Collar or harness?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    it depends on the breed. For some toy breeds, and any dog with potential breathing problems, a harness is better because their necks can be delicate and even just pulling on a leash can cause swelling to the trachea.

    there are also many collars and harnesses on the market that have a front clasp for the leash. that way when the dog pulls they end up turning themselves around, so it helps them learn that pulling doesn't get them what they want.
    but that can also be accomplished with training and LOTS of patience.

    you can properly leash train using either a collar or a harness. walk, and when they pull, walk in the opposite direction. you'll feel silly but it does the trick, it just takes loads of practice. eventually they put two and two together, that pulling doesn't get them to go where they want.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    but you don't really need a prong collar to leash train a dog. I managed to leash train my dog just fine without one. My mom has a very high-energy beagle mix, and she was able to leash-train her using a harness. That dog's been through the beginner and intermediate level training courses, all with a harness. Passed with flying colors, too.
    And some dogs have delicate necks, a prong collar can be very bad for them.
    I think of prong collars as being a sort of all-else-fails option, for dogs that are not responding to regualr leash-training methods.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    That's all true.  I just want it out there that the prongs don't hurt our dog in the slightest even if she pulls with all her might.

    However, I hope the OP won't use a harness simply because she's afraid anything else will be cruel.  All those things need to be weighed and a decision made based on the facts of her dog and the true nature of each type of collar.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    Hello again, all and thanks for your input.  I'm glad that prong collars have worked for some of you but its just not an option for me, personally. 

    I consulted with our vet over the collar v. harness issue and she also recommended using the harness more than the collar, like many of you said, based on his breed, personality, lifestyle and health history. 

    FWIW, he's small and will stay small - probably only about 30 pounds full grown so its defintiely not a "control" issue.  My overriding concern, as always, is to do what is in my little friend's best interests. (ETA - including making him a little uncomfortable in training if that's what it takes to make him a well mannered puppy)
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Shortylicious. Show Shortylicious's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    I don't know if pulling in a collar could harm your dog...I guess it depends on the type of collar. Choke collars or anything with prongs look like they could do some damage. I tried a harness on my guy but he still pulled (he outweighed me, so it was very challenging to walk him). I tried a gently leader for awhile, and that worked well. Eventually, though, I used food rewards to train him to stay pace with me. And when he pulled, he had to sit for 10 seconds, then he got a treat. Both my dog walker and I were really consistent with the training, and he caught right on. With a puppy, I'd recomend training. Find what motivates him and be consistent with it. Good luck!!!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    I think Nov has a breed that's gonna be a problem.  We got the prong collar when Gracie was about 6 months old.  She was already very strong in the neck (and the will).

    It might not be great or even feasible for all breeds, but for the breeds it's good for, it shouldn't be a last resort IMO.  Gracie pulls as hard as she can against it and never whines or cries, and it's her choice to do it.  If it were uncomfortable and/or painful she wouldn't dip her muzzle into it so I could put it on without any resistance whatsoever.  She actually likes to have me put it on; it means we're going for a fun walk.

    I worked every day for months with Gracie implementing all our trainer's tricks and tools.  I had to use everything, including the collar, in conjunction to have any success.

    P.S.  I had the exact same experience as DWL, by the way, on all points.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    I totally understand.  I love Gracie so much...just read the 1000s of threads and posts about her if you doubt that.  But, training is always uncomfortable.  Learning new things for pets or people is a difficult, uncomfortable process.  No, it doesn't have to be painful, and we didn't hurt Gracie while she learned to walk on a leash even with those barbaric looking prongs.  She NEVER whined or behaved in any manner that would indicate she was in pain, and she still (when she sees a squirrel) strains against the prongs with all her might - all HER choice to do that.

    If you make training TOO comfortable you just won't succeed, and an untrained dog is more painful than proper training ever could be.  Bite the bullet and make your dog uncomfortable.  It's just for NOW, and soon training will be a distant memory as your happy dog trots along at your side without yanking anything.

    Using a harness because it's more comfortable for you because you are against making it uncomfortable (not painful, mind you) will only set you both back while the dog gets bigger and stronger and even harder to train.  You are making a mistake that will be quite difficult to correct later.

    P.S.  Prong/Pinch Collar

    The article begins:

    "Of all the tools used in dog training, perhaps none is more widely misunderstood and maligned than the prong collar (also known as the pinch collar). Many well-meaning but misinformed people assume that judging by its looks, the prong collar is a barbaric device intended to "stab" a dog's neck in order to correct misbehavior. ...  This article is meant to reassure those who are already using the collar or are considering it and more importantly, to educate those who think it is "cruel" or unfair to the dog...."

