I Don’t Even Need The Prong Collar Anymore
Recently, I received one of the nicest compliments I think anyone could give me.
I started my new group training classes last week.
In my basic obedience class, I have a 9 month old puppy that has been through puppy class previously and the owners had desired another class to tune up.
After all, I am a firm believer that just one obedience class is never enough.
I actually have clients who have gone through several classes with me because they are having fun playing and learning with their dogs!
The first trainer put a prong collar on this puppy.
Let me just mention that he is not even a big, aggressive, or over exuberant puppy (not that I think there is any excuse for a prong collar on a puppy!).
I guess I just don’t understand that mentality.
I suppose it makes classes easier for the instructor because the dog listens because of pain and intimidation; but I don’t agree with this laziness.
I think a good instructor, well… should actually INSTRUCT and help build the relationship with dog and human.
We should TEACH our dogs, not just force them.
And, we (those of us who are trainers) should remember that the dog doesn’t always have a prong collar on (at least I certainly hope not).
The owner came to the first class prepared to use the prong collar.
I am not a fan of them, but under certain circumstances and provided they are not abused in my classes, I allow people to show me how they use them.
I had outlawed them in previous years, only to see clients our walking their dogs with them!
So now, I would rather help educate my clients rather than make them feel harshly judged.
The First Class
And, we worked on making learning and training fun!
We talked about always rewarding the dog on the left side so that he wants to be there.
We went over using a clicker, and marking behavior and why this makes for superior training and playing games.
After all, games make training more fun!
Would you prefer to go to work to do tedious things… or would you prefer to go to work and play games?
Unfortunately as humans, most of our work is tedious and requires a certain amount of being meticulous.
But dogs don’t need to live in a serious world.
Part of my amazement of dogs is how happy, energetic, and full of life they always are!
I believe we shouldn’t take that away from them by adding pain and confusion.
So the nicest compliment that I could get after one week of training was how this dog didn’t even need these negative training tools anymore!
And, the truth is; you won’t either if you work diligently and make it fun!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.