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Please explain why one has to be an expert to use a prong collar. And I am very curious as to how the tracheae is damaged with a prong? With a choke collar, yes, I agree damage *can* occur. With a prong though how?

If I may...

 

I don't know if you need to be an expert to use a prong collar, but like power saws and electric drills, you may be able to use them without guidance, but you will probably get better results if you get someone who is experienced with them to give you some tips and help.

 

Any collar can damage a dog's neck or windpipe. Hard jerking and excessive tightening can cause this with a prong or any other type of collar. As someone else pointed out, you can injure a dog with a plain, flat leather buckle collar.

 

An ill-fitted prong collar is less effective, and possibly injurious. The collar should have appropriate width and fit on the neck. Techniques such as tighten/release should be understood. All prong collars are not created equal. Some have rubber tips on the prongs. On those without, some have rounded prongs and some are so unfinished that they have "burrs" on the ends that can scratch or cut. A little help from someone who understands these things can be helpful for preventing pain and unpleasantness for both dog and owner.

 

And then there are people who really don't know to take the prong collar off unless actively training. I've seen dogs whose default collar was a prong. I've seen dogs tied out and left with a prong. Some of these dogs had damaged tracheae and some had festering holes in their necks from constant pulling against the prongs of a too-tightly fitted collar.

 

So no, you don't have to be an expert to use a prong collar, but if you have no experience with them it is prudent to seek instruction from someone who understands their humane and effective use.

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Bindy, pulls like husky. When Bindy see another human on leash, she doesn't pull like when she see another animal.No she docent acting much differnt when she differnt animals. Yes, she whines,& occasionally barks. Bindy shows no leash aggression,&her tail is wagging. Not much, but she does sometimes have slack in Lead

From what you say here I think working with a trainer on focus and self-control will sort you out. The article that mum24dog posted has some info that may help you understand the situation better. I note that there is a book on the subject advertised on the page as well.

I too recommend "Control unleashed".

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Could be GB but that is not what Gideon said. Festering holes ok (and extreme example), trachea damage not seeing it. Of course this comes with the assumption the handler has common sense and seeing how she asked for help I think she does. Parts of this thread make me wonder if all assume stupidity or lack of common sense when a question is asked then answers are in the extreme. We've gone from pulling to *lunging* in a nano second...

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Sigh. I'll pull on my own flameproof clothing. I'm not trying to advocate any one particular sort of collar (my dog has a buckle collar for everyday; his leash has a built-in martingale). BUT... when he was a puppy (still young enough to pull on the leash), he had to have surgery, and the vet was *very* concerned that he could do some serious injury to his shoulder if I allowed him to pull while on leash. The situation did NOT allow time for the training I would ordinarily have been giving him. She told me to get him a prong collar. (I asked about different alternatives - harness; Halti; and so forth. The answer was a firm "a prong collar is the safest alternative").

 

I LOATHED the thought. "Medieval torture instruments!" "Something that only people too lazy to train would ever use!" But I did some research, and what I found about different sorts of collars was *very* interesting. Ended up using a prong collar while he was recovering from surgery, and trained him off it (and trained him to stop pulling) as soon as I could. He did NOT develop any aggression issues as a result of being on a prong collar for a few months. Anyway - simply based on my own experience, it functioned very well, it kept him safe, and he doesn't appear to have injured his trachea from pulling on his collar. I did buy one with "smaller" prongs, added extra links, and put rubber tips on the prongs to make it as "mild" as possible. And I also educated myself on how to fit one on a dog and how to use it appropriately.

 

This website might provide some food for thought: http://cobankopegi.com/prong.html#AStudy . It contains some interesting information about the risk to dogs of injury from different sorts of collars. I don't have the time right now to dig up the original sources, but if even part of what this site claims is true, it may provide much food for thought.

 

IMO, any sort of prong/choke/Halti "solution" should be used strictly as an aid, with the objective of quickly getting a dog to the point where it's no longer needed. It should not be used as a permanent solution.

