.
I’ve never heard of them being microchipped there either, but I have heard of the chip wandering. Most Greyhound owners I’ve met use harnesses over martingales for various reasons, and swear by them. I have an engraved leather breakaway ID collar on Harry as a back up insurance plan to his regular tags, and his microchip. Doors don’t latch, fence gates get left open in storms, kids get careless, it makes me feel better.
Thanks everyone. Do you think it would be alright to train him to lead well with the harness and then switch to a training collar? Because I would like to do obedience and they won’t let me use a harness for shows. Moreover, if he walked well with a harness and was trained well with it once I put the training collar I shouldn’t have problems with him pulling or anything.
I’m sorry. I’m with the group of people that is not in favor of collars, leads for toy breeds. I favor harnesses. I’m not saying it can’t be done but it will take quite a long time and a lot of consistency and care on your part. Good Luck!
I started a topic in the off topic forum about microchipping. It never showed up in the column on the left so I will post it here.
Microchipping was something I used to think all dogs should have done. This was a long time ago when AVID was the only one making chips for dogs. The chips were all on the 125 kHz frequency and there was only one scanner to read them.
Then Home Again started making microchips for dogs that were also on the 125 kHz frequency but then they made a 125 kHz microchip that was encrypted so the AVID scanner would not read a microchip if it was an encrypted chip from Home Again!
Then an ISO (International Standards Organization) microchip was introduced in Europe that was on the 134.2 kHz frequency and this was going to be the international standard for microchips in pets. Too bad the USA never made it our standard also.
The original scanners that AVID made and gave away to thousands of shelters and rescue groups in the USA could only read AVID’s original chip. It couldn’t read the Home Again encrypted 125 kHz chip or the new 134.2 kHz European chip.
Now people were getting their dogs microchipped and shelters and local animal controls with older scanners were NOT ABLE TO DETECT that the dog had a microchip!!!
Then Banfield the PetSmart Vet came out with the ISO 134.2 kHz microchip in the USA.
Dogs were being euthanized who HAD microchips but whatever scanner the shelter had was unable to read whatever chip the dog had. Yes, there are universal scanners that are able to detect but not read ALL microchips. But who knows what scanner YOUR local shelter and animal control have?
If the frequency mess was not enough a link has now been established between implanted microchips and a certain type of cancer called a Sarcoma.
Yes there’s more, the needle used to implant a microchip is NOT a tiny needle. The non-profit I work with used to microchip dogs for free. Toy breeds were the dogs who did the worst being chipped. About half of the small dogs would SCREAM when being chipped and the Bichon and Maltese types with the tender skin would have visible holes in their skin and be very tender at the injection site, sometimes for days.
We have seen dogs with 2 chips who were microchipped without the Vet or Vet tech finding the original chip, we have seen many chipped dogs who after being adopted the new family never registered the microchip so even though the dogs had a chip we were unable to locate their current home.
Conclusion: I no longer recommend people get their pets microchipped. It could lead you into a false sense of security where you think your dog will be returned home in an emergency but it will not. And the sarcoma link just puts the risks too high for the meager benefits IN MY OPINION.
Secure your yard gates with locks, put signs up on the gates letting people know you have dogs inside, put an ID on a breakaway collar (yes they make them for dogs). Find ways of making sure your loved ones are not lost in the first place and make sure they are have some kind of ID that can be physically read in an emergency.
Sorry for the bad news!!!
This is for USA Dog Treats. Your post did show up and I responded immediately. I don’t recall where I saw your post.
Hi USA Dog Treats. If you’ll go to Forums. Then click on the very bottom that says Off Topic, then read down either sixth or seventh is your Micro chip forum. That was your original start up of post, I think, where I responded.
Harness. Collar is just for ID purposes, but we leash her from the harness. My pup is a chimix, thus, prone to collapsed trachea – an irreversible condition.
It is my goal to never leash Bruno on a collar. He has outgrown a “mini” harness and now he is proudly sporting his “small” one, which may even be too small soon! 🙂
My dog-whisperer of a roommate once suggested, when he found out that Bruno is about a year old now (and not a “puppy” anymore), that we should get him a collar now. Because he is not a puppy anymore, and the harness is too much of a hassle. And I wonder, what difference did it make to him, say, the day before he said that, when Bruno was the same age and same weight, but because now he knows that he’s not a “puppy”, he shouldn’t have a harness…
Anyway, Bruno is a small dog (a whopping 13 lbs!), so no collar for him. He is harnessed when outside, and “naked” at home – no collar or harness. His ID tags are on the front of the harness.
