Author Topic: Martingale Collars  (Read 10186 times)

Offline rhinecat

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2006, 08:58:40 PM »
which is all the more reason that i think it's stupid that petsmart labels training collars "cruel" or "inhumane" and disallows their use in classes. the people who show up at petsmart training classes, by and large, are there because they have out of control dogs. i'd much rather have somebody learn how to *correctly use* a training collar than to have them learn pure positive methods which take a long time and a lot of work to be effective, and still have an out of control dog PLUS no idea how to use what training collars are available (and can even be purchased at petsmart, which fascinates me).

i'd much rather see a big stupid dog with a correctly fitted prong collar under control by somebody who has been taught how to use the thing than a big stupid dog dragging with a flat collar dragging around an owner, choking, and getting himself in trouble because the owner cannot control him and whose all positive training has not yet taken effect.

They really don't label them anything, and certainly they don't hesitate to sell them, even to people who are, I swear, actually cunningly disguised apes. Literally none of the staff knew how to fit them, either. The obedience classes are also mostly aimed at people with puppies, since they're easiest to sell to.

Most of what I saw was people using too big, too small, or improperly positioned choke and prong collars, or who let their dogs hang themselves via a slip chain, or who would use their leash in such a way so that the dog was either constantly being corrected or didn't know where they were supposed to be. Edit: Er, as opposed to big dogs on flat collars. It's like they had a leash pulling problem, got a training collar and used it wrong in some way, and the dog was still pulling, due to (I presume) a failure to actually tell the dog what was expected of it.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2006, 09:12:17 PM by umbrella »

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Offline trubandloki

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2006, 07:15:43 AM »
I was at Petsmart shopping one day.  I was spending quite a bit of time in this one aisle, deciding exactly what size/style I wanted (I was buying a muzzle).  While shopping I got to witness first hand a PetSmart obedience class.  As they were trying to teach the dogs how to walk down an aisle without mauling a stranger, or something like that.
Some how I got picked to be the stranger (no one asked me).

Let me put it this way.... I was jumped on and knocked into the display MANY times.  I'm not thinking any of the dogs learned how to not maul a stranger during that lesson......

It did not give me a warm fuzzy feeling about how they teach things.


Offline ~Lin

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2006, 07:23:35 AM »
I took the petsmart adult dog obedience class last summer with Tessa. I enrolled in it immediately after adopting her, because there werent many options in my city for dog training. Also, because I was incredibly misinformed about the quality of petsmart classes... Tessa already knew sit/stay/down/wait/no, but I enrolled in the class because the trainer assured me over the phone that by the end of the class I could get Tessa walking on a loose leash. Their method of teaching loose leash walk? Distract the dog with kong stuffin paste on a spoon while walking. Uh huh. Sure... I swear Tessa ate an entire can the first class that worked on it. The trainer kept saying "oh she ate it already? Here, take some more". She would lick the entire amount off the spoon (one of those large plastic ones you use to stir pasta) in one gulp. Since then Ive also found it petsmart trainers merely take a 6 wk course to be "accredited experts trained in canine ethology, learning theory & interpreting canine body postures." And its only a couple days a week for that course if I'm remembering correctly. (I took the quote from the petsmart website)

Needless to say I am NOT impressed. As mentioned, I am working with an actual dog trainer now. Shes 90 minutes away, so Tessa is in boarded training with her and I drive down once a week to visit and be trained myself.

Offline elegy

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2006, 08:37:46 PM »
my experiences with petsmart trainers have also been less than stellar. i've not taken a class,  but i had one completely positively reinforce luce for jerky behavior, and i had a different one (same store) accost me for having a prong collar on my dog (i was there buying fish). she actually called me cruel. i spoke with the manager and he defended her and told me that petsmart does not consider prong collars humane. i told him i really didn't care because she's my dog and it's my choice of what collar to use on her, but that her coming up to me unbidden while i was waiting in line and calling me cruel was totally inappropriate behavior in an employee.

i would never send my dog away to be trained. training is an ongoing thing, and the relationship you have with your dog is such a huge part of training. you can't build that sense of team if your dog is being trained by someone else. and there's no way in a million years i'm risking that somebody's going to use force and intimidation tactics on my dog. i don't have a problem with corrections, but there's a line i'm unwilling to cross, and nobody trains my dog in any way without my knowing exactly what they're doing and why.

