Blue "The Blueminator" Lewis

Blue "The Blueminator" Lewis

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

To prong or not to prong?

 There has been quite a discussion going on over at Bad Rap's Facebook page about the use of e-collars (they shock the dog) and prongs. I've included a couple of links to read.

When I first saw Blue, he had his prong collar on. I was appalled. I was assured that it didn't hurt him (via a vet and a trainer) and it was used on him until I got him last year.

I continued to use it and then switched to the collar he now has. I agree that these can be used incorrectly and that the best way to go is proper non-force training.

But I also brought his prong with us on our hike yesterday.

Why? Because he pulls like crazy when he's around other dogs. Our last long hike (6 miles) just about wrecked my shoulder.

I also brought his head halter, just in case.

As with many things, abuse can occur. I have not put on his prong collar for over 6 months.  We go to training and the way to teach a dog to not pull is to stop walking when they do. It might take you 20 minutes to walk 10 feet, but MOST will eventually get it. Blue does.

But I was hiking in a group with a time schedule and did not want to be in the position of taking 3 times as long to finish the hike because I would be stopping every 10 feet.

He did well yesterday and I did not have to use it. He still pulled because he was excited. He rarely pulls me on our walks together, so the training is working.

But I keep the prong for occasions such as yesterday. I am a responsible dog owner and the collar had never hurt him. It has never left a mark, he has never cried and it takes a strong collar to manage an incredibly strong and powerful dog.

If you've not been around a pit bull, you've not seen how they were bred for a high pain tolerance and strength. The muscles on him are to be envied and respected. This does NOT justify being lazy and careless with the training of a dog.

Would I like to see these banned?

On one hand, yes because they would no longer be needed because everyone would learn a better way to train their dog.

On the other hand, some dogs need it (used correctly) as they are over-excited and bouncy and I would rather see that then having the dog euthanized.

What do you think?