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...Of course this comes with the assumption the handler has common sense and seeing how she asked for help I think she does. Parts of this thread make me wonder if all assume stupidity or lack of common sense when a question is asked then answers are in the extreme...

 

With all respect to the OP, it's never safe to assume that a person has what another person would deem "common sense". Partly for the oft cited reason that common sense isn't all that common. Also, I think that degrees of experience bring with them notions that seem self evident. You may see something as obvious that a less experienced person wouldn't. Better, I think, to be on the safe side. If a person is shown that actions that might seem warranted could have unforeseen consequences, they may act with a suitable degree of caution. They may be emboldened to ask questions that they might not have otherwise to avoid seeming foolish.

If negative consequences for using a particular tool are possible, I want to see the whole bell-curve so I can proceed, knowing what the risks are and where they lie. Then I can make informed choices.

 

As for tracheal damage from a prong collar, is it possible? - yes. Is it likely?

Probably not. But I know of at least one dog that sustained such damage in the hands of an unskilled - and in my estimation - overzealous corrector. She coughed for the rest of her life. That said, it is rare, in my experience.

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Ok, I feel really stupid right now!

 

I agree, if you don't know anything about the the training tool your using, you can Hurt the dog. I'm planning on getting showed on how to properly use the prong.

 

Sorry of my lack of knowledge everyone. I though the trainer I went to was very knowledgeable & was always right, but I was wrong...

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You have nothing to feel stupid about! You have had the courage and the concern for your dog to ask questions. This is laudable.

 

The big hitch here is that you have asked questions of a group of people who have a great range of notions of what constitutes good training, or even what constitutes a good dog owner in general. They will each, understandably, put forth the ideas that they believe in. It's your job to choose what works best for you and your dog. In the end, that will be your best solution.

 

Stay in touch and let us know how things are going. :)

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Ok, I feel really stupid right now!

 

I agree, if you don't know anything about the the training tool your using, you can Hurt the dog. I'm planning on getting showed on how to properly use the prong.

 

Sorry of my lack of knowledge everyone. I though the trainer I went to was very knowledgeable & was always right, but I was wrong...

 

 

You're not stupid! :) You've proved that by coming to ask advice. As Geonni said, you just ended up with a particular wide and vocal variety of it.

 

One thing that did cross my mind today was, your trainer may be good at what s/he does with other breeds, but may perhaps not be used to dealing with border collies. Advocating treats to distract your dog from pulling kind of suggests that (perhaps) she's used to different mentalities in dogs, rather than the extreme focus that BCs can be capable of. So, she may just not have the right read on your dog if she's not accustomed to the breed's possible traits.

 

Nobody is born knowing it all - heaven knows I keep making mistakes and needing fixes! :P We learn by asking.

 

Do forgive us all for being perhaps a little overly exuberance in our discussions of various methods. :)

Respectfully submitted,

 

Gloria

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Please explain why one has to be an expert to use a prong collar. And I am very curious as to how the tracheae is damaged with a prong? With a choke collar, yes, I agree damage *can* occur. With a prong though how?

 

Choke chains are more likely to cause physical damage, prong collars psychological damage resulting in behavioural problems.

 

With a choke chain the punishment is likely to be short lived unless the handler chooses to strangle the dog, which unfortunately does happen.

 

With a prong collar the fact that the punishment is sustained if the dog does not comply could easily lead to increased aggression as an earlier poster learned.

 

I have come across a rottie that wouldn't let anyone near him in kennels. It was discovered that he was wearing a prong collar (very rare here and unexpected) and as soon as the staff managed to get him to let them take it off he was a changed dog. It wasn't particularly tight but it's reasonable to assume that he associated wearing it and the presence of people trying to touch him with pain.

 

Owner's excuse? She wasn't strong enough to handle him without it. So she damaged her dog instead and ended up with an aggressive dog that she still couldn't handle.

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Alright, I'll bite...

 

I'm sure there were a whole SLEW of reasons to cause that dog to become aggresive, not just a rpong collar....as it's been mentioned ANY tool not used as intended can cause damage...

