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  October 17, 2013
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Q&A on Puppies with Ed Frawley

Prong Collars & Puppies

Question about using prong collars with puppies answered by Ed Frawley.

October 10, 2013   |   2 Minutes, 57 Seconds

Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: My 6 month old pup is now in the correction phase of training behaviors. He often lays down when I ask for a sit after receiving a correction. Do you have any suggestions?

Hey Cindy,

I am contacting you because I am a dog trainer and I have recently stumbled across something that I have not encountered before and I am not exactly sure how to correct it. I have a 6 month American Pit Bull Terrier that I am using for a demonstration dog. He is very smart and attentive. I have taken him through the learning phase for basic obedience (come, sit, down, down stay), so he knows the difference between sit and down. But when entering the correction phase, I have found that he will often just lay down when given the command to sit. It seems he thinks this position is the ultimate safe zone when corrections are concerned. If I am just doing the training using positive reinforcement he sits a Que every time and knows the difference between down and sit. But once given a level 4 or 5 correction for refusing to down it seems that every time he is told to sit he just goes into the down position (and he seems to do the same when given a level 1 or 2 correction). I have both your video on basic obedience and remote collar training. I have a fairly strong understanding about dogs drives, how to judge their hardness or softness, and how to gauge the level of correction for refusals. If you have any suggestions please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

Cindy's Response:

I would avoid giving physical corrections to a 6 month old puppy for making mistakes in performing behaviors. I don’t know of any 6 month old pups that are ready for the correction phase in obedience behaviors. There is nothing to be gained by adding corrections at this point and you risk losing your dog’s desire to work with you and you may damage his confidence as well.

I would go back to positively reinforcing the correct behavior and back off on physical corrections. If you haven’t watched the Michael Ellis videos yet, I’d recommend them, specifically the two I will list below.

The Power of Training Dogs with Food DVD
Advanced Concepts in Motivation DVD

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Puppies.

We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this week's Q&As, click here and check out the 'Recent Questions' section!

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