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  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) 2BIGWHITEDOGS's Avatar

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    Default Advice needed...prong collars

    Hoping some of you who have success with prong collars will chime in. My neutered male pyr (3 years) is reactive to strange dogs. So far I have hiked with him in an easy walk harness and leave the trail when I see another dog approaching. A couple of weekends ago we got blind sided by another dog and Brody got away from me when I lost my balance on a hill trying to get him off the trail. He charged the other dog but did not fight (the other dog was a hound, female I think and she just bayed at him but did not engage with him.) By the time I got to him he was heading back to me. My question is...would the prong collar work in this situation. I am afraid that the discomfort from the collar might make him more aggressive?????? But I also know that he can get away from me...or pull me into a situation where I get hurt. I am pretty sure he is mostly leash agressive and will not engage another dog when he is loose. I have read the Patricia McConnell books (several of them lol) and have tried many of her methods but the nature of the trails I hike are that sometimes there is no escape from other dogs (narrow, rocky trails and owners who do not listen ).

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tsunibear's Avatar

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    I have found prong collars to be very useful tools when used correctly. Make sure you get one that is sized first and foremost then from there it's really simple to use. No I don't think it will make his aggression worse and it will give you more control of him in those kind of situations.

  3. #3
    Young Dawg (Member) Pearl Grey's Avatar

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    I wouldn't. Depending on why your pyr is reactive, I think associating an unpleasant sensation with other dogs is likely to make his reactivity worse.

    I have a reactive BC/pyr, Aoife. We're working with a trainer to help her get over it. Our big rule is to make interactions with other dogs as pleasant as possible. She's come a long way, but it's a process.

    I feel you over the loose dog issue. There's a guy who comes to the park every single morning with his loose fox terrier, even though I've told him Aoife may hurt his dog if it approaches her. So I do a lot of detouring and diving into shrubbery to avoid Aoife seeing the little maniac. I just avoid paths that don't have escape routes. Could you do this until you can get somewhere with training?

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) 2BIGWHITEDOGS's Avatar

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    Thanks for the advice. Still on the fence about this. Really don't want him to associate the pinch of the collar with the strange dogs. Most of the time he walks beautifully - not really a puller. We have not hiked in the park in a couple of weeks due to rainy weekends - he gets lots of walks in the woods at home but he does love to come with me on the long hikes in Algonquin park. We have worked on his reactivity since he was a pup - right from the start his first instinct was to growl at strange dogs and it got worse after a large dog attacked him at the dog park when he was 4 months old. We have managed to get to the point where he can handle seeing a dog at 50 feet away, we usually leave the trail until the dog passes and then continue on our way. He has never gotten to the point where he can handle close contact with strange dogs and he turns into a lunging barking monster. My current plan is to only hike him in public when my friend can go along to help me hold him (she also has a calming influence on him).
    Have also considered the phermone collars????

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Rebbetzin's Avatar

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    I posted the story and photos below on another thread the other day.
    For me being able to control my dog is of utmost importance. I am only 5'2"
    and a big dog can easily pull me off my feet.

    My Cherokee is only 8 months old, but there are times I use a prong collar on him.
    A couple of months ago, we were on a walk, I stopped to talk to a neighbor, got
    distracted, and he was able to pull me down, and run over to a fence where a big
    mean dog was barking. Silly puppy! He got close enough to get his nose bit! That
    dog was able to reach through the space between the fence and the gate and bite!
    Thankfully Cherokee's nose healed quickly.
    Here are the photos of his poor baby nose!
    The day it happened 4/29/15


    5/6/ 15 Healing process, it looked like this for a couple of weeks! Reminded me of a Pi symbol.


    6/30/15 I just took this photo right now. Can't really see a scar... He healed up very nicely!


    I have only had to use the prong collar maybe 5 times. If I feel he is going to be too wild and
    hard to handle, I use it. It doesn't hurt him, unless he is "pulling". When he has it on, he walks
    beside me perfectly, doesn't even stop to pee on the bushes!

