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Do you have a dog training or equipment question?
Leerburg's Q&A database has 3318 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Basic Obedience , Electric Collar Training

Q. I'm not sure if a prong collar or an ecollar is the best choice for our situation. What do you think?
We have 3 male dogs. We have purchased your DVDs and learned SO much information on those and through your website. (Apparently we did a lot wrong in the past but we are moving forward thanks to you.) We feel your information isn't mainstream enough and that everyone who gets a dog should watch your DVDs. We would like to get a prong and then e-collar for our 10-month lab/coon dog mix, Duke (he's one of two we recently rescued). We don't feel clear on if we should get a prong collar, and how to go about determining which type if e-collar is best. We plan on moving him to an e-collar after he's trained, & buying your e-collar DVD. Right now we are using a British style slip lead. He pulls bad when he hits a scent and if he sees deer run in front of us, he goes crazy (has a ton of prey drive). We have an overpopulation of deer in our area so even though we are walking in the yard like you recommend for the beginning of training (to minimize distractions), deer are always present. Thanks!

A. Thank you for your business and for your kind words. You made my day.

Your question is excellent.

In my opinion, your decision at this point should not be between a prong and a remote collar. Your decision should be should you use a prong collar or a dominant dog collar.

It is too soon for you to be thinking of using a remote collar. Although in my opinion most people should first learn exactly how to train with a remote collar (and low level stimulation) but this is done after the dog is 110% trained on leash. There can be no question in your mind that the dog is fully leash trained before you add collar training. When that time comes I recommend the DVDs I have done with Michael Ellis or the DVD I did 4 or 5 years ago on collar training. Both are similar in concept, but Michael's DVDs go into more detail (there are two of them).

From the way you explain your deer situation, I would recommend the prong collar to start with. If the dog was a nervous dog or an aggressive dog I would recommend the dominant dog collar. Using a prong collar on those types of dogs make them hectic and in some cases handler aggressive. They get over stimulated at a time when you want to take drive out of the dog.

Take the time to learn how to fit and use the dominant dog collar. This is important. Fact is the first times this collar is used on this kind of a problem it needs to be a pretty serious correction. Once the dog understands it’s potential the correction level goes way, way down. But if handlers make a mistake and start real soft then simply teach the dog to work through the correction and live with it – then when the handler tries to go the other direction and give a stiff correction the dog simply ignores it and powers through.

Now with all this said, I am going to assume you have tried to counter-condition the dog to deer. We would try and get engagement with our dog in the presence of deer (obviously from a distance) and then work on reducing that distance with the goal being to teach the dog that the deer means high value treats or high value toys.

I am not foolish enough to think that this is going to work on all dogs. When it doesn’t work then you need to do what you need to do to maintain control or take the dog for walks in other locations.

That is my politically correct advice. In our case we expect our dogs to ignore deer because we sometimes have them in our front yard. So I know a tad bit about this problem.

Good luck

Regards,
Ed Frawley
  
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