Offline kim

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2006, 09:08:52 PM »
i agree elegy - no matter how much i trust someone, there is one person on earth i trust to train my dogs, and its lydia - simply because she knows my dogs and knows what i will adn will not do. so far, theres no one else i would ever dream of allowing to train my dogs without me being present at all times.
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Offline ~Lin

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2006, 10:05:14 PM »
It was boarded training or no training. As I said, I was unable to find a trainer near me. And that was after a YEAR of searching I finaly resigned to driving a distance for a trainer. I even spoke with her about the possibility of coming down daily with Tessa for training, but that would be incredibly expensive along with taking up too much time for me.

I am very open with boarded training, because of my experience training horses. Training can go backwards very quickly, and not everyone is a professional trainer. I didn't want to be spending money to work with a trainer, only to screw up everything Tessa had learned because I am not up to the same level. So instead, Tessa is getting constant consistant training. She stays in the trainers home with her, and is trained all day long working for "good doggy" rather than treats (another thing I dont like about petsmart, basing their training on food only). She breeds and shows german shepherds, training her own dogs and working with clients. I talked to her over the phone, met with her in person, talked with some of her past clients, and saw the training she had done with some dogs before ever bringing Tessa down to meet her. I know fully her training methods and types of correction and reward. When I come down once a week, I take Tessa to a dog park or to park trails for a couple hours of fun, then head back to her house and work with Tessa under her instruction learning the commands (start on left foot to heel, right foot after putting the dog in a stay, hand signals for sit/stay/down). Thats perfectly fine if you wouldn't do the same type of training, but it works for me. I am not a trainer. I can teach a dog basic commands and housebreak them, but I believe just as it takes years to learn to train horses and you never stop learning it takes years to learn to train dogs and you never stop learning.

Offline moonsingingfreak

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2006, 06:02:00 PM »
Some dogs are very determined pullers.... that's why we tend to suggest martingales as a training collar IF the owner wants to. It's not a prerequisite for the class. They can only restrict to a point, unlike the choke collars. It seems like some breeds are more likely to totally ignore a choke collar.
What I have learned about pronged collars: As long as it fits right, it should distribute pressure on the prongs evenly. The prongs simulate a pack setting, where the alpha would correct another with a mouth around the neck. The "alpha" at my work often puts dogs who are playing too roughly in their place with a light neck mauling. The offender generally corrects their behavious instantly. Kudos (the alpha/"police dog") is not an agressive dog, and only dominant when he needs to be. If anyone has any pronged collar info that disputes this, please let me know.
As for little dogs and collars... generally the collars for small dogs are made very thin, and will do a lot of damage to a determined puller. Wider collars tend to not have the same ability to damage. Less of a "cutting" motion and more of a general "pressure" The same can be said for harnesses, though... one with wider straps is probably going to be more comfortable. Like with bras  :yelcutelaugh:

Offline fearlessella

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2006, 11:43:25 PM »
All Petsmart trainers now use all-positive methods in their classes, and won't let you participate with a training collar on. And given a lot of the people I met via those classes, I can't say it's a bad decision--Petsmart customers are the reason I abhorred training collars for several years, since I'd only seen them used abusively.

This is incorrect.  I am at a Petsmart about every other weekend with an adoption organization.  I saw a dog with a prong collar & one of the trainers parades around with a dog in a halti.  If anyone adopts a dog from us I tell them NEVER to use Petsmart as their trainer.  Their store uses a clicker for everything.  The dogs are put in a line with their owners and also paraded around our dogs in crates while they strangle themselves & the owners use their clickers to try to get their attention.  It is a NIGHTMARE!! 
I endorse prong collars to dogs that need them.  It is correct in saying that too many people do not know the right fit for the dog.  I try my hardest at the vet to hint to the people about taking a few links out etc.  One of my dogs was trained on a halti, but I think using a halti also depends on their temperment.
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Offline rhinecat

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2006, 02:45:53 AM »
All Petsmart trainers now use all-positive methods in their classes, and won't let you participate with a training collar on. And given a lot of the people I met via those classes, I can't say it's a bad decision--Petsmart customers are the reason I abhorred training collars for several years, since I'd only seen them used abusively.