    ETA:  If you do get one, get one that will fit the dog's full grown size because you can take links out and replace them as the dog grows.  It should just be large enough to slide easily on and off the head, not super loose.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Collar or harness?

    Collar or harness?  Does anyone know if one is better for your dog over the other?  I have had puppy in a collar, but he still tends to pull and now that he is getting stronger I worry (big suprise, right?) that he will hurt his neck.  I got a harness and can feel the difference walking, but its a paind to take on and off everytime we go out and I don't want him to have to be in it all of the time inside.  Or is it no big deal to have him wear it all day? 

    Thoughts, opinions, experiences?  TIA!

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    In Response to Re: Collar or harness?:
    [QUOTE]I know many people use prong collars effectively and as part of a proper training routine. I just think a lot of people use a prong collar as opposed to properly leash training their dogs. I understand that for many breeds, like labs and staffordshire terriers, regular leash training methods aren't enough. But I've seen many powerful and high energy breeds do just fine with regular collars and harnesses. It just depends. even within a breed, dogs respond differently to training methods. There's no one-size-fits-all. All the OP was wondering was whether a collar or harness is better. There's no real answer to that except that it depends on her dog's breed, personality and health.
    Posted by pinkkittie27[/QUOTE]


    A Prong collar is fine for any dog that can wear a collar.

    If your dog is pulling, if your dog is mounting other dogs, if your dog is jumping on you whenever it wants, then the dog isn't properly trained.

    Now, you can say that you advocate training that doesn't involve physical correction, and that's your right.  But there is nothing wrong with using a prong collar.  Some dogs might require a harder correction than others, but the prong collar is OK for any dog. In fact, it's much, much better than a choke chain, which should be illegal.  But the prong collar is fine for any dog that can wear a collar.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    I know many people use prong collars effectively and as part of a proper training routine.

    I just think a lot of people use a prong collar as opposed to properly leash training their dogs.
    I understand that for many breeds, like labs and staffordshire terriers, regular leash training methods aren't enough.
    But I've seen many powerful and high energy breeds do just fine with regular collars and harnesses.
    It just depends. even within a breed, dogs respond differently to training methods. There's no one-size-fits-all.


    All the OP was wondering was whether a collar or harness is better. There's no real answer to that except that it depends on her dog's breed, personality and health.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Claddaugh. Show Claddaugh's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    In my experience, a dog that pulls in a collar will pull in a harness. It might give you a bit more control, but the dog's not learning not to pull. For one of my dogs, I use a gentle leader and it's been successful. I've read a few articles that say these are dangerous as they can cause excess strain on the neck, but we've not had any issues at all (6+years using it). For my other dog, my husband trained her as a puppy with her favorite treats (cheese balls!) and she's an angel on her leash. If I were starting with a puppy, I'd go the training route, because I would want to use the training techniques for inside behavior too.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    We are a work in progress as far as training goes.  Its the wanting him to be as safe and comfortable as possible while "in progess" that I am thinking of.  I think I'll work with him on the harness a while longer since right now that makes me feel a little more comfortable.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    We have a "regular" nylon collar for her tags and tieout time.  We have a "pinch" correction collar (looks barbaric, but it doesn't hurt) for walks because she must not pull very hard on it or it is uncomfortable, and a harness for riding in the car.  We have a hatch back that we tie her up in to ride in the car, and the harness will distribute the force of an accident around her body instead of having it all concentrated on her neck.

    As your dog gets stronger, a harness won't keep him from pulling.  You have to get a collar that makes it worth his while to be good as well as doing "heel" training every single day to teach him how to walk properly on a leash.

    We have a lab, and her neck is VERY strong (as is her iron will).  I suppose whether a collar can hurt your dog's neck depends on the breed, but as a rule I don't think it will.  But, you'll have trouble walking your dog either way if you don't follow the above.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    The pinch collar is by far the best training collar.  It can be used for all training not just for walking without pulling.  A leash should be used to correct, not to control.  Ideally, the dog should walk with a loose leash.  If he starts to get ahead, a simple snap will help.  Actually, it's more involved than that.

    On a walk, the dog should be focusing on the walker.  Constant stops, changing of directions, changing of speeds should all be part of training for the walk.  If you stop and the dog keeps walking - a correction with the lead.  If you suddenly change directions and the dog keeps going it's own way, then a correction.