I’d definitely do a harness for such a tiny fella… Possibly if you do good leash-training (teaching a proper heel, or at least teach him to ALWAYS keep a loose leash), then you could go over to a collar. My guy is microchipped, and only wears a collar when he’s in public. He lives in an outdoor kennel run, and there are certain spots in the fencing where he has snagged and pulled out of his collar (I was lucky it was loose enough he could pull out of there…). That was the very last time I let him (and my other dog, who’s worn a collar 24-7 his whole life) wear a collar while unsupervised.
Since my dogs are thoroughly trained on the leash (okay, Loki is in the /process/ of it), I honestly don’t think too much about what to have them wear. Sometimes I pop on a harness just because it looks cute, other times I get the pinch collar out if they’re being obnoxious. But then again, they’re 40-70lb dogs. I’d probably never use /any/ collar when initially training a tiny dog.
Also, about the ID tags – I’d recommend getting your pooch microchipped, and you could probably just keep tags on his harness (you can buy little removable keychain-things so that you can switch the tags to a new harness as he grows, because those tags can be a hassle to get on/off of things!). If you live in an area where escaping the yard is a huge possibility, then you could probably keep a collar w ID tags on him. Possibly get a breakaway collar even? (I’m not sure if they make them for dogs…but a cat collar would prob fit a Pom puppy)
Thanks all. Right now he is sharing a harness with the rabbits since it is the one that fits him and I know he will outgrow it soon, then I will put him into my non-pull harness that I originally bought for my 8 ib doe that passed away in February, I am sure she won’t mind if Ty wears it.
I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s coming up to a year since my 2yr mix passed… I know it’s hard to pick favorites, but there was something in him that’s never been in any of my other dogs… Sending prayers and warm thoughts <3
Yeah, I really need to work on this leash training… He’s a puller, although some days, he just likes to walk next to me. But still, training in this area needs to be done.
Also, yes, the VERY first thing we did to him was microchip him, even before shots and stuff. And we live in an apartment complex, so the only place he is off-leash is the dog park. Hopefully too few chances of a breakaway there. 🙂
Aleksandra. I’m glad you’re trusting yourself. Bruno should wear a collar ONLY for his tags when outside. A harness for walking always and “naked” at home. With the exception of one dog in my life all my dogs throughout my life have been toy or small dogs. It’s very dangerous to walk them on a collar and its not because they are puppies but because they are small dogs and their tracheas are prone to collapse. Your dog whisperer roommate may never had had truly small dogs or just doesn’t know any better. We don’t use collars on puppies because they’re puppies or harnesses on puppies because they’re cute. We use harnesses on small and toy dogs because it’s medical safer for the dog. It’s always important also to get the harness for his size. They’re always adjustable to a point but you don’t want one that is either too loose or too tight. When Bruno fills out completely then you’ll be able to get him a harness that will last him a long time. Also there are so many cute and fun ones out there. But for now while he’s still growing and filling out stick with one. So happy you decided on the harness for outside and “naked” indoors. I don’t remember whether Bruno is microchipped. If he’s not you may want to give that some thought. All my dogs have been micro chipped. I’ve been doing that with all my dogs since they became available many many years ago. None of them ever suffered any type of ill effects from being micro chipped.
Yes, I completely agree. I call my roommate a dog whisperer because he has called himself that once, not because I think he really is. He knows a lot about training dogs (his dog is almost impeccably-behaved, except she also pulls like crazy even with the pinch collar… I wish she would stop choking herself), but has little knowledge about nutrition and lifestyle of different types of dogs. I don’t think he’s ever had such a small dog either.