 

Anyone with 1/2 a brain can easily use a prong collar...and in fact, is a lifesaver for most pet people that cannot physicly handle there dogs...

 

I have seen hundreds of happy owners walk in and out of our training doors using and helped by using a prong collar......and the few that it did not help, were not using the collars correctly...

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Prong collars - banned in Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, parts of Australia (probably other countries too). Movements in other countries such as Germany to follow suit.

 

There is a reason.

 

I don't think we in the UK see enough of them to press for a ban. Most people don't even know they exist and I've never seen one for sale in a shop. Our first target is to ban shock collars as Wales already have done.

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FWIW, my young BC is a puller on-leash and will pull into a prong collar. It slowed him down not one bit, so I discarded it. I walk him now on a ComfortFlex harness, which is not a no-pull but is a nice, sturdy harness with a good design.

 

What worked for my dog was not a collar, it was allowing him to release the emotional tension that built up when he saw 'prey' -- squirrels, etc. -- on a walk. He loves to tug, so I brought his tug on the walk and practiced calling him back to me (yes, while still on leash) and tugging vigorously for a minute when he was wound up. At first he wanted no part of it, he was like 'wait, this is our at-home game!', but I persisted and he caught on (no pun intended). We use a knotted fleece tug, or a ball on a rope, something I can stash in my pocket for the rest of the walk.

 

When a dog gets amped up, they want to discharge all that emotion and the most common way dogs do that is through their mouths. The toy or tug will allow the dog to 'catch' the squirrel or whatever else he's seen. That's a really simple explanation and a much fuller version can be found at http://www.naturaldogtraining.com

 

With my Shelties and also with my BC, I have found that restraining does not solve the problem and make the behavior turn into something I want. Restraining IS what I do when they might run into a street, but it's not training. JMO. :)

 

ETA: forgot to add that over time, my dog now pulls on leash almost not at all and doesn't need the tug on the walks, either. He seemed to learn how to handle the excitement/emotion produced by the prey objects and the tugging helped him to do that. It was a management tool, not a long-term feature of our walks.

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Sweden has also banned dog crates.

 

In Finland the law says that you can't crate a dog unless the crate size is quite large in relation to the dog.

 

Poland has a law stating all dogs over medium size must be muzzled in public.

 

In Norway you are not allowed to neuter an otherwise healthy dog.

 

 

I have seen many of the devices out there being misused. Yet some are still touted as "humane". I've seen a no-pull harness create a rash on a dog's armpits. Head halters can do significant neck and spinal damage in the right situation. And many dogs hate them.

 

I've seen the wrong food make a dog incredibly miserable. I've seen misguided owners make their dogs aggressive though lack of exercise, or inadvertently fueling the aggression (with no help from any device)

 

It's not the device, it's the person who doesn't take time to learn about their dog, the best way to handle their dog/meet their dogs needs that causes the real issues.

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Sweden has also banned dog crates.

 

In Finland the law says that you can't crate a dog unless the crate size is quite large in relation to the dog.

 

Poland has a law stating all dogs over medium size must be muzzled in public.

 

In Norway you are not allowed to neuter an otherwise healthy dog.

 

 

I have seen many of the devices out there being misused. Yet some are still touted as "humane". I've seen a no-pull harness create a rash on a dog's armpits. Head halters can do significant neck and spinal damage in the right situation. And many dogs hate them.

 

I've seen the wrong food make a dog incredibly miserable. I've seen misguided owners make their dogs aggressive though lack of exercise, or inadvertently fueling the aggression (with no help from any device)

 

It's not the device, it's the person who doesn't take time to learn about their dog, the best way to handle their dog/meet their dogs needs that causes the real issues.

Hear, hear!

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I have seen many of the devices out there being misused. Yet some are still touted as "humane". I've seen a no-pull harness create a rash on a dog's armpits. Head halters can do significant neck and spinal damage in the right situation. And many dogs hate them.