    Now that I am older, I really can't afford falling down very often!

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    This may sound silly, but what kind of leash are you using?

    I ask, because I have found that with both of my boys, I have much more control when I use a thick rope lead. The rope helps to absorb the shock when they feel the urge to run away from me. I use the 1/2" diameter, 6-foot snap lead made by Mendota. They aren't expensive online (check Amazon or eBay), and the rope is nice and soft, which is nice when someone decides that he wants to pull. There are also companies that make shock-absorbing bungee leads specifically for large dogs. I haven't tried these, so I have no idea how well they work, but I do know people who use them and like them.

    I have used both prong collars and the Easy Walk Harness, and I find that I have more control with the Easy Walk. I have grabbed on to the strap across the back more than once to avoid disaster with Sebastian. He is selectively dog-reactive, and when he decides that he doesn't like another dog, his trusty sidekick, Chester, usually tries to get in on the lunging and snarling, too. That pits 100 pound me against about 160 pounds (Sebastian is between 105 and 110, while Chester is about 55) of snarling mess. They have yet to get away from me under these circumstances. (Full disclosure, they have gotten away from me when they wanted to play with each other, and bolted simultaneously in opposite directions.)

    As for the pain associated with the prong collar, I can attest that its bark is far worse than its bite. When properly fitted and used, it is perfectly humane - far more so than a choke chain. They even make nylon tips that you can slide on to the prongs to make them more gentle. I tested Sebastian's prong collar on my thigh, and it was really no big deal.

    The important thing is finding the tools that work the best for you.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) 2BIGWHITEDOGS's Avatar

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    Ouch, poor Cherokee. At least only Brody's pride was hurt when he was attacked by the larger dog! I too worry about myself getting hurt - I am 50 and pretty strong but he has taken me down once when he caught me off guard (chipmunk chasing). I first started considering the prong collar when Red (whose advice I really respect) recommended it to another person on here.

    SM- I use a Kong leash that has a bit of elastic in it and a really nice padded handle. It does act as a shock absorber for me when he lunges. Most of the time I do love the easy walk harness - i would rather grab the harness than a collar when he is over stimulated - grabbing his collar makes him more excited. I have only used a prong collar once (walking a large malamute for its owner when I was a teenager - all I remember is that the dog walked like a dream!). With all the thick hair, I can't see that it can be that painful when used properly. But he does have a sudden lunge in him when he sees small animals - could he hurt himself in that situation?
    If I buy one I would do a lot of training at home before ever using it in public (we have no shortage of chipmunks to test out the lungeing).

  8. #8
    Young Dawg (Member) Pearl Grey's Avatar

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    I've never heard of pheromone collars, but I did once try a pheromone gel on my horse. It comes in a gel that you put in the nostril. Supposed to remind them of the smell of their dam, which I guess is supposed to make them feel safe so they don't spook.

    Apparently my horse had the same kind of relationship with his mother that I had with mine. Or maybe he just didn't find having vaseline shoved up his nose all that comforting. Anyway, we pretty much had a pheromone fail.

  9. #9
    Road Dawg

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    We recently started using a "pinch collar" on Kcoda. I was against them at first, but he is growing rapidly and although I can handle him, Nicole, my fiancÚ is reaching her limit of being able to keep him at bay. He has responded very well to it. We only use it on walks, strictly to keep him from pulling or lunging at things, in an attempt to teach him the correct way to walk on a leash. I have noticed that he does realize it is there and although he may pull slightly, a quick tug on the leash will check him and he relaxes some. He is still very much a puppy at 5.5mons old, so now was a good time to introduce him to it. I'm convinced it has made controlling him much easier than in the past. We'll phase it out when it is no longer needed.

    http://m.petco.com/product/122262/St...og-Collar.aspx

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) 2BIGWHITEDOGS's Avatar

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    Well, I have ordered the collar online - will be another week or two before I can try it with him.

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