Yes, we have changed his harness once already from “mini” to “small” – little guy is still growing, but I doubt I’ll have to go to “medium” anytime soon, or ever. It doesn’t matter though – he is good with his grass green harness. Unless my husband and I get a house, I will just keep the tags on the harness, and if we do get a house, maybe I will consider getting him a collar for tag purposes only. But, if you read my post right above yours, you will see that the first thing we did for him when we got him was to microchip him, so he’s set. 🙂
Sorry I had missed the microchip part. Glad that he’s microchipped. Very sorry to hear that your dog puts a pinch collar on him. They actually make a “NO PULL” Harness for dogs that pull. It works like a dream. I had to use that for awhile years ago on our crazy Tibetan Terrier when she was younger. I used it for training purposes and so that I wouldn’t be pulled down and hurt. She eventually learned to walk like a lady on a regular harness. She was the only non toy/small dog I ever had. Tibetan Terriers are smart, stubborn, tough and incredibly strong cookies. But she was a dream come true. She’s been gone almost 8 years now and I miss her everyday.
I meant to say I’m sorry your friend puts a pinch collar on his dog. I’m against any type of cruelty to animals and that is one I believe is cruelty. Your friend should have spent time training his dog not hurting him. Those pinch collars hurt, that’s how they work. A lot of people will say (people that use them) oh, no they don’t hurt the dog. He’s got a strong neck. Seriously????? They work because the dog is smart enough to know that he’s hurt and stops pulling for that moment.
Aleksandra…I honestly wouldn’t ever call your roommate a dog whisperer if his dog doesn’t even know leash manners. I’m not at all saying I’m a great trainer or anything (aspiring to be one though…), but any /true/ trainer would know this: the leash is not to restrain your dog, it’s to be a backup to your body language, energy, and voice. The very very first thing I work on when I get a new dog is a balanced walk. When the dog is in front (even when the leash is somewhat relaxed), you’re telling him that he’s the leader and you’re following. When he is at your side or slightly behind, you’re saying “I’m boss. You’re my follower, I’m guiding you.”
Sorry, that had nothing to do with this whole collar vs harness debate, LOL! But since I teach my dogs to never pull, if I ever owned a small dog, then I’d probably just use a collar on walks (probably a harness for initial training of course). But certainly, if anybody has a small dog and worries about lunging or pulling, a harness would probably be best.
Honestly I’m not opposed to pinch collars. They must be used properly though, as 80% of people I see are DEAD wrong in how they use them. I’ve put one around my bare leg/arm and yanked hard. Honestly, it didn’t hurt, it was just uncomfortable… They are not for a hard puller though, as dogs eventually can learn to completely ignore corrections.
I use them on a dog that already walks nicely (relatively) but might need a firmer backup. And correction is ALWAYS nothing more than a quick tug and “no.” If the dog keeps fighting it and ignores it, then it’s become “sour” to the pinch collar and needs something else. Keeping the collar high up (like right below the ears) is how I have it. I barely need to twitch my hand and my dogs know it was a correction.
I do believe that they /can/ inflict harm on dogs and /can/ be a cruel way to train a dog, but then again, it’s possible for an uneducated owner to hurt a dog with virtually anything, including a plain ol’ buckle collar.
Like I say, I’m no professional, but I do work with a professional trainer of 40 years, and she isn’t opposed at all to pinch collars – it’s the chokers that do real damage…
Dori, I am thinking about getting the little guy a no-pull harness too. And just be consistent with lead training.
Shasta, I misspoke – my roommate’s dog’s collar is a choke collar, not a pinch collar. His dog chokes herself on it every time I walk her, cause she pulls so bad. That being said, he has trained her off-leash so that she only follows his voice and body language to stay close, and he almost never walks her on a leash anymore. He says she would listen to me too, but we live in an apartment complex and I don’t want to test that and have her 70-lb self dart to someone who may get scared. She is not mean, she just loves on people and jumps at them, and it may scare/scratch someone.
But yeah, her collar is a choke one and makes me sad when she chokes on it… I think he may have trained her on the leash before, but he hasn’t been using it for over 2 years now I think, so she may have forgotten how to not pull, or maybe she just obeys him more than me (which I am pretty sure she does).