    But if the dog is were it should be on the walk, you have to label it and reward it.  If it's walking on a loose leash, say, "good walk", and give it a treat.  If you stop and the dog stops, say "good stand/sit/down" and give a treat.

    If you tell the dog to sit and it doesn't sit, push on the tush and pull up on the leash and say, "sit".  Once it's in a sit, say "good sit" and treat.  If it moves, put it back in the sit, and give a correction by pulling the leash upward.

    Similarly, if you want the dog in a down position, say "down" as you push down on the shoulders and put a treat to it's nose leading it down.  Once in the down, give the treat.  Give it a second treat and say "good down".

    I have a terrier and he used to pull all the time.  I can't tell you how many different collars I went through until I settled on the prong collar.  Now, he always walks on a loose leash and will heal when commanded.  We get to a street corner and he will either sit, stand, or go into a down position as commanded and will stay in the position until I say "lets go".  I can take him the a park with birds, squirrels and people, put him in a down, walk 50 yards away and he won't budge until I call him.  I can walk him passed squirrels and if I see him start to pay too much attention to the squirrel, all I have to say is "leave it" and he will not try to lurch for the squirrel.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    We have the pronged one, and I couldn't recommend it more highly.  She dips her head down to let me put it on, no concern at all from her perspective.  She knows we're going somewhere fun, and she doesn't mind the prongs.  They pinch enough that it's uncomfortable if she pulls hard, but she knows better.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Prill. Show Prill's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    It really depends on the type of dog.  If you have a barrel or strong chested dog (think lab, beagle, larger bull dog) then a collar is better than a harness - as the bulk of their strength comes from their chest, so if they pull on a harness they will pull you with them.

    If you do go for a harness, it probably wouldn't be recommended leaving them in it all day every day - especially over the warmer months when they may sweat and/or become itchy.

    For a scent dog, a gentle leader works well, as they will follow whatever direction their nose is going in.

    For a well trained dog - a normal collar should more than suffice (I'm not one for punishing/hurting/pinching for bad behavior, rather, reward the good behavior... it has worked well for my worlds most stubborn beagle!).  It will take practice and patience to get it to heel (an exceptionally well trained dog should be able to walk alongside you leash free, but that is certainly not the norm!), but it will be worth it.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    In Response to Re: Collar or harness?:
    [QUOTE]Hello again, all and thanks for your input.  I'm glad that prong collars have worked for some of you but its just not an option for me, personally.  I consulted with our vet over the collar v. harness issue and she also recommended using the harness more than the collar, like many of you said, based on his breed, personality, lifestyle and health history.  FWIW, he's small and will stay small - probably only about 30 pounds full grown so its defintiely not a "control" issue.  My overriding concern, as always, is to do what is in my little friend's best interests. (ETA - including making him a little uncomfortable in training if that's what it takes to make him a well mannered puppy)
    Posted by Novembride[/QUOTE]

    No offense, but my experience with Vets is that they don't know much about training or food for that matter.  Ask a trainer what they think.

    My guys weigh 22 and 18 lbs. 

    The way the prong collar works is that it puts equal amount of tension around the neck.  The size can be modified to limit the amount of tension.  It can be set up in a way that the diameter can "collapse" by a very small amount to a lot.  And how hard you tug on the leash also has an impact.  But is is much, much safer that a choke chain that can seriously injure a dog, not to mention can be infective if not positioned correctly.  The prong collar is intended to mimic the way the mother would correct the dog.

    I've seen the prong collar used on American Bulldogs, Jack Russells, French Bulldogs, min pins, etc.  It's not the size of the dog or its temperament that plays any role. 

    I would go to a a pet store.  Put the collar around your leg or arm and pull on it to see what it's like.  That's what I did. 

    My dogs hate the gentle lead.  They see me pull that out and they hide.  But when they see me pull out the prong collar, they don't have any reaction.  They actually stand still and stretch out their necks to make it easier for me to put it on.

    I don't like harnesses because you can't actually use it to correct them.  The goal, in my mind, is for the dog to be able to walk by the walker's side without a leash and that requires corrections and rewards.  If you happen to drop your lead, your dog should still stop when you stop.

    Just because a person is a vet doesn't mean they know anything about dog training.  They aren't any more likely to understand dog training than a plumber or someone in any other profession.


