Martingale, pinch, other options?

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Maverick
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Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby Maverick » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:40 am

So I am working on Maverick's DA with my girlfriend. He loosens up a bit when she walks him, because Maverick and I have run into some not so good situations with other off leash dogs, and I still do send some of my anxiety down the leash. He tenses up more when I walk him.

Anyhow, we treat the hell out of him. Conditioning him that stimuli that was previously "negative" in his eyes (dog tag jingling, the sight/sound of a dog, etc) would be positive. It seems to be working, and I am have lots and lots of patience apparently since it's a long road.
Problem I have been running into recently is with a choke style collar. It's warm/hot now and I am using the Ceasar Miilan collar that makes the choke sit high up on the neck. He pulls like hell, then has breathing issues. I keep him in a leather basket muzzle with plenty of room in it, I can even treat through it, but between the collar and the muzzle, something has to change and the muzzle has to stay for our general safety in Chicago.

I like the pinch because it distributes the pressure. Obviously, this is negative however.
I like martingale collars, but I am not sure if they are strong enough. Probably are, but I would use a backup choke that is on the bigger side -- I am used to using a backup choke with the pinch because they can unlink from time to time.

So, will the martingale collar help distribute the pressure and hopefully lessen the strain?

Is there another collar option (no harnesses)??

Thanks in advance. I am trying my best and we are getting ready to start slowly introducing Maverick to my GFs Samoyed Samson, so this is important as I can't stop all the time to adjust the collar or remove the muzzle and put it back on. I just need something that works.
Nick

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby Celesteandthebullies » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:50 am

I would get a thicker collar, that will be safer on his trachea. You can even get padding, I have a 3inch leather collar with padding for lure sports.

I'm heading off right now, so I have to reply in short. I'll see if I have anymore to add in the morning. I'm sure someone on here will beat me though.

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby Maverick » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:54 am

Thanks.
Come to think of it, I did bounce that idea around, but since he is leash aggressive I thought something with a tightening motion would be better.
If, with my methods mentioned above, a thick collar would work I will do it in a heartbeat.
Any input (in the morning) from you or others would help regarding this collar choice.
N

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby mtlu » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:49 am

It sounds like you are making some good progress with his leash reactivity. I have a few questions though: has he ever tried to back out of his collar or does he only pull (or maybe lunge) forward?

I've been working on Molly's leash reactivity for a while now and she also happens to be a very strong puller when she sees a cat/squirrel/other prey. We walk her with a 1.5" wide leather collar. I have tried a couple different martingales but I actually find that the occasions when she hits the limit of the martingale, there is a more abrupt stop with the tightening of the loop and I have always found that disturbing. I'm not worried about her getting out of the collar or the collar breaking (and the martingales I chose are from two collar makers on this board because I trust their workmanship) but just the abruptness of the stop. I've gone back to using a regular, flat 1.5" wide leather collar – a 2" wide collar would probably be okay too but it's a little wide for her neck and looks funny.

I will only speak for myself and I don't like prong or choke collars for working with Molly because I don't think either of those tools would help us reduce her excitement or stress in situations where she is reactive. Additionally, neither a prong or a choke would be particularly helpful to curb her prey drive which is also why I don't bother using them. I don't want any kind of negative "correction" given from any tool that I'm using. Yes, pulling on a flat collar can also produce a negative association too so I've had to learn to not pull back on the leash in high stress situations.

If Maverick does not try to back out of his collar, I would recommend a strong leather collar with a buckle. I've seen many people recommend Stillwater – I've never owned one but they look to be great quality for a really good price. If Maverick does try to back out of his collar, then a martingale would definitely be a good choice for that peace of mind. San Francisco isn't as big as Chicago but I do understand the context of needing to have really secure gear when walking on city streets with a dog with some reactivity issues.

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby Maverick » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:09 am

I don't recall a time where he specifically tried to back out.

He typically pulls, and for the time being, I WALK calmly away from the situation while telling him to heel. Treats do some good, but he still needs alot of focus work. He can focus fine, especially with treats when he is not in his red zone. I just have to walk away and usually I just have to pull while walking away (not a correction, but still tension I can't avoid).

I would like to have him sit there and work obedience while watching the stimulus, but he doesn't focus (yet) and pulls so hard he has bled some from his paws on the sidewalk, while pulling that is.

Anyhow, didn't mean to turn this into a DA discussion, but many of us have that in common.
N

PS - with a leather flat collar, I will probably use his back up choke, that's loose, just in case.

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby mtlu » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:55 am

Maverick wrote:I would like to have him sit there and work obedience while watching the stimulus, but he doesn't focus (yet)

Have you tried increasing the distance from the stimulus, i.e. stopping earlier and trying to get him to work some obedience? As he stays more relaxed, then you can try to work him closer, little by little. You'll know right away when you're too close because he'll lose focus lol

I still have problems gauging how far/how close when working with Molly because her reactions also depend on the other dog she sees. Thankfully, she doesn't lose her marbles at every dog but if I don't "read" the other dog correctly in time, then Molly will go over threshold.

Another thing to look for is that if he recovers faster after going over threshold, then you've done a good job there too :)


PS - with a leather flat collar, I will probably use his back up choke, that's loose, just in case.

That sounds like it would work, using the choke for safety rather than as the primary collar.