Wow…. Choke collars are WAY worse than pinch collars in my opinion. I used to walk a neighbor’s dog (maybe 20-30lbs), and she had a choker. She pulled HARD! I doubt she could have pulled harder even if she had a sledding harness on! Chokers can be a great tool if properly executed (I prefer nylon slip collars/leads though), but they are NOT meant for constant pressure. The general training rule for a big-time puller is that the INSTANT there’s tension on the leash, turn and walk in the opposite direction. When the dog turns around, runs ahead, and there’s tension, turn back, and so on. When I started my rescue dog on that method, I literally took one step, turned around, took a step, turned around. That went on for about 5-10min, in several sessions throughout the week. Now he is very decent on the leash, and when I give him “free time” he seldom pulls. If he does, I give a quick tug and “easy” and he relaxes…
I am perplexed that he trains her so well off leash, and yet ignores on-leash work. I always always ALWAYS do leash work first, since my dogs will be in unrestrained areas mostly, and even with my best-trained guy, I’d never let him off leash by a highway or otherwise dangerous area. Too many risks, and I’ve lost my favorite dog from that mistake.
If she walks nicely with him and not with you, then it’s probably just a dominance/”pack leader” issue. My boys are virtually flawless with me, but as soon as I give the leash to someone else, they go into super-crazy-woohoo-PullLikeHeck mode. The reason why is because they know that person won’t correct them. I’m sure if I got lazy and lost the assertion, they’d get jerky with me too.
As far as I know it is also illegal other than your own fenced in property to have your dog off leash. For a self proclaimed dog whisperer he seems to be doing a lot of things wrong. As I’ve said before, there is absolutely no reason to use a pinch or worse a choke collar. If you spend the hours working with your dog on leash (a no pull harness if necessary) I’ve never known anyone who couldn’t train their dog to walk politely on their side or a little behind with a loose lead. Most people are just lazy and don’t want to take the time and effort. It’s a lot. The fact that he walks nicely off leash next to him is obviously not an accomplishment in my eyes. Fact is if you or others walk his dog for him when he’s not available you’re either being dragged down the street or the dog is constantly being choked. That’s not training, that’s punishment. The dog should not be continually punished because his owner didn’t take the time and effort to train him on a leash.
Dori, well, he prides in how how obedient his dog is, but always carries her leash too.
But I agree, leash training is super duper important! I need to step mine up too, cause Bruno can pull like he’s way more than 13lbs.
I still agree with Dori, I’m just not seeing him as this incredible trainer. Granted, it’s 80% up to the person at the end of the leash. Even the nicest walkers could very easily turn into turbo-blasters if the person at the other end of the leash isn’t giving a proper assertion. Like I say – my boys, especially Shasta, know that if there is ANY tension on the leash (Shasta even knows if his ear goes past my waist.), then I’m gonna get on em with a correction. When my parents walk them though, the dogs know they can get away with a whole lot more b/c they aren’t get any initial assertive energy/tone, or even a “heel” command. Plus they don’t get corrected when they’re out of proper alignment.
To me, the most beautiful thing is to see a dog who is willingly at the walker’s side/slightly behind, loose leash, relaxed, and happy. That is, to me, far greater of an accomplishment than almost anything. The dog is in perfect sync with the owner. That leash is there solely to protect the dog if an emergency situation happened (which might include something that’s not the dog’s fault, like another dog coming up and attacking, etc.). The leash is always loose, except for a split-second correction the INSTANT needed (most people deliver the correction a moment too late, and occasionally a little too soon, which confuses the dog)
I used to walk Shasta without a leash when we were in town, and occasionally I’d walk my now-passed 90lb guy without a leash. I wasn’t worried they would do anything, but I realized it’s flat-out stupid to walk with no leash. I’ve had dogs come up to pick on them sooooo many times, and Shasta isn’t too fond of dogs trying to shove him around, so that leash will let me keep him back if the other dog won’t scram.
Sorry for getting so descriptive about everything, LOL! Can you tell that I love the art of obedience? XD I’ve heard of how stubborn your roommate can be, so I’m not trying to persuade anyone for anything; I’m just giving my two bits about what I know of true dog whispering…
Great post Shasta220. You’re right about everything you said.
There are limited slip collars, they tighten but only so much so a dog can’t actually choke themselves. Look at yellowsnowdoggear and Lupine.
Laws are different everywhere. Here, off leash is fine as long as the dog is under your control. Your roommate is nuts to think the dog would always listen to him. Not long ago, I read where a trainer had the stupid thought to let their beagle off leash. Dog saw something ran across the street, died when hit by car. I can’t chance it.