     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from sunshinemrs. Show sunshinemrs's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    In Response to Re: Collar or harness?:
    [QUOTE]Hello again, all and thanks for your input.  I'm glad that prong collars have worked for some of you but its just not an option for me, personally.  I consulted with our vet over the collar v. harness issue and she also recommended using the harness more than the collar, like many of you said, based on his breed, personality, lifestyle and health history.  FWIW, he's small and will stay small - probably only about 30 pounds full grown so its defintiely not a "control" issue.  My overriding concern, as always, is to do what is in my little friend's best interests. (ETA - including making him a little uncomfortable in training if that's what it takes to make him a well mannered puppy)
    Posted by Novembride[/QUOTE]

    If your puppy is going to grow to only about 30lbs, a harness seems like a good option. 

    If your dog were a bit bigger, I would recommend the Gentle Leader head harness.  We use it on my dog as she was a terrible puller - 75lb female rottweiler - and I can control her with two fingers on the Gentle Leader.

    As others have said, training is very important - I can't tell you how many times I have walked and rewalked and walked again by houses with dogs on the other side of the fence teaching my dog not to pull and race with the fenced dog. 

    Whether you decide to go with a harness or Gentle Leader or prong collar, patience will be your greatest tool.

    Good luck!
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    With all due respect, you are wrong that any dog can wear a prong collar.

    If I put a prong collar on my dog he could very well injure his trachea, any swelling on it could cause it collapse and he could die or require surgery.

    You can use physical correction with a regular collar or harness.

    I will say again that I know many dogs, large and small and of high and low energy levels that wear harnesses and are properly leash trained.

    There are many ways of leash training a dog, the prong collar is not the holy grail of training methods.
    It worked for you. That's great. But that doesn't mean everyone should use one.


    In Response to Re: Collar or harness?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Collar or harness? : A Prong collar is fine for any dog that can wear a collar. If your dog is pulling, if your dog is mounting other dogs, if your dog is jumping on you whenever it wants, then the dog isn't properly trained. Now, you can say that you advocate training that doesn't involve physical correction, and that's your right.  But there is nothing wrong with using a prong collar.  Some dogs might require a harder correction than others, but the prong collar is OK for any dog. In fact, it's much, much better than a choke chain, which should be illegal.  But the prong collar is fine for any dog that can wear a collar.
    Posted by DirtyWaterLover[/QUOTE]
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    I also find an additional benefit of a harness on a smaller dog is that it makes them easier to pick up should they get themselves into a sticky situation.
    My dog has started to develop a mounting problem at the off-leash dog park and his harness makes it easy to pick him straight up if he starts to mount. I then can bring him to the side, get him to sit and calm down befre I let him rejoin the other dogs. It's working pretty well so far.

    You can also get a loop that clips onto the harness that you can slide a seatbelt through for car rides.


    In Response to Re: Collar or harness?:
    [QUOTE]Hello again, all and thanks for your input.  I'm glad that prong collars have worked for some of you but its just not an option for me, personally.  I consulted with our vet over the collar v. harness issue and she also recommended using the harness more than the collar, like many of you said, based on his breed, personality, lifestyle and health history.  FWIW, he's small and will stay small - probably only about 30 pounds full grown so its defintiely not a "control" issue.  My overriding concern, as always, is to do what is in my little friend's best interests. (ETA - including making him a little uncomfortable in training if that's what it takes to make him a well mannered puppy)
    Posted by Novembride[/QUOTE]
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    Mm, Gracie also sticks out her muzzle to help me put the prong collar on her.  I'm assuming she'd not be so clearly cooperative if it hurt her. 

    But, if Nov is happy, I'm happy!  I wish you the best.  That was a long road for us.  Gracie is VERY headstrong and not very food motivated.  I know you don't need food to train, but that was the main method our trainer used, and it didn't work that well on Gracie 'cause she just wasn't interested in the treat.  ...I digress.

    Good luck with the whole puppy training thing - I found it so exasperating I think I cried at some point every day out of total exasperation and frustration for a month of it.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    In Response to Re: Collar or harness?:
    [QUOTE]With all due respect, you are wrong that any dog can wear a prong collar. If I put a prong collar on my dog he could very well injure his trachea, any swelling on it could cause it collapse and he could die or require surgery. You can use physical correction with a regular collar or harness. I will say again that I know many dogs, large and small and of high and low energy levels that wear harnesses and are properly leash trained. There are many ways of leash training a dog, the prong collar is not the holy grail of training methods. It worked for you. That's great. But that doesn't mean everyone should use one. In Response to Re: Collar or harness? :
    Posted by pinkkittie27[/QUOTE]

    With all due respect, you have no idea what you are talking about.  A flat collar is more likely to do damage to a dog that a pinch collar.  If a dog is wearing a flat collar, and the leash is attached on the opposite side of the trachea, all of the pressure from correcting or the dog pulling on the leash is on the trachea.  With a prong collar, the pressure is even distributed around the neck.  Plus, the prong is designed to pinch the skin and has a built in limit on how hard the "pinch" can be.

