Monday, January 28, 2013

The Walking Wonder

When we first got Ed, we knew we needed to somehow combat his energy.  We began with walks. 
... and ended with dislocated shoulders.  Sam could barely control him and I had only a prayer.
We invested in a Halti, and while it greatly displeased him, it really didn’t slow him down too much.  (Side note: we heard that this can be a great tool for smaller dogs with pulling issues; however, for larger dogs it can actually be dangerous to their necks since they can pull with more force).
"Doh! I don't like this..."
We then got Ed a backpack.  While that definitely helped deplete his energy source, it didn’t do much for the pulling...and we only got 15 minutes reprieve.
In my research, I had read different methods and tools – including the prong collar, and I was still unsure about it.  As we began talking to trainers, we were getting more and more recommendations for the prong collar.  So, we decided to try it out


WOW.  What a difference!  Ed immediately began walking better.  We didn’t have him figeting with it as we tried to walk like the Halti...he didn’t even know it was there!  A quick ‘pop’ of the collar and he settled back in beside us.  It did take him some time to realize that this was what was expected.  The first few walks were filled with corrections, but he’s gotten the hang of the expectations.
"Look Ma, no prong!"

We also invested in a traffic lead from Mud Puppies, like this one.  This gives us better control and we have less leash to fight with.


It is important to make sure that your prong collar is properly fitted and that you are using it correctly.  We were told that while walking, the collar should lay flat.  You should only see a triangle when you are correcting him.  This keeps your pooch from getting used to the correction. 
If you have any questions, you can always ask your trainer (or the trainers in Petsmart/Petco seem to always be super helpful for us, too!).

While he's calmed down quite a bit (thanks to a good ol' fashioned neutering and a 2nd birthday) and is a rockstar on lead, he still has energy to spare.  We're looking into getting a dog-powered treadmill, like this one. 

 Does anyone have any experiences with these?

12 comments:

  1. I've seen them online, those doggie treadmills. I think Vicktory dog, Uba has one. I'd hate to invest in one and not have it used (like my own ..)

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    1. I know that all too well! I think you are right about Uba...I've read about him using it on the Vick Dog Blog once or twice!

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  2. It's interesting to see how different tools work for different dogs, or even how they can evolve from one walking tool to the next. I really don't miss those high energy days. Miss M used to get so excited she would redirect onto her leash and it was little me trying to hold on while thrashed around on her leash. Sometimes I would try to tackle her. Definitely not missed.

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    1. Been there! Although I do have my takedown perfected...

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  3. I used to use a prong collar on Kaya too. I also tried a halter and she hated it/didn't work. I only used the prong for a few weeks and then she realized what I expected of her so I didn't need it anymore. I actually had the trainer at Petco ridicule me for looking at them. He said if I trained my dog, she wouldn't need it and I should but her a halter instead. Ugh...I wanted to but a halter on his face.

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    1. Too funny! Ed does OK now without it, but if he gets revved up or majorly distracted, he falls apart, so we like having it for "just in case" moments.

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  4. I had (and currently have) the same issue with my pittie girl! During one of our obedience classes the trainer asked if we would like to try the prong collar. I was desperate as we had already gathered quite a selection of different collars/harness' and nothing had worked. The moment the collar went on, I had a different dog! She immediately calmed down and walked like a lady. I think each dog is different and what works for one, may not work for another.

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    1. Such a good point, you definitely have to listen to your dog and to what you are comfortable with.

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    2. I had the same experience. Mine has a collection of collars as well. The minute the prong collar went on he was a new dog. I can now usually walk near other dogs with just a "jingle" of the collar to remind him. So nice to have control as well and not be dragged across the road or onto the ground.

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    3. We hear ya Lisa! Ed isn't that controlled yet, but we're getting there. It has hugely helped with the pulling!

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  5. Braylon works awesome on a no-slip collar.
    Hades is our walking problem child. A Halti caused him to rub his face raw on the sidewalk despite our knowledge of using the tool successfully with other dogs. He now walks with a prong collar. I had been hesitant to use one for fear it would make him look "tough" which is the opposite of our goal but it works so well I had to let go of that.
    We haven't tried a backpack but I'd like to.
    One of our fosters walked slightly better simply wearing a T-shirt. (Emphasis on slightly, still noticeable.)

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    1. Braylon is like our Tess - she has never been bad, just needed direction.

      We were hesitant, too - for mostly the same reason. I totally, agree...it's so much better for the image to have a controlled dog.

      I volunteered at a shelter in college - we used bandanas to cover up the collars to avoid the "tough" stereotype!

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