 

I've seen the wrong food make a dog incredibly miserable. I've seen misguided owners make their dogs aggressive though lack of exercise, or inadvertently fueling the aggression (with no help from any device)

 

It's not the device, it's the person who doesn't take time to learn about their dog, the best way to handle their dog/meet their dogs needs that causes the real issues.

 

Yes! Maybe I just need to vent but I am dog sitting a lab/rottie mix, 12 years old. He is obese and it disgusts me to look at him (I feel terribly for him). He came with colorful junky food, (weighs 110lbs and should probably be no more than 70lb), has difficulty/pain getting up and using back legs, nails are grossly over grown (I cut them), smells terribly and has been leash reactive his whole life and because of that, his owner assumed he was dog aggressive and has never met/socialized with dogs in 12 years! In my house he is behind a gate, my dog slowly crept up, he growled then sniffed and whined/wagged his tail like he wanted to meet. The owner loves her dog so much but is so ignorant on how to care for him that this dog has suffered physically and mentally his whole life. So sad. So, I agree, it is the owners that need to be educated and are to blame, not the tools they use. We all know, anything good can be abused/misused and people should be smart enough to know how to use them wisely.

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Just so people understand what they are doing when they use such devices (permission to cross post from another board)- my bold. It was in response to a question about the use of choke and prong collars. -

 

Firstly, I won't deny they can produce the result the owner is looking for, however they achieve that result by pain, and fear of pain.

 

I know a lot of people will tell you that they work because the dog hears the jingle of the chain links and response to that but that brings up another question...

 

Without associating the jingle of the chain links with pain, why would the dog respond?

 

Without pairing the sound with something, it is just a meaningless sound. Now you could pair that sound with a reward, or an aversive - I have never seen anyone pair the sound of a choke chain with a reward. I have only seen choke chains used high on the neck with a short sharp jerk motion, ie, causing pain.

 

Prong collars cause pain as well, you can even buy little rubber covers for the prong tips to reduce the damage done to a thinner skinned dogs neck.

 

 

So - properly used, with excellent timing, this method relies on causing pain and associating the sound with pain.

 

That means that to teach the correct behaviour, the trainer HAS to set the dog up so that the incorrect behaviour will occur, so that it can be corrected. This puts the trainer into a frame of mind where he or she is actively seeking 'wrong' behaviour to punish, and that makes it very hard for them to see and reward correct behaviour.

 

Even if they DO see and reward correct behaviour, its very difficult (if not actually impossible for some dogs) to be in two states of mind at once = you can EITHER be avoiding punishment (which means avoiding doing anything potentially wrong) OR you can be seeking reward (which means being confident and willign to try new behaviour).YOu can't be confidently trying out new behaviour to find out what works if you are scared to try new behaviour in case it is wrong and you get punished for it. This is why so called 'balanced training' ie, mixing elements of positive punishment and positive reward don't work.

 

 

Secondly, it is so easy to get wrong and when owners get it wrong it is not only ineffective, but it is also causing pain and fear of pain. It can also cause new problems to occur which may well be worse than the original.

 

The common one with prong collars is redirected aggression, where people are using a prong collar to stop a dog lunging at other dogs or people, the dog starts to redirect that frustration or aggression onto the handler.

 

You can also cause fear aggression very quickly in a big boisterous dog lunging into a prong or choke collar every time it sees something interesting. That frustration very quickly turns to fear as the dog associates the pain caused by the collar with whatever it wanted to go and see!

 

Finally - there is simply no need to use these devices. We have sufficient harnesses and headcollars and the use of strategies such as BAT and the concept of keeping a dog below threshold, to deal with big boisterous dogs, fear aggressive dogs, dogs that want to lunge at things.

 

For the dogs who have no problems and just need to learn to heel there are myriad different ways to teach a loose leash walk and a close or competition style heelwork position, using positive reinforcement.

 

These are much more effective, enjoyable for the dog, and the potential fall out if you get it wrong is rarely serious, usually it means you need to go back a step. Its highly unlikely to result in a dog seriously biting someone or injuring itself, which cannot be said for positive punishment using pain causing devices![/

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Sweden has also banned dog crates.

