Grant 'The Paw Man'
RAAF Police Dog Handler, 33 yrs service & Civilian Canine Behavior Specialist
Actually I find with a longer leash they can get it right more often. They have time for the dog to go out, correct before it's tight, then call it back. Most people get it quite easily in under an hour particularly because the use of the correction chain is quite sporadic. The dog will find more pleasure right next to the person and only rush out occasionally, its when they have to yank yank yank they get it wrong.Totally agree...But that is so hard to teach to a lot of people. I find timing one of the hardest things to teach to people. that is why I love the handlers who are horse riders, they often really get timing l
I do agree with Grant, there is no instructions on the chains and there should be OR at least a recommendation to find someone who knows how to use them. Every other piece of equipment has instructions. Saying that when even the company reps come in and say you can tether dogs to correction chains and have no idea what they're doing with them it's no surprise they're just sold like that.
I just signed up for a dog obedience class that uses check chains. This morning i went around to the owners house to pay the fee and she gave me a free lesson there and then (without the dog) about the correct way to fit and use a check chain. For nearly a hour she demonstrated how to put it on my own wrist and watch the diffrence between a correctly fitted 'check chain' and a incorrectly fitted 'choker chain'. She used her own dogs to demonstrate a short, sharp, yet gentle check and i see no problem with doing it like this at all. It was effective yet gentle. She assured me that after 30 years (she's a old duck) of using them correctly she has never hurt or scared a dog with one. I'm a total ease after watching her demo's about using one for Mojo. She also informed me all about timing my own movments and commands. It was a real eye opener and i'm looking forward to the start of class.
Should be very interesting.
I see way too many people including at my dog club - with dogs constantly pulling on the choker - it's having no effect for correction or control. So no better than a flat collar misused, and with potential for more damage to the dog. I also see people with the dog out in front or on the "wrong" side so the collar can't release. And none of them have any idea about a quick "pop" correction or rewarding by releasing the pressure. They never can reward because the dog never stops pulling - because they reward the pulling by allowing the dog to continue going where it wants. It's ugly. Better to have a flat collar or front attach harness for people like this.
I've tried talking to them about what they're teaching their dog but they don't understand. They certainly don't understand the four quadrants of operant conditioning. I have a hard time of it. People are always confusing negative with bad instead and postive with good when in the scientific language it's a maths thing and means adding or subtracting. So positive punishment - means adding something unpleasant to the dog to reduce a behaviour.
If your dog is pulling - stand still!!! Don't allow it to go (where it wants) until the lead is loose. And the choke collar isn't much help if the dog doesn't want to go at all.
Standing still is what I did/do with Banjo. I find it highly frustrating and yanking on the lead would no doubt be a better outlet for my frustration than freezing every 2 steps! But it does work for us. I also like the 'change direction' method. Though it might look very weird to observers, like a Monty Python sketch.
Agree with Nekhbet, Grant & Newfsie- the check chain, used properly is a great tool.
Problem is, too many tools use them improperly, as Hyac said!
Whilst I'm quite aware of how to use a check chain correctly, I also know my timing can stink, thus my preference is to use a limited slip, or martingale collar... But even then, one still needs good instruction on the use of ANY tool!!!
It's also really important, IMHO that teaching comes before training- that is, showing your dog the new skill in a way that does not deliver an aversive if they get it wrong- at least until you know your dog understands what you are asking. Then one introduces a consequence for non compliance. One of the most important things I try always to communicate to my clients is REWARD REWARD REWARD Behaviour you want- and dont stop doing that in favour of corrections once they are introduced.
ETA: teaching also has to occur in an environment where your dog has the best chance of success you can give, too. If you set your dog up to be successful and reward successes, corrections then become only a small part of training- not a foundation!
Last edited by Villain & Flirtt; 01-20-2012 at 01:02 PM.
The obedience club i attend also uses the check chains & i find i have had great success using one. We also had a 60 minute introductory class where we were taught how to use them correctly and what we were hoping to achieve when using one etc. Our trainers are excellent & when they see us behave or act in any manner that could be detrimental for the dog we are pulled up for it straight away & given tips on how to better handle what we are trying to achieve. I like the fact that they admit that a check chain is not always effective for some dogs and they are able to give advice on tools that may be better suited for a particular dog. However, i am pretty much 100% behind the check chain and use it all the time when training.
I've always used check chains too.
People need to remember that a dog can do extensive damage to it's throat leaning it's whole weight into a flat collar for extended periods like some do.
The people that do get timing are great to teach and they are even really savvy with the front fastening harness...because if you have timing and watch the dogs front end leg action, you can get a huge advantage
Pets are forever
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