Choke Chains

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 9th, 2006, 4:21 pm

I think I found the trainer I'm going to go with. It's actually a group class (I know, I said I wanted personal - I changed my mind!) and came highly recommended by several people. It is required that you have your dog on a choke chain (they call them "correction" collars) at all classes. I thought choke chains were worse than prongs? I emailed the instructor and asked about that, and asked if I could use a prong instead. She replied that she only likes to use prongs if the dog is aggressive or too much for me to handle. She emphasized that we're not actually choking the dogs but simply using the collar for corrections. What should I do? I've been reading about chokes and they sound much more dangerous than prongs.
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Postby Chris Fraize » April 9th, 2006, 4:36 pm

I always start with a flat collar and a leash. How does the trainer know that the choke or the prong collar is the right tool for the job without seeing or knowing the dog first?

Intresting!

Keep us posted!

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 9th, 2006, 4:39 pm

Oh God I don't know! I had no idea it would be so tough finding a trainer! I contacted the one my vet recommended, however, due to "insurance" issues she won't allow pits in group classes. I didn't like that. I just don't know where to find a trainer. Maybe I should just go back to Petsmart! (waiting for the outrage...)

:|
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Postby mnp13 » April 9th, 2006, 4:42 pm

In my opinion, yes, choke chains have much more potential for injury for your dog.

The biggest danger, of course, is they do what they say they are going to to - choke your dog. there is also the problem that if the dog is not in the correct position, the collar does not release the way it is supposed to.

A martingale collar can deliver a correction similar to a choke without the problem of positioning or the choke 'feature' of a choke chain.
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Postby SisMorphine » April 9th, 2006, 4:43 pm

Chris Fraize wrote:I always start with a flat collar and a leash. How does the trainer know that the choke or the prong collar is the right tool for the job without seeing or knowing the dog first?

Intresting!

Keep us posted!

Safe training,
Chris Fraize

Well that's the problem with group training classes. They have to pick one method and use it for the whole class whereas in one on one sessions the teaching styles can be tailored to each dog.

I like group classes for beginning level stuff for a dog with no big issues. Great for socialization for puppies and such. But for the most part I do think that training programs need to be tailored to the dog and it's needs. If I took Wally to a class that used chokes only I would have a dominant Greyhound with a collapsed trachea (thin, long, sensitive necks + dog with a dominant a-hole attitude + anything but a flat properly fit martingale = bad news) as a result.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 9th, 2006, 5:05 pm

:hammer: That's me, under the hammer.
I am just sooooo confused. We did the group session at Petsmart, she learned, but not enough. I want to do more basic obedience before moving on. I had thought private sessions would be good, but then I thought that group sessions would be better as her main problem is she's a handful out in public. And due to her breed, I figure any extra dog socialization at her age is great.
Should I go with this trainer, but just say screw it and use a prong anyway? Or do I try the choke? Or do I find an entirely new trainer? I'm tearing my hair out (and it's short to begin with).
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Postby mnp13 » April 9th, 2006, 5:08 pm

Look at it this way: you are paying HER, not the other way around. She should be willing to meet you in the middle. In my opinion a martingale is 'half way' between a choke and a prong.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 9th, 2006, 5:14 pm

The collar I ordered from Hoyden is a martingale collar - is that what you're talking about, or do they make chain ones too?
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Postby mnp13 » April 9th, 2006, 5:18 pm

I've only seen them all cloth, or cloth with a chain loop.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 9th, 2006, 5:27 pm

The one I'm getting is all cloth...
Maybe I will stick with this trainer (reasonably priced, local, good recommendations) but just make it clear that I'm not comfortable using a choke, and see if SHE has any other suggestions.
Thanks for all the assistance, and if you have any more thoughts/ideas please keep letting me know!!!
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Postby Romanwild » April 9th, 2006, 5:31 pm

A choke chain is like any other training tool. It can be used effectively as long as you are responible.