 

Not exactly as I understand it. It is illegal to leave a dog crated alone at home and I could live with that if it meant that people do not crate their dogs for many hours on end when they go to work.

 

I know someone whose dog would be alive today if it hadn't been crated.

 

I have crated my dogs for short periods when I've gone out for various reasons. If it was against the law I would just do things differently.

 

Cultures differ - the Koreans eat dogs. It seems that causing pain to dogs in the name of training is socially acceptable to some of you but clearly considered serious enough to be illegal elsewhere. We in the UK have nothing much to be proud of (except the ban in Wales of shock collars and the ban on cosmetic mutilation of dogs) but we're getting there and following the example of other northern European countries.

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Just so people understand what they are doing when they use such devices (permission to cross post from another board)- my bold. It was in response to a question about the use of choke and prong collars. -

 

Firstly, I won't deny they can produce the result the owner is looking for, however they achieve that result by pain, and fear of pain.

 

 

This assumes that I was causing pain/putting my dog in a fearful/avoidance state of mind when I used a prong collar. Everything about her body language said something different to me.

 

I know a lot of people will tell you that they work because the dog hears the jingle of the chain links and response to that but that brings up another question...

 

Without associating the jingle of the chain links with pain, why would the dog respond?

 

 

No one on this thread said that.

 

 

That means that to teach the correct behaviour, the trainer HAS to set the dog up so that the incorrect behaviour will occur, so that it can be corrected. This puts the trainer into a frame of mind where he or she is actively seeking 'wrong' behaviour to punish, and that makes it very hard for them to see and reward correct behaviour.

 

This is a broad sweeping statement that lumps everyone into one category. I was never looking to correct, in fact I had a whole handful of treat and was actively looking to reward. Even wearing a prong collar the training scenario was still 90-95% positive to 5-10% negative

 

 

Finally - there is simply no need to use these devices. We have sufficient harnesses and headcollars and the use of strategies such as BAT and the concept of keeping a dog below threshold, to deal with big boisterous dogs, fear aggressive dogs, dogs that want to lunge at things.

 

Fact - many dogs HATE headcollars/halters. I can't understand why people say that they are the humane alternative when many dogs just.don't.like.them. The earlier statement was made that dogs can't be in two frames of mind at once. I would think that this would apply to head halters too. But maybe it doesn't?

 

Bottom line, we're not going to agree on this one, but until you see my and my dog please accept the fact that maybe I can use a prong collar without causing my dog pain and suffering.

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I know someone whose dog would be alive today if it hadn't been crated.

 

 

True. And some dogs would be alive today if they were crated. I think it's one of those things were the owner should be able to use their common sense and figure out what is best for their dog in their situation.

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These type of discussions don't lead anywhere for several reasons.

One being that people have the tendency to bring up extremes.

Also, they are not willing or able to account that others may have a better understanding, or not, as them. ;)

 

Normal progression is to take an animal and show them what you want. You lead, you cajole, you lure, you let them think....pick what works. This phase includes familiarizing them with the cues. At some point, there comes a phase that introduces the animal to what happens if they fail to follow the cues (be that withholding a reward or a correction). And then you proof. So going back to the OP's situation, it seems that maybe too much stimulation too soon?

 

Add different animals special needs, their owners abilities and knowledge, and it splits from there. In a perfect world, praise and encouragement will take you most of the way. But it is not a perfect world. The OP is looking to better her understanding and for that I commend her.

 

I don't support the use of e-collars or prongs without major reservations.

