geonni banner Posted October 26, 2011 Report Share Posted October 26, 2011 This is an offshoot to the “Dirty Little Secret” thread in the Working Stock Dogs section of the Boards. I didn't want to carry on this discussion in the stock dog section, as it seemed inappropriate. While I think that most, if not all the people here feel that the shock collar has no place in stock dog training. Most will say not in any training, except possibly to extinguish a behavior which is life-threatening for the dog or living things in its environment, such as an intransigent case of car-chasing, etc. And even then, it should only be done under the supervision of a skilled trainer who is well-versed in using the shock collar. Well, that’s how I feel, anyway. But some have expressed dismay at the use of pinch/prong collars. Certainly both are easily misused, and often relied upon by people who are too lazy or ignorant to train their dog out of bad habits. Personally, I find the choke a much more harmful collar than the pinch, especially either thin chains (or nylon chokes, which don’t release pressure on the dog’s neck when the dog stops pulling). Both the choke and the pinch collars can cause serious damage to a dog’s windpipe without careful use. A pinch collar looks medieval, but unless the dog is jerked really hard or allowed to simply habituate to pulling in a pinch collar, it isn’t nearly as dangerous as a choke. I have known people who “accessorized” their dogs with pinch collars because they thought it made their dog look fierce, (or Goth) and never even attached a lead to it – or attached the lead to both the pinch and the fancy studded or spiked flat leather collar as well – rendering it harmless. Heavily accessorized, but entirely benign pit bulls are very common in my neck of the woods. (There are also some which are decidedly not benign.) I have used a pinch collar on dogs brought to me with the habit of pulling on a choke. The pinch was used in conjunction with a flat collar and two leads. A pinch collar feels very different than a choke when tightened. It spreads the pressure around the circumference of the neck, and if fitted properly, never causes choking, the way a choke collar does. Often I found that the dog’s initial response to the different feel of the pinch collar will be to slacken the lead and turn his attention to the handler. This allows the handler to reward the leash-slackening and opens an avenue to better communication with the habitually-pulling dog. Habitual wearing of a pinch collar can wear the hair off or irritate the skin, and of course, if a dog is allowed to pull hard or lunge it can break the skin. The pinch collars I used had little rubber tips on the ends of the prongs. I haven’t seen one like that in a long time. I don’t even know if they still make them that way. Nowadays we have all sorts of other tools in the box for the forging dog, but back in the ‘70’s this was my method, and I never had a dog injured or frightened by the pinch collar. I usually tell people not to use a choke, because most don’t have the timing to use it correctly, or enough self-control not to use it punitively. There is also a fairly high risk for accidental injury with a choke. I kept a choke on my current dog whenever she went out on the street with me for a long time. I did so because she was very apt to panic at loud or strange sounds, and with her neck/head shape it was always a possibility she could slip a collar that was not really snug. She is calmer now, and I only use it when there is a lot going on out on the street. I can come hand over hand up a leash to a panicked dog pretty quickly, but I’d rather have my normally non-pulling dog wear a choke than risk her twisting out of her flat collar and into the street. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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