Thought I would jump in and put my two cents worth in.
In the wrong hand prong collars can be very dangerous, at my Obedience class there is a boy with a 85-ib black and white dog, this dog is very energetic and loves to run. This boy is short and only about 60 ib, and I’m sure you have experienced a big dog pulling on you at one time or another and it’s alot of weight. Anyway the lady there worked with the dog and he would listen to her but he knew he could get away with whatever when the boy was leading him so the instructor gave him a pinch collar to use and showed him how to sue it properly and that dog leads perfectly now.
I have even used a pinch collar on my Sheltie because she wasn’t paying attention to the martingale collar when I corrected her.
I personally prefer martingale collars like this one http://www.petsmart.com/dog/collars-harnesses-leashes/top-paw-martingale-dog-collar-zid36-8798/cat-36-catid-100012?var_id=36-8798&_t=pfm%3Dcategory
And I bought a black one in size small for Ty, because I am required to use it for Obedience, which I hope to show Ty in someday.
My vet and Obedience instructor thinks Pom’s are yappy and hard to train. So far Ty has only ever barked once and I have had him for a week and his leash training is going very well.
My poodle suffers from hypothyroidism. When he was diagnosed my vet said that walking your dog with a collar can damage the thyroid gland, and to switch him to a harness immediately. I use the Ruffwear Webmaster as he is a Houdini dog with a harness. I have also heard great things about Walk Your Dog With Love brand, if you have a dog who pulls.
Poodle is microchipped and also wears ID in the house on his collar. I just don’t walk him with it, but I always keep it on him. Microchips should be a backup plan, ID tags are a primary plan (and in my city it is illegal for dogs to not display ID tags).
I’m trying to figure out a collar solution for Harper. To walk her we use a martingale collar as she is prone to slipping out of flat buckle collars and pulls horribly on harnesses. A martingale collar is an obvious safety hazard left unattended and even when supervised she plays so rough with the other dogs we take it off. But at the same time I am terrified to leave her without tags on because she has bolted out the front door numerous times with the kids going in and out, and she is also a very determined digger.
I have looked around for different break away collar and I found one made by Long Dog Leather, it’s called a tag necklace. Does anyone have experience with these or other leather breakaway collars. I’ve also heard of clasping 2 cat collars together and doing that. Ideas? She is microchipped but I want another first line of identification.
Here is the link to the LDL collars
Sorry to butt in again, but I just need to make another correction – my roommate uses a martingale collar, not a pinch, nor a choke collar… So sorry for the unintentional slander. Somehow his dog still chokes herself when pulling though, that’s why I thought it was a choke collar.
But those tag necklaces look really cool! I am thinking of getting some sort of a breakaway collar for Bruno soon.
Haha no problem, Alexsandra. As I’ve said in my earlier posts – any training tool, from a gentle-lead head collar to a harness to a pinch collar, even a plain ol buckle collar…if in the wrong hands, can harm a dog.
I’ve noticed this a lot with chokers/martingales/pinch – they get such a bad reputation. It took me a while to figure out, but we think of animals as wanting to move away from pressure (after all, horses obviously do!), but dogs often go against it. That’s why you see dogs choking themselves, or struggling even harder to pull out of the collar (or harness/halter) when they get scared. That force is a barrier that they need to break.
Now, all of this is just my own personal theory, I’ve not backed it up with science or research, only observation.
Also, almost evvvvery type of collar i see is on the dog wrong – down at the base of the neck. A dog’s strongest muscles are down there; just look at the sledding malamutes, the main harness part goes around the base of their neck. If the collar is in the right place, right below the ears, the dog physically can’t and won’t pull against it, especially if it’s a quick tug instead of gripping/pulling constantly.
Well, I just don’t want to be THAT person who speaks of others and speaks untruthful stuff, so I really wanted to correct myself.
And I agree – almost all, if not all collars I see are at the base of the neck…
It was starting to make me a bit upset at class. I’m the assistant at an obedience group class, maybe 15-25 dogs in it. Every single one had the collar way down low and was acting like a turbo-drive sled dog. There’s just NO control or meaning in the corrections if the collar is down there…the trainer and I try reminding people, but we don’t have time to go to every single person and fix the collar for them.