 

I do own (e-collar which has been broke for years now!) them and I have used them, probably not perfectly but I learned what MY limits are, how they can help and how they can totally do the opposite. And for my own personal view, it made me a better trainer as it made me continue to look for a better suited way for me. As is true for the gentle leaders and halties by the way! I will not condemn them as I see their use in rare cases. But I will condemn a lazy trainer or handler that does not do his or her homework first. Exhaust (this is mainly for the e-collar and the prong and not so much for the choke collars) all other methods first, make sure you are not asking something your dog can not and will not do for whatever reason (some dogs just need different careers)and only then, would I recommend to find someone that truly knows how to properly use and apply them plus understands your goals and your dogs. Years ago I got to watch a guy work a dog with an e-collar in a way that I never thought possible. The dog never took offense. It was an introductory type seminar. Very interesting. Still did not make me pull mine out and think it is the end all be all! But it did give me a much better understanding should I ever have to use one again. Which I can not see happen. My overall understanding about training dogs has grown so much that I hope to always have other options.

 

One of the problems with banning anything is that it pushes these things underground. They do not go away. Humans always find a way to use what they perceive as needed to achieve a goal. Some grow, others don't.

 

Let me add at this point, that I have (and yes, I do have solid "no go's") made it a policy to not try to trash others methods too much without educating myself about them to an extend. And no, I do not jump off the bridge with others. I do think for myself!

 

 

 

And one thing I want to totally take exception to is this statement:

"That means that to teach the correct behaviour, the trainer HAS to set the dog up so that the incorrect behaviour will occur, so that it can be corrected. This puts the trainer into a frame of mind where he or she is actively seeking 'wrong' behaviour to punish, and that makes it very hard for them to see and reward correct behaviour.

 

Even if they DO see and reward correct behaviour, its very difficult (if not actually impossible for some dogs) to be in two states of mind at once = you can EITHER be avoiding punishment (which means avoiding doing anything potentially wrong) OR you can be seeking reward (which means being confident and willign to try new behaviour)"

 

The trainer described in this scenario will not touch my animals. Period. When I go out and train, I go to practice. I also look to take things further and improve! Ask for a tiny bit more. But, I look for the good stuff. And because I am looking for the good stuff, the less desirable stuff will stand out! Rather than taking it personal though, I will take it as a chance to do some work on that particular issue. Constantly looking for a step in the right direction to be able to reward and go on. That does not mean that there are not times where things can and will escalate. But a good trainer can adjust and work appropriately. To me there is no other way than training that uses rewards as well as corrections.

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This is why so called 'balanced training' ie, mixing elements of positive punishment and positive reward don't work

 

I highly disagree, my dogs are infinatly happier and better behaved now that I used "balanced" training instead of only positive.

 

That means that to teach the correct behaviour, the trainer HAS to set the dog up so that the incorrect behaviour will occur, so that it can be corrected. This puts the trainer into a frame of mind where he or she is actively seeking 'wrong' behaviour to punish, and that makes it very hard for them to see and reward correct behaviour.

 

 

no, it doesnt. Gypsy has issues and I used a prong collar combined with rewards to solve and it worked like a charm. she still has issues(and is walked in a muzzle for a reason) but the muzzle is now more for her safety. she no longer lunges at anyone. why? because I used a prong to snap her out of crazed lunging state, then praised her the second she was calm and kept praising her until the person had passed..the main issue was always bikers/joggers or anyone moving fast, she was choking herself out trying to get them, and she had no qualms about biting if she could reach. she was doing this from the moment I got her at 6 months and without the prong things only got marginally better, we could handle one at a time kind of deal, if a group came through? she once strained to hard into her flat collar that she collapsed. within 1 month of the prong combined with praise she had improved so much I started weaning her off it. nowadays she walks in a harness and she doesnt lung at anyone, the muzzle is simpley because she will still bite if someone tries to touch her, if they ignore her, she simpley wiggles her bum and sniffs them calmly, bikers and joggers? get a wiggly bum and a smile.

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These type of discussions don't lead anywhere for several reasons.

I agree! I never meant for this questions to end up in this situation, I was looking for some advise. The reason of using the prong on my dog Is not to harm,or make her fearful. It was due to she wasn't listening To any commands,& trying many other methonds to stop pulling. I understand that some Members here don't agree with the prong, but that doesn't mean you should go off bashing on a tool you don't agree with.

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