I wouldn't let the fact that the trainer only wants to use the choke chain a reason to not learn from them. If you like everything else about them then give it a try. stop going if you don't like their methods. Don't do anything you aren't comfortable with.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 9th, 2006, 5:34 pm

If I do decide to go with the choke chain, how do I get Inara acclimated to it beforehand? Should she just wear it around the house (supervised, of course), or should I actually take her for walks with it? I've never used one before, and I know there's a special way to pop it...Last thing in the world I want to do is hurt/frighten Inara.
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Postby mnp13 » April 9th, 2006, 7:13 pm

put it on an hour before class and don't take it off for an hour afterwards.

I would assume you should have a flat collar on the dog as well, but that's up to the person running the class.

I would also assume that she will be showing you how to put it on and use it correctly. But having Inara wear it around a little will get her used to the feel and the noise.

Get the smallest links that are strong enough for her, and it should only juuuuust fit over her head.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 9th, 2006, 7:26 pm

How do I know which links are small enough yet strong enough?

Thanks for answering all my questions! I'm such a newbie to this!
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Postby msvette2u » April 9th, 2006, 8:11 pm

mnp13 wrote:Look at it this way: you are paying HER, not the other way around. She should be willing to meet you in the middle. In my opinion a martingale is 'half way' between a choke and a prong.

Martingales are great. I'd use one of those before a choke, and also like Michelle says, before a prong.
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Postby Maryellen » April 9th, 2006, 8:21 pm

before you go to this class sit in on one of her current classes and see if you like how she trains the class.. make sure you do that with any group place before you sign up...
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 9th, 2006, 8:39 pm

That's good advice ME, I'll do that.
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Postby rockermom » April 10th, 2006, 8:45 am

I can tell you my experience. I went to a class that only used "training collars" No Prongs trainer was against them unless you need it for level 10 corrections. Most used chain collars but there were different choices as well. Ask trainer about these. First we used a Martingale style which was half nylon with a chain going through the martingale part. It goes up high and does not give as hard of a correction. The way you know if that fits right is that the 2 D rings should not touch when collar gets tight. This particular class came highly recommended since it is probably among the few well known in the area. It was AKC club and since I had a shelter dog they only charged me $40.00 for 8 wks. How could I pass it up. It worked well for beginner. So I signed up for novice. About 5 wks into Novice ($80.00 for 8 wks) Rocky began to rebell and not listen so I was given a different collar. They knew I did not care for the chain so I was given a soft rope like choke collar. THis one was very effective and there was hardly a correction on it. It also must be a good fit up high on the neck behind the ears. However in this point of the training it was not working well for ROcky. He hated being there. I observed a diffferent program that I was given a recomendation to from Maryellen. So I changed to a clicker training using only flat collars no chokes. They do allow for head halti or Gentle Leader chest harness if your dog is a tough one. Rocky loves this class. But personally I do not see much of a difference in how a flat collar does not choke any less that the rope style choke so I have just purchased 2 nylon martingales and I believe this flat collar class is fine with using a traditional martingale. At first he had trouble adjusting to all the treats and praise but he is doing much better. We have advanced to a class that works on every day life experiences and I must say WOW how quickly he is responding. I know exactly what you are going through. Rocky also has a bit of a problem when going out in public. He gets so excited. If I had a petsmart nearby, I would probably go there for some classes just because it is afordable and he would be able to get out and around the situation he needs the most work in. I recommend to go observe the classes see if you like it. I am real happy with the clicker training class. Especially since we are weaning off the clicker now. Im a spaz cant handle the clicker, works for Rocky not for me. Good Luck!!
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 10th, 2006, 9:02 am

Thanks for the experience feedback - we already did Beginner's class at Petsmart. It was okay, but for $100 I was expecting more. Our local Animal Protective League offers a 7 week class for $95. It's all positive training, however she did mention that the instructor trains Seeing Eye Dogs and has a ton of tricks up her sleeve if something isn't working. And the woman answering my questions owns a pit mix, so I'm biased. Maybe I'll check them out further. I think if I'm questioning a class this much, I should go with my gut instinct, right?
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Postby rockermom » April 10th, 2006, 9:20 am

Definately would check them out. Sounds good. Plus resonable pricing. The best is when they understand the breed, or care less about the dogs breed. My class is $150.00. I will probably take a break after this one and join some of my Dads agility practices. Wish he lived closer. I dont have the time for competitions though.
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