Obedience Class - Collars & Leads

Obedience Class - Collars & Leads

Postby chelynnah » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:25 pm

From: WhipPetLisa (Original Message) Sent: 08/08/2003 02:24
I finally got my behind in gear and enrolled the boy in a basic obedience class. Tonight was humans only. They require a "training" collar which is a choke collar. They recommended the chain type, but said it was ok to use a nylon one of about the same width. I was planning to use a 2" sighthound collar/lead combo like Patience and Kay make or a martingale.

The trainer didn't seem to know if this would work or not....he didn't seem very familiar with sighthounds. This is a nice faculty that is about 50 minutes from my home. I choose it because they offer agility and flyball which are things I might want to get involved with later on.

They use positive training methods; treats and praise as well. I didn't think they still used the yank the dog's neck approach. I also have to have a 6' leash...all my collar/lead combos are 5' I am getting a couple of martingales from Patience so I am going to see if she will make me a 6' leash.

What type of collars and leashes did those of you who have put their Whippets through obedience classes use? Did you use the snap the choke collar (sorry don't know the appropriate terms here) training method?


From: HaleyWhippet Sent: 08/08/2003 02:54
I used a fine link chain on Miss Haley.
She did just fine. We used the food reward for doing good. They did teach the corrective "snap" too.
I still work her in the house without a collar and leash. She will do anything for beggin strips(don't tell her it's not Bacon)

From: SueHop Sent: 08/08/2003 02:58
Lisa, I used a plain, flat buckle collar for obedience. I don't think you will need a choke collar for a sighthound unless they are a really stuborn dog. I tried a prong collar (the kind with little prongs that go down to the neck) but got no better results than with a flat collar. With positive training methods and a happy voice you can get a much better result I think.

The only dog in our class on a choke collar was a large hunting dog that the people had rescued from the pound. He had issues and wanted to confront all the other dogs.

Most of all HAVE FUN! I learned so much and Gracie and I bonded quite a bit more during the weeks we worked in class. I am trying to do more at home - stays are hard, but if you keep with it and are consistent I know Casino will be a graduate in no time.


From: chelsea76 Sent: 08/08/2003 09:12
Do NOT let him talk you into using the 'snap the choke collar' method. I normally would run from any class that asked for a choke collar as a training tool, and the fact that he doesn't know about sighthounds would make me run as well.

I understand your reasons for wanting to use this class, but be very careful - if you are worried at all then leave. You can still take agility from them if you take obedience somewhere else.


From: indogolfing Sent: 08/08/2003 12:51
I know many people object to using choke collars on sighthounds, but I'm not
sure why. If you are using them for response and control, and not as a
weapon or punishment, they do as well as other dogs- probably better because
they don't like leaning into them. I like the nylon strap choke collars
myself, but use chain choke collars for walking all day in the open field. I
don't like the collar-leash combos- there's no swivel so your leash can get
wound up. Some things you are training you may not want the dog pulling, and
the collar leash combos allow them to lean into them pretty good. That's
just my preference- what I do with my dogs involves walking all day and I
don't like to be pulled around, and have the dog wasting all it's energy,
choking and rasping, leaning into a wide collar. I'd rather the dog teach
themselves not to pull than for me to try to pull and yank on a nice comfy
wide collar to control them- and I think it's better for the dog to have
less pressure on it's neck because it doesn't want to lean into the collar.

From: randy Sent: 08/08/2003 13:13
My class with Sasha had many bigger dogs in it that used choke collars, but it just doesn't seem necessary with whippets. I don't know about your boy, but just a harsh word from me is enough to make them drop their heads and tuck their tails. MaryAnne and I disagree on discipline a great deal, I won't use physical punishment with my kids. One day Pepper Jack was over and peed on my rug, Mary Anne used the traditional method of putting his nose in it and spanking him, both my whippets watched from the couch and they seemed genuinely shocked, kind of like " we've never seen anything like that before".

So my own personal opinion is that I would try to see if I could "opt out" of using the choke collar. Also Mary Anne loves her dog a great deal and while I won't use her methods, I know that her intent is to teach him to be a good citizen.