This is incorrect.  I am at a Petsmart about every other weekend with an adoption organization.  I saw a dog with a prong collar & one of the trainers parades around with a dog in a halti.  If anyone adopts a dog from us I tell them NEVER to use Petsmart as their trainer.  Their store uses a clicker for everything.  The dogs are put in a line with their owners and also paraded around our dogs in crates while they strangle themselves & the owners use their clickers to try to get their attention.  It is a NIGHTMARE!! 
I endorse prong collars to dogs that need them.  It is correct in saying that too many people do not know the right fit for the dog.  I try my hardest at the vet to hint to the people about taking a few links out etc.  One of my dogs was trained on a halti, but I think using a halti also depends on their temperment.

Okay, let me rephrase: According to company policy, every Petsmart trainer should be doing as I described. Most of them seem to botch it in as many ways possible, it seems--my store got very lucky and had a fantastic trainer (and Dobe owner :)) working there, but management drove her away with their BS policies.

Quote
The dogs are put in a line with their owners and also paraded around our dogs in crates while they strangle themselves & the owners use their clickers to try to get their attention.

*hits head on desk*

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Offline Heather

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2006, 12:00:58 PM »
Amos was being walked on a Gentle Leader but it rubbed his muzzle raw so I had to stop using it. I was going to take him to Petsmart classes but now after reading some of these posts, I wonder if it's a waste of money or not!

OT but my makeup was MIA for over a week and Amos just found it for me and created some beige art on the carpet. Oy. How can I get mad at that (I can get mad at the carpet cleaner though for not taking it out very well!)? ;D

Offline trubandloki

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2006, 12:07:31 PM »
OT but my makeup was MIA for over a week and Amos just found it for me and created some beige art on the carpet. Oy. How can I get mad at that (I can get mad at the carpet cleaner though for not taking it out very well!)? ;D

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Offline moonsingingfreak

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2006, 07:08:19 PM »
Heather, have you heard of the NewTrix head halters? They are supposed to be a lot more forgiving. We use them at work *sigh.. not much longer* for the really bad pullers during walks. The part that rests on the nose is lined, and it leads from the back instead of under the chin so you don't get that jerking action.
They can be a pain to get the fit perfect, but once you do for your dog you should never have to do it again.
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Offline Heather

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2006, 11:55:51 AM »
I would have to have someone show me how to fit one. I had a heck of a time with that stupid Gentle Leader. It's a VERY good aid, but just not for Amos. I've talked to people and trainers that have never had the problem like mine AND they checked the fit and it was fine. :dontknow: I'll look into the NewTrix though. Amos doesn't seem to do very well with head contraptions and freaked out like a bucking bronco when the Gentle Leader was put on, not to mention the constant pawing at his face. I'd pull his head up and he' stand on his back legs and paw at his face. He slowly got better but he would still do it atleast 4-5 times on 30 minute walks. :-\ People driving by thought I was abusing him. :-[

Offline moonsingingfreak

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Re: Martingale Collars
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2006, 08:58:09 AM »
Yeah... some of the dogs just don't take well to head restraints. Rocko has his newtrix on for the first time last night. Although he had a gentle leader type one before, this was new and he didn't like it at first... I gave him a chewie to work on and then he forgot all about it and was fine.
I used to have a dog at work that when I walked him with the new trix on, he would stop mid-walk and lay down... totally refusing to walk if I didn't take it off. He then would walk better with just the regular collar, and I would show him the NewTrix when he got to be too much.. it smartened him right up!
Maybe Amos just needs the threat of the gentle leader? LOL