There was one lady w her dog, she was using a martingale….I don’t think she realized how to properly fit one lol. It was at it’s tightest (the rings were touching) and there was still a gap between the collar and the dog neck when the dog pulled…annnnnd yes, it was near the chest lol!
Harpers martingale collar is adjusted to when it is loose, and there is slack in the collar it does slip down her neck a tiny bit, but when she pulls and martingale is engaged the collar is right behind her ears. She will try to choke herself if it slides down so we have to keep it snug and in the proper place.
In all honesty I wouldn’t have known that the collar up high on the neck was such a big deal except we did do obedience class and learned proper placement.
It drives me crazy to see people Mis use collars and just pull more when their dogs start to choke, I feel so bad for the dogs! Before obedience class and the martingale collar we used a harness because she would pull against us and choke.
Glad that you were able to learn, Harpers Mom. 🙂 it’s so relieving when people finally get that “click”, learn something, and then actually do it.
Ive only recently started doing obedience classes, maybe a year ago? But before that, I didn’t realize how vital proper placing of the collar was, and I didn’t realize that a choke collar can be put on improperly, causing it to never loosen. I have ALWAYS hated pullers though, so as soon as I got my very first dog, “heel” was the very first thing he learned. He was never allowed to pull (except when I threw a harness on, and wanted some help up a hill LOL! Then I’d give him the command and he’d turbo-blast me up the hill)
I’m a harness girl. My dogs have collars to attach ID to but leashes are attached to harnesses. It was explained to me that the reason collars are recommended high on the neck for training is because of the sensitive structures in this area. Collar pressure and “corrections” given with the collar in this position will be much more aversive (painful) as opposed to when the collar is lower on the neck.
I trained my first dog using collar high on the neck and leash “corrections” I still feel very bad about that.
Aimee, I’m with you. Collars are on my dogs when outside for tags only and leashes on their harnesses for walking. There has always been a misconception about collars high up on the neck to have more control of the dog and somehow people turned it around to be less painful when in fact I learned years ago that the opposite was true. Good to have you say it.
For a very small dog, then I’d find keeping a lower collar to be fine. But I’m still going to stick with high collars. Yes, there’s a greater chance to hurt the dog; however, if the leash is in good hands that understand teaching heel and correcting /doesn’t/ always need pulling/yanking, then it’ll be fine. Higher up the neck is definitely more sensitive, so a well-trained dog (and experienced owner) will respond with just a slight “flick” of the leash, aka even the smallest amount of pressure on the collar.
I’ve had my dog on a high-up slip or pinch all the while I’ve owned him, and he’s never been injured or displayed pain at all. That’s ONLY because I somewhat know what I’m doing, and understand that that collar is there solely for a correction, but never as a restraint for the dog.
But for sure, if you’re an inexperienced trainer, or have an inexperienced dog, then keeping a harness or low collar is fine. As long as the dog still respects the leash and doesn’t play tow-boat with you…
One of my boys thinks he’s Mr. Perfect (he’s a total grump around other dogs, and since he has hound/husky, he will magically go “deaf” when running in an open area…other than that, yes, he’s perfect LOL!)… He loooooves to do perfect heeling. He will randomly come up to me when I’m doing the chores, and just stay by my side to get attention. I usually just use a loose buckle collar w him, since he’s smart enough to respond as soon as he hears the leash clip making the tags jingle (meaning, I don’t even have to tug to give him a correction). Sometimes he decides to be Mr. Moody though and disregard corrections. I pop a slip or pinch on him, after just one or two little tugs, he knows I mean business and goes back to Mr. Perfect.
I completely agree that an inexperienced dog/trainer and any combination thereof is a reason not to use training collars. Considering that most training classes are composed of inexperienced trainer/dogs I feel strongly that these types of training tools should be avoided in training classes. Learning is stressful enough without the addition of slip and prong collars during the educational process.
Interestingly enough 2 papers were recently published that compared training methods. Methods using aversives, (leash tugs, prong collars, verbal reprimands etc) were associated with an increased risk of the dog acting aggressively to people and the dogs displayed increased stress signals and made less eye contact with their owners compared to dogs trained with pos. reinforcement methods.
Since I find no need for a collar for training and feel harnesses are safer as an emergency safety tool I’m a harness girl.
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