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Positive training and Martingale collars

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by Pam, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. Pam

    Pam Forums Enthusiast

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    Hi all,

    I have been thinking about using a martingale collar. Now the truly strict positive trainers say "no punishment". Well, I would assume martingales, as they become tight and slightly uncomfortable, would be positive punishment. So just wondering everyone's thoughts on this.
     
  2. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

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    I don’t think they are any different in terms of punishment than a regular collar. The idea of a martingale is that it just tightens enough to keep the dog’s head from slipping out of the collar, but not so tight as to cause discomfort or pain. It is not intended as a training tool, and shouldn’t be tightened to the point that it could hurt the dog and shouldn’t be popped/yanked any more than a regular collar.
     
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  3. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    I have used a Martingale collar with Piper since he was about 6 months old...while I've done positive training with treats there have been the odd times when I needed to do a correction. However, the martingale doesn't hurt them it just applies slight pressure when done correctly (and only for a second).
     
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  4. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    I have used martingale collars on all my Shelties with no negative effects. I use them when going for walks as I want to make sure they don't slip out of a standard collar. However, I never use them for training.
     
  5. Pam

    Pam Forums Enthusiast

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    I guess my confusion lies in the fact that people have suggested I use a martingale for Beau for corrections when he starts to lunge during a walk (which is infrequently these days, but unpredictable). I use a regular collar for him and a harness. I have been varying the harness, trying different ones to see which he responds best to as he usually runs when the harness comes out even though he loves walks. He has never --knock on wood--backed out of a collar although my Shadow did a few times.
     
  6. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

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    Martingales, as everyone has said, are for dogs who easily slip their collars. I am suspicious of the hype of "positive training." I'm big on rewarding correct behavior, but in obedience training, I have no trouble with a light leash pop, coupled with an unpleasant correction sound. Mine hear a short, sharp "AACH!" followed by the command they have ignored.

    I took Beckon to a class in which prong collars were used. With his thick ruff, the prongs never touched his skin. He felt enough pressure to act as a signal, and the leash pop I used was very light. Had I used a flat collar, the signal would have been far too muted.

    Every dog is different. I would never use a prong collar on, say, a Greyhound or a Chinese Crested.
     
  7. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    I'm like you Chris, I say un un...followed by 'I said'....command they failed to do or did wrong. I did try a prong on Piper quite some time ago but for him he just shut down. To each his own but yes...you HAVE to correct occasionally or they'll think they can get away with it. For me now, it's giving a correction when I get a sloppy finish or front...he knows it but doesn't realize I mean it when I say it. But boy does he get a reward when he's straight!
     
    Chris likes this.
  8. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    Martingales aren't slip collars, they are just an adaption of normal flat collars for dogs who could slip out of a flat collar. They are commonly used for sight hounds - who have small heads compared to necks. Our Shelties also have a small head compared to their fluffy necks, which is why it's safer to use them than a flat collar. If you put on a martingale properly it should no more strangle a dog than a flat collar (which can also choke a dog if yanked). The only place martingales tend not to be used is in agility - because of the possibility of getting it caught (dog tags and collar attachments are banned), in those cases I've run my dogs naked.

    We've always allowed martingales at my club and in my classes - which is strictly a positive training club. Heck I'm always recommending people with full coated dogs (and sighthounds) use martingales. I do have a debate ongoing with Delta - who have decided that sighthounds can wear martingales to visits but not Shelties, but that's a whole other issue.
     
    Chris likes this.
  9. VallejoSheltie

    VallejoSheltie Forums Enthusiast

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    My dog has worn his Martingale for 5.5 years, and when I rarely take it off he give me a rather confused look. When I go to put it on, he gets very happy...
    I agree that they are fine for mild corrections, and fantastic as a constant wear.
     
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  10. Pam

    Pam Forums Enthusiast

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    OK, so how do I measure the neck size given all the fur? Do I pull all the fur back out of the way completely to try and get size, and what part of neck do I measure?
     

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