From: beegdoggys Sent: 08/08/2003 15:59

Striking a dog for ANY reason is wrong! I dont care who does it and for what reason!

in my mind it is right up there with striking a child.

Boy is my blood boiling !!!!

( taking slow breaths.......)

As for choke collars....interesting name they have isnt it? :O( I have two Irish Wolfhounds....just a bit bigger and stronger than a Whippet <g> and I used positive reinforcement and lots and lots of patience to get them to not pull. At one point I used a gentle leader on Colin just before he was neutered as he was a biggy boy with a big "look at me" attitude.

I know there are a lot of people who say "when a choke collar is used properly, there is no need to jerk/yank/choke the dog". Well to me that statement is just plain silly. If you are not going to use it in this capacity then "why" would you use it at all? Why not just use a flat collar or a harness? Makes no sense to me.

I see so many people walking their dogs with chokes on and the poor dog is practically strangeling themselves. Makes me sad......and dont even get me started on those prong collars. Personally I think they should be outlawed. Along with people who hit their dogs !!!!!!!!!!!

ok....er....what was the question?

Went to two different obedience classes with my Hounds. Colin's was great. Flat collar, long lead, positive reinforcement. When Tessagh came along the "doglady" had left town and a couple of other ladies(?) took over. Choke collars, hard correction, harsh voices. Dogs submissively peeing everywhere you looked. Two dog fights in 20 minutes. Tessagh and I very nicely explained in a surprisingly calm voice why we were leaving. The one instructor turned to the other and said really sarcastically. "oh, she thinks her dog is toooooo sensitive for obedience". I said "no, she is a sighthound and has too much class for your class" Turned on my heel and walked out. The other lady(?) called after me that if I didnt train that big "thing" I would be in big trouble one day.

sorry to go on so long,

Monica (hit her dog !!!!! indeed!!!! maybe there are some folk who need to wear a prong collar themselves)

From: HaleyWhippet Sent: 08/08/2003 16:00
the traditional method of putting a nose in it and spanking really dosen't work.
The best thing is if you see him looking for a place to pee, bring him outside fast, than praise him for peeing outside.
Dogs do not understand the nose in pee and spank thing.
All it will do is make them hand shy.
I used a bell on the door before we had a dog door for Haley.
She rang when she had to go out. She was four months old when she came to us, She learned the bell in days.

From: indogolfing Sent: 08/08/2003 16:06
The open field IW people use choke collars. Their dogs are not strangling
themselves, but the 120 lb owners can walk three of the things and maintain
control even when a hare gets up. The dogs must be handed off to another
person to walk (sometimes for hours) when the owner has a dog on line. If
you showed up with a nice wide soft collar, because choke collars are
"cruel", you'd probably have to scratch your dogs and go home- nobody would
want to walk it for 6 hours for you in a wide collar. now, by the end of six
hours, especially if they've run once, you could probably use any kind of
collar, but in the beginning, no way. They have their uses, and although I
don't use a prong collar, there are some people's dogs I will not walk for
them unless they have one on. And I have NEVER seen a dog strangling in one
of these- that would not be a smart dog at all. THey quickly learn how hard
they can lunge or pull when the hare gets up, and satify themselves with
vickie n.

From: WhipPetLisa Sent: 08/08/2003 18:53
Thanks for all the input guys. Different methods work for different dogs and their people I would think. I disagree with hitting dogs however.

I don't know if this is going to be the right class for us or not. As I mentioned, it's a drive...they do obedience classes at the Pet's Mart that's less than 15 minutes from me. I was hoping to start learning about agility and to hook up with some sighthound folks. There was a beautiful Saluki there doing something called Rally-O.

I had heard a lot of sighhound owners go there so I was a little surprised that the trainer looked at me with such a puzzled look when I mentioned a martingale collar. He told us he and his wife have some of the top Shelties (conformation) in the country. I guess I will see how it goes next week.