    It would be one thing if you were describing a situation that actually happened, but you aren't.  You're not even describing something that you read on the internet.  You are making an assumption without any proof or examples.

    And once again, the prong collar is not used solely for training a dog to walk.  It is used in training for everything - from not barking, to staying off furniture, to keeping a dog from mounting other dogs, etc.  If you used a prong collar to correct your dog when it mounted other dogs, it would stop mounting other dogs.

    Many harnesses teach dogs to pull.  I use a hardness for certain types of training - like aggression training - when I want the dog to pull.


    By the way, do you take your dog to a trainer?

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    Yes, it's so handy to get them up out of a situation if needed. One of the fortunate things about having a small dog. :)

    In Response to Re: Collar or harness?:
    [QUOTE]I have never had an issue with walking Amber.  I have used a collar and a harness.  I love the harness better and I think she does too. I also use a harness and like you Pink, I love being able to pick her up if needed.  I only had to once, when I was walking her, a guy was coming towards me with a pitt bull on a leash, but the dog went nuts when he seen Amber and she got afraid.  I just picked her with the harness.  No knock on Pitts, but didn't want to risk anything happening to her and that dog scared me too. The owner could barely control it..   In Response to Re: Collar or harness? :
    Posted by ambergirl[/QUOTE]
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    I have never had an issue with walking Amber.  I have used a collar and a harness.  I love the harness better and I think she does too. I also use a harness and like you Pink, I love being able to pick her up if needed.  I only had to once, when I was walking her, a guy was coming towards me with a pitt bull on a leash, but the dog went nuts when he seen Amber and she got afraid.  I just picked her with the harness.  No knock on Pitts, but didn't want to risk anything happening to her and that dog scared me too. The owner could barely control it..  

    In Response to Re: Collar or harness?:
    [QUOTE]I also find an additional benefit of a harness on a smaller dog is that it makes them easier to pick up should they get themselves into a sticky situation. My dog has started to develop a mounting problem at the off-leash dog park and his harness makes it easy to pick him straight up if he starts to mount. I then can bring him to the side, get him to sit and calm down befre I let him rejoin the other dogs. It's working pretty well so far. You can also get a loop that clips onto the harness that you can slide a seatbelt through for car rides. In Response to Re: Collar or harness? :
    Posted by pinkkittie27[/QUOTE]
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Collar or harness?

    DirtyWaterLover-
    for my dog to not bark, I used a squirt bottle. he doesn't bark.
    for my dog to follow commands, I used positive re-enforcement. he follows commands.
    The work I'm doing right now with his harness to discourage the mounting is working quite well. He hasn't mounted a dog the last few tiems we've gone to the park.

    my dog has a trachea that can easily collapse if there is any swelling. he has reverse sneezing attacks when he gets excited or eats too quickly, let alone if I put something around his neck that's going to put pressure on it.
    That's why I use a harness. I was directed to by my vet so that his trachea issues would not be unnecessarily aggravated.

    my best friend's rottie mix completed training with flying colors- no prong collar necessary.
    my mother's beagle mix passed the beginner and intermediate training courses with flying colors- using a harness.
    I also know puggles, dobermans, boston terriers, labs and french bulldogs, all properly trained and responsive to commands- all without prong collars.

    I've also seen dogs wearing prong collars dragging their owners around on walks. It's not magic, it needs to be coupled with training.

    You clearly feel that everyone should train their dogs in the exact same way that you've trained yours.
    I'm not interested in discussing the topic with someone clearly closed-minded.

    While I did not have to use a prong collar to train my dog, I understand that many people do and that it is ONE effective training method. It is not the ONLY effective training method, just ONE.
    I was only pointing out that if someone doesn't feel comfortable using one for whatever reason, they don't have to and they can pursue other effective training methods.
    If people want to use a prong collar, great. Good for them. If people don't want to use one, great. Good for them.

    Stop acting like it's the ONLY way to train a dog and please stop making assumptions about me and my dog in your efforts to convince the whole world to use prong collars.
    There are other effective methods and prong collars are not necessary for every dog, nor are they a magic cure-all. That's a fact, and you can't deny it.
     

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