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby Maverick » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:00 am

He has been recovering faster to stimulus in the house, dogs on TV, etc. But outside he still runs around all hackled up well after the stimulus is gone. I "think" he is getting a tad better, it's just slow.

There is a large park by my house. The plan is to work on Maverick and Samson, as it may be easier to work on the two exclusively first.
I will handle her dog Samson and she will handle Maverick. Part of the train of thought is that Maverick will see me with an unfamiliar dog and maybe something upstairs will click.

Starting at a large distance, obedience if possible with both dogs and slowly moving in.

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby Jazzy » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:35 am

I know you said "no harnesses" and I'm just wondering why.

I have a very dog reactive dog. We have gone the whole click & treat and "look at me" route and she is now generally very good under most circumstances.

When I was training I used a prong (which didn't work out for us b/c she pulled against it and made her neck raw), so I switched the the sense-ation front ring no pull harness. Now with training I can use a martingale or a 1 1/2 - 2 inch leather buckle...

but...if I am going to be in a situation where I know there will be ALLOT of dogs in close quarters and she is likely to get triggered...I prefer the harness. I know if I need to I can haul her off her feet if need be and out of harms way with the least amount of fear over injuring her. In other words, I feel like the harness gives me the most "hands on" control in situations where I worry she may not be on her best behavior.

*I will add I know some dogs figure out how to "back out" of the harness so that would not be good. Veronica never tried to "back out" when triggered she is too busy lunging forward so it works for us.

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby MikeInTacoma » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:01 am

I prefer a harness too, ever since Rufus took off after a rabbit and pulled his choke chain tight, and spun in a 360 two feet off the ground. That terrified me, and I bought his first harness a couple days later. Now I too find that I prefer it in an environment where he might be near dogs, since I can lift him by it if need be; and I feel more confident about restraining him, knowing that I'm not damaging his neck.

Jazzy wrote:[...] *I will add I know some dogs figure out how to "back out" of the harness so that would not be good. Veronica never tried to "back out" when triggered she is too busy lunging forward so it works for us.

Rufus used to back out of his flat buckle collar. He has tried to back out of his harness a couple times, with no success. I run a secondary line from the box portion of the leash snap to a limited-slip martingale collar, for two reasons: In case of hardware failure (harness D-ring or, more likely, the leash snap); and to prevent backing out of the harness. Seems to work very well.

OP -- have you considered a head collar? I don't know much about them, but some here have reported using them with very good results.

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby MarMar » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:44 am

Any type of collar (anything around the neck) has the potential to have a negative impact on reactivity. The pulling back/neck pressure when a dog is lunging forward is the problem...a choke collar is worse because of the tightening. I would definitely look into a front clip harness, Easy Walks are widely available and SenseAtion is another good brand. These harnesses are easy on the trachea and also help with pulling. You can attach your leash to both the front of the harness and to the loop of a martingale collar for backup if you wish.

http://www.premier.com/View.aspx?page=d ... escription

http://www.softouchconcepts.com/

I also like head halters but some dogs find them aversive as they do have a tightening action and using a head halter with a muzzle as well can be a bit much for some dogs.

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby FBODGRL » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:38 pm

I'm confused if he is pulling all the time or just pulling when he is reacting to other dogs.

A prong, choke or correction type collar is about the worst thing you can do if your dog is DA, leash reactive etc. Because while you may be giving treats you are still giving a correction and causing pain when the dog is reacting....so in dogs head it sees/feels this....see other dog-feel pain=cause more problems with reactivity in the long run.

I am in the harness works well club as well. I walk with a harness and then have a martingale as a backup. Each with an end connected to a leash.

If he is pulling all the time then that is something you need to work on separately.

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby Maverick » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:07 pm

Well, when I offer a treat, I hold it by his nose so he backs up/stops pulling momentarily, then he gets it. Granted, this is not perfect, but I see your point. He only really pulls around other dogs, and noises such as keys (that sound like a dog collar) and things of that nature. Otherwise he heels well, better indoors than outdoors because of the stimuli.

I tried the flat collar and he had a pretty good freak out when some woman's shih tzu was barking at him and rather than keep walking, she decided to let her dog stand there and bark while she watched the show Maverick was putting on. He tried to back out a bit, and that just made me very uncomfortable, even with the choker as a backup.

I didn't want to use the leather harness I have because we used to do bitework with it. He did well, and actually was "better" or more tolerant of other dogs while he had a "job" to do. I simply decided that I didn't want to go that direction any more, especially when I learned so many other ways to work on his DA. So I didn't want the pressure of the harness to make things worse.
If I try another harness, like the ones recommended, I think it would work. I like the martingale backup.
Maybe I am not understanding, but how does the martingale and harness connect to the leash?
I think I want to do this fast, because even on a flat collar, he feels like a fish on a line that I just can't land cause he's flopping around. I then don't have control, and really, it looks terrible to passersby in the city.

Thanks for the advice, I just need to know how the collar connects.
Nick

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby FBODGRL » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:46 pm

let me see if I can find a picture

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby FBODGRL » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:56 pm

This is the best I can do right now. I am at work so I only have access to some of my pictures

Image

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Re: Martingale, pinch, other options?

Postby Maverick » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:10 pm

That looks like a nice and thick coupler.
Is that what that is?
Thanks for the pic btw


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