Anyway, I don't believe a choke collar is needed to train Casino. It sounds like the collar/lead combo is not the best thing because there is no swivel...that makes sense to me Vickie. My other option is to use a 2" martingale with a separate leash or buy him a standard buckle 1" or less (?) collar at Petsmart. All he has are 2" (or 2" that tapers to 1") collars. Thoughts?

Thanks again!


From: WhipPetLisa Sent: 08/08/2003 18:55
Here is a description of Rally-O:
Rally-O: The dog and handler perform exercises as indicated on a written sign at each station. The team moves through the stations as quickly and accurately as possible and having as much fun as possible!

You are encouraged to talk to your dog continuously, you can say commands more than once. After the judge’s “FORWARD” command, your team is off on it’s own. The exceptional feature of Rally Obedience is that handlers may talk to their dogs, praising them, and giving repeated verbal commands and/or hand signals, at anytime and as often as desired throughout the competition.

When arranged in the ring in preparation for a trial, the signs are numbered sequentially to indicate the course the handler must take during the performance. The team of dog and handler heel from sign to sign and perform the exercises indicated by the sign at each location. Except for giving the handler clearance to begin the performance, the judge gives no further orders or directions as the team continues throughout the performance with no breaks in the activity.

From: indogolfing Sent: 08/08/2003 19:01
petsmart used to have some martingale collars, they called them "greyhound
collars". Lupine makes some very colorful ones with matching but separate
leashes. The sled dog people used to use "limited slip" collars, 1" nylon,
not sure if they have them any more, you can check out sled dog central web
site- it's a fascinating site anyway (check out SDC talk, which is the
message board). I think ebay had some 1" martingale collars as well. Good

From: WhipPetLisa Sent: 08/08/2003 19:07
I'll check into those! It sounds like you think 1" collars are better for training than 2"?

Thanks so much Vickie!


From: indogolfing Sent: 08/08/2003 19:28
I like them; I put wide collars on when they go visit the vet and need to
dress up, but for everyday use I use 1" martingale or "ring in center"
beagle collars; for walking on line in the open field I leave the ring in
center collar on, sometimes a wide elastic reflective collar, and slip a
choke chain on with the leash. THe chain of course comes off when the
sliplead goes on.
check out these fancy dancy martingale collars with matching leashes:
lupine's "greyhound" combo collars with matching leads

From: WhipPetLisa Sent: 08/08/2003 19:46
Wow there so many choices!

They have some nice patterns and their prices are great. I had not heard of Lupine before...it says they can be used as a martingale or a regular collar.

I can see that Casino will have quite a wardrobe before long...that's part of the fun of being owned by Whippets right? Before I got him, I bought standard nylon collars at Petsmart...about the only choice was the color lol!

Thanks again Vickie


From: beegdoggys Sent: 08/08/2003 20:44
You know what Vickie,

I wont be arguing with you about weather or not it is cruel to use prong collars or even weather or not choke collars are appropriate. In fact, I will even let your comment of calling IW's "things" slide right on by.

No doubt I would be unable to convince you otherwise.

As for the folks looking for information on which is best to use. They will no doubt eduacte themselves and make an informed decision without you and I getting into odds.

Monica b

From: indogolfing Sent: 08/08/2003 21:00
no offense was meant by calling them "things", we call them "those big
things" jokingly (as in, "haul those big things around, we're going this
way"), the owners right along with us, they call ours those scrawny things
(or, get a real dog). I suppose if we were looking to take offense we could,
but it's all in the spirit of fun. I'll remember some might want to take
offense to that, and call them IWs or irish wolfhounds from now on.

From: chelsea76 Sent: 08/08/2003 21:01
I would pick up a cheap 1 inch greyhound collar at Petsmart. They are nylon collars with a chain for the martingale bit - often called half choke or half check collars:)


From: beegdoggys Sent: 08/08/2003 21:08
I apologise to you and to the board for getting testy.

My IW's mean so very much to me and I am perhaps overly protective of them.

Sincere apologies for over reacting.

