I’ve learned from experience that one collar does not work for every dog. Bailey, a beautiful mix breed dog, at the beginning would walk me, ok., let me rephrase this, dragged me with her during our first walks. When we got back from our walks, my hands were red and hurting from her pulling me around. Boy, those were good times. Anyway, one day I made her wear a gentle leader, and she walked perfectly. It was as if once she had this gentle leader on, she became this perfect, calm, attentive dog. I was so happy and surprised at the same time.
A couple of weeks ago, we had Dozer and Sarris, and what they wear is a pinch collar. Does it work for them? Yes, they walked very nicely, but some people, I had a few give me dirty looks, are against it, because they prefer to use a choke collar. The pinch collar does exactly that, it pinches the dog in order to redirect his attention to you. When used properly it is a very good tool. Now, don’t take me wrong. I am not against choke collars. Au contraire, use it, but again, do it properly. I had a dog a long time ago that did excellent with a choke collar. I did a very light correction, and I got his attention right away.
I am not advocating for any one particular collar because I’ve realized from experience that every dog is different therefore it is up to you, pet parent, to figure out what works best for your dog. Take the time to talk to a trainer, in case you are having difficulty figuring out which collar to use, so this way when you are out with your dog this is a good experience for both you and your canine companion.
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I am against pinch and choke collars. Why not just train your dog to heel? Hurting your animal when you haven’t exhausted every positive training avenue is a cruelty caused by laziness. If you don’t have time to work with them and teach them how to walk properly, you don’t have time to have a dog. Every dog can and will learn to heel if trained properly using positive reinforcement. There are even postive punishment methods that can be used that are painless, which should be chosen over methods tha cause pain. We know how to do it right nowadays–I don’t think the old way should be allowed any longer.
My dogs pull when my sweetie walks them, but not when I do. He doesn’t take the time to teach them not to pull. It shows.
I do agree with the fact that pet parents need to make the time to train their dogs. This is something many times overlooked. What is used on a dog must be what works for that particular dog with the guidance of a professional. Every dog is different, therefore they will all respond to the same thing in a very different way, but I am not going to go against a pet parent’s wish or training method if that is what works best for his/her dog. I always need to be aware of boundaries for it is easier to work with a pet parent that is receptive of what I am saying to him/her rather than one that thinks I am attaching him/her. There is always a polite way of saying things, and that is my aim for I’d like to work with the pet parent rather than against him/her.
I can understand where you’re coming from, I just wish it could be different–that there could be better education and maybe even screening before people purchase animals to assure that they will be treated humanely. On Guam, dogs are most often treated like property items, chained to the same spot 24/7 as “guard dogs” and often physically abused and underfed, left with infections and infestations and living in their own filth, or in tiny wire cages off the ground with no solid surface. Its massively depressing. People being treated by default as knowing what’s best for their animals just fails to work, and the animals suffer greatly for it. I do understand that you want to approach a pet’s person from an ally position instead of an enemy position or they will never listen to you. However, I think making training devices that cause pain illegalized as abuse would be a step in the right direction for animal rights.
As a sitter you probably don’t have time to retrain a pet to a pain-free method of control, but you do have a choice as to what animals you chose to take. If I saw a sitter or walker using a pinch chain on a dog I would not be as likely to choose that professional over one who refuses to use those methods. It’s the sitter’s choice and were I in that position, I’d chose the pain-free customers over the ones that insist on pain methods. But I don’t envy your position–you realy lose business either way. If only pet’s people could be educated before they are allowed animals.
I totally agree. I think that any person that is planning to buy or adopt should go through, at a minimum, basic dog training so he’d know how to handle the dog without inflicting pain or abuse. I lived in Virginia for a little over a year and a lot of people, not everybody, left their dogs in the backyard tied to a tree or whatever without any socialization, bedding, etc. I don’t know if there is a new law in place to avoid such a thing for I moved back to MD, but that should be illegal. You are entitled to your opinion, regarding collars, and like I tell every prospective pet parent that comes for a meet and greet, this may or may not be the right place for your dog, that is why we do a meet and greet appt. I believe that training need to fit the dog and not the other way around and when a dog stays with me there are certain things I get them to do that pet parents tell me they do not do at home such as: sit before I put his dish down, be on a down position when we are eating, sit before putting on his collar, etc. I do this without inflicting pain, but rather using treats, body language and my voice and I relay this to his pet parents. Why? Because I am a firm believer that dogs are a pleasure to have as companions, but the pet parents, need and have to put the time needed to train the dog and I am hoping that they’ll continue doing this at home.
It’s so true how the collar depends on the dog! I resisted ever using a choke chain or a pinch collar because it seemed “cruel” but now I realize what a good tool it can be. My youngest mini schnauzer used to pull so much on the leash when we would go for a walk that it really wasn’t an enjoyable experience. Since then, we’ve been recommended using a pinch collar and it has made a HUGE difference!
I am glad that you found the right collar for your dog. Yes, the right collar can make a huge difference between an enjoyable walk or being walked/dragged by your dog:)
Couldn’t have said it better myself – the collar type isn’t as important as finding the right one and using it properly! Thanks for sharing
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