Monica b

From: SkWhippets2 Sent: 08/08/2003 21:40
Please forgive my ignorance on the topic, as Emmy's the only sighthound I've ever had. When we got Emmy, part of the sale contract included a paragraph stating that we agreed never to tie her up for any length of time , use a choke chain, or collar thinner than 1 1/2 inches on Emmy. The breeder is adamant about anything thinner damaging their throats should they lunge at something spontaneously. I never questioned this, as she's been raising whippets for over 20 years,so just started her training using a hound collar & lead(which has worked fine so far) but now after reading all this, I've got questions! Have any of you heard of such a stipulation in a sale contract ?


From: beegdoggys Sent: 08/08/2003 21:45
I havent heard that one before, but I do know of a breeder who is seriously considering making an all natural diet a stipulation to getting one of her Wolfhounds.

Monica b

From: §HAZ♥ Sent: 08/08/2003 22:23
Whatever you decide to go with, good luck with the classes Lisa, i took Milo, just for basic obedience, and to help socialise him too, he really enjoyed them....

From: indogolfing Sent: 08/08/2003 22:47
I did grimace at the "things " part of my post after it was too late-
sometimes become too comfortable with a way of referring to dogs because of
joking around with owners, and of course on the internet it comes across
differently!! The IW open field people are a fun bunch, very dedicated and
easy going- they know the limitations of their breed on game like
jackrabbits, but we realize we'd be singing a different tune if the quarry
were coyotes (we'd be hiding behind the IWs with our whippets). They don't
care- they and their dogs have a ball and always have a good turnout for
breed hunts. When you are huntmastering with three IWs on line, you don't
say , "slow down, hunters", you say "lean back further!" These folks have
earned the respect of open field folks who have hunted with them.

From: skeezix123 Sent: 08/08/2003 23:01
As Buster gets a tad older we will be going to class. I have learned quite a bit about collars. Thanks everybody.


From: Whippet_cw Sent: 09/08/2003 01:43
I have to weigh in on the obedience training collar thing. I have had three whippets in obedience classes. None of them have needed choke collars. Val and Mamba had Martingales, Snazzy has a wide leather buckle collar. These have all been sufficient. A normal dog can be trained without using a choke collar. The only thing we were encouraged to use the jerk method with was "Leave It." Done correctly, it doesn't hurt the dog, just surprises them.

Whippets are generally more sensitive than most other dogs and a gentle tug is all that is needed to get their attention. Most whippets are easily trained using treats and praise.

I was taught that dogs learn faster using negative reinforcement, but they hate it. Positive reinforcement is slower, but the dog and the handler have a fun time. I would not take a class from someone using negative reinforcement. It's simply not necessary. (I don't blame you for walking out of that class, Monica!) I'm surprised there are still classes out there like that.

Lisa's original post says her class uses positive reinforcement, so then why do they need choke collars?


From: beegdoggys Sent: 09/08/2003 01:55
I was shocked as well with their archaic methods. They had even just completed a training course for dog trainers. So they said. ;O)

To give them credit, they did mail me a full refund even though I didnt ask for one.

Monica b

From: WhipPetLisa Sent: 09/08/2003 02:28
"They use positive training methods; treats and praise as well."

They use "training" aka choke collars as well as positive training methods aka treats and praise.

I'm not giving up on the class yet. I am going to show up with the collar I choose (based on all the help I have received here). If they have a problem with that or I don't like their training methods, I will find another class.


From: SueHop Sent: 09/08/2003 03:22
I was so lucky to find an obedience class that is taught by a Woman who breeds, shows, courses, and races with her Whippets. She started out with Greyhounds, but only has Whippets at the moment.

Her methods were perfect for us and worked wonderfully well for the others in the class as well - Bull Mastiff puppy, Golden puppy, 2 Aussies, and a retriever of some sort. I won't count the Yorkie since they only showed up half the time. We did use what she called a leash "pop", which was not a jerk. You let the leash go slack and then give it a pop and then immediately move in the other direction and encourage the dog to so also. This was for leave it also. It works well for Gracie. If I just tug she leans into the collar and keeps going.

Good Luck Lisa.

From: Whippet_cw Sent: 09/08/2003 21:49
Sounds like a good plan, Lisa. Let us know how it goes.

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